Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

Have a fun Halloween!!
Look at this box of fun I received from an exchange on Litsy!!
Check out the Litsy app - it's fun.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tahoe Payback by Todd Borg

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Giveaway and Spotlight of Death Comes: A Willa Cather and Edith Lewis Mystery by Sue Hallgarth

All information in this post is courtesy of Serena Agusto-Cox.
Death Comes: A Willa Cather and Edith Lewis Mystery by Sue Hallgarth, published by Arbor Farm Press in October 2017.
Looks quite good doesn't it?  Read on!!

There also has been a blog tour going on since September and will last through November. 

Giveaway link at the bottom of the post.  Good Luck!!
About the Book:

Death Comes gives us another glimpse into the life and work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and her talented life partner. The year is 1926.

Willa and Edith return to Mabel Dodge Luhan’s pink adobe in Taos, New Mexico. Willa is writing Death Comes for the Archbishop. Edith is sketching Taos Pueblo and hoping for a visit to the nearby D.H. Lawrence ranch. 

The previous summer they had stumbled onto a woman’s body. Now the headless bodies of two women add to the mystery. 
Sue Hallgarth presents an intimate portrait of Cather, Lewis, the spectacular New Mexico landscape, and the famous artists and writers Mabel Dodge Luhan gathered in Taos.
About the Author:
Sue Hallgarth is former English professor. She has written scholarly articles on Willa Cather and Edith Lewis, and this is her second book of fiction featuring the two of them. 

Her first book in the series On The Rocks, set in 1929 on the island of Grand Manan in New Brunswick, Canada. She lives in Corrales, New Mexico.
An Audio Interview With The Author by KUNM - click on the microphone to listen:
Image courtesy of Apple's Pages - Version 6.2
Blog Tour Schedule:

Oct. 10: The Book Connection (Book Spotlight)
Oct. 12: Debra Smouse (Review)
Oct. 14: Teddy Rose Book Reviews and Plus More (Book Spotlight/Giveaway)
Oct. 17: Jorie Loves A Story (Review On the Rocks)
Oct. 18: Jorie Loves A Story (Review Death Comes)
Oct. 19: Modern Creative Life (Interview)
Oct. 25: Silver's Reviews (Book Spotlight/Giveaway)
Oct. 30: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Nov. 2: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)
Nov. 6: CelticLady's Reviews (Book Spotlight)
Nov. 8: Donna’s Book Reviews (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #SueHallgarth

 October 25 - November 3
Enter Here

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Double Rainbow

A gorgeous, double rainbow appeared and stayed for about 15 minutes.

The bottom one was so bright!!

The It Girls by Karen Harper

An authoress and a dressmaker on the loose.

Nellie and Lucy were sisters and were mischievous from the start.  They went through thick and thin together. 

The time was early 1800's and women were to be wed and not be in a trade, but the Sutherland girls didn't abide. Well Lucy didn't.  Nellie sort of did, but  she still had high hopes of her books being published, and they were published.

We follow both girls from their childhood to becoming adults.  The writing pulled you into the story line and kept your interest with the antics of Nellie and Lucy.


Both women are delightful, strong, and enthusiastic about their chosen choices for what they decided they wanted to do.

They both had "it" - charisma and charm.

I enjoyed how excited Lucy was about her dressmaking business and how Nellie was happy or seemed happy with her life with her husband in the beginning.

Lucy's gowns were named for passion further increasing the moving forward of women.  Some thought the names and her products were scandalous.

Nellie’s books were considered scandalous as well.

One of the gowns was titled:  DO YOU LOVE ME.  

Along with the gowns and the scandalous books her sister has been writing, the two women kept moving forward making a name for themselves.  :)

We follow their business dealings and their love life.

THE IT GIRLS is set in the late 1800's when these two feisty women want to change from only being homemakers to being able to handle a career as well.

If you enjoy cheering on women who most likely led the way for all women to make a name for themselves, then you won't want to miss reading THE IT GIRLS. 

The cover is dazzling just like the two main characters.  

My only complaint was that the story line dragged out a bit at times.

If you enjoy determined women, fashion, and books, you will love THE IT GIRLS. 4/5

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

Monday, October 23, 2017

Upcoming Reviews

Stop back if you like for reviews of:

THE IT GIRLS by Karen Harper - tomorrow - October 24.

MILLARD SALTER'S LAST DAY by Jacob M. Appel - November 3

P. S. I found a few poster maker apps that I am having fun with.  This one as you can see is Jusgramm.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Giveaway and Spotlight of Even If It Kills Her by Kate White

All information in this post is courtesy of Nancy Berland of Nancy Berland Public Relations, Inc.
EVEN IF IT KILLS HER, Kate's first Bailey Weggins mystery in five years, due out October 31--in just three weeks!
Sounds quite good doesn't it?  Read on!!
Giveaway link at the bottom of the post.  Good Luck!!
In this twisty, scary, page-turning whodunit, Bailey sets out to find the real killer of her friend's entire family.
Bailey Weggins’ good friend in college, Jillian Lowe, had everything going for her. Pretty, popular, and whip-smart, she lit up any room that she walked into.
All of that dramatically changed during her sophomore year, when a neighbor became unhinged and murdered her family. Jillian immediately left school, and, ever since, Bailey has felt guilty for not staying in closer contact and being a greater support to her friend.
Now, sixteen years later, Bailey is shocked to see Jillian at her book event, and even more surprised when her still-stunning friend approaches her with a case. The man accused of murdering her family is on the brink of being cleared of the crime through new DNA evidence. With the real killer walking free, Jillian is desperate for Bailey’s help to identify him and allow her the closure she yearns for.
The two women return to Jillian’s childhood town to investigate, and it doesn’t take long for their sleuthing to cause shock waves. Someone starts watching their every move.
As they uncover deeply guarded secrets, so shocking that they make Jillian rethink her entire relationship to her family, Bailey and Jillian find themselves in great peril. They must decide just how much they’re willing to risk to finally discover the truth about the Lowe family’s murder.
Did you know Kate's giving away a weekly Bailey Box full of gifts Kate's journalist-turned-crime-writer and sleuth favorite things? (Think a make-up kit, a gift card to Sephora, an evidence pad--and more surprises!) 

The final deadline is October 28

You'll find the Bailey Box information right here: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a078c0961/
And Kate is sharing one chapter of EVEN IF IT KILLS HER a week for six weeks, 100 pages in all, before the book is published, for those who join her reader list (or who are already on it!). Check that out here: http://www.writerspacenews.com/subscribe/subscribe.html 
“White builds suspense masterfully, and this seventh in the Bailey Weggins series (after So Pretty It Hurts, 2012) has the makings of another hit. Bailey is a smart, sexy sleuth, and her exploits make for thoroughly entertaining reading.”  —Michele Leber, Booklist

“Compulsively readable and skillfully plotted, EVEN IF IT KILLS HER is Kate White’s dynamic return to the Bailey Weggins series.” – Karin Slaughter, New York Times and International Bestselling Author


I am partnering with Harper Collins and Nancy Berland Publications, Inc., for this giveaway

 October 19 - October 26
Enter here

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Spotlight of The Vineyard by Maria Duenas


The Vineyard
“Dueñas’ sweeping tale of fortunes made and lost abounds with dramatic characters and operatic plot twists […] this sprawling tale will charm fans of historical romance.” - Kirkus Reviews

"Heart wrenching yet uplifting, this beautifully rendered story
 will linger in readers' minds" - RT Book Reviews, four stars
With the debut of her brilliant first novel, the New York Times bestseller The Time In Between (Atria; 2009), Dueñas was lauded for her descriptive and lyrical narrative and uniquely touching protagonists.  In a starred review, Publishers Weekly declared her “a writer to watch,” while El Mundo in her native Spain said, “Dueñas more than lives up to her title as one of the best contemporary authors today.”  It was critically and commercially acclaimed in the United States, and was also an international success, selling over two million copies worldwide and inspiring a popular Spanish television series (now available on Hulu and Netflix), known in the media as “the Spanish Downton Abbey.”  Her second novel, The Heart Has Its Reasons (Atria; 2012), was also well received and became an international bestseller.

María Dueñas is also a writer who has her finger on the pulse of society, with an innate talent for exploring the more personal and intimate issues in life—issues that no matter who we are and what we’ve accomplished—have affected many of us.  

THE VINEYARD is a powerful story of courage in the face of adversity, and of a destiny forever altered by the force of passion.

Mauro Larrea’s fortune, the result of years of hardship and toil, comes crashing down on the heels of a calamitous event. Swamped by debt and uncertainty, he gambles the last of his money in a daring play that wins him an abandoned house and a vineyard an ocean away.  Mauro travels to Andalusia de Jerez in Spainwith every intention of selling the property and returning to Mexico. That is, until he meets the unsettling Soledad Montalvo, the wife of a London wine merchant, who bursts into his life unannounced, determined to protect her family’s legacy. Before long, Larrea finds himself immersed in the rich culture of the sherry trade. As his feelings for Soledad ripen into a consuming passion, he seeks to restore the vineyard to its former glory. 

From the turbulent young Mexican republic to flourishing Havana, and onward to the fertile vineyards of Jerez in the second half of the nineteenth century,María Dueñas’s new novel takes place on both sides of the Atlantic, the New World and the Old.  This story of family intrigue vividly conjures the noise and grit of silver mines, and the earthier lure of ancient vineyards and magnificent cities whose splendor has faded. Using the same resonant voice and skillful narrative style as she did in The Time In Between and The Heart Has Its Reasons, María Dueñas pours heart and soul into THE VINEYARD and creates a vibrant canvas that immerses readers in each locale, and offers a fascinating study in contrasts, contradictions…and second chances.

María Dueñas holds a PhD in English philology. After two decades dedicated to academics, she broke onto the literary scene in 2009 with the publication of the New York Times bestselling novel The Time In Between, followed by The Heart Has Its Reasons in 2012. Both novels became international bestsellers and have been translated into 35 languages. The television adaptation of The Time in Between earned critical and international acclaim. The Vineyard is her third novel and is being simultaneously published in Spanish as La Templanza.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bitmoji Sharing

Do you have a Bitmoji character?

Does your Bitmoji character look like you?

Want to share your Bitmoji "twin" with everyone?

Join in the fun.  

Add your link below - this is my first attempt at Mr. Linky.  

I hope it works.  :)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Library Song

This is so cute.  

It is Nashville Public Library's take on Meghan Trainor's song All About That Bass. 



Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

A husband, a father, a teacher, a coach, and now a suspended teacher accused of having an affair with a student.

Did it really happen, though, or did Lucia make it up?  

Nate was always involved with this students on a personal level and helped the ones who appeared to be in distress.  Did this backfire on him?

THE BLACKBIRD SEASON is mainly about the characters and their lives after the blackbirds fell and after Lucia disappeared.  Did Lucia have anything to do with the blackbirds falling from the sky or did the blackbirds have anything to do with Lucia's disappearance?  Her fellow students do call her a witch.

THE BLACKBIRD SEASON is considered a thriller, but it didn't seem like a thriller to me.  I saw it more as an investigation into people's lives and what some people have to go through on a daily basis or during a crisis.

Addressing teenagers and their behavior was a major theme as well.

The book has four main narrators, and we hear from each one and how each one is connected to each other and to the situation. 

The intrigue for me was in the behavior of the characters.
The characters did grow on you toward the end as you became familiar with their lives instead of feeling annoyed with them.
Nate seemed to be too helpful for his own good.

Poor Alecia was so overwhelmed with her special needs child and had no clue about anything her husband, Nate, did.

Bridget, still mourning the loss of her husband, seemed genuine and a bit shaky about the situation Nate was in since he was a good friend.

Lucia was a troubled teenager with a bad home life and a teenager who needed attention and got attention in the wrong way.

The flocks of blackbirds seemed to serve as the background for the ominous situations that occurred in the small, gossip-ridden, mill town of Mt. Oanoke, Pennsylvania. 

The book kept my interest because I wanted to see what happened to Lucia and if Nate would be found innocent.  The suspense definitely was not edge-of-your-seat.

If you enjoy digging into the lives of folks and their emotions along with a lot of questionable choices, THE BLACKBIRD SEASON should be a good read for you. 

Let me know what you think of this book.  I started out with a rating of 3/5, but raised it to a 4/5 because the ending was suspenseful.

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

Tess, Tess, Tess, what did you do?  Is that the only decision you could have made?

Tess was engaged to her childhood sweetheart, Vincent, and to be married within the year, but she went on a weekend trip that she didn’t want to go on with her friend and something awful happened that changed her life and her plans.

Tess found out she was pregnant from the weekend away and broke her engagement to the love of her life, found the man who raped her, and married him.

She was moved from Baltimore, Maryland, to Hickory, North Carolina, had to change her religion, and had to live in Hank’s family home with his mother and sister who both disliked her along with the entire town.  She ruined her life and Vincent’s life, but it was 1943, and did she have any other choice?

We follow Tess through her days of actually being an outcast and in a loveless marriage.

There were a lot of secrets in the Kraft family and especially with her husband, Hank.  He would leave and not come home at night or not come home for days.  I didn't like any of the Krafts and felt awful for Tess.  She was an innocent, unassuming girl whose life was ruined.

Despite the unlikable characters, the writing and story line of THE STOLEN MARRIAGE are marvelous as always with the backdrop being the South during WWII with all their proper, Southern ways and the polio epidemic.  

Ms. Chamberlain includes the history of Hickory's Emergency Infantile Paralysis Hospital that took care of polio victims.

The book smoothly moved from page to page pulling you into the story and consuming you with the intrigue and tension as everything unfolded making it difficult to put down.

THE STOLEN MARRIAGE can only be described as addictive, amazing, and fantastic. 

A MUST READ - my favorite of her books.  5/5

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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman

Food and family equal love, and The Welcome Home Diner in Detroit definitely oozes with love.

Addie and Sam's grandmother taught them the love of and joy of making fresh food, and they both knew that opening a diner was something they were destined for.

Opening a diner in the new Detroit was a challenge, but a challenge that was proving to be very fruitful.  The fresh food offered at the diner drew in the crowds along with great reviews from food bloggers. The only problem was the neighbors and specifically the next door neighbor to the restaurant.

The next door neighbor was grumpy and reluctant for the change, and the entire neighborhood was not happy about rebuilding that area.

We follow the cousins through the ups and downs of owning the restaurant as well as the ups and downs of their once-close relationship.

The descriptions were so beautifully detailed in THE WELCOME HOME DINER you could see the butter dripping down the sides of the pancakes and smell the delicious soups and sandwiches being served.

The descriptions also allowed you to experience the characters' feelings for each other, their passion for food, and for Detroit. You will also experience the kindness and love for mankind.

I enjoyed the banter between the characters and the uplifting feeling THE WELCOME HOME DINER gave off.  The cover ITSELF is very welcoming.

If you are a fan of food and love, THE WELCOME HOME DINER fits the bill.  

I truly enjoyed the book and the characters, but felt it could have been shortened a bit.  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author and NetGalley in return for an honest review.  I also reviewed this book for the GREAT THOUGHT'S NINJA REVIEW TEAM.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands

Arianna and Ben had the perfect life...childhood sweethearts, family-owned business, and most importantly each other.

Their perfect life was shattered when Ben was diagnosed with dementia at a young age.  As the disease progressed, it became more and more difficult to cope with the illness to the point of Arianna's children worrying that they were going to lose her too.

The children booked their mother a trip back to her beloved France where she had spent a month or so during college.  The trip was for two weeks at an art retreat to try to take her mind off of the stress of Ben and her loss of him even though he was still living.

Arianna met wonderful people at the art retreat, but would the trip and the time away help her to realize she is alone and must learn to cope with the loneliness?

DRAWING LESSONS has absolutely marvelous descriptions that put you right into the story and into France soaking in the landscape and drooling over all the delicious-sounding food.

The characters were ones that would be great to be with.  They all had their quirks as well as their endearing qualities that made the group well-rounded and enjoyable as companions.

If you enjoy traveling, reading about France's beautiful landscapes and life of the French people, French artists especially Vincent Van Gogh, making new friends, and helping another person to feel welcome and overcome a problem, then DRAWING LESSONS will be an enjoyable read for you.

DRAWING LESSONS was a beautiful, heartfelt story about truly examining your life for the pleasures you have enjoyed and the pleasures you need to look for and experience. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author in return for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Odd Child Out by Gilly MacMillan


Best friends sometimes do unexpected things.  Abdi and Noah were best friends and did something that no one would expect.

The unexpected incident obviously brought the police in along with the two silent friends.  Noah was put into a coma because of his injuries, and Abdi wasn't talking.

ODD CHILD OUT was definitely a study of personalities and human emotions.  Each character seemed to not fit with each other, and I thought it was odd that they were family members as well as friends.  I did like the "bucket list" that Noah and his father compiled, but one part of the bucket list is what caused a problem the night of the incident.

ODD CHILD OUT has us following along with the police in their investigation after Noah is found in the canal and an eye witness says she saw the best friends arguing.  When Noah who is terminally ill with cancer is found floating in the canal and Abdi, his best friend, had been with him, no one knows what to think.  It is difficult to imagine these boys doing anything out of the ordinary because they were star pupils.

We also follow the story being told by Abdi and Noah about what really happened as the friends silently re-live it in their minds.

The descriptions and the character development are very good and help you visualize the scenes and totally experience the emotions of each character which were mostly fear, loss, and questioning. You also feel the weight of lies and silence, truths untold, and prejudices.

ODD CHILD OUT is an emotional, tense book that will make you think and question.  

Another excellent read by Gilly MacMillan.  4/5

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Giveaway and Spotlight of WICKWYTHE HALL By Judithe Little

PUBLICATION DATE: September 30, 2017

Black Opal Books
All information in this post is courtesy of Caitlin Hamilton Summie of Caitlin Hamilton Marketing.
WICKWYTHE HALL sounds quite good.  I love the cover.

Thank you to Caitlin and Judithe for allowing me to host this giveaway and spotlight.

WELCOME to both of you.

“…a riveting and enlightening mix of history and fiction that puts a human face on the costs of war….engaging…”—Foreword Reviews

 “Judithe Little tackles war and masterfully boils it down to personal moral dilemmas.  Beautifully written and rich with atmosphere, the narrative strands are seamlessly interwoven into a top-notch story where characters are pushed to unforeseen places.  Little is a gifted writer who with remarkable insight confronts the timely questions of just how much loyalty is owed to country, family, and to preserving the past. Wickwythe Hall is a stellar achievement.”
—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree and The Promise

May 1940. The Germans invade France and the course of three lives is upended. Annelle LeMaire is a French refugee desperate to contact her Legionnaire brothers. Mabry Springs, American wife of a wealthy Brit, is struggling to come to terms with a troubled marriage and imminent German invasion. And Reid Carr, American representative of French champagne house Pol Roger, brings more than champagne to Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  Their paths entwine when Churchill and his entourage take refuge at Wickwythe Hall, the Springs’ country estate hidden from the full moon and German bombers beneath a shroud of trees. There, as secrets and unexpected liaisons unfold, Annelle, Mabry and Reid are forever bound by the tragedy they share.

Inspired in part by an actual confrontation between the British and French navies in July 1940, Wickwythe Hall is a story of love, loyalty, and the heartrending choices one is forced to make during wartime.
Image courtesy of:  Moonfyre Photography
JUDITHE LITTLE grew up in Virginia and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. After a brief time studying in France and interning at the U.S. Department of State, she earned her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was on the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Law and a Dillard Fellow. 

She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Writer’s League of Texas, Houston Writers Guild, and the Churchill Society. She lives with her husband and three children in Houston, Texas. 

This is her first novel. 

Learn more at judithelittle.com.




ISBN 978-1-62694-679-8; Trade paperback; $14.99; 301 Pages; Fiction/First Novel

E-book ISBN 978-1-62694-678-1, $3.99

I am partnering with Caitlin Hamilton Summie of Caitlin Hamilton Marketing for this giveaway.

October 3 - October 10