Book review, excerpt & giveaway: One Sip at a Time, by Keith Van Sickle

One Sip at a TimeKeith Van Sickle

on Tour November 6-17 with

One Sip at a Time:
Learning to Live in Provence

(travel memoir)
Release date: January 28, 2017
at Dresher Publishing
ISBN: 978-0998312002
192 pages
Author’s page | Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

Can a two-career couple really pick up stakes and move to Provence?

Keith and Val had a dream – to live in Provence, the land of brilliant sunlight, charming hilltop villages and the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean. But there were two problems: they weren’t French speakers and they had full-time jobs. So they came up with a plan…

Follow their adventures (and misadventures) as they quit their jobs, become consultants and split their time between two countries. Laugh along as they build a life in Provence, slowly mastering a new language and making friends with the locals over long meals and just a bit too much wine.

If you’ve ever dreamed of changing gears and learning what joie de vivre is really all about, you won’t want to miss this delightful book.

EXCERPT

Fear the Beard
My beard trimmer broke so I went to buy a new one at the Intermarché.  I found it on the same aisle that had hair dryers and curling irons and things like that.  Except that the beard trimmers were kept in a locked cabinet.  Quoi?

I tracked down a clerk and asked her to unlock the cabinet so I could get the one I wanted, one that only cost about twenty bucks.  She took it out but wouldn’t give it to me. No, no, that would not be secure, monsieur!  Beard trimmers must follow a special security procedure! I think it must be like the one for a nuclear weapons factory.

First, I was told to go to the “Special Bureau” at the front of the store.  I did that, expecting the lady there to give me the beard trimmer so I could go pay.  Oh no, monsieur!  That would not be secure!  Instead, she gave me a long code to hand to the clerk in the checkout line. This mystified the poor clerk, who must only deal with women, children and clean-shaven men.

But eventually we sorted it out. I paid him and got another piece of paper, this one with a new code, to take back to the Special Bureau.

At this point, I was nervously expecting a retinal scan or maybe a cavity search, but happily I got my beard trimmer.

I asked the lady at the Special Bureau why beard trimmers were kept locked up while the much more expensive hair dryers were not.  She looked around carefully, leaned forward and said in a low voice, “Because of the thieves!”

Yes, it seems that beard trimmers were the most-stolen items in Intermarché stores
nationwide, thus prompting the lockdown.  I thanked her for this important news and held the trimmer tightly, scanning the parking lot as I walked carefully to my car.

Later I thought, is this really the best way to deal with the nationwide epidemic of beard
trimmer robberies? Is French society well served by having its thieves unable to trim their
beards, eventually looking like refugees from a ZZ Top concert? Maybe I should lead the other men in town for a protest march, a very French thing to do.
After trimming my beard, of course.

MY REVIEW

The title really says it all. One sip at a time. Lots of short pieces on living in Provence, and it’s easy to read a few in one sitting, or many (how about half the book? Let’s just say dinner was late that night!) As a not very skilled speaker of French, I could feel awkward along with them, and wince or nod or smile, and then laugh. The stories really make me want to go to Provence!

One anecdote that especially made me chuckle (and wince!) was France’s Worst Off-Ramp. Who knew that the French too had horribly designed roads? No traffic circles, cloverleafs…. just survival of the fittest. I wanted to clench my steering wheel with white-knuckled hands, if I’d had a steering wheel.

This book was a welcome indulgence, a way to live vicariously through the fun and travails of others. Now, though, I think I need to go book a trip to France.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

One Sip at a Time Keith Van Sickle

Keith Van Sickle
is a technology industry veteran
and lifelong traveler
who got his first taste of overseas life
while studying in England during college.
But it was the expat assignment to Switzerland
that made him really fall in love with Europe.
After returning to California, he and his wife Val dreamed of living abroad again
but were unable to find another expat gig.
So they decided to invent their own.
Now they split their time between Silicon Valley and St-Rémy-de-Provence,
delving ever deeper into what makes France so endlessly fascinating.

Find the author on Facebook and Twitter
Visit his website

Subscribe to his mailing list and get information about new releases.

Buy the book on Amazon.com

***

GIVEAWAY

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
5 winners

***

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Midnight at the Orpheus is $2.99 for 24hrs only!

MidnightAtTheOrpheusFrom midnight EST on October 14th, my book Midnight at the Orpheus is on sale at the Bold Strokes Books webstore for only $2.99! If you haven’t picked it up yet, now is the time! 

Chicago, the Roaring Twenties. Cecilia Mills is new to town and struggling to survive. Her world is turned upside down when she falls for gangster Franky Greco’s moll Nell Prescott. Working at The Orpheus dance hall thanks to Nell, Cecilia becomes known as CeeCee and rubs elbows with gangsters and the city’s elite, and she and Nell hide their affair from Greco. 

Patrick Sheridan is fresh out of prison and bent on revenge, with Greco in the crosshairs. He gets a job as CeeCee’s bodyguard, and despite her infatuation with Nell, love blossoms between CeeCee and Sheridan. When Sheridan sees his chance, thanks to a disillusioned cop seeking his own revenge, he must choose where his loyalties lie as CeeCee and Nell are caught in the middle. 

Menage m/f/f.

Book review & giveaway: Drawing Lessons, by Patricia Sands

Drawing LessonsPatricia Sands

on Tour October 2-13 with

Drawing Lessons

(women’s fiction)
Release date: October 1, 2017
at Lake Union Publishing

ISBN: 978-1542045872
352 pages
Author’s page | Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

The author of the Love in Provence series returns to the South of France with a poignant portrait of a woman who must learn how to create a new life for herself…

Sixty-two-year-old Arianna arrives in the South of France for a two-week artists’ workshop full of anticipation but burdened by guilt. Back home in Toronto, she has been living with the devastating diagnosis of her husband’s dementia and the heartbreak of watching the man she has loved for decades slip away before her eyes. What does her future hold without Ben? Before her is a blank canvas.

Encouraged by her family to take some time for herself, she has traveled to Arles to set up her easel in the same fields of poppies and sunflowers that inspired Van Gogh. Gradually, she rediscovers the inner artist she abandoned long ago. Drawing strength from the warm companionship and gentle wisdom of her fellow artists at the retreat—as well as the vitality of guest lecturer Jacques de Villeneuve, an artist and a cowboy—Arianna searches her heart for permission to embrace the life in front of her and, like the sunflowers, once again face the light.

MY REVIEW

I’ve read Ms. Sands’ book Promise of Provence and quite enjoyed it, so I was excited to be able to read and review Drawing Lessons as well. Her descriptions of France and of her characters are so vivid that I find it quite easy to bring them all to life in my mind. Of course, it also makes me wish I could be there with them! In this case, in Arles, creating art.

I really felt for Arianna in this novel as Ms. Sands skilfully took me through her everyday life, and the difficulties and sadness that she was experiencing. I wanted to reach through the pages and hug her. Dementia of a loved one is a tough challenge to meet, especially when it progresses to the point that your loved one remembers little to nothing of their family and friends.

This book was on the quieter, introspective side, and it was just what I was looking for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I Promise You This Patricia SandsPatricia Sands
lives in Toronto,
but her heart’s other home is the South of France.
An avid traveler, she spends part of each year
on the Côte d’Azur
and occasionally leads groups of women
on tours of the Riviera and Provence.
Her award-winning 2010 debut novel, The Bridge Club,
is a book-group favorite,
and The Promise of Provence, which launched her three-part Love in Provence series
(followed by Promises to Keep and I Promise You This),
was a finalist for a 2013 USA Best Book Award
and a 2014 National Indie Excellence Award,
was an Amazon Hot New Release in April 2013,
and was a 2015 nominee for a #RBRT Golden Rose award in the category of romance.
Sands also contributes to such Francophile websites as The Good Life France
and Perfectly Provence, and she appears as a public speaker for women’s groups.

Find Patricia on Facebook,
on Twitter
on Instagram
at her Amazon Author Page
or her website

Subscribe to her mailing list and get information about new releases.

Buy the book on Amazon.com

***

GIVEAWAY

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
2 winners

***

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AND EXCERPTS

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THE WOMAN IN RED, Ch 5 of Consequences by M. Jane Colette #audiobook #excerpt #listentothis #ConAudioTour

THE WOMAN IN RED, Ch 5 of Consequences by M. Jane Colette #audiobook #excerpt #listentothis #ConAudioTour

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Welcome to Stop 5 of the Consequences Audio Tour
THE WOMAN IN RED
from CONSEQUENCES (of defensive adultery)
an EROTIC tragedy with a HAPPY ending
by M. Jane Colette
performed by Elisa Kae

18+ ADVISORY: Consequences is intended for an adult (18+) audience. It deals with mature subject matter, and contains explicit language and sexual content. Listener and reader discretion is advised.

ALYSSA LINN PALMER’s blog is Stop 5 of 48 on the Consequences AudioBook Blog Tour.

The tour is bringing romance readers and listeners the opportunity to listen to all 48 full, unabridged chapters of Consequences well in advance of the audiobook’s Christmas release.

Plus, there are fabulous prizes at every stop, and 48 chances throughout the tour to enter to win a COMPLETE set of M. Jane Colette’s paperbacks!

WHAT’S THIS BOOK ABOUT? An affair. Heartbreak. Consequences.  Absolution, redemption, and love… in the most unexpected places–a steamy second chance romance unlike any you’ve ever experienced.

Elizabeth did not plan to break up his marriage when she had an affair with her law school professor. But she did. Fifteen years later, she’s still coming to terms with the consequences of her youthful infatuation: a stepdaughter who hates her, an ex-wife who will never forgive the betrayal,  a sister-in-law who’s determined to make Elizabeth her confidante. Compelled to reveal the “tragedy of her life” to a nameless lover, Elizabeth finds herself forced to reconsider her definition of love, commitment, and responsibility—a process that finally releases her from the shackles of her past mistakes and shows her the way to her own happily-ever-after.

A NOTE ABOUT STRUCTURE: The story unfolds over the course of one night, as the narrator Elizabeth relates the “tragedy of her life” to her current lover as they, to quote a reviewer “do lover things.” The story Elizabeth tells spans 15 years. The scenes between Elizabeth and her lover are pure dialogue, and interrupt the “story proper.” There is no “he said/I said” in the dialogue between Elizabeth and her lover… a challenge the narrator solved masterfully, but which may give the first-time listener pause. To increase your enjoyment of the story, an opportunity to read, as well as listen to, the chapter, is provided.

Today, we bring you Chapter 5: THE WOMAN IN RED.

 

Chapter 5-The Woman In Red

“Help! I can’t listen–I don’t have headphones handy, I’m at work, and when I get home, my children will be underfoot! Plus, I’m more of a reader than a listener, you know?”

PREFER TO READ? We’re on it. Here is a passworded-protected link to the written version of this chapter for tour participants’ eyes only. Your password is erotictragedy5, and your gateway is here: CHAPTER 5: THE WOMAN IN RED.

Enjoyed what you heard/read? Tomorrow, the tour continues on DIRTY BAD BLOGGERS.

FIRST STOP: If this blog is your first stop on the tour, you might want to head back to stop number one, hosted by Tome Tender Blog: The Photograph, or to the Tour Home Page, and start from the beginning. There are chances to win prizes at every stop!

TODAY’S PRIZE: For a chance to win your very own copy of Consequences (of defensive adultery) by M. Jane Colette, enter here:

RAFFLECOPTER: ConTourDay 5 / THE WOMAN IN RED
(If this link is not working for you, visit mjanecolette.com/ConAudioTour to enter)

GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT ENTRY, PART 5: For a chance to win one of two COMPLETE HARD COPY SETS of M. Jane Colette’s novels, send an email to TellMe@mjanecolette.com, and:

  1. put  #ConAudioTour Day 5 in the subject heading,
  2. ask to be added to her Rough Draft Confessions newsletter (or tell Jane you’re already on her mailing list, and it’s awesome, when’s the next love letter coming?) and,
  3. answer the question: “Who is the woman in red?”

Hint: The answer’s contained in today’s chapter.

(The small print: Each tour stop offers you one opportunity to enter the GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT DRAW, for a total of 48 entries if you complete the tour. The books that comprise the GRAND PRIZE are the novels Tell Me, Cherry Pie Cure, and Consequences, and the non-fiction collection of essays Rough Draft Confessions, including its controversially titled, available-only-in-Canada, beta reader / limited edition predecessor.) 

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CAN’T WAIT? BUY THE E-BOOK NOW:

in ALL FORMATS for any DEVICE at ALL RETAILERS

including  iBooks  Kobo  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Google Play  Inside Romance

Softcovers at all the usual places, including Chapters ❤ Amazon ❤ Barnes & Noble ❤ Book Depository ❤ Powell’s Books and your favourite retailer

AUDIOBOOK COMING CHRISTMAS 2017

sign up for M. Jane Colette’s Rough Draft Confessions to get advance notice of its release

REMEMBER: The story continues tomorrow, at DIRTY BAD BLOGGERS.

mjc-mjanecolette headshotM. Jane Colette

    writes tragedy for people who like to laugh, comedy for the melancholy, and erotica for women and men who like their fantasies real. She believes rules and hearts were made to be broken; ditto the constraints of genres.

Connect with her on Twitter / GoodReads / FaceBook / Instagram and subscribe to her newsletter, Rough Draft Confessions, to stay in the loop on her WIPs, new releases, and fab multi-media, multi-author projects. You can also email her at TellMe@mjanecolette.com.

For more information about the tour & its other hosts, visit mjanecolette.com/ConAudioTour or check out the schedule below.

 

CONSEQUENCES AUDIOBOOK BLOG TOUR
#ConAudioTour #SteamyListen #ListenToThis
visit mjanecolette.com/ConAudioTour for daily link updates

Mon Sept 25 // Chapter 1 // THE PHOTOGRAPH hosted by TOME TENDER BOOK BLOG

Tues Sept 26 // Chapter 2 // PINK PANTIES hosted by KIM KNIGHT

Wed Sept 27 // Chapter 3 // HARD TO OPEN hosted by WICKED COOL FLIGHT

Thurs Sept 28 // Chapter 4 // ENTER THE ADULTERER hosted by MISHA ELLIOTT

Sat Sept 30 // Chapter 5 // THE WOMAN IN RED hosted by ALYSSA LINN PALMER

Sun Oct 1 // Chapter 6 // THE WHORE WHO WORE TURQUOISE hosted by DIRTY BAD BLOGGERS

Mon Oct 2 // Chapter 7 // CARELESS hosted by ELIZA DAVID

Tues Oct 3 // Chapter 8 // REVENGE SEX hosted by CAMERON ALLIE EROTICA

Wed Oct 4 // Chapter 9 // RENAMING DESTINY hosted by SO…WHATCHA READING?

Thurs Oct 5 // Chapter 10 // DREAMING OF SILENCE hosted by THE READING CAT

Fri Oct 6 // Weekly Recap at mjanecolette.com

Sat Oct 7 // Chapter 11 // BABY OIL hosted by JENNA HOWARD

Sun Oct 8 // Chapter 12 // SPERM DONOR hosted by AMAZEBALLS BOOK ADDICTS

Mon Oct 9 // Chapter 13 // ALWAYS THE WOMAN’S FAULT
co-hosted by Teri Hicks & Co’s READING OUT LOUD + SJs BOOK BLOG 

Tues Oct 10 // Chapter 14 // CUNT IN A BOARDROOM hosted by TL CLARK

Wed Oct 11  // Chapter 15 // BLACKMAIL hosted by BOOKWORM BRANDEE

Thurs Oct 12 // Chapter 16 // MAGIC CARPET RIDE hosted by SOUTHERN BRED & READ BOOK BLOG

 Fri Oct 13 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com

Sat Oct 14 // Chapter 17 // CONDOMS IN A SUITCASE hosted by AMANDA SIEGRIST

Sun Oct 15 // Chapter 18 // COMING OUT hosted by MICHELE FOGAL

Mon Oct 16 // Chapter 19 // PRETTY BOY hosted by REAL TASTY PAGES

Tues Oct 17 // Chapter 20 // PROMISCUOUS POLYAMORY hosted by LOVES GREAT READS BLOG

Wed Oct 18 // Chapter 21 // EDUCATING PHILISTINES hosted by RAMPA PA GROUP

Thurs Oct 19 // Chapter 22 // FUCKING ARTISTS hosted by JENN’S BOOK OBSESSION

Fri Oct 20 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com

Sat Oct 21 // Chapter 23 // GUILT IN A TEA CUP hosted by SULTRY SIRENS

Sun Oct 22 // Chapter 24 // LABELS hosted by TORY RICHARDS

Mon Oct 23 // Chapter 25 // COERCION hosted by ROXANA NASTASE

Tues Oct 24 // Chapter 26 // UNGRATEFUL hosted by CASEY’S CORNER

Wed Oct 25 // Chapter 27 // DUPLICATE hosted by A DREAMER’S BOOK BLOG

Thurs Oct 26 // early weekly  & to-date recap on mjanecolette.com

Fri Oct 27 // Chapter 28 // SECRETS IN A VELVET BAG hosted by LOVE INDIE ROMANCE

Sat Oct 28 // Chapter 29 // BITTERSWEET COFFEE hosted by THE GENRE MINX BOOK REVIEWS

Sun Oct 29 // Chapter 30 // WORDS ON THE SCREEN hosted by DEELYLAH MULLIN

Mon Oct 30 // Chapter 31 // ADDICTIONS hosted by ANGELICA DAWSON

[no scheduled post on Tuesday, October 31 – Halloween]

Wed Nov 1 // Chapter 32 // ENABLER hosted by 2 CHICKS & A BOOK

Thurs Nov 2 //Chapter 33 // FOOLISH COUGAR hosted by A RISQUÉ BOOK AFFAIR BOOK BLOG

Fri Nov 3 // Chapter 34 // NO MORE hosted by KATE FOREST

Sat Nov 4 // Weekly & to-date recap on mjanecolette.com

Sun Nov 5 // Chapter 35 // CRASH hosted by MISS J MONROE

Mon Nov 6 // Chapter 36 // SUFFERING FOR ART hosted by T&A BOOK BLOG

Nov 7 // Chapter 37 // PLAYING CUPID hosted by MISCHA ELIOT

Wed Nov 8 // Chapter 38 // EMASCULATION hosted by PHOEBE ALEXANDER

Thurs Nov 9 // Chapter 39 // RITUAL hosted by ROMANCE NOVEL GIVEAWAYS

 Fri Nov 10 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com 

Sat Nov 11 // no post, in respect of  Veterans Day in USA and Remembrance Day in Canada

Sun Nov 12 // Chapter 40 // MUSE hosted by SIP READ LOVE

Mon Nov 13 // 41 // CHRISTMAS DAY hosted by DIRTY GIRL ROMANCE

Tues Nov 14 // Chapter 42 // CAST-OFFS hosted by JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC

Wed Nov 15 // Chapter 43 // VIOLATION hosted by BOOK SNIFFERS ANONYMOUS

Thurs Nov 16 // Chapter 44 // AGAIN WITH THE CONFESSION hosted by WOPSY WOO BOOK BLOG

 Fri Nov 17 // Weekly + to-date recap on mjanecolette.com

Sat Nov 18 // Chapter 45 // FETTERED, FREE hosted by CARRIE AUSTIN REVIEWS

Sun Nov 19 // Chapter 46 // ABSOLUTION hosted by READS2LOVE

Mon Nov 20 // Chapter 47 // THRESHOLD hosted by STEPHANIE’S BOOK REPORTS

FINALE: Tues Nov 21 // Chapter 48 //  AN UNSATISFACTORY ENDING hosted by (UN)CONVENTIONAL BOOK VIEWS

Wed Nov 22 // Full Recap on mjanecolette.com + Cyber Champagne Celebration of the Tour’s Success!

Thurs Nov 30 – GRAND PRIZE WINNERS ANNOUNCED on mjanecolette.com

 

Book review, excerpt, & giveaway: Merle, by Angela Wren

Merle coverAngela Wren

on tour September 4-15, 2017

Merle

(mystery)
Release date: July 5, 2017
at Crooked Cat Publishing
208 pages
ISBN: 978-1546811985
Website | Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

Jacques Forêt, a former gendarme turned investigator, delves into the murky world of commercial sabotage – a place where people lie and misrepresent, and where information is traded and used as a threat.
The Vaux organisation is losing contracts and money, and Jacques is asked to undertake an internal investigation. As he works through the complexity of all the evidence, he finds more than he bargained for, and his own life is threatened.
When a body of a woman is found, it appears to be suicide. But as the investigation takes another turn, Jacques suspects there is more to it.
Who is behind it all…and why? Will Jacques find the answer before another person ends up dead?

EXCERPT

toussaint – all saints’ day, sunday, november 1st, 10.00am

At his desk in Mende, Pelletier was reading the initial report of the previous day’s death whilst he waited for Jacques Forêt to arrive. The building was unusually silent and he was still smarting from the verbal drubbing his wife had given him for having to be at work. Very much aware that he was foregoing a chance to see how much his recently born granddaughter had changed and grown, he sighed and slumped down in his chair. Missing much of this precious time with his own children when they were young because of his work was something he now bitterly regretted.

He pushed his mind back to the scene of the crime when he heard the door of the outer office open and then click shut again. Jacques, his long navy winter coat buttoned against the day’s chill wind, strode into Pelletier’s room.

“I’ve brought coffee,” he said placing two insulated silver containers on the desk. Discarding his coat on the back of a nearby chair, he sat down and smiled. “What does the pathologist’s report say?”

“It’s only a preliminary one at the moment, so it is hurried, and it doesn’t tell me anything I don’t know already.” Pelletier pushed the thin file across the desk to his visitor.

“And you’re sure you want me to look at this?”

“Yes. I know you’re no longer on the force, Jacques, but yesterday you arrived at the scene just as I was leaving. You had a reason for being there, and I want to hear more about that. Also, I value your opinion as an ex-policeman.” Pelletier removed his rimless spectacles and began to polish the lenses with his handkerchief.

Jacques glanced through the meagre number of pages searching for the single relevant line he required.

Death by exsanguination from a knife wound to the left wrist.

“And the estimated time of death is recorded as sometime after noon on Friday…” Jacques said out loud as he looked up from the file. “Well, that fits.”

“With what?” Pelletier replaced his spectacles.

“I now work for Alain Vaux of Vaux Investigations. One of our staff has not been into the office since last Thursday, and there has been no explanation from her either. She was due in the office yesterday as well but did not turn up, nor did she make contact to let us know why she was absent.” Jacques quickly flicked through the other pages and then placed the folder on the desk.

“Ah. But that does not explain why you were in that building in Merle as I was about to leave it.”

Jacques bristled. “In part, it does. Her manager, Madeleine Cloutier, has a regular meeting on a Friday afternoon in Rodez and, if she comes into the office first, always leaves at about eleven, eleven-thirty at the latest. On Friday, she asked me to check on Aimée, her absentee team member, if she didn’t come in after lunch. At around three-thirty I called her office number and it was switched to voicemail, and when I called Aimée’s mobile immediately afterwards, it was switched off. When she didn’t come in for work yesterday, I called her again, at different times and got the same result. I decided to visit to see if she was OK.”

 

MY REVIEW

This one started out slow for me. It’s not often I say that about mystery novels, but it did. I’m not sure why; perhaps my mind wasn’t in quite the right set. And it had been so long since I’d read the previous novel, Messandrierre. But, it did pick up, and by halfway I was intrigued. Who was behind the sabotage? There are so many possibilities, so many people with motive and desire. As with the first book, I did not entirely expect the result (though one or two characters tweaked my interest there). So in that way it was satisfying.

I think the main reason why it took so long to get into  is that the characters did not seem as vivid as Messandrierre’s. The townsfolk in that book seemed to have stronger personalities and were more memorable. I had a hard time remembering names in the first bit of this novel.

It is good though, and worth reading if you like mysteries, particularly the corporate espionage types.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Merle Angela Wren

Angela Wren
I’m an actor and director at a small theatre
a few miles from where I live in Yorkshire in the UK.
I did work as a project and business change manager
– very pressured and very demanding –
but I managed to escape and now I write books.
I’ve always loved stories and story telling
so it seemed a natural progression, to me, to try my hand at writing.
My first published story was in an anthology,
which was put together by the magazine ‘Ireland’s Own’ and published in 2011.
I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work.
My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical.
I also write comic flash-fiction
and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio.
My full-length stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

Visit her website and her blog. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter

Buy the book on Amazon

***

GIVEAWAY

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
5 winners

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ REVIEWS,
EXCERPTS, AND INTERVIEW

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Book review & giveaway: That Spring In Paris, by Ciji Ware

That Spring in ParisCiji Ware

on Tour August 15-28 with

That Spring in Paris

(women’s fiction / romance)
Release date: May 25, 2017
at Lion’s Paw Publishing
ISBN: 978-0988940871
ebook: 978-0988940864
468 pages
Website
Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Two Americans literally collide at the entrance to a Paris hospital, each desperately searching for friends felled in the same unspeakable tragedy.

Patrick Finley Deschanel, an expatriate former U.S. Air Force pilot, quit the military after a career flying helicopter rescue missions in the Middle East. Now resident on a classic barge moored on the Seine, Finn is a man with both physical battle scars and psychic wounds that overshadow his day-to-day encounters at every turn.

Juliet Thayer is a fledgling landscape painter who seeks escape from a tyrannical older brother and her job at his violent video war games company in San Francisco. Her emergency trip to Paris also raises doubts as to her impending engagement to a colleague where she serves as packaging design director and “Chief Branding Officer” of GatherGames, a highly speculative enterprise in which her parents are heavily invested.

As Finn and Juliet form a tenuous attachment in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that traumatized the French capital November 13, 2015, they wonder if the “City of Light” can provide a path out of the darkness for two emotional exiles who fear–along with the world at large—that their universe has descended into a permanent state of chaos and that the renewal of spring might never come.

New York Times bestselling novelist and Emmy-award winning news producer Ciji Ware displays her formidable skill at weaving fact and fiction–delivering a gripping story about the discovery of love and regained serenity in the wake of horrifying events.

MY REVIEW

It didn’t take me long to become immersed in this book, set as it was during some very recent events. The terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, are still a very fresh memory, albeit one made by television and internet news sources (for me, at least). But the author didn’t sensationalize the attacks; her characters were affected by them, and the attacks formed the catalyst for the book, but the events were treated with sensitivity.

The characters were engaging, and I felt I could relate to both Finn and Juliet, though I am neither soldier nor game developer. I especially felt for Juliet, trying so hard to support her family, even though she was becoming increasingly unhappy in her role, and for having to deal with parents that treated her brother as the golden child. Finn’s struggle was portrayed well, and I felt both characters had depth.

There was romance, but it did not overtake the rest of the story; the author had a good balance between the external and internal plots, the personal struggles of both characters, and their growing support of each other. It was a book that was hard to put down, and it had a satisfying conclusion. I’ll be going to find more of this author’s work for sure.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

That Spring in Paris - Ciji Ware

Ciji Ware,
a graduate of Harvard University in History,
is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author
of historical and contemporary fiction,
and two works of nonfiction.
An Emmy-award winning
former radio and TV broadcaster for 23 years in Los Angeles,
her numerous writing accolades include a Dorothy Parker Award of excellence,
and being short-listed for the Willa [Cather] Literary Award.
Her family circle includes a husband of many decades,
a grown son and daughter-in-law, and now two grandsons under four,
along with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Cholly Knickerbocker.
Ware lives in a cottage by the sea on San Francisco Bay.

Visit her website
Follow her on Facebook and Twitter

Buy the book: Amazon | B&N Nook | iBook | Kobo

***

GIVEAWAY

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
2 winners

***

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AND GUEST-POST

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Book review & giveaway: The Madeleine Project, by Clara Beaudoux

Madeleine Project-CoverClara Beaudoux

on Tour July 12-18 with

The Madeleine Project

(biography/history)
Release date: September 12, 2017
at New Vessel Press
ISBN: 978-1939931498
288 pages
Website
Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

A young woman moves into a Paris apartment and discovers a storage room filled with the belongings of the previous owner, a certain Madeleine who died in her late nineties, and whose treasured possessions nobody seems to want. In an audacious act of journalism driven by personal curiosity and humane tenderness, Clara Beaudoux embarks on The Madeleine Project, documenting what she finds on Twitter with text and photographs, introducing the world to an unsung 20th century figure. Along the way, she uncovers a Parisian life indelibly marked by European history. This is a graphic novel for the Twitter age, a true story that encapsulates one woman’s attempt to live a life of love and meaning together with a contemporary quest to prevent that existence from slipping into oblivion.
Through it all, The Madeleine Project movingly chronicles, and allows us to reconstruct, intimate memories of a bygone era.

MY REVIEW

The blurb for this book fascinated me, as I’ve always wanted to be the fortunate one to discover a treasure trove of personal items from a time past. (So far, I haven’t had much luck!) The book covers the first two “seasons” where Clara finds and begins to dig through Madeleine’s effects, left in the cellar in suitcases and boxes. Each little bit of the past intrigued me, and though I enjoyed the book, it was also frustrating. The format is such that the pages are filled with the author’s Twitter posts. Nothing wrong with that overall, but you can’t enlarge any of the photographs she’s placed in the tweets. For me, liking detail, it defeats the purpose of the book altogether.

I did, however, go find the author’s website and read through all four seasons, clicking happily to enlarge photos or to watch video. It was far more satisfying. (go here: http://madeleineproject.fr/ — Google can translate a lot of it for you if you don’t speak French, though Chrome doesn’t seem to like translating the storify’d pages of tweets.) I expect this book would be better in its print format than on ebook (I was provided a copy of the PDF via Edelweiss, which I found limiting), as a record of Clara’s experiences.

Don’t let the formatting put you off; the material itself was fantastic and fascinating.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Madeleine Project-Beaudoux

Clara Beaudoux
is a Paris-based journalist for the France Info news network.
The Madeleine Project has been wildly popular in France.
You can follow her on Twitter at @Clarabdx

In French: on Facebook, The Madeleine Project page,
and the author’s main website

Follow New Vessel Press on Twitter | on Facebook
Sign up to receive their latest news and deals.

Buy the book: on Indiebound | on Amazon

***

You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below.

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
5 winners

 

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ REVIEWS

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Betting on Love is $2.99 for one day only!

Betting on Love 300 DPIPick it up at Bold Strokes Books, any ebook format for $2.99! (June 12 only)

Land poor, Elly leaves the family farm and heads to the big city to become something better than a waitress in a small-town diner. Though she’s succumbed to economic necessity and the siren song of her one-time lover, Alex, she can’t bear to give up the farm that has been in her family for generations. As much as she wants to, she can’t have everything she desires, and she’ll have to decide what is more important: the past or the future.

Alex has always been a daredevil, up for anything, never tying herself down to anyone. When she falls head over heels for quiet Elly, everyone’s surprised, no one more than her best friend and occasional lover, Will. As things heat up between them, Elly must choose between her past and her future, and Alex is faced with a decision that will shake her to the core of all she holds dear.

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