Release Spotlight & Excerpt: OUT OF MY LEAGUE by Jennifer McCoy Blaske

Earlier this month, Jennifer McCoy Blaske released Out of My League, the second book in her Madison Musicians series.  I haven’t read this sweet romance yet, but it sounds like another one for the TBR list.

Synopsis (from Amazon)

OutLeagueCan a Google search lead to true love?

College freshman Annie O’Connor gets the opportunity of a lifetime when she’s hired to play keyboard alongside the amazing guitarist, Scott Stewart. He’s the perfect guy and she’s determined to get him to notice her as more than another musician.

In her quest to woo a guy who’s clearly out of her league, she stumbles across an Internet article called “5 Ways to Make a Guy Go Crazy Over You.” Maybe this is just the answer Annie is looking for.

However, Annie soon finds out that there are never easy solutions to life’s challenges, and that relationships — and people — are more complicated than she originally thought.

Read an excerpt:

My mother, who was a huge fan of 80s music, named me Annie Grace, after two of her favorite female songwriters, Annie Lennox, and Grace Slick. I hoped she wasn’t expecting me to follow in their footsteps and be a dazzling, flashy, and glamorous star in any way, because if she did, she had probably spent most of the last eighteen years of her life hiding her extreme disappointment.

I’m about as ordinary as they come. I have straight brown hair that usually hangs just below my shoulders, with bangs that seem to be the right length for four weeks of a year and slightly too long during the other forty-eight weeks. I rarely wear makeup, and I never wear any kind of trendy clothing or shoes. I never even know what is trendy. For all I know, I could be wearing it—but somehow, I kinda doubt it. I’m not a flashy, rock star kind of person. At all.

At least Mom ended up with a musician for a daughter, although whether her baby naming techniques worked is debatable. My older brother Peter—as in Gabriel—works for an accounting firm, so I wouldn’t recommend her strategy as a reliable way of programming your children’s personalities or careers. I’m a freshman piano performance major at Orchard City College. Now it might sound flashy and glamorous until you discover how my focus is on piano accompanying. Accompanists are probably the most unnoticed performers in existence. They get none of the glory, barely any applause, and to add insult to injury sometimes get their names left out of the program altogether. In fact, some people say the sign of a great accompanist is the audience never being aware of your presence. So, I certainly fit the part. Perhaps that’s why I’m so good at it.

Until Thursday, March 2, none of this ever bothered me. I was happy with my brown hair, my ordinary clothes, and my unnoticeable accompanist self. In fact, I wasn’t even aware of it enough to say that I was “pleased.” I never really thought about it. But all that changed on March 2.

Excerpt from OUT OF MY LEAGUE by Jennifer McCoy Blaske. Copyright © 2017

About the Author

When Jennifer McCoy Blaske isn’t writing, she works as a professional piano player for weddings and other events in the Atlanta area.

She has three kids, two cats, and one husband. Her TV shows of choice these days include The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidtt with her daughters and The Monkees with her 11 year old son. Jennifer and her daughters are patiently waiting for the second season of Stranger Things.

She loves to hear from fans and encourages them to connect with her in any of these ways:

Review & Giveaway: GAME OF DECEIT by K. A. Davis

GameDeceitAs part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently read Game of Deceit, an enjoyable mystery by Kim Davis.

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A father’s disappearance never solved, a mother’s secret taken to the grave, a daughter deceived…

Kathryn Landry thinks her life is just about perfect. She is the owner of a successful interior designer business in Newport Beach, California, and she has an attentive, supportive husband. But her world comes crashing down when her husband, Neil Landry, vanishes without a trace… in a situation almost identical to the disappearance of her father twenty years before.

With her father’s disappearance still a mystery, Kathryn is skeptical that the detective assigned to her case will be able to find her husband. Determined to uncover the truth, Kathryn is plunged into a world of politics, high-priced call girls and wealth. As she begins to search for her husband, a decades-old secret her mother took to the grave threatens to destroy all she holds dear. Caught up in a web of betrayals and deceit, and not knowing who to trust, Kathryn must find a way to survive as she discovers the past has a way of repeating itself.

My Review

Game of Deceit is a well written mystery.  Kathryn made for an interesting main character and it was easy to empathize with her dismay as events unfolded and with her conflicting feelings about the two men vying for her affections.  As I read the book I found myself  framing hypotheses and then revising them again and again, flip-flopping in my suspicions right along with Kathryn as the story progressed.  The pace was good and  held my attention throughout, although the resolution felt a bit rushed and was somewhat vague regarding the motivation of the main villain.  All in all, an admirable debut by a new author.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary ARC of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Purchase Links: Amazon  B&N

Giveaway

Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy of  Game of Deceit and an Amazon gift card.

About the Author

Kim DavisKim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband, near wildfire country. During the Portola Hills fire in October 2007, she had to evacuate her two young granddaughters, one of whom has Rett Syndrome, as a wall of one hundred foot flames crept towards their home. Thankfully, due to the brave efforts of firefighters, their neighborhood was spared and no loss of life or property occurred. She was able to use that experience to write a harrowing scene in A Game of Deceit.

She writes the Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder blog and has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Surprise release! THE MISPLACED DOG by Christa Nardi and Cassidy Salem

Christa Nardi and I are excited to announce the early release of our third Hannah and Tamar Mystery — The Misplaced Dog.  Thanks to speedy beta readers and an efficient editing process, it was ready ahead of schedule, so we decided not to keep our readers in suspense.

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Synopsis

A gorgeous addition places Playful Paws and its staff at the center of a mystery.

It’s love at first sight when Tamar meets Rusty – the newest resident at the local shelter where she volunteers. However, the arrival of the well-trained and affectionate dog coincides with the onset of suspicious and dangerous incidents involving the shelter and its staff. Is it a coincidence or is the dog the key to solving a major crime? In this latest addition to the Hannah and Tamar mystery series, the sisters are determined to find out.

Read an excerpt:

“I don’t get it. Why couldn’t you do your community service closer to home? I’m gonna be late for my study group at the library.”

The Playful Paws animal shelter was located on the eastern outskirts of Rosedale, Maryland. Only a 10 minute drive from Rosedale High, you’d think it was on the moon to judge from Hannah’s complaining.

“You know, I could drop you off at school and take the car the rest of the way myself. It’s not my fault you insist on driving.” Tamar knew that wasn’t going to happen.

“Fat chance.” Hannah shook her head.

Tamar had recently passed her driving test and was itching to spend more time behind the wheel, even if it meant putting up with her sister’s non-stop criticisms. Hannah, on the other hand, wasn’t about to give up the driver’s seat.

The Bertolet’s green Subaru Outback pulled up in front of a dreary, red brick building in Rosedale’s industrial area. The parking lot was half full.

“Be ready to leave at 6:30 – I’ll text you when I get here. And don’t make me wait for you. Dad’ll be mad if we’re late.”

“Alright. I get it. Your wish is my command.” Tamar slammed the car door shut and headed into the building.

The ever-present scent of disinfectant and incessant barking filled the building. Playful Paws was just one of the animal shelters in the greater Baltimore area that housed cats and dogs in need of a good home. Temporary residents, the animals were kept in two rows of enclosures in an old warehouse.

Tamar stopped to greet two other volunteers, Zola and Jason, who were busy sweeping out the enclosures and filling water dishes.

“Hi, Tamar. How’s it going?” Zola was a second-year student at Towson University, where she was majoring in zoology. Tall and slim with long blonde hair and big blue eyes, she looked like a model.

“Great. So looking forward to our next adoption event.”

Jason watched the two young women but didn’t say anything. A senior at a different high school, Jason flashed Tamar a shy smile. It was his second year volunteering at the shelter, and he was almost never at a loss for words, except for when Tamar was around. Zola was amused by his obvious interest in the slender, dark haired teen who seemed oblivious to his admiration.

Tamar spoke softly to the residents as she walked down the long row of enclosures to reach the office in the back. This Paws shelter had a total of 18 enclosures, eight large enclosures on one side of the aisle, 10 smaller enclosures on the other. The center currently housed 19 dogs.

Two dogs were curled up together in the enclosure closest to the office. A bit of an odd couple – a small dachshund and a full grown Irish Setter. When the setter raised its head and gazed into Tamar’s eyes, her heart melted. She immediately spoke to the setter.

“Hey there, how’d you end up here?”

Joel Newman, the manager, stood in the doorway to the office. Passionate about animal welfare, the thirty-something year old worked as a free-lance designer to pay his bills. He always wore jeans and a t-shirt regardless of the weather, and today was no different. “I see our latest guests have made an impression.”

“Wow. That setter is gorgeous. Where did she come from? How could anyone surrender such a beautiful dog?”

“First, she is a he. Of course, it’s hard to tell the way he’s curled up right now. A lady found him wandering around the industrial area and dropped him off right before you got here. He has a collar but no tags. I was about to check to see if he’s chipped.”

“I’ll do it.”

Tamar reached for the handheld RFID reader. Although Maryland doesn’t require owners to have microchips implanted in their pets, the widespread practice makes it easier to identify and contact the owners of lost pets. As soon as she let herself into the enclosure, the dog sat upright and smiled; at least it looked like a smile to her.

She crouched down and held out her hand, waiting for the dog to come to her. He ambled over and smelled her hand before giving it a gentle nudge. She scratched him behind the ears and stroked his silky fur. He had a leather collar, his fur wasn’t matted, and he wasn’t shy.

The small brown dachshund was soon bouncing around her feet, demanding her share of attention. With the scanner tucked under her arm, Tamar tried to pet them both.

“You do realize you can’t play with them and scan the setter at the same time.” Joel chided her. “I think I’d better do it myself.”

Tamar shrugged.

Joel let himself in and took the scanner from her. Standing next to the setter, he commanded, “Sit.” And the dog sat. As he waved the scanner over the animal’s left shoulder, an indicator on the device flashed.

“Great, it looks like he has a chip.” He pressed a button on the device to save the reading and smiled. “Now, maybe we can find out who he belongs to.”

Back at the desk, Joel attempted to pull up the scanned data on his screen. “That’s odd.” A popup message indicated that no ID data had been found.

Tamar peered over his shoulder. “Must be an old or faulty chip.”

“What about the dachshund?”

“Already checked. No chip. No collar, either. Found her sitting outside when I got back from lunch. Well, since it looks like these two guys are going to be here for a while, we might as well give them names.”

Zola had walked over and heard the latter part of the conversation. “Let’s call the dachshund Ducky.”

“And the setter looks like a Rusty to me.” Tamar said.

“Sounds good to me. Let’s get their general descriptions, nicknames, and photographs into the database. I didn’t notice any immediate medical needs, still I’ll let Dr. Goodman know we have two new guests.”  

Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved

 

The third book in the Hannah and Tamar YA mystery series,  The Misplaced Dog is available for Kindle at a special introductory price of just $0.99 for a limited time only.  Of course, it is also available in paperback or through Kindle Unlimited.

About the Series

The release of The Mysterious Package in October 2016 marked the launch of the Hannah and Tamar Mystery series, a new mystery series for young adults and teens written by Christa Nardi and Cassidy Salem.  Mrs. Tedesco’s Missing Cookbook was released in April 2017.  For more about the series, click here.

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Book Blast & Giveaway: AUDITION FOR MURDER by P.M. Carlson

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As part of a book blast organized by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours, today’s post showcases Audition for Murder by P.M. Carlson.

audition-for-murder-by-p-m-carlson.jpgSynopsis

Actors Nick and Lisette O’Connor need a change. They leave New York City for a semester as artists-in-residence at a college upstate, where they take on the roles of Claudius and Ophelia, two of the professional leads in a campus production of Hamlet. Threats and accidents begin to follow Lisette, and Nick worries it might be more than just petty jealousy. Maggie Ryan, a student running lights for the show, helps investigate a mystery steeped in the turmoil of 1967 America.

Don’t Miss These Great Reviews:

“P.M. Carlson’s energetic and insightful novels are back in print — hallelujah!” — Sara Paretsky

“An extremely well-written tale, with a plotline that offers a jolt per page.” — CF, Booklist

“Very literate, sprinkled with surprises and offering that rarity of rarities — fully fleshed out characters.” — Bob Ellison, Los Angeles Daily News

Read an excerpt:

Lisette stumbled on the way to the car, and Nick caught her elbow to steady her. Rob had unlocked the back door, and Nick helped her in while Rob let Maggie into the front passenger seat and then went around to the driver’s side. There were a few snowflakes blowing in the wind, and his pale hair licked about his forehead like little flames. He sat down, closed the door, and stared at the wheel a minute.
“God,” he said. “I’m stoned. A little.”
“Do you want someone else to drive?” asked Maggie.
“No. I’ll be fine.” He raised a dramatic finger and declaimed, “Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used.”
“Every inordinate cup is unblessed,” countered Nick, who had maybe had a drop too much himself.
“I’ll be extremely careful,” Rob promised. He turned the key and started out of the lot. Lisette lurched against Nick as they rounded the corner onto the highway.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“Very tired,” she said.
Nick tipped her chin up and studied her a minute in the headlights of the car behind them. “You look bad,” he said, concerned. He could see her honey-brown eyes in the wavering light. The pupils were tiny. “Do you feel sick?”
“M’all right,” she said. The eyes closed. Nick leaned forward.
“Rob, she looks bad.. Could we get her to a hospital, do you think?” Maggie turned to look at Lisette.
“She says she’s all right,” objected Rob. “Are you sick, Lisette?”
She made an effort. “Just tired. Bed.”
“I’ll just take you home,” said Rob soothingly.
“Home,” murmured Lisette. Her cheek was cold and damp. Nick felt panic rising.
“Rob, please!” he said.
“Come on, Nick,” said Rob. He had stopped at a stoplight, and turned to look back at them, the red glow making his hair shine like embers. “The hospital is miles away, and she says she’s just tired. I believe her. I’m tired too.”
“Nick’s right,” said Maggie suddenly. “She’s not just tired.”
“Jus’ tired,” repeated Lisette.
“See?” said Rob. “You two alarmists are interfering with her rest.”
Maggie leaned across Rob, switched off the ignition with one hand, and opened his door with the other. “Out, Rob,” she said.
“What?”
“Out. Get out. Now.”
“You’re crazy!” He stared at her unbelievingly. The light blinked to green.
“Sorry, kid,” she said, leaning back against her door and placing an elegant French boot, still muddy, against his thigh.
“My God! My coat!” Shocked, he flinched away from the boot. She shoved, and he suddenly found himself outside, arms flailing for balance. Maggie slid smoothly into the driver’s seat and turned the ignition. The car moved forward and left Rob on the pavement, staggering. When they were clear of him Maggie pulled the door closed and made a rapid U-turn, then pressed the accelerator. The car vaulted up the hill toward the hospital.
By the time they had run their third red light, a patrol car was chasing them. Lisette was slumped against Nick, and he braced himself to keep them both from ricocheting around the back seat as Maggie traced a complex, competent line through the other traffic. He was dimly aware of the flashing lights from behind intersecting the rapid flow of the light from street lamps. She did not slow, and the sirens and lights behind them got other traffic out of the way. When she turned into the hospital driveway the patrol car seemed to relax a little. She skidded to a halt in front of the emergency room and was out opening Nick’s door instantly.
“Need help?”
“She’s not heavy,” he said. Lisette was unconscious.
“I’ll follow when I’ve talked to the officers.” She made sure the emergency door was open and then walked toward the patrol car. Nick carried the limp body into the emergency room.
Excerpt from Audition for Murder by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

p-m-carlson-e1495662546391P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

Catch up with the author on:  Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Smashwords, & Twitter 🔗!

Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

Review: CRIME SCENE by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman

Having read and enjoyed many of  Jonathan Kellerman’s books, I was glad to have the chance to read a pre-release copy of  Crime Scene, co-authored with his son, Jesse Kellerman.  It was an enjoyable read.

Description (from Amazon)

51j3newt8qlNatural causes or foul play? That’s the question Clay Edison must answer each time he examines a body. Figuring out motives and chasing down suspects aren’t part of his beat—not until a seemingly open-and-shut case proves to be more than meets his highly trained eye.

Eccentric, reclusive Walter Rennert lies cold at the bottom of his stairs. At first glance the scene looks straightforward: a once-respected psychology professor, done in by booze and a bad heart. But his daughter Tatiana insists that her father has been murdered, and she persuades Clay to take a closer look at the grim facts of Rennert’s life.

What emerges is a history of scandal and violence, and an experiment gone horribly wrong that ended in the brutal murder of a coed. Walter Rennert, it appears, was a broken man—and maybe a marked one. And when Clay learns that a colleague of Rennert’s died in a nearly identical manner, he begins to question everything in the official record.

All the while, his relationship with Tatiana is evolving into something forbidden. The closer they grow, the more determined he becomes to catch her father’s killer—even if he has to overstep his bounds to do it.  The twisting trail Clay follows will lead him into the darkest corners of the human soul. It’s his job to listen to the tales the dead tell. But this time, he’s part of a story that makes his blood run cold.

My Review

Clay Edison works for the coroner’s office and is called out to a case that appears to be a an accident, or a medical incident – anything but a homicide.  Nonetheless, Edison doesn’t seem to be able to let it go, due in large part to his attraction to the deceased’s daughter.  Even though his boss tells him not to investigate, he does so, ultimately leading him to uncover the truth about a case. I liked Edison and his determination but at the same time the amount of time he spent digging up the past on his own time didn’t seem feasible. After all, he still had to do his actual job.

This well-written novel also touched on pertinent issues related to mental illness and the influence of TV and computer games on violent behavior.  The plot moved along at a steady pace, with several unexpected turns, making for an enjoyable and interesting read.  I look forward to reading more books featuring Clay Edison if this becomes a series.

FTC Disclosure:  I received an advance review copy of this book without obligation and have voluntarily chosen to share my honest review. 

Spotlight & Excerpt: A FLAIR FOR DRAMA by Deborah Garner

I recently found out that, in addition to her successful Paige Mackenzie Mystery series, Deborah Garner has released the first two books in the Sadie Kramer Flair Mystery series.  Today’s spotlight is turned on the more recent release, A Flair for Drama.  Something tells me it might even feature a cute little dog.

Description

Drama_1800When a former schoolmate invites flamboyant senior sleuth Sadie Kramer to a theatre production, she jumps at the excuse to visit the Monterey Bay area for a weekend. With quaint Carmel shops a short drive away and luxurious linens in her hotel accommodations, the excursion promises to be both entertaining and relaxing.

Plenty of action is expected on stage, but when the show’s leading lady turns up dead, Sadie finds herself faced with more than one drama to follow. With both cast members and production crew as potential suspects, will Sadie and her sidekick Yorkie, Coco, be able to solve the case?

Read an excerpt:

Sadie reached over to the night stand, her hand slapping blindly across the surface, knocking off a pair of rhinestone-studded reading glasses, a dog-eared fashion magazine, and a halfway-consumed bag of peanut butter chocolate cups before landing on her cell phone. Annoyed the Dragnet ringtone had interrupted her dream of starring in a Broadway production, she looked at the Caller ID, surprised to see both a time of 1:30 am and Roxy’s phone number on the screen.

“Roxy?” Sadie sat up and clicked on the bedside light, temporarily startled at the sight of her neon pink flamingo pajamas. Why hadn’t she thought to pack the ones with pastel poodles? Those were much less of a shock when viewed unexpectedly from a half asleep state.

“What?” Sadie sat up straighter, suddenly wide awake. Coco lifted her head off the velvet pillow in her crate. “Oh, my!” Sadie stood up. Coco sprang to her paws. “How awful!” She began to pace. Coco followed suit, changing directions each time Sadie did an about face. The call lasted only a minute, after which Sadie hurried to the restroom to splash cold water on her face while Coco tapped one paw impatiently.

“Coco, we need to go down to the theatre,” Sadie said as she walked back into the room. “There’s been a terrible accident. Roxy is beside herself. Oh, my, oh my.” Sadie shook her head as she shed the pink flamingos in exchange for a bright yellow jogging suit. “Oh, my,” she added again. She scooped Coco out of the crate and deposited her in the tote bag, tossed in a few treats, and headed to the theatre..

Excerpt from A Flair for Drama by Deborah Garner. All rights reserved.

A Flair for Drama is available from:  Amazon, Nook, Apple, Kobo, and Google.

About the Author

DeborahGarnerDeborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.

Author Links:

Review: BRING HER HOME by David Bell

Last year I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Since She Went Away by David Bell, so I was quick to snap up a pre-release copy of the author’s latest book, Bring Her Home. Besides, it has such a lovely cover.

About the Book (from Amazon)

51unob9ncblJust a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family…

My Review

Bill Price is a first and foremost a father who is worried about his daughter. As a parent, I get that. Nonetheless, his character was hard to relate to at times. He is quick to make assumptions about people and events, without evidence and without taking time to consider all the possibilities. This leads him to act rashly, interfering at times with the police investigation. I really liked his sister, Paige, who comes to stay with him and offer moral support. She has good instincts, she is sensible, and helps balance out his somewhat erratic behavior.

The plot is intricate, with an abundance  twists and turns.  Although some of the twists were unexpected, I found a few to be quite predictable.  Some aspects of the story lacked credibility, nonetheless, the novel was definitely intriguing enough to hold my attention to the very end.  Like Bill, I had to know what had happened to Summer.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley.  This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Dialogue Tags – Again #wwwblogs #writingtips #amwriting

Excellent reminder (from Allison Williams’s blog on the use of dialogue tags. Can you chuckle a word?

Alison Williams Writing

writing-dialogue

This is a subject I’ve written about several times in the past, but it is an issue I keep coming back to, time and time again.

I’m a huge fan of self-publishing and of independent authors. I’ve read some absolutely amazing books by indie authors and have worked with some amazing authors that have self-published. There are so many great indie authors out there and many that are as good as, if not better than, traditionally published authors.

However, one thing that sets apart the majority of (but by no means all) traditionally published authors from some self-published authors and authors published by small presses is the proliferation of complicated dialogue tags in the work of the latter two. Now, I’m not saying it’s all indie authors that do this, but there is a lot of it about, and it’s usually a sign of an author who hasn’t had their…

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Spotlight: THAT ONE MOMENT by Patty Wiseman

Patty Wiseman, an award-winning author, recently  released a new romantic-suspense novel.  I haven’t had a chance to read That One Moment  yet, but it sounds like one for the To-Be-Read list, especially for those who seek a “clean” yet contemporary romance this summer.

ThatOneMomentCoverDescription

Ricki Sheridan travelled a long way to seek refuge at Wolf Den’s Lodge high in the mountains after a devastating betrayal. Heartbroken, she signed up for a survivalist backpacking trip to live off the land and forget.
An injury on the first day puts her in the capable hands of the handsome trail boss, Kory Littleton. The attraction is instant, mutual, and terrifying. She trusted her emotions once and vowed never to make the same mistake again.
Kory’s heart, trampled and bruised, is unprepared to ever love again, until his unexpected reaction to Ricki reveals some things are worth taking a chance on.
When evil finds its way back into Ricki’s world, their fragile bond is tested, forcing them to face their greatest fear: can a wounded heart ever trust anew?
Betrayal. Desire. Revenge. Which one prevails?

About the Author

Pwiseman

Award Winning Author Patty Wiseman is a native of the Seattle, Washington area and attended The Wesleyan College in Bartlesville Oklahoma. Northeast Texas is home, now, along with her husband Ron.

She created the Vintage Mystery Series, The Velvet Shoe Collection set in the 1920’s. Intrigue with a touch of romance fuel the stories of strong women who overcome obstacles and propel them into strength and triumph. Her books include: An Unlikely Arrangement – won 2nd place in Forward National Literature Awards, An Unlikely Beginning, won 1st place in Texas Association of Authors in Romance, An Unlikely Conclusion – won 1st place in Texas Association of Authors in Romance, and her newest book in the series, An Unlikely Deception won Honorable Mention in Texas Association of Authors.  Other awards include, Winner in 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading Contest sponsored by The Author’s Show.

Patty has just released a new contemporary romance called That One Moment. Another strong woman who struggles with vulnerabilities of the heart.  She’s also written a motivational book called Success Your Way – Make a Wish, Then Make a Plan. She is a member of the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs – Marshall Chapter, a Lifetime Member of the Worldwide Who’s Who for Professional Women, named VIP for 2013, a member East Texas Writers Association, a member of the Northeast Texas Writer’s Organization, and Texas Association of Authors.

Favorite quote: “Find out who you are, then do it on purpose.” ~ Dolly Parton

Review & Giveaway: APPOINTMENT WITH ISIL by Joe Giordano

Italy Book Tours Logo in colour

As part of a blog tour organized by Italy Book Tours,  I recently read Appointment with ISIL a new thriller by Joe Giordano.

ApptwithISIL_cover.pngDescription

An Anthony Provati Literary Thriller 

This time, Anthony’s libido threatens his life. Anthony Provati flirts with Russian mob boss, Gorgon Malakhov’s mistress. The Russian deals in death. ISIL, the Islamic State in the Levant, wants the product. Russian Intelligence supplies the means, and an art theft funds the scheme.

ISIL’s targets are chilling. The chase across the Mediterranean is on. Can Anthony thwart ISIL? Will he survive?

My Review

Anthony is a piano player and a nice guy, but his better judgment goes out the window whenever he is confronted with a beautiful woman. He is ill-equipped to cope with the threats of a seasoned Russian mobster, and soon finds himself in the unlikely role of unofficial investigator as he tries to keep himself and the women he loves safe.  The course of events brings him in to the middle of conflicts between Italian, Colombian, Jewish, and Russian mobsters.

The author has created a somewhat disturbing scenario where Russian mobsters help ISIL prepare for a major terrorist attack.  Disturbing not because of the details, disturbing because it strikes home with respect to the threat from terror faced around the world today.  Anthony is not a spy or a government agent he happens on the details and does his best to pass the info on to the relevant authorities  with predicable and unpredictable results.  Spanning four continents and multiple cultures, Appointment with ISIL was an interesting read.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary ARC of this book. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

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About the Author

Joe GiordanoJoe Giordano was born in Brooklyn. He and his wife, Jane, have lived in Greece, Brazil, Belgium and the Netherlands. They now live in Texas.

Joe’s stories have appeared in more than ninety magazines including The Monarch Review, The Saturday Evening Post, decomP, The Summerset Review, and Shenandoah. His novel, Birds of Passage, An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story, was published by Harvard Square Editions October 2015. His second novel, Appointment with ISIL, an Anthony Provati Thriller was recently released by HSE.

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