Friday, June 29, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: The Cottages on Silver Beach by RaeAnne Thayne (Light Romance)


Greetings Friends!

Today, I have a REVIEW of the newest book in the Haven Point series, THE COTTAGES ON SILVER BEACH by RaeAnne Thayne!


I was graciously contacted by the team at Little Bird Publicity and a copy of this book was provided to me for free in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review. All thoughts, opinions, and feels are my own.



by
RaeAnne Thayne
Genre:  Light Romance
Date of Publication: June 2018
Publisher: HQN Books
Number of Pages: 384






Years after betraying her, he's back in Haven Point…and ready to learn the truth.

Megan Hamilton never really liked Elliot Bailey. He turned his back on her family when they needed him the most and it almost tore them all apart. So she's shocked when Elliot arrives at her family's inn, needing a place to stay and asking questions that dredge up the past. Megan will rent him a cottage, but that's where it ends-no matter how gorgeous Elliot has become. 

Coming back home to Haven Point was the last thing bestselling writer Elliot Bailey thought he'd ever do. But the book he's writing now is his most personal one yet and it's drawn him back to the woman he can't get out of his mind. Seeing Megan again is harder than he expected and it brings up feelings he'd thought were long buried. Could this be his chance to win over his first love?





ABOUT THE AUTHOR


New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words.  Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on:  cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story.  Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor.

Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews.

RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. 


She loves to hear from readers and you can connect with her on:


WEBSITE  |  FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER


REVIEW


I absolutely adore my visits to this idyllic community of Haven Point! Despite being the eighth book in the series, this one can be read completely on its own. You do get some brief moments with previous characters; however, there was never a feeling that something was missing. 

This installment follows the budding relationship between Megan and Elliot. I thoroughly enjoyed the slow-burning romance that developed between them as past miscommunications and events become understood. The charm of this series is discovering how two seemingly incompatible people ultimately bring out the best in each other. Over the course of the story, a friendship is forged through a willingness to be open and trusting, which gradually forms into a passionate, yet incredibly adorable romance. 

Thayne's characterizations are remarkably realistic and create a world that I highly anticipate returning to. Again, the children featured in the story, are written with just as much care and consideration as the adult characters, which continues to bring an inspiring and endearing quality to an already heartwarming book. 

The unsolved case was unexpected and brought in an added layer of mystery and intrigue, as was discovering that Elliot was a true crime author! I'm a huge fan of that genre and found myself wanting to learn more about his books. I also couldn't help thinking that it would be awesome if the author wrote those books herself, but published them as though he was the writer, taking fan fiction to a whole new level!

I cannot stress enough how graceful and effortless Thayne's writing style truly is. Each story crafts a solid picture of everyday people encouraging others to make a difference in the world around them. As Elliot reflects: "No matter what sort of muck he waded through, he had figured out early in his career at the FBI that he could keep that ugliness from touching the core of him with thoughts of Haven Point and the people he loved who called this place home." Regardless of the negativity circling close by, these books are wonderful escapes that provide powerful images reminding us to seek out goodness and light.





Many thanks again to Little Bird Publicity and RaeAnne Thayne!  It was a pleasure providing a review!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

GUEST POST + BONUS BOOK REVIEW: Cinco de Murder by Rebecca Adler (Cozy Mystery)


Greetings Friends!

Today I am hosting a BONUS BOOK REVIEW as part of the blog tour for CINCO DE MURDER by Rebecca Adler, the third book in the Taste of Texas mystery series. In this third installment, Lenny, the main character's right hand pooch, is as spunky as ever, and the author has also graciously provided a GUEST POST for this stop discussing why summer is a great season for pets!

A Taste of Texas Mystery, #3
by
Rebecca Adler

Genre:  Texas Cozy Mystery
Date of Publication: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Number of Pages: 304


Scroll down for the giveaway!






Tex-Mex waitress and part-time reporter Josie Callahan serves up more Lone Star justice in this spicy mystery from the author of The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole.

It's fiesta time in Broken Boot, Texas, and tourists are pouring into town faster than free beer at a bull roping for the mouthwatering Cinco de Mayo festivities. Tex-Mex waitress Josie Callahan, her feisty abuela, and even her spunky Chihuahua Lenny are polishing their folklórico dances for Saturday's big parade, while Uncle Eddie is adding his own spicy event to the fiesta menu: Broken Boot's First Annual Charity Chili Cook-off. But Uncle Eddie's hopes of impressing the town council go up in smoke when cantankerous chili cook Lucky Straw is found dead in his tent. And when Josie's beloved uncle is accused of fatal negligence, she, Lenny, and the steadfast Detective Lightfoot must uncover who ended the ambitious chilihead's life--before another cook kicks the bucket



PRAISE FOR CINCO DE MURDER:

"I enjoyed every minute of this high fa looting Texas escapade. The authentic Texas sayings had me rolling on the floor. I'm a Texan and boy did I relate to the towns and chili cook-off so well." ~ Texas Book-aholic

"I enjoy the Texas flair and touch while all the food talk just makes me hungry. If you enjoy a good cozy mystery that features an adorable dog and a culinary touch then this is the book/series for you." ~ Books a Plenty Book Reviews


CLICK TO PURCHASE ON





Why Lenny, the Long-haired Chihuahua, Loves Summer

Here in Texas, spring has sprung and the dog days of summer have arrived! The beautiful dogwood and redbud trees are in bloom on every block in spite of the heat, providing delicious shade for my early morning walks.  
If warm, or even sizzling hot, weather has made an appearance in your neck of the woods, you probably aren’t the only one jumping for joy. How about your pets? In Cinco de Murder, the third book in my Taste of Texas mystery series, reporter-turned-Tex-Mex-waitress Josie Callahan and her spunky long-haired Chihuahua Lenny are gearing up for that beloved Texas celebration of Mexican culture, Cinco de Mayo. And since we both jump for joy at the sight of dogwood blossoms, I began to wonder about the positive effects of warmer weather on our pets especially our canine friends.  
Here’s what I found in a wonderful article by K9 Magazine. 
Banish the winter blues! Did you know that recent research shows pets can suffer from seasonal affective disorder just like humans? The lighter mornings and longer days mean more time for you and your dog in the great outdoors—always a great way to enjoy a more active, healthy regime. 
More opportunities to socialize with friends! With more time outside in the great outdoors—even if it is early morning or evening--it follows that dogs, and owners, will widen their social circle.  
More crops of fresh produce! With more fresh fruit and vegetables available, you and your dog can add more healthy treats to your diet. 
Winter skin is banished! If harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on our own skin, you know it can harm our pets’ skin. Colder weather can mean our dogs and other pets suffer from dry skin during the winter months too. 
More Vitamin D! With warmer weather, your dog and other pets can soak up more natural goodness from the sun just simply by being outdoors for longer - vitamin D helps to build immunity and strong bones. 
In Cinco de Murder, the third installment in my Taste of Texas Mystery series, the citizens of Broken Boot, Texas, are still enjoying a delightful spring celebration called Cinco de Mayo, a festival to show pride for the wonderful Mexican culture with dancing, bright colored costumes, parades, traditional music, and eating lots of yummy Tex-Mex. Tex-Mex waitress and amateur sleuth Josie Callahan, her feisty abuela, and her spunky long-haired chihuahua Lenny are polishing their traditional folkl√≥rico dances for Saturday’s big Cinco de Mayo parade. (If you’ve never had the delight of seeing a dog dance while wearing a mariachi costume, then this book if for you.) 
One of the joys of writing the Taste of Texas mystery series has been sharing with readers my love of dogs especially my fictional fur baby, Lenny the long-haired chihuahua. Why are mysteries with dogs, cats, birds, and even a hamster named Rex so appealing to readers? Why not? Pets are such an important part of our lives, generously giving us unconditional love and affection. How could we possibly leave them out of our books?May you have a beautiful summer, wherever you call home. And if you’re in the mood for a tasty, fun-filled mystery—with Tex-Mex recipes and a delightful dog named Lenny—I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Cinco de Murder.



Rebecca Adler grew up on the sugar beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. Drawn to the Big Apple by the sweet smell of wishful thinking, she studied acting on Broadway until a dark-eyed cowboy flung her over his saddle and hightailed it to the Southwest.

She's currently content to pour her melodramatic tendencies into writing the Taste of Texas culinary mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime: Here Today, Gone TamaleThe Good, the Bad, and the Guacamoleand Cinco de Murder. Set in far West Texas, her humorous stories are filled with delicious suspense and scrumptious Tex-Mex recipes. Her alter ego, Gina Lee Nelson, writes contemporary romance with a sweet, Southern-fried flavor. 

A former president of North Texas Romance Writers, Rebecca is currently a member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she spends a great deal of time on her other favorite pastime, directing high school theatre. 

You can connect with her on:

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Website  |  Goodreads


BONUS REVIEW!





I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

A few years ago when the first book in this series, Here Today, Gone Tamale, came out, I was absolutely charmed. Born and raised in South Texas, I loved the small town atmosphere, the Tex-Mex vibe, and the amazing family dynamics. I unfortunately never got around to the second book, The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole, so when this book popped up for review, I had to jump on the tour!

Although it had been a while since I read the first book, Adler's writing style creates such a casual and welcoming experience that is hard to forget and I was immediately swept back into this endearing locale. Josie is still so self-deprecating, likeable, and fiesty, and through her narration, she vividly captures this colorful community, while also remaining staunchly loyal to her family. Her journalism background and instincts give her amateur sleuthing skills authenticity as well as playing on the antagonistic relationship between the media and law enforcement who would much rather she mind her own business on all levels! 

Lenny, her adorable sidekick, is a chihuahua who sounds the alarm with yips and yaps to get Josie's attention as he aids her in their fight against crime. You'll definitely have cravings for Mexican food while reading, so do yourself a favor and have some chips and salsa with a Dr. Pepper nearby or use the provided recipes to cook up something tasty on your own!



From the hilarious banter to the well-plotted mystery, this book is a solid choice for any cozy culinary mystery fan! I also look forward to seeing whether the dash of romance we saw serves up something warm for Josie in the next book!


GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: Signed Copies of the Full Taste of Texas Series + $10 Amazon Gift Card Two Runners-Up: Signed Copies of Cinco de Murder
JUNE 20-29, 2018
(U.S. Only) 


Best of luck!

Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and especially Rebecca Adler! It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting. And be sure to check out the other stops on the BLOG TOUR for more opinions and author extras!


VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6/20/18
Author Interview
6/20/18
Guest Post
6/21/18
Review
6/22/18
Top 5 List
6/23/18
Excerpt
6/24/18
Review
6/25/18
Bonus Review
6/26/18
Character Guest Post
6/27/18
Review
6/28/18
Guest Post + Bonus Review
6/29/18
Review

   blog tour services provided by

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Captive Boy by Julia Robb (Historical Fiction)


Greetings Friends!

Today, I have a REVIEW of THE CAPTIVE BOY by Julia Robb as part of the Lone Star Book Blog Tour.



by
Julia Robb
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Date of Publication: December 20, 2015
Number of Pages: 170


Scroll down for the giveaway!









Colonel Mac McKenna's Fourth Cavalry recaptures white captive August Shiltz from the Comanche, only to find August is determined to return to the Indians. McKenna attempts to civilize August to nineteenth century American standards and becomes the boy's foster father. But when August kills another boy in a fight, McKenna rejects him, and August escapes from Fort Richards (Texas). When war with the Comanche breaks out, McKenna discovers August is a war leader – and his greatest enemy.





PRAISE FOR THE CAPTIVE BOY:

"THE CAPTIVE BOY by Julia Robb is a story told in a unique way – through journal entries by several different characters, and a novel within the novel. Robb is masterful in her depiction of each character, bringing to life an intriguing tale of the Old West." ~ Writer's Digest competition judge

"It will capture you and keep you engaged from the beginning all the way through the end and also give you insights into the difficulties faced by those who fought on both sides of the Indian Wars in Texas after the Civil War. Buy this book. You will not be disappointed." ~ Steve Mathisen

"Ms. Robb's research is evident on every page. Without becoming bogged down in detail, she employs just enough of it to paint an accurate picture of a dangerous and unforgiving time." ~ Samuel L. Robinson





CHECK OUT THE TRAILER!






Julia grew up on the lower Great Plains of Texas, eventually became a reporter, and lived in every corner of the Lone Star State, from the Rio Grande to the East Texas swamps. She couldn’t shake images and experiences and began writing them down.

A priest once disappeared on the Mexican border and that inspired parts of Saint of the Burning Heart. She discovered a hypnotic seducer, who she turned into Ray Cortez, the bad guy in Del Norte. Reading about child Comanche captives and their fates made her want to write about a cavalry colonel who attempts to heal a rescued boy, and that turned into The Captive Boy. Finally, what happens to a man who is in love with another man, in a time and place where the only answer is death? That became Scalp Mountain.


You can connect with her on:




Combining multiple formats and perspectives, this fascinating story wove together to provide a true to life take on the hardships facing those within the Texas frontier in the late 1800s. Although the crux of this chronicle is Colonel McKenna’s attempt to reintegrate August, we become privvy to the struggles facing soldiers, Native Americans, and settlers alike.

Each character’s account is told through various journal entries, letters, news reports, memoirs, and a serial novel written during that time discovered at West Point. While each narrative moves progressively to reveal profound insights into this time in history as well as introducing compelling subplots, this approach to telling the story was certainly a challenge for me given that I’m not generally a fan of multi-format novels. Some aspects of this style had me invested until I felt suddenly jarred out of the story when the presentation shifted. Despite feeling most connected when reading the doctor’s journal due to my own experiences within the ranks of the military, there were moments I became slightly detached when the story slipped into excerpts from manuscripts. However, personal preference aside, there is no denying that this was an engaging and beautifully descriptive piece of fiction that was not only historically accurate based on the author’s own extensive research, but incredibly readable. As you comb through this fictional anthology, there is a sense that this method of writing allows the reader to feel as though he or she is making history as all the points of view collected from these historical documents are pieced together in a highly climactic ending. This complex style adds layers of authenticity to richly detail tragic and tender moments in the course of a traumatic time in Texas history.

Overall, readers of nonfiction will enjoy this book for its homage to the genre's more common structural devices while giving fiction fans a remarkable glimpse into history with Robb's unique storytelling ability.


GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

Two Readers Each Win a Signed Copy
JUNE 19-28, 2018
(U.S. Only) 



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and especially Julia Robb! It was an absolute pleasure hosting and reviewing! And be sure to check out the other blogs on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

6/19/18
Book Trailer
6/19/18
BONUS POST
6/20/18
Review
6/21/18
Author Interview
6/22/18
Guest Post
6/23/18
Review
6/24/18
Excerpt 1
6/25/18
Excerpt 2
6/26/18
Review
6/27/18
Top 8 List
6/28/18
Review

   blog tour services provided by

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