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

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Guest Post: J.C. Kenney - A GENUINE FIX


Good day, book people. Over the years, TBDR has welcomed authors, publishers, fellow book bloggers, and primary characters from books as guests. Well, today I'm pleased to welcome the brother of a primary character, Luke Cobb. Luke will be helping us get to know his sister, Allie, who is featured in the Allie Cobb Mystery A Genuine Fix by J.C. Kenney. I hope you'll enjoy learning a bit more about Allie. Please follow the blog tour to learn more about the book and author.


A Chat with Luke Cobb

Hi, everyone. I'm Luke, Allie Cobb's older brother. You know, ever since Allie figured out who killed Thornwell Winchester, not a day goes by that someone asks me about her. What's she really like? Is she brave or just a psycho with a death wish? And then there's my favorite.

Is she really only five foot, one? 

Normally I tell people if they want to know something about my little sister, they should ask her themselves. I mean, she lives and works right here in Rushing Creek. The town's not that big, so she shouldn't be all that hard to find.

She's kind of predictable, so if you're ever in town and you want to track her down, start at Renee's Used Bookstore. At times, I think Allie keeps that place in business all by herself. I guess it makes sense that she loves books since she's a literary agent, but she buys five or six books every week. I'm lucky if I have the time to read five or six books in a year. I guess all those books she reads help make her a great agent, though. 

Just don't tell her I said that. I don't want her to get a big head!

If she's not at the bookstore, you might check at Creekside Chocolates, hanging out with her buddy Diane Stapleton. Diane owns the shop. She makes some amazing chocolates, coffee, and drinks. She's got Allie totally hooked on her hot chocolate. Which, to be honest, is pretty understandable. Diane sells the best tasting chocolate stuff I've ever tasted. 

Which reminds, me, I need to stop by there and get Sloane some treats. I guess it shows how small Rushing Creek is that not only is Sloane Winchester my wife, she's also Allie's best friend. Sloane's the most amazing woman I've ever met and if it wasn't for Allie, I'd never had a chance to get to know Sloane as well as I have. Like I said, she's pretty incredible and I'm a lucky guy to have her in my life.

But back to Allie. Since she's single, she eats out a lot. At lunchtime, you might find her at either The Brown County Diner or Big Al's. Allie likes to go to the diner for their seasonal pies. At Big Al's, she usually goes for a booth in the back where she absolutely inhales one of Al's gourmet burgers and a platter of fries.

I swear, my little sister eats like a pro football player and is still teeny tiny. It makes me a little jealous. As Director of the Rushing Creek Parks Department, I spend a fair amount of time performing manual labor, but I still have to watch what I eat. Allie, the little quirt, eats whatever she wants and doesn't even put on a pound.  

Of course, she literally walks or rides her bike everywhere. As in, one hundred percent of the time. She doesn't own a car. She says she never needed a car when she lived in New York City and is happy living without one now. I can't imagine life without my truck, but it seems to work for her, so more power to her.

Oh, one last place you might find Allie. Our sister Rachel owns the Rushing Creek Public House, a restaurant on the south end of town. It's the go-to place when Cobb family members have dinner out. Plus, Allie's on a couple of volunteer boards in town and uses the banquet room at the Pub for meetings. The three of us kids get together for dinner there every Wednesday, so I guarantee you'll catch her then.

Good luck catching up with her. Who knows, maybe you'll cross paths with her when she's out taking her cat Ursula for a walk. That's correct, her cat. Allie is the only person I've ever met who has a cat that she walks like a dog. She can be so weird. 

Yeah, that's my little sister for you. She's one of a kind. But her eccentricities work for her, so who am I to judge? Well, I need to get back to work, but before I go, I'll answer one question people always ask me.

Is she really only five, one? No. In fact, she's barely five feet tall. The extra inch she claims must be vanity. Don't tell her I said that, though. Thanks to the kickboxing she does, rumor has it she's got a serious left hook. That's one thing about my sister I totally believe!

****

About the Author



J.C. Kenney grew up in a household filled with books by legends Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun, among many others, so it was no surprise when he found himself writing mystery stories. When he's not writing, you can find him following IndyCar racing or listening to music. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two sons, and a cat who is the inspiration for Ursula in the Allie Cobb Mysteries.

Author Links
Website - https://www.jckenney.com;
Twitter - https://twitter.com/JCKenney1;
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/JCKenney1;
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/JCKenney;
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/j.c.kenney/




A Genuine Fix

(An Allie Cobb Mystery)
by J.C. Kenney


About the Book



A Genuine Fix (An Allie Cobb Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (July 16, 2019)
Paperback: 194 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108604
ISBN-13: 978-1516108602
Digital ASIN: B07KDWV2RX



Murder takes a page out of a killer's playbook when literary agent Allie Cobb becomes her Indiana town's number-one bestselling suspect …
Running the family literary business while preparing for her best friend's wedding, chairing a park planning committee, and getting her rescue cat to bond with her boyfriend's golden retriever doesn't leave Allie Cobb much time for crime-solving. But when the guy who stood her up the night of her high school senior prom is killed and dumped in a pile of mulch, Allie's suddenly the prime suspect.
It's insulting enough that gambler, drunk, and all-around lowlife Georgie Alonso was found on the site of the memorial park honoring Allie's deceased father. Now she's fighting to clear her name and hold off a rush to judgment. But politics, decades-old secrets, and a slew of high-profile suspects make dangerous bedfellows as the eve of the park's grand opening draws nearer. She'll have to nab a killer soon, before her storybook life gets a bad ending …

Purchase links - Amazon   - B&N  - Kobo


Giveaway

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 18 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 18 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 18 – Readeropolis - SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

July 19 – The Avid Reader - REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

July 19 – Ascroft, eh? - AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 19 – MJB Reviewers - SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

July 20 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

July 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 20 – The Book Diva's Reads - CHARACTER GUEST POST, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

July 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

July 21 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

July 21 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 21 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

July 22 – I'm All About Books – GUEST POST, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

July 22 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

July 22 – Baroness' Book Trove - SPOTLIGHT

July 23 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

July 23 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book - REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY



Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Book Spotlight: GORE IN THE GARDEN by Colleen J. Shogan


Gore in the Garden

(A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan


About the Book



Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Camel Press (July 16, 2019)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1603817239
ISBN-13: 978-1603817233
ASIN: B07S4F8XZZ


Purchase Links
Amazon Paperback     Kindle   B&N         Kobo      Smashwords



After her boss narrowly escaped political defeat, Kit Marshall is settling into life as a busy congressional staffer. While attending an evening reception at the United States Botanic Garden, Kit's best friend stumbles upon the body of a high-ranking government official. The chairwoman of a congressional committee asks Kit to investigate, and she finds herself once again in the thick of a murder investigation. The complications keep coming with the unexpected arrival of Kit's younger brother Sebastian, a hippie protestor who seems more concerned about corporate greed than the professional problems he causes for his sister. To make matters even worse, the romantic lives of Kit's closest friends are driving her crazy, diverting her attention from the mystery she's been tasked to solve. The search for the killer requires her to tussle with an investigative journalist right out of a noir novel, a congresswoman fixated on getting a statue of James Madison installed on the Capitol grounds and a bossy botanist who would do anything to protect the plants he loves. When the murderer sends a threatening message to Kit via a highly unusual delivery mechanism, Kit knows she must find the killer or risk the lives of her friends and loved ones.


About the Author





Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. She conceived of the plot of her first mystery, "Stabbing in the Senate," one morning while taking a walk in her suburban Washington, D.C. neighborhood. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason University, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service. She is currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress who works on great initiatives such as the National Book Festival. Colleen lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan. Colleen's first book won the Next Generation Indie Prize for Best Mystery. Her books have been RONE and Killer Nashville finalists in the mystery category.

Author Links
Webpage – www.colleenshogan.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/washingtonwhodunit
Twitter –  www.twitter.com/cshogan276
GoodReads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1269678.Colleen_J_Shogan


Giveaway

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 16 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
July 18 – The Book Diva's Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 21 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
July 21 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 22 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
July 24 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW
July 25 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – Here's How It Happened – REVIEW
July 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
July 29 – The Book Decoder  REVIEW


Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Book Spotlight: Oceanic Dreams Series - Part 1




Good day, my bookish peeps. It's summer and for many of us, our dreams turn to days lounging beachside or perhaps on an ocean liner. Well, today you get to hop aboard the Oceanic Aphrodite and cruise with the Oceanic Dreams series in eight novellas. The Oceanic Dreams series is a multi-author series and each book can be read on its own. Each book will focus on an individual couple and these eight unsuspecting couples just might find true love on the high seas. 


I Saw Him Standing There by Holly Kerr 
Time of My Life by Laura Heffernan 
Circle in the Sand by Tracy Krimmer 
I Thought it Was You by Kirsty McManus 
I Will Follow Him by Holly Tierney-Bedord 
Take a Chance on Me by Delancey Stewart 
Shut Up and Dance With Me by Monique McDonell 
The Best of You by Sophie-Leigh Robbins


Watch the trailer for the Oceanic Dreams series here.


So sit back, relax, learn about the first four books in this series, and don't forget to enter this week's giveaway. Remember to come back next week to rejoin the cruise and learn about the last four books and perhaps enter another giveaway (or two). For now, it's all aboard the Oceanic Aphrodite!




I Saw Him Standing There Oceanic Dreams #1 by Holly Kerr
ISBN: 9781989203033 (paperback)
ASIN: B07QQ2XXTN (Kindle edition)
Release Date: May 20, 2019



This stowaway sets sail for love!

Small-time con artist Siggy needs to get out of town fast. When she's offered tickets on the legendary Oceanic Aphrodite cruise, Siggy jumps at the chance. A week on a luxury cruise ship, with a suitcase full of clothes and all expenses paid? Yes, please! The only catch is that she has to pretend to be someone else.

No problem. Siggy has no intention of getting close enough anyone to discover her secrets.

But this is the Oceanic Aphrodite and love is in the air. When Siggy sees assistant cruise director Will taking tickets, Cupid's arrow hits the target. Luckily, Will's too busy smiling at her to check out her fake passport because he'll toss Siggy off the ship if he finds out about the scam.

Onboard, dolphins and cameras and runaway ferrets bring Siggy and Will together. The more time they spend together, the more Siggy wants to tell him the truth. Cupid's arrow has struck deep but is it worth it for Siggy to stop running?



Purchase Links
Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle      

Meet the author


Holly Kerr writes chick-lit with the sole purpose of showing the world there is more to the genre than pretty shoes and brooding heroes. Except for J.B. in Unexpecting. He can be kind of broody.

When she's not writing, Holly spends time with her kids, watching Star Wars and superhero movies, and training for this marathon she signed up for.

Connect with the author via her website, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads


Giveaway:


Enter to win one Kindle copy of I Saw Him Standing There by Holly Kerr courtesy of the author. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only. The ebook will be provided to the winner by the author after the giveaway has ended. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Void where prohibited by law. 

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Guest Post: Christin Brecher - MURDER'S NO VOTIVE CONFIDENCE


Hello, my bookish divas and divos. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I spent the weekend reading, of course, in preparation for two local book group meetings this week. One of the many things that I enjoy about book groups and blog tours is that I'm introduced to a lot of books, characters, and authors that I'd probably never know about. As a result, I'm constantly adding books to my ever-growing TBR list (trust me, that's a good thing). I'm especially pleased to welcome today's guest, none other than Stella Wright, the primary character in Murder's No Votive Confidence, the first book in the Nantucket Candle Maker series by Christin Brecher. Ms. Brecher sets this book in Nantucket, a place close to my heart as I lived in Massachusetts for six years. Stella will be providing us with some details about her life and background, so sit back, visit awhile with Stella, follow the rest of the blog tour, and I hope you'll be inspired to grab a copy of the book. 




Hi, Vivian. Thanks for talking with me today. I love your website and the idea of a "blog for the basic reader, by a basic reader." I definitely fall into the category of basic reader. I'm usually busy making candles and selling them at my store in town, the Wick & Flame, so when I have time to read, I want to be inspired by the story and characters.  

Recently, I was caught up in a murder investigation on Nantucket, so my summer reading has turned to mystery. Honestly, my Memorial Day weekend could have been a book in itself.  As some of you may know, I was hired to design a candle-themed wedding on the island for Jessica Sterling, where a two-foot tall, six-inch diameter unity candle was planned to be the centerpiece of the wedding ceremony. In a terrible twist, my candle was used as a murder weapon to kill Simon Sterling, the bride's uncle, rather than as the sign of peace and unity it was meant to be. Even worse, Bill Duffy, salt of the earth, was arrested. Before I knew it, I'd jumped into the case and followed the clues until I found the real killer.

The following weekend, I went to the town library, the Athenaeum, for some advice on mystery books. I watch detective shows when I'm tidying up at home, or have a free night, but I realized I wanted to expand my knowledge of the genre. After some discussion, I was drawn to Agatha Christie and chose one called The Hollow. I was drawn to the book because it is about a murder that takes place at a country house, with many house guests, and even a celebrity neighbor. The premise reminded me a lot of my own Memorial Day mystery. I've taken more Christie books out since. As a Nantucket native, I relate to the British backdrop of small towns, which are often somewhat isolated and whose landscapes are both breathtaking and brutal.  

Next on my list, however, is The 39 Steps by John Buchan, a mystery recommendation I received from one of my candle-making student, Cherry Waddle. Please feel free to share your favorites with me!  


Friday, July 12, 2019

Guest Post: David Marlett - AMERICAN RED


Good day, my fellow book people. Instead of focusing on contemporary fiction, today our sights are turning to history, specifically historical fiction as I welcome the author of the recently released American Red, David Marlett. Mr. Marlett is an award-winning author of historical fiction and today he will be providing us with some background information on how this book came into being. So let's travel back in time with Mr. Marlett and American Red.





Ten years ago, I had heard about the first assassination by bombing in the United States (of the governor of Idaho in 1906), and I was familiar with Clarence Darrow's famous closing argument in the subsequent murder trial. But my interest in tackling this sweeping epic as a historical novel didn't begin until I read J. Anthony Lukas's non-fiction book on the subject, Big Trouble. That lead me to explore more, and with each additional trial transcript and uncovered fact, the closer I came to the story. Soon the characters began to take form, and the plot structure began to reveal itself. But, as it is a big story across a large part of the United States, a significant obstacle was narrowing the story to its key events and characters, finding the arcs, etc., and of course, deciding what I wanted the novel to say.

Even with that narrowing, and the merging (in a couple of instances) of historical characters into single invented ones, etc., American Red still plays host to an ensemble cast—each with unique traits, strengths, quirks, weaknesses. I was once asked whom among them I most enjoyed writing—to which I responded that it was the old Pinkerton, Chief Detective James McParland. He was one of American Red's many actual characters from history—a true-to-life man, bold and brazen—wildly famous at the time for his daring detective work. We find him squinting at the dimming light of his life and career, while rooted in the century that had passed. So, he does what he knows—he takes action—one big gamble, one last major action, convincing himself that the flagrant illegalities he undertakes are balanced by the justice he is trying to bring. I love his single-minded focus in the face of such obvious conflicts of loyalty and duty. That moral struggle and wrestling with mortality is so universal that McParland rises to almost iconic stature.

American Red is unique among historical novels, even those set in American history. Rather than addressing oft-trod paths and characters, American Red ventures into a societal wilderness, a lesser-explored time in American history that seems shockingly familiar, even over a hundred years later. I am hard-pressed to find a comparable book of that time and geographic area. Most historical crime stories of that era focus on mob developments on the east coast, of the first-generation immigrant experience. But American Red tackles the men and women of what was, by then, the end of the Wild West. The march of technological advancement had arrived, and their isolationist world was collapsing, with new international ideas flooding in, seeping out into the far west. To me, this is far more reflective of who/what America would become—as the nation unknowingly raced toward the World Wars and the Depression. Further, American Red provides a glancing, raw image of the unique role of faith of the era, and a candid look at the relationships between men and women. American Red is a tapestry of humanity (not just Americans), both in honor and in horror, both in victory and defeat—and therein do can we see ourselves.