Thursday, October 31, 2019

10 Things About Alexa Randolph, author of the With Love Series

Welcome to the book tour for the With Love series by Alexa Randolph! Today you're going to get to know this author a little bit better, and then you can check out her two books, With Love, Ella and Daniel, Ever After. Be sure to share some thoughts with her and feel free to ask her some questions. Follow the rest of the tour for more fun and extra chances to enter the giveaway!

Ella Chambers was a top event planner in New York, about to marry the man of her dreams. Daniel Collins was the quarterback for the Giants, on his way to winning his first ever Super Bowl. Life couldn’t get any better when they both said those three words to each other and planned to spend the rest of their lives together.

Until one perfect day came crashing down around them when they hear the three words no one wants to hear: You have cancer.

Now instead of dresses, flowers, and invitations, they’re dealing with doctors appointments, tests, and tears. Their love and strength will be tested and tortured, but they’ll fight with everything they’ve got to make it through.

Read an excerpt:
Ella noticed that Daniel was starting to get fidgety and had a nervous energy. She held his hand and smiled at him. He kissed her hand and held them tight. “Ella, you have always been my best friend and for the past six years, I have been lucky enough to call you the love of my life. We may fight at times, but I know that I could never be without you by my side. Words could never describe how much you mean to me. You are the reason I wake up in the morning and the reason I never want to go to sleep at night. When I think about my future, the only thing that I know for sure is how much I need you in it. You are my everything.” He grabbed a box out of his pocket and got down on one knee. He looked her right in the eyes and said, “Will you do the honor of making me the happiest guy in the world and be my wife?” Ella was shocked. She shouldn’t have been surprised, as this had been a long time coming. But still, she didn’t think it would happen now when her life had just fallen apart. Tears formed in Ella’s eyes. “I…uh…I need a minute.” Ella said before slipping her heels off and taking off down the beach.

 Buy on Amazon

Daniel and Molly are both lost in their own worlds. They recently lost the most important people in their lives. They are connected in so many ways but are complete strangers. They are barely hanging on, but a drunken encounter sends them over the edge of despair. Can they bring each other out of their misery, or will they continue to push each other away until it’s too late? Find out in the sequel to With Love, Ella, titled Daniel, Ever After.

Top 10 Things About Alexa Randolph

  1. I am an only child and used to want siblings when I was younger. Over the years I realized that I am happy with where I am because I would have had a different relationship with my parents than I do now. They are my best friends and my biggest rocks.
  2. I graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.
  3. Besides my novels I have a blog called Be Forever Strong and a podcast called With Love, Alexa. They are both mainly on raising awareness on mental health and invisible illness along with being your own advocate in all aspects of life.
  4. I am an advocate for Invisible illness and mental health. It is so important to not only advocate for yourself, but for others that feel like they can’t. I have disorder called Central Pain Syndrome from a mild traumatic brain injury from a car accident. CPS is damage to your brain, brainstem and spine.
  5. I love reading mostly romance novels. I could get lost for hours on end while reading and some of my favorites are YA romance novels.
  6. I basically drowned when I was 4. I was at a day camp and my lungs filled up with water. I was going toward a bright light and someone told me it wasn’t my time. Then I was revived. (I don’t remember this, but my parents and I talk about the story and I told them about the light the day it happened)
  7. I love everything about wine. I have been on wine tours; wine tastings and I love to try different kinds of wine. I think it would be amazing to make my own wine one day.
  8. I have known my boyfriend since 2011 and we were best friends until we started dating in 2016. He has been my first and only boyfriend.
  9. Ever since I could remember I have loved traveling. My favorite way is cruising as it is so convenient.
  10. Ever since I was little, I have always made up stories and characters in my head. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I started writing them down and With Love, Ella came to be.

About Alexa Randolph

Alexa Randolph is the author of Daniel, Ever After, which follows With Love, Ella. “It was so fun to be able to watch my characters grow from my first novel to this one,” Alexa says of her contemporary romance novel. “My heart hurt when theirs did, and I felt like I was a part of their world.” You can always find her typing away at the keyboard, crafting romantic short stories or dreaming up characters and plots. Or you may find her blogging and helping to raise awareness for chronic pain. Not surprisingly, Alexa also loves to read the types of stories she writes and is especially fond of John Greene and romance novelist Nicholas Sparks. Alexa is a 2016 graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Communications; during college she was a regular contributor to the online blog, “The Odyssey.”


Alexa Randolph will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Review of When Love Whispers (Beaumont Bridges #2) by Laura Haley-McNeil

Welcome to the blurb blitz tour for When Love Whispers by Laura Haley-McNeil! It's the second book in the Beaumont Brides series, but can work as a standalone. Please enjoy an excerpt and my thoughts on the book. Leave comments and questions for the author as you follow the tour. And of course, enter the great giveaway at the end!

When Love Whispers

Sometimes, love comes in packages.

As the top ranked student at Charleston’s military academy, Preston Lowe excels in class, in sports and with women. Only Willow Dockery, a barmaid at the city’s trendy nightclub, sees the pain in his eyes when he’s out with friends having a good time. But Willow doesn’t know how Preston inwardly struggles to forget a past that could derail the career he’s worked hard to achieve.

Willow wrestles with her own secrets. After a disastrous relationship leaves her broke and disillusioned, she vows never to let anyone rob her of her dreams again. But as she gets to know Preston, it’s as if their tumultuous pasts meld together into something so startling it transforms their relationship and their lives forever.

Read an excerpt:
She turned her sweet face to his. In her eyes was a softness that bordered on melancholy. A lock of hair fell across her cheek.

Without thinking, he slipped a finger beneath the lock and draped it behind her shoulder. His hand rested on her delicate frame, her warmth sending a flood of emotions through him.

She stilled, her lips parting. A soft gasp escaped.

“Oh, Willow,” he murmured, and the desire that ached inside him gushed forward.

He pushed his hand through hair soft as silk and cupped the back of her head. She didn’t pull away. She let him guide her face to his. The taste of her lips was sweet and lush. She melted against him, her firm, round stomach pressed into his. The urges deep inside him burst in confusing sensations he wouldn’t take time to understand. For one heady moment, her mouth softened, her hand clinging to his shirt. His mind darkened, pushing out all rational thought. He couldn’t explain his feelings. What gripped his chest crushed reasoning.

She pulled away.

His eyes flew open. He released her. She stood before him, trembling, her lips swollen and red. A sheen filled her eyes. He stared at her stunned. What had he done?

“Willow, I didn’t mean—”

“Don’t say it.” Holding up her hand, she closed her eyes and shook her head. “Maybe we should rethink—”

“If that’s what you want, then we will.” His words were rushed. “But I’ll set some ground rules right now and promise you this will never happen again.”

Something flickered in her eyes.

Available on Amazon 
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**My thoughts**
From the moment that Willow and Preston first meet and square off, you know that they are destined to be together. Of course, neither one of them wants to admit how they really feel, because such a relationship doesn't fit into either one of their plans. But life doesn't necessarily go the way that you plan it to go. This sweet romance takes us through all of those ups and downs and twists and turns and keeps you turning the pages as you root for them to work out everything in their lives. I really liked both of these characters, because they seemed real.

I like reading this kind of romance for a change of pace here and there and look forward to reading more in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my voluntary, honest review.

About Laura Haley-McNeil

A native of California, Laura Haley-McNeil spent her youth studying ballet and piano, though her favorite pastime was curling up with a good book. Without a clue as to how to write a book, she knew one day she would.

After college, she segued into the corporate world, but she never forgot her love for the arts and served on the board of two community orchestras. Finally realizing that the book she’d dreamt of writing wouldn’t write itself, she planted herself in front of her computer. She now immerses herself in the lives and loves of her characters in her romantic suspense and her contemporary romance novels. Many years later, she lived her own romantic novel when she married her piano teacher, the love of her life.

Though she and husband have left warm California for cooler Colorado, they enjoy the outdoor life of hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and snow skiing. They satisfy their love of music by attending concerts and hanging out with their musician friends, but Laura still catches a few free moments when she can sneak off and read.

Laura Haley-McNeil Contact Links








Street Team

Laura Haley-McNeil will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 28, 2019

Review of Haunting the Haunted by E.C. Bell

Welcome to the kickoff for the tour for Haunting the Haunted, the latest in the Marie Jenner mystery series by E.C. Bell. I have an excerpt for you to enjoy as well as my thoughts on the book. You can follow the tour to see even more, while leaving your comments and questions for the author along the way. And remember to enter the giveaway!

Haunting the Haunted

In the sixth book in the Marie Jenner Mystery series, life is finally starting to look up for Marie. Her brand-new business—moving on ghosts for actual money—is taking off. Her relationship with James Lavall is rock solid. All she has to do is find the last two poltergeists from the ball diamond and move them on to the next plane of existence and, as far as she’s concerned, life will be perfect.

The problem is, life has a way of kicking Marie in the teeth. Patrick Whitecroft, professional psychic debunker, shows up at the Jimmy Lavall Detective agency. He’s out to prove that she’s a fake—live, on TV—and he doesn’t care who he hurts to do it. Even worse, he has over a hundred desperate spirits bound to him, and they want something completely different. They want to be saved.

As Marie tries to help the spirits and keep Patrick from dismantling her life, she finally finds the poltergeists. But they’re not interested in moving on. They want Patrick Whitecroft’s spirits for themselves. If Marie can’t figure out a way to move all the spirits on to the next plane of existence, the poltergeists will happily take them, so they can create an army bent on revenge.

Looks like Marie’s life is going to get interesting. Again.

Read an excerpt:
“Tell me your names,” I said to the two ghosts Karen had brought to me. “Quickly. Before Patrick leaves and takes you with him.”

“I’m Ruby Packer, from El Reno, Oklahoma,” the old woman said. She pointed to the little girl in the muddy dress. “And this is Joy Peters. She’s from here. We found her in the Springworks night club a few years ago. You know the place?”

“No,” I said. “Can you give me dates for your deaths?”

“I died in ’78,” Ruby said. “I don’t know about Joy. She was killed a long time ago, though. Probably the fifties.”

“Killed?” I asked.

“Killed,” she repeated. “I think. She can’t remember much, but something bad happened to her. I’m sure of it.”

I looked down at Joy. “Did someone hurt you?” I asked.

The little girl’s face stilled. “I don’t remember,” she said. “I don’t want to think about it. I want to see my Mommy.”

“Maybe later,” Ruby said, and stared at me hard. “Can you help us?”

“I’ll do my best,” I said. Then I looked out at the rest of the ghosts who had arrived with Patrick Whitecroft. “Tell me who you are and when you died.”

The ghosts screeched their names and dates of death, and I wrote as quickly as I could until Patrick grabbed the pen from my hand and threw it across the room.

“Stop that, charlatan!” he shrieked. “You’re not fooling anybody!”

Buy links: 

**My thoughts**
This is my first E.C. Bell book and my first paranormal mystery like this one. Half of it is told from the point of view of Marie, the human who is capable of seeing and communicating with ghosts. The other half is told from the point of view of Ruby, one of the ghosts who seeks help from Marie. 

I really feel for Ruby and Joy who are just seeking answers about their families and wanting to move on. Life is confusing enough as it is, let alone having the afterlife being so confusing and having almost zero control over it. It's an interesting perspective on what can happen to people on the other side.

Marie definitely seems to have had an interesting journey with her ghosting abilities, some good and some awful. This whole backstory about the poltergeists is touched upon, but I think it would be helpful to read the previous books in the series to fully understand what is really going on. I feel sorry for her because she is trying to hard to move on with her life and is suffering PTSD from an earlier attack. And then this Patrick guy comes to town and just wreaks havoc on her life. I really wanted to scream and cry with her.

And at the same time, I felt sorry for Patrick, because he has clearly had a horrible life and just wants to take it out on everyone else. But it doesn't excuse his atrocious behavior.

My interest in the previous books is piqued. I may have to add them to my list.

About E.C. Bell

E.C. Bell is the author of the award winning paranormal Marie Jenner Mystery series. She lives in Alberta, Canada, and when she’s not writing, she’s scouting out new locations for her upcoming novels or renovating her round house where she lives with her husband and their two rescue dogs.

That’s right. Her house is round.

Join her mailing list on her website at for news about new books, upcoming appearances and, occasionally, recipes.

Follow her on Facebook at

and Twitter at

Marie Jenner Mystery series books, in order:
Seeing the Light
Drowning in Amber
Stalking the Dead
Dying on Second
Hearing Voices
Haunting the Haunted

E.C. Bell will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 25, 2019

House of Ash and Brimstone by Megan Starks

House of Ash & Brimstone is a new urban fantasy, paranormal romance from author Megan Starks. Check out an excerpt and then follow the rest of the tour for even more! Leave Megan comments and questions along the way. And remember to enter the great giveaway!

House of Ash and Brimstone

Hell has come to collect…

…but Gisele Walker has no plans to pay the debt.

As a half-demon paranormal bounty hunter, Gisele is used to flirting with death, but stealing a curio and opening a portal to Hell’s demon court is more than your average day job.

Now, she’s partnered with an infuriatingly handsome demon, Shade, who has more levels of grey than she can count.

Who can she trust to help save the city as Baltimore burns to the ground and ghouls roam the streets?

With a white-hot attraction burning between them and secrets blocking their path, Gisele must face her past and venture into the twisted heart of the demon royal court.

But with no memory of her past…

…will she be able to save their future?

Read an excerpt:
Wings burst from the doppelg√§nger-Shade’s back, massive and talon-tipped and tensile. They billowed, leathery and black as the forelimbs of a giant bat. Shadows shifted behind them as they spanned, making them appear to fill the width of the room. Patches of skin darkened and pebbled before ripping into tiny, hardened scales that gleamed in the soft glow of the containment tanks lining the walls, and bones elongated, protruding at knuckles, elbows, and clavicle, hulking the creature in both muscles and height until it towered over her. Two thickly ridged, ebony horns cut from its temples, banked in loose ash-brown locks that roiled about its shoulders. A long tail whipped against a tank, shattering glass.

She wanted to scream but couldn’t, numb, frozen like prey before a monster.

Shade’s demonic form speared her with eyes blacker than the depths of Hell, glistening with pure evil. They were the eyes of a creature that would suck out her soul and sanity and laugh at the corpse it left behind. This was what she’d always known in the back of her mind, that Shade was dangerous. That he was a born killer, a full-blooded Devil from the deepest regions of Hell.

No, wait. That wasn't right. Sure, she was scared of Shade’s true form—he was a powerful and nightmarish-looking beast. But she also had flashes of him smiling and protecting her, worried and protecting her, laughing and crying and screaming her name, all while baring those same obsidian wings.

A gun was in her good hand, but she didn’t remember having drawn it. It wavered, trembling where it was outstretched.

Shoot, shoot to kill, a whispered voice not her own pounded in the back of her head, incessant. Shoot him before he turns on you, then shoot yourself.

With a start, she realized she’d aimed her sight at the real Shade’s back. She was a breath away from firing.

Book links
Publisher (City Owl Press):

About Megan Starks

Megan Starks is the award-winning author of the Gatewalkers urban fantasy series and a game writer at Obsidian Entertainment. A Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, Writers Guild of America award nominee, and Pitch Wars alumna with an MFA in fiction, Megan enjoys reading and writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and fantasy novels. Whether it's dark demons, brooding vampires, howling werewolves, or feisty witches, Megan loves it all.

When she's not penning novels about magic and strong, kick-butt heroines, she enjoys playing video games and spending time with her husband and their cat, Sushi, in California.

Look for Night of Sunder & Sorrow, the sequel to House of Ash & Brimstone, coming in Spring 2020.

Get a free prequel to House of Ash & Brimstone by joining Megan’s mailing list at:

Crave more #Gatewalkers? For updates and to chat about writing, video games, coffee, and cute kitty-cats, come hang out on any of these sites:








Megan Starks will be awarding a prize pack of best selling urban fantasy romance + a copy of House of Ash and Brimstone to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lawfully Witnessed (The Lawkeepers) by Jo Grafford

Lawfully Witnessed

To escape the bitter division of loyalties in her family following Georgia’s succession from the Union, Anna Kate Monroe accepts an invitation to serve as a companion to a spinster aunt in Texas. She is surprised to find herself traveling in the same direction as a handsome stranger she meets right before she begins the long train ride west; and she is even more thrilled to discover they share the same destination.

Captain Gregory Armstrong has been sent undercover from Massachusetts to investigate the claim that several prominent southern families are financing a major supply route responsible for bringing a steady supply of horses, ammunition, and fighting men to the Confederate states. When his investigation leads him straight to Anna Kate’s doorstep, he has no choice but to follow her and his suspicions all the way to San Antonio. To explain his presence, he pretends to be a gentleman of leisure, paying a visit to a western railroad spur as a potential investor.

As the evidence against his lovely target and her family mounts, he grapples with an unexpected attraction to her that will test his mettle as both a spy and a man of honor.

Read an excerpt:
“Very clever, Mr. ah…Gregory.” 
He grinned his approval, instantly adoring the way his name sounded in her melodic alto. Like music. 
“I was under the impression you were an investor,” she continued in her lilting tone. “I see now you are much more than that.” 
Oh? His senses went on high alert. Had he made a verbal misstep? Sent her a wrong cue and thereby given something away about his true identity? 
“Yes, indeed. I see it now, sir. You are a wizard.” She nodded in satisfaction and took another sip from her glass, allowing her eyes to twinkle over the rim at him. 
He was utterly entranced and suddenly found himself wishing they were indeed two strangers who had met on a train. One lovely southern belle and one hardened northern officer, in a world where that fact wouldn’t make one of them a traitor.

Available on Amazon
And in Kindle Unlimited
(affiliate link) 

About Jo Grafford

Jo writes sweet historical and contemporary romance stories — with humor, sass, and happily ever afters.

She loves to visit with readers in her Cuppa Jo Readers group on Facebook at To receive a personal email about each book she publishes, join her New Release Email List at JoGrafford.comor follow her on BookBub at

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Sickness in the Soul by William Savage

Today we are celebrating the historical mystery A Sickness in the Soul by William Savage. He takes us deeper into the history of the Georgian time period, plus there's an excerpt for you to enjoy. Be sure to follow the tour for even more. And of course, there's a great giveaway at the end!

A Sickness in the Soul

“Many people wear masks. Some to hide their feelings; some to conceal their identity; and some to hide that most hideous plague of mankind: a sickness in the soul.”

Ashmole Foxe, Norwich bookseller, man-about-town and solver of mysteries will encounter all of these in this tangled drama of hatred, obsession and redemption.

This is a story set in the England of the 1760s, a time of rigid class distinctions, where the rich idle their days away in magnificent mansions, while hungry children beg, steal and prostitute themselves on the streets. An era on the cusp of revolution in America and France; a land where outward wealth and display hide simmering political and social tensions; a country which had faced intermittent war for the past fifty years and would need to survive a series of world-wide conflicts in the fifty years ahead.

Faced with no less than three murders, occurring from the aristocracy to the seeming senseless professional assassination of a homeless vagrant, Ashmole Foxe must call on all his skill and intelligence to uncover the sickness which appears to be infecting his city’s very soul.

Can Foxe uncover the truth which lies behind a series of baffling deaths, from an aristocrat attending a ball to a vagrant murdered where he slept in a filthy back-alley?

Read an excerpt:
All might have continued on its stable course had not a day arrived when a stranger came to the house. Earlier that morning, Dr Danson informed Archibald Gunton, the butler, to his considerable surprise, that he was expecting a visitor. When he arrived, the butler was told, he must be admitted immediately and without question. He would await the man in his library.

The man came and spent barely twenty minutes with Dr Danson. No one saw or heard him leave. It was not until the butler entered the library about an hour later that he found the reason. His master lay slumped back in his chair, his mouth and eyes wide open. On his face, there was an expression that the butler later described to his mistress as being ‘as if he had looked into hell itself’. At his feet were his wig and a small dagger; the one which he usually kept on his desk. There was blood on the left side of his chest. It was obvious at once that the Reverend Dr Jonathon Danson, scholar of the occult and seeker after hidden knowledge, was dead.

As the news spread in the neighbourhood, two schools of opinion formed. The majority, considering Dr Danson’s circumstances, announced that it was plainly a domestic crime. An elderly rich husband takes a pretty, young wife, who was penniless before he married her. ‘Murder!’ they whispered amongst themselves. ‘Stands to reason, don’t it?’ A sizeable number reached a different conclusion; one based on rumours of the man’s strange interests. ‘Witchcraft!’ they muttered, or ‘devilry!’ Either way, that group were certain the powers of evil had come to claim one of their own.

A Frightening and Inexplicable World

One of the hardest mental exercises for any writer of historical novels is to forget much of what you know about how this world of ours works. It’s true that the Georgian period marked the very beginning of a scientific approach to understanding, based on experimentation, measurement and collecting of evidence. However, such ideas were still restricted to the educated elite. For the vast majority of ordinary people, little had changed since medieval times. Medicine was stuck in the study of Galen and the belief that disease was due to an imbalance of humours. Germs and infection had yet to be linked. If the primitive, largely useless medical tools of the day failed, you either got well on your own, lived maimed and crippled, or died. Too often, it was the last.

Faced with so many terrors and misfortunes, people sought an explanation of their causes, which might offer ways to lessen or avoid them. “Why me?” is the universal cry of those in distress. “What do I do now?” is equally common. Even for the faithful, being told it’s God’s will brings little comfort.

Ordinary people in Georgian times turned to two sources to answer questions about the misfortunes they encountered. “Why me?” and “What now?” could both be answered via magical and supernatural sources, such as curses, charms and superstitions.

The Power of Tradition and Folk-Memory

What we now dismiss as quaint superstitions — if we recall them at all — were matters of vital importance in Georgian times, especially in the countryside. To ignore or overlook the proper rituals and actions associated with key events in the agricultural year was to invite disaster. Even if you had no firm explanation for such beliefs, save that things had always been done that way, to ignore tradition was to behave with arrogance towards the natural world and the spirits which lurked there. Such pride would bring punishment. Folk tales abound in stories of careless or arrogant humans suffering bad luck — or worse — as a result of not doing things as they should be done. That, of course, meant doing them as they had always been done.

A range of rituals were used to secure good fortune and a bountiful harvest. We still can’t control the weather, but we do know pretty well what to do to ensure sufficient fertility for the crops; and how to destroy pests that might ruin the harvest. Such scientific ideas about crop yield were in their infancy in the 18th century. Destroying pests was based on good husbandry and hard labour. More modern ideas in both areas had reached only the wealthiest landowners and their agents. The ordinary farmer or farm-worker either hoped things would turn out well, or turned to age-old traditions that promised answers used many times before.

“Cunning Men”, “Wise Women” and Folk Medicine

Much the same applied in cases of sickness. Professionals, like physicians, apothecaries and surgeons charged fees beyond the ability of the poor to pay. Folk remedies, written in household manuals and cookery books, cost nothing. Many were memorised or written out for use when needed. Even the mistresses of grand houses did the same, especially with herbal remedies. After all, they did as much good as the bleedings and cuppings of the physicians, or the opium and cocaine based medicines sold by the apothecaries.

Where literacy was limited, much of this traditional knowledge was kept by the Cunning Folk on behalf of the local community. The Cunning Man or Wise Woman — people like Mistress Tabby in the Ashmole Foxe stories — would have learned their lore from their parents or grandparents. Knowledge was handed down orally. Those who possessed it guarded it jealously. It was the source of their income and standing in the community. They spread the idea that to write it down might lessen its potency. They also claimed that esoteric knowledge in the hands of ‘ordinary’ persons was dangerous. In this, of course, they were no different to the medical professionals.

The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries in order

“The Fabric of Murder”
“Dark Threads of Vengeance”
“This Parody of Death”
“Bad Blood Will Out”
“Black as She’s Painted”
“A Sickness in the Soul”

About William Savage

I started to write fiction as a way of keeping my mind active in retirement. Throughout my life, I have read and enjoyed hundreds of detective stories and mystery novels. One of my other loves is history, so it seemed natural to put the two together. Thus began two series of murder mystery books set in Norfolk, England.

All my books are set between 1760 and around 1800, a period of turmoil in Britain, with constant wars, revolutions in America and France and finally the titanic, 22-year struggle with Napoleon.

The Ashmole Foxe series takes place at the start of this time and is located in Norwich. Mr Foxe is a dandy, a bookseller and, unknown to most around him, the mayor’s immediate choice to deal with anything likely to upset the peace or economic security of the city.

The series featuring Dr Adam Bascom, a young gentleman physician caught up in the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, takes place in a variety of locations near the North Norfolk coast. Adam builds a successful medical practice, but his insatiable curiosity and knack for unravelling intrigue constantly involve him in mysteries large and small.

I have spent a good deal of my life travelling in Britain and overseas. Now I am more than content to write stories and run a blog devoted to the world of Georgian England, which you can find at You can also follow me on Twitter as @penandpension.

The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries
The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries
The Fabric of Murder
Dark Threads of Vengeance
This Parody of Death
Bad Blood Will Out
Black as She’s Painted
A Sickness in the Soul

The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries
The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries
An Unlamented Death
The Code for Killing
A Shortcut to Murder
A Tincture of Secrets and Lies
Death of a Good Samaritan

Pen and Pension:

Author Page
Amazon Author page:

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Review of Stealing Kisses in the Snow by Jo McNally plus guest post and giveaway

Even better than reading a great romance is reading one that takes place not too far from where I live. I loved this story and am sharing all of my thoughts with you. There's also an excerpt to give you a sneak peek. And author Jo McNally even tells us a bit more about crafting this fictional town in a very real place that is near and dear to my heart. Enjoy her thoughts and then let her know what you think. Be sure to also follow the tour for even more. And you can enter the giveaway at the end!

Stealing Kisses in the Snow

Maybe "perfect" is over-rated...

Between juggling two kids, two jobs, and a fixer-upper house, single mom Piper Montgomery is so busy she can hardly see straight. But when rugged biker Logan Taggert strolls into the B&B where she’s working, she can’t help but stare. He has bad boy written all over him. She’s promised her kids a “perfect Christmas” this year, and bad boys aren’t part of the plan. But how can she resist?

Once his grandmother is back on her feet, Logan can leave her Victorian B&B get back on the road. It’s where he belongs after all, even if his grandmother’s matchmaking book club biddies try to convince him otherwise. But there’s something about beautiful, spitfire Piper that makes him wonder if kids and commitment might be just what he needs after all.

As Christmas draws ever closer, so do Piper and Logan. Could these two opposites find all they want this Christmas is each other?

Read an excerpt:
Logan Taggart had been thrown out of plenty of places in his lifetime, but never by a pretty little ponytailed momma wearing a ruffled yellow apron. He managed to squelch his smile, knowing it would be a mistake to laugh.

The golden-haired munchkin clutching his fingers right now was clearly the woman’s daughter, and he probably looked like an ax murderer. He gently freed himself from the child and stepped back, raising both hands and modulating his voice carefully.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry. The little girl said she wanted me to go to the kitchen, and I was heading here anyway…”

The woman seemed flummoxed. Her chest rose and fell rapidly, her blue eyes wild as she stepped closer. She raised the mop higher with one hand, then dropped her phone on the counter with the other so she could snatch her daughter’s hand, tugging her to safety behind her. She waved the mop again, as if that would really protect her if he posed a threat. He was a foot taller and a good seventy pounds heavier than she was. The biggest danger to him was in her other hand—the cell phone she’d picked up again.

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**My thoughts**
Right off the bat, I fell for Piper. She is widowed and struggling to stay afloat while raising her two kids. And yet she has amazing strength and determination. I also immediately adored her daughter Lily, who is one of those smart and spunky kids I have always enjoyed being around in my classroom and otherwise. Logan starts out a little rough, but you know he is going to soften. And Piper's poor son Ethan is a teenage mess, struggling with the usual teen drama, amplified by him still reeling from the loss of his father four years ago. And then there is Iris, Logan's grandmother. She is super fiesty and in charge, just how I want to be at 80.

And I have to love the setting of the Finger Lakes, because I live in Western New York and often like to drive down for a day, especially around Seneca Lake. And when the "rowdy group from Rochester" came down and wreaked a bit of havoc, I had to laugh. I promise we're not always like that!

I loved the tension and admiration between Logan and Piper. And I can guarantee that those lake effect snowstorms off Lake Ontario really do provide some of the most romantic nights ever.

I really feel for Piper as she battles her internal struggle of loyalty to her late husband while also recognizing that she is still a young woman with a lot of life inside her and needs to be fulfilled. I have watched a few friends go through the same thing at the same age. And of course Logan is finally wanting to maybe set down some roots after a life of being on the road (or rig, as the case may be).

I really enjoyed reading this and I need to read more of the Rendezvous Falls series. I also want to take a drive tomorrow and relax around the lake and wineries and fall in love all over again.

Crafting Your Fictional World

When people hear the phrase “world building” in relation to writing, they often think of paranormal, sci-fi or post-apocalyptic romance, where literally a new world has to be created. Maybe a new planet with three moons, a future Earth with flying cars, or a place with different laws of physics than ours.

But all books, even small town romances, require world-building to make the settings come to life. And if you’re writing a series, that fictional world has to remain consistent or a reader may be taken out of the story when they realize you just changed the name of Aunt Sue’s bakery or moved the diner to the lakeshore instead of on the mountain like it was in the last book. 

Stealing Kisses in the Snow is the second book of my Rendezvous Falls series. The series is set in a fictional town located in a real place—the Finger Lakes wine country of New York State. I wanted the setting to be as genuine as possible, so in the books I refer to nearby real towns like Geneva and Watkins Glen, and the town is on the shores of a very real Seneca Lake. It’s fun to hear from readers who are familiar with the area and tell me I got it right.

But the town of Rendezvous Falls itself only exists in my head. I wanted a town small enough to be intimate, but large enough to hold many stories. I didn’t want it to be too sleepy, so I added a private college, which would help bring diversity and a younger, artsy feel. But the town still felt a little average to me. It needed something that made it unique. Something that gave it a story of its own.

So I filled the town with colorful Victorian houses, and created a backstory about an architect a hundred years ago who started building the homes with all the towers, porches, gingerbread trim and wild paint schemes. The town became famous for “the crazy Victorians of Rendezvous Falls.” In fact, one of the characters in Stealing Kisses in the Snow, 80-year-old Iris Taggart, helped make the town so successful by capitalizing on the unique houses, and then adding festivals to bring in even more tourists.

Between the quirky houses and festivals, and the mix of senior citizens and younger people moving in or growing up, I’d created a setting with enough substance to support a romance series being set there.

Rendezvous Falls may be a fictional town, but it’s very real to me. The Spot Diner is on main street. The college is along the lakeshore, near the marina. The hills above the town have vineyards and wineries, like Falls Legend Winery where the first book, Slow Dancing at Sunrise, was set. When it’s real to me, then hopefully it becomes real to my readers, too.

About Jo McNally

Jo McNally lives in coastal North Carolina with 100 pounds of dog and 200 pounds of husband – her slice of the bed is very small. When she's not writing or reading romance novels (or clinging to the edge of the bed...), she can often be found on the back porch sipping wine with friends, listening to great music. If the weather is absolutely perfect, she'll occasionally join her husband on the golf course, where she always feels far more competitive than her actual skill-level would suggest.

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Jo McNally will be awarding one print copy of SLOW DANCING AT SUNRISE by Jo McNally and 1 print copy of STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW by Jo McNally, shipping limited to North American (US and Canada) only to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Devil and Dayna Dalton (Bulwark Anthology, Book 9) by Brit Lunden

Read an excerpt from The Devil and Dayna Dalton, a new fantasy romance from Brit Lunden. If you follow the tour, you'll get to see even more. Be sure to let Brit know what you think along the way and ask her any questions you may have. And of course, enter the great giveaway!

The Devil and Dayna Dalton

Reporter Dayna Dalton's reputation has been ruined since birth. The daughter of wild child, Becky Dalton, is expected to follow her mother's footsteps; never given a chance to prove she's different. Dana's been in love with Clay Finnes since she was a teenager. Her unrequited love for Sheriff Finnes leaves her empty. He's happily married and unavailable. Instead, Dayna finds herself stuck in the revolving door of bad relationships. But this is Bulwark, Georgia, a town where strange things are always happening. Dayna is doomed to this loveless life until she can find someone who will appreciate the depth of her character. Can she overcome her fears and look beyond her own perceptions to accept a greater love?

Read an excerpt:
Chapter 7

“I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.” Jessica Rabbit

“I don’t care what they say about you, Dayna. You’ve got talent.”

“What?” Dayna’s head came up to stare at the screen where her boss sat in his office video-chatting with her the next morning. “What do you mean, Howard?”

Howard laughed. He reached down to take a mouthful of sandwich. A piece of egg salad hung from the side of his mouth.

“Nothing, babe. Just great article. You showed such sensitivity. I knew if you reached down deep enough, we’d find a heart in there.”

Dayna looked bleary eyed at the computer, shaking her head. Before she could respond, Howard continued, “Okay, I may have something else for you.” He picked up some papers on the desk and looked through them. “Let me see…Oh yeah, we could use something about hunting season opening. Tons of deer in the woods…and babe, don’t mention the wolf sightings.” He paused, eating. “I mean it, Dayna. This is your chance. Keep it to what I ask for. Don’t bring your own crazy ideas in and who knows where this thing will go?” He wiggled his eyebrows at her. “Hey, Dayna, you doing anything for dinner—?”

Dayna clicked off the computer, ending the video conference.

“I’d rather starve than eat with you,” she grumbled.

Dayna’s stomach rumbled, and she realized she hadn’t eaten anything since yesterday. She walked into her kitchen, looked in the fridge, and took out a yogurt.

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About Brit Lunden

Brit Lunden is a prolific author who’s written over 50 books in assorted genres under different pen names. Bulwark was her first effort in adult fiction and was chosen by several of her fellow authors as the basis for a new series, A Bulwark Anthology. Using her characters, they are creating new denizens in spin-off stories to this bizarre town. Brit Lunden lives on Long Island in a house full of helpful ghosts.

Brit Lunden will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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The Prophets and the Executioner by Frank Franco with Giveaway

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Book One, The Awakening
Supernatural Thriller
Date Published April 2019
Publisher: Page Publishing

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With war ravaging their planets and destroying their once-peaceful existence, they fled their homes in search of a new beginning.

Arriving on earth over ten thousand years ago, they brought with them the secret science of immortality, the wisdom of once living in perfect harmony, and the knowledge needed to recreate a utopia like the one they had just destroyed. What they didn’t expect was to arrive on a planet that was far direr than the one they had just left and that it would be thousands of years before earth would be ready for the knowledge they brought with them, if ever at all.

In 2011, Steven Di Carlo, unknowingly living his ninth existence as an executioner, was about to be awakened to his purpose on earth by remembering his many past lives. Along with his prophets Michael and Samuel, they would continue their enormous task of protecting the Book of Wisdom known as the KHoKeM, the very science of an everlasting life. Rumors of its existence had some referring to the KHoKeM as the Holy Grail while others searched in vain for the ever-elusive fountain of youth. December 12, 2012, feared as the day of the apocalypse, was in fact be the date targeted for the retrieval of the KHoKeM. September 9, 2019, would be the day its secrets are to be revealed to the human race. Will the people of earth be ready for this knowledge? Will the prophets and the executioner decide that humanity is still too barbaric and choose to leave the science hidden for another thousand years, or will the path and all its wisdom forever be destroyed by the evil inside us all? The journey begins with book 1 of this new trilogy by Frank Franco.

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Keep an eye for Book Two in December 2019

The Prophets and The Executioner "The Darkness"

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About the Author

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Frank Franco is a 63-year-old proud father of two wonderful children; the grandfather of five amazing grand children aged 2 to 11 and has been married to his wife Lina, for the past 42 years.

Born in Amato, Italy in 1955, he immigrated to Vancouver Canada at the age of 4 and has lived there ever since.

Although Frank is not an accomplished writer, I would definitely call him an accomplished story teller. He began writing The Prophets and the Executioner in 2008, mostly writing on Saturday mornings and while on vacations. Writing a novel was a bucket list item he always dreamed of completing and after numerous re-writes, and the story taking control of the writer, one novel turned in to three and thus a trilogy was created and the adventures of Steven DiCarlo (The Executioner) and Samuel Stewart (his Prophet) took him on quite an amazing ride.

This trilogy, The Prophets and the Executioner is lightly based on the author’s beliefs and personal experiences of something existing beyond this world. A somewhat mystical connection guiding us through life and then welcoming us home when we die. Although purely fiction, The Prophets and the Executioner explores why we are here, where we came from and what comes next.

With no formal education as a writer, the intention was to complete the novel, print a few copies and hand them out to family and friends and cross that one off the bucket list. But coming from a newspaper background and having writers and editors as friends, he was encouraged by them to pursue publishing his story. Now that book one and two are complete and book three has been started, he thought, why not!

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Review of Her Mother's Grave (Detective Josie Quinn #3) by Lisa Regan

Her Mother's Grave

When two young boys discover human bones buried beneath a tree in a trailer park, Detective Josie Quinn races to join her team at the scene. She used to play in those woods as a child, happier outside and away from her abusive mother, Belinda Rose.

Josie’s past crashes into her present when a rare dental condition confirms the bones belong to a teenage foster-child who was murdered thirty years ago. A girl named Belinda Rose…

Josie hasn’t seen her mother in years but, with an undeniable connection between her mother and the dead girl, does she dare track her down?

Just as Josie gets closer to uncovering a secret that will shatter her world forever, another body is uncovered. It’s suddenly clear that someone very close to Josie will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried forever.

As she battles the demons from her past, can Josie stop this killer before another precious life is taken?

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**My thoughts**
This third installment of the Josie Quinn series is even more riveting than the first two. I had to hide my Kindle so that I would actually get a little bit of sleep, because I was not about to put it down, but also had to be at work early. 

This one finally takes us deep into Josie's history, which has been lightly touched on without a lot of detail. It's so much worse than I ever thought. And it is tied into the latest murder mystery to hit the town.

This story also exposes a character twist that I quickly picked up on in the first book. I'm excited to finally have that revealed as well.

It's another great installment. You can conceivably read it as a standalone, but will appreciate it more if you read the series in order. I can't wait for the next one.

Review of Jaded: Zane and Honor (Cliffside Bay #3) by Tess Thompson

Jaded: Zane and Honor

Try as they might, some people can never be “just friends”, as you’ll discover in this standalone, swoon-worthy, small-town romance from USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson.

Nothing has ever come easy for Zane Shaw, which is exactly why he keeps his guard up at all times. Though he wasn’t raised to cower in the corner and hide from adversity, he’s had more than his fair share of troubles and he’s done being vulnerable to pain.

Honor Sullivan’s living her life much the same way her old friend Zane is, though for very different reasons. It’s not that she’s tired of getting hurt so much as she’s got too much to lose. Plus, she’s terrified that all she can do is hurt anyone else.

Is it possible that after surviving so much disappointment and pain, Zane’s broken heart is perfect for Honor’s broken soul? When these two finally decide to unpack their baggage together, they just might recognize their imperfectly perfect forever underneath the protective shell that the other wears.

USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson invites you into the world of Cliffside Bay to meet a group of five best friends, the women they love, and the stories that bring each couple together. Each book in the Cliffside Bay Series is intended to be read and enjoyed as a sweet standalone, but for maximum enjoyment read this binge-worthy series in order.

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**My thoughts**
I admit it took me a while to get through this book, because it almost broke me. We finally learn more about Honor's past. She was diagnosed at a young age with ovarian cancer and had to have a full hysterectomy and oophorectomy. Not only can I not have kids myself, but I lost my aunt to ovarian cancer right about the same time this book came out. And then there is the whole storyline of Zane dealing with his father Hugh's Alzheimer's. The same month I lost my aunt to ovarian cancer, my mother succumbed to her many years of battling Alzheimer's. I cried so hard throughout this book because I was able to relate to these storylines, and Tess captured the emotions so well. Even though I call myself a writer, i don't know if I could quite capture them as well.

In spite of those hardships in the noel, there are the beautiful parts as well. We get to know Sophie, who is Zane and Maggie's half-sister. To fully appreciate her story, read Book 2, Deleted

Honor and Zane have had tension between the two of them for years, but are now hopefully going to battle through it all. Honor has stuff creep up from her past. Zane is dealing with many life changes. He is still struggling with his fiancee leaving him and is trying to achieve his dream of a brewery. And he never got over his mother's abandonment.

Honor grew up in the foster system and has always had to fend for herself. Neither one thinks they are good enough for the other.

This book has those moments of clarity that are just so rare and beautiful in life. This amazing twist of fate series serves to heal wounds. I love how Zane calls them their "perfect storm." Very well done.