Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Book Review ~ Three Shoeboxes by Steven Manchester ~ Family Drama

Three Shoeboxes

by Steven Manchester

July 1-August 31, 2018 Tour

  Three Shoeboxes by Steven Manchester

Synopsis:

Mac Anderson holds life in the palm of his hand. He has a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home, and a successful career. Everything is perfect—or so it seems. Tragically, Mac is destined to learn that any sense of security can quickly prove false. Because an invisible enemy called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has invaded Mac’s fragile mind and it is about to drop him to his knees. He does all he can to conceal his inner chaos, but to no avail. Left to contend with ignorance, an insensitive justice system, and the struggles of an invisible disease, he loses everything—most importantly his family.
One shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes might contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.
 

Details

Genre: Women's Fiction
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: June 12th 2018
Number of Pages: 285
ISBN: 1611882605 (ISBN13: 9781611882605)
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, & Goodreads
  Pre-publication endorsements:
“Compelling and emotional, Three Shoeboxes takes readers on a heart-wrenching journey through some of life’s toughest challenges, always with the ever-present sense of the transforming power of love and hope. Three Shoeboxes is Steven Manchester at his finest.” - Carla Neggers, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author, Harbor Island and Echo Lake
Raw, moving and brutally honest—Steven Manchester takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. Grab your tissues for this heart-wrenching story—better yet, grab a box full!” - Tanya Anne Crosby, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author, The Girl Who Stayed "
Three Shoeboxes is a compassionate, accessible portrait of a vitally important topic, PTSD, how it affects the sufferer and the family—and how to find hope and healing." - Jenna Blum, NYT & International Bestselling Author, Those Who Save Us and Storm Chasers
Three Shoeboxes is terrific writing. Manchester’s protagonist’s life becomes nightmarish, his rage palpable, and his ultimate redemption breathtaking. It was enough to bring this reader to tears.” - John Lansing, #1 Bestselling Author, The Devil’s Necktie  

Read an excerpt:

Mac jumped up, panting like an obese dog suffering in a heat wave. His heart drummed out of his chest. Startled from a sound sleep, he didn’t know what was wrong. He leapt out of bed and stumbled toward the bathroom. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t think. There’s something wrong, he finally thought, I…I need help. He searched frantically for an enemy. There was none. As he stared at the frightened man in the mirror, he considered calling out to his sleeping wife. She has enough to worry about with the kids, he thought, but was already hurrying toward her. “Jen,” he said in a strained whisper.
She stirred but didn’t open her eyes.
The constricted chest, sweaty face and shaking hands made Mac wonder whether he was standing at death’s door, cardiac arrest being his ticket in. I have to do something now, he thought, or I’m a goner. “Jen,” he said louder, shaking her shoulder.
One eye opened. She looked up at him.
“It’s happening again,” he said in a voice that could have belonged to a frightened little boy.
Jen shot up in bed. “What is it?”
“I…I can’t breathe. My heart keeps fluttering and I feel…”
“I’m calling an ambulance,” she said, fumbling for her cell phone.
“No,” he said instinctively, “it’ll scare the kids.”
She looked up at him like he was crazy.
“I’ll go to the emergency room right now!” Grabbing for a pair of pants, he started to slide into them.
Jen sprang out of the bed. “I’ll call my mom and have her come over to watch the kids. In the meantime, Jillian can…”
Mac shook his foggy head, halting her. “No, I’m okay to drive,” he said, trying to breathe normally.
“But babe,” she began to protest, fear glassing over her eyes.
“I’ll text you as soon as I get there,” he promised, “and then call you just as soon as they tell me what the hell’s going on.”
Jen’s eyes filled. “Oh Mac…”
He shot her a smile, at least he tried to, before rushing out of the house and hyperventilating all the way to the hospital.

I’m here, Mac texted Jen before shutting off the ringer on his phone.
The scowling intake nurse brought him right in at the mention of “chest pains.” Within minutes, the E.R. staff went to work like a well-choreographed NASCAR pit crew, simultaneously drawing blood while wiring his torso to a portable EKG machine.
As quickly as the team had responded, they filed out of the curtained room. A young nurse, yanking the sticky discs from Mac’s chest, feigned a smile. “Try to relax, Mr. Anderson. It may take a little bit before the doctor receives all of your test results.”
For what seemed like forever, Mac sat motionless on the hospital gurney, a white curtain drawn around him. I hope it isn’t my heart, he thought, the kids are still so young and they need…
“Who do we have in number four?” a female voice asked just outside of Mac’s alcove.
Mac froze to listen in.
“Some guy who came in complaining of chest pains,” another voice answered at a strained whisper. “Test results show nothing. Just another anxiety attack.”
No way, Mac thought, not knowing whether he should feel insulted or relieved.
“Like we have time to deal with that crap,” the first voice said. “Can you imagine if men had to give birth?”
Both ladies laughed.
No friggin’ way, Mac thought before picturing his wife’s frightened face. She must be worried sick. But I can’t call her without talking to the doctor. She’d…
The curtain snapped open, revealing a young man in a white lab coat with a stethoscope hanging around his neck.
This kid can’t be a doctor, Mac thought, the world suddenly feeling like it had been turned upside down.
“Your heart is fine, Mr. Anderson,” the doctor quickly reported, his eyes on his clipboard. “I’m fairly certain you suffered a panic attack.” He looked up and grinned, but even his smile was rushed. “Sometimes the symptoms can mirror serious physical ailments.”
Mac was confused, almost disappointed. So, what I experienced wasn’t serious? he asked in his head.
The young man scribbled something onto a small square pad, tore off the top sheet and handed it to Mac. “This’ll make you feel better,” he said, prescribing a sedative that promised to render Mac more useless than the alleged attack.
“Ummm…okay,” Mac said, his face burning red.
The doctor nodded. “Stress is the number one cause of these symptoms,” he concluded. “Do you have someone you can talk to?”
Mac returned the nod, thinking, I need to get the hell out of here. Although he appreciated the concern, he was mired in a state of disbelief. I’m a master of the corporate rat race, he thought, unable to accept the medicine man’s spiel. If anyone knows how to survive stress, it’s me.
“That’s great,” the doctor said, vanishing as quickly as he’d appeared.
My problem is physical, Mac confirmed in his head, it has to be. He finished tying his shoes.
Pulling back the curtain, he was met by the stare of several female nurses. He quickly applied his false mask of strength and smiled. A panic attack, he repeated to himself. When put into words, the possibility was chilling.
The nurses smiled back, each one of them wearing the same judgmental smirk.
With his jacket tucked under his arm, Mac started down the hallway. Sure, he thought, I have plenty of people I can talk to. He pulled open the door that led back into the crowded waiting room. That is, if I actually thought it was anxiety.

Mac sat in the parking lot for a few long minutes, attempting to process the strange events of the last several days. Although he felt physically tired, there weren’t any symptoms or residual effects of the awful episodes he’d experienced—not a trace of the paralyzing terror I felt. And they just came out of the blue. He shook his head. How can it not be physical? He thought about the current state of his life. Work is work, it’s always going to come with a level of stress, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary. He shook his head again. I just don’t get it. He grabbed his cell phone and called Jen. “Hi, it’s me.”
“Are you okay?” she asked, the worry in her voice making him feel worse.
“I’m fine, babe.”
“Fine?” she said, confused. “What did the doctor say?”
“He said it’s not my heart.”
“Oh, thank God.”
Her reaction—although completely understandable—struck him funny, making him feel like the boy who cried wolf.
“So what is it then?” she asked.
He hesitated, feeling oddly embarrassed to share the unbelievable diagnosis.
“Mac?”
“The doctor thinks it was a…a panic attack.”
This time, she paused. “A panic attack?” she repeated, clearly searching for more words. Then, as a born problem solver, she initiated her usual barrage of questions. “Did they give you something for it? Is there any follow up?”
“Yes, and maybe.”
“What does that mean?”
“He gave me pills that I’d rather not take if I don’t need to. And he suggested I go talk to someone.”
“Talk to someone? You mean like a therapist?”
“I’m pretty sure that’s what he meant.”
“Oh,” she said, obviously taken aback. “Then that’s exactly what you should do.”
“I don’t know…”
“Is there something bothering you I don’t know about, Mac,” she asked, “because you can talk to me, too, you know.”
“I know, babe. But there’s nothing bothering me, honest.” He took a deep breath. “For what it’s worth, I don’t buy the anxiety attack diagnosis.”
“Well, whatever you were feeling this morning was real enough, right? I could see it in your face. It wouldn’t hurt anything for you to go talk to someone.” She still sounded scared and he hated it.
“Maybe not,” he replied, appeasing her. In the back of his head, though, he was already contemplating how much he should continue to share with her—or protect her from. “I need to get to work,” he said.
“Why don’t you just take the day off and relax?” she suggested.
Here we go, he thought. “I wish I could, babe,” he said, “but we have way too much going on at the office right now.”
“And maybe that’s part of your problem,” she said.
“I’ll be fine, Jen,” he promised. “We’ll talk when I get home, okay?”
“Okay.”
“Love you,” he said.
“And I love you,” she said in a tone intended for him to remember it.
***
Excerpt from Three Shoeboxes by Steven Manchester. Copyright © 2018 by Steven Manchester. Reproduced with permission from The Story Plant. All rights reserved.
 
My Review


I have always enjoyed novels by Stephen Manchester so jumped at the chance to review this one. His books are a great standalone read, which is another reason I like them.

This novel is a family drama, centred around the main character of Mac; Husband and Father. It deals very sensitively with the subject of mental health, with Mac going from being very family orientated and all of a sudden having panic attacks without knowing why or what the underlying reason is.

I felt the author handled this subject with great care, as it's a subject that has touched many lives. It was hard to read how this was affecting a normal functioning and successful businessman, and how it crept in to every aspect of his life. I really immersed myself into the book and was willing Mac along. It made me put myself in his shoes and wonder how I would cope, put in the same situation. I don't want to say too much without giving away any spoilers.

Despite the subject matter, it was far from a depressive read, and it drew me in and kept me hooked, wanting to see where Mac's journey was going to take him. It's a recommended read from me.

Also check out my Book review of Gooseberry Island. Click Here. Also my review of The Thursday Night Club. Click Here

Author Bio:



Steven Manchester
Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies, and Gooseberry Island, the national bestseller Ashes, and the novels Goodnight, Brian and The Changing Season. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Connect with Steven at: stevenmanchester.com | Twitter - @AuthorSteveM | Facebook - @AuthorStevenManchester

Tour Host Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts.  

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Sunday, 12 August 2018

My Bunny - by Justin Davis ~ Illustrated Childrens Book ~ #Northants Authors

Here is the third in my series of Northamptonshire Authors. I've featured Sue Moorcroft, with a delightful Family Saga; Next came Jane Isaac with her psychological Thriller and now I'm featuring Justin Davis with his delightfully illustrated childrens books. This is showing what a diverse community of Authors we have in our little county and there are more to come. 

TITLE - My Bunny


AUTHOR - Justin Davis

ILLUSTRATOR - Claire Adele

SYNOPSIS -
‘My Bunny’ follows Millie, a young girl who just loves her bunny - so much so that he must go everywhere with her. The trouble is, he keeps going missing!

‘Bunny he’s called, Bunny’s his name,
He’s old and he’s faded but I love him the same.
He has long floppy ears and soft padded feet,
He has cute little arms and a nose that is sweet.
He has pretty blue eyes, his whiskers are black,
And a cotton-white tail is stitched on his back.
His soft cuddly tummy is round like a pot,
He used to be pink but now he is not!
He’s old and he’s faded but I love him the same.
Bunny he’s called, Bunny’s his name.'

This beautifully illustrated rhyming picture book is aimed at children under 5 years old. Each time Millie loses her bunny, a familiar verse is repeated and as they learn the words, children will delight in reading along with an adult. The heart-warming story is accompanied by 65 captivating and colourful original illustrations by Claire Adele.

Join in the hunt as Millie searches for her favourite long-eared, round-tummied companion!

This charming tale is the latest book from Justin Davis, the author of ‘Escape from Nettle Farm’, finalist in the 2017 People’s Book Prize. Inspired by his own children, Justin is passionate about writing books that help children progress from assisted to independent reading. A keen reader of many different styles, he trained in writing children’s fiction before opting for his own blend of adventure, wit and enchanting colourful illustrations.


MY THOUGHTS

What a delightful childrens' book. It's about a cuddly bunny who keeps getting lost.

The story is told in rhyme, with a section being like a chorus in a song. You can't help singing along as you go, which put a smile on my face.

There are 4 little tales, each having the chorus in the middle.

The illustrations are delightful, and children will absolutely adore the pink bunny.

It made me smile whilst reading it and I think it will be a great hit with young pre-school children.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ Written by the author himself

I grew up and lived in a lovely rural village in East Yorkshire before moving to
Northamptonshire, where I live with my wife and my three beautiful children.

My desire to write is very much rooted in my love of reading and writing a book is something that had been on ‘lifes list’ for many years!

Wanting very much to pass this love of books onto my children, I started to play with the idea of writing a children’s story. I completed a writing course and after much coffee drinking and many screwed up pieces of A4, Escape from Nettle Farm (in its first incarnation) was complete! It then went through many painful rewrites and edits to get to the stage where I was ready to say, ‘Finished!’

Escape from Nettle Farm was published on 16th November 2016 and is aimed at children aged between 5 and 10.

I wanted to write something that would be fun and exciting for parents to read to children, or for children to read independently – I really believe that the story appeals to all ages and I hope you will agree!

Follow Justin on his website - Click here; GoodreadsFacebook

After He's Gone ~ by Jane Isaac ~ Psychological Thriller - Book Review - #NorthantsAuthors

I've been researching Authors local to me, and like Sue Moorcroft in my last review, I've found another great author. I didn't realise we had an abundance of them. So here in the series of Northamptonshire Authors, is Author number 2, Jane Isaac. 

TITLE - After he's gone

AUTHOR - Jane Isaac

PAGES - 392

BUY LINK - Click here


SYNOPSIS
You think you know him. Until he’s dead.

When Cameron Swift is gunned down outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer: a dual role that requires her to support the family, and also investigate them.

As the case unfolds and the body count climbs, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets.

Even the dead…


MY THOUGHTS 

This book intrigued me from the start as it is based mainly in my part of the Country, Northamptonshire.

I was immediately hooked when reading, as the style of writing just flowed and it was an easy plot to immerse yourself into.

There were so many interesting characters too. Cameron Swift; hardworking Father and successful businessman. Beth; dedicated detective who loved her job. I loved the character of Beth as she was written as a warm and caring Officer. One you'd want on your side, fighting your corner.

When Cameron Swift was murdered in cold blood on his doorstep, the intrigue mounted. Add in several more characters and you're hooked. The book is hard to put down.

Great characters and a great plot. You won't be disappointed with this one.

The 2nd Beth Chamberlain novel will be released later in 2018.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Jane Isaac is married to a serving detective (very helpful for research!). They live in rural
Northamptonshire, UK with their daughter, and dog, Bollo. Jane's debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the 'eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.'

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as 'Thriller of the Month - April 2014' by E-thriller.com and winner of 'Noveltunity book club selection - May 2014'.

Jane' s sixth novel, After He's Gone, features Family Liaison Officer, DC Beth Chamberlain and will be released in June 2018. The second Beth Chamberlain novel will follow later in 2018.

Jane loves to hear from readers and writers. You can reach her via her website at www.janeisaac.co.uk

Sign up to her book club at http://eepurl.com/1a2uT for book recommendations and details of new books

Saturday, 11 August 2018

One Summer In Italy - by Sue Moorcroft - Book Review - #FamilySaga #AvonBooksUk #NorthantsAuthors

Well it's been several months since I have been on my blog and written any reviews, although I have a few to do, having not given up with my reading. Life has taken me down a busy path with family life and work life and it's been trying to find that balance. 


Well I'm back now, and this book below has been the push I needed! Please read on, and welcome once again, Sue Moorcroft to my blog. 

Sue is part one in my feature on Northamptonshire Authors, of which I've found to be in abundance! 

TITLE - One Summer In Italy

AUTHOR - Sue Moorcroft

PUBLISHER - #Avon

GENRE - #ChicLit #FamilySaga

SYNOPSIS -
When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…


MY THOUGHTS

Well, have you ever had a book that apart from you not wanting to put it down, has put you through a range of emotions? Well this book did it for me. Sadness, Happiness, Laughter, Anger, Relief. There were tears at times too!

I fell in love with the main characters who were Sofia, who was recently bereaved after losing her Dad; Amy who had a big fall out with her family after they kept a massive secret from her; and Levi who comes into all their lives in a different way. I didn't want the books to end as I really loved them all and wanted them to stay in my daily life with my head immersed in a book. I will ask the Author to bring them back somehow!  

The description of the village of Monteliberta was so good that I felt I was there. I could picture the flowers and the wonderful buildings and the pavement cafe. I could here the voices of the locals and picture myself sitting in the cafe listening to all the chatter and gossip. 

The book flowed really well from chapter to chapter, immersing you from one picturesque sounding location to another. It was a really interesting and plausible story. 

So if you are looking for the ideal, feel good , summer read, whether you be by the pool or in your garden or on the beach, then this book is for you. I've read a lot of books by Sue Moorcroft and I think this one is her best. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author, an international bestselling author and has held
the #1 spot in the UK Kindle chart. She writes contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes.

Sue has won a Best Romantic Read Award, received two nominations at the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. Her short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing 'how to' have sold around the world.

An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She's worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a digital prepress. She's pleased to have now wriggled out of all 'proper jobs'.

Newsletter sign-up: http://bit.ly/2jUlSwl
Website: www.suemoorcroft.com
Blog: http://suemoorcroft.wordpress.com.
Twitter: @suemoorcroft
Facebook: facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor
Instagram: suemoorcroftauthor



Tuesday, 5 December 2017

A Christmas Wish Blog Tour by Erin Green - @BrookCottagebks @ErinGreenAuthor @Aria_Fiction

Genre: Romance Contemporary
Release Date: 1st August 2017
Publisher: Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus

Flora Phillips has an excuse for every disaster in her life; she was abandoned as a new-born on a doorstep one cold autumn night, wrapped in nothing but a towel. Her philosophy is simple: if your mother doesn't want you – who will? 
Now a thirty-year-old, without a boyfriend, a career or home she figures she might as well tackle the biggest question of them all – who is she? So, whilst everyone else enjoys their Christmas Eve traditions, Flora escapes the masses and drives to the village of Pooley to seek a specific doorstep. Her doorstep. 
But in Pooley she finds more than her life story. She finds friends, laughter, and perhaps even a love to last a lifetime. Because once you know where you come from, it's so much easier to know where you're going. 
A story of redemption and love, romance and Christmas dreams-come-true, the perfect novel to snuggle up with this festive season.

BUY LINKS

ABOUT ERIN GREEN
Erin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. An avid
reader since childhood, her imagination was instinctively drawn to creative writing as she grew older. Erin has two Hons degrees: BA English literature and another BSc Psychology – her previous careers have ranged from part-time waitress, the retail industry, fitness industry and education. She has an obsession about time, owns several tortoises and an infectious laugh!
Erin’s writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. Erin is an active member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and drinking copious amounts of tea.


Twitter: @ErinGreenAuthor

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Please Explain Terrorism to Me ~ A story for Children ~ Book Tour & Guest Review by Darlene Holt




Title - A Story for Children, P-E-A-R-L-S of Wisdom for their Parents 

Author - Laurie Zelinger PHD

SynopsisComplemented by exquisite, colourful artwork, Dr. Zelinger skillfully crafts an easily relatable children's story using everyday situations, around the oppressive concept of Terrorism in the news.
With masterful understanding of the child's world, new and frightening concepts are introduced carefully and gently, with the child's perspective in mind. 

Dr. Zelinger provides parent coaching to further the dialogue in her P-E-A-R-L-S of Wisdom section (Prepare, Explain, Answer, Reassure, Listen, Safeguard) where caregivers are given scripts to guide them, as well room for individuality. This pioneer book helps children and parents face a critical, often avoided topic with reassurance and calm.

"This book provides the 'PEARLS' of wisdom for parents and children to discuss a scary topic like terrorism in ways that promote healthy and authentic parent-child conversations that yield to mutual respect and bonding."

--Marc A. Brackett, PhD., Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

"Deep and yet accessible, her remarkable deciphering of the psychological factors that hinder the free communication between parents and children on terrorism is compelling. This fascinating guide amounts to a riveting lesson of clarity and to a masterpiece in bridging the unbridgeable."

--Hon. Yehuda Lancry, Former Ambassador of Israel to the U.N.

"Please Explain 'Terrorism' to Me is a straightforward and down-to-earth treatment of a difficult subject. Dr. Zelinger uses common sense, a simple clarification of the basic issues, and reassurance to provide a deeper understanding of terrorism for kids--without a corresponding rise in anxiety."

--Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., Psychologist/Author,


GUEST BOOK REVIEW BY Darlene Holt
The book is well written with a section for the child and a section for the parents.

The illustrations by Ann Israeli are brightly colored and approachable for children. I would recommend this book to parents and educators.

Dr. Zelinger created a great resource for helping children understand this difficult, but highly relevant, topic.

Great review! Thanks for joining me on my blog today Darlene. 

Check out more book posts from Darlene on her Facebook page. 

Available to buy from...
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   GPlay   Paperback

From the Growing With Love Series at Loving Healing Press




More books by the author

About the Author
Illustrator, Ann Israeli, and author, Laurie Zelinger
Dr. Laurie Zelinger, Diplomate, is a Board Certified Psychologist with a specialty in School Psychology, and a Registered Play Therapist with forty years' experience. She is a licensed New York State psychologist who recently retired from a Long Island public school system and is now devoting her time exclusively to writing, consulting, and her busy private practice. Dr. Laurie's previous books include: "Please Explain Anxiety to Me: Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents," The "O MY" in TonsillectOMY & AdenoidectOMY: How to Prepare Your Child for Surgery (in its second edition), A Smart Girl's Guide to Liking Herself Even on the Bad Days for American Girl, and a chapter on selective mutism in the compendium, School Based Play Therapy (second edition). She is also credited with being a consultant for the Bitty Baby book series by American Girl where she assisted in the development of the "For Parents" sections, as well as editorial development of another American Girl book. Dr. Laurie's interest in writing began in 4th grade, when a play she wrote was performed by students in her public school. Dr. Zelinger is a fellow and elected officer in the nationally based American Academy of School Psychology and spent four years on the Executive Board of the New York Association of Play Therapy. As a media referral specialist for the American Psychological Association, she has contributed to nearly 200 venues regarding child development. Dr. Laurie and her psychologist husband, Dr. Fred, are both certified Red Cross Disaster Mental Health volunteers. They have been happily married for over thirty-five years and have raised four children. You can learn more about Dr. Zelinger and her books at DrZelinger dot com. 


You can also follow the author here...

Ann Israeli graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and began her art career as a textile designer. She worked designing wallpaper and home furnishings before moving on to a career in Women's and Children's knitwear designs, where she won many awards. She began a second career as an art teacher in the Rockville Centre School District on Long Island, New York and earned her Masters of Art degree from Adelphi University (New York). Currently, Ann enjoys visiting her newest grandson in California and spending time with her husband, children, family, and friends. She also relishes her time working on oil painting and hopes to continue on her new path as an illustrator.


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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Blog Tour - Bad Blood by P M Carlson ~ Maggie Ryan Mystery

Bad Blood by P.M. Carlson

Bad Blood

by P.M. Carlson

November 7, 2017 Book Blast

Bad Blood by P.M. Carlson

Book Details:
Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company/Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: 2017
Number of Pages: 294
ISBN: TBD
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor #8
Purchase Links: Amazon UK // Crum Creek Press / The Mystery Company

Synopsis:

After an argument with her grandmother at her Maryland home, sixteen-year-old Ginny Marshall – “born rotten,” according to Gram – gets high and runs away. She turns up on the doorstep of Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor’s Brooklyn brownstone. Her presence in Brooklyn is unsettling, but, more urgently, Ginny is a suspect in a murder investigation back home. Maggie travels undercover to Maryland, where she searches for a killer as threads from the past threaten to unravel both families.
This Mystery Company edition is the first paperback publication of the eighth and final novel in the Maggie Ryan series.

Don’t Miss These Great Reviews:

"P.M. Carlson's energetic and insightful novels are back in print — hallelujah!" — Sara Paretsky "BAD BLOOD is a fascinating and illuminating story"–– C. Bartorillo, Murder By the Book BAD BLOOD "has vivid, interesting characters, great dialogue and psychological insight"–– Amazon Reviewer

“Bad Blood” by P.M. Carlson, the Maggie Ryan Mystery #8

After an argument with her grandmother at her Maryland home, sixteen-year-old Ginny Marshall – “born rotten,” according to Gram – gets high and runs away. She turns up on the doorstep of Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor’s Brooklyn brownstone. Her presence in Brooklyn is unsettling, but, more urgently, Ginny is a suspect in a murder investigation back home. Maggie travels undercover to Maryland, where she searches for a killer as threads from the past threaten to unravel both families.

Read an excerpt:

Rina had waited a day and faced her daughter. "Honey, I don't want to make a big thing out of an experiment. But drugs are off-limits in this family."
"For sure, Mom. No problem."
The ironic flash in the blue eyes hurt Rina. She had exclaimed, "Ginny, think of your future! You're bright and talented. You can do anything you want!"
Ginny had smiled tauntingly. "Like you, Mom?"
But at least she hadn't come home high again. Till now.
Rina couldn't trust herself to mention it directly today. She said, "Honey, if you have problems, please tell me about them. Don't run from things. You have to face them."
"Oh? You tell me to face them? You? Funny old Mom!"
"Yes, damn it! I've faced problems!" And a hell of a lot bigger than whatever you think yours are, she almost added. But she swallowed her rage; Ginny was high, so arguing wouldn't help now. She said more calmly, "It's just that you could be hurt. I don't want that."
"Yeah, for sure. I could be hurt." That shining, cruel smile again. "Or I could be an addict. Or I could be a movie star. In America I could be anything!" Ginny pushed herself to her feet, scooping up Kakiy. She carried him steadily enough into her bedroom. Rina followed as far as the door. Ginny had made an insert for her backpack, a sturdy cardboard cat carrier with a round porthole window. She put Kakiy into it, took her waterproof poncho from the closet, clapped the fedora onto her head, then frowned at her cluttered table for a moment. Finally she picked up a box of cat treats.
"Where are you going, honey?" asked Rina.
"Library."
Rina sighed. Better to talk to her later. "Okay. See you at dinner."
"Yeah. Save the whales." She kissed Rina almost contemptuously, then pushed by and swung down the hall. Kakiy, unapologetic, gazed back serenely through his porthole as she marched out the door.
She wasn't back for dinner. Rina fought down her worry. But when her mother finally excused herself and went downstairs to her room, she said to Clint, "Maybe Ginny thought we'd be eating late, because of Mamma's bridge game."
"Maybe." Clint, silvery-haired and blue-eyed, paused with a last forkful of cherry pie halfway to his mouth. "You're worried, though."
"Yes."
He tried to be comforting. "She's probably just throwing her weight around."
"Maybe."
"Rina, I hate to see you worrying like this! It's time to get her back in line. It's no favor to go easy on a kid these days. But it's up to you, Rina. I'll back you up, but I'm not here much of the time, damn it."
"She had reason to be mad today."
"Half her fault," he pointed out. He was too much the lawyer, she thought, always ready to see both sides of a question and argue whichever suited him. Rina busied herself cleaning off the table.
But when the doorbell rang at eight-fifteen Rina ran to it, her anxious heart a staccato counterpoint to her footsteps. Two men stood there: stolid faces, intelligent eyes. The older one held out a shield. Police.
"Ginny?" she blurted before they could say anything. "Has something happened to Ginny?"
"No, ma'am," said the older policeman. His voice was flat-pitched, unexcitable. "We're here to ask about a John Spencer."
"Spencer?"
Behind her, Mamma laid a firm hand on her arm. "John Spencer was here this afternoon. Is there a problem?"
"Yes, ma'am. Are you Mrs. Marshall?"
"I'm Mrs. Rossi. Leonora Rossi," Mamma corrected him. "My daughter here is Mrs. Marshall. But I'm the one who knows John Spencer. Not well–– we just met this afternoon."
"I see. Well, ma'am, I'd like to ask you a few questions."
Clint had come up behind them. "We'd be glad to help," he said. "What's the problem?"
In answer the policeman held up his identification again. "Just a few questions, sir," he repeated. "I'm Sergeant Trainer. Homicide."
***
Excerpt from Bad Blood by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.
 

Author Bio:

P.M. CarlsonP.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website , Goodreads , Smashwords, & Twitter !

 

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for P.M. Carlson. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on November 7 and runs through November 14, 2017.
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Sunday, 5 November 2017

Blog Tour ~ #Killer Holiday by Amy Korman ~ Mystery novel for the holidays ~ #giveaway

Killer Holiday by Amy Korman

Killer Holiday

by Amy Korman

on Tour October 23 - November 30, 2017

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: October 24th 2017 by Witness Impulse
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0062431366 (ISBN13: 9780062431363)
Series: A Killer WASPs Mystery, #4
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads

Synopsis:


Kristin Clark and her offbeat crew of Bryn Mawr socialites are ready for a fun and festive winter holiday—one that involves sipping martinis by a crackling yule log, hot guys beneath the mistletoe, and Gucci under the Christmas tree. But this year, Old Saint Nick has something more dangerous in store. A stranger dressed in a Santa suit has Kristin’s friends on his naughty list. First, Sophie’s favorite handbag is blasted by a bullet. Then, Father Christmas shatters her brother Chip’s car window with a golf club and leaves a threatening note demanding fifty grand. Both are convinced it has to be a mistake. But when Chip goes missing, the stakes become deadly. Eula Morris is also back in town for the holidays, more bossy and boastful than ever after winning a mega-jackpot in the lottery. She’s returned from a luxury cruise around the world with a handsome new boyfriend (who looks oddly familiar…) and a Samsonite suitcase filled with gold bars. When the suitcase is snatched, Eula implores Kristin and the team to track it down. Where is Chip? Why is a vengeful Santa targeting the gang? Who stole Eula’s suitcase? And how are these events linked? The WASPs and Kristen’s basset hound Waffles are on the case—before this white Christmas turns even darker…

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

Bootsie McElvoy burst through the front door of The Striped Awning, a bag of ice in her right hand and the biggest bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon I’ve ever seen in her left. She dug into her L.L. Bean tote for a bottle of red wine, a shaker of nutmeg, and a bag of fun-size candy canes, all of which she deposited next to a display of 1940s barware near the front of my antiques store.
“Kristin, it’s December fifteenth, which means it’s time for you to start offering shoppers a specialty cocktail the minute they set foot inside your store,” Bootsie told me. “I’m going to mix up a batch of the Delaney family Christmas drink, the Bourbon Blitzen, which never fails to produce a White Christmas vibe. One sip and you’ll feel like you’re singing and dancing with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye at a snowy Vermont inn. This should double your sales totals for the month.”
“Thanks!” I said gratefully, since Bootsie’s family’s boozy drinks are known throughout our village of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, for their potency and tendency to produce unwise purchases.
“The drinks sound good, but you’re also going to need about four thousand more of these pinecones, triple the greenery, and eight hundred additional strands of lights,” Joe Delafield informed me; he’d arrived twenty minutes earlier to help me decorate my store for the Christmas rush.
To lure in passing foot traffic, I’d brought in armloads of holly and spruce branches from my backyard (cost: free, thankfully), spray-painted pinecones silver (the paint was only $5.28 at the hardware store), and added some cheerful-looking blinking white lights. This would probably bring tons of holiday shoppers through my front door!
Joe paused, eyeing the room with his signature critical stare. “The effect I’m going for is that a bunch of HGTV-crazed elves with subscriptions to Veranda magazine snuck in and decorated for four straight days. Gerda, we’re going to need the blinking lights to stop blinking, pronto. Pull the plug, please.”
Joe’s assistant for the day was the eponymous owner of Gerda’s Bust Your Ass Gym, which is housed inside the beauty salon across the street. Since Gerda stands a lofty six feet tall in flats (or sneakers, which is her usual footwear, since fancy shoes aren’t her style), she’d agreed to hang ornaments, bringing her signature grim attitude to the proceedings.
“Cute idea,” Bootsie observed, casting a dubious stare at my front window, which was filled with antique silver-plated candlesticks, flatware, and wineglasses. “Is that your holiday inventory?”
“Nobody going to want that stuff,” said Gerda, who moved here from her native Austria a few years back. Gerda, who’s incredibly muscular and brings in sell-out crowds at her Pilates classes, isn’t the most tactful person in the world. “People want, like, scarves and Fitbits and iPhones.”
I sighed, knowing Gerda was right. Those were the gifts on most holiday wish lists.
“Luckily, I’ve solved all your problems,” Bootsie told me. “I ran into Eddie from the Pub this morning, and he needs a place to hold some late-night poker tournaments this month, so I brokered a deal for The Striped Awning. You’ll be hosting twice-weekly games from 10 p.m. till 1 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays till Valentine’s Day.”
“What!” I erupted, alarmed by this idea. “First of all, that doesn’t sound legal.”
“It’s fine,” she told me, waving away my concerns. “I mean, it’s not like it will be a professional betting operation. Eddie’s limiting each night to ten players and three hours. Some cards, a few drinks, a few small wagers. What could go wrong?”
“A lot!” I said. “They’ll blow cigar smoke and drop Dorito crumbs everywhere. Not to mention get arrested for operating a casino without a license. A lot could go wrong!”
“You worry too much,” Bootsie informed me dismissively. “Plus, he’ll pay you two hundred dollars a night.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but no words came out. Bootsie knew she had me—there’s no way I can refuse an extra four hundred dollars a week, even if it puts me on the wrong side of the state gaming commission.
Just then, though, the front door was thrown open by one Sophie Shields, a tiny blonde who at the moment was looking slightly wild-eyed.
“Ya won’t believe what just happened!” shrieked Sophie. “The Colketts were helping me put up curtains in my new dining room, since Joe here never finished decorating my place—and the curtains are orange silk, by the way, they’re totally Elle Decor meets a J. Lo red-carpet gown. So Tim and Tom Colkett were talking paint colors when I heard a horn honking, so I opened the front door, thinking it was the delivery boy from the Hoagie House. I figured I’d go out and pay the driver, when boom!
“A guy dressed as Santa leaned out of the driver’s seat of a black SUV that had pulled right up in my driveway and aimed a gun at me and the Colketts!” The Colketts are the town’s leading landscape designers, who’ve lately turned their talents to party planning and interior design.
“Then the guy yelled, ‘Hey, Sophie, this one’s from your ex, Barclay!’ and shot my favorite handbag!” Sophie finished. “I was reaching into it to pay for the hoagies, thank goodness, so it acted as a protective shield. Also, I think maybe this Santa guy doesn’t have great aim.”
We all stared at her for a moment.
“Are you sure, Sophie?” said Bootsie finally. “Because this sounds like BS.”
“Yeah, Sophie, maybe you been hitting the wine bottle today,” seconded Gerda. “I know the Colketts are day drinkers. Maybe you been guzzling alcohol, too.”
“It’s true!” Sophie bleated. “Just look at this Ferragamo satchel! If it hadn’t had gold hardware to block the trajectory of the bullet, me and the Colketts would have been toast!”
***
Excerpt from Killer Holiday by Amy Korman. Copyright © 2017 by Amy Korman. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.
 

Author Bio:

Amy KormanAmy Korman is a former senior editor and staff writer for Philadelphia Magazine, and author of Frommer’s Guide to Philadelphia. She has written for Town & Country, House Beautiful, Men’s Health, and Cosmopolitan. Killer WASPS is her first novel.

Catch Up With Ms. Korman On: amykorman.com , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !

 

Tour Participants:

Visit the 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 Amy Korman and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) eBook copy of KILLER PUNCH by Amy Korman. The giveaway begins on October 23 and runs through December 3, 2017.
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