Posted in Blog Tour, New Releases, Reviews

New Ebook and $20 Giveaway

I’m proud to announce that Pet Posts: The Cat Chats , is now available in Ebook as well as paperback and is free for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers. This cat book features full-color photos and stories narrated by two of my current felines and two who have passed to the Rainbow Bridge. The “tails” that are told are informative about health topics ranging from feline diabetes, asthma, hyperthyroidism, and more. There are also short stories, a poem, and links to articles and blogs about cats. If you or someone on your holiday list is a cat lover, this is a purr-fect book.

Pet Posts is also on blog tour until December 23rd with a $20 giveaway. The tour can be followed from the host blog, Silver Dagger Book Tours.

Here is the review from Our Town Book Reviews:

Not just an enjoyable book or collection of cat articles to read but also an informative read.

This book is also well-written and well put together. Although it contains a lot of information about cat illnesses and the treatment of them, as well as cat behaviors, it flows like a story. Never dry and what I’ll call “academic”. To make this happen the author has written some of the chapters or articles with the POV being one of the cats.

This book could be titled All About Cats. However, there must be 100 books with that title. So “Pet Posts” is fine, but it is the everything you need to know about cats book. From appetite loss and illness to the best snuggly beds. All told to you by a cat. What more expertise could you get?

Debbie De Louise has many books published. Many have cats in them, some fictional and some not but all have excellent reviews.

Don’t miss this book that makes a great gift for you or a cat lover on your holiday list. The eBook is free on KindleUnlimited and less than $5 for the eBook. The paperback is also now on sale for $1 less.

Posted in Reviews

Review for Faye Faraway by Helen Fisher

I first heard about this book through a library webinar I attended. As a fan of time-travel books, I found the premise interesting, a story about a woman whose mother died when she was young but who was able to go back in time to see her again. Although I didn’t lose my mother as a child, I know the feeling of wanting to spend more time with a loved one you’ve lost. Faye discovers that there are negatives as well as positives for doing this when she comes across an old box that had originally contained a Christmas gift for her. This box serves as a time machine that can send her back to the year prior to her mother’s death. While the trip back is bumpy, and Faye is bruised and battered from it, she is eager to befriend her mother who is younger than she is at the time. She also meets her young self which is an anomaly in this type of fiction. While Faye is reluctant to share her experience with anyone, including her husband who is about to enter the clergy, she confides in a blind co-worker. As she investigates the past through her time-travel trips and also through information she gathers in the present, she learns some amazing facts about her mother. The end is a twist that will surprise you but that makes sense of the plot. While this is a time-travel mystery, it’s also a story about faith and family. I read the advanced reader’s copy. The book releases in late January, and I highly recommend it.

Posted in Blog Tour, Reviews

Review and Blog Tour for Time Management For Creative People by Deirdra Eden

 

Chances are you’ve tried and failed with spreadsheets, agendas, day planners, and other mathematical and finite ways of measuring time. Applying the strict regimes of industrial systems to a creative mind can kill creativity, damper the enjoyment of your work, and knock you off balance.
In this workbook you will learn to balance, organize, and prioritize all you need to get done by living your life in creative cycles and seasons while maximizing your high and low energy times the way you were meant to.
 
Your creativity is a powerful force that can be harnessed, focused, controlled, commanded, and become a powerful ability as you masterfully channel your desire to create into the powerful motivating force it is meant to be.

 

  

 

 

Deirdra has spent the last decade captivating audiences of all ages with her novels and fairy tales. Her specialty is paranormal theology that delves into documented historical phenomenon and natural disasters of biblical proportions. 

As an author and one who has a full-time job to juggle along with my family and writing, I was interested in reading Deirdra Eden’s Time Management for Creative People. While I read the eBook copy, I’m sure the paperback edition will be more useful because of the fill-in charts, diagrams, and tables included in this workbook. I loved the way that each exercise built on the other allowing the reader to learn ways to organize projects and priorities while setting goals for the future. Projects are divided into Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly, and Daily tasks. The Creative Time Management Wheel diagram illustrates the creative, seasonal cycles and high and low energy levels of the creator. I recommend this book for anyone in the Arts — authors, artists, musicians, etc. Keep an eye out for this book at Barnes & Noble and other bookstores.
Posted in Authors, Interview, Reviews

Interview of Sandra’s Book Club: Readers Get Free Books, Authors Get Reviews, Free options Available.

Q: First, tell us how you came to be a published author and how you came up with the idea to provide services to authors.

A: I wrote my first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, WHILE I was still in college. The book follows the story of a 14-year old Mexican-American girl trying to get out of the barrio and make something of her life. Full of humor and refreshing dialogue, this book was voted as an inspirational favorite by teen readers. Shortly after that, I wrote the sequel entitled Beyond the Gardens, published in October 2009.
In the second book, the lead heroine gains new confidence and strength as she learns the hard way that “you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the girl.”
I write stories with strong and independent female characters that I, myself, would like to read about.
When I’m not writing, I get my fill on reading for the enjoyment as well as to improve my craft.
Like every published author, I was emailing book bloggers, asking them to please review my book. But, like querying to a publisher, most of them were unresponsive and some weren’t interested. And, of course, I used paid services that would list my book in their newsletters, reaching potential readers that may or may not review my book. That worked out okay. But let’s face it: getting reviews is tough. It’s hard when your book isn’t well publicized and no one is willing to give it chance. That’s what started my book blog. Initially, it started as just a blog for my own personal reviews on books that I read. At that point, I started taking requests from authors and publishers. My own personal review would be free, but, of course, like every other blogger, I only chose the ones that I wanted and rejected those that I didn’t. Yes, my readings tastes are pretty open in a wide variety of genres, but there are some that just don’t really interest me (i.e. westerns, politics sports, etc.) So how do I help those rejected authors get reviews? After all, I couldn’t possibly review them all. That’s when I came up with the idea of starting a book club of readers and a review program to supply authors with more reviews besides the one that I give them. Readers can sign up to get free books from authors, and authors can get reviews for their books. It’s a simple, easy, and convenient program. And it’s working!


Q: How can this review program benefit writers?

A: The review program allows authors to list their books and reach a wide range of readers. It’s been a hit so far! About 85% of participating authors get at least 1 – 2 reviews on Amazon, and we receive over 75 reviews a month from readers. And the best part about it is that we offer free ways for authors to list their book in our program. As an author, I totally understand that budgets can be tight, which makes it harder (maybe even impossible) to promote your books. Most authors shy away to any promo service when there’s a price. What better price is there than FREE?

Q: What do you think is the most important aspect of a book to make it sell?

A: The story itself along with a fabulous cover is definitely important. But probably the most important would have to be reviews. Let’s face it: reviews are the life blood of any book. More reviews equal a greater online exposure and a higher sales ranking, which, could result in sales. My book, Single Chicas, has over 70 reviews, and that has given me more royalties on Kindle sales. The reviews made
the difference because before I got no royalties, and now I’m surprised to actually see one come through knowing that I didn’t do any promotion. Book reviews are definitely the key thing here.


Q: How is your author review program unique?

A: My review program is unique because I offer a free option for authors, and I do that because I want authors of all kinds to get a fair chance at getting reviews for their books. Every book deserves a review. These are HONEST and LEGIT reviews. There is no buying reviews here. Readers are free to choose any book and reserve the right in whether or not a review gets posted. It’s all strictly voluntary
and 100% honest.


Q: I see on your website that you also do graphics. Would you mind telling us a little more about that end of your service?


A: As a graphic designer, I help authors with book covers, bookmarks, flyers, social media graphics, headers, and so on. I often try to offer clients bundle packages that include graphic design, book promotion, AND an opportunity to get listed in my review program to reach potential reviewers daily. I definitely know what authors want and I try to give that to them in a bulk deal.

Q: How can authors and readers sign up?


A: For authors interested in submitting their book to get reviews, please go to:
https://sandrasbookclub.blogspot.com/2020/08/submit-your-book.html
For readers interested in signing up to read free books, please go to:
https://sandrasbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/09/read-review-program.html

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Reviews

Review of Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

*

*****5 stars

This review appeared in the October 1, 2020 issue of Booklist..

As a big fan of Joanne Fluke’s cozy mystery series featuring cookie baker Hannah Swenson and her family in Lake Eden, Minnesota, I was thrilled to review her latest mystery, Christmas Cupcake Murder. Although part of the series, this book takes place before Hannah solves her first missing person’s case and before her mother, Delores, opens an antique store with her friend, Carrie Rhodes.

When Hannah finds an injured man on the floor of a vacant building that her mother is renting to house her antiques, she learns that he’s had a blow to the head that’s rendered him with memory loss. Determined to help the man, who seems to identify with the name “Joe” and is experienced with furniture repair and restoration, Hannah begins a search to find his family. When “Joe” befriends Freddie, the intellectually disabled man who helps at the hospital, he recalls that he has a brother with a similar condition. As Hannah follows further clues about “Joe,” she discovers that someone attempted to murder him. The mystery is finally solved by locating a recipe in a library book.

At the end of nearly every chapter of this fun story are delicious holiday recipes. There is also a handy index at the back. Don’t miss this charming cozy mystery that will also satisfy your sweet tooth.

Posted in Reviews

Review and Blog Tour for Larceny At the Library, A Washington Whodunit, by Colleen J. Shogan

***5-stars

As a librarian and a pet lover, there were two things I liked most about this book — the setting (the murder takes place in the Library of Congress) and the dog (Clarence). The mystery and human characters were top-notch, too. The plot was equally absorbing as we join amateur sleuth Kit Marshall on her fifth adventure where she attempts to solve the murder of Gustav Gaffney, the Assistant Librarian of Congress, who was found dead the morning after the preview of a special exhibit containing the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets on the night of his murder at Ford Theater. Gaffney’s killer is suspected of having also stolen some of the objects from this exhibit, but Kit has another theory and sets out to prove it.

I loved the way Shogan describes the Library of Congress and other D.C. buildings. It was almost like taking a tour of Washington. I was also surprised by the twist at the end. I highly recommend this fun cozy mystery.

Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

About Larceny at the Library


Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Epicenter Press (July 14, 2020)
Print Length: 202 pages
ISBN-13: 9781603818353
ASIN: B0863MN6TP

Congressional staffer Kit Marshall is excited to attend a historic event displaying the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated at the Library of Congress. The next day, a senior librarian is dead and several invaluable artifacts are missing. Kit’s husband Doug discovers the body and immediately becomes a suspect in the death and theft. Kit springs into action once again to figure out who is responsible for the crimes. Her sleuthing takes her to the DC Public Library, the National Portrait Gallery, Ford’s Theatre, and the most ornate, beautiful rooms at the Library of Congress. At the end, Kit must put her own life on the line to retrieve her most valuable possession, which goes unexpectedly missing as she hunts down the killer.

About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.

Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. “Stabbing in the Senate” was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. “Homicide in the House” was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.

Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/washingtonwhodunit/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/cshogan276

Website – www.colleenshogan.com

GoodReads – www.goodreads.com/cshogan276

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

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July 15 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

July 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – Christa Reads and Writes – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 17 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

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July 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

July 19 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

July 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

July 20 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

July 21 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 21 – Ruff Drafts – REVIEW

July 22 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

July 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 23 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

July 24 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 24 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

July 25 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

July 26 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

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Posted in Reviews

Review: Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings (The Lily Singer Adventures Book 1) by Lydia Sherrer

Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings (The Lily Singer Adventures Book 1) by Lydia Sherrer

**** 4 stars

This is a fun book written in an unconventional style. The author refers to the three short stories that comprise the novel as “episodes.” Two of them are told from Lily Singer, the main character’s, point of view. Lily is a librarian . . . and a wizard. She also has a cat, Sir Kipling, who doesn’t play much of a role in this book but seems to play a big one in the second which is previewed at the back. Lily’s co-hort, Sebastian, who narrates the other tale is a witch. Together they solve various mysteries such as recovering a stolen magic tool from Sebastian’s family that has caused a time loop in a nearby town. If you enjoy a mix of magic, fantasy, and comedy that features likable characters, this is the book for you.

About the Author (from her Amazon Author Page)

Award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of snark-filled fantasy, Lydia Sherrer thrives on creating characters and worlds you love to love, and hate to leave. She subsists on liberal amounts of dark chocolate and tea, and hates sleep because it keeps her from writing. Due to the tireless efforts of her fire-spinning gamer husband and her two overlords, er cats, she remains sane and even occasionally remembers to leave the house. Though she graduated with a dual BA in Chinese and Arabic, after traveling the world she came home to Louisville, KY and decided to stay there.

Lydia is not just out to write good books, but to make the world a better place, one story at a time. Her goal is to write with purpose, inspiring others to dig deep into the life they’ve been given and to dream big, because the world is built on dreams. Get a free book to start your Lydia Sherrer library by subscribing to her newsletter at http://www.lydiasherrer.com/subscribe

For more information about the author, series, and much more, check Lydia’s website at: https://lydiasherrer.com/

You can also connect with Lydia at the following sites:

https://www.facebook.com/lydiasherrerauthor/

@LydiaSherrer

Amazon Author Page

Posted in Reviews

Review for The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

As a librarian, I’m able to get ARC’s (Advanced Reader Copies) of forthcoming novels. Here’s my review of The Last Wife, a psychological thriller, by Karen Hamilton. It will keep you turning the page. It releases July 7 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

****4 stars

The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

Marie is a photographer. She catches things in the photos she shoots including the wonderful life she thinks her friend Nina leads and which she’d like to have. But it’s true that you need to be careful what you wish for,. When Nina dies leaving two young kids and a husband, Marie grabs her chance at making Nina’s life her own. But after becoming pregnant and marrying Stuart, Marie discovers some secrets her friend Nina was hiding. One of them involves the death of Marie’s lover that happened while she, Nina, and a group of friends spent a holiday abroad in college.

This twisty, psychological thriller keeps you turning the pages as more secrets and lies are revealed until Marie learns the truth about Charlie’s death years ago and that the perfect life Nina led was far from perfect.

Karen Hamilton, courtesy of her website, Karenhamiltonwriter.com

About the Author

(from her website: https://karenhamiltonwriter.com)

I caught the travel bug after an early childhood spent abroad (Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy) and have worked as cabin crew for a major airline. In 2006, my husband and I put down roots in Hampshire and four years ago, I gave up flying to raise our three sons and concentrate on my writing. Now that they are a little older, I’ve begun travelling again (as and when it’s possible) and enjoy exploring places through their fresh eyes.

The Perfect Girlfriend was my first novel, released March 2018. It is a psychological thriller about a sociopathic flight attendant, Juliette Price. The book is rooted in my work experience, but not autobiographical! I realised early on in my flying career, that the moment I changed out of uniform, I became anonymous. It made me think about the identities behind uniforms and work personas and became an idea that would later help create my protagonist.

The Last Wife is my second novel. It is mainly set in the New Forest (an area I love and where I spend a lot of time) and is due out summer 2020. Marie Langham takes over over her dead friend’s life, only to discover that she didn’t know her friend, Nina, as well as she thought. Nina’s secret past now threatens Marie. Many things sparked the themes for this book including my interest in psychotherapy, and another, my fascination with how well we can ever truly know someone.

I’m currently working on my third novel, a thriller which features worldwide travel, murder and mystery.

Social Media Links: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KJHAuthor

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

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

Posted in Reviews

Review for The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

As a librarian, I’m able to get ARC’s (Advanced Reader Copies) of forthcoming novels. I saw this one on a LibraryReads Book Buzz and couldn’t resist checking it out for obvious reasons. Here’s my review of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig releasing this September. You’ve got to put this one on your TBR list. It’s incredible. It is also available for pre-order on Amazon.

*****5-stars

THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY

Everyone has regrets. We all wish we could do over some things in our past, take other paths, make different decisions. But for Nora Seed, the chance to change her life comes when she decides to end it. Caught between life and death after attempting suicide, Nora lands in a library that contains the books of all the lives she could’ve lived had she made other choices. This library, the Midnight Library, is staffed by Mrs. Elm, her childhood school librarian, who directs Nora to select a book and try out a life that she might find more fulfilling. As Nora samples these different existences, she marries the man she left two days before her wedding; travels to the Arctic to explore the polar region; performs internationally with a hit band; becomes an Olympic swimming champion, and much more but will she find the life that has true meaning for her or be whisked back to the Midnight Library for another “book?”

I couldn’t put this novel down despite the fact that I had a feeling about the ending. What I liked most, besides the symbolism of the library and the books of lives, was the point the author made about how an action we take today, no matter how small or insignificant-seeming, may have a large effect on what happens to us and the people we love tomorrow.

Posted in Authors, Reviews

Review of Love and Ruin, A Historical Fiction Novel of Ernest Hemigway’s Third Wife, Martha Gellhorn, by Paula McLain

****4-stars

Popular historical fiction novelist, Paul McLain, who previously wrote about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife in The Paris Wife, tells the story of Hemingway’s third wife, Martha “Marty” Gellhorn. This book, however, isn’t just a love story. It is also a war story because we follow Marty who, after writing an unsuccessfully-reviewed novel, finds her niche as a war correspondent covering the news for Colliers with her famous husband as her rival.

Marty is courageous, driven, and determined to document the atrocities of the several wars she’s lived through including World War II. While devoted to Ernest, she needs to make her own name among journalists.

I found this novel a riveting, fast-paced, and interesting look at the horrors of war and the personal glimpses into the life of one of America’s most famous novelist. As a writer myself, I related to Marty’s struggle making a name for herself in a competitive field that, at that time, was predominated by male authors. I highly recommend this read to those interested in history, biographies, and realistic fiction.

Paula McLain’s photo from her website

About the Author: From Paula’s website:

Paula McLain is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels, The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun. She now introduces her latest title, Love and Ruin.

Paula McLain was born in Fresno, California in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System, moving in and out of various foster homes for the next fourteen years. When she aged out of the system, she supported herself by working as a nurses aid in a convalescent hospital, a pizza delivery girl, an auto-plant worker, a cocktail waitress–before discovering she could (and very much wanted to) write. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996.

She is the author of The Paris Wife, a New York Times and international bestseller, which has been published in thirty-four languages. The recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is also the author of two collections of poetry; a memoir, Like Family, Growing up in Other People’s Houses; and a first novel, A Ticket to Ride. She lives with her family in Cleveland.

Connect with Paula on

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