Sunday, May 31, 2015

Review: Dressed To Kill (A Tourist Trap Mystery #4) by Lynn Cahoon

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1332 KB
  • Print Length: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Lyrical Underground (June 23 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Book Description

 Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More in the tucked-away town of South Cove, California—is not particularly thrilled to be portraying a twenties flapper for the dinner theater murder mystery. Though it is for charity…

Of course everyone is expecting a “dead” body at the dress rehearsal…but this one isn’t acting! It turns out the main suspect is the late actor’s conniving girlfriend Sherry…who also happens to be the ex-wife of Jill’s main squeeze. Sherry is definitely a master manipulator…but is she a killer? Jill may discover the truth only when the curtain comes up on the final act…and by then, it may be far too late.

“Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover’s dream come true.” —Susan McBride, author of The Debutante Dropout Mysteries

About the Author

 An Idaho native, her stories focus around the depth and experience of living big in a small town. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.

My Review

 Dressed to Kill is the fourth book in the Tourist Trap Mystery series by Lynn Cahoon. I have read the earlier books in the series however this could be read as a stand alone.

I enjoy this series. I always picture the town of South Cove as being Cambria, California. I love the setting of the California coast. The main character Jill owns a bookstore and her boyfriend is the sheriff of South Cove. Jill always gets a little too involved in these local mysteries! But it is a good thing she does or they may never get solved!

Good writing style. Good story and plot. A very satisfying cozy mystery.

The Proposal at Siesta Key’ 5-Book Giveaway

Proposal Siesta Key Shelley Shepard Gray 
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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2320 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Inspire (May 12 2015)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00US0EY5E
Book Description
About the book:
The Proposal at Siesta Key (Avon Inspire, May 2015)

A young Amish woman, yearning for freedom, crosses paths with a handsome Mennonite celebrity in a deeply moving tale of friendship and self-discovery---the second installment in the unforgettable New York Times bestselling author's new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.

Penny Troyer rarely disobeys her parents. In the years since her sister's tragic death, they've wanted nothing more than to keep her safe...even if it means never leaving the house.

But tonight, she's bending the rules because Michael Knoxx, the most famous member of The Knoxx Family Singers, a traveling Mennonite Evangelical family ---is scheduled to speak. Penny has heard of Michael---how he lost part of his leg in a terrible accident and uses the experience to inspire others---and knows she must meet him. So, for the first time ever, Penny stands up to her parents and goes out on her own.

Though he speaks about living life to the fullest, Michael knows he needs to take his own advice. Life on the road is grueling and Michael wants to slow down, to perhaps meet someone who sees him as a man, not just a celebrity. So when a twist of fate allows him the chance to stay a little longer in Pinecraft, Michael knows God is showing him a new path, especially when he discovers how much he and Penny Troyer have in common.

But new friendships can't stop time. Soon, Michael's time in Pinecraft will be over and he'll be back on the road. Her time with Michael has brought her happiness, but will she be able to follow her heart? Or will she be faced with the one thing she's sure she'll never have the courage to do?

Purchase a copy:
About the Author

Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Find Shelley online: website, Twitter, Facebook

My Review

When one thinks about where the Amish have established communities, you rarely think of Florida. However, there is a thriving Amish community in Pinecraft which is located in Sarasota, Florida. 

I love writers who can bring the region that they are writing about the life. Shelley Shepard Gray is one of those writers. While I was reading The Proposal at Siesta Key, I felt like I had been transported there.

The Proposal at Siesta Key is the second book in the series but it is easily a stand alone. It is a good clean romance that will warm your heart.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Review: What Keeps You Up at Night? How to Find Peace While Chasing Your Dreams By Pete Wilson

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1839 KB
  • Print Length: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 5 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Book Description

It's easy to feel paralyzed by uncertainty. We want our questions answered, our decisions affirmed, and our plans applauded. But life doesn't come with an instruction manual and rarely follows a straight path. How would your life change if you learned to lean into uncertainty instead of waiting on the sidelines for just the right moment or opportunity?

The paradox of faith is that you can't activate it until you act on it. Trust compels us to move forward. If you don't, then you'll be left with a laundry list of unrealized expectations. You were meant to experience a life of abundance and blessing, not frustration and failure.

Clarity only comes when we look back. So if you wait until you have clarity, you'll never find it. Instead, you must move forward even when you feel scared to death. That is when you'll be able to turn the fears that keep you up at night into fuel for your journey.

If you want to experience a breakthrough in your life, then you must find a new cadence that will provide the strength you need to move forward in spite of your doubts, questions, and fears. The rhythm of faith is not hinged upon our circumstances but our willingness to surrender.

In his most insightful work since the debut bestseller, Plan B, Pete Wilson provides a plan for living that will lead you to a place of peace that you've only dreamed about and a life filled with meaning, significance, and satisfaction.

About the Author

 Pete Wilson is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Pete desires to see churches become radically devoted to Christ, irrevocably committed to one another, and relentlessly dedicated to reaching those outside of God's family. Pete and his wife, Brandi, have three boys.


My Review

I've been a fan of Pete Wilson's writings since I read Plan B a few years back. What Keeps You Up at Night is equally compelling. Pete Wilson is the founder and head pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville. Founded in 2002, it has over 7,000 members and is one of the fastest growing churches in the US.

What Keeps You Up at Night is a book about overcoming the fears you possess. In the introduction, Wilson states:   "I encourage you to think of this book as a field guide to ruthlessly trusting God’s plan—even in the face of difficulty and uncertainty. Each chapter discusses some aspect of embracing God’s call for your life, based on Scripture and my observations and experience." These are the chapters in the book:

 Introduction: Seeing Clearly
 ONE    Steps in the Darkness
 TWO    Expect Conflict
 THREE    Hang On to What Lasts
 FOUR    Embrace Uncertainty
 FIVE    Learn to Wait
 SIX    Give Up Your Container
 SEVEN    Endure the Dip
 EIGHT    Recalibrate
 NINE    Lean into Transition
 TEN    Live for the Adventure
 ELEVEN    Anticipate Confirmation
 TWELVE    Pass It On
 Conclusion: Waste Nothing

 Everyone has dreams. However, often we are terrified to pursue them. This is a time of uncertainty. A time when we need to count on The Lord more than ever before. When I was growing up, people prided themselves on working at the same job/position for their entire career. Rarely does that happen any more. We need to realistically face our fears and follow our hearts. Pete Wilson's What Keeps You Up at Night is a good foundation for following your dreams. You can do this by learning to trust God more. As Wilson says...God needs to be at the center of your story. Is he at the center of yours?

It looks like this is also available as a bible study series with a participants books and videos to watch. There are reflections and questions at the end of each chapter in this book so it could be useful as a self study or really just to read as it is full of insightful information. Personally this would be a twelve week study that I would be interested in.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Wedding Bells in Christmas Launch Day Blitz with Debbie Mason

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2035 KB
  • Print Length: 393 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1455587990
  • Publisher: Forever (May 26 2015)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00NERQR94

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Additional Giveaway: Leave a comment below and follow my blog and you have a chance to win a paperback copy! Canada and US addresses only as per the publisher's request. The Randomizer draw will be held on Friday, May 29th at Noon PDT.

Book Description

 To have and to hold from this day forward...

Wedding bells are ringing in the charming town of Christmas, but not for Vivian Westfield. She's just had her heart trampled under the cowboy boots of Chance McBride and lost her dream job at a big-city newspaper. But when she returns for a wedding, she stumbles on a story that could resurrect her career. First, though, she'll have to deal with the handsome man standing in her way... and a still-burning flame that's too hot to ignore.

Chance recognizes trouble when he sees it. He just didn't expect to find it in the first-class cabin on the flight home for his father's wedding. Yet there she is, as gorgeous as ever. Vivi dared Chance to want things he knew he could never have. It's why he left her. But Christmas's meddling matchmakers have them firmly in their sights. So if they want to survive the next week, they'll have to play the part of an adoring couple—an irresistible charade that may give them a second chance at the real thing...

Buy Links:


His eyes narrowed, and he let go of her hand. “You buy your own ticket?”
“My plane ticket?”
He nodded.
“No, if I did, I wouldn’t be sitting in first class.” She didn’t add “beside you.” Her eyes widened as she realized why he’d ask. “Did you buy yours?”
“No,” he clipped out.
She pressed her fingers to her temple. So this was what Skye had been talking about. Nell’s plan had nothing to do with getting Vivi to move to Christmas. She was up to her matchmaking tricks again. Vivi drowned out the little voice in her head that cheered Nell on with a forced laugh. “Your aunt is deluded if she thinks she can get us together.”
“I know that and you know that, but it won’t matter what we say.”
His answer wasn’t a surprise. She knew how he felt about her, but to hear him so casually dismiss any chance . . . Good God, she really wasn’t over him, was she?
Obviously the twinge of pain in the vicinity of her heart was reflected in her face, because he patted her thigh. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll figure something out.”
“Good luck with that. She’s three for three. The woman thinks she’s . . .” She trailed off as the flight attendant began the safety briefing.
“Three for three? Who—”
She held up a hand and retrieved the illustrated card from the pouch in front of her. She caught the amused expression on Chance’s face as he watched her. She ignored him, focusing instead on the flight attendant. When the woman turned to the person in the emergency exit seat, Vivi raised herself up as much as the seat belt allowed. “There is no way that guy will be able to throw the door.” She cast a sidelong and slightly covetous glance at Chance’s corded forearms and bulging biceps. “You should change seats with him.”
“Slick, we’re not going to crash. If you want to worry about something, worry about Nell and what she has planned for us.”
Vivi dragged her gaze from his amazing biceps to . . . dammit, his equally amazing face. His eyebrows raised at what she belatedly realized had been her very thorough perusal of all his amazingness. Her face, along with a certain body part—one that had been piteously ignored for the last eighteen months—got warm and tingly. She fanned herself with the informational card, then realized what she was doing. She stuffed it back in the pouch. “Leave Nell to me. I’ll talk to her and set her straight,” she said with perhaps more feeling than was warranted.
“Trust me, I know my aunt better than you do, and trying to reason with her will do as much good as waving a red flag in front of a bull.”
“So what do you suggest we do?”
“Simple. We’ll tell her we’re together, and she’ll leave us alone.”
Her and Chance . . . together. It was like her fantasy come true. Only it wasn’t. She cleared what she imagined was a look of longing and hope from her face. “Are you crazy?”
“No. Think about it. If we don’t cut her off at the pass, she’ll drive us nuts. She won’t let up, and she’ll get her buddies in on the action. What’s the big deal? It’s only for a week. And it’s not as if anyone will expect us to spend much time together. I’ll be busy with my dad’s wedding.”
Vivi didn’t think Nell and Christmas’s matchmakers were that big a problem. Sure, they’d be annoying and no doubt drive them slightly insane. But pretending to be Chance’s girlfriend? That would be a problem. All those soft, romantic feelings would come back to bite her in the butt. She opened her mouth to . . . What? If she didn’t agree to his plan, he’d wonder why. He obviously had no qualms about pretending to be in love with her. She felt like bonking her head on the seat in front of her, but instead said, “Okay, fine. We’ll pretend we’re dating. But we end our fake relationship before we head out of town. Publicly. And this time, I’m the one who does the ending.” Good God, did she just say that? It was exactly what she wanted to do, but she didn’t mean to tell him! And she’d been doing so well playing it cool up until now.
He rubbed his jaw, then looked at her. And that’s when she saw it—pity. He felt sorry for her. “Vivi, I never meant to hurt you. I—”
“Hurt me? Whatever gave you that idea? Come on, it’s not like we had a relationship or anything. We had some laughs together, good times in bed, and—”
His brow lifted. “Good times in bed?”
Typical. Of course he’d hone in on that. Did he actually expect her to stroke his ego after he’d lied to her and left her without an explanation? As if she were going to tell him he was a sex god and had ruined her for mere mortal men.
“Yeah, good times. It was fun while it lasted. But I knew what I was getting myself into. I might not have known your real name, but it was obvious you were a player.”
“I am not a player.”
“Right. And your name’s James Harris.”
“Look, I couldn’t risk blowing my cover. My assignment was dangerous. I didn’t want you to get—”
“It doesn’t matter. No harm, no foul. I’ll go along with your plan.”
His eyes roamed her face, then he nodded. “If it’ll make you feel better, you can break up with me in front of the whole damn town for all I care.”
“Consider it a public service for the trail of broken hearts you’ve left in your wake.”
“You saying I broke your heart, Slick?” His voice was low and gruff, an unreadable emotion in his eyes.
“Get over yourself, McBride. I already told you . . .”
Vivi eyes widened as the 757 started to shake. She dug her fingernails into the armrest. Oh, God, oh, God. When the plane took a stomach-turning drop, she screamed, throwing herself into the arms of the man she wanted to smack only a few seconds ago. “Do something! You—”
He sighed, lowering his head to smother her panicked cries with a deep, soul-searing kiss.

About the Author

Debbie Mason is the bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). She also writes historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series has received several nominations for best paranormal as well as a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, an adorable grandbaby, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

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My Review

 Wedding Bells in Christmas by Debbie Mason is the fourth book in the Christmas Colorado series. This is the first book I've read by Debbie Mason. Wedding Bells in Christmas can easily be read as a stand alone novel.

I actually thought this would be a cozy just by the title and the cover of the book but it is actually a romance with a bit of mystery. The romance component of the story is very hot! The mystery fit in with the story and was very plausible.  Wedding Bells in Christmas is well written and the plot moves along at a good pace. I really enjoyed reading it. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

Definitely a good bang for your buck. It launches May 26th at only $2.99 on Amazon. Great deal as it is a substantial book! If you love romances then this book is for you!