The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco – Blog Tour and Giveaway (ENDED)

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MADNESS MERCURYA Zodiac Mystery – #1 

San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti’s life is turned upside down when she becomes the target of the city’s newest cult leader, Reverend Roy of the Prophet’s Tabernacle. Driven out of her apartment in the midst of a disastrous Mercury retrograde period, she takes shelter with a client who’s caring for two elderly aunts. One aunt appears stricken with dementia and the other has fallen under the spell of the Reverend Roy. To add to the confusion, a young man claiming to be a long lost nephew arrives. The longer he stays, the more dangerous things become. Is the young man truly a member of the family? Can astrology confirm that? Julia’s not sure, but one thing she does know is that Mercury wasn’t merely the messenger of the gods—he was a trickster and a liar as well.

 

This was a first for me – a cozy with an astrologer as the sleuth. While I myself am not into astrology, that didn’t make the story any less enjoyable. There were times when Julia was doing a reading for someone that I didn’t really understand what she was talking about, but they were brief, and she always explained in layman’s terms what it all meant for the individual right afterwards. So why did I choose to read this one if I’m not “into” astrology? The cat and the purple couch! I couldn’t resist that cover, and I’m glad I didn’t try. This mystery is well-written, the characters likable and realistic, and I ended up reading it in a single sitting!

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway  (ENDED)for a chance to win your own copy!

About the Author

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Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink.  She was fascinated by astrology at an early age and this was the inspiration that gave birth to Julia Bonatti, San Francisco astrologer and her newspaper column Ask Zodia.  Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.  Connie lives in Los Angeles with her family and a constantly talking cat. 

Author Links

Website:  www.conniedimarco.com
Facebook:  www.Facebook.com/ConniediMarco
Twitter:  @askzodia

Purchase The Madness of Mercury from Amazon |  B&N 

 Tour Participants

May 20 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
May 20 – Book Babble – Review
May 21 – Laura’s Interests – Review
May 21 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
May 22 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Review
May 22 – Mystery Playground – Interview
May 23 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – Review
May 23 – fuonlyknew – Review
May 24 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review
May 24 – Musings and Ramblings – Guest Post
May 25 – Back Porchervations – Review
May 25 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Guest Post
May 26 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review
May 26 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review, Interview
May 27 – The Book’s the Thing – Review
May 27 – Thoughts in Progress – Review
May 28 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post
May 29 – deal sharing aunt – Review
May 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
May 31 – I Read What You Write – Review, Interview
June 1 – A Holland Reads – Review
June 1 – Ashleyz Wonderland – Review
June 2 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post
June 2 – Brooke Blogs – Spotlight

NOTE: I was provided with a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan – Excerpt and Giveaway (ENDED)

BOOK COVER For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

Pigeon-Blood Red is a fast-paced and suspenseful crime thriller by Ed Duncan. It was released in March 2016, published by Zharmae and is available for sale on Amazon.

Keep reading below for an excerpt and your chance to win a digital copy!

Continue reading

Cover Reveal – Steel Magic by J.L. Gribble

Title: Steel Magic
Series: Steel Empires Book 2
Author: J.L. Gribble
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Alternate History
Release Date: July 6, 2016

Pre-order Link: http://amzn.to/1Rc17n2

Synopsis:

Funerals are usually the end of the story, not the beginning.

Newly graduated warrior-mages Toria Connor and Kane Nalamas find themselves the last remaining mages in the city when a mage school teacher mysteriously falls ill and dies. But taking over the school themselves isn’t in the cards. They’re set to become professional mercenaries-if they make it through the next 18 months as journeymen first.

The debate over whether to hunt mutated monsters in the Wasteland or take posh bodyguard jobs is put on hold when a city elder hires them to solve the mystery of the disappearing mages. Toria and Kane’s quest brings them to the British colonial city of New Angouleme, where their initial investigation reveals that the problem is even greater than they feared.

But when a friend is kidnapped, they’ll have to travel to the other side of the globe to save her, save themselves, and save magic itself.

_Steel Magic-Jacket.indd

About the Cover Artist:

Bradley Sharp was born in 1977 in Oxfordshire, UK. From a young age he filled many sketch books, so it only made sense to study Graphic Communication at Nene University, where he received a BA Honors degree in 1997.

But the real world called Sharp away from academics, so he traveled around the globe a couple of times, working as a graphic designer. Now he makes a living by designing magazine spreads, but freelances with vector illustrations, allowing him to create something far-removed from what he does in his nine-to-five job.

Sharp finds vector to be an easy tool and believes anyone can use it. “I’d say my artwork is nothing more than glorified doodling. I like the logical inconsistencies of surrealism and find inspiration from many places such as music or the science fiction genre. Dog Star’s novels lend themselves well to my style. I look forward to working with DSB in the future, and hope fans will like the imagery as much as they enjoy the words.” Find Sharp’s work online at http://www.bradsharp.co.uk.

About the Author:

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By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. She is currently working on the Steel Empires series for Dog Star Books, the science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press. Previously, she was an editor for the Far Worlds anthology.

Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where her debut novel Steel Victory was her thesis for the program.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits).

Audiobook Review – Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, narrated by Cassandra Campbell
The Austen Project #4
Eligible (The Austen Project #4) A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

Genre: Romance, Fiction
My Rating: **** (4 stars)

First of all, I have to say that I love Pride and Prejudice. It’s my favorite Jane Austen novel, and Liz Bennet my favorite Austen heroine. I was a little nervous that a modern retelling of the story, complete with modern language, would be a disappointment. The author has done a wonderful job, though, of keeping the dialog as modern as possible while giving the narration a more classic feel. The story itself provides the same type of contrast, as it is easy at times to forget that this is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, yet at other times it feels so familiar that you know just what will come next.

Cassandra Campbell as narrator does a good job of differentiating the Bennet girls’ voices, and is pleasant to listen to. Pleasant that is except when she’s doing Mrs. Bennet’s voice, but I think that is to be expected. 🙂

While some of the situations that the girls find themselves in do seem over-the-top, I enjoyed the story, and Ms. Campbell’s performance of it.

 

NOTE: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Review – Finding Fraser by KC Dyer

Finding Fraser by KC Dyer
Finding FraserSometimes searching for true love can be a little…Outlandish.

I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it.

At 29, Emma Sheridan’s life is a disaster and she’s tired of waiting for the perfect boyfriend to step from the pages of her favorite book. There’s only one place to look, and it means selling everything and leaving her world behind. With an unexpected collection of allies along the way, can Emma face down a naked fishmonger, a randy gnome, a perfidious thief, and even her own abdominal muscles on the journey to find her Fraser?

Genre: Romance, Chick-lit
My Rating: *** (3 stars)

This was a fun read, even for someone who has never read any of the Outlander series. (Gasp! I know – they are on my TBR pile!) I think nearly everyone knows the basic concept behind the novels, so it wasn’t hard to figure out what Emma was referring to when she did talk about Diana Gabaldon’s books.

The book alternates between chapters telling us the story, and blog posts that Emma writes as she goes along. The blog posts are short and sweet, and sometimes provide a little insight into things that have not yet been fully disclosed in the story.

I did feel that the heroine was a bit naive for 29. I often wanted to yell into the book at her, and to point out how blind she was being, or how ridiculous some of her choices were. Even so, Emma is a likable character, and I couldn’t help but root for her and wish her success in her quest to find love.

I have to add that I love books about other books, and books that even just mention other books. Books mentioned within other books have given me some great reading recommendations, and because of them, I’ve read things I would never have picked up otherwise. The Outlander series has definitely jumped higher up my ever-growing list after reading this story!

 

NOTE: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Final Tap by Amanda Flower – Blog Tour / Giveaway (ENDED)

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The Final Tap by Amanda Flower
Living History Museum Mystery #2
THE FINAL TAP March on Barton Farm can only mean one thing: maple sugar season. To combat the winter slump, resilient director Kelsey Cambridge organizes a Maple Sugar Festival, complete with school visits, pancake breakfasts, and tree tapping classes. Kelsey hires curmudgeonly maple sugar expert Dr. Conrad Beeson to teach the classes, despite misgivings over his unpleasant demeanor. It’s a decision she ends up regretting when, before the first tree can be tapped for sap, Dr. Beeson turns up dead.

The maple sugar expert’s death threatens to shut down not only the Maple Sugar Festival, but also Barton Farm itself. Kelsey must solve Dr. Beeson’s murder to escape the increasingly sticky situation.

Well, I’ve found yet another cozy mystery series to add to my must-buy list! I really enjoyed the setting – a working historical farm – and learned everything I could want to know about maple syrup production. Not in a clinical way, but as interesting bits of information presented during the story.

Our heroine Kelsey has her hands full trying to run the farm, raise her kindergarten-age son, and solve a murder before the police can pin it on one of her young employees. There was an interesting cast of characters, and that homey, small-town feel that I love in a good cozy.

While previous events are mentioned, it’s not necessary to have read book 1 to know what’s going on. Since this is only book 2 in the series though, I’d recommend starting with book 1 and reading them both. That way you’ll be caught up and ready for book #3 whenever it might be available! 🙂

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway  (ENDED) for a chance to win one of 2 print copies of The Final Tap.

About the Author

AMANDA FLOWER

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling  author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Website: http://amandaflower.com/
Pen Name Website: http://isabellaalan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramandaflower
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aflowerwriter
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3412728.Amanda_Flower
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aflowerwriter/

 

Tour Participants – stop by to visit these other great blogs!

May 9 – Bubble Bath Books – REVIEW
May 10 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
May 11 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
May 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
May 13 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
May 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
May 14 – Off
May 15 – Melina’s Book Blog –  REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
May 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 18 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW
May 19 – Queen of All She Reads –  REVIEW
May 20 – Book Babble – REVIEW
May 21 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 22- LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
May 22- Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

NOTE: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.