Friday, January 31, 2014

Book Giveaway - Who's This Baby?

Who's this baby?


 Contest has ended - thanks to all who entered.

The winner is:

#12 - Bobbie


Guess who this baby is, and you can win a signed copy of her book, The Book Of Lost Fragrances.  

Check out these unique facts about the author.

  1. I eventually learned to stop crying about rejection and instead in 1998 got my first book contract in a very unusual way, becoming the first author to be discovered on
  2. I helped found ITW, a unique writers’ organization that requests no dues and has an amazing festival every year in NYC.
  3. I took art classes at the Metropolitan Museum from the time I was 6 to 10 and then at the Art Student’s League in NYC, and one of my commercials is in NYC’s Museum of Modern Art.
This contest is SIMPLE....all you need to do is to fill out this form with the correct answer. 

ANSWER is below.  :)  There is NO way you will get it wrong!!!

Contest will run from January 31 until February 15.




M.J. Rose is the international bestselling author of thirteen novels, one of which (The Reincarnationist) was the basis of the television series Past Lives.  She is a founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors:  She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.


Seduction by M.J. Rose is on sale 
March 4, 2014



The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose is on sale now

Book Blogger Hop - 1/31 - 2/6

 Question of the Week:

When you receive new books in the mail, do the older ones get moved to the bottom of your list or do go strictly "by the book" and keep your list with older books first and then the new ones?

My Answer:

I normally go strictly "by the book" and read in the order I have received the books.  

An exception is when I get a last minute tour or a book that definitely needs to be reviewed before or on the publication date.

I usually keep the books in order of being received and publication date, though.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd

Hamish and Rutledge are back again solving two seemingly unrelated murders in two different small towns.

Ian Rutledge is working on finding a "shadowy" figure who shoots to kill and then disappears without a trace.  Rutledge has a difficult time finding clues and connections that would lead to the murderer's identification.

The first shooting was at a wedding and the second at a political rally.  No one seems to be able to understand how the two are related nor the reason for the murders.

HUNTING SHADOWS is another great read by Charles Todd; in fact, HUNTING SHADOWS is my favorite of his mysteries, and I have read a number of his books.

Sometimes his murders get too tied up with the war, but HUNTING SHADOWS seems more geared to the people in the story and the plot.  So if you didn't like some of his other books, this one is different, so give it a try.

I always enjoy Mr. Todd's mysteries mostly because of the time period and the twists and turns that ultimately occur.
Rutledge and Hamish are always characters that keep you on your toes. The other characters in HUNTING SHADOWS who perfectly portray the way of life at that time in history will keep your interest.

If you enjoy a murder mystery at its best along with wonderful description and imagery, don't miss Todd's newest Ian Rutledge mystery. 4/5

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

After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman

One disappearance and then another ten years later.  Could both these disappearances have been planned far apart so no one would know the real reason?

Felix Brewer disappeared because he wanted to avoid going to jail for his misdeeds.  He left his wife and three daughters, but was his wife really surprised he had left?  He never really was with her in the first place.  He always had a mistress and was rarely home.  His mistress, Julie, was his most steady one.  To cause more heartache and questions after Julie’s disappearance, Felix's wife wonders if she may have gone with him.

The questions about whether they were together or not surfaced twenty-six years later when they found Julie's body.

AFTER I'M GONE moves from present to past and from character to character.   I actually was not swept away as I had been with Ms. Lippman's other books until the ending pages.

It was very confusing even when I was three quarters of the way into the book.  I had trouble following the storyline.  The detective, Sandy, made the book for me. 

I had to keep reading, though, just to see if they found out where Felix was and who had killed Julie.

I am not going to say I disliked this book, but it just didn't grab me, didn’t pull me back to reading, or have me thinking about the characters or story when I wasn't reading.  AFTER I'M GONE definitely has a character-driven storyline even though they were not likeable.  Most of them were only worried about themselves.

Ms. Lippman may have been trying something different with this book, but I have to say I was disappointed until the end.  Whenever I hear Laura Lippman, I normally know I am in for a real treat. The treat was late in coming as it came toward the end of the book as Sandy was wrapping up the investigation.  AFTER I'M GONE actually got quite good at this point, and the outcome of “who done it” was very clever.

As I turned the ending pages, I said:  "I know this person did it," and then I said: "no that person did," but I was wrong.  When you find out who really “did it,” you will love it.

My rating originally was going to be a 3/5, but the sensational, clever ending that kept me guessing is going to move it up to a 4/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Wife, The Maid, And The Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

Who would have thought that being a maid could be this dangerous?  Maria never would have guessed that.
Maria cleaned for Judge Joseph Crater who had a mistress and who was involved with gangsters. Then one day Joseph disappeared, and even his wife didn't know where he was. 

Joseph’s wife, Stella, their maid, Maria, and Joseph’s mistress, Ritzi, were characters you will love and feel sorry for.  Stella Crater knew about her husband's mistress, Maria saw the mistress one day when she arrived to clean and was sworn to secrecy, and Ritizi hated what she did.  All three women were tied to Joseph Crater for different reasons and hated him for different reasons.

THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS is based on a true incident.  Judge Joseph Crater’s disappearance has never been solved, and his body has never been found.

When I realized THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS was based on a true incident, the book pulled me in even more.  The book took you back to a time when showgirls, speakeasies, proper etiquette for ladies, murders, and greasing palms was prevalent.

You will be drawn into the glitz, the glamor, and the corruption of the 1930's and into the lifestyles of the wealthy as well as the working class.

Ritzi was my favorite just because of her guts. Maria was sweet and got drawn into something way out of her league.  Stella was indifferent to life and her marriage.  They all had a common thread and a common interest.

If you like historical fiction and this era, don’t miss THE WIFE, THE MAID, THE MISTRESS.  The surprise ending ties things up nicely.

I am wholeheartedly recommending this book.  Loved it. 5/5

Monday, January 27, 2014

Five Things Lucinda Riley Can't Write Without

Lucinda Riley
  5 Things She Can’t Write Without

1. Peace  
Above all I need total peace and calm to write the first draft.  My normal life is so hectic with 4 children and ‘Team Lulu’ (my assistant editor/PA/nanny/housekeeper) without whom I would not be able to finish one book, let alone the 13 I have completed so far.  Though I can go through the editing process when at home or in France in the summer, the creative stage, particularly when I’m writing the ‘past,’ requires me to be totally undisturbed for sustained periods to concentrate, and this means being away from home — and preferably somewhere warm.  For example I took 3 weeks alone in a remote hotel in Northern Thailand to write the majority of The Midnight Rose, and 3 weeks in Rio de Janeiro to write the ‘past’ section of my first book of a forthcoming series of seven called ‘The Seven Sisters.’

2. An Inspiring Location

It’s always a particular location that first fills me with inspiration for my next book.  Sometimes it’s a country or landscape, but more often than not, it’s a house.  And when I begin to write, I often get the uncanny feeling that I have been there before and that the stories are ‘being told’ to me.

3. ‘Dick’

I know I am not typical amongst authors, in that I don’t keep notes or ‘storyboard’ a novel — once I have had the initial inspiration the story and characters begin to form in my imagination, then I dust off my trusty little voice recorder and start talking into my dictatphone.  ’Dick’ — as I affectionately call him — and I, have a love/hate relationship.  I spend long hours with him as I speak to him in strange positions (I can’t sit in a chair during this process, I have to sit on a floor or walk, and for some reason, write better outside in the open air) and act out the characters.  As an ex-actress, I find it hugely beneficial to speak the dialogue out loud.  I spend weeks talking to myself — my kids think I’m crazy, especially as I add the punctuation as I go.

I then hand it to Olivia, my long-suffering PA, who then has the unenviable task of converting my verbal ‘vomit’ into words on a real page.

4. Provencal Rosé and Cheese

I have a rigorous ‘drinks routine every writing day, starting with a large mug of tea when I wake up.  A milky coffee at 10am is then followed at lunchtime by a glass of rose wine from Provence in Southern France — only pale rosé will do, and my favorite is Chateau Pampelonne, from just outside St. Tropez.  As for food, because I am a coeliac and can’t eat wheat, my diet doesn’t allow bread or pasta or cereals and I therefore get my energy from milk, cheese, fish and rice — and cheese is my passion, mainly cheddar and brie.

5. Family 

I have 4 children whom I miss terribly when I am away writing.  Luckily I find a way to speak every day on Skype or the phone, and my husband also sometimes visits me (if it’s a particularly nice location!).


Lucinda Riley is the internationally bestselling author of The Orchid House (published as Hothouse Flower in the UK, more then 2 million copies sold worldwide); The Girl on the Cliff (an instant New York Times bestseller), and The Lavender Garden (published as The Light Behind the Window in the UK).  Her fourth novel, The Midnight Rose, will be published around the world in early 2014.  Her novels have been translated into twenty-two languages and published in thirty-six countries.  Born in Ireland, she lives with her husband and four children in the English countryside and in the South of France.


Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley is on sale March 18, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - 1/27/14

I hope you had a great reading week.  

This is a weekly meme run by Book Journey!

Post the books completed last week, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish this week.


Books Completed Last Week:

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The book was wonderful just like all of her books.  Love Sue Monk Kidd's books. 

Review link is in the book's title.


Book Currently Reading: 

Mom is still in the hospital, and I didn't get much reading done.  

I will be in and out for visiting blogs.

I am still reading Hunting Shadows. It is quite good.  Sometimes his books get too detailed with war, but this is more about the characters and the lifestyle at that time in history.

Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd

Books Up Next:

Fallen Beauty for a tour on February 28, 2014

Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers for a post in February for Simon & Schuster along with a giveaway.

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh for a post in February for Penguin Group along with a giveaway.

The Chatelet Apprentice by by Jean-François Parot (Author) , Michael Glencross (Translator)

 Woman of Ill Fame by Erika Mailman

The Signature of All Things  

Perfect by Rachel Joyce

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan


The books below are not necessarily in the order I have planned to read them.  

I normally read in order of publication or tour date.

And....these are not for reading in the upcoming week.  They are books into and including next year.

The "list" is a means of keeping me organized.  A visual display helps a lot for organization along with my Excel lists.  :)

I added a couple more since last week.