Thursday, May 30, 2019

It's Murder, My Son + Giveaway

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





Synopsis (from Amazon):  What started out as the worst day of Mac Faraday’s life would end up being a new beginning. After a messy divorce hearing, the last person that Mac wanted to see was another lawyer. Yet, this lawyer wore the expression of a child bursting to tell his secret. This confidence would reveal Mac as heir to undreamed of fortunes, and lead him to the birthplace of America’s Queen of Mystery and an investigation that will unfold like one of her famous mystery novels.

Soon after she moves to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, Katrina Singleton learns that life in an exclusive community is not all good. For some unknown reason, a strange man calling himself “Pay Back” begins stalking her. When Katrina is found strangled all evidence points to her terrorist, who is nowhere to be found.

Three months later, the file on her murder is still open when Mac Faraday, sole heir to his unknown birth mother’s home and fortune, moves into the estate next door. Little does he know as he drives up to Spencer Manor that he is driving into a closed gate community that is hiding more suspicious deaths than his DC workload as a homicide detective. With the help of his late mother’s journal, this retired cop puts all his detective skills to work to pick up where the local investigators have left off to follow the clues to Katrina’s executer.


One (or more) Sentence Summary: This was my first Mac Faraday story.  I enjoyed all the characters and want to vacation on Deep Creek Lake.  Mac finds out his birth mother is a famous mystery series author and that she has been murdered.  Oddly, a main character in her books fits Mac to a T.  Over night he went from being a cop to being a millionaire, owning a mansion and a hotel.  Now he is determined to solve his mother's murder.

There are a lot of characters in the story and at first it was hard to keep them all separate. Once I did, the story moved really fast.  There were a few different stories going on at once and I couldn't wait to figure them out. As typical of me, I didn't figure it out and was happy with how everything was resolved.  However, leaving the door open for the second book. 

Lauren always has a great animal or two in her stories.  Gnarly took center stage in It's Murder, My Son.  He was a military dog (German Shepard) who was honorably discharged. He is on crazy dog that seems to find trouble.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I really enjoyed Winter Frost,  Ice and Murder by Perfection.  I am looking forward to reading other books by Lauren.  If I counted right, there are 12 more Mac Faraday books in the series!  


Check out what others are saying on the iRead Book Tour



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


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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Excess Baggage

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




Synopsis (from Amazon):  Stuck in a dead-end relationship, Erica Bennett finds herself daydreaming of her first holiday romance. She was 15, and it was exciting, new, and full of possibilities...and Jack Lawson was hot as hell. That kind of thing leaves a mark.
So when her friends suggest a girls' holiday to Luna Island, it's exactly what she needs to take her mind off things. What she doesn't expect is to spot Jack - a much older, hotter version of him - across the hotel lobby.
Their attraction is still there, and it isn't long before sparks fly, but 15 years is a long time. They aren't the same people they were back then, and besides, it's only a week, right? Is it a second chance at something real, or will their excess baggage ruin their shot at love after they leave Luna Island?

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I adored Excess Baggage!  Erica is daydreaming about her a romantic holiday when she was 15 and who happens to be across the lobby? Jack,... from 15 years ago.  We jump right into a very steam pool scene and it just continues to get hotter as the story progresses.

Okay, now that is out of the way, Erica is an absolute hoot.  Everything adventure they go on, she comes out of it with some sort of mishap. Most of the time it involves her bathing suit.  She really made the book very funny.  I can't imagine all thing that happened to her every time she step out to have fun.  She just rolled with it. I am seeing a lot of white bathing suits in the stores this year and I just find myself laughing as I think of Erica. She is too funny.

What will become of Erica and Jack after 15 years? What happens when Erica's boyfriend (whom she broke up with over text) shows up on Luna Island with a ring? I can't spoil it for you.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  For sure....I would love to read about the girls on vacation with Erica (Brooke is book 2 and Alice is book 3). Laura's story telling and sense of humor reminds me a lot of one of my new favorite authors, MJ Summers (Melanie Summers).  They need to meet and I have to be there!  P.S. Melanie let's meet Laura in the UK, eh?

Laura has a ton of other books that look great and I can't wait to get my hand on them. 
  • The Debt & Doormat Series (3 books)
  • Tequila & Tea Bags
  • Dopey Women (should buy it just for the man on the cover)
  • Sex, Snow & Mistletoe
  • One Month Til I Do Series (2 books)
  • Road Trip
  • Heath, Cliffs & Wondering Hearts



Amazon Best Seller Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or 'chick lit' as its so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio. 
She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She's a real fan of the power nap, loves setting her friends up together and of course READING! 
She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!


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Sunday, May 26, 2019

What Book(s) Is In Your Beach Bag?


I was looking for an old post and stumbled upon this one from 2011 and thought what a great idea to ask you all....What Book(s) Is In Your Beach Bag?  Leave me a comment letting me know at least one of the books you plan on reading this summer.  I love book suggestions.


Here is what is in my beach bag this summer.  Let's hope I do better than 2011.  See an update below on the books from 2011.

1. In the Swim of Things by Traci Banister 

2. The Summer on Mirror Lake by JoAnn Ross

3. The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe

4. The Summer of Sunshine & Margot by Susan Mallery  

5. A Thread So Fine by Susan Welch

6. Life and Other Inconveniences  by Kristin Higgins

7. Donna Has Left the Building by Susan Jane Gilman

8. One More Lie by Amy Lloyd 

9. Chasing Kate by Christina George

10. A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum

11. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman 


Here is my list from 2011....some I still haven't read.  Shame (shame) on me. 


1. Holly's Inbox, Scandal in the City bu Holly Denham. Loved the first book and it is great chic lit? 2019 update: See link to review - 5 Stars - A Must Read


2. The Daughters by Joanna Philbin. I really wanted to support this young author and I love her dad! 2019 update: Read it, but never wrote the review.  I would give it 3 Stars - A Good Read.


3. Pricelss by Nicole Richie. Seriously, I was sucker for the synopsis. 2019 update: Never read it and might have let a friend borrow it.


4. In Office Hours by Lucy Kellaway. Loved the first one and this was one of my London purchases! 2019 update: I read it, loved it (5 Stars - A Must Read) and for some reason didn't write a review.  Here is link to Martin Lukes, Who Moved My Blackberry by Lucy Kellaway (that mentions it).


5. Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo. This sounds so amazing! 2019 update: Read it, loved it, featured it in a giveaway. 


6. Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt. Sounds like something one of my favorite authors (Meg Cabot) would write. 2019 update: I read all three books and loved them (5 Stars - A Must Read) but have no idea why I didn't write a review.  Princess for Hire, The Royal Treatment, and Farewell to Charms.


7. Good Harbor by Anita Diamant. My mom asked me to read it years ago and I still haven't. 2019 update - still haven't read it (hanging my head on this one - shame on me).


8. Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell. All I can think is...modern day Laura Ingalls! 2019 update: I did read (last summer) and it was really cute.  I never wrote a review - 3 Stars - A Good Read.


9. Between the Tides by Patti Callahan Henry. Bought it last summer because the cover caught my eye. 2019 update: Another, shameful....still haven't read it. I have read 2 other of Patti's books and enjoyed them.


10. Wicked Girls, A Novel Of The Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill. I love books like this! 2019 update:  I tried and tried, but I couldn't get in too.  I hate to even type it.


11. Another Summer by Georgia Bockoven. I want to read other books by GB, but thought I would start at the beginning. 2019 update: I still haven't read this, but read 2 other of Georgia's books and enjoyed them.


12. Lipstick in Afghanistein by Roberta Gately. I have heard so many good things about this book. 2019 update: 5 Stars - A Must Read.


13. Momzillias by Jill Kargman. Another chic lit I bought in London. 2019 update:  I read it and loved it.  No idea why I didn't write a review.


14. The House on Oyster Creek by Heidi Jon Schmidt. I bought this last summer and haven't read it (love the cover too). 2019 update: Still love the cover, but haven't read it yet (I know....)

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

My Ex-Best Friend's Wedding

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

Synopsis (from Amazon):  A wedding dress passed down through generations unravels the tangled threads of three women's lives in a novel of friendship, family, and forgiveness from the USA Today bestselling author of Ten Beach Road.
 
Prized and stored away for safekeeping, the timeless ivory wedding dress, with its scooped neck and cleverly fitted bodice, sits gently folded in its box, whispering of Happily Ever Afters. To Kendra, Brianna, and Lauren it’s a reminder of what could have been, the promise of a fairy tale, and a friendship torn apart. But as Kendra knows firsthand: it wasn’t the dress’s fault.
 
Once closer than sisters, Lauren and Bree have grown up and grown apart, allowing broken promises and unfulfilled dreams to destroy their friendship. A successful author, Lauren returns home to the Outer Banks, fiancĂ© in tow, to claim the dress she never thought she’d wear. While Bree, a bookstore owner, grapples with the realities of life after you marry the handsome prince. As the former best friends wrestle with their uncertain futures, they are both certain of one thing: some betrayals can never be forgiven. 
 
Now on the eve of her daughter Lauren’s wedding, Kendra struggles with a secret she’s kept for far too long. And vows to make sure the dress will finally bring Lauren and Bree back together—knowing they'll need each other to survive the coming storm.



One (or more) Sentence Summary: For the past three years I have started summer out with a Wendy Wax book.  This year, it is not from the Ten Beach Road series, but Wendy did take me on a trip to the Outer Banks. Two very best of friends have a falling out over broken promises when they finished college.  As time pasted the wedge between Lauren and Bree grows wider.  

Lauren is about to get married and brings her husband-to-be home to meet her mother.  Her mother is still "like a mother" to Bree, so Lauren and Bree will have to see each other.  Bree is married to Lauren's ex boyfriend and it is not a good marriage.  Lauren and Bree are both hiding secrets and it all comes to head on Lauren's visit. They are not the only ones that are hiding secrets.  Lauren's mom and Bree's husband have a few of their own.  

How will it end? I can't tell you and spoil it.  It is worth reading to find out.  I will give you some hints, Bree's daughter goes missing, a hurricane hits, and a lot is exposed.  I was expecting my summer beach read from Wendy, which My Ex-Best Friend's Wedding is not a "beach" read for me, it is a really good book.  I will have to pick up Ten Beach Road to get my "beach" read on.  I am not complaining as it is on my list of must reads!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I have read a lot of Wendy Wax books and enjoyed them all.  I would really like to read A Week at the Lake and While We Were Watching Downton Abbey (and the rest of the Ten Beach series). You can find my other Wendy Wax reviews by clicking on the title: Best Beach Ever,  One Good Thing, and Sunshine Beach. 




Wendy Wax, a former broadcaster, is the author of fifteen novels and two novellas, including Best Beach EverOne Good ThingSunshine BeachA Week at the LakeWhile We Were Watching Downton AbbeyThe House on Mermaid PointOcean Beach, and Ten Beach Road. The mother of two grown sons, she left the suburbs of Atlanta for an in town high-rise where she and her husband are happily downsized.

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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 Amazon.com gift card (open to wherever Amazon.com 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

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