Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Sunday Post #9

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This meme was inspired in part by In My Mailbox. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This has been a good week. Tara bounced back from a really bad spell last week, and has been her perfect, happy self again. The vet and I think the raw food didn't set well with her weakened system. She felt so well, in fact, that she took time out of her busy napping and snacking schedule to conduct her very first interview with Leo the Cat from Sheila Boneham's Drop Dead on Recall. Seriously, if you didn't have time this week, you need to check it out.

Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper
Dancing Dogs: Stories by Jon Katz
A Christmas Garland by Anne Perry
Three River Ranch by Roxanne Snopex
Fever by Mary Beth Keane

For Review:
The Rancher by Lily Graison
The Christmas Carol Murders by Christopher Lord

A Charming Cure by Tonya Kappes
A Charming Potion by Tonya Kappes
Somerset the Cat's Belgrade Mysteries – The Case of Old Mrs Popovic
by Mike Jelley (free)
The Ties That Bind by Kate Pearce (free)
Destination Frightville: 13 U.S. Haunts to Visit If You Dare by Harrison Clancy (free)
Gray Wolf Mountain by Jean Henry Mead (free)
Moonlight Mayhem (Moon Mystery Series) by Helen Haught Fanick (free)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Foul Play at the Fair

Book Description: As more and more tourists flock to Celebration Bay, New York, to enjoy their seasonal festivals, the town is in need of a professional coordinator. Enter Manhattan event planner Liv Montgomery, tired of big-city stress and looking for an idyllic spot where she and her Westie terrier, Whiskey, can put down roots. The Harvest by the Bay Festival is Liv’s first chance to prove herself, and everything from apple bobbing to pumpkin painting goes perfectly—until the body of an itinerant juggler is discovered stuffed into an antique apple press.

With a murderer on the loose, town leaders threaten to shut down the upcoming Halloween and Christmas festivals. But the town’s livelihood is at stake, and there is no way Liv is going to let that happen, even if she has to solve the murder herself. No matter how many balls she needs to keep in the air, Liv is determined to find a killer who’s rotten to the core . . .
My Review: If this first book in Shelley Freydont's Celebration Bay Mystery Series doesn't put you in a fall/Halloween frame of mind, nothing will! While reading this book I longed to visit the quaint upstate New York locale to take part in their Harvest By the Bay Festival, followed by Haunted October. I loved the vivid descriptions of the town, particularly Liv's morning ritual of stopping at the Apple Of My Eye Bakery and the Buttercup Coffee Exchange. Even the crime scene has a "fall feel" to it when an unsavory character from the past returns and ends up dead in an antique apple press. Everyone seems to be a suspect in a town filled with secrets.
A couple characters I hope to see more of in future books are Liv's landlords, the Zimmerman sisters. Retired spinster schoolteachers, these sweet little ladies reminded me of the Baldwin sisters in The Waltons, and I think they would be fun sleuthing partners for Liv and her darling little Westie Whiskey.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher with the request for a review.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Paranormal Fall Fling Hosted by Gabrielle Bisset

Thank you, Melissa, for having me here today to talk about Victorian eroticism. It's from that delicious yet repressed (on the outside) Victorian era that my Sons of Navarus series was born. My first novella was a Victorian erotic romance entitled Vampire Dreams. In that story there was a villain named Vasilije, but little did I know that when I wrote that character that an entire series would grow from him.

Vasilije was very much an example of the underground sex scene found in Great Britain in the outwardly repressive Victorian times. An unrepentant hedonist, he finds the staid society of Queen Victoria's London incredibly boring. He craves excitement, not the required manners of ladies and gentleman or the working drudgery industrialization has brought to the country.

I recently rewrote that first novella to be an official prequel to my Sons of Navarus series. Vampire Dreams Revamped includes a scene from one of Vasilije's parties, which can only be described as his testament to pleasure. Sensual and sexy, the party also includes another vampire from the Sons of Navarus, Terek.

Almost as in love with pleasures of the flesh as Vasilije, Terek is very much an example of the exotic that intrigued Victorians. Spanish by birth but made vampire by a Muslim trader in the mid-1300s, Terek is a mixture of East and West, vampire and human. His style may be more spiritual, but he's as much a participant in that underground scene as his friend is.

The Victorian Era has long be viewed as embodying the very sober traits of Queen Victoria, but in reality, what sat right below the surface of that very proper world was more like my vampires' worship of the delights of sensuality than the somber life of proper Englishmen and women that's been the face of that era for so long.
I hope you'll stop over at my blog to enter the great Paranormal Fall Fling giveaway. Drop by and enter to win some great prizes, including gift cards, ebooks, and fun Sons of Navarus swag. And thanks again to Melissa for having me here today! 

The Sons of Navarus series continues...

I am everything you seek. I am vampire.

Blessed with the gift of telepathy, Terek always knows what a woman wants. His gift has afforded him nightly sensual pleasures and exotic treats for centuries, but beneath the surface he yearns for much more.

Ilona can give him what his soul craves, but only if he trusts his heart. One fateful choice made out of desire puts all he cares for in danger. With a civil war and the threat of Archon hunters at every turn, this Son may lose everything if he can't find the balance between heart and mind.

Be sure to look for the other books in the series:

Vampire Dreams Revamped (A Sons of Navarus Prequel)
Blood Avenged (Sons of Navarus #1)
Blood Betrayed (Sons of Navarus #2)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

BlogFest 2012


I’m participating in BlogFest 2012 hosted by Cinnamon @ A Journey of Books!

I am giving away a mass market paperback set of the first 7 Charlaine Harris/Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Series: Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, and All Together Dead. Simply leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you...and if you choose to follow my blog I'll enter you in my giveaway twice. Good luck and have fun!!!

***Participant Master List***
Keep the Party Going!!!
More Participants:
My Little Pocketbooks
Mocha Girls Read
The Smiling Pains of Novelist Destiny Booze
KMN Books
Knitting and Sundries

Tara Interviews Drop Dead on Recall's Leo the Cat

Hey everybody, it's Tara!!! I'm purring with excitement, because today I'm conducting my very first interview! My guest is Leo, the feline star of Sheila Webster Boneham's new mystery Drop Dead on Recall. Mommy and I gave the book a rave review on Monday's blog. Isn't he handsome???

Tara: Leo, thank you so much for joining us today! It's an honor to have such a heroic little man answering a few questions for his adoring public. I promise not to keep you from your napping too long. First, how did you come to live with Janet?

Leo: Magic, Tara. And a morsel of feline luck. My first dog, the one who is now dancing with sunbeams, told me many times that I was a tiny kitten when I came to MyJanet's house. I don't really remember. Hey, loveliness, is Tara your real name? Or your people name? Has anyone told you how gorgeous you are? My head is spinning a little from looking at your gold and onyx fur. (Don't spread it around, okay, but you can call me by my real name. It's Mrrrwwoooghghg.)

Tara: Oh, are such a flirt!!! I'm blushing :) Yes, Tara is my real name. Mommy is a huge Gone with the Wind fan. I'm having a hard time remembering what I wanted to ask you next. Oh yes, what is your day typically like?

Leo: Busy busy busy. I start in the wee hours, shortly after MyJanet goes to bed. Zoom zoom zoom around the house. Gotta stay in shape. Bat a few balls and funnymice around the house, leap on and off things. Then I watch out the windows for a while. As you know, a lot goes on out there and I need to keep tabs on what's happening. MyJanet and MyJay, you know, the dog, are blind at night, poor things, but I watch. Baretail comes by with her children on her back, and Mask One and Mask Two keep trying to get into the garbage, silly things.Then I have a little nap before MyJanet and MyJay get up. I always say good morning because it makes them happy, and really (another secret, okay, Beautiful?) it makes me happy, too. Then I take another short nap for three or four hours. Lunch. Cuddles with MyJanet and MyJay. Maybe a trip outside and over to MyGoldie's garden. She has a stash over there. You should join me sometime for happy hours. Wow, gives me the zoomies and then I just watch the pretty colors for a while. You get catnip at your house? Then I have to spruce up every couple of hours. You obviously know how important careful fur care is. Mmrrfffff.

Tara: Sounds like a great day! I'm a housecat so pretty much just eat and nap. I love laying in the sun in the doors and windows too. Never been much of a catnip fan. How do you really feel about living with dogs? Not only Jay, but all the other orphaned pups your Mom keeps bringing home?

Leo: Dogs get a bad rap. I don't like to profile, you know? I mean, they're kind of sloppy and loud, but really, mostly I think they're just a little insecure. How would you feel with a great big body like that? I've heard that some of them aren't so nice, but I've never met one of those up close. Whoo - that would be scary, huh? Purrrrrrr.

Tara: What about other cats? Would you be ok with a feline roomate or do you prefer being the only cat in the house?

Leo: Come live with me and be my love! Or was that a, what do you call it, hyporetical question? It was? Rats! A cute kitty like you would be a purrfect housemate, but I guess you have a job and a human and all, huh? Big responsibility, humans. Maybe when I get old I could break in a new Cat for MyJanet, but look at me! I'm in my prime and don't need any help around here! Got it under control! Unless you're asking for yourself, Sweetums?

Tara: Oooh, tempting offer, Leo, but Mommy and I are pretty tight! She really needs me, and I need her too. In my opinion, you are truly the star of Drop Dead on Recall. Why on earth didn't you get some cover love? You must rectify that for book #2!!!

Leo: Well, of course I'm the star. The whole book is about me. The whole series. And that is a very good question, darlin'. But if you notice, they didn't put MyJanet or MyJay on the cover, either. Just Pip, that Border Collie, and really, he's a nice guy. He was very sad when he came here, but we helped him get happy again.Tells great stories, although some are a little far fetched. Ha ha! Get it! Fetch, Pip! Fetch, Jay! But I mean seriously, chasing wool-covered animals around a big backyard? Ho, that was a good one. Maybe he got into Goldie's catnip stash!

Tara: Lastly, can you tell me a few of your favorite things: Soft blanket on the couch or sunny window?

Leo: Yes!

Tara: Neck scratches or tummy rubs?

Leo: Yes!

Tara: Wet food or dry?

Leo: Chicken!

Tara: Me too!!! Mommy jokes that I eat so much chicken someday I'm going to cluck instead of meow LOL!!! Catnip mouse or laser light?

Leo: MyJay! I chase him and he chases me. And we wrestle and I can knock him over. Best best best!  Although I wouldn't mind chasing you around the house. >^..^<

Tara: Oh Leo, this interview has been the highlight of my week! I really need to ask Mommy if I can take over her blog more often. She usually does as I ask :) I've trained her pretty well! Best of luck with the book...we can't wait for your next masterpiece!

Currently Reading
***A Word from Leo***
MyJanet and I were very sad when my first dog went to dance with sunbeams, so even thought I HATE to go the vetritorturarian, I'm happy to support research for help make dogs healthy. And really, I know it's hard to believe, but we're sort of related, dogs and people being a bit lower on the mammal tree, so some of this helps cats, too. So check out the Drop Dead for Healthy Dogs book launch - from now through October 11, you can get the book about ME and support independent business and canine health research! Mrrrffffff.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #3

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The first thing that strikes me about the two books I'm "waiting on" this week is the beauty of the covers! Waiting for Spring by Amanda Cabot is the 2nd book in her Westward Winds series (I have the first on my Kindle). I love books about dressmakers and this one looks fantastic. (Look at the beautiful dress on the cover!)

My second selection, It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist, is set at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. One of my all-time favorite books is Erik Larson's Devil in the White City, and since devouring that one I have picked up every book I can find that takes place at the Fair.

Waiting for Spring: A Novel

Publication Date: January 1, 2013 | Series: Westward Winds (Book 2)

After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But when a notorious robber believes she knows the location of a long-lost treasure, she flees to Cheyenne and opens a dressmaker's shop to lie low and make a living. When wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry enters the shop to visit her best customer, Charlotte feels drawn to him.

If Barrett is to be a senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming, he must make a sensible match, and Miriam has all the right connections. Yet he can't shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future.

Soon the past comes to call, and Barrett's plans crumble around him. Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?

It Happened at the Fair: A Novel

Release Date: April 9, 2013

A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cayden McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.
The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cayden has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Drop Dead on Recall

Currently Reading
Book Description: When a top-ranked competitor keels over at a dog obedience trial, photographer Janet MacPhail is swept up in a maelstrom of suspicion, jealousy, cut-throat competition, death threats, pet-napping, and murder. She becomes a “person of interest” to the police, and apparently to major hunk Tom Saunders as well. As if murder and the threat of impending romance aren’t enough to drive her bonkers, Janet has to move her mother into a nursing home, and the old lady isn’t going quietly. Janet finds solace in her Australian Shepherd, Jay, her tabby cat, Leo, and her eccentric neighbor, Goldie Sunshine. Then two other “persons of interest” die, Jay’s life is threatened, Leo disappears, and Janet’s search for the truth threatens to leave her own life underdeveloped – for good.

My Review: Although cats are my primary passion, I have long been a fan of the dog mysteries of Susan Conant, Lauren Berenson, and Donna Ball. Drop Dead on Recall, the first Animals in Focus Mystery by Sheila Webster Boneham, rates right up there with the best of the best. Animal photographer/dog enthusiast Janet MacPhail, her Australian Shepherd Jay and orange tabby Leo (who has a predominant role in the story, even cluing this reader in to the identity of the killer based on his actions), drew me right into their little world. The mystery is compelling, and had me quickly turning the pages as Janet attempted to solve "the dog lady deaths."  I was so touched by the subplot involving her mother moving into a nursing home, and how incredibly sweet her love interest Tom was through it all. I really look forward to seeing this relationship develop. Janet's neighbor Goldie is another wonderful character, and I'm very concerned as to why she appears so sickly. The action in the end involving Janet's heroic pets was the icing on the cake. This book is a must read for dog lovers and cat lovers.

Tara's Thoughts: Guess what everybody??? In a couple weeks I'll be conducting my very first interview...with none other than Leo the cat (the TRUE star of mystery.) Stay tuned...I've been busy all weekend thinking up questions for him (well, in between naps, of course).

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Sunday Post #8

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This meme was inspired in part by In My Mailbox. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

From Simon & Schuster (so excited to now be on their reviewer list!):
Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin
Collared by L.A. Kornetsky

Fantabulous swag from Duffy Brown's Street Team (Iced Chiffon is due 10/2!) Photo courtesty of Dru Ann Love


Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder by Sara Rosett
Catnip by Valerie Tate (free)
The Last Honest Seamstress by Gina Robinson (free)
The Spia Family Presses On (One Olive at a Time) by Mary Leo (free)
101 Autumn Recipes by Gooseberry Patch
Impact (Wild Men of Alaska) by Tiffinie Helmer (free)
Any Port in a Storm (Jolie Gentil Cozy Mystery Series) by Elaine Orr (free)
"Five Scoops" Is An Addiction! (The "Scoops" Series) by Alex Carrick (free)
Dangerous Undertaking: A Buryin' Barry Mystery (Buryin' Barry Series) by Mark de Castrique (free)
California Schemin' (The Bree MacGowan Series) by Kate George (free)

For Review:

Elusive by Sara Rosett

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Tonya Kappes Book Released Today

A Charming Cure 

Anyone who follows my blog regularly knows my favorite Indie author is Tonya Kappes. She is an amazing author, and one of the sweetest ladies I know.  Her brand new book, A Charming Cure, the second book in her Magical Cures series, released today. Squeee!!!

Book Blurb: Bubble. . .Bubble. . .

Psychic June Heal's homeopathic cure shop, A Charming Cure, is the most popular shop in the unusual little town of Whispering Falls, Kentucky.

Cures and Trouble. . .

June is about to learn she has more than psychic abilities when she attends Hidden Hall A Spiritualist University, leaving her shop in the hands of handsome sheriff Oscar Park.

Hidden Hall has an internal war between the Good-Siders and the Dark-Siders, putting June in the middle.

Magic Stirs. . .

Hidden Hall is riddled with every type of spiritualist. Magic is lurking around every corner, even black-magic.
Unfortunately, the Ultimate Spell gets into the wrong hands. But it is only discovered after a few spiritualist go missing or end up poisoned to death.

And Trouble Doubles. . .

Madam Torres, June's crystal ball, reveals that A Charming Cure is in shambles along with the rest of Whistpering Falls.

Will June figure out who has the Ultimate Spell and stop them before they destroy the entire spiritualist community?


And I hope you're all members of Tonya's Facebook Street Team. Tuesday night, September 25, she is holding A Charming Cure Witches Ball with all kinds of great giveaways. It's been on my calendar for weeks!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Portrait of Doreene Gray

Book Description: In this laugh-out-loud-funny mystery, Angus MacGregor and the zany staff of Tripping Magazine, a travel magazine that covers paranormal destinations, investigate a bizarre story in a town brimming with secrets. Forty years ago, Maureene Pinter painted a portrait of her twin sister, Doreene. In an eerie turn of events, Doreene hasn’t aged, although her portrait has. When Doreene decides to sell the portrait, the Tripping team travel to Doreene’s mansion in Port Townsend, Washington, a Victorian town wreathed in mists and mysteries, to get the scoop on this intriguing story.

When strange strips of paper appear in her soup, Doreene invites Tripping to stay and solve the town’s many puzzles. Why does a man named Enrico Russo sit in a white Impala outside the mansion? And what does Lupita, the housekeeper, fear?  Soon, it becomes clear that while Doreene has kept her youthful looks, the past is catching up with her. Packed with laughs and featuring a mystery with a delightful literary twist, Esri Allbritten's The Portrait of Doreene Gray is a fabulously entertaining tale.

My Review: This second Chihuahua mystery, filled with zany characters, is a blast from start to finish. I haven't read the first book in the series yet, so I didn't know what to expect, but found myself chuckling so many times at the antics of the Tripping Magazine staff. Doreene's Victorian mansion is the perfect setting for a mystery about a woman who doesn't age, yet her portrait does. Strange occurrences at the mansion, such as pieces of paper showing up in bowls of soup, a bedroom filled with slugs, and a housekeeper who is convinced she is seeing spirits of the dead crawling across the ground, make this a page-turner from start to finish. I enjoyed the local history of Port Townsend interspersed in the story, and fell in love with sweet little Gigi. I hope Suki takes her along on the gang's next paranormal adventure!

FTC Full Disclosure: The author sent me a copy of this book with the request for a review.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

From the Reviewer Pile #2

From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or if you don't receive review books, any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.
I want to spotlight a book I received awhile back but just haven't had the chance to read yet. It sounds sooo good and so up my alley, that I wanted to at least spotlight it here to bring it a little added attention. Other reviewers have called it "an honest, true to life, depiction of the Old West" reminiscent of True Grit. Sounds great, doesn't it??? It can be downloaded here.

The price of vengeance...
Gabriella Devere wants vengeance. She grows up quickly when she witnesses the murder of her family by a gang of outlaws, and vows to make them pay for their crime. When the law won't help her, she takes matters into her own hands.
Jess McLowry left his war-torn Southern home to head West, where he hired out his gun. When he learns what happened to Gabriella's family, and what she plans, he knows a young woman like her will have no chance against the outlaws, and vows to save her the way he couldn't save his own family.
But the price of vengeance is high and Gabriella's willingness to sacrifice everything ultimately leads to the book's deadly and startling conclusion.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop!

There will be a different book given away at each of the stops. At the bottom of this post are all the sites participating in the book hop. Make sure to visit (and follow) everyone and enter their giveaways! :-)

So, on to my part in the hop!

Have you ever read a book by cozy author Ellery Adams? She also writes as JB Stanley and Jennifer Stanley. Her cozy series include the Books by the Bay Mysteries, Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries, Hope Street Church Mysteries, Collectibles Mysteries, and Supper Club Mysteries. She is one of my top 5 all-time favorite authors.

I am giving away an autographed trade paperback of one of her Supper Club Mysteries, Chili Con Corpses. Simply leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you...and if you choose to follow my blog I'll enter you in my giveaway twice. Good luck and have fun!!!

Things are chugging merrily along for librarian James Henry. He has a closet filled with new clothes, a trimmer waistline, and a closer bond with his father. His only real problem is that his girlfriend Lucy's interest in him seems to have inexplicably cooled. When schoolteacher Lindy suggests the club members join a Mexican cooking class, James jumps at the idea. Over cervezas and black bean dip, the supper club members warm to their new adventure. The class heats up even more when a reporter and her friends, twin sisters with supermodel physiques, enroll. But when people start turning up dead, and the evidence points toward Lindy, things become hotter than a jalapeño. James, who was looking to add a little more spice to his life, gets much more than he bargained for.

The Wicked Wager

Book Description:
The infamous rake, Lord Richard Hamilton, has finally chosen his bride—the very appropriate Miss Emma Grey.
The ton approves, Lord Grey is pleased, Lady Grey delighted, and Emma is over the moon, but her uncle, (the blasted) Duke of Arden opposes the match, and Emma is ordered to move to the duke’s estate to think things over.
Richard Hamilton refuses to take things lying down and concocts a plan. A plan that should have brought the lovers together and had them married within a month. It was a simple matter of masquerading as the duke’s gardener, compromising the lady, and then having the duke rush them off to Gretna Green.
Alas, he underestimates the duke’s intelligence and the tangled situation on the estate—never had he imagined that compromising a lady could be so difficult.
His endeavours lead to a comedy of errors, charades, and knotty love affairs. Yet he forges ahead in spite of pesky house guests, a flea bitten mattress, his lovesick best friend, and a blackmailer.
Just when things seem to be going well, someone is murdered (very inconvenient), and he happens to be one of the suspects (extremely inconvenient).
His simple plan for winning the wager suddenly becomes … a tad complicated.

My Review: As much as I love historical romance, I'm not a big fan of Regencies. The whole "social season" and class structure of the time period just doesn't appeal to me. However, when I was offered a chance to review this book and saw that it was a cozy mystery as well, I jumped at the opportunity, and I'm so glad that I did. The lovely pastel cover perfectly reflects the story within the pages...a jaunt through Regency England that is a total feel good read. Richard and Emma are delightful characters, as are the cast of secondary characters. The plot takes readers from suspenseful twists and turns to laugh out loud moments. Mystery, romance, comedy...this book is pure fun! This is a debut author to watch.

FTC Full Disclosure: The author sent me a copy of this book with the request for a review.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Murder Unmentionable

Book Description: Sweet Nothings has it all: silk ribbon, Venetian lace, the best bra fitter in town…and two unsolved murders.

Emma Taylor thought she knew what to expect when she abandoned life as a big-city fashionista to help her aunt, Arabella, breathe new style into Sweet Nothings, her waning lingerie boutique. As Emma settles back in to Paris, Tennessee—a world where pie is served with a parable and a pitcher of sweet tea is the cure for most of life’s ills—her escape seems smooth as silk.

But when the town acquires a touch of unneeded je ne sais quoi with the arrival of Emma’s philandering ex, an unseemly murder turns her world inside out. As the police’s top suspect, Emma is going to need more than fishnets to snare the real killer. And when she and Arabella refuse to let death threats wrapped in knifed nighties stall Sweet Nothings’ vintage lingerie fashion show, it becomes increasingly clear that any garter may hide a gun and that bullet bras might have to live up to their name…

My Review: A vintage lingerie store set in the charming town of Paris, Tennessee...the perfect premise for a wonderful new cozy series. Emma arrives in Paris while nursing a broken heart to help her Aunt Arabella revamp Sweet Nothings. She settles in effortlessly and falls in love with the town and it's residents, but soon discovers everything isn't pecan pie and mint juleps when her ex Guy arrives in Paris with a job offer for her, then ends up whalloped over the head with Arabella's walking stick in Sweet Nothings shortly thereafter.

This book is full of wonderful characters that made it a pleasure to read. I loved Emma's relationships with her feisty Aunt, childhood friend Liz, and potential new boyfriend, hardware store owner Brian. Pierre, Arabella's French Bulldog, is just precious, and ends up finding a very important clue! My favorite character has to be tarot card reader Sylvia, who has her oxygen tank in one hand and her cigarette in the other! I had the killer targeted early on, but that did not dimish my enjoyment of the story at all. A wonderful debut; I can't wait to spend more time in Paris.

FTC Full Disclosure: The publisher sent me a copy of this book with the request for a review.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Guest Blogger, Author Melissa Bourbon Ramirez

Thank you for having me today!  I love that I get to write about something different… about my inspiration for Deceiving the Witch Next Door.   Sometime real life truly inspires fiction.  Case in point, there really is a Storiebook Café, and there really is a Storie.  The real Storiebook Café is in Glen Rose, Texas.  It really is a renovated gas station, just as I describe in Deceiving the Witch Next Door. 

From the moment I saw the shop, it spoke to me.  It is so quaint and fun!  Built-in shelving, a floor to ceiling ladder on rollers, a cute seating area, a real garden room…  It was meant to be described in a book!  Then I met Storie, learned that her name is a family name, and heard the tale of her desire to open up the bookstore/café in her small town.  She is vibrant and enthusiastic, such a hard worker, and had a vision that she brought to life.  She inspired me, and her shop and even her name became the foundation of Bloomington and my fictional Storiebook Café in Deceiving the Witch Next Door. 

Now, my Storie (Bell) is vastly different from the real Storie; the only thing they share is their name.  But using her name and her shop as inspiration for my fictional world has been so fun.  I can picture the details of the shop, I can envision my characters walking around the town square, and it’s all very real to me. 

I’d love to hear from readers if they enjoy knowing that a book’s characters and/or setting is inspired by real life.   And do you like small town Southern settings?  I find I love them more and more! 


Entangled Publishing has generously offered an ebook copy of Deceiving the Witch Next Door by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez to a lucky commenter! Please leave an email address with your comment so we can get your mailing address; contest runs through 9/22.

Down-on-her-luck witch Storie Bell never thought the biggest threat to her future would be Reid Malone, the very man she’d run from years before. After striking it rich in Texas shale, he’s back in town, and he seems hell-bent on getting in the way of her bookstore’s grand opening. A witch trying to blend in in a small southern town is hard enough, but now he’s seriously testing her strict No Kissing Mortal Men policy. But even witches don’t have a spell for that.

Reid knows there’s much more to Storie than meets the eye. But right now he has only one mission: to infiltrate her shop so he can snatch the elusive secret ingredient to his father’s million-dollar moonshine recipe. Once he does, he can go back to the city and get out of his small hometown, a place in which he has no future.

But as the days go by, he can’t help falling for Storie in every way…and every encounter brings him closer to finding out what happens when you try to deceive a witch.
About Melissa Bourbon Ramirez

Melissa Bourbon,who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teachingmiddle and high school kids in Northern California towrite full-time amidst horses and Longhorns in North Texas. She fantasizes aboutspending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationshipwith yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’slucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

She is themarketing director at Entangled Publishing, is the author of the Lola CruzMystery series with St. Martin’sMinotaur and Entangled Publishing, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series withNAL, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox and two romantic suspensetitles.

Visit Melissa at her website| Twitter Page| FacebookHome | Goodreads| and Books on the House,a website bringing books and readers together!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Sunday Post #7

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This meme was inspired in part by In My Mailbox. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This week I made a concerted effort to get my book blogging life back to normal. Tara is loving her new raw diet, and is on herbs from the holistic vet and an immune-boosting supplement. It's out of my hands at this point; I'm doing what I feel is going to be best for her.

I scored some amazing galleys that have been on my wish list for months; Netgalley certainly is a wonderful thing!!! Stay tuned tomorrow...Melissa Bourbon Ramirez will be my guest blogger, and is giving away an ebook copy of Deceiving the Witch Next Door!

For Review:

Following Atticus by Tom Ryan
The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them (free)
North Rim Delight (A Vet Tech Romance) by Regina Duke (free)
Fire and Ice (Liam Campbell #1) by Dana Stabenow (free)
From Henery Press:
OTHER PEOPLE'S BAGGAGE by Kendel Lynn, Gigi Pandian & Diane VallereLAST DINER STANDING by Terri L. Austin