Saturday Shoutout: Q & A/Giveaway with @mtaracrowl

Christmas may be over, but I have a chance for you to win a fantastic prize! M. Tara Crowl is the author of the middle grade series Eden’s Wish and Eden’s Escape. She’s joining me today for a Q & A and she’s generously giving away one signed copy of Eden’s Escape! The Rafflecopter is at the end of this post. Read on for more information about the series and the Q & A!

About the Books: 

Eden’s Wish

(Eden of the Lamp #1)

By M. Tara Crowl

From Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Ages 9-12

All twelve years of Eden’s life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home; but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.

When Eden finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, she takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won’t be sent back after three wishes.

Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth’s pleasures–but quickly learns that this world isn’t as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power–even hurt Tyler and Sasha, the new mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends and protect the lamp’s magic, Eden must decide once and for all where she belongs.

Goodreads|Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound

Eden’s Escape

(Eden of the Lamp #2)

By M. Tara Crowl

From Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: September 6, 2016

Ages 9-12

Eden’s new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who’s also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting–only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world’s leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp’s power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly’s plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris–home to Electra’s headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.

Goodreads|Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound

“Crowl’s imaginative storyline rings with both perception and humor.”

―Kirkus Reviews

“Middle grade readers will enjoy the children’s autonomy and Eden’s humorous difficulties in grasping how school works…Hand this to readers who like their magical fantasy combined with middle school drama.”

―School Library Journal

“An imaginative romp with a smart, snarky protagonist and a humorous interpretation of the world as we know it…[Eden] is also just plain entertaining, with a sassy attitude and a clever wit that saves her on more than one occasion.”

About the Author: 

M. Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She lives in New York City.


Q & A: 

1. What’s a typical writing day for you look like? Describe your perfect writing environment.


Most days, I walk to the restaurant my husband owns in our neighborhood, and we eat breakfast there. Sometimes I stick around and write there for a while, but usually I head home to work. My perfect writing environment is quiet and comfortable – usually, my sofa in my living room!



2. How did you get started writing? Was it something that you’ve always loved?


When I was a kid growing up in Tennessee, I was a big bookworm. And from as far back I can remember, I wanted to write books like the ones I loved so much. But in high school, I decided that I wanted to make movies instead. After graduation, I moved to LA to attend film school at the University of Southern California, and after college, I worked in Hollywood for two years. I loved what I was doing, but I also realized that I was never going to be happy if I didn’t take a shot at writing my own stories. So I left LA and moved to Sydney, Australia for a Master’s program in Creative Writing at Macquarie University. I’ve been writing ever since then. 



3. Who are your favorite writers/inspirations?


Roald Dahl, Madeleine L’Engle, and Kate DiCamillo are a few of my favorite children’s authors. Matt de la Peña is a huge inspiration too. In a broader storytelling sense, I love thrillers and am inspired by their structure, so books by Patricia Highsmith and movies made by Alfred Hitchcock are important influences for me.



4. Anything you can tell us about upcoming projects?


I’m currently writing a new book that’s completely different from what I’ve done before. It’s challenging because it’s so different from the Eden books, but I’m really excited about it.



5. Normally how do you develop plots/characters? Brief us on your process.


Normally I have a general plan for where a book is going to go, and I outline a few chapters ahead, but I try to let the story flow organically. I’ve found that it works better for me when I let the story breathe and come into its own along the way. 



6. Favorite character from one of your own novels?


I have to say my protagonist, Eden. She’s brave, funny, smart, and adventurous. But I also love some of the immortal genie alumni she comes into contact with on Earth. One of my favorites is Pepper, Eden’s guardian in Eden’s Escape. She’s a Broadway actress who’s lived in New York for hundreds of years. She’s bubbly and full of life.



7. Preferred method for readers to contact you?


I love it when readers email me. But there’s nothing better than a letter written on notebook paper, handed to me by a reader at a school visit. Usually they include drawings too!



8. On average, how long does it take you to write a book?


It totally depends on the scenario. Eden’s Wish took about three years from when I started it to when it sold to the publisher, but I wasn’t working on it the whole time. I was working lots of different jobs, and sometimes I didn’t write for weeks or even months at a time. Eden’s Escape was written under contract with Disney-Hyperion, so I had a set timeline. It probably took about nine months to write that one.



10. Which one of your characters do you relate to the most?


Eden. I relate to the way she yearns to explore the world, and feels trapped inside her lamp. Since she’s lived inside the lamp for her whole life, she sees everything on Earth with wonder: the sun, the ocean, animals, all kinds of people, and everything green and growing. Writing about those things from her perspective reminds me to appreciate them for myself.



11. If writing wasn’t your career what would you be doing?


It’s hard to say! Maybe I’d still be working in Hollywood, or maybe I would have left that regardless. Maybe I’d be working with my husband at the restaurant. Or maybe something completely different. Who knows!



12. What’s the best compliment that you’ve received about your work?


At one school I visited, a fourth-grade girl gave me a letter that said she loved Eden’s Wish so much, she wanted to read it over and over. I vividly remember loving books so much that I would read them again and again at her age, so that was a pretty special compliment for me.


 Huge thanks to M. Tara Crowl for answering my questions!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: The Trespasser by Tana French

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: October 4, 2016

Publisher: Viking

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Crime Fiction


A brilliant new novel from the New York Times bestselling author, whom Gillian Flynn calls “mesmerizing” and Stephen King calls “incandescent.”


Being on the Murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she’s there. The rest of her working life is a stream of thankless cases, vicious pranks, and harassment. Antoinette is savagely tough, but she’s getting close to the breaking point. 


Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers’ quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty, groomed to a shine, and dead in her catalogue-perfect living room, next to a table set for a romantic dinner. There’s nothing unusual about her—except that Antoinette’s seen her somewhere before.


And that her death won’t stay in its neat by-numbers box. Other detectives are trying to push Antoinette and Steve into arresting Aislinn’s boyfriend, fast. There’s a shadowy figure at the end of Antoinette’s road. Aislinn’s friend is hinting that she knew Aislinn was in danger. And everything they find out about Aislinn takes her further from the glossy, passive doll she seemed to be.


Antoinette knows the harassment has turned her paranoid, but she can’t tell just how far gone she is. Is this case another step in the campaign to force her off the squad, or are there darker currents flowing beneath its polished surface? 


This is the sixth book in French’s Dublin Murder Squad series and I swear each one just gets better and better. It’s not necessary to read them in order, they stand on their own just fine. Each installment focuses on a different detective, though Conway did have a storyline in The Secret Place. I highly recommend the series as a whole, but if you want to jump in at any point it would work.

At first glance, the case that Conway and Moran are assigned to seems very open and shut. As a team, they’re the low men on the totem pole and they generally get tossed the easy cases, mainly domestic ones. Conway in particular is heavily disliked by her colleagues, she’s the only woman on the squad and she’s no delicate little flower. She’s brash, abrasive and snarky and she’s not afraid of any of the men on the team as much as they try and intimidate her. Moran plays the role of lovable goofball brilliantly, but underneath the fluff, he’s got a sharp mind and he’s a good detective. Once the two start diving into the meat of this case, it’s clear this is no slam dunk. Nothing is adding up and fitting together neatly as much as they try to force it, and Aislinn’s best friend and boyfriend are definitely hiding something, but what?

This is a dense and heavy read, but I didn’t want to miss a single word. French’s writing style really appeals to me, it’s so gritty and raw and she nails dialogue like no other. My favorite scenes were when a suspect was being interrogated, watching the process is so fascinating. The way Conway and Moran play against each other in order to tangle a suspect in a web without them even realizing it was just brilliant. Police politics were heavily at play here and witnessing how a murder squad works behind the scenes always intrigues me. Immersing myself into the atmosphere here was easy, things are bleak and dark, but having Dublin as a backdrop always speaks to me. I love reading their slang and imagining their conversations in brogues.

This is not a fast read with brisk pacing, rather it’s a slower read, but one that is methodically plotted and planned. There are plenty moments of misdirection and red herrings, with turns that are unexpected and astonishing. Things are intricate and complicated, both with the case and with the entire cast of characters. I’m always reminded of Karin Slaughter when I read Tana French, and if you’re looking for a good crime fiction series to sink your teeth into, look no further.

Overall rating: 5/5

Review: Duplicity by Sibel Hodge @sibelhodge

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: December 27, 2016

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Psychological Thriller


There are three sides to every story: Yours. Mine. And the truth…

Max and Alissa have a fairy tale life—newlywed, madly in love and enviously rich. Then Max is brutally stabbed to death at their home and Alissa, miraculously, escapes with her life. But why was she spared?

The hunt for the killer begins, uncovering a number of leads—was Max’s incredible wealth the motive? Had his shady business practices finally caught up with him? Or was it a stalker with a dangerous obsession?

Devoted friends rally around gentle, sweet Alissa as she is left to mourn the loss of her husband and pick up her life. But not everyone is who they seem…Deep-rooted jealousies, secrets and twisted love lie just beneath the surface, and not all fairy tales have a happy ending.

Duplicity is a suspenseful thriller from the bestselling author of Look Behind You and Where the Memories Lie. 


Is there anything more exciting than discovering a new to you author that you really enjoy? Not to me there isn’t! Immediately after I finished Duplicity I rushed to Goodreads to see if Hodge had any other books and I was so thrilled to see she has others with outstanding ratings from some of my most trusted friends. Now to find the time to actually read them…

I was hooked by this one right away, there are two viewpoints, the Detective and the Other One. The detective is DI Carter who is looking into the murder of Max. I really liked Carter, in fact I think he’s the only character that I actually enjoyed. He is relentless in his pursuit of the truth even if it means risking it all. The Other One is clearly the person responsible for killing Max but you have no idea who it actually is until much later. I’m a fan of alternating timelines and it worked so well here, the truth was slowly revealed in bits and pieces and it left me hanging onto every word. Part one is the slowest section but I was still very interested, but when part two starts? BAM! The pace really picks up and there were so many plot twists I think I may have whiplash. 

I can’t talk about the plot very much here, but I can say that it is dark, twisted and full of shocking surprises. I was patting myself on the back for being so clever and correctly guessing which direction things were headed, until Hodge decided to spin me around and smack me upside the head for being so bold and presumptuous. I love when an author manages to deceive me and I was mislead so many times here that I lost count. This is an excellently crafted psychological thriller with all the necessary elements that I need in the genre. The pacing was right on, the tension was heavy, you don’t know who to trust, and there are surprises up until the very end.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to Thomas and Mercer for my review copy. 

My Top 16 Reads of 2016

After weeks of trying to narrow this list down I’ve finally come up with my top reads of the year. It was really hard, as of today I’ve read 268 books so picking a handful of my absolute favorites was difficult for me. Originally I had planned on choosing a top ten, but I was really struggling so I decided to do a top 16 of 2016 and I STILL had a tough time. These are the books that I feel should not be missed, they are all standouts for me, for a variety of reasons. I also want to point out a few to watch for in 2017 as well. 

(In no particular order) 

I was totally blown away by this book. It touched me deeply and I still find myself thinking about Andy.

God this book was so compelling, it had one of my very favorite endings ever.

The plot twist in My Girl was insane and I loved every minute of this dark and twisted tale. 

This was such a powerful and important read. I’m sure most of you have read it by now, but if not get cracking!

This had one of the BEST plot twists that I’ve ever read, totally gasp worthy. 

I love domestic suspense and this one delivered on all levels.

Another amazing book from Orenda Books makes my list and this atmospheric psychological thriller was unlike anything I’ve ever read.

Yet another one with a brilliant plot twist, this one totally fascinated me.

This had everything I want in a psychological thriller and it kept me up late at night, I HAD to find out how it all would end.

This debut novel was unique and McDaniel’s lyrical prose was so moving.

My favorite character of the year comes from this one. If you’ve read this then I’m sure you’ll guess that I’m talking about Manny. 

This was one of the best YA novels I read all year and the friendships here were beautiful.

This was a warm and heartfelt story of family and I still think about Nina today.

I had a hard time picking between this one and Jensen’s debut, The Sister but ultimately this one really grabbed me a tiny bit more.

I’ve become a huge Buchanan fan and this is my favorite of hers thus far. It had a fantastic twist that I loved.

This is the latest installment in my absolutely favorite series, so I had to add it. If you’re looking for a really well written and compelling new series to read, check out this one.
Books to watch in 2017: 

This was a provocative thriller that kept me guessing, amazingly fun read.

I totally loved this one, but now that I’ve discussed it with some others who have read it as well, I see that not everyone was as satisfied with it as I was. It is definitely a wholly unique type of book and it was very unexpected in many ways. 

This one was gorgeous and I think it will be huge next year. 
What do you think of my picks? Are they any that you agree with? Disagree with? What are your top reads of the year? If you have a post link me so I don’t miss it! 

Review: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti 

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: January 3, 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: YA Mystery


Hawthorn wasn’t trying to insert herself into a missing person’s investigation. Or maybe she was. But that’s only because Lizzie Lovett’s disappearance is the one fascinating mystery their sleepy town has ever had. Bad things don’t happen to popular girls like Lizzie Lovett, and Hawthorn is convinced she’ll turn up at any moment-which means the time for speculation is now.

So Hawthorn comes up with her own theory for Lizzie’s disappearance. A theory way too absurd to take seriously…at first. The more Hawthorn talks, the more she believes. And what better way to collect evidence than to immerse herself in Lizzie’s life? Like getting a job at the diner where Lizzie worked and hanging out with Lizzie’s boyfriend. After all, it’s not as if he killed her-or did he?

Told with a unique voice that is both hilarious and heart-wrenching, Hawthorn’s quest for proof may uncover the greatest truth is within herself. 


I think it’s time for me to stay away from YA mysteries. I love YA and respect it as a genre, some of my favorite books are YA novels. But I can’t think of a single YA mystery that I’ve liked, much less loved. So no matter how intriguing a blurb sounds, or how pretty and striking the cover may be, I’m going to steer clear of YA mysteries for the foreseeable future. I have way too many other fantastic books on my TBR to waste any more time on a genre that just doesn’t work for me.

I think my biggest problem with this book was that I was totally mislead by the title and blurb. I expected Hawthorne to become caught up into this crazy investigation regarding Lizzie’s disappearance. I wanted suspense, tension and of course a whole bunch of lies. What I got what something completely different and not altogether interesting. Hawthorne did develop an obsession with Lizzie, but I assumed they would have had some previous connection to each other and they didn’t whatsoever. It was more than a little bit strange that she took her disappearance so hard. The so called lies that the title spoke of? Yeah, nothing earth shattering there. Hawthorne’s absurd theory was seriously a joke. I honestly thought she was just kidding with it, but it turns out she really believes it. Eye roll. (If you want to know just ask me, I don’t want to spoil it in case anyone still wants to read this) 

Even though  I wasn’t all that thrilled with the plot and the direction that this book was heading, I still wanted to see how it all turned out. At least at first I did. I ended up getting really bored the more I read and I actually fell asleep twice reading it. That really never happens to me, usually I have to force myself to put a book down. Maybe it was just because I was really tired from all of the holiday celebrations, but either way I had to really power through to finish. 

Hawthorne wasn’t exactly a character that I liked, she had some funny moments, especially with her eternal dialogue, but as one of the other characters tells her, she always takes things too far. She takes Lizzie’s job, then she starts a fling with her boyfriend, Enzo. Instead of coming across as creepy and interesting, it was just sad and pathetic. Enzo was also twenty five and she’s only seventeen, so that grossed me out a bit. Overall she was often rude, very immature for her age and annoying. By the time the end came and you find out what actually happened to Lizzie, I honestly didn’t care anymore. I was just happy to be finished. I actually forgot Hawthorne’s name when I started writing this, so I guess it’s pretty forgettable overall. 

Overall rating: 2/5

Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for my review copy. 

Review: Say Goodbye For Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde @cryanhyde

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website

Release date: December 13, 2016

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Historical Fiction 


On an isolated Texas ranch, Dr. Lucy cares for abandoned animals. The solitude allows her to avoid the people and places that remind her of the past. Not that any of the townsfolk care. In 1959, no one is interested in a woman doctor. Nor are they welcoming Calvin and Justin Bell, a newly arrived African American father and son.

When Pete Solomon, a neglected twelve-year-old boy, and Justin bring a wounded wolf-dog hybrid to Dr. Lucy, the outcasts soon find refuge in one another. Lucy never thought she’d make connections again, never mind fall in love. Pete never imagined he’d find friends as loyal as Justin and the dog. But these four people aren’t allowed to be friends, much less a family, when the whole town turns violently against them.

With heavy hearts, Dr. Lucy and Pete say goodbye to Calvin and Justin. But through the years they keep hope alive…waiting for the world to catch up with them.


As much as I adore my creepy and intense thrillers and mysteries, over the Christmas holiday I wanted to snuggle up with a book that didn’t have a serial killer as a main character. I won a copy of Say Goodbye For Now from the author and was so exited as I’ve had several of her books in my TBR and hadn’t gotten around to them before now. I’m kicking myself now that I waited this long to read one of Ryan Hyde’s novels and I’m vowing here and now to read some of her other work in the  new year. This book totally hit the spot and was just the type of feel good read that I was craving.

It’s 1959 in small town Texas and though Lucy and Pete have both lived there for years, they haven’t crossed paths before. Lucy is a doctor who quit practicing after many people had objections to being treated by a woman. She’s distant and isolated, both physically and emotionally and surrounds herself with stray animals no one else wants. Pete is the sweetest kid and when he finds a dog hurt in the side of the highway he takes it to Dr. Lucy for help. Justin and Calvin are father and son and new to town and the young boys become fast friends. These four have no idea how their chance encounters will shape and define their lives in the future, but they all have lessons to learn and things to teach each other.

Ryan Hyde sure knows how to write a page turner, I couldn’t wait to see how this story would turn out. She wove a story that was both beautifully tender and brimming with heavy issues, but she managed to convey a strong message without leaving me feeling like I had read something emotionally draining. There is Lucy who is dealing with the loss of her son and husband as well as sexism, Pete who is an abused child, and Justin and Calvin who are African American in the fifties, enough said there. As these four struggle with their own issues, they manage to find solace in each other and it was a truly gorgeous thing to witness.

This was an effortless read, the chapters alternate between Dr. Lucy’s point of view and Pete’s. The bulk of the story is told within the first few months the four meet, then the last half spans the course of eight years. I feel in love with all four of them, but Pete especially left a mark on my heart, he is a special kid who is wise beyond his years. This is begging to be picked for a book club read, there is so much to discuss and explore. Also, if you’re an animal lover there are some really great moments here with all kinds of creatures. 

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Huge and heartfelt thanks to the author for my copy.

Merry Christmas! 

I just wanted to take a minute and wish everyone a happy holiday! I hope you all are having a wonderful day with family, friends, and loved ones. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas I hope you have a fantastic Sunday! 

Blog Tour: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Chick Lit @HelloChickLit

It’s Begining to Look a Lot Like Chick Lit
an Anthology by:
S.E. Babin, Geralyn Corcillo, Amy Gettinger, Holly Tierney-Bedord, Jax Abbey, Susan Murphy, Tracy Krimmer, Kate O’Keefe, Monique McDonell, Laurie Baxter

Genre: Chick Lit
Tour Dates: December 18th – 24th, 2016


Eleven short and funny holiday stories of women going home for Christmas, stirring up old flames (& finding new ones), baking grandma’s cookies, planning revenge pranks on high school duds, opening Pandora’s Box, racing across the country for love, & kissing cute hunks under the mistletoe. Grab your copy while this limited time collection is still available!

Buy the Book:



Do I have a fun Christmas Eve treat for you lovelies today! I’m delighted to be one of the stops for the blog tour for It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Chick Lit. This was a merry and bright collection of short stories from some fabulous chick lit authors, some which were new to me. What a fun way to discover new authors! This book was such a sparkly and festive read,  it really helped keep me in a Christmas mood and bite sized romantic comedies complimented my Christmas cookies quite nicely. As I write this post, the Kindle version of this book is FREE! I can’t promise it still is, but you should definitely check it out. 

While I definitely liked all of the stories offered here, I did have my favorites so I’ll be sharing my thoughts about the ones that I loved the most! 

The Miraculous Power of Butter Cookies by Holly Tierney-Bedord

Brandi and her two sisters, Barbara and Bonnie decide to enter a holiday baking competition and hilarity ensues. Their mother, Sally has passed away and the family crumbled in the wake of her loss. There were some funny moments and I loved how it was all about reuniting family. 

Jingle Bells and Social Fails by Jax Abbey

I totally fell in love with the main character in this one. Her name is Reese and she’s heading to meet her boyfriend Javi’s parents for the first time. She is the queen of social mishaps and I laughed so much while reading this! This was my first time reading anything by Abbey but it won’t be my last.

I’m Scheming of a White Christmas by Kate O’Keefe

Tilly unexpectedly ruins into her high school crush, Brady and doesn’t know whether to be mortified or excited. He humiliated her back in the day and now it’s her time for revenge in the form of poop. Don’t ask, just read this wickedly funny story!

All I Want For Christmas Is…? by Monique McDonell

Miranda is a cranky and cynical ER doctor who has returned home for the holidays in Australia. Her beloved cousin, Anna is getting married and her wedding wouldn’t be out of place in 1987. She hasn’t changed her plans for bridesmaids dresses and decor since she was ten. Miranda meets Connor who owns the local coffee shop and sparks fly. I loved that her character developed so greatly in such a short time, it was sweet. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the authors and Aimee at Hello Chick Lit for my review copy. 

About the Authors:


S.E. Babin is an award-winning author with a passion for writing books with a paranormal twist. Whether it’s romance or mystery, she loves taking the norm and turning it into the extraordinary. Her love of reading turned into a curious exploration to see whether or not she could write her own novel. Beginning with discarded pages of angsty novels and a slightly popular reimagining of Beowulf’s Grendel in her high school English class, Sheryl spent way too much time in the library, killing any chance of her becoming a cheerleader or anything even remotely cool.

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First and foremost, Geralyn Corcillo loves reader reviews! In other news…When she was a kid growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching old movies, British mysteries, and the NY Giants. Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.

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Amy Gettinger lives in Orange County, California with her husband and her two piteous poodles under the shade of a very noisy old eucalyptus windrow full of crows and wild parrots. When she’s not writing novels, she’s creating Reader’s Theater plays and coaching a local senior group to perform them, complete with big bad wolves, feather boas and tiaras.

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Holly Tierney-Bedord lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the author of several novels including Coached, Bellamy’s Redemption, and Surviving Valencia. Visit her website at where you can connect to her blogs and subscribe to her newsletter.

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A Durham, North Carolina native and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jax Abbey bleeds Carolina blue. By day she molds the young, bright minds of the future, but at night you can find her furiously pounding the keyboard as she funnels the zany ideas and quirky characters from her brain to the computer. When Jax isn’t telling preschoolers to keep their hands to themselves or telling her characters to simmer down, she loves to spend time with her significant other, Tyler, and her TinyDog.

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Tracy’s love of writing began at nine years old. She wrote stories about aliens at school, machines that did homework for you, and penguins. Now she pens books and short stories about romance. She loves to read a great book, whether it be romance or science fiction, or any genre in between, or pop popcorn and catch up on her favorite TV shows or movies. She’s been known to crush a candy or two as well. Her first romance novel, Pieces of it All, released in May 2014 followed in December with Caching In, a romance mixed with the hobby of geocaching. She also has written several short stories.

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Kate O’Keefe – I write funny, sexy, feel-good romantic comedies.

I’ve loved rom coms, romance, and chick lit since I first encountered Bridget Jones as a young, impressionable writer. It really was a match made in chick lit heaven.

I’ve been a teacher and a sales executive, but am now content as a mother and writer, madly scribbling all the ideas I’ve accumulated during my time on this planet we call home.

I live and love in beautiful New Zealand–where my novels are all set–with my wonderful family and my two very scruffy, naughty dogs.

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Monique McDonell – I am an Australian author who writes fun, flirty contemporary women’s fiction including chick lit and romance. After many attempts writing books that made me miserable I decided to write books with happy endings and have been loving the journey ever since.

I live on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter which probably explains why the beach features in so many of my novels and why people describe them as excellent beach reads.

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Laurie Baxter has degrees in both puppetry and screenwriting because let’s face it, majoring in English would have been no more useful and way less fun. She loves chocolate, ice cream, chocolate ice cream, dogs, New York City, old movies, modern architecture, all kinds of theater, and music from before she was born. Her eighth grade English teacher told her to become a writer, so she did.

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Visit all the Stops on the Tour:

December 18th

Hea Romances With A Little Kick – Book Excerpt/Promo
Romantic Reads and Such – Book Excerpt
He Said Books Or Me – Book Promo/Author Guest Post

December 19th

Kristin’s Novel Cafe – Book Excerpt/Promo
Hello…Chick Lit – Book Excerpt/Promo

December 20th

ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review/Excerpt
Reads and Treats – Book Review
Rae Reads – Book Excerpt/Promo

December 21st

Appletree Books – Book Review
Chick Lit Central – Promo Post

December 22nd

Jena Books – Book Review
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December 23rd

Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Review
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Blog on the run – Book Promo Post

December 24th

Novelgossip – Book Review
Book Lover in Florida – Book Review/Promo

Review: The Intersect by Brad Graber @jefbra1 @McKinneyPR

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: September 1, 2016

Publisher: Dark Victory Press

Genre: Contemporary Fiction 


Set against Arizona’s political and cultural vortex at the start of 2010, “The Intersect” explores the issues of the day by weaving together the lives of disparate characters striving to survive in a world where the strongest link, and most lasting connection, is made among strangers. When Dave and Charlie relocate from the Bay Area to Phoenix, tensions ratchet up in their relationship as Charlie insists on buying a house on the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore as Dave contemplates leaving his job. Daisy, a spry septuagenarian, shows up at their front door after a long convalescence, unaware that her greedy, Michigan relatives, Jack and Enid, have already sold her home. Charlie assumes the older woman is Dave’s distant aunt and happily ushers her into a guest room. Meanwhile, across town, Anna, a gifted psychic who channels the dead, is concerned about her neighborhood. She hires a handyman to install motion-detectors, unaware that Ernie has entered the United States illegally from Mexico as a child. When Henry, a homeless gay teen, attempts to rob Anna, Ernie intervenes and a melee ensues. The police mistakenly arrest Ernie, leading to his deportation. And so begins “The Intersect” as relationships unravel, secrets are revealed, love blossoms, and injustice leads to a thrilling climax. 


A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of having Brad Graber here for a Q & A. Ever since, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the time when The Intersect would finally pop up in my TBR list. I loved the premise for this one, converging storylines always catch my interest and Graber did an outstanding job of weaving the lives of eight characters together here.

As I mentioned earlier, there are eight different people here that eventually cross paths. Some happened early on while others took some time and left me wondering just how these seemingly unrelated people would fit together. Dave and Charlie are a couple who have recently relocated to Phoenix from San Fransisco for a new career opportunity for Dave. Daisy is an elderly woman who has an accident that leaves her incapacitated and vulnerable. Jack and Enid move to Phoenix from Detroit and Jack is Daisy’s nephew. Anna is a psychic and Ernie is an illegal immigrant who does handyman work for Anna. Henry is a young homeless teenager who is coming to terms with his sexuality. All of these characters are deeply developed, and there were some I loved and cared for and others who I hated. My favorites were Daisy and Charlie. She’s spunky and sweet and I wanted to take her under my wing. Charlie is such a positive guy, I could definitely take a page from his book. The worst was Enid, she’s greedy and selfish but even though I couldn’t stand her, after her backstory was revealed I could understand why she behaved the way she did. 

I LOVED reading a book that was set in my hometown of Phoenix, it was so fun being able to perfectly picture the locations Graber was describing and he absolutely nailed the setting. He also touched on many hot button topics, many that effect people nationally and some that are issues locally. With Dave and Charlie he showed the challenges that a gay couple face daily, with Daisy he shed light on the poor treatment of the elderly in our country. It was awful and heartbreaking to see how she was treated and it was even more sad knowing it’s a reality. Ernie is an undocumented illegal alien and his plight is one I’ve seen so many times in Arizona. Henry is homeless after his parents kick him out after revealing he is gay and this part hit me the hardest. I cannot imagine turning my back on my kids just because they want to be the person they truly are. I felt such strong connections to most of these beautifully crafted characters and was sad to say goodbye.

My one small issue was the ending, it was a bit abrupt for me. I had hoped for more closure with a couple of storylines but I’m hoping maybe there will be a sequel? There was a nice twist in the last part that I didn’t expect, which I always appreciate. I’m seriously impressed that this is Graber’s debut, his writing style is taut and he really writes wonderfully believable dialogue. His knowledge of a breadth of topics is apparent in the quality of his writing and I’m a fan. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to Larissa at Claire McKinney PR for my review copy!

Blog Tour: Witness by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes #witness

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: December 20, 2016

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Psychological Thriller 


To Rebecca it was a brave decision that led to her freedom from domestic abuse. To Solomon it was the ultimate betrayal.

It’s been ten years since Rebecca’s testimony saw Solomon locked away. Enough time for the nightmares to recede, the nerves to relax; enough time to rebuild her life and put the past behind her.

Then one day a phone rings in her bedroom—but it’s not her phone. Solomon has been in her home, and has a very simple message for her: for each of the ten years he has spent in jail, Rebecca must witness a crime. And, to make matters worse, she has to choose the victims.

Fail to respond and you get hurt. Talk to police and you die. Ready to play? You have sixty seconds to decide…

As the crimes grow more severe, the victims closer to home, Rebecca is forced to confront a past she had hoped was gone forever.


I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Witness today! When I found out Caroline Mitchell was publishing her first psychological thriller with Thomas and Mercer I just knew I had to read it as soon as possible. She’s firmly cemented herself on my list of auto buy authors and fans of her work will be totally floored by Witness. 

The premise of this book simultaneously creeped me out and intrigued me. Imagine having a psychopathic creep from your past come back only to force you to play a sick game. That’s what happens to Rebecca, it’s been ten years since she played a huge role in sending Solomon to prison but now he’s back, and he’s out for blood. He wants revenge in the worst way possible and toying with Rebecca is one of his favorite games to play. She must pick someone she knows to be the victim of a crime, ten different people, one for each year he was locked up. 

This is told from both Rebecca’s and Solomon’s point of view and there are also entries from Rebecca’s diary that she kept back when her and Solomon were engaged. The details of their twisted and frightening past are told in brief snippets which had me hanging on every word. I was desperate to know what had really happened back then and could feel Rebecca’s fear and hopelessness leaping from the pages. Solomon is such a creepy and menacing character, the part that scared me the most was that he was able to blend in when it suited him and most people had no idea how sick and depraved he really was. 

Mitchell has a tricky writing style that is alluring as she ends almost every single chapter with a mini cliffhanger making it a quick read as you can’t bear to put it down. I found myself holding my breath plenty of times while reading as I contemplated just how Rebecca would get herself out of this terrifying situation? The poor thing had already escaped Solomon once and now she has to do it again?  Except this time it’s worse as she has a husband and a daughter to worry about and every decision she makes has the power to not only affect the ones she loves the most, but it also makes her question herself. She struggles with her morality and sense of what’s right and wrong and is constantly faced with impossible tasks. I’m shivering just thinking about it again!

Fans of psychological thrillers will enjoy this one, and fans of standard mystery/thrillers will also love this as there are twists and secrets hidden along the way. The tension was constantly mounting right up until the end and I just now finally feel like I can breathe normally again after that suspenseful ride!

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to Thomas and Mercer for my review copy. 

About the Author: 

A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. She now writes full time.

Published by Bookouture, her DC Knight crime thriller series reached the number one position in the Amazon crime charts. Love You To Death, the first in her new series featuring DS Ruby Preston is due for publication 11th November 2016.

Her new psychological thriller, Witness, is published with Thomas & Mercer and due for publication 20th December 2016.

Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour!