Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Feature and Giveaway - The Shadow Man by Mark Murphy

Today I will be featuring 

by Mark Murphy 

AND a print copy as a giveaway.

The Winner is Sandi


The blog tour's official site is:


This is a PERFECT book for today, which is Halloween.  


Giveaway Guidelines:

1.  Please be a new or old follower of my blog. 
To become a new follower, you have to click the JOIN THIS SITE BUTTON down the right side. Some folks are forgetting. :)
2.  Entrant must have a U.S. mailing address.
3.  Please fill out this form to enter.

The contest will last from today, October 31, until November 9.

Best of luck...and please read all the info below about Shadow Man and Mark.  



This is not my review or was sent to me by the author for this blog tour to post on my blog.

The Shadow Man Book Summary:

There is a devil in the night, silent and invisible, moving in the dream realm between life and death. And he's coming for you.

Savannah surgeon Malcolm King had a perfect life—a loving wife, devoted daughter, and a thriving medical practice. But when a random airport parking lot hit-and-run links him to a dead body in a Florida hotel and an acquaintance is found dismembered and stuffed into a garbage bag, Malcolm finds himself on the run as a suspected serial killer. But he's no murderer.

Or is he?

Who is the mysterious Thin Man who lurks at the edges of his vision? Are the ravens that crowd the skies overhead a warning of impending doom - or do they exist at all?

With the help of Seminole tracker Billy Littlebear, Malcolm tries to untangle the web of clues left behind by a mysterious chameleon-like killer known as the Shadow Man. But will he be too late?

The Shadow Man is a complex, atmospheric thriller in the tradition of Stephen King. Darkly evocative and relentless in its twists and turns, it dares the reader to put it down - even for a minute.
Mark Murphy's Bio:

A physician currently living in Savannah, Georgia, Mark Murphy is also a lifelong award-winning writer. In the midst of a busy medical career which included several academic publications, Dr. Murphy’s decision to attend the Iowa Summer Writing Festival led to the inclusion of a short story, "The Funeral," in a 2004 collection of works entitled O! Georgia! A well-received regular newspaper column in the Savannah Morning News followed. The Shadow Man is his first novel.

Mark Murphy's Web Site:

Mark Murphy's Facebook:

Mark Murphy's Twitter:!/Heeldawg

Mark Murphy's Blog:

Savannah Book Festival:

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:

The Shadow Man
blog tour site:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Things Remembered by Georgia Bockoven

Raising three granddaughters and learning that they never changed as adults was what Anna found out when she needed her granddaughters to take care of her. 

Karla was the granddaughter who always made sure things were settled and in order, and Karla was the most unlikely to help but the one who did come to help Anna.  Returning to her home town and sleeping in her childhood bed brought good and bad memories back for Karla.  The bad ones included not really getting along with her grandmother, but they both found things out after all these years that had been mistakenly assumed and that had them holding unnecessary grudges.
As you are reading, you will think of your childhood and your mother and most likely have tears as I did. This book will make you think about your life and your relationships with your parents, your friends, your siblings, and any other people in your life. 
The details and character descriptions are vivid.  The main focus of the book was on Karla and Anna and how they re-discover each other as well as the re-discovering of themselves and things about other family members they never knew. The love they never had for each other as Anna raised Karla came to the surface with happiness but also with regret that all those years had been wasted.
I enjoyed the family connections and how nicely the story flowed along with situations that will make you think about your family relationships. 

The book is perfect for this time of year with Thanksgiving around the corner.  It is a book about being thankful for who we are and who helped us get where we are.  Whether we realize it or not, we "are" our mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather and can't change that.  
This book is a warm, cozy read about reliving family moments, making new family moments, starting anew with your life, and definitely is all the things your parents told you would be coming true some day….all the good things that is.
This quote will make you want to find out why it was so significant to the story:  “Have a good life, sweetheart.”  Find out who and why.  

Don’t miss this book, and definitely don't miss the recipes included in the back of the book.   

ENJOY!!  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Literary Blog Hop



#13  nrlymrtl 

I will be sending  you an e-mail to the e-mail provided.


Why Not Join In The Fun!!
Literary Giveaway Blog Hop 

The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop is an event taking place from Saturday October 27th until (and including) Wednesday October 31st.

Stop by all the blogs listed at this link for a chance to win books and prizes.

My Giveaway is for 

Please see the guidelines for the giveaway below.
Giveaway Guidelines:  
1.  You must be a resident of the USA.
2.  Please be a NEW or OLD Follower.
3.  Please complete this form.

THANKS, and  have fun.  
Best of luck to all entrants.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Accidental Don by Guy J. Tirondola

Is it easier or more difficult running away from two things at the same time? depends on what the two things are. Don thought dealing with two problems was easier because the worst one could be put on the back burner for a while.

Don definitely needed to solve and deal with both of these problems, and one was definitely more dangerous than the other. Dealing with the mafia was much more pressing than dealing with a pregnant daughter. To solve both these problems, Don decided to move away and start a new life. The life he and his family began anew and the people he met were quite interesting. You will love Beppe and Israel.

This book held my interest from the beginning. The author is remarkable..the book flows smoothly and very interestingly. I wanted to get back to the book as soon as I could. The characters were described perfectly, and the situations were very times you could feel the fear the characters were experiencing.

For a first book, it was well done. You will enjoy the ending and realize that it is family that matters.

ENJOY!! 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the author in return for an honest review.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas

From quilting to murder....the quilting club took care of each other food wise as well as keeping each other's secrets.  And boy can quilters keep secrets. 

THE PERSIAN PICKLE CLUB was sweet and nostalgic.  The book took place during the depression and drought in Kansas.  The descriptions of the homes and of the characters was excellent.  I could visualize their kitchens, and I could see them sitting around the quilting frame chatting, reading, planning, and stitching.

It was homey, sweet, and nostalgic.  And the surprising part is that it went from sweet to not so sweet.  :)  

If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of every day life, check out THE PERSIAN PICKLE CLUB by Sandra Dallas.  You will be transported back to when few people had telephones and everyone looked out for each other.  The ending has a twist that you would never expect from a ladies' quilting club.

ENJOY!!  5/5  I read this book for one of my book clubs.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stonebridge Manor by Peter C. Bradbury


Who "done" it?  The butler, the husband, one of the personal servants, or one of the weekend guests.

It could have been anyone who murdered Lady one including the staff and even some of her friends liked her, but would they resort to murder?

Stonebridge Manor was a book about life in a British household with maids and butlers.  The Lady of the house was spiteful and cruel and liked to "fool" around on her husband.

I enjoyed seeing how a household with maids and butlers is run.  The main portion of the book told of the daily lives of the household and its goings on.  The murder came as a surprise halfway through the book.   

The book was a bit wordy and at times cumbersome, but it definitely kept my interest.  If you enjoy British life and enjoy knowing how wealthy British households are run, you will enjoy the book as well.

The characters were well described and likeable....well, most of them.  You can feel the propriety of the butler when he addresses his Lordship and guests, and you can feel the hatred or love each character had for each other.  The author had excellent detail in the scenes, characters' feelings, character descriptions, and interactions among the characters.

The author is an actual English butler, and I am sure all of this and more goes on with the staff and the people in charge.  An enjoyable read.  Rating 4/5

The book was given to me by the author free of charge in return for an honest review.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hachette Book Group's First Book Group Day

Here is the book event I attended on September 29 at the New York City Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Branch.

*I copied the information from their website so you could enjoy the day as well.*

I had a great time meeting the Hachette Folks and the Authors. 

We also left with a very useful, zippered book bag and six random books from the authors in attendance.


Musings from Hachette Book Group’s First Book Group Day

rsz_carol_karen.jpg20121008163746.jpgHachette Book Group’s first Book Group Day on Saturday, September 29th was a huge success. Eleven authors shared stories about their books, their characters and their writing process in a five-hour event that was a celebration of reading.

Candace Bushnell.JPG20121006162648.jpg20121006165025.jpgThe day kicked off with Candace Bushnell, the author of Sex and the City, who read the prologue of her upcoming book and joked that that came easily; now she just needs to finish the rest of the book that lives up to the prologue. She was very amusing. Asked what she has been reading, she said that she had just finished reading Aftermath by Rachel Cusk, and from here she got onto the topic of how English writers are less sentimental than American ones. When Americans do that, they are criticized for that. One of her favorite books is The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton, a book that Wharton was criticized for because it did just that. Something very interesting to ponder.

ayad.jpg20121008163104.jpgThe next panel featured three literary fiction authors. First up, Ayad Akhtar spoke about American Dervish, which he describes as a novel about rupture and renewal. It’s about Hayat Shah, a young Pakistani American who is in love for the first time. Mina is Hayat's mother's oldest friend from Pakistan. When Mina begins dating a man, Hayat is confused by his feelings of betrayal. His growing passions force him to question all that he has come to believe is true. I loved the comment that Ayad’s mother shared after she read it: “We were all doing the very best we could.” I think so many of us need to think about that when we think about things we might have wanted to see done differently in our childhoods. Something to remember.
Jami Attenberg.jpgAlso on this panel was Jami Attenberg, whose book The Middlesteins comes out on October 23rd. For more than 30 years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie's enormous girth. She's obsessed with food, and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live. When Richard abandons her, it is up to the next generation of Middlesteins to take control. Do Edie's devastating choices rest on her shoulders alone, or are others at fault, too? Jami grew up outside Chicago and, while growing up, shunned everything Jewish. Writing this book was a chance for her to go back and look at those roots and talk stories with her family. She has a lot more openness with her family now than she did before. She made me crave a great bagel…and a corned beef sandwich.

P1010295.jpg20121008160917.jpgThe Lifeboat has been one of the most talked-about books of the year. In it, Charlotte Rogan looks at what happens when an ocean liner sinks and the lifeboat gets overloaded. In our review, Terry Miller Shannon calls it “a gripping, urgent story told in a manner that doesn't settle easily and will be difficult to forget.... [R]eaders will find much to this memorable tale reminiscent of Titanic meets Lord of the Flies." From what I heard in the room, this was the book that generated the most excitement of the day. In fact, my friend Beverley who attended the event with me called yesterday to tell me she already had taken it out of the library. A revelation to Charlotte: there are two sisters in the boat…and she has a sister. She had not thought about that as she wrote it. Her dad had a sailboat, and when they were growing up, he was very competitive and liked to race with other boats. She and her sister were too young and too small to do anything. It was their job to stay out of the way. She was not thinking of that until she saw there were two sisters in the boat!
Larissa Ione and Jill Shalvis chatted about their very different romance titles. Larissa’s are paranormal vampire books with lots of X-rated sex, while Jill’s series is more rated R. Neither will allow their children to read their books, which is somewhat amusing.

jodi kantor.jpgOn the nonfiction panel, Jodi Kantor talked about her book, The Obamas, which is about how the First Couple came to the White House with no background in Washington customs; in fact, they had not lived together as a family for years. She talks about how the book is a real insider’s look at how the White House functions and the folks who work there who have been there for generations, doing the jobs behind the scenes no matter who is in power. There are valets from the branches of the military assigned to the President to ensure he always looks dapper and his closet is arranged with military precision. Amusingly, the First Lady does NOT have this. Great stories!

margaret roach.jpgMargaret Roach left her job at Martha Stewart Living to move to her home in upstate New York, in a remote area. Her latest book, And I Shall Have Some Peace There, is a memoir about this journey and her efforts to lead a more authentic life by connecting with her garden and with nature. She told a marvelous story about how each weekend when she was still balancing her life at work with weekends in the country, as she drove to the house, there was a moment in her drive where she left the city behind and the vista before her spoke to peace and tranquility. She took a photo of that scene and someone painted it for her. She talks about solitude vs. loneliness. She made me long for such a place of quiet!
Interestingly, both she and Jodi both wrote about famous people and worked with famous people, but they have both always been in the background of the stories…not at the forefront. Very interesting to see what they both learned from that role through the years.

13.jpg20121006170740.jpgThe Mystery Panel had Megan Abbott, the author of Dare Me (a book that I could NOT put down), as well as Cornelia Read, whose latest book is Valley of Ashes. Megan talked about how the ultimate mystery is “What is the switch that makes people cruel?,” which is definitely a theme in her books about cheerleaders. Here’s what our reviewer, Joe Hartlaub, had to say about it: “This is one of the most quietly chilling and compelling books that you will read this year.... Abbott peels back the seething drama that lies beneath the glitter and the smiles under the Friday night lights, and it’s anything but pretty. It sure makes for compulsive reading, though.”
14.jpg20121006170806.jpgCornelia draws from the experiences of her life; she is a former debutante whose family background is very socialite while her own parents were dropout hippies. She amusingly shared that she gave up disguising family members years ago. And instead they infuse her characters.

stacy schiff.jpgStacy Schiff, author of the hugely popular biography of Cleopatra, opened her talk by sharing that she belongs to a book group that she has been a part of with a group of women who came together when their children were five years old; they are now 19. They get together now to talk more about their lives than about the book, and twice a year they invite their husbands to be there as well. She talked about how she loves being a biographer and how she sees it as a wonderful way to learn history through the view of one person. So true! She had MANY funny stories to share about the depths she has gone to in the names of research, which consumes years before she starts the writing process.

The moderator for the day was the always upbeat and completely engaging Karen Torres from Hachette; you can see her in the photo with me above. There were door prizes and gift bags throughout the day, making it a really, really festive day! And the interactions with our readers during the event made it all the more special to me. There are plans to do this event again!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lighting Candles In The Snow by Karen Jones Gowen


When we finally do meet the parent/parents of the person we are in love with and want to marry, will it make a difference after seeing what the family is truly like?  Seeing Jeremy's home with his mother hidden among all the debris was something to consider, but Karoline was so in love at that moment that it didn't make a difference.   She decided there is a reason for everything.

LIGHTING CANDLES IN THE SNOW was written with families in mind, and the writing style was very good and kept my interest.  The book took you through the trials and tribulations of Karoline London before, during, and after her divorce.  The wonderful recipes included at the end of each chapter were a nice addition.

You were able to feel Karoline's emotions and see the pain or happiness she was going through.  It brought to light the fact that where we come from in terms of family and upbringing has a major impact on our lives and can't be denied.  

LIGHTING CANDLES IN THE SNOW was mainly about feelings and having to deal with any type of crisis that occurs in our lives.  The book was very well written and the characters came from the heart of the author and to me were "real life" characters.  It did draw you in and kept you curious to see what was going to happen. 

The theme brought out things we may have to deal with in our lives whether it be a parent, a sister, or a husband and how things that happen to us as children, teenagers, and even as an adult affect our lives for a long time.  The ending pages told it all, and in this case why Jeremy was the way he was.  
4/5 – it just isn’t my normal genre, but I am glad I read this book.

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.