Scarlet by Jen Geigle Johnson Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Covenant Communications Inc.
ISBN: 1524404683 (ISBN13: 9781524404680)
The roads in and out of Paris are heavily guarded, but the dead have easy passage out of the city. A ragged old woman transports the coffins of the most recent victims of the guillotine and is waved on unimpeded. Later, the same crone watches five French aristocrats step out of their coffins unscathed. Not beheaded but spirited away to safety by that most elusive of spies: the Pimpernel. Or, as she's known in polite society, Lady Scarlet Cavendish.
When not assuming her secret identity as a hero of the French Revolution, Scarlet presents herself as a fashionable, featherbrained young widow flitting about London. In truth, this façade is merely a diversion designed to conceal her clandestine work in France. Among members of the doomed French aristocracy, the Pimpernel is renowned for her bravery and cunning. But when tasked with rescuing handsome Comte Matteo Durand, she faces an unprecedented challenge: she is falling in love with the man. If ever there were a time to keep her head, it is now— because in a world brimming with intrigue, she is not the only one harboring secrets. And if Scarlet doesn't take care, Madame la Guillotine may finally catch up with the Pimpernel.
Scarlet is a fitting Title for this fictional but strong heroic Lady during 1793. The setting is during the French Resolution. Many parts of it are based on factual events and people.
This was such a fun, uncommon, historical fiction. It is an incredible drama.action/romance cross genre novel.
Scarlet has a secret, the knowledge only a select few shared.
Scarlet was a young widow having great wealth. She was viewed as an eccentric in her social circles both in England and in France.
She was in France when one of the Aristocrats, Matteo Comte Durand, along with four others were to be beheaded. The four escapees went well, but Matteo feared for his servants so tried to return to save them. Scarlet had to do some quick, drastic persuasion...it worked better than either expected.
This is a fast-moving, historical novel. The characters feel intimately real, the scenes portrayed in a way that is easily visualized. The Title is effective, and the Book Cover is simple but done very well and is totally fitting.
I offer a Four and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no request for a positive rating. This is my honest review.
en Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep's roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.
Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.
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After I got "hooked" on the Twilight series, I ventured into the exciting "World of Fiction" once again, after many years of only reading non-fiction. Michele Ashman Bell's novels became one of my addictions. I read everyone of hers that was published at that time. I have read most of the ones published since then...Let me now introduce you to her!
I grew up in St. George, Utah, where a lot of my family still lives, but now reside with my husband and family in the Salt Lake City area. My favorite thing to do is support my kids in their many interests. Between basketball, ballet and piano lessons we squeeze a lot into a week, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Brazil is a land of beautiful sights and delicious offerings—including Max, the charming brother of her cousin's new husband. Max has all the makings of a Prince Charming in soccer cleats, and Charlotte's happily ever after seems to be within reach. But love is a funny thing, and soon Charlotte finds herself wondering: could it be that her true soul mate has been right in front of her all along?
A Few of the Other Books By Michele Ashman Bell:
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Book Title: Degrees of Love: A Novel by Lisa Slabach
Category: Adult Fiction, 344 pages | Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Bookbaby | Release date: Dec 1, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Adult themes including infidelity, occasional F-word, non-explicit sex scenes)
Tour dates: May 1 to 18, 2018
At thirty-six, Susan Sinclair has it all. She's just been promoted to Senior Vice President of Mobile Banking at her firm, a prestigious position bringing fresh creative challenges and a hefty salary increase. Like the shiny new BMW in the driveway of the Silicon Valley home she shares with her husband, Matt, and their two beautiful boys, Susan exudes confidence and style.
Yet despite her success in juggling the roles of wife, mother, and businesswoman, Susan struggles with a secret dissatisfaction. Matt's work in cutting-edge computer research pays less than her job, and with each advance in her career, he has grown more distant. But Matt refuses to admit there is a problem, and Susan forces herself to play along, determined to give her boys the close-knit family life she never had.
Then she meets her new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick. Working and traveling together, she and Reese become a crackerjack team, but little by little, pleasure mixes with business. For the first time in a long time—maybe ever—Susan feels seen and appreciated for who she is. Certain she would never allow their friendship to cross the line, Susan lets herself stray dangerously close to the edge.
A moment of weakness changes everything. Now, unable to stomach the façade her marriage has become yet unwilling to decimate her family by moving forward with Reese, Susan faces a choice that could cost her everything—including her children . . . but possibly bring her more than she can dream.
Praise for Degrees of Love:
"Slabach crafts a relatable, heartbreakingly real story that will no doubt resonate with those at a similar station in life: women who love their families yet yearn for just a little more—to feel wanted rather than needed, to feel passion rather than complacency. In engaging prose and through skillful storytelling, Slabach captivates with an all-too-familiar story that raises questions with no easy answers."
- Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"This does not read like a debut author’s book. Slabach shows herself to be adept at portraying the complex emotions of the human condition. Her characters live and breathe on the page in a way that every author strives for, but few actually manage. Susan’s struggles ring true, and the way she handles everything makes her a very likable and relatable character."
- Sarah Perry, San Francisco Book Review, 5 Stars
"Profound, heart wrenching and very emotional, it is hard to believe that Degrees of Love is a debut novel by Lisa Slabach. This is one of the best novels I have read this year."
- Rabia Tanveer, Readers' Favorite
About the Author:
Degrees of Love is Lisa Slabach’s debut novel. She is currently working on her third full-length manuscript and a collection of short stories inspired by her experiences growing up in a small farm community in Washington’s Yakima Valley. In addition to writing, Lisa works for a Fortune 500 Company, leading a sales team in the financial industry. She currently resides in Northern California with her husband and has two daughters, who are both pursuing careers in film. In her free time, she enjoys drinking wine with friends and cooking in her pink kitchen.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
Win a signed copy of Degrees of Love or a $25 Amazon.com gift card (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers - 5 winners)
(ends May 24)
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Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland
Publisher: Keith Hirshland (February 15, 2018) | 256 pages
Category: Mystery Thriller, Detective/Police Procedural
Tour dates: May/June, 2018 ISBN: 978-0692046685
Daisy Burns was a likable, devoted wife and mother who spent her spare time volunteering at school events. Everyone loved Daisy. So why would someone shoot her three times and dump her body behind a Planned Parenthood chapter in North Carolina? With no witnesses and few leads, Raleigh detective Marc Allen turns to the press for help—specifically, veteran news anchor Lancaster Heart. Heart agrees to broadcast the police department’s plea for information in his nightly newscasts. Elderly viewer and longtime social worker Blanche Avery is positive she recognizes the photograph on the television as an older version of her friend Daisy— the young, heavily pregnant girl she met years before who made the decision to give her child up for adoption. When Tanner Goochly Jr.—a member of a notorious crime family—becomes the victim of another point-blank shooting, Allen races to discover the connection between the murders. Could it be that Daisy was somehow involved with an illegal enterprise, or was she hiding something else, another secret to be discovered? The body count is rising, and the suspect pool is widening. As Allen’s investigation reaches a fever pitch, he realizes that a mother’s choice could have killer consequences.
Buy Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland: Amazon~ BarnesandNoble ~ IndieBound
Praise Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland“Keith Hirshland gets better with each book. A wonderful crime mystery with fun twists. And if you have ever spent time in Carolina or Northern Nevada there are quite a few local tidbits to enjoy mixed in. I look forward to more from the media guy turned novelist! This is his best book yet!”-Bruce, Amazon Review
Praise Big Flies by Keith Hirshland“Big Flies by Keith Hirshland is a great read. I found myself intrigued by this talented writer’s style. A mystery woven into another mystery. The suspense was great. I enjoyed following the characters throughout the book. This novel was realistic, stunning, and one that all readers can easily connect to in one or more ways. Brilliant, clever, and mysterious. Keith Hirshland has a way that lured me in deep. I couldn’t stop reading it. ‘Big Flies’ is one mystery I highly recommend to all. 5 Stars.”-Danielle, Urban Book Reviews “Mr. Hirshland's style is both engaging and entertaining. He has written and delivered a thoroughly wonderful tale of mystery and intrigue. Will the author continue to write fiction? If this first novel is any indication, I certainly hope so!”-LuAnn, Back Porchervations “Get ready, sit back, and enjoy this book, because the author really has a way with words as well as a fun and fascinating plot at hand. If you love action and surprises, you will get your fill here. If you enjoy things on the humorous and witty side, this book will fit the bill that way as well. Big Flies has plenty of great characters (both past and present), good buddies to enjoy you'll want to be pals with too, a bit of mystifying romance, and some vivid and marvelous scenes. There will be mystery stacked upon mystery, some cool 8 track tapes with great choices in music thrown in, and fantastic, detailed twists. Get swept up in this fabulous, fun mystery by Keith Hirshland!”-Jean, Snap Out Of It Jean “I really enjoyed following along with each person as you discover more about each one along with how four unsolved mysteries may be linked to everything. I admit that the beginning was a touch slow as you start learning about Chester and Leland, but then the story takes off like a flash. This is a great adventure and one that I recommend you check out. You will not be disappointed. 5 Stars.”-Jessica, J Bronder Book Reviews
About Keith HirshlandAward winning author, Keith Hirshland is an Emmy Award–winning sports television producer with more than three decades of experience producing shows that aired on ESPN and ESPN2. Among the first forty people to be hired by the Golf Channel in 1994, Hirshland was in the middle of the action when it premiered in 1995. He provided his talents for the golf network for close to two decades. The Flower Girl Murder is Hirshland’s second novel and third book. Big Flies, his first mystery novel, was published in 2016. It is the winner of the New Apple Awards: Solo Medalist Award and runner up for the 2016 Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book of the Year. Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In: Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat is a memoir about his experiences in the television industry. It was Book Talk Radio Club’s Memoir of the Year”. Hirshland lives in New Jersey with his wife and Bernese mountain dog.
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This giveaway is for one print copy or ebook copy of the book. Print is available to Canada and the U.S. only but ebook is available worldwide. This giveaway ends on May 29, 2018. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.
The Enchanted Garden Cafe (South Side Stories, #1) by Abigail Drake
Publication date: May 1st 2018 | Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
For her sixth birthday, Fiona Campbell’s mother, Claire, made her a peace sign piñata filled with wishes for a better planet instead of candy. When she got her period, her mother held a womanhood ceremony at their café and invited the neighborhood. On her sixteenth birthday, they celebrated with a drum circle.
Fiona grew up trying to keep the impulsive Claire in check, and their struggling café afloat. She plans to move out, but first must find a way to stop a big corporation from tearing down their business and destroying her mother’s livelihood.
Claire thinks karma will solve their financial and legal problems. Fiona prefers a spreadsheet and a solid business plan. The last thing she has time for is Matthew Monroe, a handsome complication who walks through their door with a guitar on his back and a naughty gleam in his eye. But when disaster strikes, and Fiona’s forced to turn to him for help, will she learn to open her heart and find she can believe in something magical after all?
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A group of tea ladies, full of good food and tea, came in, ready to shop. One of them, a sweet, little old thing in a blue dress with a matching hat, approached us. “I’d like to buy some of that tea we had today. It was wonderful.”
“The Tea of Love?” asked Mom with a warm smile. “I’ll get some for you.”
When Mom went to get the tea, Old Blue Hat pulled me aside. “I have to know, how does she do it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Her teas are incredible. I’ve never tasted anything like them. And they work.”
“Work?” I frowned, confused.
“When I first started coming here, my joints ached constantly. She gave me a tea that took all the pain away. I can walk and bend and even do a little dancing.” She demonstrated with a little wiggle of her hips. “And after she gave us the Elixir of Youth tea, I honestly feel ten years younger.”
“That’s nice,” I said, not sure where this was going.
“Today’s Tea of Love was fantastic. I feel . . . romantic. I know you must have had some too. I saw you cry when the nice young man played his guitar.”
“I had dust in my eye. And a bug.”
She looked unconvinced. “Your mom has some kind of special magic. I’m sure of it. I can spot someone with the gifta mile away.”
I wanted to groan but controlled myself. “She knows a great deal about herbs, and some teas have anti-inflammatory properties . . .”
“Then how do you explain the inflammation to my libido? My Harry is going to be a happy man this evening.”
The idea of Old Blue Hat and her husband getting it on was more than I could handle. I wanted to erase that image from my mind forever.
“And you have to admit he is a looker,” she said.
“Who?” I hoped she wasn’t talking about Harry. I didn’t want to know what Harry looked like. The name was enough.
“The boy with the guitar. If I were forty or fifty years younger . . .” She fanned herself with a white-gloved hand.
Mom brought out the tea, and I rang up her order. We packaged the specialty teas in sheer silk bags tied with satin flowers like pretty little sachets.
I decided to clarify things. “There is nothing going on between the guitar guy and me. Nothing at all.”
Old Blue Hat gave me a knowing wink. “It didn’t look that way.”
“I have a boyfriend, and I’m happy, so happy I can barely stand it.”
“You’re a lucky girl.”
“Yes, I am. Thank you. Have a nice day.” I forced a pleasant smile onto my face. Old Blue Hat meant no harm, but she annoyed me.
When I turned to restock the shelves, I slammed right into a wall of solid muscle. Matthew stood there with a strange expression on his face. “That guy last night was your boyfriend? The suit?”
“His name is Scott.”
Matthew looked like he was about to speak, but one of the women came up with a stone phallus. “Is this a dildo?” she asked in her sweet little-old-lady voice.
Matthew choked back a laugh and walked away, leaving me to answer her question on my own. I found nothing humorous about the situation. “No, ma’am, it’s a fertility charm.”
“Oh,” she said, comprehension dawning in her bright-blue eyes. “A virilitycharm. I’ll take two.”
Award winning author Abigail Drake has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and International Economics in college and worked in import/export and as an ESL teacher before she committed herself full time to writing. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, fun, and sexy. Abigail is a trekkie, a book hoarder, the master of the Nespresso machine, a red wine addict, and the mother of three boys (probably the main reason for her red wine addiction). A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.
Abigail, who also writes young adult fiction under the name Wende Dikec, is the winner of the prestigious 2017 Prism Award for her book Traveller, and the International Digital Award for her young adult book, Tiger Lily. In addition, she was a finalist in the Golden Pen, the Golden Leaf, the Dante Rossetti Book Award, and the Cygnus Award for Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.
For more information about Abigail, visit her: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
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Cami Checketts was one of the fantastic authors which inspired me to, once again, read fiction novels. Her first books were mystery/suspense with a touch of romance. Later her romance novels all had that edge of mystery/suspense added to them. Some include action.
Regardless of what novel topic she is writing, the reader will be captivated and thrilled with her writing style.
Cami Checketts is married and the proud mother of four future WWF champions. Sometimes between being a human horse, cleaning up magic potions, and reading Bernstein Bears, she gets the chance to write fiction.
Cami graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Exercise Science. She and her family live in the beautiful Cache Valley of Northern Utah. During the two months of the year it isn't snowing, she enjoys swimming, biking, running, and water-skiing.
She is an all-time favorite of mine & Shauna, and now, Vickie, too!
Below are just a few Samples of the Many books & series Cami has Written...
Navy Seals Romances; The Jane Austin Pact; The Billionaire Bride Pact;
Billionaire Beach Romances; Park City Firefighter's Romances ; (Texas Titan's Romances ^WIN in the Giveaway!)
Blog This Trilogy; Echo Ridge Romances; Destined For Love: Mansions; Return to Snow Valley
-Romances; A Snow Valley Romance; Bachelor Billionaire Companion; Dead Running; The Colony
Now, please view and listen to this Guest Post video
Follow Cami : Amazon | Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter |
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Book Tour, Guest Post, Review & Giveaway for SASS, SMARTS AND STILETTOS by Gabriella Contestabile! [Ends 5/19/18]
Book Title: Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos: How Italian Women Make the Ordinary Extraordinary by Gabriella Contestabile
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 201 pages
Genre: Travel / Arts / Fashion / Self-help
Publisher: Sumisura Publications | Release date: November 2017
Tour dates: April 23 to May 11, 2018
Content Rating: G (No violence. No swear words. No sex scenes.)
Ah, that inimitable Italian style. It’s embedded in an Italian woman’s DNA. Fashion doesn’t define her. She defines herself. She knows an extraordinary life is not about status, money, or achievement. The only mastery it requires is one her heritage has given her, the irrepressible passion to make art of life itself.
Ask an Italian woman where she gets her sense of style and she will tell you it’s not about labels. It’s tethered to humble roots; humanity, community, conscious consumerism, and a profound appreciation for art in all its forms.
Sass, Smarts and Stilettos takes the reader on a journey from the humble hill towns of Abruzzo to the revered fashion capitals of Milan and Rome, into the artisan workshops of Florence, and the humanistic business practices of Luisa Spagnoli, Brunello Cuccinelli, and Alberta Ferretti, from the emergence of Italy’s fashion industry after WWII, to slow food and sustainable fashion initiatives taking root around the world.
Life lessons echo in the words of the author’s mother and grandmother, in the voices of Italian film divas, designers, tastemakers, writers, and artisans across generations, from the first Sala Bianca in Florence to the game changing design ethic of Franca Sozzani, Miuccia Prada, and Donatella Versace.
Learn how to live fully within your own philosophy of living. Say good-bye to mindless consumerism, emotional clutter, and others’ expectations. Create a personal style that fits like a custom blazer by Ferrè and enchants like the colors of a Sicilian sunset. Then go on to craft an extraordinary and empowering life made-to-measure for you alone.
To read reviews, please visit Gabriella Contestabile's page on Italy Book Tours.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Chapters Indigo ~ Kobo
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Join in this delightful journey, while Gabriela Contestabile reminisces about her Italian heritage, travel, adjustments and insights she gained from small child through adulthood.
Although Italy has endured conquering and much of the country was destroyed during both World War 1 and World War ll, Italy has determinedly rebuilt and found "its own voice" in the world of art, fashion, and cuisine. The people there are strong and resilient.
Gabriela's family moved and traveled a lot. She was very close to her parents, especially her mother. In her various writing expeditions, she gives much praise to her mother.
Her father was transferred to first Canada, then in various New York areas. She discusses the challenges in changing cultures but discovered ways of "fitting in" when in her mid-teens, she was able to return to various parts of Italy. She tells of the diversity in the various parts of the country in language, tradition, food and more. It is very enlightening.
Italians believe in living life to its extent. and that quality is more important than quantity. Although Italian women tend to be fashionable, yet feminine, they are very comfortable within themselves and are strong-willed and . in many cases, ahead of their time in various facets.
There are a list of ways to incorporate oneself into an Italian lifestyle.
The reader will get an educated view of Italy , as a whole, and in intermingling with those of other cultures.
However, much of this tale was experiences of a family who were affluent, which makes it difficult to be objective in the abilities of many less fortunate to intermingle and adjust as easily.
This isn't a lengthy book, yet it is pleasantly informative.
I offer a Four Stars rating.
I was gifted this book with no request for a positive review. This is my honest review.
My readers often comment, and to my delight, that when they read my books they feel as if they’re there, in a piazza in Rome, on the SS Andrea Doria making the transatlantic crossing from Genova to New York, or on a boat in Venice on a cold, foggy night watching a glamorous couple sweep off towards a palazzo. That’s intentional. I want to be there so I invite my reader to share the experience. For better or for worse, setting has influenced my life choices and my writing for as long as I can remember.
As I child I read obsessively and imagined myself inside each story. I was the protagonist. I wanted to walk the streets of Cairo and Paris. I wanted to taste the brownie, small the jasmine, see the gradations of light over Santorini, and feel the slide of a silk shirt against my skin while dressing for an evening in Capri.
But therein lies my challenge. Not to overwrite. Not to lard my prose with description. In that regard I can look, yet again, to my heritage for inspiration and to unvarnished feedback of one of my toughest writing teachers. Her words, ‘when you trim away your overwritten prose, the good stuff stands out.’
She was right. As was Michelangelo when he described sculpture as the fine art of trimming away. He believed a potential future masterpiece to be trapped inside the marble and one needed to carve away the excess so its true power and beauty could emerge.
Italian cuisine borrows from the same principles. No excess. Fresh ingredients, simply prepared so genuine flavors come through. What could be better that a simple dish of spaghetti with tomato and basil, an arugula and fennel salad, an affogato (espresso poured over gelato)?
Italian fashion and design, even in the exuberant designs of Versace and Dolce and Gabbana has a certain spareness. Your eye zeroes in on the craftsmanship, the point of difference.
With that objective in mind I have a process. I throw all my passions and descriptions into my first draft. To edit at this stage would take the honesty and life out of my prose and restrict my visceral connection to the reader. It’s only when I’ve thrown it all on the page that I know what and how to carve away, and I can begin to edit.
Editing is like sculpture. It’s during that phase, and through multiple revisions with careful reflection and with thoughtful feedback from an editor or another reliable source that the true ‘jewels’ of a writer’s work rise to the surface and become art.
Meet the Author:
Gabriella Contestabile is the author of the novel, The Artisan’s Star, and owner of Su Misura (Made to Measure) Journeys; a boutique travel concept for the female traveler who relishes off-the-beaten-track adventures that celebrate the Italian way of life.
The book/travel initiative has its roots in her pre-writer life as a foreign language teacher, later as Executive Director and Vice President of International Training in a number of global companies (including Estee Lauder, Shiseido, and Prada Beauty) where she would create immersive and unconventional learning experiences in unique settings around the world.
One of her favorite pastimes, wherever she is in the world, is to scout out the best, and most ‘Italian’ espresso in the hood. It requires multiple tastings, but that’s the idea. Gabriella was born in Italy, and raised in Ottawa and New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, her mother, and a furry Shih Tzu named Oreo.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ LinkedIn
Here is the tour schedule.
Prizes: Win a $15 Amazon gift card (open international / 2 winners total
(ends May 19, 2018)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.