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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: You've Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman (Humorous Fiction)

A Class Mom Novel #2

Laurie Gelman

Genre: Humorous Fiction 
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Date of Publication: July 23, 2019
Number of Pages: 288

Scroll down for giveaway!

In the eagerly anticipated follow-up to Laurie Gelman’s “irreverent and hilarious” (The New York Post) hit Class Mom, brash, lovable Jen Dixon is back with a new class and her work cut out for her. If you’ve ever been a room parent or school volunteer, Jen Dixon is your hero. She says what every class mom is really thinking, whether in her notoriously frank emails or standup-worthy interactions with the micromanaging PTA President and the gamut of difficult parents. Luckily, she has the charm and wit to get away with it—most of the time. Jen is sassier than ever but dealing with a whole new set of challenges, in the world of parental politics and at home. She’s been roped into room-parenting yet again, for her son Max’s third grade class, but as her husband buries himself in work, her older daughters navigate adulthood, and Jen’s own aging parents start to need some parenting themselves, Jen gets pulled in more directions than any one mom, or superhero, can handle. Refreshingly down-to-earth and brimming with warmth, Dixon’s next chapter will keep you turning the pages to find out what’s really going on under the veneer of polite parent interactions, and have you laughing along with her the whole way.

I received a copy of this book for free. This is my honest and thoughtful review.

When CLASS MOM debuted in 2017, I really had intentions of picking it up. My oldest son had started Pre-K and my book club had recently read BIG LITTLE LIES, so riding the wave of those events was kismet to reading then. But as we all know, life happens, so I was super excited to have the opportunity to read the newest installment in the series. School is resuming soon, and what better way to return to that state of mind then by taking a humorous approach!

"Today I have a checklist of about six billion things I need to do before we leave for Vegas. First on the list: stop exaggerating."

The author's tongue in cheek humor absolutely brings these characters to life, especially Jen. Her irreverence is so refreshing and makes her incredibly likeable. Her often inappropriate emails cause quite a few hiccups along the way, but this only helps make her so much more relatable. Those moments are on full display as we move with her through the school year, and as we all know, a whole lot happens in such a short amount of time! From holiday class parties to fundraising events, Jen's levity brings some much needed stress relief, making others more receptive to burgeoning friendships. 

"I hope they nama-stay all day, because Max still has to go to college."

For all the funny encounters occurring within the school, the story provides so many fantastic reflections on marriage and child-rearing. Jen's husband, Ron, owns a sporting goods store and decides to embark on a business endeavor that would provide great financial freedom in the long term. In his quest towards receiving a powerful investor, you can bet that hilarity and misunderstanding ensues, culminating in a wonderful example of a friendship truly destined for a lifetime. 

This easy to read, fast-paced, and highly engaging book will definitely set a fun tone as we head back into a new school year. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and the pages will fly! 

Laurie Gelman was born and raised in the Great White North. She spent twenty-five years as a broadcaster in both Canada and the United States before trying her hand at writing novels. The author of Class Mom, Laurie has appeared on Live With Ryan and Kelly, Watch What Happens Live, and The Talk, among others. She lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Gelman, and two teenage daughters.


a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck! 

Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Blog Tours and Laurie Gelman! It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

July 22 – Books Direct -SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 24 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
July 27 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
July 28 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
July 30 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
July 31 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
August 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
August 2 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

AUTHOR GUEST POST: The Desire Card by Lee Matthew Goldberg (Thriller)

Lee Matthew Goldberg

Genre: Crime/Thriller
Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
Date of PublicationFebruary 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 311

Any wish fulfilled for the right price.

That’s the promise the Desire Card gives to its elite clients. But if the Card doesn’t feel like they’ve been justly compensated, the “price” will be more menacing than the clients could ever imagine. Harrison Stockton learns this lesson all too well. Harrison has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street along with a fondness for alcohol and pills, and a family he adores, yet has no time for. All of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his executive job and discovers he has liver cirrhosis with mere months left to live. After finding himself far down on the donor list, Harrison takes matters into his own hands. This decision sparks a gritty and gripping quest that takes him to the slums of Mumbai in search of a black market organ and forces him under the Desire Card’s thumb. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and put a stop to the Card. THE DESIRE CARD is a taut international thriller that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires. It’s the first book in a series followed by PREY NO MORE that focuses on other people indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.

The Inspiration Behind the Desire Card
Lee Matthew Goldberg

I began writing The Desire Card in 2012. At the time, I never imagined it would be the first in a series. The sequel Prey No More will be out later this year, and I’ve recently finished the third and fourth book as well.

Occupy Wall Street was a protest movement that began around the same time I started the book, which raised issues about economic inequality between the wealthiest 1% of the population and everyone else. I had also been speaking to a friend who was a medical resident and learned two things about the human liver. One, it can regenerate in a matter of weeks. And two, if you need a liver transplant, it can take a while to move up the donor list and no amount of money helps speed the process. The two ideas merged. An organization catering to the 1% that promised “Any wish fulfilled for the right price.” And a desperate man on Wall Street who needs a new liver and goes to extreme measures to get one. 

The book was sent out by my agent to many big publishers but it was proving a tough sell. Too dark (one editor wanted it to be lighter), or they were hesitant about publishing a series. I had heard great things about Fahrenheit Press and on a whim sent both books to its publisher who was getting on a flight when he read my query. The Desire Card became his flight and when he landed, he wanted to schedule a call. Ultimately, he bought the first two books in the series. 

Overall, I have an idea for the fifth book and would probably end the series there, but who knows? With the main character being the shadowy organization called the Card, there are a multitude of possibilities for future books. 

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. 


Many thanks to the author and Pump Up Your Blog book tours. It was an absolute pleasure hosting. If you are interested in finding out more about the book, check out my review HERE

And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

Monday, March 4

Book Feature & Tour Kick Off at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Tuesday, March 5

Interview at Pump Up Your Book

Thursday, March 7

Book Featured at What Is That Book About

Friday, March 8

Book Featured at CBY Book Club

Monday, March 11

First Chapter Reveal at The Dark Phantom Reviews

Wednesday, March 13

Guest Blogging at Christine’s Book Corner

Monday, March 18

Book Teaser Featured at PUYB Book Teasers

Thursday, March 21

Guest Blogging at The Pulp and Mystery Bookshelf

Friday, March 22

Interview at Literarily Speaking

Monday, March 25

Book Featured at C.A. Milson’s Author Blog

Thursday, March 28

Book Featured at Book Bloggin’ Princess

Monday, April 1

First Chapter Reveal at Beyond the Books

Tuesday, April 2

Interview at Blogger News Net

Thursday, April 4

Book Featured at Stacking My Bookshelves

Monday, April 8

Book Review at Books for Books

Tuesday, April 9

Interview at The Dark Phantom Reviews

Thursday, April 11

Guest Blogging at Dear Reader, Love Author

Monday, April 15

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Friday, April 19

Book Review at Sefina Hawke’s Books

Monday, April 22

Book Featured at T’s Stuff

Wednesday, April 24

Book Featured at Fundinmental

Friday, April 26

Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Monday, May 6

Book Featured at The Writer’s Life

Tuesday, May 7

Book Featured at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, May 8

Book Featured at Stacking My Bookshelves

Monday, May 13

Character Guest Blogging at I’m Into Books

Thursday, May 16

Book Review at StoreyBook Reviews

Monday, May 20

First Chapter Reveal at I’m Shelf-ish

Friday, May 24

Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, May 27

Interview at SheWrites

Friday, May 31

Book Feature at The Literary Nook

Monday, June 3

First Chapter Reveal at As the Pages Turn

Tuesday, June 4

Book Featured at Nuttin’ But Books

Wednesday, June 5

Interview at A Blue Million Books

Monday, June 10

Interview at I’m Shelf-ish

Tuesday, June 11

Interview at Book Cover Junkie

Thursday, June 13

Book Review at That’s What She’s Reading

Monday, June 17

Interview at As the Pages Turn

Friday, June 21

Interview at The Literary Nook

Monday, June 24

Book Featured at The Bookworm Lodge

Friday, June 28

Interview at The Avid Reader

Monday, July 1

First Chapter Reveal at Read My First Chapter

Tuesday, July 2

Book Featured at My Book Launch

Wednesday, July 3

Interview at My Bookish Pleasures

Monday, July 8

Character Guest Post at The Writer’s Life

Wednesday, July 10

Interview at Beyond the Books

Monday, July 15

Interview at Nuttin’ But Books

Tuesday, July 16

Interview at The Writer’s Life

Monday, July 22

Book Featured at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Friday, July 26

Character Interview at Pimp That Character

Monday, July 29

Interview at Blogging Authors

Wednesday, July 31

Guest Blogging at That’s What She’s Reading

Monday, August 5

Guest Blogging at Write and Take Flight

Tuesday, August 6

Interview at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Wednesday, August 7

Book Featured at Hooked From Page One

Monday, August 12

Interview at Book Publishing Secrets

Wednesday, August 14

Book Featured at What’s On Your Kindle?

Monday, August 19

Interview at Book Bloggin’ Princess

Tuesday, August 20

Guest Blogging at Straight From the Author’s Mouth

Monday, August 26

Book Review at Novel Gossip

Wednesday, August 28

Character Guest Post at That’s What She’s Reading

Friday, August 30

Book Featured at What the Cat Read

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

PICT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: A Monster of All Time by J.T. Hunter (True Crime)

A Monster Of All Time

by J.T. Hunter

ON TOUR July 1-31, 2019

Ambitious, attractive, and full of potential, five young college students prepared for the new semester. They dreamed of beginning careers and starting families. They had a lifetime of experiences in front of them. But death came without warning in the dark of the night. Brutally ending five promising lives, leaving behind three gruesome crime scenes, the Gainesville Ripper terrorized the University of Florida, casting an ominous shadow across a frightened college town.

What evil lurked inside him?

What demons drove him to kill?

What made him A Monster of All Time?

Book Details:

Genre: True Crime
Published by: RJ Parker Publishing
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1987902521 (ISBN13: 9781987902525)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

January 1987
Parchman, Mississippi

The prisoner raged in his lonely cell.
"When they let me out of here," the prisoner swore to himself, "I’ll make them all pay."
Years of condemnation and contempt had taken its toll, breaking him down, eroding his spirit, destroying all sense of hope. Now only the anger remained.
Cast into the bowels of Parchman Prison, the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, the prisoner had suffered daily torments during his confinement, each day falling deeper and deeper into despair. Raw sewage regularly seeped into his cell through the floor and flowed from a broken drain down the hall, flooding the cramped 8 x 10 feet concrete space with a revolting grey-brown liquid and an unrelenting stench.
Kept in this torturous isolation, his besieged brain had betrayed him, replaying the grievous moments of his life, all of the humiliations and feelings of helplessness, every piercing word, and every raw, painful memory. It was a constant reminder that the world had always been a hurtful place of violence, animosity, and aversion, never one of empathy or understanding.
Desperate to escape the unrelenting torment, he retreated ever deeper into the labyrinth of his own mind, creeping ever closer to madness. It was in that maze of insanity that he found himself. Or rather, something found him.
In the bleak, all-encompassing darkness, something whispered his name.
Faceless and formless, the voice seemed to emanate both from the impenetrable blackness surrounding him and from the shadowy depths of his own consciousness. The voice soothed and seduced him, its language both alien and familiar. It promised the strength to survive whatever nightmares awaited the remainder of his confinement. It offered the tools of revenge for his present condition, for all of the wrongs committed against him in the past, and for the scorn and mistreatment yet to come. Most of all, it promised the power to make others feel the suffering he had so long endured.
Then a name imprinted itself into his brain, uttered from an unseen shape in the darkness, or muttered from the murky depths of memory.
"Gemini," an eerie voice proclaimed. "I am Gemini."
At that moment, an infernal compact was crafted, a devil’s contract offering redemption for the damned, a demonic covenant accepted regardless of the terms. Caring nothing for the consequences, the prisoner embraced the assurance of vengeance, pledging revenge for the countless injuries inflicted upon him. Just as a cold, uncaring world had robbed him of his humanity and stolen years of his life, he would take the lives of others in an equal and equitable proportion. A new sense of purpose washed over him, bringing with it a rebirth, a recognition of what he needed to do.
And now he waited, marking the days with hidden malice, the bitter darkness of his cell matched only by the malevolence of his twisted, tainted soul.
Excerpt from A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter. Copyright 2018 by J.T. Hunter. Reproduced with permission from J.T. Hunter. All rights reserved.

I received a copy of this book for free. This is my honest and thoughtful review.

Having recently finished reading Ann Rule's THE STRANGER BESIDE ME about serial killer Ted Bundy, I was definitely interested in returning to Florida to learn more about Danny Rolling. As informed as I consider myself to be about serial killers and their crimes, I was surprised that I hadn't come across Rolling's name before; however, this book clearly establishes itself as the definitive source on the subject. 

"It makes a Stephen King book look like a comic book."

This is an incredibly well written and riveting account of horribly graphic crimes. The book opens like a piece of fiction, providing a small glimpse into the depraved mind of a cold-blooded killer. Alternating chapters delve into the investigation and Rolling's background until he is clearly established as the perpetrator. While there is quite a bit of graphic information shared in detailing the brutality these victims suffered through, their individual stories are remarkably told, so that by the end of the book, you feel as though they were a part of your own family and can clearly understand how much this impacted the community and its legacy. The grisly details of these murders are unparalleled and have remained with me long after closing the book.  

"As I stared into the execution chamber, I felt his isolation and outsiderness. I didn't have anything in common with him. Nobody did. It was like he wasn't human. He was a nobody - a nothing. But everybody knew this nobody's name. I just wish he had not existed."

Because Rolling received the death penalty, the story segues into the further emotional upheaval the families went through waiting for his appeals to conclude. Whether you agree with the death penalty or not, the author presents everything in a such an objective and non-judgmental way. There is clear empathy for the families, while also a closing sense that Rolling had accepted his fate. 

The additional layer of a false suspect, Ed Humphrey, provided a compelling example of how quickly assumptions can be made that create a lifelong sentence for the wrongly accused. 

Highly recommended as a must read for fans of true crime! His unbiased perspective and graceful treatment of the victims and their families certainly has me looking forward to reading more from the author's backlist.


J.T. Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor in Florida where his teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.

JT's bestselling true crime books include:

  • Devil in The Darkness: True Story of Serial Killer ISRAEL KEYES
  • The Country Boy Killer: The True Story of Serial Killer Cody Legebokoff
  • In Colder Blood: True Story of the Walker Family Murder as depicted in Truman Capote’s, In Cold Blood
  • Deadly Deception: True Story of Tampa Serial Killer, Bobby Joe Long
  • Death Row Romeo: The True Story of Serial Killer Oscar Ray Bolin
  • The Vampire Next Door: True Story of the Vampire Rapist and Serial Killer

  • Catch Up With J.T. Hunter On:
    jthunter.org, Goodreads, BookBub, & Facebook!

    Tour Participants

    Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

    Enter Giveaway!

    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JT Hunter. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2019 and runs through August 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Best of luck! 

    Many thanks to J.T. Hunter and Partners in Crime Book Tours. It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting. 

    Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours