Thursday, July 9, 2020

New Witch on the Block (+ Giveaway)


New Witch on the Block
by Louisa West
* (Midlife in Mosswood, #1)
* Publication date: June 30th, 2020
* Genres: Adult, Paranormal

She thought she was running away from her past, not catching up with it.
Rosemary Bell just wants to live a quiet, happy life and raise her daughter as far away from her toxic ex-husband as she can get. But when they move into a decrepit cottage in the woods of Mosswood, Georgia, Rosie realizes her life will never be simple.
A gang of meddling neighborhood do-gooders want to run her out of town. The vicious laundromat machines keep eating her spare change. Not to mention her buff Irish stalker who insists that he’s a Witch King and that it’s her royal destiny to be his Queen.
And to top it all off, strange things keep happening around Rosie when she least expects it…

She could deal with it all, but her ex won’t rest until he tracks her down. When her ability to protect her daughter is threatened, Rosie shows them all that nobody messes with the new witch on the block.
Practical Magic meets Bridget Jones’ Diary in this fun, heart-warming short novel about starting over, putting family first, and finding love when you least expect it.
EXCERPT:
Surprisingly, her mind settled on men. It had been twenty-two years since she had been single, and at least twenty since Randy had started policing where her eyes lingered. It had been a long damn time since she’d had a man make her feel… well—anything, other than revulsion. So, alone in her bathtub, she allowed her thoughts to go where they willed.
Like to the dimple in Ben’s left cheek when he had smiled at her that afternoon. Ben was cinnamon-spiced apple pie, with a generous serving of cream. Comforting, clean-cut. Wholesome.
If Ben was apple pie, then Randy was wilted bitter greens. Hard to swallow, and no matter how much you tolerated, it didn’t ever seem like there was less of it on your plate.
Declan was something else altogether. She replayed the way he’d swooped her up in his arms like she was as light as a dried leaf. She remembered the strength in his grip when he’d held her on the playground. He was full-bodied whiskey, with a hint of chili powder.
A deep exhale escaped her at the thought. She slid her hands over her abdomen, suds skimming down her legs as the candlelight cast enchanting shadows across the scene.
And then she was in the dark.
Rosie froze before realizing that the breeze must have snuffed out her candle. She sighed into the darkness, not wanting to break the spell she had been under and get out of the bath yet.
She explored her body like it was a city she’d once known well but had lost her way in recently. Strangely, her touch didn’t feel like her own touch. Her hands felt somehow larger and rougher, even though that was impossible. Her mind focused on a crooked smile, smoky jade green eyes, and a head of shaggy ginger hair that she longed to pull.
When her release came, she felt like she was coming alive again. All the tension of the past few years—leaving Randy, worrying for her daughter and herself—melted into a mellowness that she’d never known. She sighed again, but it was a lighter and more contented sound than before. Rosie ran her hands through the cooling water and then up over her face. The sensation was liberating, and she felt more like herself than she had for decades.
And when Rosie opened her eyes, the candle was burning once more.

NEW WITCH ON THE BLOCK is available at the following sites:

Author Bio:
Author Louisa West
Author by day, Netflix connoisseur by night.

Louisa likes Pina Coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain. Determined to empty her brain of stories, she writes across several genres including fantasy, speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, and romance.

She lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, and drinks more coffee than is good for her. When she’s not writing or researching projects, Louisa enjoys spending time with her family, and Harriet The Great (Dane). Hobbies include playing video games, watching copious amounts of tv, and various craft-related initiatives.

She strongly believes that the truth is still out there.

For more on Louisa and her writing, you can connect with her on the following sites:
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Doesn't Rosie sound like the kind of woman you don't want to threaten her child? 




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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Still Knife Painting (+ Giveaway)


There’s just something about cozy mysteries that draws me back time and time again and today I have a new book to share with you. I’m delighted to be a part of author Cheryl Hollon’s Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for her latest release, STILL KNIFE PAINTING, the first installment in her Paint and Shine Mystery series.

As part of the tour Miranda Trent, owner of Paint & Shine (an adventure tours business), joins us to tell us a little bit about what’s going on.

Still Knife Painting
by Cheryl Hollon
* Cozy Mystery
* 1st in Series (A Paint & Shine Mystery)
* Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
* Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
* ISBN-10: 1496725247
* ISBN-13: 978-1496725240
* Digital ASIN: B07W8VL149

Miranda Trent has set up a sweet life in a scenic corner of Appalachia—until she stumbles across the trail of a killer . . .

After inheriting her uncle’s Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky—smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest—Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips of local moonshine, followed by a mouthwatering sampler of the best in southern cooking.

To Miranda’s delight, Paint & Shine is a total success—until someone kills the cook. As the town’s outsider, suspicion naturally falls on Miranda. Murdering the best biscuit baker of Red River Gorge is a high crime in these parts. Miranda will have to prove her innocence before she’s moved from farmhouse to jail cell faster than she can say “white lightning” . . .


Now please join me in giving a warm welcome to Miranda. Welcome, Miranda.

Hello. I'm Miranda Trent, owner of Paint & Shine. Thanks, Mason, I am so pleased to be a guest here at Thoughts in Progress. My brand-new business specializes in adventure tours set the Daniel Boone National Forest in eastern Kentucky. My clients paint a picture and then sample a traditional southern meal paired with moonshine. I've been back in Kentucky for a few months now and the business is kicking off pretty soon, now.

Do you speak two languages? I do. One for my friends up in New York City where I nearly starved to death as an artist, and one language here at the family farmhouse in Wolfe County, Kentucky.

It is not as weird as you think. You see, my mom and dad were both born in Kentucky, but they moved up to Dayton, Ohio, right after I was born. So, I grew up with a plain Midwestern speech pattern. Pretty much broadcast radio with a flat accent and cheerful tone.

But my summers were spent in my mother's childhood farmhouse with my grandparents at first, then when they passed, with my mother's brother, my Uncle Gene. I loved those summers in the fresh, wild, pastoral, lazy, time of no time Kentucky highlands. When I was there, I learned a slow, drawl that used entirely different words.

I didn't see the issue until I went to New York and heard a million different versions of American English. I chose to stick to my Midwestern ways, but I revert to a drawl as soon as I step foot in the farmhouse.

Do you or do you know someone who speaks with more than one accent?
I enjoy this kind of research. It helps me relax after a stressful day dealing with problem clients and construction issues. Especially when the cocktails connect so strongly with my family. I feel closer to my beloved late Uncle Gene when I'm mixing up a moonshine cocktail. it gives me a great deal of comfort.

Miranda, thanks for joining us today and sharing this background with us. I like the idea of speaking two languages the way you do.

For those who aren’t familiar with author Cheryl Hollon, let me share some background with you.

Author Cheryl Hollon
Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India.

Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks.

Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon.

Still Knife Painting can be purchased at the following sites:


Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Have you ever taken part in an adventure tour like Miranda conducts? Doesn’t it sound like fun?

Be sure to follow along with the tour to find out more about Cheryl and Miranda by visiting the following bloggers. Don’t forget to enter the wonderful giveaway.

June 29 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 30 - The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
June 30 - The Book Decoder – REVIEW 
July 1 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT
July 1 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
July 2 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW
July 2 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
July 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 3 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
July 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 4 – OFF
July 5 – Cozy Up with Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 5 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 6 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW
July 6 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 7 – Brianne's Book Reviews - REVIEW
July 7 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
July 8 – Thoughts in Progress – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 9 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 10 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
July 10 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 11 – Here's How It Happened – GUEST POST
July 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
July 12 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 13 – La libreria di Beppe - SPOTLIGHT

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (+ Giveaway)


I’m delighted today to be a part of author R.L. Syme’s Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for her latest release, Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake, the fourth installment in her Matchbaker Mysteries series.

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake
By R.L. Syme
* Cozy Mystery
* 4th in Series (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
* Publisher: Hummingbird Books (June 16, 2020)
* Number of Pages: 240
* Digital ASIN: B0878RT482

I never thought Edward would come back...

When the court case against my ex was finished, I thought we were finished, too. But it turns out, it was only the beginning.

RECIPE INCLUDED: The Larcenous Lava Cake


Please join me now in giving a warm welcome to Vangie as she joins us to answers some questions. Welcome, Vangie.

What were your first thoughts when you found out your ex was in town?

Vangie:
Honestly, I was dumbfounded that he would come here. I wasn't sure how he found me, and I definitely wasn't happy to see him. My first thought was that he was here to do something nefarious, and boy... was I right!

Tell us a little bit about why you like your community and decided to open a bakery.

Vangie:
I love this little, quaint Montana tourist town. It's right outside a National Park, so there are a lot of tourists, and I figured... what do tourists like more right now than macarons and cool treats? Turns out, nothing!

How do you come up with your delicious recipes?

Vangie:
I definitely use the people around me as inspiration. We do a lot of recipes based on what I think an individual person would like to eat. So, I'm always making food for other people, and about other people. This particular recipe in this book was made for my ex. It was a food he liked, and I added some spice and some unique ingredients and made him a dessert that represented him to me. I think he liked it...

Vangie, thanks for stopping by today and sharing this insight into your story.

For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here is some background on R.L.

Author R.L. Syme
She is a writer of sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope.

A foodie and baker of yummy delights, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things.

For more information on the author and her writing, connect with her on the following sites:

Twitter: @beck_a_tron
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2xux8Ii

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake is available to purchase at Amazon 

Thanks everyone for dropping by today during Vangie’s visit. Do you enjoy books that feature recipes? Do you try recipes you find in cozy mystery stories?

Be sure to follow Vangie on her tour by stopping by the following sites and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below.

July 6 – I'm All About Books - SPOTLIGHT
July 6 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
July 7 – Christy's Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 7 – Thoughts in Progress – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 7 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
July 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 8 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
July 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 9 – Baroness' Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
July 9 – ebook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
July 10 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
July 10 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews - SPOTLIGHT
July 11 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT
July 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
July 12 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW
July 12 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
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Monday, July 6, 2020

Puppy Kisses (+ Giveaway)


With the title of PUPPY KISSES who could resist this charming story by Lucy Gilmore.

Puppy Kisses
by Lucy Gilmore
* Forever Home #3
* Publication Date: 5/26/2020

These adorable service puppies are matchmakers in the making…

Dawn Vasquez never takes life too seriously. But when she rescues a golden retriever named Gigi, Dawn begins to imagine what it’d be like to settle down and let someone rely on her for a change. Unfortunately, Adam Dearborn—a handsome, hopelessly buttoned-up cattle rancher in need of a guide dog—has also fallen in love with the little ball of fluff and stubbornly insists that no other animal will do.

Adam isn’t sure what drives him to fight to keep Gigi for himself, but he suspects it has something to do with his growing—and unfortunate—attachment to Dawn. Her whirlwind spirit and sunny disposition might make her a delight to be around, but they also make her unsuited for the difficult life of a rancher. He should be able to put her out of his head. But what’s a love-struck cowboy to do when what he wants and what he needs have never seemed so far apart? And can he allow himself to take a chance on everything Dawn has to offer: puppy kisses, puppy love...and her.

An excerpt for your reading pleasure.

Mentioning her lips had to have been some kind of tactic. Just the word—lips—had him remembering their shape and size, the way the bottom one was so much plumper than the top, how good they felt when pressed against his bare skin. She always warned him to scrub hard before he met up with any other women, since she left a trail of lipstick all over his body.
He wasn’t seeing any other women, but there was no way he was telling her that. She already had him under her spell. He didn’t need to be under her power as well.
“Thank you for the offer,” he said tightly. “But I already like—”
“—the one you can’t have,” Dawn finished for him. She was definitely closer now, the unmistakable nonscent of her mixing with the hay and dirt to whirl his senses. “That seems to be a sort of thing with you, doesn’t it?”
He ran his hands through his hair, since it seemed suddenly important that he do something with them. It was also important to do something with this situation. If he let her continue like this, unchecked and uninhibited, there was good chance neither one of them was getting any work done today.
“As I recall, I’ve had you plenty of times already,” he said, a challenge in his voice. “In fact, I bet I could have you right here and now.”
Adam didn’t know if he was the one who’d drawn closer to her or if she’d stepped up to him, but there was no longer anything between them. Not a puppy, not air, definitely not common sense. The jut of her breasts pressed softly against his chest, the toes of her shoes touching the tips of his work boots.
His hands suddenly decided they had minds of their own. Moving forward to clasp her around the waist, they touched silky fabric and heat and a patch of skin where her shirt didn’t quite reach her waistband. That alone should have been enough to stop him—what kind of a person wore a tiny, silken shirt to a working ranch?—but of course he didn’t. That touch of skin set off something inexplicable inside him.
It always did. That was the problem. Words could be ignored and the sound of her laughter pressed deep down inside him, but one graze of his fingertips on her body and he was lost.
“I’ve always wanted to have sex on a pile of hay,” Dawn said, calling his bluff. She arched into his touch, allowing his hand to slide up her back. He encountered nothing but soft skin and the gentle curve of her spine, both of which promised more of the same, should he give in and really cop a feel. Which was tempting for a lot of reasons, including the fact that Dawn was stacked in ways that seemed wholly against nature. “Surely there must be one or two of those in the barn we could try?”
“There are.” He brought his lips close to her ear, though he was careful not to press against the gently pounding pulse below it. The moment the kissing started, all other bets were off—including the one that had a Great Dane puppy at their feet and a golden retriever puppy napping under Phoebe’s desk. That was the one thing he knew for sure. Dawn had come out here with the sole intention of luring him into lowering his defenses, in using her incredible body and the promise of what it could do to get her own way. She wanted Methuselah, and she’d stop at nothing to get her.
Well, two could play that way. In fact, he was becoming something of an expert at this particular game.
“We could slip in there right now, and no one would know where we are,” he murmured. Dawn arched her neck to give him better access, but he didn’t kiss, didn’t touch. Only teased. “I could throw you into the biggest stack of hay and rip this tiny scrap of a shirt from your body.”
A slight, guttural sound indicated how much she liked the direction this conversation was going. Typical. With Dawn, the anticipation, the clandestine nature of their meetings, was half the fun.
Who was he kidding? Where that woman was concerned, it was probably all the fun.
“No one will think to look for us for hours,” he added, still in that low, crooning voice. “It’ll just be me and you, our bodies slick with sweat.”
Dawn’s hips pressed against his, her arms coiling around his neck so that her entire body could melt against him. This was how she always struck, coiled and soft and yielding.
So he struck back.
“Well, that and the snakes.”
Instead of pulling back, Dawn only laughed and clasped her hands tighter around his neck. “Good thing I happen to like snakes,” she said. Her mouth brushed lightly against his, fluttering like a pair of butterfly wings. “Like the alligators, they make such nice shoes. Purses too.”
Even though Adam’s body thrummed with anticipation, burning hot in all the places it touched hers, he kept his tone level. “We also get the occasional badger, even though they’re pretty rare in these parts. Rats are almost a certainty.”
“Why, Adam Dearborn, are you trying to sweet-talk me?”
No, dammit. He was trying to do the exact opposite. Why did this woman refuse to act like a normal human being? She should run at the mention of rats, not press her hips against his until he ached.
“I’m just making sure you know what you’re getting into, that’s all,” he said. His voice sounded strained to his own ears. “Things can get pretty nasty out here in the wilderness.”
“That’s funny,” she purred. “So can I.”
***
Excerpted from Puppy Kisses by Lucy Gilmore. © 2020 by Lucy Gilmore. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Author Lucy Gilmore
Lucy Gilmore is a contemporary romance author with a love of puppies, rainbows, and happily ever afters. She began her reading (and writing) career as an English literature major and ended as a die-hard fan of romance in all forms.

When she’s not rolling around with her two Akitas, she can be found hiking, biking, or with her nose buried in a book. Visit her online at http://lucygilmore.com. She lives in the Spokane, WA area.

PUPPY KISSES is available at the following sites:

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you think a dog (or any pet for that matter) can change your life?