Review: LOVE FROM A TO Z by Lia London

This past weekend I decided to take a break from mysteries and read a book that didn’t include a single dead body.   Lia’s London’s latest release – Love from A to Z – was the perfect choice. And just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Description

Falling in love is a family affair…

atozFor seven years, Antonio Seneca has had to be a father to his two younger brothers. He might struggle in the kitchen, but he makes sure the boys get their homework done and stay out of trouble. Only now that they’ve discovered girls, he has to decide if a love life would be a welcome distraction or a complete disaster.

Smart and sassy Zaira Vasquez got herself through a nursing degree and landed her first job at a hospital, but being a single, working mom is exhausting, no matter how cute her toddler daughter is. With only two relatives nearby to lend a hand, she needs adult companionship. Could it be that the handsome young man across the street is a remedy for her loneliness?

Growing from neighbors to co-workers to friends, Antonio and Zaira try dating while parenting, and parenting while dating, and find that the two occupations aren’t always compatible. How can they navigate the chaos of the present and the heartaches of the past to form something beautiful for their future?

My Review

This light and easy boy-meets-girl story features two strong main characters, both deeply affected by events from their pasts.  Antonio is not at all what Zaira expects. He’s nothing like the gorgeous player he portrayed on a reality show.  Yeah, he’s still gorgeous, but he’s a nice guy.  A responsible guy who is doing his best to raise his younger brothers on his own. The attraction is immediate – they click; but they both resist.  They both want to find love, however fear repeating past mistakes. You can’t help rooting for them to find their “happily ever after.”

This is a sweet “clean” romance that focuses on family and family values. The story is sprinkled with humorous antics and entertaining dialog and made for a delightful escape. I just may have to go back and read the rest of the series.

Spotlight: THE SONGS THAT BROUGHT ME BACK by Mylissa Demeyere

Today’s post turns the spotlight on The Songs That Brought Me Back,  a new  romance from Mylissa Demeyere. Sounds like a good one.

Description

Cover LargeHave you ever made a mistake? One so monumental you lost everything? I did, and I hate myself for it! All I want to do is close my eyes, and let the darkness consume me. Make it all go away. The end.

Ainsley is drowning in the depth of her despair. One wrong decision left her alone, with only regret as her constant companion. To escape it all, she makes another choice. One she hopes will end everything. Instead, she’s thrown into a whole new world filled with opportunities she doesn’t believe she deserves.

Ethan gives the appearance of breezing through life. But underneath his bright facade, he’s scarred by loss. When fate leads him into Ainsley’s world at the exact moment she needs someone the most, he can’t ignore the chance to right the wrongs of his past.

Ainsley and Ethan will struggle to help each other heal and start anew.

They’ll learn that the secret to conquering their pain lies within their power, if only they can do it together.

Always together.
Sometimes the ending is really the beginning.

TIP: The book is on sale for a limited time at just $ 0.99 on Amazon.

Check out the book trailer:

Read an Excerpt

AINSLEY

Beep… Beep…
Floating…I was floating. My body…weightless. For the first time in almost three years, the constant pain that had been pushing on me, threatening to suffocate me…lifted and was gone.

I felt…free.

Beep… Beep…
Finally, I was done and untied, drifting in this place that no longer held me in its terrible grip.

Beep… Beep…
I hovered near the edge, staring down at that empty shell as the doctor and nurses fought to save me. The scene should have sent more anguish through me. The ripped clothes, the chaos, but all I felt was peace.

The body left behind looked like me, but it wasn’t, not really. It hadn’t been me for so long. I had lost myself in that person ages ago.

Something tugged at me, pulling me down, away from the peacefulness I felt and back toward that cold, empty body. My prison. I grasped out around me but only caught handfuls of air. Nothing to hold on to. The pull got stronger. Dread washed over me as I realized what was happening.

I had to go back.

“Push a dose of ketamine, now!”

The weightlessness was out of reach, leaving me confused and exhausted. A new, heavy sensation pushed down on me.

No! I screamed, but no noise left my mouth. Even as the weight of my body and my illness pressed down on me, I longed for the weightlessness I’d felt, the brief glimpse of freedom. I wanted it back.

“Give me a laryngoscope.”
A sharp pain coursed through me, down my mouth, into my throat.
I tried to raise my hand, trying to yank whatever was there away. But it wouldn’t move. The weight was pushing on my hand as well.

No! I screamed again, but no one heard me. It was pointless.

“I’m in. Tube her.”

Finally, I surrendered to the darkness as it closed in, and everything went completely black.

Excerpt from The Songs That Brought Me Back. Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

 

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41837654-the-songs-that-brought-me-back

About the Author

MyllissaAuthor Pic 4Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium, and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast.

The Songs That Brought Me Back is her second novel in The Songs Series, with a third book releasing in the middle of 2019.

Connect with Mylissa online:

Spotlight: THE AMBITIOUS ONE by Jeanette Lewis

Today’s spotlight shines on the most recent addition to the Billionaire Bride Pact Romance series –  The Ambitious One.

Description

AmbitiousOne_SMLLindsey Asher took the Billionaire Bride Pact at girl’s camp, but she’s never taken it seriously. Her dreams were always about building her own a bakery empire, not marrying a billionaire. Years later and all grown up, Lindsey has poured her heart and soul into Sugarbee’s Sweets in downtown Manhattan. All she wants for Christmas are good reviews from a pair of big-name food bloggers and plenty of customers to enjoy her sweet treats.

When Eric Kasabov parks his cookie cart in front of Sugarbee’s and starts stealing her customers, Lindsey’s resolve is tested. And when Eric’s partner starts causing trouble, Lindsey has to make a choice. How far will she go to save her store? Can rivalry turn to love?

Author’s Note: The Billionaire Bride Pact series is written to be read in any order without missing any of the story. Jump in any time! You might have some fun spotting crossover characters.

The Ambitious One is available on Amazon.

About the Author

Jeanette LewisJeanette Lewis is a bestselling author of clean romance novels. Dreaming up stories has always been one of Jeanette’s favorite things. Other favorites include family, friends, crisp Autumn days, having adventures, and frozen gummy bears.

You can connect with Jeanette on social media:

 

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:

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: HER IMAGINARY HUSBAND by Lia London

Looking to escape into a non-mystery book for a change of pace, I recently read “Her Imaginary Husband,” a sweet romantic comedy by Lia London.

ImaginaryHusbandDescription (from Amazon)

New teacher, Nikki Fallon, is trying to ward off the lecherous attention of Coach Carlin. She should
a) slap him silly.
b) report him for harassment. 
c) invent an imaginary husband.

Nikki opts for “C” and is not prepared for how the plan backfires! Sure, pretending you’re married to get rid of a jerk is fine, but what if a really nice guy comes along? How can she untangle the web of lies before true love passes her by?

My Review

Delightful, fun read. Nikki is a young and energetic teacher with a positive attitude, who manages to connect with her students.  She is also inexperienced, and not just with respect to teaching.  As a result,  Nikki digs herself into a hole with one spur of the moment lie.  A whopper.  Like in any good romance novel, the end is not a surprise  but the journey Nikki takes on the road to finding love made for an enjoyable, laugh out loud read.   This was my first time reading anything by this author; it won’t be the last.

Release Spotlight & Excerpt: PUPPY DOG TALES by Liwen Y. Ho

Thinking ahead to Valentine’s day next month? Liwen Y. Ho’s recently released Puppy Dog Tales: A Romantic Comedy is here to get you in the mood.  I haven’t read this one yet but it sounds cute. I have enjoyed other works by this author – so this one’s going on my TBR list.

Description

puppydogtalesIt’s Valentine’s Day blues for animal hater Melvin Lai when his world collides with animal lover, Vivian Chu.

An animal hater and an animal lover’s paths collide the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.

Melvin Lai inherited the last thing he ever wanted from his favorite uncle: a cocker spaniel. Now he’s on the verge of losing his home to the unruly puppy and, much to his surprise, his heart when he meets Dr. Chu, Sparkle’s vet.

Vivian Chu loves caring for her furry friends, so she can’t fathom how anyone could think poorly of her new patient, especially his owner. To her, first impressions are everything, and the one Melvin left has her feeling disheartened and bruised—quite literally.

With a pair of matchmaking mothers and unexpected animal escapades, they encounter more trouble than they can handle. He longs to make her his valentine; she can’t wait to escape him. Can Melvin and Vivian pull together to find common ground?

You can check out an excerpt at the end of this post.

Puppy Dog Tales is available on Amazon.

LiwanAbout the Author

Liwen Y. Ho works as a chauffeur and referee by day (AKA being a stay at home mom) and a romance writer by night. She also enjoys writing about real-life matters, such as marriage, parenting and faith because truth can be as strange and entertaining as fiction. Her work has appeared in various online publications, including LiteraryMama.com and MomLifeToday.com, and she is a regular contributor at StartMarriageRight.com.

In her pre-author life, she received a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary, and she loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her techie husband and their two children, and blogs about her adventures as a recovering perfectionist at http://www.2square2behip.com.

You can connect with Liwen Y. Ho at:

An Excerpt from Puppy Dog Tales

Melvin took a seat on one of the chairs by the wall while Josie weighed Sparkle. He started to wonder if this place was magical. The dog who’d turned his home—not to mention, his life—upside down now seemed like a different animal. He obeyed the receptionist’s command to stay the moment she said it and waited patiently while she jotted down his numbers. Was he pulling some kind of Jekyll and Hyde trick? Melvin shut his eyes and opened them again, half-expecting and hoping Sparkle would return to his monstrous self. But there he was, being the world’s most behaved dog. Crazy animal.

“Did you say something?”

He didn’t realize he’d spoken his thoughts out loud until he saw Josie staring at him. “No, uh, I’m just filling out this form.”

Sparkle chose that moment to bark as if he wanted to expose Melvin’s lie. He let loose a long, low growl before barking again.

He hated to admit it. The dog was crazy, but he was smart, too. Shaking his head, Melvin redirected his attention to the clipboard. He answered the questions to the best of his knowledge and returned the form to the front desk.

“Right this way.” Josie led him and the dog down the hall and into the first open room. She carried Sparkle onto the exam table, unhooked his leash from the collar and set it aside. “Dr. Chu will be with you soon,” she announced before closing the door on her way out.

“Great. It’s just you and me again.” He gave Sparkle a stern glare as he took a seat on a metal chair. “I wouldn’t try anything funny if I were you.”

Sparkle rested his head on the table and wagged his tail.

Seeing that the dog didn’t pose an immediate threat, Melvin took his eyes off of him to check out the exam room. It was similar to the ones at the hospital where he worked, except there were posters of puppies and kittens on the walls. And instead of sterile white walls, the ones surrounding him were a light purple color. The smell was also less antiseptic and a bit musty, like wet socks with a hint of something that reminded him of breakfast food—was it oatmeal? He took shallow breaths and wished he didn’t have such a keen sense of smell. It was one of the drawbacks of being a doctor, but at least the hospital was fully-ventilated and he worked with a mask on.

The door opened and a different scent filled his nostrils. Dr. Chu entered, bringing in with her a welcoming, sweet floral fragrance. He hadn’t noticed the perfume before, but now with her standing only two feet away, he was noticing a lot of things. The curves of her petite body, her long lashes, the perfectly groomed brow that was raised disapprovingly … oh no, was he in trouble again?

Guest Post: POPULATING A SMALL TOWN by Susan C. Daffron

My guest today is Susan C. Daffron, author of the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy series.  All ten of the books in the series feature pet lovers and their animals. In her guest post, the author talks about creating human and animal characters in a small town setting.


Populating a Small Town with Human and Animal Characters

By Susan C. Daffron

Many of the reviews of the books in my Alpine Grove series mention how much they enjoy reading about the town itself. One reviewer said that he felt like he could draw a map based on the books and several folks want to move there. Just as in real small towns, in the fictional town of Alpine Grove, you tend to encounter people you know.

Although readers love the fact that new characters meet and interact with established characters, it can make matters more complex for the writer. For example, I included a cameo of Becca and Jack from the fourth novel (Snow Furries) in the tenth novel daydreamretriver(Daydream Retriever). Anyone who has read Snow Furries knows that Becca talks really fast, Jack is a somewhat philosophical forester, and the couple live in a small log cabin owned by yet another character. If Becca doesn’t sound like she did in Snow Furries or I inadvertently change details like where she lives, readers will notice and tell me about it.

Because the characters in my books have pets, I need to keep track of the critter personalities too. My readers are passionate pet lovers, so Swoosie the Samoyed had better continue to try and eat everything in sight whenever she appears on a page. Readers know that Roxy the dachshund owned by Tracy the vet tech likes to get into small spaces and Linus the big hairy brown dog is a mellow sweetheart. All of the animals have to remain in character just as much as the humans do.

Keeping It Real

For me, one key to retaining writerly sanity is to keep notes about all the characters that appear in a book. I use Scrivener, so within the book project, I create a reference page using the built-in character sketch template. The template has sections for the person’s physical description, background, occupation, quirks, and conflicts.

Although I don’t go completely nuts on details, I fill in the basics before I start writing a new novel. I also select a Myers-Brigg type for the main characters. Whether or not you buy into the Myers-Brigg system, it does work as a way to differentiate personalities. For example, Beth Connelly in Bark to the Future is a geeky INTP and her introverted personality has a big effect on how she behaves throughout the novel. In a similar way, I write out the animal personalities. For example, Tessa the golden retriever is a hyperactive nutball and that affects her actions in the story.

A Series Bible Is Your Friend

It may seem like a lot of work to write down so much for each book, but now that I have ten books in my series, I’m even happier that I included such detailed information. Around book 5 or so, I created a separate “Alpine Grove Reference” Scrivener project. Now when I finish a novel, I copy the character sheets and notes into the master project, so I can refer to it later.

Right now, I’m writing a spin-off series, which starts in (you guessed it) Alpine Grove. Thanks to the series bible, I was able to easily remember locations and throw in a few nods to people that regular readers will recognize. When you populate a small town where everyone knows your name, you’d better remember who everybody is.

About the Author

alpinegrove1Susan Daffron is the author of the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedies, a series of novels that feature residents of the small town of Alpine Grove and their various quirky dogs and cats. She is also an award-winning author of many nonfiction books, including several about pets and animal rescue. Find out more about her books at http://www.SusanDaffron.com. You can download the first novel in her Alpine Grove series of romantic comedies, Chez Stinky, for free on sites like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and the Apple iBookstore.

Book Blast: SWEET CHRISTMAS KISSES 3

If you enjoy sweet romance and are looking to get into the holiday spirit, then this recently released box set might be just for you.

SCK3 Blog Tour 2Ring in the holiday season with 17 all-new, stand-alone stories from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 takes you around the globe from small-town USA, to London, England, and even to Africa with a foreword written by USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano. Don’t miss out on this sweet romance boxed set that’s sure to touch your heart, make you smile, and put you in the mood for Christmas.

Mona Risk
On Christmas Eve
by Mona Risk

She yanked him out of her heart years ago. But fate throws him in her path again and his tender gaze erases her loneliness. Can they forgive each other and create a new future?

Christine Bush
Christmas Holly
by Christine Bush

Can a lonely single father of five-year-old triplets find love on a South Carolina beach? It might just take a Christmas miracle!

 

Lyn Cote
Mistletoe and Sage
by Lyn Cote

New deputy in town, a single mom, two wounded hearts with a puzzle to solve together—will love spark under the mistletoe?

 

Denise Devine
A Merry Little Christmas
by Denise Devine

Merry Connor and Anthony Lewis search for treasure and find true love.

 

Raine English
The Christmas Gift
by Raine English

When Riley Wayne receives a dog for Christmas, it’s not just the pup that makes her heart flutter, the rescue group’s handsome owner does too.

 

Untangling Christmas
Untangling Christmas
by Shanna Hatfield

Tricked into helping with Silverton’s Festival of Trees, electrician Mike Clarke battles faulty outlets, tangled lights, and a woman determined to share the spirit of the season.

Ciara Knight
A Christmas on Miracle Mountain
by Ciara Knight

When it takes a miracle to heal a heart.

 


Milou Koenings
The Kampala Peppermint Twist
  by Milou Koenings

A twist of fate. An overbooked flight. Christmas in Africa will flip her life upside down. 


Magdalena Scott
The Road Not Taken
by Magdalena Scott

Francie Standish Carrington has some tough decisions to make and a lot of questions about a past she thought she understood.


Roxanne Rustand
A London Christmas
by Roxanne Rustand

When Catriona heads to London for Christmas to meet a guy she met online, he steals her purse and disappears, but will a handsome photographer in the pub end up being the man of her dreams?


Alicia Street
Her Christmas Secret
by Alicia Street

Desperate to help her sister’s family, Lila courts a cold-hearted investor for her handmade toys, but learns Christmas has a way of bringing surprises where they’re least expected.

Kristin Wallace


Falling For You at Christmas
by Kristin Wallace

One expectant mother. One gorgeous innkeeper. Three days that will change her life forever.
Merrillee Whren
Second Chance Christmas
by Merrillee Whren

A young boy helps his estranged parents find love again at Christmas.



cindy-flores-martinez
Christmas Eve Wedding
by Cindy Flores Martinez

A maid of honor is swept up in the chaos of planning her best friend’s spur-of-the-moment Christmas Eve wedding.


Victoria Pinder
Secret Wish
by Victoria Pinder

Luke Morgan doesn’t believe in miracles, but this season Christmas brought him Caro Soliz, the family maid.

Josie Riviera
Candleglow and Mistletoe
by Josie Riviera

A rising pianist and a pro stuntman winding down his career find love amid the glow of Christmas candles.


cbc-1-adj
Couple by Christmas
by Pat Simmons

Divorcee Derek Washington wants to reconcile with his ex-wife by Christmas. Although he’s got a plan, with the help of his six-year-old son, Derek only has two weeks.


Background With Snowflakes
Join the authors for the Release Party, Tuesday, Sept. 27 on Facebook!

All 17 authors in this boxed set write sweet romances and are members of Sweet Romance Reads, a group of authors whose books contain no sex, violence, or strong language. While the emotional stakes are high as the characters’ relationships grow, these stories are wholesome. Think movies rated G or PG. Therefore, Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 can be enjoyed by romance readers of any age.

Snuggle into a chair by a cozy fire with a cup of hot chocolate and allow these bestselling and award-winning authors to bring the holiday season alive as they warm your heart.

Purchase the book at your favorite online retailer:

And don’t forget to connect with the Authors at Sweet Romance Reads:

Or connect with each of the Sweet Romance Reads Authors individually:

A tireless traveler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Mona Risk, writes contemporary romance, medical romance, and romantic suspense novels, all simmering with emotion, sprinkled with a good dose of humor and set in the fascinating places she visited— or in Florida, her paradise on Earth.
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

Christine Bush is an award winning author of many sweet romances, mysteries, and novellas. When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching Psychology at a local college, working as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or (mostly) spending time with her twelve grandchildren.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Award-winning author of over 40 romances, Lyn Cote writes inspirational historicals and contemporary romantic suspense in her distinctive brand, “Strong Women, Brave Stories.” Lyn lives in a cottage on a lake in the northwoods with her real-life hero husband and (for comic relief and furry cuddling) her two cats.
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

Denise Devine is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic comedy and she also writes inspirational fiction. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at thirteen and has been writing ever since. She writes about true love, happy endings and stories that touch your heart.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romance, paranormal, and romantic suspense. She’s a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and a Daphne du Maurier Award winner. Raine lives in New England with her family and two French bulldogs, Bailey and Dolly.
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic, USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen one story at a time. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments and relatable characters.
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author who writes ‘A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart’ that spans the heat scales. Her popular sweet romance series, Sweetwater County (rated PG), takes readers into small town romance full of family trials, friendly competition, and community love.
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

Milou Koenings writes heartwarming romance novels because she believes sweet stories with happy endings are like chocolate – they bring joy to the world and so make it a better place. She’s lived all over the world, working as an editor and newspaper columnist, but loves staying home with her family most of all.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

USA Today bestselling author Roxanne Rustand is the author of thirty-five traditionally published novels, plus four indie novels. She was a Golden Heart finalist twice, and a Golden Heart winner in 1995. She has won two RT Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and was nominated for an RT Magazine Career Achievement Award. Her earlier books were secular, but she now writes sweet indie romance, and inspirational romance for Love Inspired.
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

USA Today bestselling author Magdalena Scott writes sweet romance and women’s fiction with small town settings. She invites readers into her world to find out what’s hidden just below the surface of those tiny dots you can barely see on the map—mystery, romance, and the occasional unexplained occurrence.
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

Award-winning and USA Today bestselling author Alicia Street writes both sweet and steamy romances and sometimes collaborates with her husband, Roy. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher and is a compulsive reader of every genre.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Kristin Wallace is a USA Today bestselling author of inspirational, contemporary and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith.” Her popular series include the Covington Falls Chronicles and Shellwater Key Tales.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Merrillee Whren is an award-winning author who writes inspirational and sweet romance—stories that stir your emotions. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty plus years, and has two grown daughters.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Cindy Flores Martinez is an Amazon bestselling Spanish romance author. She writes sweet romantic comedy and Christian romance. Her debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, started out as a screenplay and movie project, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Victoria Pinder is a bestselling author of science fiction/fantasy and contemporary romance where her stories all include “Bold Women and the Brainy Men who love them.” Her popular series include the House of Morgan and the Collins Brothers.
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Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.
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Pat Simmons is a three-time Emma award-winning author for Best Inspirational Romance. With more thirty Christian romance titles, Pat is the bestselling author of the Carmen Sisters series.
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Review & Giveaway: MURDER AT ROUGH POINT by Alyssa Maxwell

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As part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I am happy to tell you about Murder at Rough Point, the latest addition to the  Gilded Newport Mysteries series by Alyssa Maxwell.

Description

MURDER AT ROUGH POINT.jpgIn glittering Newport, Rhode Island, status is everything. But despite being a poorer relation to the venerable Vanderbilts, Emma Cross has shaped her own identity—as a reporter and a sleuth.

As the nineteenth century draws to a close, Fancies and Fashion reporter Emma Cross is sent by the Newport Observer to cover an elite house party at Rough Point, a “cottage” owned by her distant cousin Frederick Vanderbilt that has been rented as an artist retreat. To her surprise, the illustrious guests include her estranged Bohemian parents—recently returned from Europe—as well as a variety of notable artists, including author Edith Wharton.

But when one of the artists is discovered dead at the bottom of a cliff, Rough Point becomes anything but a house of mirth. After a second murder, no one is above suspicion—including Emma’s parents. As Newport police detective Jesse Whyte searches for a killer, Emma tries to draw her own conclusions—with the help of Mrs. Wharton. But with so many sketchy suspects, she’ll need to canvas the crime scenes carefully, before the cunning culprit takes her out of the picture next .

Review

I confess to being a fan of both historical fiction and mysteries. This novel combined the two genres – presenting an interesting and enjoyable glimpse into the lifestyle of the Newport elite in the late 19th century.  I suspect that Emma Cross would have been a rarity in her time – proud and independent,  despite her status as a poor relation of the wealthy Vanderbilt family.  The retreat brings her face to face with a bizarre and closely knit gaggle of artists, including her own parents, all of whom seem to have incriminating secrets in their past.  The isolated mansion and a lengthy storm force Emma and all of the suspects to remain together, a circumstance reminiscent of an Agatha Christie mystery. As tensions rise, plot twists and discoveries keep you guessing. I’ll admit I found the pace a bit slow at first, but it improved as the story progressed.  The plot resolved nicely with more than one surprise.   All in all, a good old-fashioned mystery.

Note: Although this book is part of a series, it can definitely be enjoyed as a standalone. This was my first time reading anything by this author.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of this blog tour.  This has not affected the content of my review in any way. 

Giveaway

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of Murder at Rough Point from the author.

About the Author

Alyssa-outside-2Alyssa Maxwell has worked in publishing as an assistant editor and a ghost writer, but knew from an early age that being a novelist was what she wanted most. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles of all kinds drew her to the mystery genre. She lives in South Florida in the current year, but confesses to spending most of her time in the Victorian, Edwardian, and post WWI eras. In addition to fantasizing about wearing Worth gowns while strolling manor house gardens, she loves to watch BBC and other period productions and sip tea in the afternoons.

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