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Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady G. Stefani Trailer Reveal

The True Meaning of Myrrh by John Manderino Blog Tour

About the Book:

Title: The True Meaning of Myrrh
Author: John Manderino
Publisher: Ice Cube Press
Pages: 101
Genre: Fiction

Set in suburban Chicago during the 1960’s, The True Meaning of Myrrh is an amusing, but gritty, look at the holiday season as it used to be. The nostalgia classics: turkey, snowball fights, droopy Christmas trees, and midnight Mass are leavened with a drunken Santa, oedipal anguish, prostitutes and an aggressive midget.

One brother can’t shake his profound disappointment at receiving slippers when he thought the box held hockey gloves. Meanwhile his older brother receives a tape recorder and is trying to capture all the “magic” in his “special holiday broadcast” with mixed results. The boys’ politically divided parents have a serious falling-out about the Holy Family versus the welfare state and aren’t talking.

And then there are the wounds that only family can inflict on each other like the too-clever comment that devastates their Santa-dressed uncle. 

Will Len manage to rise above the bitter disappointment? Will his parents reach across the aisle for the sake of the day? Will Sam learn a Christmas lesson that doesn’t fit smoothly into his “holiday broadcast”? In The True Meaning of Myrrh, this and other questions get answered, including what is myrrh, anyway.

About the Author

JOHN MANDERINO grew up in the Chicago area but now lives in Maine with his wife Marie, where he teaches college writing and provides coaching and editing services to other writers. He has three novels, two short stories collections and a memoir published by Chicago Review (Academy Chicago), and a Christmas novel published by Ice Cube Press. John has also written plays that have been performed at theater festivals and other venues. A stage version of his memoir Crying at Movies was produced.




Book Excerpt:

Christmas is supposed to be about Jesus being born, I know, but I’ve been asking for hockey gloves since before Thanksgiving and you know what I got?


Okay, not all clothes. I did get a new hockey stick, plus a puck, also a little castle for my fish bowl, and a book called Score! The Andy Babcock Way to Better Hockey. But the rest was all clothes: a sweater, a shirt, house slippers, plus socks in the mail from Gram.

Sam got a lot of clothes, too, but he wanted clothes this year. One of the clothes he wanted, and got, was this shiny red half-robe thing called a smoking jacket, with black lapels and his initials in curly letters on the pocket, SLR, for Sam Louis Rossini. I didn’t tell him but he looks like a fool in it.

Another thing he asked for and got was a portable tape recorder. Soon as he got it he started recording stuff, calling it Christmas with the Rossini Family, 1966, a Special Holiday Broadcast. You should hear me saying, “A sweater! All right! Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!”

I had some money this year from Saturday mornings at Evans Drugs doing their floors and windows, so I got Mom an expensive, silky, multi-colored headscarf. “Isn’t…that…beautiful,” she goes, holding it up. “Thank you, Len.”

I told her, “Don’t even ask.”

“Ask what, hon.”

“How much I paid.”

She laughed like I was being funny and put it on and tied it underneath her chin: “How’s that?”

It fit perfect.

For Dad, a brand new ash tray. “Thing’s heavy,” he goes, weighing it in his palm, nodding at me.

“Solid glass,” I explained.

And for Sam, an eight-by-ten glossy colored photo of this year’s Chicago Black Hawks hockey team. He doesn’t like hockey but maybe this will help. I told him he could frame it and hang it in our room if he wanted.

He said he would think about it.

I even had some money left over to get my friend Eddie a three-pack of ping-pong balls. The ones we were using were getting like stones.

Here’s what Sam gave:

For me, that puck I mentioned. I already had one but that was all right, now I had two, and I thanked him.

“Well,” he goes, “I figured why not get you something connected with hockey since you actually like hockey— see the way it works?”

He was being sarcastic about me giving him that picture of the Black Hawks, but I don’t even know what Sam likes anymore, so why not give him something at least I like.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dreaming Sophia by Melissa Muldoon Book Tour, Book Review and Giveaway

Book Description:

Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a
story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine
line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds
herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving
again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a
journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a
grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca,
Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d’Orcia.

Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian
personalities—princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars— who
give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path
that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her
creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.

Buy the Book:  

Author's Bio:

Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta-the crazy linguist! In Italian,
"matta" means "crazy" or "impassioned". Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts,
art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts
college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master's degree in art
history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has
also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta (studentessamatta.com).
Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and
to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a
podcast, "Tutti Matti per l'Italiano" and the Studentessa Matta YouTube
channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours,
which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Sophia is Melissa's first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history
and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of
personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in
Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian
language, painting, and art history.

a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She
studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When
she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming
she'd never need it again but after launching a successful design career
and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life.
That "thing" was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends
who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event!
Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the
language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse,
she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a
path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in
countless ways.
many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to
promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and
sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa
is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She
is married and has three boys and two beagles.

designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also
designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character
illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia

Connect with the Author:  
Website  ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube ~ Pinterest

My review;

"Dreaming Sophia" by author Melissa Muldoon is a wonderful treat. It is the kind of book that you will want to read slowly so that you will enjoy it all and not miss anything. I have always been interested in Italy and how it felt to actually be there. In the beginning there is a huge, horrible tragedy to endure but, this book is full of dreams and ideas, and ways taken to overcome such a tragedy. All I can say is "Wow!" This book is a must for anyone who loves Italy , and who loves Sophia. I am so glad that I was able to read this story. I give this book a 5/5. I was given this book for  a review and all opinions are mine.
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What Fresh Smell by Jeffrey Marks Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway


What Fresh Smell by Jeffrey Marks


What Fresh Smell
by Jeffrey Marks

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00061]
What Fresh Smell (Marissa Scott Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Self-Published (August 9, 2016)
Paperback: 164 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1535456913


There’s Murder in River City – Daycare that is.
When Marissa learns that a teacher at the daycare center has been murdered, she comes to the realization that she really didn’t know much about the people who worked there, especially the murdered woman. She’ll now have to manage her son, her mother, her mother’s Scottish terrier, and an ex-boyfriend as she tries to hunt down the people behind a robbery ring and the person who killed a daycare teacher. If she’s not careful, she might meet the same fate.
Jeffrey Marks is a long-time mystery fan and freelancer.  After numerous mystery author profiles, he chose to chronicle the short but full life of mystery writer Craig Rice.
That biography (Who Was That Lady?) encouraged him to write mystery fiction. His works include Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s, and a biography of mystery author and critic Anthony Boucher entitled Anthony Boucher. It was nominated for an Agatha and fittingly, won an Anthony. He won a Malice Domestic Grant for The Scent of Murder, which has spurred the Marissa Scott series. What Fresh Smell is the third novel in the series.
His work has won a number of awards including the Barnes and Noble Prize and he was nominated for a Maxwell award (DWAA), an Edgar (MWA), three Agathas (Malice Domestic), two Macavity awards, and three Anthony awards (Bouchercon). Today, he writes from his home in Cincinnati, which he shares with his spouse and three dogs.
Website: jeffreymarks.com (blog is a link from the site),
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Jeffrey-Marks-271929135155/,
Twitter: twitter.com/jeffrmarks,
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/383303.Jeffrey_Marks
Purchase Links

Tour Participants
December 7 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
December 8 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
December 8 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – T’s Stuff – GUEST POST
December 9 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
December 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
December 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf -INTERVIEW
December 12 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
December 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST
December 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – GUEST POST
December 16 – The Power of Words – SPOTLIGHT
December 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 18 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

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His Lass Wears Tartan by Kathleen Shaputis Book Tour and Giveaway

His Lass Wears Tartan
Kathleen Shaputis

Genre: Paranormal romantic comedy

Publisher:  Crimson Romance

Date of Publication:  June 20, 2016


Number of pages: 186 pages
Word Count: 57,000

Book Description: 

Independent and dedicatedly single, Rogue Bruce enjoys running Castle Baillie with her Aunt Baillie from America. They specialize in romantic Elizabethan-themed weddings, complete with resident ghost, Lord Kai (nothing like a haunted castle to set the mood for love). But love is something Rogue is not the least bit interested in. Content with her work and stable of horses, no man is necessary for her happiness.

Matchmaking is in the air, though, focusing on Bruce MacKenzie, a Thor in plaid and jeans from town, and Jonathan Olson, a snobbish Rhett Butler type. With two men after her heart (she’d thought safely locked away), Rogue is torn with confusion. Murder and a psychic yank the soundtrack of Rogue’s life from romantic to scary, while she has choices to make in this sizzling triangle.

Amazon     BN     Paperback

Movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. Rogue paused her step and watched Jonathan stride down the east stairs, regal in motion, dressed all in black, drawing attention to his tanned face and striking beard. He’d released his hair, the wild, dark waves now decorating his shoulders and a few strands in front of his face. Rogue’s heart skipped a beat as she watched a less trimmed Rhett Butler of the twenty-first century hold court with his phone against his ear.
He caught her looking and spoke a bit louder. “Let me call you back,” he said before shoving the phone in his pocket. “Ah, princess, indeed, you waited for me. I am truly touched at your purity of service.” He pressed a manicured hand to his heart.
Rogue stiffened as her body betrayed her with a rising warmth. “I dinna realize you were not already at tea, Mr. Olson.” Rogue denied herself the delicious feel of his stare by looking away first from the brooding face now inches away from her own.
“Only fashionably late, my dear, but first a more pressing issue took my attention. Business may beckon me twenty-four/seven, but your voice is like a siren’s song to my heart.”
“Your arrogance precedes your charm, sir.” She refused to step back and give ground, yet she could smell a citrus scent, feeling the heat from his body this close.
His lips tightened as his eyes flashed. Jonathan moved slowly, deliberately, as he circled around her, appraising her dress. “Excellent,” he whispered. He stopped a degree to the right of where he started, forcing her to turn her head to face him.
Rogue made fists with her hands, trying to control an unnatural response to touch him, the air surrounding her, thick with testosterone. “What?” The question came out stiff, foreign.

“You.” His warm breath caressed her cheek, making her blink. She waited for him to continue. Nothing.

About the Author:

Kathleen Shaputis lives in the glorious Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, a clowder of cats and three pompously protective Pomeranians with little social aptitude, Brugh, Bouncer and Jazzy. When not writing, she’s busy reading and watching romantic comedies, her ultimate paradise.

Website Address:  https://kathleenshaputis.com/

Twitter Address:  https://twitter.com/NWAuthor

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OFFed Stage Left by Joanne Sydney Lessner Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

OFFed Stage Left by Joanne Sydney Lessner 


OFFed Stage Left
by Joanne Sydney Lessner

Offed Stage Left (Isobel Spice Mysteries)
(Volume 4)
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Dulcet Press (October 27, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0998133201
E-Book ASIN: B01M3R8OD6
There’s one role you don’t want a callback for: Prime Suspect. Aspiring actress Isobel Spice lands her first regional theater job, playing a supporting role and understudying the lead in Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa. A series of minor backstage accidents culminates in the suspicious death of the leading lady on opening night. When Isobel takes over the role, her mastery of the material makes her more suspect than savior, and she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the identity of the murderer—before he or she strikes again.

About The Author

Writer, singer, and actor Joanne Sydney Lessner draws on her own experiences pursuing a performing career in New York City for her acclaimed Isobel Spice Mysteries: THE TEMPORARY DETECTIVE, BAD PUBLICITY, AND JUSTICE FOR SOME, and OFFED STAGE LEFT. With humor and a bit of romance, Isobel juggles auditions and temp jobs, solving murders along the way, while Joanne’s inside knowledge provides a window into the realities of breaking into show business (as well as a forum to share every humiliating audition experience she and her friends ever had.) Joanne’s debut novel, PANDORA’S BOTTLE, was inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine and was named one of the top five books of 2010 by Paperback Dolls. With her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, she has co-authored several musicals, including the cult hit FERMAT’S LAST TANGO and EINSTEIN’S DREAMS, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. Her play, CRITICAL MASS, received its Off Broadway premiere in October 2010. Joanne is also a regular contributor to OPERA NEWS and a graduate of Yale University.

  • Author Links

  • Purchase Links

Tour Participants
December 5 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
December 12 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
December 13 – Lori’s Reading Corner – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 14 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
December 15 – Omnimystery News – GUEST POST – pending confirmation
December 16 – Readeropolis – REVIEW
December 16 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
December 17 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 18 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Debbie DeLouise Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

Between A Rock and a Hard Place by Debbie De Louise

betwen-a-rock-large-banner-corrected640Between A Rock and a Hard Place
by Debbie De Louise

This is a suspenseful story with subplots that add to the tension.
~Christa Reads and Writes

Between A Rock and a Hard Place by Debbie De Louise

Publisher: Solstice Publishing (October 12, 2016)
Paperback: 316 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1625264534
Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…
Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.
Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…
Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.
John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…
When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.
Alicia faces her worst nightmare…
The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

About The Author

Debbie De Louise is a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island and has been involved with books and writing for over thirty years. She received the Lawrence C. Lobaugh, jr. Memorial Award in Journalism for her work as Features Editor on the Long Island University/C. W. Post student newspaper, the Pioneer. More recently, Debbie received the Glamour Puss Award from Hartz Corporation for an article about cat grooming that appeared on Catster.com. She has published a short mystery in the Cat Crimes Through Time Anthology and two novels, CLOUDY RAINBOW and A STONE’S THROW, the first book of her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. Her short stories, THE PATH TO RAINBOW BRIDGE and DEADLINE appear in the anthologies, REALMS OF FANTASTIC STORIES and PROJECT 9, Vol. 2 published by Solstice Publishing. She is currently working on a psychological thriller, the third Cobble Cove Mystery, and a new pet-related cozy series. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.
Author Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/
Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.com

December 4 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – REVIEW, EXCERPT
December 5 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
December 6 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
December 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
December 8 – Omnimystery News – INTERVIEW – confirmation pending
December 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
December 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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