Monday, September 18, 2017

ARC Review: Dirty Dancing at Devil's Leap by Julie Anne Long

Julie Anne Long is a hit or miss author with me, I read one of her contemporary books in the past and didn’t care for it.  I also read one of her historical, “It Started With a Scandal” which I absolutely loved and have read and re-read several times. If anyone is a historical fiction reader, “It Started With a Scandal” is a must read.  “Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap” has been on my e-reader for a few weeks now and it wasn’t until I read so many great reviews about it that I started to read it.

The story starts Avalon Harwood.  When the story begins she is at the top of her game.  Thanks to an ingenious idea she has joined Silicon Valley’s top programmers when she invents a virtual game that makes her not only a lot of money, but also very famous.  It is only when she is feeling at her best, at the top of her game, when she happens to walk in on her boyfriend and their intern in the middle of having sex.  Ava is furious, not only is her boyfriend-well hers, but he is also her business partner.  She packs up her bags and heads to her hometown- Hellcat Canyon.

When she returns to Hellcat Canyon Ava reminisces about her childhood and also her childhood love-  Maximilian “Mac” Coltrane.  Max comes from a very wealthy family and when he and Ava were growing up they were from very different backgrounds-him wealthy hers not.  Now because of turn in events, Ava is the wealthy one and Max is living a life very different from the one he grew up accustomed to.  When Max’s childhood home is put up on the market Ava wins it in an auction, she feels like she has finally been able to fulfill her childhood dreams and plans to turn the house around-it has decayed over the years- and sell it. Fortunately, or unfortunately, for Ava has very different plans and he wants to buy back his childhood home and get Ava off his property.  Both Ava and Max are worthy opponents and they have plenty of mischief up their sleeves. I’ll just say nudist and smelly fertilizer is involved.

Overall, this was a cute story but it felt very long and drawn out.  The secondary characters seemed more like fillers and I didn’t really gain too much interest in them. Max was a nice hero but there weren’t too many qualities about him that really made him memorable.  One of the reasons that Ava and him had a falling out was because when they were dating Ava heard Max say deeming things about Ava and her financial circumstances.  As he grew up and became more of himself and less of his father, Max was very sorry for the hurtful things he said and did not feel the same anymore.  He spent his adult years become more of himself. Even though I didn’t love this story I do plan to keep reading more books by Julie Ann Long.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

ARC Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

review posted on: http://ramblingsfromthischick.blogspot.com
and http://booknerdloleotodo.blogspot.com
I’ve had a galley of “The Duchess Deal” for several weeks and I cannot believe it took me until the publication date to get around to reading it! I’ve read Tessa Dare before and loved her books! “The Duchess Deal” had me laughing so hard I had to out the book down. There are so many funny and witty scenes I re-read them several times. I started highlighting witty dialogue and then gave up because more than half of the book would be highlighted! This is a true beauty and a beast love story with laughter, tenderness and very, very, sexy scenes!

First, the heroine. She is one of my all-time favorites! Emma Gladstone vicar’s daughter turned seamstress was everything anyone could hope for in a heroine. She is sweet, tender, tough, funny witty and resourceful! Life has knocked her down a few times and she fought her way up. With pricked fingers from her trade she marches up to the Duke of Ashbury and demands compensation for the gown she sewed for his ex-fiancĂ©e. Although the wedding never took place, Emma needs the money to pay for her rent. Emma refuses to be kicked out on the street and in the cold again. She went down that road once before and she won’t do it again.

Soon after his engagement is called off, Ash finds himself in need of a wife. It shouldn’t be so hard since he is extremely wealthy. But the brutal scars he received on the battlefield are deterrents to any lady of the ton. When Emma appears in his study wearing his ex-fiancee’s wedding dress Ash is sure that he has never seen anything like this before. First the dress is hideous and Ash tells Emma so and second he is in desperate need of a duchess. When Ash makes Emma an offer she cannot refuse-she refuses! She is certain that Ash is mentally unstable and gratefully takes her fee for the dress and leaves. But Ash is not ready to concede defeat yet and he finds Emma at the local dress shop where she works. Emma realizes that she is given an opportunity that she will never receive again. Her father has disowned her and her trade will only take her so far. She accepts but Ash has very specific rules for their union. Theirs is a union of convenience and there is to be no affection between them. Once Emma provides Ash with an heir her duties will have been completed and she can run off to a little house he owns in the country and live out the rest of her existence as she wishes. The plan seems simple enough if Emma and Ash don’t end up falling in love with one another. But both Emma and Ash carry a lot of hurt and anger from their past. They are both not use to feeling vulnerable since in the past it has ended up with both their hearts broken.

Needless to say this was such a fun story to read! It was so gratifying on so many levels. The witty quips back and forth and the amazing chemistry made Ash or “bumpkin” as Emma likes to call him, a great couple. I really enjoyed both of them as individual characters and as a couple. I ached for them and all the hurt that they carried and triumphed with them when they finally find love! This is definitely one of my all-time favorite stories!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Soldier's Return by Laura Libricz


The Soldier's Return by Laura Libricz

Publication Date: September 15, 2017
eBook & Paperback

Series: Heaven's Pond Trilogy, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction


The year is 1626. A senseless war rips through parts of Germany. Ongoing animosity between the Catholics and the Protestants has turned into an excuse to destroy much of the landscape situated between France, Italy and Denmark. But religion only plays a minor role in this lucrative business of war.

The young dutchman, Pieter van Diemen, returns to Amsterdam in chains after a period of imprisonment in the Spice Islands. He manages to escape but must leave Amsterdam in a hurry. Soldiers are in demand in Germany and he decides to travel with a regiment until he can desert. His hope of survival is to reach Sichardtshof, the farm in Franconia, Germany; the farm he left ten years ago. His desire to seek refuge with them lies in his fond memories of the maid Katarina and her master, the humanist patrician Herr Tucher. But ten years is a long time and the farm has changed. Franconia is not only torn by war but falling victim to a church-driven witch hunt. The Jesuit priest, Ralf, has his sights set on Sichardtshof as well. Ralf believes that ridding the area of evil will be his saving grace. Can Pieter, Katarina and Herr Tucher unite to fight against a senseless war out of control?

The Soldier’s Return is the second book in the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy and will be released on September 15, 2017.

Available on Amazon


About the Author

Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven's Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

For more information, please visit Laura Libricz's website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 4
A Book Geek
Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!

Tuesday, September 5
100 Pages a Day
The Reading Queen

Wednesday, September 6
Must Read Faster
Just One More Chapter

Thursday, September 7
The Writing Desk
The Maiden's Court
To Read, Or Not to Read

Friday, September 8
Book Nerd
CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, September 9
Passages to the Past
Books, Dreams, Life

Sunday, September 10
I Heart Reading

Monday, September 11
A Literary Vacation
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, September 12
Jo's Book Blog
WS Momma Readers Nook

Wednesday, September 13
Laura's Interests
Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, September 14
A Holland Reads
Svetlana's Reads and Views

Friday, September 15
T's Stuff
Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard



Ladee Hubbard, author of The Talented Ribkins, on tour August/September

Posted By  on June 7, 2017

About The Talented Ribkins

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House (August 8, 2017)
Winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award
At seventy-two, Johnny Ribkins shouldn’t have such problems: He’s got one week to come up with the money he stole from his mobster boss or it’s curtains for Johnny.
What may or may not be useful to Johnny as he flees is that he comes from an African-American family that has been gifted with rather super powers that are rather sad, but superpowers nonetheless. For example, Johnny’s father could see colors no one else could see. His brother could scale perfectly flat walls. His cousin belches fire. And Johnny himself can make precise maps of any space you name, whether he’s been there or not.
In the old days, the Ribkins family tried to apply their gifts to the civil rights effort, calling themselves The Justice Committee. But when their, eh, superpowers proved insufficient, the group fell apart. Out of frustration Johnny and his brother used their talents to stage a series of burglaries, each more daring than the last.
Fast forward a couple decades and Johnny’s on a race against the clock to dig up loot he’s stashed all over Florida. His brother is gone, but he has an unexpected sidekick: his brother’s daughter, Eloise, who has a special superpower of her own.
Inspired by W.E.B. Du Bois’s famous essay “The Talented Tenth” and fuelled by Ladee Hubbard’s marvelously original imagination, The Talented Ribkins is a big-hearted debut novel about race, class, politics, and the unique gifts that, while they may cause some problems from time to time, bind a family together.
“For sheer reading pleasure Ladee Hubbard’s original and wildly inventive novel is in a class by itself.” —Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize-winning author of The Bluest EyeBeloved, and Song of Solomon
“Crafty and wistful…Hubbard weaves this narrative with prodigious skill and compelling warmth. You anticipate a movie while wondering if any movie could do this fascinating family…well, justice. To describe this novel, as someone inevitably will, as Song of Solomon reimagined as a Marvel Comics franchise is to shortchange its cleverness and audacity.” —Kirkus, starred review
The Talented Ribkins is a charming and delightful debut novel with a profound heart, and Ladee Hubbard’s voice is a welcome original.” —Mary Gaitskill, author of Bad Behavior and Veronica
“What a pleasure it was to take a road trip with The Talented Ribkins, a simultaneously gifted and flawed family, sharp-witted but prone to making utterly human errors. Ladee Hubbard has given us a fresh and original debut novel.”  —Jami Attenberg, author of All Grown Up
“With The Talented Ribkins, Ladee Hubbard proves herself to be a rare talent who pops onto the scene fully formed as a writer of power and purpose. This is a heart-wrenching quest into the absurdity that is family. Like the best literary fantasies, The Talented Ribkins succeeds because the heart that beats at its center couldn’t be realer.” —Mat Johnson, author of Loving Day and Pym
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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Ladee Hubbard

Laddee Hubbard is the winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for the Short Story. She holds a BA from Princeton University, an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Talented Ribkins is her first novel.

Ladee Hubbard’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, August 8th: Lovely Bookshelf
Wednesday, August 9th: Wildmoo Books
Friday, August 11th: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, August 14th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Wednesday, August 16th: Lit and Life
Friday, August 18th: Book Lover Book Reviews
Monday, August 21st: Books and Bindings
Wednesday, August 23rd: Too Fond
Friday, August 25th: Broken Teepee
Monday, August 28th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, August 30th: Must Read Faster
Thursday, August 31st: Kahakai Kitchen
Friday, September 1st: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Tuesday, September 5th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Wednesday, September 6th: Book Nerd
Thursday, September 7th: Read in Colour
Monday, September 11th: Suzy Approved
Wednesday, September 13th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Friday, September 15th: Thoughts on This ‘n That

Monday, September 4, 2017

Raven's Feast by Eric Schumacher

Raven's Feast
by Eric Schumacher

Publication Date: May 1, 2017
Creativia
eBook & Paperback

Series: Hakon's Saga, Book 2
Genre: Fiction/Historical







Raven’s Feast is the sequel to God’s Hammer, the true story of Hakon Haraldsson and his quest to win and keep the High Seat of Viking Age Norway.

It is 935 A.D. and Hakon Haraldsson has just wrested the High Seat of the North from his ruthless brother, Erik Bloodaxe. Now, he must fight to keep it.

The land-hungry Danes are pressing from the south to test Hakon before he can solidify his rule. In the east, the Uplanders are making their own plans to seize the throne. It does not help that Hakon is committed to his dream of Christianizing his people - a dream his countrymen do not share and will fight to resist.

As his enemies move in and his realm begins to crumble, Hakon and his band of oath-sworn warriors must make a stand in Raven’s Feast, the riveting sequel to God’s Hammer.
“At its core, Raven’s Feast is more than a story about a young king holding firm to the power he has won in Viking Norway,” said Eric Schumacher, author of Raven’s Feast. “It is the story of a young man holding true to one’s self and convictions in the face of extreme challenges -- something to which, I hope, many people can relate.”

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for God's Hammer (Hakon's Saga, Book 1)

"Eric Schumacher has created the most evocative tale in his stunning novel — God's Hammer. This book completely drew me in. The research that has gone into God's Hammer has to be commended, and it is incredibly rich in historical detail. It was as if I was looking through a window into the past as I read the pages of this remarkable story. Hakon's portrayal is both realistic and believable. Schumacher has obviously researched the life of Hakon in great detail, and this certainly came through in the writing. Schumacher brought Hakon back to life. Well Done!" - Mary Yarde, the author of The Du Lac Chronicles

"Author Eric Schumacher put together a rousing story of warfare, religious strife and tested friendships." - Mercedes Rochelle, author of Godwine Kingmaker and The Sons of Godwine

About the Author

Eric Schumacher was born in Los Angeles in 1968 and currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife, two children and dog. He is the author of two historical fiction novels, God’s Hammer and its sequel, Raven’s Feast. Both tell the story of the first Christian king of Viking Norway, Hakon Haraldsson, and his struggles to gain and hold the High Seat of his realm.

More information on Eric and his Hakon Sagas can be found on his website. You can also connect with Eric on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and AuthorsDB.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, August 1
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, August 3
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Friday, August 4
Spotlight at WS Momma Readers Nook

Monday, August 7
Interview at I Heart Reading

Wednesday, August 9
Feature at A Book Geek

Sunday, August 13
Review at Must Read Faster (God's Hammer)

Wednesday, August 23
Review at Must Read Faster (Raven's Feast)

Thursday, August 31
Guest Post at Jathan & Heather

Monday, September 4
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, September 14
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Sunday, September 17
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, September 20
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, September 25
Review at Mary's Bookcase
Review at The True Book Addict

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed paperback copy of Raven's Feast! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Raven's Feast


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sarah's Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness by Beverly Scott


Sarah's Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness by Beverly Scott

Publication Date: January 31, 2017
eBook & Paperback; 306 Pages
Word Project Press

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Western


Follow the paths of Sarah and Will (or Sam) as they tell their stories of trust, secrets, and betrayal on the frontier in the old West. Their pioneer spirit helped to fuel the expansion into the Western territories of the United States. The two are historically on their separate journeys, yet they remain intimately connected. Through the fictionalized Western frontier tale of Sam and Sarah, the author, Beverly Scott, was inspired to reveal rumored secrets from her family history.

In 1878, Will is on the run after killing a man in a barroom gunfight. He escapes the Texas Rangers by joining a cattle drive as a cook headed to Dodge City. He struggles with the dilemma of saving his life or attempting to return to his pregnant wife and five children. Just when he thinks he might be able to return home, he is confronted by a bounty hunter who captures him and plans to return him to Fort Worth, Texas to be hanged.

Although Will changes his name to Sam, he remains an irresponsible, lonely and untrustworthy man on the dodge from the law who abandons the women he loves. He ultimately seeks redemption and marries Sarah.

In 1911, Sarah, a pioneer woman and widow with five children struggles to find the inner strength to overcome betrayal, loneliness, fears, and self-doubt. Her husband, Sam, thirty years her senior, died with a mysterious and defiant declaration, “I won’t answer!”. Despite poverty and a crippling illness, she draws on her pioneer spirit to hold her family together and return to Nebraska to be near her parents and siblings.

When Sarah returns to Nebraska she receives staggering news which complicates her efforts to support her children. She is shocked, angry and emotionally devastated. Since she is attempting to establish herself in the community as a teacher, she believes she must keep her secret even from her own family. Will Sarah find forgiveness in her heart and the resolve to accept her new life alone?

Praise for Sarah's Secret

“In the flash of one moment, the trajectory of a man’s life and of those who loved and depended on him changes forever. The developing plot draws the reader in as we wait to see how this one action reaches into and impacts the lives of future generations. Set against the backdrop of a post-Civil War nation, when thousands headed west to escape their past, disappear into the horizon, and remake themselves, this biography is a rich study of pioneer ethos and the risks faced every day. The women touched by this man, who kept his secrets close, are heroines of courage, steadfastness and goodness. Beverly Scott is an author who has a way of painting word pictures that make you feel like you are a part of the story as it unfolds towards the discovery of his devastating secrets.” -Patricia and Craig Neal, co-founders, Heartland Inc.

“Using the plain spoken language of the women and men who scratched out life on the hard scrabble plains in the early days of this young country Bev Scott crafts a sharp picture of the violence and the love that shaped the middle of this nation. Every river crossing, each spring planting reveals the conflicts inside the characters and their struggle to survive in contested territories.” -Jewell Gomez, Author, The Gilda Stories

Amazon | IndieBound

About the Author

Bev specialized in serving executives and managers as a leadership coach and organizational consultant for over thirty-five years. She taught organization psychology and founded The 3rd Act, a program whose mission supports positive aging. As she grew into her own third act, she started a genealogical journey to uncover the details of her grandparents’ lives. She concluded that the story needed to be told as fiction using the known facts as her framework.

“Sarah’s Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness,” Bev’s debut novel, is the culmination of her long-held desire tell the family story and confirm the whispered story about her grandfather.

Bev previously focused on publishing non-fiction work, including the second edition of “Consulting on the Inside,” which she co-authored with Kim Barnes, published in 2011. She has written numerous professional articles and contributed to “70 Things to Do When You Turn 70,” edited by Ronnie Sellers and Mark Chimsky. Bev blogs on several sites, including her own, “The Writing Life” on www.bevscott.com.

Bev enjoys traveling, visiting with friends, reading and spending time with her grandsons. She lives with her spouse in San Francisco.

You can connect with Bev on Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 14
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 15
Guest Post at History From a Woman's Perspective
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, August 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, August 17
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook

Friday, August 18
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Monday, August 21
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, August 22
Review at A Holland Reads

Thursday, August 24
Review & Interview at T's Stuff
Review & Interview at Books and Benches

Monday, August 28
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, August 29
Review at Book Nerd
Feature at Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!

Wednesday, August 30
Review at Linda's Book Obsession

Friday, September 1
Review at Creating Herstory

Monday, September 4
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Sarah's Secret! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Sarah's Secret by Beverly Scott


Monday, August 28, 2017

Thief's Mark by Carla Neggers


Skirt or no skirt, Henrietta could move. As they charged up the private drive that curved to the main entrance at the side of the gracious stone house, Martin was pushing hard in an effort to keep up with her quick pace. The drive ended at a parking area surrounded by mature hedges, trees and flowerbeds. She glided onto the flagstone walk. He huffed and puffed a step behind her, his sense of dread mounting. Violence had devastated the Yorks thirty years ago, but it had occurred in London—never had violence touched the York farm.
But Martin warned himself against leaping ahead. He didn’t know what had happened.
Henrietta slowed her pace and thrust out on arm, as if he were a five-year-old about to jump into traffic. He saw the door standing wide open. His first thought was that Oliver must have grabbed Alfred, his wire-fox-terrier puppy, for an urgent walk. Wouldn’t that be a welcome change? Martin cared for him when Oliver was away, but had dropped him at the house before heading down to meet Henrietta to discuss dirt and flowerpots.
“There,” she said, pointing at the entrance.
Martin lowered his gaze as if by the sheer force of her pointed finger. It took a half beat for him to grasp what he was seeing.
A man lay sprawled facedown on the stone landing in front of the threshold. Blood had pooled around him on the pavement.
Henrietta cursed under her breath. “I hope Ruthie’s called the police.” She lowered her hand. “Do you know this man?”
Martin pretended not to hear her. Did he know him? No. It cant be. His knees wobbled, but he forced himself to focus. “I should check for a pulse.”
“He’s gone, Martin.”
There wasn’t a note of doubt in her tone. He blinked at her. “Dead?”
She gave a grim nod. “I’ll check to be absolutely certain, unless you’d rather—”
“No. Please. Go.”
She hadn’t waited for his answer, regardless, and was already stepping forward, circling the pool of blood. She bent from the waist, touched two fingers to the man’s carotid artery and stood straight, stepping back, shaking her head. “Dead. No question. We need to wait for the police.”
“Oliver…” Martin stifled an urge to vomit, shock and what he took to be the smell of blood taking their toll. “Ruthie said Oliver was here. He was helping…”
“Well, he’s not here now. There’s no sign he administered first aid. The man’s upper arm was cut. I didn’t get a good look at the wound, but with this much blood, he must have nicked his brachial artery. He’d have had only minutes to get help. Oliver must have been too late.”
“How do you know these things?” Martin asked, gaping at her.
“What?” As if everyone knew. She waved a hand. “BBC.”
“I should check inside. Maybe Oliver is ringing the police.”
She shook her head, firm, knowledgeable. “I don’t think so, Martin. Look. His car isn’t here.”
Martin glanced behind him at the empty spot along the hedges. Oliver had left his Rolls-Royce there last night, instead of parking it in the garage. “Oliver mentioned last night he wanted to go out today.” Martin heard how distant his voice sounded—his tone one of shock, disbelief—but at least the nausea had passed. “I noticed when I went down to meet you at the potting shed.”
“Did he say where he planned to go?”
“No, he didn’t. I’m not sure he had a plan.”
Henrietta adjusted her skirt, which had gone askew in the charge up to the house. “Why would he run?” she asked, her tone neutral.
Martin didn’t answer. It was a loaded question, anyway.
She peered at the dead man. “I haven’t seen him before that I can recall. Have you?”
The woman was relentless. MI5 wasn’t far-fetched at all. “I don’t think…at least I’m not certain…” Martin stopped himself. He didn’t need to speculate and didn’t want to lie, but he hated stumbling around for what to say, no matter the provocation. Time to get hold of himself. “I can’t say for certain I’ve seen him before. We get a lot of walkers on the south lane this time of year. I seldom pay attention to them.”
“All right, then.”
He heard the skepticism in Henrietta’s tone but let it be. He glanced at the dead man, hoping to take in more details of his appearance, but he felt another surge of nausea and turned his head quickly, if too late. He’d seen enough. Much of the man’s blood had emptied onto the landing and oozed onto the pavement. What a dreadful sight it must have been when he was alive, his heart pumping arterial blood. Martin hadn’t noticed blood on Ruthie, but Oliver, if he’d been helping this man, surely he would have been sprayed with blood.
Martin felt the bottom of his shoe stick to the pavement. He looked down and saw he’d stepped in a smear of blood himself. Ruthie hadn’t exaggerated. There was a great deal of blood. He felt bile rise in his throat. “Someone else could have taken the car,” he said, forcing himself to keep his wits about him. “There are several routes on and off the property. One of the workers or a walker might have seen the car leaving and might even be able to identify the driver. Ruthie was in a panic. She could have been mistaken and it wasn’t even Oliver she saw.”
“Perhaps,” Henrietta said.
She was humoring him. Martin felt a surge of irritation but knew it wouldn’t help. She was right. Of course Ruthie wasn’t mistaken. “My point is we don’t have enough information to draw any conclusions.” He stared at the open door. “I shouldn’t wait. I need to search the house—”
“No, Martin. The police will be here shortly. They’ll check the house. They’ll deal with any possible intruders or additional casualties. We’ll only muck things up sticking in our noses now.”
Her self-assurance, decisiveness and brisk efficiency snapped Martin out of his stupor of shock and worry. If not oblivious to the blood and death at their feet, Henrietta was remarkably focused and steady. No panic, no wild speculation, no fear.
He turned to her with a cool look. “You speak with authority for a garden designer.”
She gave the smallest of smiles. “One learns to be decisive when planning gardens.”
No doubt true, but he was now convinced she was MI5. Her grandfather, Posey’s older brother, Freddy, had been a legend with Her Majesty’s Security Service. Henrietta obviously took after him—except for the heavy smoking and penchant for opera.



Blood Moon: A Captive's Tale by Ruth Hull Chatlien

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Blood Moon: A Captive's Tale by Ruth Hull Chatlien

Publication Date: June 14, 2017
Amika Press
Paperback & eBook; 424 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction



Southern Minnesota, August 1862. Smoke fills the horizon and blood soaks the prairie as the Sioux fight to drive white settlers from their ancestral homeland. Sarah Wakefield and her young son and baby daughter are fleeing for their lives when two warriors capture them. One is Hapa, who intends to murder them. The other is Chaska, an old acquaintance who promises to protect the family. Chaska shelters them in his mother’s tepee, but with emotions running so high among both Indians and whites, the danger only intensifies. As she struggles to protect herself and those she loves, Sarah is forced to choose between doing what others expect of her and following her own deep beliefs.

"Chatlien’s mastery of the historical period—especially the life and culture of the Sioux—is notable and creates a fictional atmosphere of authenticity. A subtle dramatization of the conflict between white settlers and Native Americans in the 19th century." - Kirkus Reviews

"Richly detailed, Blood Moon is an intrepid tale of bravery and adventure in America's western frontiers. Perfect for fans of immersive historical fiction." - Stephanie Thornton, author of The Tiger Queens and The Conqueror's Wife

"An engrossing tale of struggle and justice-of friendship, mercy, and a rare, moving love. Ruth Hull Chatlien writes with great sensitivity and vivid yet subtle prose. Blood Moon is a must-read for fans of western novels, as well as women's historical fiction." -Libbie Hawker, author of Tidewater

Amazon | Amika Press | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the Author

Ruth Hull Chatlien has been a writer and editor of educational materials for nearly thirty years, specializing in U.S. and world history. She is the author of Modern American Indian Leaders for middle-grade readers. Her award-winning first novel, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, portrays the tumultuous life of Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson Bonaparte. Her latest novel, Blood Moon: A Captive’s Tale, is now available for pre-order.

She lives in northeastern Illinois with her husband, Michael, and a very pampered dog named Smokey. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found gardening, knitting, drawing, painting, or watching football.

For more information please visit Ruth's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. Sign up for Ruth's newsletter here.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, August 8
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, August 9
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, August 14
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, August 15
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, August 16
Spotlight at Cafinated Reads

Thursday, August 17
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog

Monday, August 21
Review at Must Read Faster

Friday, August 25
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Monday, August 28
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, August 29
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, August 31
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, September 1
Review at Broken Teepee
Interview & Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, September 7
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books

Friday, September 8
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 5 copies of Blood Moon: A Captive's Tale and two $25 Amazon Gift Cards! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 8th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Blood Moon

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How To Marry A Marquess by Stacy Reid

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Happy Book Birthday to How to Marry a Marquess by Stacy Reid!
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Lady Evie Chesterfield is a darling of the ton who refuses to become engaged. She’s been desperately in love with her brother’s friend, Richard Maitland, Marquess of Westfall, since forever. But the dark, dangerous marquess only sees her as a friend and refuses to marry any woman. When circumstances change and Evie has no choice but to take a husband, she decides to convince London’s most notorious gentleman to marry her by seducing the scoundrel.

Richard Maitland decided long ago that he wanted nothing to do with love. So when the gorgeous, off-limits Evie asks him for lessons in seduction, Richard knows he’s playing with fire. Despite Richard’s determination to protect her from his dastardly reputation, he is tested at every turn by his need for the infuriating, but enticing, Lady Evie. Before too long he is faced with making an impossible choice…

Buy - only 99¢ right now: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing |

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About Stacy Reid:

stacy-reid

I am an avid reader of novels with a deep passion for writing. From an early age, I started writing short stories for pleasure. I knew the dozens of romance novels I devoured were onto something when I met my husband at fifteen and fell in love after a week!

Life got in the way and I stopped writing for years. Then at the age of twenty-six with a degree in Human Resource Management, I decided to focus on my passion—writing. I especially love romance and adore writing sensually hot paranormal fantasy, historical and contemporary stories.

I live a lot in the worlds I create and I actively speak to my characters (out loud). I have a warrior way “never give up on my dream.” When I am not writing, I spend a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese Anime and playing video games with my love—Dusean.

Follow Stacy: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |

Kissing couple

To celebrate this release and the release of The Wolf of Kisimul Castle by Heather McCollum, Entangled Publishing is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card, Scottish Shortbread, English Tea, and print books from Stacy Reid and Heather McCollum.

Enter here.



DISCIPLINED BY THE DUKE by Alyson Chase

DISCIPLINED BY THE DUKE by Alyson Chase
SMP Swerve
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
eBook ISBN: 9781250155252; Price: $3.99


Description
The day her sister murdered their abusive father, Elizabeth Wilcox stopped being a gentleman’s daughter. Willing to do anything to save her sister from the hangman’s noose, now she is a spy... A servant. A liar. A thief. A submissive.

Masquerading as a parlor maid and entrenched in the Duke of Montague’s estate, Liz is willing to risk all to uncover the secrets that would save her sister. But submitting to the duke’s peculiar brand of discipline surprises her with a heady mixture of pleasure and pain. Eager to relinquish control of her messy life, Liz soon craves the rough hands of Montague and his powerful, passionate attentions. Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? And what punishment will she face when he realizes her betrayal?
 

Author Bio
Alyson Chase has written paranormal erotic romance novels for Ellora’s Cave as Alyson Conrad and is currently writing small-town contemporary romances for Lyrical as Allyson Charles. Disciplined by the Duke is her first historical romance and first book with SMP Swerve.


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IRRESISTIBLE YOU Chicago Rebels #1 Kate Meader


Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise 

and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, 

and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.



IRRESISTIBLE YOU
Chicago Rebels #1
Kate Meader
Releasing Aug 14, 2017
PocketStar


Hot
in Chicago
series author Kate
Meader
returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series, featuring her signature “steamy sex
scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times).
Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise
and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the
battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.



Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death
of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the
team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the
league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let
anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not
a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to
melt her ice-compacted defenses.



Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him
win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick.
Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the
unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows
this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey
franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to
lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?



He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…



My Review
ARC received for review
Five steamy stars
I first discovered Kate Meader with the series "Hot in Chicago" series.  (If someone has not read this series, run and get it! It is sooooo goood!).  When the series ended I was disappointed but excited to meet the characters in her new series " Chicago Rebels." Unlike her previous series which was about a foster family/ firefighters, this is about a hockey team.  "Irresistible You" is the first book in the series so at first it took me a while to get into the story because the author has to set up the story of the hockey team and also some how makes us care about the three half sisters thrown together by a father who had no qualms about controlling and mentally torturing his daughters. The book is about Harper. She is the oldest and the one who has always wanted to follow in her fathers footsteps.  Her father did everything possible to make sure that she failed at this and even more felt like a failure.  When the sports world of hockey is watching, she is more determined than ever to make "The Rebels" a team that fans cheer for and ultimately win the cup. Harper does not have any easy job.  Her insecurities play a big role in her drive.  She needs Remy Jinx” DuPre to get the team back on track.  Clifford Chase her deceased father was not the greatest of father nor the most motivating of team owner.  Remy wants nothing to do with "The Rebels" his time in hockey is coming to an end and he wants to win the cup and be as close to his home town of New Orleans as possible-near his family. Harper meets him under very peculiar situation and quickly forms and opinion about him.  She sees him as just a typical hockey skirt chaser.  They make a deal she agrees to trade him after he motivates the team and gets them back on track to win the cup.  In the mist of all this they unavoidably form feelings for each other. But Harper has had her heart broken before by a Hockey Player and she is determined not to let it happen again. Since her and her half sisters are representing women in hockey she knows they have ALOT to prove.   
First, I really liked Harper.  She had a lot to prove, mostly to herself. She was complex, driven and vulnerable.  Remy was more than I could have imagined. The first impression is not the real impression and he just melted my heart-and Harpers of course:)  There were moments I had to clutch at my heart and breath!  Besides the great romance ad chemistry I really liked the relationship that the sisters would eventually start to form and continue to form! Isobel's story is next and she is coming head to head with a fierce Russian! 





**Special release week price of just $1.99 **





Originally
from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her
romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some
Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners,
oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s
there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha
heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.




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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Before the Dawn by Cynthia Eden

About Before the Dawn

Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (August 1, 2017)
The Killer Instinct series from New York Timesbestselling author Cynthia Eden continues as an FBI profiler tracks a case that resurrects ghosts from his past 
Ex-SEAL Tucker Frost knows that the world is full of evil. He saw it in the face of his own brother, Jason Frost, a cold, methodical, sadistic killer. A killer Tucker put down with his own hands in order to save Jason’s final victim—Dawn Alexander, the only girl who got away from the infamous “Iceman.”
It’s Tucker’s up close and personal experience with evil that’s made him perfect for Samantha Dark’s experimental profiling division in the FBI. And when women start turning up murdered with the same MO used by the Iceman, Tucker is sent back to Louisiana to investigate.
Ten full years have passed since the night that Tucker faced down his brother…and since he last saw Dawn, his one-time lover. But as Tucker and Dawn grapple with a desire that never died, they must also face the shared shadow from their pasts. Both have the same question—has Jason Frost come back from the dead to hunt again? And this time, will he succeed in killing the victim who got away?
“Suspenseful, sexy fare that keeps you turning pages until you reach the story’s conclusion.” –RT Book Reviews: on AFTER THE DARK
“Eden expertly twines terror and true love in her second Killer Instinct contemporary romantic thriller…. Eden employs countless red herrings, making it impossible to tell who the real killer is until the book’s end. This winning tale is a tightly plotted, expertly characterized adrenaline rush from start to finish.” –Publishers Weekly STARRED review on Before the Dawn by Cynthia Eden

My Review:
Four Stars
 I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher for review purposes.
Fun! Cynthia Eden has been on my to-read list for a long time and I have finally had a chance to read her. She did not disappoint! The story of Tucker and Dawn is fast-faced and exciting! I have been reading many "second-chance" stories lately and "Before the Dawn" was a perfect edition.  The story is set in New Orleans and the author was able to create the feel of what life in New Orleans would be like.  Tucker and Dawn were a great couple! In the mist of the romance is the search for a serial killer and a great cast of supporting characters.  Personally, for me, the gruesome parts were not my favorite but that is my own personal taste.  "Before the Dawn" was the second book in the series but I was able to easily follow along and still enjoy the story.  Overall, this was a fun and thrilling read couple with a chemistry filled couple.
Cynthia Eden is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller.
Cynthia writes dark tales of romantic suspense and sexy paranormal romance novels. She is a three-time finalist for the RITA® award (she was a finalist both in the romantic suspense category and in the paranormal romance category). Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over seventy novels and novellas.
Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate. Her favorite hobbies including hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.
Author's website:  http://www.cynthiaeden.com/