Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Cunning Heist by Astrid Arditi (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Astrid Arditi


GENRE:   Romantic Suspense



Sloane Harper has sworn off men—for her sanity, and her safety. But with or without men, trouble always seems to find Sloane.

When her ex’s ex-mistress comes knocking for help, Sloane does what she does best : she helps way more than she should. As she investigates London’s art scene, Sloane runs into a very handsome but very shady artist, a quirky bunch of thieves, and a cunning old flame. 
Perhaps Sloane should have sworn off playing private detective instead of men.



A whooshing sound woke me up with a jolt—like a hairdryer but much louder. I pulled my head up and found myself staring at a greyish toilet lid. Yuck!!

I slammed my hands against it to push myself upright and glanced at my surroundings. No sign of the embroidered towel or cherry soap I kept in my guest bathroom. This was not my home. This wasn’t even a home I realized as I spied feet under the door.

This was Aqua’s bathroom stalls, I whimpered, thinking of all the STDs contained by my toilet-lid pillow.

I glanced at my watch and wept a little bit. 7.30 AM. I had spent the night here.

My head spun so wildly I had to sit again on the suspicious toilets to avoid fainting. Sanitary scruples were a moot point at this stage.

I tried to piece out my night but drew a blank. A big, black hole stood where memories should have been. One minute I was drinking Kamikaze shots and the next, well, I was here, drooling on a toilet seat. And to think I’d believed my life couldn’t get any worse!

Flight instincts kicked in. I spied my handbag on the floor and snatched it—phone, keys, wallet, I inventoried swiftly. I was good to go. I swung the bag on my shoulder only to realize I was missing one or rather two crucial pieces of equipment.

No dress and no bra. I was down to my panties, tights and heels. What the—


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

If Astrid Arditi could have one magical power, it would be to create time—to write, to enjoy her children, to unpack (she’s moved five times in four years), to sleep in, to learn how to cook, and to hit the gym. Or at least, to locate the one nearest her.
While waiting for her magic powers to manifest, she reads, eats way too many cakes, daydream, and thanks her lucky stars for her whirlwind, wonderful life.
Born and raised in Paris, Arditi recently moved to Brooklyn where she lives with her husband and two young children. A Cunning Heist is the second novel in the Sloane Harper series.



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My review:

4 out of 5 stars

A Cunning Heist by Astrid Arditi is part of the eponymous ‘Sloane Harper’ series featuring the wacky adventures the recent divorcee gets herself into. A request from frenemy Kate leads Sloane on a self-imposed quest to find an artist of questionable reputation and connections. Still dealing with her conflicting feelings about the long-absent Ethan, Sloane fearlessly pursues her target…no matter what danger she stumbles into, so it’s a good thing she has allies to help her out—whether she wants them around or not!

This contemporary mystery combines humor and amateur sleuthing in an entertaining and sometimes laugh-out-loud tale. The predicaments Sloane gets into are so outrageous I couldn’t help shaking my head and giving thanks that I was not responsible for trying to keep her out of trouble, lol. There are some hilarious scenes that feature Sloane’s ability to use whatever materials are at hand to get herself out of the sticky situations she manages to get into. I am not crazy about her dependency and definitely hope she finds a way to get out from under the tyranny of her ex, not to mention develop a backbone with respect to her best friend/housekeeper, who is a bit erratic in her assistance. I found some of the events a little too far out there for credulity, especially with respect to the machinations involving the conferral of immunity and the sting operation, but Sloane is still an engaging character and fun to watch.

This book is part of a series yet can be read as a stand-alone story. I think those who enjoy tongue-in-cheek stories with a snarky heroine who has a stubborn streak a mile wide but is vulnerable and loyal, this is the tale for you.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Seven Days with You by Hugo Driscoll (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

I have the pleasure of hosting guest post by author Hugo Discoll, who shares his thoughts on...

Balancing life and writing
by Hugo Driscoll

Like with any job or career, you need a work-life balance, and that’s certainly the case for myself. Sure, you hear freak stories of authors writing 4 novels a year, but is that healthy? Probably not. It’s admirable- yes. But I think writers can sometimes forget the importance of living. After all, living is also writing because you are forging experiences. So fall in love and get your heartbroken. Get lost in a foreign city and wake up on a park bench!

What I’m trying to say is that life and writing can make or break a writer. On the one hand, you can have a great writing routine and write 3,000 words a day but never have fun.

Conversely, you can be having the time of your life but never find the time or energy to get any of your experiences down on paper. Sticking to a weekend routine has worked for me. As I have a full-time writing job, I’m often too drained to write after work. Instead, I’ll go to the the gym and see friends. But on Saturday, come rain or shine, I’m in my local café writing. I spend upwards of 5 hours there, and I won’t leave until a 2,000-word target has been met. But it’s a great feeling because after that I know I have the rest of the weekend to have fun and most importantly live… Even if that does mean waking up with a throbbing head the following morning!

In the words of Ernest Hemmingway, “You talk like a timetable. Do you have any beautiful adventures?”


by Hugo Driscoll


GENRE: YA Romance



Sean Johnson’s life as a small-town farmhand has been nothing but predictable, but when he meets Sophia Hillingdon at the local animal sanctuary, she gets him out of an eighteen-year rut, away from the mundane existence on the farm, and a grieving, drunken father.

Sophia is the first person who understands him and makes him believe that he might get out of their small town, who tells him, he has the potential to be whoever he wants to be and do whatever he wants to do.

But as their relationship unfolds, it is the most devastating of news that will change both of them forever.



I hadn’t been anywhere, but my mind had been everywhere. That’s how I felt that summer. Or more precisely, that’s how Sophia had made me feel by the time summer neared its conclusion. The months of July and August had followed identical patterns to June in that we rarely spent a day apart. We rode with Violet across the Suffolk countryside, sometimes for miles on end, often stopping by at local pubs. Then it would be Saturday. That was the best day of all for there was no work on Sunday, which meant dancing with Tom and Jessica until our bodies could no longer stand. We drank, we laughed, and most nights after, we made love as we tip-toed up the stairs of my father’s house. I was obsessed with everything about her. Yes, Sophia Hillingdon, the girl I’d known for barely a few months was the girl I now wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And though we often drove each other crazy, we soon laughed and made up as if nothing happened. It often puzzled me as to why Sophia found our fights so amusing seconds after we were hot from the exertion of spouting obscenities at each other. Red-faced, she’d often say, “You drive me mad Sean. But, you know something? That’s just how I like it.”

“Why?” I’d ask.

“Us,” she would say. “I love how angry you make me because…. Well, I’m obsessed with you… even our arguments sound oddly beautiful.”

Buy Links:


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Hugo Driscoll is a 25-year- old British journalist and content writer for an online publication in London.

When he's not working, you can usually find him writing in the basements of cafes or lamenting the unfair treatment of millennials in overcrowded London bars.

You can also find Hugo on Twitter, Facebook, and his personal blog, which he updates regularly.

Seven Days with You is his first novel.



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The tour dates can be found here

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere

Diane Vallere


Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.

Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer—before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud...

Amazon link

My review:

4.5 out of 5 stars

Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere is part of the ‘Costume Shop Mystery’ series and follows costume shop proprietor Margo Tamblyn who is trying to prove to her father that he made a good decision entrusting her with his life’s work. Unfortunately, her love of dressing up and her creativity may not be enough to save her from the predations of someone who is determined to change their quaint and personable town to a lucrative soulless tourist trap.

This cozy mystery is a great view of the challenges of running a costume shop around Halloween. I loved the puns sprinkled throughout the story as well as the imaginative costumes, and found myself chuckling at the name “Disguise Delimit” every time I read it. The descriptions in the story would be easy to follow to make your own version even without the nice instructions at the end of the book. This is a great example of a cozy mystery that keeps the icky murder aspect from being overwhelming while taking the reader on a madcap ride that provides plenty of red herrings and eccentric characters. There are some books that are just fun to read, and this is definitely one of them.

I haven’t read the previous story in the series, but the recap was sufficient to set the stage for some of the events in this tale while piquing my curiosity about previous events. The almost-romance is a little strange for me as I never did figure out if it was a cultural issue or just another eccentricity but I definitely enjoyed the small-town atmosphere and the wholehearted embrace of the creativity and entertainment of dressing up and Halloween in particular.

A copy of this title was iven to e for review

Friday, June 23, 2017

Flood by Elaine Cantrell (VET, spotlight, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Elaine Cantrell


GENRE: Contemporary Romantic Suspense



Drawn together by their love of animals, Aria DeLuca and Caleb Hawkins burn for each other. They never suspected that malignant forces were successfully plotting Caleb’s ruin from the moment he entered her life.

When the flood of a century strikes Aria’s hometown, an alienated Caleb is all that stands between her and catastrophic loss.



Exclusive Exceprt:

As the waiter left, both he and Aria reached for a fry at the same time. Their fingers brushed together. An arc of fire shot through his entire body and set him to burning. He had to remind himself to breathe. Frozen by the fire, he couldn’t move his hand. Aria didn’t try to move her hand either. Had the fire burned her too? Her face had flushed, and her eyes glittered like two brown stars.

With a sharp intake of breath, she pulled away and shoved the fries toward him. “You take them.” 

He forced himself to move. Taking a couple of fries, he dropped them on his waxed paper and fumbled for some ketchup. Chancing a peek at Aria who was doing everything she could not to look at him, he lost his breath again. His heart hammered in his throat. “Uh, I’ll…I’ll take them home if you don’t wa…want them.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina where she obtained a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University.  She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators and Romance Writers of America.  Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest.  When she’s not writing or teaching, she enjoys movies, quilting, reading, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments. 

Find Elaine at the following locations.




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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Second Time's the Charm: A Romance Summer Box Set by Holly Cortelyou, Ja’Nese Dixon, Khardine Gray, Robyn Rychards and T. S. Sharp (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Second Time’s the Charm
by Holly Cortelyou, Ja’Nese Dixon, Khardine Gray, Robyn Rychards
and T. S. Sharp


GENRE: Romance



What happens when a summer getawayoffers a second chance at love?

Five unforgettable romances. Five delicious heroes. Summer lovin’ doesn’t get any better than this. Escape with these brand new, sweet and sensual second chances at love.

Dive into these lush beachy reads and feel the temptation of lost love rekindled…and lose yourself in captivating, heart-melting happy-ever-afters!



I Love You Again 

by Khardine Gray

"Let's do the bets before the guys get here." Jennifer smiled. Neil and his groomsmen were meeting them for dinner. It was the chance for everyone to meet properly. "Neil's best man is single and a complete hottie." Jennifer giggled.

"Hottie?" Trina asked with narrowed eyes. "Can you even say that anymore?"

"Yes, because my Neil knows I think he's the hottest of them all. Anyway, I've known his friend for years, and I always thought he'd be nice for one of you two. I don't know the other guys that well but this guy has the full package."

Trina rolled her eyes. "Mandy can have him. I bet twenty she'll be the wedding hook up."

"Me?" Mandy pointed to herself. "I bet thirty it's you." "Okay. I'll go with Mandy and Jennifer, Trina," Lizzie said. "I'm going in big for a hundred." Jennifer smiled.

Trina shook her head. Jennifer always went in big. It was sad that this time she would lose a hundred bucks. That was a decent pair of shoes or a nice top in Nordstrom. It was so silly to waste so much on a bet.

"Oh you would wouldn't you," Lizzie grumbled. "I bet one fifty on Mandy then."

"Oh look. They're here, and there he is." Jennifer beamed. They looked across the restaurant, over the crowded tables to the entrance where more people were coming in to start their evening.

Trina saw Neil first. He'd had his black hair cut into a neat style that allowed him to keep his locks. Dressed in a white cotton shirt and dark trousers he looked elegant and carried his tall, muscular stature with grace. Trina thought he moved as if he were floating towards them. No, not them.

He floated towards Jennifer and had the look of love all over him. Jennifer smiled at him and blew a kiss which he made a show of catching and placing on his heart. Mandy and Lizzie both awed and cooed. Trina looked back to Neil and saw two dark haired guys next to him that she didn't recognize.

"It's the guy behind Neil. The really tall gorgeous one with all the muscles." Jennifer giggled. "There."

Trina followed Jennifer's gaze and looked behind Neil. When her eyes landed on the man Jennifer was referring to, her whole body froze.

Completely froze. She was sure her heart had stopped too because she couldn't feel it anymore. Trina drew in a sharp breath and choked back a cry as spasms of shock erupted within her.

She felt faint and feverish both at the same time as she continued to look at him in an attempt to work out if her mind was playing tricks on her. Prolonging her stare confirmed it was not. She'd recognize him anywhere. Yes, he was tall - six feet four to be exact - and still gorgeous with his Hollywood good looks, muscular physique and shiny blonde hair. But this guy was deadly.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

About Holly Cortelyou

Holly Cortelyou is a romance author who pens sweet and spicy small town, contemporary romances as wells as supernatural and paranormal historical romances.

On any given day, Holly can be found sipping coffee and surfing Facebook for gossip on royals, college football (Go Ducks!), knitting, and ghosts!

After trying on many hats as a meeting planner, political scientist, long-haul trucker, and financial services specialist, she’s finally found the perfect fit as a romance writer!

Holly’s living her own Happily Ever After with an uber-handy and sexily broad-shouldered husband, and a fluffball kitty in sun-kissed Southern Oregon…and an exuberant lab puppy who rules our hearts!

She has hazel eyes and a goofy sense of humor…all the rest is subject to change without notice.

You can always find her at her website and via e-mail.

Happy Reading!!!

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About Ja’Nese Dixon

Ja’Nese Dixon pens tales of romance in several sub-genres. But her favorites are the ones that manage to keep readers sitting on the edge of their seats lying to themselves about reading “just one more chapter”.

Ja’Nese is an avid reader and coffee drinker, who also loves to run, cook, and craft. Her ultimate goal as a writer is to give you a little “staycation” with every story. And she aims to make this present story no exception. Sit back, grab a snack and enjoy.

Ja’Nese calls Houston home with her husband, three kiddos and a four-legged diva dog.

Visit her website if you enjoy romance, suspense and good stories.

Stay in Touch

About Khardine Gray

Khardine Gray is a contemporary romance author who lives in England with her husband, two kids, and three crazy ferrets.

She is well traveled, cultured, and a woman with a passion for dancing and ice skating.

When not writing you can catch her shopping, indulging on pizza and hot chocolate, or hanging out with her family and friends.

No need to spend money on an airline ticket. Simply pick up one of Khardine's books to become immersed in the fascinating stories and characters she creates.

Stay in Touch

About Robyn Rychards

Robyn Rychards grew up in the granola bowl of the United States, Boulder Colorado, a town filled with fruits, flakes and nuts. She considers herself a Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none and has taught herself to sew, paint, play the piano, garden, cook, the list goes on. But now that her books are published, she’s thrilled to finally be considered a master of one. At least as much as a person can be, for the learning never really stops.

She feels her active imagination is a blessing and a curse, with the blessing far outweighing the curse since it has led her to fulfill her dream of writing for Harlequin. Robyn started writing stories when she was a teenager because she didn’t have enough books to read. Sometimes she finds it hard to believe that people are willing to pay her to do something she enjoys so much, but mostly she’s happy to have such a wonderful excuse not to cook and clean. And a job that means you can stay in your jammies as long as you want? Priceless.

She also loves to hear from her readers, so send her an email. You can get in touch with her on Twitter, @robynrychards. She loves meeting new people on Facebook too and can be found under her name, Robyn Rychards. Check out her web page for details about her books and upcoming releases.

Stay in Touch

About T. S. Sharp

T. S. Sharp, AKA Tierra, is a driven, passionate and charismatic author hailing from Mobile, Alabama.

A self-described “twenty-something introvert”, T. S. Sharp is truly passionate about anything that concerns words and reading, and she would often spend her time reading even beyond her school obligations, often resting in her bed with her trusty kindle and a wealth of amazing literature at her disposal.

Although she is debuting with her first work, Tierra is a very flexible and eclectic writer with a very kaleidoscopic taste: she loves to read different genres and therefore, she creates very diverse stories in her head, unleashing the full potential of her creativity and sharing her ideas with the readers in a unique and refreshing ways.

Tierra’s passion can only be accurately described with her own words and specifically, with one of her most sincere wishes:

“I hope you enjoy my books as much as I enjoy creating them.” – T. S. Sharp

Stay in Touch




Summer Lovin’ Giveaway

Enter for a Chance to Win

Five unforgettable romances. Five delicious heroes. Summer lovin’ doesn’t get any better than this. Escape with these brand new, sweet and sensual second chances at love.

Grand Prize Winner

$25 Gift Card and five (5) bundle from us.

All Entrants

All entrants receive five stories for your eReader.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

An Unwilling Suspect by Jo Hiestand (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Jo A. Hiestand


GENRE: British mystery



McLaren’s fiancée tragically died one month ago. Trying to heal emotionally from her death, McLaren settles into a rented farmhouse in the woods near picturesque Lake Windermere, in Cumbria. But he’s barely had a chance to rest when Helen, the woman in the neighboring cottage, is killed…and is discovered near his front door.

Because McLaren had spent much of the previous day with her, and his snowy footprints lead to and from her house, he becomes the prime murder suspect in what the police label a frustrated romantic advance.

Motives for Helen’s murder are as chilling as the outdoor temperature. There’s the hands-on garage mechanic who’d like to put his hands all over her, the affluent fishing guide, and Helen’s former boyfriend who wanted to renew the relationship.

Can McLaren find the killer before the police jail him for murder?



The acrid smell of smoke woke him. He lay in bed, trying to understand what was happening. As the significance of the odor occurred to him, he threw back the duvet and got up quickly.

He forgot that he’d looked up a few things last night. He must have fallen asleep without putting away the laptop, for it flipped off the top of the bed and crashed onto the floor. “Damn.” He bent over and picked it up. The top dangled, gripping the keyboard by its left edge. McLaren punched the power button but nothing happened. The screen stayed black. He tossed the laptop onto the bed and quickly slipped into his jeans and shoes as the odor intensified.

He ran into the front room. Fingers of light gray smoke threaded through the air and he coughed, but he saw no other sign of fire. He checked the back room, kitchen and second bedroom, but encountered nothing more than smoke. As he dashed back into the front, he glanced outside. The land was on fire.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folk singing stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren cold case mystery series.

 Jo’s insistence for accuracy, from police methods and location layout to the general feel of the area, has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat Tennyson shares her St. Louis home.



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The tour dates can be found here


My review:

3.75 out of 5 stars

An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A. Hiestand is a mystery set in England that is part of the ‘McLaren Mysteries’ series. Michael McLaren has availed himself of a countryside retreat in Windemere offered him to use while he tries to recover from his recent tragedy. A neighborly act somehow enmeshes him in a murder investigation with him as the number one suspect. The more he tries to discover the true murderer, the more complicated the case becomes, even when he calls in a former colleague. Danger mounts until it is possible he may not live to uncover the true murderer.

There are beautifully emotional elements in this story and some vividly described scenes that evoke a countryside retreat. The story starts on a gentle mournful note and gains momentum as McLaren interacts with various denizens while battling grief and ultimately, while conducting his own investigation of the murder he is accused of. Clues and red herrings abound until the final exciting twists, and there is a mystical element that adds another layer of mystery to the story.

There are a few elements that were uncomfortable for me, including the shifting and numerous points of view that don’t quite sync with the third person omniscient, as well as the apparent preponderance of characters who seem amazingly bloodthirsty and amoral. Not everything is tied up in a tidy bow, so I still have plenty of questions. Although this is part of a series, there is enough detail that one is not completely lost, but the allusions to previous events definitely encourage one’s curiosity about what would have brought McLaren to this point. I think that those who like mysteries with a somewhat sobering British flair will enjoy this tale.

A copy of this title was given to me for review