Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Vicarage Christmas

 Welcome to Thornwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings happen and surprises are in store for the four Holley sisters…

Anna Holley, the third of four sisters, has always felt a little bit forgotten. A family tragedy when she was a child had her retreating deep into shyness, and social anxiety kept her on the fringes of the cozy chaos of the busy vicarage.

After several years away from home, Anna returns for Christmas... and an important announcement from her father. As much as she once loved the village, coming back is hard and puts Anna's social capabilities to the test.

Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, she heads out to the local pub one night, and meets a handsome stranger nursing a pint. Somehow, unburdened by expectations, Simon seems like the perfect person to spill all her secrets to—including a hopeless, long-held crush on her sister’s boyfriend. Confident she’ll never see him again, Anna returns home… only to discover the next day that Simon is actually her father’s new curate!

Anna is beyond mortified, but Simon won’t let her retreat into her usual shyness—and for once Anna is forced to confront the past, and all the fears and feelings she’d tried so long to hide. But with his own heartache that needs to heal, can Simon help Anna to make this the most magical Christmas either of them have known?

Amazon UK:

If you enjoy sweet family centric mild dramas, with gentle romantic tones and the bonus of some life advice slipped in, you will enjoy spending the holidays with the Holley family. This year is bittersweet as several life altering announcements will be made.

Younger sister Anna Holley has not been home for Christmas in three years. She's always been the most shy of the vicar's daughters, even more so after a family tragedy. Coming home at the holidays, when it seems nothing ever changes, is a combination of comforting and unsettling.
When the house fills with happy parishioners, Anna feels the need for some space, even the solace found amongst strangers. She loves her family but being the focus of attention makes her very uncomfortable. She feels she has hidden her discomfort well for twenty years.

This book reminds us that everyone has secrets and everyone has fears. Sometimes when we think we are doing something to protect those we care about, we really are not helping anyone. There comes a time when we must go after our dreams if we are not just hiding from life.

This introduction to the Holley sisters shines a light on Anna while promising change coming for every member of the family. I am looking forward to future books in this series.

About Kate Hewitt: Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of over 60 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. She also writes for Harlequin Presents.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at

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Ten Thousand Points of Light by Michelle Warren

Title: Ten Thousand Points of Light
Author: Michelle Warren
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 18, 2017


Five years ago an unthinkable tragedy slashed Cait London’s life into two parts: before she had amnesia and after. Determined to keep her past hidden and start over, she moves to Chicago and plunges into a new job—all while keeping a walled distance from everyone she meets.

It’s not long before Cait reconsiders her solitary existence, and soon she’s stepping beyond her boundaries and taking unthinkable chances, like crushing on her impossibly sexy landlord, Evan Wade. He’s flirty, annoying, and with him living in the same apartment building, she can’t stop thinking about him. If she can sleep with him once, perhaps she can get him out of her system. The problem is, Evan seems bulletproof to her advances. As the two develop a connection, it becomes clear Cait may not succeed before her heart remembers what it feels like to love.

Ten Thousand Points of Light is an immersive contemporary romance about the intensity of first loves, the heartache of loss, and the power of forgiveness.

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Free in Kindle Unlimited


In my bathroom, a man kneels on the floor inspecting a gigantic hole of exposed pipes with the roaming beam of a flashlight. I fold my arms and lean into the doorframe.

When I left to meet Aggie everything was functioning. My gaze examines the small room, picking out details: my expensive towels soak up a deluge of water pooling on the tiled floor, there’s a large pile of powdery, crumbled drywall, and then there’s the issue of ass crack—in my face. It is toned and tight, but still, it’s connected to my landlord, Evan Wade.

“Pipes burst, leaking a damn waterfall into 5A,” he says, not bothering to glance my direction.

“Did you have to use my good towels?” I purse my lips.

“I thought about using your sexy lingerie.” He eyes the laundry basket of delicates now sitting on top of the sink. “But the fancy towels seemed like a better option.”

Thanks, appreciate it.” I sidestep him, snatch the basket, and carry it to my bedroom, hiding it in my closet. If he had scrutinized it closer, which he probably did, he would have found an embarrassing amount of granny panties and more sports bras than a Lululemon.

“How long before it’s fixed?” How long before I can get rid of you?

“A week,” his muffled voice answers.

“What?” I race back only to find his sharky grin. Two vertical dimples slice beneath a permanent, mocha-colored five o’clock shadow. They punctuate his bronzy sun-kissed skin, making his caramel eyes gleam with amused delight. My gaze intensifies.

“Just kidding. And you forgot this one.” Evan tosses me a ball of fabric. I catch it and glance at it. My mouth drops open. A smiling kitten stares back from the crotch of a pair of panties. Pussy panties. My cheek temperature flickers between sweaty hot and icy cold.

“Meow.” He chuckles.

I shove Aggie’s gag gift into the pocket of my running pants. “Funny.” I deadpan to appear unaffected.

Still, Evan seems thrilled for tormenting me. It’s something he’s excelled at since the day we met. It may be I’m still tipsy from drinking, but at recalling his history of irritating jokes, I pause. I cock my head and stare at him in confusion when a doubtful revelation hits me. Is this what Aggie was talking about? Is Evan flirting with me? Has he been flirting all this time?

I shake my head. Impossible.

“It’s too late to get the parts I need. So tomorrow.” He wipes his dirty hands on one of my towels, leaving a dark streak. I bite the inside of my cheek to stop from scolding him.

“That’s not going to work. I have an appointment first thing in the morning and I need a shower.” I gesture to my sweaty T-shirt.

“No kidding, Cat, I can smell you from here.”

“It’s Cait, you ass.” I kick off my loose sneaker, tossing it with my toe in his direction. I aim to nail him in the head but he dodges away. The shoe ricochets off the wall, tumbling to the floor.

His grin widens. “I’m kidding, Miss London. You smell like roses, as always.”

“Seriously, what am I going to do?”

“Can’t you use Gusterson’s shower?” He quirks a surly lip because he already knows the answer—no. Mr. Gusterson lives across the hall, but I’ve never seen the man. I’m unsure anyone has.

For this comment, I kick my other shoe in his direction.

“Ow!” This one smacks his sizable bicep, protecting his handsome face. I suppress a triumphant smile.

Evan crouches and stands in one fluid motion of sinewy muscle. He meets my gaze, and then rakes a hand through his tousled chestnut-colored hair. “Fine. You don’t have to beg, Kitty Cat, you can use mine.” He puffs his chest and flashes his brilliant white grin.

Definitely flirting. Though I shouldn’t be surprised. How many times in the last year had I seen him at Mr. Moon’s Coffee House, sitting at a table and flirting with some girl? There were too many times and too many girls to count.

Evan takes his time sliding past, I think, purposely brushing the heat of his body near me. I pin myself against the wall, unwilling to allow our skin to touch. When will he grasp how annoying I find him?

“I’ll pass.” I latch my hands on my hips. This is me sending a clear message. I’m not flirting.

“Suit yourself.” Unswayed, he lumbers for the door.

“What about these tools?” I gesture to his mess.

“I’ll be back tomorrow.” He turns, arms wide, palms skyward and strolls backward with a confident teeter. He’s hitting me with his smile again and those damn dimples, like they’ll make this situation better.

My teeth clench. If I had something else to throw at him I would. When he disappears, I remove my cell from my pocket and text Aggie. Before I do, I glance at my front door, which he left wide open. His footfalls descend the stairs to his apartment on the first floor.

Author Bio

If Michelle Warren had a spirit animal, it would be a tiger in a pink tutu, riding a Harley through a ring of fire. She lives in Chicago, dreams of California but hails from Baltimore. She has a slight obsession with travel, sunshine, Double Chocolate Milano cookies and writing novels. She didn’t travel the road to writer immediately. She spent over a decade as professional illustrator and designer. Her artistic creativity combined with her love of science fiction, paranormal and fantasy led her to write her first novel. 

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Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas by Lois Winston, Allison Brennan, Laura Griffin, Maggie Toussaint, Jonnie Jacobs, Camille Minichino, Heather Haven, Vinnie Hansen, Mary Kennedy, Rita Lakin, and Judy Alter
Cozy Mysteries 
Self Published Publication Date: September 5, 2017 
Print Length: 675 pages 

Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas is a collection of ten mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novella is a tie-in to an established multi-book series—a total of over 800 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, cozy, and female P.I. mysteries.
Frosted, A Moreno & Hart Novella by Allison Brennan & Laura Griffin—Three years ago LAPD Detective Scarlet Moreno and rookie cop Krista Hart were nearly killed during a botched sting operation. Now, they’re best friends and partners in the Orange County private investigation firm of Moreno & Hart. But their routine assignments are anything but safe.
Crewel Intentions, An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Novella by Lois Winston—Craft editor Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate call for help from former fashion editor Erica Milano, now in Witness Protection. Erica is being stalked and is afraid to notify the authorities. She once saved Anastasia’s life. Will Anastasia be able to return the favor before the stalker strikes?
No Quarter, A Cleopatra Jones Novella by Maggie Toussaint—Amnesia, the doctor says when accountant Cleopatra Jones wakes in a distant hospital. Hours later most of her memory returns. Detective Jack Martinez visits Cleo’s nearby wealthy client, only she’s dead and broke. To Cleo’s horror, she’s a murder suspect. Will she totally recover her memory before the killer returns?
What the Widow Knew, A Kali-O’Brien Novella by Jonnie Jacobs—Attorney Kali O’Brien takes on the case of a young woman accused of murdering her much older, very rich husband. As evidence mounts and other possible suspects are eliminated, Kali’s doubts about her client’s innocence grow. Meanwhile, Kali is also grappling with her feelings for longtime boyfriend Detective Bryce Keating.
The Magnesium Murder, A Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—While freelance embalmer Anastasia Brent prepares the body of a young bride-to-be, she learns the girl’s mother suspects foul play. Once again Anastasia is pressed into service as a sleuth, following a trail of clues in search of a murderer and justice.
Honeymoons Can Be Murder, A Lee Alvarez Novella by Heather Haven— When PI Lee Alvarez goes on her honeymoon with bridegroom, Gurn Hanson, they find a dead woman practically on their doorstep. Kauai breezes may be soft, but there are gale force winds of accusation against Gurn. Will Lee find the real killer before her new hubby gets sent to a Hawaiian hoosegow?
Smoked Meat, A Carol Sabala Novella by Vinnie Hansen—Baker and wannabe sleuth Carol Sabala visits her mother for a family Christmas get-together. It’s murder, in more ways than one.
A Deadly Fundraiser, A Talk Radio Novella by Mary Kennedy—When radio talk show host Dr. Maggie Walsh and her pals start digging up clues in a scavenger hunt at a glitzy fundraiser, the game suddenly turns deadly. Will Maggie and her team be able to crack the case and solve the crime?
The Color of Fear. A Kelly O’Connell Novella by Judy Alter—Kelly receives a written kidnap threat targeting her infant daughter, Gracie. Kelly’s assistant Keisha narrates as Kelly and her family plot their precautions, but as time passes and the threat still looms, fear takes a toll on the family…and on Keisha.
Papa’s Ghost, A Gladdy Gold Mystery Novella by Rita Lakin—Gladdy and her girls accept an assignment iat a famous resort in Key West, thinking it will combine business with pleasure. Once they arrive, Gladdy suspects something is strange. Not only is their client an unexpected shock, but so is the case of murder they are expected to solve. Can they succeed when a whole city is against them?
Some explicit language in a few of the stories.


So. Let me introduce myself. I’m Gladdy Gold. I’m the one who really wrote this book. I channeled myself through Ms. Rita Lakin who insists on taking credit, so ignore her. I’m a self-proclaimed private eye. Operating out of Ft. Lauderdale. When did I get into the PI biz? Even as we speak. My credentials? Thirty years of reading mysteries.

Don’t mind me if I ramble. I am seventy-five. Still sharp as a tack, but I do have those senior moments. You wanna know something – the nouns are the first to go. You think that’s old? Hey, you young ones -- laugh. Wait ‘til you get to be my age. Then the laugh will be on you. You’ll ask the same questions we all ask –- where did the years go? And even worse –- where did all the money go? I was minding my own business in my condo in Lanai Gardens, when a few of my neighbors died too soon. Considering that the youngest of us is seventy-one and the oldest ninety-six, this is not something unexpected. I mean, everybody is on the checkout line.

Life had been going along as usual. The girls and I had our daily routines. By the “girls” I mean my sister, Evvie, and friends, Ida, Bella and Sophie, and my best friend Snookie. They are funny and adorable though often impossible. We shop, play cards, go to movies and eat out, early-bird special, of course. Let’s be honest here, it gets lonely. The kids and grandkids don’t come to visit very often anymore. Getting old has plenty of problems, which I know you don’t want to hear. But don’t go feeling sorry for us. We girls have each other. Plus we have a lot of ‘meshuganah’ people living down here, and that makes it interesting. Wait ‘til you meet Hy and Lo Binder and hear Hy’s annoying, though funny, old age jokes. And super swimmer, 250 pound Tessie. And Tessie’s boyfriend,Sol Spankowitz, who has such a secret, you wouldn’t believe it. And lots more unique characters.

And besides, do we have adventures. Remind me to tell you about getting lost on the way to a funeral and ending up playing Bingo! Or the time I paid gang members to break into my car! Then came the murders. It was when my best friend, Snookie, died, I started to suspect there was a killer stalking us. Oh, we girls grieved plenty for her, but no more crying, I was determined to find her killer. I enlisted the aid of the girls who were excited to do something, too. The police (I mean that lanky, young Detective Morrie Langford. What a cute punim!) said I was imagining things, but I knew I was right. All I had to do was prove it! The deaths piled up. Death by Pot Roast! Death by Chocolate! Death by Dumpster! Suspects galore. With more red herrings than in Jerry’s deli. Like Denny, the handyman or Mr. Sleaze, the crooked real estate broker. It began to look like the killer was getting away with the perfect crime.

But, by Golly, the brain cells ain’t dead yet and I figured out who did it and in the funniest chase scene you’ll ever read. The entire population of Lanai Gardens makes the capture, with canes and walkers, toilet plungers, tennis rackets and whatever else was handy. And a new career is born. Gladdy Gold and her Associates Detective Agency. Privates Eyes to Seniors Only. Our motto, “Never trust anyone under seventy-five.” My parting words are, you’ll love this, Florida is another character in my book. Wait ‘til you meet Grandpa Bandit who robs banks, and the newest craze we caused; Cane Fu! And what about that carwash squirrel!

Hey, I even have a shot at romance again! With a handsome senior hunk! Who woulda thunk it!?!

Let me tell you, I am securely located in Ms. Lakin’s brain cells. I will make sure she stays true to my character. I mean, who else knows me better than me! So, book after book, I’ll be there, keeping her honest. There’s GETTING OLD IS THE BEST REVENGE, GETTING OLD IS CRIMINAL, GETTING OLD IS TO DIE FOR, and SIX more.  Ms. Lakin has received multiple rave reviews and already won many awards. Did she share them with me? Hah! Ungrateful child.

My favorite reviews: "Young and old, Jewish, Protestant, Atheist, all will love this tale told with clarity, wit and interesting characters. This is a must-read mystery. Miss it and you'll be sorry."--Janet Overmyer. I Love A Mystery Newsletter.

Time to flee the damp gray climes of Britain and luxuriate (if only through literature) in the winter warmth of Florida. Imagine Miss Marple wielding bronzer, a sure command of Yiddish profanities and a mean elbow on the Early Bird Special buffet line, and you've got Gladdy Gold."--Maureen Corrigan. Washington Post

Rita Lakin spent twenty-five years in Television in LA as a writer of series, movies, miniseries, finally becoming producer/show runner on her own shows. Just published, The Only Woman in the Room, her memoir of those years.

She is also known for writing seven comedy mystery novels featuring Gladdy Gold and her zany geriatric partners in crimesolving. Starting with Getting Old is Murder. She won first place for her IMBA bestselling Getting Old is a Disaster. Same novel won Left Coast Crime LEFTY AWARD for most humorous mystery published in 2009.
She has just competed number eight and nine.

 Her many other awards and nominations include Writers Guild of America, MWA Edgar, and the Avery Hopwood award from the University of Michigan. Visit

Lois Winston
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

  Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog:
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An entertaining selection of shorter stories ranging from a half hour to just over an hour to read each. Charm, witty dialogue, humor and romance fill out these intriguing mystery tales.

Crewel Intentions: A short story of a young woman in witness protection who thinks she's being stalked and isn't feeling well protected. A sweet ending. Humorously entertaining and makes me want more from Anastasia.
No Quarter, A Cleopatra Jones Novella by Maggie Toussaint is a witty and charming tale of amnesia and family dysfunction. Deception and  irregular romance.
What the Widow Knew is suspenseful and very well written. I wish I had Jared's research skills.  A tough way to a happy potential future for Kali O'Brien.
A Deadly Fundraiser by Mary Kennedy: a  glimpse into the personal life of radio talk show host, Maggie Walsh along with her producer Vera Mae. Fast paced and funny with the Southern charm I love to read. This story begs you to read more by the author.
The Color of Fear sees Keisha's boss Kelly and her family worry about the threat of their baby being kidnapped. Although short this story recalls previous adventures and gives a delicious taste of the Kelly O'Connell series. I also like the mention of how valuable dogs are to a family.  It brings home the point that sometimes fear of the unknown can be more painful and cause more harm than actual events.
Papa's Ghost by Rita Lakin is a comedy mystery series. This story feaures seniors who are still very alert and active.
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  October 16 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
  October 17 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
  October 18 – Laura's Interests - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
  October 19 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! - SPOTLIGHT
  October 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – INTERVIEW
  October 21 - Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
  October 22 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
  October 23 – Nadaness In Motion - CHARACTER GUEST POST
  October 24 – Island Confidential - CHARACTER INTERVIEW
  October 25 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
  October 26 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
  October 26 – Valerie's Musings – INTERVIEW
  October 27 – Back Porchervations - REVIEW
  October 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
  October 29 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
  October 29 –The Book's the Thing – GUEST POST
  October 30 – Socrates' Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
  October 31 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST  

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Like a Boss by Liz Matis

Title: Like a Boss
Series: Double Trouble Duet #1
Authors: Liz Matis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: October 17, 2017


War veteran Dawson Trudeau never expected his estranged identical twin to walk into his bar in Alaska, let alone offer him twenty million dollars to pose as the CEO of King Enterprises while he secretly heads to rehab for thirty days. With dreams of starting a homeless shelter for veterans and locating his retired service dog from Afghanistan, Dawson can’t say no. Then he meets his brother’s sexy assistant and he hopes she can’t say no—some overtime between the sheets. 

Lacey Brooks isn’t attracted to her metro-sexual boss, but his rough and ready identical twin is just her type. When lust turns into love, she fears she is betraying the CEO. If she can navigate the family feud to ensure a spot-on impersonation by Dawson, she’ll finally be promoted to VP.  

If they can pull off the masquerade, everyone wins. But once the thirty days is over will victory matter if they don’t have each other?    

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Lacey Brooks schooled her features to hide her shock. The beast behind the bar couldn’t be Aaron’s twin brother.

Shaggy. Unkempt. Rough.

She’d been expecting her boss’ mirror image, not someone who crawled out of the Alaskan bush.

But as she drew closer she could see there was more than a resemblance underneath the beard and past-the-shoulder length mane.

Never trust a man with longer hair than you.

Never trust a man period.

Keeping his brother a secret from the world was one thing but how had Aaron managed to keep it from her?

She knew everything about the CEO of King Enterprises. Everything.

Lacey wasn’t just his assistant, she was his confidant, his therapist, his sometime tennis partner, and his friend. But if he kept this secret, what else was he hiding? Like the reason for the cloak and dagger maneuvers, which he’d dismissed as unimportant.

Was it a family feud? A scandal?

Or was Dawson dangerous? A criminal? He certainly looked like it. His icy blue gaze roamed her body as if he owned it, reminding her of Aaron right before he was about to close a deal—a predator. Not a like shark, for they attack on instinct. This was more like a wolf, toying with his prey before sinking his teeth into the neck of its dinner.

“Lacey, I’d like you to meet my long lost brother, Dawson.”

“I look forward to working with you, darling.”

Darling? Ugh.

That twangy accent? Double ugh.

The physical makeover would be the easy part. Taming the he-man into a sophisticated owner of a billion dollar corporation in a day would be impossible.

Author Bio

Liz Matis is a mild-mannered accountant by day and writer of fun, flirty, fiery romances by night.

Playing For Keeps, from her popular fantasy football romances, hit the #12 spot on the Barnes and Noble Nook Bestseller List and #26 on Amazon’s Kindle Bestseller. She has appeared on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list. Playing For Keeps (winner of the NECRWA First Kiss Contest), Going For It, and The Quarterback Sneak all hit the #1 spot in Sports Fiction on Amazon.

In her spare time she enjoys reading, watching sports, and attending kickboxing classes. She’s been married for 31 years and believes in happily ever after.

Fun Fact: Liz read her first romance at the age of fifteen and soon after wrote her first romances starring her friends and their latest crush!

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