Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews

#Review of Island Life Sentence by Carrie Jo Howe w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @carriejohowe

Island Life Sentence

by Carrie Jo Howe

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GENRE: Adult Fiction, Humorous, Romantic comedy

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BLURB:

Peg Savage has contractually agreed to move to Key West, Florida. The smudged signatures on the damp cocktail napkin are irrefutable proof.

“An adventure…” her husband Clark says.

Peg can’t swim; she’s afraid of bridges (there are 42 of them); and she doesn’t want to leave her friends. However, after a bottle of Cabernet, a move from Chicago to the southernmost city in the United States seems like the best decision ever.

But now Clark has taken a long term job in Cuba and she’s on her own.

Neither her dog Nipper, nor the ghosts in the attic, offer up any good advice. But how hard can it be living in paradise?

Peg dives into island life but the more effort she makes, the wider her wake of catastrophes. She is tortured by a paddle board, a giant poisonous toad, the local Conservation group, and the patron saint of hurricanes. Not to mention the persistent sweat rash under her left breast.

A tropical depression descends on the island – one that can’t be cured with medication. Peg must gather her strength if she has any hope of surviving the storm.


Welcome Carrie Jo Howe! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.  Hi and thank you for hosting me! I’m a Chicago transplant to Key West, Florida. The island is the southernmost part of the United States and closer to Havana than a Target store.  My husband took a job transfer five years ago. I thought it was going to be fairly temporary, yet we’re still in Paradise. We have three grown boys and a 13 year old Vizsla. The dog is the boss of us all.

Is Island Life Sentence a single title, or part of a series? The book, is the first part of a trilogy. I’m working on the second book now.  

What were your inspirations for the story? Well, Peg is a fictional Mid-western woman who moves from Chicago to Key West. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Peg’s (mis)adventures are based on true stories. Yes, my dog was nearly poisoned by a deadly Bufo Toad. Yes, my house is haunted by haints (Key West ghosts). Yes, I survived a category five Hurricane named Irma.  

Please share your setting for Island Life Sentence.  Key West is a lush tropical island at the bottom of the chain of the Florida Keys.  It is aptly named “the end of the road” for its location and for the fact that it attracts some lively characters.  There’s some funky evolution going on down here–Darwinism at its finest.

When did the writing bug first bite? I think of myself as more of a storyteller.  I like to write about funny or strange events. For example, my first book, Motherhood is Not for Babies, tells about my shock at the effort it takes to raise a family.  I was surprised at how uncooperative they all were. It is therapy to write about it–makes it seem less overwhelming.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
The Florida writer, Carl Hiaasen  is an an ex-journalist who writes about Florida and all of its anomalies. Before I moved to Florida, I thought he exaggerated his humorous tales…I’ve since learned that, in reality, he’s quite factual.  My favorites of his books are Tourist Season and  Razor Girl.  

I’m a fan-girl of Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. These two friends are strong and funny. In my dream world, I’m sitting at a table with them in a restaurant and not getting arrested for stalking.

 

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?  I love my teachers at the Pilates Studio of Key West. They know their stuff and make the classes demanding but entertaining.  That’s saying a lot since the exercise program uses torture terms like, “reformer”, “straps” and “chair”. I also volunteer as a mentor for a high school student for the program Take Stock in Children.  TSIC provides college tuition for low-income, academically minded students. I’m proud to be part of such a well run and necessary organization.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?  Hmmm, let’s see…since it’s Key West, that’s tough to narrow down. Would you mind if I shared a photo of Happy Hour last Friday?  Words can’t do this justice.

Is it okay to say that while I read this book I almost peed my pants?  There are parts of this book that had me laughing out loud and often.  Other parts, I wanted to shake Peg and tell her to put on her big girl panties and suck it up.  Yes, at times, Peg came across as the Too Stupid to Live heroine but once she finally figured out stuff, her brilliance shined.

The situations that she finds herself in are at times funny and then, farfetched but they are meant to be.  She is a true “fish out of water” when it comes to living in Key West.  I’ve never been but I have been to Chicago many times, so her life back in Chicago resounded with me.  I couldn’t imagine moving from Chicago to Key West but it would be an adventure for sure.  I did like the fact that the author had the same experiences that Peg did, Clark not withstanding.

Her husband is a douche.  I could use a stronger word but I’ll keep it PG at best.  The ending of the book is definitely poetic justice but I really did want to know what Peg was going to do now.  I understand the sequel is being written and I can’t wait to read more about Peg and her dog, Nipper.

Randolph, Trudy, Bernie, Nipper, the ghosts and even the setting are perfect secondary characters.  Ms. Howe has written a great chick lit book with heart, humor, a bit of ridiculous but overall a great read.

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Excerpt Two:

“Sunshine state… my soggy ass.”

It was dark. The power and the air conditioning had gone out hours ago. Peg hugged her dog under the makeshift bed-tent, clutching him to her sweaty pajama’d breasts.

An engraved locket pinned to Nipper’s blue life vest dangled under his pirate dog collar. Hurricane rain pummeled the bedroom window – the violent wind shook the glass panes. Peg wondered about the moaning sound until she realized it was coming from her own throat.

She shrieked at the sudden crash on the metal roof. Several days of binge drinking without proper oral hygiene, or any hygiene for that matter, produced noxious vapors in the tent. Nipper’s nostrils flared as he took in the odors and licked her fluorescent orange, cheesy, tear-stained fingers.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After raising three boys in the suburbs of Chicago, Carrie Jo Howe now lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and her dog. Her latest novel, Island Life Sentence, is a fictional account of an American Midwestern woman who feels like an alien in the “one human family” of Key West. Carrie Jo’s first book, Motherhood is NOT for Babies, received a rave review (thanks Mom), and works wonderfully as a form of contraception. Her blog Florida Keys Crime Report, tells of all the goings on in the Keys, where bank robbers get away on bicycles, and perps caught with undersized, pinched, out-of-season lobsters get more jail time than drug runners. She is currently working on the sequels to Island Life Sentence.

 

Website: www.carriejohowe.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carriejohowe/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carriejohowe

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carriejohoweauthor

Blog: https://carriejohowe.blogspot.com/

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Island-Life-Sentence-Carrie-Howe/dp/1911586521

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

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

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Entangled, Excerpt, Giveaways, New Release, Reviews, Teaser Excerpts

#Review of In Walked Trouble (Under Covers #2) by Christina Elle w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @entangledpub @entangledpublishing @christina_elle1 @CElleAuthor @_christinaelle

In Walked Trouble

by Christina Elle
Under Covers #2
Publication Date: July 31, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Suspense, Contemporary, Romance

BUY:

SYNOPSIS:

With a deadly target on his back, DEA agent Luke Calder’s plan is to drink away his impending demise. Except instead of getting blessedly drunk, in walks a woman with a much deeper story than she’s leading on. And he definitely wants to know more. Especially when he learns she might have intel he needs. He’s not cool with lying to her, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And what starts out as simple surveillance turns into so much more.

Cassandra Stone is having a bad night. Her boyfriend’s been cheating because she’s not “adventurous enough” in bed. So, she does the next logical thing—she goes in search of a dark, dangerous one-night stand. Instead, she finds smoldering eyes, deep dimples, and the killer smile of a guy who won’t leave her alone. Damn him. He says and does all the right things, making Cass believe that good men still exist. Until she learns why he took an interest in her in the first place.

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EXCEPRT #7-

Entering his room, he found Cass sprawled across the bed, facedown, her head and feet hanging over the sides, snoring.

Crossing his arms, he stood there a minute and took in the sight. That quick his temper subsided and he almost laughed.

Luke approached the bed and leaned over her to slide his arms under her shoulders, trying to twist her toward the pillows, but she grunted and resisted. She tipped forward, making most of her weight shift toward her head, causing her to skim down the other side of the bed. Luke grabbed her hips before her head landed on the floor and pulled her back up. She swung a straight arm back, landing a sharp blow across his cheek.

“Goddamn it.” He bit back the sting and planted a knee between her legs, giving her hips a swift tug. She chose that moment to roll over with ailing arms and legs. Her parts tangled with his, knocking him over, making him face-plant into her breasts. She mumbled something in her sleep and swatted at his face. His ears rung from the impact, so he shook his head to clear it. Cussed a few more times. Then rolled onto his back and stared up at the ceiling.

She continued to snore, but it was softer now. More deep breathing with a tiny snarl. It was cute. Sort of.

Bending an elbow, he propped an arm behind his head, closed his eyes and thought about what it would be like to have Cass to come home to every night. Someone who would lose her mind if anything happened to him. Someone constant. His.

An arm flopped across his stomach, making him suck in

a sharp breath. Her head lulled onto his shoulder and a knee hitched across his lap. She snuggled in like she belonged there, fitting his body perfectly. Her head nuzzled into his shoulder and her warm breath tickled his ear as she relaxed against him.

He draped an arm around her and pulled her closer, savoring the moment. It hadn’t escaped his attention that he was acting like a total sap. Cuddling? Since when did Luke Calder cuddle with a woman? Especially one he hadn’t had sex with.

Whatever. It felt right to have her body pressed against his. Plus, she could use someone to just hold her, and he could use someone to hold.

The arm across his stomach tightened as she suctioned herself even closer to him. Not sure he could have managed to slide a piece of paper between them, and he was okay with that. Luke squeezed her a little tighter, loving the feel of her there. He placed a kiss on her forehead, and he closed his eyes, just as she let out a loud buzz-saw snore.

This book.  It’s her SECOND book.  Yes, only her second.  I felt like I was reading a very seasoned author when I finished it.  This book is romantic suspense but let me tell you, there is plenty of humor in it, too.  Just re-read the excerpt above and that’s not even one of the funniest moments.  For me, the funniest moments were when Luke was talking with his other agents.  Between Ash, Tyke (OMG, his story is next) and Reese, their banter is very realistic and not forced.  You could tell that these guys were friends first and agents second.

Cass is one of those heroines that cared too much.  Her students were her family and I can only imagine what she went through on a daily basis dealing with inner city kids that didn’t understand that they could get out.  But with that much caring, her antics were laugh out funny at times.  I know, we shouldn’t laugh but the way that Ms. Elle wrote them, you couldn’t NOT laugh.  She has a heart of gold when it comes to those kids.

The three grandma’s…*shakes head*  Too much.  Just too much at times.  But they were exactly what Cass and Luke needed.  Of course, I haven’t read Ash’s book so I can only imagine what they were doing in that book, too.  Speaking of the secondary characters, Ms. Elle took her time fleshing them out.  They were never overbearing but enhanced the suspense and romantic threads throughout the book.  In fact, while reading this one, I could feel like Tyke, in a way, was screaming for his own story and we get that one later.

The suspense element is good throughout.  It dealt with drugs and gangs which are still very prevalent in our schools today.  Ms. Elle did a great job not dumbing anything down for us and spoke very matter of factly about it.  I felt sorry for them at times and the ending made me cry.  Speaking of the ending…DON’T ever do that to me again, Ms. Elle.  My heart can’t take it.  Just don’t.  You are evil.  Love you!  The action scenes were spot on and expect some serious smexy times, too.

Run.  Don’t walk to get this book.  Ms. Elle will surprise you with your dialogue, humor, action, pacing, and characters that you will become invested in that you will laugh and at times cry for them.  Perfection in my book.

 

 

ABOUT CHRISTINA ELLE

Christina believes that laughter really is the best medicine, which is why in her stories she blends a healthy dose of hilarious hijinks with gritty suspense.

When she’s not writing fun contemporary romance or quirky romantic suspense, Christina can be found devouring books in every genre, watching Chris Hemsworth on TV, playing board games with her family, working out, checking out Chris Hemsworth on Facebook, napping, stalking Chris Hemsworth on Instagram, and shopping…for Chris Hemsworth’s latest DVD.

Christina lives near Baltimore with her husband and two sons, who give her an endless supply of humorous material to write about.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Maryland Romance Writers.

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews

Review of Wherever You Go, Were You are by Randa Flannery w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

MediaKit_BookCover_WhereverYouGoWereYouAre

 

Wherever You Go, Were You Are

by Randa Flannery

 

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GENRE: Paranormal Romance (Comedy)

 

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BLURB:

 

The PI business has really gone to the dogs. Literally.

Werewolf Lucy Lyle has just caught a ruff new case: sniff out the stalker preying on a couple of male strippers. Should be easy enough, except it seems that the only scent Lucy’s wolf is interested in is that of the scrumptious new client. Human client. Too bad they’ve sworn off humans for good. But like a dog with a bone, the harried PI is determined to solve the case, facing down the dangers of strip club locker rooms, waxing strips, law professors, smart mouthed police officers, and, worst of all, true love.

 

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Excerpt Three:

 

“Um…are you looking for someone?” he asked with a wary grin.

 

I nodded.  “You.”

 

I could hear the pounding of his heart as it picked up the closer I got.

 

“And why is that?” he asked.

 

He had to have felt it, too, that moment in the club when our eyes met and the world stopped moving. But humans, I knew, needed reassurance and encouragement in these situations, needed to protect their ego so that they didn’t jump at the wrong signal. So I stretched a smile across my teeth.

 

“I think you know why,” I replied, injecting as much coy into my tone as a girl who didn’t generally do coy could manage.

 

His pulse skipped in my sensitive ears and my wolf shivered in response, impatient to get closer, to touch, to taste. His eyes widened slightly and I realized my eyes were starting to shift with the wolf’s sight rather than my own, which meant that they were probably glowing at him. It tended to happen when we got especially excited and she crept too close.Mine, we thought again, the word resounding loudly in my head.

 

I was across the space between us in less than a blink, my face turned up towards his, pulling those lips closer to mine. The quick caress of his breath was warm against my mouth.

 

And then there was nothing but pain.

 bookreview

This has to be the FUNNIEST  PNR book that I have ever read.  I read it at school while I teaching and the kids kept looking at me when I giggled out loud.  Oh yes, it was that funny.  Between the giggles and the “oh she didn’t just say that” moments, there is a great story about finding your true love and especially when its right under your nose.

I don’t think that I will ever look at cinnamon rolls the same way again.  Don’t worry its nothing graphic or nasty, just funny as hell.  Again, there is so much comedy in this book, that at times I was re-read passages because of the tears from laughing.  Ms. Flannery’s writing style is easy flowing, quick paced and sweet at the same time.  She makes her characters come alive on the page and that’s saying alot considering how the ending plays out.

Oh yes, there is a mystery in the plot that plays right along with the romance.  I’m not going to give away too much because you just have to read this book.  It takes the trope of the PNR world and real world living in harmony and twists it up a notch.  Its a fun world that I hope that she visits again.  Between Ethan, Andie and even Walter need their stories told.  Oh and I loved “hearing” Lucy’s wolf talk.  Hilarious and spot on.

If you are worried about another shifter book that is the same old, same old…don’t worry.  This is NOT that book.  Funny, mysterious and a good dose of clean romance, this book is for you.

5harlies

recommend-harlies- new

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_WhereverYouGoWereYouAre

 

Randa Flannery has an a degree in English and writes a variety of romantic fiction, including suspense, comedy, and urban fantasy. Randa is a member of the Romance Writers of America and lives as an expat with her husband and children in FuYang, China.

 

Media Links:

Randaflannery.com

Twitter: @randaflannery

Facebook: authorrandaflannery

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Wherever-Were-Magically-Yours-Book-ebook/dp/B0192JFECI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1449548700&sr=8-3&keywords=randa+flannery

 

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wherever-you-go-were-you-are-randa-flannery/1123114833?ean=2940158074394

 

Kobo

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/wherever-you-go-were-you-are

 

Apple

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wherever-you-go-were-you-are/id1065387052?mt=11

 

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Randa will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 
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