Thursday, February 11, 2016

Star Struck by Kathi Oram Peterson {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

Star Struck by Kathi Oram Peterson
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2016 by Covenant Communications 


Mercedes Grant is known to the world as Stormy Ryan, action hero. Her movie-star status has led to some unpleasant interactions in the past, and even a few stalkers, but none has ever come close enough to her to seem dangerous—until now. When she receives a death threat on her personal cell phone, she is understandably shaken. Seizing the opportunity to take some time away from the limelight while the police investigate the phone call, Mercedes escapes to her remote cabin near Idaho’s Snake River. She knows it is the perfect place to lie low, but she doesn’t realize how low she’ll actually feel once she arrives. After days of suffering from a cold she just can’t shake, Mercedes visits the town physician, Luke Parker. The handsome doctor, a fan of the stunning celebrity, performs the necessary tests and is devastated at the unexpected diagnosis he must give her. Mercedes is sick—really sick. He knows she can handle crazy fans, but the news he has to give is another story. As Mercedes struggles to come to terms with her new future, she relies on Luke’s support. But neither imagines the disease is not the only danger Mercedes is facing—because just out of view, someone is watching her and is determined to make good on their threat.


My Review: 3 Stars

Hollywood actress, Mercedes, is taking a break from fame at her cabin in small-town Idaho, when a devastating diagnoses sends her life into a tailspin. Dr. Luke Parker is good at what he does, but the lines between physician and friend are blurred.

Mercedes is very down-to-earth, personable, and I felt sorry for her with her situation. Luke is a great, strong character--someone who has his friends backs. I loved the spunky receptionist, Winona, as well as Luke's daughter.  There was just something missing in the relationship and I had a hard time believing it and feeling that emotional connection. I think it's that the characters are more superficial and I wanted to hear their voices, feelings, and thoughts more, digging deeper into who they really are. 

One thing that I thought was really well done is the suspense angle of the story. Mercedes has received threats and is being subtly stalked and I loved how creepy and mysterious it all is. This is what really drives the story and what drew me in. There are some emotional events and things to come to terms with and I didn't feel that things resolved. I wanted more from the ending, but maybe it's left open for an additional story. All in all, it is entertaining.

Content: moments of peril, mild violence; religious references, specific to the LDS religion; mild romance (kissing, mild innuendo). Clean.

*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Buy Links:

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Feb. 12th

The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide {Blog Tour Spotlight, Interview, Snippet, and Giveaway}

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Genre: Historical
Publisher: Ashberry Lane Publishing
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Number of pages: 279
Awards/Honors:  RT Book Reviews (rare) 5 goldstar Top Pick, a Reviewers' Choice Award Nominee (of 5), and the December 2015 Seal of Excellence winner, which makes it a Book of the Year Nominee (1 of 12 out of thousands reviewed)

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The Memoir of Johnny Devine (RT Book Reviews 4.5 GOLD Star Top Pick): In 1953, desperation forces young war widow Eliza Saunderson to take a job writing the memoir of ex-Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Devine. Rumor has it Johnny can seduce anything in a skirt quicker than he can hail a cab. But now the notorious womanizer claims he’s been born again. Eliza soon finds herself falling for the humble, grace-filled man John has become—a man who shows no sign of returning her feelings. No sign, that is, until she discovers something John never meant for her to see.

When Eliza’s articles on minority oppression land her on McCarthy’s Communist hit list, John and Eliza become entangled in an investigation that threatens both his book and her future. To clear her name, Eliza must solve a family mystery. Plus, she needs to convince John that real love—not the Hollywood illusion—can forgive a sordid past. Just when the hope of love becomes reality, a troubling discovery confirms Eliza’s worst fears. Like the happy fa├žade many Americans cling to, had it all been empty lies? Is there a love she can truly believe in?

Purchasing link:

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Camille Eide writes romantic, inspirational dramas about love, faith, and family. She lives in Oregon with her husband and is a mom, grammy, bass guitarist, and a fan of muscle cars, tender romance, oldies Rock, and Peanut M&Ms.

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1-How long does it typically take you to write a book?

Oh boy, I haven't had a typical book-writing experience and I'm not sure I ever will. My first book---my first baby---was a work in progress while I studied the craft, then it underwent a strenuous revision at my agent's request. After Like There's No Tomorrow was finally contracted and underwent more rounds of edits, it took on a nice shine. From first cursor click to print release: 7-1/2 years. I cut most of my writer teeth on that one. By the time the second book was underway, I'd worked diligently on my craft in hopes of avoiding any more strenuous revisions. Like a Love Song took me about two years to write and won the Genesis Award in 2011. The Memoir of Johnny Devine took about 8 months and was anything but typical. It was a true God-send as it was both divinely inspired and assisted. I have no clue how long the next one will take to complete. 3 months or 3 years, probably. :)

2-When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I believe I was 7 and it was a book about Snoopy. I even designed the cover from a cereal box. But my first published book, Like There's No Tomorrow, was the first book I wrote in hopes of becoming published. I was forty-something, my 3 kids nearly grown, youngest still in high school. And I'd recently discovered I loved the work of Jane Austen because I'd finally had the chance to sit down and read more than 2 pages of a book at a time.

3-What suggestions would you give potential author to help them become a better writer?

READ, STUDY, & TRUST. Read GREAT writing to train your gut instincts.Study & practice the craft until you are deadly precise in structure, grammar, story, deep POV. etc. Then forget everything you've studied and Trust your Jedi instincts.

4-How frequently do you hear from your fans?

Mom calls nearly every day. :)  I am pretty active on social media, so I am in regular touch with readers. I get an occasional email or message, which is wonderful! And funny you should ask: just today, I got a phone call at my day job from a local reader (who knows where I work) who called crying about the Johnny Devine story. She just wanted to thank me for writing it. She wasn't even finished reading it yet! That was a first. :)

5-As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  Did becoming a writer ever cross your mind?

Absolutely. I already had Peanuts & Snoopy sequels ready to go if Shultz ever asked. I also wanted to be a concert pianist and an actress. In Jr High, my English teacher loaned me books and encouraged my writing, so I think she planted The Bug. Praise the Lord for intuitive teachers. :) Long before I picked up a pen to write a novel, I'd been writing plays and scripts for church dramas, so I don't think there was a time I wasn't writing something.

6-What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I read, play bass guitar for the church worship band, bake cinnamon rolls when wheedled into it, and play with my busy little granddaughter.

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The Memoir of Johnny Devine, a Novel (sample)

The thunking sound grew louder until a tall, dark-haired man in charcoal tweed slacks, a crisp white
shirt, and a tie appeared in the parlor doorway.

Eliza gasped in spite of herself and stood, almost too numb to move. Millie was right—there were
probably few who wouldn’t recognize Hollywood’s legendary Johnny Devine. He leaned on a cane, but straightened to a full six-foot-plus when his gaze found Eliza.

Her heart thudded. The silver screen had not done his looks full justice.

“Mr. John,” Millie said from her post. “This is Mrs. Saunderson.”

“How do you do?” Johnny Devine asked in that trademark voice that made far too many sensible women swoon. He eyed Eliza carefully, waiting.

Still numb, Eliza couldn’t answer.

Millie’s description of her employer as “famous” was an understatement. Notorious was more accurate. Louella Parsons’s Hollywood gossip column had been the first to dub him “Devilishly Devine.”

From all accounts, Johnny Devine was extremely fond of women—young or old, rich or poor, married or single, loose or chaste. Rumor had it he could seduce anything in a skirt quicker than he could hail a cab.

Johnny turned to Millie, and the old woman gave him a single nod. He returned his attention to Eliza
and studied her for a painfully long moment.

“Mrs. Saunderson,” he said finally. “Won’t you please be seated?”

Reminding herself to breathe, Eliza found her seat. He’s just a man. Just a regular man.

While Millie held her place, Johnny Devine went to the fireplace and lowered himself onto a chair,
squeezing his cane in a white-knuckled grip. He drew a deep breath and faced Eliza.

Then he smiled.

Oh … my … stars … On screen, that smile was a heart stopper. But in person? It could melt the stockings right off a girl.

“I’m writing a book,” he said. “A memoir, actually. It’s under contract with a New York publishing
house, Covenant Press. I have the first three chapters here—”

He began to rise, but Millie tut-tutted at him and retrieved a manila envelope from the fireplace mantel. She tottered over and handed it to Eliza.

Memoir? Eliza stared at the tan packet on her lap, wishing she didn’t have to touch it.

“After going over those first few chapters,” he said, pointing at the envelope, “my publisher suggested I hire a typist with strong editorial skills. You can see his marks for yourself. He likes the
content, but wants me to find someone who can do the edits on those chapters and get the project back on schedule by sorting out any other … grammatical issues that arise as I write the rest.”

Eliza stared at the envelope, thoughts whirling. The last thing she wanted was to read three hundred
pages of him boasting about his dressing room adventures, much less fix the grammar. But the pay was so unbelievably good.

And yet there was also the issue of working with him. In his home.

Eliza stole a glance at him. He was surely older than he’d been in his last picture that she’d seen, but
every bit as attractive. In fact, he was more handsome than a man had a right to be.

She stiffened. Of course, this was a man whose good looks, breathtaking smile, and smooth charm
had gotten him anything and anyone he wanted. However, she wouldn’t be duped by a sweet-talking liar, no matter how handsome. She’d learned that lesson all too well, thanks to Ralph. “I have extensive editing experience and am confident I can do the work.”

“Tell me about your qualifications,” Johnny said, his deep voice businesslike.

“I have a bachelor’s degree in English.” Eliza resisted the urge to lift her chin. Though she’d worked
hard to earn it, the degree had done her little good. “With a minor in Journalism.”

Wincing, Johnny Devine shifted slightly in his seat. “Impressive. And your experience?”

“During the war, I worked in the steno pool at McClellan Air Force Base. Since then, I’ve worked as
a freelance editor, writer, typist, and stenographer.” Not steadily enough to make a decent living, but that wasn’t any of his business. Those good-paying base jobs had been given to men returning after the war, leaving Eliza, and many women like her, jobless.

“Excellent,” Johnny said. “Do you have any questions for me?”

“Yes.” Why hadn’t she inherited Papa’s forthright-sounding voice like Betty had instead of Mama’s
soft tone? She sat up straighter to bolster her nerve. “Do you intend for us to work alone?”

He frowned. “Alone?” But just as quickly as it appeared, his frown dissolved. He turned and stared
out the window, his lips pressed tight. “No. I should have mentioned that at the start. Millie is here every day of the week. And my handyman, Duncan McBride, lives on the property, so he’s always around.”

Millie chuckled. “Well, where else he gonna go? That ol’ leprechaun older than me.”

Swell. Two ancient domestic workers were Eliza’s only guarantee against unwanted attentions. But
at least their presence meant she and Mr. Devilishly Devine wouldn’t be completely alone. And she’d be nuts to pass up the money. Betty would sermonize about the man’s reputation, but Eliza was a grown woman. She could manage the consequences of her own decisions just fine.

Johnny’s gaze was on the hooked rug at his feet and would not meet hers.

She had better not regret this. “Very well, I would like to be considered for the job. But if you intend
to hire me, I need to make one thing clear.”

“And that is?” Johnny asked.

Eliza forced her voice steady, because what she was about to say stretched every one of her nerves
taut. “Any funny business and I quit. On the spot.”

Millie’s face bunched up in confusion. “Funny business? What in the world kinda—”

“It’s all right, Millie,” Johnny said quietly.

Eliza lifted her chin and waited, heart racing.

“You will not be insulted in this house,” he said. “You have my word.”

She studied him, heart hammering. “Your word?”

“Yes.” Slowly, Johnny Devine looked up and met her eyes. “Though it may be of little worth to you,
I am a man of my word.”

For now, she had no choice but to take him at that word.

For whatever it was worth.

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A Valentine's Day Book Blitz Countdown--Day 10: Broken Deeds, Broken Hearts by Cindy A. Christiansen
At the age of fifteen, Carly Sue McCluskie ran away from the family farm to escape her abusive great uncle Ezra and the torment of her classmates only to end up homeless on the streets of Salt Lake City. Eight years later, she reluctantly returns to oversee Ezra’s estate and is not surprised to learn someone killed the old codger. What she didn’t expect is someone attempting to kill her.

Seth Wakely and his family have been feuding with the McCluskies for a lifetime, but that doesn’t stop him from helping a neighbor in need. Seth is as surprised as a pig laying an egg when he learns someone in their little country town might have killed Ezra and now Carly Sue’s life is in danger.

Seth finds himself torn between protecting her and the bitter memories of the past, including what he did to Carly Sue. Good thing he can send his Border collie, Jewel, over to protect her.

Will their Hatfield and McCoy relationship continue, or will Carly Sue and Seth be able to conquer the anger which corrals them and, instead, learn to love?
Bestselling author, Cindy A Christiansen, has combined her love of dogs with her joy of writing to create an award winning combination. Her novels always include canine characters both in the pages and on the cover, an extension of the credit she gives to her extraordinary rescue dogs for their part in helping her overcome numerous challenges. In a reciprocal gesture for their love and devotion, a portion of the proceeds from her books are donated to assist abandoned and abused dogs.

She lives in Utah with her loving husband, two creative children with autism, and a pack of rambunctious dogs.

Fly into a good book!

Facts about the Author

1.     When I am not writing, I like to restore antique wind clocks from the 1800s.
2.     I am working on a story involving a Bernese Mountain dog, the ski patrol and criminal recyclers. 

Connect with the Author:

List of My Top 10 Favorite Things:
1.     Puppies and their puppy
2.     A cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream
3.     Dragonfly jewelry
4.     Homemade buttered popcorn
5.     A book that puts you through a lot of emotions
6.     Playing with my dogs
7.     Quality time with family
8.     Sharing time with friends
9.     Helping others
10.  Classic black and white movies
Check out all the great blogs that are a part of this event by following along on the Facebook page.

Valentine's Day Free Romances on Kobo

Nothing says Valentine's Day like a FREE ROMANCE NOVEL. Right now, Kobo is offering BUY 2 GET 1 FREE--FREE!--on several of their romance eBook titles, so hop on over and grab some great romance novels for a killer price (see links below).


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Happy Valentine's Day, and happy reading.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

Pimpernel Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt

They seek him here; they seek him there. For centuries, the elite of the world have sought the Pimpernel everywhere. Some want to kill him, others want to hire him, but Jack Cavanaugh knows that the love/hate relationship comes with the job title. At present, Jack is trying to dismantle an investment scheme centered in Las Vegas, but "trying" is the operative word. It's been a month since he put the face of the scheme behind bars, yet the scam is still going strong. As Jack tries to uncover who has stepped in as the new head, what miniscule evidence there is all seems to point him back to Claire Ramsey, an introverted PhD student studying at UNLV. If ever there as an unlikely head of a investment scheme, Claire's it. She has a genius IQ, but from all Jack has seen, Claire’s intelligence is as much a blessing as a curse when paired up with her acute OCD. Claire can barely make conversation with the cute guy down the hall, which makes it hard to believe she could be the charismatic salesperson who is getting international businessmen to invest $5—50 million a pop. So what is Jack missing? What is the real story behind Claire Ramsey? And once Jack learns it, will he be able to walk away? 


My Review: 5 Stars

I know I've read The Scarlet Pimpernel before, but this one had such a unique, modern twist to it--I really wasn't sure where it was going and what would happen. I love book surprised and was very happy with this one! I loved the adventure and suspense.

Claire is very smart and is being used as a pawn in an investment scheme...or is she? It's up to Jack and his team to figure out what's going on and to stop her and whoever she's working with before it's too late. I was amazed at the ingenuity involved in creating this scenario. Not only is Claire smart, but props to Sheralyn Pratt! Petite Claire has some obsessive compulsive tendencies that are pretty severe and it was fascinating to me to see things from her POV. Jack is quite an interesting character! He had me on edge, guessing at both his motives and his actions throughout the entire story. He's very intriguing and "magical"--I loved his character.

I love a story that captures my attention on so many different angles. Things started out a little slowly at first and I honestly wasn't sure where things were going to go. As the story progressed and more events unfolded, I found myself engrossed and didn't want to put it down! There are some fabulous romantic moments that are clean, yet sizzling. Not only is this story entertaining, but the characters are too--there are so many different facets to so many different (and great) people. I'm really hoping this is made into a series. Please?

Content: mild violence; mild romance (kissing, innuendo). Clean!

*I received a copy through the tour host in exchange for an honest review*


amazon get it  
The high-pitched scream from the other side of her apartment door shattered Claire’s thoughts.

“Daniel?” That shriek had been way too high to come out of a man.

“Help!” Daniel’s voice cried out from the other side of the door.

Claire unlocked the door and pushed it open, finding Daniel cowering on the couch in sailor-themed boxer briefs. Classical music played from his bedroom, indicating Daniel had been sewing before he ended up on the couch. On the ground between them lay the lounge robe Daniel had made in his fashion design class along with his house slippers. They looked like they’d been flung at random.

“Move!” he shrieked at her, stabbing his finger at the ground like a mad man. “Take the high ground and leave the door open. Maybe it will go back to the gates of hell, where it belongs!”

Claire followed the direction of his manic gesturing, freezing when her eyes locked on something the size of her fist with eight hairy legs. “Daniel? Please tell me that is a toy.”

“That. Is. NOT. A. Toy!”

The spider chose that moment to make its move—which happened to be sprinting her way.

Claire shrieked as Daniel motioned for her to join him on the couch. “High ground!”

Was he insane? She would have to leap over the tarantula to get to him. Why in the world would she do that when she could just run away and go to a hotel for the night?

“Voldemort?” a man’s voice said from behind her a split second before Claire backed into a male body blocking her retreat. Not only did Claire scream, but her body was suddenly possessed by an Olympic hurdler as she scampered across the living room and flung herself into Daniel’s arms on the couch.

“You found her!” a flagpole of a man from the doorway said as Claire latched onto Daniel, hiding her face against his shoulder. If she didn’t see the spider, maybe it would cease to exist.

“Found it?” Daniel scoffed. “That thing tried to duel me for my sandwich before I batted him off my kitchen table.”

Claire shuttered, only vaguely realizing that the shoulder she was hiding her face in was bare. <i>I’ve never hugged a guy who was only wearing underwear before, </i>she thought a moment before Daniel pulled her keys out of her hand and flung them at the ground to join his slippers and robe.

“Don’t chase it this way!” Daniel yelled at the other guy.

“Come on, Voldemort,” the spider guy cooed. “Let’s get you back into your habitat—<i>Don’t run!</i>”

Wait, it was running? Claire didn’t want to see that, yet something compelled her to turn and look anyway.

People always said that horrible things seemed to happen in slow motion, but Claire could have sworn the giant arachnid was coming at her in fast-forward mode. In a heartbeat, she had climbed up to ride piggyback on Daniel while he responded by flapping his hands in panic as if he could fan the thing away with a light breeze.

Not only did the spider keep running, it was sprinting like an arachnid with a plan—heading straight for the couch. When Daniel backed away, Claire felt her back thump into the wall. Before he could move again, she pushed off his back to stand on the back of the couch, dropping her purse when it threatened her balance. On the way down, it ended up in Daniel’s hands and he wasted no time finding items inside and tossing them at the spider while its owner moved in to act like a human shield.

“No!” the tall guy cried as he tried to corral the beast. “Don’t throw things at her. You might hurt her.”

Just then, Claire’s favorite lip gloss bounced off the hairy spider, stunning it.

That lip gloss was dead to her—not just the tube, the actual brand. She’d never be able to look at it the same again.

Sheralyn Author Sheralyn Pratt
Some describe Sheralyn as a girl who's been around the block and worked at every shop. This isn't far from the truth. Writing is what she loves most, however. There's a magical power in stepping into new perspectives time and again, and seeing the world through different eyes. Few things increase empathy more than walking in another's shoes for 100,000 words or so. At least that seems to be the trend so far.
Some random things to know about Sheralyn:
* She's a wanderer (geographically)
* She can write a novel, but doesn't have the attention span for one page in a journal
* She vehemently disagrees with Stephen King's stance that authors should not watch TV
* She is pretty much incapable of sleeping before midnight
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$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/28/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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