Friday, February 24, 2017

Short Story Review ~ Murder by the Book: A Mystery Mini by Devorah Fox ~ @devorah_fox

Murder by the Book by Devorah Fox



Print Length: 27 pages 
Publisher: Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc. 
Publication Date: February 27, 2016 
ASIN: B01CC3NJQO


About the Short Story:

An ordinary work day at the western Massachusetts Sugarloaf Inn turns more chilling than the winter weather when staff member Candy Wadsen makes a gruesome discovery. Her day goes from bad to worse when Candy realizes that Detective Sergeant Dan Petrowski suspects her of committing the crime.

My Review:

Murder by the Book is a short cozy mystery story.  The story finds the protagonist, Candy Wadsen, on a detective's radar after she returns to work and enters the scene of a crime.  As a matter of procedure, the detective must investigate all persons who may be involved.  Will the clues exonerate Candy or will she find herself behind bars?

I really enjoyed this short story.  The author created a world with clues that weren't the usual type - they were creative and unique.  With the help of Candy, Detective Sergeant Dan Petrowski figures out who committed the crime without alerting the readers prematurely.  All-in-all an enjoyable, fast paced, and quick read.  I would be interested in reading a longer book with Candy as the lead.  

My Rating:


Meet the Author:



"What if?" Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of an award-winning literary historical fantasy series and several thrillers, she also penned Mystery Mini Short Reads and contributed short stories to popular fantasy anthologies. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats ... and a dragon named Inky.

Visit the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com

Author Links:

Website: http://devorahfox.com
Twitter: @devorah_fox http://twitter.com/devorah_fox
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/DevorahFoxAuthor
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2mduzG5
Smashwords profile page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/mbapub
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DevorahFox
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/devorahfox
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/devorahfox
Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/devorah_fox
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2751371.Devorah_Fox

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Smashwords

Tour Participants:

February 22

Laura's Interests – REVIEW
The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
Must Read Faster – REVIEW
Community Bookstop – REVIEW
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

February 23

fuonlyknew – REVIEW
Socrates' Book Reviews – REVIEW
Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT
StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW

February 24

Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW
The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW
Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

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Book Tour & #Giveaway ~ 40 Something (A Novel About the X-Generation) by Shannon Peel


40 Something by Shannon Peel

Book Details:

Paperback Page Count: 346 pages

Publisher: Carennedy Solutions 

Publish Date: January 18, 2017
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction
Five women navigate life while juggling careers, children, family, and the men in their lives.
Charlie is bored with the family tradition of Sunday Dinner so she brings a friend her family won't approve of to spice things up a bit. Will this friend go too far and cause too much damage?
Rose only wants to do what is right and keep her family safe. How can she do that when the world is so dangerous and her teenagers so willful. Will helping a friend invite trouble into her perfect world?
Lindsay loves to have fun and enjoys the company of men. She is a modern playgirl who will stop at nothing to get a man's attention. Will she find what she's looking for or something unexpected?
Sophie wants to keep the peace and keep everyone happy, especially her ex-husband, so her children will live with her full time. Will she lose the children if she can't afford to take care of them?
Justine wants to escape her perfect life, she just doesn't realize it. Will she find the passion that is missing or will she continue to hide behind her computer screen?  
Add to your shelf on Goodreads * Purchase Links on Author's Website * Paperback on Amazon

Watch the Book Trailer:
Shannon Peel grew up in Enderby, BC where her family's root run deep. Growing up where television was either non existent or very limited she relied on books & imagination to escape into the world beyond. 

She went to UBC to study and earn a general studies BA with a concentration in Political Science and Economics. Macro analysis of world events, social justice and human motivations became a passion of hers. This passion is a driving force in all her stories, which have political, economic, and social justice undercurrents. 


After a career in the financial field she decided to stay home and raise her two children until school age. In 2007 she return to the workforce as a sales / marketing / advertising professional. She currently resides in BC's Lower Mainland with her two teenage children. 

Shannon Peel is a creative, intelligent professional with a 20 year proven track record in sales, marketing, customer relations, project management, presentations, and communication. 


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Book Tour & #Giveaway ~ Becoming Dragon by Eve Langlais@evelanglais @GoddessFish #ContemporaryRomance


Becoming Dragon by Eve Langlais

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Genre: Contemporary Romance

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About the Book:

Can he embrace the beast within? 

I’m a monster. That’s what Brandon thinks when he flees the medical institute that changed him. Living a normal life isn’t in the cards for him because, while he can hide his scaly skin, his wings are hard to miss. So he runs and lives in the shadows where monsters belong. What he didn’t expect to find were others just like him, and they call themselves dragons. Or so Aimi with the violet eyes tells him when she pins him to the ground. 

Seriously, though, dragons? 

He doesn’t want to believe, but the evidence is mounting. Not helping his resolve is the fact that the woman with the silver hair doesn’t fear the monster and wants to claim him. 

However, before he can think of his own happiness, he has to rescue his little sister. Uncle Theo kidnapped her, and Brandon will do anything to get her back, even if he must embrace the monster within to become the dragon.

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Read an Excerpt:

“I am dangerous to be around, though, so you should probably leave and forget you saw me.” 

Again, she uttered that enchanting laughter. The chime of bells in the wind, the sound tickled across his exposed skin, warming him despite the cool evening air. 

“Forget you? Never. Now that I’ve found you, you’re mine.” 

Mine. How nice that sounded. But it also reminded him of his time at Bittech. “I belong to no one.” 

“You say that now…but you’ll change your mind.” She smiled and winked.

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About the Author:

Displaying MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_BecomingDragon.jpg

A New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author 

Hello, my name is Eve. I’m a stay at home mom who writes full time in between juggling my three kids, hubby, and housework, I write hot romance with a bit of a twist. I like strong alpha males, naked chests and shifters. Lots of different breeds of shifters. I am also extremely partial to aliens, you know the kind who abduct their woman and then drive them insane…with pleasure of course.I love to write, and while I don’t always know what my mind is going to come up with next, I can promise it will be fun, probably humorous and most of all romantic, because I love a happily ever after. 


Eve Langlais author page : https://www.facebook.com/eve.langlais.98/ 

Web page to find out all there is about Eve: http://evelanglais.com/ 

Twitter: @evelanglais

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Giveaway Details & Entry Form:

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. 

Three randomly chosen winners via rafflecopter will win a print a copy of Becoming Dragon (international giveaway).

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Blog Tour & #Giveaway ~ Flightless by L. Duarte


Book Details:

Title: Flightless
By: L. Duarte
Publication Date: January 23, 2017
Publisher: LD Publishing LLC



Genre: Romance
Cover Designer: Okay Creations

#flightlesstour

Everyone has a story. Mine went like this: Once upon a time, I met a boy. He was the most handsome fella in the land. I fell in love. Together, we had cosmic chemistry. I believed I would live a life of unending bliss. Until he broke my heart. Shattered it to pieces. And I lived unhappily ever after instead. The end. Or so I thought. Life found a way to reunite us. But to change that unhappy ending, I had to learn how to forgive. And my heart seemed unable to do so. This is a love story. But it is also, much more. It’s the story of how I coped with my shortcomings, my fears and rewrote my destiny. Everyone has a story. This is mine.

Check out these other amazing books from L. Duarte



 AMAZON -  http://amzn.to/2kXSAfH


 AMAZON  - http://amzn.to/2kTAAa5

Read Chapter One from Limitless:

I stepped back. Not literally, just figuratively. I did that with every concert. I allowed my mind’s eyes to hover over me and my fans while I analyzed and dissected the unique relationship between us.

As I watched the multitude of people—a beautiful kaleidoscope of different races and social statuses—my heart, in utter bliss, roared.

The audience held their hands upwards as if in an offering or a request. I never knew which. In perfect synchrony, their arms rolled in waves like the swaying of a stormy sea. Their voices cried out my name, and the smell of their sweat and the heat of their mingled bodies emanated from them, unfurling to me like the sweet perfume of incense.

I held the mic near my motionless lips and stared at them. At that moment, I became one with thousands. At that moment, I took back from the crowd all the energy I had fed them. And their vibe made me high and drunk. It was my personal Nirvana. The kind of rapture that can only be attained through uttermost intimacy. A oneness I had only felt with one other person. A person who had severed that connection and shattered my heart into a million shards of pain.

I worshiped them as they adored me. The exchange of atomic energy contained nuclear power. I was drained from giving. They were wasted from receiving. But we were both impossibly happy and satisfied.

My motionless lips finally moved, uttering the final words for the night. The parting words. “Good night, Sydney!” I waved a hand back at them. “You looked beautiful tonight. All forty thousand of you.”

I bowed. They deserved my reverence. People had spent their time camped outside the venue waiting for a closer glance at me. They had spent their precious earned money to see my performance. They were worthy of my respect and gratitude.

Another wave of a hand. A kiss. Another bow. And I was out. Another show was done. Eight more to go.

I jogged backstage and gave the mic to Jeremy, my makeup artist, in exchange for a bottled water. He opened a portable case containing all the potions that would quickly improve my appearance for the meet and greet. 

Before I took a swig from the bottle, Clara, my assistant, brusquely interrupted my post-concert ritual. She snatched the bottle from my hand and returned it to a confused Jeremy. “Gray. With me,” she demanded, grabbing my elbow and urging me toward my changing room.

I glanced back at the stunned face of Jeremy. It was time for meet and greet with the VIP’s. I needed to freshen up. My makeup had all but melted under the stage lights.

Once inside the privacy of the room, I demanded, “What’s going on?”

She raised a finger and said, “Wait.”

I opened my mouth to protest. Instead, I swallowed the words. Clara was usually a chatterbox; her clipped words quickly clued me in that something was seriously wrong.

As I waited, Clara dialed a number on her phone. Her silence became as unnerving as the red glare of an alarm light.

“Betty, I have Gray,” Clara said. Wordlessly, she shoved the device in my hand. The door closed with a thud after she exited in a flurry of silent drama. 

“Mama?” I asked holding the phone to my ear.

“Hey, Puppy,” Mama said in a soft, almost regretful tone.

“What’s going on?” I asked. Silence filled the other end of the line, only increasing my concern. 

Mama knew I had just left the stage. She followed my tour from home. Minute by minute. It was unusual for her to call me so soon following a show.

“How was, um, the, um, concert?” she asked.

“Mama, did you call me to ask how the show went?” I furrowed my brows and every hair on my body stood at attention. Mama knew my routine during a tour. After a performance, I had a brief meet with fans and then I would go on hours of silence to rest my vocal cords. Although she knew she could call me at any time, she never called until at least ten hours following a show.

“Mama?” I prodded after a long silence.

“I have cancer,” she said bluntly.

The phone connection was perfect. No static. But Mama’s words hummed in my ear with a tunnel-like quality. Distorted, altered, garbled. My mind, however, had remained sharp and alert.

Without much thought and after a brief pause, I uttered the words, “I’m coming home.” I hadn't said those words in over a decade. Somehow, they didn't taste as foreign as I had imagined they would.

  ***

“Gray,” I said. The word hovered on my tongue, saturating my taste buds with an acrid taste. 

“Gray,” I repeated, letting it roll off my tongue. I did that a lot. It was my name.

Often, I mused about my name. It hadn’t been given to me because it was fashionable. 

Nevertheless, it had a history. My history.

When I was little, I liked to fancy its origin. The sky, I would think, was painted gray the day I was born. I loved the theory. The unattainability of the infinite mass of gray made it a great namesake. Whenever gray clouds hovered in the sky, I would lay on my back and stare at them, dreaming that when I grew up, I would build an enormous ladder, climb it, and touch the gray painted dome. It was all, of course, a foolish child’s dream, born out of vain imagination. I wasn’t born during the day, nor was the sky gray. And it was most definitely not the inspiration behind the choosing of my name.

I was born in a graveyard. Serene Hills Cemetery, it was called, though its surface was flat. It was a fall night, October 20th, approximately 11 pm.

They found me covered in vernix. I used the term ‘they’ loosely. A dog found me. A female German Shepherd mix that went by the name of Sunshine. Her fur was golden. Shiny like sun rays. I had a newspaper cut-out of her. It’s black and white, but it described her that way. In the shot, she looked straight at the camera, two vivid round eyes dotting a long and alert face. She had the knowing stare of someone who was aware she had done a good deed.

Obviously, I don’t recall the details surrounding my birth. I was an infant. But I had Mama tell me the story so many times, which after a while, the images ingrained in my brain like the roots of a tree embedded in the fertile soil. They became so real in my imagination that it felt as if they were my recollections.

I was a born a preemie. Weak, small, and blotchy-faced. I was skin and bones with a mop of black spiky hair, and a bad case of a cold.   

A miracle, they called me. But I knew I was no wonder. I happened to have the perfect concoction of healthy lungs and a loud cry. These, and the sharp canine sense of hearing and smelling had saved me. I didn’t believe in miracles. Not anymore.

When they found me, decay from the trees covered the ground on a fascinating palette of colors—an array of red, yellow, purple, brown, orange, golden, bronze.

I used to question why the leaves change colors and fall off the branches. According to a scientific explanation, leaves are a weak and feeble part of a plant. So, before the weather gets severely cold, the trees should toughen up to protect themselves. Or simply dispose of the leaves, the weak part.

Personally, I believe they turn colors before falling as revenge. A personal vendetta. And for that I applaud them. They turn their death into a poetic and alluring sight. That line of thought made me believe death was beautiful. It fascinated me. It’s more interesting than birth, although similar.

I had been abandoned under a pile of dead foliage. According to the police investigation, it appeared my birth mother had buried me under the leaves. Hid me. Like a criminal attempting to cover its tracks. Supposedly, I spent the night under a cocoon of leaves. The tree’s decay was soaked with blood and amniotic fluid.

According to Sunshine’s owner, they were walking on the sidewalk by the cemetery when she heard a whizzing sound. Sunshine’s owner discarded the noise as being the cry of squirrels.

Sunshine didn’t. At odds with her sweet nature, she became agitated and broke loose. She squeezed through a small gap in the fence and disappeared between the gravestones, leaving her owner in a frenzy.

Less than a minute later, Sunshine returned. Her mouth muzzled around my small waist, my umbilical cord dragging, rattling the decayed leaves.

I found my story fascinating, unique. Or so I told myself whenever I got teased at school.
The hospital staff called me the Graveyard Miracle. Soon after, Gray for short. It stuck.
I spent three months in the hospital. That’s where Mama worked. The graveyard shift. She fed me. She bathed me. She caressed my skin. “My heart had not a chance. It fell madly in love with you,” she said, whenever she told me my story. Her pale hand, dotted with freckles, caressing my black, straight hair.

 When I became her child officially, she quit the night job. “I had brought home my very own Graveyard Miracle.”

She found a day job at a pediatric clinic, occasionally helping at the hospital for extra income. She continued working at the clinic throughout my childhood, adolescence, and after I left home. She remained there until cancer said, “No more.” Until cancer said, “I want your time. From now on, you are going to dedicate every waking hour to me. I’m egocentric. I want it all. I want your flesh and the total sum of your soul.”

That’s why I was there, sitting in the back of a limousine Clara had rented to pick me up from JFK airport and take me home.

“When should I schedule your flight to LA?” she had asked. “Only a one-way ticket for now,” I responded.

32 Lorelai Lane, my childhood home. It was a small Victorian-style house, built in 1929. The colorful foliage of a maple tree and an oak tree framed the dwelling as if it was extracted from the pages of a fairy tale book. When I was little, I used to fancy my house was lovely. The most enchanting place in all realms. Staring at the house, I discovered that I still thought that. It was the most magical place in the world because it was the place that humans refer to it as ‘home’. And home is a thing of fairy tales. Rare and pure.

The car door was wide open, awaiting me. I climbed out. The driver stood straight as a pole. His hands perfectly folded in front of him, his face impassive. I wondered how long he had stood there, waiting for me, questioning my sanity. The luggage was lined up at the front porch. His face remained expressionless when I pulled a generous tip from my purse and handed it to him. “Thank you,” I murmured.

He drove off, the sound of the engine trailing off into the quiet street. It was late at night. The crisp air smelled of burnt wood and autumn, reminiscent of bonfires and fireplaces.

I crossed the stone path leading to the front steps.

The hinges of the front door squeaked, and Mama slowly appeared as light spilled out from inside the house. She leaned against the doorframe, cocked her head, her eyes fixed on me. She knew me so well. She knew I needed the time.

I peered up, carefully examining Mama’s face. It had been only two months since I had last seen her, but she appeared decades older. Even under the porch’s pale yellowed light, I could detect the lines circling her mouth. Small bags sagged under her eyes, and her plump skin appeared loose, dripping like melting wax. Her hair showed inches of gray and her usual square and proud shoulders were smaller, fragile. But what got my attention the most were her eyes. Their vivid green had turned opaque.

The grief and sorrow in her stare set my feet in motion, and I climbed the steps.

When mama stepped forward, the old wooden floor groaned and creaked under her feet. She came to a halt at the top of the stairs. Her lips curved into a small smile, and her arms spread open in an inviting hug.

As I stepped forward, my legs felt wobbly with the weight of so many years of absence.
I have found that there is only one thing better than reading, and that is writing. I am always torn between the two. I am also frequently torn between chocolate and coffee. However, I emphatically do not like the month of February, lies, and flies. For me, bravery is defined by the courage to do what we fear the most. I live in Connecticut with my husband and two children. Drop a few lines. I would love to hear from you.

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L. Duarte is offering a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner!

Book Tour & #Giveaway ~ Walking Out of War by Scott Bury ~ Historical Adventure, War


Walking Out of War
by Scott Bury

Genre: Historical Adventure, War
Ukraine, 1944: After the Soviets burned the Ukrainian city of Ternopyl to the ground to crush the stubborn Nazi occupiers, they rounded up every remaining Ukrainian man around for the Red Army’s final push on Germany. Maurice Bury, Canadian citizen, Ukrainian resistance fighter and intelligence officer, is thrust once again into the death struggle between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR.
Fighting across the Baltics in the autumn of 1944 is tough and bloody. Then the Red Army enters Germany, where they’re no longer liberators—they’re the long-feared Communist horde, bent on destruction, rape and revenge. The Communists are determined to wipe Nazism from the face of the earth. And the soldiers want revenge for Germany's brutal invasion and occupation.
Maurice has determined his only way out of this hell is to survive until Nazi Germany dies, and then move home to Canada. But to do that, he’ll have to not only walk out of war, but elude Stalin’s dreaded secret police.
Add to your shelf on Goodreads * Grab your copy from Amazon

Scott Bury can't stay in one category.
After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. "Sam, the Strawb Part," a children's story, came out in 2011, with all the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short story for grown-ups, "Dark Clouds."
The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.
Army of Worn Soles, published in 2014, tells the true story of Maurice Bury, a Canadian drafted into the USSR's Red Army to face the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
Invited to participate in two Kindle Worlds, he published Torn Roots: A Lei Crime Kindle World Novella and Jet - Stealth: A Jet Kindle World Novella. Both came out in July 2015.
In between writing books and blog posts, Scott helped found an author's cooperative publishing venture, Independent Authors International. He is also President of author's professional association BestSelling Reads.

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