Friday, March 30, 2012

Ivan!: A Pound Dog's View on Life, Love, and Leashes

With wry wit, deep insight, and vivid anecdotes, Tim McHugh gives voice to the family pet and delves into the place where the canine and human hearts become one. Ivan, a mixed-breed dog-philosopher with an extreme underbite and various other deformities, chronicles his life story with keen observations about his adopted family and the people he loves, covering the life events that touch us all. Throughout his life Ivan keeps plugging forward with optimism and faith, always striving to learn from his mistakes, believing that even as he is ultimately facing old age, disease, and death, life is all the more wonderful. To Ivan, love and relationships with people are what matters most, and that if a deformed pound dog like him can find love and acceptance, anyone can. His is a lively, humorous story of hope and perseverance.

Tim McHugh has given his one of a kind dog Ivan a voice - I came away from this book inspired. I truly felt I was reading Ivan's thoughts - his joys, his fears, his pain, his incredible capacity to love and comfort.

I've always known animals had more strength and courage than humans - they accept the hand they're dealt without complaint and live their lives with quiet dignity. This is particularly so with shelter pets - once you save them, they will devote the rest of their lives to taking care of and loving you.

Please read this pound puppy memoir; adopt your next best friend from your local shelter; and visit www.foreverivan.com to learn more about (and to see more adorable pictures!) of this special little angel with fur.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Double Booked for Death

As the new owners of Pettistone's Fine Books, Darla Pettistone is determined to prove herself a worthy successor to her late great-aunt Dee...and equally determined to outwit Hamlet, the smarter-than-thou cat she inherited along with the shop. Darla's first store event is a real coup: the hottest bestselling author of the moment is holding a signing there. But when the author meets an untimely end during the event, it's ruled an accident-until Hamlet digs up a clue that seems to indicate otherwise...

Black cat Hamlet joins the ranks of my favorite cozy cats; I love his attitude!!! This is the first book in the series, set in a bookstore, one of my favorite locales for a cozy series. It's pretty cool how even though the book is set in Brooklyn, it still has that small town atmosphere as the tenants of the brownstone have developed deep friendships, especially Darla and Jake. I also really enjoyed little girl Callie, so spunky and such a cute young book lover. Can't wait for book #2!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Pinch of Naughty


Eleanor Lacey’s husband is as dead as their sexless marriage. While she waits for the law to decide if she’s widowed or divorced, she leaves scandal in Connecticut behind and flees to Texas to begin anew. But she needs money—fast. What better way to earn her grubstake than by cooking meals for the richest rancher in the state?Cyrus Burke works hard for every penny he makes and prides himself on knowing where to cut costs. He doesn’t want a wife cluttering up his life. His housekeepers are good enough—round-the-clock employees tending his sexual appetite too. When Mrs. Lacey applies for the position, she looks like a promising candidate. Delicious in fact, as smooth and creamy as a tasty tart.When Eleanor and Cyrus come together, it’s a recipe for hot love. Take one wickedly willful widow and one arrogantly masterful man, add a dash of decadent desire, a pinch of sizzling naughty, and turn up the fire.

Gem Sivad is one of the queens of "naughty" historicals :) The banter between Cyrus and Eleanor in this book is so much fun, and the heat they produce is scorching. Eleanor is such a spitfire, and poor Cyrus is clueless when it comes to Eleanor's feelings. I cracked up at the going away gift Eleanor left for him (you'll have to read the book to find out what it is!), and couldn't wait to find out how they would find their way back to each other. I loved that Eleanor aspired to open a bakery (one of my favorite occupations in the books I read), and hope that Eleanor's sisters get their own books as they move to Texas to open up her tea shop.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Due or Die

Answering tricky reference questions is excitement enough for library director Lindsey Norris. Until a murder is committed in her cozy hometown of Briar Creek, Connecticut, and the question of who did it must be answered before someone else is checked out—for good.

Love, love, love this series. No cozier setting for a mystery series than a New England library - especially in the midst of a Nor'easter! This one revolves around the murder of the new Friends of the Library president's husband.

Loved spending time with the ladies of  Briar Creek during their crafternoons, and I'm delighted with the addition of puppy Heathcliff. Can't wait to see Lindsey and Sully's relationship progress as well. Book #2 in the Library Lover's Mystery series is a winner!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Murder Buys a Tshirt


Glory always dismisses ghost stories–until she inherits her great-uncle Louis's souvenir shop, where items seem to rearrange themselves and her pet parrot, Bluebeard, is suddenly uttering phrases he couldn't have picked up from customers. If Glory told anyone the shop was haunted, they'd think the fresh sea air has gone to her head. Then, at an end-of-summer party, local football hero Kevin Stanley dies, and the store starts to go haywire. Glory finally shares her secret with her best friend, who takes it seriously–and is convinced the ghost is trying to send a message. Kevin's death was no accident, and it's linked to Glory's very own great-uncle Louis. Now Glory must dig through the junk to find the truth, before someone leaves her with a deadly souvenir of her own.


This mystery, the first in Christy Fifield's Haunted Souvenir Shop mysteries, is as light and breezy as a day spent in the Florida sunshine. Parrot Bluebeard absolutely steals the show...can't wait to find out why Uncle Louis has chosen to communicate with Glory through his pet. I predict there is much to be learned about his life and how he died. I enjoyed spending time with Glory and her friends during their Thursday night dinners, especially the mouth watering traditional Southern dishes they cooked up! Can't wait for the next book in this fun series.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Welcome, Lily Graison!

Introduction To Series & Giveaway: The Outlaw by Lily Graison

Hello all! I’m Lily Graison and I’ve spent the last nine years writing paranormal and contemporary romance but last year, I tried my hand at historical westerns. A genre I adore!

My husband and I joined a local historical group in our area a few years ago and I spent enormous amounts of time researching, talking with other members, and I eventually dusted off my mother’s old sewing machine to try my hand at making a few dresses from the era. The 1860’s to be precise.

Immersing myself into a bygone era led my adventurous muse to start wandering. It’s no secret I’ve always had a thing for cowboys and sitting around a campfire and cooking over an open flame, it was only natural my new Historical Series would be born from my instant fascination.

The Outlaw is book 2 in my Willow Creek series, a fictional‘old west’ town in the Montana Territory. The series starts with the Avery brothers, four men who are as different from each other as you can get. The Lawman, Morgan Avery, introduced us to the small town of Willow Creek and his brother, Colton, The Outlaw, came riding in with his kidnapped heroine.

Tristan—The Gambler, and Holden—The Rancher, will be featured in books 3 and 4 and will release in the coming months but for now, I want to introduce you to my Outlaw, Colton Avery, with a tasty excerpt that’s sure to please all you cowboy loving readers.

Stepping out on the newly laid wooden sidewalk she set her sights on the outlaws, all sitting on their horses now, looking for one in particular. She found him moments later. He was shouting orders for the others to go. Lifting the heavy gun, she sighted on him and pulled the trigger.

The outlaw’s hat flew over the top of his horse’s head. The animal reared up on its hind legs before the rider was able to get control of him. He turned the beast back to the bank and Sarah lifted the gun again. It wasn’t loaded but she hoped he would think otherwise.

His black hair shined in the noonday sun. It was long, curling over the collar of his coat and fell over is forehead to lie across his eyebrows. Her breath was cut short when he locked eyes with her, lifting his hand to swipe those fallen locks out of his eyes. She was finally able to see them. They were the palest blue she’d ever seen. They held her in place, taunting her inability to handle the gun. The skin around his eyes wrinkled again and she knew he was smiling. She’d nearly shot his head off and the arrogant man was smiling.

“You missed. Again.”

Sarah lifted the gun another inch. “Maybe, but not by much. Shall I keep trying?”

He laughed, a deep rumbling sound that Sarah felt to the soles of her feet. She glanced down the dusty street at the other end of town. The townsfolk were stirring, some running toward the jail. If this outlaw had indeed tied William, the marshal, up it wouldn’t be long before he was loose. Looking back at the outlaw, she noticed he seemed in no hurry to leave. He was still watching her, his arms folded over the pommel of his saddle, his hat abandoned on the ground. She lifted her chin to him when he did nothing but sit there and stare at her. “What are you waiting for?”

“I thought you were going to shoot me.”

She swallowed. He knew the gun was empty. He was taunting her. Lowering the gun, she rested the barrel on the sidewalk. “The marshal will be here soon. Stay where you are.”

His laughter followed her curt demand. He sat up suddenly, swung his leg over the horses back, and jumped to the ground. Sarah tensed and took two steps back.

Picking up his hat, he dusted it off and placed it on his head, lowering the front as he turned back to her. “It’s been a real pleasure, Ma’am, but I’m afraid I’m out of time.” In an act that spoke of his arrogance, or complete stupidity, he raised his hand and lowered the bandanna that covered his face. Sarah stared at him and knew she’d never see another man who looked as he did. Hard, cold and completely heart stopping.






Sarah Hartford always dreamed of a grand adventure. She just never expected to find it in the arms of an outlaw. When her father’s bank is robbed, Sarah doesn’t make the gunslingers’ escape easy. Putting her own safety behind those she hopes to protect backfires when she’s kidnapped by one of the escaping men. Now her only hope for survival lies with the same arrogant man who laughed at her while staring down the barrel of her gun.

Colton Avery spent months planning the perfect heist, every detail fine tuned and executed with precise timing. Nothing could go wrong. That is until he comes face to face with a determined woman holding a shotgun. She aimed at his head and never flinched when she took a shot at him. He wanted her the moment the smoke cleared and he saw her face.

Robbing the bank, and handing over the gang of notorious outlaws to US Marshals, would be routine and boring. Sarah Hartford made it anything but. Taming the woman who stole his heart the instant he saw her was a challenge he was more than willing to take on. All he has to do now is escape the gang of outlaws he just double-crossed, hideout from an Indian raiding party and elude the town marshal who just happens to be his little hellion’s new fiancĂ©.

To read an extended excerpt of this book, and find buy links, visit Lily’s website:http://lilygraison.com

GIVEAWAY

Lily is offering up one copy of The Outlaw to one commenter. To enter, just comment and leave your name and email address. One winner will be chosen on Saturday, March 17.

AUTHOR BIO

LILY GRAISON resides in North Carolina, a stones throw away from the Blue Ridge Mountains and a few hours from the Outer Banks. First published in 2005, her debut novel won a Reviewers Choice Award. The author of 12 books, Lily writes in the Contemporary Romance genre, as well as Paranormal Romance and Historical Western Romance.

When not writing, Lily can be found at her sewing machine creating 1800’s Period Dresses or curled up in a chair with a book in her hand.

To find out more about Lily and her other books, visit her at the following locations.

Website: http://lilygraison.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorLilyGraison

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/LilyGraison

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1879747.Lily_Graison

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Outlaw

Sarah Hartford always dreamed of a grand adventure. She just never expected to find it in the arms of an outlaw.

When her father’s bank is robbed, Sarah doesn’t make the gunslingers’ escape easy. Putting her own safety behind those she hopes to protect backfires when she’s kidnapped by one of the escaping men. Now her only hope for survival lies with the same arrogant man who laughed at her while staring down the barrel of her gun.

Colton Avery spent months planning the perfect heist, every detail fine tuned and executed with precise timing. Nothing could go wrong. That is until he comes face to face with a determined woman holding a shotgun. She aimed at his head and never flinched when she took a shot at him. He wanted her the moment the smoke cleared and he saw her face.

Robbing the bank, and handing over the gang of notorious outlaws to US Marshals, would be routine and boring. Sarah Hartford made it anything but. Taming the woman who stole his heart the instant he saw her was a challenge he was more than willing to take on. All he has to do now is escape the gang of outlaws he just double-crossed, hideout from an Indian raiding party and elude the town marshal who just happens to be his little hellion’s new fiancĂ©.


All I can say is Colt can kidnap me anytime. I love a western where a man and woman are alone on the trail together, and although this book isn't super steamy, the sexual tension between Colt and Sarah made my Kindle sizzle. I so enjoyed returning to the town of Willow Creek and it's residents--I was touched by Colt's father's reaction to Sarah, and appreciated the update on what's going on in Morgan and Abigail's lives (from The Lawman). Can't wait for book #3, The Gambler.

And I'm so excited to announce that the wonderful Lily Graison will be a guest on my blog this coming Monday, March 12. She has some wonderful book swag to give away to one lucky commenter!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Death of a Kitchen Diva

Welcome to Bar Harbor, Maine, one of New England's most idyllic coastal towns. But as new food writer Hayley Powell is about to find out, the occasional murder can take a bite out of seaside bliss. .

Single mom Hayley Powell is barely keeping her leaking roof over her head when her boss at the Island Times gives her a new assignment--taking over the paper's food column. Hayley's not sure she has the chops--she's an office manager, not a writer, even if her friends clamor for her mouth-watering potluck dishes. But the extra income is tempting, and Hayley's chatty first column is suddenly on everyone's menu--with one exception.
 
When rival food writer Karen Appelbaum is found face-down dead in a bowl of Hayley's creamy clam chowder, all signs point to Hayley. To clear her name, she'll have to enlist some help, including her BFFs, a perpetually pregnant lobster woman, and a glamorous real estate agent. As she whips up a list of suspects, Hayley discovers a juicy secret about the victim--and finds herself in a dangerous mix with a cold-blooded killer.

I love cozies set in Maine-for me it's the quintessential New England setting. Protagonist Hayley becomes a food columnist, which leads to death by clam chowder...isn't the cover perfect???

I enjoyed Hayley/s interactions with her BFF's Liddy and Mona, and her 2 teenagers. There is much humor as well, from the English-impaired police chief Sergio, to Hayley's attempt to retrieve a brooch from the murder victim at her funeral, to Hayley's wearing a potential beau as a hood ornament.

The mystery flows along perfectly, with a wealth of suspects for Hayley to sort through. Fun, fun, fun read. Can't wait for book #2, Death of a Country Fried Redneck, in November.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tonya Kappes Novellas


You wouldn't imagine my glee when over the past weekend I remembered I still had 2 Tonya Kappes novellas on my Kindle that I hadn't read yet, as they were both released during the craziness of the holidays. They are both previews of upcoming spring and summer releases, and will certainly whet your appetite for the next Olivia Davis paranormal mystery, and to read more about the Divorced Divas (and you will fall in love with sweet little Willow as I did!!!) Both are definitely 5 paw reads :)




Get to know the Divorced Divas in this mini-mystery prequel to the Divas upcoming novel, Strung Out To Die.

Holly Harper's life is finally getting back on the right track after her divorce from "what's his name." She and a group of divorcees have formed a strong bond plotting creative ways to get back at their exes by creating a self-help group known as The Divorced Divas where the meeting are held in Holly's bead store, The Beaded Dragonfly.

There's more than just beading going on when Diva Marlene's rare Spinet Yellow Diamond goes missing and Holly was the last one to see it, or so they thought.

Olivia Davis is back, still breaking hearts with her breakup service SPLITSVILLE.COM. Olivia's best friend, Erin, has opened a matchmaking business, Color Me Love, where Olivia sits behind a two-way mirror making love connections by matching up their auras. With love in the air, and Valentine's Day fast approaching, Olivia is determined to figure out why everyone in Park City has lost their marbles, while figuring out how to get a date with one of the potential clients for Color Me Love.