Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Purr M For Murder by TC LoTempio (Character Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Purr M For Murder by author TC LoTempio!

Character Guest Post

Sydney McCall, Publicity Director and Amateur Sleuth!
(Purr M for Murder by T. C. Lotempio)

Okay, I admit it – I’m a closet detective!  I’ve always loved investigating, ever since I used to sneak Nancy Drew books under the covers at bedtime and read with a flashlight!  I guess that’s why I’ve always gravitated toward mystery tv shows like Murder She Wrote and Hart to Hart. I like to sit there and figure out whodunit!

So, when my sister and I stumbled – literally – across the body of our landlord one morning, investigating his murder just came naturally to me.  Of course, the fact that the police were seriously considering my sister Kat as suspect numero uno played a large role in that decision, but…nothing ventured, nothing gained, I say!

And it’s not like I didn’t have help – even though it’s of the four footed variety.  A very charming orange tabby named Toby was right there to deliver clues when I most needed them. Who said animals were dumb?  Not me, never!  Toby is one of the smartest, savviest cats I know!  And since I’ve become publicity director at the Friendly Paws shelter, I know quite a few!

The detective on the case, Will Worthington, just happens to be an old flame of mine from High School.  Will wasn’t too keen on my ‘butting in’ to the investigation, but when all was said and done let’s just say he had a change of heart – although your guess is as good as mine how long that will last!

As for me, as long as there are mysteries around the town of Deer Park, I imagine I’ll get a yen to help solve them – me and Toby together, that is!

Book Review

Purr M For Murder by TC LoTempio
Book 1: A Cat Rescue Mystery Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Format: Hardcover - 304 pages
ISBN: 978-1683310921
BNID:  978-1683310921
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. 

Book Description:

Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat–along with Littleton’s dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington–who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush–is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death–until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.

My Book Review:

In Purr M For Murder, the first book in A Cat Rescue Mystery Series, author TC LoTempio weaves an intriguing cozy mystery tale that follows the amateur sleuth adventures of Sydney McCall and her sidekick shelter cat named Toby. Sydney and sister Kat find themselves suspects in the murder of their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, and Sydney is determined to clear their name and find the real killer.

Set in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney Mc Call moves back home from New York after breaking up with her ex-fiance to help her sister Kat save Friendly Paws, the local animal shelter that she runs. Sydney and Kat organize a cat cafe fundraiser event to help the financially troubled animal shelter. But when their landlord Trowbridge Littleton threatens to shut down the event, things go from bad to worse when Sydney goes to talk to Trowbridge at his art gallery, and finds Kat already there standing next to his dead body. When Sydney's old high school crush local homicide detective Will Worthington adds Sydney and Kat to the suspect list, Sydney is determined to find the real killer and clear their name with the help of a furry shelter feline named Toby.

Purr M For Murder is a captivating and fast-paced cozy whodunit tale that has enough quirky characters (human and animal), witty banter and humor, drama, danger, a growing list of suspects, romance, and intriguing twists and turns that will keep you engaged and guessing as Sydney's amateur sleuth adventure unfolds with a climatic ending that will leave you wanting more! I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoyed Sydney's delightful furry feline companion Toby, who chooses Sydney as his person and helps her find clues along the way. Toby gets two paws up! I can't wait to read the next book in this delightful new cozy mystery series!

Purr M For Murder is a purrfectly delightful cozy murder mystery that pet lovers will enjoy reading!


About The Author

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM. #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, was released in December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.

Author Website
Author Blog
Amazon Author Page
Rocco's Blog

Contest Giveaway

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Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

March 8 – Girl Lost In a Book – REVIEW

March 8 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

March 8 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – GUEST POST

March 9 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

March 9 – Must Read Faster – REVIEW

March 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Book Babble – REVIEW

March 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 10 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW

March 11 – A Cozy Girl Reads and Writes – REVIEW

March 11 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

March 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST

March 13 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

March 14 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

March 14 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

March 15 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 16 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 17 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 17 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 17 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Defining Her by Samantha March (Book Release Day Event / Contest Giveaway)

In association with author Samantha March, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book release day event for Defining Her!

About The Book

Defining Her by Samantha March
Publisher: Marching Ink LLC
Publication Date: March 11, 2017
Format: eBook - 304 pages
               Kindle - 1402 KB
               Nook - 182 KB
BNID: 2940157592998
Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Book Description:

Nellie Hawthorne is a woman who has it all. A devoted husband, her own business, a wealthy lifestyle. But the Nellie she is now is much different from her past. A past filled with abuse, addiction, and men. Nellie’s carefully constructed new life is suddenly in jeopardy when a blast from the past emerges in her small town and her overbearing mother-in-law starts pushing for grandchildren and questions start being asked. A budding new friendship presents itself at an opportune time, and a once friendless Nellie finds herself growing closer to Prue Doherty.

Prue Doherty is the quintessential good girl. Always making the right decisions, always playing it safe. Until she meets a man that could change all of that. Still reeling from a devastating breakup and betrayal that had her fleeing from Chicago and settling into suburb life with her mom close by, Prue finds herself in a damaging funk. But everything changes when she befriends Nellie Hawthorne.

Nellie is trying to escape her past. Prue wants that perfect future. While both women strive to change their lives, they continue to cling to the past. But what defines us? Who we were then . . . or who we are trying to be now? Lies, manipulation, and deceit are woven throughout the pages of this edgy women’s fiction novel, with an ending you won’t see coming.


About The Author

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things beauty, fashion and fitness. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has five published novels – Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, A Questionable Friendship, Up To I Do and Defining Her, and one holiday novella, The Christmas Surprise. You can also find her on Youtube sharing beauty reviews and creating makeup tutorials. When she isn’t reading, writing, or vlogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy. 

Author Blog
Amazon Author Page
Chick Lit Plus - Blog

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Spooning Daisy by Maggie McConnell (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Reading Addiction Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Spooning Daisy by author Maggie McConnell!

Book Review

Spooning Daisy by Maggie McConnell
Book 1: Otter Bite Romance Series
Publisher: Kensington / Lyrical Shine / Penguin / Random House
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Format: Paperback - 314 pages
               Kindle - 893 KB
               Nook - 480 KB
ISBN: 978-1601836878
ASIN: B015VA3O10
BNID: 978-1601836861
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Reading Addictions Book Tours. 

Book Description:

It’s a long way from Seattle to Otter Bite, Alaska. But if one woman can survive the trip-and the locals-she just might find what her heart has been searching for.

Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce is to die for. But right now, Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen-and without a fiancé. Unceremoniously dumped from her place of business and her relationship, Daisy sells her belongings, plus a few of her ex’s, and packs her bags. Maybe smashing all the china in her former restaurant was a bad move. Stripped of her Golden Spoon for “un-chef-like” conduct, she is now blacklisted all over Seattle. Her sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge…in Otter Bite, Alaska.

Too bad Daisy can’t even get out of Dodge without incident. By the time she boards a ship for Alaska, she’s got a trail of new troubles behind her, and suddenly Otter Bite is sounding pretty good. But the vessel turns into her own personal Titanic when a series of close encounters confirms her terrible taste in men-including one very good looking bad luck charm named Max Kendall. She vows to dedicate the rest of her days to chowders and brulée. Yet even Alaska isn’t far enough away to shake the memories of the sexy shipmate who rocked her cabin-and her world. Thank goodness she’s done with surprises-but they may not be done with her…

Book Excerpt:

   "I had apple strudel. I never have apple strudel. It's not my usual."
   "You came here to tell me you had apple strudel?"
   "The thing is...I liked it. For a change, I mean. Once. Not every day, of course."
   "The truth is..." He stepped toward her. "The truth is...I feel bad about giving you such a hard time at breakfast."
   "Ohhhh. This is an apology."
   "No, absolutely not." Max retracted the step he'd just taken. "This is absolutely NOT an apology."
   Daisy huffed. Normally, she'd take great satisfaction in Max's guilt and take equal pleasure in the banter that would surely follow. However, she was a woman on a mission, and she didn't have the time, not with Otter Bite hanging by a manila envelope. "Fine. Thank you for coming here NOT to apologize and for that apple strudel thing. And--" She momentarily softened. "--the money. But I just don't have the time for whatever this is."
   Once again he stepped toward her. "You're making this extremely difficult."
   "This? This what? What am I making--"
   "This." The word melted into her mouth.
   The two hundreds floated from her hand to the floor. Then, her arms wrapped Max's neck, his body pressed hers, and Daisy was lost in a kiss she never expected to own.

My Book Review:

If you are looking for a romantic comedy that has a mixture of wit, humor and romance, then look no further, Spooning Daisy is the book for you.

In Spooning Daisy, the first book in the Otter Bite Romance Series, author Maggie McConnell weaves a delightfully lighthearted tale set in Otter Bite, Alaska, that follows the unexpected romantic relationship between chef Daisy Moon and Wild Man Lodge owner Max Kendall. Daisy and Max meet at her garage sale in Seattle, where she is getting rid of her ex-fiance's belongings before she starts a new life in Otter Bite, Alaska. But their unexpected meeting leads to more unexpected meetings and hilarious trials and tribulations that follows Daisy and Max from Seattle to Alaska. Along the way, Daisy and Max need to overcome obstacles and mishaps in order to find a common ground that will lead them to a happily ever after ending.

Spooning Daisy is an entertaining romantic comedy that will keep the reader in stitches. You can't help but follow Daisy and Max's story as their relationship is full of serendipitous encounters and hilarious misadventures, and cheer them on as they seek common ground and a lasting love.

With a quirky cast of characters, witty dialogue and humorous / dramatic interactions, and a richly vivid description of Otter Bite, Alaska, Spooning Daisy is a witty tale that is full of sass and charm, it's tongue-in-cheek humor will keep the reader in stitches, thoroughly engaged, and smiling to the very end.

Spooning Daisy is simply rom-com at its very best!


About The Author

Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Click the above link for the tour schedule.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Cards From Khloe's Flower Shop by Isabella Louise Anderson (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Cards From Khloe's Flower Shop by author Isabella Louise Anderson!

Author Guest Post


As some of you might know, I write under a pseudonym. When I first started writing, there wasn’t anything to think about because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. As someone who is not a fan of my birth name, I’m proud of my middle and (married) last name being on the cover of my books.

While some authors write under a different name to protect their job, their families, or whatever the reason might be, for me that’s not the case. It’s more of the face that hiding behind my given name allows for to write what I want without judgment. Not that I think people would, but rather I’m quite hard on myself sometimes, so by having another name makes it easier—it makes me feel like I’m famous in some way—as silly as that sounds. It also allows me not to be as shy—especially when writing a sex scene, (I’ve even dabbled in some erotica writing, which was quite fun but don’t expect me to be publishing any of it anytime soon). By having a pseudonym, it also gives me the chance to allow another part of me to come out—a secretive part that I share only with my characters when writing, and, then, of course, when the book’s published, my audience.

Will I ever write under my given name? Have you ever thought about writing under a pseudonym? If so, why or why not? Do you think it would help or hurt your writing?

For now, I’m happy to say that I’m going to continue writing under Isabella Louise Anderson, a name I’m honored to be known by in the book world and thank you to my fans for all your support with my books.

About The Author

Isabella Louise Anderson grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She focuses her time on featuring other writers on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with organizing Goddess Book Tours, and is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

She lives in Dallas with her husband, enjoys spicy Mexican food, margaritas, gin on the rocks (with a splash of lime). She loves spending time with family and friends and cheering on the Texas Rangers. Not only is Isabella an author, she’s also a Scentsy consultant and hoarder.

Isabella is the author of The Right Design and Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop. Her short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright. She’s currently working on another book.

Chick Lit Goddess Website
Facebook Author Page
Facebook Chick Lit Goddess Page
Twitter - Author
Twitter - Chick Lit Goddess
Snapchat username: mrsanderson1981

Book Review

Cards From Khloe's Flower Shop by Isabella Louise Anderson
Publisher: Chick Lit Goddess
Publication Date: eBook - January 15, 2017 / PB - January 22, 2017
Format: Paperback - 290 pages
               Kindle - 2347 KB
               Nook - 488 KB
ISBN: 978-0991416738
BNID: 2940157554101
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hasted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

As the owner of a successful florist shop, Khloe Harper trusts her instincts. She has a strong bond with her family and friends, but after being betrayed by her last love, she's kept herself at arms’ length from romance. When dashing entertainment attorney Derek Thomas walks into her store, Khloe’s interest is piqued. What at first seems like a business relationship quickly turns into romance, and Derek slowly plucks away the petals she’s been hiding behind. Just as Khloe lets down her guard, she discovers that Derek may not be worthy of her love after all.

Frumpy Connie Albright has a faux fascination with an imaginary man named Walt, thinking that by sending herself flowers from him she’ll feel less out-of-place with the “mean girls” she works with. When she comes face to face with her possible prince charming and thinking she might have a happy ending, when a truth is revealed, she wonders if she’ll ever have a Cinderella story.

A recently widowed senior, Gabby Lewis, isn't ready to give up on love—which means releasing herself from survivor's guilt and taking a chance on finding happiness and companionship again. After signing up for an online dating site for senior citizens, much to her surprise, she’s matched with Harry, an energetic and loving man, who quickly eases himself into her heart. Will Gabby take the leap of falling in love again, knowing it’s possible to have two loves of her life?

As each woman’s story develops through flowers and cards sent from Khloe's shop during the Fall months, they begin to learn that love can only truly blossom when you trust your heart.

My Book Review:

In Cards From Khloe's Flower Shop, author Isabella Louise Anderson weaves a delightful tale that follows three women's journey of self-discovery and finding an unexpected second chance at love.

Thirty-one year old flower shop owner Khloe Harper has trouble trusting men after her heart was broken by a betraying ex-boyfriend. But when sports / entertainment attorney Derek Thomas enters her shop, it has her thinking that maybe it is time to give love another chance.

Sixty-five year old widow Gabriella "Gabby" Lewis lost her husband Charlie to a sudden heart attack. After forty-five years of marriage and moving past the grief of losing her soulmate, Gabby still believes in love and wants to be in love again. Gabby signs up on the Second Chances online dating website and makes an unexpected connection with lonely widower Harry Hoffman.

Medical data entry clerk Connie Albright has always felt like an outsider and ignored by everyone. Connie has major self-confidence issues and has never experienced being in love. Connie has created an imaginary boyfriend named Walt Goldman and sends bouquets of flowers to herself at work once a week, in order to get her co-workers to notice her. When her mean co-workers want to see a picture of Walt, Connie has no option but to continue with the charade, so she signs up on an online dating site searching for the perfect Walt Goldman. When Connie connects with Walt, her fantasy becomes a reality until the truth behind her charade is revealed leaving Connie to figure out how to get back her happily ever after.

Cards From Khloe's Flower Shop was such a fun novel to read! I enjoyed following Khloe, Gabby, and Connie's journeys as they each discover how to open up their hearts to serendipity and the unexpected chance at finding love. Just when you think each of the women's journeys to finding love will be all hearts and roses, the author throws a wrench in the mix with enough drama to keep you turning the pages. But the best part of this delightful book is how each of the women's stories are interwoven with Khloe's creation and delivery of wonderful bouquets of flowers and the special personal messages on the cards that speak volumes. While I enjoyed all three stories, I felt the most connection with Gabby and Harry's story, it is a heartwarming and downright feel good story that simply made me smile from ear to ear. From taking a risk, beginning again, and finding self-confidence, Khloe, Gabby, and Connie will each discover that by learning to open up their hearts, they could find hope, true love, and happiness.

Cards From Khloe's Flower Shop is a wonderful novel about finding love and happiness that will leave a smile on your face.


Also by Isabella Louise Anderson:

The Right Design is on sale for $.99!
Barnes & Noble

Contest Giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

February 20 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
February 21 – Caroline Fardig – Guest Post
February 22 – Novel Escapes – Q&A
February 23 – Books Dreams Life – Q&A
February 28 – Book Lover in Florida – Review & Guest Post
March 1 – Granny Loves to Read – Review
March 3 – Spunky N Sassy – Guest Post
March 6 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Guest Post
March 6 – Rainy Day Reviews – Review & Guest Post

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

End Of The Road by LS Hawker (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for End Of The Road by author LS Hawker!

Book Review

End Of The Road by LS Hawker
Publisher: Witness Impulse / HarperCollins Publisher
Publication Date: eBook - January 31, 2017 / PB - March 21, 2017
Format: Paperback - 320 pages 
               Kindle - 1413 KB
               Nook - 1MB
ISBN: 978-0062435248
BNID: 978-0062435231
Genre: Thriller

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of the book to read and provide an honest review and participate in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Great minds can change the world or leave it in ruins . . .

When tech prodigy Jade Veverka creates a program to communicate with her autistic sister, she’s tapped by a startup to explore the potential applications of her technology. But Jade quickly begins to notice some strange things about the small Kansas town just beyond the company’s campus—why are there no children anywhere to be seen, and for that matter, anyone over the age of forty? Why do all of the people living here act uncomfortable and jumpy?

On the way home one night, Jade and her co-worker are run off the road, and their lab and living spaces are suddenly overrun with armed guards, purportedly for their safety. Confined to the compound and questioning what her employers might be hiding from her, Jade fears she’s losing control not only of her invention, but of her very life. It soon becomes clear that the threat reaches far beyond Jade and her family, and the real danger is much closer than she’d ever imagined.

Book Excerpt:

September 7
Jade Veverka unwrapped the frozen bomb pop she'd bought from the gas station on the corner of Main and 3rd and took a bite. She sat gazing at the pile of magazines on the barbershop coffee table while a rhythmic alarm-clock buzz went off in her head. Not an urgent warning, just buzz buzz buzz.

Her friend and coworker Elias Palomo sat in the barber chair, getting his customary fade crew cut, the same one he'd presumably sported since his plebe days at the Naval Academy. So the background to her mental alarm clock was an actual buzzing from the electric razor punctuated now by a sharp yip of pain from Elias.

"Sorry about that," the barber said.

Elias rubbed his ear, and Jade attempted to keep her face neutral, looking at his scowl in the mirror.

Buzz buzz buzz.

She leaned forward and fanned the magazines—Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated, ESPN—all this month's issues. Jade took another bite of bomb pop and grinned.

"What are you smiling at?" Elias grumbled, rubbing his nicked ear.

"I don't know how to tell you this," Jade said, "but you are not the center of my universe. I do occasionally react to things outside of you. I know it comes as a shock."

"Shut up," he said, his dark eyes flashing.

Jade stared now in fascination as the razor tracked upwards on Elias's skull, his glossy black hair—or what was left of it—uneven, his scalp an angry pink. This guy was the worst hair dresser Jade had ever seen. And the least talkative. In her experience, growing up in rural Ephesus, Kansas, barbers had always fit the stereotype—gregarious and gossipy.

Elias was the shop's lone customer, and only a few folks walked by outside the window, through which Jade could see the hardware store and the occasional slow passing car.

Buzz buzz buzz.

It struck Jade now that this was less a barbershop than what amounted to a barbershop museum, complete with an actor playing the part of the barber. She wanted to point this out to Elias, but it would mean nothing to him. He'd grown up in Reno, Nevada, a vast metropolis compared to Jade's 1200-population hometown an hour southeast of this one, which was called Miranda, Kansas.

Not only was this man not a barber, he wasn't a Kansan either, Jade would have bet money.

"Hey," she said to him. "What's your name?"

The man went on butchering as if she hadn't spoken. Elias's eyes met Jade's in the mirror, and his dark thick brows met on either side of a vertical crease, his WTF? wrinkle. He leaned his head away from the razor, finally making the barber pay attention.

"The lady asked you a question," Elias said.

Jade had to hold in a guffaw. This never failed to tickle her, him referring to her as a lady. No one other than him had ever done that before. Plus she loved the authoritative rumble of his voice, a trait he'd probably developed at Annapolis.

The barber froze, his eyes locked with Elias's. Weird.

"Need a prompt?" Elias said. "Your name."

The man cleared his throat.

"Is it classified?"

Jade did guffaw this time, and she watched the barber's jaw muscles compress as she clapped a hand over her mouth.

"My name's Richard."

"Hello, Richard, I'm Elias. This is Jade. We work out at SiPraTech."

Jade could see from Richard's face he knew very well where they worked. He nodded and got back to destroying the remains of Elias's hair.

"Whereabouts you from, Richard?" Jade said.

He pulled the razor away from Elias's head and blinked at her.

What in the world was this guy's problem?

Buzz buzz buzz.

Elias emitted a loud sigh, clearly exasperated by the guy's reticence, and waved a hand as if to say, "Carry on, barber-not-barber."

Jade laughed again.

"Here," Richard mumbled. "I'm from here."

Like hell. What was he, in the witness protection program or something?

And then it hit her. The magazines, every last one of them, was a current issue. In a barbershop. The place where back issues of magazines go to die.

She'd worked for SiPraTech just over three months now, and Miranda, the closest town, had always given her an itch. Something about it was slightly off, but she couldn't say what. She'd brought it up to her team members—Elias, Berko Deloatch, and Olivia Harman, and each of them had looked at her like she was schitzy. They all came from big cities, so Miranda struck them as weird in general.

Buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz.

As if drawn by static electricity, her eyes tracked to the window where a man in mirrored shades peered into the barbershop. The man had a dark mustache and wore a blue baseball cap pulled low over the sunglasses.

What was he staring at? She glanced behind her, but there was nothing to see but a white wall.
When she turned back, the man mouthed something at her, his exaggerated soundless enunciation wringing a sharp intake of breath from her.

"What?" Elias said in response to her gasp.

Was it her imagination, or did this man she'd never seen before say her name?

Jade Veverka.

She looked at Elias, and said, "There's a man out there—"

My Book Review:

In End Of The Road, author L.S. Hawker weaves another riveting thriller that is full of intrigue, action, drama, suspense, secrets, and murder.

The author takes the reader on a wild roller coaster ride as tech researcher / programmer Jade Veverka tries to protect and maintain control of her invention, a computer program that communicates with Autistic people, but secretive dealings by her employers, and a strangeness about the surrounding small Kansas town, has Jade realizing that things aren't what they seem, and danger lurks around every corner.

As the reader follows Jade's dilemma, the multitude of suspenseful plot twists and turns will give them goosebumps, and keep them sitting on the edge of their seats.

End Of The Road is a fascinating thriller that you won't be able to put down, it will leave you wanting more!



Book Trailer

About The Author

L.S. Hawker grew up in suburban Denver, indulging her worrisome obsession with true-crime books, and writing stories about anthropomorphic fruit and juvenile delinquents. She wrote her first novel at 14.

Armed with a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, she had a radio show called “People Are So Stupid,” edited a trade magazine and worked as a traveling Kmart portrait photographer, but never lost her passion for fiction writing.

She’s got a hilarious, supportive husband, two brilliant daughters and a massive music collection. She lives in Colorado but considers Kansas her spiritual homeland. She is the author of The Drowning Game, a USA Today Bestseller, and Body and Bone.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

Win An eBook Copy Of 
End Of The Road

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for LS Hawker and William Morrow. 
There will be 3 US winners of one (1) eBook Coupon for End of the Road by LS Hawker. 
The giveaway begins on January 24th and runs through March 2nd, 2017.
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Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

01/30 Showcase @ Books, Dreams, Life

01/31 Guest Post @ BooksChatter

02/01 Guest post @ Books Direct

02/02 Interview @ Mythical Books

02/03 Showcase @ A Bookaholic Swede

02/07 Review & Guest psot @ Must Read Faster

02/09 Guest post @ Suspense Magazine

02/12 Showcase @ A Dream Within A Dream

02/13 Review @ Wall-to-wall books

02/17 Showcase w/excerpt @ Writers and Authors

02/21 Review @ fundinmental

02/20 Review @ Bookishly me

02/22 Showcase @ The Book Divas Reads

02/23 Interview @ The Way I See It

02/24 Review/Interview/Showcase @ CMash Reads

02/28 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Monday, February 27, 2017

Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Cardiac by author Jeffrey Monaghan!

Author Guest Post

The 7 Things You Must Have in Place to Successfully Publish Your Own Novel

When I decided to write a novel, I didn’t put much thought into how I was going to publish it. I just assumed I would figure that part out once I got there. And I learned that there is some serious figuring out to do. 

Initially, I went with the traditional publishing approach. I sent out query letters to literary agents (and boy did I send out query letters), waited for responses (still waiting on some of them), and kept my fingers crossed. But the more I repeated this process, the more disillusioned with the traditional model I became. 

The traditional publishing process is VERY slow. If you can find an agent, it can still take years to get your novel published. You also lose complete ownership and control of your novel. That wasn’t appealing to me. Not to mention the financial side of things is extremely different when you compare traditional publishing to independent publishing. When you take these factors into account and also consider that in 2016, for the first time, independently published books outsold books published by the Big Five publishers, going it alone becomes more appealing. Make no mistake, you will need help along the way, but if you keep these 7 things in mind your chance at success is much greater.

A Good Novel

Nothing else matters unless you have a good novel. In the beginning, focus solely on writing the best novel that you can. Take as much time as you need and don’t worry about anything else. It’s better to have a great novel after five years than a mediocre novel after one. Without a good novel, your efforts to market and sell your book will be difficult if not impossible. And there is no going back once you publish your book and start soliciting reviews.

Content Editor

You will need to find someone who can read your novel and provide detailed feedback. A content editor will check your novel for contradictions, plot holes, factual errors, character issues, and opportunities to improve dialogue. A good content editor will read your novel multiple times and provide a page-by-page markup as well as a two to three page overview of the strengths and weaknesses of your novel. This will be the most expensive part of publishing your book should you choose to hire a professional. A top-notch content editor can cost up to $2500, although you can find them for less. Be sure to ask for references before investing in a content editor. I have heard stories of authors getting less than they expected from a content editor. 

Trusted Critics

You will need a small group of people who are willing to read what you have written and provide general feedback. These are often friends, neighbors, relatives, etc. Prepare them ahead of time and make it clear what you are looking for. Emphasize the need for honesty. Complements are great to hear, but they don’t make your novel better.

Copy Editor

You may have gone through your novel multiple times and think you’ve caught every punctuation and grammar error possible. But I am here to tell you, there are more. And once you find those. There are still more. One of the knocks on self-published authors is the large number of errors in their books. Don’t be one of the authors. Spend a few hundred dollars and hire a professional. This step comes near the end after the story itself is structurally sound and ready to publish.

Good Cover

While the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is a nice thought, it’s far from an accurate description of how people actually respond to seeing a book for the first time. And for good reason. The time, effort, and thoughtfulness that goes into a book cover often reflects what a reader will find inside. Spend time looking at covers for books that are similar to yours and use them as inspiration. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Many of the top selling books hire experts to design their covers and they design them in a way that works. Follow their lead or hire an expert. You should be able to find someone to make you a cover for under $500.  


Soliciting advice from trusted resources is important. But that doesn’t mean their advice is always correct. Having the judgment to know when to take advice and when not to is a must. It’s your novel. You need to make the final decision as to what goes in it and what doesn’t


This 2-minute video says more about perseverance and the creative process than I ever could.

About The Author

Jeffrey Monaghan is a Silicon Valley executive with an unhealthy obsession for technology. He grew up in Southern California and currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two children. Cardiac is his debut novel.


Book Review

Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan
Book 1: A Jack Getty Thriller Series
Publisher: DLW Publishing
Publication Date: eBook - May 23, 2016 / PB - July 21, 2016
Format: Paperback - 296 pages
               Kindle - 660 KB
ISBN: 978-1533641465
ASIN: B01G448C1E
Genre: Thriller

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Embattled CEO Jack Getty is nervous. This is his final chance to save his company. He is announcing his firm's breakthrough discovery at the world’s largest annual biotech conference. A discovery that trials show will extend human life by 75%. But as Jack approaches the podium, he suffers a major heart attack and collapses on the stage, stunning the conference attendees.

Jack is rushed to the emergency room where surgeons implant the latest Wi-Fi enabled pacemaker, saving his life in the process. What Jack doesn’t know, however, is that an underground hacking group has its sights set on manipulating his “secure” pacemaker to get information only he can provide. Despite the hackers unrelenting terror, Jack refuses to give them what they want and soon starts to uncover the true motives of this mysterious and powerful group.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Jack dropped his cell phone into his pocket, took a deep breath and focused on the moment at hand. The lights on stage were intense, their heat radiating to the dark spot where he stood just behind a thick, dark curtain off stage. A deep, musty odor floated off. A smell that reminded him of his grandmother’s sewing room. It was comforting during such an anxiety filled moment. He leaned closer, unaware, and took a deep breath. Then the stage exploded with light.

The energy and murmurs of the enormous crowd filled the auditorium. Jack’s heart began to race with a nervous excitement. He had done this a dozen times, but this time he was literally going to change the world, and hopefully save his company at the same time. He closed his eyes and took a deep, slow breath. Deep inhale. Deep exhale. And again. Slow, deep inhale. Slow, deep exhale, pushing the recent phone conversation to the back of his mind. The moisture on his palms felt cool and the tips of his fingers, cold.

He concentrated on the moment as thoughts of his pending presentation repeated in his head. Introduction...industry direction...announce test results of groundbreaking new drug...then Algen’s plans for the future...closing. Introduction...industry direction...announce DD13...Algen’s plans for the future...closing. With this announcement, he was about to push his company to the forefront of the biotech industry, and garner worldwide recognition and influence for himself and Algen.

The waiting was the torturous part. Once he started speaking it always came together. In fact, once he began, he usually slipped his notes into his pocket after the first few minutes. It was a rush having the attention of thousands waiting on every word. In fact, he enjoyed speaking in front of large crowds far more than speaking in small groups. He could avoid questions in a large crowd by simply not asking for them. He could just keep speaking. Small groups were more intimate and Jack was not good at small talk. He did his best to avoid talking to others about his personal life.

The announcer’s voice reverberated through the vast hall, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to thank you all for attending our 10th Annual ASR International Life Sciences and Biotechnology Conference." Jack rubbed his palms on his pants, standing just out of reach of the bright lights.
"As many of you know, this is a very exciting time in our industry. A time that has shown extraordinary advancement in our understanding of the fundamental biological mechanisms of human life. A time when major discoveries are coming at an increasingly accelerated rate. And a time that will be looked back on as the dawning of a new age in meeting the needs of patients and doctors across the globe.”

Jack fiddled with the knot in his tie, wiggling it to make sure it was straight. He ran his palms down the front of his suit and tugged at the bottom of his jacket to eliminate imaginary creases. He stood waiting for his cue. As he waited, two sharp buzzes stung his thigh. He fumbled for the phone in his pocket.


He slid the cool metal phone from his pocket and braced for more bad news. Instead, it was a text from his wife.

‘Are you free? I have more questions about Miller’

‘can’t right now. about to go on stage’

‘OK. Good luck. You’ll do great.’ ‘will call you later’

Jack grinned and wished he could talk to his wife now, but there wasn’t time. He allowed himself a moment. A moment to remember how lucky he was. His heart rate slowed and he felt calm. He reread the exchange with Cynthia as he noticed the subtle aroma of the stage curtains again. His eyes closed and he tipped his head back. She had always believed in him. Even when he told her about the times when he drank too much and ended up on the streets. Even when he didn’t believe in himself. She was the talented one, an amazing writer. But it was always she that insisted he was the one who capable of doing big things. Jack was not so sure back then. But here he was, about to do something unimaginable.

A light tap on the shoulder startled Jack. A thin, dark-haired young man stood beside him. A large identification badge hanging around his neck. He looked like a local college kid, called to work at the convention center whenever there was a big conference in town. He wore the basic conference employee uniform. A black t-shirt and khakis. The name tag hanging from his neck read Zachary Dietrich, 10th Annual ASR Conference Employee.

“Don’t forget this, Mr. Getty. You know how to use it, right?” The young man handed Jack a small remote that would allow him to change the slides in his presentation.

“Oh shoot, thank you...” Jack looked at the employee's name tag, “...Zachary. That would have been a little embarrassing getting stuck on the first slide.”

“I’m sure you would have figured something out, sir.”

“Well, I appreciate the thought, but you can’t always save someone from themselves.”

The young man smiled. “Is there anything else I can get for you, Mr. Getty? Would you like some water?”

“I think I’m good for now, thank you.”

“I don’t mean to be pushy, sir, but I highly recommend at least one drink.” Zachary lifted a steel thermos. “It’s warm water with a little lemon. My public speaking professor recommends it. It helps with dry mouth and cuts through any mucus buildup in your throat. It’s awesome.”

“Well, okay, just a quick sip.”

The young stagehand unscrewed the top and handed the thermos to Jack. Jack took it and tipped it to his lips. The young man was right. The warm, slightly sour water provided immediate relief to his parched mouth. Jack took a second drink.

“Thank you, Zachary,” Jack said as he handed the thermos back to the stage hand. “I appreciate your help.”

“No problem, Mr. Getty. Good luck, you’re going to do great,” replied the youthful man, visibly pleased that he was able to help the man of the hour. Jack smiled as he watched the young, go-getter scurry off to attend to other business. He turned his attention back to the stage.

“And we are so thankful to the city of Baltimore for making us feel so welcome." The speaker clapped in appreciation and the crowd joined him with pleasant applause. Without thinking, Jack applauded as well.

"We have a number of excellent speakers over the next few days. And I will get to those in a few moments. But first, I'd like to introduce one of the top leaders in our industry. He's a true innovator and respected member of our community. His company, Algen Incorporated, is leading the way in minimizing and reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s and other age related diseases. Please help me welcome the CEO of Algen, Mister Jack Getty!" The speaker reached his hand out towards the side of the stage, inviting Jack to come out and join him. Jack put on a smile and headed out into the lights; confident, adrenaline pumping through his veins and heart pounding in his chest. He was about to shock the world.

The crowd stood and cheered. Jack raised his right hand in acknowledgement, “thank you” he mouthed, walking onto the stage. The spotlights caused him to squint as the crowd roared in the darkness just beyond their hot, white brilliance. Jack turned back towards the speaker and continued walking, hand extended for a firm handshake. As he moved across the stage, his vision blurred. He opened his eyes wide and then squeezed them closed for a moment.

“What the...” Jack murmured.

When he opened them the speaker split in two, then four, then dozens of images swirled in front of him. Another step and now his chest began to tighten. Jack moaned, putting both hands on his chest. He blinked again. His vision began to fade and the muscles in his chest squeezed ever tighter. A heaviness pulled him towards the floor. Gasping for air, Jack struggled to keep his balance.

His next step became a lunge and he felt himself falling, unsure of when and what he would hit. A desperate reach for the shape of a podium turned into a vain attempt to catch himself. His left hand grasped for the microphone, snagged it with two fingers, and pulled the entire podium to the floor as he fell. It smashed on the stage, breaking into large pieces. The squeal of feedback ripped through the auditorium speakers. Jack slammed into the floor next to the podium with a heavy thud. His vision focused long enough to catch a glimpse of a woman in the front row, hands over her ears grimacing at the screeching microphone. He heard screams in the distance.

A hushed murmur fell over the crowd. Jack fought to stay conscious; the heaviness in his chest forced the air from his lungs. The lights above flooded into his spinning vision. He lay flat on his back, struggling to fight off the darkness that threatened to consume him.

“Someone call an ambulance!”

The pain in Jack’s chest shot down his left arm. I’m dying! The silhouette of a person appeared above him and blocked out the light. “Jack, can you hear me? Jack? Shit!” Jack wanted to respond but couldn’t. He was directing every effort to staying conscious.

“Shit, shit, shit,” Jack heard the frantic, trembling voice say. There was a firm tugging around his neck and a second voice broke into the chaos.

“Loosen it as much as you can. And unbutton his shirt. Make sure he can breathe.”

“I’m trying. Shit! Come on, Jack. Keep breathing.” The tugging at his neck became more frenzied. The voices started to fade and Jack could feel himself losing awareness.

“We’re losing him! We’re losing him! Someone please...”

He could hold on no longer. Jack willingly gave in to the darkness that was pulling him away from the voices. His body relaxed and he felt at peace. He saw his oldest son as a toddler, football grasped with both hands and that lopsided smile that warmed his heart. He saw his youngest son putting on his baseball uniform for the first time. And a vision of his wife on their wedding day pulled him deeper into his memories and away from the desperate voices.

All the commotion provided a distraction for a young, red-headed man seated at the end of the aisle. He was thirty rows back near one of the exits.

“Everyone, please remain seated,” came an announcement over the loudspeakers. The man ignored the instructions. He rose from his seat, doing his best not to draw attention. “Mr. Getty is getting the necessary medical assistance and will be okay.” The red-headed man knew this wasn’t true, at least not the part about Jack being okay. He slipped out the side doors and onto the busy streets of downtown Baltimore, anxious to blend in with the pedestrians. As he walked, he turned on his cell phone. He fought against his shaking fingers as he dialed. The phone rang.

“Yes, it’s done...yes I’m sure...I saw him hit the stage...I don’t know...they were tending to him as I left....I said I don’t know...sorry, I’m not going back in way...I don’t care. I did what you asked and now I’m done.”

The man ended the call, slid the phone back into his pocket, and looked around to see if anyone had listened to his conversation, still disturbed by what had taken place. The people on the street had more important concerns than eavesdropping on a conservatively-dressed college type, so he vanished into the afternoon sun.

After a few blocks, a park appeared on the opposite side of the street. The man looked both ways and careened across the street, horns honking at him as he went. His stomach churned with anxiety and he was not completely aware of his surroundings, focused on creating as much distance as possible between him and the conference hall. He needed to find a calm, secluded place to sit and catch his breath; and his sanity.

He entered the park and saw a worn, stone bench under a large elm tree about fifty yards away. He turned to see if anyone had followed him, then made his way to the tree and settled on the hard, cool bench. He took a deep breath. His right leg bounced, quick and uncontrollable.

“Son of a bitch...”

The man ran his hand up his forehead and grasped a handful of hair between his fingers in a tight fist. He breathed again. His leg stopped bouncing and he began to relax. Then, just as he had begun to calm down, his phone buzzed in his pocket.

“Hello...sorry, I didn’t mean to hang up on you...the whole thing freaked me out. I’ve never seen anything like that in person. There’s a big difference between seeing Darth Vader choke out Admiral Motti and seeing a real human being hit the ground like that. I had to get out of there...yes, I know. All I can tell you is that it worked. I’m guessing we’ll be able to find out by the end of the day...Will do.”

The red-headed man dropped his head, slumped his shoulders, and rested his elbows on his knees. A pleasant breeze rustled the leaves in the tree above.

My Book Review:

In Cardiac, the first book in the Jack Getty Thriller Series, author Jeffrey Monaghan weaves a fast-paced debut medical techno thriller set in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that follows Jack Getty, the CEO of Algen Incorporated, a biotech company, as he tries to protect his company from a hostile takeover, while dealing with a dangerous hacker group called Mentor, who has taken control over his body via manipulating the latest Wi-Fi enabled heart pacemaker implanted in his chest after he suffers a heart attack at a biotechnical conference in Baltimore. Can Jack find a way to stop the dangerous group's intentions, or will he fatally fall victim to their nefarious demands?

Cardiac is a riveting medical techno thriller that is full of intrigue, action, drama, suspense, kidnapping, murder, and blackmail. Jack's story easily draws the reader in and keeps them captivated and turning the pages. As the reader follows Jack's desperate quest to stop the hostile takeover of his company, and the dangerous demands of the hacker group called Mentor, the multitude of plot twists and turns will keep them guessing what will happen next. You can't help but ponder if this futuristic and cutting-edge medical technological device could someday become a reality.

With a multidimensional cast of characters who leap off the pages; gritty dialogue and vivid interactions; richly detailed description of suburban Boston setting; and a no-holds-barred storyline that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seats; Cardiac is one hell of a thrilling story that you won't be able to put down!


Book Trailer

Contest Giveaway

Win An eBook Copy Of Cardiac

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeffrey Monaghan. 

There will be 5 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan. 

The giveaway begins on January 31st and runs through March 3rd, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

02/01 Showcase @ The Pen and Muse Book Reviews

02/02 Interview @ BooksChatter

02/02 Review @ Tome Tender

02/03 Showcase @ Mythical Books

02/05 Guest post @ Suspense Magazine

02/06 Guest post @ Writers and Authors

02/08 Review/showcase @ Books, Dreams, Life

02/10 Review @ just reviews

02/11 Showcase @ Hott Books

02/12 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

02/13 Interview @ Books Direct

02/15 Review/showcase @ CMash Reads

02/17 Review @ Blog Rockin Book Reviews

02/20 Showcase @ The Book Divas Reads

02/21 Review @ Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine

02/24 Review @ JBronder Book Reviews

02/27 Review & Guest post @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

02/28 Review @ Celticladys Reviews