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Thursday, 29 June 2017

NBTM, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Spooning Daisy by Maggie McConnell

GENRE:   

Contemporary Romance (romantic comedy)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce to die for. But Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen after a "bit of trouble" at her last job. Now blacklisted from Seattle to San Francisco, Daisy's sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge in Otter Bite, Alaska, where the end of the road is just her beginning.


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"I had apple strudel. I never have apple strudel. It's not my usual."

"You came here to tell me you had apple strudel?"

"The thing is...I liked it. For a change, I mean. Once. Not every day, of course."

"Max--"

"The truth is..." He stepped toward her. "The truth is...I feel bad about giving you such a hard time at breakfast."

"Ohhhh. This is an apology."

"No, absolutely not." Max retracted the step he'd just taken. "This is absolutely NOT an apology."

Daisy huffed. Normally, she'd take great satisfaction in Max's guilt and take equal pleasure in the banter that would surely follow. However, she was a woman on a mission, and she didn't have the time, not with Otter Bite hanging by a manila envelope. "Fine. Thank you for coming here NOT to apologize and for that apple strudel thing. And--" She momentarily softened. "--the money. But I just don't have the time for whatever this is."

Once again he stepped toward her. "You're making this extremely difficult."

"This? This what? What am I making--"

"This." The word melted into her mouth.

The two hundreds floated from her hand to the floor. Then, her arms wrapped Max's neck, his body pressed hers, and Daisy was lost in a kiss she never expected to own.

Universal Link



5 out of 5 (exceptional)


Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


This was such a sweet little surprise of a read. Humor, romance, wit and charm, who could ask for more.

The story line was great. It was full of surprises, hilarity, and some serious frustration. Max was the most frustrating of a character but also one that you couldn’t forget if you tried. His character kept me reading. I had how his character grew and blossomed, if he even did. He is a character you’ll love to hate, for sure.

Details and descriptions were spot on. The descriptions of the scenery definitely made me want to visit Alaska and see the scenery and the sights. I enjoy cold weather so this was just a little extra push to make me want to visit. The details made it incredibly easy to keep reading, to understand what was happening and the surroundings. These items made the story flow from page to page flawlessly.

I certainly enjoyed this story. It was an easy read, provided an entering and fun read, and allowed me to escape reality for a few hours.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

What’s in a Cover?


     What’s in a cover? That, which we call a romance, with any other cover, would still read as sweet.  Right?
     In theory. And my apologies to Will Shakespeare for mangling Juliet’s heartfelt plea to Romeo. Not that he was ever going to change his name from Montague to Smyth. Nonetheless, the question remains—what’s in a cover?
     Everything. Unless you’re Nora, Tessa, or (insert the name of your favorite best-selling author here). Then you don’t need a cover, let alone a good one. Probably could do without a title. Just “a book by” and you’re good to go. But for unknown authors like me, everything.
     It’s the first impression. And you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Yet, depending on the cover, it might be a bad first impression. Then what?
     Don’t judge a book by its cover? Although my mom used that metaphor when a geeky senior boy asked sophomore me to a high school dance, I’m positive it originated from an author unhappy with her cover. I mean, if we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover illustration, why have one? Nonetheless, it gives me hope. Maybe readers will buy my “smart, sexy, zinger of a romance” (in the words of one reviewer) despite a double whammy of a cover—bland and poorly rendered. I look at the illustration and see “simple, sweet, blahhh.”  My book and my cover are at cross-purposes.
     With so many books vying for attention, and so little time, can readers be expected to ignore covers and judge a book instead by the blurb and a few beginning pages? Perhaps all books should have brown paper covers like the book jackets I used to make out of grocery bags for my high school textbooks. (Some of you will remember these; others will be going “huh?”)  Then “judging a book by its cover” will become as obsolete as VHS tapes.
     In the early 1900’s publishers began in earnest using illustrated covers to convey information about books. I’m almost certain publishers got the idea from canned goods whose labels had illustrations of whatever was inside. Thing is, you don’t put a picture of a pickle on a can of peaches. Or you end up with unhappy customers, thinking they’re buying one thing and getting another. The packaging is there to tell the consumer what’s inside. And so it is—or should be—with a book cover.
     Authors who don’t like their covers aren’t exactly rare. But there are legitimate complaints.     When I presented the cover of Spooning Daisy to my friends…silence. After I admitted that I didn’t like the depiction either, the relief was palpable; we had a cathartic rant of all its misses. Finally, someone said (wishing to make me feel better, I’m sure), “It’s really not that bad.” The problem is, “not that bad” isn’t the look I’m going for in either a new hairstyle or a book cover.
     Many years ago, before the internet provided millions of books at the click of a button, I would visit my local bookstore, choose a book and read the opening pages, until I found a story I couldn’t put down. When I hold a book in my hands, it’s easier to ignore covers, although my initial interest still begins with the cover. Today, with bricks and mortar crumbling around us, and the internet our primary shopping source, if the cover art doesn’t hook the reader you want—instead of chasing her away—the book is as doomed as Romeo & Juliet. 


Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE




Maggie McConnell will be offering

 

1) Nordstrom "Daisy" vegan leather clutch, 

2) Nordstrom turtle pin, or 

3) Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace 


to 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC).



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.

Website: 

Facebook Author Page:

Tour Organised by: Goddess Fish Promotions


Monday, 26 June 2017

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - The Lucky One (Carolina Connections # 3) by Sylvie Stewart

Book details:

The Lucky One
by Sylvie Stewart
(Carolina Connections)
Publication date: May 11th 2017
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Synopsis:

When your luck runs out, do you run away—or do you stay and fight?

Bailey:
Let’s get one thing straight. I am not your typical girl. Sure I’ve got all the parts, but I’ve been a stubborn, irreverent tomboy since the womb, as my Irish father would proudly attest. Despite my Irish blood, I’ve had a bit of bad luck here and there—I recently trusted the wrong guy and got derailed in my professional pursuits. But I’ve bounced back. With my shields firmly in place, I thought nothing, or no one, could touch me again. Until he did. And he just might make this tomboy do the girliest thing in the world—fall head over heels in love. Of all the damn luck…

Jake:
I’m a pretty lucky guy. I have a phenomenal family, a career I love, and I’m building a brand-new life back in my hometown. And, not to be a jerk about it, but I do more than all right with the ladies. Everything’s been going according to plan—like I said, I’m a lucky guy.

That was, until my luck ran out.

Until I met the girl I call “Irish.”

Irony can go kiss my a$$.

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Extras

-The first two chapters of The Lucky One are available for free download on Instafreebie - https://www.instafreebie.com/free/WQd7N

-Sylvie just won the National Indie Excellence Award for Romantic Comedy!


Universal Link


(one click for every reader everywhere)


4 out of 5 (very good)


Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


This was a really sweet book! It was fun, feisty, romantic, and hilarious. These characters are ones to follow and have the ability to burrow themselves into your heart, whether you want them to or not.

The two main characters in this story had some pretty sizzling chemistry and this entire story would have been on sizzling romance had the female lead not been so stubborn. However, I think that made this story that much better.  The chase and the back and forth made for a fun read. The little details kept your reading and kept you on the edge of your seat.

I have one complaint and it was enough to lower my review rating but I still absolutely adored the story!! My one complaint is the way the author told the first half of the story, with the present and the past. I understand it was done to give us readers more detail but at times it was confusing as to which part of the time frame I was reading. Sometimes I had to go back a little bit just to get my mind set straight.

These are character’s you’ll want to follow and a story, as a whole, you’ll want to read. While these are stand alone books I think it would be good to read them all together just to keep up with each character and to get the natural flow of all the stories.

I would absolutely recommend this story to you, It was a fun, sweet, charming read and one I rather enjoyed!

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments herein are my honest opinion. *

Click HERE to follow the tour - links updated daily


Tour-wide giveaway (INTL) - ends 6th July


$25 Amazon gift card


Sylvie Stewart is an author of Romance and Romantic Comedy. Like the characters in her books, North Carolina is where Sylvie calls home these days, and she can’t get enough of the great weather and fun adventures NC offers. She and her husband love arguing over which of them is the funniest. Sometimes, she lets him win because she’s cool like that. When she’s not writing, she is hanging out with her husband and kids or reading, Romance being her favorite genre, of course. And she knows that life wouldn’t be worth living without a lot of laughter, friends, and wine! You can always find out what Sylvie’s up to at her website www.sylviestewartauthor.com

Want free books? Join Sylvie’s Review Team! http://bit.ly/2fIuOV6

Author links:


Tour Organised by: Xpresso Book Tours


BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - By the Book by Maria Vickers

"Great Story. Great Characters."
Author: Maria Vickers
Title: By the Book
Genre: Gay Romance
Release Date: June 14th
Cover Designer: T.E. Black Designs
Editor: Shana Vanterpool

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Joshua Dayton met the man of his dreams as a sophomore in high school—his mentor and biology teacher, Mr. Cayden. Fearing his love would be considered forbidden and rejected, he ran away to college, determined to move on and forget. Three years later, he is summoned home and comes face to face with the man he tried to leave in the past. The same man he never stopped loving.

Samuel Cayden was looking for a fresh start and an escape. What he was not expecting was to develop feelings for his student, Joshua. Yet when the boy returns home a man, Samuel can no longer pretend the pull between them doesn’t exist.

Will the student become the teacher, showing Samuel how to open his heart? Will Samuel be able to prove to Joshua that things are not always what they appear? Or will the spark fizzle before it has a chance to ignite?

It’s time they got a lesson in love and temptation.

Also available on Kindle Unlimited

5 out of 5 (exceptional)


By the Book is a story that will give you the warm fuzzies as you pray for Josh and Sam to get together, and to STAY together. This may sound easy, but these two have both families against them. Josh does act immature at times, but he is actually mature enough to realise it! Sam is trying so hard to do the right thing, that he may end up losing the best thing for him.

This is a wonderful story, excellently told, and giving great insight into how family can cause issues even if they are not on the doorstep! With plenty of situations to keep the characters on their toes, their characters grow throughout. This is definitely a feel-good book, that has no editing or grammatical errors that I noticed.

Hot, steamy, tender, poignant, it's all here. Definitely recommended by me.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


Maria Vickers currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her pug, Spencer Tracy. She has always had a passion for writing, and after she became disabled, she decided to use writing as her escape. 

She has learned a lot about life and herself after becoming sick. One of the things she has learned and lives by is, life is about what you make of it. You have to live it to the fullest no matter the circumstances. 

***

I’ve always loved books. Not only creating stories but reading them as well. Books transport me, and when I was younger, I would run into walls because I refused to put my books down even for a second. Take not, walking while reading is not advised. LOL. 

With my books, I dream of sharing my stories with the world. I want others to be transported or to feel the emotions my characters feel. That is my goal. If I can do that for one person, I succeeded. 

Getting sick changed me and my life, but it also opened doors that I thought were closed. Today, even though I may not be able to do as much as I once could, I still have my mind, and I can write. 

www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ea80a6ed230
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Friday, 23 June 2017

RELEASE TOUR & REVIEW - Detour by Sid Love

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5 out of 5 (exceptional)


Detour is a dark, m/m romance that starts off with a disturbing rape scene that some readers may find triggering. However, it is not gratuitous or glamorised, and is necessary for the story.

Austin is a young man, looking after his bipolar mother, enduring what he has to because he needs to keep his job. Of course, things don't go according to plan, and everyone has their limit. Things happen and Austin reaches his. He ends up leaving home without anything - no wallet, no coat, not even any shoes. It is, however, the best thing he has done so far. 

With an amazing cast of characters that change and support each other throughout, this book is full of twists and turns, added extras to keep the readers' interest. And it does! I think Sid Love has managed to convey pretty much every emotion going in this book, and all done perfectly.

Detour doesn't start off very nice, but I applaud the author for bringing to light such subjects as are mentioned in this story.

If you can make it through rape, kidnapping and attempted murder, then I can assure you that this book is most definitely worth a read. Absolutely recommended by me.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Sid Love grew up in one of busiest cities in the world, Mumbai, listening to the excerpts of Indian epics as told by his father every night. While it served as an inspiration back, he has always had an ambitious mind. 

In 2007, when he had just turned sixteen, he decided that he would make his lifelong dream come true—to become a well-known, respected author someday.

Ask him and he would refuse to accept that he is obsessed with books. Or movies. Or TV shows. Addicted may even be the right word. 

He is a die-hard fan of Jane Austen’s romance novels and loves to reread them time and again.


Website: https://sidlovewrites.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FatefulMercy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsidlove/

REVIEW TOUR & #GIVEAWAY - The Fangs of Scavo (Stoker & Bash #1) by Selina Kray


Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | KOBO | B&N | GooglePlay | iBooks

Length: 100,000 words



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Blurb
At Scotland Yard, DI Timothy Stoker is no better than a ghost. A master of arcane documents and niggling details who, unlike his celebrity-chasing colleagues, prefers hard work to headlines. But an invisible man is needed to unmask the city’s newest amateur detective, Hieronymus Bash. A bon vivant long on flash and style but short on personal history, Bash just may be a Cheapside rogue in Savile Row finery.

When the four fangs of the Demon Cats of Scavo—trophies that protect the hunters who killed the two vicious beasts—disappear one by one, Stoker's forced to team with the very man he was sent to investigate to maintain his cover. He finds himself thrust into a world of wailing mediums, spiritualist societies, man-eating lions, and a consulting detective with more ambition than sense. Will this case be the end of his career, or the start of an unexpected liaison? Or will the mysterious forces at play be the death of them both?

And just who is Hieronymus Bash?


4 out of 5 (very good)


Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


Detective Inspector Timothy Stoker is tasked with bringing down Hieronymus Bash, an amateur detective trying to bring down charlatans and show people taking money for nothing. The two men are thrown together when both cases become muddled and some trophies that protect the hunters for the Demon Cats of Scavo are stolen.

I liked this, it was different and different is always good in my book. I just found it a little . . . . .long winded. Both Tim, and Heiro are prone to using, for want of a better phrase, big long words that gave the impression they had swallowed a dictionary. I found myself constantly checking the meaning of words, and phrases, and it meant that I lost my flow many times, leading to the long winded feeling I'm left with.

Oh don't get me wrong, it's a really GOOD book, just not one that blew me away.

Tim and Heiro have instant and powerful chemistry, and its great watching them come together, even if what they are doing might get them hanged. Set in late Victorian times, laying with another man was highly illegal. Both men know this, yet they cannot deny their feelings.

I didn't get the whodunit til it was revealed in the book, and I did like being kept on my toes. I changed my mind many times, and each time I was proved wrong and I really did not see that one coming!

Extremely well written, in the third person, from both man's point of view, with no spelling or editing errors I spotted, I have no doubt some will love this. I'm just sorry I couldn't. I would, however, like to read any future books in the series, or something else written by Ms Kray. I liked, big long words aside, the way she spins a tale.

So, a good book, just not a brilliant one but still it gets. . . .

4 stars.

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


Author Bio
Selina Kray is the nom de plume of an author and English editor. Professionally she has covered all the artsy-fartsy bases, having worked in a bookstore, at a cinema, in children’s television, and in television distribution, up to her latest incarnation as a subtitle editor and grammar nerd (though she may have always been a grammar nerd). A self-proclaimed geek and pop culture junkie who sometimes manages to pry herself away from the review sites and gossip blogs to write fiction of her own, she is a voracious consumer of art with both a capital and lowercase A.

Selina’s aim is to write genre-spanning romances with intricate plots, complex characters, and lots of heart. Whether she has achieved this goal is for you, gentle readers, to decide. At present she is hard at work on future novels at home in Montreal, Quebec, with her wee corgi serving as both foot warmer and in-house critic.

If you’re interested in receiving Selina’s newsletter and being the first to know when new books are released, plus getting sneak peeks at upcoming novels, please sign up at her website: www.selinakray.net






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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Jupiter's Shadow (Smoky Mountain Wolves #1) by TL Reeve

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Jupiter “Pip” Baldwin, isn’t ready to settle down and produce heirs for the Sequatchie Pack. As the Alpha’s daughter and only child, she is destined to continue his bloodline, while allowing her mate to lead the pack—an archaic rule of the collective Smoky Mountain Wolves packs.

On her thirty-second birthday, five men will be presented to her for choosing. It’s not about love in her pack. It’s about power. When each man reveals who they are, and what they’re capable, Jupiter finds herself in over her head.

Will she be able to narrow down her choices, to the perfect “match,” or will Jupiter find she can’t let any of them go?

Change is coming to the Sequatchie pack, and Jupiter must blaze the trail…

4 out of 5 (very good)


Jupiter's Shadow is the first book in the Smoky Mountain Wolves series, and if this one is anything to go by, this series is going to be brilliant!

We start off with Jupiter having her thirty-second birthday. Her dad takes the opportunity to tell his daughter - and the rest of the pack - that Jupiter now has five potential mates to choose from, and a month in which to do it. Although pretty 'miffed' to start with, Jupiter soon realises that they all have bigger problems to deal with.

This is an excellent start to the series, and I look forward to the fleshing out of the world, pack politics, and jobs, that usually follows on. With each book you tend to learn a bit more about the world, which in turn draws you in more as a series progresses. Each of the five men have very distinct personalities, which made it easy to remember which one was which when you were reading.

Very well written, with no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more, both in this series and also by TL Reeve. Definitely recommended by me.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa


Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Buy it at: Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

TL Reeve, a multi-published author with Cobblestone Press, Decadent Publishing, Evernight Publishing, and Loose-Id, was born out of a love of family and a bond that became unbreakable. Living in Alabama, TL misses Los Angeles, and will one day return to the beaches of Southern California to ride the waves at Huntington Beach. When not writing something hot and sexy, TL can be found curled up with a good book, or working on homework with a cute little pixie.

You can signup for her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/bv07fn