Book review: The Designer by Marius Gabriel

  • Title & Author:  The Designer by Marius Gabriel
  • Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
  • Date published:  October 1, 2017
  • Pages: 388 pages
  • Genre:  biographical fiction / general fiction / historical fiction

Book Description:

In 1944, newly married Copper Reilly arrives in Paris soon after the liberation. While the city celebrates its freedom, she’s stuck in the prison of an unhappy marriage. When her husband commits one betrayal too many, Copper demands a separation.

Alone in Paris, she finds an unlikely new friend: an obscure, middle-aged designer from the back rooms of a decaying fashion house whose timid nature and reluctance for fame clash with the bold brilliance of his designs. His name is Christian Dior.

Realising his genius, Copper urges Dior to strike out on his own, helping to pull him away from his insecurities and towards stardom. With just a camera and a typewriter, she takes her own advice and ventures into the wild and colourful world of fashion journalism.

Soon Copper finds herself torn between two very different suitors, questioning who she is and what she truly wants. As the city rebuilds and opulence returns, can Copper make a new, love-filled life for herself?

Buy the book:   Amazon    Barnes & Noble

Meet the author:  

Marius Gabriel is an international thriller and mystery writer.  Under the pseudonym Madeleine Ker, he wrote over 30 romance novels in the 1980s.

As Marius Gabriel he has written several mystery best-sellers, some of them historical novels. 

He has three grown-up children and currently lives in Cairo and London.

Connect with the author:   Twitter    Facebook    goodreads

REVIEW:

As a photographer and fashion enthusiast, I was looking forward to exploring the rise of fashion and the world of Christian Dior during the remaining years of WWII.  The story revolves around Oona Reilly (Copper), a young American woman stationed in Paris with her journalist husband.  After her marriage falls apart and her husband is stationed elsewhere, Oona becomes heavily involved in the bohemian art and fashion world.  This association leads her to become a protege of Christian Dior, a talented designer who has yet to establish his own design house.

Although this book is primarily historical fiction, there are several historical events relating to the war described in this novel such as the concentration camps, the severe living conditions in France at the time as well as the role the American army and the French resistance played in liberating France from the Nazis.  I found myself googling the characters and events in the book for more information and found that the events described were accurate.

Although Oona’s meteoric rise as a photographer and  a successful freelance journalist seemed “a little too effortless” to be believable I really did enjoy reading this novel.

 

Book review: What is Forgiven (The Anna Klein Trilogy Book 2) by C.F. Yetmen

  • What is Forgiven by C.F. Yetmen
  • Publisher:  Ypsilon & Co. Press
  • Date published:  September 5th, 2017
  • Pages:  367
  • Genre:   Historical romance / historical fiction / mystery / suspense

DESCRIPTION:

At the end of 1945 in a shattered Germany, Anna Klein is faced with tough choices about her future. Her plum job working as a translator for Captain Henry Cooper, one of the American Monuments Men, means she has a house and an income, as well as hands-on access to some of the world’s most precious art. But her life is falling apart on all fronts: her family is displaced, the boy in her care is being sought by authorities, and she must resolve to finally end her marriage. When she realizes that someone has tampered with two important paintings taken from a Jewish collector—paintings she was charged with safeguarding—Anna is determined to solve the crime. But without hard evidence and no motive, she can prove nothing and as State Department big wigs threaten to shut down the Monuments Men’s operation, she and her boss are under special scrutiny. As all signs begin to point to an inconvenient suspect in the crime, she has to play it by the book to keep her job and return the art to its rightful owner, if she can find him.

Buy the book:   Amazon
MEET THE AUTHOR:

C.F. YETMEN is a writer and consultant specializing in architecture and design.

She is co-author of The Owner’s Dilemma: Driving Success and Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry and a former publisher of Texas Architect magazine. The Roses Underneath is her first novel.

Connect with the author:  Website   Facebook   Twitter   goodreads

REVIEW:

This book is a sequel to The Roses Underneath where we continue to follow the activities of Anna Klein and Captain Cooper as they become unwittingly become embroiled in conspiracies involving a huge cache of stolen artwork they recently discovered in an abandoned farmhouse.

Anna’s life has taken on another element as she “adopts” a streetwise orphan boy.  Her home with her mother’s friend has been requisitioned by the army and she has two days to find somewhere to place her family.  Captain Cooper, not an army man per se, has “bucked the system” a few times too many and now the army has them both under surveillance.  Anna is beginning to feel the pressure and has doubts who she can really trust – the army – her new roommate – even Captain Cooper.  Her husband has been branded a “Commie” and is not welcome in Wiesbaden.  Anna is unwilling to return to the Russian held part of Germany.  Her love for her husband but her respect and admiration for Captain Cooper pull her in two directions.

An excellent follow through of Anna’s story and I can’t wait to read the third segment.  Kudos to a wonderfully talented debut writer!

Book review: The Roses Underneath by C.F. Yetmen

  • The Roses Underneath by C.F. Yetmen
  • Publisher:  Ypsilon & Co. Press
  • Date published:  January 28th, 2014
  • Pages:  411
  • Genre:   Historical romance / historical fiction

DESCRIPTION:

It is August 1945 in Wiesbaden, Germany. With the country in ruins, Anna Klein, displaced and separated from her beloved husband, struggles to support herself and her six-year old daughter Amalia. Her job typing forms at the Collecting Point for the US Army’s Monuments Men is the only thing keeping her afloat. Charged with securing Nazi-looted art and rebuilding Germany’s monuments, the Americans are on the hunt for stolen treasures. But after the horrors of the war, Anna wants only to hide from the truth and rebuild a life with her family. When the easy-going American Captain Henry Cooper recruits her as his reluctant translator, the two of them stumble on a mysterious stash of art in a villa outside of town. Cooper’s penchant for breaking the rules capsizes Anna’s tenuous security and propels her into a search for elusive truth and justice in a world where everyone is hiding something.

In her debut novel C.F. Yetmen tells a story of loss and reconciliation in a shattered world coming to terms with war and its aftermath.

Buy the book:   Amazon
MEET THE AUTHOR:

C.F. YETMEN is a writer and consultant specializing in architecture and design.

She is co-author of The Owner’s Dilemma: Driving Success and Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry and a former publisher of Texas Architect magazine. The Roses Underneath is her first novel.

Connect with the author:  Website   Facebook   Twitter   goodreads

REVIEW:

This novel was an expected pleasure to read.  The book centers around Anna Klein, a mother with a five year old daughter who has fled the Russian held sector of Austria/Germany where her husband, a country doctor and communist, has decided to remain.  Fleeing to American controlled Weisbaden to find find her mother’s best friend, Anna struggles with extreme poverty and  lack of food .

She finds a job working for the Monuments Men, men of different artistic disciplines who were drafted from the US to recover art treasures stolen by the Nazis. Because of her ability to speak English as well as her background in art, she is hired as a translator for Captain Cooper, an architect drafted into the army to assist in the recovery of the artwork.

Although this is a piece of historical fiction with a gripping storyline, we also become privy to the private sentiments of extreme guilt felt by some the German civilians, even non-Nazi supporters, who saw or didn’t quite understand what was happening during the ethnic cleansing.  Anna’s need to expunge her past and redeem herself became a very meaningful part of this story.

Despite the serious nature of the topic, I found myself flying through the pages.  An intelligent and absorbing storyline.

BOOK TOUR: The Nomad’s Premonition by Georges Benay

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Nomad’s Premonition by Georges Benay
Category:  Adult Fiction,   240 pages
Genre:  Thriller, mystery/suspense
Publisher:   Story Merchant Books
Release date:  April 28, 2017
Format available for review:  print & ebook (mobi, PDF)
Will ship print books to:  Canada
Tour dates: August 14 to Sept 15, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (some violence, a couple of swear words – minimal)

Book Description:

​Eric Martin is desperate to forget his past, one that almost cost him his future.

Working in Paris as deputy head of a bank’s internal security department, Eric notices a high-speed trader’s uncanny ability to predict extremely profitable trades. Even though there’s nothing illegal about the activity, he knows the trader’s success is more than just luck.

But, no one believes him. Armed only with a handful of data and a powerful instinct, Eric searches for the mysterious trader on his own. He suspects that a predictive algorithm has fallen into the wrong hands.

​Eric sets off for Istanbul to find answers promised to him by an informant. He finds an unlikely ally in Interpol agent Stephanie Brule. With Interpol wanting him back in Paris and out of the way, Eric’s quest is also hampered by the sudden appearance of his ex-lover, a boss he’s not sure he can trust, and a terrorist who always seems one step ahead.

​Will Eric put an end, once and for all, to the nightmare that began when he accepted a job that was too good to be true? Or will his need for revenge and justice lead him deeper into a treacherous world he has no way of escaping?

Buy the book:    ​Amazon

Georges Benay

Meet the Author:

Georges Benay is a former international banker who is now working as a Toronto-based writer and award-winning photographer.

He is the author of two novels, including The Nomad’s Premonition and a collection of short stories. His award winning pictures have been featured in several magazines and book covers.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Photography Website  ~  Twitter

REVIEW:
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Eric Martin is intrigued and disturbed when he uncovers data about a mysterious but highly successful stock trader.  Unable to pinpoint where the trades are originating, Eric takes it upon himself to flush out the unknown trader.  He is joined by an agent from Interpol who is one of the few who he can trust with his mission.
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The author cleverly throws in action-packed sequences and red herrings to keep us guessing the identity of this now dangerous adversary.
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Unfortunately, this book was a very slow read as it was bogged down by excessive descriptions and off-shoots in the plot which, I felt, detracted from a very good storyline.  I reached a point about half way through the book where I didn’t have the mental energy to want to find out “whodunnit”.
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Book review: A Year in the Company of Freaks by Teresa Neumann

Book Details:

Book Title:  A Year in the Company of Freaks
Author: Teresa Neumann
Category:  Adult Fiction,   515 pages
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher:   All’s Well House
Release date:  Dec 21, 2015
Format available for review:  print & ebook (gifted Kindle copy)
Will ship print books to:  USA & Canada only
Tour dates: Sept 11 to 29, 2017
Content Rating: PG + M (Little violence and profanity, no f-words, no sex, but some drug use)

Book Description:

It’s 1972 and a seismic clash-of-cultures is rattling northern California. In the redneck town of Trinity Springs, rumors of hippies migrating up from San Francisco have residents bracing for an invasion. When Italian-American hometown boy and Berkeley graduate Sid Jackson is busted for growing pot on his deceased parents’ farm, locals suspect the assault has begun. Will a crazy deferral program devised by the sheriff keep Sid out of prison? Or will a house full of eccentric strangers, a passionate love interest, and demons from his past be his undoing?

A “disarmingly appealing” tale of discrimination, transformation and restoration, Freaks is bursting with intrigue, drama, comic relief and romance. Reviewers agree this five-star, coming-of-age classic “very much reflects the attitude and mood of the times.”

Praise for A Year in the Company of Freaks:

“This coming of age story will draw the reader right in. Teresa Neumann demonstrates how much she values relationships in her writing … a precious skill. I held my breath all the way through to the final few pages. Five stars!” — The San Francisco Book Review

“As it relates to the complicated clash of culture and counterculture, Freaks acts as an authentic, strongly Seventies book. Northern California works as a strong presence in the novel that is vivid and omnipresent, but never overwhelming. Sure to intrigue and entertain, Freaks will have its digs in you before you realize how involved you’ve become.” — The Manhattan Book Review

Teresa Neumann

About the Author:

Author of highly-acclaimed “A Year in the Company of Freaks,” Teresa was raised in a large Midwest family and now lives in Oregon. She is also the author of “Bianca’s Vineyard,” and its sequel, “Domenico’s Table.” Both books are based on the true stories of her husband’s Italian family in Tuscany. In addition to enjoying family, writing, reading, meeting her readers, wine tasting, traveling, and all things Italian, Teresa loves playing the fiddle with other musicians.

Connect with the Author:  Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

REVIEW:  (by Anne Benard)

Well this novel certainly surpassed my expectations!  The narrative quickly grabbed my attention and kept me intrigued all the way through. I found it to be a real page turner due to its interesting storyline and well thought out character development. I appreciate that the personalities in this novel are multifaceted and not the usual stereotypes that are often found in fiction.  It’s obvious that the author based her tale on real people facing issues that we can all recognize and easily identify with.  Being a child of the 70s I also appreciate that the language and description of the era is authentic to the times. Thanks for the ‘trip’ Ms. Neumann, it was fun. An entertaining read that I would highly recommend.

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR: The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind by Tyfany Janee

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind
Category:   Adult Fiction; 40 pages
Genre:  Poetry
Publisher:  Tyfany Williams
Release date:  March 31,2017
Tour dates:  Aug 21 to Sept 1, 2017
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M (for mature content of love and relationships etc. 1-2 word usage of bad language. No sex scenes or erotica language.)

Book Description:

The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind, is a showcase in talent from author and poet Tyfany Janee. She’s eloquently produced the anthology through plaintive artistic angst. Injecting the essence of her soul into her prose. The diverse collection of poetry which lies between the covers is the result of an entire life’s work experimenting within her vocation.

Her work is comprised of truth, meaning, hope, possibility and a succinct hint of humor as she tears away the facade from humanity. The works shed light on relative issues that we’re all faced with in our easily waywardly led astray lives, and the monotony that makes up our existence.

The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind is an ode to the beat generation of poets that carved their names in literary history. Any creative mind will revel in the inspiration that lies between these pages; it’s full of daring attitude, and celebration for the authentic. A unique look on love, that you have to dare to delve within. It harnesses true devotion, with a stark, hair raising element of modern reality.

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads
​Book Trailer:

Tyfany Janee

Meet the Author:

Tyfany Janee is a mother and an upcoming graduate with a BS in Business Administration in a concentration of Entrepreneurship, and a minor in Marketing. She is a prolific writer, author and poet and she has an upcoming plan of releasing a short story collection in 2018 that she titles; The Road Sometimes Traveled; and a poetry collection book titled “RSVP: To Be You Unapologetically.”

Additionally, a release of a debut novel, the first of a series in 2019 she titles; To Love Him..I.

Her recent book is comprised of truth, meaning, hope, possibility and a much-needed element of humor when it comes to exposing the true nature of humankind. Tyfany devours inspiration wherever she can get it, from cult classics, to just about anything she can see.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ facebook ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

Aug 21 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 21 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 22 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 22 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 23 – Spines in a Line – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 23 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 24 – Adventures Thru Wonderland – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 24 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 25 – Travelling Through Words – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 25 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
Aug 28 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Aug 28 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 29 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 30 – 411 on Books, Authors and Publishing News – book spotlight / guest post /giveaway
Aug 31 – Reading Authors – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 31 – Words And Peace – book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 1 –  Adventurous Jessy – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR: Seven Threads: A Book of Short Stories by Jason Atkinson

Book Details:

Book Title:  Seven Threads: A Book of Short Stories
Author:  Jason Atkinson
Category:  Adult Fiction,  151 pages
Genre:   Thriller and Suspense
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date: July 4 , 2017
Tour dates:  July 10 to 28, 2017
Content Rating:  PG

Book Description:

In this collection of seven short stories from Jason Atkinson, follow a man accused of murder, a runaway girl on a train, a scientist at the heart of a government conspiracy, and more! Full of twists and turns, Seven Threads offers a selection of fast-paced stories full of heart and excitement.

Meet the Author:

​Jason Atkinson lives in the Midwest with his wife and son. With a love of writing, this is his 3rd book, but first book in the fiction category.

Short stories are easy to digest, and yet, this book still provides all the joys for the long haul reader. Jason write for everyone in mind when creating this piece and hopes you will enjoy it as much as he did when writing it.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Facebook  

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR:

July 10 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
July 10 – Simple Wyrdings – book spotlight / giveaway
July 11 – Kristin’s Novel Café – book spotlight / interview
July 11 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post
July 12 – Books, Dreams, Life –  book spotlight / interview
July 12 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
July 13 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 13 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 14 – The Reader’s Handbook – book spotlight / giveaway
July 14 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
July 17 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 17 – A Holland Reads – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 18 – FUONLYKNEW – book spotlight / interview / giveaway
July 18 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / interview / giveaway
July 19 – The Irresponsible Reader – book spotlight / interview / giveaway
July 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 20 – Hall Ways Blog –  book spotlight / interview / giveaway
July 20 – The Cubicle Escapee – book spotlight / giveaway
July 21 – My Devotional Thoughts – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 24 – Teresa Edmond-Sargeant – book spotlight / guest post
July 24 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
July 25 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
July 25 – Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / interview / giveaway
July 26 – JBronder Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 27 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
July 28 – Books for Books – book spotlight
July 28 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

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The Portrait by Antoine Laurain

  • Publisher:  Gallic Books
  • Date of publication:  June 26, 2017
  • Pages:  144
  • Genre:  Literary fiction / humour

SYNOPSIS:

A collector unearths the find of a lifetime: an eighteenth-century portrait of a man uncannily like him.  While wandering through a Paris auction house, avid collector Pierre-François Chaumont is stunned to discover the eighteenth-century portrait of an unknown man who looks just like him.  Much to his delight, Chaumont’s bid for the work is successful, but back at home his jaded wife and circle of friends are unable to see the resemblance.  Chaumont remains convinced of it, and as he researches into the painting’s history, he is presented with the opportunity to abandon his tedious existence and walk into a brand new life.

BUY THE BOOK:    AMAZON.CA    AMAZON.COM    BARNES & NOBLE    WEBSITE

MEET THE AUTHOR:  Antoine Laurain was born in Paris and is a journalist, antiques collector and the author of five novels. The President’s Hat, a charming fable set in the Mitterrand years, was awarded the Prix Landerneau Découvertes and the Prix Relay in 2012 and is published in English by Gallic.

It was a Waterstones Book Club book and ABA Indies Introduce pick in 2013. Antoine was chosen to represent France at European Literature Night 2014.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:    GOODREADS  

REVIEW:

Antoine Laurain has written a provocative and uncanny novella that takes place in Paris. The story revolves around a collector, an obsessive collector whose passion began as a child when he decided to start a rubber eraser collection.  Pierre-Francois Chaumont is a lawyer is devoted to surrounding himself with beautiful objects. His obsession has landed him in trouble with his wife so he’s on the straight and narrow. Until he sees the portrait.  The face is his own.

This story has a  very different feel from the other novels the author has written.  Whereas the stories such as “The Red Notebook” and “The President’s Hat” were good natured and lively, this tale is a tad darker with a hint something that is possibly otherworldly.

A good book to bring with you as you enjoy a cappuccino at your favourite cafe.

Lauren Carr’s Audiobook-a-palooza Blog Tour!

 

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Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with LaurenWebsite  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Guest Post: Characters in Fur Coats

By Lauren Carr

Anyone who has read even one of my murder mysteries learns one thing instantly about me—I love animals. That’s love with a capital “L”. I can’t help it. I was raised on a farm surrounded by dogs, cats, cattle, horses, rabbits. When I moved out on my own, it was a given that I would have a cat or dog. I didn’t care which. If it has fur, feathers, paws or claws, I’m all over it.

So, when I started writing books, I naturally had to include furry characters. Now, if you haven’t read one of my mysteries, then don’t assume that I have animal detectives. No, my fur-covered characters are more realistic. They don’t talk or even do detective work. But, they are still characters who interact with the humans enough to be worthy of being listed in my cast of characters at the front of the book.

Let me illustrate.

Yesterday, we took Storm, our female German shepherd, to the vet for a check up. I was concerned that she has been looking more pudgy than she should. Now Storm (aka Sweetheart) is the sweetest, gentlest darling-est canine you would ever want to meet. But she gets very nervous when she goes for a ride in the car and my husband went along to hold her paw. When the vet came into the office, Storm squeezed in behind Jack’s knees. The vet had to get down on her hands and knees to examine her. As she was putting the stethoscope to Storm’s ribs, she turned to me and said, “You’re right. She is overweight.”

Suddenly, Storm’s eyes bulged and she lunged for the vet–barking and snarling. The vet jumped up to her feet and backed away. Jack held her back saying, “It’s okay, Storm. You look good.”

As the vet was backing out of the office, she apologized and said she should have been more sensitive. “Most women react that way when they’re told they’re overweight.”

Storm prefers to think of herself as “voluptuous.”

Now, any dog expert will immediately declare that Storm was not reacting to the vet’s comment as much as she attacked out of fear when the vet got too close. However, the imaginative writer in me, and my husband and vet as well, saw the pure humor in Storm’s timing to become violently offended at the vet’s comment about her full figure.

As a writer, I am constantly watching and studying people in my search for interesting characters. Often, one or two traits in a real-life individual will serve as a jumping off point to make for a wildly memorable character. I can honestly say that this is abundantly true with my fur-covered characters as well.

The famous Gnarly (Or should I say infamous?) is based on Ziggy, an Australian shepherd, that my son acquired as a puppy at a football game. I had had dogs all my life, but never did I have a dog who was as mischievous and smart as this one—until years later when I adopted a German shepherd puppy who I had named Gnarly after my fictional character. Ziggy was so troublesome that I had him analyzed by an animal behavioral expert who said that the pup was so intelligent that he was easily bored. Therefore, he looked for trouble to amuse himself.

Thus, Mac Faraday’s Gnarly was born!

Cat owners, have you ever met a one-person cat? Irving, the black and white Maine Coon who is identical to a skunk in my Lovers and Crime mystery series, is based on Duchess. Unlike Irving, Duchess’s markings were the reverse of a skunk. She was white with a black stripe down her back.

But, like Irving, Duchess was a one-woman cat. She was intensely jealous of my husband when he stole me away from her. One evening, I had spent a whole evening making a romantic dinner—chateaubriand for two for my new husband. We had candlelight, fire in the fireplace, champagne, the works. In our small first apartment, the dining area was in a great room, with the table set up next to the back of the sofa.

We had just started to eat when Duchess jumped up onto the back of the sofa and made her way down the whole length of it to where Jack was sitting. We couldn’t help but notice her because she slithered toward him with such a sense of purpose.

“Look at that,” Jack said as she moved up to his shoulder.

Looking right at Jack, Duchess moved in closer and then shot a giant hairball straight at his plate. Two points as the hairball landed right on top of the chateaubriand!

Jack and I screamed. Duchess flew off the sofa and disappeared for a very long time. No one missed the fact that she had deposited that hairball in Jack’s plate to send a message meant only for him—the homewrecker who had stolen her human.

It was that incident that inspired Irving, Cameron Gate’s one woman cat, who views her husband Joshua Thornton as competition for her affection. Recently, I decided to give Irving a break by giving him another human to attach himself to in Izzy, the Thornton’s adopted daughter.

I can’t resist using animal character because they are characters.

In Three Days to Forever and the Thorny Rose Mysteries, readers met Spencer is Jessica’s sheltie, a blue merle (her fur is bluish in color and she has blue eyes). Admittedly, Spencer is not very bright, but she is as adorable as can be. Murphy calls her Candi and she answers to that. The inspiration for this was my own family. My husband always renames our pets, who will then answer to anything.

Then, we have Newman. He is The Man in the Thorny Rose mysteries! Newman is based on our beagle, Beagle Bailey. A number of readers have told me about their canine couch potatoes. Newman has his chair, which no one is allowed to sit in, a television remote which he slaps with his paw to change channels, and he refuses to go for walks.

In a nutshell, Newman is the dog who doesn’t do anything—just like some people I know.

Some may arch an eyebrow at the notion of pets ranking high enough to be an actual character in a book. Those people, I must assume have never actually had a pet. Anyone who has welcomed an animal into their family knows that pets possess full blown personalities and even quirks just like humans.

Where does all these furry characters end? I really don’t know. Recently, I’ve been interviewing a horse in Texas who would like a role in the Mac Faraday Mysteries …

Meet the Narrators:

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Dan Lawson
Over the past several years Dan Lawson has appeared in numerous spots for radio, television and the internet. He has worked with All-State, Sprint PCS, Mountain Dew and many more. His unique ability to mimic existing characters and celebrities has landed him diverse voice match work ranging from Charlie Sheen to Morgan Freeman.In 2008 Dan was cast as the first American voice actor for the Korean video game company, Nexon. Over the next several years Dan was the flagship voice of the company, appearing in such titles as Mabinogi, Maple Story, Vindictus, Dragon Nest, Dungeon Fighter Online and Atlantica. In total he has voiced nearly 100 characters for Nexon.In late 2012 Dan’s voice over career took an unexpected turn into book narration. His first audition landed him the job of narrating The Psychology of Twilight, a psychological look at the wide-spread obsession of the Twilight saga created by Stephanie Meyer.  Eighteen more audiobook narrations have followed and show no signs of slowing down.

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C.J. McAllister

C.J. McAllister is an Audible Approved Producer — “Audible Approved producers are the best audiobook producers in the business.” Only a small number are awarded this honor.

C.J. has produced best-selling audiobooks in multiple genres/styles, TV commercials/promo teasers, animation projects, interviews (TV and radio), corporate presentations.

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James C. Lewis

Another Audible Approved narrator, voice actor  James Lewis has established a solid reputation in fiction as well as non-ficton audiobooks. At latest count, he’s narrated nearly 50.

Although his specialty is noir fiction, James has done several non-fiction books as well on a range of people and subjects: Butch and Sundance, General Custer, Revolutionary War, psychic development, taxes.

James Lewis has been awarded the AudioFile Earphone Award for narration, “The Last Outlaws”. It’s about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

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Mike Alger

A broadcast veteran of over 30 years, Mike Alger is best known as the award-winning Chief Meteorologist for KTVN-TV in Reno, NV. He is also a successful author, having penned the Mystery-Thriller novel “Snow Storm,” and is the narrator of the audiobook of the same name.

TOUR SCHEDULE:

May 8 – Library of Clean Reads – tour spotlight / interview with C.J. McAllister
May 8 – Corinne Rodrigues – book spotlight  / guest post / giveaway
May 8 – Working Mommy Journal – review of Old Loves Die Hard
May 9 – T’s Stuff – review of Old Loves Die Hard / author interview / giveaway
May 9 – Amie’s Book Reviews – review of Old Loves Die Hard
May 10 – Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author – book spotlight / giveaway
May 10 – TDC Book Reviews – review of Shades of Murder / author interview
May 11 – Amie’s Book Reviews – review of The Murders at Astaire Castle /  interview with Dan Lawson
May 11 – Blätterflüstern – review of Old Loves Die Hard / interview with James Lewis
May 12 – Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama – book spotlight / interview with CJ McAllister / giveaway
May 12 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 12 – The Cubicle Escapee – review of The Murders at Astaire Castle
May 15 – Dab of Darkness Book Reviews – review of Old Loves Die Hard
May 15 – Books for Books – review of Blast from the Past
May 16 – Books for Books – review of The Lady Who Cried Murder
May 16 – And the Buck Starts Here – review of Old Loves Die Hard / author interview
May 17 – Books for Books – review of The Murders at Astaire Castle
May 17 – Lovely Loveday – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 18 – Blätterflüstern – review of The Murders at Astaire Castle
May 18 – Writers and Authors – guest post / giveaway
May 19 – T’s Stuff – review of Shades of Murder / interview with Mike Alger / giveaway
May 19 –  Madison Loveday – book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – review of Old Loves Die Hard
May 23 – And the Buck Starts Here – review of The Murders at Astaire Castle / interview with Dan Lawson
May 23 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – review of Old Loves Die Hard / guest post by James Lewis
May 24 – Nighttime Reading Center – review of Old Loves Die Hard
May 24 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – review of Dead on Ice
May 25 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – interview with James Lewis
May 26 – Bound 4 Escape – review of Old Loves Die Hard / giveaway
May 26 – T’s Stuff – review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
May 26 – Book Lover Promo – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 29 – Blooming with Books – review of Twelve to Murder / guest post / giveaway
May 30 – Literary Flits – review of Old Loves Die Hard / giveaway
May 30 – Blooming with Books – review of Cancelled Vows / giveaway
May 31 – TDC Book Reviews – review of Blast From the Past / interview with Dan Lawson
June 1 –  Working Mommy Journal – review of The Lady Who Cried Murder
June 2 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – review of Real Murder
June 5 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review of Old Loves Die Hard / guest post
June 6 – Dab of Darkness Book Reviews – review of Dead on Ice
June 7 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – guest post by Mike Alger
June 8 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 8 – The Cubicle Escapee – review of The Lady Who Cried Murder
June 9 –  Nighttime Reading Center – review of Twelve to Murder
June 9 –  Bound 4 Escape – review of Shades of Murder / giveaway
June 12 – Book review nature photos – review of Kill and Run / author interview
June 12 – Literary Flits – review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
June 13 – Books for Books – review of Three Days to Forever
June 14 – Laura’s Interests – review of Cancelled Vows / interview with James Lewis / giveaway
June 15 – My Reading Journeys – review of Shades of Murder / author interview / giveaway
June 16 – Library of Clean Reads – review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
June 19 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review of The Lady Who Cried Murder
June 19 – By The Book – review of Kill and Run
June 20 – A Holland Reads – review of Dead on Ice / guest post / giveaway
June 21 – Laura’s Interests – review of Killer in the Band / guest post by Mike Alger / giveaway
June 22 – Melina’s Book Blog – review of The Lady Who Cried Murder
June 23 – Melina’s Book Blog – review of Open Season for Murder
June 26 – Book review nature photos – review of A Fine Year for Murder / interview with C.J. McAllister
June 27 – Library of Clean Reads – review of Real Murder / giveaway
June 28 – Working Mommy Journal – review of Dead on Ice
June 29 – Kristin’s Novel Cafe – review of Kill and Run / giveaway
June 30 – Kristin’s Novel Cafe – review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
June 30 – Outset – review of A Fine Year for Murder
July 1 – Writers and Authors – review of Dead on Ice
July 3 – A Holland Reads – review of Real Murder / giveaway
July 3 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
July 4 – Outset – review of Twelve to Murder
July 5 – The Journey Back – review of Dead on Ice / interview with Mike Alger / giveaway
July 6 – Jessica Cassidy – review of Old Loves Die Hard / guest post / giveaway
July 7 – JBronder Book Reviews – review of Shades of Murder / guest post
July 10 – Working Mommy Journal – review of Three Days to Forever
July 11 – Rainy Days Reviews – review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
July 11 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
July 12 – JBronder Book Reviews – review of Blast from the Past
July 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight
July 13 – Rainy Days Reviews – review of Real Murder / giveaway
July 13 – Elsie’s Audiobook Digest – review of Old Loves Dies Hard
July 14 – Jessica Cassidy – review of Shades of Murder

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!  

Prize:  One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card (Open internationally)

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Book spotlight tour: Dancing in the Rain (The Italian Family Series) by Lucy Appadoo

Book Details:

Book Title:  Dancing in the Rain (The Italian Family Series)
Author:  Lucy Appadoo
Category:  Adult Fiction,   274 pages
Genre:   Historical Coming of Age/Romance/Family Drama
Publisher:  Lucy Appadoo
Release date:  March 24, 2017
Tour dates:  June 5 to 23, 2017
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M (There is physical abuse and death involved.)

Book Description:

Fifteen-year old Valeria Allegro works diligently on the family farm in Italy, where she is torn between her duty to her family and her desire to find freedom from her strict, domineering father. She finds solace in Dario, a young student who provides a blissful escape—until a neighbour’s son, Gregorio, decides he wants her for himself.

This raises an alarm for her father, which leads to family conflict and aggression. When Dario is threatened and her family is plagued by a series of suspicious accidents, Valeria is desperate to keep her loved ones safe. Can she end the turmoil and escape the firmly built trap to find the freedom she craves?

Buy the book:   Amazon.com.au    Amazon.com    Barnes & Noble   Website

Lucy Appadoo

Meet the Author:

Lucy Appadoo is a registered counsellor and wellness coach with a part-time private practice. She also works as a rehabilitation counsellor for the Australian government. In her spare time, she self-publishes or writes nonfiction and fiction texts. She previously worked as a rehabilitation consultant, caseworker, English as a second language teacher, and proofreader.

Lucy has postgraduate diplomas in psychology, education, and English as a Second Language teaching, as well as specialised qualifications in grief counselling and hypnosis. She has also completed wellness coaching courses (levels 1-3) at Wellness Coaching Australia.

Lucy enjoys reading romantic suspense, romance, thrillers, crime novels, family/historical drama, and sagas. She writes in the genres of romantic suspense, historical fiction, and romance. She has enjoyed travelling to exotic places such as Madrid, Mauritius, and Italy, and draws on these experiences in her creative writing.

Lucy’s favourite authors include Kendra Elliot, Christiane Heggan, Theresa Ragan, Tara Moss, Nicholas Sparks, Adriana Trigiani, Erica Spindler, and James Patterson (to name a few).

Lucy’s interests include meditation, playing tennis, journal writing, reading fiction and nonfiction texts about writing, coaching, and counselling, ongoing professional development, spending time with her husband and two daughters, and socialising with friends and family.

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

June 5 –   Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
June 5 –   Kristin’s Novel Café – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 5 –   Library of Clean Reads  – book spotlight / giveaway
June 6 –   Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / author interview
June 6 –   #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
June 6 –   Il Mio Tesoro – book spotlight / giveaway
June 7 –   Essentially Italian – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 7 –   Adventures Thru Wonderland – book spotlight / giveaway
June 7 –   Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
June 8 –   100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
June 8 –   StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
June 9 –   Reviews in the City – book spotlight / giveaway
June 9 –   Paulette’s Papers –  book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 12 – A Holland Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
June 12 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 12 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight
June 13 – The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass – book spotlight / giveaway
June 13 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
June 13 – Literary Flits –  book spotlight / giveaway
June 14 – Just One More Chapter – book spotlight
June 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
June 15 – A Mama’s Corner of the World –  book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 15 – Bookworm for Kids – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 16 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / giveaway
June 19 – Carole’s Book Corner – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 19 – What Cathy Read Next – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 20 – Books for Books – book spotlight
June 20 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 20 – Outset – book spotlight / giveaway
June 21 – Lukten av Trykksverte –  book spotlight / giveaway
June 21 – The Book Drealms – A Book Addict’s Travelogue – book spotlight / giveaway
June 22 – Rockin’ Book Reviews –  book spotlight / giveaway
June 22 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
June 23 – Jessica Cassidy – book spotlight / giveaway
June 23 – Haddie’s Haven – book spotlight / giveaway

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

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