Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog Tour: Regrets Only by M.J. Pullen

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: July 2012

Regrets Only is the second book in the Marriage Pact series, but it can be enjoyed by those who have read The Marriage Pact and first-time readers alike. A fast-paced and charming story, Regrets Only centers on Marci’s picky best friend, Suzanne, whose event-planning skills are almost as legendary as her exploits with men.
At thirty-three, Suzanne Hamilton has it all. A successful party-planning business with an elite client list. A swank condo in a hot Atlanta neighborhood and a close group of friends – especially her longtime best friend Marci. A list of men a mile long who have tried to win her heart and failed. Plus, she’s just landed the event that will take her career and social status to the next level. What could she possibly have to regret?
Then a freak accident changes everything, and Suzanne discovers that her near-perfect life is just a few steps away from total disaster. She is humiliated and at risk of losing it all… except the surprising support of her newest celebrity client. With nothing else to go on, Suzanne follows him into an unexpected job and unfamiliar territory. Soon she will question everything – her career, her past, her friendships, and even her own dating rules. 
But when her catalog of past relationships turns into a list of criminal suspects, she is faced with the horrifying possibility that she may not live to regret any of it…

My Review:
Compelling characters, a smooth flowing plot, and an all around sweet story that will leave readers feeling happy. 

I think M.J. Pullen has done a great job with this follow-up novel. This is the type of series I like, each book is a new HEA and you get to catch up with the characters from the first book in any continuation of the series. 

Definitely a lighter read, which we could all use sometimes. 


When she’s not chasing two little boys or trying to wipe something sticky off the floor, M.J. (Manda) Pullen is the bestselling author of two contemporary women’s fiction novels: The Marriage Pact (2011) and Regrets Only (2012). She is working on several new projects as well, including more women’s fiction and a YA paranormal adventure series.

M.J. grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Writing has always been a big part of her life, both professionally and personally. She studied English Literature and Business at the University of Georgia in Athens, and later Professional Counseling at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She practiced psychotherapy for five years before taking a sabbatical to spend more time writing and raising her brood. Since high school, she has also been an executive assistant, cashier, telemarketer, professional fundraiser, marketing guru, magazine writer, grant-writer, waitress, box-packer, HR person, and casual drifter.

M.J. loves creating true-to-life characters who are flawed, relatable, and most importantly redeemable. She tries to explore all aspects of relationships, from romantic entanglements to battles between mortal enemies, and everything in between. She reads and writes across many genres, and learns something from everything she does. No matter what she’s writing, M.J. believes that love is the greatest adventure there is, and that hopeless romantics are never really hopeless.

After years traveling and living in places like Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, M.J. has now returned to her home city of Atlanta (actually Roswell, for hard-core Roosevelt fans and connoisseurs of suburban culture), where she lives with her husband and two young sons. She loves to hear from readers and other writers – so drop her a line!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blog Tour: An Incurable Insanity by Simi K. Rao

Contemporary Romance
Date Published10/08/2013

 Her heart fluttered when she heard the sound of the key turn in the lock. She quickly adjusted her maroon silk sari with the yellow border, the one that had caught his eye, and waited eagerly for his footsteps.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... Yes, exactly seven steps before he stopped, hesitated for a few moments, then removed his shoes one by one and arranged them neatly side by side on the shoe rack.
She smiled. He had been mindful of taking his shoes off every day now. 'I am not used to it, but I will if you want me to. It's probably a good thing to do anyway.'
As he settled down, he would pick up the TV remote and, without looking at her, would say in his smooth baritone, 'So how did you spend your day, anything interesting?'
Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.

"In Rao’s debut novel, an arranged Indian marriage sets the stage for an intimate look at the exasperating madness of love.
Shaan Ahuja and Ruhi Sharma’s arranged marriage has an inauspicious start. Shaan spurns his new wife on their wedding night, still pining over the American lover he left back in Los Angeles. However, the begrudging spouses soon make a pact: Ruhi will stay with Shaan in the United States just long enough to avoid embarrassment. The young bride hopes she can use the time to win Shaan’s heart, and although Ruhi’s beauty and attentiveness do change Shaan’s feelings, his immaturity and inability to express himself—and Ruhi’s lingering mistrust—keep them from reconciling. As they attempt to be “friends without benefits,” they start to reveal their true selves, including her needling puckishness and independent spirit and the reasons for his reserved nature and impulsive jealousy. Their eventual reconciliation comes not from forgiveness but from acceptance and understanding. The novel trades in a certain amount of melodrama that, thanks to its light tone, comes across as indulgent but satisfying. ...The novel seems highly aware of its influences, using cultural expectations and delayed gratification in the same spirit, if not with the same deftness, as Jane Austen. Shaan and Ruhi also sometimes mirror the star-crossed lovers from Casablanca (a film that the book directly
An often intoxicating,  will-they-or-won’t-they tale." - KIRKUS 


1: Disillusion

Ruhi Sharma was a blushing bride, practically a newlywed, locked up in this glittering cage for almost a month, twenty-nine days to be exact; an object of envy of all her friends and family.
Twenty-nine days ago, she had signed her name beside his on the marriage certificate. She had gone through all the miscellaneous ceremonies associated with the typical grand Indian wedding—the engagement, the Mehendi, the Sangeet, the Haldi, and the grand finale (her father had spared no expense) until finally her betrothed had staked his claim by placing the Sindoor on her forehead and tying the Mangalsutra around her neck, and she had quietly and blissfully followed him around the sacred fire carefully listening to and reciting the Saath Pheras in her mind.
She was the very beautiful and accomplished daughter of Amrit and Devyani Sharma, the apple of their eye, and they had left no stone unturned in raising her the best way they possibly could.
Friends and family were surprised for not only had Ruhi been provided with a very good education, she held an MBA from a leading institution, but her parents had also made sure that she was adept in all other various skills, which a well-bred traditional Indian girl is desired to be proficient in. Therefore, nobody marveled when marriage proposals came pouring in from all directions.
But the Sharmas were choosy; they wanted only the best for their golden child, and they did get it, or so they surmised.
The idea of giving their daughter’s hand in marriage to the well-accomplished son of the most well-known family in Chandigarh was beyond their wildest imagination. It was wilder because they hadn’t gone in search of it, rather it had come and landed on their lap.
Shaan, the youngest and most eligible of the Ahuja clan, was twenty-seven, a fresh aerospace masters grad from a premier engineering institute located in the Los Angeles county of United States, California, who had already bagged a plum job in a leading aeronautics and space exploration company in sunny LA.

“My son makes interplanetary spacecraft. He’s the man of the future” had become the proud and frequent rant of Mr. Shiv Ahuja, who for some odd reason seemed to be trying to paint his son in the most rosy of tones even though he really didn’t need to, for as soon as Ruhi saw her future husband’s likeness, she lost her heart, and there was no question of a retrieval.

“Huh? Yes please with just a pinch of sugar. Thanks!” He took the cup from her hands, careful not to touch her fingers.

Ruhi closed her eyes; she could now repeat every movement, every word by rote. He was a creature of habit…and she was bored. What was supposed to be the most exciting time in every young woman’s life had turned out to be the worst…Well, not really. He wasn’t mean, rather he was the perfect gentleman, too perfect!

Oh how she wished he would rather be screaming mean and nasty. At least that would bring some excitement into her not so-happening life! She laughed, pausing as she brushed her long black hair, rather hysterically.

The bombshell had dropped on their wedding night. He had walked into the room late as she sat there, a shy bride in all her wedding finery waiting, nervous yet excited at the same time, to meet the man she had hardly spoken to or looked at. What would he say, talk about, or do?
She had heard a lot of stories about what to expect, some factual and some fabricated (her friends had prepared her well), but she wanted her own to be special, unique, and it was…
Sitting down on the bed in front of her, he had taken her hand in his and said very gently, as if to tone down the trauma, “I bet you are one of the most beautiful brides in the world, but I’m sorry I cannot make love to you. There is someone else.”

Not sure if she’d heard right, Ruhi had watched puzzled as he lay down on the mattress and turned his back to her. Is that it? A plain and blunt dismissal of her dreams, her life? Was that all?

Simi K. Rao
Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several
years. This book is her first foray into writing. The inspiration for the story came
from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community.
Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from
friends and casual conversations with acquaintances. She also writes poetry, is
an avid photographer, loves to travel, and is a practicing physician. She currently
lives in Denver with her family.

You can connect with the author and read more of her work on her website at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blog Tour: A Shot in the Dark by Jennifer Burrows

Romantic Thriller
Date Published: 7/11/2013

Most of the patients that are brought to the trauma bay in the ER remain nameless, and for the most part, faceless.  For Laney Pearson and the rest of the staff, this makes it easier to move past the senseless death and destruction that they see on an almost daily basis.  But all of that changes for Laney when she finds herself trying to pump the life back into a young motorcycle rider who arrives by helicopter more dead than alive.
Skyler Smith has all the makings of the next great motocross rider, right up until he crashes while trying to perform the trick that will secure his future.  From the time his motionless body is lifted off the track, the question becomes not when his next race takes place, but whether he will live to see another day.  And now there is mounting evidence that the tragedy was no accident
Laney can never envision this boy’s crash and the ensuing investigation will have such an impact on her own life, but in the days that follow, she discovers a life within her she never knew existed.  While the police sort through the mounting evidence from the crash, Laney has to sort through her own feelings for the handsome trauma surgeon that she previously never gave a second thought.  Is he really as charming as he seems, or is there another reality hiding beneath the surface?  And just how long has he been watching her?   

My Review:
You will definitely want to have plenty of allotted reading time before starting this one. It was hard to put down. I was so engrossed in the story that I put off many of my important things to do. Jennifer Burrows does a great job of creating a Thriller that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. I was anticipating each thing, yet surprised the whole way through. And then its not just a Thriller, but there is a Romantic element which helps lighten the mood. I think the Romance was believable and unfolded smoothly which is always important. I don't like when Romances seem forced, this one seemed natural. Great not only Romantic Thriller but Thriller in general. 

Jennifer is a Registered Nurse, and she holds a Master’s degree in Nursing Administration.  She has 15 years of experience working in the Emergency Room and the Intensive Care Unit of a major trauma center.  While she is equally adept at all facets of patient care, Emergency room nursing is her passion, and is the inspiration for this story.  Currently, she resides in Southern California with her husband and their three amazing boys.  This is her first published novel, with the sequel expected soon.

Twitter: @jenburrows234 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blog Tour: Open the Mind; Exercise the Soul by John Cappello

New Age
Date Published: 10/2012

Open the Mind Exercise the Soul is the first book from internationally known psychic medium John Cappello. It links psychic ability with personal experiences and intellectual thought as it answers many questions about the relationship between religion, philosophy, and science with this controversial subject. This is an intelligent discussion offering a fresh, new look at psychic abilities.

Have you ever wondered ...

Why do psychic abilities exist?
What is the proof?
What is our soul's role in using them?
How do I access my gifts?
Can we connect with crossed-over loved ones?
What is really going on?
Open the Mind Exercise the Soul will answer these questions and more. Explored with real-world examples and new techniques, it boldly challenges you to examine your own abilities and receive clarity. While guiding you through the development of your own psychic gifts, you will learn to embrace experiences you may have questioned and relate to the author as he discusses his own path in metaphysics. For practicing psychics or beginners, the book combines historical information with spiritual exercises to assist you in gaining insight.

My Review
I think that the awards that John Cappello has won are very deserving after reading this story. Basically if you could answer yes to any or all of the questions posed in the synopsis, this is a great read for you. He does a great way of "dummying" it down for people like myself who really doesn't have any experience with the Psychic world.

Well written and very descriptive and eye opening. 

John Cappello, author of the 3 time award winning book Open the Mind Exercise the Soul, is a Psychic, Medium, and Visionary. While he has been working professionally in metaphysics since 1997, John has been interested in psychic ability and the study of existence "beyond the physical" since he was a child. John's has an extensive knowledge of Western Astrology and tarot, but his best work is done without the use of any tools.
Through the use of his Psychic abilities, John can provide a detailed description of past, present, and potential future situations and events. As a Medium, he is also able to bring forth loved ones who have crossed over. John sees a Visionary as a person who works to serve mankind through a vision of the future. His visionary work is about producing programs to help others and teaching others how to develop and use their own intuitive gifts.
Known for his detail and accurate descriptions of situations, John's psychic work is very exciting. He uses all of his psychic abilities to tune into a person's energy field which gives him accurate and nuanced information about his client. This energy can be from the past, the present, or even a future event. By meditating on the person prior to a reading, the energy received lies around main issues and the reasons for the reading. Learn more about John's psychic work.
Mediumship is the aspect of John's work which is the most controversial. However, it is the area offering the most comfort to clients. The phenomenon of receiving information from crossed-over loved ones is the most compelling area of psychic work. The proof of life after death and the validation of information creates an environment for healing among those still living. This is the area in which John's work excels. Learn more about John's mediumship work.
John offers workshops to teach others how to use their own psychic abilities. He has been very successful with his teaching techniques helping to develop many other successful psychics. The workshops include developing clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, intuition, psychometry, and mediumship. Each workshop is unique and gives a person perspective on each of these areas. Learning techniques to tap into one's natural abilities and the necessary encouragement to practice is an important element in the workshops.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Blog Tour: Hostages by Terrence Crimmins

Date Published: Sept 2013

A young man who has just graduated from Georgetown is finishing up his part time job delivering pizza and ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and is taken hostage by a Middle Eastern terrorist.  After he survives this adventure he goes on a media tour around the country with another former hostage, amidst lingering international intrigue.

My Review:
This was a fast paced story that kept me guessing and on edge the whole way through. 

Writing Style was exactly what I'm used to and what I like when reading a story and the plot flowed smoothly while offering twists and surprises along the way.

The characters were believable and interesting enough to engage the reader.

Overall this story is exactly what it claims to be and I really enjoyed it! 

I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the youngest of nine children, eight boys and one girl.  The thing we lived by was Irish Catholic sarcasm, in a family that always found a joke to circumvent any upcoming tension.  A student at Catholic schools just after they stopped corporal punishment, I learned in the old fashioned methods that did not involve group work or student centered classrooms.  My greatest achievement in grade school might have been writing the class play in sixth grade, based on Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne.  I enjoyed high school, though I was kicked out of the honors classes when I spent all my time campaigning for George McGovern to beat Richard Nixon.  The other change that I made was quitting sports, football, diving and baseball, to be in plays, which was a fortunate decision, including meeting a lot more girls.  I skipped my senior year to go to Boston College, a fine Jesuit school.
There I learned how to drink beer, play rugby and read 600 page history books in small print.  I really enjoyed the academics of college, and professors inspired me.  They seemed to be on another level of consciousness, and I really enjoyed history and philosophy classes, which were my double major.  I wrote a senior thesis about the legacy of Walt Whitman, based on two semesters of independent study with my mentor, Alan Lawson.  Near graduation he cautioned me on the tale of the sorcerer's apprentice, and the image of the Disney cartoon with Mickey Mouse flying around the sorcerer's chamber screwing things up came to haunt me.  In time, it seemed, that I was more the artist than the straight and organized academic with the blue blazer, grey slacks, oxford shirt and red and grey striped tie.  On another front I took a class in Soviet Philosophy and wrote a paper making fun of my being in the class, having myself as a man who'd been kicked out of the Federal Writer's Project for not cracking down on the Communists and sent to England for a seminar on Soviet Philosophy led by Nikolai Nastuschen, who was a model of the professor, the late Peter Blakely.  At that time he was one of the editors of Studies in Soviet Thought, where he published my paper.
On graduation, when I wanted to do graduate work, the professors counseled me that I'd done a lot quickly, and that I should take a break for a while.  So I became a bohemian.  Back in the sixties, people used to talk about not selling out and leading the life as an artist, but if you actually did it they thought you were a lunatic.  Well, I was that lunatic.  I worked in restaurants for ten years, waiting on tables and tending bar.  There I met a lot of people from other countries, some of whom were the inspiration for characters in my novels.  I worked for a time in a restaurant that was managed by a man who was a veteran of the Special Forces of the Israeli Army, and a restaurant down the block was Middle Eastern, and owned by people from Lebanon.  Later I worked in a restaurant that had waiters who were natives of Chile, and I learned a lot about that country. These were very interesting people, and I'm grateful that I met them.  
In time I took up another profession that allowed time for reading, and that was driving a cab.  It was great, if you liked to read, and I did, where I got to explore all kinds of fiction and biographies.  I also met a lot of interesting people.  The majority of people who take cabs are the very poor and the moderately wealthy.  The very rich have limos, and the rest of us drive cars.  I drove a lot of poor people who rode at government expense, and it was interesting getting a take on that.  Most of these were medical fares, or from an emergency medical center where people were taken when they were found in the dark of night with delirium tremens, etc.  I also drove a lot of veterans, mostly from  World War II, on medical fares, and they were very interesting to talk to.   Eventually I was doing a lot of Kosher Food deliveries, and got so much that I didn't have to lease a cab anymore and did well using my own car.  But I had to get a real job eventually, so I went back to Boston College to get a Masters degree to become a teacher.
I really found it interesting to go back to my alma mater and see the changes that had taken place in the history department.  Most of the major domos I had studied under previously were being put out to pasture, and there were new professors running the show.  I revisited my thesis about Whitman, and did two more semesters of independent study with new professors, and studied pedagogical movements that started to answer the challenge that Whitman put to America in his essay Democratic Vistas, where he posited that American might be a materialistic bonanza but a cultural disaster if there were not a democratic cultural revolution to accompany the political one. Once again I enjoyed my time in academia, though, a little older, I wasn't distracted by keg parties and rugby games.  (I had moved on to camping trips and fly fishing in New Hampshire and Vermont.)
Since that degree I've been teaching in Baltimore for seven years, which is a bit of a trip, to say the least.  It has been quite interesting to see this unique American sub-culture, where they are many interesting characters.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blog Tour: Pro Resume's Made Easy By Andrea Drew

How To/Non Fiction/Career 
Date Published: 9/30/2012

Written by a professional resume writer of 15 years, this book takes you through the step by step process to write your resume and cover letter like the Professionals do it – at a tenth of the cost!  Contains samples and examples to assist you along the way, along with a free resume critique with every book sale. 

Chapter 1 – Some basics
What is the purpose of a resume?  If you ask most people, they will tell you it is “to get a job interview.”  Yes, that’s right it is designed to get you a job interview.  But a resume is also designed to sell you, or generate enough interest in you to make the reader make contact and schedule a meeting time.  Your resume has had enough impact, that out of the hundreds of resumes a recruiter receives in their email inbox daily, yours has stood out.
If you’ve heard the saying that recruiter’s look at most resumes for between 5 and 20 seconds, it’s true.  Add to that equation the fact that resumes are now received via email inbox, and you need to consider the fact that this means that the top third of your first page will be the first thing the recruiter sees when they click open the attachment.
I’ll be running you through the step by step process I use when writing a resume.
My resumes are written in a way that they;

  • Catch the recruiters eye immediately
  • Give them a reason to keep on reading
  • Stand out by writing them in a way that only 5% of all job applicants use effectively; and
  • Works with scanning software sometimes used by recruiters
  • Makes the reader want to meet with you!


Andrea started her professional resume writing career in 1998, forming a professional resume writing service online for all professions.
In April 2011, she successfully transitioned the business over to new management, in order to focus on her specialty niche, IT professionals, Executives and Managers.
Well, in Andrea's words "Executives and Managers are accustomed to collaborating to produce cutting edge results, and so are professional in their dealings enabling a unique and top class result and enabling me to write even better career marketing documents."

This doesn't mean that if you are not an executive or Manager she can't help you.  It simply means that unless you understand this is an investment and will involve some work on your part (providing the information needed) then it's probably best you look elsewhere that's all.  

Twitter: Impressive CV

Release Week: Begging For Forgiveness by Astrid Cielo

Begging For Forgiveness - Release Week Blitz
By Astrid Cielo
Erotic Paranormal Romance
Date Published: 9/17/2013

Add to Goodreads

When Aspen Clarke saw Skylar Ashmore for the first time, her cougar screamed that this wolf would be hers.  But Aspen can't trust the mating call because she knows all too well that sometimes fate can get it wrong.  After a steamy night with Skylar, Aspen is broken-hearted to find that her worries are founded when she awakens alone and confused.  So, she runs back to Pinewood Creek and her old pride that’d always made her feel welcome, unlike her own parents.  Little does she know that she carries more with her than emotional baggage.  Now faced with motherhood alone she's decided that she doesn't need a mate.

Skylar just wanted to forget his last assignment, so like he had for the past six months after he was forced to execute yet another shifter he stopped at the little restaurant a town over from his apartment to lose himself in good food.  He never expected to lose himself in a female.  He took the beautiful Aspen to bed the moment he caught her scent, his wolf beside itself wanting to claim its mate.  But after it was over he knows he's made a mistake...because he's already mated.  So, he runs and hopes he can beg his mate for forgiveness.

Xavier had never felt a betrayal as deep as when Skylar slid into bed beside him smelling of a female, not even when his old pack had nearly beat him to death.  But soon that feeling of betrayal faded to confusion, then surprise when he realized that whatever female his mate had taken was also his mate.

Now Skylar and Xavier will hunt for their missing mate.  But little do they know, Skylar's last assignment has a loose end that's just waiting for the right moment to strike--and it's set its sights on Aspen.  

Can Aspen accept the man who left her pregnant and doubting mating all over again?  Can Skylar and Xavier convince her to mate with not one, but both of them?  Will Aspen survive to forgive?

Astrid Cielo

Astrid Cielo is a Mississippi girl who enjoys a variety of things. By night, she is a nurse in her local ER, and by day, she is spilling her imagination out on paper.
Astrid began writing when she was a child her stories featuring a variety of characters (including her imaginary friends). When she was in high school she wrote her first completed story and was published twice in poetry anthologies. Gathering her courage, Astrid self-published her first book, Surrender Serenity, Salin's Salvation, Book 1 and enjoyed every minute of it.
Now she balances her time between being a nurse (which she loves) and writing down the scenes that play out in her mind. She also plays World of Warcraft (which all of her friends think is weird)!


This release blitz is brought to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours.
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Blog Tour: The Eggstone Murders by Herbert L. Smith

Cozy Mystery
Date Published: 7/2013

A thick-headed sheriff, a young, unsure, wannabe detective, and a savvy older criminal-turned-investigator, are only the beginning of the cast of characters included in this story of small-town life in southwestern Iowa, set in 1952.

Enjoy the storms, the intrigues and the mid-western hospitality – including the wonderful food –

of Hillville, Iowa as its down-to-earth folks work their way through the dailyness of their quiet lives.  There are the murders, of course, which cause dismay, but the con-man turned detective, Guy, is able to resolve them after a few bumps, and the guilty are punished – or, as is sometimes Guy’s choice, forgiven.

As a whole, it’s a pleasant outing on an Iowa summer’s day.

My Review:
I think that the genre really does capture this book perfectly. This is the type of book I would curl up by the fireplace with (if it were winter).

The plot was well paced and kept me engaged throughout. There were plenty of surprises and I was definitely guessing right up until the end. 

I think that it was a smooth and quick read that was easy to follow and didn't take a lot of deep thought.


Facebook: Herbert L Smith