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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway: The Heart of a Hero By Susan May Warren on tour with JustRead

The Heart of a Hero Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Title: The Heart of a Hero
Series: Global Search and Rescue #2
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Jake Silver may not be able to put the memories of his time as a sniper and Navy SEAL behind him, but at least he can put his skills to use as a part of the Jones Inc. rescue team. Saving the life of pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Aria Sinclair on Denali helped too. But now he can't get her out of his head.
Aria has dedicated her life to helping children born with defective hearts. After all, she was one of those children. Driven to succeed, she lives a lonely, stressful life. One she would have lost on Denali if it hadn't been for Jake. Jake is exciting and handsome, but he's also dangerous, and she's already lost one person she loves. She can't bear it again.
It's not until she finds herself trapped in the middle of a Category 4 hurricane that she can admit she needs Jake desperately. With their very survival in the balance, can they hope for a second chance at life . . . and love?

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award-winning novelist of over sixty-five novels. An eight-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.
A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: The Story Equation.
She is also the founder of, and Novel.Academy, a school for aspiring novelists.
CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Wow. That was my words when I finished this book. It started off action packed and DID NOT LET UP. This is book 2 in a series, and while I have not read book 1 - there is enough backstory filtered in that I understood what was going on. Aria is a strong female character - who carries the baggage of her past around with her. She is afraid to live, to step out on her own, to be adventurous. When she did try and be adventurous she ended up having to be saved by Jake. Jake Silver is a former SEAL who has a natural instinct to swoop in and save people. He and Aria have a strong attraction between them - that Aria is afraid of. Aria goes to a medical conference in South Florida where she ends up trapped in a hurricane. Jake follows - and the danger is strong. The hurricane becomes so strong that EVERYONE flees the island. What will happen when there is noone to help them but themselves? Can they fight the attraction and concentrate on the mission? 

I have read several books by this author - she always starts off with a bang - and keeps going full throttle. She has written amazing characters where she can continue to build off them in the series. The storyline is original. I will be going back to read book one (The Way of the Brave)  - and look forward to the next book in the series. 

I received a copy of this book through the author and JustRead blogging program - all thoughts are my own. 

(1) winner will receive a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card and a heart-shaped hematite necklace!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 1, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 8, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Nearly Departed (An Eve Appel Mystery) by Lesley A. Diehl On tour with GreatEscapes

Nearly Departed (An Eve Appel Mystery)
by Lesley A. Diehl

Diverse characters and interesting twists made this an enjoyable light read.
~Cassidy’s Bookshelves

About Nearly Departed 

Nearly Departed (An Eve Appel Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Publisher: Epicenter Press (January 14, 2020)
Print Length: 180 pages
Digital ASIN: B083G9GDJY
Tired of sitting surveillance on insurance fraud, apprentice PI Eve Appel Egret gets her first big case, one where the outcome is important and personal. Eve’s best friend Madeleine has few relatives, so her Uncle Shamus is special, but someone is determined to kill him and has tried several times. Eve is certain she can identify who is after him, but this time she may have taken on more than even our self-confident Eve can handle. Coping with a growing toddler and a teenager, devoting time to the consignment shop and finding someone who can go undercover in a sexual harassment case all vie for Eve’s attention. Eve knows she cannot fail Madeleine. This is more than her favorite uncle’s life. His death would mean devastating loss for Madeleine and call into question Eve’s commitment as a friend and her ability as a PI.
Cows, Lesley learned as a child growing up on a farm, have a twisted sense of humor. They chased her when she went to the field to herd them in for milking, and one ate the lovely red mitten her grandmother knitted for her. Determining that agriculture wasn’t her career path, she took a job as a stripper, book cover stripper for a publishing company, that is. Now after many years as a college professor and university administrator, she has returned to the world of books and uses her country roots and her training to concoct stories designed to make people laugh in the face of murder. “A good chuckle,” says Lesley,” keeps us emotionally well-oiled long into our old age.”
Author Links
Website –

  • Purchase Links

This is the first book that I have read by this author. While this is part of a series (7th to be exact)  - I had no problem following along. I love Eve! She is spunky, fun and so funny. I love how the author has written this character. I love how Eve's family pitches in - Family is key! This is a light, easy read that I enjoyed very much. Well written characters, fun story line. I look forward to more from this author. 

I received a copy of this book through the Great Escapes blogging program, all thoughts are my own

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Book Review: The adventures of VeggieMan By Karla Farach

The Adventures of Veggieman: Book I Food Fight


When Niko starts a new school, he has no idea that he's going to find

himself in the middle of an epic battle

between the forces of good and evil.

Good, nourishing food and evil junk

food, that is.

Things are looking chaotic until

Niko gets help from Veggieman,

a super-cool superhero. Together

with his awesome army of fruits

and veggies, he helps save the

school and all the kids in it. But

the most important thing he

does is show kids that they each

have their own superpowerƒƒ‚‚ƒ‚‚"ƒƒ‚‚ƒ‚‚€ƒƒ‚‚ƒ‚‚"

one we all have and can all use.


Karla Farach is the CEO of Mothers of Health, LLC, a company she founded to inspire women and mothers to adopt a healthier lifestyle. She is passionate about nutrition and wellness and is certified as a health and life coach by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Karla was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, with her husband and two sons. Karla’s favorite vegetable is kale


This was a super cute book to read with my boys. They are 8 and 7 - and we are slowly transitioning to a more clean eating life style. While my kids love fruits and veggies -they love to snack on chips and candy. This book brought up some good discussions about healthy snacks. I love the theme of this book. Veggies and fruit have major super powers that help keep us healthy.  Beautifully illustrated pictures, entertaining story line and a wonderful life lesson. This book is a must add to your home library. I received a copy of this book through the publisher, Mascot Books all thoughts are my own

Purchase: HERE

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Book Review: Wild about the Alphabet (and other tales) By: Mike Crowder

Wild about the Alphabet!: (and Other Tales) by [Mike Crowder]

An alphabet book for those learning the alphabet, and for those who have to read it to them....

Mike Crowder
Although already a darling of the cognoscenti, it wasn't until his actual birth in 1963 that Mr Crowder began to meet with any popular acclaim.

He was raised in Scenic Rat Town, FLA... in a barn... by wolves... possibly, apes...

Mr Crowder's advances in the science of rocket surgery cannot be ignored. He is older'n God, has an itchy spleen, and a disposition that can only be described as "bad." He and his fabulous wife currently live somewhere in the Southeast with his dogs Bo and Luke, in Rat-Town or maybe somewhere else.

His only regret in life is that it took him so long to find his lovely and capable wife, Gwen


This book was such a cute, fun read. I have an animal crazy 8 year old that loved reading all the fun facts about each letter. Each letter names an animal that starts with that letter, and gives some facts about it. We laughed a lot during this book. It is beautifully illustrated and written. This book has 64 pages, and is geared toward those learning their alphabet. However, I have a 1st grader and 3rd grader who loved this book also. The 1st grader was pleased that he was able to read this himself. 

I received a copy of this book through the publisher, Mascot Books all thoughts are my own. 

Book Review and Giveaway -- Dark Water By: Christy Barritt on tour with Celebrate Lit

Dark Water FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Dark Water
Author: Christy Barritt
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 28, 2020
Colton Locke can’t forget the black op that went terribly wrong. Desperate for a new start, he moves to Lantern Beach, North Carolina, and forms Blackout, a private security firm. Despite his hero status, he can’t erase the mistakes he’s made.
For the past year, Elise Oliver hasn’t been able to shake the feeling that there’s more to her husband’s death than she was told. When she finds a hidden box of his personal possessions, more questions—and suspicions—arise. The only person she trusts to help her is her husband’s best friend, Colton Locke.
Someone wants Elise dead. Is it because she knows too much? Or is it to keep her from finding the truth? The Blackout team must uncover dark secrets hiding beneath seemingly still waters. But those very secrets might just tear the team apart.

Click here for your copy!

About the  Author

Christy Barritt
USA Today has called Christy Barritt’s books “scary, funny, passionate, and quirky.”
Publishers Weekly best-seller, Christy writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have sold more than two million copies, and two are currently being developed as movies.
Christy’s books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year.
She’s married to her prince charming, a man who thinks she’s hilarious–but only when she’s not trying to be. Christy’s a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who’s known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado.
Christy currently splits her time between the Virginia suburbs and Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She loves spending time with her husband, her two sons, and her four dogs.
For more information, visit her website:

More from Christy

Dark Water is the fourth series in the Lantern Beach Universe. When I created the fictional island of Lantern Beach, NC, I had no idea how popular it would be. I’ve fallen in love with the people there, and they feel more like friends than fictional characters.
Dark Water is about a group of former Navy SEALs who band together to former an elite private security firm. But they all share secrets, as well as guilt over the death of their SEAL leader. In order to move on, they must find answers.
I introduced Colton Locke in the last book of the Lantern Beach PD series—Plan of Action. I knew he needed his own book and that I wanted to develop his character more. That turned into a four-book series featuring Colton and three of his friends. Blackout contains suspense, mystery, and romance—all of my favorite things!

My Thoughts

Dark Waters is the first book in a new series. The debut book sets the series out on a break necking pace. It is full of twists and turns and leaves you turning pages to keep trying to figure it out. The book starts off with Elise fighting for her life during a home invasion. You have to wonder if she is being targeted due to her deceased husband. Colton runs a security firm, and has a past that he can't shake. So much went wrong during a op back when he was a SEAL. His firm, Blackout is assigned to protect Elise. Colton remembers Elise's husband from his SEAL days. Can he help protect Elise? Will they figure out who is after her? Most importantly is any of it connected with the botched SEAL mission? 

Well written characters. Suspenseful story line. This does have connections to some of her previous books - but this can be read as a standalone. This book will keep you guessing - I will be checking out the next book in the series. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, May 4
Remembrancy, May 6
Emily Yager, May 6
Betti Mace, May 7
Simple Harvest Reads, May 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
CarpeDiem, May 13


To celebrate her tour, Christy is giving away the the grand prize package of a signed copy of Dark Water and a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Book Review: And the Monkey Lets Go: Memoirs Through Illusion and Doubt by Scott Hunter - Courtesy of Mascot Books

And the Monkey Lets Go: Memoirs Through Illusion and Doubt by [Scott Hunter]

About the Book
Scott Hunter should be dead: Alcohol. Pot. Mescaline. Acid. Cocaine. You name it, he did it to excess. Like many young Americans who came of age in the 1960s, he told himself it was all part of life’s grand adventure. Truth was, he couldn’t face the secrets that were consuming him.

Beginning with pharmaceutical LSD at two seminaries, Scott searched for an awakening. His journey took him to Thailand, where he taught English as a Second Language and studied Vipassana meditation. He was an attendant at a Massachusetts State School for developmentally-challenged children, drove tractor trailers, farmed organically on a hippie farm, lived in a teepee, and studied mantra meditation. He became a vagabond (read: homeless) exploring politics and poetry.

Eventually, he found recovery from drugs and alcohol in the AA and NA programs, and uncovered the reasons for his addictions. In And the Monkey Lets Go, Scott writes about his life with clarity and humor, each milestone serving as an ultimately revelatory story about what it means to unearth the truth about yourself.

My Thoughts

So, this book came along right when I needed it. My mother, who has been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember, is finally sober. It's been a very frustrating journey. One that has been filled with broken relationships, lots of tears and anger. This book helped me understand what my mother has been going through trying to get sober. My mother almost died recently, and that was the wake up call. 

I have come from a long family history of alcoholics. I choose not to drink often because of it. 

Reading this book, the author takes us on his journey. He shares his struggles with various addictions, the brokenness of his past, the hurt, the flaws, the demons he has battled. It is also a story of hope - to how he overcame the battle and how his life turned around and fell into place. I enjoyed this book. I will be sharing this with my mother to aide in her journey. 

I received a copy of this book through the publisher, Mascot Books, all thoughts are my own. 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway -- Amish Country Murder - By Mary Alford --- On tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book:  Amish Country Murder
Author: Mary Alford
Genre:  Amish Suspense
Release Date: March 1, 2020
An Amish woman targeted by a serial killer
Is the only living witness…
As the sole woman to escape the Dead of Night Killer, Catherine Fisher’s the key to catching him—if he doesn’t kill her first. Now it’s up to FBI agent Sutter Brenneman to protect her. But with her memory missing and all clues indicating the serial killer took her for very personal reasons, it’ll take everything Sutter has to keep her safe.

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the unexpected. Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly bestselling list, and have finaled in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence in mystery, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.
As a writer, Mary is an avid reader. She loves to cook, can’t face the day without coffee, and her three granddaughters are the apple of her eye. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two cats and one dog.
Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter or any social platforms listed at

More from Mary

Thank you for coming with me on this journey to the mountains of Montana, where the Amish Community of West Kootenai is nestled in the wide-open spaces of Big Sky Country, and a simple Amish way of life can be anything but. Especially when a serial killer is lurking nearby, waiting to take his next victim, and the clock is ticking.
Amish Country Murder is my second book set in the Amish Community of West Kootenai, Montana. My first book, Amish Country Kidnapping is available now at most book retailers.
As a reader, one of my favorite genres is Amish Suspense. There’s just something about a story that pits the simple and innocent Amish lifestyle with the dark and sometimes deadly world of a suspense. Good versus evil, so to speak.
When Catherine Fisher escapes the clutches of a serial killer, she can’t remember as single thing about her past before the monster took her.
FBI agent Sutter Brenneman has been working the Dead of Night Serial Killer case for a while. Catherine is his first living victim. Protecting Catherine and finding the killer before he strikes again is critical. Hiding out in Amish Country, Sutter is surrounded my memories of his own Amish past, rekindling old longings for the life lost to him. Is it possible to have it back? In the middle of a killer stalking their every move, Catherine and Sutter share many tender moments as their feelings for each other grow into love.
One of the things I love most about the Amish is their amazingly simple recipes that remind me of my childhood and the meals my mother used to prepare.
During one meal shared with an Amish couple, Catherine and Sutter enjoy sweet potato croquettes with meat loaf. Sweet potato croquettes are a simple side dish that is delicious and easy to prepare. I thought I’d share this recipe with you here.
  • 1 pt. of mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tblsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • breadcrumbs
  • marshmallows (optional)
Mash sweet potatoes very fine.  Add salt, sugar and melted butter to mashed sweet potatoes. Shape sweet potatoes into croquette rolls or patties.  Cool them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and roll in breadcrumbs.  Dip them in the slightly beaten egg white, and then into the crumbs again. Bake in a shallow, greased baking dish for 20 minutes, at a temperature of 400 degrees F.  For an even sweeter version of this dish, you can place a marshmallow in the center of each (make sure it is covered completely by the potato mixture).
I so hope you enjoy this recipe and Amish Country Murder. And stay tuned for my next Amish Suspense set in West Kootenai, coming in November of this year.

My Thoughts

Oh. My. Gravy. This books opens with a bang (literally) and does not stop. I have read several books by this author, and I think this may be one of my favorites. Catherine is kidnapped - she has no idea where she is - or WHO she is. Sutter is the agent assigned to keep her safe. However, her kidnapper will not stop until she is dead. This book takes you on twists and turns - and the killer does not let up.  She is the only living witness to have gotten away from him. Sutter and Catherine will go on an adventure - trying to blend in with an Amish family - and slowly Catherine starts to remember who she is - but can she remember who attacked her? 

This book is so action packed - and did not stop. I started this book on a Saturday afternoon - and finished it by the evening. I could not put it down. Catherine is so sweet - and your heart goes out to her. Sutter is (as I pictured) the kind of agent you crush on - but he realizes that he is crushing on the one he is trying to protect. These characters are so well written - you feel their flaws, you feel their pain. You're heart goes out to them - since they can't catch a break. This book had me guessing until the end - I had my suspicions and a few suspects - so it was fun to try and eliminate them. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, April 14
Genesis 5020, April 14
The Avid Reader, April 15
Betti Mace, April 16
Older & Smarter?, April 21
Artistic Nobody, April 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Pause for Tales, April 23
Hallie Reads, April 24
Emily Yager, April 25
SPLASHES of Joy, April 26


To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a Lavender Spa 10-piece Gift Basket with Tote, and a print copy of Amish Country Murder!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.