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Friday, November 15, 2013

On Tour: Diner Impossible by Terri L Austin

Terri L Austin is now on tour with CLP Book Tours with her book, Diner Impossible. Please visit her tour page for more blog stops and a chance to win ecards for Diners, Dives & Dead Ends and ecards for Last Diner Standing.

Diner Impossible (Rose Strickland Mystery #3)
by Terri L. Austin

Genre: Chick Lit, Romance, Cozy Mystery
Publication: November 2013
Source: ARC, CLP Blog Tours
Connect: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads | HeneryPress
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 
After shunning her overbearing parents' wealthy lifestyle, waitress and part-time college student, Rose Strickland, is drawn back into their world when she tries to prove the impossible: the innocence of the town's crooked police chief. He's suspected in the gruesome death of Delia Cummings, his secretary and mistress, and all the evidence points to him. While she tracks down clues with the aid of her anime-loving bestie, Rose's pal, Axton, and his Klingon gang are feuding with their Starfleet rivals. Things get hairier than a pile of well-fed Tribbles, so Rose gets involved. In between interrogating Trekkies and quizzing socialites at high tea, she discovers the secrets Delia Cummings took to her grave. Suspects abound, but when Chief Mathers threatens to bring down Rose's criminally mischievous and maybe boyfriend, Sullivan, she makes it her mission to find the real killer before Sullivan finds himself in prison.

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all! Diner Impossible is the third in the Rose Strickland humorous mystery series. In case you missed the first two, check out Diners, Dives & Dead Ends (#1) and Last Diner Standing (#2). Plus, Diners Keepers, Losers Weepers, a Rose Strickland novella, will be in the mystery anthology The Heartache Motel (December 2013).

I received a copy of Diner Impossible by Terri L Austin from the author/CLP Blog Tours as part of the blog tour.

Rose is back! This time she's out to investigate the murder of Delia Cummings, a police chief’s secretary and mistress when “Officer Hardass” asked for her help. But it wasn’t that easy to find out who killed Delia. Everyone hates her, and everyone have a motive to do so. 

Rose may not be a private investigator or any kind, but she’s good at cracking a case with her own method. I found this book to be a fun read. The plot and mystery was well written with a bit twist. I enjoyed the moments between Rose and her friends/sidekick, Ax and Roxy as well as her maybe boyfriend, Sullivan. They made me laugh. I always loved books that make me laugh. I feel like I’m starting to like Rose as much as I like Stephanie Plum. I’m definitely looking forward to Terri’s next book!
Book Excerpt

My mother leaned toward me, a smile firmly stuck to her mouth, like a beauty queen who forgot to put Vaseline on her teeth. Everyone probably thought she was saying something charming and witty. Well, knowing my mother, they probably didn’t think that.

“For God’s sake, you look like you’re standing before a firing squad. Remember to act the part.”

I forced a smile as if she’d just told the funniest joke. “Oh, Mom, you’re a card,” I said, a little too loudly. Then I guzzled half a glass of champagne.

A couple close to my parents’ age approached us. “Letitia, Edmund, do you know my daughter, Rosalyn?”

“I don’t believe we’ve met,” Letitia said. She was gaunt, but sinewy. Edmund was so florid, either he started drinking at breakfast or he was in the middle of a heart attack.

I said something banal and pleasant, but they didn’t hold my attention. The only people I was interested in were the Mathers and David Ashby.

While I checked out the room, the couple moved on. Another pair slid in their place. After the greetings and a little chitchat, they floated away, too. I glanced around once more, searching for my sister. Why had I gone this route instead of using my normal method—waylay people and harangue them into answering my questions. It had worked for me in the past.

“Let’s go to the powder room, dear.” Barbara snatched away my glass of liquid happiness and shoved it at a waiter, then grasping my wrist, tugged me past the bar to the ladies’.

Hmm, this bathroom must be new. I didn’t remember it from days of yore. Lots of granite with flattering lights.

My mother searched under the stalls to make sure they were empty. Then she rounded on me. “What are you doing?”

“Is this a trick question?” I glanced around and my eyes got stuck on a gold faucet. Real gold? Surely not. If so, I was never bringing Roxy here. I wasn’t sure how you went about stealing faucets, but she’d figure out a way.

“Rosalyn,” Barbara growled. “You are supposed to be charming these people. Instead, you look like a halfwit, wearing that insipid smile. Tell people you’re going back to school, that you’re putting your resume together, that you’re thrilled to be here. We’re bringing you back into the fold, remember?”

“I’m being perfectly polite. And I’m not here to impress your friends, I’m here to question David Ashby.”

My mother’s posture became stiffer than a priest’s collar on Sunday morning. “Now you listen to me,” she pointed her finger in my face, her polished nail almost grazing my nose, “we’re going to do this my way. I’ll not have you steamroll in here, cause a commotion, and then leave your father and me to pick up the pieces. Not again.”

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. Find her on Twitter, FB,,Goodreads and Henery Press.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

On Tour: Unscripted by Jayne Denker - Review & Q&A

Jayne Denker is now on tour with CLP Book Tours with her book, Unscripted. Please visit her tour page for more blog stops.

by Jayne Denker 

Genre: Chick Lit, Romance
Publication: August 2013
Source: ARC, CLP Blog Tours
Connect: Facebook | Twitter | Blog
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
One of Hollywood’s hardest working women is about to discover there's a lot more drama behind the camera than in front of it... Faith “Freakin’” Sinclair probably shouldn’t have called her boss a perv…or grabbed his “privates.” But as creator of the hit dramedy Modern Women she’d had enough of his sexist insults. Now she’s untouchable in the industry—not in a good way. The only way to redeem herself is to convince Alex the wildly popular wildly demanding former star of her show to come back. But there’s one obstacle in her way—one very handsome broad-shouldered obstacle…

Professor Mason Mitchell is head of the theater department where Alex is studying “real” acting. The only way he’ll let Faith anywhere near Alex is if she agrees to co-teach a class. It’s an offer she can’t refuse—and as it turns out the professor just might end up teaching Faith that there’s more to life than work—and that real-life love scenes are way more fun than fake ones….

I received a copy of Unscripted by Jayne Denker from the author/CLP Blog Tours as part of the blog tour.

Faith Sinclair, a producer of a top rated TV show is now in trouble after she made a mistake by grabbing her boss’s privates. Now she found herself jobless and blacklisted. Faith needs to get back on her feet. And to get back to her show, she needs to convince Alex, a former star of her show, to come back.

Unscripted is a light, cute read with bits of romance and Hollywood scenes. I was hooked with Unscripted from the very beginning. I love the story line, the dialogues, characters and I love Faith ‘Freakin’ Sinclair. It was very hard not to like Faith. She’s smart, confident and she can be funny too.  I think the author did a pretty good job with writing this through Faith’s point of view. I thoroughly enjoy reading this book and I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fun, relaxing read.

Q&A with Jayne Denker

1. Please introduce yourself and your book.My name is Jayne Denker, and I’m a fairly new chick lit/contemporary romance author with Kensington Publishers. I’m big into snark and comedy and banter—in my books, of course. In real life, I can only wish. Unscripted is my second novel, about Faith Sinclair, a headstrong TV producer in L.A. who gets fired from her own show and moves heaven and earth to get it back, all while dealing with crazy friends, a mooching stepbrother, an overbearing movie producer mother, and the lure of a hot college professor.

2. What inspired you to write this book?A couple of things, actually. I always get irritated when executive producers/creators of my favorite TV shows get fired for whatever reason, and the networks think they can carry on without the program suffering, even though they’ve just booted the person who was the keeper of all the ideas, the story arc (often all the way to the last episode), and—most important—the characters’ voices. So I started to wonder what the fired producer thinks and feels when she has her “baby” taken away from her.

The other thing that inspired me was the desire to get out of my comfort zone, not only with regard to the characters, but also the story’s location. I live in a rural area of western New York State, and because I have a young son, I don’t travel as much as I used to, but I still want to set my stories in places other than, well, rural western New York State. However, I’m a real stickler for authenticity; I only want to write about places I know well, because I don’t want to get any of the details wrong. Of course, it sounds crazy that I decided to write a story about a Hollywood big shot, but at least I could do research on it. My brother and his family live in Southern California, and I visit them every summer, so by this time I’m an honorary native. I have driven their freeways and lived to tell the tale.

3. Can you relate yourself to any of the characters?I think every writer would say that there’s a tiny kernel of him- or herself in every character, from the main characters all the way to the minor, male and female, young and old. You just take that little bit and expand it, until you have a fleshed-out character. So I can relate to all of them, in one way or another. Of course, I adore Faith. She’s beyond ballsy, headstrong, tough, confident, successful, obnoxious, and a little insane—everything I wish I could be. I love to live vicariously through her!

4. What are the most offensive sexist insults you’ve come across?Egad, aren’t women on the receiving end of sexist insults all the time? I think the worst one—or at least the one that sticks in my memory very strongly—happened when I was in college. We had a “coffeehouse” on campus (but at the time there was very little coffee and a whole lot of beer) that held an open mic night once in a while. I was a pretty good singer and guitar player, so I went to the interest meeting to sign up. The three guys in charge of the open mic night were sitting around a table. I knew all of them well (one of them was my roommate’s ex boyfriend), but they looked at me like I was some sort of three-headed alien. One of them said, pretty formally, “Can I help you?” like he’d never met me before. I blinked at them. When I said I wanted to sign up for the open mic night, they all practically fell off their chairs. Girls didn’t perform at open mic night! They didn’t try to deter me or anything, but what was insulting was that they never once considered that a girl might be able to do that, or even want to. I proved them wrong.

5. What are your favourite romantic comedy reads and/or movies?Romantic comedy is my favorite movie genre, so I’ve got a lot of favorites. Right alongside the evergreens Bridget Jones, the Pride and Prejudice miniseries, and Love Actually, I’ll stack up repeated viewings of Easy A, Lost in Translation, Local Hero, Singin’ in the Rain, Dan in Real Life, and American Dreamer. Oh—and L.A. Story (of course, right?) As for romantic comedy reads, I’m a big fan of Kristan Higgins. I own every one of her books.

6. What are you working on right now?I’m writing the second in what I hope will be a small-town series. My third book, Down on Love (publishing November 21), is the first that takes place in the small town of Marsden, New York, and now I’m writing another, with a minor character from Down on Love as the heroine. This new story also gets back into the entertainment world a bit—the hero is a comedic movie star.

7. Anything you would like to say to your readers?
Just thanks for checking out my work! I know the romance market is glutted and it’s tough to figure out who’s worth reading. I hope you’ll give Unscripted a shot and that you’ll love Faith as much as I do.

Author Bio:

Jayne Denker is the author of three contemporary romantic comedies, By Design, Unscripted, and Down on Love, and is hard at work on a fourth. She lives in a small town in western New York, USA, with her husband, son, and one very sweet senior-citizen basement kitteh who loves nothing more than going outside, where she sits on the front walk and wonders why she begged to go outside. When Jayne’s not hard at work on another novel (or, rather, when she should be hard at work on another novel), she can usually be found frittering away stupid amounts of time online.

Friday, November 8, 2013

On Tour: Tiara Trouble by Lane Buckman

Lane Buckman is now on tour with CLP Book Tours with her book, Tiara Trouble. Please visit her tour page for more blog stops and a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

Tiara Trouble
by Lane Buckman

Genre: Chick Lit, Cozy Mystery
Publication: December 2013
Source: ARC
Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
What happens when Dynasty meets Honey BooBoo, they have a baby, and that baby is raised by Charlie’s Angels? You get TIARA TROUBLE, a bedazzled cozy mystery full of gritty glitz.

One foreign policy question five years ago sent Destinee Faith Miller’s dreams of being Miss American Universe up in flames and landed her back in her hometown of Phenix City, Alabama, with her tail between her legs. But like the mythological bird that her hometown is misspelled after, she rose from the ashes to create Destinee’s Dolls, a thriving pageant consulting business knee-deep in pink, prints and tulle.

A death at the local level of a national event lands her the job of pageant emcee, and Destinee dares to dream of bigger things—maybe even a reality TV show! But when judges start dropping like flies, she has her hands full keeping herself alive long enough to see those dreams come true. Contending with catfights, car bombs, and the camouflage-colored funeral of a redneck’s dream, Destinee gets a little help from her friends, family, and a pit bull named Clarabelle.

At first, it was hard to get into this one as I am not familiar with Beauty Pageant lifestyle. But Lane Buckman made me enjoy reading about them. Tiara Trouble was told in Destinee’s voice. It starts with Destinee recalling a scene she witnessed at the Miss Alabama American Universe pageant which happens years ago. Then, we were brought back to the day when Destinee received a call from her mother where she told her that Harland was dead.

I found Tiara Trouble to be a fun read. Lane Buckman was very good at keeping me guess who were the criminal. I enjoyed seeing what’s going on behind the beauty pageant and the mystery behind deaths of people involved in the pageant. This is definitely a fast-paced with some laugh out loud moments read that I enjoyed.

Excerpt from Tiara Trouble by Lane Buckman

The competition for the Miss Alabama American Universe title that would lead to a shot at the Miss American Universe event had been fierce. It came down to a real battle between Tonielle West, the sleek, elegant brunette representing Auburn, and Deenie Paul, the busty, bubbly blonde from Huntsville. When the final moment came down, the two of them standing there holding hands, grinning at each other, and whispering words of encouragement as they waited for the emcee to read the name of the winner, we were all holding our breath.

Personally, I was torn. I thought Tonielle’s beauty and interview had been the best, but Deenie had knocked it out of the park in swimsuit and talent. For me, it came down to the fact that our family Rolls Tide, so I just could not in good conscience root for anyone from Auburn—whether she went to school there, or not. For the record, she did.

Drums rolled for what seemed like minutes, and the tension built until the emcee opened the envelope and said, “Your new Miss Alabama American Universe is,” he paused again, causing Tonielle and Deenie to crunch up their shoulders and clutch hands even tighter, “Miss Auburn American Universe, Tonielle West!”

Both women screamed, hugged each other, and stayed there together for a moment, but then Judy Clawson, the current reigning queen, and I stepped up to draw Tonielle away into her own solo spotlight. I was a bit disappointed at the outcome, but not nearly so much as Deenie Paul was. Deenie clung to her victor’s arms, seemingly unable to believe Tonielle had won. In fact, I had to pry one of Deenie’s hands off Tonielle’s bicep, and the emcee had to help pull her backwards so that a junior girl could shove the First Runner Up trophy into her hands.

I had one eye on Deenie as I handed Tonielle her bouquet, and I couldn’t help thinking that the way she was looking between her trophy and the back of Tonielle’s head boded no good. It looked an awful lot like she might be thinking it was heavy enough to do some serious damage to her rival’s skull. But violence was avoided for the moment and Tonielle took her winner’s walk down the runway. Finally, after all the photos were snapped, short interviews were given, and autographs were signed, we were on our way back to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Birmingham, the official hotel of the Miss Alabama American Universe pageant.

It was a short ride, and we arrived just after the bus dropping off all the pageant contestants was pulling away, so we entered the lobby to a rowdy group of young women in sequins, sashes, and sky-high heels, toasting one another with champagne—a few of them drinking straight from big, green bottles. Everyone was happy and cheerful, as most girls are after the stress of an event like that is over with, and the after party was in full swing only moments after we’d all gotten inside.

Girls crowded around Tonielle. Every one of the fifty losing contestants came over to offer their congratulations and make over her crown, her sash, her trophy, and her bouquet, fairly smothering her with tipsy affections until the pageant handlers eased a throughway so she could pass all the way inside the lobby.

I saw Deenie Paul in the crowd and thought she looked especially happy, her lips turned up in grinchy glee, as she buttered a roll she’d grabbed up from a catering tray nearby. I thought she might just be excited to eat a carbohydrate, as those are verboten during pageant events—no one wants to be puffy for her close-up—but then I saw that she was watching our new reigning Miss like a hawk.

An official pageant photographer asked Tonielle to climb up the wide, white granite steps that led up to the second floor conference area. He wanted to get a few shots of her alone, before having the other girls crowd in to fill the stairwell for a group shot. Tonielle made it up the steep staircase, holding on to the chrome-plated rail. She had a funny look on her face when she got to the top, and I realized she was having trouble walking. I was trying to figure out if the trouble was her shoes, or how tight her evening gown fit her, when she did a little shuffle with her feet. Her arms flew out to either side and she started flailing.

It wasn’t a second before she was falling backwards, crumbling and tumbling. She didn’t even have time to scream before her head hit the edge of that first stone step with a horrible crunch, and then about every other one on her way down, leaving splashes and slashes of crimson on the light granite stairs and the glass partitioning along the rails.

When she finally landed at the foot of the stairs, her limbs were akimbo, and her head was tilted at an angle far too square to her shoulders. Her mouth was twisted and eyes were wide and staring up as though mortified by the splatters of blood that painted the gowns and faces of the beauty queens crowded around her. For a moment it was absolutely silent. It was so quiet you could hear the false eyelashes batting, as the gathered girls blinked, squinted and tried to make sense of what they’d just seen. Then, one girl started to scream and that set off the rest of them like car alarms in a parking lot.

Deenie Paul put down her roll, daintily wiped the corners of her mouth with a cocktail napkin, and strode over; bending to pick up the crown that had bounced off Tonielle’s head, somewhere halfway down the stairs. She considered it, turning it over in her hands twice before using her thumb to wipe away a smear of blood. Then, she put it right on top of her hairdo, whipping out a bobby pin from her chignon to hold it in place. That done, she walked back over to where she’d been standing. She noticed me gaping at her, looked me in the eye and grinned. Then, she picked up her roll again and licked it right down the center, her tongue coming away yellow before disappearing back into her smile. 
Author Bio:

Lane Buckman is a former beauty queen from Phenix City, Alabama. Growing up, she wanted to be Miss America, a criminal lawyer, a super model, the President, a Bond girl, a brain surgeon, a journalist, a back-up singer for Duran Duran, and a college professor of Medieval Literature. In order to fulfill those dreams, she became a writer. She lives in Texas with her family, and enjoys every miserably hot second of it.


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