Monday, November 30, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Cooking Up Trouble (A Mill Pond Romance) by Judi Lynn

Title: Cooking Up Trouble
Author: Judi Lynn
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Romance
Format: Ebook

Nothing stirs the pot like a new man in town…

Welcome to Mill Pond and small-town country living, filled with fresh air, fresh food, and plenty of fresh gossip—especially when it comes to romance…

It’s impossible not to notice when someone new shows up in Mill Pond. Especially someone as obviously out-of-place as Ian McGregor. His stylish suit and fancy car scream “city slicker.” And when Tessa Lawrence discovers he can’t even change a tire, she has no choice but to help. That’s just what the locals do. And when she finds out Ian’s her new neighbor, of course she’s obliged to invite him to dinner too…

Turns out Ian’s come from New York to open a luxury resort on the property next door to Tessa’s farm, where she grows berries and sells her famous jams and delectable baked goods. But despite their quickly growing friendship and temptingly close proximity, Tessa plans to keep things with Ian strictly neighborly. For one thing, Ian’s got a fiancée who, unlike Tessa, doesn’t have dirt under her nails. Plus, Tessa knows from bitter experience that a guy this gorgeous is all too likely to break a simple country girl’s heart. Even if he’s as sweet as one of her cinnamon buns—and equally hard to resist…
Cooking Up Trouble is available for order at

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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What I read last week:
1) Surrounded By Enemies by Bryce Zabel
2) All The Ghosts Dance Free: A Memoir by Terry Cameron Baldwin
3) Finding Emma by Steena Holmes
4)  Afraid Of Her Shadow (Rom-Com On The Edge #2) by Carol Maloney Scott
5) Empty Nest (Birds Of A Feather Mystery #2) by Marty Wingate
6) Bun For Your Life (Bread And Butter Mystery #1) by Karoline Barrett
7) Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell
8) A Charming Ghost by Tonya Kappes

What I listened to last week:
1) 52 Little Lessons From A Christmas Carol by Bob Welch
2) 90 Minutes In Heaven by Don Piper

What I'm currently reading:
1) Swindled In Paradise (Paradise #8) by Deborah Brown
2) A Bead In The Hand (Glass Bead Mystery #2) by Janice Peacock
3) Emma's Secret by Steena Holmes
4) The Ninth Life (A New Cat Mystery Series) by Clea Simon
5) When Bunnies Go Bad (Pru Marlowe Pet Noir #6) by Clea Simon

What I'm currently listening to:
1) The Bay At Midnight by Diane Chamberlain

What I plan to read this week:
1) The Santa Claws Bandit (Beatrice Young Cozy Cat Mysteries #5) by Alannah Rogers
2) Ask Him Why by Catherine Ryan Hyde
3) Plan Bea by Hilary Grossman
4) The Haunted Heart Of Rory O'Dannon by Delia J. Colvin
5) Convergence Point by Liana Brooks
6) Sea Devil by Jessica Sherry
7) Luna Sea by Jessica Sherry

What I plan to listen to this week:
1)  The James Miracle by Jason F. Wright (I've pushed this one back for about 3 weeks now!)

BOOK BLAST: Tell The Truth: The Devil Won't

NRCTELLTHETRUTHPHARPERBANNER Book Title: Tell The Truth; The Devil Won't 
Genre: Christian Fiction 
Paperback: 288 pages 
Publisher: Urban Christian (October 27, 2015) 
ISBN-10: 1622868196 
ISBN-13: 978-1622868193 
Publication Date: October 27, 2015 
Author: Colette Harrell 

About The Book tell_the_truth_the_devil_wont_amazon_book_cover
From the author of The Devil Made Me Do It The full-figured Esther Redding doesn’t realize it, but she desperately needs a change. Her Cinderella tiara is tarnished, and her glass slippers cracked. No longer any one’s knight in shining armor, Briggs Stokes always had a soft spot for Esther. She was in his blood, and he didn’t want a transfusion. When he returns to Detroit, he decides that nothing will keep him from her door. Well, nothing . . . but the once reformed bad girl, Monica Stokes Hawthorne, Briggs’s ex, who wants to be his—give me one more chance, again—wife. The resulting tug-of-war that ensues may be the catalyst that destroys the person they both love the most. More than one household is upset when the prison doors swing open and a “rehabilitated” Roger, Esther’s ex, returns home. Following Roger is a sinister force so malicious that no one in their community will be left untouched. When truth is held hostage by lies, mayhem ensues. And when it does, the lives of Esther, Briggs, Monica, and Roger are forever changed. Don’t blink—pray—these shenanigans are too shocking to miss . . . The second stand-alone book in the Heaven over Hell trilogy.
About The Author
Colette R. Harrell, Christian Fiction Author Colette Harrell, wants you to know that she’s like you, God’s chosen vessel. She has come to be a gift, to be an encourager and a light that reflects God’s goodness. She’s a wife, mother, author and playwright. A Detroit native, she currently calls Ohio home. She holds a master’s and is a Director of Social Services. Writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.” Her newest novel, Devil Get Behind Me! Will thrill this January 2016. It is filled with wisdom and humor. This adventourous love story goes where Ms. Harrell loves to tread, down an unbeaten path. No millionaires rescuing damsels in distress—although she enjoys these reads herself—but real people, falling and getting back up. The Devil Made Me Do It was her debut novel. It was Nominated for First Fiction for the Phyllis Wheatley Book Award. It has been held as one of Black Pearl Magazine’s, top ten Christian fiction books for 2014. And, Read Between The Lines radio show, named it as one of its overall top ten books for 2014. Her sophomore novel, Tell The Truth, The Devil Won’t will cement her as an author to watch.

Chapter One 
It was dead cold. The air crackled with the sound of ice-covered tree branches crashing onto cement sidewalks; it was an unnatural arctic day, even for Harlem. There were motorists stranded on every major highway as an epic ice storm settled over the length of New York City. And while the air over those highways was filled with road rage, explicit language, and hunger pains, the contrasting hush of the opulent brownstones on 132nd Street was shattered by an eerie scream that filled the bitter air. Monica Hawthorne, the ex-Mrs. Briggs Stokes, stood shaking uncontrollably. Her beloved, risked-everything she-had-to-have-him husband of one month, Randall, lay in a pool of blood on their imported Brazilian cherry kitchen floor. If Randall could, he would have stood up and told her for the tenth time that ten thousand dollars for a floor was too much, and just because she could buy it didn’t mean she had to. But Randall couldn’t utter a word. She watched horrified as his blood seeped into the natural grooves of the wood, giving credence to the fact that maybe the cost was too much. Monica blinked, but he wasn’t getting up or giving her advice about her newly acquired wealth, because standing over him was his newly divorced wife, the ex-Mrs. Meredith Hawthorne. This She-Spawn-from-the-Pits, with her six hundred-dollar hairdo mussed, her designer clothes askew, and her chest heaving in spastic breaths, clutched the knife that once protruded from Randall’s chest. Words of explanation weren’t necessary; the vivid picture painted its own morbid story. Monica was spellbound. She was in her own home. The ordeal of leaving one husband to claim another’s was behind her. The guilt had been laid aside. The shame stamped down, at least temporarily. It was Randall and her against the world. But it had all just changed drastically. Snapping to, Monica shrieked, “Oh sweet Jesus! What have you done? You crazy—!” Her cries were halted by the demented gleam in the ex-Mrs. Hawthorne’s eyes. The maniac’s focus switched from Randall to her, then back to Randall. Mrs. Hawthorne had gone mad, crazy, bonkers, craycray. Monica’s head hurt at the thought that she was still addressing this woman by what was rightfully her new name. It bore psychological study that she could only think of the witch as Mrs. Hawthorne. For over three years the woman had railed it at her, negating Monica’s right to ever wear the title. She’d stood in haughty arrogance and promised in divorce court that she would never relinquish it. At the time, Monica didn’t care; she felt Mrs. Hawthorne could keep the last name, as long as she had the man. Now she felt she had been short-sighted. If in the middle of a bloody rampage, she thought of her that way, then who was she? The murderous interloper looked on in glee as blood bubbled out of Randall’s mouth. Monica observed her spiteful approval as Randall’s hand feebly stretched over his wound, but failed in mustering the strength to staunch the flow of his river of life. His eyelids fluttered—pausing, fighting to focus as he scanned beyond Mrs. Hawthorne’s face. His eyes settled on Monica’s outstretched hands. “Randall,” Monica whispered. She swayed in agony. Time was grinding to a stop, like an old-fashioned watch discarded in a moth-eaten hope chest, it would soon end, and Randall would be done. She needed a way to get close to him, but Mrs. Hawthorne stood as she had for the last three years, directly in her path. Always . . . in my way. Rage bubbled into a go-for-broke moment. Monica launched forward and charged Mrs. Hawthorne with a Joan of Arc warrior’s roar. The sound of the impact and responding grunt was dulled by the body that crumpled to the floor. Monica gambled . . . and lost. Her body fell inches from Randall’s. Her hands bloodied, Mrs. Hawthorne rocked in despair. She had meant to take her time with the slut, but her offensive attack had taken her by surprise. Then . . . Monica moved. What she was witnessing had Mrs. Hawthorne’s keening wail ricochet throughout the spacious brownstone. She glowered in anguish, howling as Monica’s fingers inched toward Randall’s, and they entwined even in their near-death status. She watched in ghoulish repulsion as the almost loving tableau played out before her. Her eyebrows arched as she made out Monica’s pleading words, “Jesus, help us.” A rattle of air descended from Randall . . . and then stillness. In slow motion, Mrs. Hawthorne turned in robotic movements away from the scene. Her steps faltered when she heard Monica’s fading voice, “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?” The prophetic words washed over her as she stood in cold resolution. Shaking it off, she strutted away from the two people who had humiliated her in public and had caused her heart to bleed dry for three unbearable years. Randall had won his freedom, imprisoning her in her own madness in the process. She had sworn to Randall’s dying mother, there would be no divorce. Tears gathered at the end of her hawkish nose, dribbling onto her twice-a-week, spa-waxed upper lip, then streamed down her cosmetic-tightened neck. She was Mrs. Meredith Hawthorne, of the Hawthornes, and failure was foreign to her. In agony, she backtracked, and stumbled, tumbling over the bodies. Blindly, Meredith wiped her eyes, reared back, and spit in Monica’s face. Still feeling empty and unfulfilled, she stared, craving the ability to wake Monica and kill her again. Rising, she noted Randall’s discarded, prized Civil War-era, matching pearl- and jewel-handled knives. She blew a kiss at him, and left the knives there. It was only fitting Randall have ownership of what he demanded in the divorce decree. What better way to deliver his bounty, then to use it as the method of obliteration for both he and his tramp? Mrs. Hawthorne reached into her purse and pulled out her derringer. Acting as a lover whose desire is close to fulfillment, she caressed it. Her insides churning, she panted, taking one last glance at the co-conspirators to her destruction. She could answer Monica’s final question. God had forsaken Monica because she was a Delilah home wrecker. What Mrs. Hawthorne wanted to know, was why He had forsaken her. She lay the letters for her children—who never called—on the solid mahogany credenza, then her purse. All she’d had was the facade of a happy life. She’d paid for it in an avalanche of tears as she played dumb blonde to Randall’s neglect and numerous indiscretions over the years, anything to keep him home. And how had he repaid her? By falling for a nasty, ashy-prone, ghetto rat. The slut’s resulting pregnancy, and his request for a divorce, “so he could be happy” was the Joker’s wild card. How many wrongs was she expected to endure? She looked around and hiccupped laughter—a great-granddaughter of the confederacy ending up in a brownstone in Harlem? Well, rise up every long-buried plantation owner and move over. I’m coming in, and from this gaudy, overpriced slum. In the middle of her cynical chuckle, she bit her lip. She was stalling and knew it. The gun shook in her hands as she placed the barrel to her temple; lips pressed together, she focused on the brightness of the moon, brilliant against the frigid dark sky. The trigger was pulled, and the gun clattered to the ground. Once again blood seeped into the Brazilian cherry hardwood floor. It should now have been quiet in the apartment. Instead, after the booming sound of the gunshot, you could hear through the intercom three things: the startled cries of a newborn, a phone ringing, and a feeble whimper. The air was clear and sweet with the aroma of citrus floral and the essence of myrrh. Large winged inhabitants fluttered about on missions of supreme purpose. Above, two hovered in midflight, one apparently holding the other from takeoff. “Why do you hold me, Zadkiel? I must go. Did you not hear Monica scream? I am hers, and she is mine. Monica thinks that God has forsaken her. I am here,” he bemoaned. What the guardian saw split him in two. He could not linger. Zadkiel pulled the guardian angel back, his wings clutched, and held him firm through the struggle. “Stand down. She cries out in fear, not faith. We are not charged to react to tears, but we are rewarders of faith. What is occurring is heartbreaking, but you have not been given leave to interfere.” The guardian wanted to push at Zadkiel’s wings, but that would have been disrespectful. “Oh, why do the humans act this way? Must they torment and cause such pain to each other? They have left a child and though Monica has not been innocent for many years, her screams of pain bring too many hurtful emotions to the forefront. How can you float above it all?” “I am not above anything, but we must be obedient to our Lord of Hosts. He has not given us permission to intervene; a greater good must be coming.” Zadkiel then telepathically shared with him how he kept the sounds of Randall’s and Monica’s pain in the background of his thoughts. “I am empathetic to your feelings. I have learned that our God knows all and His will is the only way. He did not create this mess, but He will make a way out for the innocent babe. Go sing a song of praise. It will ease your soul.” Large expansive wings flapped in decisive strokes as a voice of power and beauty soared over majestic heads. As other voices joined in song, the angelic choir trumpeted the holiness and sovereignty of God. Contrary to the chaos, He continued to reign. In another realm, the gates of hell rattled in anticipation of the eventual capture and consumption of the new souls. It was a two-course meal: adulterer and murderer, their favorites.

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All The Ghosts Dance Free: A Memoir by Terry Cameron Baldwin

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Book Information
Genre: Memoir
  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: She Writes Press (October 13, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 163152822X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1631528224

A sweeping exploration of beginnings and endings, loss and letting go, All the Ghosts Dance Free takes readers on a journey through author Terry Cameron Baldwin's life: from her childhood in a privileged but unstable enclave on the coast of Southern California, through her adolescence in Palm Springs and coming of age in San Francisco at the height of the sixties psychedelic revolution, and ultimately to her life as an ex-pat in Mexico. Struggling to deal with the death of her parents, as well as questions about her own mortality, Baldwin embarks upon a pilgrimage to a small town in Morocco where, she finds, "all of the ghosts dance free."

Review: This author has had so many marvelous experiences, and we get to read about all of them. She has an amazing knack for setting the scene, whether it be California, Mexico, Europe or Morocco. You get drawn in, and feel that you are right there with her.

Both of her parents seemed to have a "hands-off" parenting approach. She was never a neglected child, but she and her siblings were pretty much left to their own devices other than being provided with shelter, food and clothing. This led to a lifetime of trying to please her parents, which seems to be the theme that ties all of the stories in the book together.

My biggest problem with this book was that it is written "over my head."  I often had to go back and read sentences, or paragraphs, several times in order to understand what the author was trying to say. I really prefer to read memoirs that don't feel like a textbook in philosophy.

This is a truly wonderful book, it just wasn't a good fit for me personally.

Rating: Three stars

About the author
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Terry Cameron Baldwin is originally from California, where she received a BA in Psychology and a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe. She loves to travel for inspiration, to return to record her impressions in a variety of media. She has worked as a stained glass artisan, paper artist, painter, printmaker, jewelry maker, and calligrapher. She moved to San Miguel de Allende in 2006 from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Surrounded By Enemies by Bryce Zabel

Surrounded by Enemies: A Breakpoint Novel

by Bryce Zabel

on Tour November 1-30, 2015


What if Kennedy survived Dallas?
President John F. Kennedy has lived through the ambush in Dealey Plaza. America holds its collective breath, seeing its president nearly executed in broad daylight. But as the country marches on, the office of the President finds itself under a much more insidious type of fire. Political scandal, an endless war, and a country coming apart at the seams take the 1960’s in a terrifying new direction, and both John and his attorney-general brother, Bobby, struggle to stay ahead of their enemies, political and otherwise, and steer America toward a greater future.
Bryce Zabel is a master of the cover-up and the conspiracy, creating the Emmy-award winning series DARK SKIES. SURROUNDED BY ENEMIES is the first novel in the new Breakpoint series—each book exploring seminal moments in popular history and taking readers on a journey into a mirror world where events are both unexpected yet startlingly believable.
This savvy, fiercely intelligent novel, perfect for readers of Harry Turtledove, brings together elements of political thriller and page-turning history, enthralling readers with a sharply written take on the America that was, and the America that could have been.

"I have some experience with shattered timelines and altered realities but this one kept me guessing every page.”
~ Damon Lindelof, writer/producer of LOST, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

"Plausible development, building from what we know about what really did go on, and a whacking good story…SURROUNDED BY ENEMIES delivers on both, big-time. So hold on to your hats, folks. You’re in for quite a ride.”
~ Harry Turtledove, alternative history author, HOW FEW REMAIN

I enjoy alternative histories, and I tend to read every book I can get my hands on about the Kennedy family. So, of course, this book was an absolute must read, and I was not disappointed.

In this version, JFK and Oswald both survive the week in Dallas, while Secret Service Agent Clint Hill and Governor Connally do not. We get a second term of the Kennedy presidency, and quite a surprise during that time. John F. Kennedy, Jr. marries and divorces a VERY famous person before marrying Caroline Bissette, and has a long political career of his own.

We get an insightful look into who would have wanted JFK dead in 1963, as well as into his personal issues. The book is written in a way that makes most of these alternative events seem plausible. Some of it is a little over the top, but who is to say that it wouldn't have happened? That's the fun of "what if?" scenarios.

Five stars

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Alternate History
Published by: Diversion Books
Publication Date: November 3rd 2015
Number of Pages: 265
ISBN: 1626818290 (ISBN13: 9781626818293)
Series: Breakpoint, 1
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Excerpted from Chapter 1 of
By Bryce Zabel

November 22, 1963
Dealey Plaza
As the presidential motorcade turned left from Houston Street onto Elm Street and entered Dealey Plaza, Secret Service Special Agent Clinton J. Hill did not like what he saw. Hill, a stickler for following procedure, noticed that the driver of the presidential limo, fellow Secret Service Special Agent William Greer, had inexplicably hesitated and slowed his car to a near stop, a procedure opposite from what he had been trained to do.
In a series of photos taken by onlookers, Hill can be seen actually scowling in the direction to the left of the President’s car as he looked at an open, landscaped area at the western end of downtown Dallas. The agent was already in a bad mood because he had been told to ride on the left running board of the follow-up car instead of the 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible carrying the President, Mrs. Kennedy, and Texas Governor John Connelly and his wife, Idanell, or Nellie.
In a photo taken from another angle a second later, Hill can be seen looking right, where he sees the Texas School Book Depository, toward which the President is waving. Hill’s glance appears to be angled toward the building’s higher floors. The driver of the follow car, Sam Kinney, thought he heard Hill bark “Sonofabitch. It’s a kill zone.”
Whatever he said, what this presidential bodyguard did changed the course of history.
It seems probable that he saw a glint of metal in the midday sun as it flashed from a window on the sixth floor. Whether Hill also saw a rifle barrel or a man holding it can’t be known. He may even have seen, as was described by several witnesses, a spectator on the side of the street pumping an umbrella up and down in the air. In any case, there was no time to look, only to act. He launched himself from the running board of his own vehicle and sprinted toward the President’s car, screaming, “Go! Go!” as he vaulted onto the trunk and scrambled forward where John Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline were riding in the back seat.
As the Kennedys turned to see what was happening, Hill screamed at them in a tone of voice usually reserved for men in combat, “Get down!” JFK, a war veteran, instinctively moved to push his wife down and cover her.
Hill was the agent assigned to the First Lady but, in an instant like this, his training was to cover the President, particularly when he saw that the agent in the front passenger seat, Roy Kellerman, whose actual job was to protect the President, was frozen. Hill tried to push the President down, but Kennedy’s body was stiff; it wouldn’t bend, even under Hill’s muscle. The Secret Service agent instantly readjusted so he could move both President Kennedy and the First Lady into prone positions across the seat. He supported his body over them with both arms. The result was that within just over a second, the First Lady was being squashed beneath her husband who was being crushed underneath Hill.
Even as Greer mashed his foot down on the gas, swerving out of his lane, the first shot rang out. It scored a direct hit on Clint Hill, entering his upper back, cutting through his interior organs and exiting above the navel. According to Nellie Connally, she could hear the President of the United States shouting from the back seat, “We got a sniper!”
What happened next has never, even to this day, been established with complete clarity. What is known is that multiple shots were fired, seemingly from a variety of directions, according to numerous witnesses.
During this six-second period, the President, by his own testimony, under oath before his interrogators at his U.S. Senate trial, told his wife, “Jesus Christ! They’re going to kill all of us!”
The President was not alone in his fear. His advisers Kenneth O’Donnell and Dave Powers reacted similarly. O’Donnell was JFK’s appointments secretary and political sounding board, and Powers was the President’s long-time close friend. Because of their White House importance, the two men were riding in the car immediately behind Kennedy, and they, too, felt they were being targeted from at least two directions.
Agent Hill was hit once more after the bullet that shattered his spinal cord, and it was that bullet that ripped through his left temple, ending his life. The amateur film of Dallas resident Abraham Zapruder caught the action, including a spray of blood and brains that appeared to knock Hill’s head back and to the left. For over fifty observers, the head shot did seem to indicate that at least one bullet was fired from a grassy knoll area nearby and not from the upper window of the book depository, the likely origin of the first spine- shattering explosion.
Later testimony from witnesses told a tale of Secret Service agents in other cars who seemed asleep or operating in slow motion. All that can be stated for certain is that the heroic Agent Hill’s instant action had forced Greer to react quickly enough to make up for any other neglect. Kellerman had similarly snapped into delayed response and had climbed back to the jump seats that Governor Connally and his wife were using. Connally was bleeding badly but he wasn’t Kellerman’s concern. The Secret Service’s job is to protect the President first and the First Lady second, at all costs. The description says nothing about the governor of Texas. And so, even as Kellerman lay across the Connallys, he looked directly past them to Kennedy. “Mr. President, are you hit?”
The President and First Lady were covered in blood from the shots that had nearly taken off an entire side of agent Hill’s head and broken his back into pieces. Kennedy answered honestly, “I’m not sure. Maybe.”
With Greer now driving evasively, two more shots appear to have hit the Kennedy vehicle in its furious escape. One shattered Agent Kellerman’s shoulder, and entered Governor Connally’s chest, causing severe internal bleeding and collapsing his right lung. A final bullet was fired out of desperation by a would-be assassin who knew his chance at the target was nearly over.
Since the President’s condition was unknown, Greer zoomed the 350 horsepower Lincoln toward Parkland Memorial at speeds approaching eighty miles per hour. Even at this speed, driving with one hand on the wheel and another on the microphone, he managed to get off a concise status report to his superiors. “This is SS-100-X. I have Lancer and Lace,” shouted Greer. “We’re en route to Parkland. POTUS is conscious and responsive. FLOTUS same. Big Hat down. Agents down.”
Inside the vehicle, although President Kennedy’s condition seemed reasonable, the carnage among the other passengers was substantial enough to raise doubt. Hill was unconscious, probably dead, Governor Connally had been hit and badly injured, and agent Kellerman was losing a lot of blood. That left Jacqueline Kennedy and Nellie Connally still to account for but both of them appeared to have escaped being hit directly by gunfire. Even so, the agent with his foot on the gas pedal knew that there were no guarantees.
Later asked who “they” were, in response to his statement, “They’re going to kill us all,” President Kennedy famously told the investigators deposing him, “How much time do you have?”
Hickory Hill
At his Hickory Hill estate, in suburban McLean, Virginia, purchased years earlier from JFK, thirty-eight-year-old Attorney General Robert Kennedy, lunched with U.S. Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who represented the southern district of New York, and Edwin Guthman, RFK’s Justice Department spokesman. They ate hot clam chowder and tuna fish sandwiches.
The younger Kennedy had just finished a swim and was still wet, a towel wrapped around his shoulders. He appeared to be trying to relax and not succeeding, according to Morgenthau. “He had a lot on his mind but he could only share a tiny bit with me. I could see he was frustrated.”
The outside phone rang at about 1:45 p.m. on the other end of the pool and was picked up by Kennedy’s wife, Ethel. “It’s your office,” she said to her husband. “They’ve got Hoover on the line for you.” Kennedy moved quickly to take the call.
On the other end of the line was FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, someone who never called his ostensible boss at home. Neither man had ever had the slightest positive regard for the other. Never much of a conversationalist, Hoover said simply, “The motorcade was attacked in Dallas.”
The Attorney General asked the first thing to come to mind: “How is the President?”
Hoover delivered a spare précis of the news that the President was alive and had been taken to Parkland Hospital. When RFK asked about Jacqueline Kennedy, Hoover brusquely told him, “I have a crime to investigate, Mister Attorney General.” He recommended that Kennedy should call the hospital directly “if you have family concerns” and the two men hung up. In later years, each claimed to be the one to have ended the conversation.
Kennedy explained to Morgenthau and Guthman that the President’s motorcade had been attacked. Both his guests remember the first thought the Attorney General expressed to them. “I thought they’d move on me, not Jack.” They also both knew what this meant. The Mob.
Guthman immediately countered with the need for better security for his boss. “They could still be coming here,” he warned, concerned that whoever was behind the Dallas ambush might be coming to Hickory Hill next.
Even though Robert Kennedy had been notoriously dismissive of his own security needs in the past, he offered up the idea that they should enlist the federal marshals. “McShane’s loyal,” he explained, but should be directed to keep his men at a distance, given that the Kennedy children would be scared enough when they heard the news from Dallas.
Morgenthau offered his help in any way. The New Yorker was instructed to call national security adviser McGeorge Bundy on RFK’s authority. “Tell him to get the combinations on the President’s locked files changed right away.” Angry and focused, Kennedy left the men in order to work the phones from his upstairs bedroom. He did as much so feverishly that he would not change out of his wet swimsuit for more than two hours.
Within minutes, and without being ordered to, the Fairfax County police surrounded the grounds of the RFK compound. Within the hour, as discussed, Chief U.S. Marshal Jim McShane arrived. He brought seven agents and a collection of firearms with him. They dispatched the local police to an outer perimeter and assumed key positions in and around Kennedy’s estate. As McShane testified in late 1964, “If someone was coming to kill that man, we were prepared to make them kill us first.”

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Author Bio:

BRYCE ZABEL: Writer/Producer - Journalist/Author Creator of Five Produced One-hour Drama Series... Chairman/CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences... Writer of a #1 Box Office Feature Film... Winner of the Writers Guild Award... PBS Investigative Reporter... CNN Correspondent... Nationally Published Book Author... Adjunct Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts... member of Directors Guild, Writers Guild... BZ Wordle 4 Worked with ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, HBO, Showtime, USA, SyFy, Disney, Warners, Columbia, SONY, Paramount, New Line, Twentieth, Universal, DreamWorks, Animal Planet, Hallmark, etc. Produced screenwriting credits include Atlantis, Mortal Kombat II, Pandemic, Dark Skies, The Crow, E.N.G., Blackbeard, Poseidon Adventure, Lois & Clark, M.A.N.T.I.S., L.A. Law, Victim of Love, Official Denial, etc. Appeared on Today Show, Primetime Emmys, E.T., Access, E!, Coast-to-Coast AM, Politically Incorrect, CNN, etc. Interviewed by Time, NY/LA Times, USA

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This is a giveaway hosted by Diversion Books for Bryce Zabel. There will be 8 winners of 1 eBook copy of Surrounded By Enemies by Bryce Zabel. The giveaway begins on November 1st, 2015 and runs through November 31st, 2015.


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Friday, November 27, 2015

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Silence Of The Chihuahuas (Barking Detective #5) by Waverly Curtis

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The Silence of the Chihuahuas
by Waverly Curtis

The Silence of the Chihuahuas
(A Barking Detective Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Kensington (October 27, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1617730641
ASIN: B00P53E06M

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“Savvy sleuths come in small packages…”
Pepe, aspiring P.I. Geri Sullivan’s muy clever Chihuahua, has stopped talking. But why now, with Geri’s best friend Brad missing and her ditzy sister in grave danger? Geri’s lost without Pepe’s dogged detective work, especially when a client of Brad’s expires under very murky circumstances.
Luckily, Pepe turns out to be an excelente blogger, and his nose for clues soon has the detective duo chasing down leads. But they’ll have to put a bite on crime quickly, because danger’s afoot – and it’s making tracks in their direction . . .
Although this is the fifth book in the series, it is the first one I have read. I LOVE Pepe, and the relationship he has with Geri, so I'm hoping to go back and read the other books to see how they got to where they are now--and I look forward to reading more about them in the future.

This is a truly action-packed story. There is so much going on, it's tough to imagine how it all will fit together. And when the answers finally come, you will be totally surprised. 

Even without reading the first four books, it is easy to see that Geri's character gets to develop a great deal in this one. No longer able to rely on Pepe to tell her what he notices/deduces, she has to rely on herself and her abilities to solve the various mysteries.

If you love fun cozy mysteries, and you can suspend reality to believe in a dog that talks to his human, you will definitely enjoy this book/series.

Five stars

About The Authors

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Waverly Curtis is the joint pseudonym for mystery writing team Wavery Fitzgerald and Curtis Colbert.
Curt Colbert is the author of the Jake Rossiter and Miss Jenkins mysteries, a series of hardboiled, private detective novels set in 1940’s Seattle. The first book, Rat City, was nominated for a Shamus Award in 2001. A Seattle native, Curt is also a poet and an avid history buff. He is the editor of Seattle Noir, a collection of crime stories published in 2009. He was a judge for the Edgars in 2008 and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America. Curt and his wife, Stephanie, live in a Seattle suburb under the thrall of their cat, Esmeralda.
Waverly Fitzgerald is the author of three historical romances set in Victorian London under the name of Nancy Fitzgerald. Ever since her first novel was published in 1981, she has been teaching writing classes for adults at various venues including the UCLA Writers Program, the University of Washington Extension, and regional conferences. She currently teaches at and works for Richard Hugo House, the literary arts center in Seattle. Waverly also writes non-fiction, and has published a book called Slow Time: Recovering the Natural Rhythms of Life. She lives in an apartment in the heart of Seattle with her daughter, Shaw, and Shaw’s Chihuahua, Pepe.
Waverly and Curt met in a writing class in the late 1980s and have been working together ever since. Curt took Waverly’s novel writing class while he was writing his first novel. Waverly was his writing coach while he wrote his trio of historical mysteries set in Seattle. For about a year, they worked on twin novels in which Waverly’s protagonist, a female P.I. appeared as a sidekick in Curt’s novel about a hard-boiled Vietnam vet and vice versa. When Curt came up with the idea of a mystery featuring a talking Chihuahua named Pepe, Waverly asked if she could help and the collaboration began.
Pepe is an eight-year-old Chihuahua, adopted by Waverly’s daughter Shaw, when he was a puppy. He likes stuffed toys, especially if they  squeak. He hates the rain, which is unfortunate since he lives in Seattle. Like his namesake character, he hates being dressed up and thinks he is much bigger than he is. Unlike his namesake, he has a sweet disposition and doesn’t talk much, but he does have his own Facebook page.
Curt loves to start chapters; Waverly finishes them. Curt loves to elaborate and Waverly likes to edit. Curt’s humor is broader while Waverly’s humor is more situational. Together they are an unstoppable mystery novel writing team. Visit them on Facebook or at
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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Chick Lit (And Other Formulas For Life) by Abby Rosmarin

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Book Information
  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Abby Rosmarin; 1 edition (August 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996631305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996631303

Life isn’t a fairytale – or chick lit.

It’s 2005 and Katy Sinclaire is two years out of college. She still lives with her old university roommate and still works at the same bookstore that she’s been with since she was a teenager. She spends her days avoiding customers, making fun of the books in the store, and counting the minutes until she can clock out. It is an increasingly unsatisfying life, but it’s also a life that she does not question. That is, until a chain of events forces Katy to confront the painful truth: she is going absolutely, positively, nowhere in life. She realizes that she needs to do something, and now.

Only one problem: Katy has absolutely, positively, no idea what the first step should be.

The other problem? From her harebrained misadventures to her chisel-jawed boyfriend, to her best guy friend (who is not-so-secretly in love with her), Katy’s life starts mimicking the very chick literature she mocks. Only life isn’t as predictable as a storybook, a lesson Katy is forced to learn as she desperately tries to figure out her purpose in life – if such a purpose even exists.

Katy is a great character: sarcastic, exhausted, realistic (maybe overly so), and a bit too hard on herself.  She hates her job, the monotony of her everyday life, and she's a bit of a disaster when it comes to dating. And she has an irrational hatred of all things chick lit.  (Which reminds me of my aversion to nearly all romance novels...LOL)

Even though Katy's life begins to resemble a chick lit novel, this is not, IMO a romance story. This is a story of Katy discovering Katy.  I had a tough time liking Katy sometimes, and at other times I totally empathized with her. 

The ending of the story was perfect. I can't imagine it ending any other way and staying true to Katy's character. 

This is the author's debut novel, and I look forward to what she has to share with us in the future.

**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Four stars

About the author
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What do you get when you cross neuroses with sarcasm?


Hi, my name is Abby. Pleasure to meet you.

Contributing writer for Huffington Post, HelloGiggles, and Thought Catalog. Sometimes I write for EliteDaily, too. My work has also been featured on Buzzfeed, xoJane, MindBodyGreen, Elephant Journal, Literally Darling, and Rebelle Society. 

Go see how I do it bloggy style:

Or go buy I'm Just Here for the Free Scrutiny -- my collection of (hopefully) humorous essays on the modeling world. Now available on the (e)shelves:http://trialanderrorcreativity.blogsp.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: The Right Wrong Thing by Ellen Kirschman

The Right Wrong Thing

Ellen Kirschman

on Tour November 2015

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Crime
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Number of Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-1-60809-154-6
Series: Dr. Dot Meyerhoff Mystery, 2
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads



Hesitate or Respond—Either Choice Can Lead to Disaster

Officer Randy Spelling had always wanted to be a police officer, to follow in the footsteps of her brothers and her father. Not long after joining the force, she mistakenly shoots and kills Lakeisha Gibbs, a pregnant teenager. The community is outraged; Lakeisha’s family is vocal and vicious in their attacks against Spelling. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and filled with remorse, Randy is desperate to apologize to the girl’s family. Everyone, including the police chief, warns her against this, but the young police officer will not be dissuaded. Her attempt is catastrophic. Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, police psychologist, plunges herself into the investigation despite orders from the police chief to back off. Not only does the psychologist’s refusal to obey orders jeopardize her career, but her life as well, as she enlists unlikely allies and unconventional undercover work to expose the tangled net of Officer Spelling’s disastrous course.

I was intrigued by the blurb for this book, so I jumped at the chance to read it. Dr. Meyerhoff is a very "human" character. She has flaws, and we get to see them throughout the story. She has regrets, she doubts herself, she gets angry and jealous, she makes mistakes...and yet she manages to set things to rights in the end.

This book tells a very timely story, with all of the issues law enforcement officers are facing these days. It comes from the psychological perspective, which is something new and different for me. The story is interesting, well-written, thrilling and has a lot of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

While this is the second book in the series, it is easily read as a stand alone--and I look forward to reading more stories of Dot in the future.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Four stars

Praise for Ellen Kirschman & the Dot Meyerhoff Mystery Series:

“Ellen Kirschmann’s Dot Meyerhoff is the most intriguing character in contemporary fiction. Her narrations remind me of a cabbie I had in Istanbul. He drove too fast, took me down dead ends and through dangerous neighborhoods. He yelled at pedestrians and cursed at dogs. And just when I finally decided he was hopelessly lost, he delivered me safe and sound to just they place I wanted to be and left me on the sidewalk, shaking and smiling.”
—J. Michael Orenduff, award-winning author of the "Pot Thief" murder mystery series
“Ellen Kirschman is a no-nonsense writer. She manages to set the scene smartly, populate it with sharply drawn personalities, and pour the story over us without wasting a word. Her confident wit, energetic prose, and special insight into the workings of the human mind make The Right Wrong Thing an outstanding read. In this timely novel of strained community relationships, where police department psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoff is held hostage in a way, there's no relief from the suspense and the exciting journey into the motivations of people on both sides of the law. But even as Dot is pushed to the limit, she's determined to do the next right thing, no matter the cost.
—Camille Minichino, physicist and award-winning author of the Periodic Table mystery series

“[A] breathtaking first novel by an author with the writing skills of a seasoned veteran. . . . Burying Ben rings with authenticity, about real cops and a real cop therapist that everyone will enjoy.”
—Allen R. Kates, author of CopShock: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Author Bio:

authorEllen Kirschman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in independent practice. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Society for the Study of Police and Criminal Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the International Association of Women in Law Enforcement. She is the recipient of the California Psychological Association's 2014 award for distinguished contribution to psychology as well as the American Psychological Association's 2010 award for outstanding contribution to the actice of police and public safety psychology. Ellen is the author of the award-winning I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know, I Love a Fire Fighter: What the Family Needs to Know, and lead author of Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know (2013). Her debut novel, Burying Ben: A Dot Meyerhoff Mystery (2013) is about police suicide told from the perspective of the psychologist. Ellen and her husband live in Redwood City, California.

Catch Up:
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Please, note, in no way does Ms Kirschman condone unjustified brutality at the hands of police. She offers insight into the other side of a possible situation. The possible outcome is very moving, and thought provoking.

Tour Participants:

WOW! An Amazing Giveaway!:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Ellen Kirschman & Oceanview Publishing. There will be 1 winners for this tour. The winner will receive 1 Oceanview Publishing Thriller each month for 1 year. This giveaway is for US residents only. The giveaway begins on November 1st, 2015 and runs through December 2nd, 2015.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT: Beyond Belief: Jesus Saved You...Now What? by Abby Kelly

BEYONDBELIEFNRCPHARPERBANNER Genre: Bible Study, Christian Non-fiction 
ISBN-10: 1632131145 
ISBN-13: 978-1632131140

cooltext1950057983 photo Abby Kelly is a nomadic, military spouse writing from wherever she momentarily finds herself with her husband, their wonderful dog, Brave, and two tolerable cats. Abby began writing in the process of recovering from a more-than-decade long eating disorder. She credits Jesus Christ for her full recovery and for filling her with a passion to encourage others to seek freedom from their own addictions and struggles. Now, Abby is the senior editor for two online Christian publications: and She is a freelance editor, as well. Abby continues to write for numerous Christian publications as well as maintains her personal blog, In her free time, she and Brave enjoy volunteering in hospitals and schools as a pet therapy team through Pet Partners.

Does your life look the same as it did the day you put your faith in Jesus Christ? Or have you discovered the power of the Spirit within you enabling you to live a holy, righteous life? For that matter, is it even possible to be holy? Many Christians today are wading in the shallow end of the infinite relationship God desires to have with His children. They are strangled by addictions and idolatry, or distracted from the pursuit of spiritual maturity by a cheap imitation of moralism. Whatever the reason, their spiritual growth has been stunted; they’ve never gone beyond mere belief in Jesus Christ. Beyond Belief: Jesus Saved You ... Now What? explores what God has in store for you and what He wants from you. With a firm foundation on the centrality of Christ, this book will help you see exactly who you are and what you are called to, based on, and enabled by, His righteousness alone. Through intense study and humbling application of both the Old and New Testaments, Beyond Belief, will show you what a mature Christian life looks like and what it takes to get there.
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52 Little Lessons From A Christmas Carol by Bob Welch

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Synopsis:  Gold Medallion Award-winner Bob Welch crafts 52 nuggets of Bible-based wisdom from one of the most popular novels of all time, A Christmas Carol. For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. No space of regret can make amends for one life s opportunity misused. God bless us, every one.

The lessons and stories from the beloved novel A Christmas Carol point to bedrock values we all share. Award-winning author Bob Welch takes readers deeper into the nuances of this classic by Charles Dickens. From the miserliness of Scrooge to the innocence of Tiny Tim, 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol will inspire readers to live for what really matters, not only at Christmas, but all year long.

Review: A very interesting look at a classic tale. Supported by scripture and the life of Jesus, the author helps readers to understand how the choices each of us make impact those around us; how our life experiences can color our future; and how each fork in our life journey has a consequence, whether positive or negative. 

Each lesson is relatively short, so that if a reader chose to use it as a year-long study, it would not require a great deal of time out of your week. 

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.**

Rating: Four stars

BOOK TOUR: The Devil's Playground by Eliza Freed

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Book Information
Title: The Devil’s Playground (Book 1 The Faraway series)
Author: Eliza Freed
Publisher: Brunswick Publishing
Pages: 300
Genre: Romance/Women’s Fiction

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Former U.S. Attorney, Meredith Walsh, took some time off to raise her children. But the time took away everything she once trusted about herself. She’s lost within the mundane confines of her children's schedules of lacrosse, soccer, Cub Scouts, and math facts. Desperate for a sliver of her former passion, and isolated in the small town her corporate husband relocated her to, she counsels herself on risking her family for the rush of a fling.

But Vincent Pratt, the local chief of police, weakens Meredith’s abhorrence of affairs and her dedication to her family. With him, she finds a new version of herself, one capable of contributing in her new world, and thriving in her lonely home. In spite of the fact, she’s not the kind of woman who has an affair.

For More Information

  • The Devil’s Playground is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Review: Once I started reading this book, I simply couldn't put it down.  I felt a lot of empathy for Meredith and her kids, frustration at her husband Brad, and all kinds of emotions in regard to her relationship with Vince. 

I would have to put this on my top ten list for this year. There is so much more to it than just a romance--there is suspense, drama, angst,  and humor. I do have to admit that there were times when Vince seemed a little obsessed, and totally creeped me out, but he did manage to redeem himself as the book went on.

The book has a cliffhanger ending, but it also includes the beginning of the sequel, which I am already chomping at the bit to read. I NEED to know what happens to these folks!

Rating: Five stars

About the author
 photo Eliza Freed_zpsquqqtuzl.jpg Eliza Freed graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks and her neighbors began to talk; her mother told her to find a job. 

She settled into Corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Eliza quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It’s during this time she became an avid observer of the characters we meet and the heartaches we endure. Her years of study have taught her laughter is the key to survival, even when it’s completely inappropriate.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. An avid swimmer, if Eliza is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she has always been a sucker for a love story...the more screwed up the better.

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