Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Boy meets girl
Girl meets windshield, forgets boy
Girl starts to remember, looks for boy
Boy might not be real...

A girl who can’t remember. A book you won’t forget.
From debut author Margarita Montimore.


Astrid can't remember the best day of her life: yesterday. 

A traumatic car accident erases Astrid s memories of September 9th, the day she spent with an oddly charming stranger named Theo. Ever since, she's been haunted by surreal dreams and an urgent sense that she's forgotten something important. 

One night, she gets a mysterious call from Oliver, who knows more about her than he should and claims he can help her remember. She accepts his help, even as she questions his motives and fights a strange attraction to him. 

In order to find Theo and piece together that lost day in September, Astrid must navigate a maze of eccentric Boston nightlife, from the seedy corners of Chinatown to a drug-fueled Alice-in-Wonderland-themed party to a club where everyone dresses like the dead. 

In between headaches and nightmares, she struggles to differentiate between memory, fantasy, and reality, and starts to wonder if Theo really exists. Eventually, she ll need to choose between continuing her search for him or following her growing feelings for Oliver. 

Astrid might go to extreme lengths to find what she's lost... or might lose even more in her pursuit to remember (like her sanity).

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 Add ASLEEP FROM DAY to your TBR: Goodreads

"Simply riveting from start to finish... a captivating, literary piece that winds a path somewhere between mystery, romance, and psychological thriller." — D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“A compelling and original take on the classic amnesia tale . . . The narrative bursts with detailed, vivid characters . . . The dialogue is expertly crafted.” – The BookLife Prize

"There is so much to love about this book. The writing is wonderful... The joy of this book is following all of its twists and turns and going on Astrid's journey with her as she tries to determine what is real and what isn't." — GSMC Book Review

"This book ticked all my boxes: unusual narrative structure, setting as a character, witty banter, and whip-smart writing... I loved it, and I'll be thinking about it for a long time."
— Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone

“Every part of this book was confidently crafted to create this dreamy, charismatic experience of being utterly submerged in a mystery and desperately seeking truth.”
— Michelle Hazen, author of A Cruel Kind of Beautiful

Grand Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card

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Outside a pizza place is a pay phone. Who else can I call? Hand on receiver, before I can decide, the phone rings. I pull back, like I’ve been burned.

Briiiiiing!!! Briiiiiing!!!

There’s absolutely nobody around, no one who might be waiting for a call.


“Hello?” Why am I answering the phone? It’s not like—


If déjà vu is a feather down the spine, this sensation is a razor.

I must have misheard.

“Astrid, are you there?” The same male voice from my dream, the static now on my end in the form of the noisy downpour.

“Who is this?” I ask. “How did you know I would answer the phone?”

Before he replies, tranquility trickles into my veins like one of those lovely drugs pumped into me at the hospital. Of course. There’s no need to worry about any of it. This is just another dream.

“You’ll find out who I am soon enough,” he says. “There are more important things you need to deal with first.”

“Sure there are. Like what kind of snack I’ll have when I wake up.”

A pause on his end. “You’re not dreaming, Astrid.”

It stops raining, abruptly.

“The car accident, the fire, your friend’s overdose,” he continues, “All of those are real things.”

Who are you? You’re scaring me.” I look around, expect to see someone lurking in a dark trench coat.

“I’m sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t have called. But I wanted... to reassure you, tell you you’ll get through this. I’ll be able to help you more later on.”

“Do you...” My mouth is parched, my voice hoarse. “Do you go by your middle name?” I clear my throat, hold onto the phone with both hands. “Please tell me your name.”

“You already know my name, Astrid. You just need to remember it. But first, you need to find a place to sleep.”

“You mean a place to wake up. Right here would be perfect.”

He sighs. “Don’t do that. Don’t deny what’s real.”

How am I supposed to tell the difference?

“Astrid, you’re going to be fine. That’s all I wanted to tell you. We’ll speak again soon.”

The line goes dead.

Author Bio:
Margarita Montimore received a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She worked for over a decade in publishing and social media before deciding to focus on the writing dream full-time. She has blogged for Marvel, Google, Quirk Books, and When not writing, she freelances as a book coach and editor. She grew up in Brooklyn but currently lives in a different part of the Northeast with her husband and dog.

Margarita writes upmarket/literary fiction that tends to be left of center and flirt with multiple genres. While she loves all things dark, strange, and surreal, she’s also optimistic—verging on quixotic—and a pop culture geek, so her work tends to incorporate all those elements to varying degrees.

Connect with Margarita: Website | Twitter | FacebookInstagram Newsletter

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Minced, Marinated, and MurderedMinced, Marinated, and Murdered by Noël Balen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A travelogue, foodie blog and mystery all in one! I received Minced, Marinated, and Murdered through via the publisher, Le French Book, in exchange for an honest review. I had been narrowing down my yearly vacation for 2018 and had been researching parts of France. Then I was asked to read and review Minced, Marinated, and Murdered which not only had me picturing a part of France I had never thought to visit but also served as reminded me how much I enjoy reading mysteries set in what sounds like an amazing part of the world.

Laure is a managing editor of a culinary magazine and travels a great deal to other regions where she interviews chefs, tastes their specialties and learns how each of the chefs creates their dishes. This time Laure and her photographer are visiting Lyon where she has planned to visit specific bouchons, or Lyonnaise type of restaurant, and take a culinary tour of the city and write about her experiences. Most of the restaurants were ones she had already been very familiar with and the book gave the sense that she spent a lot of time in Lyon as Laure appeared to know a lot about the history of the food, dishes, and chefs of the region. During her visit, three of the chefs are murdered and it is a very sad and tense time for the city as everyone waits to see if anyone else is killed and Laure and Paco seem to fall into the trail of the killer.

Minced, Marinated, and Murdered is the beginning of a new culinary series. A Gourmet Crimes Mystery by Noël Balen and Vanessa Barrot. I do not know if all of the books will be based in France but, this is a great start to a great mystery which also will be of great interest to travel and great food enthusiasts. The main characters of the story, Laure and Paco are very well described. As the book started I had to bring up a map of Lyon and follow as the book described the streets that followed the river. It reads like something a traveler can follow like a travel guide as they go from one restaurant to another. The history of the chefs in the region fit nicely in the book and would be a real treat for travelers that are looking for great food. I look forward to seeing what comes next in this new gourmet mystery world.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Legal Seduction (Legal Lovers, #1)Legal Seduction by Lisa Childs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Legal seduction is part romance, part mystery and a great deal of what is likely the reason this book falls on the Harlequin Dare line. I received a copy through Barclay Publicity and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Four best friends that came up together living on the streets have made it big as attorneys in a top law firm called Street Law. Each has his own specialization. Simon specializes in contract law and like the others, women. Bette is his assistant. She is turning in her two-week notice right when the owners realize they have a mole who is releasing case information to their competitors in the courtroom.

Simon has been strongly attracted to Bette for the two years that she has been his employee. But, when she gives her notice right in the middle of his investigation into the leaks he has to question whether she is the mole. He will do what it takes to find out if she is the leak and get pretty much what he wants from her in the process. There are parts of the book that I struggled with given recent national news, but, I was willing to give the book a chance and I am glad to say that it does work out in the end as most HEA's do.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Web of Frost by Lindsay Smith

A too-young queen must learn to control her powers in order to save her empire, but can she trust the man who’s taught her to use her gift?

Grab your copy of WEB OF FROST and add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at WEB OF FROST!

Title: Web of Frost
Author: Lindsay Smith
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Eventide Press
Series: The Saints of Russalka
Page Count: 402 pages
Format: Digitial
ISBN-13: 9781370549054


The saints of Russalka work their blessings in mysterious ways, allowing the royal family to perform miracles for their people. But the young princess Katza fears her powers. She’s seen grave visions of her bloodied hands destroying her family’s empire. When her older brother succumbs to illness, leaving her next in line for the throne, Katza turns to a young rebellious prophet named Ravin who promises to teach her how to control her gift. As unrest grows in Russalka and a foreign monarchy threatens, Ravin understands Katza's fears and helps her find confidence in her gift, and her own heart. Under Ravin’s unorthodox training, Katza learns to hear the saints once more—until revolutionaries claim her father’s life.

Reeling and desperate, Katza draws upon darker and darker powers to stop the revolutionaries, the foreign invaders, and the members of her own court who would see her fail. But the more Ravin whispers in her ear, the more Katza questions whether he—and the saints—have her best interests at heart. She must choose between her love of Ravin and her love of Russalka itself—and decide whether her empire might not be better off without her.

Available at:  

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Web of Frost Excerpt
Copyright © 2018 Lindsay Smith
She sank to her knees on the prayer cushion. Scanning the rows of icons, her gaze slid past Saint Marya and her bloody crown, and she searched, trying to settle on which saint to beseech. But none seemed to embody the nameless feeling inside her. Regret, but then again not. Hatred, maybe, of the world that had made such acts necessary. Of the agitators who threatened order, growing lies from seeds of truth.

Perhaps, as Ravin and his old order said, it was best sometimes to commune with Boj directly.

Is this the way to make Russalka safe, o Boj? Katza’s lips moved in time with her prayer. These shows of might. The fear that settles like frost on the streets. Is this what you want from me?

Dark whispers spun around Katza like smoke. She shivered, expecting a vision to wash over her. The hairs raised on the back of her neck and arms. But no proper vision coalesced. All she felt was a faint fluttering, like the visions were too afraid to approach her.

It felt like a warning. Like she was only just keeping her vision of bloodied hands at bay.

And then she saw the figure. Solid black, drinking up the light in the sanctuary doorway. The altar candles guttered, and briefly their light flickered over him, illuminating that elegant nose, sharp cheekbones, plush youthful lips.


Katza trembled, feeling tears threaten the corners of her eyes. His jaw tightened, as if he was nervous too, and he stepped toward her.

“You are afraid,” he said.

Katza swallowed. “I’m not certain what it is I feel.”

His tilted his head to one side.

Katza sank back onto her heels and tucked her hands into her lap. “I thought the blessings would help us spread order through the city, but instead it only seems to have brought fear. And then—then I believed I was showing strength, but perhaps it was merely cruelty.”

“Your father’s agents are rooting out the agitators,” Ravin said.

“I thought they were. But it sounds as if they’re only sweeping up children. Misguided commonfolk, desperate for change. This fear they feel—it isn’t any way to bring them around.”

“They chose to follow the agitators,” Ravin said. “And some of the agitators, too, have been stopped.”

Katza supposed that was true. But it did not forgive what she had done.

“You love your people,” Ravin said gently. “It’s why you strive to be more for them. Why you beseech the saints, though the priests would try to stop you. You know the blessings can be used for good.”

“But also for ill,” Katza said. “I didn’t mean to cause any harm.”

“And now you have learned. Haven’t you?” he asked.

Katza studied him for a moment, but her eyes were still adjusting to the dark. “I suppose so.”

“You must stay on course, tsarika.” Katza craned her neck up to look at him as he approached. “There is always a pain that comes with great change. It will chafe at you like uncut stone if you let it, but the pain will guide you onward. It will see you through the storm. And you will be all the better for it.”

Ravin paused before her. He wore simple black peasant’s boots and loose black trousers to match; his tunic was rough wool of dark gray, as was the sash at his waist. His hands clasped before him like crows at rest, ready to flutter away if startled. And that face, those dark eyes that pulled her into his void and refused to release her—

Katza swallowed and forced herself to look away.

“What are you?” she whispered. For he was no prophet—his order had cast him out. Temnost. The word lodged stubbornly in her throat. If he was forsaken, then surely she, in her desperation, was too.

Ravin let one of his hands hover over her shoulder—a question. Katza nodded and his palm pressed down. With a gasp, her heavy heart lifted. She felt cleansed. His touch was as cool as the clear mountain spring behind their summer palace in Zolotov.

“Change is painful but inevitable,” Ravin said. “Once you harness the saints’ blessings, truly master them, then you can return order to Russalka. You must endure this temporary discomfort, tsarika, for the good of your people.”

“Temporary,” Katza repeated.

He turned his palm upward and slid his hand beneath her chin. Her lips parted. The coolness of his touch soothed her, calmed her. “Yes. Temporary.”

Katza sank into his touch, relieved. He was right. She’d done no lasting harm. And if the protesters learned to respect the Silovs—if they learned to respect her—and she in turn learned the proper boundaries for her gifts—

He smiled at her. “Once you’ve realized your power,” Ravin said, “your work can truly begin.”

Other Books by Lindsay Smith


Author Bio:
Lindsay is the author of the young adult novels SekretDreamstrider, and A Darkly Beating Heart, and is the showrunner and lead writer for Serial Box's The Witch Who Came In From the Cold. Her work has appeared on and in the anthologies A Tyranny of Petticoats, Strange Romance Vol. 3, and Toil & Trouble, and she has written for Green Ronin Publishing's RPG properties. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and dog.

Follow Lindsay:
Website | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Italian Billionaire's Stubborn Lover (Romano Brothers, #1)Italian Billionaire's Stubborn Lover by Leslie North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Italian Billionaire's Stubborn Lover is the first installment of the Romano Brothers' series and follows Nicolo and Adeline's relationship. Adeline and Nicolo meet when he requests her as the realtor for his family's resort which has been closed for many years and has fallen into such a state that it needs major renovations to be operational or it will need to be completely destroyed. Nicolo and his brothers want to sell and Adeline wants it to be saved. The resort represents some of the happiest times in her life and some of the best memories of love that she remembers from her grandparents, something she strives to achieve for herself.

Nicolo leads a jet setter life going from one development job to the next and he has the biggest one on the line that will make his career. He thinks going to Sicily and putting the resort on the market will be a quick task until he meets Adeline who has a plan to stop him and hopefully save the resort as well as rebuild part of the economy for the area. It is a great romance, both between Adeline and Nicolo but also between the reader and Sicily. It reminds me how much I cannot wait to see it for the first time.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The BookwormThe Bookworm by Mitch Silver

The Bookworm was a great mystery, a bit of a political thriller and a bit of a literary, history fiction book. I received a free copy from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Lara is a history professor who spent part of her youth in the U.S. where she also went to university. She is brilliant and even was a chess prodigy when she was younger. She is approached by an unknown person with a bag of audio reels from the 1940's with some pretty damning evidence against the U.S. and its role in the fight against Hitler. She is asked to translate the six audio recordings from English to Russian and help the source of the recordings find a book that is the subject of the recordings.

Lara, who is very skeptical about the contents of the recording until something said in the recordings sparks a memory and she begins thinking that the recordings just might be authentic. What is not authentic are all of the people and groups trying to get into her good graces to obtain the book for their own purposes. The Bookworm hints at the two leaders at the center of what is now something that can cause a lot of trouble for both the Russian government and the U.S. government. As she investigates the contents of the recording it seems that a lot of things might be tied together as her twin brother Lev, who has been working in Alaska, stumbles upon another aspect of what just might be a conspiracy, against who is the big question. The Bookworm is a book that appeals to readers of multiple genres and definitely makes me want to investigate more by the author. View all my reviews
Friendship…Loyalty…And honor above all.
Follow the blast and enter to #win a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card

Title: Lady Archer’s Creed Series (Books 1-4)
Series: Lady Archer’s Creed
Author: Christina McKnight, Amanda Mariel
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Length: 755 Pages

A love of archery brings four young girls together to form The Lady Archer’s Creed. Through their mutual love of the sport, they solidify an unbreakable bond, and each woman has a unique quality that adds to their dynamic friendship: 

Theodora, Lady Archer’s Creed Series (Book One)
Lady Theodora with her sharp mind and love of academics becomes the perfect archery coach. Despite being the last to join their group, and the obvious outcast, she will risk her future for her friends. 

Georgina, Lady Archer’s Creed Series (Book Two)
Lady Georgina makes the perfect financier. The forgotten daughter of a wealthy duke, she seeks to belong to something—or someone—by any means necessary. 

Adeline, Lady Archer’s Creed Series (Book Three)
Miss Adeline is a natural leader. Having grown up in a large and often spirited family, she now allows no one to place her in the shadows. 

Josephine, Lady Archer’s Creed Series (Book Four)
Lady Josephine, having a sweet and impressionable nature, strives to please everyone—and keep their bond intact, even after they return to London for the Season.

Adeline, Georgie, Theo, and Josie live each day by the Lady Archer’s Creed, which they developed during their school days at Miss Emmeline’s School of Education and Decorum for Ladies of Outstanding Quality. “Friendship, loyalty, and honor above all” is their mantra. Now, as they face the challenges that come with adulthood, the creed is more important than ever. 

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Author Bio:
USA Today Bestselling Author Christina McKnight writes emotional and intricate Regency Romance with strong women and maverick heroes. 

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books...don't forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.
You can visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Amazon

Boy meets girl Girl meets windshield, forgets boy Girl starts to remember, looks for boy Uh-oh Boy might not be real... A gi...