Archives for May 2016

Summer Reading Challenge: Appetite by Sheila Grinell (spotlight)

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written by Sheila Grinell
published by She Writes Press, 2016

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

I am currently reading this book. It is pretty good so far. I love these stories about families who are at a time in their lives when there are big changes happening–children growing up and moving on, empty nesters figuring out their new normal. It’s interesting to watch how they adapt, adjust, accept, reject those changes. Stay tuned for my review! It will be up next week!

About the book – from Goodreads: When Jenn Adler returns from a year in India, she has a surprise for her parents: a young guru from Bangalore whom she intends to marry. Her father, Paul, is wary of this beggar Jenn has brought home who, he suspects, is conning his much-loved daughter while her mother, Maggie, is frightened that this alien stranger will steal away her only child, her focus in life. In the months leading up to the backyard wedding, Maggie is forced to reevaluate her virtues as she casts about for support, and Paul faces an unexpected threat at work one that Maggie could help him meet, if he would only ask. But even with these distractions, the two parents are focused on one primary question: Can they convince their daughter she is making a terrible mistake before the wedding takes place?





Sale Blitz: Charlie McClung Series by Mary Anne Edwards

***Kindle Countdown Deal for just $0.99***

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The first three books of the Charlie McClung Mysteries are on sale May 2731st as part of a Kindle Countdown Deal. Now is your chance to get in on the mystery and suspense!

Get the books:

Brilliant Disguise | A Good Girl | Criminal Kind


Brilliant Disguise

Detective Charlie McClung no longer finds his job fulfilling and has given up finding that “someone” his granny promised he would find. So he leaves behind the big city and his close-knit family and takes a job in a small town police department in Georgia, resigned to live a quiet life in solitude.

Things change when he meets Marian Selby while investigating the mysterious death of her best friend. But Marian swore never to love again after the death of her husband 11 years ago. What seems to be a suicide turns into a tangled web of deceit, corruption, and complicated shadows.

Can the two of them come to grips with their feelings for each other before the killer closes in on them?

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A Good Girl

For Charlie McClung, going home to Virginia with Marian was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but upon arrival at his childhood home, he’s met with a note instead of his family.

“Don’t worry, Love, we’re all okay. Come to the shop. A dead girl was found in an armoire delivered just now. Huggies, Ma”

Charlie is quickly recruited to help solve the murder of a young girl who was on the path to becoming a nun. The suspects begin to mount as Charlie delves deep into the girl’s life, revealing a sordid and ugly side of the town’s good girl.

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Criminal Kind

It’s the perfect setting for a romantic getaway at sea: Caribbean breezes, clear blue skies, passionate nights, and murder? Not exactly what Detective Charlie McClung and Marian had in mind for their honeymoon. When one of their fellow passengers is murdered on her 35th wedding anniversary, Charlie and Marian get pulled into the investigation. Who would want to kill poor Tammy Ferguson in such a brutal way? As Charlie uncovers more sordid details about Tammy and her husband, Peter, it becomes clear that someone else has found the same skeletons in the Ferguson’s closet and Tammy has paid the price. Is Peter next?

Trapped on the ship with an insidious killer, shadows seem more ominous and even the most innocent faces seem sinister. Has Charlie inadvertently put Marian in harm’s way? How long does Charlie have before the hunter becomes the hunted?


Brilliant Disguise Teaser

A Good Girl Candle

Criminal Kind Teaser 2

about the author

Mary Anne Edwards is the author of The Charlie McClung Mysteries. These are traditional murder mysteries (with a touch of romance) set in Georgia during the early 1980s. She is a wife, a writer, and an advocate of the developmentally disabled. Mary Anne was born in Mercedes, Texas. She now lives in Georgia with her husband of 35 years and her Tuxedo cat, Gertrude . Mary Anne loves her readers and enjoys hearing from them.

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In the Kitchen: Home Chef: Sesame-Crusted Chicken over Butter Lettuce Salad


Hi, Everyone!

In an effort to spend less time meal planning and more time reading, I decided to give Home Chef a try. It costs less than taking the whole family to a restaurant, and it seemed like a fun way to add some new recipes to my repertoire.

Tonight: Sesame-Crusted Chicken over Butter Lettuce Salad


Looks tasty, right? Well, it was, and at only 478 calories, you can’t beat this recipe!

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There really isn’t much cooking involved in a salad, so other than cooking the chicken, I really didn’t have much to do. I pretended I was a fancy food photographer instead.


See how I managed to get just the tiniest bit of radish in the corner of the lime picture? The radish symbolizes the struggle of all artists everywhere trying to conform to the rules of society while still expressing themselves. Or something.

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If I make it again: I’d use like, a third of the amount of sugar the recipe calls for and swap out the soy sauce for liquid aminos. But honestly, it’s a salad. I don’t really need to save instructions on how to throw a bunch of vegetables in a bowl and pop some chicken on top.



Summer Reading Challenge: The Assistants by Camille Perri (spotlight, giveaway)

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The AssistantsThe Assistants
written by Camille Perri
published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2016

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

About the book – from Goodreads: A wry and astute debut about a young Manhattanite whose embezzlement scam turns her into an unlikely advocate for the leagues of overeducated and underpaid assistants across the city.
Tina Fontana is the hapless but brazen thirty-year-old executive assistant to Robert Barlow, the all-powerful and commanding CEO of Titan Corp., a multinational media conglomerate. She’s excellent at her job and beloved by her famous boss—but after six years of making his reservations for restaurants she’d never get into on her own and pouring his drinks from bottles that cost more than her rent, she’s bored, broke, and just a bit over it all.

When a technical error with Robert’s travel-and-expenses report presents Tina with the opportunity to pay off the entire balance of her student loan debt with what would essentially be pocket change for her boss, she struggles with the decision: She’s always played by the rules. But it’s such a relatively small amount of money for the Titan Corporation—and for her it would be a life-changer . . .

The Assistants speaks directly to a new generation of women who feel stuck and unable to get ahead playing by the rules. It will appeal to all of those who have ever asked themselves, “How is it that after all these years, we are still assistants?”


a Rafflecopter giveaway



In the Kitchen: Blue Apron: Catfish Sandwiches


Hi, Everyone!

In an effort to spend less time meal planning and more time reading, I decided to give Blue Apron a try. It costs less than taking the whole family to a restaurant, and it seemed like a fun way to add some new recipes to my repertoire.

Tonight: Catfish Sandwiches

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I really like these recipe pages that the boxes come with. They are easy to follow and I love the pictures. They really do help a lot!

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All the ingredients were fresh.

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These sandwiches were so good. And very easy to make. There was so much food for my husband and I. And I learned that I like catfish! Thanks, Blue Apron!


If I make it again: I wouldn’t change anything. These sandwiches were so tasty! We loved them. And I now know that I really like catfish.

Did my kids eat it: We didn’t make these sandwiches for the kids. They were just for us and we ate every bit!



Summer Reading Challenge: Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica (spotlight, giveaway)

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Don't You CryDon’t You Cry
written by Mary Kubica
published by MIRA, 2016

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

About the book – from Goodreads: New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica returns with an electrifying and addictive tale of deceit and obsession 

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Summer Reading Challenge: The House of Bradbury by Nicole Meier (spotlight)

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The House of BradburyThe House of Bradbury
written by Nicole Meier
published by Sparkpress, 2016

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

About the book – from Amazon: Mia Gladwell’s life is going nowhere. The media has skewered her debut novel, her fiancé Carson, a successful Hollywood producer, has jumped ship, and now she’s living in her sister’s carriage house—unattached, unemployed, and uninspired. Then she learns that the Los Angeles estate of iconic author Ray Bradbury is up for sale, and she feels an immediate urge to buy the wonky old house, convinced that moving into the late author’s home will inspire her to create her best work yet.

Life in the Bradbury house is not what Mia imagined, however. Soon after moving in, to fulfill a debt she owes to Carson, she agrees to take in a pill-popping young actress as a tenant, and suddenly she finds herself in a balancing act between her needy ex, an unpredictable starlet, and her disapproving sister, who’s keeping a close eye on her. Add to this a series of mysterious sketches left at her doorstep by a stranger, and Mia’s life is more complicated than ever. As she searches for clues, though, Mia discovers insights into her own life. Maybe moving into Bradbury’s house was a big mistake—but maybe not.





2016 Summer Reading Challenge hosted by BookSparks

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I am so excited to participate in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge hosted by BookSparks. This is EFC’s fourth year participating. It is such a great event. And we get to read some really fantastic books! And even better this year? We get to giveaway some awesome books as well.

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Check out this awesome book box that I received for May!

SRc 2016 May


There are some awesome books for this month! I will be featuring and reviewing them soon! Stay tuned for a few giveaways as well!




May 2016 ChatterBox!

On Mother’s Day, I received a package at my front door. I wasn’t expecting anything. Yet, there it was.

It would have been cooler if I had thought to take a picture of it ON my doorstep. Oh well . . .

It would have been cooler if I had thought to take a picture of it ON my doorstep. Oh well . . .


I had won a ChatterBox from Doubleday Publishing! I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited! This was an awesome box.

April 2016 Chatterbox (won) (2) April 2016 Chatterbox (won) (4)

April 2016 Chatterbox (won) (5) April 2016 Chatterbox (won) (6)
How cool is that?!?! I can’t wait to read Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen.

Thank you so much Doubleday for this awesome ChatterBox!!!





Blog Tour: Transferral by Kate Blair (Melissa’s review)


written by Kate Blair
published by Dancing Cat Books, 2015

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

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
I may have neglected my children and/or laundry to read this book, which I finished on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I may also have coerced Husband into bringing home Indian take-away so I could finish reading. Worth it.

Listen, this isn’t any sort of earth-shattering literature, but if you’re a fan of Divergent (or anything similar) this will really hit the spot for you. Young female discovers her world isn’t what she thought, decides to try and fix things, finds dreamy wrong-side-of-the-tracks boyfriend to help: it’s got everything you’d expect, plus a little Buffy-dates-the-Vampire vibe. It’s the kind of book my friend Katie would call a “hide it under your bed book”: it won’t change the world, but it’ll make for a lovely vicarious afternoon.


Would I recommend it: If you miss Tris, you should absolutely read this book.

About the book – from Goodreads: 
London, England, present day. This is the world as we know it, but with one key difference: medical science has found a way to remove diseases from the sick. The catch? They can only transfer the diseases into other living humans. The government now uses the technology to cure the innocent by infecting criminals.

It is into this world that Talia Hale is born. Now sixteen and the daughter of a prime ministerial candidate, she discovers that the effort to ensure that bad things happen only to bad people has turned a once-thriving community into a slum, and has made life perilous for two new friends.

When Talia’s father makes an election promise to send in the police to crack down on this community, Talia can only think of how much worse things will be for her friends. Will she defy her father to protect them, even if it means costing him the election?

Transferral , the debut from Kate Blair, is a chilling look at a world gone wrong because of its efforts to do right.



About the author: “I work for a nursing union. One of our nurses talked about being treated like a criminal during the SARS epidemic, with people crossing the street to avoid her. That sparked the idea of a world where criminals are punished with disease, which allowed me to explore ideas about scapegoating in our own society.”

Kate Blair is a native of Portsmouth, UK, and is now a Canadian citizen living in Toronto. Transferral is her first novel.

Find Ms. Blair here: web, Twitter, Goodreads