Archives for September 2014

Blog Tour: Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista by Aven Ellis (Chrissy’s review)

chronicles button

Chronicles of a Lincoln Park FashionistaChronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista
written by Aven Ellis
published by Soul Mate

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy this book. It was a sweet read that made time fly as I was reading it. I read every free chance I had and finished it in a day.

Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista is a fun story that will leave you swooning  and giddy. It’s a story about not judging a book by its cover and overcoming your fears. It was fun to watch Avery grow over the course of this book. She started out as a young, stereotypical fashionista but changed over time. I don’t want to spoil anything by going into specifics, but her determination and presentation on that work project are admirable. She went for it. Deke was hard to figure out throughout the book. As soon as I thought I had him figured out, I would get confused by his actions and start second-guessing myself. His character was written brilliantly. And the end!!! Oh, the end. I stayed up late to finish this one. I had to see how it ended. And the end made me smile. And squeal. And do a happy dance.

Ms. Ellis is now a must-read author for me. I can’t wait to read whatever she has planned next.



Would I recommend it: I would recommend Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista and any of Ms. Ellis’s other books.

About the book – from Goodreads:
 Recent college graduate Avery Andrews is ready to begin a new life in the big city. She’s landed an apartment in Chicago’s famed Lincoln Park neighborhood–and has her eye on the cute commodity trader just a floor above.

If Premier Airlines knew about her fear of flying, they never would have hired her to be their marketing assistant—but it’s not like Avery wants a lifelong career. Right now she simply wants a job to pay her bills . . . and fund a few little shopping excursions, too.

Her new lifestyle comes with a price tag, as Avery is not only faced with paying a ridiculous rent but finds she’s perceived as one of the vacant, husband-hunting fashionistas who live in the area. Avery resents this stereotype. So she doesn’t want a lifelong career, and she loves fashions she can’t afford, but that doesn’t mean she is empty-headed and spoiled, does it?

When an opportunity to participate in a documentary at work arises, Avery finds a two-fold solution to her problems. She’ll earn extra money for it, and the documentary will show her as a serious career woman, enabling her to shed that husband-hunting fashionista label for good.

When the camera is on, Avery attempts to be a motivated professional woman. But when she is challenged by Deacon Ryan, the videographer assigned to cover her story, Avery finds herself wanting things she was never supposed to want—like a lasting career—and Deacon. And Avery might just gain more from the experience than a perfect career image and extra cash to put in her Tory Burch wallet . . .



AvenAbout the author: Aven Ellis has been writing fiction since she was sixteen. She studied communications at a large Midwestern university, and after graduation, Aven worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, followed by a stint at a public relations agency.

But writing about city council meetings and restaurant franchises was not as much fun as writing for young women trying to figure out their careers and potential boyfriends. So Aven got herself a job in television that allowed her to write at night.  Connectivity is Aven’s debut novel; Waiting For Prince Harry and Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista(New Adult romantic comedy) will be published this year.

Aven lives in Dallas with her family. When she is not writing, Aven enjoys shopping, cooking, connecting with friends on social media, and watching any show that features Gordon Ramsay.

Find Ms. Ellis here: web, PinterestFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads



Spotlight: The Coming Woman by Karen J. Hicks (spotlight, excerpt, giveaway)

Depression. young attractive woman with an awful migraineThe Coming Woman
written by Karen J. Hicks
published by Sartoris Literary Group

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book: At a time when Hillary Clinton is considering another run for the presidency, it might be helpful to consider the first woman who ran for president—and at a time when women were prohibited from voting!

The Coming Woman, by Karen J. Hicks, is a novel based on the life of feminist Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for U.S. President, 50 years before women could even vote!

Running for President wasn’t Victoria’s only first as a woman. She was also the first to own a successful Wall Street firm, the first to publish a successful national newspaper, and the first to head the two-million-member Spiritualist Association.

She was the first woman to enter the Senate Judiciary Committee chambers to petition for woman’s suffrage, her argument changing the entire focus of the suffragist movement by pointing out that the 14th and 15th Amendments already gave women the vote.

In her campaign for the Presidency, Victoria Woodhull boldly addressed many of the issues we still face today: equal pay for equal work; freedom in love; corporate greed and political corruption fueled by powerful lobbyists; and the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, to name only a few. Her outspoken and common-sense ideas may shed a new perspective on the parallel conundrums of today’s world.

This bold, beautiful, and sexually progressive woman dared to take on society and religion. To make an example of the hypocrisy in what Mark Twain dubbed The Gilded Age, she exposed the extramarital affairs of the most popular religious figure of the day (Henry Ward Beecher). This led to her persecution and imprisonment and the longest, most infamous trial of the 19th century. But it did not stop her fight for equality.

Victoria’s epic story, set in the late 1800s, comes to life in a modern, fictional style, while staying true to the actual words and views of the many well-known characters.


“If you have a heart, if you have a soul, Karen Hicks’ The Coming Woman will make you fall in love with Victoria Woodhull.” – Kinky Friedman, author & Governor of the Heart of Texas

“What kind of confidence would it take for a woman to buck the old boy’s club of politics in 1872? More than 140 years pre-Hillary, there was Victoria Woodhull. This book takes you back with a breathtaking, present-tense bird’s eye view into a time when women’s liberation was primarily confined to one woman’s very capable, independent mind. I couldn’t put it down.” – Ruth Buzzi, Golden Globe Award winner and Television Hall of Fame inductee

“The Coming Woman is a great read and a long overdue biography written beautifully by Ms. Hicks. Victoria Woodhull comes alive in each and every paragraph; a vital strength and spirit in Woodhull propels her to run for president of the United States when women weren’t even allowed to vote! What a woman, what a book! An inspiring must read for every woman and any adventurous men! Thank you, Ms. Hicks for finally telling her colorful story.” – Jennifer Lee Pryor, author of Tarnished Angel: A Memoir and President, Indigo, Inc.


Chapter 1


The early spring drizzle on Great Jones Street doesn’t deter newsboys from hawking the April 2, 1870 headlines up and down the thoroughfare between the beer gardens and dance halls of the Bowery and the opulent emporiums of Broadway.

“Petticoat Politician Victoria C. Woodhull to run for President!”

“Indian raids in Wyoming!”

“Sergeant Patrick Gass of Lewis and Clark expedition dies at ninety-eight!”

The heavy, mahogany front door at No. 17 flies open. Victoria Woodhull, lithe and fair at thirty, skips lightly down the steps of the elegant four-story brownstone. Her bobbed and curled brown hair bounces gently against her high forehead. A diamond ring glitters on her right thumb.

“Queen of Finance takes on Government!” yells a newsboy.

Victoria smiles as she hails him. He hands her a New York Herald.

“So Mrs. Woodhull is to run for President, is she?” she asks. “What do you think of that?”

“No offense or nuthin’ to you as a woman, Ma’am, but it’s plum crazy.” The boy looks down and shuffles his feet.

Another newsboy waves and calls out, “Mornin’, Mrs. Woodhull! You’re stirrin’ things up for sure today!” He runs on yelling: “Bewitching Broker in dash to the White House!”

The mortified boy on the steps turns as red as the fresh rose pinned to the black velvet band at Victoria’s throat. She pats his cheek; her laughter is soft and melodic.

“Don’t be embarrassed, son. I’m sure you won’t be the only one of your opinion. And I shouldn’t have tricked you. Here’s an extra penny to apologize.”

“Thank you, Ma’am!” The boy scoots away, calling out: “Asa Brainard pitches fifteenth straight win for Cincinnati Red Stockings! New York Knickerbockers can’t stop ‘em!”

Victoria skips back up the steps, flipping through the newspaper. Glancing up as she opens the door, she spies tall, scarecrow-looking Stephen Pearl Andrews skirting puddles, hurrying toward her. His bony nose, bushy gray hair, and grizzled beard glisten with droplets of rain. His calf-length black coat flaps wildly in the breeze.  Victoria grins and goes to meet him, blue eyes sparkling like sunlit waves. She takes his arm and Andrews’ wildness softens at her touch. He pats her hand.

“So did the Herald print your announcement?” he asks.

“The entire thing!  And Ashley Cole wrote the perfect headline and introduction!”

“You are on your way to your destiny, la mia stella.”

Inside the house, Victoria walks past tall vases of fragrant flowers and a staircase that curls upward to the second floor.  She stops at a marble statue of the famous Greek orator Demosthenes—classic tunic, laced sandals, laurel wreath on his head.

“Demosthenes’ promise to me as a child—that I would live in a mansion in a city surrounded by ships and rule my people—It’s all coming true! How do you say thank you in Greek, Pearl?”


Efharisto, Demosthenes! I will fight for freedom for our people as you did for the Greeks.” She pecks Andrews on the cheek. “Demosthenes’ prophecy has driven my entire life, Pearl, but you are his corporeal representation and have given me the courage to act on it. So thank you, too.”

“Yes, yes. Let’s look at this announcement now.”

Victoria opens the Herald to page eight, and Andrews reads the headline aloud.

“’The Coming Woman, Victoria C. Woodhull, to race for the White House: What she will and what she won’t do . . . New ideas on government.’” He beams proudly. “Victoria, a Golden Age is upon us, and you are going to lead it!”

“Come, Pearl, we must tell the family!”  She takes Andrews’ arm and hurries down the hallway, a spring in her step. Andrews reluctantly allows himself to be dragged along. The cacophony of voices increases as they near the kitchen, and Andrews slows his stride even more. Victoria chuckles.  “Come now, you’re not going to the gallows.”

“I think I would rather,” Andrews mutters.

They enter the kitchen, where Victoria’s mother Roxanna Claflin, a short, stern woman with tightly curled gray hair, sits at the foot of the table, carping with a heavy German accent. She glares at Andrews through round, wire-rimmed glasses.  Victoria’s quarrelsome father Buck, whose sharp features are made more ominous by a black patch over his left eye, is at the table’s head. The long, wooden benches along each side hold over a dozen sisters, husbands, and children.

Victoria’s youngest sister Tennessee looks up excitedly. Tennie is twenty-five, shorter than Victoria, and fashionably plump. Her dark hair is an unruly mop of short, tousled curls, and her eyes resemble deep wells of melted chocolate.

“Did they print it?” she asks.

“Every word!” Victoria says.

Colonel James Blood, Victoria’s dark and dashing Civil War hero husband, walks over and kisses his wife. She kisses him back, and then hugs her daughter Zulu Maud. The girl’s eyes light up with adoration, looking like a sunny, summer sky.  Victoria tries to hug her son Byron as well, but he jerks away, spilling his milk. Byron is physically large for his fifteen years, but mentally he is still a five-year-old. He grins a toothless grin as Zulu Maud sops up the milk. The family begins to bicker.

“My god, people!” Tennie yells, clapping for attention.  “Shut up for five minutes and let Victoria read the paper! History is being made here.”

“Well, whoop-dee-do and hullabaloo. Who gives a hoot.” Victoria’s sister Utica stands. Wobbles. She’s only twenty-nine years old, but alcohol and drugs have stolen her beauty and zest. She staggers out.

Roxanna pushes back from the table, her face blotched with anger. She glares at the Colonel. “It’s you, Mr. Hellbound Blood!” She turns her fury on Andrews next. “And you and your passel of Free-lovers! You’ve led my baby onto this path that will destroy her and all of us along with her!”

“Oh for heaven’s sakes,” sister Polly snaps. “Victoria is not going to the White House. What party will support her? We’re just poor people from Ohio.”

“Mr. Lincoln was a poor boy from Illinois,” Pearl counters. “And look what a fine president he turned out to be.”

“Yeah, he was so fine someone shot him,” Polly says.

“That’s what I mean! You want someone to shoot you, Victoria?”  Roxanna rushes out, wailing hysterically in German.

“My god, Sis, you better read before somebody else has a hissy fit.”

“I can’t. Not with Mama so upset.”

She hands the paper to Tennie, who skims the page.

“My god, look at the end! ’Victory for Victoria in 1872!’  Whatta brick ol’ Ashley is!”

“Miss Claflin, it’s unladylike to use such slang,” Pearl scolds. “But a fine prediction nonetheless. You must tell your friend I applaud him. I couldn’t have written a better introduction to Victoria’s announcement.”

“At least not in so few words,” Tennie teases.  She hands the paper to Colonel Blood.

“Ashley probably should have left out this part about Victoria winning if women are allowed to vote. The male zeitgeist will bury a suffrage amendment for sure now,” Blood says.

“I agree,” Andrews says. “I’m sure he meant it as a vote of confidence, but politicos are threatened by anyone with an intelligent thought and the courage to voice it.  Especially if that person is a woman.”

“Well, they’re just going to have to get used to it,” Victoria says. “I’m going to pursue this to the end and with the Spirits’ blessing I will win.”



Karen J. HicksAbout the author: Karen J. Hicks is retired and lives in Henderson, Nevada. She recently published her second novel, The Coming Woman, based on the life of the infamous feminist Victoria C. Woodhull, who was the first woman to run for U.S. President. Her first book was a self-help book titled The Tao of a Uncluttered Life. Karen served as in-house editor for author Steve Allen and has written several screenplays, as well as poetry, short stories, and essays.

Find Ms. Hicks here: webFacebook, Goodreads

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DNF: The Hanging Tree by Michael Phillip Cash (Melissa’s review)

The Hanging TreeThe Hanging Tree
written by Michael Phillip Cash
published by Red Feather Publishing

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: Page two.

Why I stopped reading: I have grammatical standards.

“Disenchanted with her father, she is testing the boundaries of his trust by dating someone he does not approve.”  (Back Cover.  Not completely horrifying, but wrong enough to make me wary)

“Crickets chirped nearby, and they watched traffic pick up on the road to the left of them.”  ( Page 2. Really?  Crickets are paying attention to traffic these days?)

“The silence stretched before them, anxiety building in her tight chest.”  (Page 2.  So, grammatically speaking, The Silence is a stretchy sort of gal with a tight chest?)  

Three strikes and you’re out, Mr. Cash.  You rushed this one . . . you need to spend more time editing.  Please.



What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Hanging Tree is 4.36 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 5 stars. There were 59 5-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, there were 3 5-star and 3 4-star reviews. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: Enter a world where spirits roam the earth in Michael Phillip Cash’s haunting new novella, The Hanging Tree. Set amid the eerie backdrop of Long Island, an area famously steeped in old legend, two young would-be lovers contemplate their future while visits from those who have come before them reveal the lure of fate…and the power of free will. At seventeen years old, Arielle’s relationship with her parents is slowly deteriorating. Angry and defiant, she is at a loss on how to cope with the tumultuous situation in which she finds herself. Arielle’s only comfort is Chad, an eighteen-year-old young man who seems to truly understand her struggles. Arielle and Chad meet beneath the low-hanging branches of what the local community has nick-named the “Hanging Tree”. An ancient and majestic landmark, it has long been rumored that the tree is haunted by ghosts. These ghosts span various centuries and vary wildly in age, but each one of them has one thing in common: their deaths are all somehow connected to the tree itself. As Arielle and Chad commiserate over their current situation and their precarious nature of their future, the spectral inhabitants of the Hanging Tree witness their conversation. One by one,the ghosts begin reminiscing about their own lives-and deaths- as they examine the inner demons with which their human forms long struggled. An eerie meditation on the oft-overlooked power of choice, Cash’s The Hanging Tree will stay with readers long after they turn out the light.(




Blog Tour: Avery by Charlotte McConaghy (Melissa’s review, giveaway)


Avery_cover FINALAvery (The Chronicles of Kaya #1)
written by Charlotte McConaghy
published by Random House

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I’m not gonna lie, I was a little concerned when I discovered this was a Random Romance book.  I was slightly more concerned when I realized we’d be rehashing the old “hot chick dresses up as a boy to fool her enemies” ploy.  I should, as it turns out, have been more concerned with the Bob the Builder video that inspired my son to turn his dresser into a tree house (I found him dancing on top of said dresser in his underwear singing, “On site, on site, let’s go on site! LOOK, MOMMA! I’M ON SITE!”).

But I digress.

Avery exceeded my expectations.  It’s got a fistful of spectacular love stories (and not just the smoochy-smoochy kind), a cast of wonderfully developed characters, and enough unpredictability to keep a gal riveted.  I loved it.


Would I recommend it: Yes.  And don’t hide it under your bed, either.  I know it’s marketed as a Romance, but it’s a Romance you should feel proud to read in public.  =)

About the book – from Goodreads: 
The people of Kaya die in pairs. When one lover dies, the other does too. So it has been for thousands of years – until Ava.

For although her bondmate, Avery, has been murdered and Ava’s soul has been torn in two, she is the only one who has ever been strong enough to cling to life. Vowing revenge upon the barbarian queen of Pirenti, Ava’s plan is interrupted when she is instead captured by the deadly prince of her enemies.

Prince Ambrose has been brought up to kill and hate. But when he takes charge of a strangely captivating Kayan prisoner and is forced to survive with her on a dangerous island, he must reconsider all he holds true . . .

In a violent country like Pirenti, where emotion is scorned as a weakness, can he find the strength to fight for the person he loves . . . even when she’s his vengeful enemy?

Avery is a sweeping, romantic fantasy novel about loss and identity, and finding the courage to love against all odds.



Celebrity_photographers_sydney_glamour_nudes_art_photography_SeductiveAbout the author: Charlotte started writing her children’s fantasy series The Strangers of Paragor as a teenager and has since gone on to publish five novels. After a Masters degree in Screenwriting, she wrote Avery, the first in her adult fantasy series The Chronicles of Kaya, published by Random House. She now lives in Sydney, Australia, and has just released a new dystopian sci-fi novel called Fury – Book One of The Cure, published by Momentum.

Find Ms. McConaghy here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads



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Thoughtful Thursday – Book Organization – September 18, 2014


Reading Is Fun Again created Thoughtful Thursday. Each week, she posts a new bookish thought that she discusses.

Everyone is welcome to join. 


September 18: Do you organize your books electronically? How do you organize them?


Do I . . . Do I what now?  Organize? A HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  No.  I mean, most of my e-reader apps offer several different organizational options, but I don’t really use them because I’m constantly focused on my TBR list for  I used to have a zillion different little post-its and torn out notebook pages strewn about the house, but I’ve ever-so-conveniently married a computer engineer, so he helped me find a system . . .

. . . Instead of a few dozen scraps of paper, I now use Tomboy Notes (which I can sync between my iPad, computer, and phone, thank goodness).  I’ve got a note running down the entire left hand side of my computer screen, and I know it’s time to hold off on adding more to the TBR list when it refuses to fit in one column).  I have the titles all written down in the chronological order I’ve agreed to read them in, and I’ve got a little parenthetical note just next to the title telling my forgetful self where I’ve saved the file, or, if it’s an IRL book, that it’s made of paper).  I’ve reserved a few columns at the top for Blog Tours, so when I need to have a book read and reviewed by a certain date it goes at the top of the list.

Here’s what the first few lines of my list look like right now:


10/28 – Who Knows Tomorrow (paper)
10/? – Blood Entwines (waiting for date, need file)
NO Dates
Taliesin (paper)
Salted (kindle)
Clay (DropBox)
A Soul’s Kiss (kindle)

Be sure to check out the other posts on this topic at Reading Is Fun Again.



Blog Tour: Fierce by L.G. Kelso (spotlight, interview, giveaway)


FIERCE CoverFierce
written by L.G. Kelso
published by L.G. Kelso

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble (On Sale for $0.99!), Amazon (On Sale for $0.99!), iBooks, Smashwords, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Tori’s MMA career was taking off, until she beat the wrong man. Her training partner, nursing a bruised ego, snapped—shattering her trust and confidence.

Three years later, Tori’s keeping her fists to herself as she struggles to put herself through college. But when a group of gangbangers hassle her at work, old habits kick in and her fists fly. Max Estrada, a frequent diner customer, steps in and gets them out of hot water, but Tori is still fired… days before tuition is due.

With no other option, she’s forced to take a desk job at her old pounding grounds, where her demons still haunt the cage and the temptation to go glove-to-glove with familiar pro-fighter, Max Estrada, is too much. The sexy Colombian draws her back into the world of MMA and revives her dreams of becoming a professional face-puncher—until Will, her old partner and current Middleweight Champion, struts back into the gym. The secret they share is an unexpected liability to his career, and he’s determined to keep her silent.

With her life on the ropes, Tori will have to face the past for a shot at winning back her future, or carry the weight of a loss even greater than before.


Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. Fierce is a compelling and unique story with a kickass heroine that offers an authentic look at fighters and the world of MMA.


Why did you did you decide to write Fierce? I don’t think there was ever much of a choice, to be honest. I fell in love with boxing, and Fierce came about shortly after. It was just something I had to write. It evolved as I got more involved in combat sports, and at that point, the characters weren’t going to let me work on anything else.

Which genre do you enjoy writing more, contemporary or speculative? Speculative. I enjoy writing the Whatever It Takes (which includes Fierce) novels, but I definitely am a fantasy girl at heart.

What kind of combat sports do you participate in? I do boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, no gi grappling, and MMA.

Because you play combat sports, do you find it easier or harder to write about these sports in your books? Easier! In fact, writing the sport parts (such as the fighting and the sparring scenes) of the books are therapy for me. I tend to obsess over the martial arts, and I’ll go home after a session at the dojo, and keep myself awake because I obsess over what I learned, and how to do certain techniques, and how to fit them into a combination and my mind just goes crazy, so writing it gives me an outlet to get that obsession out, and (hopefully) get some sleep.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? I’m working on the next Whatever It Takes novel. It’s a companion to Fierce, so there are character crossovers, but this one focuses on Shane and a new leading lady. It’s steamier and faster-paced than Fierce, and goes into some more themes only touched on in Fierce, as well as introducing some new subcultures in the MMA world.  It’s a bit more romantic, and the new leading lady embraces being a girl in the gym differently than Tori.

I’m also working on a paranormal I finished a few years ago that I am revising significantly. I’m pretty excited about it as my mythology geek gets to come out and play.

What is your favorite genre to read? Fantasy. I love dark fantasy and urban fantasy.

Who is your favorite author? I would have to say Anne Bishop, especially for the adult department, and Richelle Mead for her young adult novels. I also really enjoy Nova Ren Suma when I want something contemporary with a literary bent.

In your opinion, what is one book that everyone should read? …this is a really hard question. I don’t know that I have an answer. I have books of various genres, from classics to epic fantasy, that I strongly recommend depending what the person is looking for. We all have such different taste, though, that I find it hard to really give one suggestion.

I guess one would be 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma. Beautifully crafted and intriguing novel.

For the dark fantasy crowed, the Black Jewels Trilogy. The point-of-view work is AMAZING (seriously, some of the best third pov I’ve read), and the story is awesome to. For me, it really upped the game in fantasy.

What did you want to be when you grew up? An author. And a ninja. I’m working on both 😉

Tell us three things about yourself that cannot be found on the internet … at least not found easily.

-I love France but dislike cheese and wine. Baguettes it is!

-Sharks are seriously terrifying but I love the ocean.

-Cooking is not my friend.


About the author: L.G. Kelso is a fantasy and contemporary novelist. Having grown up watching Xena and Hercules with her grandmother, she inherited her passion for all things magic, paranormal and mythological. She also has a probably unhealthy obsession with martial arts, and as a boxer she strives to give readers an authentic view of MMA in her contemporary sports novel.

Find Ms.Kelso here: | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | NA Alley| GoodReads | Pinterest



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Cover Reveal: Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander (spotlight, giveaway)


Today we’re excited to announce the cover reveal of Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander. This is a cozy mystery that releases December 30th by St. Martin’s Press.

This is the first in the Bakeshop Mystery series!


Meet Your Baker 

written by Ellie Alexander

published by St. Martin’s Press

release date December 30, 2014



About the Book: Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…

“Sure to satisfy both dedicated foodies and ardent mystery lovers alike.”―Jessie Crockett, author of Drizzled with Death

The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival’s newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her…but still. The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…

“Alexander weaves a tasty tale of deceit, family ties, delicious pastries, and murder.” ―Edith Maxwell, author of A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die

About the Author: Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.

Find Ms. Alexander here: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Prize package of goodies (US only)

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Boost It Tuesday!


Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free Chance, Candace’s Book Blog, and Gin’s Book Notes for Boost It Tuesday.


What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.


As an added bonus, Candace, Ginny, and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!


For this week’s giveaway, head over to the Candace’s Book Blog Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!


Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!

Gin's Book Notes

Blog Tour: Vintage by Susan Gloss (Chrissy’s review)

written by Susan Gloss
published by William Morrow

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy this book. It is a good women’s fiction book. I would not consider this chick lit, as it has some pretty heavy issues. However, they are dealt with care, love, and enough lightness that you don’t get down while reading. There were also quite a few moments that had me giddy and smiling. Is it one I would consider reading again? I don’t think so. But it is one I would recommend.

Every now and then, I like reading stories that bring together different women from different walks of life. Sometimes those stories don’t work for me. But this one did. I loved the idea of the vintage store. It sounded like such a great place to visit with lots of things to admire and try on. I’ve never been in a vintage store, but if there was one like this, I would love to take a look around.

Violet, the owner of Hourglass Vintage, left her husband, moved to Madison, and opened her dream. I wish Violet had asked for more help at the beginning. But I understand why she didn’t. I guess you could say that about all of the women. They all have something in common, but they are all different. April was a sweetheart. I wanted Violet to help her out and allow April to help her. Amithi is a strong woman. I loved reading her story.


Would I recommend it: Yes, if you are a fan of women’s fiction, you will enjoy this book.

About the book – from Goodreads: 
At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women who are drawn there.

Yellow Samsonite suitcase with ivory, quilted lining, 1950s…
Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. Though she knows the personal history behind each precious item she sells, Violet refuses to acknowledge her own past. When she is faced with the possibility of losing the store, she realizes that, as much as she wants to, she cannot save it alone.

Taffeta tea length wedding gown with scooped neckline and cap sleeves, 1952…
Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect 1950s wedding dress, she discovers unexpected possibilities and friends who won’t let her give up on her dreams.

Orange sari made from silk dupioni with gold paisley design, 1968…
Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her old clothes, remnants of her past life. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears she has nothing more ahead for her.

An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of women’s friendship and love, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal and hope when we least expect it.



Susan-GlossAbout the author: Susan Gloss is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin Law School. When she’s not writing fiction, Susan can be found working as an attorney, blogging at GlossingOverIt, or hunting for vintage treasures for her Etsy shop, Cleverly Curated. She lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Find Ms. Gloss here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads



Belinda’s Review: Sister Mother Husband Dog (Etc) by Delia Ephron

Sister Mother Husband DogSister Mother Husband Dog (Etc)
written by Delia Ephron
published by The Penguin Group

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 

The title really describes the book perfectly. It’s an odd blend of stream of consciousness, disjointed subjects, and rambling stories. The book opens with, “Two weeks after my sister died, I took my dog to the doggie dermatologist. It was a hot day – nearly every day that summer of 2012 was drippingly, tropically humid . . .”

First, ‘drippingly’ isn’t a word. Secondly, WTF? I don’t see the connection between her sister’s death, her dog’s skin condition, and the weather.

From there, the story continues in the same style. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be humorous and I’m just not getting it or if it’s really that bad.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Actually, in fact, I have three remote controls, and I have been told several times that I can have them consolidated into one remote control. I dread everything about this –buying the remote, hiring a techie genius or begging a fifth grader to explain how to use it, and then immediately forgetting how approximately one second after he leaves my apartment.”

I really want to offer some meaningful comments to this review. But Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.) is the weirdest, most random, discombobulated string of words I’ve ever seen.

Zero Stars


Would I recommend it: Read some other reviews. Maybe I’m way off base. As for me, fall is just around the corner. I think the paperback is the perfect size and weight to get a good s’mores fire going, but I can’t recommend it for anything else.


About the book – from Goodreads: In Sister Mother Husband Dog, Delia Ephron brings her trademark wit and effervescent prose to a series of autobiographical essays about life, love, sisterhood, movies, and family. In “Losing Nora,” she deftly captures the rivalry, mutual respect, and intimacy that made up her relationship with her older sister and frequent writing companion. “Blame It on the Movies” is Ephron’s wry and romantic essay about surviving her disastrous twenties, becoming a writer, and finding a storybook ending. “Bakeries” is both a lighthearted tour through her favorite downtown patisseries and a thoughtful, deeply felt reflection on the dilemma of having it all. From keen observations on modern living, the joy of girlfriends, and best-friendship, to a consideration of the magical madness and miracle of dogs, to haunting recollections of life with her famed screenwriter mother and growing up the child of alcoholics, Ephron’s eloquent style and voice illuminate every page of this superb and singular work.