Guest Post: Melissa Colasanti – CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK

Good day, book people. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. For those of you that celebrated Mother’s Day, I hope you had a wonderful celebration with family and friends. I spent the day with my 86-y.o. mother, my 82-y.o. paternal aunt, my niece, a cousin, and my soon-to-be sister-in-love. We dined at an historic inn here in West Virginia and enjoyed the afternoon in a scenic setting with wonderful food and great company. Needless to say, I didn’t get to spend a lot of time reading yesterday, although I did spend some time discussing some great recent reads. If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for a good book to read and it doesn’t really matter how many books are already on your TBR list. As I sat in the historic Glen Ferris Inn yesterday (one of the oldest inns in West Virginia), I thought about how it would be the perfect setting for a book, perhaps a historical mystery or even a Southern Gothic novel. Setting plays such a large part of a story, that we don’t notice it much if it’s done right. Today, I’m pleased to welcome Melissa Colasanti, author of Call Me Elizabeth Lark, a domestic suspense tale set in the Pacific Northwest and featuring a bed and breakfast. Please help me welcome Ms. Colasanti to the blog. I hope you’ll enjoy what she has to say about setting, add Call Me Elizabeth Lark to your TBR list, and follow the blog tour to learn more about this book and author. Thank you, Ms. Colasanti for taking the time to join us today. The blog is now yours.

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The Importance of Setting

by Melisa Colasanti

 

Thank you so much for having me! When I began Call Me Elizabeth Lark, I knew that setting would be an integral part of the story. I didn’t realize just how emotionally connected the brooding Pacific Northwest would be to my characters. I’ve never been an urban, gritty suspense writer. Domestic suspense affords an author to take a close, psychological look at family, while hopefully providing a twisty plot. It’s an interesting genre—part family drama, part thriller—in which the environment where the author places their characters reveals so much about them.

In the novel, Myra and Herb Barkley own a bed and breakfast on the Oregon coast. Twenty years prior, they lost their youngest daughter, who disappeared from the beach, never to be seen again. Since that day, she’s waited at the gray, drizzly inn for her daughter to return. The inn itself is suffocating, claustrophobic, and the characters within it are similarly stuck within their emotions, trapped in a different time. All of this changes when Elizabeth Lark, who has been trapped in an isolated, dilapidated cabin in the woods, walks in the door, where Myra determines that she is Charlotte, her missing child. And of course, Elizabeth has brought all her troubles with her. Gwen, who was supposed to be babysitting the night her sister went missing, has been wracked with guilt all along. If Charlotte has returned, all of her guilt will be assuaged.

As I wrote (and rewrote, and revised, and edited!) I realized that Myra would never leave the small town, Rocky Shores, because it’s her home, and it is her daughter Charlotte’s home. Even if Charlotte didn’t return, this inn is where she married and raised her family. And Elizabeth is similarly drawn to the warm inn because she’s just come from the deeply isolated forest. Sometimes, authors use a sense of place as a character of its own, which is definitely true of my novels. I believe that we build our identities around family, and around that place on the lithosphere where we originate from. Each part of a human blossoms from where the first seed was planted. And when danger strikes, there’s no place like home, no matter how dysfunctional or complicated it is.

 

Call Me Elizabeth Lark

by Melissa Colasanti

May 1-31, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK - EColasanti

Your daughter went missing twenty years ago. Now, she’s finally back. You thought she had returned a few times in the past, and your husband tells you she’s not the one, but you feel it in your bones.

Now, what will you do to keep her home?

Twenty years ago, Myra Barkley’s daughter disappeared from the rocky beach across from the family inn, off the Oregon coast. Ever since, Myra has waited at the front desk for her child to come home. One rainy afternoon, the miracle happens–her missing daughter, now twenty-eight years old with a child of her own, walks in the door.

Elizabeth Lark is on the run with her son. She’s just killed her abusive husband and needs a place to hide. Against her better judgment, she heads to her hometown and stops at the Barkley Inn. When the innkeeper insists that Elizabeth is her long lost daughter, the opportunity for a new life, and more importantly, the safety of her child, is too much for Elizabeth to pass up. But she knows that she isn’t the Barkley’s daughter, and the more deeply intertwined she becomes with the family, the harder it becomes to confess the truth.

Except the Barkley girl didn’t just disappear on her own. As the news spreads across the small town that the Barkley girl has returned, Elizabeth suddenly comes into the limelight in a dangerous way, and the culprit behind the disappearance those twenty years ago is back to finish the job.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Suspense
Published by: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: March 9th 2021
Number of Pages:
ISBN: 1643856820 (ISBN13: 9781643856827)
Series: Call Me Elizabeth Lark is not a part of a series.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Author - Melissa Colasanti

Melissa Colasanti is a mother and an author. She has a BFA in fiction from Boise State University. Her writing has appeared in Lithub, Memoir Magazine, The Coffin Bell Journal and others. She is the Stephen R. Kustra scholar in creative writing for 2019, and was awarded the Glenn Balch Award for fiction in 2020.

Catch Up With Melissa Colasanti:
MelissamColasanti.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @melissamcolasanti
Instagram – @melissacolasanti
Twitter – @mmcolasanti
Facebook – @melissacolasantiauthor

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=301516

Giveaway:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Melissa Colasanti. There will be one (1) winner of one (1) signed Copy of Call Me Elizabeth Lark + Swag (US Addresses ONLY). The giveaway begins on May 1, 2021 and runs through June 1, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Happy World Book Day!

UNESCO World Book Day Quote on  open book, "Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home." Anna Quindlen

Happy World Book Day, my bookish peeps. Since none of my giveaways last month during my blogiversary were international, I’ll be offering a special international giveaway in honor of World Book Day. I’ve chosen Kindred by Octavia Butler as the book to be given away. This book is very special to me, for a variety of reasons, but namely it was one of the first books I read about a person of color experiencing slavery written by a contemporary author of color and first published in 1979, the year I graduated from high school. Yes, I know I’m dating myself with that information, but this is just one of those books that I find myself rereading and I want to share my joy with one of you.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
ISBN: 9781472258229 (paperback)
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Publication Date: May 03, 2018

Octavia E. Butler’s ground-breaking masterpiece, with an original foreword by Ayobami Adebayo.

‘The marker you should judge all other time-travelling narratives by’ GUARDIAN

‘[Her] evocative, often troubling, novels explore far-reaching issues of race, sex, power and, ultimately, what it means to be human’ NEW YORK TIMES

‘No novel I’ve read this year has felt as relevant, as gut-wrenching or as essential . . . If you’ve ever tweeted “All Lives Matter”, someone needs to shove Kindred into your hand, and quickly’ CAROLINE O’DONOGHUE

————

In 1976, Dana dreams of being a writer. In 1815, she is assumed a slave.

When Dana first meets Rufus on a Maryland plantation, he’s drowning. She saves his life – and it will happen again and again.

Neither of them understands his power to summon her whenever his life is threatened, nor the significance of the ties that bind them.

And each time Dana saves him, the more aware she is that her own life might be over before it’s even begun.

This is the extraordinary story of two people bound by blood, separated by so much more than time.

————-

PRAISE FOR OCTAVIA E. BUTLER, THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR

‘Unnervingly prescient and wise’ YAA GYASI

‘Butler’s prose, always pared back to the bone, delineates the painful paradoxes of metamorphosis with compelling precision’ GUARDIAN

‘Octavia Butler was a visionary’ VIOLA DAVIS

‘One of the most significant literary artists of the twentieth century. One cannot exaggerate the impact she has had’ JUNOT DIAZ

‘An icon of the Afrofuturism world, envisioning literary realms that placed black characters front and center’ VANITY FAIR

‘Butler writes with such a familiarity that the alien is welcome and intriguing. She really artfully exposes our human impulse to self-destruct’ LUPITA NYONG’O

This book is being offered via Book Depository, so please check to make sure this company ships to your country before entering. I can not be held accountable or responsible if you win and then we find out that, oops, your country is one that Book Depository does not ship to after all. Please click HERE to see if your country is on the list of countries and regions Book Depository does ship to BEFORE you enter.

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM ET on 04/30/2021 and the winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on 05/01/2021. If the winner doesn’t respond within 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Void where prohibited by law.

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2020 Book 367: A BORROWED LIFE by Kerry Anne King

A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King 
ISBN: 9781542019484 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781713518174 (audiobook MP3 on CD)
ISBN: 9781713518167 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B08DZZQW7J    (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B0841XZVL5   (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 22, 2020 
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing


From the Amazon Charts, bestselling author of Whisper Me This comes an emotional and sharply witty novel about how life’s unexpected detours can ultimately bring you home.

For twenty-six years Liz has perfectly played the part of Mrs. Thomas Lightsey, exemplary pastor’s wife and mother. But maintaining appearances for the congregation and catering to her demanding husband takes a toll, and she’s lost herself in meeting the expectations of others. When Thomas suddenly dies, Liz feels shock, grief, and, to her surprise, the siren song of freedom. Dare she dream of a life to call her own?

Despite the resistance of her daughter, Abigail, to even the smallest changes, Liz lands a role at the community theater. Inspired by new friends and the character she plays, she explores life’s possibilities, including an unexpected—and steamy—relationship with her leading man.

Just when Liz thinks she might be winning, life hits her with an unthinkable shock. She’s pregnant at forty-nine. Torn between conflicting loyalties to her daughter, her lover, her unborn baby, and herself, can Liz find a way to rebuild her dream life one more time? 





Purchase Links #CommissionEarned:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Audible  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  !ndigo Books  |  !ndigo Audiobook



Elizabeth Lightsey was a good and dutiful wife to her husband as well as a respectful wife to a clergyman. She was also a respectable mother to her daughter Abigail and followed all of the stringent rules set forth by her husband, Rev. Thomas Lightsey. She never disagreed with him. She never offered an opinion. She was never flamboyant. In fact, she was leading a church organized knitting circle in their home when her husband dropped dead of a massive heart attack. And now at age 49, Elizabeth (she prefers Liz, thank you very much) is at a literal and figurative crossroads in her life. Does she continue on the path set forth by her strict and overly rigid husband or does she find her own way in life?

You already know that Liz is going to shake free and try to discover who she really is because it’s never too late to try something new. Sadly, not too many people want Liz to change, including Liz’s daughter or any of the gossiping busybodies from Liz’s church. Fortunately, Liz has a BFF in her next-door neighbor and Val is definitely shaking things up. Liz has new clothes, is wearing her hair differently, and is even wearing makeup. She’s joined a theater group and has stopped going to church. And now, adding insult to perceived injury in her daughter Abigail’s eyes after an almost DUI (you’ll definitely want to read the book to learn more about that one), Liz is pregnant. Will she have an abortion, give the baby up for adoption (as Abigail suggests), or raise the baby as a single parent since she’s quite adamant about not getting married again?

Liz has crammed a lot of life into the few months after her husband’s death. The reader gets a glimpse into her marital life via journal entries, discoveries made whilst Liz is clearing the house, and more. A Borrowed Life isn’t a simple story about a mid-life crisis or a self-discovery. It’s about allowing oneself to become subsumed by a stronger personality in a relationship. It’s about family, both blood family and found family. And it’s a story about self-determination at any age (you’ll have to read the story to understand that a bit more). I found A Borrowed Life to be a fast-paced and enjoyable read. I could relate to all of the characters, the action, and empathized and sympathized with Liz and Abigail. If you enjoy reading stories filled with realistic characters dealing with everyday issues in a funny and unique way, you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of A Borrowed Life to read. After I finished reading this book, I immediately began discussing it with my 85-y.o. mother and had to order a print copy for her to read. (Yes, I liked it that much.) Ms. King is a new-to-me author, but I look forward to reading more of her work in the future. I hope you’ll enjoy reading A Borrowed Life as much as I did.

Happy Reading y’all! 


Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book from the author/publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




Meet the author

Kerry Anne King (who also writes as Kerry Schafer) is a Washington Post and Amazon charts bestselling author who writes compelling and transformational stories about family and personal growth. She loves to add in mystery, humor, and an undercurrent of romance and celebrates when she succeeds in making readers both laugh and cry.

Kerry Anne has been chosen as the 2020 Writer of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Association. Her last novel, Everything You Are, was a finalist in the Nancy Pearl Awards hosted by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. She is enthusiastic about encouraging and supporting other writers and is the host of Tell Me Your Secrets, a videocast/podcast featuring lively, informal interviews with authors and other people involved in bringing books into the world.

When not absorbed in creative pursuits, you’ll find Kerry Anne hanging out with her real-life Viking on their little piece of heaven in rural northeastern Washington.


Connect with the author via her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter.



Giveaway

The Book Diva’s Reads, in conjunction with TLC Book Tours, is pleased to offer one reader of this blog the opportunity to win a (1) print copy of A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King. To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway begins on 10/02/2020 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on 10/09/2020. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on 10/10/2020. This giveaway is limited to US residents only (apologies to my international followers). All non-US resident entries will be disqualified. Void where prohibited by law. The book will be sent to the winner by TLC Book Tours after the blog tour ends.


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TLC Book Tours Tour Stops



Tuesday, September 22nd: The OC Book Girl and @theocbookgirl

Wednesday, September 23rd: @readsrandiread

Thursday, September 24th: Living My Best Book Life and @livingmybestbooklife

Friday, September 25th: @the_unwined

Monday, September 28th: @the.caffeinated.reader

Wednesday, September 30th: @readswithrosie

Wednesday, September 30th: @iowaamberreads


Friday, October 2nd: The Book Diva’s Reads


Tuesday, October 6th: PhDiva Blog and @thephdivabooks

Wednesday, October 7th: @thereadingroom444

Thursday, October 8th: Amy’s Book-et List and @amysbooketlist

Monday, October 12th: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Wednesday, October 14th: Eliot’s Eats

Thursday, October 15th: The Bookend Diner and @thebookend.diner



This review, tour, and giveaway brought to you by TLC Book Tours

Guest Post: Colleen Coble – TWO REASONS TO RUN

Two Reasons to Run

by Colleen Coble

on Tour September 21 – October 23, 2020



Good day, book people. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to participate with some lovely blog tour companies as I get to meet some wonderful authors and other bookish people. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I have a varied and eclectic reading style. I enjoy mysteries, thrillers, suspense, romance, YA, literary fiction, ChickLit, nonfiction, and more. If it’s well-written then there’s a pretty good chance I’m going to enjoy it. One author that I discovered through these blog tours is Colleen Coble. Needless to say, I jumped for joy (figuratively not literally), when offered the opportunity to host her on my blog for her latest book Two Reasons to Run. Without further adieu, I now turn my blog over to the USA Today best selling author, Colleen Coble. Thank you, Ms. Coble, for taking the time to stop by today and sharing some thoughts on what almost made you quit writing. May I say, I am so glad you didn’t quit and that I look forward to reading more of your writings in the future.


What made you almost quit?


It’s always been difficult to get published, and back in the 90s it was the same way. I’d sent off countless query letters with the first three chapters of Where Leads the Heart attached. And I got back rejection after rejection. Then finally a small publisher called Here’s Life wanted to publish it. Hooray!

But the next paragraph burst my happy bubble. The editor said the company was being acquired by Thomas Nelson, and the proposal would have to go before their pub board. I was hopeful and haunted by my mailbox for weeks. It didn’t pass pub board, and when that rejection came, I nearly gave up. My family encouraged me to keep going, and a sweet letter from the editor, Dan Benson, came at the right time. He told me he’d found real merit in the story and that I should keep submitting. His words were the impetus I needed, and I sent it out shortly after that to Barbour Publishing. An acceptance letter followed a few weeks later, and after revisions, I was off and running.

But it could have turned out so differently if I’d let that discouragement keep me from sending the proposal out again. I was blessed to get to work with Becky Germany at Barbour who let me really hone my voice without following the usual romance rules. I’ll always be grateful to her for giving me my start.

The really fun thing about that story is that when I wanted to switch to writing romantic mysteries, my agent sold Without a Trace to Thomas Nelson, the company that had rejected Where Leads the Heart, in 2002 and I’ve been there ever since. I’ve gotten the chance to learn from amazing editors and to work with a dream team that is second to none. Who would have thought it would come full circle? 



Synopsis:


Two Reasons to Run by Colleen Coble



Gripping romantic suspense from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.



A lie changed her world.



Police Chief Jane Hardy is still reeling from the scandal that rocked her small-town department just as she took over for her retired father—the man who wrecked her life with one little lie. Now she’s finally been reunited with her presumed-dead fifteen-year-old son, Will, and his father, documentarian Reid Bechtol.

A crisis looms.



When a murder aboard the oil platform Zeus exposes an environmental terrorist’s plot to flood Mobile Bay with crude oil, Jane and Reid must put their feelings for each other behind them and work together to prevent the rig from being sabotaged.

A killer targets her son.



Then the terrorist puts her son Will’s life on the line. Protecting him could be the common ground they need . . . but then ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Jane and Reid for good.

She’s got plenty of reasons to run. But what if she stays?



Book Details:


Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0785228489 (ISBN13: 9780785228486)
Series: Pelican Harbor #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | ChristianBook.com | Goodreads


Author Bio:


Colleen Coble



Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.



Catch Up With Colleen Coble:


ColleenCoble.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!






Giveway!!



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Colleen Coble. There will be 3 winners, each winning One Little Lie by Colleen Coble (Print). The giveaway begins on September 21, 2020, and runs through October 25, 2020. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.


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Book Showcase: DON’T F*** THIS UP! by Fred Stuvek Jr.



Don’t F*** This Up!: A Guide for Students and Graduates or Anyone Making A Fresh Start by Fred Stuvek Jr.
ISBN: 9781732306042 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781732306059 (ebook)
ASIN: B08C5MQVSV   (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Triumvirate Press
Publication Date: July 7, 2020



The margin of error is shrinking…



Has the new normal just f***ed up the future for young adults? 

Thanks to a global pandemic, they’re entering adulthood, their college career, or the workforce during record unemployment, a terrifying economy, and social guidelines that have all but eliminated life as we knew it. 

And what about the millions of newly unemployed workers in America? As they look for a fresh start, how will they overcome the challenges of an economy decimated by COVID-19?

If having a strategy for the future was important before, now it’s critical. The choices new grads, young adults, or the newly unemployed make and the practices they adopt right now are going to shape not only their career but every other aspect of their life as well. 

Fred Stuvek, Jr. has some hard-earned life lessons to share with them. As a former athlete who served in the military and successfully started his own business, he has advice for those looking to thrive in this battered economy. 

In Don’t F*** This Up!, he explains how harnessing certain proven success principles will help guide those looking for a new start in a world where the margin of error is narrower than ever. He can explain the following in more detail:


  • Adopt high standards and become disciplined
  • Learn how to focus on goal setting from a Hall of Fame athlete turned soldier
  • Develop and improve essential relationships from someone who has built successful businesses
  • Establish a high level of personal integrity through the right actions and attitude 
  • Develop the resilience and grit to overcome adversity







Purchase Links: #CommissionEarned   IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Barnes & Noble  |  <Nook Book  |  BookDepository  |  Kobo eBook





Author Q&A



Don’t F*** This Up!: A Guide for Students and Graduates
or Anyone Making a Fresh Start



1.  Your book is titled, Don’t F*** This Up!. That is pretty direct. What exactly do you mean by it and how did you decide on it?

Due to this pandemic students and graduates will be facing one of the bleakest employment environments in generations. Opportunities will be limited, and the margin of error is much less than in former times. While the title is visceral, I wanted to emphasize the importance to my target audience that now, more than ever, it is critical to be prepared and get it right the first time.


2.  You have excelled in sports, the military, and in business. What is the key piece of advice you have gained from this trifecta of experience that you want to give to those making a fresh start in this bad economy?

Nothing gets accomplished without discipline, commitment, and a team working together. Your discipline will ensure you follow through on your plan; that firm commitment in your mission will ensure you have the resiliency to stay the course when adversity strikes; and everyone has each other’s back.  


3.  How is your book unique from other self-help books out there?

Success is not one dimensional, it entails a number of issues that must converge. The absence or weakness in one area of more will impact your ability to reach your full potential. To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a book out there that comprehensively and specifically addresses the entire range of issues for someone to be successful by telling them WHAT is important, WHY it is important, and HOW you do something about it. 


4.  You say that your advice may be hard for people to hear. Why is that?

You are responsible for you and accountable for yourself. You are not a victim of circumstances. The life you are living is based on the habits you have formed, the decisions you made, and the people you associate with. If you want a better life, develop better habits, make better decisions, and re-evaluate who you are hanging out with.


5.  Can you go over a couple of the core ideas for success that you outline in the book?

In order to be motivated and fulfilled there are two issues that are important – alignment and filling in the gaps. When I say alignment you have to understand what motivates you and match those beliefs with your personality, skillset, interests, and values. The other issue is the gaps – you need to understand what areas you fall short in and work on improving your skills in those areas. You also have to be honest with yourself and don’t try to be something you are not. Otherwise, you have a mismatch which ultimately will result in dissatisfaction, stress, burn-out, and spill over into your personal life.  


6.  You say that the margin for error is narrowing for people starting out in the workforce. What do you mean by that?

Many companies are streamlining, cutting costs, or putting plans on hold until they are better able to gauge the impact COVID19 will have on the economy and their business. As a result, there will be fewer jobs available which will translate into fewer opportunities for them. This may also translate to new business models where companies revert to a hybrid version of their former self from both an expense and staffing standpoint. They say “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” The same holds true here.  


7.  COVID-19 has decimated the economy. For those who have been laid off, what is your biggest piece of advice as they look for a fresh start?

Your mindset, preparation, and commitment will carry you through. Be prepared, be positive, and persevere. Understand there will be rejection and frustration, don’t take it personally, it is part of the process, so put it behind you. Learn from it and move on. Your determination and zeal will ultimately resonate with someone, so never give up, never surrender, and always move forward, even if it is one small step at a time. 


8.  Ultimately, what do you hope readers take away from your book?

Your achievement in life will be determined by the belief and confidence you have in yourself and what you do. You need to develop the right mindset, develop good habits, and make good decisions. To make those decisions you need to know what questions to ask, how to get the answers, and a process to follow. This book is a roadmap to do exactly that and will be a valuable ongoing reference. 


9.  How/where can readers purchase Don’t F*** This Up!?#

It is available in hard copy and eBook through a number of sources such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. You can also go to my website https://fredstuvek.com, where the purchase tab on my home page will direct you to a number of sources where you can purchase either version. 
(#NOTE: Purchase Links are also provided at the top of this post.)

10.  Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the book?

What is laid out in my book is not based on theory. What I recommend is proven, it works. 




Meet The Author


FRED STUVEK JR. has achieved extraordinary success in diverse realms. He has been inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for achievements in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy, after lettering three years as quarterback for the Midshipmen. After serving as a Naval Officer, he transitioned to the business world where he has held senior leadership positions in private and public companies, both domestically and internationally. Key successes include an international medical imaging start-up that led to a successful IPO and forming a private medical services company, which he subsequently sold. From the playing field to the war room, to the board room, his leadership and accomplishments have given him a distinct perspective and a results-oriented mindset.



Connect to the author via his Website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, or YouTube.




Giveaway

Enter to win a print copy of Don’t F*** This Up! by Fred Stuvek Jr. This giveaway is limited to US residents only; non-US residents will be disqualified. Giveaway begins at 12:01 AM ET on 08/25/2020 and runs through 11:59 PM ET on 09/01/2020. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on 09/02/2020. Book will be provided by PR by the Book at the conclusion of the tour. Void where prohibited by law.


To enter use the Rafflecopter form below.

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This Q&A, giveaway, and tour brought to you by PR By The Book

Guest Post – Carrie Stuart Parks RELATIVE SILENCE



Good morning, my bookish peeps! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and that you got some reading in while enjoying your weekend activities. I am pleased to welcome today’s guest, an award-winning author and internationally known forensic artist, Carrie Stuart Parks to The Book Diva’s Reads. Many authors have to combine hours of research into an unknown area of expertise to write stories about an unknown subject, but Ms. Parks is a forensic artist that combines her unique background in that area with her writing for some wonderful scenarios. Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you Carrie Stuart Parks, author of Relative Silence




What If? and Forensic Art
by Carrie Stuart Parks



Like most authors, I start out with two simple words, what if? What if my character has her dog bring home a human skull? (The Bones Will Speak.) What if my character lies about her training as a forensic artist and stumbles upon a secret from World War Two? (Formula of Deception.) What if my character has the face of her long-dead daughter age-progressed and becomes convinced she’s actually alive? (Relative Silence.) What might set my what if questions in a different direction from most authors is that the what if usually includes forensics. Specifically forensic art. As a forensic artist myself, I know the field intimately, and I know the many applications of this skill. 

Before I go on, let me define forensic art. It’s any art used in law enforcement or legal proceedings. This includes composite drawings from witness descriptions, measuring and recording crime scenes, and doing the courtroom sketching for television or print media. Any image enhancement such as adding or removing beards and glasses, drawing video surveillance images, or age progression falls under the forensic art umbrella. Facial reconstruction, either two-dimensional (drawing) or three dimensional (clay) over a skull for identification would be considered forensic art. Even preparing charts and exhibits for court is a form of forensic art.

Because the field is so exciting and varied, I try to shine a spotlight on one particular area in each of my novels. In Relative Silence, I wanted to present child age progression. I first heard of this in 1986 at a forensic art symposium in New Orleans. Two men had sketched the face of some missing children that had led to their recovery. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, founded just a year earlier by John and Revé Walsh and other child advocates, was in its infancy. Although most of America had heard of Etan Patz (abducted in 1979) and Adam Walsh (abducted in 1981), this was the first I’d heard of a way in which I could use my art skills to help children. Thirty-three years later, I was able to write about it in my novel.

I still teach and practice forensic art, and as each case crosses my drafting table, I now look at the possibilities for a storyline. What if . . ?







Relative Silence

by Carrie Stuart Parks

on Tour July 13 – August 14, 2020


Synopsis:


Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks


A powerful family with lots of secrets. A forensic artist with his own tragedies. And a hurricane drawing bearing down on their private island.

Fifteen years ago Piper Boone’s only child died in a boating accident, and Piper’s almost perfect life came to an end too. After living through a divorce and losing her job, she retreats to Curlew Island and her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the politically powerful Boone family, who are practically American royalty.

But Piper’s desire to become a recluse is shattered when a mass shooter opens fire and kills three women at a café where Piper is having lunch. The crisis puts her family in the spotlight by dredging up rumors of the so-called Curlew Island Curse, which whispers say has taken the lives of several members of the Boone family, including Piper’s father and sister.

Forensic artist Tucker Landry also survives the shooting and is tasked with the job of sketching a portrait of the shooter with Piper. They forge a bond over their shared love of movies and tragic pasts. But when police discover a connection between the shooting and two more murders on Curlew Island, they face a more terrible lineup of suspects than they could have imagined: Piper’s family.

Unraveling the family’s true history will be the key to Piper’s survival—or her certain death.




Book Details:


Genre: Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: July 14th 2020
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0785226184 (ISBN13: 9780785226185)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads




Author Bio:


Carrie Stuart Parks

Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy, Carol, and Inspy award-winning author, an award-winning fine artist, and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement as well as civilian participants. She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity.


Catch Up With Carrie Stuart Parks:


CarrieStuartParks.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, &  Facebook!


Tour Participants:


Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!




Enter To Win!!:



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Carrie Stuart Parks. There will be 1 winner of one (1) print copy of Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks. The giveaway begins on July 13, 2020 and runs through August 16, 2020. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.


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Guest Post: Victoria Gilbert — BOOKED FOR DEATH


Hello, book people and welcome to the weekend! I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready to take a vacation, or rather a staycation given the current pandemic. Is there any place better for a booklover to stay than a literary-themed bed-and-breakfast even if it is only by visiting through turning the pages of Booked for Death, the first book in the Booklover’s B&B series by Victoria Gilbert, acclaimed author of the Blue Ridge Library series? I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Ms. Gilbert as she gives a bit of background into this new series. Thank you, Ms. Gilbert, for taking time away from your writing and librarian duties to visit with us today.



Going Medieval to Celebrate a Mystery Novel


Chapters, the inn featured in the Booklover’s B&B series, is a literary-themed bed-and-breakfast located in the historic coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina. The current owner and manager, 42-year-old widow Charlotte Reed, inherited the B&B, its extensive private library, and its tradition of celebrating authors and books, from her great-aunt Isabella. Continuing the tradition, Charlotte regularly hosts weeklong literary-themed events, complete with special dinners, cocktail parties, book discussions, and other related activities.

Although the original portion of Chapters was built in the early eighteenth-century, it still isn’t as old as the recipes Charlotte researches to create a semi-realistic rendition of a medieval banquet. Celebrating Golden Age mystery author, Josephine Tey, Charlotte plans to highlight one of Tey’s most famous novels, The Daughter of Time. An examination of Richard III through the sleuthing of Tey’s brilliant 20th-century detective, Inspector Alan Grant, the book questions whether Richard III actually killed his nephews, the ill-fated “Princes in the Tower.”.

To honor this book, Charlotte asks her freelance chef, Damian Carr, to create a menu for a dinner and costume party based on 15th-century sources. However, she’s realistic about modern diners’ acceptance of some typical medieval banquet dishes, like peacock or swan, and settles on roasted boar instead. She also has Damian serve fish (pike) as well as roasted root vegetables, and an orange ginger cake, among other things.

This meal, although harkening back to the time period, is a far cry from an actual 15th-century banquet. For example, for the coronation of Richard III in 1483, there were three set courses, consisting of fifteen dishes each! (In fact, the feast ran so long, the third course was never served). No modern meal can compete, and the party at Chapters attempts merely to imitate, not replicate such excess. But Charlotte’s dinner party still ends with quite a bang—when one of the guests turns up murdered!

For some idea of what a real 15th-century banquet might have looked like, here’s an image from the time period, depicting a lavish banquet in France. 



And just for fun, here’s an image from the “Rous Roll,” an illustrated chronicle created by fifteenth-century historian and priest John Rous. The chronicle was possibly commissioned by Richard III’s queen, Anne Neville, and it contains one of the only known contemporary portraits of Anne. This image actually inspires one of the costumes worn by a guest in Booked for Death—Queen Anne’s rose pink and ermine gown and robe.



I admit that I enjoy including historical references and elements in my contemporary novels. I also like to celebrate the great authors who’ve written the many l books I love to read. 

Do you enjoy reading about a particular period in history? Please comment below to share your favorite time periods, as well as some of your favorite classic mystery authors. 




Booked for Death: A Book Lover’s B&B Mystery

by Victoria Gilbert

About Booked for Death



Booked for Death: A Book Lover’s B&B Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643853074
ISBN-13: 978-1643853079
Digital ASIN: B07XX7PHTV


From the critically acclaimed author of SIBA Okra Pick A Murder for the Books, Victoria Gilbert embarks with a new series for perfect for fans of Kate Carlisle and Juliet Blackwell.



A book lover’s B&B in an idyllic waterfront village becomes the scene of a grisly murder—and a ruthless battle between treachery and the truth.



Nestled in the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, North Carolina, Chapters Bed-and-Breakfast is a reader’s paradise. Built in 1770, the newly renovated inn hosts a roster of special events celebrating books, genres, and authors. It’s the perfect literary retreat—until a rare book dealer turns up dead in the carriage house during a celebration of Golden Age mystery author Josephine Tey.



The victim’s daughter points the finger at forty-two-year-old widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from her great-aunt Isabella. Charlotte is shocked to discover that the book dealer suspected Isabella of being a thief who founded Chapters on her ill-gotten gains. Charlotte has successfully learned the B&B business in a year, but nothing has prepared her to handle a death on the premises.



Armed with intelligence and courage and assisted by her vibrant older neighbor, a visiting author, and members of a local book club, Charlotte is determined to prove her innocence and to clear her great-aunt’s name. But the murderer is still at large, and equally determined to silence anyone who might discover the truth behind the book dealer’s death. Now, Charlotte must outwit an unknown killer—or end up writing her own final chapter.



Purchase Links:    Amazon  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  Indie Bound



About Virginia Gilbert




Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. Victoria has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and lives in North Carolina. Author of the Blue Ridge Library series, Booked for Death is the first in her Booklover’s B&B Mystery series.


Author Links:

Website/blog: http://victoriagilbertmysteries.com/
Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaGilbertMysteryAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VGilbertauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/VictoriaGilbert
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/victoriagilbertauthor/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4J0jvZ-D0NVF9Qv7H2ua8Q


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 8 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

June 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW 

June 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

June 9 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 10 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

June 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW


June 12 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW


June 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST

June 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

June 14 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

June 15 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

June 15 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 16 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous– REVIEW

June 16 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

June 17 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

June 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

June 18 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 19 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

June 19 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

June 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 20 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

June 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

June 21 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST



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Guest Author Post: Davin Goodwin – DIVER’S PARADISE

Hello, book people. I hope everyone is doing well and surviving this quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. I pray you’re all safe at home with your loved ones and have everything you need. I’m pleased to welcome a new author today to TBDR. Davin Goodwin is an avid diver and his debut book, appropriately named, Diver’s Paradise, was just released. Mr. Goodwin will be talking about some of his diving experiences. Thank you, Mr. Goodwin, for taking the time to stop by today and sharing with us, and I’ll now turn the blog over to you.




My wife, Leslie (also known as Double L – Lovely Leslie), and I have accumulated more than eight hundred scuba dives on the island of Bonaire. It’s our home away from home, having made thirty trips over the past twenty-one years. Bonaire is known for its pristine near-shore reef system and easy shore diving, the opportunity to don gear and walk into the water from many vantage points along the coast. Most other dive destinations require boarding a boat and motoring to a dive site, possibly several miles out to sea. This is one of the reason’s Bonaire’s moniker is Diver’s Paradise.

After one recent dive, Double L and I removed our fins, standing in the shallows of Pink Beach, a popular dive site on the southern end of the island. The high afternoon sun reflecting off the calm waters caused us to squint as we began to gingerly sidestep our way over the small rocks and coral rubble, making our way back to shore. The dive had been excellent—as they always were—both of us impressed with the amount of soft corals on the southern dive sites.

“What was that fish I pointed out to you?” I asked. “The long silver one.”

“That was a tilefish,” Leslie said.

“Oh? I’ve never seen one before.”

Mid-step, Double L stopped, shooting me with a stare as if I’d just sprouted a dorsal fin.  “They are all over the place. You’ve seen hundreds of them.”

I shrugged. “I don’t think so.”

She tilted her head to one side allowing some seawater to drain from her ear. “Yes, you have. But I’ll admit this was the biggest one I’ve ever seen.”

“Did you see the way it was looking at me? It seemed to swim up close, then kind of laugh at me before swimming away.” Leslie remained quiet, just staring at me through her mask lens. “Seriously. I think he was taunting me.”

We took a few more steps before reaching the shore. 

“It probably knows what happened at Karpata,” I said. “Word has spread through the fish community.”

“Yeah, that’s right, honey,” Leslie said. She made a distinct point in rolling her eyes. “All the fish on Bonaire have heard about The Karpata Incident. You’re famous.”

Famous? I thought. Maybe so, but not in the way I had ever dreamed. What happened at Karpata, a dive site on the northern end of the island, a few days ago has come to be known as The Karpata Incident between Double L and me. The only other witness was our friend, John “Smack” Anderson, but he wouldn’t talk. At least not now. Earlier, I’d bought his silence with a grilled cheese sandwich, some leftover French fries, and a cold beer.

For the sake of full disclosure, I’ll expound on what happened. Dr. Phil isn’t available, so I hope by telling the story, I’ll reap some level of therapeutic benefit.

Without the possibility of a drum roll, let me explain The Karpata Incident.

Over the years, I’ve done 800+ scuba dives on Bonaire. Some of my other dives include excursions on Lake Superior when fellow divers were hurling breakfast over the side of the boat. I’ve dove The Price Wilhelm, a shipwreck sitting on the bottom of Lake Michigan in 100 feet of water, typically with low visibility, strong currents, and very cold water. And I’ve dove the Karpata dive site as the sea crashed against the shore, waves tall and powerful enough to knock divers on their keisters. 

Beyond a doubt, Karpata is one of my favorite and most dived sites, having logged more than 70 dives there. The reef starts a few yards from shore and at a depth of less than fifteen feet. The undersea wall stretches to depths in the hundreds of feet and is covered with hard and soft corals, along with hundreds of species of aquatic creatures. 

The water conditions at Karpata have never intimidated me. Regardless of the conditions at Karpata—waves crashing against the shore or the surface as smooth as glass—I’ve always made the dive. And it’s always been worth the effort.

Until a few days ago.

Until The Karpata Incident.

In hindsight, conditions weren’t that bad. After helping Double L into the water, she gave me the “okay” sign and swam out to the reef drop off, a mere twenty yards from shore. Smack did the same. Other divers along the shore entered the water and seemed fine. 

But me? I can’t explain it.

In an unusual display of clumsiness, I tripped twice while donning my fins. Then, while swimming out to the reef, my left fin came unstrapped and started to float away. I scrambled to find it and strap it back on my foot. 

Breathing heavy, I swam the short distance to the reef. My lungs felt as though they were about to punch through my rib cage, my breaths deep and quick. 

I recognized the indicators of hyperventilating. Slow down, I said to myself. Steady breathes. Exhale fully. I knew the actions required to get my breathing under control, but, for some reason, they weren’t working. Not that day. I had sucked nearly twenty-five percent of my tank air and hadn’t even begun a decent.

These problems were all workable and easily overcome. But not this dive. At least not for me. I felt I had no control of my situation. And I didn’t like how that felt…..

So, I aborted the dive.

I didn’t panic. I didn’t scramble to the shore or start flipping off my mask or looking for help. I just signaled to Les and Smack that I was done, and I swam to shore. 

I was finished.

After 800+ dives, and for the first time in my life, I had aborted a dive.

The Karpata Incident was now part of my legacy……

Others have gone through a similar situation, so I know a lot of folks can relate. And it just goes to show… regardless of age, experience level, number of dives, or levels of certification, when it comes to scuba, we’re all students. 

All the time.

But now my world is upside down. For years, I was the person my group looked to for all the answers. The one with all the answers; the Sensei; the Master Jedi. 

Not any more.

The hard part will be getting back on the horse that threw me. I need to go back to Karpata and make the dive. But the image of me aborting is planted in my brain. A dark picture burned into my neurons. Bad thoughts that I need to overcome.

But I will. I know it.

Karpata is a horse I will ride again.

But for now, I’ll put the Incident in the back, cloudy recesses of my mind, filed away in some dusty area where it can’t harm me. For the time being, I’ll concentrate on more delightful thoughts.

But I’ll be facing Karpata again. And I will overcome.

Cause Leslie wouldn’t have it any other way.






Diver’s Paradise

by Davin Goodwin

on Tour April 6 – May 8, 2020


Synopsis:

Diver's Paradise by Davin Goodwin



After 25 years on the job, Detective Roscoe Conklin trades his badge for a pair of shorts and sandals and moves to Bonaire, a small island nestled in the southern Caribbean. But the warm water, palm trees, and sunsets are derailed when his long-time police-buddy friend back home, is murdered.

Conklin dusts off a few markers and calls his old department, trolling for information. It’s slow going. No surprise, there. After all, it’s an active investigation, and his compadres back home aren’t saying a damn thing.

He’s 2,000 miles away, living in paradise. Does he really think he can help? They suggest he go to the beach and catch some rays.

For Conklin, it’s not that simple. Outside looking in? Not him. Never has been. Never will be.

When a suspicious mishap lands his significant other, Arabella, in the hospital, the island police conduct, at best, a sluggish investigation, stonewalling progress. Conklin questions the evidence and challenges the department’s methods. Something isn’t right.

Arabella wasn’t the intended target.



Book Details:


Genre: Mystery
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 1608093832 (ISBN13: 9781608093830)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads



Author Bio:


Davin Goodwin

My family members have always been epic storytellers. I regularly wrote short stories in high school and college and, later in life, freelanced several articles for trade and industry publications. For years, the idea of writing a novel bounced around in the back of my mind, but never found its way out of the darkness.

My wife, Leslie (Double L), and I have visited the island of Bonaire nearly 30 times over the past 20 years, many of those trips for extended periods. The island is a perfect setting for the style of novel I wanted to write. Yes, the book would be a murder mystery, but I needed a laid-back, slightly exotic setting. And I wanted the book to partially center around scuba diving, an activity Les and I enjoy together as often as possible.

During the Spring of 2010, with mild coaxing from friends and family, the concept of Diver’s Paradise came to fruition. However, after close to a year of writing, I gave up, not touching the story for almost six years. In the Spring of 2017, I pulled out the tattered manuscript, rewrote and edited till blue in the face, then endured daily heart palpitations, waiting for submission responses from agents and publishers.

Nine months after my first submission, and after agonizing through a boatload of rejections, Oceanview Publishing—to my good luck—offered a contract. I would be a published author.

Diver’s Paradise launched on April 7, 2020 in Hard Cover and eBook, followed later in paperback.

I enjoy being outdoors when the weather is nice. I don’t particularly like snow and cold weather, which can be problematic dwelling in the frigid, midwestern state of Wisconsin.

Exercise is a passion of mine, although I don’t do it as intensely as in past years. Running, biking, and swimming are my favorites. As of several years ago, golf and I decided that we can no longer be friends.

Through high school and college, I played violin in the orchestras and community ensembles. Much to the chagrin of those close to me, around the age of sixteen I was struck with an uncontrollable desire to play the 5-string banjo. And play I did.

Hours and hours a day.

Everyday.

In 1992, the band I played with at the time, traveled to Ukraine and performed in the International Kiev Music Festival. I’ve also performed on radio, TV, and recorded on several albums.

I’m 58 years old and live in Madison, WI. Originally from Rockford, IL, I went to college at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR, graduating with a degree in Computer Science. I’m married and have one daughter and one stepson, both grown.

Professionally, I have roughly 30 years’ experience in the technology industry and currently manage a group of software developers for a local, mid-sized company. In the past, I’ve owned several small businesses, worked as an aerial photographer, a semi-professional banjo player, a flight instructor, and a real estate investor.

Future Plans: Continue the Roscoe Conklin series, hopefully, for a long time.


Catch Up With Davin Goodwin On:


DavinGoodwinAuthor.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @dgoodwin7757
Facebook – @authordavingoodwin
Instagram – davin_goodwin_author


Tour Participants:



Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!





Giveaway!!:



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Davin Goodwin. There will be 6 winners. Two (2) winners will each win (1) Amazon.com Gift Card; two (2) winners will each win one PRINT copy of Diver’s Paradise by Davin Goodwin (US addresses only), and two (2) winners will each receive one EBOOK copy of Diver’s Paradise by Davin Goodwin. The giveaway begins on April 6, 2020, and runs through May 9, 2020. Void where prohibited.


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Guest Post: LAVENDER BLUE MURDER by Laura Childs



Good day, book people. I’m always excited to welcome guests to The Book Diva’s Reads, especially when it’s an author that has graciously taken time away from their busy writing or touring schedule. When it’s the author of a series that I read and admire, I go total fangirl, so reader beware. I’m a huge fan of the Laura Childs Tea Shop Mystery series, probably because it’s tea (I used to own a tea business) and I began reading it when I lived in Georgia (it’s a Southern thang). To say that I’m pleased to welcome Ms. Childs here today is a massive understatement, but close enough. I’m incredibly pleased and honored to welcome and introduce you to Ms. Laura Childs, author of the Tea Shop Mystery Series, including the latest addition Lavender Blue Murder, as today’s guest. Ms. Childs will be sharing with us some of the joys of writing an amateur sleuth and more. Without further adieu, ladies and gents, I give you Laura Childs.




Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author of Lavender Blue Murder, writes about the Free-Wheeling Amateur Sleuth



If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, then you know that most main characters tend to be curious, heroic, and highly intelligent amateur sleuths. They’re not afraid to ask questions, go undercover, figure out clues, and occasionally tiptoe into situations where they probably shouldn’t. 

What I love most about Theodosia Browning, my main character and tea shop owner in Lavender Blue Murder, is that she’s not bound by the normal constraints that law enforcement is. She doesn’t have to Mirandize suspects, obtain search warrants from judges, follow procedure, call in a Crime Scene team, or deal with bureaucrats and police politics.   

Along with her dog, Earl Grey, Theodosia is a dynamic character who gets involved in very personal ways. When solving a murder, she has the smarts to make logical deductions and sniff out clues (often to the consternation of the police), as well as run her own shadow investigation to help winnow out who’s merely a suspect and who’s the real killer. 

It’s this free-wheeling manner that allows my tea shop owner’s fun personality to shine through. Yes, she’s solving crimes, but she’s also an entrepreneur who runs the Indigo Tea Shop in the heart of Charleston, SC. She’s socially active, has a boyfriend, is surrounded by a cast of characters that are often larger than life, and has a real sense of fair play and justice.

Here’s a synopsis of Lavender Blue Murder to show you how Theodosia gets embroiled in a nasty murder:


On a Sunday afternoon in autumn, tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at Reginald Doyle’s Creekmore Plantation. Because Doyle and his wife Meredith are rabid anglophiles, they’re treating their dozen or so guests to a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. 

But as gunshots explode like Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort. It’s a sharp pop, like the distinctive sound of a handgun. Worried now, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor’s lavender field where she discovers Reginald Doyle bleeding to death. Help is summoned, first responders arrive, but it’s too late for Reginald.

Doyle’s wife Meredith is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the plantation house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Theodosia wonders who wanted Reginald dead and out of the way, and maybe even torched the house to destroy evidence? Could it be the surly caretaker Jack Grimes, Reginald’s business partner Guy Thorne, neighboring land owner Carl Clewis, the so-called “lavender lady” Susan Monday, or even Reginald’s son Alex or even his wife Meredith?


So you see, an amateur sleuth is a curious breed, succumbing to the pleas of others, often putting her own interests aside and herself in danger. Sound like fun? It kind of is!

Thanks to the Book Diva’s Reads for inviting me here today, and many thanks to all you wonderful readers.


Love,

Laura Childs



Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)

by Laura Childs

About Lavender Blue Murder

Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
21th in Series
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489667
ISBN-13: 978-0451489661
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R



Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!


Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo   Google Play IndieBound


About Laura Childs




Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.


Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:

Website – http://www.laurachilds.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31



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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

March 2 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

March 3 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

March 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 4 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

March 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

March 5 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

March 6 – I’m All About Books-SPOTLIGHT

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Book Spotlight: IN AN INSTANT by Suzanne Redfearn



In an Instant

by Suzanne Redfearn



About In An Instant




Thriller/Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 1, 2020)
Paperback: 331 pages
ISBN-10: 1542006589
ISBN-13: 978-1542006583
Digital ASIN: B07NVD1276


A deeply moving story of carrying on even when it seems impossible.

Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.

Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?

Heartrending yet ultimately redemptive, In an Instant is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and carrying on…even when it seems impossible.



Purchase LinksAmazon  B&N


About Suzanne Redfearn


Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of three novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, and In an Instant. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer. You can find her at her website, SuzanneRedfearn.com, on Facebook at SuzanneRedfearnAuthor, or on Twitter @SuzanneRedfearn.



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February 26 – Laura’s interests – SPOTLIGHT

February 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 

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March 1 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – SPOTLIGHT

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March 4 – A Chick Who Reads  REVIEW

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