Saturday, October 31, 2015

WITCH WEEK 2015


an opportunity to celebrate our favorite fantasy books and authors

Here’s the schedule:
Saturday, October 31: A Guide to Blackstock College (from Tam Lin by Pamela Dean)
Sunday, November 1: Giveaways: Bitter Greens and The Bloody Chamber
Monday, November 2: Don’t Bet on the Prince (Guest Post by Chris of Calmgrove)
Tuesday, November 3: Top Ten Books That Take the Old into the New (Guest Post by Susie of Girl with Her Head in a Book)
Wednesday, November 4: Author Interview with Kate Forsyth, author of Bitter Greensand The Wild Girl
Thursday, November 5: Readalong of The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
Friday, November 6: Wrap-up and 2016 Preview
Because I am still flying around celebrating the enchanting night, my posts will be coming beginning November 1st.  I am a fan of retellings as well as WITCH literature.
Feel free to join in and share your favorite stories and books! Even your own writings.

Fitting quite well into this theme, let me share with you a link to Magaly Guerrero's Witches In Fiction writing contest from earlier this month.




Be sure to hop over to Emerald City Reviews for the rest of the Witch Week entertainment.

A little something for you (please check price before clicking) 
 from 10 fantastic authors, in the RETELLING genre, an anthology of King Arthur tales
(this offer is no longer free)



King of Ages: A King Arthur Anthology  kindle edition


Friday, October 30, 2015

A STITCH TO DIE FOR BOOK BLAST

stirch to die for large banner640

A Stitch to Die For 

by Lois Winston

BOOK BLAST

A Stitch to Die For-ebook

A Stitch to Die For (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery) (Volume 5)
 5th in Series Cozy Mystery • Paperback: 240 pages • Publisher: Lois Winston (July 7, 2015)
 • ISBN-13: 978-1940795300 goodreads-badge-add-plus

Synopsis:

Ever since her husband died and left her in debt equal to the gross national product of Uzbekistan, magazine crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack has stumbled across one dead body after another—but always in work-related settings. When a killer targets the elderly nasty neighbor who lives across the street from her, murder strikes too close to home. Couple that with a series of unsettling events days before Halloween, and Anastasia begins to wonder if someone is sending her a deadly message.



What a year Anastasia Pollack has had! Her mother is ONCE AGAIN marrying the man of her dreams, number six. Anastasia's own husband is dead but left her a plethora of dysfunctional family members. At least her sons are far better behaved than typical teens. 
Now potential boyfriend Zach lives above the garage in her former craft studio. While Anastasia is convinced he is a spy for some government alphabet agency, he seems to be the stability of her life. What might the future hold for them?
Other characters of mention include the household pets, including a Shakespeare quoting parrot.

Anastasia is the crafts editor for a popular women's magazine. Dysfunctional also applies to her job, but they enjoy a well stocked break room. 
Fortunately for us, we are spoiled with several afghan patterns at the end of the book.

The story revolves around a number of murders that appear connected to Anastasia personally. The connections are not clear at first, but they can't be coincidence. Still, the motives don't look connected. What is everyone missing? Is Anastasia herself a target?
Although very subtle, there is a Halloween connection as well.

One thing I love about cozy mysteries is how they make use of obscure words and phrases, and how I learn details of different interests and occupations. The pace is constant and quick with humorous moments to keep the reader in a good mood. 
I look forward to reading the rest of this series and discovering what happens next.


lois-winston-med-res-file
 

About The Author –

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Visit Lois/Emma at www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com. Follow everyone on Tsu at www.tsu.co/loiswinston, on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/anasleuth, and onTwitter at https://twitter.com/Anasleuth. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.MyAuthorBiz.com/ENewsletter.php?acct=LW2467152513   Author Links Website: http://www.loiswinston.com Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anasleuth Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/anasleuth Tsu: www.tsu.co/loiswinston Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/722763.Lois_Winston Purchase Links Amazon Nook Kobo iTunes Google Play
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host? Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today! stirch to die for large banner324











Thursday, October 29, 2015


Undying Desire
by Jessica Lee
Series: The Enclave, #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: April 21, 2014

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

HAPPY HOMICIDES BOOK TOUR and Review

Happy Homicides – 13 Cozy Holiday Mysteries by Joanna Campbell Slan and 12 more Cozy Authors



Happy Homicides & Happy Homicides Bonus



Synopsis:
A holiday bonanza! A collection of traditional mysteries to celebrate the holidays, written by by thirteen bestselling and award-winning authors. Heartwarming, brain puzzling, craft-centered, and character driven reads that’ll keep you entertained for hours. Nearly 800 pages of reading material, plus a special Recipe and Craft Bonus.
Included are:
Kiki Lowenstein and the Rowan Branch – (Joanna Campbell Slan) When Horace Goldfader is accused of murder, Kiki learns how difficult it can be to maintain peace on earth—and to keep her deathbed promise to her late friend, Dodie.
Cara Mia Delgatto and the Misdirected Gifts  — (Joanna Campbell Slan) Two waylaid items cause Cara to take a break from her booming retail business and follow her heart. Can asprinkling of holiday magic create a “happily ever after” ending for all involved?
The Christmas Dog — (Joyce and Jim Lavene) A woman running from her deadly past finds hope, and a dog, at Christmas.
and more.


About This Author
Joanna Campbell Slan is the award-winning author of the Kiki Lowenstein Mysteries (an Agatha Award Finalist) and two other mystery series. Her stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series has been read and loved by millions. Her books reviving the classic heroine Jane Eyre have won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award. In her past life, Joanna was a television talk show host, an adjunct professor of public relations, a sought-after motivational speaker, and a corporate speechwriter. She is married to David Slan, CEO of Steinway Piano Gallery-DC. The Slans make their home on Jupiter Island, Florida. Visit Joanna’s website at www.JoannaSlan.com
 Author Links
Purchase Links –
Amazon
B&N
There are several somethings for everyone in this collection. Personally I was blown away by each and every contribution. The combined talent of these authors is OFF THE CHARTS! Amazing!!!

This is the best way (and the best price) top discover new authors and visit with old favorites.
Take your time and read through it at a comfortable, enjoyable pace.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Release Boost for Falling in Fiji by Casey Hagen




Title: Falling in Fiji
Series: Falling in Paradise #1
Author: Casey Hagen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: October 13, 2015



Blurb

A woman betrayed . . .

Corinne Anderson designs the most stunning engagement rings on the west coast. A jewelry designer for the jet set and engaged to marry the man of her dreams, Corinne thinks she has it all—until her engagement explodes in spectacular fashion. Devastated, Corinne dares a sexy stranger to help turn her honeymoon from broken to breathtaking.

A frazzled financier . . .

Everett Harden, a sought-after financial whiz kid, is overworked and stressed to the max. Minutes away from closing a lucrative deal, he’s approached by a tiny spitfire who slaps down two airline tickets and a challenge: join her on a beach getaway where the sand is hot and the adventures hotter. Intrigued and desperate for an escape, Everett accepts.

Adventures unknown . . .


Fiji began as a fancy-free trip, but with the high-tech Adventure App running the show, Corinne and Everett find more than paradise. But can their romance survive the pressures of the real world, where reality bites, adventure is hard to come by, and—there is no App for love?





Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK






Author Bio

Casey Hagen is a debut contemporary romance author releasing her first book, Falling in Fiji, in October. She writes her stories from the dense, green wilderness of the Delaware National Forest, Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. She’s a born and raised Vermont native with Ben & Jerry’s in her heart and real Vermont maple syrup pumping through her veins.

Over the years, Casey has dabbled in a wide variety of professions. She worked in the States Attorney’s office, created beautiful works of art as a florist, slaved to the public in retail, taught preschool (and potty trained eleven two-year-olds at the same time), and finally, she owned and operated her own residential cleaning business for over a decade. She is also the new Vice President of the Penn Jersey Women Writers Guild.


Casey is the proud mother of three girls, two of which are successful college students…yay! She resides with her youngest daughter, husband, and two cats. Her days are spent in her new office that she proudly admits they would need dynamite to blast her out of! When she’s not working she can be found chasing after her youngest with a camera (much to her youngest daughter’s embarrassment) or on the golf course with her real life hero!


Author Links

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Become You Review


Title: Become You
Author: Toneka R. Etienne, Ph.D.
Genre: Self-Help, Personal Development
Ready to create lasting transformation in your life? Become You reveals a practical lifestyle blueprint for the modern day woman. Begin your deep dive transformation by turning an honest, but loving mirror on your belief systems, habits, and spiritual life. This book will help you create a balanced lifestyle so that you can passionately pursue your goals and dreams without losing yourself in the process.


Book Excerpt


Pushing in is sometimes the only way out. I sat there with a huge lump in my throat. Why was this happening to me? I take pretty good care of myself. I mean I’m not a saint, but I at least try and eat healthy. Why would this be my diagnosis? Wait, she’s kidding, right? I don’t have diabetes, not me. The nurse practitioner showed me the results and proceeded to give me a prescription for a drug to stabilize blood sugar. She also gave me a prescription to pick up a blood glucose meter, a device to keep track of my blood sugar.I left the office with tears in my eyes, trying my best to remain strong. Once I got in my car, I let it go. 

I was shaking and crying like a baby. In an instant, my life had been turned upside down.
But after all 
the tears, when I allowed myself to be quiet and listen, a voice said, “Go deeper.”I knew what that meant because I had been asked to go deeper before. In the summer of 2007, my husband, Wesley, and I relocated to the metro Atlanta area with our eight month- old daughter. I spent the summer enjoying motherhood and getting acclimated to our new surroundings. One night, I was awakened around 3:00 a.m., an hour that would soon become the regular time for my spiritual encounters. I lay still. I don’t know how else to explain it, but I knew who it was that wanted my attention. He spoke to my spirit. It was as if He was preparing me. The time He was preparing me for was going to be hard and rough. I could feel it in my spirit. I was scared. But I knew that if I listened and remained close to Him, everything would be fine.

A winter season of my life started in the fall of 2007 and the spring would not arrive until July 2013, almost six years later. During that multi-year cycle, I hit the lowest points of my life, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. By the winter of 2007, I was at the doctor with heart palpitations, stress being the culprit. Full-time work, full-time doctoral pursuit, a young daughter, and another on the way leaves little time for a young married couple. My marriage was suffering tremendously, and I couldn’t see a way out of it. Then in 2010, I quit my job, a decision I made because the alternative might have sent me into a nervous breakdown. It was halftime; this was my chance to take it back into the locker room. I was getting my butt kicked out there! 

And it was in that moment that I started to go deep. I started to listen to those subtle nudges at 3:00 a.m. He would say things to me like, “Soften,” “Listen,” “Pray,” “Relax,”, and “Wait.” And I started to pay attention. He had been speaking to me through the world. I just hadn’t taken the time to listen. It was in those moments that the world started to come alive, and I was ushered into my purpose. My experiences were no longer the harsh realities of life. They were a catalyst for my own evolution.

By the spring of 2013, my spirit knew that winter was over. I shed my layers, closed the chapter, and for the next six months or so, I just enjoyed life. Then one evening in early 2014, I got the 3:00 a.m. wakeup call again. He said to me, “It’s time.” I didn’t know what that meant, but I shared it with Wesley and told him that I felt like God was ready to use me. In the summer of 2014, when I sat in the doctor’s office hearing my diagnosis, it all came back. “Go deeper.” This is it. This is what He wants me to do. After that diagnosis and a few days of self-pity, I pulled out the big guns. I opened the toolbox God planted in me during the winter and used it to heal myself. In the process, I realized that all of the gifts He instilled in me, the experiences I had, all came down to a system, a lifestyle, a way that I approach life. This is my purpose: to inspire, to heal, to listen, to support. It’s all encompassing; it requires all of you. But the transformation is deep, it’s authentic, it’s real, and it’s lasting. 
To get it, you have to go within. It’s your only way out.


There are shelves and shelves of self help and transformational books everywhere you turn. I bet you can buy a cheap book at the gas station or carwash with theories on positive thinking and the law of attraction.
What you won't find in most of those books are the action steps necessary to improve your life or the reasoning behind why these steps work.
Those other books give this genre a "woo-woo" nonsensical reputation.

Author Toneka Etienne not only breaks the improvement process into understandable chunks of actionable behaviors, she gives excellent examples from her own life. This book is the result of using the process.
She does not promise it will be quick or easy. It will go smoother if you trust and believe, but she even offers advice for those who are not totally convinced. She does an excellent job of covering mindset, attitude and perception.

I have read more books on this subject than the average person.
I've seen many that just repeat the same words as other best-selling or celebrity authors. This book is not just repetition. Toneka writes with openness and her personal style. You will get the most from this book when you follow along and do the exercises. Take her advice, go inward.

I did receive a copy of this book to review. I had no obligation to rate it highly.


Toneka R. Etienne, Ph.D., is a Psychologist, wife, mother, Huffington Post contributor, and creator at www.tonekaetienne.com. Toneka is a self-love advocate encouraging women to balance their daily
lives with the ambition to continually pursue their dreams.
Her calling is to fully support women as they call soulful purpose and intention into their life and business connected to their deepest and most authentic selves.
When she’s not holding sacred space for women’s transformation, Toneka can be found doing her favorite things: spending time with her husband and two daughters, traveling, reading, connecting with like-minded visionaries, and looking for divine inspiration.

www.tonekaetienne.com

www.instagram.com/tonekaetienne

www.facebook.com/tonekaretienne

www.periscope.tv/tonekaetienne



I read a lot of self improvement and transformation books.
Many of them are the same information, often in the same words, as all the others.
This author has a fresh perspective and puts her own style into the process.
Her enthusiasm energizes each sentence and she gives personal examples of how following the action steps resulted in her own accomplishments and growth.
For those of you that feel this positive law of attraction thing is woo-woo and just a fad,
I would ask you to pick up the book with a slightly open mind and give the steps a try.
I believe you will see benefit for yourself if you don't fight it.
I did receive a copy to review but this would be a book I would buy for my library.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Release Blitz for Falling in Fiji by Casey Hagen




Title: Falling in Fiji
Series: Falling in Paradise #1
Author: Casey Hagen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: October 13, 2015



Blurb

A woman betrayed . . .

Corinne Anderson designs the most stunning engagement rings on the west coast. A jewelry designer for the jet set and engaged to marry the man of her dreams, Corinne thinks she has it all—until her engagement explodes in spectacular fashion. Devastated, Corinne dares a sexy stranger to help turn her honeymoon from broken to breathtaking.

A frazzled financier . . .

Everett Harden, a sought-after financial whiz kid, is overworked and stressed to the max. Minutes away from closing a lucrative deal, he’s approached by a tiny spitfire who slaps down two airline tickets and a challenge: join her on a beach getaway where the sand is hot and the adventures hotter. Intrigued and desperate for an escape, Everett accepts.

Adventures unknown . . .


Fiji began as a fancy-free trip, but with the high-tech Adventure App running the show, Corinne and Everett find more than paradise. But can their romance survive the pressures of the real world, where reality bites, adventure is hard to come by, and—there is no App for love?





Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK






Author Bio

Casey Hagen is a debut contemporary romance author releasing her first book, Falling in Fiji, in October. She writes her stories from the dense, green wilderness of the Delaware National Forest, Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. She’s a born and raised Vermont native with Ben & Jerry’s in her heart and real Vermont maple syrup pumping through her veins.

Over the years, Casey has dabbled in a wide variety of professions. She worked in the States Attorney’s office, created beautiful works of art as a florist, slaved to the public in retail, taught preschool (and potty trained eleven two-year-olds at the same time), and finally, she owned and operated her own residential cleaning business for over a decade. She is also the new Vice President of the Penn Jersey Women Writers Guild.


Casey is the proud mother of three girls, two of which are successful college students…yay! She resides with her youngest daughter, husband, and two cats. Her days are spent in her new office that she proudly admits they would need dynamite to blast her out of! When she’s not working she can be found chasing after her youngest with a camera (much to her youngest daughter’s embarrassment) or on the golf course with her real life hero!


Author Links

The Devil's Hook by Pearl R. Meaker





The Devil’s Hook
by Pearl R. Meaker
Romantic Suspense


Jairus Twombly's familial intuition is faltering and his new personal assistant seems to be tryingto replace his wife, Amy.

On the Twombly College campus, someone is breaking into the dorm rooms of female students leaving things instead of taking things: red colored objects including a red golf ball, a red ribbon and a tiny red stuffed dog.




When a recipient of some of the red objects goes missing and is returned after being told, 
"You're not her", and the personal assistant turns up dead with Amy Twombly's elegant 
Bloodwood crochet hook in her eye, things heat up for Emory Crawford and her chemist and forensic scientist husband, Dr. Jebbin Crawford.

Emory, along with the Twombly's Nancy Drew-like daughter, Madison, once more turns to her amateur detective skills and intuition to solve the mysteries.


“Yeah. Well.” Captain Henry looked into the box. “Weird things. An un-inflated red balloon. 
Round shaped, not like a condom or something like that. A red golf ball. I mean, where on earth 
do you get red golf balls? And six more things. The roommate said she’d gotten more of this 
junk than anyone else, so far. Here.” He plopped the box on Jebbin’s desk with a thud and stuck 
a clipboard in front of his face. “It’s all yours as soon as you sign for it. Items are all listed on the 
form. We didn’t do a bunch of separate sheets, but they’re all bagged and numbered individually.”

Jebbin signed the sheet and handed back the clipboard.

“I ‘suppose you’re gonna let her look through it all?” Henry said, looking at me. He held his right 
hand up like a cop directing traffic to stop. “No. Nope. Don’t tell me. I really don’t want to know. 
Like you said. Your office. Your little scientific, antiseptic, sterile world where, yep, they’re all 
your decisions.”  He walked out, though I caught his mutter: “Whole crime fighting world is goin’ to hell in a handcart.”  He gave me one last look before he closed the door.

“Can I see?” I sounded as much like an eager kindergartener as I could.

“Yes, little Emory. You can look if you’re a good girl and don’t open any of the baggies yourself 
and don’t touch the things inside them.”

“Yipee!”

We both got up, Sophie too, to take the box to the lab.
Jebbin paused to look around, as though he was forgetting something.
“What?” I asked.
“Where’s the handcart that you’re taking the whole of investigative procedure to hell in?”
I linked my arm through his. 

“I left it at home.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Pearl R. Meaker is an upper-middle-aged, short, pudgy homemaker, mother, and grandmother who in 2002 became a writer. Initially writing fanfiction she soon tried original fiction at the encouragement of her regular readers. She has been a life-long lover of mystery stories and automatically went to that genre for her first book, The Devil’s Music. 

She and her husband of nearly 40 years live in central Illinois. They both love bluegrass music, playing fiddle and banjo and singing. Pearl also does many crafts –  when she’s not reading or writing - knitting, crochet, origami, needlepoint, and cross-stitch among them. She also enjoys birding and photography and is a former fencer. 

Visit Pearl here: pearlrmeaker.com 

https://www.facebook.com/PearlRMeaker 

https://twitter.com/PearlRMeaker

https://www.pinterest.com/PearlRMeaker/ 

Buy The Devil’s Hook

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Devils-Hook-Emory-Crawford-Mystery/dp/B013TJ1YM6/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-devils-hook-pearl-r-

meaker/1122650509

Chapters/Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-devils-hook/9781987857160-

item.html?ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

Buy The Devil’s Music: 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1927559642

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-devils-music-pearl-r-

meaker/1121268521?ean=9781927559642 

Chapters/Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-devils-music/9781927559642-

item.html?ikwid=Pearl+R.+Meaker&ikwsec=Books&ikwidx=0 

Books-a-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Devils-Music/Pearl-R-

Meaker/9781927559642?id=6265350871154

An interesting cozy with a fresh approach; a mature amateur sleuth teamed up with the teenage daughter of a colleague, reminiscent of a pairing of Miss Marple and an aspiring Nancy Drew.

Winter break at Twombly College allows an opportunity for less serious, more flexible classes. Mrs. Crawford is teaching crochet to a group of varied students, from 14 year old Madison and her mother, Amy, wife of a prestigious professor, several college students, including two male soccer players, and an adult accountant, suffering from pneumonia and boredom.
Emory Crawford has adult children of her own and is beginning to feel pangs of empty nest syndrome. Fortunately she still has two cats and a golden retriever to mother. Emory also has some intuition or psychic awareness. The esteemed professor Twombly also has some extra sensory abilities, more developed than Emory's. The animals may have some intuitive intelligence, similar to Koko, the cat WHO, or it could just be Emory's desire for them to communicate with her. 

Strange things are happening on campus. Someone is breaking into rooms and leaving red objects. There is no explanation. It is just weird.
One student who receives the mysterious red items is in the crochet class.
Things escalate when she is drugged and kidnapped. Emory can not keep her nose out of the investigation.

Even worse, the professor's P.A. ends up dead in his home kitchen after a loud argument with Amy. Madison can't sit back and watch her mother take the fall. She knows Amy is not guilty, but the evidence isn't clearing her.

This is a quick read. The crochet talk is interesting and the food descriptions are tantalizing. I wish the incredible pot pie recipe was included, but from details given, even I can create it. Something about this author's writing encourages readers to cook. 

There are a lot of relationship issues discussed, some sleuthing over every dinner, and several mysteries to solve, including an ongoing curiosity about Emory's psychic intuition. Even after the main mysteries are solved, there is enough left unexplained to make readers look forward to another book. 

This does well as a stand alone, but some references are included to past events. I look forward to seeing the characters grow and develop.
I did receive this book in exchange for an unbiased review.