Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Tour and Review: And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman



TITLE:  And When She Was Good
AUTHOR:  Laura Lippman

PUBLISHED BY:  William Morrow (Harper Collins)
PUBLICATION DATE:  August 14th, 2012
ISBN:   ISBN-10: 0061706876  ISBN-13: 978-0061706875
GENRE:  Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
# OF PAGES:  320


REVIEW:
I love Laura Lippman books and And When She Was Good did not disappoint.  Ms. Lippman has her own way of building suspense, it's simple, it's deceptive. She creates the story, sucks you right into it and then throws the surprises at you but not in a thriller type way. No her way is more sedate, but definitely wonderful.  I love her books and look forward to her new releases each year so I jumped at the chance to read this one.


I will confess that since it was Laura Lippman, I didn't read the synopsis.  I love her that much and sometimes I don't want to know anything about the book, I like to be surprised.  Well this was a surprise of a good kind.  I enjoyed getting to know Heloise through the present and her past.  I like this style of writing and getting to know the character and building the story.  I could feel the intensity of the storyline building through each chapter as new secrets and facets of Heloise's life were revealed.  I liked Heloise as a character, she's strong, she's been through a lot, but she keeps on moving.  I also like the secondary characters and the facets Ms. Lippman adds to them to tell the story.


The plot was amazing to me.  It's intense without making you feel too edgy and I like that.  It's subtle.  I like that. The focus is on the characters, mainly Heloise and telling her story leading up to the present and what is going on in her life now.  The changes and events of the story.  It's thrilling and wonderful and a great story to me.  It had me enthralled, yet I wanted to carefully read, not scan to hurriedly get to the end.  

This was a book to enjoy, to get the nuances of, not to just read and find out what would happen.  And that is what I did.  I will still admit I read it in a little over a day, but I read it slower than I read a lot of books.  I savored And When She Was Good.  And it was good, I have to say I highly recommend it!



MY RATING: 4.5/5.0

SYNOPSIS:
Perennial New York Times and nationally bestselling author and acclaimed multiple–prize winner Laura Lippman delivers a brilliant novel about a woman with a secret life who is forced to make desperate choices to save her son and herself. 

When Hector Lewis told his daughter that she had a nothing face, it was just another bit of tossed-off cruelty from a man who specialized in harsh words and harsher deeds. But twenty years later, Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who knows how to avoid attention. In the comfortable suburb where she lives, she's just a mom, the youngish widow with a forgettable job who somehow never misses a soccer game or a school play. In the state capitol, she's the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record. 

But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she's the woman of your dreams—if you can afford her hourly fee. 

For more than a decade, Heloise has believed she is safe. She has created a rigidly compartmentalized life, maintaining no real friendships, trusting few confidantes. Only now her secret life, a life she was forced to build after the legitimate world turned its back on her, is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new, mysterious dangers. Her employees can't be trusted. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, a suicide. Or is it? 

Nothing is as it seems as Heloise faces a midlife crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know. 

And then she learns that her son's father might be released from prison, which is problematic because he doesn't know he has a son. The killer and former pimp also doesn't realize that he's serving a life sentence because Heloise betrayed him. But he's clearly beginning to suspect that Heloise has been holding something back all these years. 

With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life—again. Disappearing will be the easy part. She's done it before and she can do it again. A new name and a new place aren't hard to come by if you know the right people. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.



AUTHOR BIO:   
Laura Lippman has been awarded every major prize in crime fiction. Since the publication of What the Dead Know, each of her hardcovers has hit the New York Times bestseller list. A recent recipient of the first-ever Mayor’s Prize, she lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and New Orleans with her husband, David Simon, their daughter, and her stepson.


AUTHOR SITES:
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PURCHASE LINKS:   AMAZON link    B&N link

  
PHOTO CREDIT (author):  Jan Cobb

EXCERPT:
Monday, October 3
SUBURBAN MADAM DEAD IN APPARENT SUICIDE
The headline catches Heloise’s eye as she waits in the always-long line at the Starbucks closest to her son’s middle school. Of course, a headline is supposed to call attention to itself. That’s its job. Yet these letters are unusually huge, hectoring even, in a typeface suitable for a declaration of war or an invasion by aliens. It’s tacky, tarted up, as much of a strumpet as the woman whose death it’s trumpeting.
SUBURBAN MADAM DEAD IN APPARENT SUICIDE
Heloise finds it interesting that suicide must be fudged but the label of madam requires no similar restraint, only qualification. She supposes that every madam needs her modifier. Suburban Madam, D.C. Madam, Hollywood Madam, Mayflower Madam. “Madam” on its own would make no impression in a headline, and this is the headline of the day, repeated ad nauseam on every news break on WTOP and WBAL, even the local cut-ins on NPR. Suburban Madam dead in apparent suicide. People are speaking of it here in line at this very moment, if only because the suburb in question is the bordering county’s version of this suburb. Albeit a lesser one, the residents of Turner’s Grove agree. Schools not quite as good, green space less lush, too much lower-cost housing bringing in riffraff. You know, the people who can afford only three hundred thousand dollars for a town house. Such as the Sub­urban Madam, although from what Heloise has gleaned, she lived in the most middle of the middle houses, not so grand as to draw attention to herself but not on the fringes either.
And yes, Heloise knows that because she has followed almost every news story about the Suburban Madam since her initial arrest eight months ago. She knows her name, Michelle Smith, and what she looks like in her mug shot, the only photo of her that seems to exist. Very dark hair—so dark it must be dyed—very pale eyes, otherwise so ordinary as to be any woman anywhere, the kind of stranger who looks familiar because she looks like so many people you know. Maybe Heloise is a little bit of a hypo­crite, decrying the news coverage even as she eats it up, but then she’s not a disinterested party, unlike the people in this line, most of whom probably use “disinterested” incorrectly in conversation yet consider themselves quite bright.







***I received this book from the publisher through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Ebook Release and Giveaway: Kiss of the Moon by Lisa Jackson

Pocket Star is releasing some great books in ebook format this month and they are letting me host giveaways for each of these new titles, so be sure to check back daily for the next few days for a new title to win. They have lots of great new books. Thrillers, Fantasy and Romance and make sure to check out their website for more exclusive content from bestselling and debut authors.

Here's today's offering:

Kiss of the Moon by Lisa Jackson
Pocket Star, August 2012
eBook, 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1476705062
ISBN-13: 9781476705064

Description

Dear Reader,

KISS OF THE MOON is filled with magic, curses, heroes, and villains. It's set in medieval Wales, an intriguing place filled with deep magic, dark castles, brooding heroes, and strong-willed heroines.

Adventure, allure, and avarice hide in the shadows of shadowy forests and candlelit towers of Castle Prydd where an ancient prophecy is fulfilled when Sorcha of Prydd comes into the world:
"born during a tempest, with hair the color of a raven's wing, eyes the blue of midnight, and the kiss of the moon on skin like alabaster..."It's said that whoever is born with the KISS OF THE MOON birthmark upon his skin will rise to become the savior of Prydd. No one ever expected the chosen one to be a woman! Not only is this heresy, but an outrage. Surely the fates are wrong...or are they?

Years later, Sorcha's courage is sorely tested when she must save her kidnapped sister and in doing so enters Hagan of Erbyn's bedchamber. Never intending to be seduced by the arrogant and handsome lord, she places a knife to his throat. But that is just the beginning -- and soon her pulse pounds whenever he's near. Though she warns herself that Hagan is her sworn enemy, Sorcha can't convince her wayward heart.


KISS OF THE MOON is a tale of curses and lies, trust and betrayal, and, ultimately, the power of love. I hope you are captivated by it.

-- Lisa Jackson

Thank you to the marketing team at Pocket Books for allowing me to host this giveaway!  Open US/Canada only, ends 9/8.


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Friday, August 17, 2012

New Ebook Release and Giveaway: Outlaw by Lisa Jackson

Pocket Star is releasing some great books in ebook format this month and they are letting me host giveaways for each of these new titles, so be sure to check back daily for the next few days for a new title to win. They have lots of great new books. Thrillers, Fantasy and Romance and make sure to check out their website for more exclusive content from bestselling and debut authors.

Here's today's offering:

Outlaw by Lisa Jackson
Pocket Star, August 2012
eBook, 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1476705054
ISBN-13: 9781476705057

Description

Now available as an eBook for the first time ever, a classic romantic adventure set on the turbulent border of Wales, where a rogue knight and a lady clash with passionate intensity….

Stealthy and dangerous as the name he bears, Wolf, outlaw knight of Abergwynn, has no quarrel with the struggling young beauty in his arms. He has come to Tower Dwyrain to take his revenge against her bridegroom, a brutal nobleman Wolf has sworn to dishonor. Through this woman, Wolf thought he could carry out a carefully wrought vengeance. Instead, he finds a different fate—a lady to fight for and to ennoble his dark, wayward soul.

Megan of Dwyrain has been haunted by a sorcerer’s prediction that her castle would be destroyed, her arranged marriage doomed, and her enemy made her beloved. Now, in the iron grasp of the abductor who invaded her wedding, she beholds eyes that glitter not with hate but with devilment and spirit. She will challenge him, try to escape him, and yet find in him a Wolf she hungers to tame—a knight who inspires a love that nothing, not dungeons dark nor the risk of death itself, can end.

Thank you to the marketing team at Pocket Books for allowing me to host this giveaway!  Open US/Canada only, ends 9/7.


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Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Ebook Release and Giveaway: Capturing Angels by V.C. Andrews

Pocket Star is releasing some great books in ebook format this month and they are letting me host giveaways for each of these new titles, so be sure to check back daily for the next few days for a new title to win. They have lots of great new books. Thrillers, Fantasy and Romance and make sure to check out their website for more exclusive content from bestselling and debut authors.

Here's today's offering:

Capturing Angels by V.C. Andrews
Pocket Star, August 2012
eBook, 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1451689543
ISBN-13: 9781451689549

Description

V.C. Andrews, queen of Gothic fiction for twenty-five years, explores a new genre in her women’s fiction debut—available exclusively as an eBook. A young mother struggles to keep her marriage together in the wake of her daughter’s kidnapping…and to keep hope of her return alive.

Grace is the doting mother of Mary, an angelic five-year-old who charms everyone around her. But in one tragic moment at a local shopping mall, Grace looks down to discover that Mary is no longer at her side…and can’t be found anywhere. She and her husband wait by the phone for a ransom demand that never comes. For months Grace believes that Mary is somewhere, alive and safe, waiting to come home to her—but as her family and friends give up hope, Grace’s marriage begins to crumble. Only one detective, Sam Abraham, shares her determination to find Mary…but could his motives be less than altruistic?
As Sam and Mary work together to track Mary’s disappearance, they discover clues that this was more than a random kidnapping—and that Mary may have been special to more than just her mother…
Thank you to the marketing team at Pocket Books for allowing me to host this giveaway!  Open US/Canada only, ends 9/6.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Ebook Release Giveaway: Worth Dying For by Cindy Gerard

Pocket Star is releasing some great books in ebook format this month and they are letting me host giveaways for each of these new titles, so be sure to check back daily for the next few days for a new title to win. They have lots of great new books. Thrillers, Fantasy and Romance and make sure to check out their website for more exclusive content from bestselling and debut authors.

Here's today's offering:

Worth Dying For by Cindy Gerard
Pocket Star, August 2012
eBook, 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1451671776
ISBN-13: 9781451671773

Description

A two-volume collection featuring Into the Night and Man Around the House—two early classic romances by New York Times bestselling author Cindy Gerard, now available again in eBook!

Into the Night –Winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award!
It began as a gimmick to promote their new radio show, but the spirited sparring between Jessie Fox and Tony Falcone soon has listeners demanding to know more about their steamy romance. Jessie swears that the fire burning in Tony’s eyes can’t be real—until he sets a seductive trap she can’t escape. Can Tony persuade Jess he’s never letting her go?
With an irresistible blend of humor, passion, and a bit of suspense, Cindy Gerard creates a memorable love story to cherish.

Man Around the House –Winner of the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence and a RITA Award Finalist!

Answering his neighbor’s cry for help, Matthew Spencer finds himself rescuing a sassy blue-eyed temptress. Katie McDonald is a walking disaster who falls off ladders into his arms and awakens his hunger with the speed of a summer storm, and her infectious spirit has him rediscovering the joy in life.
Matthew makes her feel too much, want more than she can have, and dare to dream of being loved, but Katie knows she’s all wrong for a man with a child. Despite the passion between them, Matthew needs someone nice and normal, not wild and reckless. And once he learns her deeply buried sorrow, can he love her for all time? An unmatchable blend of tenderness, humor, and light suspense as only Cindy Gerard can write it!

Thank you to the marketing team at Pocket Books for allowing me to host this giveaway!  Open US/Canada only, ends 9/5.

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Book Review Interview: Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar by Tommy Davey (Cora Interviews Me) + Giveaway

Today for a little something different, Cora Flash from Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar stopped by to interview me to find out my thoughts on the book.  It's kind of like a review in an interview.  Check it out and let me know your thoughts on the format.

Cora: What did you think of the setting of Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar?
I loved it.  I think it worked great for this novel. Train travel is just not used like it use to be so it is a novelty and really added something to the book. It's like a throwback to the great old movies that you seem to like so much.  I also like it because it provides a closed in and limited environment. Only so many people can be involved in the theft. It heightens the tension as well because you are trapped on a train with a thief.

Cora: Do you think I was nosy or do you think I really just wanted to help.
Oh I definitely think you wanted to help.  I thought you handled yourself well for your age. I thought you were very aware of your setting and what was going on around you.  You also seemed a good judge of character. Your mind always seemed to be working.  I really enjoyed reading about you and getting to know you.  I think you could grow into quite a fine detective!

Cora: Okay, who besides me was your favorite person on the train from the first part of the book (we don't want to give anything away)?
I liked the newlyweds Ted and Sheila.  I liked how they took you in right away, befriended you but didn't talk down to you. They were friendly and helpful to you and to the others.

Cora: What is one thing outside of the plot that stands out to you about the book?
The breakfast that was served, I am still thinking of how yummy the french toast sounded.

Cora: Ms. Fulcher, um, I notice you are a little bit out of the target audience for Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar, in fact, don't you have a son my age?  With that in mind, what do you think of the book for it's age group as a mom and also what do you think of the book as a mom.
For the age group I think the book is perfect. I think it will read perfect and hold middle grader's (who it is aimed for, and who you pointed out I do have one of) attention perfectly.  And while you, the heroine of the story are female, I think the story can appeal to both male and female. It has action, it has a mystery to figure out, it has a cute dog.  I found Cora Flash to be very age appropriate, nothing that would make me hide it from even my 7-year old if he wanted to embark on an above average chapter book for him.
As a mom and a reader, I loved the book.  It held my attention on a night I was finishing up a very boring work project.  I can promise that all I wanted to do was sleep but you, Cora and your mystery was able to keep me going until 1 in the morning. I really enjoyed your spunk and your mystery solving skills.  The book was fun, the mystery interesting and it kept me guessing until the end.  So I would say it scored well on both counts.

Cora: So now I'm curious, I know you rate your reviews typically, how would you rate the book about me?  And would you read the next book in my series, Cora Flash and the Mystery of the Haunted Hotel?
Cora, I would rate Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar a 4.5 out of 5.  And I would definitely read the next book Cora Flash and the Mystery of the Haunted Hotel as well as recommend both books to my 11-year-old son.  Too bad you aren't real, I would love to introduce you to him :)


Thanks for interviewing me today Cora, this was definitely different.  I really enjoyed reading your adventures in Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar and I look forward to more of your adventures by Tommy Davey!



Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes:

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar? Well, there are two ways to enter...
  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Cora Flash tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I've posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the tour page linked above.
About the author: Tommy Davey spent his youth writing mystery stories and plays, and watching reruns of Three's Company until every line of dialogue was permanently burned into his memory. When not writing, he enjoys traveling to favorite destinations including New York City and Paris, which he plans to feature in future stories. He lives in Toronto, where he was born and raised, with a Norfolk Terrier named Calvin. "Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar" is his first novel. Connect with Tommy on his website, Facebook, Twitter, or GoodReads.




Get Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
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***I received this book through Novel Publicity for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Book Review: A Vengeful Affair by Carmen Falcone

A Vengeful Affair by Carmen Falcone
Genre: Category – Contemporary
Length: 230 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62266-956-1
Release Date: July 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Imprint: Indulgence

My rating: 4.25/5.0






My Review:
I really enjoyed this book and wish I had the time to actually enjoy it in one sitting. Javier and Vivian were intriguing characters who captivated me from the beginning and made the book for me. And hot, yes it was :)

If you haven't noticed I really enjoy reviewing books from Entangled Publishing. They have a wide variety of romances to please all tastes. A Vengeful Affair is for those that like things a little spicier, but definitely not erotica, but it's one of the spicier Entangled Publishing books I've read yet and it was great. And the spice made perfect sense. I could feel the sparks flying between Javier and Vivian after the first few pages. The attraction was there and the proximity was there so you knew what would happen. You just didn't know when or how. And of course this is a romance so you get that too. And on top of all of that, there is a bit of suspense, some world travel and characters with issues to work out. What more can you ask for?

Javier and Vivian were good characters for me. I felt like I could have gotten to know them a little better but the novel is short and I did get to know them and understand them. I felt their relationship was well explained so that was nice. I never once thought", why the heck did they fall in love?" The plot moved along well with the business part, the suspense and the romance. Every time I put the book down I was eager to pick it back up to see what would happen next.

If you enjoy watching sparks fly between your characters then this is just the book for you. A Vengeful Affair will provide fireworks which we all need in our lives.


Check out the giveaway here.

About the Book:
Rich people get away with murder every day, but Vivian Foster intends to make billionaire Javier Rivera pay for what he did to her best friend—and how better to destroy a money-grubbing bastard than to sabotage the merger that means everything to him.
Javier Rivera would never hurt a woman much less kill one. But when he catches a gorgeous corporate spy in his office, he knows he can’t let her go—not when even a hint of scandal could ruin his career. Until the merger is signed, he’ll keep her close, even if he has to shackle her to his wrist. Literally.
But the closer Javier gets to Vivian, the more he wants her, and the more time she spends with him, the less she believes he could ever be a killer. Now Vivian and Javier have to discover the truth…and Vivian has to win the trust of her worst enemy.


About Carmen Falcone

Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She'd always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing - this time, unwilling to give it up. She lives in Austin and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.
Author WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***

Monday, August 13, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: Carmen Falcone (A Vengeful Affair)

Today I welcome the fascinating Carmen Falcone, author of A Vengeful Affair, which as I am preparing this post I am in the middle of and thoroughly enjoying.  My review will come later today, but for now grab your favorite beverage and enjoy the interview and make sure to enter the giveaway as well  Welcome Carmen!


Carmen: Dear friends at the Reading Room, thank you so much for having me over! I hope you’ll enjoy reading my answers as much as I enjoyed answering your questions.


What three things do you need in order to write? 
A clutter-free desktop, a bottle of water and time. J

What's your favorite season? 
Fall. I think fall carries an understated sensuality.

Describe your ideal reading space (no expense spared here).  
You are spoiling me! I’d love to take Nancy (that’s my Kindle’s name) to the beach. Somewhere in the French Polynesian, where I could read stretching out over a silk-covered lanai. God. This answer will make reading my Kindle on the tiled floor while my daughter takes a bath really depressing! J

Hey we have to read where we can. I've read my Kindle (which doesn't have a name, but I will have to remedy that) while making supper and sitting beside my sick kid in the bathroom (okay tmi, I know, but we were waiting it out one evening) so I'm with you that sounds dreamy. 

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? 
I would love to go to India.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? 
I’ve always written. I suffered from a long writer’s block for a while, but I think it was just part of the process. I started to send submissions in 2008, but 2010 was when I realized I wanted to take the next step, so I enrolled in classes, honed my craft and began to learn more.

What's the first sentence of A Vengeful Affair? 
“Almost there. Vivian Foster took a deep breath and wrapped her fingers around the door handle, the steel a cold weight in her palm.” I love that because it sets the perfect tone of the book. There are times when Vivian thinks she’s that close to losing her mind, or getting her coveted revenge. And same goes for Javier: There are times when he thinks she’ll give in to their mutual attraction, or when he thinks he’s that close to figuring out who she really is.

Do you have a favorite line in A Vengeful Affair? 
Yes. I love Edouard’s “The beginning doesn’t dictate the end. You can have the end of your choosing.”

Tell us what A Vengeful Affair is about.  
A Vengeful Affair is a steamy romance about Vivian’s quest for revenge. She believes Javier killed her best friend, and since she doesn’t have enough evidence to lock him up, she wants to steal his billion-pound merger instead. However, he catches her in his office afterwards, and is adamant about keeping her close until he finds out who she really is. Though they are on opposite sides, the time they spend together makes it hard for them to ignore the sizzling attraction and the emotional bond they began to share, despite their best efforts not to.

Dish, who’s your favorite character? 
I love Edouard. I’ve been getting great feedback about him, and honestly it makes me happy readers like him too. He’s a secondary character that steals the scene whenever he’s in it. He’s an old gentleman, and he’s had a tough life despite his empire – he lost his wife and daughter. But he still has that spark in his eye, that serene wisdom you can only experience with age.

How did you feel when you finished A Vengeful Affair? 
Sad. I felt so invested, and I really enjoyed being in Vivian’s and Javier’s minds. It was hard to say good-bye.

For all of us impatient readers, what is up next for you? 
I’m just finishing a book about a feisty heroine who kidnaps the hero to prevent him from expelling a tribe of Brazilian Indians that are illegally occupying his land. Then I’ll get started on a lovely story of a spoiled, broke L.A. socialite and the rough Texan cowboy she gets mixed up with.

Thanks Carmen!

My pleasure. I really enjoyed answering your questions.
I love to connect with readers and writers.






Title: A Vengeful Affair
Author: Carmen Falcone
Genre: Category – Contemporary
Length: 230 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62266-956-1
Release Date: July 2012
Imprint: Indulgence

Rich people get away with murder every day, but Vivian Foster intends to make billionaire Javier Rivera pay for what he did to her best friend—and how better to destroy a money-grubbing bastard than to sabotage the merger that means everything to him.
Javier Rivera would never hurt a woman much less kill one. But when he catches a gorgeous corporate spy in his office, he knows he can’t let her go—not when even a hint of scandal could ruin his career. Until the merger is signed, he’ll keep her close, even if he has to shackle her to his wrist. Literally.
But the closer Javier gets to Vivian, the more he wants her, and the more time she spends with him, the less she believes he could ever be a killer. Now Vivian and Javier have to discover the truth…and Vivian has to win the trust of her worst enemy.




About Carmen Falcone

Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She'd always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing - this time, unwilling to give it up. She lives in Austin and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.
Author WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Giveaway:
Compliments of the author and the publisher I have one copy (ebook) of A Vengeful Affair to giveaway to one lucky reader.  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.  Open international, ends 8/20. 




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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-A-Thon: Where I Read

Read-a-thon Signups

What a fun challenge! Jude at In Between is asking for pictures of where we have been reading this summer so I thought I would share.

At the beginning of the summer before it got really hot you would often find me in the backyard here:



Then as it got hot, you would more often find me here (my reading/blogging/tv chair):



And sometimes when the breeze is good, on the front porch here:



But my favorite place is with my tail parked in this chair:

With this view (Cape Lookout, NC, which is about a 10 minute boat ride from the ramp that is 5 minutes from my house, yes I live in paradise and if it wasn't cloudy and rainy that is where I would be today!):





Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: Chocolate Aftertaste by Liz Grace Davis


Chocolate Aftertaste by Liz Grace Davis
Publisher: Createspace
Publish Date: May 10, 2012
Paperback, 346 pages
Fiction, Women's Fiction, Romance
 ISBN: 9781475184037


My Review:
I enjoyed this novel.  It's one of those interesting stories of hte woman who tries to please everyone and loses herself and then finally decides she is important and embarks on her own to find herself and find what makes her happy.  Of course there are bumps in the road and things aren't perfect, but it would be a boring read if it was.

I'll start with things I really enjoyed.  I enjoyed the set-up of this novel.  How Nora was and  how she was trying to please her father.  I liked how the novel then switched gears to a point where Nora tried to find herself.  I liked this Nora.  I also liked the characters around Nora in Dreara.  They were a varied bunch and a lot of fun.  From Maeve the hairdresser yet true friend to Ethan the hunky neighbor and all the others in-between, I fell in love with the inhabitants of Dreara.  I also loved the setting of Dreara.  A new fun place for me, a small town with small town inhabitants and small town gossip was a great setting.  Another great thing was the twists and turns. Just when you think things are going great for Nora, something pops up to throw a monkey wrench into her plans, but she deals with it with help from her friends.  All of this made me keep reading the book to find out what would happen next and how Nora would handle things and how things would end.

However I did find a few things that bothered me about the book, but they weren't anything that made me stop reading, just things that made my rating a little lower.  The first is how wishy washy Nora was in the beginning.  I know she had to start there to prove that she was growing through the book, but I don't do well with the type of woman she was in the beginning, but I kept reading.  If she had stayed that way much longer I would have given up, but thankfully Ms. Davis proves her point and moves on and Nora starts to change.  And my other problem was things felt just a little jumpy after Nora moves to Dreara.  I would feel like a few weeks would have passed only to find a few days or vice versa.  I always felt a little confused time-wise.  This is minor, but I almost always felt a little lost in this section of the book.  It seemed to improve as the book went along so I think the author fell into a groove (I often do that with my reviews) and the book improved.  Again it was nothing to make me stop reading, just something that made me take note.

Those were my main complaints, otherwise, I really enjoyed the relationships set out in the book.  I especially enjoyed watching Nora grow too.  And I think that was the main point of the book.  I think Ms. Davis picked a wonderful backdrop to set her novel against to keep the reader engaged with the book and she also created characters that readers can relate to.  I think Chocolate Aftertaste is an enjoyable book for lovers of Women's Fiction.


My Rating: 3.5/5.0


About the Book:

At her pre-wedding dinner, Nora Darkin, the daughter of a
wealthy entrepreneur, discovers her fiancé is not the man she
thought he was. As her father hoists his glass to toast them,
she makes an announcement: there will be no wedding to her
father's right-hand man.

Due to the fresh rift driven between her and her father, Nora
escapes to the quaint town of Dreara. Determined to live her
life her own way, she makes new friends and pursues her
lifelong desire of becoming a chef. Ethan Danes, a neighbour
with his own broken heart, helps soothe hers.

Just as Nora discovers what it means to be happy, and she
begins to fall in love with Ethan, a woman from his past re-
enters his life…

Buy Link: Amazon

About the Author (from Goodreads.com): 
Liz Grace Davis grew up in Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Germany. She now lives with her husband in Vienna, Austria.

Growing up, Liz spent most her days in libraries, diving into the world of books. In her spare time she reads a lot, travels, creates jewelry and designs digital scrapbooks. That's of course when she's not weaving stories. She's in her element whenever she is doing anything that requires creativity.

Liz is the author of a young adult fantasy novel, Tangi's Teardrops, and a romantic women's fiction novel, Chocolate Aftertaste.

Website / Facebook / Book Trailer


Giveaway
I have one copy of Chocolate Aftertaste in ebook format to give away to a lucky reader.  Open international, ends 8/16. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



FTC Information: I received this book Sizzling PR for an honest review.  I received no compensation for my review beyond a copy of the book.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book Review: Lethal Legacy by Irene Hannon

Lethal LegacyLethal Legacy by Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell
Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2012
Paperback, 352 pages
ISBN: 9780800734589

My rating: 5.0/5.0



My Review:
Irene Hannon has scored another winner in the Guardians of Justice series with Lethal Legacy. But don't let the fact that this book is number three in this series scare you away from reading it if you haven't read any of the other books. It makes a great stand-alone with mentions of characters and their happily ever afters from the previous books, but no real spoilers to keep you from going back and reading them. Lethal Legacy can easily stand on it's own, but it is a part of a great romantic suspense series so I suggest if you read this one, you go back and read the others as well!

As usual Ms. Hannon works wonders with her characters. I felt connections to Cole who I met in an earlier book but really got to know in this book and to Kelly who is mourning the loss of her father and dead set on finding who killed him. It is her doggedness that leads her to meet Cole and their meeting seems serendipitous. First Cole is a great investigator and if he can find something he will and second, he feels an instant attraction for Kelly and she feels one for him. Of course to be a romance a problem more than the suspense element has to work it's way in and in this novel it's the fact that Cole has moved away from God and Kelly is a devout and caring Christian. But I like that Kelly never shoves Cole to the side, she cares enough to want to understand and help him like a real Christian would. I have loved all of the romances in Ms. Hannnon's books, but I think this is one of the best. I felt the romance more in this one, felt it was more of an element even with the suspense playing a starring role.

And the suspense, wow, it's great again. We get a peek at the overall bad guy and eventually the hit man and it's surprising, but even with this knowledge, there are still many surpises in store with the book. I pretty much eagerly awaited the end of my workday on Tuesday and encouraged my husband to work late so I could finish this in one sitting. It's just that good.

The suspense is edge of your seat. The romance is just awe-inspiring. Both work so well together to make this one of Irene Hannon's best books to date and that is saying something. I think I have been reading all of her books since 2010 and have loved each one, but this one really resonated with me as a book I loved. If you enjoy romantic suspense this is an excellent choice for your next book to pick up. It has Christian elements, but they are not overwhelming, and they are very well-done. Ms. Hannon is a master at writing a book that doesn't personify the Christians as perfect people and I like that. So give Lethal Legacy a try, it's a great page-turner with a great side of romance to make it a perfect novel for the lover of romantic suspense!

Available August 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Book:

The police say her father's death was suicide. But Kelly Warren says it was murder--and she has new evidence that she believes proves it. Detective Cole Taylor doesn't put much credence in her claim, and nothing in his case review suggests foul play. But when Kelly ends up in the emergency room with a suspicious life-threatening medical condition, the incident strikes him as more than just coincidence. Digging deeper, he discovers she's linked to a long-ago crime. Is history repeating itself? And who wants Kelly silenced? 

With her trademark high-intensity action and taut suspense, Irene Hannon closes out her Guardians of Justice series with a story of old grudges and budding romance that is sure to increase her substantial fan base.


About the Author:
Irene Hannon is the author of more than 35 novels, including the bestselling Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, a HOLT Medallion, a Daphne du Maurier Award and two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

For more information about her and her books, visit her web site at www.irenehannon.com and follow her on Twitter at @IreneHannon.



***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***

Monday, August 6, 2012

Who is America's Royal Couple Giveaway (Marrying Up by Wendy Holden)


Can’t get enough of that royal fever? Do you find yourself still Youtube-ing clips of Will & Kate’s big day? Don’t worry, Sourcebooks has you covered. 

Named a “Cinderella story for the beach bag”, Sourcebooks is extremely excited to be releasing Wendy Holden’s Marrying Up in August! Marrying Up has all of the crazy love, eye-opening snobbery, and naked ambition to create a juicy cocktail worthy of any royal. After all, what’s a relationship without a title and a tiara? 

In honor of Wendy’s new release, Sourcebooks is hold a contest in conjunction with my blog to find out who is America’s very own Royal Couple!



As women around the world watched Will and Kate walk down the aisle, many of them were plotting how they could find their own prince charming.

Razor-sharp in its wit and as fresh as newlywed royals, Marrying Up (ISBN 9781402270673, Sourcebooks Landmark, Fiction, Trade Paperback, $14.99 U.S., Aug 2012) by Wendy Holden reveals how sometimes a rags-to-riches story can rip a girl to shreds—and how sometimes the crown on your head can nearly crush you.

Only a title, a mansion, and a family tiara will do for a scheming social climber like Alexa, and she will go to great lengths to get it.  Starting by befriending clueless aristocrat Florrie, who fills her life with parties, texting, and, above all, champagne, means that the grandest doors swing open and the prince of her dreams is within reach. But has Florrie’s mother, the formidable Lady Annabel, figured out Alexa’s intentions already?

Meanwhile, beautiful but penniless archaeology student Polly has found herself in love after a chance meeting with a dark-eyed stranger named Max. However, Max is hiding a big secret, a secret that could ultimately ruin any chance of him and Polly living happily ever after. 
About the Author

Wendy Holden (UK) was a journalist for the Sunday Times, Tatler, and The Mail on Sunday before becoming a full-time author. She has now published nine novels, all top 10 bestsellers in the UK. Her novels include Beautiful People, Farm Fatale, and Filthy Rich and feature sassy humor with a great cast of characters. For more information, please visit: www.officialwendyholden.com.
GIVEAWAY:

So tell us who you think is America's Royal couple and you are entered to win the random drawing for a copy of Marrying Up by Wendy Holden, mailed from the publisher.  Open to US/Canada only, ends 8/10.