Excerpt, Giveaways, New Release, Reviews

#Review of House of Ashes (A Haunted Bluffs Mystery) by Loretta Marion w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #mystery #suspense

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Loretta Marion will be awarding a $50 mazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, and still standing despite tragedies that have swept the generations. Local lore has it that there was a curse placed on the family and the house is haunted, though opinions are divided on whether it’s by malicious or benevolent spirits. Cassie believes the latter―but now she stands to lose her beloved home to mounting debt and the machinations of her dream-weaving ex-husband.

Salvation seems to arrive when a nomadic young couple wanders onto the property with the promise of companionship and much-needed help―until they vanish without a trace, leaving behind no clue to their identities. Cassie is devastated, but determined to discover what’s happened to the young couple…even as digging into their disappearance starts to uncover family secrets of her own. Despite warnings from her childhood friend, now the local Chief of Police―as well as an FBI agent who pushes the boundaries of professionalism―Cassie can’t help following the trail of clues (and eerie signals from the old house itself) to unravel the mystery. But can she do so before her family’s dark curse destroys everything in its path?

Read an Excerpt:

Present day ~ Whale Rock, Massachusetts ~ Cape Cod

September ~ three days since the disappearance

Back at home, I took a good look at my beloved Battersea Bluffs, with its towering widow’s walk, double chimneys, and impressive wrap-around porch. It had become part of Whale Rock’s lore that the majestic Victorian sitting high above the cliffs on the craggy northern end of town was possessed by the spirits of my great- grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, its original owners. The legend evolved from a rumor initiated by my father when he was trying to take back his rightful home. It had been a successful strategy, but he could never have guessed how prophetic his fable would become—or maybe he’d already sensed the mysterious aspects of the old house. To be fair, Papa and I had never discussed the lurking scents and sounds presented by the spirits sharing our home.

I unlatched the gate, to a warm greeting of soft whimpers and an exuberant tail.

“You’re missing them too, aren’t ya, buddy?” I reached down to stroke the German shepherd’s glossy black fur, those usually erect ears momentarily relaxed. I widened the gate.

I followed the dog to the ledge of Percy’s Bluffs, so named after my great-grandfather’s dramatic leap from the cliffs overlooking Cape Cod Bay. I stared down to where the waves were crashing against the rocks below. Through the years, this spot had become my refuge, where I’d come to contemplate decisions or brood over troubles. Exhausted and numb, I sank to the ground and idly fingered an abandoned champagne cork, probably left here the night Vince and Ashley moved in with me. We’d brought a bottle down to the cliffs to toast our new alliance and the home they were going to help me save. I closed my eyes to bring to memory the feel of the fizzy liquid against my tongue, the first I’d tasted in years. There’d not been much to celebrate in recent times. But that night, a sense of hope had returned to me.

So I went completely off the rails and read a mystery book.  Without all the romantic elements that I normally love in a story.  Shocked?  I was at first but once I got into the book, I couldn’t put it down.  Yes, could.not.put.it.down.  Normally, I’ll put a mystery down, try to figure it out and then prove myself right.  Not this time.  Ms. Marion wrote a mystery that I just couldn’t figure out at all.  The ending was NOT what I expected and this is why I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I’ve never read Ms. Marion before but I will definitely get The Fool’s Truth, her debut, to read.  Plus, I’m hoping that Ms. Marion comes back to the cape for more mysteries.  I will admit that I live in Texas and have never been the Cape but I did have a great aunt and uncle that did.  I really felt like I was there and it is stunning.  Spooky even at night.  The world that she built is fantastic even to this Texan.  I love old houses so I could totally see myself visiting.  I really enjoyed how the house and the setting, itself played into the story.

Cassandra was a mystery to me at times.  Smart, then dumb.  Sure of herself and then needing Brooks.  Now, I really liked him but at times, he really needed to shake her.  Throw in Zoe, Cassie’s sister that to me was a PIA, the disappearance of Vince and Ashley’s and she had her hands full.  Cassie stuck to her beliefs and I really liked that about her.  The mystery is just awesome.  I can’t go into because, well, spoilers.  Again, I never figured it out and was blown away by it.

Do yourself a favor and if you are looking for a great mystery with ghosts, a haunted house, with a gothic feeling to it, this book is for you.  I highly recommend it.

About the Author:

A true bibliophile, Loretta Marion’s affection for the written word began in childhood and followed her like a shadow throughout her life as she crafted award winning marketing and advertising copy and educational brochures. She then applied her writing skills as a volunteer, establishing a Legacy Story program for hospice patients, which inspired her to create her own fictional stories. Her debut novel, The Fool’s Truth, was a twisty mystery with whispers of romance. Her newest novel, HOUSE OF ASHES – A Haunted Bluffs Mystery, is the first in a series published by Crooked Lane Books.

When not whipping out words on her laptop, she is traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits, or is curled up with a delicious new book. Loretta lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Geoffrey, and their beloved Mr. Peabody, a sweet, devoted and amusing “Corgador”.

Website: https://www.LorettaMarion.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LorettaMarionAuthor
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/House-Ashes-Haunted-Bluffs-Mystery/dp/1683318439
Barnes&Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/house-of-ashes-loretta-marion/1128856330?ean=9781683318439#/
Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/House-Ashes/Loretta-Marion/9781683318439
Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781683318439

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Giveaways, Harlequin Spotlight, Meme, Reviews

#Review of Ava’s Prize (City by the Bay Stories #3) by Cari Lyn Webb w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @HarlequinBooks @carilynnwebb #contemporaryromance


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Ava’s Prize
(City by the Bay Stories #3)
By Cari Lynn Webb
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
November 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He needs a great idea

She can provide it—but at what cost?

The battle lines are drawn when army medic turned EMT Ava Andrews enters a contest devised by San Francisco entrepreneur Kyle Quinn. The first responder isn’t just competing for a tempting grand prize. She’s fighting her attraction to the self-made millionaire…and losing the war. But private and professional boundaries blur when a breach of trust threatens Ava’s future with Kyle.

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Another Heartwarming for me to read.  This is my second book from Ms. Webb and I liked it.  I did read The Charm Offensive and loved it.  However, I didn’t love this one as much.  Let me tell you why:

  1.  Kyle – I know, you should love the hero.  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t connect with him.  I liked him but I didn’t like that he used an illness to make himself a hermit.  He used it as a crutch and I don’t like it when people do that.  Everyone is different but he just used it to distance himself from everyone.
  2. Ava’s treatment of her mother at times.  Trust me, I understand Jane’s disease but I felt like Jane used it as an excuse for not going after what she really wanted.

Okay, now that is off my chest, onward to what I loved.  The secondary characters like Iris, Jane, Barbra, and Rick are brilliantly written.  Ms. Webb uses them to help Ava and Kyle realize what is in front of them but don’t even know it.  Iris could have come off like a flake but for me, she was trying to show her brother what it was to be free to do whatever truly made you happy.  Jane, as understanding as she was, made Ava look deep within herself and see that nothing can stop her from Kyle and following her dreams.  Barbra is the mentor that we all wished we had and Rick is the true friend that everyone needs.

The romance in the book is fabulous.  Talk about two people that didn’t want to fall in love but did.  And then fought it every step of the way.  It’s plausible, relatable and sweet.  The ending throws me for a loop.  I won’t give it away but I was a bit surprised about the contest and how it all played out.  Good thing, too or we wouldn’t have had the sweetest grow up moment from Kyle.  For me, he had the most to grow from and Ms. Webb achieves that in the end.

Another great book from the Heartwarming line.  Again, do yourself a favor and start reading this line.  It’s emotional, at times raw but always swoon-worthing in the end.

 

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She’s been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent’s 70 year marriage and her parent’s marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn’t always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.

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Tour Schedule

November 12th:
Launch
I Am A Reader
Hearts & Scribbles
Remembrancy
November 13th:
Wishful Endings
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
Heidi Reads…
ReadingIsMySuperPower
November 14th:
Colorimetry
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Among the Reads
Book by Book
November 15th:
E-Romance News
Harlie’s Books
Reading On The Edge
Kimber Li
November 16th:
My Devotional Thoughts
underneath the covers
Andi’s Book Reviews
November 17th:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a$50 Amazon e-Gift Card & e-copy of The Rancher’s Rescue (open internationally)
1 winner will receive a San Francisco Cable Car Ornament, Signed Copy of The Rancher’s Rescue & $50 Amazon Gift Card (US only)
– Ends November 21, 2018

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Giveaways, Harlequin Spotlight, Meme, Release Week, Reviews

#Review of Heiress’s Royal Baby Bombshell (The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles #2) by Jennifer Faye w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @JenniferFaye34 @HarlequinBooks


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Heiress’s Royal Baby Bombshell
(The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles #2)
By Jennifer Faye
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
November 1st 2018 by Harlequin Romance

One-night miracle…

For the Crown Prince!

In this The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles story, rebel royal Max believes his infertility has cost him the throne — until heiress Noemi reveals she’s carrying his baby! And with his country’s future at stake, Max must claim his heir! Noemi is hesitant and fiercely protective of their unborn baby, but at his snow-covered palace can Max offer her the most precious Christmas gift ever — the chance to become a family…

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Can I admit a couple of things?  Harlie’s Books, the blog named for all things Harlequin has never reviewed a true Harlequin Romance on the blog.  *Gasp*  AND, its been at least a decade since I’ve even read a Harlequin Romance.  *hangs head in shame*  So that means that I haven’t read Ms. Faye either.  Horrible mistakes, all of them.  I pre-ordered Sebastian’s story and bought Leo’s.  Yes, I HAVE to know their stories, too.  Yes, I loved the characters that much.

I will also have to admit that anything royal is like catnip to me.  Plus, the heroine isn’t a damsel in distress.  She’s smart, even when her brother doesn’t think that she should do much, strongwilled and grieving at the same time.  Noemi has a lot going on with her and meeting Max at a party and then becoming pregnant.  But the kick is she doesn’t have a clue who Max is and how to get in touch with him.  The classic trope of accidental pregnancy but Ms. Faye makes it plausible.  And what made the characters even more relatable to me was their problems, were our problems.  Cancer, the death of your parents, infertility, and feeling betrayed by your loved ones.  So while the characters are rich and famous, they have the same feelings that we do and problems.

The romance between Max and Noemi is sweet and passionate.  Like I said, its been a while since I’ve read this line and I finally remembered that its like Desire but without the open door.  These two were smoking when they were together and I really understood Noemi’s hesitation when it came to Max.  *sigh*  She just wanted was best for the baby and herself.  She was still going through some personal things and then Max was determined to sweep her off her feet.  He finally figured out that wasn’t working and the ending was just so swoon-worthy.  Oh and the epilogue.  I chuckled.

Don’t make the same mistake that I have with this line.  I still can’t believe it’s been this long since I read it.  Not to mention, Ms. Faye.  As I said, I just fell in love with this family and I can’t wait to get my paperback copies of Leo and Sebastian’s stories.  Perfect for Christmas.

 

Freebie

Go to Jennifer’s Contact Page HERE and order your bookmark(s)!

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

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Tour Schedule

November 5th:
Launch
It’s All About the Romance
underneath the covers
November 6th:
Wishful Endings
Andi’s Book Reviews
November 7th:
Locks, Hooks and Books
E-Romance News
Reading On The Edge
Bri’s Book Nook
Colorimetry
November 8th:
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
Book Lover in Florida
November 9th:
Jorie Loves A Story
My Devotional Thoughts
Harlie’s Books
Rockin’ Book Reviews
November 10th:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will recieve a $25 Amazon Gift Card + print copy of Cinderella’s New York Christmas (The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles Book 1) + swag
US only
Ends November 14, 2018

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