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Monday, September 30, 2013

On Tour: Last Diner Standing by Terri L. Austin - Review

Terri L. Austin  is now on tour with CLP Book Tours with her book, Last Diner Standing . Please visit her tour page for more blog stops and a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card

Last Diner Standing (Rose Strickland Mystery #2)
by Terri L. Austin

Genre: Chick Lit, Cozy Mystery, Romance
Publication: December 2012
Format: ebooks
Source: ARC, CLP Blog Tour
Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | Website | Goodreads | Henery Press
Buy the Book: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble
Rose Strickland is having a blue Christmas. Her friend is arrested for attempted murder, her sexy bad guy crush is marked by a hit man, and her boss is locked in an epic smackdown with a rival diner. Determined to save those she loves, Rose embarks on an investigation more tangled than a box of last year's tree lights. With her eclectic gang at the ready, Rose stumbles across dead bodies, ex-cons, chop shops, jealous girlfriends, jilted lovers, and a gaggle of strippers in a battle for freedom she might not survive.

I actually read this one without reading the first book of the series, Diners, Dives & Dead Ends. At first I was quite confused with the characters. I didn’t know who is who as we weren’t properly introduced (since I skipped the first one). But the confusion didn’t last longer. The plot and the awesome characters with so much personality covered it all and I found myself enjoying this read. 

Last Diner Standing was engaging and hard to put down. Rose and her friends made me laughed with their witty dialogues. The plot and mystery was well written. I really enjoy reading how Rose and her friends will solve everything to help to clear Janelle’s name. I love how I have to keep guessing till the end to figure out what happened and who the killer was. Last Diner Standing is definitely a great cozy mystery. I definitely am going to read the  first book and am looking forward to read the next one!

Author Bio:

As a girl, Terri L. Austin thought she’d outgrow dreaming up stories and creating imaginary friends. Instead, she’s made a career of it. She met her own Prince Charming and together they live in Missouri. She loves to hear from readers.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On Tour: Entrusted by Sherry Rummler - Excerpt + Giveaway!

Sherry Rummler  is now on tour with Irresistible Reads Tours with her book, Entrusted . Please visit her tour page for more blog stops.

by Sherry Rummler

Release date: January 22nd, 2013
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Tour: Irresistible Reads Book Tours
Connect: Facebook | Website
Anna Bertram was not prepared for this. Not after all she had been through. A mothers love, so deep; wasn’t it her job to protect? Anna had poured her heart and soul into raising Justin. When he unexpectedly dropped out of her life, she was left devastated.

Was it fate?

A chance meeting with a young soldier on a beach in Maine, who had left a pocket-sized book in the sand, a photograph tucked neatly inside. The photograph portrayed two soldiers in Army fatigues, one being the soldier, the other her son Justin. With this clue, Anna is desperate to find the soldier who could possibly lead to her estranged son. Is it too late to reclaim the close relationship they once shared?

Mistakenly Anna believed she was responsible for her sons future. In her zealous search to reunite, she finds the unexpected, love and forgiveness. Journey with Anna, as she learns to let go and surrender to divine destiny. And give thanks for the gift that she was entrusted.
Book Excerpt

Do you want a ride to a hardware store?” Anna offered.

“Would you mind giving me a ride home? It’s closer; I have a slew of plugs back at my house. I don’t want to put you out or anything, but it would be a long walk for me from here.” He looked to the sun slowly sinking in the evening sky. “By the time I’d get back, it would be way after dark.”

Anna looked at his stature. He was only a few inches taller than her, but his strong build and wide shoulders made him seem rugged and tall. “Sure. I’ll get my keys.” She picked up her shoes and salad, leaving him to wait at the pier. Entering the cabin, she found them on the table, and she paused to gaze at Steve Henderson through the window. He was bent over his boat looking for something. It was comforting to look out and see a man at the end of the pier.

Part of her wanted him to stay; the stranger filled the emptiness that surrounded her like a cloud. She watched as he brushed his hand through his hair, put his hands on his hips, and looked at his abandoned boat. He turned to look back at the cabin, and she rushed through the screen door, embarrassed in case he’d caught her watching him. Steve walked toward her, and the two got into her car.

Author's Bio

Sherry Rummler is a graduate of Carroll University in Wisconsin.

She is the proud mother of two fine young men. Blissfully married to her best friend, she resides in Wisconsin with her husband, where one son has left the nest to pursue a college degree and the other is on the cusp of spreading his wings to take flight.

She is currently working on her next novel.
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Friday, September 6, 2013

Review: Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno (Robert Langdon #4)
by Dan Brown

Genre: Adult, Adventure, Crime & Thriller, Mystery
Publication: May 2013
Format: Hardcover, 480 pages
Source: Own
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook
In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.

In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

Inferno was exciting right from the beginning with Robert Langdon finds himself in Italy with no recollection of what is he doing in there. He had memory lost and someone wants him dead. I was definitely hooked! I wanted to know what was going on. It was exciting to see Robert trying to figure out what he was doing in Italy, figure out who he was dealing with while escape from the authorities as well as the people who wanted him dead.

It was definitely thrilling to follow Robert Landon in his new adventure with Dante’s Inferno. I love the mystery surrounding the provost and deducing who the bad guy was. But after a few more episodes of Robert running away from people who he was not sure he could trust, I got bored. I was stupefied when Robert found out why he lost his mind. 

Inferno, in my opinion was an okay book. It was definitely better than the lost symbol, but not as good as Da Vinci Code or Angel and Demon. I enjoyed the first ¾ of the book, but not the other ¼. I thought that the ending was a bit bland. But still, I’m looking forward to read more works from Dan Brown. 

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, September 5, 2013

On Tour: His Fantasy Maid by Susan Blexrud - Excerpt

Susan Blexrud  is now on tour with CLP Book Tours with her book, His Fantasy Maid . Please visit her tour page for more blog stops and a chance to win $50 Amazon Gift Card.

His Fantasy Maid
by Susan Blexrud

Genre: Romance
Publication: May 2013
Connect: Website | Blog | Facebook | Publisher |
On the eve of Jake Sinclair’s bachelor party, his best man surprises him with a fantasy maid named Amy. Clad in a bikini, she cleans his house and jump starts his heart. She's beautiful, smart, and compassionate. Why is a woman like this working as a fantasy maid? A few days later, with thoughts still distracted by the enigmatic Amy, Jake crashes his car and wakes in the hospital emergency room where his fantasy maid is now wearing scrubs and wielding a stethoscope. Is she an hallucination, or is his fantasy maid a doctor?
Book Excerpt 

If I believed the adage, “you are what you do,” my self-concept would be in the toilet, so to speak.  I clean houses in a bikini or French maid get-up, client’s choice, which contributes little to making the world a better place.  As a result, my adage is, “you are what you become,” because I’m becoming a doctor. 
But today, I’m Amy Maitland, fantasy maid.

My best friend and fellow medical resident, Ellen, knows about my undercover life working for Fantasy Maids, but she’s the only one.  If word got out at the College of Medicine, I’d be the laughingstock of the University of Central Florida.  My five brothers know I work as a housemaid, which they respect as good, honest labor, but they don’t know the fantasy aspect.  Protective (and controlling) men that they are, they’d lock me up.

That being said, it’s not the worst job in the world.  I’ve been a fantasy maid for almost two years, and so far, none of my clients has tried to assault me. But it’s always a possibility, considering Florida’s propensity for perverts.  The company (i.e. Rex, the owner, and a part-time secretary) arms us with pepper spray and an emergency hotline number (Rex’s cell phone), and they screen the customers to make sure no one’s a registered sex offender.  They also arrange our appointments, and Rex is good about following up…within four or five days…to make sure we survived the gig. 

Still, being alone with a strange guy in his apartment is enough to get anyone’s adrenalin pumping, and I never go into a new situation without first sending up a prayer.  I always let Ellen know where I’m going, and I carry a rosary, even though I’m not Catholic.

Today, I’m heading to a condominium in stylish Winter Park, just north of Orlando.  The address alone is comforting.  It’s just off Park Avenue in a nice neighborhood, and it’s next door to a church.  But, I remind myself, Ted Bundy lived in a nice neighborhood.  Let’s face it; serial killers can look like the boy next door.

My old white Honda sputters into the church parking lot adjacent to the condominium complex without any signs of cardiac arrest (this I take as a good omen).  A Rambling Waters sign on the wrought iron gate looks welcoming. 

I turn off the ignition, and my ancient car heaves a sigh.  Grabbing my backpack with my stash of costumes, I hop out of my car and punch in the security code at the entrance gate.  It creaks open like the sound at the beginning of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which my brother Matt plays ad nauseum around Halloween. 

As I enter the property, I notice a network of ponds meandering around the buildings.  I’m sure the landscape architect intended them to be beautiful, but all I see is a maintenance nightmare—all that algae to eradicate.  I shake my head.  I’ve been cleaning too long.

I nod to an elderly couple walking their white miniature poodle.  The dog is decked out in a purple vest and ear bows and looks slightly embarrassed.  Good to know I’m not the only one who wears ridiculous outfits. 

“Can we help you find something, dear?”  The woman inquires.  Could it be because I’m standing here with the address in one hand and a blank stare on my face?

We’re supposed to look inconspicuous, so I’m dressed in my usual jeans and t-shirt.  Would she call me dear if she saw me in uniform?

My appointment is for six p.m., and I’m already a few minutes late.  I count seven buildings on the property, with no visible numbers.  Gratefully, I say, “Thank you.  I’m looking for unit Five B.”

The woman elbows her companion.  “Oh, that’s where that nice young lawyer lives.  What’s his name, Harold?”

Harold shrugs, and the woman pulls her poodle away from the geranium it’s been nibbling on.  She cups one hand around her mouth and points to Harold with the other. “He’s not very observant.”  She rolls her eyes. “Building Five is just to the right of the pool, which is straight ahead.”

“Thanks.”  I head in the direction she indicates.  My sandals crunch as pavement gives way to gravel.  I look down to find strategically-placed stepping stones in the shape of turtles.  Strategically placed for Big Foot, that is.  The stones are way too far apart for my five-foot-three leg span, and I essentially hurtle from turtle to turtle, using my backpack for ballast.  I’m working up a sweat in the May humidity.

Behind me the woman calls out, “Spending the night?”

When you reach a certain age, you don’t mince words.  I find that endearing.  It’s one of the reasons I’m leaning toward a specialty in geriatrics.  I stifle a smile and leap on like I don’t hear her. 

I count twenty turtles by the time I find Five B, which is on the second floor.  I squint into the partly cloudy sky and cross myself (maybe I’m a closet Catholic).  My sandals slap the stairs, and the flat surface is comforting after the series of round turtle backs. 

My nerves always wait until the last possible moment to go bonkers, and as I’m standing at the door, poised to knock, my heart begins to pound so loudly I’m not sure I even need to knock.  Besides, I’m more than dewy...more like drenched.  Not exactly the sexy image I’m supposed to project.  It must be ninety degrees. 
I dab at my face with my t-shirt, and then fan my hands under my arms to get a breeze going.  I hope my deodorant holds up.

Okay, showtime.

As my fingers reach for the claddagh knocker on the front door, I spot the doorbell and opt for that instead.  The chime rings the theme from “Doctor Zhivago.” As it happens, my mom’s favorite movie, God rest her soul.  I’m caught off-guard, and tears well up.  I’m swiping at my eyes when the door opens.

The guy across the threshold presses a finger to his lips and pulls me into the condominium.  He sort of props me next to the wall.  “You don’t have a cold, do you?  If you do, I want a discount.”  He backs away and eyes me up and down, and then he grins.  “Good old Claudia would shit a brick if she saw you.”

“I take it I won’t be meeting good old Claudia?”  I shiver from the blast of air conditioning, though it’s welcome relief.

“Hell, no, she’s the fiancĂ©e…and my sister.  Stay right here.  Don’t move.”  He takes off down a hall.

“Uh, okay.”  Wherever this is going, all I can think is how grateful I am for the cool air.  I rub my arms and glance around the uncluttered, tasteful living room.  It’s immaculately decorated in beige and chocolate brown, strong masculine colors.  I can’t imagine what I’m going to clean.

As I’m sizing up the job, another guy emerges from the hallway.  One towel wraps around his tight-as-a-drum middle as he dries his hair with another.  My jaw drops.  I almost have to push it closed.  Six feet, wavy dark brown hair, and broad shoulders…my dream formula.  My belly tightens, and I get a little twinge…below my umbilicus.

Buy the Book! 


Author Bio:

Susan Blexrud grew up in Orlando, Florida, and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband of 27 years, John, who proposed to her on New Year’s Eve 1985 on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, halfway between Paris and Vienna. Their son Chris lives and works in Manhattan, and daughter Allison is a college junior. Susan has a Chihuahua named Baby and a cockatiel named Romeo. She is an avid reader, and she leads two monthly book clubs in Asheville. She is a walker and Yoga enthusiast. She enjoys quilting and bird watching (loves hummingbirds), and most of all, writing her next story.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

On Tour: Riverstar - Review

Tess Thompson  is now on tour with CLP Book Tours with her book, Riverstar . Please visit her tour page for more blog stops.

Riverstar (River Valley #3)
by Tess Thompson 

Genre: Romance, Suspense
Publication: August 2013
Format: ebooks
Source: ARC, CLP Blog Tour
After ending an affair with a married movie producer, feisty Hollywood makeup artist Bella Webber finds herself back in the quaint Oregon town of River Valley, the location of a famous director’s latest film. Despite trying to distract herself with work, Bella is unnerved by the proximity of Benjamin Fleck – a man who once so expertly made love to her she’d temporarily forgotten everything painful about her life. But now Ben sees her as nothing more than a heartbreak waiting to happen.

When an actress is found murdered after she’s seen leaving the restaurant Riversong with Ben, he is accused of the crime and arrested. Convinced of his innocence, the River Valley ‘gang of misfits’ band together to find the real killer, and Bella must face her biggest fear to ensure the truth is revealed.

Romantic, suspenseful, and engaging, bestselling author Tess Thompson’s third novel in the River Valley Collection delivers another tribute to the power of community and the bonds of friendship.

I received a copy of Riverstar by Tess Thompson from CLP Blog Tours as part of the blog tour.

Bella Webber, a Hollywood makeup artist went back to River Valley for a film. Bella had recently break up with a married producer. When she met up with Benjamin Fleck, she wanted them to give their relationship a try. Just as they are about to give their relationship a chance, Ben was arrested a murder! Determined to prove Ben as innocent, Bella started to investigate on her own with the help of a few friends and family to find the real murder and to prove that Ben was innocent.

I’ve never read the first two books of this series, and I was a bit sceptical when I first start to read this one. I thought that this was going to be a plain romance book, judging from the first two chapters. But I was wrong. Things were getting interesting when an actress was found dead.

I love Bella and the people around her. They're a bunch of people I would love to hand out with. It was fun to see how Bella was going to find out about the murder. Although, I kinda expected who the murder was. But still, I definitely enjoy Riverstar. It is full of suspense, mystery, romance and friendship.

Author Bio:

Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright with a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California. In 2011, she released her first novel, Riversong, which subsequently became a bestseller. Like the characters in the River Valley collection, Tess is from a small town in Oregon. She currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her two young daughters, Emerson and Ella, where she is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window.
Buy Links:
·       Riversong - AmazonBarnes and NobleiTunes, Kobo
·       Caramel and Magnolias AmazonBarnes and Noble, iTunesKobo
·       The River Valley Collection- AmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, iTunes
·       Riverbend AmazoniTunesKoboBarnes and Noble
·       Riverstar - Amazon
Riverstar- Nook
Riverstar- Kobo


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