Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Recently Added To My To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top Ten Books I Recently Added To My To-Be-Read List











What have you recently added to your TBR pile?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Musing Mondays - March 30

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: How old were you when you realized that you are an AVID reader?

I'm currently reading an ARC of Harvest of Blessings by Charlotte Hubbard. I've read all the books in this series and am thrilled the author sent me this one.

The tranquil little town of Willow Ridge is facing a startling challenge. Wealthy Nora Glick Landwehr is determined to make it her home again--and put her past to rest. Cast out by her own family, Nora can't reconcile with Old Amish ways or her strict father. But she'll do anything to help her community embrace the future . . . and make amends to the daughter she had to give up. So, she certainly has no time for her reckless new neighbor Luke Hooley. They disagree about almost everything. And how can she trust him if he always seems to believe the worst about her? Somehow, though, his unexpected support and passionate heart are helping her find her own way in faith. And Nora will discover that even in the face of insidious lies and unyielding judgment, God creates unexpected chances for forgiveness--and love.

What are you musing about this week?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Violent Departures Blog Tour Schedule

College student, Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.


What’s Happening with Gordon Butler?

            Introduction to the Rocky Bluff P.D. Mystery Series

            My Writing Process


 What’s Up Next?

The Importance of Place

            Coming Up With New Ideas for an Ongoing Series

Where Do My Characters Come From?

            What About the Dialogue?


            How I Keep Up With my Characters and What’s Happened

            After So Many Books, How Do You Get Fresh Ideas?

            When to Think About Promotion

The Good and Bad of Writing a Series

            Ghosts and Why I Write About Them

            Reading Reviews of my Books

            Stacey Milligan’s Dilemma

            The Inspiration for Violent Departures

            Who Do I Write For?

            What Makes the Rocky Bluff Mystery Series Unique?

Final Interview

F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Besides having family members in law enforcement, she lived in a town much like Rocky Bluff with many police families as neighbors.

Blog: http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/ (Check out the contest she is running during the tour!)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Love on the Menu by Ellen March

Funny and sexy, Love on the Menu by Ellen March is one wild ride.

When loner Jago Tanner requests the agency find him an assistant, he has no idea what he's getting into. Not only was he expecting a man, Riley--a woman--dresses like a trollop and curses like a sailor. She's the sexiest woman he has ever seen. She's also the most frustrating woman he's ever known.

Jago has trouble trusting his feelings for Riley. He's also not sure anyone who dresses and talks that way could still be so naive. When her brother's shady friends come to harass her, Jago is not sure what to believe. Are they really meant to be together?

What a great book! I couldn't put it down. Riley and Jago are such opposites: he's introverted and gruff  while she's outspoken and bubbly. Riley is almost comical in her behavior. Her strong sense of right and wrong, however, give her a more serious side. Jago was tough to like, but I found myself rooting for him to win Riley's heart in the end. The author also created a group of secondary characters I loved--even Riley's mixed up brother, Rob.

Love on the Menu has its share of steamy love scenes, but it's really the characters and the fabulous plot that make this book an enjoyable read. I would like to meet these characters again one day. That this happens to be a cowboy romance means I was already partial to it; but it is the great characters that made it impossible for me to walk away until I turned the last page.

Prices/Formats: $13.95 paperback
Genre: Steamy Cowboy Romance
February 14, 2015
Fanny Press


Barnes and Noble:


Ellen March's Web Site:

Ellen March's Facebook:

Ellen March's Twitter:

Ellen March's Goodreads:

Love on the Menu Goodreads:

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
Love on the Menu blog tour site:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a copy of this book from the author through Tribute Books Blog Tours. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read this book for the following challenge.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Musing Mondays - Mar 23

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What is your favorite lesson learned, or quote, from a recent book you’ve read?

I have been reading Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Won't Work by Shefali Tsabary, PhD. In the opening chapter, the author outlines her philosophy that sets the foundation for the rest of the book. It really hit home for me because I feel exactly like the parents she describes: I take away privileges and find myself often yelling and being ignored, but I keep trying the same thing over and over again to get the desired results from my kids. There must be a better way.

What are you musing about this week?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Ponderings: Point of View

I recently finished a young adult novel that I found fascinating and exciting. At the end, I discovered the third person omniscient narrator was actually telling a story from her past. I'm not a huge fan of this point of view, because being a character driven reader, I feel it doesn't allow me to get to know the characters as much as I would like. It serves its purpose: you can know everything that is going on--even those things the characters might not be aware of yet. This book was very plot driven, but after the point of view discovery it seemed the story would have been even more powerful and fulfilling if told from a third person limited or first person point of view.

My feelings on this subject definitely make our writing group interesting. Point of view is something I tend to focus on a great deal because hopping from head to head doesn't feel right. But other members disagree. They see tremendous value in using a point of view that knows all, sees all, and tells all.

Do you have a preference when you read or write?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This one is scheduled to release in May. It sounds good. I enjoy these fake boyfriend/girlfriend stories where a romance develops.

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Enter for a chance to win an advance copy at Goodreads.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Release: Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner

She revolutionized fashion and built an international empire . . . all on her own terms

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her sisters are sent to a convent orphanage after their mother's death. The nuns of the order nurture Gabrielle's exceptional sewing skills, a talent that would propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Burning with ambition, the petite brunette transforms herself into Coco, by day a hard-working seamstress and by night a singer in a nightclub, where her incandescence draws in a wealthy gentleman who becomes the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, Coco's sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As her reputation spreads, her couture business explodes, taking her into rarefied circles of society and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her always.

An enthralling novel about an entirely self-made woman, Mademoiselle Chanel tells the true story of Coco Chanel's extraordinary ambition, passion, and artistic vision.

Read an excerpt at https://www.facebook.com/CWGortner?sk=app_208195102528120

Purchase from:

Harper Collins

A former fashion executive, C. W. Gortner is a lifelong admirer of Coco Chanel. His passion for writing led him to give up fashion, and his many historical novels have been bestsellers, published in more than twenty countries. He lives in San Francisco.

Visit the author online at www.cwgortner.com

Monday, March 16, 2015

Musing Mondays - Mar 16

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by MizB of A Daily Rhythm (formerly Should Be Reading) that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: How often do you use your local library? Are you happy with their availability?

I recently finished reading Love on the Menu by Ellen March. It's been a long time since I read a book with spicy love scenes, so it was a nice change of pace. I'm a huge sucker for cowboy romances, so when I heard this book was on tour I snagged it.

The main characters were both frustrating and entertaining. I almost liked the supplementary characters better. What I feel the author did really well is keep the reader engaged by always putting Jago's and Riley's backs up against the wall; putting plenty of obstacles in their way.

Look for my review of this novel coming on March 27.

What are you musing about this week?

First Chapter Review: Admit to Mayhem by D.J. Adamson

I am reviewing the first chapter of Admit to Mayhem by D. J. Adamson for her virtual book tour.

BLURB: With a contrary attitude and an addiction for independence, Lillian Dove admits she has not been a success in life. In fact, she considers failing as one of her addictions. Yet, when she comes across a suspicious house fire with a history of arson and murder, she instinctively attempts to help someone trapped. Lillian becomes the only possible eyewitness to criminal arson, and her life begins to spiral out of control.

Lillian Dove is an endearing “everywoman” struggling with life issues, emotional complexities and a habit of doing just the opposite of what she’s told to do. These qualities in a heroine give the reader an ability to vicariously struggle along with the protagonist in this intriguing Midwest Noir mystery.

COVER: The font gives it the right vibe, but it doesn't really have a noir mystery feel to it. This cover, however, does capture the Midwest location.

FIRST CHAPTER: Lillian Dove is on her way home in the wee hours of the morning when she comes across a house engulfed in flames. She calls 911, but knows they will never get there in time to save the person she sees trapped inside.

KEEP READING: The mysterious fire, Lillian's valiant efforts to save someone trapped inside, and an ending that compels the reader to continue, definitely make this a book I will continue reading. While I am not fond of a first person narrator who talks to her audience, for now I am willing to forgo that to see how the next chapter develops. The mystery looks to be intriguing enough to keep me reading along, even if I don't care for the main character yet.

Series: Lillian Dove
Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Horatio Press; First Printing edition (March 10, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0990307808
ISBN-13: 978-0990307808

Purchase at Amazon!

I received a free excerpt of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

D. J. Adamson is an award-winning author. Her family roots grow deep in the Midwest and it is here she sets much of her work. She juggles her time between her own desk and teaching writing to others at two Los Angeles area colleges. Along with her husband and two Welsh Terriers, she makes her home in Southern California.

For More Information

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bargain Kindle Book: Wanting You (A Cowboy Romance) by Mae Martini

The gang is back!

Jake Warner split from his girlfriend. Yep, she dumped him, and wait until you find out who she dumped him for.

Out of control and waking up in some chick’s bed with dirty sheets and bugs, Jake decides to come back to his senses. After a little getaway to Las Vegas, that is. But don’t worry; his buddies won’t let him go alone.
While there, he becomes infatuated with a beautiful strawberry blonde surfer from California, and things are going great. That is, until she overhears him say something rude and crude, then she flees.

Gia Lomusco, is that strawberry blonde surfer. She is also an influential saleswoman who travels to Texas a couple of times a month on business.
After splitting from her boyfriend, she heads to Vegas with a neighbor and her neighbor’s friend, and meets Jake.
She has never had a one night stand or an easy hookup before, but she throws caution to the wind and hooks up with Jake. She panics after hearing Jake say something rude and crude, so she flees. She always flees.

Jake owns a Bed and Breakfast with his friend’s wife, Annie, but what he really wants is his own ranch, his own horse training business and Gia. He needs to find her, as no other woman will do now.

18 and over, please. This book is chock full of sexy scenes as well as explicit language.

File Size: 4555 KB
Print Length: 271 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Purchase here!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I have to catch up on this series. When the girls and I were still reading together, we started this series. I haven't read the last couple of books and really want to keep going. Not my usual genre, but I love these books.

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

What is your "waiting on" pick this week? 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Musing Mondays - Mar 9

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by MizB of A Daily Rhythm (formerly Should Be Reading) that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Who (or what) influences your reading most?

What a great question for this week. Before last year, I would say my blogging schedule was the largest influence on my reading. I simply had so much going on with book tours that my reading time wasn't always my own.

Lately, my mood comes more into play. I still have the occasional book to review, but now that I am not participating in so many books tours, when I feel like reading a mystery, I read that. If I want a funny romance, I grab that. I'm looking to add more non-fiction into my regular reading schedule too. And darn it, if it kills me, I will read every book I agreed to review for an author that lingers in my TBR pile.

What are you musing about this week?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Behold the Man by Bodie & Brock Thoene

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My mother-in-law is raving about The Jerusalem Chronicles. I really want to read them.

Behold the Man is the culmination of the Jerusalem Chronicles and brings readers to an encounter with the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

How could Jesus—who preached righteousness before God, and love and mercy toward neighbors—be so hated and pursued? To the Temple officials, he was a threat to the livelihood and authority of the priesthood. To Herod Antipas, he was a threat to his ambition to be the King of the Jews. And to the Roman overlords, he was seen as a dangerous threat; a man who commanded an army of the common people. He could heal wounds, offer miraculous provisions, and even raise from the dead. If Jesus had accepted popular acclaim and become an earthly king, he would have been unstoppable.

Jesus’s last days are explored through three people who interacted with him: Governor Pilate, for whom Judea will either make or break his career; Pilate’s wife, Claudia, desperately seeking aid for her much loved, crippled son; and Centurion Marcus Longinus, caught in the middle between loyalty to the Empire, love for Claudia, and an ever-increasing belief in Jesus as the Son of God. After encountering Jesus, none of them will ever be the same.

What's your "waiting on" pick this week?

Want to participate? Visit Jill's post at http://breakingthespine.blogspot.in/2015/03/waiting-on-wednesday-among-ten-thousand.html

Monday, March 2, 2015

Musing Mondays - Mar 2

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by MizB of Should Be Reading that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What’s your favorite genre? Why?

Hidey ho, neighbor. Sorry for the lack of blogging. I had surgery at the end of last month and some tiny complications kept me away. Hopefully I am back on track now.

Today's random question is tough for me. It's kind of like asking, "Who is your favorite child?" Depending upon my mood and the current relationship, my favorite could change. So, here are a few of my staple genres and why I enjoy them.

Mystery - I have loved mysteries since childhood. Growing up with Scooby Doo definitely had an influence. Somewhere in my hope chest is an envelope of stories that has at least one Scooby Doo inspired mystery. Right now, I am leaning more toward the cozy mystery. Murder, She Wrote was a never missed show for me. I have at least one of the books here that I picked up at the library book sale. I've been buying cozy mysteries lately too. I just need time to read them. The big thing that bugs me about this genre is I am sometimes off in figuring out who the real culprit is or I miss a significant clue that would have changed my theory.

Historical fiction - History has always been a favorite subject of mine. My preferred time periods are the years from the founding of America through the Reconstruction Era and World War II. I'm sure this is why I also write historical fiction; though my first story was set in Biblical times, not my preferred time periods.

Christian/inspirational fiction - I write message-driven fiction, so I enjoy reading it too. Even though I am not opposed to reading a romance novel with sex scenes in it, I just don't feel they are always necessary to moving the story along. Christian stories aren't always romance novels. I read My Son, John by Kathi Macias, which is about a family whose life is turned upside down when their son is accused of killing his grandmother. Stories about redemption, forgiveness, and a renewed or deepened relationship with the Savior all capture my attention.

What are some of your favorite genres?

Now in Paperback!: The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn

John Lago is a very bad guy. But he’s the very best at what he does. And what he does is infiltrate top-level companies and assassinate crooked executives while disguised as an intern. That’s the secret behind HR, Inc., the elite “placement agency” that doubles as a network of assassins for hire who take down high-profile targets that wouldn’t be able to remember an intern’s name if their lives depended on it.

At the ripe old age of almost twenty-five, John Lago is nearing his mandatory retirement with HR Inc. His last assignment is at New York City’s most prestigious law firm on assignment to assassinate one of the firm’s most heavily guarded partners.

Part confessional, part DIY manual, The Intern’s Handbook chronicles John’s final assignment, a twisted thrill ride in which he is pitted against the toughest – and sexiest – adversary he’s ever faced: Alice, an FBI agent assigned to take down the same law partner he’s been assigned to kill.

** Soon to be a Major Motion Picture by Sony Pictures, with Dave Franco (Neighbors, 21 Jump Street) attached to star ** 
One of the best books of 2014, coming in a new trade paperback edition this February 2015! 

 “The Intern's Handbook, an advice guide for aspiring killer-interns compiled by a veteran, 
has all the testosterone-bloated wisdom of Tucker Max mixed with the satire of American Psycho."
-Entertainment Weekly 
A sexy, darkly comic thriller with cinematic flourishes”
-New York Daily News
Kuhn has found a powerful theme in the working world.”
 “Faceless and forgettable, an intern’s as invisible as a ninja in 
fluorescent lights—and, at least in John Lago’s case, just as deadly” 
“Believable dialogue, a whip smart and cynical central character… help wrap up this nasty package with a pretty little bow.”
-Kirkus Reviews 
 “Black humor and surprise twists distinguish
Kuhn’s highly entertaining debut”
-Publishers Weekly 


John Lago spends the majority of his time sucking up to hedge fund big wigs and powerful lawyers by making copies and brewing perfect cups of coffee. He could tell his superiors his name a hundred times and they would still forget it because they have no respect for someone at the bottom of the barrel, working for free. The irony is that they will heap important duties with total abandon and unlimited access; but what they don’t know is that there is more to John Lago than just an intern…

Simon & Schuster, in partnership with Wunderkind PR, would love to hear what interns think of The Intern’s Handbook. Interns will be selected from over twenty companies to receive specially marked copies of The Intern’s Handbook. We’d love to hear what interns think of the book through reviews, feedback and images featuring the Twitter and Facebook hashtag #internships.

Shane Kuhn is a writer and filmmaker with twenty years of experience working in the entertainment business and the ad world. In feature film, he has writing credits with Universal, Paramount, Sony, and Fox, and a writing and directing credit with Lionsgate. In the world of independent film, he is one of the four original founders of the Slamdance Film Festival and currently serves as an Executive Board member of Slamdance, Inc. A shameless product pusher in the ad world, he has worked as a copywriter, creative director, and broadcast video director and producer for several notable brands and charitable organizations. As a college baseball player, he threw a fastball in the low 90s but his career was cut short by a Bull Durham strike zone. The Intern’s Handbook is his first novel. He lives with his wife and family in a bi-coastal/mountain migration pattern that includes Massachusetts, Colorado, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Visit Shane Kuhn’s Website: http://shanekuhn.com
Shane Kuhn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShaneSKuhn