Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book Excerpt & Giveaway: THE SPACE BETWEEN SISTERS by Mary McNear

The Space Between Sisters (The Butternut Lake Series #4) by Mary McNear
ISBN: 9780062399359 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780062399366 (ebook)
ASIN: B015MOJ70C (Kindle edition)
Publication Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks


Return to Butternut Lake with the newest from Mary McNear, whose heartfelt and powerful stories have made her a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Here, the complicated bonds of sisterhood are tested, long-kept secrets are revealed, and love is discovered…all during one unforgettable summer at the lake.
Two sisters couldn't be more different. Win organized and responsible; Poppy impulsive and undependable. Win treads cautiously and plans her life with care; Poppy bounces from job to job and apartment to apartment, leaving others to pick up the pieces. But despite their differences, they share memories of the idyllic childhood summers they spent together on the shores of Butternut Lake. Now, 13 years later, Win, recovering from a personal tragedy, has returned to Butternut Lake, settling into a predictable and quiet life. 
Then, one night, Poppy unexpectedly shows up on Win's doorstep with all her worldly possessions and a mysterious man in tow. And although Win loves her beautiful sister, she wasn't expecting her to move in for the summer. Still, at first, they relive the joys of Butternut Lake. But their blissful nostalgia soon gives way to conflict, and painful memories and buried secrets threaten to tear the sisters apart. 
As the waning days of summer get shorter, past secrets are revealed, new love is found, and the ties between the sisters are tested like never before…all on the serene shores of Butternut Lake.


Read an Excerpt:

"Look, there's a driveway," Poppy said. "And there's a cabin at the end of it, too. You can see its lights through the trees."
"All right," Everett said. "But if my car breaks down, I'm not knocking on that door. I've seen that movie, too. We spend the night there, and when we wake up in the morning, we discover that our kidneys have been harvested."
"Ugh," Poppy said, wincing. "I had no idea you were so dark, Everett."
"No?" he said, with a trace of a smile. "It's amazing how much you can learn about someone on a two-hundred-and-forty-mile drive."
"That's true," Poppy mused. "So, what have you learned about me?" she asked. She wasn't being flirtatious. She was just curious.
"I've learned . . ." He looked over at her, speculatively. "I've learned that you think corn nuts are revolting."
"That's because they are revolting."
"Corn nuts," Everett said, concentrating on another turn, "are the ultimate road trip food."
"Not even close," Poppy said. "Because that would obviously be Red Vines."
"Yeah, I don't think so," Everett said. "I mean, they have, like, zero nutritional value, unless you count whatever's in the red dye, and—"
"Oh, my God, look," Poppy said, excitedly, of the driveway they were passing. Beside it a large sign with a wintery pinecone painted on it spelled out white pines.
"What's that?" Everett asked.
"It's a resort, and it means that we are now exactly three miles away from my grandparents' cabin. I mean, my sister's cabin," she amended, feeling that familiar jab of resentment she felt whenever she was reminded of the fact that this beloved piece of family real estate had been passed down to Win, and only Win, three years ago. This resentment was part of the reason that Poppy had avoided coming to Butternut Lake since Win had moved here year-round a couple of years ago. But if there was any comfort to be found inWin being the one to own the cabin, it was in knowing that she would never sell it; it meant as much to her as it did to Poppy.
Poppy and Win had spent all of their childhood summers here until Poppy was sixteen and Win was fifteen (they were thirteen months apart), and Poppy, who was just shy of thirty, could still remember every detail of the cabin. It stood on a small bluff, just above Butternut Lake, and its dark brown clapboard exterior was brightened by cheerful window boxes that overflowed with geraniums. And the homey touches continued inside: colorful rag rugs, knotted pine furniture, red-checked slipcovers on sofas and chairs. The living room, everyone's favorite room, was as comfortable as an old shoe, with its fieldstone fireplace, and its old record player and collection of albums (some of which dated back to the 1950s). In one corner, there was a slightly wobbly card table for playing gin rummy, and on the shelf next to the table, a collection of hand-painted duck decoys. Mounted on the wall above the mantelpiece was the prized three-foot walleyed pike that had not gotten away from their grandfather. The living room windows looked out on a flagstone patio, their grandmother’s begonia garden, and a slope of mossy lawn leading down to the lake. And the kitchen . . . Poppy remembered it as though it existed in a perpetual summer morning: the lemon yellow cup- boards, the row of shiny copper pans hanging on the wall, and the turquoise gas stove, a monument to 1950s chic.
"Do you think you should give your sister a call now?" Everett asked, interrupting her reverie.
"Why?"
"To tell her that we're almost there."
"Oh," Poppy said, momentarily at a loss. And then she tossed her long blond hair. "No. I'm not going to tell her," she said. "I thought we'd surprise her."
Everett stole a quick look at her. "But… she knows we're coming, right?"
"Not exactly," Poppy said, feeling a first twinge of nervousness.
Everett was quiet. Then he asked, "Does your sister like surprises?"
"Not really," Poppy said, and there it was again, that nervousness. She tamped it down, firmly, and said, "But what are sisters for if they can't just . . . drop in on each other?"
"'Drop in'?" Everett said, after another pause. "It looks like you've got a lot of your stuff with you, though, Poppy. Isn't it more like, 'move in'?"
Poppy ignored this question. Harder to ignore were her suitcases, wedged in the trunk of Everett's car, or her boxes, stacked on the backseat beside Sasquatch's pet carrier. And it wasn't just a lot of her stuff, as Everett had pointed out. It was all of her stuff. Though, truth be told, that wasn't saying much. It had taken her less than an hour to pack everything up. Traveling light was a recurring theme with Poppy, and a necessary one, too, since her peripatetic lifestyle was the norm.
"Sisters don't have to call ahead. They're there for each other," Poppy said now, though she was annoyed by the defensiveness she heard in her own voice.
"But do you think your sister—Win—will be home right now? It's ten o'clock on a Saturday night."
"Oh, she'll be home. If I know her, she's probably . . . alphabetizing her spice rack," Poppy said, "or color coding her sock drawer." As soon as she said this, though, she felt disloyal. "Actually, she's a sweetheart," she said, turning to Everett. "And I don't blame her, at all, for being a little . . . neurotic or controlling, or whatever she is. I told you about what happened to her, didn't I?" And Poppy pictured Win as she'd been the last time she'd seen her, her dark blond hair pulled back in a ponytail and her girl next door approachableness only slightly tempered by the wistful expression on her face.
"Yeah, you told me what happened to her," Everett said. It was quiet in the car again as he negotiated another sharp turn, and as Poppy watched the car's lights skim over an entrance to an old logging road. She smiled. She and Win had driven down that road as teenagers, looking for bears at dusk.
"All right," she said, after a few more minutes, "we're getting close. After this next curve, it's the first driveway on the left." And, suddenly hungry, she added, "Here's hoping Win's got some leftovers from dinner."
"Yeah, and here's hoping she's in a good mood," Everett added wryly.

From The Space Between Sisters by Mary McNear. Copyright © 2016 by Mary McNear. Published on June 14, 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Excerpted by permission.



Meet the author:



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary McNear is a writer living in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a high-strung, minuscule white dog named Macaroon. She writes her novels in a local donut shop where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly-made donuts. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the Northern Midwest.


Connect with the author:

Website      |     Facebook       |     Goodreads       |      Twitter 








Enter to win 1 of 10 copies of The Space Between Sisters by Mary McNear. Giveaway is organized and sponsored by William Morrow Books. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway






Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Guest Post: Fran Lewis, author of HIDDEN TRUTHS AND LIES

I am always thrilled when an author decides to stop by The Book Diva's Reads and share their thoughts. Today I welcome Fran Lewis, author of numerous books including Hidden Truth and Lies. This morning Ms. Lewis will be discussing steps to overcoming writer's block as well as tips on starting the writing process. 



Every writer experiences this. This is not a permanent solution to the problem these are just suggestions. What do to when you have the DREADED
WRITER'S BLOCK!

Have you ever had a great idea for a short story or an article and sat down to write and could not think of one single thing to put on the paper? You know this idea is great and yet you have no idea how you want to begin your writing, the feature statement to start the article or the hook to get everyone reading. Well, you might have what many writers do, the dreaded Writer's BLOCK! The good news it is definitely curable and only lasts as long you let it. 

Don't fret. Here are some tips to cure this dreaded problem and get on with your life and your writing. Remember, these are my tips for overcoming this problem you might have your own that you might want to share with us too.

Step One: List all of your thought on the topic and your ideas on a piece of paper. You can create a graphic organizer, you can just list everything that you want to put in your article, and novel or just do a brief chapter outline, which is how I started by fourth children's book. I decided to create the chapter titles and then go from there. You can always rearrange them and put them in a different order when you are finished writing. Remember, this is your book and you need to create it your way.

Step Two: Always have at least three pens and a pad or notebook with you so that if an idea, thought, word, sentence or anything comes to mind you can write it down. If you forget to bring these tools I often list ideas in the
notepad in my cell phone and add them to my pad or my outline on my computer later on.


Step Three: Always write about what you know. If you have no idea where to begin, ask yourself or write down some questions that you want answered in your article, or short story. What is it you are trying to say in your article? What is your theme or central thought? What is the message you want to convey to readers in your article? Do you need to research it first?

In a novel, who is your main character and what are the traits you might want this character to have? What problems will you create for this person? Who is the enemy or villain? Who are your minor characters and what role will they play in your book?

Here We Go! YOU CAN DO IT!

Step One: 

Choose one area that you want to begin with and start writing. Do not worry about the quality of your writing or think about editing. Decide whether you want to use dialogue, narrator or what voice you want to use when writing later on. Set aside a set amount of time daily to write. Write phrases, fragments, clauses anything to start writing. You can polish and edit later.

At least 15 minutes a day should be set aside to start your writing. IF you can work it up to 30 minutes that would be great. Do not overwhelm yourself with taking on too much too soon. Find your own starting point and just write. You do not even have to reread what you wrote. Add ideas each day until you have created your own design or plan for what you want to say and write.

Step Two:  Just start to write and free flow it as I call it. Just write whatever comes to mind and you want to say in your article or short story. If it is a novel, you might want to outline chapter one and go from there.

Step Three:  Take a break

Step Four: Read what you wrote and see what you want to use and what you might use in a different article or not at all.

Create your outline or paragraph plan. What do you want to say in you first paragraph and see if you can write your opening hook, feature statement or word that will capture the attention of the reader? Ask yourself if you were reading an article or short story with this beginning would you continue on or not bother?

Step Five: Write your rough draft of your article or your short story. Do not read it over. Walk away and come back to it later on in the day or the next day. Look at your outline and see whether what you wrote coincides. If not, decide if what you wrote is really what you want to say or use your original ideas in your outline.

YOU ARE ALMOST THERE!

Finish your short story or article. Take a break before reading it over.

When you are sure that you love and feel comfortable with your piece, edit it slowly. Do what I do, get another pair of eyes to read it. We all miss typos and another person might see something we did not.

When I wrote my first children's book each chapter was really a separate short story. Read your article or story out loud and listen carefully. Tape it so that you can actually hear what you wrote and decide if you were listening to this piece being read would it keep your attention. Finally, complete it and decide where to get it published or posted. You might even share a chapter, section or piece of the article or story to get some feedback from other authors.

REMEMBER, there are many people who will give you negative feedback that is not constructive. IGNORE IT! I DO!

Feedback should deal with how to make your piece read and sound better and how you might develop the information you are writing about or your short story in a more meaningful way.

GO FOR IT! UNCLOG YOUR WRITING ARTERIES AND WRITE!

NO PRESCRIPTION NEEDED!

Fran Lewis



Author Bio:


Fran Lewis

Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters Degrees and a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently, she is a member of Who's Who of America's Teachers and Who's Who of America's Executives from Cambridge. In addition, she is the author of three children's books and a fourth that has just been published on Alzheimer's disease in order to honor her mom and help create more awareness for a cure. The title of my new Alzheimer's book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer's Journey: Ruth's Story and Sharp as a Tack or Scrambled Eggs: Which Describes Your Brain? Fran is the author of 13 titles.




Catch Up:



Fran Lewis's website Fran Lewis's twitter Fran Lewis's facebook


Hidden Truths and Lies by Fran Lewis
Each story in this series teaches a lesson the person behind the stone should have learned before committing crime, hurting someone else, or generally failing at life.

We're about to enter Golden Stone Cemetery, where these unfortunate people are buried so deep you can barely find their markers. Their crimes are so heinous and their deeds so cruel that family members buried them here because they want to forget they ever existed.

Enter at your own risk.



Book Details:


Genre:  Horror; Paranormal Suspense
Published by:   Fideli Publishing Inc.
Publication Date:   April 7th 2016
Number of Pages:  98
ISBN:   1604149124 (ISBN13: 9781604149128)
Series: Hidden Truths and Lies is the 4th book in Fran Lewis's FACES BEHIND THE STONES series of stand alone novellas.

Purchase Links: Amazon  Barnes & Noble Smashwords Goodreads



Tour Participants:








Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours





Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Showcase: HIDDEN TRUTHS AND LIES by Fran Lewis


Hidden Truths and Lies


by Fran Lewis


on Tour June 13 - July 31, 2016





Synopsis:


Hidden Truths and Lies by Fran Lewis

Each story in this series teaches a lesson the person behind the stone should have learned before committing crime, hurting someone else, or generally failing at life.


We're about to enter Golden Stone Cemetery, where these unfortunate people are buried so deep you can barely find their markers. Their crimes are so heinous and their deeds so cruel that family members buried them here because they want to forget they ever existed.

Enter at your own risk.



Reviews:



"The stories in this collection by Fran Lewis are gripping in suspense and demonstrate a vivid imagination. I picked them up planning to read for a few minutes and couldn't stop until I had finished the last story. Fran understands well and expresses the dark side that many people have. Motivated by greed or self-interest, some in these stories who seem like people we encounter every day are willing to undertake terrifying actions. It makes for an excellent read." — Allan Topol, author of The Italian Divide and The Washington Lawyer


"Hidden Truths and Lies is a compilation of stories told from beyond the grave each one filled with terror as the character faces his or her own fate. The final two stories are pure science fiction and will hopefully allow readers to see the magnitude of this talented writer." — Susan Ross, Board Of Education, NYC



Book Details:


Genre:  Horror; Paranormal Suspense
Published by:   Fideli Publishing Inc.
Publication Date:   April 7th 2016
Number of Pages:  98
ISBN:   1604149124 (ISBN13: 9781604149128)
Series: Hidden Truths and Lies is the 4th book in Fran Lewis's FACES BEHIND THE STONES series of stand alone novellas.
Purchase Links: Amazon  Barnes & Noble Smashwords Goodreads


Read an excerpt:



Introduction


Each story in this series teaches a lesson the person behind the stone should have learned before committing crime, hurting someone else, or generally failing at life. We're about to enter Golden Stone Cemetery, where these unfortunate people are buried so deep you can barely find their markers. Their crimes are so heinous and their deeds so cruel that family members buried them here because they want to forget they ever existed.

Welcome to Golden Stone Cemetery, where the voices of these unfortunates can be heard loud and clear. Learning what they did and what their fates became will make you shudder. When you find out just how cruel they were in life, you’ll be glad they're gone. You’ll be relieved that their families made sure the spirits of each of these nefarious characters will never rise again.

Who lies behind these unmarked stones? Let their stories unfold...

© Copyright 2016 Fran Lewis All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.


Author Bio:


Fran LewisFran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters Degrees and a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently, she is a member of Who's Who of America's Teachers and Who's Who of America's Executives from Cambridge. In addition, she is the author of three children's books and a fourth that has just been published on Alzheimer's disease in order to honor her mom and help create more awareness for a cure. The title of my new Alzheimer's book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer's Journey: Ruth's Story and Sharp as a Tack or Scrambled Eggs: Which Describes Your Brain? Fran is the author of 13 titles.


Catch Up:



Fran Lewis's website Fran Lewis's twitter Fran Lewis's facebook


Tour Participants:







Don't Miss Your Chance to Win!



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Fran Lewis. There will be 3 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of Hidden Truths and Lies by Fran Lewis. The giveaway begins on June 13th and runs through July 31st, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Book Spotlight: ALL THE MISSING GIRLS by Megan Miranda

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda 
ISBN: 9781501107962 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781501107986 (ebook)
ASIN: B0176M3UJW (Kindle version)
Publication Date: June 28, 2016 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster


Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda's novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.
It's been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne's case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne's boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic's younger neighbor and the group's alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic's return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor's disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.
Like nothing you've ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you're walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.


Praise for All the Missing Girls:

"Fiendishly plotted thriller…Miranda convincingly conjures a haunted setting that serves as a character in its own right, but what really makes this roller-coaster so memorable is her inspired use of reverse chronology, so that each chapter steps further back in time, dramatically shifting the reader's perspective." Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A darkly nostalgic adult debut sure to draw new readers and please her YA base…Miranda takes a risk by telling the story backward, but it pays off with an undroppable thriller, plenty of romantic suspense, and a fresh take on the decades-old teenage-murder theme." Booklist
"All the Missing Girls is a smart, suspenseful, and emotionally complex thriller. Told in reverse, this story will make you want to lock the doors, turn off the phone, and read until the last satisfying page." Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Ex
"As original as it is addictive, this story puts a knot in your gut from the opening pages. Then, through the wizardry of its unconventional structure, that knot tightens and tightens and will not let go until the final pages—and even then the story continues to haunt you. Vividly rendered, psychologically complex, and narratively acrobatic, All The Missing Girls is, above all, totally gripping." Tim Johnston, New York Times bestselling author of Descent
"Megan Miranda's utterly gripping and original All the Missing Girls keeps you off balance in the most perfect way. I was held hostage by the book from the first page to the stunning conclusion. This literally backward tale is a winner." Lisa Lutz, New York Times bestselling author of The Passenger and How to Start a Fire
"In All the Missing Girls Megan Miranda leads readers back through the past of a small southern town, enfolding them in a slow, tense nightmare of suspicion, menace, and tangled motives. A twisty, compulsive read—I loved it." Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood


Meet the author:



Megan Miranda is the author of the young adult novels Fracture, Hysteria, Vengeance, and Soulprint. Her next young adult novel, The Safest Lies, published by Crown BFYR/Random House on May 24th, 2016. Her first novel for adults, All the Missing Girls, will be published by Simon & Schuster on June 28th, 2016. Megan has a degree in Biology from MIT and currently lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and two children.




Connect with the author:

Website    |   Facebook    |   Goodreads    |   Instagram    |   Twitter 



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Book Blast: DYING TO BE BEAUTIFUL series by M. Glenda Rosen



Dying To Be Beautiful is about the billion-dollar world of beauty, a mystery series that take place in "The Hamptons," where the murdered and suspected murderers are often arrogant and obnoxious with a sense of entitlement. Private Investigator Jenna Preston and her long-time friend, Detective Troy Johnson, work together to solve these murders and other crimes. These cases lead Jenna to philosophical perspectives, danger, romance (thanks to her dog, Watson) as well as secondary stories of human behavior and life in The Hamptons. Intriguing and fascinating stories of bad behavior, they recount mistakes and misdirection because in the billion-dollar world of beauty there are those who are literally...dying to be beautiful!


Dying to Be Beautiful: Without A Head by M. Glenda Rosen 
ISBN: 9781483445304 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781483445311 (ebook)
ASIN: B01BTMZA16 (Kindle version)
Publication Date: February 1, 2016 
Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services


Saturday Morning, 6:00am
The head in the sink stared up at her. Darcy Monroe, the owner of a popular, chic hair salon was used to this. Only this time, the head was there without a body.
Chapter One: The Murder
As a Private Investigator, Jenna Preston had been hired to help solve murders, insurance fraud, cheating spouses and more. This was a new one for her.
She received what could only be described as a hysterical call from Darcy Monroe, owner of a popular, upscale hair salon in The Hamptons. A head without its body was rolling around in one of her shampoo basins.
Almost five-feet, five-inches tall, always looking taller in her two- or three-inch heels, Jenna had long red hair, blue eyes and was often seen driving around the East End in a white jeep, and in recent years, with her Irish setter sitting next to her.



Read an excerpt from book 1, Dying to Be Beautiful: Without A Head

Chapter 1The Murder
Saturday, 6:10 A.M.
As a Private Investigator, Jenna Preston had been hired to help solve murders, insurance fraud, cheating spouses and more. This was a new one for her.
She received what could only be described as a hysterical call from Darcy Monroe, owner of a popular, upscale hair salon in The Hamptons.
A head without its body was rolling around in one of her shampoo basins.
Almost five-feet, five-inches tall, always looking taller in her two or three-inch heels, Jenna had long red hair, blue eyes and was often seen driving around the East End in a white jeep, and in recent years, with her Irish Setter sitting next to her.
As a well-respected private investigator in the area, she told the salon owner, "I'll be right there, and don't touch anything until the police arrive."
Jenna knew they needed to secure the business as a crime scene and Coroner Doc Bishop and Head of Forensics Lara Stern had to be brought in as well.
"Troy, someone left a head, without the body, in a shampoo bowl at Darcy's Salon. I'll be there in about ten minutes."
"Damn it, Jenna, I nearly spilled my coffee listening to this bizarre message. I'll be there within the half hour. Meantime, I'll ask Lara to get over there to check the crime scene for prints and other possible evidence and for Doc to arrange to bring the head to the morgue. We'll want to look at it there, after he's had a chance to determine how it was cut off and anything else he might find."
Detective Johnson hung up.
He and Jenna had worked together and known each other for a long time. They clearly trusted each other. He knew she would follow police protocol at the crime scene.
Saturday, as always was an exceptionally busy day, "in season" at Darcy's Salon, which is why she had gotten there so early. She always wanted the salon looking perfect, ready for stylists and clients, who this day had appointments beginning at 7 am.
Located off the main avenue of this posh resort at the East End of Long Island, less than ninety miles from Manhattan, the salon was known for catering to the rich and famous, as well as some of wanna-be customers, primping for weekend parties and fundraising events.
The salon was truly beautiful with warm color tones and soft matching leather client chairs facing gold (well, fake gold), trimmed mirrors. There was a reception area with the latest issues of fashion magazines from Paris and Rome, and a few of the more popular Hampton rags, like Dan's Papers were spread out on a marble table, next to it a coffee machine offering gourmet flavored coffee and teas.
Most of the women who came to Darcy's Salon had plenty of money, some from their own success, although others were arm candy for much older, wealthy men. Sometimes one of them would joke (maybe not) that they were "Dying To Be Beautiful" like some of the famous models and celebrities, many of who summered in the Hamptons.
"Jenna, you've seen how difficult and fussy they can be, and their egos—they're constantly seeking confirmation of how beautiful they look. They want to come to a high-end salon, expecting to be treated like royalty. And believe me, we do."
Darcy Monroe was only too glad to charge megabucks for her services since it included a whole lot of catering to their whims and demands. Beauty could indeed be expensive in The Hamptons. The chatter amongst the clients, the eight hair stylists, three manicurists and several assistants meant gossip was a basic ingredient of conversation. The story about the body without a head, and the head found in the salon, was sure to explode through The Hamptons. It certainly had all the elements of a soap opera.
"My god, Jenna, the gossip about this mess is going to be like a volcano spilling over this town."
***



Dying to Be Beautiful: Fashion Queen by M. Glenda Rosen
ISBN: 9781483449159 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781483449142 (ebook)
ASIN: B01G2F91WE (Kindle version)
Publication Date: April 18, 2016 
Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services

Monday, 6:45am
Kevin Larson swam in his pool nearly every morning. Going on sixty-five, he prided himself on being in good shape.
Walking toward the small pool house, off to the left of the pool, he noticed a light was on. He was certain he turned it off the night before. Strange, he thought.
Even stranger, lying in a different sort of pool—blood— was his long time friend and lover, fashion designer Andre Yellen. Yellen was stuffed into one of the gowns he had designed and a wearing a blond wig. 
The gown had been auctioned off the night before at a huge Hamptons fundraiser.
People in The Hamptons were certainly dying to be beautiful.


Read an excerpt from book 2, Dying to Be Beautiful: Fashion Queen

Chapter 1THE GOWN
Monday, 7:30 a.m.
Detective Troy Johnson was at Larson's house when Jenna arrived. He had covered the victim with a large beach towel until the coroner and forensics arrived. Sergeant Stan Miller, who had taken the call, accompanied him and was presently attempting to hold back the media. They had heard about Yellen's death on the police scanner, and in no time, the active crime scene was quite a wild sight.
It was 6:30 A.M. when she had received the call from Johnson that he was on his way to Kevin Larson's house: "Jenna, there's been a murder. Designer Andre Yellen, the Fashion Queen, was found dead this morning at the home of movie mogul Kevin Larson." He gave her the address and exactly where it was located, "past the windmill at the edge of Southampton."
"More like the situation was at the edge of reason," Jenna thought.
"Jenna, they're acting like a bunch of hungry vultures. Help! These are your people. Well, they're reporters like you used to be. The homeowner is either in shock or just completely uncooperative except for telling me where and when he found Yellen's body."
Jenna sighed, "Sure, I can't say no to such a lovely invitation."
The death of Andre Yellen was big news.
Andre Yellen was squeezed—really, truly squeezed—into a beautiful ocean blue, sleeveless, silk gown he had designed and donated for a fundraiser the evening before. The size-8 dress was torn at all the seams. Yellen, in his early fifties, 5'9" and clearly out of shape, was more like a size-18-plus, and stuffed into a dress way, way too small for him.
As a designer for major celebrities for nearly twenty-five years, Yellen was a man about town who loved both the ladies and the men, or so it had been gossiped around the East End of Long Island, also known as The Hamptons.
After all, this is THE HAMPTONS, and all sorts of lifestyles are accepted, where choices are supposedly not judged, and relationships are not restricted by conventional boundaries. Unfortunately, there are always those determined to exercise their own brand of severe judgment.
However, there was no evidence this murder had anything to do with narrow minds. Not yet, anyhow. In fact, it wasn't clear at all what this murder was about—or who had committed it.
Private Investigator Jenna Preston was familiar with many celebrities who lived or vacationed on the East End. Before becoming an investigative reporter, she was entertainment and social events reporter for the local daily paper and had interviewed quite a few of the "anointed" as she had once called them. Gossip columnists covered the rest.
Jenna was regularly hired by law firms, insurance companies and businesses for corporate fraud issues. She also had an arrangement and relationship with the local police—especially when it came to murder investigations. Some of the people she had once written about also tried to hire her for personal investigations and for, what she considered, ridiculous reasons. Such complaints included some new fence being too high or people walking on the beach in front of someone's home.
Most of these cases she didn't accept.
"For me, it's about justice. We all have reasons, even life experiences motivating our passions. I have mine for what I do," Jenna told a local reporter whose paper was doing a story on crime in The Hamptons.
Jenna had a solid reputation for being smart, resourceful and most definitely charming—without an attitude—which was different from many of the people who summered in The Hamptons.
She did love nice clothes, including the red shoes or red boots she almost always wore.
"Hey," she laughed once when Troy made fun of her red shoes, "you wear a cowboy hat most of the time, so don't make fun of me, Tex."
Jenna and Troy worked together professionally almost as soon as she had become a licensed private detective. It was a small police force, often stretched thin during the summer season. Because they actually had few experienced investigators, he had requested and been given approval by his captain to use a discretionary fund to hire Jenna on an as-needed basis. She was often a member of his investigative team, usually for murders.
Lately, there didn't seem to be any shortage of them.
Slender and almost 5'5", yet always looking taller in her two- or three-inch heels, Jenna had long red hair, sometimes pulled back in a ponytail when she was working. She also had deep blue eyes. With more than a hint of spunk and mischief about her, she was definitely considered attractive.
Jenna's new romance, Dave, thought so!
***



Meet the author:

M. Glenda Rosen is the author of The Woman's Business Therapist: Eliminate the MindBlocks and RoadBlocks to Success, and award-winning My Memoir Workbook. For over fifteen years, she helped numerous authors develop and market their books, and presented writing programs in New York, The Hamptons, New Mexico and Carmel, California, on "Encouraging and Supporting the Writer Within You!" She's the founder and owner of a successful marketing and public relations agency for twenty-five years.

Connect with the author:  

Website      |     Facebook     |     Twitter     |     Goodreads



NOTE: The Dying to Be Beautiful ebooks are available for $0.99 throughout the month of June.







Enter to win $25, your choice of an Amazon gift card or PayPal cash. This is an international giveaway, organized and sponsored by Tribute Books Blog Tours

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: THE TUMBLING TURNER SISTERS by Juliette Fay

The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay
ISBN: 9781501134470 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781501134487 (ebook)
ASIN: B0176M1B2A (Kindle version)
Publication Date: June 14, 2016 
Publisher: Gallery Books


In 1919, the Turner sisters and their parents are barely scraping by. Their father is a low-paid boot-stitcher in Johnson City, New York, and the family is always one paycheck away from eviction. When their father's hand is crushed and he can no longer work, their irrepressible mother decides that the vaudeville stage is their best—and only—chance for survival.
Traveling by train from town to town, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and recent widow Nell soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated. Heartwarming and surprising, The Tumbling Turner Sisters is a story of awakening—to unexpected possibilities, to love and heartbreak, and to the dawn of a new American era.


Read the first chapter here.


Praise for the book:

"This novel of love, dreams, and the everlasting strength of family in the face of adversity  is set during the height of Vaudeville, and features the amazing Tumbling Turner Sisters, an act created out of desperation by four sisters determined to save their family from financial ruin. Told from the point of view of Gert and Winnie, the novel perfectly encapsulates the social mores and pressures of the early twentieth century—the Turner sisters dare to dream big, and big things come at a big cost. Don't miss this page turner!"—Sara Gruen, bestselling author of Water for Elephants
"Filled with energetic prose and colorful characters—you won't soon forget the Turner girls!"
—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
"The Tumbling Turner Sisters come tumbling out of this terrific story, full of life, passion and trouble. Forced into a life in vaudeville, the four young girls and their mother push the boundaries of propriety to achieve their dreams in a world that doesn't often allow women to have dreams. Gert and Winnie shine as each, in her own way, fights for her right to be who she is. A great piece of historical fiction that rings true one hundred years later."—B.A. Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Muralist and The Art Forger
"Evoking the entrepreneurial, madcap era of vaudeville, Juliette Fay immerses us in the trials, joys, and dangers of three young women, whose bid for success is as uproarious and heartbreaking as the time in which they lived." —C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of Mademoiselle Chanel 
"Packed with lively characters and charming detail, Juliette Fay's thoughtful prose sheds light on an almost forgotten part of entertainment history." —Allie Larkin, bestselling author of Stay and Why I Can't Be You 
"Lovable, memorable characters propel this heartwarming story about the American vaudeville circuit. The Tumbling Turner Sisters makes you laugh while it makes you think, then sticks with you long after the last vibrant page is savored."—Lynn Cullen, bestselling author of Twain's End and Mrs. Poe
"Book clubs are sure to fall for The Tumbling Turner Sisters. Through this band of charming young women—and their stage mother, of course—Juliette Fay delivers the history, mystery, and prejudice of vaudeville in a story that is ultimately about the possibility of practice making something perfect (or perfect enough, anyway), the benefits of humor and ambition, and the redemptive power of love." —Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Race for Paris
"The Tumbling Turner Sisters explores vaudeville with stunning humanity and sharp humor. Juliette Fay's novel of sisters forced by their ultimate stage mother into this show business world of fanciful fa├žade hiding cut-throat innards reveals America—from Jim Crow law to skirting prohibition. Like Little Women, these four sisters, facing loss and poverty, reveal a family with an unbreakable core of fortitude and love."—Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of Accidents of Marriage
"Like vaudeville itself, The Tumbling Turner Sisters will delight, amaze, and surprise you. With a captivating cast of characters, Juliette Fay brings vaudeville, its players and theaters, customs and trickery to raucous life. You will smell the greasepaint, hear the music, and feel the cold, all while cheering for The Tumbling Turner Sisters to survive and thrive."—Laura Harrington, bestselling author of Alice Bliss
"An absorbing and heartfelt tale of four sisters in desperate contortions to keep their family aloft. I loved this slice of theatrical history, and Fay's meticulous research brings to life the vivid playhouses and costumed performers — ingenues and divas, swindlers and sots. I stayed awake far too late wondering whether the girls would come in for a safe landing."—Nichole Bernier, author of The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.
"As colorful as its vaudeville setting, The Tumbling Turner Sisters made me laugh, cry, and clap my hands with delight as I cheered on these four lovable and spunky sisters. A big-hearted tale of adventure."—Ann Mah, author of Mastering the Art of French Eating
"Tinged with searing insight and often hilarious wry humor."The Boston Globe, Shelter Me
"Fay is one of the best authors of women's fiction, and her novels are not to be missed."Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW, The Shortest Way Home "A beautifully written novel infused with Fay's generous spirit."Booklist, The Shortest Way Home


Meet the author:


Juliette Fay is the award-winning author of three previous novels: The Shortest Way Home, Deep Down True, and Shelter Me. She received a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree from Harvard University. Juliette lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children. The Tumbling Turner Sisters (Gallery Books/S&S) is her fourth novel.


To learn more, visit JulietteFay.com.
Like Juliette on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Juliette.Fay.author/
Follow Juliette on Twitter: @juliettefay









Enter to win a print copy of The Tumbling Turner Sisters (open to US residents only). This giveaway is sponsored by Wunderkind-PR. This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM ET on Monday, June 20th. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 21st by 10:00 AM ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway