Wednesday, March 29, 2017

BOOK TOUR: Evanthia's Gift and Waiting For Aegina (The Gift Saga 1 & 2) by Effie Kammenou

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Book Information
Series: The Gift Saga
Genre: Women's Fiction, Romance

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  • Paperback: 558 pages
  • Publisher: Effie Kammenou; 1 edition (August 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692471839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692471838

In the year 1956, Anastacia Fotopoulos finds herself pregnant and betrayed, fleeing from a bad marriage. With the love and support of her dear friends Stavros and Soula Papadakis, Ana is able to face the challenges of single motherhood. Left with emotional wounds, she resists her growing affection for Alexandros Giannakos, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets - ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family.
The story continues in the 1970’s as Dean and Demi Papadakis, and Sophia Giannakos attempt to negotiate between two cultures. Now Greek-American teenagers, Sophia and Dean, who have shared a special connection since childhood, become lovers. Sophia is shattered when Dean rebels against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage and hides his feelings for her. When he pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, Sophia is left with no choice but to find a life different from the one she’d hoped for.
EVANTHIA’S GIFT is a multigenerational love story spanning fifty years and crossing two continents, chronicling the lives that unify two families.

Review: This is a wonderful story of family and friendship. It provides an insight into the Greek culture, both in Greece and in America, but it also is relatable to everyone who has had a lifelong friend and seen their children also become lifelong friends--or more.

There are several plot twists in the story, several of which I didn't see coming. The plot definitely held my interest from beginning to end, and I finished the book anxious to read the second one, to learn more about Sophia, Demi and Dean and their friends.

Another plus to this book is the inclusion of several of the Greek recipes mentioned in the story. It means I can try some of them out in the future!

Rating: Four stars

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  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Effie Kammenou; 1 edition (January 12, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692825932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692825938

In 1961, five little girls moved into a suburban neighborhood and became inseparable, lifelong friends. They called themselves the ‘Honey Hill Girls,’ named after the street on which they lived. As teenagers they shared one another’s ambitions and dreams, secrets and heartaches. Now, more than thirty years later, they remain devoted and loyal, supporting each other through triumphs and sorrows.
Evanthia's Gift follows the life of Sophia Giannakos. In Waiting for Aegina the saga continues from the perspectives of Sophia and her friends as the story drifts back and forth in time, filling in the gaps as the women grow to adulthood.
Naive teenage ideals are later challenged by harsh realities, as each of their lives takes unexpected turns. Now nearing their fiftieth year, Sophia, Demi, Amy, Mindy and Donna stand together through life-altering obstacles while they try to regain the lighthearted optimism of their youth.

Review: This was a great follow-up to Evanthia's Gift. It offers a chance to learn more about Sophia and her friends during the years of that book, as well as the years following.

This book is more dramatic and "gritty" than the first story, and yet it still has the same realistic engagement, drawing the reader into the Greek culture at every turn. Once again we are treated to the inclusion of  Greek recipes, which I hope to try at some point.

I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Rating: Four stars

Purchase Links
Landing page for both books –

About the author
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Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she'd thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.
Her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.
Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 award finalist in the Readers Favorite Awards in the Women’s Fiction category.  Waiting for Aegina: Book Two in The Gift Saga is Kammenou’s latest release.
Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her cooking for her family and friends.
As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the books. 
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.

Contact Information

Monday, March 27, 2017

NEW RELEASES/FREE AND BARGAIN BOOKS Weekly Link up


Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
Monday
 Leels Loves Books | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble | Traci Hayden
Tuesday
Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Wednesday
Beck Valley Books | Jude Ouvrard
Thursday
Miki's Hope | Nicki's Nook
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance |
Colorimetry | J.C. Clarke
Saturday
3 Partners in Shopping | I Create Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings 
Sunday

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here


Come back and check out the new selection every week x


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Off The Beadin' Path (Glass Bead Mysteries #3) by Janice Peacock

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Off the Beadin’ Path (Glass Bead Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Vetrai Press (March 11, 2017)
230 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B01N6FUCPN



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Synopsis: Glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell and her friend Tessa have no idea what challenges await them when they take a glassblowing class with Marco De Luca, a famous Italian glass artist—and infamous lothario. 

After the first night of class, Tessa sees a body through the rain-streaked window of the studio. The next morning there’s no sign of Marco, and one of the studio owners is also missing. The local sheriff isn't taking the disappearances seriously, but Tessa knows what she saw. To complicate matters, Officer Shaw and Detective Grant are both vying for Jax’s attention as she tracks down clues in a small town that's been keeping more than one secret. 

Jax and Tessa must face their fears to find the body and uncover the killer before another life is shattered. 

Off the Beadin’ Path is the third book in the Glass Bead Mystery Series. 


Review: I am a huge fan of this series, and this book reminds me of all the reasons why: the friendship between Jax and Tessa, the brief but fun interactions with Tessa's kids, Jax's neighbor who can always be counted on for sweets, Jax's complicated relationships with Zach and Ryan, and, of course, Jax's cat, Gumdrop.

This time around, the murder mystery centers around a well-known Italian glass artist, Marco De Luca, who has a past with Tessa, due to her one-time relationship with his brother, Dario.

The information about glass blowing and bead making continues to amaze and impress me. I love learning about this, and am glad that the author is so educated on the topic.

The murder mystery will keep you guessing for a long time, and send you off in wrong directions more than once. I loved this book from beginning to end!

Rating: Four stars

About the author
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Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, launching a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.
When Janice isn’t writing about glass artists-turned-amateur-detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glass Museum of Tacoma, WA, and in private collections worldwide.
Janice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and twelve chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.
Author Links
Webpage – www.janicepeacock.com,
Facebook – www.facebook.com/JanPeac,
@JanPeac on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest
Purchase Link
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Monday, March 20, 2017

NEW RELEASES/FREE AND BARGAIN BOOKS Weekly Link up


Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
Monday
 Leels Loves Books | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble | Traci Hayden
Tuesday
Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Wednesday
Beck Valley Books | Jude Ouvrard
Thursday
Miki's Hope | Nicki's Nook
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance |
Colorimetry | J.C. Clarke
Saturday
3 Partners in Shopping | I Create Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings 
Sunday

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here


Come back and check out the new selection every week x


Thursday, March 16, 2017

KINDLE SCOUT NOMINEE (PLUS GIVEAWAY): Tiago by Catia Skye

~ $25 Amazon Voucher Giveaway ~

Tiago, by Cátia Skye, YA Contemporary Romance

Two shattered hearts. One unstoppable love.

Nominate Tiago, by debut YA Romance author Cátia Skye, for consideration by Kindle Scout and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Voucher, and you could get to read the book for free! Scroll down for excerpts, blurb, author info and, of course, the giveaway!
Tiago, by Cátia Skye, Book Cover

New York, USA
Kezra, sixteen, dumped by her boyfriend of six months after he took her virginity, shocked by revelations about her father, falls into an abyss of panic and anxiety. On doctor's orders, she is sent on a vacation to get away from pressures.
Lisbon, Portugal
Tiago, seventeen, has lost more than most lose in a lifetime, believes implicitly in the inevitable Portuguese Tragedy, has left the thug-life, has left school, is just trying to survive each new day.
Neither of them is looking for love…

Categories:
  • Teen & Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary
  • Romance > Series
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Coming of Age
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Europe

Excerpts

Kezra

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

I am no looker.
I'm not a dog either. But I am no looker.
Aylin used to say I was precocious. "Precocious when it comes to boys," she'd say.
By the time I was done dating Conor, I said I was nothing but a fool.
I started dating too early. Antoni was the first guy I ever saw. I was fourteen, close to fifteen, sporting braces on my teeth. We shared a kiss, nothing passionate, innocent.
Until he touched my breasts and I went cold.
Fourteen. Was he a freaking idiot?
Dawson happened after that. It lasted three months. I was more grown up, more developed. My breasts, especially, were more developed.
I hate my breasts.
But it was Conor who would thrust me into the black world of adulthood with an indignant slap I am certain I will never forget.
I write because I am lonely.
I write because I hurt.
I write while tears drip from my eyes, turning the screen of my tablet into splotches of pixelated rainbows.
The way I was brought into this world has nothing to do with how I feel about love.
It has everything to do with how I feel about myself.
How much horror can a mind endure?
Are the pains of a sixteen-year-old laughed at by those older then her?
What pain did my mother suffer? ("Sometimes I went without food so that I wouldn't have to take that bastard's money, Kez.")
My pain is nothing compared to what hers must have been. And yet, the pain I feel is phenomenal.

Tiago

P.S. I Love You (2007)

Just before the sun rises, when the world is silent and the River Tejo laps gently at the stone steps leading to the giant Praça do Comércio square, leaves of golden sunlight shimmer above the surface of Lisbon's great river. This is my favorite time to sit on these steps, flicking stones into the water, letting my gaze drift west toward the ocean.
And I think of her.
I do not weep anymore. My eyes are dry. I have wept this entire river twice over and still that will not bring her back.
The seagulls taunt me, cawing in accusation. I should have moved faster, they say. I should not have been so complacent with my joy.
I never deserved that joy. I know it.

Tiago

Deadly is the Female (1950)

It is the week for meeting Americans. And if I thought my encounter with Dahlia went bad, then I can only compare my meeting with the one called Kezra to something just short of a nuclear war. It's my fault, mostly. But it's also her fault.
I would love to say that our first encounter is quaint and sweet, that it is the type of first-meeting you expect from a Rom-Com.
It is not.
It is a disaster.
And I am nothing short of a hungover bastard.
But let's call a spade a spade. Guilt must be placed where guilt belongs. And this chick is a real stinker of a piece of work too.
I guess you could say I started it.
I did.
But she contributes gladly to the atomic chain reaction which follows.
Dare I say, I think she even revels in it.
Copyright © 2017, Cátia Skye. All Rights Reserved.

Giveaway!

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About Cátia

Cátia Skye Avatar
Cátia Skye is a New-York-born, Portuguese-American gal who now resides in the romantic heart of Lisbon, Portugal. She is the single mother of one rambunctious little boy, and pens romance novels between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. each night when her boy finally falls asleep.
Tiago is her first novel.
Visit Cátia's Website

Monday, March 13, 2017

NEW RELEASES/FREE AND BARGAIN BOOKS Weekly Linkup


Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
Monday
 Leels Loves Books | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble
Tuesday
Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Wednesday
Beck Valley BooksCinnamon Hollow Reviews
Thursday
Miki's Hope | Nicki's Nook
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance |
Colorimetry
Saturday
3 Partners in Shopping | I Create Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings 
Sunday

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here


Come back and check out the new selection every week x


Friday, March 10, 2017

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Purr M For Murder (A Cat Rescue Mystery) by T.C. LoTempio

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BOOK INFORMATION
Purr M for Murder: A Cat Rescue Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (March 14, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310921
Kindle ASIN: B01N6P3WYP


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Synopsis: Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat--along with Littleton's dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington--who just happens to be Sydney's old high school crush--is highly suspicious of the sisters' involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton's death--until the killer notices she's pawing a little too closely at the truth.


Review: I'm a HUGE fan of this author's Nick and Nora series, so I was thrilled to learn she was releasing a new series. As hard as it may be to believe, I think I'm going to love this one even more. The cat shelter, and the fact that it is no-kill, are predominant parts of the story, which makes it near and dear to my heart as a cat lover.

Like Nick in the other series, there is a cat who plays a part in helping Sydney solve the murder...Toby the orange tabby, who is definitely working his way into my heart as well. 

We also get the hint of romance between Syd and the new detective in town, Will Worthington, who was a friend of hers in school. 

The cast of supporting characters is well-developed as well, and I look forward to getting to know more about them as well as Syd, Kat and Will.

The plot is well-written, and although I had several suspicions about the murderer throughout the book, I wasn't totally sure until the actual reveal. Already can't wait to read the next book in the series.

**I received a copy of this book through NetGalley with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

About the author
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While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, was released in December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.net and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Where to find them:
ROCCO’s blog:
Website:
 facebook:
Twitter:
Purchase Links:


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