Wednesday, September 17, 2014

AND JUSTICE FOR SOME by Joanne Sydney Lessner: $30 Book Blast

Welcome to my stop on the book blast tour for And Justice for Some by Joanne Sydney Lessner, a Mystery released September 16, 2014 from Dulcet Press.

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Joanne will be awarding a $30 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post. Please click the banner to see a list of other stops on the tour.

Dinner theater can be a death sentence—literally.

Actress Isobel Spice and her best friend Delphi Kramer are thrilled to finally have an opportunity to perform together, even if it’s just a cheesy interactive murder mystery at a judge’s lifetime achievement dinner. But when Isobel’s dramatic death scene is upstaged by a real murder and Delphi is left holding the still-smoking gun, Isobel drops the role of victim and assumes the role of detective. With the help of her precocious brother Percival and her reluctant temp agent James Cooke, Isobel peels back layers of deception to reveal a shocking abuse of power—and no shortage of suspects eager to deliver justice to a man who denied it to so many.

Excerpt One:

The gun went off with a resounding report, and Isobel Spice staggered backward with a gasp. She tried to scream, but her breath caught in the back of her throat and all that came out was a gurgling, choking sound. Her eyes widened in horror as her hands, clutching her chest, came away red and sticky. She swayed precariously for a moment, but then her eyelids collapsed, her head fell back, and her knees gave way. She sank to the ground, arms and legs splayed at unnatural angles.

All was silent.

“Okay, that was way over the top.”

 Isobel sat up in the middle of the dance floor, wiping her hands on her stained shirt. She frowned at her friend, Delphi Kramer, who was still aiming the old-fashioned-looking derringer at her.

“That’s not your call.” Isobel turned to Peter Catanzaro, the burly, broad-shouldered, perennially stubbled producer and star of Murder à la Carte. “Was it too much?”

“Are you kidding? The cheesier, the better.” Peter offered a hand and pulled her to her feet. “Shakespeare it ain’t.”

Isobel snuck a glance at Delphi, whose blue eyes grew stormy. Isobel knew Delphi prided herself on her facility with the Bard’s iambs, and she, more than Isobel, felt they were slumming doing murder mystery dinner theater. Having won her point with Peter, however, Isobel took pity on her friend and, grabbing her arm, whispered a reminder: “A hundred bucks. And dinner.”

Delphi shook her off, and the gun bumped Isobel’s arm. Isobel let out a little shriek.

“Give me the gun,” Peter ordered. “That’s why you don’t get to handle the weapons except during rehearsal and performance.”

Joanne Sydney Lessner is the author of BloodWrites Award-Winner The Temporary Detective (Dulcet Press, 2012), which introduces Isobel Spice, aspiring actress and resourceful office temp turned amateur sleuth. Isobel’s adventures continue in the novels Bad Publicity (Dulcet Press, 2013) and And Justice for Some (Dulcet Press, 2014). The Ghosts’ High Noon (Dulcet Press, 2014), an Isobel Spice short story, is available on as a free download. Inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine, Joanne’s debut novel Pandora’s Bottle (Flint Mine Press, 2010) was named one of the top five books of 2010 by Paperback Dolls. Her play, Critical Mass, winner of the 2009 Heiress Productions Playwriting Competition, received its New York premiere at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row in October 2010. She has written the book and lyrics to several musicals with her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, including the cult hit Fermat’s Last Tango, which received its Off-Broadway premiere at the York Theatre Company in November 2000, and Einstein’s Dreams, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. They are currently developing a musical based on Wilkie Collins’s The Haunted Hotel for the Signature Theatre Company in Arlington, Virginia. Joanne is also a regular contributing writer to Opera News.




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Cover Reveal: Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander (Cozy Mystery) + Giveaway

Today I'm excited to announce the cover reveal of Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander. This is a cozy mystery that releases December 30th by St. Martin's Press. This is the first in the Bakeshop Mystery series! The baked goods on the cover look yummy, don't they?


About the Book:
Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…

"Sure to satisfy both dedicated foodies and ardent mystery lovers alike."―Jessie Crockett, author of Drizzled with Death

The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival’s newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her…but still. The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…

"Alexander weaves a tasty tale of deceit, family ties, delicious pastries, and murder.” ―Edith Maxwell, author of A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die

About the Author:
Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.


Prize package of goodies (US only)


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Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge #TraveltheWorldinBooks

I completed my reading goals for the Travel the World in Books Readathon while on vacation. I enjoyed it so much that I've decided to join the Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge hosted by Lost in Books, Savvy Working Gal and Moms' Small Victories.

My baby steps goal is read two books set on each of the continents. When I make it to all the continents, I'll start again.

Ready to join us? Stop by and read the goals and rules for this challenge, write up your sign up post and link it up here. Get ready for your travel the world in books adventure!

If you are looking for some great reads set in France, be sure to stop by Words and Peace and France Book Tours. You'll find giveaways, memes, reviews, etc. I am the featured blogger for September on FBT. *high fives all around*


Where are you reading?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Now Touring: An Event to Remember or Forget by Melissa Baldwin + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the book tour for An Event to Remember or Forget by Melissa Baldwin, a clean chick-lit romantic comedy.

Congratulations to Melissa on the release of her debut novel!

An Event to Remember Tour

Tour Schedule 

An event to remember or forget

An Event to Remember... or Forget 

Sienna Harris is a girl with a plan. Her days of slaving away at Carrie’s Classic Events and More are numbered as she is on the brink of launching her own event planning company. Her relationship with Luke Price is headed in the right direction and they are approaching their one-year mark. The future is looking bright and she knows that life could not get any better . . . That is until her perfectly planned world is thrown upside down by the unexpected arrival of someone from Luke’s past. She receives the shock of her life on the night of the biggest event of her career. Sienna will now have to pull it all together without a list or a plan. The question is, can she do it?




I hear my phone ringing from somewhere on my desk. I shift some stuff to find it and see it’s Carrie calling me.
“Sienna, I sent over the remainder of the paperwork I needed to sign. I will be away for the next few days and unreachable. I also wanted to tell you that I am very impressed with how well you have handled this event.”
I think I’m hallucinating again. First of all, she seems a teeny, tiny bit interested in this event, and secondly, she gave me a compliment. I now have no doubts that she is up to something. I’m about to say something but she continues.
“I also saw that Mr. Eckelund and his firm are listed as a sponsor. No doubt you had something to do with that. I’m sure you were extremely persuasive in securing that, and I have to say WELL DONE. I suppose I have taught you a lot.”
Wait, what? Is she implying what I think she is?
“Carrie, I can assure you that there was no persuasion involved in that sponsorship. I had simply mentioned the event in passing, and he scheduled a meeting with Mr. Canton. To be honest, I am offended you even suggested that.”
“Come now, love, don’t be coy. It was just an observation from the other evening. That is a very good relationship to build, professionally of course. I’m very aware of who he is and his connections. 
Surely, we can add him to our clientele. Next time you see him you should mention that. Will you be seeing him again soon?”


Melissa BaldwinAuthor Melissa Baldwin 

Melissa graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications; she has always had a love for writing. An avid journal keeper, she fulfilled her dream with her debut novel, An Event To Remember . . . Or Forget. Melissa resides in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and young daughter. She is a master at organization and multi-tasking. Her daily jobs include mother, chauffeur, wife, PTA President, Fitness Trainer, and now Author. When she has free time, she enjoys traveling, fitness, decorating, fashion, and taking a Disney Cruise every now and then.

Blog * Facebook * Pinterest * Twitter

Blog Tour Giveaway 

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/2/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Falling for Books Blog Hop: September 16th-30th (US) #TheStrain

One of my favorite things about fall is the start of the United States' largest television viewing season. I am looking forward to new episodes of Scandal (see #WWOPR at the bottom of this post), The Blacklist, Grimm, The Mindy Project, Agents of Shield, The Americans and Sleepy Hollow. The list goes on and on...

This fall, I'll be saying goodbye to The Strain, a television adaptation of the novel trilogy of the same name. Season one of the drama/horror* premiered on FX this summer and ends in October. FX renewed the series for a second season on August 6. Huzzah!

To celebrate, I am giving away a  hardcover copy of The Strain (The Strain Trilogy #1) by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan to a randomly drawn winner (U.S. mailing addresses only) via the rafflecopter widget in this post. Check out the vampire threat and a sample of the first chapter here.

*If vampires and/or horror are not your thing and you are selected as the winner, you can choose a book from my PaperBackSwap bookshelf (in the brown footer at the bottom of the blog) instead. I have some other movie-television-ish books listed.

Thanks for stopping by my post in the Falling for Books Blog Hop hosted by Lilybloombooks. Hop through all the blogs for giveaways at each stop!

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Check out the clip below where the cast and crew take you inside the adaptation of The Strain.

Inside The Strain: A Novel Approach

What differences and similarities exist between the book and series? - Hulu

FX | Sundays 10:00pm | Behind the Scenes | Aired on 08/28/2014 | TV-MA

Scandal Fan Fueled Recap: Episode 9

I'm counting down the days until Scandal's season premiere here on MAD Hoydenish by suggesting books for Olivia Pope's beach ereader. With 9 days to go, I'd add The Strain to Olivia's ereader for a little variety. Some of the scenes in season three of Scandal scared me as much as a scene from The Strain. Like the scene where Olivia's mother "opened" up her wrists as part of an elaborate escape plan. Eew. Or when Huck pulled out Quinn's tooth to "encourage" her to give up information. SMH. - Thanks to that scene, I now cringe whenever I see pliers or kitchen thongs. See the toothy highlights in this recap:

You Only Live Once, join Alie Ward as she recaps scandalous moments from Episode 9: YOLO.
From Season 3 Episode 9 | Aired on 12/06/2013 | TV-PG

What Would Olivia Pope Read? #WWOPR

#WhereisOlivaPope? According to my math, Olivia Pope and Jake Ballard are on a beach somewhere. They are drinking wine, eating popcorn, making out, and planning their next steps.

Olivia is always so busy on the show. She doesn't get many chances to enjoy a little quiet time. I am recommending that she get in some reading while hanging out at the beach.

I'm counting down the days until Scandal's season premiere by suggesting books for Olivia's beach ereader. They'll be books that a gladiator might enjoy. You know, based on stuff from the show.

Do you watch Scandal? Care to join me? What books would you suggest for Olivia's beach ereader?

Countdown Clock

Monday, September 15, 2014

Shelley Shepard Gray is heading back to Sugarcreek in JOYFUL! {Book giveaway}

Don't miss Shelley Shepard Gray's newest book in the Return to Sugarcreek series, Joyful. USA Today raved: "A sweet, straightforward story about how love can be tested by family, faith, and personal insecurity. Enjoyable and heartwarming."

Click the banner for a chance to win books 1-3 in Shelley's Return to Sugarcreek series! 

Winner announced on Shelley's blog on 9/30.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fairy Tale Magic Blog Hop: Sept 15-22

Love... All things Fairy Tale? We're celebrating them in all their forms... originals, adaptations, twists and retellings. Sweet or steamy or a little bit twisted! Hop through all the blogs for giveaways at each stop. And don't forget to enter for the $100 Amazon gift card grand prize drawing too!

I am giving away a hardcover copy of Once Upon a Time: A Collection of Classic Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm and Kevin Tong (illustrator) and a book of fairy tale bookmarks to a randomly drawn winner (U.S. mailing addresses only) via the rafflecopter widget in this post. Once Upon a Time is an illustrated Brothers Grimm collection with a foreword written by the creators of the ABC television show, Once Upon a Time (returns Sunday, September 28 at 8|7c).


I always chuckle when a character mentions fairy tales on the ABC television show Scandal. It's usually in contrast to something bad that has happened. As if all fairy tales are nothing but happiness from start to finish. For example, check out the Scandal clip below where Olivia asks Jake how he got to her apartment after being held prisoner.

"This is not a fairy tale. This is not happily ever after. If you’re still alive, it’s because he still owns you, it’s because you’re still useful to him. And he’s going to find a way to use you against me." - Olivia Pope

I think that people forget that fairy tales are not all rainbows and kittens. A fair amount of scary stuff happens in many of them before the happily-ever-after ending. Season four of Scandal starts in ten days (Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 9|8c)! We won't know if Olivia gets her happily-ever-after (despite all of the craziness) for quite sometime. Until then, I'm adding Once Upon a Time: A Collection of Classic Fairy Tales to Olivia's beach ereader. She could use a little fairy tale magic.

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Here's the book's description:
“Once upon a time . . .”

Four simple words that, after more than two centuries, still have the ability to transport readers to lands of mystery, intrigue, and betrayal, life and death, love and abandon. Timeless are the tales of the Brothers Grimm who, in an effort to preserve native folklore, unwittingly crafted a cornerstone of Western literature.

With this book of fairy tales, beautifully illustrated by artist Kevin Tong, reacquaint yourself with the stories and characters you know and love. Run through the forest with Little Red Cap. Attend the ball with Cinderella. Eat an apple with Snow White. From witches to fairies, evil queens to kindly kings, frog princes and sleeping beauties, the Grimm tales are classics that are truly meant to be shared with young and old alike.

With a foreword written by the creators of ABC’s show Once Upon a Time, we see that these classic tales continue to endure and inspire more storytelling. The series brings some of these classic characters to life in a bold reimagination of the fairy tale world.

We invite you to reacquaint yourself with these magical stories and be transported once again with Once Upon a Time.

Scandal Olivia Asks Jake How He Got Here

Olivia is terrified, certain Rowan is going to find a way to use Jake against her. - Hulu
From Season 3 Episode 3 | Aired on 10/17/2013 | TV-PG

Thanks for stopping by the Fairy Tale Magic Blog Hop hosted by Herding Cats and Burning Soup!

What Would Olivia Pope Read? #WWOPR

#WhereisOlivaPope? Olivia Pope and Jake Ballard agreed to run away together at the end of last season's Scandal. According to my math, Olivia and Jake are at a beach somewhere. They are drinking wine, eating popcorn, making out, and planning their next steps.

Olivia is always so busy. She doesn't get many chances to enjoy a little quiet time. I'd recommend that she get in some reading while hanging out at the beach.

I am counting down the days until Scandal's season four premiere by suggesting books for Olivia's beach ereader. They'll be books that a gladiator might enjoy. You know, based on stuff from the show.

Do you watch Scandal? Care to join me? What books would you suggest for Olivia's beach ereader?

Countdown Clock