Will "The Reluctant Reaper" Prove to be Your Guilty Pleasure?

The Reluctant Reaper Title:  The Reluctant Reaper
(The Reluctant Reaper #1)
Author:  Gina X. Grant
Format:  ERC
Length:  200 pages
Expected Date of Publication:  June 17, 2013
Publisher:  Pocket Star

Kirsty d'Arc is enjoying life, until someone she trusts hijacks her soul in this first installment of The Reluctant Reaper series. To escape Hell's inferno and gain revenge, Kirsty must partner with the very Reaper who scythed her-the hunky dead poet Dante Alighieri. Life for Kirsty d'Arc might not be perfect, but it's far from hellish. She likes her job, has a great BFF, and truly admires Conrad, her boss. But when she dives in front of a lunatic's blade to save him from certain death, she finds out Conrad isn't so admirable after all. In fact, he's traded her soul to the Devil!
While her body lies comatose on the Mortal Coil, Kirsty's spirit is dragged straight to Hell...which is not quite the fire-and-brimstone abyss she'd expected. In fact, the place is quirky, wacky, and not without charm. Desperate to reunite body and soul before her time runs out, she seeks out allies, earning the friendship of a powerful drag demon, a psychic server, and, most importantly, Hell's civil servant. But what of her growing attraction to Dante, the sexy Reaper with a flair for romantic language-can she forgive him for scything her soul?
Stuck in the netherworld, Kirsty vows she'll do everything on her postmortem bucket list, starting with getting her life back and ensuring that Conrad has Hell to pay!

My Thoughts
This novella is a campy romp through Hell.  It is not however the fire and brimstone realm of woe and torture bemoaned by clergy the world over.  The Hell we have here is one made up of contracts, waiting lines, cross-dressing ferrymen, and reapers to-die-for.
The best things about this book are:
1.  Characters
2.  The Setting
3.  The Campiness

The worst things about this book are:
1.  Dante's insistence on switching into Old English speak.
2.  The campiness (cute in small doses, but tiresome as time goes on.)

This is what I would refer to as a beer goggles story.  What I mean by that is...this story is at it's best when not taken too seriously, and/or when the reader is very, very, drunk. Watching the dearly, not yet departed Kirsty be put through her paces as she makes her way through the underworld is the biggest draw of this read.  The love interest/romance, not so much.
This is ok as a "first in series" and as such...on to book 2.



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"The Program" Is a Read That You Won't Soon Forget

The Program (The Program, #1)Title:  The Program
(Program #1)
Author:  SuzannYoung
Format:  ERC
Length:  416 pages
ISBN: 
1442445807 (ISBN13: 9781442445802)
 Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Expected Date of Publication:  April 30,2013
Rating:  4 Stars


 Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.  -Goodreads



My Thoughts
This book is a breath of fresh air in the land of YA dystopia.  Tackling sensitive subjects such as teen suicide within the course of a novel is never easy.  Taking on said subject while world building, maintaining authenticity of message and establishing a relatable cast, is nothing short of daunting.

This book packs both a literal and figurative punch from it's opening pages, and maintains a storyline that grips the reader and keeps the pages flying.
Though the high level of loss and high emotionality of this story's first half can prove very disconcerting; it is balanced out and given context by the second.

The relationship between Sloane and James seems a little codependent; given the fact that they serve as each other's emotional touchstone, one can let that slide.
Suzanne Young does a wonderful job establishing "The Program" as " police state."  Thereby establishing a tension which keeps the reader "waiting for the other shoe to drop."
  
The only things keeping this away from the five star mark are:
1.  The vague explanation of how the suicide epidemic came about.
2.  The missing details of how "The Program" works.
3.  Rushed ending. 

Here's hoping that these issues will be rectified in book number two.

This is a really timely and passionately expressed read, that deals with a subject close to the hearts of today's teens in a new and wonderful way.  



                                                                    

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DNF Pile: "Towering" Comes Crashing Down Amid Nonsense

DNF Pile 
Towering 
Title:  Towering
Author:  Alex Flinn
Format:  ERC
Length:  304 pages
Publisher:  Harper TEEN
 Time of Surrender:  51%  Complete

At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.


Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Alex Flinn knows her fairy tales, and Towering is her most mind-bending interpretation yet. Dark and mysterious, this reimagining of Rapunzel will have readers on the edge of their seats wondering where Alex will take them next!  -Goodreads

 My Thoughts
This book seemed so full of promise,
but that was before it became
A MESS!
The story surrounding Wyatt and his being shipped off was part of the long trip down
a winding rabbit hole that is this read;
given the fact that a mystery seemed on the horizon and because it's Alex Flinn...I waited.
Then there was the journal.
The story.
The ghost.
Rachel and 
her hair that only grows and gives her a way out
when there is someone (a cute boy) in danger!
WTF?!!!!!! 
The trouble with this read is that along with suspending one's disbelief,
their common sense would have to go as well.
Case in point?
How do you hide a girl in a tower in 2011?
Add to that the improbability of anyone just happening to 
conveniently find said tower in the way that this one was found, and
BAM...
Readability gone.
 There were also issues with the ghost storyline, Dani's story, and Rachel's tale
running into and crossing each other in the readers mind.
A MESS!
 Alex, you are a brilliant writer,
but this is one diamond that is still
very rough.  


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Adult Contemporary Review: Find Out How Sick Life Can Really Be On "Happy Mutant Baby Pills"

Happy Mutant Baby PillsTitle:  Happy Mutant Baby Pills
Author:  Jerry Stahl
Format:  ERC
Length:  304 pages
Expected Date of Publication:  October 22, 2013
Publisher:  Harper Perennial
ISBN:

0061990507 (ISBN13: 9780061990502)
Rating:  5 stars
 

 From the acclaimed and controversial author of Permanent Midnight comes a savagely satiric novel about taking revenge on those who poison the world in order to sell the cure

Lloyd has a particular set of skills. He writes the small print for presciption drugs, marital aids, and incontinence products. The clients present him with a list of possible side effects, and his job is "to recite and minimize-sometimes by just saying them really fast-other times by finding the language that can render them acceptable." The results are ingenious. The methods diabolical.

Lloyd has a habit, too. He cops smack during coffee breaks at his new job writing copy for Christian Swingles, an online dating service for the faithful. He finds a precarious balance between hackwork and heroin until he encounters Nora, a mysterious and troubled young woman, a Sylvia Plath with tattoos and implants, who asks for his help.

Lloyd falls swiftly in love, but Nora bestows her affections at a cost. Before Lloyd clears his head from the fog of romance, he finds himself complicit in Nora's grand scheme to horrify the world, to exact revenge on those who poison the populace in order to sell them the cure.

Stahl's gleefully twisted, maniacally brilliant prose, will delight, appall, and prove, once again, that Stahl is "a better-than-Burroughs virtuoso" (New Yorker).  -Goodreads



My Thoughts
This can best best described as a very eye opening read.  If that is, you want to open your eyes to find that you have stumbled into the extremely interesting and chemically convoluted lives of a heroine addicted Lloyd, and his equally addicted, exponentially more self destructive, and just plain "nutcase" of a girlfriend, Nora.  

What this book is:
1.  An honest exploration of chemically induced insanity allowed to roam free.
2.  Proof that codependency is a bad thing.
3.  Examples of two very smart people doing very stupid things while using said intelligence to justify said insanity.
4.  A socially relevant, beautifully written, darkly comical look at one couple's greatest fears and the monsters that helped create them.

What this book is not:
1.  Run of the mill fiction.
2.  Mindless
3.  For everyone.

If you like your reads a little dark, a little disturbing, a little poignant, and a whole lot WTF?
Read this book.

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Adult Contemporary Review: Big Girl Panties...A Novel

Big Girl Panties: A NovelTitle:  Big Girl Panties
Author:  Stephanie Evanovich
Format:  Print
Length:  336 pages
Publisher:  William Morrow
Rating:  4.5 Stars 

They say that big girls don't cry. But when the chips are down and the dip is gone, what can you do? Pull up your BIG GIRL PANTIES and change your life.

Holly Brennan didn't expect to be a widow at thirty-two. She also didn't expect to be so big. Through her husband Bruce's diagnosis and death, food was the one thing she could always count on. Now, those extra pounds make flying coach more than a little mortifying-especially since she's sitting next to Adonis himself, aka Logan Montgomery, a personal trainer to the country's most famous pro athletes.

Though Holly doesn't make the grade on his first-impression meter, Logan finds himself intrigued by her sharp wit and keen insight-a welcome change from the beautiful bubble-headed dolls he usually dates-and impulsively offers to get her back in shape. Ready to make at least one positive change in her life, Holly agrees.

To Logan's (and her own) surprise, Holly turns out to be a natural in the gym. Throwing herself into exercise, the red head with the blazing wit and welcoming smile slims down into a bonafide looker with killer curves-and a new kind of hunger. Soon, the easy intimacy and playful banter of their training sessions lead Logan and Holly into the bedroom where they share their most intense and steamy workouts yet.

But can a man whose whole life depends on looks commit himself to a woman who doesn't fit his image? Now that Holly's turning other men's heads, does she even need Logan anymore? Are they a couple built to last . . . or is this sizzling affair going to burn out fast?  -Goodreads


My Thoughts
Watch out Bridget Jones.  Holly Brennan of "Big Girl Panties" is a girl that can self deprecate with the best of them and has wit and charm to spare.
This read is just the well-written, feel good, heart-tugger that chick-lit fans the world over need to kick off their summer read-fest.

Holly Brennan is a woman in flux, when she meets the tall muscular Logan Montgomery on a plane.  Having just lost her husband to Cancer, she wants to go on living, but has no idea how?
Logan Montgomary, fitness trainer to the sports elite and a living Adonis, thinks he has the world on a string...and then.

What happens next is a story full of heart, laughs, sadness, joy, sex, honesty, resilience, and love.
Holly proves that you really can't "judge that proverbial book by it's cover."
While it is true that Holly has issues, the book's author takes great care not to make her a victim of said crisis.
What readers get in Holly, is a woman who, while flawed is strong and willing to go through the pain of healing her past for the chance of a better future.

Truth be told...it is the dark prince who does the majority of the "lesson learning" this time around.
He is the one to break his preconceived mold about things like love and beauty.

The one true weakness of this novel lies in the well-meaning, but at time superfluous  characters of Amanda and Chase.
They do their jobs as a rich and exciting plus one to Logan and Holly, but all of the back-story involving them gets tedious after a while.
All things considered...this book is a wonderful, light, feel-good read meant to be enjoyed in one sitting with a favorite drink.






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Tour: Lessons from the Gypsy Camp #Lessonsfromthegypsycamptour


Join us April 22-26th for this amazing heart wrenching book tour!  Rated 4.5 stars on Goodreads and 4.8 on Amazon!  
Dont forget to follow the tour and to enter to win some great prizes!  


This is some of the great things people are saying about Lesson from the Gypsy Camp! 

This is a great book of coming of age, understanding life in general, and learning lessons that may seem so common tous. Armchair Interviews  

Author Biography





The day Elizabeth Appell was expelled from parochial school for her essay describing the life and death of her dreaded fourth grade teacher, Sister Theodora, she learned the power of the written word. She has never stopped writing. In 1980 she and a partner founded DIGIT, a computer magazine for kids, which hit the world slightly before it's time. Blessed with a relentlessly naggy muse, she's written several novels, one published so far, a slew of award winning screenplays, several plays, one produced in Los Angeles, an arm full of short stories, many published in literary magazines, and two award winning short films. She and her husband have traveled extensively. After visiting southern Spain she hungered for a taste of the art of bullfighting. After three days of training at Camp Bravo in Escalon, California, she entered the ring to fight (bloodlessly) a brave calf.

In 1979 Appell wrote a poem which was featured on the cover of the promotional newsletter for John F. Kennedy University. She was credited as editor of the newsletter, but not as the author of the poem, which has gone on to strike chords in hundreds, maybe thousands of people. For over twenty years it has been attributed to Anais Nin. The credit for the poem now belongs to Elizabeth.

And the day came,
When the risk to remain closed in a bud
Became more painful
Then the risk it took to blossom.

FIND THE AUTHOR
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE







Lessons from the Gypsy Camp
Young Lolly Candolin journeys into a forbidden gypsy camp, befriends many lively outcasts, and unwittingly becomes entangled in murder. Knowing who the true killer is, Lolly struggles with the decision to either speak up, thus setting an innocent man free and devastating her abusive lawyer father hell-bent on destroying the gypsies, or remain quiet and allow a terrible injustice.


FIND THE BOOK
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | PUBLISHER










Giveaways for this great tour are as follows!




Win a Kindle Paperwhite OR   $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
OR 7 print signed copies of the book!
APRIL 22

The Witchy Contessa
http://www.witchycontessa.com
A Book Lovers Libarary 
http://www.abookloverslibrary.com
Jess’s Book Blog
 http://jessbookblog.blogspot.com



APRIL 23

Cherie Reads
 http://cheriereads.blogspot.com
Second Book to the Right
http://2ndbooktotheright.blogspot.com
 Lebooksquirrel
http://Lebooksquirrel.blogspot.com



APRIL 24

WTF Are you Reading?
http://www.wtfareyoureading.com

 Zach’s YA Reviews
http://www.Zachsyareviews.com
Wanted Readers 
Site Link: http://wantedreaders.blogspot.com/



APRIL 25

Hey Wanna See My Indies
http://heywannaseemyindies.blogspot.com
Izz “Pingle” Bookish Place
 http://izzbookishplace.blogspot.com/
Coffee Bean Bookshelf 
http://www.coffeebeanbookshelf.com



APRIL 26

Half Truth Reviews
http://halftruthreviews.blogspot.com
Word to Dreams
http://wordtodreams.blogspot.com
My Devotional Thoughts
http://mydevotionalthoughts.com




a Rafflecopter giveaway

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BookSparks PR Presents: Girl Unmoored

Girl Unmoored
Title:  Girl Unmoored
Author:  Jennifer Gooch-Hummer
Format:  Print
Length:  328 pages
Publisher:  Fiction Studio
Rating:  4 stars


Apron Bramhall has come unmoored. Fortunately, she's about to be saved by Jesus. Not that Jesus-the actor who plays him in Jesus Christ Superstar. Apron is desperate to avoid the look-alike Mike, who's suddenly everywhere, until she's stuck in church with him one day. Then something happens-Apron's broken teenage heart blinks on for the first time since she's been adrift. Mike and his boyfriend, Chad, offer her a summer job in their flower store, and Apron's world seems to calm. But when she uncovers Chad's secret, stormy seas return. Apron starts to see things the adults around her fail to-like what love really means, and who is paying too much for it. Apron has come unmoored, but now she'll need to take the helm if she's to get herself and those she loves to safe harbor.  -Goodreads


My Thoughts
This is a story that though peppered with a myriad of complex and often heartbreaking issues, never forgot that it was set in a world being experienced through the mind and heart of a young and for the most part, still very innocent girl.

Apron Bramhall has lost her mother to Cancer, her father to a Brazilian nurse's aide named 'M', and her bff has sailed off in search of the big fish in the popularity pond.  So it is no wonder that Apron is having a few issues in the feeling loved and secure department.  
At least until she discovers Jesus (I mean Mike) who plays Jesus in "Jesus Christ Superstar", and her world starts to brighten.
As it turns out, her friendship with Mike leads to her finding a some of the time job, but most of the time safe haven at Scent Appeal, the flower shop that Mike runs with his partner Chad.
The relationship between Mike and Chad, and the revelations that Apron experiences because of her closeness with them, serve as both the catharsis for Apron and an emotional touchstone for the reader.
  
Readers will find themselves pleasantly surprised by the balance of humor, poignancy, and brevity that this book is able to maintain while still remaining unpretentious and fresh.
Apron, while often unsure of her place on the world, was a girl who stood up to the challenges in her life and grasped life and love with a wholehearted acceptance that the adults in her life could have learned from.
This is a beautiful story that readers are sure to carry in their minds and hearts forever.
 
  

About the Authoress

Jennifer Gooch Hummer is the award-winning author of her debut novel, Girl Unmoored. Jennifer has worked as a script analyst for various talent agencies and major film studios. Her short stories have been published in Miranda Magazine, Our Stories and Glimmertain. She has continued graduate studies in the Writer’s Program at UCLA, where she was nominated for the Kirkwood Prize in fiction. Currently, Jennifer lives in Southern California and Maine with her husband and their three daughters.
Please also visit her book blog: All Story Girl

 

 

Find Jennifer

 and

 Girl Unmoored 


  
Where to buy
Girl Unmoored

 

WTF Are You Reading?
would like to thank
and
for the opportunity
to tour this book!

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Partners In Crime Tours Presents: There Was An Old Woman


Synopsis:


There Was An Old Woman by Hallie Ephron is a compelling novel of psychological suspense in which a young woman becomes entangled in a terrifying web of deception and madness involving an elderly neighbor. When Evie Ferrante learns that her mother has been hospitalized, she finds her mother's house in chaos. Sorting through her mother's belongings, Evie discovers objects that don't quite belong there, and begins to raise questions. Evie renews a friendship with Mina, an elderly neighbor who might know more about her mother's recent activities, but Mina is having her own set of problems: Her nephew Brian is trying to persuade her to move to a senior care community. As Evie investigates her mother's actions, a darker story of deception and madness involving Mina emerges. In There Was an Old Woman, award-winning mystery author Hallie Ephron delivers another work of domestic noir with truly unforgettable characters that will keep you riveted.


Review:

There is so much to love about this wonderful mystery.
Readers are allowed to get to know the people of this aging  Bronx neighborhood long before the onset if the mystery.
Mina Yetner proves to be a feisty, intelligent, and humorous character; possessed of great spirit and tenacity in spite of her frailties and insecurities.
Not to be outdone, Evie Ferrante shows herself  to be a very resourceful and tenacious person who refuses to be deterred in her quest to find out what is at the bottom of the shady goings on with her mother and others around her.
Evie is the perfect example of an unlikely heroine.  She comes into the story a daughter forced to care for her elderly mother after an accident in her home sends her to the hospital.
Though they do garner a great deal of the spotlight, Evie and Mina are not all the cream that rises to the top of this tale. This book sports a host of colorful characters, side stories, and subplots.  At its heart, this book is a
perfect example of the powerful and unscrupulous taking advantage of the elderly and disenfranchised.  
This read unfolds slowly amid vivid and detailed settings and fully evolved and well rounded characters.
Author Halle Ephron does a excellent job of keeping the scope of her story small, thereby creating a homey and personal atmosphere for the reader.
This is the perfect story for those readers who are new to the genre.  The delicate web of deception and the myriad of questions presented throughout this story fashion a trail of mystery and suspense too alluring to be ignored.
This is an unforgettable story that is not to be missed.

 

Excerpt:

Mina Yetner sat in her living room, inspecting the death notices in the Daily News. She got through two full columns before she found someone older than herself. Mina blew on her tea, took a sip, and settled into her comfortable wing chair. In the next column, nestled among dearly departed strangers, she found Angela Quintanilla, a neighbor who lived a few blocks away. Angela had apparently died two days ago at just seventy-three. After a “courageous battle.” Probably lung cancer. When Mina had last run into Angela in the church parking lot, she’d been puffing away on a cigarette, so bone thin and jittery that it was a miracle she hadn’t shaken right out of her own skin. Mina leaned forward and pulled from the drawer in her coffee table a pen and the spiral notebook that she’d bought years ago up the street at Sparkles Variety. A week after her Henry died, she’d started recording the names of the people she knew who’d taken their leave, beginning with her grandmother, who was the first dead person she’d known. Now four pages of the notebook were filled. Most of the names conjured a memory. A face. Sometimes a voice. Sometimes nothing—those especially upset her. Forgetting and being forgotten terrified Mina almost more than death. Mina found lists calming, even this one. These days she couldn’t live without them. Some mornings she’d pick up her toothbrush to brush her teeth and realize it was already wet. She kept her Lipitor in a little plastic pillbox with compartments for each day of the week, though sometimes she had to check the newspaper to be sure what day it was. Now she started a new page in the notebook. At the top she wrote the number 151, Angela’s name, and the date, then she opened the drawer to tuck the notebook back in. There, in the bottom of the drawer, were her sister Annabelle’s glasses. Mina picked them up. The narrow white plastic frames had seemed so avant-garde back in the 1960s when Annabelle had decided she needed a new look. She’d worn them every day since. It was probably time—good heavens, past time—to throw them away, along with Annabelle’s long nightgowns, flowered cotton with lovely lace collars that she used to order from the Nordstrom catalog. Mina preferred short gowns that didn’t get all twisted around her legs when she turned in her sleep. It was odd, the things one could and couldn’t throw away. She’d kept Henry’s New York Yankees cap, the one he’d worn to Game 5 of the 1956 World Series when Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in Yankee Stadium, and she wasn’t even a baseball fan. And then there were the things you had no choice but to carry with you. She touched the side of her face, feeling the scar, raised numb flesh that started at her cheekbone and ran down the side of her neck, across her shoulder blade, and down into the small of her back. Mina tucked Annabelle’s glasses back into the drawer along with her catalog of the dead. She picked up her cane and stood carefully. What she really didn’t need was to fall again. She already had one titanium hip, and she had no intention of going for a pair. She knew too many people who went into a hospital for a so-called routine procedure and came out dead. She carried her tea outside to the narrow covered porch that stretched across the back of the house. After an icy, miserable winter and a soggy spring, it was finally warm and dry enough to sit outside. Her unreplaced hip ached, and the old porch glider screeched an appropriate accompaniment as Mina settled into the flowered cotton cushions she’d sewn herself. She took off her glasses to rub the bridge of her nose, and the world around her turned to a blur. She was legally blind without her glasses, but she’d been secretly relieved when the doctor told her she was far too myopic for that laser surgery everyone talked about. “Oh, shush up,” she said when Ivory gave a plaintive mew from inside the storm door. “You know you’re not allowed out here.” She put her glasses back on, and the porch and the marsh beyond snapped into focus. Mina rocked gently, taking in the view from Higgs Point, across the East River and Long Island Sound, and on to the Manhattan skyline. As a little girl, she’d watched from this same spot behind the house where she’d lived all her life as, one after the other, Manhattan’s skyscrapers had gone up. When the Chrysler Building poked its needle nose into the sky, she’d imagined that her bedroom was in the topmost floor of its glittering tiara. Then up went the Empire State, taller and without all that frippery at the top. It had been a dream come true when Mina, single “still” (as her mother so often reminded her) and just out of school, got her first job there. Mina remembered wearing a straight skirt with a kick pleat, a peplum jacket, a crisp white collared shirt, and a broad-brimmed lady’s fedora that dipped down in the front and back, thinking that was all it took to make her look exactly like Ingrid Bergman. Movies, the war, and where you could find cheap booze were all anyone talked about in those days. Two years later, the dream turned into a nightmare. For years after, the roar of an airplane engine brought the memory back, full force, and yet there she had been living and there she remained, right in the flight path of LaGuardia Airport. It was only after the long days of even more terrifying silence after 9/11 that the waves of sound as airplanes took off, one after the other, had become reassuring. All is well, all is well, all is well. Right now, what she heard was a buzz that turned into a whine, too high pitched to be an airplane. Probably Frank Cutler, her across-the-street neighbor. Installing marble countertops or a hot tub. Making a silk purse or . . . what was it they called it these days? Putting lipstick on a pig. At least he wasn’t rooting around in her trash or practicing his golf swing again. The last time she’d asked him to please, please stop using her marsh as his own personal driving range, he’d grinned at her like she’d cracked a particularly funny joke. “Your marsh?” he’d said. Then added something under his breath. And when she politely asked him to repeat what he’d said, he told her to turn up her hearing aid. Ha, ha, ha. Mina’s eyesight might be fading, but her hearing was as sharp as it had ever been. The buzz grew louder. Perhaps he was using a band saw. When he got around to adding dormers to the second floor, maybe he’d find the front tooth she’d lost playing under the eaves with Linda McGilvery when they were five years old. Linda, who’d been fat and not all that bright but awfully sweet, and who’d died of leukemia, what, at least forty years ago, though it still seemed impossible to Mina that she could remember so clearly something that happened so long ago. Insidious disease. Mina had been a bridesmaid at Linda’s wedding. Awful dress—The sound morphed into a whinny, and then into whap-whap-whap, yanking Mina from a billow of pink organza. It was a siren, not a saw. And it was growing louder until she knew it had to be right there in her neighborhood. On her street. As Mina hurried off the porch and up the driveway, the sound cut off. An ambulance was stopped in front of the house next door, its lights flashing a mute beacon. Sandra Ferrante lived in that house, alone for the past ten years since her daughters moved out. Two dark-suited EMTs jumped out of the ambulance and hurried across grass that hadn’t been mowed in months, pushing their way past front bushes that reached the decaying gutters and nearly met across the front door. A third EMT—a man in a dark uniform who nodded her way—opened the back doors of the ambulance, unloaded a stretcher, and wheeled it up to the house. Had the poor woman finally managed to kill herself? Because as sure as eggs is eggs, drinking like that was slow suicide. Mina stood there, hand to her throat, waiting. Remembering the ambulance that had arrived too late for her Henry. It didn’t seem possible that that had been thirty years ago. He’d died in his sleep. By the time she’d realized anything was wrong, he was stone cold. Still, she’d called frantically for help, as if the medics who arrived could restart him like a car battery. A massive pulmonary embolism, the doctors later told her. Even if he’d suffered it at the hospital, they said, he wouldn’t have survived. That was supposed to make her feel better. Finally Sandra Ferrante was wheeled out. A yellow blanket was mounded over her. Mina found herself drifting closer, trying to overhear. Was she alive? Coherent? Sandra lifted her head and looked right at Mina. She raised her hand and signaled to her. Asked the EMT to wait while Mina made her way over. Up close now, Mina could see that the whites of her neighbor’s watery eyes were tinged yellow, and she could smell the sour tang of sweat and urine mixed with cigarette smoke. “Please, call Ginger,” Sandra said. Ginger? Then Mina remembered. Ginger was one of the daughters. Sandra grasped Mina’s hand. Mina gasped. Arthritis made her fingers tender. “Six four six, one . . .” Too late, Mina realized Sandra was whispering a phone number. Mina tried to repeat the numbers back, but they wouldn’t stick. The EMT pulled out a notebook, wrote the numbers down, tore out the page, and handed it to Mina. She’d also written Bx Met Hosp and underlined it. Bronx Metropolitan Hospital. “Please, tell Ginger,” Sandra said, pulling Mina close. “Don’t let him in until I’m gone.”

Tour Stops:

April 1 Review by Kelly @ Kelly's Lucky You April 2 Review by Heather @ SavingFor6 April 3 Review by Nicole @ bless their hearts mom April 4 Review by Kriss @ Cabin Goddess April 5 Review by Mary @ Mary's Cup of Tea April 8 Review by Kathleen @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews April 9 Review by Teena @ Teena in Toronto April 10 Review by Melissa @ Must Read Faster April 11 Review by Vicky @ Deal Sharing Aunt April 13 Showcase @ HottBooks April 15 Review by Kristin @ Kritters Ramblings April 16 Review by Melina @ Melina's Book Blog April 17 Review by Frishawn @ WTF Are You Reading? April 18 Review by Sandie @ Booksie’s Blog April 19 Showcase @ Omnimystery April 20 Review by Tammy @ The Self Taught Cook April 21 Review by Linda @ Bookvisions April 23 Review by Kathleen @ Celticlady's Reviews April 24 Showcase @ CMash Reads April 25 Review by @ Views from the Countryside April 26 Review by Mason @ Thoughts in Progress April 30 Review by Amy @ The Crafty Book Nerd April 30 Review by Fenny @ HotchpotchBlog

Author Bio:

An award-winning mystery reviewer, Hallie Ephron is the author of Never Tell a Lie (a Mary Higgins Clark Award finalist that was also made into the Lifetime Movie Network film And Baby Will Fall) and the Edgar- and Anthony Award-nominated Writing and Selling Your Mystery. Ephron lives near Boston.

Websites & Links:

Thank you to Harper Collins, Hallie Ephron and Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for generously offering this book to me for review. If you'd like to join in on an upcoming tour just stop by their sites and sign up today!

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#DemonTour





Demon

DemonWhen Justyn and Rebecca set off for the New York School of Performing Arts, they think their dreams are about to come true. To their dismay, they aren’t in high school anymore, and the competition is steep. Rebecca must compete against accomplished singers for a role in the production of Demon Barber, including a stunning Gothic diva with her sights set on Justyn.
It doesn’t help that things keep disappearing from their apartment or that Rebecca’s father refuses to accept that Justyn is an essential part of her life. Yet, all this seems minimal in comparison to the serial rapist terrorizing the campus.
Consumed by fear and obsessed with revenge, Rebecca and Justyn start living the story of Sweeney Todd—both on and off the stage.

About Author Laura DeLuca

Laura DeLucaLaura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan, Player, and Demon.
Find Laura DeLuca:
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