Tuesday, September 19, 2017

{Blog Tour} The Frenchman - Lise McClendon (Review, Excerpt & Giveaway)

Frenchman-ebook-coverLise McClendon

on Tour September 8-21 with

The Frenchman

(mystery) 
Release date: September 8, 2017 at Thalia Press 278 pages
   

SYNOPSIS

In this 5th installment of the Bennett Sisters Mysteries (beginning with Blackbird Fly), attorney Merle Bennett goes to France for an extended stay to drink in the essence of ‘la France Profonde’ and write her own novel. But the countryside is not as tranquil as she hoped. A missing Frenchman, a sinister one, an elderly one, a thieving one, and a vandalizing one: all conspire to turn Merle’s sojourn of reflection into a nightmare of worry. Where is Pascal, her French boyfriend? Who is the man with the terrible scar? Why is someone spray-painting her little stone house in the Dordogne? And will her novel about the French Revolution – snippets of which are included – give her a soupçon of delight or a frisson of danger?
Works fine as a stand-alone

REVIEW

This book follow Merle Bennett who is trying to figure out her life a little bit in this book.  Her son is going to be going off to college and she will now be on her own.  I enjoyed getting to know the innerworings of Merle during the book.  I loved how the author fully developed her as a character. 

I loved the author writing style.  The author did a great job giving some background information so that it was easily read as a standalone book.  Also, I loved all the descriptions that the author used I felt like I could imagine myself right along with Merle during the book.  

The book is told from multiple POV's which I really enjoyed.  I love in a mystery when you can see different parts of the story all come together.   The author gave just enough that I wanted to keep reading to figure out what was going to happen in the end. 

I can't wait to read the other books in the series.  I liked that the series does follow a set of sisters and after reading this book I am intrigued to read the rest. 

I would suggest this as a perfect book to read before bedtime.  The story did capture my attention fully, but I found a lot of natural stopping points where I was able to put the book down and think about what I read.  

I received a copy of this book from France Book Tours to provide an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book. 

My Rating: 4/5

EXCERPT

So, if everyone was so happy, why was the wine fraud division of the Policier Nationale taking a close look at Domaine Bourboulenc? There had been talk among workers, wine agents, and other spies, that the Domaine was planting cheaper varieties of grapes, fast-growing ones, and switching them at the time they sold product to the high-end Domaines such as the Bandols and Châteauneuf-du-Papes. Simply sending the real Bourboulenc variety out of the AOC winemaking region was grounds for an investigation. The switching of varieties made the crime much more grave.
So far Pascal hadn’t seen anything out of the ordinary. He could recognize many of the 50 or 60 varieties of grapes on sight. Others he needed photographs to take to headquarters for identification. This was his third day at the vineyard and it was beginning to look like a dead end. It was difficult to catch a switch of varieties under any conditions.
His boots were no longer black but the color of the earth, filthy, chalky. He thrust his hands in his pockets as the boy got farther ahead. At the end of the row he waited for Pascal.
“It will be a good harvest, yes?” Antoine-Luc asked affably.
“Should be. But one never knows.” Pascal had seen more than a few good growing years ruined by thunderstorms, unseasonable heat, and other rogue events. Grape-growing was a mercurial business, depending on unknowable factors like weather patterns, thus the unsavory nature of criminal activity to make up for lost profits. When all the stars align, many fortunes are made. When they don’t, it is often disastrous.
The tasting room of Domaine Bourboulenc was a disused, musty room lined with empty plastic jugs and centered with a rustic wooden table. A rock propped up one leg. A dirty glass pitcher sat at the downhill end. Antoine-Luc grabbed it.
“This way. Into the kitchen,” he gestured toward a door in the back of the room. “We are very casual here.”
Pascal followed him through the door into a darkened space with two grimy windows. He could make out an ancient range. An old refrigerator rattled in the corner. On the other side of the low-ceilinged room, three men stood around another wooden table, drinking wine and eating cheese and fruit. The grandfather and his two sons. They smiled at Pascal and waved him over, offering him a glass of red wine.
The small talk around the table was strictly agricultural, giving Pascal no new data for his investigation. It wasn’t until Antoine-Luc escorted him to his car an hour later that Pascal got a glimmer of information. The young man had enjoyed a glass or two of wine himself, perfectly normal. He seemed loose and happy.
“So, you will buy many tons of grapes then?” Antoine-Luc slapped him on the back. “Of course you will! There is no better grower of the delicious Bourboulenc than right here. Everyone knows it.” He swung toward Pascal and moved in to speak confidentially. “It is true. Everyone knows it, monsieur. Even those tapettes over at Châteauneuf-du-Pape.”
Pascal eyed him. “I have some competition?”
Bien sûr! The fancy domaines buy our grapes for their grand cru. They are the best. If only grandpapa would ask the right price. He nearly gives them away for free.”
“Would he sell to me at the same outrageous price?” Pascal asked.
Absolument! He will make you a deal you won’t believe. A steal. And, I shouldn’t say, maybe for you an even better deal than the others.” Antoine-Luc grinned at him. “I would much rather sell grapes to you, monsieur. I can tell you are a real Frenchman.”
The boy kept up his patter as Pascal climbed into his car, rolled down the windows, and turned on the air conditioning. Antoine-Luc waxed on about the beauty of the old green BMW sedan, how powerful and beautiful it was even at its age with the sun spots on the paint, and on and on. Pascal thought he would never shut up. Finally, he looked at his watch and it really was time to go.

He had a train to meet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frenchman - Lise McClendonLise McClendon is the author of fifteen novels of mystery, suspense, and general mayhem plus short stories. Her bestselling Bennett Sisters mystery series began with ‘Blackbird Fly.’ She also writes thrillers as Rory Tate, the latest of which is ‘PLAN X.’ Her short story is included in this fall’s noir anthology, ‘The Obama Inheritance.’ She lives in Montana.
Visit her website
Subscribe to her mailing list
Follow her on Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy the book: on Amazon

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GIVEAWAY

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Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]
Global giveaway open to all 7 winners

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

{Blog Tour} Romancing the Wallflower by Michelle Major (Review & Giveaway)

In a Colorado mountain town, a good girl kindergarten teacher propositions a sexy bad boy uncle of one of her students…It’s all part of ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER by Michelle Major




About ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER 
Dedicated kindergarten teacher Erin MacDonald isn't the type to make the first move on a man—especially gorgeous David McCay, her secret crush. But when a crisis involving one of her pupils offers a chance to help the pro baseballer turned local brewery owner, Erin goes way out of her comfort zone. So way out she makes a shocking suggestion!
David moved to the Colorado mountain town to look after his sister and her son. Now he's a stand-in parent to his nephew, trying to fight his attraction to Erin…who just propositioned him. David is nobody's hero. So why can't he convince the sweet, kindhearted beauty that she deserves better than him? Is it because they're the perfect imperfect match?

On Sale in Print: August 22, 2017

On Sale in Digital: September 1, 2017

 Add ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER to your TBR pile on Goodreads!
CELEBRATE THE RELEASE WITH A GIVEAWAY!
Grand Prize: 1 Winner Will Each Receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card
 Runner-Up: 3 Runner-Up Will Receive any Backlist Michelle Major Title (Digital Version Only)


Review:
This book follows Erin a kindergarten teacher who has had a crush on the brewmaster David for some time when the books begins.  Erin makes a bold move to help David with his nephew who happens to be in her class this year.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  The author does a great job creating the romance between Erin and David.  You can tell when you are reading that they are somewhat both interested in each other, but also dealing with other personal issues that stops them from jumping in all together.  

Erin has a lot going on for her right now she is starting an afterschool program in town that she is trying to expand and get additional funding for, as well as being a kindergarten teacher.  I loved how the author went into details about how Erin feels that she is never enough and just average because of past events in her life.  The author did a great job talking about Erin’s family life as well as a past relationship that really put the idea in her head.

David was a great leading character.  He had a rough childhood that lead him to make some questionable decisions as an adult.  The author really goes a great job digging into all the issues as well as giving a lot of background on David so we can get a complete picture.  We can see how both characters have a few issues and believe they are damaged, but we can also see how they might work together.

The author does a great job creating the small town feeling with this book.  I love how a lot of the characters are all related somehow and know one another. 

My one compliant would have to be I felt like the book didn’t really come to the climax the right way.  A big event happens towards the end that I didn’t really see coming because I didn’t realize how effected another character in the book was, we had only gotten a small glimpse before anything happened.  It came out of a little bit of left field for me in a cute romance so I wish we had more of a lead up to the event.

I would suggest this as a great nighttime read.  It was a quick book that was east to pick up and put down when I needed something to read.  I did feel there were some parts where I was more sucked into the book and couldn’t put it down, but overall it was a great nighttime read.
I received a copy of this book from Barclay Publicity to provide an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book.

My Rating: 4/5

Excerpt:
“Stop staring at the hottie brewmaster’s butt.”
Erin MacDonald choked on the gulp of strawberry daiquiri she’d just swallowed. “I’m not staring at anyone’s butt,” she said as she grabbed a wad of napkins and dabbed at her chin and shirtfront. “And don’t talk so loud.”
Melody Cross, one of the second-grade teachers at Crimson Elementary, snorted. “It’s a crowded bar on a busy Thursday night. No one can hear me.”
But Melody had the kind of booming voice that could quiet a room full of squirming eight-year-olds the afternoon before summer break. The tall table they stood at was a good five feet from the bar, but Erin swore she saw the man’s broad shoulders stiffen.
“Want me to take a picture of him?” Suzie Vitale, her fellow kindergarten teacher, offered with a tipsy smile. “It lasts longer.”
Before Erin could stop her, the curvy blonde aimed her phone at the backside of the gorgeous guy who not only worked the bar but also owned Elevation Brewery. The brewpub had opened a little over a year ago and had become a popular hangout for both locals and tourists in the quaint mountain town of Crimson, Colorado.
Erin had noticed David McCay, the brewery’s owner, the first time she’d stepped into the nouveau rustic—and very on-trend for Colorado—space. He was tall and lean, with dark blond hair that curled around the collars of the flannel shirts he favored. David McCay was as handsome as a movie star and built like he spent endless hours tossing huge sacks of barley—or whatever it was beer brewers did.
Erin, who was built like she spent her days sitting cross-legged on a reading rug, had surreptitiously watched him each time she came into the bar with friends or coworkers for a random happy hour or birthday celebration. He was often tending bar or sometimes she’d spot him coming out from the back, wearing the heavy rubber boots and backward ball cap that she’d quickly learned were his uniform when actually brewing beer.
Colorado was known for its craft brews, and the fact that Elevation had made a name for itself so quickly was a testament to his hard work and talent at running a business.
At least that’s what Erin wanted to believe. Her mother liked to remind Erin that she too often assumed the best about people, which allowed them to regularly take advantage of her.
But David McCay hadn’t taken advantage of her, even though it was the stuff of her fantasies. Even though his nephew, Rhett, was now in her kindergarten class and David had been with the boy and his mother for back-to-school night. Erin had barely been able to put a sentence together with David towering over the other adults in the back of her classroom, but he hadn’t bothered to acknowledge her. Heck, it was doubtful he even knew she existed.
Except when she blinked and looked up, he was staring straight at her. Sparks of awareness flamed through her body, setting every inch of her skin on fire. He lifted one thick brow as if he could read her thoughts. Which might be impossible since it felt like all of her brain cells had spontaneously combusted under the weight of his stare.
She heard Melody giggle behind her, and Suzie gave her a little shove forward. David now stood at the edge of the bar, only a short distance from her, with movement all around him. Customers in groups laughed and talked. A waitress set her tray on the rich wood bar top. A group of women at near the edge of the bar vied for his attention. But his focus remained on Erin.
Then something—someone—suddenly blocked her vision. Cole Bennett, Crimson’s recently elected sheriff, was talking to David. Cole was also tall and broad, and to use one of her mom’s favorite expressions, made a better door than a window.
Erin shifted to the right as she overheard Cole mention Rhett, David’s nephew. David’s gaze hardened and his jaw clenched. Unable to stop herself, she moved forward, sidestepping a couple heading toward the back of the bar and a group of twentysomething guys who looked like they’d just come off a hiking trail, until she stood directly behind the sheriff.
She was five feet four inches tall in the clogs she favored for work, so both men towered over her and were completely unaware she was listening to their conversation. Invisibility was Erin’s unintentional superpower. She knew much more than she should about her coworkers and neighbors, simply because people didn’t notice she was there.
“Rhett is safe,” Cole told David. “But they can’t get him to come out.”
“What the hell was Jenna thinking?” David asked, then scrubbed a hand over his jaw. “No, don’t answer that.”
“She’s in trouble, David. The crowd she’s running with—”
“I’ll handle it.” He pulled a set of keys out of one of the pockets in his tan cargo pants. “I just need to tell Tracie I’m leaving for the night. I’ll be over for Rhett.”
“I have to call Social Services,” Cole said softly, and Erin felt the tension ratchet up a notch.
“Give me some time with him first, okay?”
“Can you—”
“I’ll handle it,” David repeated. He moved behind the bar and spoke to the woman filling two pint glasses from the tap.
The sheriff walked out of the bar, patrons instinctively clearing a path for him although he wasn’t in uniform tonight.
When she looked up, David McCay stood toe-to-toe with her. She realized she’d moved forward to block his path from behind the bar.
In her daydreams, she’d compared his eyes to the brilliant summer sky above the ragged peak of Crimson Mountain or the iridescent cobalt of a tropical lagoon. But now his frosty stare was more like the ice blue of a glacier, so cold a shiver passed through her.
“I don’t have time for this, sweetheart. You and your friends are going to have to play your liquid courage bar games with someone else.”
“It’s not a game,” Erin said.
“Darlin’, you ordered a froofy drink in my bar. It’s either a game or a joke.”
This close to David, the heat and frustration radiating off him made her feel different from the woman she knew herself to be. She was aware of her body in a way that was new and exhilarating. She wanted more. She wanted…something she couldn’t name. Still, the promise of it made her weak with longing.
Also braver than she’d ever been. Or maybe crazy was a better word, because when he moved to step around her, she placed a hand on his arm.
“I can help with your nephew.”




Author Bio:
Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in Journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets and several well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings. Michelle loves to hear from her readers at www.michellemajor.com.

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon


Friday, August 18, 2017

{Blog Tour} The United Continuums (The Continuum series #3) - Jennifer Brody (Review)


The United Continuums (The Continuum series #3)

by Jennifer Brody
Publisher: Turner Publishing
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult,  Sci-Fi
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Synopsis:

In the epic conclusion to the award-winning Continuum Trilogy, Aero leads a group insurgents from the Second Continuum to overthrow his rival Supreme General Vinick and unite his space colony s military forces, while Seeker takes on a secret mission back to her home colony to reinforce Earth's defenses and defend the First Continuum against an even greater threat. Meanwhile, Myra's nightmares have become a reality as the Dark Thing hurtles toward Earth with designs on eradicating the planet s fledgling populace. The only thing standing in the way are the three Carriers and those who would join them to fight against a second coming of the Doom.




Review

I have read the first two books of this series and really enjoyed it.  I couldn’t wait to get to the last book in the series I wanted to know how it was going to end and I was NOT disappointed!

I feel right back into the book and could easily recall the first two books.   The author’s writing style is easy to follow along and she keeps the action moving in the book.

The author does a great job with the world development and all the descriptions.  This is one of the strongest parts of the author’s writing I have found before and it doesn’t disappoint in this book.  The book really grabs my attention and I get completely lost in the new world.  I love the reflection back and forth for how we got from the past to the present.

I would suggest this as a nighttime read.  There are parts of this book where I did read later into the night than I would have liked, but I do get sucked into reading very easily.  The book has a lot of action, but some points where you can take some time to put it down and reflect on the writing.


I received a copy of this book from The Fantastic Flying Book Club for providing an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book. 




Jennifer Brody’s award-winning novel The 13th Continuum sold to Turner Publishing in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. Return of the Continuums and The United Continuums (July 11, 2017) complete this epic trilogy.

She is a graduate of Harvard University, a creative writing instructor at the Writing Pad, a volunteer mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation, a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. She founded and runs BookPod, a social media group for authors. She lives and writes in LA. After studying film at Harvard University, she began her career in Hollywood. Highlights include working for Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes and New Line Cinema, most notably on "The Lord of the Rings" films and "The Golden Compass."





August 14th


The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club & Pink Polka Dot Books- Welcome Post

August 15th


Carefully Reckless- Review & Playlist

August 16th


The Reading Life- Promo

August 17th


A Dream Within a Dream- Promo

August 18th


Reading to Unwind- Review & Fave Quotes

August 19th


Here's to Happy Endings- Review

August 20th


Buried Under Books- Review

Thursday, August 17, 2017

{Blog Tour} Rowan Wood Legends (The Lost Clan #2) - Olivia Wildenstein (Review)



YA Bound Book Tours is organizing a Blog Tour for: Rowan Wood Legends (The Lost Clan #2) by Olivia Wildenstein. This tour will run from August 14th to 18th. Check out the tour schedule.

*Rowan Wood Legends can be read as a standalone but does continue the story from Rose Petal Graves. Rose Petal Graves will be available to anyone who wants to read it first!*

Rowan Wood Legends (The Lost Clan #2)
Genre: Paranormal/Faeries
Release Date: August 14th 2017

Summary:

SOME LEGENDS ARE BETTER LEFT UNTOLD.

I wasn’t the sort of girl who believed in fairytales, let alone tales about faeries. But that changed the day Faeries came to my small town and Hunters rose from their graves. 

On that fateful day, I received a book, a peculiar collection of myths and legends. Turns out it was so much more than stories. And just as I was on the verge of unlocking its secrets, it was stolen from me by someone I called a friend. 

Now, I don’t know whom I can turn to, whom I can trust. All I know is that there are two sides, and I am straddling the great divide because I am both Faerie and Hunter. And although I swore I would never choose, I am slowly falling for one of those sides…

Fans of Karen Marie Moning's Fever series will adore Wildenstein's Lost Clan series.

  


Previous book in the series (click on image for Goodreads link):



Review:


This is the second book in The Lost Clan series and continues to follow Catori as she learns more about her history and legends of Rowan Wood.  I felt like I could jump right back into these series, I love the authors writing it is very descriptive and she does a great job creating a story that I don’t want to put down.

Catori seems to have matured a lot from the first book.  Although it doesn’t feel like much time has passed in the series she seemed to have learned the importance of not trusting everyone.  I feel Catori is a lot more questioning of things this time and less reactive to situations.  Catori wants to learn about her past and see where her future can go. 

The author does a great job with all the other characters in the book.  The story is told from Catori’s point of view and I love that she has doubt about so many people.  It really kept me reading and wanting to figure out exactly what was going on.  I enjoyed that we got to see more of a few smaller characters in the first book in the second book of the series.

My one complaint would be I would have loved a little bit longer of a prologue just giving a quick recap of the characters.  After reading the first few pages I could recall most of who everyone was and what previously happened, but I did feel like there could have been more background on it.  I don’t think this book could be read on its own I would suggest reading the first book in the series first, which is an excellent book.

I would suggest this as a weekend read.  I got totally sucked in and couldn’t put the book down I just wanted to know what was going to happen.  

I received a copy of this book from YA Bound Tours to provide an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book.

My Rating: 4/5




About the Author

Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks to at least three times a day. She chose Brown University to complete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree.



When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not to be late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks).

Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s an active member of the writing community.

Author Links:
   

{Blog Tour} The Frenchman - Lise McClendon (Review, Excerpt & Giveaway)

Lise McClendon on Tour September 8-21 with The Frenchman (mystery)  Release date: September 8, 2017 at Thalia Press 278 pages ...