Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Howl For A Highlander by Terry Spear

Within the first few paragraphs, author Terry Spear has a way of pulling you into her story and making you believe it’s plausible. 

Spear not only paints a beautiful setting with her detailed descriptions,9781402258930_p0_v2_s600 she makes you feel you are there. Her eye for detail, along with her extensive research of the location and wolves is an added bonus for readers of her series.

A Howl For A Highlander, Spear’s latest installment in her Heart of the Wolf series, is a fine example of her work. This time around Spear takes readers to the fascinating Grand Cayman Islands and the alluring beauty of the Scottish Highlands. One minute you can feel the ocean breeze on your face, the next you can hear the haunting melody of bagpipes.

Former stockbroker and gray wolf Salisbury ‘Sal’ Silverman has stolen from the wrong family this time. He has taken money from the MacNeills and ran off to the Grand Cayman Islands. It’s up to Duncan MacNeill to find Silverman, recovery the money, and make sure the gray wolf doesn’t bother anyone ever again.

MacNeill, a Highland wolf, rarely leaves his native homeland. He wants to find Silverman, do what he has to do and get back to Argent Castle, his ancestral home, as fast as he can.

What MacNeill nor Silverman planned on was Shelley Campbell, a lone red wolf and beautiful botanist studying plants in the Caribbean. When MacNeill and Campbell are drawn together in their quest to find Silverman, they also find their attraction to one another is as hot as the Caribbean sun. 

The characters are well-developed and the story flows at a steady pace. Spear combines steamy romance, adventure, a touch of mystery and suspense with a bit of humor to create a well-rounded story. While her book has a paranormal element, the heart of the story deals with love, family and loyalty. With those elements portrayed as she has, you begin to think anything is possible - even shape-shifting werewolves.

A Howl For A Highlander is the 10th installment in the Heart of the Wolf series, but can be read on its own. New readers won’t be left in the dark and returning fans will enjoy that the series continues.

The romantic Caribbean and the seductive Scottish Highlands mixed with a passionate couple, a dash of intrigue and a splash of humor results in a tantalizing concoction that will hold you spellbound as you turn the pages of A Howl For A Highlander.  

Author Terry Spear’s website is
A Howl For A Highlander by Terry Spear, A Heart of the Wolf, Sourcebooks Casablanca, @2013, ISBN: 978-1402258930, Paperback, 352 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Hi everyone and thanks for stopping by. Do you enjoy books that take you to romantic faraway places or do you prefer to reading books with settings closer to home?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club

I’m always interested in learning about new mystery titles and when they are filled with twists and surprises, it’s that much better. Thanks to the fine folks at The Cadence Group I discussed such a title with The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club. I’m delighted to welcome the book’s author, Duncan Whitehead, here today to talk about this release and his writing.

Here’s a description of The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club:
    Something is not quite right in the leafy Savannah neighborhood of Gordonston.
     As friends and fellow members of her afternoon cocktail club gather to mourn the death and lament the life of Thelma Miller, not all is what it seems.
     As old friends vie for the attention of widower, Alderman and mayoral candidate Elliott, jealousies surface and friendships are strained. An old woman with a dark secret and an infamous uncle plots her revenge for a perceived wrong done over thirty years before, a once successful children’s writer with his own secret is haunted by memories of the past and aspiring model Kelly Hudd has just won the trip of a lifetime. 

    As secrets are revealed and history, both old and recent, unravel and an intertwined web of deceits and lies surfaces in the middle class neighborhood a killer lurks and is anyone really who they seem to be?
     A mysterious European gentleman in South America, a young Italian count parading the streets of Paris and a charitable and kind hearted nephew recently arrived from India add to the remarkable assortment of characters in this story of intrigue, deceit and revenge. What is the secret a recently retired accountant is trying to hide and just why did the former showgirl and attractive sixty two-year-old widow Carla Zipp really have plastic surgery?
     As the plot thickens and the Georgia summer temperature rises we discover who is destined for an early-unmarked grave in the wooded park that centers the tree-lined avenues of Gordonston.
     A mysterious organization with links to organized crime, a handsome fire fighter who can do no wrong and a trio of widows with deep hidden agendas compound a story of simplistic complexity.
     As twists and turns lead the reader to a conclusion that they will not see coming and a sucker punch ending that will leave readers breathless, The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club’s top priority remains the need to chastise the culprit who refuses to ‘scoop’ after his dog walking sessions in their treasured park. 

Duncan has graciously answered a number of questions pertaining to his book and his writing.

Mason - How does a person with a background as diverse as yours come to write about Savannah, these intriguing characters and this tantalizing plot?

Duncan - Well, it was my background that led me to Savannah. I first visited Savannah in 2002, while working for the most Gordonston Coversuccessful Australian TV producer onboard his super yacht. I fell in love with the place. I began dating a girl from Savannah and eventually I bought a home there. While I continued to travel the world I returned to Savannah as a home base. I got married, had a child and actually lived in the neighborhood that I write about.  

I found the neighborhood, and my new neighbors quirky and they inspired me to write a fictional novel, based on my location and some of the characters, whom I loosely based characters on, and so was born the book.

Mason - With the book now printed, what was the most surprising thing that happened during your writing process?

Duncan - The most surprising thing for me during my writing process was how much I enjoyed telling the story, I became addicted to the characters and to me they seemed real. I would imagine what certain characters would do in certain situations. It really did take over my life for a while.

Mason - Of all the characters in your story, which one was the most fun to write?

Duncan - That is a tough one. I have actually anticipated this question and I struggle because there are so many fun and quirky characters. Heidi was fun, because behind her mask of genteel old lady who seemed to be the pillar of the society there was a very sinister and dark personality. Kelly was fun as it was easier to introduce humor into her character as she was kind of ‘dumb’, but in a nice way. Billy, because he so devious was also a fun character to play with.

Mason - Have you always wanted to write or was there an event that lead you to writing?

Duncan - I have always wanted to write. As a child I would read a book a week, I would not watch TV.  I like comedy and writing jokes and, having worked for a successful novelist, who encouraged me, I decided I would do what I always wanted to do

Mason - As a published author, has your perspective of authors changed?

Duncan - Yes, it isn’t all about writing a good story. The marketing aspect, the reading of reviews, which can sometimes be a traumatic experience, has shown me that authors sometimes have a hard time. Finding time to write is difficult, once you are published, so I admire those writers who can still write and market their books AND still interact with their fans.
Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

Duncan - I am still writing on the web, spoof news and satirical stories. My next novel, which is an out and out comedy, The Reluctant Jesus, is currently at the editing stage and I hope it will be released this year. A sequel to The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club has been drafted and I am also working on a further comedic novel, “Match”.

The next immediate thing on the horizon is finalizing the movie treatment for The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club. It has been completed and several studios have requested copies, so that is very exciting.

Duncan, thanks for joining us today and answering these questions. I can understand how it would be hard to select one character over another as being fun to write.

For more on Duncan and his writing, visit his website at

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy a book where the town is as much a character in the story as the people are?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Showcasing The Orchestra Murders by Rena Fruchter

I’m delighted to showcase author Rena Fruchter today as she makes a stop on her Pump Up Your Book Virtual Blog Tour for her book, The Orchestra Murders

Rena is the author of three books — two critically acclaimed books in the biographical genre (Dudley Moore, An Intimate Portrait    , and I’m Chevy Chase…and You’re Not).  And now, her exciting and new release: The Orchestra Murders—A Cynthia Masters Mystery.

Rena is also a renowned pianist, writer and educator, and director of an arts organization. Her performances have taken her throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and the Far East in both solo and ensemble appearances. She made her solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of six, performing the Haydn Piano Concerto in D Major.  Appearances with other orchestras and on radio and television followed. At age eleven, she gave her first performance with the Boston Pops under Arthur Fiedler at the Esplanade, later returning to perform the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Boston Pops in Symphony Hall. 

For twelve years, Rena was a music columnist for the New York Times. She was also a music critic and an arts commentator for New Jersey Public Television, the London Music Correspondent for the Boston Herald and a contributor to many other publications. Her radio interview series, “Backstage Portraits,” was broadcast throughout the United States.

A graduate of Brandeis University, Rena also holds degrees in both piano performance and pedagogy from the Royal College of Music in London, England, where she studied with Louis Kentner and Lamar Crowson. She also studied with two distinguished Nadias -- Nadia Boulanger in France and Nadia Reisenberg in New York.

Rena is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Music For All Seasons, an organization that presents musical programs for people confined in institutions including hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and special facilities for children. The organization also runs “Voices of Valor,” which provides workshops for veterans to write and record their own songs. The organization was co-founded by Rena and her husband, Brian Dallow. Dudley Moore was the Founding Advisory Board President of Music For All Seasons, which is now in its 21st year.

Rena is CEO of Martine Avenue Productions, a company co-created with Dudley Moore to bring his musical works to the public. The company has produced seven CDs, the latest, the two-CD set Dudley Down Under—unabridged, the complete live Dudley Moore Trio coverconcert at Sydney Town Hall (Australia) on May 2, 1978. 

This CD is produced in honor of Dudley on the tenth anniversary of his death. The company donates a portion of its proceeds to two charities designated by Dudley: the international research fund of the US-based “Cure PSP” and “Music For All Seasons, Inc.”

With long-time friend and colleague Dudley Moore, Rena toured the United States and Australia, New Zealand, and the Far East in two-piano performances. Rena is the author of the critically acclaimed book Dudley Moore, An Intimate Portrait, published in 2004 by Ebury/Random House/UK and subsequently published in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Her popular book, I’m Chevy Chase…And You’re Not, an innovative biography presenting the American comedy icon in a fascinating and revealing look at his life and work, was published in the UK and US.  The only authorized biography of Chevy Chase, it provides a comprehensive view of the brilliant and complex actor, comedian and writer.

Her new book has just been published and is called The Orchestra Murders, A Cynthia Masters Mystery.
Rena is married to Brian Dallow, and they are the parents of four adult children, including a set of triplets. They live in New Jersey.

For more on Rena and her writing, visit her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter

Here’s a brief description of The Orchestra Murders:
    Superstar conductor Sir Gregory Langhorne and his globe-trotting, violin-soloist son Jonathan Langhorne are the best of friends—until a brutal murder shatters their lives and Jonathan becomes the prime suspect.
    Six years later, Sir Gregory is now the music director of the world famous Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and has finally reconciled with his son Jonathan, just as members of the orchestra are being killed off one by one.
    The challenge for brilliant young hotshot Philadelphia Detective Cynthia Masters is to solve not only the orchestra murders, but the question of why murder seems to follow the Langhornes. Has Masters finally met her match—a case that cannot be solved?
    Set in London and Philadelphia, this dramatic story of murder, infidelity, and the abuse of money and power establishes Cynthia Masters as a world-class detective in this thrilling and unusual mystery.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy books where mystery and music are combined?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Salon: Victorian Romances

Photo source: dreamstime
We may be almost out of the month of love (February), but you can always find romance in some of the most intriguing books.

This last Sunday Salon in February seems the perfect time to share 2 charming Victorian romances. Both are a delight and sure to bring a smile to your face. So fluff up those cushions, top off that cup of coffee (or tea), settle back, relax, and let me tell you what I’ve been listening to lately.

The Importance of Being Wicked by Victoria Alexander

There are several things I know for certain when I turn on an audio 9781455800124_p0_v1_s600book by Victoria Alexander:
    * I’m going to be amused,
    * I’m going to be transported to a different time and place, and
    * I’m going to be thoroughly captivated by the story.

Alexander’s latest book, The Importance of Being Wicked, doesn’t disappoint. She brings together characters from 2 previous stories - His Mistress By Christmas and What Happens At Christmas - and blends them with new faces for a tantalizing tale.

The characters reveal their true personalities through the vocals of narrator Michael Page. He does an excellent job giving distinct voices to all from the lords to the ladies. His cadence draws you in and holds you as the story unfolds.

Winfield Elliott, Lord Stillwell, has never had problems with the ladies. In fact, he’s almost been married - three times. For that reason, he has developed quite a reputation and is the subject of endless gossip.

Win is currently more interested in repairing Millworth Manor, his family’s country home, which was damaged by fire. When the firm he hires sends a woman as their representative, Win may be in for more than he bargained for. Despite wearing the ugliest pair of shoes he’s ever seen, Win finds the lovely widow quite desirable and intolerable.  

Lady Miranda Garrett is determined to make this project a success for the sake of the business and its employees. She’s heard the rumors of Win’s flirtatious way and intends to keep their relationship strictly business. But while overseeing the work, Miranda finds Win occupying not only her waking moments, but her dreams as well.

Before the two can be happy, however, they both must face issues from their past. 

The Importance of Being Wicked is an alluring blend of romance and humor mixed with a touch of mystery and suspense. The story flows smoothly and at a steady pace. The characters are well-developed and very likable. Millworth Manor playing a important role in the story, Alexander places you there with her detailed descriptions of the structure and its surroundings.

While there are characters from prior stories, new readers/listeners won’t be lost if this is their first book by Alexander. For returning fans, the appearance of previous characters will be a charming reunion bringing the circle of friends and family a bit closer.

Enjoying the trip to the Victorian London countryside, readers/listeners will be reluctant to leave as the story concludes. Hopefully it won’t be long before there’s another trip to discover who falls under Alexander’s match-making spell.

Author Victoria Alexander’s website is

The Importance of Being Wicked by Victoria Alexander, Read by Michael Page, Brilliance Audio, @2013, ISBN: 978-1455800124, Unabridged, 9 Discs, Listening Time: 10 Hours 28 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

The heroine in most Victorian romance novels are usually prim and proper with a touch of independence.
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Author Sarah MacLean’s heroine in One Good Earl definitely doesn’t fit this mold. Lady Philippa ‘Pippa’ Marbury looks at life as a scientist. She tries to follow the rules of society, but finds herself not most times.

Narrator Rosalyn Landor does a fantastic job bringing the characters to life. She gives distinct voices to each leading you to think there’s more than one narrator. She expresses the emotions and feelings with great conviction.

As her wedding to Lord Castleton approaches, Pippa has questions of a scientific nature about personal issues between husband and wife. Her logic is to seek answers from the man reported to be an expert in matters between a man and woman - Cross. A co-owner of The Fallen Angel, the most scandalous and exclusive club (casino) in London, Cross should be able to give her all the answers she seeks.

The last thing Cross wants to do is assist this feisty woman in her scientific experiment. He may have the reputation of a womanizing rogue, but he has sworn off women for the last nine years because of a tragic event in his life.

When Pippa and Cross clash, the sparks being to fly as they are completely opposites while being so very much alike. Determination leads to dangerous results on both their parts.

The bantering between these two is contagious and you can’t help but smile. The dialogue pulls you in to be a part of the adventure. The quirky secondary characters add to the well-developed plot.

While there are times you know where the story is going next, you’ll be surprised at what’s waiting when the destination is reached. MacLean slips twists and turns in that will catch you off guard with both shock and delight.

One Good Earl was my first introduction to the writing of MacLean, but it won’t be my last. I’m eager to see what adventure the author has in store for the other partners of The Fallen Angel.

Author Sarah MacLean’s website is

One Good Earl Deserves A Lover by Sarah MacLean, Read by Rosalyn Landor, HarperAudio, @2013, ISBN: 978-0062220448, Unabridged, Digital Download, Listening Time: 12 Hours 33 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks for stopping by today. Are you a fan of Victorian romance? Aren’t the covers for both of these novels amazing? Have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson

All she wanted to do was shoot the perfect wedding and claim the top spot on wedding coordinator Bella Neeley’s list of recommended photographers.

Picture-PerfectHannah McDermott has a successful photography studio. But, her life has also been a series of ‘almosts.’ She’s determined this time not to be an almost when it comes to being the top wedding photographer. It doesn’t matter that handsome Drew Kincaid wants the spot too.

The competition between Hannah and Drew heats up and Hannah finds herself thinking more and more of her arch-rival, but in a good way. Dealing with the ultimate Bridezilla in what should have been a dream job, Hannah has her hands full as she tries to focus on her future.

Picture Perfect is a light-hearted, feel-good read that will have you smiling and even laughing out loud at times. The story flows smoothly and at a steady pace.

Author Janice Thompson has created a feisty protagonist in Hannah that readers will enjoy getting to know. She has also included a cast of zany characters to add to the mix resulting in a well developed story.

Each chapter begins with a charming Irish proverb or blessing. Thompson gives a feel of family, love, loyalty and friendship throughout the book.

This is the first in a brand-new series all about those long-suffering people who make beautiful weddings happen. Picture Perfect shows that it promises to be an entertaining and captivating series.

Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson, Weddings by Design Series #1, Revell, @2013, ISBN: 978-0800721527, Paperback, 336 Pages 

Available February 2013  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book as part of a blog tour and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks for stopping by today. Do you have an interesting story to share about a wedding photographer? Have you ever served as photographer for a wedding?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Solstice by Bryan W. Dull On Tour

I always enjoy showcasing a ‘new-to-me’ author and sharing their work with you. Today it’s my pleasure to be a part of author Bryan W. Dull’s Juniper Grove Book Solutions Tour for his latest release, Solstice.

Listed in the genre of horror, suspense and supernatural; Solstice was recently published by Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly. Its word count is approximately 51,000.

Here’s a brief synopsis of Solstice:
    In Gavin Moxley's world, there is no thin line between right and wrong. In a personal crusade to help sever a line of disease carried by a clan of vampires; Gavin has no choice to be ruthless. The Vampires are purposely infecting the human population…waiting for humans to actively pass it on to each other. Gavin takes no chances and executes them one by one. Not strong or powerful, finding humans before they turn into full vampires is ideal and Gavin’s best bet.
    Yes, this is Gavin’s life…
    …And nothing ever changes it until a young half breed vampire with special abilities, Solstice, attaches and makes herself a fixture in his life when she asks for his help and protection and when a reluctant Gavin agrees he joins a dangerous game of cat and mouse. There is no safe place and the pair are constantly watching their backs. Torn between his hate and his love for Solstice Gavin is thrown into a moral dilemma that only he can figure out but two things are clear…
    His faith and Humanity are being tested and the past is not always forgotten.

Solstice is available through Amazon and GoodReads.

Here’s an excerpt to entice you a bit more.
      “You are going to be part of a very special science project,” he hissed. The woman continued to fondle for her little bat. “I don’t want you to think it was anything personal, but I need your child,” he continued. She quietly yelped at the thought of what this monster wanted with an unborn child. She wanted to say something. She wanted to plead with him and ask him to leave her alone, but she couldn’t…his teeth were already in her neck. She felt the quick but seductive bite but still managed to pull out her bat and with all of her might she struck the bat upon his head and broke it in half. This got his attention, enough to get him away from her neck.
    Solstice Cover  She knew what kind a creature this man was. After all the stories and all the tainted beliefs, she finally realized that her parents were wrong and there was such a thing as monsters. All of the monsters she thought that were under her bed and hiding in her closet when she was younger was just a dream in comparison to what she is witnessing now. However, she couldn’t think about that, she had seen enough movies and read enough books to know what this mysterious, sickly man in black was…A vampire.

     She turned around in her seat with blood trickling down her body and started to stab the monster in the chest with the broken bat. Trying to reach any heart she could find in the evil being. He was laughing at her, telling her that it tickled and how she was wasting her time. He was pushing her harder, and when she couldn’t stab harder she grabbed her side in pain. The vampire in black composed himself and asked, “When exactly did I lose your trust?” He was mocking her and laughing at his own wit. She writhed in pain. He opened the car door on the other side of her and floated slowly out of it. She reached for him, hoping that there was a glimmer of good in him and that he would help her. His eyes turned kind for a minute.
      “I am sorry,” he said to her, “I can’t help you now.” Then in a comedic gesture he continued, “But I can help you help yourself!” He reached into her bag, grabbed her cell phone, and placed it inside her hand. “He guided her pointer finger to the “9” on her phone and then to the “1” and pressed it twice. His cold finger was over hers like a person would help a blind person. “There,” he exclaimed,” you should get some help soon, but it may take a while for them to find you.” Our lady in distress thought to herself, “Why?” The creature in black looked down his long nose at her and said, “That’s easy, you can’t talk to tell them where you are.” He was right; the punctures in her neck were so bad that she could not form any words.
    “Relax,” he continued, “you’ll survive this.” He was right, in a way. 

Now it’s time to learn more about the author…Bryan W. Dull.

Currently living in Cincinnati, OH with his wife and daughter, Bryan goes leaps and bounds to get away from the norm and be his own person; with himself and his writing. Since middle school he has always known what he was good at; entertaining and telling stories. 

He has been consistently writing and coming up with plots for the last twenty years, but just recently decided to share one with the world. His first novel, “Solstice” is a vampire book inspired by his daughter and noir literature. Born in Anderson, IN, Bryan has also lived in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina (where “Solstice” is based). 

Being a lover of all things art and pop culture “nerdism”; his interests lie in film, television, comics, games, anime, and books. For a short while, Bryan dabbled in voice acting work only to shift his focus to his family and writing. His favorite authors include; Chuck Palahniuk, Robert Kirkman, Clive Barker, Ernest Cline, and Neil Gaiman.

For more on Bryan and his writing, visit his website, find him on Facebook and Twitter, and visit him on GoodReads.
Solstice Banner
Thanks to Bryan, there is a tour wide international giveaway being offered. Enter below for the chance to win some great prizes.

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Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s always fun when I can introduce ya’ll to new authors. Have you discovered a ‘new-to-you’ author lately?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Princess April Morning-Glory On Tour

Reading a fairy tale to a child before bedtime should be magical for bothPrincess April Morning-Glory listener and reader. The late Letitia Fairbanks penned just such a tale in Princess April Morning-Glory.

The story follows Princess April as she leaves the Enchanted Forrest for the Great World beyond when she became upset that her wings are too small for her to fly. With only her blue butterflies for company, Princess April goes on a grand adventure and then tries to find her way home.

Along the way Princess April learns to be brave, courageous, and undertakes 3 good deeds in order to return home. Just as she is about to find her way home, she encounters the wicked Fairy Misery who imprisons her in a dungeon. With the help of a hummingbird and a magical wand from her father, Princess April overcomes evil and finally returns home.

This is an enchanting story that will quickly become a favorite at bedtime. Enhancing this story is the beautiful and amazing illustrations by the author that bring the story to life. There are even tiny illustrations among the words.

To add to the charm, the author penned the book in a lovely calligraphy-style writing. While the text might be difficult for young children to read, it will be a lovely writing style for them to learn as they grow. The book also includes 10 suggestions for doing good deeds youngsters (and adults) can attempt.

Princess April Morning-Glory will delight youngsters, while the story behind the story will capture adults’ attention. The author is the nieces of the late Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford of the golden age of Hollywood. The book, written and illustrated in 1941, was recently brought to life by Kelley Smoot Garrett, the step-daughter of the author. Letitia began work on this tale on Dec. 11, 1939, which was her 26th birthday and the night her uncle, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., died.

If you’re looking for an enchanting fairy tale, be sure to pick up Princess April Morning-Glory. It’s a story all ages can enjoy.

For more on the author and additional background on this fascinating tale, visit here.

Princess April Morning-Glory by Letitia Fairbanks, Sandramantos Publishing, @2013, ISBN: 978-0988784802, Paperback, 66 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book as part of a virtual book tour. The book was sent to me by Kelley Smoot Garrett in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
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As this review is part of a virtual book tour, I’d also like to give a bit of background on both Letitia Fairbanks and Kelley Smoot Garrett. 

In addition, you can enter the Rafflecopter below for a Kindle Fire HD giveaway sponsored by Pump Up Your Book Promotions.

About Letitia Fairbanks:
Letitia Fairbanks, the niece of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford, lived a life guided by artistic passions. 

In 1939, wanting to commemorate her late uncle, Letitia began work on Princess April Morning-Glory, allowing a creative outlet for combining her lifelong loves: painting, writing, and illustration.

Holding firm to her artistic identify, Letitia gravitated toward portraiture, landscapes, and still-lifes. She was also a biographer, co-authoring Douglas Fairbanks: The Fourth Musketeer, with Ralph Hancock. 

Her marriage to Hal Smoot in 1966 marked the beginning of a particularly joyful and creative period. Needle points and annual Christmas cards, which featured a painting from the previous year, not to mention her role as a wife, mother, step-mother and grandmother brought her much fulfillment. After a life rich in artistic accomplishment, Letitia passed away in September of 1992.

About Kelley Smoot Garrett:  
Kelley Smoot Garrett was born in Dallas, raised in Manhattan and has lived the life of a West Texas wildcatter, as well that of an IT professional. 

At one time or another in her life she’s called places as diverse as Scourie, Scotland; Austin, Abilene and Midland, Texas; Singapore; Paris; and Auckland, New Zealand — home. She is proud to be the daughter of Sue Ashby and Harold Smoot and the step-daughter of Letitia Fairbanks Smoot. 

She currently lives with her husband Danny Garrett, three cats, and one happy only-dog, Moxie in the Texas Hill Country.

Additional information about Princess April Morning-Glory can be found on the book’s website.

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Thanks for stopping by today. Are you familiar with the Fairbanks’ name? Did you have a favorite fairy tale you enjoyed when you were growing up? I’ve include the book trailer for Princess April Morning-Glory for your enjoyment. It shows some of the beautiful illustrations and text from the book.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kendra Leigh Castle's Dark Dynasties Series Continues

If you’re a fan of romantic paranormal books, then I’m sure you’re familiar coverwith author Kendra Leigh Castle’s Dark Dynasties series. If you’re not familiar, then let me introduce you to this intriguing series and this delightful author’s latest book.

The fourth installment in the wickedly sexy paranormal series, Immortal Craving, was recently released. 

    Wild, uncontrollable, and powerful, the lion-shifting Rakshasa were hunted down by vicious rival vampires who feared their dark, magical abilities. Somehow one survived, and now, after centuries of hiding, Tasmin Singh reemerges as fierce and fearless as ever at the door of the Lilim queen, seeking answers . . . and sanctuary.
    The human best friend to a vampire queen, Bay Harper traded her quiet, comfortable life for a world filled with immortal assassins, warring werewolves . . . and this hauntingly sexy shifter. Only Bay's gentle touch can subdue Tasmin's inner demons, even as he brings out a passion and sensuality she never imagined she could feel.
    But when a bloody struggle threatens to tear them apart, can Bay risk everything on her faith in him-or will his dark side be stronger than even their all-consuming desire? 

If you’re new to the series, here’s a quick look at what it’s all about: 

The Dark Dynasties - Blood is power.  Desire is destiny.

    Welcome to the world of night, where an entire civilization lives and breathes just out of sight of our own. For thousands of years, the great vampire dynasties have ruled the lesser bloodlines with an iron fist, taking what they want, when they want it, and feuding amongst themselves over petty intrigues and imagined slights. 
    In the roving vampire courts of the powerful, your mark, a physical manifestation of the bloodline you were sired into, is your destiny. Lowblood or highblood, nothing can change a vampire’s place in this arcane society. 
    But change is coming to those who have dominion over the dark….and as new dynasties rise and ancient powers fall, only one thing is certain: nothing will ever be the same again.

The other books in the series include: Dark Awakening (July 2011), Midnight Reckoning (Jan. 2012), and Shadow Rising (Aug. 2012).

If I’ve peaked your interest in this tantalizing series, be sure to drop back by next Wednesday, the 27th. Author Kendra Leigh Castle is scheduled to join us for more fun. You can learn more about the new book, her series and her writing.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. In the paranormal genre, do you have a favorite category (for lack of a better word) you like to follow such as vampires, werewolves, witches, etc.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Veiled Revenge by Ellen Byerrum

When it comes to fashion, no one knows it quite like Lacey 9780451239518Smithsonian, ‘Crimes of Fashion’ columnist in Washington, D.C.

Working as a fashion reporter in Washington, D.C., Lacey dishes advice to the clothing-clueless big wigs on the political scene as she improves the town one fashion disaster at a time.

In Veiled Revenge Lacey’s best friend, Stella, is finally getting married and fashion is the utmost importance when planning a wedding. But the clothes may have a different effect for this wedding party. Marie Largesse, bridesmaid and fortune teller, bring a stunning Russian shawl to Stella’s bachelorette party. She warns the shawl can either be a blessing or curse for the one who wears it.

A party crasher mocks the shawl and the next day is found dead. Could the shawl really be cursed? Lacey believes otherwise and sets out to find the killer in order to give her friend the ‘happily every after’ she deserves.

Author Ellen Byerrum, a journalist herself, has created a realistic protagonist in Lacey that readers are drawn to and adore. The cast of supporting characters are well developed, engaging and add to the intrigue of the story. The reader is placed in Washington, D.C., amid the action.

The story flows smoothly and keeps you guessing until the end. With twists and turns, Veiled Revenge will be hard to put down once you begin. Bits of fashion tips are also scattered throughout the story as an added bonus.

Veiled Revenge is the 9th installment in the Crime of Fashion Mystery series, but can be read on its own. However, to really appreciate the protagonist and the journey she has made, I would recommend reading the series in order. The others books include: Killer Hair (August 2003), Designer Knockoff (August 2004), Hostile Makeover (August 2005), Raiders of the Lost Corset (July 2006), Grave Apparel (July 2007), Armed and Glamorous (July 2008), Shot Through Velvet (February 2011), and Death on Heels (February 2012).

Author Ellen Byerrum’s website is

Veiled Revenge by Ellen Byerrum, A Crime of Fashion Mystery, Obsidian, @2013, ISBN: 978-0451239518, Paperback, 336 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks for stopping by today. Do you enjoy books set in the nation’s capital?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Salon: The Alphabet And Chocolate

Photo Source Here
Valentine’s Day has already come and gone but February is still the month of love.

Today’s Sunday Salon is the perfect time to share two things we can’t help but love - kids and chocolate. 

Today as we relax and discuss this week’s book selections, I have two books from unrelated genres to share. The first is a children’s book and the second is a cookbook devoted to luscious chocolate. So make way to that comfortable chair, make sure you have a full cup (or glass) of your favorite beverage, settle back, and let us talk books.

9781460200476_p0_v1_s260x420Teaching youngsters the alphabet should be a fun experience for them and you as well.

Author Linda Ann Jones assists in that task with her book, Meet The Capital Letters, the first installment in her Alphabet Anatomy series.

Bringing the letters to life are the charming illustrations by Branson Jones, teenage son of the author. Youngsters will delight in the quirky drawings. They will be laughing their way through the alphabet as they learn.

The author has used rhyming verses with each illustration to help youngsters better recognize the letter. In addition, youngsters are aided in how to write each letter through its anatomy. An example: ‘F, fit and fine, both arms straight to the right,….’

Meet The Capital Letters is a fun way to teach youngsters letter identification. It will also prove to be an entertaining way to encourage youngsters to learn writing without it seeming like a chore.

This will be a useful addition to a youngster’s library and prepare them for the next installment, Meet The Lower Case Letters.

Alphabet Anatomy: Meet The Capital Letters by Linda Ann Jones, Illustrated by Branson Jones, Friesen Press, @2012, ISBN: 978-1460200476, Paperback, 32 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book as part of a promotion and it was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Who can resist tempting decadent chocolate recipes?

Fine Cooking Chocolate contains 150 recipes of mouth-watering treats9781600859588_p0_v1_s600 to satisfy any chocolate lover’s desires. The cookbook is sectioned into six categories: cookies, brownies & bars; cakes, breads & more; pies & tarts; puddings, mousses & more; ice creams & frozen treats; and fudge truffles & more. There is also a metric equivalent chart, an index, and a list of contributors to the book.

To add to the tempting recipes, there are some 175 beautiful, full color photographs. Many show the end result of the recipes, while others depict step-by-step techniques.

The recipes have been triple-tested by the Fine Cooking test kitchen staff. Additional bits of advice and tips are included throughout the book for extra assistance.

Whether you’re a pro in the kitchen or just beginning, Fine Cooking Chocolate has recipes to suit your needs. A quick favorite of mine is for ‘Coffee-Cocoa Snack Cake.’ It only uses 10 ingredients and can be prepared with little difficulty.

The recipes are easy to follow with detailed instructions. The only drawback I found with this delightful cookbook was the binding. It doesn’t lie flat for easy access when cooking. However, over time the binding will probably become more relaxed for easier use.

Fine Cooking Chocolate is a ‘must have’ cookbook for the chocolate lover’s kitchen. Be warned, it will be difficult to choose which recipe to begin with.

Fine Cooking Chocolate: 150 Delicious and Decadent Recipes by Editors of Fine Cooking, Taunton Press, @2013, ISBN: 978-1600859588, Paperback, 240 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks so much for visiting here today. Do you have a favorite book you’ve discovered this week you’d like to share?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

God of Mischief by George Rowe

This is one book that was much more than I had expected.

This is a very frank and candid look at life as an undercover informant9781451667349 in one of the nation’s most notorious motorcycle gangs. Author George Rowe tells it as he remembers it. He doesn’t romanticize his role in the gang’s activities or his part in bringing the gang down in March of 2006.

If you don’t care to read foul language or straight forward talk, then be warned this story contains both. But it is presented in a manner fitting the story.

Rowe was no angel to begin with. He grew up in a hard life becoming a drug dealer and convicted felon. But there was still good in him as he attempted to clean up his act. The major turning point, however, came when members of the Vagos outlaw motorcycle gang brutally beat up a friend of his. Days later that friend went ‘missing’ and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Rowe wanted revenge and his hometown out from under the gang that terrorized it. For the first time in history a private citizen, Rowe, volunteered to work undercover. He would bring the gang down from the inside. For 3 years Rowe was known as ‘Big George’ walking the walk, talking the talk of the Vagos. He even became involved with an addict named Jenna without telling her who he really was. In fact, as he helped bring the brotherhood down around them, she was pregnant with his child.

Gods of Mischief gives a raw look at the lifestyle Rowe lived. As a reader, the story is a roller coaster ride of emotions. The story flows smoothly leading readers on the highs and lows of the double life. A number of black and white photographs are also included throughout the book. They depict numerous members of the Vagos.

Once all was said and done, some things changed and others remained the same. In the end, it’s sad to know Rowe is the one who really lost the most in his attempt to make life better for others. He remains in the U.S. Witness Security Program as the ones he helped put in jail have vowed to find him.

Gods of Mischief is a gritty memoir. It’s hard hitting with a powerful punch. It’ll give you a new appreciation for the unsung undercover heroes helping to rid our country of drugs, violence and the like.

This is a gripping story that you won’t be able to put down once you turn that first page.

God of Mischief, My Undercover Vendetta to Take Down the Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang by George Rowe, Touchstone Hardcover/Simon & Schuster, @2013, ISBN: 978-1451667349, 336 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy reading books based on true events?