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

Friday, June 28, 2019

2019 Book 156: THE WEDDING PARTY by Jasmine Guillory

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory 
ISBN: 9781984802194 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781984802200 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781984890528 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07JL42SQ6 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 16, 2019 
Publisher: Berkley Books



As seen on The Today Show
The new exhilarating romance from The New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal, a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick! Maddie and Theo have two things in common:
1. Alexa is their best friend2. They hate each other
After an "oops, we made a mistake" night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa's wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they're comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won't fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn't looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it's suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can't possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?
But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don't fall in love.





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The only thing that Maddie Foster and Theo Foster seem to have in common is their friendship with Alexa Monroe. Maddie thinks that Theo is somewhat of a prude given to mansplaining and touting his Harvard degree. Theo seems to think that Maddie's job as a fashion stylist is a waste of time and bordering on the idiotic. To say that these two rub each other the wrong way is a major understatement, but all of that seems to change on the night of Theo's birthday party. Maddie agrees to accompany Alexa and actually has a good time. Halfway through the evening, Alexa runs into Drew (read The Wedding Date to find out more about these two) and the romance that was on-the-rocks seems to be back on steady ground and Alexa leaves with Drew, leaving Maddie alone at the party. Maddie's attempt to exit the party solo goes nowhere as she's walked to her car by none other than the birthday boy. This walk turns into her giving Theo a ride home, a taunt about dancing, and before you know it, Maddie and Theo are tearing up the sheets. The next morning, Maddie and Theo agree that this was an aberration and will never happen again, but it does repeatedly. Before you know, Maddie and Theo are routinely texting. Maddie is cheering Theo on behind-the-scenes with his work projects and Theo is doing the same for Maddie. When Theo is injured by a protester during a campaign speech, it is Maddie that shows up at the hospital, stays all night, and accompanies Theo home ensuring he is well cared for and safe. Just when it seems like things are going great for the two of them, something happens and their relationship is over. This wouldn't be a problem except Alexa is getting married in a few weeks and Alexa is her bridesmaid and Theo is her bridesman. Can you say awkward?! Will they be able to mend fences and admit they love one another without destroying their friend's wedding?

I initially read The Wedding Party a few weeks ago when I was traveling to Florida for my great-niece's high school graduation. Most of you know that I read about a book a day, so I felt it only proper to re-read The Wedding Party before writing this review. Okay, I didn't really have to re-read the book since I had made pretty good notes, I just wanted the excuse to re-read it. I enjoy a good romance as much as I enjoy a good mystery or suspense read, and Ms. Guillory provides witty, sexy, romances to read with highly relatable characters. These characters are super-rich, but they are smart, well-educated, well-spoken, and hard-working. Maddie is a fashion stylist trying to grow her business and is addicted to reality television shows like The Great British Bake Off, Say Yes to the Dress, and more. Although Theo does initially come across as a prudish, mansplaining elitist, he isn't any of those. He is exacting and somewhat of a perfectionist. Yes, he did go to Harvard, but he doesn't look down on anyone that didn't go to an Ivy-league college or college at all. Theo holds himself to higher standards than he'll hold anyone else to and as the public relations person for the mayor of Berkley, he always feels that he must be better than anyone else and never make mistakes. Part of that is due to his insecurity issues and part of that is due to the double-standards held for people of color in many industries (yes, it is a real thing). I enjoyed the push/pull relationship between Maddie and Theo, as well as getting to know a different side to Alexa. Yes, there's a happy ending, this is a romance! If you've read The Wedding Date or The Proposal then I strongly encourage you to grab a copy of The Wedding Party as soon as possible. If you haven't read The Wedding Date or The Proposal and you're a romance reader (I don't know why you haven't read either since I encouraged you to read both of them, but you still have time), then go grab copies of those two books along with a copy of The Wedding Party. Take a long weekend or your vacation/staycation and read all three, you can thank me later. Trust me, you'll be thanking me later. I'll probably be re-reading all three while I wait for the next book from Ms. Guillory, Royal Holiday, scheduled for release later this year. Happy Reading my fellow romance readers!



Disclaimer: I received a free print review copy of this book from the publisher along with a digital review copy 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."

Friday, June 21, 2019

Character Guest Post: LOVE, LIES, AND AZURE EYES by Janis Thornton



Good day, book people. I'm always happy to welcome authors and other book people and today I have a special treat for us all. Today's guest is stepping off of the pages of the newly released paranormal romantic suspense read Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes by Janis Thornton, I bid you welcome Annie Sinclair. Thank you, Annie, for taking time away from your writing and other enterprises to spend some time with us today.




Hello. I'm Annie Sinclair, a West Coast-based, single, 43-year-old struggling writer. Pleased to meet you. I've been back in my tiny, Indiana home town for two weeks, which is one week longer than I intended when I boarded my flight at LAX. I hadn't visited Logan Point for five years and should have been riddled with guilt about not seeing my dad for that long. But Charlie Sinclair isn't exactly Ward Cleaver and, to be honest, I wouldn't have made the trip back at all had he not called me two-and-a-half weeks ago and asked me to come home — his treat. He said he had "bidness" to conduct with me and would only do it in person. What could I say? It sounded important. I thought maybe he was getting remarried. My mom's been dead five years, which seems like a respectable amount of time for any man to wait, especially one so helpless that he can't butter his toast without a woman showing him which side. When he finally did talk to me about his "bidness," I was ashamed of my cavalier absence from his life. 

On the other hand, this trip back to Logan Point has not been without its advantages, I must admit. As a freelance journalist, my livelihood depends on landing lucrative assignments. Lucky for me, the same day Charlie called, I also heard from the editor of Now magazine, one of the better tabloids lining the checkout aisle at your favorite supermarket. The editor offered me a nice chunk of change for a three-part series about small-town folklore, and I knew immediately I would kick it off with a story about the legendary ghost that haunts the curve on the highway just outside of Logan Point. 

The ghost is supposedly my high school classmate, Shelayne Goodnight, who was murdered at the curve 25 years ago, during our senior year. Her mysterious death had never been solved, but as soon as I started the research, strange things began happening. 

For example, the Logan Point Ledger's new editor, Scott Wayne, a veteran newspaperman transplanted from Chicago, walked into my life. The first time we met, I pegged him as a jerk. The second time we met, he thought I was the jerk. The third time we met, we fell in love.

Then I came face to face with Johnny Lange, a boy I'd known in school. Seeing him again was a real shock, since he had lost his life in a car crash at the curve 25 years before, just five months after Shelayne died. He had been the prime suspect in Shelayne's murder, and after he died, everyone in town believed he had gotten his due — which is why he popped in that night, scared the spit out of me, and begged me to help prove his innocence. According to Afterlife regulations, only spirits with a clean bill of sale can ascend into heaven, so Johnny desperately needed to clear his name so he could move on.

And then, the third strange occurrence was an appearance by Shelayne herself. Evidently, Afterlife rules also allow murder victims to come back to escort the soul of their killers to the other side, which is why she had returned. And while I won't tell you who she accompanied across the goal line, I will say, it wasn't Johnny. 

I also had the opportunity to be reunited with my first love, Carter McKuen, and to be reminded why I broke up with him when I went off to college and never looked back. And finally, I mended some hurtful misunderstandings with my girlhood best pal, Dorinda Duncan, whom I hadn't seen for at least two decades. I'd like to say she hadn't changed one bit, but she had. She'd become a disingenuous, scheming fraud. 

So, this is where my story has taken me, and I can hardly wait to see how things turn out. If you'd like to join me, my book is available as an ebook for just $3.99. But if you sign up for the giveaway, you might win it! If this is any enticement, I can assure you, my story has a happy ending.

Thank you for this opportunity to tell you a bit about Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes





Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes

by Janis Thornton



About the Book


Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes
Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Soul Mate Publishing, LLC (June 12, 2019)
Print Length: 267 pages
ASIN: B07PRV6VZC



Elated by Annie's response, Johnny caved to his impulse and pressed his mouth to her sweet lips, sparking a surge of electricity that ricocheted through his entire body, and for one glorious moment swept him up in a wave of emotion that meteorically whisked him to the edge of the universe, past swirling spirals of brightly burning stars — white dwarfs, red giants, entire galaxies. Caught in the rapture, he shed his cocoon of darkness and experienced the light — the wonderful, warm, life-affirming light. He reveled in it, felt alive. He almost believed he was. Almost.
* * *
West Coast journalist Annie Sinclair's career, not to mention her love life, has been on the skids far too long, when she returns to Logan Point, her small, Indiana hometown. She's back to make amends with her elderly father, and to delve into the 25-year-old, unsolved murder of her high school classmate for a writing gig with a national tabloid.
Annie's plans soon go awry, and her mettle is tested — first when her father warns her against digging into the past; and again, when she meets the Logan Point Ledger's handsome, but exasperating, new editor; and again still, when she reconnects with her first love, who clearly wants to rekindle what once was.
But Annie's most arduous test appears in the form of the earthbound spirit of a boy she once knew — the boy with the azure eyes accused of the murder she is looking into. He needs her to prove his innocence, so he can break the ties that bind him to the darkness. In exchange, he will set Annie free to realize that the love she yearns for is just within her reach … if only she will open her heart.


About the Author




Janis Thornton is the author of a true crime/oral history/memoir, Too Good a Girl, as well as two cozy mysteries, Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies and Dead Air & Double Dares. She also is the author of two local history books and contributor to Undeniably Indiana. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Authors Guild, and the Indianapolis Writers Center. She lives in her Indiana hometown in the same house where she grew up.


Author Links

Website: www.janis-thornton.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janisthorntonauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanisThornton
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6482161.Janis_Thornton



Purchase Link Amazon


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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Guest Post: THE NAMING GAME by Gabriel Valjan


The Naming Game by Gabriel Valjan


Good day, book people. If you follow my blog, and I hope that you do, you're probably already familiar with today's guest due to an early post for The Company Files: The Good Man that posted earlier this year. Today, I'm pleased to welcome Gabriel Valjan, author of The Company Files 2: The Naming Game. Mr. Valjan will be sharing with us the importance of place, especially forgotten places in his latest book. Thank you, Mr. Valjan for stopping by today, I appreciate your time and the information you'll be providing. Fellow readers, I encourage you to sit back, enjoy your beverage of choice, and let's armchair travel back in time together to forgotten LA with Mr. Valjan.



In The Naming Game, I introduce readers to several locations of Forgotten LA. I've listed four below, but read the novel and you'll visit many more places in my tale of noir with a historical twist.

All excerpts from The Naming Game are used with permission from the author and publisher, Gabriel Valjan and Winter Goose Publishing.

Scene 1

"The Windsor was French elegance of dark wood and red leather booths. Ben Dimsdale ran the establishment, designed the menu, and collected the hefty price for the privilege of dining there."

Take 1

Ben Dimsdale was a fixture on the LA culinary scene, introducing Angelenos to fine dining at his Windsor, at the intersection of Seventh and Catalina, and east of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Mr. Dimsdale would lend his personal touch with customers until he relinquished the Windsor in the early Nineties. The Prince, the last incarnation of the restaurant, would not survive in Koreatown. Dimsdale himself died in 2003. Movie aficionados may recall seeing a bandaged Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) across from Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) in an atmospheric restaurant in the classic neo-noir film Chinatown. That was filmed inside The Windsor, circa early Seventies.

Scene 2

"The Cocoanut Grove was dedicated to nocturnal decadence. Palm trees were imported inside, stuffed monkeys sat on top of them, their choreographed arms groping the leafy foliage and their glass eyes forever gazing at a ceiling painted midnight blue with unmoving stars. Here the desert people came to dance and forget their troubles and mingle with matinée royalty. Here they dined and here they listened to music beneath Moorish arches and tried to forget the Crusades and the inconvenience of Christ on the cross. On a grand night they might see ghosts or the gauzy image of Pola Negri walking her pet cheetah on a long leash through the garden."

Take 2

The Ambassador Hotel and its legendary nightclub used to sit on a generous parcel of land at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard. The Cocoanut Grove hosted the second Academy Awards in 1930 and several more ceremonies in subsequent years. Obscure fact for movie buffs: the film White Shadows in the South Seas, which won an Oscar for Best Cinematography in 1930, is the first film in which Leo the Lion roars for MGM. In its heyday, the Cocoanut Grove was the happening place for Hollywood royalty and partygoers. Sadly, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador in 1968 and his death signaled the beginning of the end for the hotel and nightclub, although the hotel would remain open as a film location for studios. Donald Trump tried to acquire the property and failed. The hotel was demolished in 2005 and the Los Angeles Unified School District has built a learning center on the site, along with a park in honor of the late Senator Kennedy. 

Scene 3

"The man used his cigarette like a prop to indicate Billy Gray's, "There are two tales about this club and its former owner, the boxer Max Rosenbloom. Story one says George Raft discovered Max one day in a street fight in East Harlem. Story two says Mickey Cohen discovered Max. Which one do you think is the truth?""

Take 3

Slapsy Maxie's, named after the boxer Maxie Rosenbloom, moved from Beverly Boulevard to 5665 Wilshire Boulevard in the Forties. Maxie's served as a popular scene for music and the latest in comedy, and as a front for Mickey Cohen. The gangster used the nightclub's address as a mail drop under the alias Mr. O'Brien. The IRS didn't catch onto Mickey's game of Mr. Postman until 1961.

At the time of the novel, 1951, the nightclub was known as Billy Gray's Band Box, so named after the comic and dancer. Jackie Gleason tried out his persona of Reggie Van Gleason III on regulars. Poor health and legal troubles forced Billy Gray to sell the property. Gray's manager Sammy Shore, actor Pauly Shore's father, took over the business until it closed in 1966, but would go on to create The Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard with his wife, Mitzi, in 1972. An Office Depot now stands where the original Billy Gray's Band Box stood.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Book Showcase: THE WEDDING CRASHER by Nikki Stern

The Wedding Crasher

by Nikki Stern

on Tour June 1-30, 2019


The Wedding Crasher by Nikki Stern

Synopsis:



A brunette in a bridal gown turns up in Pickett County, Tennessee, throat slit and ring finger missing. She's the latest victim of the Wedding Crasher, a serial killer who murders women just weeks before their weddings.

Samantha Tate is Picket County's yoga-loving, poker-playing new sheriff, a former Nashville homicide detective who struggles with her inner demons. To catch the meticulous murderer, Sam will have to follow her instincts and ignore her worst impulses. Can she stop the Wedding Crasher before another bride-to-be dies?



Book Details:


Genre: Mystery
Published by: Ruthenia Press
Publication Date: May 8, 2019
Number of Pages: 340
ISBN: 978-0-9995487-3-8
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads




Read an excerpt:



The dead woman lay in the clearing like a macabre version of Sleeping Beauty. She was dressed in a long-sleeved, high-necked ivory gown, set off by luminescent pearl drop earrings and a matching necklace that almost hid the dried blood around her throat. Her head rested on a satin pillow, her silky walnut hair spread behind her like a fan. The right hand held a bouquet of wilted flowers and rested on her chest underneath the left, absent the fourth finger. The ring finger.

Sheriff Sam Tate stood to one side of the grim tableau, arms folded, and took it all in: the victim; the tall white-haired man who knelt by the body; the deputy who walked the scene in throwaway boots, snapping pictures; the pale young man in running gear sitting on a rock, head almost to his knees; the uniformed officer who squatted beside him.

Sam had dressed in her standard uniform of pressed black slacks and a spotless white shirt. A shaft of early-morning sun bounced off the polished badge at her left breast pocket. On her right wrist, she wore a utilitarian watch. Three small studs twinkled along one earlobe, her single visible concession to a rebellious streak. She'd pulled her unruly dark locks into a tight braid. Ray-Bans shielded her green eyes, though not the line that formed between her brows.

One of the victim's low-heeled white pumps had dropped off to reveal a slim ankle in hosiery. Stockings, not pantyhose, held up by an old-fashioned garter. Sam didn't need to look.

He's back, she thought, adding a curse for good measure.

***

Excerpt from The Wedding Crasher by Nikki Stern. Copyright © 2019 by Nikki Stern. Reproduced with permission from Nikki Stern. All rights reserved.




Author Bio:


Nikki Stern

Nikki Stern is the author of the inspirational Hope In Small Doses, a 2015 Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal finalist, and the thriller The Former Assassin, a 2018 Kindle Book Review category finalist. Her essays are included in three anthologies and she co-authored the interactive Café Noir murder mystery series, published by Samuel French. Eight of her short stories have been published in various online journals and she was a Mark Twain Royal Nonesuch finalist for her short story "Long Away and Far Ago." Nikki is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Catch Up With Nikki Stern On:


nikkistern.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!



Tour Participants:


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





Enter To Win!:



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Nikki Stern. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on June 1, 2019, and runs through July 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Book Spotlight: A CRAFTER HOOKS A KILLER by Holly Quinn


A Crafter Hooks a Killer:

A Handcrafted Mystery
by Holly Quinn

About the Book



A Crafter Hooks a Killer: A Handcrafted Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (June 11, 2019)
Hardcover 274 Pages
ISBN-10: 1643850121
ISBN-13: 978-1643850122
Digital ASIN: B07MGS1XDW



Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane suspects that a tantalizing thread links the deaths of her best friend and a bestselling author. But can she weave together the clues?
Samantha "Sammy" Kane is settling into her new life in idyllic Heartsford, Wisconsin, running her late friend Kate Allen's craft shop, Community Craft when one early June day, bestselling crochet author Jane Johnson visits Heartsford. Captivated by Community Craft, Jane devotes a chapter in her new book, Behind the Seams, to the store. Sammy is honored, though satisfaction quickly turns to shock when she finds Jane strangled to death—her cold hands clutching a copy of her most recently published book, with the words "THE END" raggedly scratched into the cover.
Heavens to Etsy! Not only must Sammy contend with the author's inauspicious demise, she has to untie some knotty details from her own past. It turns out Kate's death was not what it seemed, and instead somehow hooked to Jane Johnson's demise. Handsome Detective Liam Nash is on the "skein", more than happy to see the shop owner again, if less than enamored by her sleuthing interventions. But this was Sammy's best friend—she has to know.
Fortunately, Sammy has a "lace" in the hole. As a child, she formed the S.H.E. detective team with her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie. Having already reconstituted their partnership, the S.H.E. team searches for a pattern behind the latest death. As the case starts to unravel, will Sammy and team be able to sidestep Liam quick enough to stitch together the clues?

About the Author



Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her second Handcrafted mystery. Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com


Author Links -

Website - www.authorhollyquinn.com

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HollyQuinnbooks/

GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7940795.Holly_Quinn

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - BAM - IndieBound - Powell's Books - Walmart


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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

2019 Book 170: DAISIES AND DEVOTION by Josi S. Kilpack




Daisies and Devotion, Mayfield Family#2, by Josi S. Kilpack
ISBN: 9781629725529 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781629737454 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781982652326 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07QHYKXC2 (Kindle edition)
Publisher:  Shadow Mountain Publishing
Release Date: May 14, 2019



Timothy Mayfield is ready to marry for love, but, since his personal finances are thinner than he'd like, he knows he'll also need to find a wife with wealth. After receiving an unexpected inheritance, Timothy's circumstances change, and he is free to pursue his "perfect woman"—one with blonde hair, blue eyes, a light laugh, arched eyebrows, elegant fingers, and a dazzling smile, among nearly twenty other characteristics. 

Maryann Morrington doesn't match anything on Timothy's list—except for wealth. An heiress in her own right, she is tired of men pursuing her only for her money. But at nearly twenty-two years old, and not a particularly stunning beauty, she can't be as picky as her friend Timothy is.

The two friends end up playing matchmaker for each other. Timothy will find a decent gentleman for Maryann, and Maryann will prove to Timothy that his "perfect woman" doesn't exist.

Until Miss Shaw comes to London.

Now, with Timothy's heart captivated by the blonde, blue-eyed beauty, Maryann must decide if she should risk her heart and reveal her true feelings for her friend, or if she should settle for someone else. It's an up-and-down game of "he loves me, he loves me not" with both hearts and friendship on the line.






Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Audiobook  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Audiobooks.com  |  Barnes and Noble  |  B&N Audiobook  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Downpour Audiobook  |  Kobo eBook  |  Kobo Audiobook




Maryann Morrington knows that she isn't the ideal woman for marriage. She's a little too old at twenty-two for most men looking for a bride. The one thing she has in abundance is the one thing she doesn't want anyone to know about, wealth. Maryann is an heiress and does not want a man that only wants her for her monies. She'd prefer someone that wants her for her mind, her wit, her humor, and her sensibilities. She knows that is a bit of a longshot, but it's what she desires even if it is unattainable. The one male acquaintance that she's made during this London season that she likes, is Timothy Mayfield. Timothy is looking for a bride and knows that due to his lack of finances he'll most likely need to find a bride that is an heiress, but he also wants to find a woman that he loves or at least can come to love. Timothy's list of attributes is long and seemingly superficial and, needless to say, Maryann doesn't fit any of the qualities Timothy is seeking in his perfect mate. Knowing that she'll never fulfill Timothy's desire for his "perfect women," Maryann does the only thing a true friend can do, she sets out to help him find her. Luckily, Maryann does find a woman that seems to meet all of the items on Timothy's list, Miss Rachel Shaw, and she goes out of her way to introduce Timothy to this paragon of virtue and beauty. Timothy feels he must reciprocate Maryann's matchmaking abilities and introduces her to one Colonel Charles Berkins. Superficially, Colonel Berkins and Miss Shaw are the perfect matches for Maryann and Timothy, but appearances can be deceiving. Can a relationship be built on superficialities? Will Maryann and Timothy recognize the folly of their efforts before it is too late? 

I found Daisies and Devotion to be a fast-paced and engaging read and one that I started (okay, started anew—weather-related migraine headaches forced me to set the book aside so I began reading from the very beginning when I restarted the book) and finished in just a few hours. For those of you that have been following my blog for awhile now, you know that I enjoy reading romance just as much as I enjoy reading mysteries and thrillers. Daisies and Devotion is the first romance that I've read by Ms. Kilpack, but it won't be my last. I enjoyed this regency romance and all of the historical and social amusements. I loved the exchanges between Timothy and Maryann, as well as Maryann's relationships and exchanges with her sister, her brother-in-law, her maid, and the Callifours. Yes, this is a romance and yes, it has a happy-ever-after, but it is also a story of self-discovery, acceptance of self in a time when conformity is praised, friendship and love. If I had to classify Daisies and Devotion it would be as a wholesome, historical romance and one I wholeheartedly recommend it to readers of romance and/or historical romances. Ms. Kilpack was able to craft characters and scenarios that I found wholly believable and kept my attention from the first page to the very last. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read Daisies and Devotion and can't wait to read more of Ms. Kilpack's books in the future. 



Disclaimer: I received a free print review copy of this book from the publisher. 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



Josi S. Kilpack is the author of twenty-five novels, one cookbook, and a participant in several coauthored projects and anthologies. She is a four-time Whiney Award Winner—Sheep's Clothing (2007), Wedding Cake (2014), and Lord Fenton's Folly (2015) for Best Romance and Best Novel of the Year—and the Utah Best in State winner for fiction in 2012. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children.


Connect with the author via her website, Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads

Monday, June 10, 2019

Book Showcase: A CLOUD OF FRAUD by Linda Ferreri

A Cloud Of Fraud by Linda Ferreri Banner


A Cloud of Fraud

by Linda Ferreri

on Tour June 1-30, 2019


Synopsis:


A Cloud of Fraud by Linda Ferreri


A man is shot dead in front of City Hall in Philadelphia where his family is tangled in a bitter lawsuit. One brave woman, drawn there by a work of art, finds herself following a twisted trail to the hills of Le Marche in Italy to learn why. All the while, the cloud of fraud grows thicker and darker around her. But, as C. S. Forester said, perhaps the scandal of fraud enhances the flavor.

This thrilling story grabs and holds the reader from the first chapter through unexpected twists all the way to the richly satisfying ending. Art expert Claire Bliss and police Comandante Baldo are joined and antagonized by unforgettable characters in both Philadelphia and Italy. The authenticity of Ferreri's players and their territories give special vibrance to the novel.

Lovers of the Renaissance will be drawn in immediately by the book's cover, a painting of Mary Magdalene by Carlo Crivelli (ca. 1480) in the Rijksmuseum. Inside the book, a great art crime story unfolds together with a gem of a murder mystery.

A Cloud of Fraud is colorful, fast-moving entertainment.



Book Details:


Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Published by: Linda Ferreri Trustee
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Number of Pages: 315
ISBN: 978-0-578-47624-7
Purchase Links: Amazon | Kindle | Apple Books  | Goodreads




Read an excerpt:



Early on in the Hard-heads case, at one of the bar association luncheons, Judge Pirandello had positioned himself next to one of his former clerks who was now a successful litigator in the Probate Court. Biggers, by name. There was the introductory chat about the wellbeing of their family members and the joke about the latest case here or there. The dialogue was familiar to both of them. The Hard-heads plaintiff was a problem person, the judge had learned, and he needed to be squashed to put an end to mostly frivolous claims, driven by greed. Everybody in the family knew it, the judge heard. He knew the type. The Probate Court was littered with greedy relatives, angry children with buxom young stepmothers wearing expensive jewelry their fathers had bought. He knew it all. The judge wanted rid of this case, and so he was pleased to learn that it was not worthy of His Honor's dignified much less close attention. The Hard-heads case had to go.

It would have gone long before now, the judge was thinking to himself as he growled into the cup of black tea, but these damned people had refused to take the hint, refused to be cowed or put in their places. Here and there at the few hearings he had conducted over this motion or that, he had seen a shrug of the shoulders by one or another lawyer.

"What could we do?" They might as well have said that out loud. The judge understood.

His knee was throbbing, but Judge Pirandello refused to have it replaced. The fact that cold weather was coming on made it worse. The goddamned orthopedic surgeon was another money-grubber. Were there no professionals left in his world who were not money-grubbers? He stretched his corpulence forward over the edge of his chair to reach for his footstool, then winced as he elevated the bad leg. He yelled out for Mary to bring him another cup of tea. Then, he opened the enormous file on the small table beside his chair.

In Re the Estate of Seri. He hated even the name. Italian people should not behave in this fashion, he thought. His own father would have come back from the dead to beat the daylights out of his heirs if they had behaved as these people were behaving. Suing one another. Claiming fraud. All of it. Disgraceful, he thought. They were each poised to receive a generous amount of money but no, that wasn't good enough. As with errant children, the Judge was both angry with and ashamed of the parties.

***

Excerpt from A Cloud of Fraud by Linda Ferreri.  Copyright © 2019 by Linda Ferreri. Reproduced with permission from Linda Ferreri. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:


Linda Ferreri
Linda Ferreri is the author of several art crime novels as well as witty illustrated iBooks. She is a highly respected international art law expert who divides her time between the United States and Le Marche in Italy.

Sometimes she says her most amusing book was her first, The King of UNINI, a sophisticated little romance set in Paris.

Catch Up With Linda Ferreri On:


acloudoffraud.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!


Tour Participants:


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





Enter To Win!:



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Linda Ferreri. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on June 1, 2019, and runs through July 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Friday, June 7, 2019

2019 Book 164: THE ROAD SHE LEFT BEHIND by Christine Nolfi

The Road She Left Behind by Christine Nolfi
ISBN: 9781542004213 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781721388073 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07KYGDZRW (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: June 11, 2019


Three women. Two families torn apart by secrets.

Crushed by guilt over the car accident that killed her father and sister, and torn apart by her mother's resentment, Darcy Goodridge fled her family estate eight years ago and hasn't looked back. Now an unexpected phone call threatens to upend what little serenity she's found. Her nephew, Emerson, who was just a baby when his mother died, has gone missing. Darcy must return home and face her past in order to save him.

Once back in Ohio, Darcy realizes there's more to Emerson's disappearance—and to the sudden retirement of her mother, Rosalind—than meets the eye. As she works to make inroads with Rosalind, Darcy begins to unravel a decades-old secret that devastated her family and forced a wedge between her and Michael Varano, the man she left heartbroken when she vanished after the funeral. After carrying the scars of that fateful night for almost a decade, Darcy is determined to find closure, healing, and maybe even love where she lost them all in the first place—right back home where she belongs.






Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Kindle  |  Barnes & Noble  |  B&N Audiobook  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Books-A-Million Audiobook  |  Downpour Audiobook    



Darcy Goodridge has spent the past eight years of her life running away from her family and life. She doesn't spend more than one year in any job or town. She has no close friends. She doesn't keep in contact with her family. When she left Ohio after the tragic accident that claimed her younger sister and father's lives, she cut off all ties. Yes, she had promised her sister that she would take care of her nephew if anything happened, but she knew her mother -- a well-respected judge, would never allow that to happen. Darcy is packed and ready to leave South Carolina in her rear view mirror and head to New Jersey for a new job placement, when she receives a phone call from her mother's housekeeper and her surrogate mother, Latrice, telling her that her eight-year-old nephew Emerson has run away from home. Darcy is prepared to ignore this call for help until the one friend she's made in eight years, an eighteen-year-old former foster child, talks her into returning home with him in tow. Needless to say, the last thing Darcy's mother expects to see on her doorstep is Darcy, much less Darcy accompanied by an eighteen-year-old, Black male, dread wearing former foster child. Fortunately, Samson has a way about him and is able to worm his way into Latrice's good graces and even strikes up a tentative relationship with Darcy's mother Rosalind. Emerson is found safe and without harm, but his return home leads to a bombshell that will rock the Goodridge family. For someone that has spent years running away from the past, Darcy now must confront it and deal with all of the fallout. That fallout includes her mother's declining health, revelations about her father and adored sister, and facing the love she left behind all those years ago. Is it possible to return home and mend the bridges we thought we burnt down?

I'm always excited when I hear about a new Christine Nolfi story. Her stories incorporate lots of realistic family drama often dealing with highly dysfunctional contemporary situations (some resolved, some not), multigenerational friendships, secrets, and romance. Needless to say, I jumped for joy (figuratively) when I received notice that I was going to be able to read and review The Road She Left Behind. I was eager to read this book in one sitting, but had to deal with a weather-induced migraine and then taking my mother out for her weekly grocery shopping. I liked all of the characters in The Road She Left Behind including the curmudgeonly and strict Rosalind Goodridge, Darcy's mother. The eight-year-old Emerson and eighteen-year-old Samson provided some great comic relief at times, but I could emotionally relate to both of these guys. Emerson was struggling to be mature because that's what his grandmother expected, whereas Samson was rather immature and naive for his age, but could come out with these amazingly prescient statements due to his observational skills. Samson had never been in a true family setting and expected a wealthy family to be happy. He was quite shocked to learn that Darcy's family was anything but happy despite their wealth and privilege. Darcy and Michael's friendship is gradually rebuilt as well as their romance. Yes, there's a lot going on in The Road She Left Behind, but if I told you everything you wouldn't need to read the book. If you've ever read anything by Ms. Nolfi, then I don't have to tell you to get a copy of this book as soon as possible but I will anyway. If you've never read anything by Ms. Nolfi, then The Road She Left Behind might be a good book to start with, especially if you enjoy stories with family angst, drama, and romance. For now, I'm eagerly awaiting my purchased copy of The Road She Left Behind to download on the release day and I plan on spending the very next weekend leisurely rereading this book, hopefully without interruptions.


Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author 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."