Sunday, November 29, 2009

Untraceable by Laura Griffin

Untraceable by Laura Griffin

Private investigator Alexandra Lovell uses computer skills and cunning to help clients drop off the radar and begin new lives in safety. Melanie Bess, desperate to escape her abusive cop husband, was one of those clients. But when Melanie vanishes for real, Alex fears the worst, and sets out to discover what happened. Using every resource she can get her hands on -- including an elite team of forensic scientists known as the Tracers, and a jaded, sexy Austin PD detective -- Alex embarks on a mission to uncover the truth.

As far as homicide cop Nathan Deveraux is concerned, no body means no case. But as much as he wants to believe that Alex's hunch about Melanie's murder is wrong, his instincts -- and their visceral attraction -- won't let him walk away. As a grim picture of what really happened begins to emerge, Nathan realizes this investigation runs deeper than they could ever have guessed. And each step nearer the truth puts Alex in danger of being the next to disappear....


November Books Read


  • Dial Om For Murder by Diana Killian
  • Down To The Wire by David Rosenfelt
  • Dying For Dinner by Miranda Bliss
  • El Patron by Michele Scott
  • Life After 187 by Wade Halverson
  • Money To Burn by James Grippando
  • Murder Has a Sweet Tooth by Miranda Bliss
  • Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinksy
  • Redneck Cinderella by LuAnn McLane
  • Scandal Sheet by Gemma Halliday
  • White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Murder Has A Sweet Tooth by Miranda Bliss

Murder Has a Sweet Tooth (A Cooking Class Mystery) by Miranda Bliss

Annie Capshaw has found that the way to a man's heart is through his cooking class. But just as she and her best friend, Eve, are planning Annie's big day with Jim, her former cooking instructor turned boss, murder takes the cake. Make that the wedding cake...

Thank you to the Penguin Group/Berkley for providing me with this copy to read and review.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Life After 187 by Wade J. Halverson


Life After 187 by Wade J. Halverson

Sentenced to life in prison when he executes the men who murdered his wife, Kane Silver is singled out by the warden for his fighting ability. Along with inmates Valentino Lopez and Si’Ling Lee, Kane is drafted into service and forced to fight for money in high-stakes tournaments. But when the three friends escape during a New Year’s Eve match in Lake Tahoe—saving the warden’s life in the process—their situation becomes more complicated.

Their status undetermined, they vanish underground and sign on to help a young woman whose parents are being held by an Argentinean drug kingpin. Follow Kane and his friends as they compete and grow closer while rediscovering what it means to be free. From Lake Tahoe and the western United States to Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, and Thailand, Life After 187 takes readers on an exhilarating ride filled with big money, intense action, justice, and the pursuit of honor.

Thank you Mr. Halverson for sending me this copy to read & review.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Book Giveaway ~ Cook The Books by Susan Conant & Jessica Conant Park (Uncorrected Proof) ~ Autographed

Cook the Books by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant

This Gourmet Girl has to take the heat-because she just can't get away from the kitchen.

Chloe Carter desperately needs a job, so she takes one assisting a cookbook writer. Unfortunately it stirs up painful memories of her ex- boyfriend Josh, who left her for Hawaii. While compiling a book of recipes from Boston's top chefs, she comes in contact with one of Josh's friends, Digger. Chloe manages to stay cool until later she finds Digger's apartment charred-with Digger in it.

Not believing that an expert chef would die from a grease fire, she sets about looking for Digger's killer. But things get sticky when the tragedy brings Josh back to Boston-and back into Chloe's life.

This is an uncorrected proof/galley copy. Thank you Jessica for providing this copy for me to give away :) You're the best!

THE BEST ONE IN THE SERIES YET!!!!!

RELEASE DATE ~ MARCH 2, 2010

Here's how to enter ~
  • U.S. addresses only please
  • Leave a comment here with your email address or PBS ID (I need to have a way to get in touch with you!)
  • Follow my blog (on lower right sidebar) ~ get an extra entry
  • Rate my blog ~ get an extra entry
  • Blog about it ~ get an extra entry
  • Tweet about it ~ get an extra entry
Contest ends December 4th. The winner will be announced on December 5th.

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Dog Tags by David Rosenfelt

A German Shepherd police dog witnesses a murder and if his owner--an Iraq war vet and former cop-turned-thief--is convicted of the crime, the dog could be put down. Few rival Andy Carpenter's affection for dogs, and he decides to represent the poor canine. As Andy struggles to convince a judge that this dog should be set free, he discovers that the dog and his owner have become involved unwittingly in a case of much greater proportions than the one they've been charged with. Andy will have to call upon the unique abilities of this ex-police dog to help solve the crime and prevent a catastrophic event from taking place.

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 044655152X/978-0446551526
  • Release Date: August 25, 2010
  • Amazon Price: $ 24.99

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesday


I'm doing something a little different today. Instead of 2 line teaser from the book I'm currently reading, I'm going to give you a sneak peek of Chapter 1 of
Cook the Books by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant. Enjoy!!!

Chapter 1

I have a love-hate relationship with Craigslist. On the one hand, I adore poking through the online classifieds for items I don’t even want—Swedish bobbin winders, chicken coops, vintage Christmas ornaments—and for enviable extravagances that I can’t afford—like the services of someone to come to my house to change the cat litter. On the other hand, I hate getting sucked into the vortex of randomly searching for weird items and unaffordable services instead of looking for what I actually need. For example, at the moment, I absolutely had to find a part-time job. I leaned back into my couch and adjusted the laptop so that it balanced comfortably on my knees.

I was broke because of the cutest baby in the world, Patrick, the three-month-old son of my best friend, Adrianna. One day last August, Adrianna and her husband, Owen, had almost simultaneously gotten married and become parents, and since then I’d spent a small fortune spoiling them and Patrick. Ade was staying at home with the baby while Owen, a seafood salesman, struggled to support them. Driving around Boston in a refrigerated truck, Owen delivered fish and shellfish to restaurants and tried to get new accounts. He seemed to spend as much on gas as he made on commissions. Luckier than Adrianna and Owen, I had a monthly stipend that was deposited into my account, courtesy of my late Uncle Alan, but the money hadn’t begun to cover the cost of my recent expenditures. As pleased as the credit card company must have been about the interest I was paying, its representatives were equally displeased with my making sporadic and late payments.

The principal blame for the hideous state of my finances lay with high-end baby boutiques and the baby sections of beyond-my-means department stores. How could I resist the designer blankies, the infant activity centers, the fancy play saucers, the darling Ralph Lauren outfits, and the endless assortment of rattles? Plus, Patrick obviously needed the expensive machine that reproduced the natural sounds of the jungle, the ocean, and evening in the forest, right? Ade and Owen lived in a cramped one-bedroom apartment around the corner from mine. Patrick’s room had once been, and in reality still was, a closet; granted, it had a window and a radiator, but a closet it remained. So, the least I could do for my favorite friends was to lavish upon them everything they needed for their cherished and irresistible son, who was also my godson.

My spending had a second explanation, one much less altruistic than the desire to indulge my friends. As I hated to admit even to myself, my transformation into an especially profligate spendthrift just had to represent some sort of effort to fill the void that my boyfriend Josh had left when he’d moved to Hawaii. Yes, incredible though it still seemed, my perfect, gorgeous, charming, adorable chef boyfriend, Josh Driscoll, had up and left Boston to work as a private chef for a family in Hawaii. As of mid-September, we would have been together for a year. But instead of celebrating our anniversary with Josh, I’d spent most of September either shopping like a maniac or curled up in a ball on the couch, crying my eyes out. On Adrianna’s wedding day, the same day that she’d given birth to Patrick, Josh had asked me to go to Hawaii with him. Dream come true, right? Well, maybe for someone else, but I’d been heartbroken and furious at the invitation. There was no way that I wanted leave Adrianna, Owen, and their new baby. Furthermore, I was just beginning the second year of my master’s degree program in social work. I hadn’t exactly been a highly motivated student during my first year, but I was belatedly starting to fit in at social work school and to realize that my choice of the field had been far less random and capricious than I’d originally thought. In fact, I was enjoying my work too much to drop everything and jet off to Hawaii. Besides, it seemed to me that Josh’s decision to leave was an impulsive reaction to the tumultuous year he’d had, a year of bouncing from one disastrous restaurant experience to another. He’d been chronically overworked and exhausted, stressed beyond imagination, and the opportunity to work in Hawaii must have seemed like an easy way out. I just wished that, given the choice between Hawaii and me, he’d chosen me.

Josh had continued to e-mail me and occasionally to call, but I ignored his attempts to explain himself, deleted his messages, and eventually blocked his address altogether. It was now November, and I was no longer willing to hang around my condo, pining for a lost love. I had a life to live, and I was not going to be one of those women whose entire life hinges on a relationship with some guy. Even if that guy was the best thing that had ever happened to me! No, I, Chloe Carter, was an independent woman, a loyal friend, and a driven graduate student!

I again focused on Craigslist and clicked back to the main job categories in search of something that might pique my interest. “Accounting+finance” sounded relevant to my situation, but the state of my bank account hardly qualified me to manage someone else’s finances. “Arch / engineering” sounded high-paying, but my experience in the field was limited and unpromising. When I’d helped Owen to assemble Patrick’s crib, I’d failed to insert two long pieces of wood that had turned out to be major support bars. I really wasn’t equipped to apply for any sort of job involving architecture or engineering. “Internet engineers” sounded important and interesting, but my principal Internet skill consisted of expertise in Googling old classmates to see who had done anything Nobel Prize–worthy or scintillatingly illegal, so that I could feel either pitifully unsuccessful or smugly superior by comparison. I also spent time on the Web researching term papers and browsing for recipes and food trivia, but those activities hardly made me an Internet engineer.

Aha! “Food / bev / hosp” sounded more up my alley! I hesitated for a second because of Josh, who’d been one reason for my spending the past year totally consumed by all things food- and chef-related. I reminded myself, however, that I’d been a foodie before Josh and that I could continue to love all things gastronomic after Josh. Ugh. After Josh. I hated the sound of the words. I was over him. I had to be. I had no choice. And if searching through food-industry jobs was my way of clinging to the past? Well, avoiding the industry would mean that I was running away from it because I was still hurting, as I undeniably was. Every piece of cooking equipment in my kitchen reminded me of Josh. I was sick of tearing up at the sight of a measly spatula and cursing every time I turned on the oven. I damned well was going to get over crying at the sight of wooden spoons and paring knives! Maybe working in the food industry was exactly what I needed. Yes, I’d flood myself with food images until I was no longer reminded of Josh! I scrolled through the listings, but all of the jobs turned out to be for servers, cooks, bar managers, and mixologists. I don’t know what I’d been hoping for. A job as a voracious eater? As a taste tester?

I returned to the main menu. “Skilled trade?” How humiliating to realize that I had no skills! Even so, I skimmed the page and found “writing / editing.” I’d certainly written and edited plenty of my own papers over the past year. Although I couldn’t be considered a professional writer, I could probably pass myself off as preprofessional or possibly as just on the verge of becoming professional or as all-but-professional, so close to being outright professional that no one could tell the difference. Anyhow, it would certainly be easier to sell a potential employer on my writing skills than it would be to pretend that I possessed a “skilled trade” or that I was really quite qualified to serve as a mixologist or an architect or an Internet engineer. Skimming the writing and editing jobs, I discovered that I was impossibly unqualified for many. The odds of my suddenly becoming a Portuguese-English bilingual person who could prepare scholarly bibliographies were slim to none. And I was not about to attempt to edit a math textbook.

One job, however, leapt off the screen: assistant to a cookbook writer! The listing said the applicant would need solid writing skills in addition to an enthusiasm for food and recipes. The job was tailor-made for me! I immediately e-mailed my résumé and a quick letter of introduction that explained my unabashed love for everything that had anything to do with food. Then I crossed my fingers. This was the one and only job I’d applied for, mainly because it was the only one that interested me. Incidentally, it also happened to be the only job on Craigslist that I could possibly perform. Who knew what it would pay, though? Furthermore, if the job was so appealing to me, it might be equally so to others, meaning that I’d face serious competition.

I shut down the computer and headed down the short hall that led to my kitchen. As usual, the prospect of walking in felt like going into battle. The appliances, the food, and the utensils all seemed to be taunting me, reminding me of my chef. Truthfully, my whole condo reminded me of Josh, especially because we’d spent much more time at my place than at his. I loved my condo, and I wanted to feel the way I used to feel about it, but even my wall colors made me think of Josh. I’d gone through a serious phase of impulsively painting and repainting each room a different earthy color, and Josh had fueled my interest by giving me painting supplies as my Christmas gift last year. Maybe I’d have to repaint yet again. We’d spent hours snuggling on the couch in the tiny living room, and I’d watched him cook countless meals in my kitchen. And the bedroom? Well, there was the bedroom, too. One of my cats, Inga, brushed against my leg as I stood in the entryway to the kitchen. Josh had rescued Inga from a horrible owner who had threatened to toss her into the Charles River if no one took her. However unintentional, Inga was a living reminder of my ex.

I was going to brave my fears and get over this! I was twenty-six, for God’s sake, and I was going to move on from this relationship with maturity. I sighed, stepped into the kitchen, and reached up to a high shelf to retrieve a few cookbooks. In case I got to interview for the job, I’d better be prepared. In the past, I’d leafed through cookbooks for recipes. Now, I looked at them as books. In particular, one thing that would be different about working on a cookbook than working on other written material would certainly be the formatting. Flipping through the pages of a Julia Child book, I saw that the number of servings was designated at the top and that the ingredients were listed in the order they were used. Abbreviations, I realized, all had to be consistent. I grabbed another book and then another and another. Some books had lovely forewords that informed the reader of the culinary delights that followed. Some books paired anecdotes with recipes, and some had glossy, mouthwatering photos. My stomach growled as I stared at a gorgeous crown roast of lamb, tied in a circle and filled with a creamy polenta and sausage stuffing. I slammed the book shut. I had nothing in my fridge except leftover pizza and flat seltzer water.

I took a shower, threw on a pair of sweatpants and an old T-shirt, and pulled my red hair into a ponytail. I understood all too well that my lack of a romantic life explained why I was putting no effort into doing my hair and makeup and picking out a cute outfit, but what did my appearance really matter today? It was Sunday, and I was just going to be lounging around my place doing homework. I dutifully gathered together my social work reading material and flopped down on the couch, determined to get through the seven dry chapters that lay ahead of me.

I read three chapters and then cringed at the title of the fourth: “Love and Attachment.” Great! Exactly what I did not feel like reading about. In fact, the bane of my studies this fall had been this damn Attachment class. I threw the book across the room, shut my eyes, and willed my pain to retreat for a few hours.

Minutes later, when the phone rang, I gleefully snatched it from its cradle. Maybe it was Adrianna calling, and I could blow off my homework and go snuggle with baby Patrick? I didn’t recognize the number on caller ID but picked up anyway. Even talking to my credit card company would be a welcome distraction.

“Hello?”

“Hi. I’m trying to reach Chloe Carter,” a friendly male voice said.

“Speaking,” I said with disappointment. A telemarketer? Those people were always so goddamn friendly when they asked for you.

“Ms. Carter, this is Kyle Boucher.” He pronounced his last name in the French manner: Boo-shay. “I put out the ad for a writing assistant.”

“Oh! Yes!” I couldn’t contain my excitement. “That was fast. I just sent my résumé a few hours ago. And please call me Chloe. Oh, have you already filled the position?” I knew I should have started job hunting sooner.

“Please call me Kyle. And, no, in fact, you’re the first person to respond. I guess the idea of being a cookbook assistant didn’t capture many people’s interest. I was thrilled to find your résumé in my inbox.”

“Really? That’s great. It sounds like a job that I’d love.”

“Excellent. Maybe we could set up an interview. In fact, why don’t we meet at a restaurant? Have you been to Oracle?” Kyle asked.

“No. That place opened about six months ago, right? I’ve heard good things about it.” I’d been dying to go there, actually. Josh and I had managed to get a reservation one night last summer, but he’d had to cancel at the last minute when his boss at his old restaurant, Simmer, had insisted that Josh needed to work.

“Any chance that you’re free to meet tomorrow night? Seven o’clock? I’m really behind on this project, and I’d love help as soon as possible.” The hint of desperation in Kyle’s voice raised my hopes for securing the job. “I’ve already made a reservation there for four, since I’d been hoping for a number of candidates to interview, but one enthusiastic response like yours is better than three wishy-washy ones.”

“Perfect. I’ll see you then. And thank you so much for calling.”

When I hung up, I realized that for the first time since Josh had left, I was feeling truly upbeat and optimistic. It felt good to have something to look forward to. The only thing nagging at me was the prospect of going out to dinner with a strange man. Not that Kyle had sounded particularly strange on the phone, but dining at a restaurant with a man brought up images of an actual date, something I was nowhere near ready for. Stupid of me, I thought. This was a job interview. I hadn’t met Kyle on a dating site, for Pete’s sake. Still, I was suddenly nervous. For all I knew, Kyle was a psycho ax murderer and posting ads for cookbook writers was his way of finding victims. Unlikely, I admit, but I nonetheless did what any other sensible, modern woman would have done: I searched Google Images for Kyle Boucher. After skipping over photos of men who certainly weren’t my prospective employer—unless he was ninety-eight years old or a professional soccer player or a congressman—I located one shot of him. He looked normal enough, but in the picture he was in a group of people at a high school reunion, and I continued to feel wary. Sociopaths were always described as totally normal looking, and I wasn’t in a mood to take risks right now. I called Adrianna.

She picked up after a few rings. “Spit-up and poop central. How can I help you?”

“Stop answering the phone like that,” I complained. “It’s so gross. Patrick does more than spit up and poop.”

“True. He does occasionally sleep. Although not for more than four hours at a time. And he cries, too. It’s charming.”

Adrianna sounded beyond exhausted. Before Patrick’s birth, Ade’s knowledge of children in its entirety could have been handwritten in large print on a small index card. What’s more, she’d never been one of those women who spent their lives dreaming about becoming mothers. On the contrary, she’d always had a rather strong dislike of children. Consequently, she’d reacted to finding out that she was pregnant with horror followed by panic. Fortunately, by the time Patrick had entered the world, she’d mellowed out, and some sort of instinctual parenting impulse had kicked in. Ade was hardly the soft, soothing motherly type, but Patrick was bringing out the best in the previously underdeveloped side of her. Besides, Owen was a fabulous father, and his enthusiasm had been contagious.

“But you know,” she continued, “I wouldn’t trade this little guy for anything. He giggles a lot now, too. Have you seen that? I got the cutest picture of him smiling. I’ll send it to you later. So, what’s up, Chloe? Are you coming over later? We miss Auntie!”

“I’m totally bogged down with homework for the rest of the day, but I wanted to see if you could come out to dinner with me tomorrow. Will Owen be home to stay with Patrick?”

“Yeah, Owen will be here, but I cannot afford to go out, you know that. And neither can you!”

“Actually, it’s for a job interview.” I explained the ad and the call from Kyle. “I don’t think I should go alone.”

“Chloe, you can’t show up for a job interview with your best friend tagging along. It’s not quite as bad as bringing your mommy, but close.”

“Please! I’ll pay for you, and it’ll give you a good excuse to get out of the house for a few hours. We’ll come up with an explanation for why you’re there, and then I won’t worry about being kidnapped after dessert.”

Adrianna paused. The prospect of going out for a real meal had to be enticing. “Fine. But don’t blame me if you end up embarrassed that you brought me. Oooh, what am I going to wear? And I’ll get to do my hair and everything!”

“See? This’ll be fun. I’ll pick you up at six thirty tomorrow.”

I was starting a new chapter in my life: a Josh-free chapter. Good!

Cook the Books by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant is due out on March 2, 2010. Make sure to pre-order your copy today!

What's YOUR teaser???

Monday, November 23, 2009

Guest Post ~ Jessica Conant-Park


I am very excited to have Jessica stopping by to visit with us today. I met her last year at a book signing and we've been friends ever since (or at least I like to think so! Although I think she only likes me for the sex toys I send her!) She's absolutely hysterical and keeps me entertained. Not to mention that she's been a huge support in connecting me with other authors to help expand from reviewing books to editing/proofing manuscripts. You rock JP!!!

And now...your main event ~

We’re well into football season and I’ve become suspicious that my Patriots only win when I am equipped with good snacks. Salsa and chips can only get you so far, and I blame the miserable loss against the Colts the other week entirely on my inadequate array of treats. (Because, obviously, an entire football team’s success is directly connected to what I eat, right?) So, ‘tis the season for gluttony and football, and I intend to fully participate in pigging out in order to get the Pats to the Superbowl. Ahem… So I’ve been mixing up the traditional football snacks with some other fun foods. The meatball recipe below is from Fed Up and was given to me by a wonderful chef, Josh Ziskin, from La Morra in Brookline, MA. These are a great little appetizer, perfect for snacking on while you cheer for your team. Or while you’re curled up with a good book while someone else in your family cusses at the television. Either way, they’re good comfort food.

Aside from being the season for ridiculously large men to repeatedly plow into each other for insane salaries, it’s also the season for giving; so it is my duty as an author to encourage you all to think about giving the gift of books to those you love. Most of us are on a strict budget this year, and books are a great way to give a creative gift as well as limit the damage done to your bank account. Collect a few favorite books, set them in an inexpensive gift basket, and add a few fun accessories that compliment the books! My Gourmet Girl series pairs up well up with treats from a gourmet food shop, chocolates, a pretty serving dish, or a splashy set of potholders and dishtowels. Oh, and I’ve found a wonderful site that sells the most adorable aprons! The Hip Hostess

( http://thehiphostess.com/store/Default.asp ) has created a line of aprons more attractive than I thought possible. I want one in every style… And don’t forget that a book gift basket is great for teenagers; mixing books in with other fun items is a wonderful way to encourage reading. Many of the cozy mystery series out there are perfectly appropriate for teens, so don’t think you need to stick to vampire-themed books. (Besides what kind of accessories would you add? Fangs? Fake blood?) Also, check out local book signings and see if you can stop in and get a book for a friend that is signed by the author. Believe me, we love having people actually show up for a signing!

Anyhow, have fun this holiday season, and remember that the book market is really struggling in these tough time and sales are what will keep your favorite series going!


Polpette (Tuscan Meatballs)

Josh Ziskin, Executive Chef at La Morra Brookline, Massachusetts

www.lamorra.com

Serves 8–10 as appetizer

12 loaf bread, cut into large cubes

3 cups milk

1 12 cups dried porcini mushrooms

5 lbs. ground beef

2 cups Parmesan cheese

14 lb. lb. prosciutto, thickly sliced and diced

4 eggs

3 cups flour

3 cups white wine

N

Soak bread in milk until it is fully absorbed. Soak porcini mushrooms in water until hydrated and clean. Remove and chop. Mix the next 4 ingredients, and then add mushrooms and bread. Mix well. Roll into desired- size balls. Flour each ball, and shake off the extra flour. Sear in a pan on all sides until light brown. Add wine until it comes halfway up the side of the meatballs. Put in oven and bake at 400° until cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.



Make sure to pre-order your copy of Fed Up (Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries), due out in paperback on January 5th (my birthday!!!) & Cook the Books, the latest in the Gourmet Girls series, due out March 2nd. You definitely don't want to miss one. The most bestest in the series!!! (I know, I've read it!)


And......make sure to check back tomorrow for a sneak peak of chapter one of Cook the Books!


http://foodfiction.weebly.com
http://adventuresnwriting.blogspot.com
http://conantparkmysteries.googlepages.com


Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.

Here's what I got ~

Dead Air (Sammy Greene Thrillers) by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid (For Review) ~ Talk is cheap, but when this radio host takes action, she may pay the ultimate price. An outspoken, brash, native New Yorker, Sammy Greene isn't afraid to ruffle a few feathers at Ellsford University, her ultraconservative New England college. Host of "The Hot Line", a talk-radio show on campus station WELL, Sammy tackles the toughest, most controversial issues facing Ellsford's students. When Sammy discovers the body of Dr. Burton Conrad, one of Ellsford's most esteemed professors, her journalistic drive kicks in and she sets out to discover what happened to the beloved professor. But when several Ellsford students mysteriously disappear, Sammy realizes she's uncovered the seamy, terrifying underbelly of this prestigious institute of higher education. With the entire campus in peril, and demons from her past close behind, Sammy Greene must race to find answers. Along the way, she'll discover some unlikely allies-and even more unlikely enemies. If Sammy isn't careful, someone is going to make sure that she signs off-for good.

Happy Hour by Michele Scott ~ Four friends working in Napa Valley, Sundays are for fellowship, good food and wine. Jamie is editor-in-chief at "Wine Lover's Magazine," and a single mother. Before her husband died, she lived a fairy tale life. Guilt from his death keeps her from moving forward. Kat is a sommelier, and co-owner of a restaurant with her chef husband Christian. Although deeply in love they deal with a myriad of issues, including ex-spouses, Kat's teenage sons and her new age mother Venus. Danielle is a vintner who finds herself entrenched in both an identity and family crises when her eldest daughter returns home from college with a bombshell of a secret. Alyssa is an artist and gallery owner. When a tragic past event catches up with her, she must face the skeleton in her closet and rely on her friends to see her through her darkest hours. These women discover that friendship is the right prescription to get through the hard times as well as for enjoying the wonderful moments together.

Murder by the Glass by Michele Scott (Autographed) ~The poisoning of a Napa Valley bride has oenophile Nikki Sands researching what may have been a killer bottle of wine.

Saddled with Trouble (A Horse Lover's Mystery) by Michele Scott (Autographed) ~ Quarter horse trainer Michaela Bancroft's husband is divorcing her for a 22 year-old beauty. Stunned, Michaela is trying to rein in her life when she finds her Uncle Lou murdered. And when she's nearly run off the road, she suspects she's on the fast track to being the next victim.

Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky (ARC) ~ When Susan Tate's seventeen-year-old daughter, Lily, announces she is pregnant, Susan is stunned. A single mother, she has struggled to do everything right. She sees the pregnancy as an unimaginable tragedy for both Lily and herself. Then comes word of two more pregnancies among high school juniors who happen to be Lily's best friends-and the town turns to talk of a pact. As fingers start pointing, the most ardent criticism is directed at Susan. As principal of the high school, she has always been held up as a role model of hard work and core values. Now her detractors accuse her of being a lax mother, perhaps not worthy of the job of shepherding impressionable students. As Susan struggles with the implications of her daughter's pregnancy, her job, financial independence, and long-fought-for dreams are all at risk. The emotional ties between mothers and daughters are stretched to breaking in this emotionally wrenching story of love and forgiveness. Once again, Barbara Delinsky has given us a powerful novel, one that asks a central question: What does it take to be a good mother?

Holiday Grind (Coffee House Mystery) by Cleo Coyle (Autographed) ~ In the charming eighth coffeehouse mystery from the pseudonymous Coyle (the husband-wife writing team of Marc Cerasini and Alice Alfonsi), Clare Cosi, owner of the Village Blend, is preoccupied with creating flavorful and memorable drinks for the upcoming holiday season. Then one snowy December day, Clare discovers a beloved customer, Alf Glockner, shot to death in a nearby alley. Doubtful of the police conclusion that Alf, a part-time comedian who was working as a charity Santa, was the victim of a random murder, Clare sets out to find out what really happened. To her peril, she must do so on her own because her boyfriend, NYPD Det. Mike Quinn, is busy with his own homicide investigation. This light cozy will keep readers guessing until the end, while the drink and accompanying treat recipes will send anyone to the kitchen in search of a candy cane brownie and a caffe mocha latte.

Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle - WINNER!

Congratulations

Osugrad

I've sent an email requesting their addresses. If I don't hear back from in 48 hrs, I'll choose another winner. Thank you to those that have entered :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Down To The Wire by David Rosenfelt (ARC)

Down to the Wire by David Rosenfelt

A reporter for the Bergen News, Chris Turley could never measure up to his father, a combination of Bob Woodward and Ernie Pyle. He was one of the last great investigative reporters and a difficult man to impress. While stuck covering town hall meetings, Chris has always dreamt of his own Pulitzer, however unlikely it seems.

Then one day while he's waiting to meet a source, an explosion takes out half of an office building. Shocked into action, Chris saves five people and his firsthand account makes him a celebrity.

And that's not all. The source's next tip implicates a crooked mayor, and Chris has his second story. But then he finds out the deadly lengths to which his source has gone to "help" him, and now the man wants something in return - or more people will die. What seemed like a reporter's dream quickly becomes a nightmare.

Friday, November 20, 2009

El Patron by Michele Scott


What began as an innocent love affair for one young woman, Marta Peña, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 1969, sets in motion a series of events that spans the next thirty years. This is the story of South American drug lords Antonio Espinoza and Javier Rodriguez, and their violent quest for power. In a sweeping family saga, we meet the women who love them and the children they vow to protect at any cost.

With a complex web of interconnected families, this gritty novel delves into the lives of a power hungry clan, following the rise of their business, the destructive path of their torrid and erotic love affairs, and the struggle to balance intense greed with devout family loyalty.

Strong women face tragedies that test their will and their commitment to the men they passionately desire. As young girls grow into women, their traumatic pasts will drive their actions and force them to make gut-wrenching decisions.

With murder, drug trafficking, dirty politics, illegal gambling, prostitution, obsessive love affairs, and family strife, El Patrón is a whirlwind in the vein of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather.

This book was AMAZING!!!!!

Full of love, lust, honor, murder, deceit and redemption El Patron has it all!


Check back later to read the first chapter and get a taste of how good this book really is. Look for a chance to win a copy of this book, pre-order your copy today and a special Black Friday promotion!