Friday, May 17, 2019

Winter Frost + Giveaway

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  It all started with a chance encounter in the city with Blair, his late wife.

Chris Matheson and the Geezer Squad, working under the guise of a book club, dig into the events surrounding his late wife’s supposed death halfway around the globe. A state department employee shoots himself in the back three times. A CIA operative goes missing. A woman is targeted by an international assassin three years after being declared dead in a terrorist attack overseas. 

Nothing is as it seems. 

In his most personal cold case, Chris fights to uncover why the state department told him that Blair, the mother of his children, had been killed when she was alive. What had she uncovered that has made her a target? Who terrified her so much that she had gone into hiding and why are they now after him?

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I really enjoyed book 1 of the series (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery), Ice, and was excited to review book 2, Winter Frost.  I love the characters (the Geezer Club is the best) and the crazy animals!  Winter Frost starts out with a super twist. On the street, Chris runs into his wife....his dead wife.  The crazy just takes off. So what really happened? How can Blair be alive? What does Chris do now? How does he tell his daughters? How will the Geezer Club solve this mystery?  I can't answer all the  "how" questions (no spoiler alerts from me), but I can tell you, you won't be disappointed.  I love how characters from other series and woven into Winter Frost.  

I listened to the audio version of Winter Frost from Audible.  It was super engaging, couldn't wait to put my headphones back on and be drawn into Chris' crazy world.  The narrator, Mike Alger, has narrated other books of Lauren and I love his different voices for all the characters.  I have no idea how he keeps them straight.  I have to be honest, I listen to audio books at 2x to 2.5x speed because I can't get enough and anything slower and my mind can wonder.  I do love Audiobooks and Audible!  If you haven't tried an audiobook, Winter Frost (or Ice) would be a great one to start with and if you need to speed it up, do so it.  It is all about enjoying the story by a great story teller.

Prizes: Win a $50 gift card (open to wherever delivers). Ends July 6th

Check out the other reviews - book and Audiobook tour schedule:
May 1 - Library of Clean Reads - tour kick-off / giveaway
May 1 - My Reading Journeys - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 2 - Working Mommy Journal - review Winter Frost / giveaway
May 2 - Dab of Darkness Book Reviews - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 3 - Laura's Interests - review of ICE / giveaway
May 6 - Hall Ways Blog - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 7 - Words And Peace - book spotlight / giveaway
May 7 - Life as Leels - review of ICE
May 8 - Kristin’s Novel CafĂ© - review of Winter Frost
May 9 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of ICE / giveaway
May 10 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 14 - JB's Bookworms with Brandy Mulder - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 15 - JB's Bookworms with Brandy Mulder - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
May 15 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 16 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 16 - 
Life as Leels - review of Winter Frost
May 17 - Seaside Book Nook - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 20 - Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author - book spotlight / giveaway
May 20 - Laura's Interests - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 21 - Bound 4 Escape - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway
May 21 - 
Blooming with Books - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 22 - Buried Under Books - review of Winter Frost 
May 23 - StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
May 23 - T's Stuff - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 24 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway
May 24 - Dab of Darkness Book Reviews - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway
May 27 - A Fountain of Books - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
May 28 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway
May 29 - Life as Leels - review of It's Murder My Son
May 30 - Seaside Book Nook - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway
May 30 - Readers' Muse - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway

May 31 - Laura's Interests - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway
June 3 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
June 3 - 
Amy’s Booket List - review of ICE
June 4 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
June 5 - Buried Under Books - review of Crimes Past
June 5 - Blooming with Books - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
June 6 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
June 6 - 
A Fountain of Books - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway
June 6 - 
Readers' Muse - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
June 7 - Library of Clean Reads - It's Murder My Son / giveaway
June 10 - FUONLYKNEW - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
June 10 - Amy’s Booket List - review of Winter Frost
June 11 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
June 11 - 
Life as Leels - review of Crimes Past
June 12 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
June 12 - 
Dab of Darkness Book Reviews - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
June 13 - FUONLYKNEW - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway
June 13 - 
Readers' Muse - review of ICE / giveaway
June 14 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - review of Winter Frost
June 17 - Seaside Book Nook - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
June 17 - 
Amy’s Booket List - review of It's Murder My Son
June 18 - Laura's Interests - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
June 19 - A Fountain of Books - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
June 20 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway
June 20 - 
Readers' Muse - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
June 21 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway
June 24 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - review of Crimes Past
June 24 - 
Amy’s Booket List - review of Crimes Past
June 25 - Books for Books - book spotlight
June 26 -  JBronder Book Reviews - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
June 27 -  JBronder Book Reviews - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
June 27 -  fundinmental - review of It's Murder My Son / giveaway

June 28 -  Adventurous Jessy - review of Winter Frost / giveaway
TBD        - Christine's Book Corner - book spotlight / giveaway
TBD        - 
A Fountain of Books - review of ICE / giveaway

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I really enjoyed book 1 of A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery, Ice. and Murder by Perfection.  I am looking forward to reading other books by Lauren.

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns! Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night. Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs, including the real Sterling, on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

Buy Winter Frost:
​Amazon ~ Audible
Add to Goodreads


Thursday, May 16, 2019

In the Swim of Things + Giveaway

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  A sexy, sun-soaked tale about a tail-wearing girl who makes a lot of waves—perfect for fans of Lauren Layne, Meghan Quinn, and Christina Lauren.

Ocean-loving Kyra Goodwin had to give up her dream of becoming the female Jacques Cousteau in order to take care of her father and brother, but being a mermaid at the Cape Cod Aquarium is pretty fintastic as far as alternative careers go.

Of course, life as a half-fish/half-woman isn’t all sunken treasure and Ariel twirls. Kyra has to deal with perpetually pruney fingers, eyes irritated by saltwater, and bratty kids on the daily, plus her glam alter ego can make dating really weird. (So many men have pervy siren-of-the-sea fantasies!) When she meets hunky surfer Cade, and he’s into her without knowing what she does for a living, Kyra thinks she’s finally won the romance lottery.

Unfortunately, Kyra’s plans for a carefree summer of catching waves with her new boyfriend run aground when Sea Star Beach, a place that holds great sentimental value for her, is taken over by a big-city developer who wants to build an exclusive resort. Kyra’s crusade to save her beloved beach threatens both her job and her relationship with Cade as does her growing closeness with her irresistibly broody merwrangler, Declan, whose precocious daughter is intent on playing matchmaker.

When a new family drama arises just as Kyra receives an offer that would turn her greatest desire into reality, she’s torn. Will she do what’s expected of her, or dive in and follow her heart?

Purchase a copy of In the Swim of Thingsduring the Release Blitz (May 15th - May 31st, 2019) and you could win an incredible prize pack inspired by the book’s mermaid heroine and its beachy setting in Cape Cod. People who purchased In the Swim of Thingsduring the pre-order period are also eligible for the giveaway!

This prize pack includes:

You’ve Mermaid My Day Pedestal Candle Holder

3-Wick Salted Ocean Air Candle

Mermaid Squad Gift Set, inc. Travel-Sized At The Beach Ultra Shea Body Cream & Shower Gel & Beautiful Day PocketBac Hand Sanitizer

Mermaid Stemless Wine Glass with Inscription “It’s Okay to Drink 
Like a Fish If You’re a Mermaid”

Mermaid Tribe Sea Glass Necklace by Lita Sea Glass Jewelry (seafoam-colored 
sea glass on 18” sterling silver chain)

Mermaid Key Chain/Purse Charm (
antique gold mermaid pendant with 
stunning beads and a sassy tassel)

Bath & Body Works Shea-Infused Mermaid Socks

Mermaids in Paradise: An Artist’s Coloring Book

Crayola Colored Pencils (36 premium quality pencils)

To enter this giveaway, e-mail Tracie Banister at traciebanister@gmail.comwith your proof of purchase. Entries will be accepted until 11:59PM Eastern US time on Friday, May 31stwhen a winner will be selected via random drawing. This is an international giveaway, so anyone who buys In the Swim of Things within the allotted time frame is eligible to win. Good luck!

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4thgrade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. She is the proud winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award (Romantic Comedy) and a Bronze Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards (Chick Lit).
In the Swim of Things is Tracie’s sixth novel and thanks to this book, she can now check another occupation off her fantasy list. She has no doubt that writing about a mermaid is much easier than actually being one!

Author Newsletter – The Banister Buzz


Friday, May 10, 2019

Whisked Away (MUST READ!)

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  From best-selling author Melanie Summers comes an irresistibly romantic, delightfully funny tale of love, passion, books, and food…

At twenty-seven years old, Emma Banks has big plans for her life. After graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, she's ready to take her place as head chef at one of her family’s resort restaurants. But upon arrival at Paradise Bay, she’s shuffled off to the resort’s new private island getaway, where she’ll be stuck catering to the rich and shameless. Her first assignment is to serve Pierce Davenport, an infuriatingly arrogant writer with a palate that’s about as adventurous as a plain boiled potato. 

Pierce Davenport is living every author’s dream—his critically-acclaimed Clash of Crowns books have been turned into one of the world’s most-watched television series. The only problem is, he has no idea how to end the epic fantasy tale. After two long years, his fans are turning on him, his publisher is panicking, and the network executives have announced they’re hiring a team of scriptwriters to finish (a.k.a. ruin) his legacy for him. 

In dire need of solitude, he escapes to the Island of Eden for two distraction-free months so he can pull off the impossible—write an entire novel from start to finish. All he wants is peace and quiet, but when disaster strikes, he’s forced to rely on irritating-but-beautiful Emma to deliver more than just three meals a day. 

Putting Pierce and Emma together is like combining orange juice and toothpaste. Will their differences be their ruin or will they be the secret ingredient to each other’s success?

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Well, it is no surprised, that I absolutely LOVED Whisked Away.  Melanie is one my favorite authors (right up with there Meg Cabot, Sophia Kinsella and Janet Evanovich) and I adore her.  What I wouldn't give to have an ounce of her writing talent.  Whisked Away is the 2nd book in the Paradise Bay Romantic Comedy series.  

Please take my advice (do yourself the favor) and do the following
1. Grab Whisked Away (free on Unlimited Kindle - btw!)
2. Call in sick to work and/or hire a baby sitter 
3. Cancel all plans (whatever you need to do-cancel them) 
4. Grab your favorite beverage and snack 
5. Shut off your phone (unless that is the only way you can access the Kindle app)
6. Lock yourself away and enjoy your stay at Paradise Bay!

You won't be able to get enough of Emma and Pierce and you won't want to stop reading, trust me.  Seriously, so funny (like a stitch in your side from laughing so hard), steamy scenes (oh my word Pierce!), a return to Paradise Bay (Harrison, Libby, Rosie and Darnell are all back too!!)....what more could you want? 


Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all of Melanie's books.  Make sure you check them all will NOT be disappointed. Can't wait for book #3 in the Paradise Bay series.  So ready for Leo (Melanie write fast)!  
Here is a link to my reviews:
The Honeymooner (book 1 of Paradise Bay) 
The Royal Treatment (book 1 The Crown Jewels)
The Royal Wedding (book 2 The Crown Jewels)
The Royal Delivery (book 3 The Crown Jewels)

Melanie Summers currently resides in Edmonton, Canada, with her husband, three young children, and their goofy dog. When she's not writing romance novels, she loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. 

Melanie also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something. More like just staying until they turn the lights off. 

Melanie is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as the International Women's Writing Guild. Melanie would love to hear from you! She does her best to respond to all inquiries and emails personally. If you would like her to attend a book club meeting via Skype please contact her to book a date. 

Contact her at or visit

P.S. she writes also writes steamy romances as MJ Summers.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019


~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  From the bestselling author of P.S., I Love You, a fiercely feminist story collection that illuminates--sometimes in fantastical ways--how women of all kinds navigate the world today.

In this singular and imaginative story collection, Cecelia Ahern explores the endless ways in which women blaze through adversity with wit, resourcefulness, and compassion. Ahern takes the familiar aspects of women's lives--the routines, the embarrassments, the desires--and elevates these moments to the outlandish and hilarious with her astute blend of magical realism and social insight.

One woman is tortured by sinister bite marks that appear on her skin; another is swallowed up by the floor during a mortifying presentation; yet another resolves to return and exchange her boring husband at the store where she originally acquired him. The women at the center of this curious universe learn that their reality is shaped not only by how others perceive them, but also how they perceive the power within themselves.

By turns sly, whimsical, and affecting, these thirty short stories are a dynamic examination of what it means to be a woman in this very moment. Like women themselves, each story can stand alone; yet together, they have a combined power to shift consciousness, inspire others, and create a multi-voiced ROAR that will not be ignored. 

One (or more) Sentence Summary: What a great book, with a different twist on what us women deal with every day, yet it was so empowering.  We can make a difference by standing up and saying enough. My favorite short stories were The Women Who Was Kept on the Shelf and The Women Who Smiled.  All the stories are told with such imagination.  Very cleverly written and the short stories are independent of each other.
I am woman, hear ME roar....

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I haven't read a book by Cecilia Ahern in a while.  I read PS, I Love You; Love, Rosie and There's No Place Like Here.  I really enjoyed them (years ago)!

Cecelia Ahern is the author of the international bestsellers PS, I Love YouLove, RosieIf You Could See Me NowThere's No Place Like Here; and The Gift. Her novels have been translated into thirty-five languages and have sold more than twenty-five million copies in over fifty countries. Two of her books have been adapted as major films and she has created several TV series in the US and Germany. She lives in Dublin with her family.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Austen Playbook

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  In which experienced West End actress Freddy Carlton takes on an Austen-inspired play, a scandal at a country estate, an enthusiastic search for a passion outside of acting…and the (some people might say icy*) heart of London’s most feared theater critic.
*if those people were being nice
Freddy Carlton knows she should be focusing on her lines for The Austen Playbook, a live-action TV event where viewers choose the outcome of each scene, but her concentration’s been blown. The palatial estate housing the endeavor is now run by the rude (brilliant) critic who’s consistently slammed her performances of late. James “Griff” Ford-Griffin has a penchant for sarcasm, a majestic nose and all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer.
She can’t take her eyes off him.
Griff can hardly focus with a contagious joy fairy flitting about near him, especially when Freddy looks at him like that. His only concern right now should be on shutting down his younger brother’s well-intentioned (disastrous) schemes—or at the very least on the production (not this one) that might save his family home from the banks.
Instead all he can think of is soft skin and vibrant curls.
As he’s reluctantly dragged into her quest to rediscover her passion for the stage and Freddy is drawn into his research on a legendary theater star, the adage about appearances being deceiving proves abundantly true. It’s the unlikely start of something enormous…but a single revelation about the past could derail it all.
“There’s more drama offstage than on, the writing is outstanding, and the bit of mystery blends well into the romance. Theater fans will devour this lovely contemporary romance.”-Publisher’s Weekly, starred review, on The Austen Playbook
“The London Celebrities series-some of the wittiest, smartest dialogue to come down the romance pike in years.”-Kirkus ReviewS of London Celebrities series.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I didn't realize this was book 4 of a series and it stood on its own.  I love books that take place in London/UK.  This was the first book that I have read that is about the theatre/acting/reviews.  I found out I know nothing about the theatre, acting or critics.  I really enjoyed the characters, even the quirky ones.  My favorite had to be Charlie even though he was not the main character.  He seemed to the one everyone always under estimated and seemed to be always in good spirits.  

Freddy surprised me and grew on me each chapter.  She became stronger and stronger every page.  Griff came across in the beginning as not a nice person and wrote harsh reviews.  Griff has written some pretty harsh reviews on Freddy'a acting.  However, Freddy and Griff end up in an unusual situation while she is staying at his families house while working on a play.  Freddy and Griff end up working together and discovered secrets which will change both their families lives forever.  Even though there are some really steamy scenes, will that be enough for their relationship to survive, once the truth is revealed?

I will have to go read the first three in the series!  
TLC Book Tour Schedule: Check out what others are saying about The Austen Playbook.
Sunday, April 21st: @tlcbooktours – giveaway
Monday, April 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Monday, April 22nd: @_ebl_inc_
Monday, April 22nd: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – spotlight
Tuesday, April 23rd: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, April 23rd: Read Love Blog – spotlight
Wednesday, April 24th: What is That Book About – spotlight
Thursday, April 25th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, April 25th: Seaside Book Nook
Friday, April 26th: @book_hangover88
Monday, April 29th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, April 29th: Becky on Books
Tuesday, April 30th: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, April 30th: Rad Babes Read
Wednesday, May 1st: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, May 1st: A Holland Reads – spotlight
Thursday, May 2nd: The Lit Bitch
Thursday, May 2nd: Amy’s Book-et List
Thursday, May 2nd: Fuelled by Fiction
Friday, May 3rd: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, May 3rd: Books & Bindings

Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes, and vineyards. She has a degree in art history, loves museums and art galleries, and doodles unrecognizable flowers when she has writer's block. When she's not writing, working, or sleeping, she happily tackles the towering pile of to-be-read books that never gets any smaller. Thankfully, there's always another story waiting.

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