Friday, July 31, 2015

A TWIST OF HATE by V.R. Barkowski

A Twist of HateThe past comes flying back to the present bringing secrets, sadness, memories and betrayal in V.R. Barkowski’s captivating debut novel, A TWIST OF HATE.

Former homicide inspector turned security consultant Del Miller is surprised that his parents loaned the local museum their painting of the Cézanne. When it turns up missing his mother, who works at the museum, asks for his help in finding the painting. Del refuses insisting the FBI be called in as the painting, smuggled out of Nazi occupied France with Del’s then-infant father, holds great sentimental value, but is also priceless.

Before the investigation into the missing painting begins, the museum director is found dead under unusual circumstances. While the director confesses to the theft in a note, the painting remains missing and Del’s father becomes a suspect in the suspicious death.

Things continue to get complicated when an allegation is made that Del’s grandfather stole the painting from a Paris gallery during the war. The tension builds when the grandson of the long-deceased gallery owner comes forward to claim the missing painting and is later found dead.

Faced with a missing family heirloom, a father suspected of murder and new revelations about his family, Del is determined to find the painting and set things right. Meanwhile, Del is also dealing with personal issues as he tries to take his relationship with his best friend’s ex-wife to the next level.

The author blends the past with the present fluently giving readers glimpses of what the people in France endured during the war. Her eye for detail and rich descriptions places the reader alongside those fleeing for their lives during the war, as well as those living in present day San Francisco.

The story is gripping and moves at a steady pace. The suspense holds you spellbound as the events and secrets unfold. The emotions of hardship, betrayal, love and friendship come through in waves.

The secondary story of Del, his best friend and his best friend’s ex-wife ties in nicely. Though bits of a tragedy involving the three is a tad vague, it doesn’t take away from the story. In fact, the trio’s bond adds depth to the story.

A TWIST OF HATE will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. The author grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. The story doesn’t leave you when you close the book the final time as the characters become ones you want to know more about.

Author V.R. Barkowski’s website is HERE.

A Twist of Hate by V.R. Barkowski, Cengage/Five Star, @2015, ISBN: 978-1432830182, Hardcover, 339 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of 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. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

I appreciate you stopping by today. I hope I’ve enticed you to check out A TWIST OF HATE by fellow blogger and author V.R. Barkowski. This is a fascinating book about the past and the present. Do you enjoy stories that are based in the past? How do you feel about books that have some history tied in with the modern-day plot?

*This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones - Narrated by Lorelei King - Thoughts in ProgressTales involving the Grim Reaper can be scary, hilarious and unpredictable if New York Times Bestselling Author Darynda Jones is telling them.

Narrator Lorelei King does a masterful job bringing the Grim Reaper (aka Charlie Davidson) to life in EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK, the eighth installment in the Charlie Davidson series by Jones. King gives very distinct voices to the assortment of characters. Her varied inflection and volume matches the tension and high jinx throughout the story. King’s pacing is perfect. She’ll have you believing there’s more than one narrator.

Fleeing from 12 hellhounds, Charlie and her close group of friends and family have relocated to an abandoned convent. There she’s awaiting the birth of her daughter who is prophesized to do battle with Satan (who is also her grandfather on her father’s side).

Charlie is unable to leave the consecrated grounds of the convent. If she does, she’ll endure the wrath of the hellhounds. Her confinement, however, doesn’t stop her from working cases or getting into trouble.

When her daughter is born, Charlie quickly realizes everything (and everyone) is not exactly as it seems. She’s faced with some of the toughest decisions she’s ever had to make. The Grim Reaper may be a mother now, but she’s still got to play hard ball with demons and other worldly creatures.

The author has a mesmerizing way of making Charlie’s paranormal world seem real. She has created characters that are likable and realistic with a few hidden talents.

The story moves at a quick pace and flows smoothly from beginning to end. The action is hard hitting and breathless, even as laughter is mingled throughout.

This is the eighth installment in the series and readers can listen/read it as a standalone. While new readers/listeners won’t be lost not having knowledge of prior installments, it is a much better story if the series is read/listened to in order. Fans of the series will enjoy that this installment ends preparing for Charlie’s next adventure.

Twelve hellhounds and Satan himself is no match for the Grim Reaper when she becomes a mom.

Author Darynda Jones’s website is HERE.

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones, Charlie Davidson Series Book #8, Narrated by Lorelei King, Macmillan Audio, @2015, ISBN: 978-1427261069, Unabridged, 8 Discs, Run Time: 9 Hours 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of 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 thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you find EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK as enjoyable as I did. This is a fun series I’ve enjoyed from the beginning. Do you have a series you enjoy that you just can’t wait for the next installment? Are you a fan of Charlie Davidson?

*This post contains affiliate links

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

And Then He Kissed Me {+ Giveaway}

And Then He Kissed Me by Kim Amos - Thoughts in ProgressI’m delighted to be participating in the Release Day Tour Blitz for author Kim Amos and the release of her latest romance, AND THEN HE KISSED ME, the second installment in her White Pine Novel series.

In celebration of the release, five print copies of AND THEN HE KISSED ME are being given away. Please see the end of the post for more details.

Here’s a brief synopsis of this charming story:

          Five years ago, Audrey Tanner flung caution to the wind and herself into the arms of an emerald-eyed bad boy biker she met at the White Pine Asparagus Festival. Two blissful weeks together convinced her that Kieran Callaghan was The One-until The One blew town without a word, leaving her brokenhearted. Now, starting a new job at the new Harley Davidson showroom, Audrey is floored to meet her new boss: Kieran. He's still hot as hell, but she won't fall for his sexy smile again. This time, she's calling the shots.
          Kieran never thought he'd return to White Pine, Minnesota, much less see Audrey again. Gorgeous and smart as ever, she's just as irresistible as he remembered. She still doesn't know why he had to leave-or that he's missed her every day since. But he can't deny he wants more than the no-strings fling Audrey proposes. As things between them heat up, Kieran must choose between the secret he's sworn to keep and the woman he never stopped loving.

AND THEN HE KISSED ME is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, BAM! and Goodreads.
Here are my thoughts on the book ………

Emotions jump off the beginning pages of the latest novel by author Kim Amos and don’t stop until the very end.

Amos has created a heroine readers will adore. She has spunk, drive and attitude with raw emotions mixed in. She learns to stand up for herself and what she wants.

The characters are well-developed, realistic and easy to like. The tension between the heroine and the hero is intriguing. The story moves quickly, but holds your attention.
The small town atmosphere comes to life through the author’s rich descriptions and vivid details. The easy flow of the story draws you in, while the enchanting tale of second chance love captives you.

While this is the second installment in the White Pine Novel series, AND THEN HE KISSED ME can be read as a standalone. New readers won’t be left in dark if this is their first visit to White Pine. This is a perfect summer read for the romance lover in you.

And Then He Kissed Me by Kim Amos, A White Pine Novel Book #2, Forever, @2015, ISBN: 978-1455557493, Mas Market Paperback, 368 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me as part of the author’s Release Day Tour Blitz in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.


A Midwesterner whose roots run deep, Kim Amos is a writer living in Michigan with her husband and three furry animals.

For more on Kim and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


This giveaway is for five (5) print copies of AND THEN HE KISSED ME. To enter just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a bit to load, so please be patient.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you’ll check out this fun new romance and the complete series. When you associate motorcycles with ‘bad boy’ images? Are you a fan of second chance romances?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Love Muffin and Chai Latte {+ Giveaway}

Love Muffin And Chai Latte by Anya Wylde - Thoughts in Progress{Note: The winner of this giveaway is Barbara T. Congratulations to Barbara and thanks to everyone who entered the contest.}
Clear your calendar, turn on your voicemail and get cozy on the sofa as Author Anya Wylde has decided to dip her toes into the world of contemporary romance.

Anya’s recently released LOVE MUFFIN AND CHAI LATTE, a modern romantic comedy, is now available from Amazon for $0.99 cents. However to celebrate the release, Anya is giving away one copy of this fun story to a lucky visitor to Thoughts in Progress. Please see the end of the post for more details.

LOVE MUFFIN AND CHAI LATTE follows the journey of Tabitha Lee Timmons as she deals with financial stress, loony relatives, some crooks, an unhappy bride to be, a grumpy old man and two heartbreakingly handsome men.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the delightful story:  

        Tabby believes she has found the one in Chris. Chris appears to think the same for he pops the question, and soon Tabby finds herself engaged.
        Tabby thinks her biggest problem is picking out the wedding dress and refining the dinner menu. Chris begs to differ. He thinks her biggest problem is convincing his wealthy grandfather that she is perfect for the family or he risks losing a big fat inheritance.
        Convincing his grandfather turns out to be more complicated than she anticipates. For one, he wants her to seek the blessings of his spiritual adviser. The trouble is . . . his adviser lives in India.
        So, for the sake of love, Tabby journeys into the heart of India and battles monkeys, crooks, Delhi belly and the advisor himself in order to win over Chris’s family.
But while she is trying to make sense of an exotic new world, she begins to wonders why her heart beats madly for a man who is not her fiancé but his very handsome cousin….

For those who aren’t familiar with his inspiring author, here’s a bit of background on her.

Anya Wylde lives in Ireland along with her husband and a fat French poodle (now on a diet). She can cook a mean curry, and her idea of exercise is occasionally stretching her toes. She holds a degree in English literature and adores reading and writing.


This giveaway is for one eBook copy of LOVE MUFFIN AND CHAI LATTE. The deadline to enter is 12 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

To enter, please send me an email at with the subject title: Love Muffin and Chair Latte Giveaway. Be sure to include an email address through which I can reach you if you should win. A winner will be selected at random and notified by email to send their complete mailing information. The notified winner will have 72 hours to reply before another winner will be selected. Thanks in advance for entering and Good Luck!!

Thanks for dropping by today. I hope I’ve enticed you to check out Anya’s new released LOVE MUFFIN AND CHAI LATTE. Doesn’t the title just get your imagination going? What are your thoughts on the cover? Doesn’t it look relaxing and inviting?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs

Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs - Thoughts in ProgressFinding a book (or series) that not only entertains you, but also encourages you to expand your culinary interest is a plus. Author Laura Childs does just that with her Tea Shop Mystery series and its latest installment, MING TEA MURDER.

This time around Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia ‘Theo’ Browning finds more than she bargained for when attending a black tie affair at the Gibbes Museum. Theo attends the gala opening for a genuine eighteenth century Chinese teahouse exhibit. Discovering more than Chinese tea history, she finds museum patron Edgar Webster murdered in an old fashion photo booth.

When her boyfriend Max, who directs public relations for the museum, becomes a suspect in the murder, Theo is determined to find the killer. She knows the real killer was among the crème de la crème of Charleston society that attended the gala. Theo won’t stop until Max is cleared.

The author has created likable, realistic characters readers enjoy getting to know better in each installment. The interaction among the main core of characters gives the book a feel of family and longstanding friendships.

The Charleston setting quickly draws readers in as does the vivid descriptions of the Indigo Tea Shop and its activities. Mingled among the mystery is bits of history concerning Chinese tea houses. Readers don’t have to enjoy tea and the pleasantries that go with it to enjoy MING TEA MURDER. But for those who do enjoy tea, there’s an added bonus of tea-related recipes, tea time tips, and tea party theme suggestions.

This delightful cozy mystery is perfect reading for those hot summer evenings. The combination of murder mystery, tasty treats, refreshing tea and intriguing characters makes for enjoyable reading. 

Author Laura Childs’s website can be found HERE.

Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs, A Tea Shop Mystery Book #16, Berkley, @2015, ISBN: 978-0425281642, Hardcover, 336 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope I’ve enticed you to check out this fun cozy murder mystery a bit more. This is a fascinating series. Do you have a favorite series you’d like to share with us? Are you a tea drinker? If so, do you like it hot or cold, sweeten or unsweetened, brewed or steeped?

*This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Poolside Beauty Welcome Box

Pool Side Beauty Box - Thoughts in ProgressWhile we focus our attention on books most of the time here at Thoughts in Progress, we do enjoy many other things and especially like to share special bargains with you when we can.

I’ve recently become affiliated with Julep Maven and discovered they have a wonderful Poolside Beauty Welcome Box offer that is perfect for summer outings. The beautiful colors they offer will have you looking impeccable as you enjoy your favorite summer activities.

The Poolside Beauty Welcome Box (a $78 value) includes two Luxe Lip Treatments and two seasonal nail polishes. The cost of the box is only $2.99 (for the shipping) and is for NEW Maven subscribers.

 Offer: Join Maven and get the Poolside Beauty Box FREE ($78 value) - just pay $2.99 shipping
Box Contains: 4 pieces (2 seasonal polishes and 2 Luxe Lip Treatments)
Box Value: $78
Offer code: SUMMER 

There are numerous benefits to being a Maven subscriber. Here are just a few:

*     Julep Maven is the only customizable box of full-size, limited-run nail colors and beauty innovations. That means no surprises, no dupes or colors you don't like. You can see what is in your box each month and have the option of swapping out colors/products you already have or don't want.
*     Julep Maven is affordable. You get over $40 of full-size products in every box for just $24.99 per month.
*     Mavens get benefits all month long at Julep - like 20% off, free shipping, early access to secret sales and more - imagine what you can save on your beauty shopping!
*     A Maven subscription is also a great gift for the nail polish and beauty product lover in your life.

This is a great way to try new products or to surprise someone with a special gift.
Thanks for stopping by today. Okay ladies do you have a large collection of nail polish or lip treatment but can’t resist when you find a new shade? Do you like finding new beauty products to try? Are you a Maven subscriber or have you heard of the program? 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

Image notes: Photo is representative of the products included, however actual colors may vary based on stock availability.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild

Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild - Thoughts in ProgressAuthor Nicholas Guild explores a different aspect of a serial killer in his latest psychological thriller, BLOOD TIES.

Guild explores the mind of the serial killer, but also his relationship with his son and the effects his madness has had on his son.

Young women are being brutally murdered in the San Francisco Bay Area. A lucky breaks leads homicide detective Ellen Ridley of the SFPD to believe she’s found a link to the killer. But as more evidence comes into play, Ridley discovers she has the killer’s son as her number one suspect.

Stephen Tregear, a hacker and code breaker for the military, has been tracking his father for years trying to stay one step ahead of him. Tregear ran away from home when he was a young boy after discovering a dead woman in the back of his father’s van.

Forming an unlikely bond, Ridley and Tregear team up to put a stop to Tregear’s father before he kills again. The elderly Tregear is also out to silence his son for good. 

The closer the duo get to the killer, the closer their attraction grows. The showdown between father and son heightens the surprise ending.

BLOOD TIES is a fast-pace, adrenaline-fueled thriller. The action is suspenseful and will keep you on the edge of your seat. The twists and turns will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

Guild has created complex characters that will amaze you. Guild dives into the chilling world of a serial killer and takes readers on a hair-rising journey.

Author Nicholas Guild’s website is HERE.

Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild, Forge Books, @2015, ISBN: 978-0765378453, Hardcover, 320 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of 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. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have you ever stopped to think about the family of a serial killer? Do they know what’s going on? Would the killer hurt his own family if they did discover his acts of violence?

*This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Author Deborah Barnes…Dealing With the Loss of a Beloved Pet

Purr Prints of the Heart by Deborah Barnes - Thoughts in ProgressIt’s a pleasure to welcome fellow blogger, cat lover and author Deborah Barnes back to Thoughts in Progress.
Deborah joins us today to talk about her latest book, PURR PRINTS OF THE HEART, and a subject that overwhelms most pet lovers – the loss of a beloved four-legged fur family member. 

Welcome, Deborah.

For those of us that have loved and lost a pet, the grieving process can be unbearably heartbreaking. There are a multitude of books available on how to deal with this loss, but few are written memoir style from the perspective of the pet as to why letting them go can sometimes be the greatest gift we give them, despite how difficult it might be for us. 

As someone who has been opening her heart and home to animals for over 50 years, primarily cats, I knew a story like this was in order after I found myself sharing one of the most painful decisions of my life in 2013 –helping to cross my beloved 15 year old Ragdoll cat, Mr. Jazz, over the Rainbow Bridge – and that is how my second book, Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond was born.

It was not so much that his story was unique – Mr. Jazz, aka Jazz, was an ordinary cat and I didn’t have any grand adventures about his life to share. But in years past, when I lost a pet, my grief was private. But now, as a seasoned cat author, award-winning blogger, and animal advocate, my cat related personal experiences have become part of the public domain and the response I got from people on my blog who could relate to my circumstances were overwhelming. All of my emotions and feelings - from anger, to denial, to relief, to despair and more - were honestly bared to the world and I was getting bombarded with comments from people thanking me for being so open about what I was going through because it helped them process their own feelings of grief at the loss of their own pet(s).

It was because of that, my love of cats, and as a tribute to Jazz that I decided to share his story as a resource for helping people with the grieving process. But rather than writing it in a clinical, “self-help” format, I decided to write it in the wise, gentle, and subtly humorous voice of Jazz himself – from his early days as a sickly kitten that nobody wanted, to finally being adopted by me into a loving human and multi-pet filled family that had its share of ups and downs, to his final months whereby his health was declining and he had to deal with things like frequent visits to the vet, being force fed food, resentment issues with his human guardians, litters issues, and the finality of coming to terms with the fact he was dying and needing to convince his beloved humans to let him go.

Using my many years of experience with cats and my intuitive nature, I wanted to explore the subject of life, death, and even the afterlife (yes, Jazz actually did come to me in the afterlife through visions) through what I perceived was the mind’s eye of Jazz and rather than write in elementary “cat speak,” I gave him a personality rich in feline nuance that I thought befitting of him – wise, humble, practical, and intelligent – but also slightly sarcastic and ornery to tell the story of the life he shared with a cast of human, feline, and even canine characters. From mentor Kit who was a street cat by nature, to perennially bad boy cat, Zee, and his beautiful love cat, Zoey, to sweet puppy, Bailey, and many, many more, the story is replete with everyday situations that any pet lover can relate to.

But of even more significance, while the subject matter of the story might appear to be sad on the surface (yes, the book will make you cry), Mr. Jazz actually makes it a celebration. A warm, poignant, and comforting celebration of the treasured memories our pets give us, for however long or brief their time on earth in the physical sense is and his greatest message is the one that stays closest to my heart:

“All I ask of those of you reading my story is that you try to remember that life is finite. Love, treasure, and appreciate what you have in your lives as if it might be your last day because it very well might be. And when you lose a beloved pet like me, don’t be closed minded, afraid to feel love again – open your hearts and homes when the time is right to another pet that needs a furever home because there are so, so many animals in shelters who deserve a chance for a happy life. I promise it will not dilute the love you had for us, quite the opposite – it will fill our hearts with joy knowing you have given another creature a chance to love you the same way we did.”

Book purchasing link:

The book retails for $15.95 in soft copy and $4.99 in electronic versions. Please use the above purchasing link to read book reviews along with information on all purchasing options, including the option to purchase an autographed copy directly from me (all books ordered directly from me include a custom bookmark and tissue wrap).

Deborah, thanks so much for joining us today and sharing look at how PURR PRINTS OF THE HEART came to be. Speaking from experience, it is difficult to lose a beloved pet, especially one that has been a part of your life for many years.

Now for those who aren’t familiar with Deborah. Here’s a bit of background on her.

Deborah Barnes resides in the tropical paradise of South Florida with her fiancé and feline family of seven. She is the author of the 5-star rated books, The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary and Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond as well as the award winning blog, Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles that continues to cover the everyday journey she shares with her cats along with topics from the humorous behaviors of cats to very serious subjects on pet responsibility.

Deborah was awarded 2013 “Writer of the Year” by Friskies Purina on behalf of the Cat Writers’ Association and she is also the Secretary of the nonprofit, Pawsitively Humane, Inc. of Miami, Florida, whose mission is to create public awareness and reduce the numbers of animals on the streets and in shelters through an extensive educational campaign.

For more on Deborah and her writing, visit her at the following links: (Website) (Blog) (Zazzle) (Zee and Zoey - Facebook) (Purr Prints on Facebook) (Pawsitively Humane, Inc.)

Thanks so much for stopping by today during Deborah’s visit. Are you a pet lover that has lost a beloved pet? If so, what helped you overcome or come to terms with your grief and sadness?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday Special Deals

How is your Saturday going? Hope everyone is having fun. Reading anything intriguing? 

I know I said I wasn’t going to blog on Saturdays, but when I come across interesting books and they’re offered at a special price, how can I resist?

Sourcebooks is sharing several eBook specials. These deals began yesterday and will run through the end of July. Check out the books below and follow up while the special prices are available.


Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark by Donna Lea Simpson - Thoughts in ProgressSALE PRICE: $1.99
Deal Date: July 17 – August 2
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781402227301

Message: Price drop alert for a Historical romance with a twist! Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark by Donna Simpson is on ‪#‎sale starting today for only $1.99!

A fascinating and exasperating young lady…

The Marquess of Darkefell has enough to worry about with a bloodthirsty wild beast rampaging the countryside and sinister family secrets to protect. Then Lady Anne Addison arrives, with unquenchable curiosity and intelligence that drive him to distraction…

Barnes and Noble:

TOUCH IF YOU DARE by Stephanie Rowe

Touch If You Dare by Stephanie Rowe - Thoughts in ProgressSALE PRICE: $1.99
Deal Date: July 17 – August 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 9781402267895

Message: We dare you to check out Stephanie Rowe's Touch if You Dare -- on ‪#‎sale for only $1.99!

He's just about the hottest warrior she's ever seen...

Reina Fleming really appreciates a man who's on a mission-especially when he's a badass warrior doing his best to impress her. And Jarvis is charmed by the way Reina's magic touch can soothe his dark side.

Barnes and Noble:

HOW TO WORSHIP A GODDESS by Stephanie Julian

How To Worship A Goddess by Stephanie Julian - Thoughts in ProgressSALE PRICE: $1.99
Deal Date: July 17 – August 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 9781402251511

Message: Love paranormal romance? Then don’t miss out on How to Worship a Goddess by Stephanie Julian -- on ‪#‎sale for only $1.99 across e-retailers!

He's Exactly What She's Always Wanted.
And She Unleashes Him Like a Force of Nature...

Lucy was once the beloved Goddess of the Moon, and she could have any man she wanted. But these days, the goddesses of the Etruscan pantheon are all but forgotten. The only rituals she enjoys now are the local hockey games, where one ferociously handsome player still inflames her divine blood.

Barnes & Noble:

CHASE ME by Tamara Hogan

Chase Me by Tamara Hogan - Thoughts in ProgressSALE PRICE: $1.99
Deal Date: July 17 – August 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 9781402246067

Message: The gritty, fast-paced, paranormal romance Chase Me by Tamara Hogan is only $1.99! Don’t miss this fantastic #pricedrop!


Centuries ago, when their ship crashed to Earth, paranormals of all types settled secretly into our world, quietly going about their business with humans none the wiser. Self–ruling and careful to stay below the radar, all is threatened when Valkyrie archaeologist Lorin Schlessinger and her werewolf geologist partner Gabe Lupinsky inadvertently draw evil attention to Earth and its treasured natural resources.

Barnes & Noble:

UNDONE by Cat Clarke

Undone by Cat Clarke - Thoughts in ProgressSALE PRICE: $2.99
Deal Date: July 17 – August 2
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
ISBN: 9781402292255

Message: This gripping YA will have you on the edge of your seat! Grab your copy now for just $2.99.

Jem Halliday is in Love with Her Best Friend.
doesn't matter that Kai is gay, or that he'll never look at her the same way she looks at him. Their friendship is all she needs. But when Kai is outed online by one of their classmates, he does the unthinkable: he commits suicide.

Barnes & Noble:

Thanks for stopping by today. Hope I’ve enticed you to check out one or all of these tantalizing books (especially since they’re on sale now)! Have a great weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Silenced by Heather Graham

The Silenced by Heather Graham - Thoughts in ProgressYou don’t have to be a firm believer in ghosts and/or the paranormal to enjoy author Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series. Her latest release, THE SILENCED, is a prime example of her impressive writing.

Narrator Phil Gigante does an excellent job bringing the various characters to life. His varied cadence and mannerisms gives distinct voices to the characters, both male and female. His vocals emphasizes the emotions and tension of the story.

Lara Mayhew, a congressional media assistant, goes missing shortly after leaving a cryptic message for her childhood friend Meg Murray, an FBI agent fresh out of the academy. When bodies fitting Lara’s description begin turning up brutally murdered, Meg fears her friend may be the next victim.

Meanwhile, Meg has been recruited by the leader of the Krewe of Hunters, a special FBI unit for paranormal investigation. Paired with Special Agent Matt Bosworth, Meg is determined to find her friend and unravel the political conspiracy she appears to be entangled in. The attraction between Meg and Matt heats up as they close in on a twisted serial killer.

Graham has created characters that not only deal with the paranormal, but are realistic, likable and well-developed. Their interactions and dialogue flows smoothly in this fast-pace adventure. The story is filled with suspense highlighted by great twists and turns.

The political aspects of the story are interesting, while the historical setting is mesmerizing. THE SILENCED focuses on a vicious killer and the lengths he will go to achieve the ultimate reward. The paranormal element adds to the intrigue, but doesn’t overwhelm the story. This story is a standalone and listeners/readers won’t be left in the dark if this is their first venture into the work of the Krewe of Hunters.

Author Heather Graham’s website is here.

The Silenced by Heather Graham, Krewe of Hunters Book #15, Narrated by Phil Gigante, Brilliance Audio, @2015, ISBN: 978-1491505069, Unabridged, 8 Discs, Run Time: 9 Hours and 12 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of 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 thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

I do so appreciate you stopping by today and taking a look at this fascinating story. Don’t shy away from the story just because you’re not a fan of the paranormal. You might be surprised, give it a try. Have you read or listened to any of the Krewe of Hunters series? Are you a fan of the paranormal? Hope everyone has a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Author Christi Barth Answers Questions … Back To Us

Back to Us by Christi BarthIt’s my pleasure to welcome author Christi Barth back to Thoughts in Progress. Today Christi is talking about her writing and especially about her latest release, BACK TO US, a Shore Secrets romance.

Christi has graciously answered some questions for me, but first here’s a brief synopsis of BACK TO US.

          Ward Cantrell always went for the long shot. But that recklessness cost him his college scholarship and his chance to play pro ball, and—worst of all—it ended his relationship with the girl next door. Neither the town nor the girl has ever forgiven him. Now he’s taking one last long shot by opening a boutique distillery on the family farm he inherited.
          Piper Morrissey spent high school in Ward’s shadow, but she’s come into her own in the years since. Maintaining her spotless image, and that of her family’s winery, is priority number one. Nobody knows that she still yearns for her golden-boy ex. Or at least they didn’t—until Ward agrees to sell Piper the land she needs to start her precious port line. The caveat? She’ll need to date him for one month. 
          Ward hopes a month is all it’ll take to convince his former sweetheart that while he’s changed, his love for her hasn’t. But when the chance arises to thumb his nose at the town that turned its back on him, he can’t afford not to reject Piper’s offer. Will that make her reject him and his love—for good?

Mason: Welcome, Christi. When writing, do you have a favorite space to write in and do you enjoy noise (music) or silence as you create

My favorite space is on my recliner couch in front of the big TV. But my husband has pointed out that our new house has a beautiful office for me, with a brand new desk chair, so I'm relegated up there most of the time. Sniff. As for music, as a former musician it is far too distracting for me. I only play it when writing sex. Not make out scenes - just sex.
Mason: Has anyone author or book influenced your writing or has numerous elements contributed to it?
Yes and no. When I sent my very first manuscript out to be critiqued, everyone SCREAMED at me that I couldn't head hop on every page. I didn't know - my idol, Nora Roberts, indulges in that quite often. So I apparently picked up the wrong thing from her (but she is the queen and makes it work!). I've never been a person who looks to mentors - too independent. I think I just forge my own way.
Mason: Which comes first for you - the characters' physical descriptions and traits or their names?
I have to do the names first, especially when I am writing a multi-book series, because otherwise it is immediately too confusing for my thought process. Book 2 Hero hangs out with Book 3 Heroine...aargh. Nope. Gotta start with names for my own sanity. But I can't start writing until I've found a movie/TV hunk to be the role model for my hero.

Mason: What one thing do you wish readers would ask about that no one ever has?
Because I have a gooey, chocolate-covered marshmallow for a heart, I wish someone would ask about my romance, seeing as how I have the absolutely best husband in the world.... Smile

Mason: Are you currently working on any new projects?
In the fall I’m releasing The Opposite of Right, the first novella in my Bad Decisions series about hot rock stars. 2016 kicks off with the release of Risking It All - Book One in the Naked Men series. It centers around five men who survived a high school tragedy, how it made them into the men they are today, and of course, the women who complete them. I finished book one on Sunday night, and started writing book two on Monday!

Christi, thanks for joining us today and giving some this insight into your writing. Sounds like you’ve got a busy and interesting time ahead.

Now to entice your reading taste buds, Christi is sharing an excerpt from BACK TO US for your viewing pleasure.


      “Don’t you ever go with your gut?” He sauntered closer.
      “That’s risky.”
      A devilish smile flashed across his face. “That’s the fun part.”
      “We can argue over business strategies—or lack thereof—later,” she said archly, giving him a disapproving glare down her nose. “I’m going to have to insist on time to weigh the pros and cons.”
      “It’s Wednesday. I’ll give you until this time on Friday.” He closed the distance between them in one long stride. “I’ll give you something to start off that pro/con list with too.”
      Ward bent, putting his lips on hers before Piper could decide whether to scoot out of reach or not. Probably because a part of her couldn’t believe it was actually happening. There was a very strong possibility she’d passed out from exhaustion and this whole thing was a dream. It was the likeliest explanation for the morning’s strange turn of events.
      But the warm slide of his lips pulled her straight out of her head and rooted her firmly in the moment. This moment. What she’d dreamed about and hoped for didn’t hold a candle to the reality of Ward, her Ward, finally claiming her again with a kiss that seared her down to her core.
      He planted his hands at her waist and lifted, lips never breaking contact. Lips, heck—tongue never breaking contact. Even as he raised her high enough that her feet left the floor, Ward’s tongue swept around every inch of her mouth. Every nerve-laden inch. Every sensitive, tingling inch.
      Piper needed to touch. Needed to greedily take him with the same heat he was lavishing upon her. Her hands fisted in his hair. Ward nipped at her bottom lip in response. So she wrapped her legs around his waist. That elicited a growl, and Ward braced her back against the wall. Then he pushed close. Pushed that muscled chest and those ripped abs against her body. Canted his hips to push something else even harder against the vee where her legs met. At that, they both moaned.
      The rasping brush of his stubble burned in an oh-so-sexy way as Ward angled down her neck. At her indrawn breath, he paused to suck and lick at the spot right on top of where her pulse fluttered rapidly. Because, oh, the things he did to her. The shivers that raced through her just from the strong, wide span of his hands at her waist. The way he crowded out all thought as he crowded his body against hers.
      Even the roughness, the harsh press of his jeans inseam and the scrape of the hair on his chin and the hard grind of hip against hip surged a sexy thrill from her head to her toes. Piper couldn’t squeeze her legs tight enough, couldn’t rake her nails down the back of his shirt hard enough, couldn’t recapture his mouth fast enough. Nothing was enough.
      On a gasp, Ward pulled away. His eyes had darkened to midnight and a satisfied smile played at the edges of his mouth. And when had his hands shifted down to support her ass?
      “That’s my pitch.”
      She tried—and probably failed—to sound aggrieved. “That? A kiss was your pitch?” Best. Marketing. Ever.
      “No. The pitch was my carefully laid-out reasons why a month of your time is more than reasonable to secure the land you need.” Another flash of that wicked grin that would’ve turned her knees to jelly if she’d been standing. “The kiss was my closer.”

BACK TO US can be purchased at the following sites: Carina Press * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iBooks


Christi Barth earned a Master’s degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.

A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance.

Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.

For more on Christi and her writing visit her website and blog, as well as connect with her on Pinterest, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon Author Page, and Facebook.

Thanks so much for stopping by today during Christi’s visit. Do you enjoy learning about an author’s writing habits? What question would you have asked Christi?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dear Carolina {+ Giveaway}

Book on table - Thoughts in ProgressFamilies come in many shapes and sizes. Familiar are much more than DNA and blood.

Author Kristy Woodson Harvey recently visited Thoughts to talk about her new release, DEAR CAROLINA, which deals with both sides of adoption. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on this heartwarming story. In addition, Kristy is giving away one print copy of DEAR CAROLINA to a lucky reader (and it’s open internationally!). Please see the end of the post for more details. Now here are my thoughts …..

DEAR CAROLINA by Kristy Woodson Harvey

The bittersweet and wonderful sides of adoption are examined in author Kathy Woodson Harvey’s stunning debut novel.

The story is told in letters written to baby Carolina from both her birth mother and her adopted mother. The story weaves back and forth from each woman sharing how their role in her life came to be.

Related to begin with, the two southern women forge an even stronger and close-knit family through their love for Carolina. Theirs is an open adoption that demonstrates “you can never have too many people to love you.”

Frances “Khaki” Mason appears to have it all – successful interior design career, a loving husband in Graham, an adorable toddler named Alex, and homes in North Carolina and Manhattan. But she desperately wants a second child and the couple’s efforts seem futile. 

Jodi, Graham’s 19-year-old cousin, has lived a hard life growing up with an alcoholic mother after her father died of cancer. Jodi turned to drinking and ended up living with a loser. Fresh out of rehab, Jodi finds herself pregnant and alone when her boyfriend runs out on her when she needs him the most.

Khaki reaches out to help Jodi when she decides to keep her baby. But when the pressures and temptation overtake Jodi after the baby is born, she asked Khaki for the ultimate favor. What follows changes everyone’s lives in ways they never imaged.

Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey - Thoughts in ProgressHarvey has created amazing characters that are realistic, likable and well-developed. She has captured the small town atmosphere, as well as the hectic lifestyle of Manhattan combining the two together with great ease.

Readers are quickly drawn in as the two mothers share their thoughts, fears, and joy with baby Carolina. The dialogue is rich and flows smoothly keeping readers’ attention as the group experiences highs and lows while becoming a blended family.

DEAR CAROLINA will tug on your heartstrings and have you laughing all at the same time. The mix of emotions leaps off the page and surrounds you. Harvey has captured the essence of what a real family is all about. Can’t wait to see where she goes from here.

Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey, Berkley, @2015, ISBN: 978-0425279984, Paperback, 320 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.


This giveaway is for one print copy of DEAR CAROLINA. The giveaway is open internationally and will end at 12 a.m. on Thursday, July 23. 

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, so please be patient. The winner from this giveaway will have 72 hours to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. The email will have ‘Thoughts in Progress Dear Carolina’ in the subject line, just so you know what to watch for (in case it goes into your spam folder).

I do so appreciate you stopping by today to find out more about this delightful book. What are your thoughts on open adoption? Do you think it should be for every adoption or depend on the circumstances?

*This post contains affiliate links.
a Rafflecopter giveaway