Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Books We Didn't Finish November Edition

The Wonder.  Boring.  That is about all I can say for it.  I was falling asleep listening to it.  I had no interest in finding out if the girl was a miracle or not.

Picture Me Gone:  I'm not sure if this was supposed to be a YA or middle grade novel.  The main character is 12, but she sounds like that is 20.  It's supposed to be about a father and daughter who search for his missing friend.  But the story kept going off on tangents about Mila and her ex-best friend.  I got about 25% in and abandoned it.

The Sleeper and the Spindle: I love Neil Gaiman.  This book was originally published as a YA fairy tale book with illustrations.  The audiobook is only an hour long and I didn't last 10 minutes.  I had no idea what was going on.  This might be one that you need the pictures to help create the atmosphere for the story.

Heartless:  I really makes me sad to say that this one was a DNF.  I loved the Lunar Chronicles.  I guess I was hoping for more of a story like that with Heartless.  I didn't even mind that it was likely to have a sad ending.   But, the writing was juvenile and the characters were ridiculous. And it was boring as heck.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Spotlight Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World by P.F. Citizen One

Author: P.F. Citizen One
Genre: Anthology, Short Stories
Published by: BookBaby
Publication Date: October 7th 2016
Number of Pages: 23
ISBN: 1483577856 (ISBN13: 9781483577852)

Unexpected is a collection of true life short stories inspired by the author's travels around the world and the people he has met. The book features seven thought-provoking, humorous and engaging stories that end with the most unlikely twist.
In one of the stories, The Wedding Contract, the author tells the story of a man who was forced to sign a pre-nuptial agreement simply because his wife was wealthy and he was considered poor. As time went on, fortunes changed and the man became far wealthier than his wife. His wife and friends dreaded the worst from him because of his new financial position but what he did next was shocking.

Purchase Links: Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Goodreads 


Julie’s parents were concerned. Julie was a single child from a pretty wealthy family with many properties and stores. So, her parents, her family, and her friends convinced her to protect herself by writing a prenup agreement. Should they get divorced, Julie would keep all her family’s belongings. All her entourage pressured her so much that Julie finally arrived at the idea that it was necessary to sign a prenup.
Jean-Pierre didn’t accept it at first, but in the end, he had no choice: Was it worth losing the woman he considered to be his soulmate?
Jean-Pierre and Julie finally got married and had two gorgeous daughters. But Jean-Pierre was still a little bit sad. After all, if they insisted on a contract, it was because her family didn’t completely trust him.
Jean-Pierre had been writing for a few years, and he had written many books. He was also working as a French teacher to get some additional revenue. However, he decided to stop writing to become a full-time teacher and contribute more to the family expenses.
He threw himself into his work as a teacher. One day, as Julie was watching television, she saw that the press was looking for the anonymous author of three books. From their description of the writing, she immediately recognized her husband’s style. After he was identified as the author of these books, he was given royalties for the book sales.
Jean-Pierre soon became very rich and famous, so much so that Julie (and, indeed, the press) was now waiting for the day when Jean-Pierre would cheat on her. She expected that he would eventually divorce her to marry another girl—probably an actress or a model or simply a younger woman. He was now famous and powerful, far richer than his wife and her entire family.
Rumors of cheating grew more and more persistent. The rumors said that Jean-Pierre would ask for a divorce and that he was getting ready for another wedding.
During a press conference, Jean-Pierre was asked about the rumors. He answered that he would act like a man and not hide anything anymore. In front of everyone, he told his wife:
“Honey, since the very first time I met you, I loved you more than I loved any other woman. Then, we got married and had two wonderful girls. I love them so much Over the years, I always thought about…that prenuptial agreement I had to sign because I was poor. Today, I am very rich… I am sorry, honey, but I am announcing...

Author Bio:

P.F. Citizen One is a writer. He works as a petroleum engineer, which requires a lot of traveling to different countries, and he uses the situations and varied people he has come across as an inspiration for his great love of writing. His interest in travel has meant that he has picked up some useful languages along the way, and he is now fluent in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and German, allowing him to go just about anywhere and still be understood. Most of the time. He lists his great fear as ''being stranded alone on a desert island'' and, as a result, he avoids traveling by boat whenever he can.

P.F. Citizen One’s new book, Unexpected, was published on October 7th and is a book of short stories, inspired by his travels throughout the world and the people he has met.
Catch Up With P.F. Citizen One on his Website & on Facebook!

Book Blast Participants:

Stop by these great hosts to learn more & enter to win!  

Book Tour Coming Soon!

In February Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World will be featured in a virtual book tour. Visit the sites below for great features, reviews, and giveaways!

Don't Miss Out On Your Chance to WIN!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for P. F Citizen One. There will be 2 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World by P. F Citizen One. This is subject to change without notification. The giveaway begins on November 20th and runs through December 3rd, 2016.
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Monday, November 28, 2016

November Mini Musings

The Gathering: This ended up just being OK for me.  I was excited in the beginning because it looked like ti would be a good YA fantasy.  But it ended up being an angsty teen romance with some supernatural elements that don't fully get explained by the end.   It ends in a cliffhanger, but I'm not totally sure I'll continue with the trilogy.

Ella the Slayer: I thought this was an interesting take on the Cinderella story.  Mix in some zombies and you have a neat fairy tale.  I enjoyed the story. The characters were interesting.  And while the romance was kind of insta-love, They usually are in fairy tales, right?  Ella was pretty kick-ass.  I definitely want to read the next one to see how it all plays out.

Rendezvous with Yesterday:  The second book in the Gifted Ones series, this book is Robert's story.  While not my favotire of the bunch, I still enjoyed the over all story.  I loved Robert and his men.  There were many laugh out loud moments with them.  I did like Beth, but I didn't love her at first.  I think the thing that made this one drag a bit was the amount of time it took for Beth to realize she was in a different time.  This author is a go to for me and I am looking forward to the next installment!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

Author: Lisa Lutz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date of publication: March 2016

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?

I was surprised at how much I ended up liking this book.  It's a kind of hard one to review without giving major plot points away.  The basic set up is that Tanya's husband dies from a fall down the stairs.  Instead of calling the police, she runs.  Not because she did anything, but because she isn't really Tanya. She doesn't want the police to look at her too closely.  She has been on the run for 10 years.

The reader follows Tanya-Amelia-Debra through her many name changes and situations as she runs from her past.  Blue is another mystery to be solved. Tanya's meeting with her changes her life in ways she never imagined.  I thought this was a pretty cool book.  It really showed how hard it is to live off the grid, especially with today's technology.  The book was fast paced and kept me guessing until the reveal toward the end.  Although, I did predict one twist.   I do recommend this one.  It will keep you on your toes.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Letting Go by Molly McAdams

Author: Molly McAdams
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: November 2014

Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen and believed they’d be together forever. But three days before their wedding, the twenty-year-old groom-to-be suddenly died from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. If it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger, Grey never would have made it through those last two years to graduation. He’s the only one who understands her pain, the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered. Jagger swears he’ll always be there for her, but no one has ever been able to hold on to him. He’s not the kind of guy to settle down.

It’s true that no one has ever been able to keep Jagger—because he’s only ever belonged to Grey. While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, he’s the only one who sees her strength. Yet as much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. Still they can’t deny the heat that is growing between them—a passion that soon becomes too hot to handle. But admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?

When is comes to this author, I am usually hot or cold.  Usually I either love it or I hate it.  Letting Go actually fell somewhere in between.  I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it.  It ended up being just an OK read for me.  Grey, Ben and Jagger had been best friends since they were little.  Ben and Grey were supposed to get married. His sudden death changed everything.  Jagger had always been in love with Grey, but Ben got to her first.

I was  bit underwhelmed by this one.  I think that it was a bit too angsty for my taste.  The loss of a loved one is difficult and I did feel badly for both Grey and Jagger. The guilt over their feelings was misguided, but understandable.  I was rooting for them.  In fact, their relationship was the best part of the book.  It was the rest of it that I didn't care for.  The stalker, Jagger's mother, and the conflict with his sister made it all a bit over the top. It was just a little too much packed into the story. There is a little twist in the end that was a surprise.  I'll probably continue with the series as I would love to read about the other characters.  I just hope they have better covers than this one.  Whoever approved that one was not paying attention!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Release Week Blitz: Excerpt of Cowboy Rising by Mia Hopkins

Author: Mia Hopkins
Publisher: Little Stone Press
Date of publication: November 2016

Feisty reporter vs. gruff cowboy—buckle up for a hard ride…

Come back to the rodeo with Mia Hopkins and the newest release in the Cowboy Cocktail series, COWBOY RISING! 
Journalist Georgia Meyers is writing an article about MacKinnon Ranch in a last-ditch effort to save her job at a failing newspaper. At first, the hot-as-hell rancher wants nothing to do with her. But butting heads leads to knocking boots, and soon she’s getting the real story—in bed and off the record.

Cattleman’s son and petroleum engineer Daniel MacKinnon turned down a lucrative oil career to take over the family farm. Frustrated about giving up his dreams and worried about money, Daniel buries himself in ranch work—that is, until gorgeous Georgia shows up and rocks him to the core. A blazing one-night stand leads to something deeper. Despite their feelings for each other, he’s tied to the land and she’s a rolling stone. When the time comes to part ways, will the lovers choose duty over desire? Or will they face their fears and rise to the challenge of love?

On Sale in Digital: November 22, 2016


 Add COWBOY RISING to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

Enjoy this excerpt:

His cheeks red from working outside, the new brother removed his gloves and tucked them under his arm. He took off his hat and shook her hand. His rough fingers were warm.

“Daniel MacKinnon.” He didn’t smile.

Georgia couldn’t explain it. With a heavy jaw and dirty blond hair styled high and tight, he was as clean cut as a cadet—she usually preferred tattooed, bearded types. He looked to be in his mid-twenties—she usually liked seasoned men who were older than her, not younger. But this guy’s hotness seared her eyeballs, nailing her feet where she stood.

“Georgia Meyers, L.A. Chronicle,” she said automatically, all other words escaping her. She was too old, too experienced, and far too smart to react this way—and yet, here she was. Staring slack-jawed at a pretty-faced cowboy like some blue-stockinged virgin at a rodeo dance.

 “I know you’re here to see my father,” he said, the low rumble in his voice stroking a sweet spot inside her chest, “but he isn’t available today. You need to reschedule, Miss Meyers.”

His bright green eyes were so distracting, she almost didn’t register his words. “Reschedule?”

“Yeah. You need to come back. Do the interview another day.”

“What?” Snap out of it, Gigi. The story. She yanked her professional persona back in place. “Mr. MacKinnon, I’ve just driven an hour and a half from Fresno to be here. Two days ago, your father said he’d give me a tour of the ranch and walk me through the organic certification process. Isn’t there anyone else I can talk to?”

Daniel’s stoic expression was both infuriating and unspeakably hot. “No.”

Hot or not, who does this guy think he is? She stood up straight. “Okay, let me lay it all out for you. If there’s no one here who will speak with me today, just to make sure my time isn’t wasted, I’ll be more than happy to find another rancher. There are plenty of spreads in your neck of the woods, aren’t there? I’m sure my readers wouldn’t mind learning about conventional ranching operations. Maybe someone at the Hughes Ranch will make time for me. What do you think?”

He narrowed his eyes at her and took a deep but silent breath. His broad chest rose and fell as he looked her over. At last he said, “Can you ride?”

“A little.” Which was completely true, depending on one’s definition of “a little.”

Fresh impatience lit up Daniel MacKinnon’s eyes. “All right. Let’s go.”

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About the author:

Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She's a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends.

When she's not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good "teacher voice" and "teacher stare."

She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.

You can also visit her online at the following places:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Happy Thanksgiving!! 
We are taking the day off to spend Thanksgiving day with our families.  We are so thankful for all of our followers and the authors who provide us endless hours of reading! 

Autumn & Kari

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Blog Tour: Wallflower Blooming by Amy Rivers

Author: Amy Rivers
Publisher: Wooden Pants Publishing
Date of publication: August 2016

Val Shakely is a list-maker. Daily routine. Check. Calm, quiet (but successful) business. Check. No drama. No excitement. Some might call it boring, but it’s precisely the way Val likes it. She loves her hometown of Cambria, nestled in the mountains of Colorado, and runs a fruitful PR firm. And that’s more than enough for Val. So what if she doesn’t have a social life?
Then, her cousin Gwen decides to take on the local political bully, the Mayor, in head-to-head combat for the Mayoral seat and Val takes her company reluctantly, and against her better judgment, into the fray. The minute Val takes on Gwen’s campaign, the safe world that she has carefully constructed begins to unravel. She feels the pressure of the campaign and the personal attacks by Gwen’s opponent.

And as if that wasn’t complicated enough, Val finds herself falling in love. Val’s desire to stay on the sidelines is put to the test and she’s forced to reexamine the life she’s built as she trudges toward a new and more exciting future.
Wallflower Blookming is a cute little romance.  I enjoyed it for the most part.  Val is a no-nonsense workaholic who owns her own PR firm.  She usually stays away from politics, but when her cousin begs her to help her with her mayoral run, she reluctantly agrees.  At the first party, she meets the reclusive John.  It's spakrs at first site for both of them.

As I said, I liked it enough.  It was short and sweet and kept me entertained. The romance between Val and John felt a little old fashioned at times, but that made it that much cuter. That was my favorite part of the book.  As for the rest of the story, I did find it a bit predictible and the writing felt little awkward at times. The reveal in the end was a surprise, and I wish I had seen more of that relationship develop. The conflict with the mayor never really felt threatening enough for me.  That part of the book could have been fleshed out a lot more if the book had been longer.

This the debut novel by this author.  I can see a lot of potential here and I do look forward to seeing how her writing develops in the future.

About Amy Rivers

Amy Rivers was born and raised in southern New Mexico and currently resides in Colorado. She had an idyllic childhood despite a severe visual impairment and, perhaps because of her disability, she learned a lot about compassion and empathy from a young age. Her keen interest in social issues and violence prevention led to a Master’s degree with concentrations in Psychology and Politics. She was the director of a sexual assault response program and remains an advocate for social justice. Amy has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for NursesNovelty Bride and Splice Today. Wallflower Blooming is her first novel.
Connect with Amy
Website | Facebook |  Twitter  | Goodreads | Amazon
Amy Rivers’ TLC Book Tours Tour Stops
Monday, November 21st: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, November 22nd: Books and Bindings
Wednesday, November 23rd: From the TBR Pile
Friday, November 25th: Run Wright
Monday, November 28th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Wednesday, November 3oth: K. L. Romo – Goodreads
Thursday, December 1st: Tina Says…
Friday, December 2nd: Sue Roberts – Goodreads
Monday, December 5th: Write Read Life
Tuesday, December 6th: Jen Cannon – Goodreads
Friday, December 9th: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, December 9th: Not in Jersey
Monday, December 12th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, December 12th: Stranded in Chaos
Tuesday, December 15th: Deborah Blanchard – Goodreads
Wednesday, December 14th: Why Girls Are Weird
Friday, December 16th: Reading is My Superpower

Monday, December 19th: Mom in Love with Fiction

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Welcome Home for Christmas by Annie Rains

Author: Annie Rains
Publisher: Loveswept
Date of publication: November 2016

Three-hundred-and-sixty-four days a year, Allison Carmichael doesn’t mind being single. It sure beats dating another loser, and it keeps her heart safe. Then there’s that three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth day: Christmas Eve, the traditional time her entire family gathers together—and gangs up on her, demanding to know when she’s going to get married. This year, she swears, is going be different. And that’s why, at a charity auction she’s throwing on-base, she buys herself a man.
Sergeant Troy Matthews insists that he’s not for sale. His time is, though, and he’s happy to donate it. Happier still when he learns the identity of the winning bidder: the redhead with the killer good looks and smart mouth who runs the veteran’s center. Allison needs Troy’s help to fool her family into believing they’re an item, and he’s all too happy to indulge her. But by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, their little charade is working a little too well . . . because Troy’s falling head over heels.

Welcome Home for Christmas is the fourth and (final?)  book in the homecoming series.  This is Troy and Allison's story.  Troy is not into Christmas this year, but gets roped into participating in a Christmas auction for charity.  Allison is not looking forward to going home because she will once again get the third degree as to why she doesn't have a boyfriend.  She wins Troy in the bidding war and buys his time to be her fake boyfriend.

While not my favorite of the series, I though this was a cute Christmas romance.  I just kind of felt like 2 weeks was really fast for the love declaration between these two. I didn't feel like I had enough time to see them together. Allison spent way too much time listening to her mother and that got annoying.  I did like how Allison helped Troy mend his relationship with his family and the scene with his brother was touching.  The epilogue was sweet.  However I did feel like one of the surprises was a bit out of the blue.  At any rate, this is a good addition to the series.  I have loved watching this group of friends fall in love and get their HEAs.  I look forward to seeing what Ms. Rains comes up with next.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Blog Tour: The Dude Diet by Serana Wolf

Author: Serena Wolf
Publisher: Harper Wave
Date of publication: October 2016

From chef and creator of the popular food blog, 125 outrageously delicious yet deceptively healthy recipes for dudes (and the people who love them), accompanied by beautiful full-color photography.

Dudes. So well intentioned when it comes to healthy eating, even as they fail epically in execution—inhaling a “salad” topped with fried chicken fingers or ordering their Italian hero on a whole wheat wrap (that makes it healthy, right?).

There are several issues with men going on diets. First, they seem to be misinformed about basic nutrition. They are also, generally, not excited about eating “health food.” You can lead a dude to the salad bar, but you can’t make him choose lettuce.

Enter Serena Wolf—chef, food blogger, and caretaker of a dude with some less than ideal eating habits. As a labor of love, Serena began creating healthier versions of her boyfriend’s favorite foods and posting them on her blog, where she received an overwhelming response from men and women alike. Now, in The Dude Diet, Serena shares more than 125 droolworthy recipes that prove that meals made with nutrient-dense whole foods can elicit the same excitement and satisfaction associated with pizza or Chinese take-out.

The Dude Diet also demystifies the basics of nutrition, empowering men to make better decisions whether they’re eating out or cooking at home. Better still, each recipe is 100% idiot-proof and requires only easily accessible ingredients and tools. With categories like Game Day Eats, On the Grill, Serious Salads, and Take Out Favorites, The Dude Diet will arm dudes and those who love them with the knowledge they need to lead healthier, happier lives—with flattened beer bellies and fewer meat sweats.

The Dude Diet includes 102 full-color photographs.

I will make a confession.  I only do about 10% of the cooking in my house.  I am spoiled as my husband is the cook.  He usually makes pretty healthy meals for the family.  So, I didn't go into this book looking for a healthier way of eating for him. I was hoping for some good recipes to help him change up the menu for us.  The book has some great recipes that my husband is looking forward to making.  We are just hoping our kids buy into them.  

The beginning of the book has a lot of tips on eating better in an effort to lose weight. There are great photos that made me hungry just looking at them.  I think this would make a great holiday gift for anyone (not just dudes) who is looking for a healthier way of cooking and eating.  

Purchase Links

About Serena Wolf

After graduating from Harvard in 2009, Serena followed her passion for food to Le Cordon Bleu Paris, receiving her cuisine diploma in 2011. Since then, she has put her culinary skills to work as a private chef, food writer, recipe developer, and blogger at
She is currently a food contributor for and a member of SELF Magazine’s SelfMade Collective (an elite group of 25 influencers in the lifestyle space), as well as the former private chef for two players on the New York Giants. She also creates regular video content for her growing YouTube channel.

Serena’s writing, recipes and photography have been featured on The Huffington Post,, SELF. Com,,, BuzzFeed and POPSUGAR among others. She has also appeared as a guest on The Dr. Oz Show and Martha Stewart’s Radio Show “Mostly Martha.”

Find out more about Serena at her website, and follow her on Instagram.

Tour Stops

Monday, October 17th:
Friday, October 28th: Create With Joy
Friday, October 28th: Joyfully Retired
Monday, October 31st: Just Commonly
Tuesday, November 1st: Art Books Coffee
Wednesday, November 2nd: Library of Clean Reads
Thursday, November 3rd: Wall-to-Wall Books
Monday, November 7th: Stranded in Chaos
Tuesday, November 8th: What Will She Read Next
Wednesday, November 9th: Jathan & Heather
Thursday, November 10th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Monday, November 14th: Rebecca Radish
Tuesday, November 15th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, November 17th: Oh, That’s Tasty!
Friday, November 18th: WildmooBooks
Monday, November 21st: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, November 22nd: In Bed with Books

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Book Spotlight: The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald

Author: Betty MacDonald
Narrator: Heather Henderson
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Date of publication for audiobook: May 2015

When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild. With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine at night, the MacDonalds had barely a moment to put their feet up and relax. And then came the children. Yet through every trial and pitfall – through chaos and catastrophe – this indomitable family somehow, mercifully, never lost its sense of humor.
A beloved literary treasure for more than half a century, Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I is a heartwarming and uproarious account of adventure and survival on the American frontier.

Want a sneak peek?  Check out a sample of the audio-book by clicking the play button below.

Buy Links
Buy on AudibleAmazon

Author Bio

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.

MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).
Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

Post Hypnotic Press: 

Narrator Bio

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts.  Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire;  and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine.   She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry.  In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day by Joel Selvin

Author: Joel Selvin
Publisher: Dey Street Books
Date of publication: August 2016
In this breathtaking cultural history filled with exclusive, never-before-revealed details, celebrated rock journalist Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the Rolling Stones’ infamous Altamont concert in San Francisco, the disastrous historic event that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s.
In the annals of rock history, the Altamont Speedway Free Festival on December 6, 1969, has long been seen as the distorted twin of Woodstock—the day that shattered the Sixties’ promise of peace and love when a concertgoer was killed by a member of the Hells Angels, the notorious biker club acting as security. While most people know of the events from the film Gimme Shelter, the whole story has remained buried in varied accounts, rumor, and myth—until now.
The product of twenty years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews with many key players, including medical staff, Hells Angels members, the stage crew, and the musicians who were there, and featuring sixteen pages of color photos, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock’s formative and most turbulent decade.
I was born a couple of years after this concert took place.  But, I had always heard about it and my curiosity won out when I saw the audiobook was available.  I was really hoping for something more extensive than Wikipedia that would give me insight into what happened that day.  Essentially, it comes down to a perfect storm of events that included, but was not limited to, poor planning, an inadequate stage, greed, drugs and $500 worth of beer.  What a clusterf*ck.

I found this book to be very well researched.  It was pretty unbiased until right toward the end.  I could tell that the author really thought that the Rolling Stones should take a lot of the blame.  One of the things that he points out at the end was the movie Gimmie Shelter, which chronicles the Stones' tour leading up to and including the events at Altamont, does not give a full accounting of the events. In fact, the timing of some of the events were changed in the film. The film also skates over the massive drug use both at the concert as well as during the previous tour dates. 

I definitely learned some new information.  For instance, I had no idea that the Grateful Dead was the group that initially came up with the idea of the free concert that would finish with the Stones.  Nor did I know that they ended up not playing that day due to the increased violence that had been witnessed while other bands played. Three other people died that day, yet neither the press nor the police really gave them a second thought.  The LSD that was being passed around was not the "clean" drug of the San Francisco area.  It was a dirtier and stronger than anyone had seen or used previously.  
I found the ending to be really interesting when the author talked about the effect the concert had on all of the bands involved, especially the Stones.  It really changed the way they wrote and performed their music.  I definitely recommend this book. It was a real eye opener and will make me look at the Rolling Stones in a whole new light.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Blog Tour: Review and Excerpt of A Sure Thing by Marie Harte

Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: November 2016

Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone’s mind…

Can this Bossy Badass Marine…
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life...until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.

Be her Mr. Right?
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men—not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.

A Sure Thing is a new series that is a spin-off of the McCauley Brothers series.  The Donnigans are cousins of the McCauley clan.  Landon is a marine to the core and is slowly adjusting to civilian life.  He never has deep relationships with women until he meets Ava.  Ava has a five year plan and is convinced big sexy Landon doesn't fit into it.

I thought this was a cute story.  I enjoyed it and I enjoyed Landon and Ava together.  I liked Landon a lot more than Ava.  His relationship with his family was really sweet.  I liked their banter.  Ava was a bit too uptight for me in the beginning. She ended up relaxing more toward the end so she did end up growing on me.  I think fans of this author will like this book.  Some characters from the McCauleys and The Boy Shop series show up here, but it can be read as a stand alone.  Enjoy the excerpt below for a sneak peek.


 He chuckled and invaded her space, pleased when she tensed. Then he gently tucked away that strand of flyaway hair behind her ear. And man, was it soft, smelling like flowers.
“Okay, Dr. Ava.”
“Actually, it’s Dr. Rosenthal.” She lifted her pert nose.
He stroked her cheek, pleased when she trembled, yet she never backed down. “Well, Doc, I’m a Marine, or I was before a bullet took me out of commission. So you see, I live to serve and protect. Now I work for a logistics company protecting my boss’s ass from inept employees.”
“That’s…” She blew out a breath. “That’s not very flattering to your employees.”
“Not mine. I just work there.” He paused for effect. “Nah. Kidding. The guys and gals I work with are great. The ones who aren’t I already fired.”
“You have a controlling nature, don’t you?” She narrowed her eyes. “Were you an officer or enlisted in the Army?”
No doubt she said that to needle him. Army? “Marine Corps, honey.
She glared.
“Oh, sorry. Doctor Honey. So, was I an officer or enlisted? What do you think?”
“Officer. You’re exceedingly bossy.”
“You noticed.” He sighed. “You do care.”
She shook her head at him, but she was grinning again. “You really are obnoxious. And you’re not even trying, are you?”
“Not yet. You should see me when I’m on a roll.”
The wind blew again, and her teeth chattered.
“Okay, Doc. Enough flirting. Get in your car before you freeze your fine ass off.”

She scowled, then opened and closed her mouth, as if not sure whether to be annoyed or flattered. He had mentioned her fine ass, after all. She gave a sniff, stalked around to the driver’s side, and let herself in the vehicle.
She drove away in her sensible, compact little Prius, but he’d bet money she’d looked in her rearview at him before turning the corner.
Landon blew out a breath and wondered what the hell he was doing. He had no time for woman problems. Especially not the kind with an advanced degree and trouble written all over her. But he hadn’t been able to get the gorgeous woman out of his head since seeing her at the gym. Then running into her at his favorite bar? What were the odds? It was like fate planting her in his sights. Because that dud of a date drooling all over her couldn’t keep up.
Charles I’m Boring Myself Silly had no game. Not like Landon. Marines came, saw, and conquered. And he’d just decided he had a need to see what kinds of games Dr. Honey liked to play…between the sheets.

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About the author:

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, MARIE HARTE is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

Author: Charlaine Harris
First published in 2005 by Berkeley

Harper Connelly has what you might call a strange job: she finds dead people. She can sense the final location of a person who's passed, and share their very last moment. The way Harper sees it, she's providing a service to the dead while bringing some closure to the living - but she's used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. Traveling with her step-brother Tolliver as manager and sometime-bodyguard, she's become an expert at getting in, getting paid, and getting out fast. Because for the living it's always urgent - even if the dead can wait forever.

For some reason, I never tried this series before.  Honestly, I gave up in the Sookie Stackhoue series after book #2 so I was a bit wary about trying this one out.  Grave Sight is the first in the Harper Connelly series.  Harper was struck by lightening when she was a little girl.  She was left with the ability to find the dead.  Now as an adult, she travels the country with her step-brother finding dead bodies for a fee.

This first book sets up the scene for the reader.  We get to know Harper and Toliver and how they ended up doing this for a living.  We also get to know a lot about their childhoods. I thought this was a pretty unique take on psychic ability.  Harper can find dead bodies and can see how they died, but she can't see who did it if it was murder. I found the mystery to be fairly engaging, but a little convoluted and long.  It probably could have been shorted a little bit.

If you haven't picked up this series yet, I do recommend giving this one a try.  I'll be looking for the next book, Grave Surprise.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blog Tour: In the Blue Hour by Elizabeth Hall

Author: Elizabeth Hall
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of publication: November 1, 2016

Elise Brooks dreams of a car accident on an icy road. Weeks later, her beloved husband, Michael, is killed in just such a crash. Now, overcome with grief and uncertainty, Elise believes his spirit may be following her in the form of a raven, trying to tell her something from beyond the grave.
Desperate to understand the signs, Elise embraces both the Native American wisdom she grew up with and the world of psychics and seers. So when a tarot-card reader suggests she take a journey to the mysterious address found in Michael’s old jacket, she embarks on a cross-country trek to follow the clues.

Accompanied by Tom Dugan, an engineer and scientist who does not believe in psychics, mediums, or the hoodoo “conjure woman” they encounter on the road, Elise navigates the rituals and omens of the spirit world in an attempt to unravel the mystery of her husband’s message.

In the Blue Hour was an interesting book and different from what I have read lately.  I wouldn't really classify it as a ghost story.  It's more of a mystical journey for widow trying to find her own way out of her grief.  Elise lost her husband in a car accident 7months before.  She beings to sense someone around her and wonders if he is trying to tell her something.  She meets Celestina, a trot card reader, who tells her a man with dark eyes will help her and take her on a journey.  Tom Dugan is running from his past and agrees to help Elise.

I won't talk too much about plot because it would ruin the ending for you.  Instead, I'll talk about the book as a whole.  For the most part, I liked the story.  I empathized with Elsie and was eager to follow her on her journey.  Her story was interesting commentary on how we can let someone else take over our life until we lose who we really once were.  I was hoping she would end up finding herself again after living in Michael's shadow for so long without realizing she had.  The part that stood out for me was when she walked into her house at one point and realized there really wasn't anyting in there that she picked out herself.  What a sad realization to make.  I also liked Tom. Being a science oriented person myself, I found myself nodding at his logical explanations for the things that happened to Elsie as well as to him.

Having said all that, I did find the pacing a bit slow and I did skim in a few places that were very bogged down in narration.  There were a few changes in points of view that kind of threw me off because I was so immersed in Elsie's story that I wasn't expecting it so late into the book. I also thought the ending was a bit abrupt and would have liked more of an "after".   Still, I do recommend giving this one a try.  It was a quick and pleasant read.

About Elizabeth Hall

Elizabeth Hall, author of Miramont’s Ghost, has worked as a teacher, communications consultant, and radio host. She spent many years in the mountains of Colorado and now resides in the Pacific Northwest, where she indulges in the fiber arts of knitting, beading, and weaving.

Elizabeth Hall’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS

Tuesday, November 1st: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Wednesday, November 2nd: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Thursday, November 3rd: Books A La Mode (Guest Post/Giveaway)
Friday, November 4th: Bibliotica
Monday, November 7th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, November 8th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, November 9th: Write Read Life
Thursday, November 10th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, November 14th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, November 15th: Wall to Wall Books
Wednesday, November 16th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, November 17th: Broken Teepee
Monday, November 21st: Chick Lit Central
Tuesday, November 22nd: Mama Vicky Says
Wednesday, November 23rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller