BLOG TOUR – Calamity at the Continental Club – REVIEW

Large banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Calamity at the Continental Club by Colleen J. Shogan - July 15-July 28, 2017 - includes photo of author and book cover

4 out of 5 stars

Today I’m happy to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours blog tour for Calamity at the Continental Club by Colleen J. Shogan. I enjoyed this book quite a bit and look forward to reading more from this author!

Book Cover: Calamity at the Continental Club by Colleen J. Shogan: A Washington Whodunit - a woman dressed in black with a fedora hat with a drink in hand standing in front of a window with cream shades

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WashingtonDC

Synopsis

The Mayflower Society is about to hold its annual meeting at Washington D.C.’s swanky gathering place for the elite, the Continental Club. That means Kit Marshall’s upper-crust future in-laws, Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, are coming for a visit. Annoyed that Kit has not set a date to marry Doug, Buffy wants her to commit to a high society wedding at the club. Kit, though chief of staff for a congresswoman, feels uncomfortable with Buffy and Winston’s crowd.

Kit receives an unexpected reprieve in the form of murder. En route to her morning jog, she encounters the corpse of the leader of the Mayflower Society, conservative multimedia tycoon Grayson Bancroft. On the security cameras, no one was seen entering or leaving the club, which means the culprit had to be an overnight guest. Little love was lost on Bancroft, but the police have their prime suspect: Doug’s father.

Buffy and Winston, formerly disdainful of Kit’s sleuthing, urge her to investigate. With her future in-laws’ freedom and reputations at stake, Kit sets out once again to solve a murder mystery, this time aided by her fiancé Doug in addition to her friends Meg and Trevor and her dog Clarence. Her search for clues will take her from the club to the Smithsonian Museum, the National Archives, and Mount Vernon.

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Review

This was an interesting and fascinating book. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series!

I enjoyed Kit, Doug, Trevor, Meg and all the other characters in this book. They’re rich, complex, and well-developed. Their antics and their chemistry kept me interested in the story throughout. I’m not a fan of the rich elite, so some of the side characters got on my nerves, but they were well-written. It was just my personal preferences getting in the way.

The plot line moved along at a steady pace, though it did seem a bit slow at times. I still enjoyed the story, but there were a couple of places where it just seemed to drag and I wanted it to move faster. However, I had no idea who was the villain until the end of the book, so the pace didn’t change that at all.

While still considered a cozy, I felt more like I was reading a logic puzzle than a cozy mystery. I don’t mean this in a bad way. I enjoyed the fact that it was more of a puzzle than other mysteries I’ve read. It felt a lot like Agatha Christie’s mysteries. I’m looking forward to reading the others in the series.

I highly recommend this series to cozy lovers and especially to those who love Agatha Christie’s mysteries!

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About the Author

Author photo: Colleen Shogan - middle aged white woman with long brown hair parted down the middle, wearing a sleeveless pink shirt and pretty pink stone necklace

Colleen Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked in the United States Senate and for the Congressional Research Service. She’s currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress, working on great outreach initiatives such as the National Book Festival. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob Raffety and their beagle mutt, Conan.

Author Links

Webpage – www.colleenshogan.com

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

Twitter –  www.twitter.com/cshogan276

GoodReads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1269678.Colleen_J_Shogan

 

Thanks for joining me today on another great blog tour adventure! If you want to visit the other stops on the blog tour, please click on the banner below! It’ll take you to the main tour page!

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BLOG TOUR – Engaged in Trouble – SPOTLIGHT

Large Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones - July 10-July 23, 2017 - includes a photo of the author and the book cover

Today, I’m happy to be hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones, the first in the Enchanted Events Mystery series!

I was supposed to be doing a review, which will come at some point down the road, probably towards the end of next week, but I had to change this post to a spotlight post due to having issues with migraines this week. Dang migraines.

Book Cover: Engaged in Trouble, an Enchanted Events mystery by Jenny B Jones - Night sky background with a cityscape a silhouette of a couple standing on a bridge

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Synopsis

When a washed-up pop star inherits a wedding planning business, it’s all bouquets and bliss until a bride turns up dead.

Paisley Sutton shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later that star has fizzled out, just like her bank account. When she unexpectedly inherits her aunt’s wedding planning business, Paisley leaves the glamour of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking she’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldy property, Paisley’s shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. She’s got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if she wants to sell and rekindle her music career with the profits.

Paisley’s tossed into a world of vows and venues, but her most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to Paisley as the prime murder suspect. And she does not look good in prison orange.

This former pop princess will need the help of her gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and her handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear her good name. As she and her unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, she discovers the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer Paisley gets to the truth, the more her own life is in danger.

Love is in the air this wedding season, but before Paisley can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” she’s got to unveil a killer. Or find herself the next target.

Engaged in Trouble is the first book in the long-awaited Enchanted Events cozy mystery series by award-winning author Jenny B. Jones. If you like laugh-out-loud adventures, small-town romance, unforgettable, sassy characters, and a mystery to keep you guessing, then you’ll love this new page-turning series.

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Praise for Engaged in Trouble:

Funny and fast-fast paced, this is a great cozy.
~The Book’s the Thing

Engaged in Trouble was a super fun and quirky cozy mystery!
The story/plot fast paced full of twists and turns and surprises that kept this reader captivated from the very beginning.
~My Reading Journeys

This book is a combo of chick lit and cozy mystery. Humor is spread throughout the book with mystery and a touch of romance. It’s a quick read with “laugh-out-loud” fun.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

Sylvie and Frannie might be two of my favorite characters ever.
~Bubby at Bubble Bath Books

Paisley was really funny, down to earth, and relate-able. Beau was a great character also. I enjoyed his sense of humor and he brought a level of mystery to the book in addition to the murder mystery.
~Bookworm Cafe

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About the Author

Author Jenny B. Jones - Young white woman with dark brown hair stopping just above her shoulders sitting on cement steps wearing a grey and white striped cardigan, grey shell, and pants

Award-winning, best-selling author Jenny B. Jones writes romance, cozies, and YA with sass and Southern charm. Since she has very little free time, Jenny believes in spending her spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits, such as eating ice cream, watching puppy videos, and reading celebrity gossip. She lives in the beautiful state of Arkansas and has worked in public education for half of forever.  She loves bluegrass, a good laugh, and strong tea. She adores hearing from readers.

Author sites and social media:

Webpage: www.JennyBJones.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jennybjones/
Twitter: @jenbjones

Instagram: @JennyBJonesAuthor
Good Reads: www.goodreads.com/JennyBJones

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Thanks for joining me on today’s stop! I’ll try to get the review up as soon as I can next week! If you wish to visit other stops on the blog tour, click on the banner below! It will take you to the main tour page where there is a list of participants!

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour – All Signs Point to Murder – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Large Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco - June 24-July 8, 2017 - also contains the author's photo and the book cover

Today, I’m thrilled to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco! This was an absolutely delightful book to read!

Book Cover: All Signs Point to Murder - a Zodiac Mystery by Connie Di Marco - Study setting with a window overlooking a garden set up for a wedding - foreground has a white table full of candles, astrological charts and a bridal bouquet

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Astrology chart with a yin-yang in the center, the symbols around the edges and the constellations on the outside of the circular chart

Synopsis

Julia Bonatti is alarmed by the astrological signs looming over Geneva Leary’s wedding day, but nobody asked Julia’s opinion and being a bridesmaid means supporting the bride no matter what. Even with the foreboding Moon-Mars-Pluto lineup in the heavens, no one’s prepared for the catastrophes that strike: a no-show sister, a passed-out wedding planner, and a lethal shooting in the dead of night.

With anger and grief threatening to tear the Leary family part, Julia is determined to understand how such a terrible tragedy could occur. As she digs deeper into the family’s secrets, her astrological insights will lead her to the truth about a criminal enterprise that stretches far beyond the California coast.

Zodiac symbols in watercolor

Review

This is a delightfully fun book to read! It is the second in the Zodiac Mystery series and I get the feeling that if I’d read the series in order, I might understand a couple of things a little better, but this time I don’t feel like that detracted from the book or diminished my ability to enjoy it.

Our heroine, Julia, is great. For the most part, while she lets her emotions get her into bad situations at times, she doesn’t seem to go deliberately looking for trouble. She might ask questions and talk to people, but she’s not out there deliberately putting herself in harm’s way most of the time (tho’ harm’s way finds her, unfortunately). I enjoyed the supporting characters as well. I’d like to see more of Gail and Cheryl in the next book, but I realize they weren’t really part of this particular story line.

Speaking of story lines, this one was fantastic! There were enough red herrings to keep me from accurately guessing the person until right near the end. Even then, I wasn’t positive I was right until the climax of the book. The prose flowed well and the pace was steady, but not too fast nor too slow.

I could have used a little more setting descriptions, but I’d rather an author err on the side of being too cautious and not giving me enough description rather than being extra wordy about them.

All in all, I highly recommend this book! I’ve already grabbed the first one in the series from my library and plan to indulge over the weekend! Enjoy!

Astrology chart with a yin-yang in the center, the symbols around the edges and the constellations on the outside of the circular chart

About the Author

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti.  The first in the series, The Madness of Mercury, was released in June 2016 and the second, All Signs Point to Murder, available for pre-order now, will be released on August 8, 2017.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.  Some of her favorite recipes can be found in The Cozy Cookbook  and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.  Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.conniedimarco.com/

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

Twitter:  @askzodia

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14751339.Connie_Di_Marco

Author Central:  amazon.com/author/conniedimarco

Zodiac symbols in watercolor

Thanks for joining me for today’s stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. If you wish to visit other participants’ stops, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page which has a list of participants!

Medium banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco - June 24-July 8, 2017 - banner includes the book cover.

 

 

Blog Tour: Death on West End Road – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Large Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle - June 19-June 30, 2017 - banner includes the author's photo and the book cover

Today I’m happy to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle. My post today consists of an interview with Ms. Doyle.  There will be the requisite links to purchase the book at the end of this post!

First of all, a massive “Thank you!” to Ms. Doyle for being willing to answer my questions. I tend to ask questions with multiple parts and she didn’t back away from any of it! Okay, on to our questions and answers.

Question #1:  Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?  Do you enjoy your day job?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I run a small press called Dunemere Books with my sister, author Liz Carey and a friend Tiffany Palmer. We publish destination fiction with a strong sense of place in the mystery, YA and middle grade categories. We focus primarily on series.


Question #2: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: When I am writing a book I try to write every weekday. I work at the New York Society Library in the quiet room. I usually write for three hours. But if I’m on a deadline I write at home. I can go into hyper-focus and ignore the noise around me quite well actually, as long as my sons and husband don’t bother me! It’s actually usually my dogs who tend to get in my way because they like to sit next to me and lick my fingers when I am typing.


Question #3: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reigns” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: There are some characters that just write themselves. I feel like my body and fingers are a conduit for Larry Lipper, who is a crime reporter in my books. He is very politically incorrect and a childish narcissist, and I like to think that I am not, so he truly speaks through me. I usually do a rough outline and then set off from there. It is always exciting when you are stumped by something and then reread your draft and realize you had subconsciously laid down clues to that question all along and the answer is so obvious.


Question #4: How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I’ve been rejected hundreds of times. Literally. Not just for my books but for my screenplays and my film pitches. I started as a screenwriter with Jill Kargman (now the star of her own show called Odd Mom Out on Bravo) and we used to go and pitch all of the studios, all of the networks and all of the production companies all the time. We had to come up with original takes on movies or shows or create our own. We had people tell us it was the best pitch they ever heard and then never return our agent’s call. We had studio executives tell us they would love to work with us and they thought our pitch was the best but they would rather work with a male writing team because ‘they were so cute.’ Rejection really propels me, though, and perhaps I am a masochist. In the very beginning I was dissuaded but now it makes me take on the attitude, ‘I’ll show them.’ And things don’t have to be done in the traditional manner anymore. Despite the fact that my books were on seven bestseller lists and translated into 9 languages and I was on the “Today Show” and featured in dozens of magazines I had a difficult time finding a publisher for my mystery books. Rejections all around. So I just co-founded my own small press with two partners and raised money and hired editors, copy editors, designers and publicists who are on staff at the big publishing houses to freelance for us at Dunemere Books. I see it as taking control of not only my work, but the type of books I want to see published. I feel excited every time we commission another author’s book.


Question #5: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I probably go through three revisions. I have two editors that read everything I write then I have another editor and a copy editor. I do think it helps when you let a book percolate. It doesn’t always mean that I will put down a book for a while, although I usually do for a month, but sometimes when I get the idea for my next book I let it germinate in my mind for several months.

 


Question #6:  A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: In my latest book, DEATH ON WEST END ROAD, I actually feel like there are several villains. In this book my heroine Antonia Bingham investigates a cold case—the murder of sixteen-year-old Susie Whitaker who was bludgeoned to death with a tennis racket. Often in cold cases, there are people who know a lot more than they say and that can make them complicit, especially if they never stepped forward. Silence can make you guilty just as much as if you actually committed the murder.

I think the best villains are the most innocuous people. On ‘Law and Order” they always would interview the next-door neighbor who would describe the suspect as ‘a quiet, every day guy.’ It’s the ‘every day guys’ who are the most chilling.


Question #7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: Not really. When I wrote ‘gossip lit’ there were people who thought they were portrayed in my book and were offended, so I make sure not to write about anyone I know. It’s funny, though, someone recently said to me that they know who every one in my first two mystery books is based on and I thought, really? Because I don’t. Sometimes you take little bits from people’s backstories but it is always a compilation.


Question #8: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I’m also a journalist so I like doing profiles of people. I would really like to write nonfiction and perhaps a biography on some major business people—like in the way Walter Isaacson wrote about Steve Jobs. But those books are so daunting because there is so much research and you have to be so careful. I just read Alec Baldwin’s new autobiography and I wished I had been his editor or ghost-writer. There were so many holes in the book and I was left with more questions than answers. When a biography or autobiography is done well it is so exciting. I really liked Mia Farrow’s What Falls Away and Andre Agassi’s Open. I’d love to co-author a book like that.


Question #9: What are some great books you’ve read recently?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I just read The Rosie Project and LOVED it! Loved. I laughed, I cried, I devoured it. I gave it to my husband and one of my son’s who also loved it. I highly recommend it. I recently read Alafair Burke’s The Ex, which was a fast exciting read.


Question #10: What books have influenced your life the most?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I think one of the most important things is timing when it comes to books. Sometimes you read books too early—like I wonder why my school had me reading Madame Bovary in ninth grade, what did I know about discontented housewives and adultery—and sometimes you read them at the very perfect time. I was a Russian Language and Literature Major at Barnard College and read a lot of the great Russian novels during that time. In the fall of my senior year my father died. A few weeks later my family went skiing in Vermont with my aunt and uncle. I would ski all day then come home and read War and Peace by Tolstoy. It was the perfect setting, the perfect time in my life and the perfect book to transport me away from everything. It is one of my favorite books to this day.

Other favorite books are Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; The Secret History by Donna Tartt; The Alienist by Caleb Carr; Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow; Big, Little Lies by Liane Moriarty; Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin and The Black Echo by Michael Connelly


Question #11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I would spend the day with Marty, who is the chef who runs the kitchen under Antonia at her The Windmill Inn. A kitchen veteran, a military veteran, and a no-nonsense guy who possesses a lot of culinary skills, Marty is someone who you could learn a lot from. I am a big fan of cooking—Top Chef is my favorite TV show—and I fancy myself a wannabe chef. I worked at The Barefoot Contessa—Ina Garten’s gourmet food store—in college but I never worked in a restaurant. I would love to learn how to execute the line, and learn proper knife skills. I think Marty could teach me all that. Although, he would be tough so I would really have to be on my toes!


Question #12: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I read most of my reviews, yes. When the book is new for sure I read all. Sometimes I go back and look at what people are saying about my older books on Goodreads and on Amazon. My early books were very polarizing: people either loved them or hated them. And that’s fine; they are not everyone’s cup of tea. It didn’t hurt my feelings if I received one star for those because that just meant the reader completely doesn’t respond to me. The more interesting reviews are the three star out of five reviews, and you can really learn from those. I took a lot of the constructive criticism from my first two Hamptons Murder Mystery books, and incorporated those notes into my latest books. Now there will be—and actually already are—some people who loved the first two books and wished I hadn’t made changes but I had to experiment. Some people thought the first two books were too long and had too much description so I streamlined this book and made it more procedural. I’m interested to hear what people think. I can always go back to longer and more descriptive books for the next one!

 

Author’s Links

Book Cover: Death on West End Road - a Hamptons Murder Mystery by Carrie Doyle. Background is beige with little white dots, there's hydrangea flowers, a tea pot and a glass of liquid with lemon slices

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Thank you for joining me today for an interview with Carrie Doyle! And thank you to Ms. Doyle for being willing to answer my questions! If you wish to visit any of the other stops on the tour, click on the banner below and it will take you to the main tour page which lists all stops!

Medium Banner - Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle - June 19-June 30, 2017 - banner includes a picture of the cover of the book.

Blog Tour – Magick & Mayhem – REVIEW

Large Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape, May 1-May 14, 2017 - includes a picture of the author and the cover of the book.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Today, I’m happy to bring you a spot in the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Magick & Mayhem, the first book in the Abracadabra Mystery series by Sharon Pape. It’s a decent start to a new series.

Book Cover: Magick & Mayhem: An Abracadabra Mystery by Sharon Pape - dark aqua background - large black cat with green eyes outlined with a city inside the body with yellow letters for the title.

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Synopsis

Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life as a descendant of small-town New Camel’s most magickal family. She just didn’t expect to inherit her mother and grandmother’s centuries-old shop, Abracadabra, so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate at the local attorney’s office—and stumbles over the body of her best friend Elise’s husband . . .

As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she’s closing in on a killer—who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills again!

Review

While this is definitely a decent start to this new series, Magick & Mayhem, almost didn’t make the cut for me. I found it to be very disjointed and confusing at the beginning. However, I enjoyed the second half of the book much more than the first half, which redeemed it a bit.

The characters are definitely interesting. Kailyn’s certainly fun and inquisitive. Aunt Tilly & Merlin add some extra spice to the group. They’re fairly well-rounded characters, though it didn’t really seem like it at first. At first, they simply seemed all over the place and not developed at all. I’m not a fan of the heroine who decides that she must poke her nose in when she really doesn’t have that much of a reason. I can see where Kailyn thinks she has a reason, but honestly, until her friend is actually arrested, it seems pretty flimsy at best.

The descriptions of the settings were okay, but not great. I had a hard time imagining many of the settings, including Kailyn’s shop and house. It would’ve helped to have a little more detail there.

The story line… thankfully it got better as the book went on. The first half of the book, I was very confused by the secondary plot and found that getting in the way of the main plot line. The longer the book went on, however, the better the two plot lines merged and successfully played off of each other. I also did not know who the villain was until it was revealed. I was off on the wrong track completely.

Normally, when I’m reading a new book, I give the book 50-100 pages to reel me in (depending on the length of the book). However, when I’m reading a book for review, I don’t do that for the most part (there has been one exception to that). In this instance, I’m glad I didn’t stop reading because it did get better the longer it went on and by the end of the book I actually found myself enjoying it!

I do recommend this book, mostly because it gives a decent introduction to the characters that we’re sure to see in the future. I do plan to give the series another try when the second book comes out in November. I’m hoping that the writing style of that book will be more like the second half of this one when everything was starting to finally gel together.

*** Thank you to the author and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***

About the Author

Author Sharon Pape - Older caucasian woman with auburn hair, wide eyes with no glasses, and a smile wearing a dark grey or black jacket.

I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to put letters together to form words. From that day forward, writing has been a part of my life whether it was my first attempt at a novel in seventh grade or the little plays I wrote for my friends to perform for neighbors and family. After college, when I was busy teaching French and Spanish to high school students, I was also writing poetry — some of it in French.

After several years, I left teaching to be a full-time mom, and when my two children started school, I went back to writing. To my delight I found that the muse was still there, still waiting patiently for me to come around. My first novel, Ghostfire, was published at that time. It went on to be condensed in Redbook magazine (the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed.) Then came The God Children and The Portal. Redbook also published my first short story, which was subsequently sold to several foreign magazines. With two great kids, a golden retriever and a loving, supportive husband (whom I’d met at the beach when I was fourteen — but that’s a story for another day), I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be in my life. But fate had another plan for me, and it went by the name of “breast cancer.”

Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was that the cancer was discovered at such an early stage, but at the time it was all very overwhelming. Once I was back on my feet, I wanted to help other women who were newly diagnosed, worried and afraid. I became a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society and went on to run the program for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. A number of years later, with the help of my surgical oncologist and two other volunteers, I started Lean On Me, a nonprofit organization that provides peer support and information to breast cancer patients. When Lean On Me celebrated its tenth anniversary it no longer required as much of my time, and I once again found myself free to pursue my first love — writing.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook –  Pinterest – Twitter

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Thanks for joining me today on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Magick & Mayhem! Click on the banner below to go to the main tour page where you can find information about all the stops on the tour!

Medium Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape - May 1-May 14, 2017 - includes the cover of the book