Monday, November 28, 2016

Westmorland Alone NBtM

Welcome to Westmorland. Perhaps the most scenic county in England! Home of the poets! Land of the great artists! District of the Great lakes! And the scene of a mysterious crime…

Swanton Morley, the People's Professor, once again sets off in his Lagonda to continue his history of England, The County Guides.

Stranded in the market town of Appleby after a tragic rail crash, Morley, his daughter Miriam and his assistant, Stephen Sefton, find themselves drawn into a world of country fairs, gypsy lore and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. When a woman's body is discovered at an archaeological dig, for Morley there's only one possible question: could it be murder?

Join Morley, Miriam and Sefton as they journey along the Great North road and the Settle-Carlisle Line into the dark heart of 1930s England.

Delaney’s places were famous for their wide range of entertainments and refreshments, and for the clientele. It used to be said that to meet everyone in England who really mattered one had only to stand for long enough at the foot of the stairs of the Athenaeum on Pall Mall: the same might just as truly be said of Delaney’s basement bars and bottle parties. Poets, artists, lawyers, politicians, doctors, bishops and blackmailers, safebreakers and swindlers: in the end, everyone ended up at Delaney’s.

I’d started out drinking champagne with one of Delaney’s very friendly hostesses, a petite redhead with warm hands, cold blue eyes, sheer stockings and silk knickers, who seemed very keen for us to get to know one another better –but then they always do. She told me her name was Athena, which I rather doubted. Sitting on my lap, and several drinks in, she persuaded me into a card game where I soon found myself out of my depth and drinking a very particular kind of gin fizz, with a very particular kind of kick – a speciality of the house. My head was swimming, the room was thick with the scent of perfumes, smoke and powders, I had spent every penny of the money that Morley had paid me for our Devon adventure, I was in for money I didn’t have – and Athena, needless to say, had disappeared. My old Brigade chums Gleason and MacDonald were watching me closely.

Even through the haze I realised that if I didn’t act soon I was going to be in serious trouble: Delaney was renowned for calling in his debts with terrible persuasion. I excused myself and wandered through to the tiny courtyard out back. There were men and women in dark corners doing what men and women do in dark corners, while several of the hostesses stood around listlessly smoking and chatting, including Athena, who glanced coolly in my direction and ignored me. She was off-duty. Out here, there was no need to pretend.

Ian, thanks so much for stopping by. How did you get started writing?
I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. And then I wrote some more. Is there any other way to start? Or to continue? Or indeed to end?

What was the inspiration for your book?
I think that like a lot of people my problem is not so much finding inspiration as in resisting inspiration. I am constantly inspired: the main thing is to do the work. That’s the difficult bit.

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I would love to write a cookbook. I’m sure that one day I will. I love cookbooks. I think cookbooks are works of art. I prefer cookbooks to most works of fiction.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? If so, why?
I am omdamniverous. I read and write everything. Why not?

What are you up to right now? Do you have any releases planned, or are you still writing?
Writing, writing, writing. The next books in the series are lined up and ready to go. Essex Poison is due to be published in the UK in 2017 and The Sussex Murders in 2018. I do hope they find a readership in the USA also.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?
I do not have a favourite colour.

Favorite movie?
The film I have probably watched more than any other film is Groundhog Day. But I’m not sure I’d call it my favourite. I have a favourite scene though: my favourite scene is the bar scene in Godard’s Bande à part when Anna Karina, Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur do a wonderful clumsy version of the Madison dance. I love that.

Book that inspired you to become an author?
The Bible.

You have one superpower. What is it?
I already have a superpower, thank you. I couldn’t possibly accept another.

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
I have 3 children. It would be nice to sit down with all three of them.

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
They’re all me: I’m all them.

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Author Bio and Links:
Ian Sansom is the author of the Mobile Library Mystery Series. As of 2016, he has written three books in a series that will comprise a projected forty-four novels.

He is a frequent contributor to, and critic for, The Guardian and the London Review of Books.

He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge, where he was a fellow of Emmanuel College. He is a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick and teaches in its Writing Program.

Website     |     Twitter     |     Goodreads
Amazon Buy Link

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Name is Wonder Review Tour

My Name is Wonder chronicles the transcendent adventures of a little goat with big dreams. Join Wonder and his wisecracking guide, the mysterious crow Mac Craack, on a journey through the scenic landscapes of the American Southwest and into the heart of a mindful presence. Along the way, you’ll meet an unforgettable cast of creatures, each with an important lesson to teach.

Oren turned back to Wonder and spoke gently. “First, little one, I must tell you that you are not Wonder.”

Wonder knew enough about Oren to know he spoke with the weight of the wisdom of generations. He had also heard that Oren was a philosopher. The gravity of the moment was not lost on the little goat as he considered this statement carefully. Somehow he knew that nothing but the truth would suffice.

“I don’t get it,” he said with a scrunched up face.

“Your name may be Wonder, but Wonder you are not.” He studied the kid, watching for any signs of dawning comprehension. Wonder cocked his head to one side, still puzzled, and the old buck continued. “The form you find yourself in is that of a goat, but you are not a goat. There is that which is, and then there is that which is truth. If you are to learn, you must learn to be absolutely clear about such matters.”

Oren fell silent, waiting.

Wonder blinked—once, twice—and then said, “Got it!”

The wise goat responded in an amused tone, “Do you now?”

“Yes, sir. My name is Wonder.” He grinned and then continued, “And I am not that.”

“Ha!” responded Oren. “I believe you do have it, young one, but let us see.” He almost, but not quite, grinned back at Wonder. It was hard to tell with the long, white beard. “What are you if not Wonder?”

The kid leapt at the answer. “Well sir, I don’t guess I know.”

“Indeed,” replied Oren, his yellow eyes dancing. “True wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.”

“Then I must be very wise indeed, sir.”

My Review:
4 stars

This was an interesting read for me and a difficult book to review since the book was more about the message, the journey rather than the destination. It took me a little bit to get used to the writing. However, while the writing is a bit odd, I enjoyed it as it matched the plot and overall message. The book also really made me think and ponder, especially seeing how Wonder handled tragedies and challenges. There were quite a few self-help related messages in here, but they were woven in to the point where I didn't mind them. I did find the message a bit preachy/childish at times though, and it came off more as a YA novel than an adult novel at times. Overall though, I did enjoy this read and the thinking it inspired in me and would recommend it if you're looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, and think.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

October 25: Unabridged Andra's
November 1: The Reading Addict
November 1: Books,Dreams,Life
November 8: Fabulous and Brunette
November 8: Laura's Interests
November 15: Sharing Links and Wisdom
November 15: LibriAmoriMiei

Author Bio and Links:
Ronald Chapman is owner of an international speaking and consulting company, Magnetic North LLC. In addition to international accreditation as a speaker and national awards for radio commentary, he is the author of two novels, My Name is Wonder (Terra Nova Publishing, 2016) and A Killer's Grace (Terra Nova Publishing, 2016 and 2012), two works of non-fiction, Seeing True: Ninety Contemplations in Ninety Days (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2008) and What a Wonderful World: Seeing Through New Eyes (Page Free Publishing, 2004) and the producer of three audio sets, Seeing True: The Way of Spirit (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2016, 2005), Breathing, Releasing and Breaking Through: Practices for Seeing True (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2015), and Seeing True – The Way of Success in Leadership (Magnetic North Audio, 2005). Ron provides a wide array of social media contentcontent for people in substance abuse recovery and other content from his master site.  He holds a Masters in Social Welfare from The University at Albany (New York.) Prior to his relocation to Atlanta, Georgia in 2008, he was a long-time resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Note: My Name is Wonder is one of two novels by Chapman being released simultaneously by Terra Nova Publishing, the other being A Killer’s Grace. The publisher commented, “It is remarkable that these two books can be so very different but somehow speak to the same messages.”

“…a book for the ages, with profound truths simply stated. First there was Jonathan Livingston Seagull and then Yoda—Now there is Wonder…”
-Beverly Molander, Minister and Radio Host of Activating the Power of Yes

“…an exploration of human nature and into the allegorical realm that shows us how to be wise teachers and guides…”
-Paula Renaye, Author of Living the Life You Love

“Clarity is an aspect of love, it is seeing clearly. Ron Chapman sees with those eyes. He pays attention as few do to the miracles around us.”
-Stephen Levine, Author and Teacher

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Study in Temperance Review Tour

“Gee, Miss Plumtartt, after our calamitous arrival on this unsuspecting city, do you think we are still under threat of imminent murder by gangs of assorted, yet stylish, assassins?”

“I say, I do fear this to be the case, Mr. Temperance. The machinations of intrigue are not unlike one of your ingenious spring-driven contraptions, sir. Yes, plots boil and swarms of suspicious characters are at our every turn, eh hem?”

“Yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am. It’s a good thing we have enlisted the assistance of this notorious, Victorian-era London detective to assist us in this baffling murder mystery adventure, for I fear there is more to this tale than meets the eye!”

Detective Sergeant Basel Wrathebone turns his supercilious eyes upon me. From beneath ponderously languid lids and over the Gibraltar-like extension of his nose, the official investigator peruses his accouter.

“Mmm-nnn-y-y-y-e-e-e-sss, I know you. You’re that amateur sleuth who keeps snooping around on our city’s crime scenes. Pray, stay back young man. Do not interfere with the official force and the execution of our duties. This is an official investigation and not fodder for your ceaseless curiosity.”

“Yes, of course, Detective Wrathebone, I merely wished to avail myself of the opportunity to study under the wing of a master such as yourself. May I please accompany you on this investigation? My crude talents may actually prove useful to you.”

“Ah, hem. Yes. But no. Perhaps on another occasion. In the mean time, I am afraid I must instruct my officers to block you from trespass with a promise of incarceration if disobeyed. Goodnight, young man.”

My Review:
4 stars

I’m not really sure how to describe this book aside from saying that I love the zaniness of this book. It’s crazy, humorous, and a plain fun read that benefits from strong characters that steal the show (and the book). I have a thing for kooky characters done right, and there are plenty of them here. The characters are well-developed and I love how the plot is character driven because it kept me on my toes and guessing throughout the book. I also liked how the author brought in Sherlock Holmes. He could have just taken the character of Holmes and inserted it into the story. Instead, he wove the character in while adding a bit of his thoughts and characterizations to Holmes.

On the other hand, the writing style is a contradiction for me. It did take a bit of getting used to when reading, and while I enjoyed the interesting style at times, at others it annoyed me or didn’t seem to work. Plus, there were parts of the story that dragged when it came to the dialogue and writing style and could have been removed to make the story flow better. I also had a few issues with some of the plot elements, but I don’t want to spoil them, so that’s all I’ll say. Overall though, I really enjoyed this unique read, and now want to go read the other books in the series.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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November 10: Sharing Links and Wisdom
November 17: Becky Flade, Author
November 17: The Book Pound
December 1: Editing Pen and Publishing
December 1: Dalene's Book Reviews
December 1: LibriAmoriMiei

Author Bio and Links:
Ichabod Temperance is a silly little fellow living in picturesque Irondale, Alabama, USA, along with his lovely, gracious and kind muse, Miss Persephone Plumtartt and their furry pack family.

A Study in Temperance will be $0.99 during the tour.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Free book - Duce by Kai Tyler

I stumbled across this (currently) free book and wanted to share it with y’all. So if you’re looking for a new M/M, Mafioso read, you might want to give Duce a chance and grab it while it’s free.

Duce: A Novel by Kai Tyler:

One mafia boss.
One rival's son.
One deadly setup.

Parties and orgies... those are the things Carlos Carmichael wants to do. It's the only way he knows to deal with his life as the son of a notorious cartel boss. He'll get whatever he wants by any means necessary.

Until he tangles with a man who plays by totally different rules.

Dante Orsino has been raised in the old ways of honor, loyalty and respect of the business. His role as mafia underboss is more than just a job. It also makes him an heir to one of the biggest families in the Southern Territories.

When Carlos meets Dante and plays a silly game, their weekend tryst sparks a deadly cartel war.

For Dante there's no other life except—the life. And he wants Carlos in his. But in the New World, a gay man is a dead man. Can he find a way to keep everything he loves and stay alive?

In a new world gone mad, even the good guys are bad. Welcome to the World's End series.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Lyrical Press Contemporary Romances Blurb Blitz - A Soldier Finds His Way

Sometimes getting lost is the best way home . . .
After a painful youth spent in foster homes, Special Forces soldier Edward Giordano has all but given up on love. Returning to New York from a dangerous mission in Costa Rica with no one to welcome him home, he knows he must find a way through his bitterness and embrace faith, or he’s destined for misery and loneliness. But he never expects that saving someone else’s life might help him save his own…

Audra Lorenzo is a first-year school teacher with a bright future. All she’s missing is a man to share her happiness. Her father wants her to rekindle her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, but she can’t stop thinking about the handsome, kind, and courageous soldier who rescued her from a near-deadly car accident…

Edward too, has not stopped thinking of Audra. After making peace with God and with his difficult past, he’s ready to re-connect with her and reveal his feelings. Edward knows that opening his heart will mean risking pain, but he’s prepared for whatever comes—from a perilous deployment to Audra’s meddling father…

A seed of a smile sprouted on Greco’s face and he stepped a little closer.

“Do you know what my wife said to me last time she saw you at this very airport? She said you were one of the handsomest men she’d ever seen. Not as handsome as me, of course,” he added quickly, evoking a grin from Edward. “But she said to remind you that your face wouldn’t break if you smiled once in a while. You’re wound up tight. Loosen up, son. Dismissed.”

Edward relaxed his posture but stood glued to the spot.

Greco took a few steps, but turned back when Edward didn’t follow. “What’s the matter?”

“I’m sorry I embarrassed you and the men. You’re right. I behaved badly and I have no excuse. I’ll try to control myself, sir.”

“Edward, may I speak to you as a friend and not as your commanding officer?”

He nodded.

“Look, I’m not saying you’re crazy or anything like that, but maybe you should see someone, you know, professional. You shouldn’t have to live a life of controlling yourself. Work on getting rid of those internal demons instead. Something is eating at you all the time. You don’t seem to enjoy life very much, and you should. Come on. Let’s go home.” Greco patted Edward’s back.

The men collected their gear and made for the door.

“I don’t suppose I could persuade you to meet my wife today, could I, Lieutenant?” Greco asked.

“Maybe another time, sir.”

“Need a ride, Lieutenant?” Jackson asked.

“Thanks, but my brother’s picking me up.”

“Hey, tell Hank we miss him. He’s a great guy, and the best demolition man the unit’s ever had.”

Outside, Greco dropped his duffel bag and kissed his wife passionately. Before she got in the car, she turned and waved at Edward. He returned her gesture with a nod and a quick flick of his hand. The major gave Edward an informal two-finger salute and slipped into the driver’s side.

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Don't forget to visit the other stops on the tour and read about the other romances.

Author Bio and Links:
Irene Onorato was born and raised in Bronx, New York. Her father, a first-generation American whose parents were born in Italy, was an Army veteran who had served with the 178th combat engineers during WWII. He told numerous stories of battles, hardships, tragedies and triumphs. The glimpses he gave into the hearts of many American warriors would later become the inspiration for much of Irene’s writings.

In 1972, a few months after graduating high school, Irene met James Onorato, a soldier who had just returned from Vietnam. After dating two weeks, they married, raised three children, and are still happily married today.

Irene and James, both radiation protection technicians, retired from the nuclear power industry in 2014 and now reside in Louisiana. Readers can visit Irene’s website and find her on Facebook.

Buy links:
Amazon    |    iTunes    |    GooglePlay    |    Kobo    |    B&N

Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: Burn the Sky by Jaye McKenna

Prince Garrik is the Heir Presumptive of Altan, next in line to be crowned Wytch King. There’s only one problem: in order for Garrik to be crowned, he must possess Wytch power of his own, and thus far, whatever power Garrik might possess has shown no sign of awakening. As things stand, it is Garrik’s younger brother, Jaire—a dreamer completely unsuited to wear the crown—who will take the throne after their father.

Things come to a head when the Wytch King, who has grown increasingly impatient with the situation, demands that Garrik’s power be forcibly awakened. Hoping to protect his brother from the burden of rule, Garrik allows the attempt—with disastrous results. Now, Garrik must learn to control the fiery dragon that rages within him before he destroys everything he loves.

Wytch Master Ilya has been alone for years. Learning to control the icy beast slumbering deep within him has already cost him his family and his lover, and Ilya will never open himself up to that kind of pain again. Summoned to Altan to avert disaster if he can, Ilya has no intention of allowing anyone to thaw the ice in his heart. When he meets Prince Garrik, sparks fly, and Ilya finds himself fighting feelings he’d thought long buried.

Can Garrik’s fire melt Ilya’s icy heart? Or will Ilya be forced to use his ice to quench the flames that burn within Garrik once and for all?

Amazon     |     Goodreads

My Review:
3 stars

I had conflicting feelings regarding this book. While it sets up an interesting world full of entertaining characters and awesome magic that I would love to see more about, I also felt a bit let down. First, I loved the characters. I enjoyed getting to see the book from both Garrik's and Ilya's point of view, as it really helped me connect with both characters. Ilya especially ended up stealing the show for me, and I would love to learn more about him in a sequel. I also really liked both Jaire and Kian, and just want to see all of these characters again.

I also liked the plot progression here. Getting to see Garrik and Ilya in their own worlds before we saw them interacting helped build up the tension between the two which then blossomed into love. However, I had a problem with the timing in this book. The way the book was written, I thought that the training was taking days or weeks. Then all of a sudden, there was a mention that Garrik and Ilya had only been training for a week. This timeline didn't seem to match what had been happening and made me doubt the connection between Garrik and Ilya. It turned their relationship from being something that came about over time into insta-love/lust rather than lasting love. Plus, it made the ending feel a bit rushed since everything happened so fast afterwards.

I also felt that the ending of the book was anti-climatic and a bit of a let down. The book started out with a lot of promise, building up several conflicts that I thought were going to come into play later in the book. However, they didn't. I had a lot of questions at the end of this book and I'm not sure if the sequel will address them since it focuses on different characters. On the other hand, I really liked the end solution between Garrik and Ilya and I would love to see a sequel with these two (maybe set significantly in the future).

WARNING: Potential spoilers in this paragraph
For instance, I kept expecting them to do something about the Council. All the characters were complaining throughout the book about it, to the point where I wanted to know what they were going to do. The Council came across as a very manipulative organization, and I was expecting something more to be done with it than just some complaining.

Even with my mixed feelings about aspects of the book, I did enjoy it and will read the sequel to see if some of my questions are answered there. I also recommend this series to anyone looking for an interesting magic or dragon shifter read.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Luke's Redemption Blurb Blitz

Chased by her criminal kingpin father, Katya Dalca runs to New Orleans and straight into the arms of Luke Hunter. Sucked into the carnal world of the French Quarter, she succumbs to Luke’s potent sexuality. He not only steals her breath, he steals her heart and the only leverage she has against her father. She is left with no choice except to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life alone.

Undercover DEA agent Luke Hunter thought his newest assignment—recover a stolen flash drive to gain the trust of the Russian mob—was like any other. But his target brings him to his knees, and after one taste of her intoxicating beauty, he's in too deep. Doing his job means walking away, leaving his heart behind with nothing but a promise to reunite. It's a promise he can't keep.

When Katya's past reaches out and her world unravels, her only hope is the one man she is most vulnerable to—Luke.

The smell of beignets wafted up and distracted, I lifted the bag and took a deep breath. Whoosh! Fine sugar blew up out of the bag and coated me.

“Shit, honey, you look sweet all over.”

Oh, just great.

Blinking sugar out of my eyes I looked up. And up. He was tall, well over six foot. Midnight-blue eyes rimmed by a deeper blue-black smoldered lazily down at me. “You’re holding the best beignets in the world. You gonna stand there or you going to take a bite?”

“Umm.” Jeez, Katya. Say something.

“Here, let me hold that for you.” He took the coffee from my hand. “Go on, babe. Take a bite. It’ll be the best thing you’ll ever taste.”

Still struck dumb, I did what he asked and lifted a beignet out of the bag and took a big bite. Oh! It was like sinking my teeth into a sweet pillow of ambrosia.

“Good huh?”

I nodded and stared back at him. Then, without uttering a word, I stuffed the rest of the beignet into my mouth. He grinned at me, shaking his head. “Want to wash it down with this?” He held out my coffee.

My fingers brushed against his. Yikes! I couldn’t stop the slight tremor caused by his touch. I took a gulp of coffee - half rich chicory, half hot milk - and finally found my voice. “Would you like one?” I offered the bag of beignets to him.

“Would be like taking candy from a baby,” he grinned. “But don’t worry, I’ve got my own.” He dangled a packet like mine in front of me.

Then we both stood there and smiled at each other while we gorged on sugary donuts. He would reach for my coffee to free my hand. Then after I ate some fluffy yumminess, he’d hand it back to me so I could take a sip. We swallowed the last of our beignets and licked our fingers.

I didn’t even know his name, yet I was more turned on than I had ever been in my life.

Don't forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Last year, Anni Fife closed the door on a successful career in television, to fulfill her lifelong passion, writing. In the space of one month, she closed her business, packed up her city life and moved to a small seaside village. ‘My writing has always been constrained by client briefs,’ Anni says. ‘Now, I finally have the opportunity to write to the beat of my own heart.’ LUKE’s Redemption is Anni’s debut novel and she hopes you enjoy reading it as much as she loved writing it. Anni loves to spend hours walking on the beach searching for pansy shells, more hours drinking red wine with her gal posse, and the most hours writing steamy romance novels filled with hot alpha men and the sassy intelligent women they can’t live without. She is currently working on her second novel, GRAY’s Promise.

Anni is published by The Wild Rose Press, and is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA).

Join Anni’s Posse and get regular updates and Bonus Treats.
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Luke’s Redemption is also available from Nook, Kobe, Bookstrand, All Romance, iTunes and The Wild Rose Press. All the Buy Links are available on Anni’s Website.