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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Book Showcase: THE MOONLIGHT MEETING by Tracey Hecht and Rumur Dowling

Hello, my bookish peeps. As you know, I don't read a lot of YA (okay, I do read some YA but I don't review YA anymore), Middle Grade, or Grow & Read Early Reader books, but when I was offered the opportunity to once again showcase another book from The Nocturnals series by Tracey Hecht and Rumur Dowling/illustrated by Waymond Singleton I had to feature the book. I hope your teeny divas and divos will enjoy this book and if you think they might, scroll down and enter the giveaway for book one in The Nocturnals Grow & Read Early Reader series, The Moonlight Meeting.



The Moonlight Meeting (The Nocturnals #1) by Tracey Hecht and Rumur Dowling
ISBN: 9781944020149 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781944020156 (paper over board)
Publisher: Fabled Films Press
Release Date: September 26, 2017

In The Moonlight Meeting, the Nocturnal Brigade: Tobin, Bismark, and Dawn introduce their nighttime world to early readers. The story is told with plenty of humor and emphasizes friendship, sharing, and adventure. 


Bonus Content: Fun Facts about animals and their world.


Fountas & Pinnell: Guided Reading Level: L  Lexile Ranking: 480L  •  Grade Level Equivalent: 1-2 Interest Level by Grade: Pre-K to 3rd


Praise:

"Physical characteristics, personality quirks, and the beginnings of their mutual trust and friendship are aptly portrayed through both words and pictures. A few "Nocturnals Fun Facts” at the end should help with any factual queries. Whether listening, reading along, or launching individual attempts, satisfied readers will be ready and waiting for the next installment.”Booklist 

"The pared-down narration and dialogue quickly establish their personalities, as does Singleton's cartoon artwork, which shows the characters striking expressive poses midconflict….Hecht and Dowling successfully set the stage for more adventurous outings down the road...”Publishers Weekly


Meet the author:

Tracey Hecht is a writer and entrepreneur who has written, directed and produced for film. Her first middle-grade series, The Nocturnals was launched in 2016 with The Mysterious Abductions and The Ominous Eye. The American Bookselling Association chose The Mysterious Abductions as a Kids' Indie Next List pick. Her third book, The Fallen Star was released in May 2017. The fourth book is set for release in February 2018.

In partnership with the New York Public Library, Tracey created a Read Aloud Writing Program in 10 schools around New York City. During the year, she continued to conduct this program in over 35 schools, libraries, and bookstores across the country. In June 2017, she launched a partnership with The Ryan Seacrest Foundation with The Nocturnals program at the broadcast media centers within pediatric hospitals. The first hospital was the Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC. In September, events took place in Nashville, TN, and Charlotte, NC.

When Tracey isn't writing, she can be found hiking, reading or spending time with her family. Tracey currently splits her time between New York City and Oquossoc, Maine with her husband and four children. 

Connect with the author at

Website     |     Facebook       |      Instagram      |     Twitter




Giveaway

Enter to win a print copy of The Moonlight Meeting by Tracey Hecht and Rumur Dowling AND a fox plush wearing a Nocturnals Brigade cape courtesy of Fabled Films Press (giveaway open to US residents only, sorry). 



Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM ET on Monday, 11/06/2017 and the winner will be announced after 9:00 AM ET on Tuesday, 11/07/2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Monday, October 30, 2017

Book Showcase: DOWN TO NO GOOD by Earl Javorsky

Down to No Good

by Earl Javorsky

on Tour October 30, 2017 - January 6, 2018



Synopsis:


Down to No Good by Earl Javorsky
Private investigator Charlie Miner, freshly revived from his own murder, gets a call from Homicide Detective Dave Putnam. Self-styled "psychic to the stars" Tamara Gale has given crucial information about three murders, and the brass thinks it makes the Department look bad. Dave wants Charlie to help figure out the angle, since he has first-hand experience with the inexplicable. Trouble is, Charlie, just weeks after his full-death experience, once again has severe cognitive problems and may get them both killed.

Earl Javorsky's DOWN TO NO GOOD is wildly original, wildly energetic, wildly funny – it's just straight up wild, and I mean that in the best possible way.

– Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE

It's a shame you missed Down Solo:




"Earl Javorsky's bold and unusual Down Solo blends the mysterious and the supernatural boldly and successfully. The novel is strong and haunting, a wonderful debut."

– T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of Full Measure and The Famous and the Dead

"Awesome"

– James Frey, New York Times bestselling author

"Don't miss Earl Javorsky's Down Solo. It's kick-ass, man. Excellent writing. This guy is the real deal."

– Dan Fante, author of the memoir Fante and the novel Point Doom

"Javorksy's writing reminded me of the Carl Hiaasen novels I'd read sprawled out on the deck on one sunny Florida vacation. Perfect entertainment, with the right amount of action to keep me alert (and to keep me from snoozing myself into a sunburned state). But there's also a deeper layer in Down Solo, which left me thinking past the final page."

– Bibliosmiles

"Javorsky's dark and gritty prose is leavened with just enough humor to make Down Solo a compelling story that will take readers to the outer limits of noir."

– San Diego City Beat


Book Details:


Genre: Mystery
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Number of Pages: 224
ISBN: 1611882532 (ISBN13: 9781611882537)
Series: This is the sequel to DOWN SOLO.
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads 




Read an excerpt:

(Mild profanity)


I wake up looking down at my body, naked on a gurney at the morgue.
No.
That's a memory.
This has happened to me before.
I was riding my bike, working a case, high as a meteorite that doesn't yet know it's about to crash and burn, still happily tooling along in space, at night, wrapped in a warm blanket of summer air, Jack Daniels, and a smidgen of heroin. Some creep shot me in the temple, and I woke up hovering above my own corpse.
This time is different.
Not a gurney. Not the morgue.
A bed. My body, eyes closed, on a bed. I've got a bird's-eye view, hovering like a kite, still tethered, but barely, by an invisible string.
Let's get clear on my condition. I don't know what it is, but I know what it is not. I am not a vampire, or a zombie, or a ghost. I'm not a thousand years old, I have no superpowers, and I've never been a hero. What I do have is a broken life, a broken family, and, so far, an inexplicable inoculation against dying. And a daughter I would die for—or, in this case, return to life for.
The tether reels me in. I descend toward the body, a mirror image to it, my arms at my sides, my feet slightly apart. Three bullet holes in my face—and one in my gut—are going to need some repair. At contact, I am absorbed and no longer looking down at myself but looking up at the ceiling.
I stretch my fingers, curl them into fists, and stretch them again.
"Jesus holy fucking Christ!"
I know that voice.
I turn my head. It's awkward, after the lightness of floating, to be in the body, to know its heaviness and vulnerability. There's a man sitting in a chair next to the bed. He's a cop, and the first thing I think is: He knows my secret. Now he really knows it. But it's okay, because he's also my friend and I trust him. I have to.
"Hey, Dave, how's it going?" My voice sounds artificial—a forced process of pushing air, modulating vibrations with my vocal cords, shaping syllables with my mouth and tongue. I make my lips grin.
Dave sits there like a stuffed panda in his rumpled white shirt and cheap black sports coat. There's blood on his clothes. It's in his fingernails—my blood, dried and caked on his hands. His right hand is clasped around a Heineken, which he finally tilts to his mouth and drains.
I force the body up and into a sitting position, feet on the floor. I flex my fingers a few more times, roll my shoulders, and look at Dave. For a moment, I close my eyes and leave the body, just as an experiment, and roam around the room. From over Dave's shoulder I watch it slump back into the pillows like a marionette whose strings have been cut. Dave stands and moves toward the bed, but I slip back into the body and work my mouth and tell him it's okay.
I sit back up and ask Dave, "Why am I naked?"
"Because you were shot full of holes and clinically dead. I brought you back to my place and cleaned you up. I took off your clothes to see how many more bullets there might be in you. Your things are right over there." He points to a chair in the corner.
"You're taking this pretty well."
He shrugs. "I feel like I'm in a bad movie, but hey . . ."
"I appreciate your bringing me here."
"I knew if I called the paramedics you'd have been sliced and diced at the coroner's."
"How long have I been here?"
Dave looks at his watch. "It's noon. Call it thirty-six hours."
"What day is it? And date?"
"Wednesday. Last day in August."
I stand and walk to the chair to get dressed. Roaming—moving freely out of the body—is easier than this, but I'll adjust. I have before. The gorilla-suit quality of living in the body becomes commonplace, the intentional management of operating the system, beating the heart, making the blood run in the veins, the conscious act of breathing: all of it becomes second nature.
It's almost like being alive.
***

Excerpt from Down to No Good by Earl Javorsky.  Copyright © 2017 by Earl Javorsky. Reproduced with permission from The Story Plant. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:


Earl JavorskyDaniel Earl Javorsky was born in Berlin and immigrated to the US. He has been, among other things, a delivery boy, musician, product rep in the chemical entertainment industry, university music teacher, software salesman, copy editor, proofreader, and author of two previous novels, Down Solo and Trust Me.

He is the black sheep of a family of high artistic achievers.

Catch Up With Our Author On: earljavorsky.com , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !






Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!




Giveaway:



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Earl Javorsky and The Story Plant. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and 2 winners of one (1) eBook copy of Down Solo by Earl Javorsky. The giveaway begins on October 30 and runs through January 8, 2018.

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Friday, October 27, 2017

2017 Book 370: THE WELCOME HOME DINER by Peggy Lampman

The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman
ISBN: 9781542047821 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781543617795 (audiobook - MP3)
ISBN: 9781543617788 (audiobook - CD)
ASIN: B06Y11Q9JX (Kindle edition)
Publication date: October 10, 2017 
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing


Betting on the city of Detroit's eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There's just one little snag in their vision.
Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood's gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.
As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they've worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home?  


Add to Goodreads badge


Sam and Addie Jaworski are just two people struggling to make their diner a success. They were raised with the idea that those who can do and those who have give. And that's exactly what they're trying to do in The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman.

Sam and Addie Jaworski are cousins. Sam studied to be a chef and helps manage their restaurant's kitchen. Addie manages the restaurant and the staff. Both Sam and Addie have issues from their past that they are working through, but they are happy to be in Detroit and struggling to make a go at their business. Success seems to be difficult to attain for the cousins for a while, but they gradually begin to make a name for themselves and their business. Just when it seems as if all is bright and wonderful, Sam and Addie begin to deal with blow after blow. Their diner is trolled on the internet and an employee's daughter is part of an attempted kidnapping scheme. How much should they have to suffer in their efforts to give to a city they've come to love? When will the city begin to show them some love in return for their efforts?

I struggled to read The Welcome Home Diner, not because it wasn't a good read, it is, but because I've been dealing with severe migraine headaches and other family medical emergencies over the past few days. Being able to escape into a good book was my respite from these issues, and yes, The Welcome Home Diner was a good book to read. It was easy to become invested in Sam and Addie's lives and the lives of their friends and coworkers. I wanted them all to have success and was wishing I could sample one of their lamb burgers and Heartbreaker cookies last night. The Welcome Home Diner incorporates the basic angst of any small business owner along with the desire to give back in a meaningful way to a city that's on the edge of rising like a phoenix. The story also has family drama, interpersonal and intrapersonal drama, envy, enmity, revenge, and more. At its heart, this is a story of a hope and love. Sam and Addie love what they do and just want to share that love and joy via food. Ms. Lampman has crafted a great feel-good story with colorful characters, amazing settings, and believable action. I strongly encourage you to grab a copy of The Welcome Home Diner to read for a variety of reasons but primarily because it is a delightful feel-good story about family, friends, food, and love.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author/publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Meet the Author:

Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After earning a bachelor's degree in communications—summa cum laude—from the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for a public-relations firm. When she returned to Ann Arbor, her college town, she opened a specialty foods store, the Back Alley Gourmet. Years later, she sold the store and started writing a weekly food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive. Lampman's first novel, The Promise Kitchen, published in 2016, garnered several awards and accolades. She is married and has two children. She also writes the popular blog www.dinnerfeed.com.


Connect with the author at her websiteFacebook, and Twitter


Giveaway:

This giveaway is for one print copy of The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman courtesy of TLC Book Tours. The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only (sorry to all of my other international followers). Please note that although my giveaway ends in one week, books may not be distributed until the tour has ended. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



This review, giveaway, and tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours



Thursday, October 26, 2017

2017 Book 365: SOMETHING LIKE FAMILY by Heather Burch

Something Like Family by Heather Burch
ISBN: 9781542045780 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781536690262 (audiobook - MP3)
ISBN: 9781536690255 (audiobook - CD)
ASIN: B01N9SD05I (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 12, 2017 
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing


Abandoned by his mother when he was young, twenty-two-year-old Rave Wayne knows all about loss. That doesn't mean he's used to it. After he's dumped by the girlfriend he assumed he'd spend his life with, Rave is longing more than ever to connect.
Then, as if by miracle, he receives an invitation from his grandfather, a man he thought was long gone, to come for a visit in rural Tennessee. Loyal, honest, and loving, dear old Tuck is everything Rave could have hoped for. He's family. Soon, Rave finds himself falling for a down-to-earth local girl, and he thinks his life is finally coming together.
But the past isn't through with Rave. When his mother returns after many long years, looking to reconcile the terrible mistakes that once defined her, Rave struggles to put together the unsettled pieces of his heart. Will this once-estranged family be able to come together to understand the meaning of unconditional love, the fragile bonds of family, and the healing power of letting go?  


Add to Goodreads badge


Two men, one young living in Florida and the other elderly living in Tennessee, are longing for family. One knows nothing about the other or their short history together. But their blood ties bring them together in Something Like Family by Heather Burch.

Rave Wayne is only twenty-two years old and has been on his on for more than five years. His mother left him as a teenager and he has struggled to make it, but he's surviving or so he thinks. Around his twenty-second birthday, his girlfriend Ashley dumps him and refuses to allow him to see her son, Daniel, any longer. A child that Rave has thought of as his own since his birth. It was difficult when Rave's mother walked out, but this blow is devastating. When Rave is approached by a lawyer informing him he has a grandfather in Tennessee, Rave sees no need to stay in Florida. Tuck Wayne has survived the loss of his daughter, grandson, and death of his wife. He knows that life is too short for regrets so he makes arrangements with his friend and attorney to find his grandson, Rave. Neither is quite sure what to make of the other when Rave finally comes to Tennessee, but they slowly build a relationship built on mutual trust and respect. Rave even begins a relationship with a local woman, Becca Johnson. Then his ex-girlfriend shows up and before you know it, she's gone again leaving Rave with her son. To make things even more complicated, Tuck's illness rears its ugly head and his demise seems imminent without immediate medical intervention and then Rave's mother comes back. Both Rave and Tuck had presumed she was dead. Tuck may be able to forgive and forget, but Rave isn't quite sure if he can. 

I found Something like Family to be a fast-paced and engaging read. This is more than a story about family angst and drama, it's a story about connections and what makes us family. Is it possible to be a parent to a child that isn't yours biologically? (Yes, in my not so humble opinion.) Families are more than just blood ties, although those ties can be strong. Families can be the communities we live in, our friends, and all those we bring into our lives. This idea is just a small part of what I enjoyed about Something Like Family. This story also broaches the idea of memorialization, and this small rural town comes together to build a unique memorial for the town's military heroes. Like I said, there's a lot more than family drama and angst in this story but it all works beautifully together. I enjoyed the characters, the setting, and the action, but especially enjoyed watching the growing relationship between Rave and Tuck. If you're looking for a feel-good read then I strongly encourage you to grab a copy of Something Like Family to read. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Burch in the future.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author/publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

2017 Book 368: STRANGE WEATHER by Joe Hill

Strange Weather by Joe Hill
ISBN: 9780062663115 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062663139 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780062694447 (audiobook)
ASIN: B01HXK8LNW (Kindle edition)
Publication date: October 24, 2017 
Publisher: William Morrow



A collection of four chilling novels ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill


"Snapshot" is the disturbing story of a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by "The Phoenician," a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories, snap by snap.
A young man takes to the skies to experience his first parachute jump. . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero's island of roiling vapor that seems animated by a mind of its own in "Aloft."
On a seemingly ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails—splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely under cover. "Rain" explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as the deluge of nails spreads out across the country and around the world.
In "Loaded," a mall security guard in a coastal Florida town courageously stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun rights movement. But under the glare of the spotlights, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it. When an out-of-control summer blaze approaches the town, he will reach for the gun again and embark on one last day of reckoning.  



Add to Goodreads badge



This seems to be the season of thrills, chills, and terror. No, I'm not talking politics (although that might be appropriate), but rather literary thrills, chills, and terror with a haunting collection of four novellas by Joe Hill in his latest release, Strange Weather.

I've got to say from the jump that I don't read a lot of short-fiction, i.e., novellas, short stories, etc., but I did jump at the chance to read and review Strange Weather by Joe Hill. No, it wasn't just because he's a featured speaker at the upcoming West Virginia Book Festival this weekend (although that didn't hurt). It was primarily because I had the opportunity to read The Fireman earlier this year and loved it. How could I not grab the chance to read something else by this author?! Okay, back to the book...I found Strange Weather to be a disturbingly haunting yet engaging and quick read. Each story provided a different story, set in a different locale, in a different time, with wholly different characters, yet they all seemed to work together. Each story offers a bit of horror, some a bit of science-fiction, and all a bit of macabre drama. I liked all four stories, but "Snapshot," "Rain," and "Loaded" where my personal favorites with "Loaded" being a story that could have been ripped from today's headlines. I could rant and rave about the individual characters, the action taking place, the settings, etc., but I won't (if I get started, I may not stop). I'll just say this, if you've ever read anything by Joe Hill then run out and grab yourself a copy of Strange Weather today. If you haven't read anything by Joe Hill (and why haven't you, I told you to get a copy of The Fireman earlier this year...did you think I was joking?!) and you're looking for something completely different from your everyday reads, then look no further and get a copy of Strange Weather to read. I'm incredibly grateful to the publisher for affording me the opportunity to read this wonderful collection of stories and thank you, Mr. Hill, for crafting such wonderful reads!

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author/publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2017 Book 363: LONA CHANG by AshleyRose Sullivan


Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story by AshleyRose Sullivan
ISBN: 9781941706640 (paperback) 
ISBN: 9781941706643 (ebook)
ASIN: B0749JN9NH (Kindle edition)
Publication date: August 30, 2017
Publisher: Seventh Star Press


When one of the world's greatest superheroes dies in her arms, Lona Chang takes it upon herself to investigate his murder. Armed only with a power she barely understands and a mysterious coded book, Lona begins a quest for answers that leads her down a dark rabbit hole of secrets—secrets the ancient organization known as the Guild is determined to keep hidden at all costs.

Meanwhile, when a new threat descends upon Arc City, Lona's soulmate (and freshly minted superhero) Awesome Jones defies the Guild, dons the cape and cowl of his father and finds a group of unlikely allies. But can Awesome trust them—or himself? He'll have to fight his own demons first if he has any hope of defending the town–and the people–he loves.

As tensions rise between the Guild, Lona, Awesome, his allies and Arc City's criminal underground, Lona realizes that life, and the answers to its questions, are never as simple as they seem in comic books.


Add to Goodreads badge
 
 
 

Lona Chang is no longer a lonely secretary. She's engaged to be married to the love of her life, Awesome Jones, and learning to control her newfound super-powers. But after her superhero friend, Captain Lightning, dies in her arms, Lona realizes his death is not what it appears to be and the hunt is on for the truth in Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story by AshleyRose Sullivan.


When we first met Lona Chang she was a somewhat happy, young lady, working as a secretary for a printing company. She had been orphaned at young age and adopted by the Changs. She knew or thought she knew, the story of her parents. All that changed when Awesome Jones walked into her workplace and was hired. Within a few weeks, Lona and Awesome were going out for coffee, then meals, then had moved in together. Then they found out that Awesome was the son of not one but two superheroes. Initially separated by the Guild, they are brought back together when their lives where in danger and they learned to control their fledgling powers. They were befriended by Captain Lightning and trained by the Red Fox and his wife Neima. Now, Awesome has become the new Baron and Lona is learning to use her powers to find answers to secrets and that's exactly what she must do after the Captain dies in her arms. But can she discover the answer to all the questions his death and others raise before it's too late for Lona and her friends?

I can pretty much guess what you're thinking at the moment, the Book Diva read a YA/NA paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy story filled with superheroes? Yes, I did and I enjoyed it. I'm grateful to Ms. Sullivan for providing me a copy of not only Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story but also Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale to read. Although it's possible to read Lona Chang without reading Awesome Jones, I strongly recommend you read both. Seriously, it helps provide perspective on events that unfold and characters. Both books surprised me and I enjoyed reading about Lona and Awesome's discovery of their heritage and fledgling powers. It was fascinating watching this young couple grow as a couple, as adults, and as "superheroes." There are obviously bad guys in the story because you can't have superheroes without having villains. But there are bad guys and there are "bad guys" and Lona and Awesome, unfortunately, get to deal with both. If that's not bad enough, they also have to deal with the Guild, the self-appointed governing organization for all extranormals or people with powers. I liked the characters, setting, and action in Lona Chang. There's a lot going on in this story and I could go on and on (seriously, I could), but I'll just say this if you're looking for something different to read look no further. Grab yourself a copy of Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story (and Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale) today. I sincerely hope there's more coming for Lona Chang and Awesome Jones in the future because I can't wait to find out what happens next.
Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author via TLC Book Tours. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Meet the author:


Originally from Appalachia, AshleyRose Sullivan lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their many imaginary friends. Her work has been published in places like The Rumpus, Barrelhouse, and Monkey Bicycle and her novels, Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale and Silver Tongue are available from Seventh Star Press. She can be found at ashleyrosesullivan.com.





This review and tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours




Monday, October 9, 2017

Book Spotlight: THE WELCOME HOME DINER by Peggy Lampman

The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman
ISBN: 9781542047821 (paperback)
ASIN: B06Y11Q9JX (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: October 10, 2017


Betting on the city of Detroit's eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There's just one little snag in their vision.
Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood's gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.
As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they've worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home?

Add to Goodreads badge



Praise

"Readers who like stories of activism, community change, and close but changing bonds will relish the depth in The Welcome Home Diner, which is far more than a culinary, small-business, or family relationship saga, but blossoms to embrace the entire microcosm of life representative in one struggling community's choices. Recipes included." —Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review


"This book is cast with a colorful and diverse group of characters led by two cousins, both strong women, who decide to open a wholesome diner in a neglected part of Detroit. With a rich and descriptive flair, Peggy Lampman gracefully tackles the contentious issues the cousins face including prejudice, the community's resistance to change, and their own personal clashes." —Alison Ragsdale, author of Finding Heather, The Father-Daughter Club, and Tuesday's Socks


Meet the Author


Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After earning a bachelor's degree in communications—summa cum laude—from the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for a public-relations firm. When she returned to Ann Arbor, her college town, she opened a specialty foods store, the Back Alley Gourmet. Years later, she sold the store and started writing a weekly food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive. Lampman's first novel, The Promise Kitchen, published in 2016, garnered several awards and accolades. She is married and has two children. She also writes the popular blog www.dinnerfeed.com.


Connect with the author at her websiteFacebook, and Twitter 



Friday, October 6, 2017

Book Showcase: LILAC LANE by Sherryl Woods

Lilac Lane (Chesapeake Shores #14) by Sherryl Woods 
ISBN: 9780778331339 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781488028328 (ebook)
ASIN: B06VV67J1P (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: October 17, 2017

No one writes about friends, family and home better than Sherryl Woods. Told with warmth and humor, Lilac Lane is a brand-new story in her beloved Chesapeake Shores series, one readers all over the world have waited two years to read!
At the heart of Lilac Lane is Keira Malone, who raised her three children alone after her first marriage broke apart, and who, after years of guarding her heart, finally finds love again. But that love is short-lived when her fiancé suffers a fatal heart attack. Grieving and unsure of what's next, Keira agrees to move from Dublin to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, to spend time with her daughter, Moira, and her new granddaughter, Kate, as well as to help her son-in-law, Luke, with his Irish pub, O'Briens.
Not wanting to live underfoot, she rents a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, replete with views of the ocean and her neighbor's thriving garden—not to mention views of the neighbor himself. The neighbor is none other than Bryan Laramie, the brusque and moody chef at the pub, with whom Keira is constantly butting heads. But things get real when Bryan's long-lost daughter, whom he hasn't seen since she was a baby, shows up out of the blue. As Bryan and Keira each delve into their pasts, reopening wounds, the rest of the town is gearing up for the Fall Festival Irish Stew cook-off, and making no bones about whose side they're on. It's Kitchen Wars meets This is Your Life—a recipe for disaster…or a new take on love?
You won't want to miss this epic return to Chesapeake Shores, a place we're betting you'll want to stay forever.

Add to Goodreads badge



Read an excerpt:

On the quick drive to the pub, Luke ran through the short list of waitstaff, many of whom were college students working part-time. "You'll be working most closely with the chef, Bryan Laramie," he concluded. "Bryan's pretty easygoing, but he considers the kitchen his domain."
"The name doesn't sound Irish."
Luke chuckled at that. "No, Bryan's a New Yorker by birth, a graduate of the Culinary Institute, who landed somehow in Baltimore working at a deli. I've never heard the whole story about that. He doesn't talk much about himself or his past." 
"Isn't a deli one of those places known for matzo ball soup and pastrami on rye sandwiches?"
"Among other things, yes."
"Why would you hire someone like that to run the kitchen in an Irish pub?" Kiera asked.
"Of all the applicants, Moira and I liked him the best. And Nell put him to a test with some of her best recipes and he won the position hands down over two others we considered. You'll see. He knows his way around the kitchen and we're building something of a reputation for the quality of our food, as well as for our selection of ale and the fine Irish music we bring in on the weekends."
"Then I'll keep an open mind," Kiera promised.
Luke gave her a worried look. "Kiera, O'Brien's runs smoothly because we operate as a team. We all know our roles and respect each other's contributions, from the wait-staff and kitchen staff all the way through to Moira and me."
"And where exactly am I to fit in?"
"Once you've spent a little time learning the way we operate, getting to know our regular customers and so on, you'll make recommendations just as any of the rest of us might. We're always open to fresh ideas. And anything that ensures our customers of a true Irish experience will be especially welcomed. We'll trust you about that."
It all sounded perfectly reasonable to her, even if offering a little less control than she'd been anticipating. Still, she would have Luke's ear if there were changes she felt needed to be made in the name of Irish authenticity.
"How will you be introducing me to the staff?" she asked "Am I to be one of them, or a consultant only, as Moira suggested, or a nosy troublesome mother-in-law who happens to be visiting from Ireland and can't keep her opinions to herself ?"
Luke gave her a curious glance. "Are you in need of a formal title?"
"Not for my ego," she replied tartly. "But it will be a help to all of us, if I know my place."
"Since I can't give you an official position just yet until Connor settles that paperwork, why don't we just say you're helping out and lending us your expertise from years of working in pubs in Ireland?"
Kiera nodded slowly. "So a voice, but no authority." 
"Something like that," Luke said, his tone cautious. "Are you okay with that for now?"
"I'll do my best to make it work," she said. She'd spent years under similar restraint in her old job. She'd had far more freedom and say at Peter's pub, but she could put that aside for now. At least she hoped she could, if only in the name of family harmony.
Bryan looked up from the Irish soda bread he was about to put into the oven to see Kiera Malone regarding him intently, her expression radiating disapproval.
"Something on your mind?" he asked.
"Just observing," she said, backing off a step.
"But you have something to say. I can see that you're practically biting your tongue. Just say it."
Ever since  Kiera had been introduced to the staff at O'Brien's, she'd been lurking about, observing as she put it. It was driving him a little bit crazy. He didn't like extra people milling about in his kitchen, especially with an unmistakable hint of judgment in their eyes. He'd grown used to being respected, thanks to regular praise from not only the customers, but from Nell O'Brien, who was his go-to person for inspiration with the menu and its execution.
To be fair, from what he'd seen, Kiera was a hard worker in general and she got on well enough with the customers and even the waitstaff. She wasn't still for a minute and was always eager to take on any task that was given to her, even pitching in to help out washing dishes or scrubbing the floor after hours. All of that was admirable.
It was the way she watched him as he worked, though, that made him want to banish her from his kitchen. It was only out of respect for Luke and Moira that he'd kept his mouth shut till now and tried to accept her presence underfoot.
He studied her expression and could tell she was torn between speaking out and staying silent. "Just say whatever's on your mind before your head explodes," he told her impatiently.
"The soda bread is going to be hard as a rock," she blurted finally.
He frowned at her. "And just why is that?"
"You were pounding it as if you had a grudge against it," she told him.
Bryan drew in a deep breath to try to calm himself before he said something he'd regret. It was true, he'd been taking out his frustration over Kiera's presence on the dough. And, quite likely, she was right. Overkneading would be the kiss of death for the soda bread. It would likely be inedible.
Rather than admitting as much, however, he simply gestured to the array of ingredients. "Would you like to show me how it's done?"
Her expression brightened at once. "You won't be offended?"
Given that it was his way of saving face when his own loaves of bread were tossed in the trash, no, he wouldn't be offended at all.
"Have at it," he said, instead. "I have other work to do if we're to be ready when the doors open for lunch."
When he turned back a few minutes later, Kiera was lovingly kneading the bread with a touch that stirred an annoying hint of longing. Out of the blue a shocking image of those hands on him, massaging his shoulders at the end of the day, made him more irritable than ever. Images like that were not only inappropriate, they were totally unwelcome. At this rate, the woman was going to drive him to the brink of insanity and she hadn't even been underfoot a full week.

Excerpt from Lilac Lane by Sherryl Woods, to be released on October 17, 2017, by MIRA Books. Copyright © 2017 by Sherryl Woods. All Rights Reserved.


Meet the Author:


With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. Sherryl is best known for her ability to creating endearing small town communities and families. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition.


Connect with the author at her websiteFacebook, and Twitter



This excerpt and tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours