Book Blast: Purr M for Murder by T. C. LoTempio

By Domoni

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BLURB

Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat–along with Littleton’s dead body.
Local homicide detective Will Worthington–who just happens to be Sydney’s old high school crush–is highly suspicious of the sisters’ involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton’s death–until the killer notices she’s pawing a little too closely at the truth.

REVIEW

This was a fun mystery in a style I don’t normally read. The author has a great style that captures the attention and makes the story a fun fast read. The characters were interesting and unique with strong story lines and personalities.  I loved the way the animals were incorporated to the story and it made me want to go find a Toby of my own.

Though not a genre I would normally choose. I enjoyed this read and would be willing to read more by this author and further books in this world.

4 out of 5 stars.

EXCERPT

Will glanced up.  “Pretty observant of you, Syd. The ME will determine the cause of death.”  He tapped on his notebook with the edge of his pen.   “Why don’t you walk me through what happened.  How did the two of you come to be in Littleton’s shop so early?”

“We had something we wanted to discuss with Mr. Littleton, and we thought the earlier the better,” I said.

“I see.  And just what was the nature of this discussion?”

I shifted my weight to my other foot. “Friendly Paws has teamed with Dayna’s Treats & Sweets for a cat café event to benefit the shelter. For a nominal fee, people can have their coffee and goodies in a room with shelter cats that are available for adoption.”

Will glanced up, and I could see a light of interest in his eyes. “I’ve heard of those cafes. They’re mostly in Europe.”

“There are a few in the States, big cities mostly.  This will be the first event of it’s kind  in North Carolina. We’re hoping to increase revenue for both the café and the shelter.”

“Let me guess. That idea didn’t sit well with Littleton?”

Kat and I both shook our heads in unison and Kat exclaimed, “I should say not! He was in the shop yesterday, and he made his feelings pretty darn clear.  He thought having the cats around would be detrimental to business. Heck, he thinks-thought-the shelter in general was a detriment to the town.”

“A sentiment you two didn’t agree with,” he said slowly.

“I should say not!” Kat returned, her cheeks starting to flame.  “Syd and I tried to reason with him yesterday but he didn’t want to hear it.”

“And that’s why you decided to come here this morning?”

I nodded. “Yes.  I put together a pretty good argument of pros for the event.  I was hoping to appeal to his sense of business acumen.”

“Why did you feel this was necessary? Had he threatened you?”

“Not in so many words,” I said carefully. “But he did say yesterday that he was determined to put a stop to the proceedings, and we hadn’t heard the last from him.”

“Um-hm.” Will murmured, scribbling some more.

“And Leila Addams – do you remember her, Will?  She’s a reporter for the Deer Park Herald now,” Kat chimed in.  “Leila said that she thought Littleton was inquiring about starting a petition against showing the shelter cats – and the shelter in general.”

Will made another notation in his book. “So when was the last time you saw Littleton?”

“Yesterday around one-thirty.” I cleared my throat.  “If that’s all the questions you have, we need to get going.”

 He snapped his notebook shut.  “You’re free to go for now,” he said, “but I will probably need to talk to you some more later on.”

“That’s fine,” I said.  “We’ll be here.”

The corners of Will’s lips twitched slightly. “Good to know.”  

Once we were back out on the street, Kat hauled off and punched  me in the arm – hard.

“Yow!” I cried. “What was that for?”

“For thinking that you could come here and face Littleton without me, for one,” Kat said.  “I knew you had your fingers crossed last night.”

I rubbed at my arm. “Can’t put anything over on you, can I?”

She gave me a shrewd look.  “So, how did it feel, seeing Will Worthington again after all these years!  I heard he was back in town, but I had no idea he’d become a detective – homicide, no less.”  She cut me a sidelong glance. “Funny, isn’t it, how you two came back to Deer Park almost at the same time.  Like Karma, or something.”

“Well, I’d rather deal with Will than his partner, Colombo Junior,” I said. “Come on, let’s get my car and get to the shelter. I hope Maggie isn’t too worried.”

We walked through the alleyway and when we were almost at  the spot where I’d parked, I suddenly stopped short.  “Hey,” Kat cried as she ran full tilt into my back. “What’s wrong?”

I pointed to the empty space beside my car. “There was a white Lincoln there when I came, parked pretty badly.  The license plate read TLITTLE.  I thought for sure it was Littleton’s car, but if it’s gone…”

“A white Lincoln?  That’s his wife Petra’s car,” Kat said.  She glanced around, then pointed to the gym. “She must have parked it here instead of the gym parking lot, like she usually does. I wonder why.”

Another disturbing thought occurred to me as I slid behind the wheel.  It would have been impossible for Littleton’s wife not to have seen the ambulance and police cars parked in front of her husband’s shop.  Why hadn’t she come to see what was wrong?
Unless, of course…she didn’t have to. Because she already knew.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The author will be awarding autographed copy of PURR M FOR MURDER(hardcover – US ONLY)to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow the tour for more opportunities to win.

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While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, is out this December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

 

 

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Book Tour: The Perfect Tear by Connie Lansberg

By Domoni.

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Eleanor is a talented young woman with a destiny her parents never could have dreamed of. She is a singer. The Singers are in tune with nature and the powers of life, able to help things grow and heal. When a Singer turns 16, the young woman is able to use her powers fully. Unfortunately, Eleanor’s mother died when she was a child and was unable to train her in the ways of the Singers. Though Eleanor is more than just a singer, she is the only one who can stop the evil that has come to destroy her world and save all of its people. Now she must trust her instincts and follow her heart to discover the Perfect Tear and the song she needs to save them all.

This is an interesting book. I was very surprised by the story after having read the synopsis. It is what it says it is, but is so much more. This is a story of two worlds. One, a world of light and sounds, whose inhabitants create all that is and ever will be. The other, a world created by the Main Creator Tsera. Given life with the gift of free will and the ability to understand the power of Song. A competition among the novice creators allows the winner to challenge the Main Creator for a chance to take their job. When Lerion, an ambitious novice, wins the contest he accepts the challenge to capture the 3 hidden vibrations and become the new Main Creator.

Tsera had hidden the second vibration inside the Singers  and when Lerion attempts to capture that vibration, the loss of the Singers ability forces the land into a famine. Elanor learns at the age of 6 that she will be a powerful Singer able to defeat Lerion. As she grows the memory of that knowledge fades. She knows of her abilities but her destiny is murky. As she turns 16 her powers come to her and reveal her to Lerion and she must learn to be the strong Singer her world needs her to be.

I love the originality of this story and the worlds the author created are vibrant and true. The first half of the book is long and slow though. There is so much introduced and it is sometimes vague and hard to follow. At times I am not sure why I am reading about certain people and events and at times it is easy to get confused about what is happening. Between the random unannounced time and location jumps it is at times hard to follow. Though once Eleanor turns 16 the story kicks into gear and the puzzles come together.

Eleanor is the high point of this book for me. She is a strong interesting character and it was easy to empathize with her plight. The romance was light and sweet and the conflict was at times hard to decide if the bad guys were bad only because I loved Eleanor or because they were actually bad. I was often surprised by the twists and would be willing to read more about these worlds.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ecopy of the book and digital art.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Connie Lansberg is a singer/songwriter and now author based in Melbourne Australia. She’s had her original songs placed in some of Australia’s best loved TV shows that play around the world and The Connie Lansberg Quartet is a fixture in the Melbourne jazz scene. Her most recent original musical project is Tsera’s Gift, written especially for The Perfect Tear and she performs these songs throughout Melbourne. This is Connie’s first novel and the movie is coming. The record will be out soon. Connie has received several grants from the Victoria Council of the Arts for the development of mobile phone games that she created. Connie joined the Melbourne Writers Group in 2010 to work on ideas and scripts and during this time the idea for The Perfect Tear began to develop and take shape. She continued her education by taking scriptwriting classes at the Australian Film and Television School in Melbourne. She has two more stories to complete The Perfect Tear Trilogy and is hoping to have the second book finished in 2017
“The first thing anybody tells you about this business is to say what makes you unique and different, but I couldn’t and the very idea of it never sat well with me and after much deliberation, I finally realized why. Because, I’m not unique or different-I’m exactly like you and I love that. We each have a unique filter through which we interpret the world, and with this  filter in place, I write stories and songs and you might find them surprising or intriguing or confronting, you may relate or you may not. They may make you laugh and sometimes, even cry. You may or may not understand what I’m trying to say and you may not understand me, however, rest assured, once we get past the filters, at our core, we are wonderfully and beautifully, exactly the same.”
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Book Blast: A Human Element by Donna Galanti

By Domoni

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Laura is a brilliant girl with a tragic past. Her mother passed when she was born and as she grew, it seems all those she loves are doomed to die violently. She hides the fact that she seems to have strange powers, she can hear thoughts and heal injuries. Her dreams are filled with images of a monster out to kill her. To find answers she follows her dreams to her hometown, where a meteorite hit a lake before she was born. There she meets Ben, whose parents died the night of the meteorite. The pair are thrown together to discover what everything means, but can they survive the being determined to kill Laura?

I enjoyed this book, there were some very dark and gruesome scenes that almost turned me off and made me put it down, but I pushed through and was glad I did. The beginning was slow as it jumped through time filling in the back story of the various characters, then it hit its stride and packed a punch. Though moments were occasionally predictable, the story did a decent job of keeping me guessing and looking for more.

The author did a good job building the world they created and filling it with characters that felt real and honest. Laura was a survivor, but she wasn’t the plucky optimist many authors would create that doesn’t fit into this story. Ben was damaged, but redeemed himself instead of having to be saved by a love story. I really appreciated that aspect of these characters. I would read more written by this author and look forward to the next book in this series.

4 out of  stars

EXCERPT

The man could hear the child’s bellowing cries coming from underneath the blanket covering it. She pushed the child into his arms as if eager to be rid of it. He took the bundle and handed the nurse his packages. The nurse began to close the door when he heard another far away cry.

The man wedged his foot in the door. “What was that?”

“N-Nothing.” The nurse looked up.

The man risked looking her in the eye.

“The girl is in pain and won’t keep quiet.” She clutched the envelope and folded her arms across her sagging bosom.

“It sounded like another baby,” he said.

“It’s just the whimpering slut. Now she’s paid double for what she’s done.” The nurse took a step back as if aware she had said too much already. She glared at him. “Now go on. You have what you wanted. And so do I.” She shut the door in his face.

The man in black stood there for a long moment, considering the woman’s choice of words. What if another child had been delivered and the frigid woman and country doctor kept it secret?

Fascinating.

He decided to keep this information to himself. He would find the opportune time to use it. He was a patient man. But first, he had to see for himself. He peeled back the child’s bunting and looked for the first time into its yellow eyes. For that moment, the baby fell silent.

“Welcome to Earth X-10.”

The baby resumed its wailing.

The man turned with his noisy package and melted into the darkness satisfied, as the doctor had been, that the night’s events had provided him with more than he had asked for.

Donna will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books –http://www.imajinbooks.com/ )  and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books –http://www.month9books.com/ ). Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill (http://www.thebigthrill.org/) – magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem (http://project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogspot.com/search/label/Donna Galanti) . She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools.

Visit her at www.elementtrilogy.com and www.donnagalanti.com.

Connect with Donna:

Facebook:  Twitter:  Pinterest:  GoodreadsInstagram

 

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Book Tour: Home by Eleni McKnight

By Domoni

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Suzannah is an average handmaiden. She is 14 years old and her whole life she has been taught that women have no purpose other than what the men give them. She lives in the commune, Home, run by Deacon and his chosen Elders. If a woman turns 17 without being chosen to wed, she is turned away from the society and banished to be a whore and work the hard labor camps. When Suzannah accidentally sees Silas, the doctors eldest son, naked, she fears she will be turned out for being impure. When word reaches the communes leaders, Suzannah is publicly shamed, disowned by her family and forced to serve Silas to practice the skills she would need as a wife and atone for her sin. From the first day working in Silas’s familys home, Suzannah realizes they are not like anyone else in Home. The doctor treats his family fairly, as equals and they start to show Suzannah about the reality of the world she has been lied to about her whole life. Can they show her truth, respect and love and will she accept it?

I enjoyed this story, very much. I am a big fan of dystopian books and this was a good one. The author created a world that is not inconceivable. In an unspecified time at least 150 years from now, a war divided America and devastated a portion of the land. Home exists in a ruined portion. Its leaders have convinced the residents that outside the walls of the commune, cannibals and the undead roam the land and leaving would surely kill them. They are taught that no other humans still exists aside from the monsters. Deacon claims to speak with The Master, and uses a perverted version of the bible he created to control his followers.

The state of todays civilization makes it easy for me to see a future like this coming to pass. Religion is often perverted by men to gain power. There will always be men who subjugate women and people afraid to step outside the status quo. The author created a story that flowed easily for me and captured my attention and I read it in one sitting. In many ways I was reminded of the Divergent series with a more modern take on the Handmaid’s Tale. I hope there will be more to Suzannah’s story.

I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars.

The author is giving away a signed copy of Home and a $25 Amazon Gift card. Enter through the Rafflecopter link and follow the tour below for more opportunities to win.

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EXCERPT

The next night after dinner, I went to the Maars’quarters to clean Silas’s room.
“I got it,” Silas said.
“You got what-“ I saw a book in his lap. It was a giant book, covered in pictures. I had seen
pictures before, but they were in school. They were rare, we didn’t have the technology to make photographs anymore. The book said LIFE in large white letters.
“Silas!” I cried. “What are you doing with that? You know you’ll get in trouble if they find out you have it!”
“No, I won’t,” he said. “They don’t even notice if we keep it hidden.”
“Books are rare!”
“No, they’re not,”he chuckled. “They’ve got a whole room full of books in the Elder’s wing. On shelves and stacked on top of each other in giant piles.”
“A whole room?” I repeated, trying to imagine it. “Is that where you got these?”
“Yeah, ” he said, flipping through the book. “There’s thousands of books. Tens of thousands. Maybe even a hundred thousand!”
“You’re making that up,” I said.
“Here.”
He showed me a beautiful printed page. It had yellowed a bit, the edges were dog-eared. I felt a chill; I never was allowed to handle something as precious as a book before. I had learned to read by a chalkboard and it helped when there were directions painted on the walls of the laundry and the directions on the cooking cards. This was special and sacred, and Silas was letting me handle it like the bag of laundry I picked up every night. I looked at the page on the book: in the middle, a picture was in black and white of a group of women dressed in pantsuits, like the mechanics in our commune, standing by some large metal thing. They were grinning, proud, brandishing tools, not ashamed to be forced into wearing pants like the hard labor whores were forced to, their hair under colorful red
patterned bandanas.
Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs)
I blinked.
“Real women in the militia?” I asked.
“Yeah. They used to have a militia with an entire department where they flew
airplanes.”
“Airplanes are made-up.”
“They used to drop bombs on the enemies during wars. They ’d blow up entire cities. And shoot each other down in air fights. ”
“Men can’t fly,” I snorted.
“I’ve flown.”
 “You’re making that up, you have not. It’s impossible!”
“They used to know how,” he said. “Papa says that there are people that still know. People go to places to get onto planes called aeroports. And the pilots would drive them across the world. You’ve never read a book, have you?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Eleni McKnight is a Murfreesboro, Tennessee native. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a degree in Theatre with an emphasis in Literature and a wild passion for creating clothes and doing make-up. She’s also an avid reader and loves music and theatre. She started writing at age eight when she had read all the Baby-Sitter’s Club books that were out and wanted something new to read. It’s never quite left her over the years

These days, you can usually find Eleni working backstage or costuming in local community theatres, reading a book, walking (that FitBit is addictive!), at a concert, drinking a craft beer with friends, knitting, embroidering, or taking a dance class.

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Book Blast: Into Shadow by T. D. Shields

By Domoni

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Poppy is 19 years old, she has served as first lady to her father’s presidency since she was 12 years old. When the man she grew up thinking of as an uncle murders her father and the other heads of state, Poppy is the only witness. If they find her, her life will be over too. Now, she’s on the run through a country devastated by war and climate change. Poppy finds a place to hid in the supposedly deserted Boulder, Colorado. She lives each day scavenging food and avoiding killer animals and plants and the vicious roaming gangs. Raised to be able to protect herself, Poppy is a strong young woman able to keep herself going. She may be ready to reach out to people, but can she ever actually trust anyone.

I loved this book. Poppy is a strong female character who is going to save herself. She is shoved into a world she didn’t know existed and forced to question everything she ever knew. She was raised to be able to protect herself, yet sheltered from the realities of the world in the 23rd century.

The author created a vivid future for North America, one that was not hard for me to believe in. She paints the scenes and the people in a way that makes you feel as though you are walking the streets with Poppy. I love how Poppy accepts and embraces the world she is forced into. At times she revels in the first freedoms she has ever had. She balances her grief, fear, loneliness and excitement in a believable way. Add in that she is a 19 year old woman, there is a bit of some cute boy admiration going on too.

I admit I read a lot of YA dystopian books. They are one genre I embrace fully. This felt like a fresh story to me. I personally haven’t read one with a similar story line, which to be honest they do get repetitive lately. So this was an excellent change and I cannot wait to read what happens next.

I believe fans of YA dystopian novels such as the Divergent Series, Matched Series, and the Hunger Games would enjoy this book. I want to thank the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 5 out of 5 stars.

EXCERPT

We sped through the streets, taking turns recklessly fast as we tried to lose the bikes on our tails. As we flew around yet another corner, one of the bikes caught up to me and slapped into the back of my bike. It wasn’t a particularly hard collision, but it popped my bike loose from the mag-lev rail, and I went skidding sideways across the pavement. When the base of the bike hit the curb at the edge of the road, I was flung over the handlebars to land in a crumpled heap on the cracked sidewalk.

All I could do was lie there, staring blankly at a weed growing inches from my nose as I tried to catch my breath. From the corner of my eye I saw Sharra slow and look back, trying to decide if she could help me. Then she leaned low over the handlebars and shot off into the dark streets, leaving me behind.

A million small aches and pains made themselves known as I rolled slowly to my knees. I didn’t bother to get up any further than that. I was completely surrounded, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to move fast enough to break loose from all of these people and retrieve my downed bike. Instead, I waited in silence to see what would happen next and watched for an opportunity to escape.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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After writing stories in her head for the last 30+ years, Tara finally decided to take a stab at writing them down to share them with others.

Tara has a husband, 4 kids, and 5 cats to care for along with a full-time job and contract work on the side, so finding time to write is the biggest challenge. Since her most productive hours are from 12-5 a.m. anyway, Tara usually gives up sleep in favor of writing.

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Tara’s social media:

FB www.facebook.com/tdshields.author

Twitter handle @td_shields

Website http://taradon.wixsite.com/tdshields

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12042892.T_D_Shields

The author will be awarding the first book (ebook) in three YA series: Into Shadow by TD Shields; Awaken by Michelle Bryan; and The Other Inheritance  by Rebecca Jaycox to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Check out the other posts of the blast for more chances to win.

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