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Thursday, July 26, 2018

BOOKISH GOODIES from Literary Book Gifts!

Greetings Friends!

I've always been a fan of bookish items that I could wear as a way to share my love of stories. From jewelry, tote bags, t-shirts, and more, I love decking my attire or decor out with inspiration from literature! 

Literary Book Gifts is one such store that provides high quality items inspired with a "passion for all things literature, ideas, and reading." Their designs are incredibly unique, focused on classics, and can't be found anywhere else! You can shop from the comfort and convenience of your own home and I was super excited when they contacted me to offer you all a discount code that will take 20% off your order! I do not receive any form of commission or compensation by providing this, but hope that you will find something that sparks joy!


Offering men's and women's t-shirts, tote bags, and backpacks with an interior laptop sleeve, you can show off your favorite classic with a classy design! Dimensions and additional descriptions can be found by clicking on the link or picture below. These are just some examples of what you'll find in each of the categories, but definitely check out their catalog which features so much more.

Head on over to Literary Book Gifts and use the promo code THATSWHATSHESREADING20 at checkout to receive 20% off your order. There is no minimum amount to purchase and you can use it as many times as you'd like.  

Many thanks to Literary Book Gifts for reaching out to me and sharing this great deal! Happy shopping! And I'd love to know what you decide to purchase for yourself, so please share in the comments or tag me in your photos!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

BOOK EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: The Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker (Young Adult)

The Day the Angels Fell, Book 2

Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: July 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 384

Scroll down for Giveaway!

The captivating sequel to the award-winning The Day the Angels Fell.

Abra Miller carries a secret and a responsibility she never expected. Before the Tree of Life, everything in Abra Miller’s life had been predictable. Safe. Normal. But after the Tree, everything has felt fragile . . . like holding a soap bubble in the palm of her hand. After years of fruitless searching for the next Tree, she begins to wonder if it was nothing more than a vivid dream.

Now sixteen, Abra finds a clue to the whereabouts of the next Tree of Life when an ominous woman—who looks exactly like a ghost from her past—compels her to travel to New Orleans where she’ll find one of seven gateways between this world and Over There. But she’s not the only one interested in finding the gateway. There’s also a young man searching for his father and sister, who escaped through it years before. As Abra enters the Edge of Over There and begins her pursuit of the Tree once more, she doesn’t know whom to fear or whom to trust.
She’s also starting to think that some doorways should never be opened.


By Shawn Smucker
(used by permission)

ABRA COULD ALMOST FEEL THE RAIN, even though it was only a dream. She was surrounded by leaves and branches. The drops clattered down through them, all around her. That’s when she realized she was up in a tree, up in its highest branches, and immediately she was afraid. She clung to the branch she was on, a branch much too thin to hold her. It broke, and she fell. She grabbed for anything she could hold on to, finding another thin branch. She dangled there, looking down between her feet at the ground far below.
She watched a huge wolf-like creature pick up a small girl in its jaws and toss her aside. She watched as a boy grabbed on to a small sword, cried out in pain before swinging it again and again. She watched as the sword found its mark and the huge animal listed to the side like a boat preparing to sink. When the creature fell, the boy collapsed.
She twisted and turned where she hung from the branch, wondering if the girl was okay. Wondering where she was. That’s when she saw a streak of light, and a man, or something in shape of a man, knelt beside the girl. He put his hands on her head and closed his eyes, and Abra knew, in the way that you can know something in a dream, that the man was bringing the girl back to life. Or calling her back from wherever it was her soul was heading.
Suddenly she could hear through the girl’s ears. She was still dangling there in the air; she was still feeling the soft patter of rain on her head and bare arms, the drops tickling her face; she could still feel the thin branch slipping ever so slowly from her grasp. But for some reason her hearing was now the girl’s hearing, and she heard the man whisper.
“Abra, this is very important. I have a few things I need to tell you . . .”
But as the Abra hanging from the tree realized the girl on the ground was her, and as she thought she was going to hear something very important, her fingers slipped from the branch.
I should have hit the ground by now, she thought. She looked down. The ground was rushing at her, and she caught her breath.

Praise for The Edge of Over There:

“Blending Biblical elements and urban myths, Smucker creates an enthralling story of supernatural battles between the forces of good and evil.” -- Publishers Weekly

“The Edge of Over There is a mesmerizing, menacing fantasy. Shawn Smucker fuses New Orleans lore, Christian themes, and dystopian landscapes in a thorough exploration of love and its unintended results.” -- Foreword Reviews (Starred Review)


Shawn Smucker is the author of The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There. He lives with his wife and six children in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him on his website, where you can also sign up for his newsletter in order to find out when and where the Tree of Life will turn up next.

You can connect with him on:



GRAND PRIZE: Both Books in the The Day the Angels Fell series + Color Changing Tree Mug + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card 2ND PRIZE: Both Books + Tree of Life Journal 3RD PRIZE: Both Books + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
  July 17-27, 2018

Best of Luck!

I hope that you enjoyed today's special feature and will be adding this book to your reading! Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and Shawn Smucker! It was a pleasure hosting and being a part of the tour! And be sure to check out the other blog stops for opinions and author extras!


Author Interview
Book Trailer
Top 10 List
Notable Quotable
Author Interview
Notable Quotable
Guest Post

blog tour services provided by

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

BOOK REVIEW + CHARACTER INTERVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert (Cozy Mystery)

Greetings Friends!

Today, I'm featuring a BOOK REVIEW of SHELVED UNDER MURDER, the second book in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series as part of the Great Escapes book blog tour! The book's leading lady and library director, Amy Webber, has stopped by for an interview!

Shelved Under Murder
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery, Book 2

by Victoria Gilbert
  Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books
Date of Publication:  July 2018
Number of Pages:  336

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried. 

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder  

An INTERVIEW with Victoria Gilbert's Amy Webber!

THAT'S WHAT SHE'S READING: Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed for this special feature as part of the blog tour! Can you tell readers a little about yourself?
AMY:  I’m the public library director for the historic town of Taylorsford. I’m thirty-three and single, although I am dating someone seriously at the moment. I live with my widowed aunt, Lydia Litton Talbot, in the beautiful Queen Anne Revival-style home that’s been in my family since 1900. My family on my mother’s side has lived in Taylorsford forever, but I was not raised there, so I don’t really qualify as a “native,” at least according to the long-time residents. My mom moved away after college, and she and my dad raised my younger brother and me in eastern Virginia, a little less than two hours from Taylorsford.  

Everyone tells me that I look just like my great-grandmother, Rose Baker Litton, who resembled the 1920s film star, Louise Brooks, although Rose was a bit more voluptuous (as am I!) I’m just under average height but curvaceous, which can make finding clothes that flatter me difficult. (Which is why I tend to favor simple, tailored outfits for work, and t-shirts and shorts or jeans at home). I love gardening, which is good, since Aunt Lydia’s extensive garden requires a lot of maintenance. I also love to read, and I enjoy watching films, walking, and anything to do with art. I’m not an artist myself but I majored in Art History as an undergrad and it’s remained a passion of mine.
As a fellow public librarian myself, what was the transition like for you from an academic to a public library setting?
It was a challenge at first. For one thing, academic libraries use the Library of Congress classification system, while public libraries use Dewey Decimal. Sometimes I still mix them up! Also, in a public library there’s much more emphasis on engagement with the community, and not only related to books and reading. I don’t really mind that change, though. I like the fact that a local library is a social and educational hub for the community, where I can assist people with a variety of needs, including job searches, literacy, homework help, genealogical research, and so on. 

The other aspect that was a major change was that my public library only has two paid employees—me, and my assistant Sunshine “Sunny” Fields. We do have a number of volunteers who assist with events and help cover the circulation desk, but all of the management duties fall on Sunny and me. Coming from a university, where there are multiple librarians in each department of the library, this was a big adjustment. I discovered that not only does the buck stop with me, it starts there too!
Exactly! It's so important to distinguish between the varying roles within the communities you serve! I've also had experience working in a small town! What do you love about it and what do you wish was better?
I love the fact that most of the people in small towns are very involved in the life of their community. Many of them are willing to volunteer a considerable amount their time to town activities and events. I also love the fact that history is kept alive through family and community stories.

Of course, the most difficult part of living and working in a small town is that everyone seems to know everyone else’s business—especially when you have someone like my aunt’s best friend, Zelda Shoemaker, around. I love Zelda, but I have to admit that not even a wisp of gossip escapes her notice. So I guess I would say that I wish there was a little more privacy in Taylorsford. But I’m not holding my breath for that to happen.
I know! You've perfectly captured my sentiments! Let's chat a little about your reading preferences. What book do you consider the most underrated? Most overrated?
I love the urban fantasy, TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON by R.A. MacAvoy (as well as the rest of MacAvoy’s books). While it is well-respected, I think TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON should be better known. Although it is an older book, and its references to computer technology are dated, I also think someone should turn it into a film! I love its slightly older protagonist, who reminds me of my Aunt Lydia.

Overrated? MOBY DICK. I know it’s a classic, and it is brilliant, but I’ve never been able to get through that tome. I guess you could say finishing that book is my “white whale,” LOL.
HAHAHA! I'm sure it's the same issue for a lot of readers as well! With summer in full swing, can you provide a few recommendations for summer reading?
I’m an eclectic reader, so my list will be eclectic as well! 

KISS OF THE ROYAL by Lindsey Duga (YA Fantasy)
THE ROLE by Richard Taylor Pearson (Contemp. Fiction, LBGTQ) 
PROTOCOL and 39 WINKS by Kathleen Valenti (Mystery)
A MUDDIED MURDER by Wendy Tyson (Mystery)
KA: DAR OAKLEY IN THE RUIN OF YMR by John Crowley (Fantasy)
ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman (Contemp. Fiction) THE DAUGHTER OF TIME by Josephine Tey (classic Mystery)
The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett (Historical Fiction, 6 book series – first book is THE GAME OF KINGS)
And the last question I like to ask everyone, what are you currently reading?
A DUTY TO THE DEAD by Charles Todd. It’s one of my book club’s selections for later this year. I love book clubs, not just because I enjoy literary discussions, but also because researching for titles helps me discover new authors and books.
I couldn't agree more! Thank you so much for your time and best wishes to you and the library!


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

I say this a lot and I have no problems saying it again:  I am a huge fan of cozies that feature anything having to do with books or libraries. Having read and reviewed the first book in this series last year, which you can check out HERE, I couldn't wait to find out what shenanigans Amy would find herself in this time around! And needless to say, I wasn't disappointed!

As was the case in the previous book, the library isn't the focus of the mystery or the story, but I certainly enjoyed learning more about the underworld of art forgery. When actual paintings were mentioned, this was one of those books where you wish there were pictures! But with my Kindle, I could simply highlight the text, search for the image, and stare wonderingly at the creativity of the human spirit. 

Secrets continue to run deep in this small town, especially for one still reeling from the events in the previous book. But not to worry, this is still very much a standalone novel; however, I would still encourage you to check out the first one just to have a complete understanding of how shady many of these secondary characters can truly be!

The pacing was much better to me this time around as the suspense built gradually to an unpredictable conclusion. The mystery was quite elaborate, while the additional storylines and well developed characters added those subtle red herrings and remarkable twists necessary to keep readers guessing. 

Overall, this series continues to get better and I'm highly anticipating the third installment, PAST DUE FOR MURDER, arriving on shelves early next year. This is highly recommended for fans of bookish cozies, but certainly a good selection for any mystery reader!


Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.
When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.
Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats.
You can connect with her on:


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Best of Luck!

I hope that you enjoyed today's special feature and will be adding this book to your reading! Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours and Victoria Gilbert! It was a pleasure hosting and being a part of the tour! And be sure to check out the other blog stops for opinions and author extras!


July 9 – The Ninja Librarian - REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 9 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 10 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
July 10 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW
July 10 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 11 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
July 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
July 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW
July 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW
July 16 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 17 – That's What She's Reading – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 18 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
July 18 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 19 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 20 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW
July 20 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

Monday, July 16, 2018

GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY: Souffle of Suspicion by Daryl Wood Gerber (Cozy Mystery)

Greetings Friends!

Today, author Daryl Wood Gerber has graciously provided a GUEST POST as part of the Great Escapes book blog tour for her new release in the French Bistro mystery series!

A Souffle of Suspicion
A French Bistro Mystery, Book 2

by Daryl Wood Gerber
  Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books
Date of Publication:  July 2018
Number of Pages:  296

Scroll down for Giveaway!

The buoyant mood at Bistro Rousseau deflates when Chef Camille’s sister, Renee, turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen, and Mimi Rousseau must tease the real killer out of a mélange of menacing characters.

Crush Week in Nouvelle Vie is a madhouse—in a good way. Tourists pour into town for the pressing of the Napa Valley’s world-renowned grapes and all the town’s businesses get a nice lift, including Bistro and Maison Rousseau. Mimi is raising the ante this year with a Sweet Treats Festival, a wonderland of croissants, cakes, tarts, and soufflés crafted with expert care by the area’s top talents. 

Chef Camille’s sister Renee is managing the festival with a cast-iron fist, upsetting everyone, including her sister. Which is bad for Camille when Renee turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen. Mimi is still building her business, so her first course of action is to whip up answers and catch the unsavory perpetrator before Camille takes a dusting and gets burned.  



Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

You can connect with her on:



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Best of Luck!

I hope that you enjoyed today's special feature and will be adding this book to your reading! Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours and Daryl Wood Gerber! It was a pleasure hosting and being a part of the tour! And be sure to check out the other blog stops for opinions and author extras!


July 6 – The Book Diva's Reads - SPOTLIGHT 
July 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW 
July 6 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT 
July 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 
July 7 – Brooke Blogs - SPOTLIGHT 
July 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW 
July 8 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST 
July 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 10 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW
July 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 11 – cherylbbookblog - REVIEW
July 12 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 12 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
July 13 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
July 13 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
July 14 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
July 14 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
July 15 – Lisa Ks Book Review - REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
July 16 – That's What She's Reading – GUEST POST (YOU ARE HERE)
July 17 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
July 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW 
July 18 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
July 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW
July 19 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST