Saturday, August 15, 2015

2 Bodies for the Price of 1 Review

4 out of 5 stars

So the first Body Movers book I was sort of 'eh' about. But this second one I found hard to put down. The characters were all deeper. I found myself connecting with them rather than being frustrated by them. The pace was fast and kept me up reading! I will definitely be reading more in this series.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Leave Yesterday Behind Review


About the Author

As a child, Lauren Linwood gathered her neighborhood friends together and made up stories for them to act out, her first venture into creating memorable characters. Following her passion for history and love of learning, she became a teacher who began writing on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones.

Lauren’s historical novels focus on two of her favorite eras—medieval times and the American Old West. History is the backdrop that places her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. She also writes romantic suspense, where modern heroes and heroines unite to defeat a strong antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey.

Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for House Hunters addicts—as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.

Her recent book is the romantic suspense, Leave Yesterday Behind.

For More Information

About the Book:

Title: Leave Yesterday Behind
Author: Lauren Linwood
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Pages: 244
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Kindle

Callie Chennault vaulted to fame on the nighttime soap Sumner Falls, but after a decade of playing the same role, she is ready for a new acting challenge. When Callie is attacked by a stalker on the streets of New York, she takes a leave of absence from the show and returns to her roots in Aurora, Louisiana, to heal both physically and emotionally and determine her next career move.

Former professional baseball pitcher Nick La Chappelle has also come to Aurora to lick his own wounds after a messy divorce. A Cy Young winner and one-time ESPN broadcaster, Nick longs for the quiet of a small town in order to write murder mysteries under a pen name.

Sparks fly when Callie believes Nick is taking advantage of her great-aunt’s hospitality, but they resolve their differences—and surprise themselves by falling in love. Their bond is tested when both Nick and Callie become the focus of a serial killer nicknamed Lipstick Larry. Can they outwit a murderer bent on seeing them dead and survive to build a lasting relationship?

Please paste a short book excerpt here.  This may be needed for promotional purposes.  If you can include the whole first chapter, there are special promotions for this.  If not, a one or two page excerpt from the beginning of your book will work fine.

For More Information

  • Leave Yesterday Behind is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

Maybe she should take a cab home. But her subway station was only a block and half away. It would be foolish to stand out in a downpour after nine at night when she could duck in and be on her way downtown in a couple of minutes. Callie liked that people left her alone on the subway. A few sometimes stared at her and frowned, wondering if they’d ever seen her before. Most turned away, not quite able to place her.

After all, she left Jessica behind at the studio every day. No chic clothes, Ravenous Red mouth, or fancy hairstyle. She didn’t often get recognized in real life unless it was a die-hard fan. Even then, most New Yorkers were cool about it and simply ignored her.

Chill out. Just move.


She turned automatically and saw a man standing behind her. He was probably the reason she’d had the feeling of being followed. He seemed a little out of breath, as if he’d been keeping up with her awhile. It had happened before. She knew it would happen again.

And always with this type.

He was non-descript in every way—average height and build, brown hair, glasses. Harmless looking. Dopey grin on his face, like he’d hit the lottery because he’d actually had the balls to speak to the crush of his daydreams. She knew enough to be firm. Give him a brief little personal moment, a smile and her signature on something, and get back to her life.

Then a quick flash of John Lennon signing an autograph for Mark David Chapman zipped through her brain. He’d been average, too.

And he’d killed Lennon hours after someone snapped a photograph of them together.

“You don’t look like Jessica up close.” His voice was silky, almost caressing, yet the tone was definitely disappointed.

Her pulse quickened. She took a step back to put a little distance between them and brushed against a brick wall.

“I like to give my skin a rest away from the studio. All that heavy make-up and hairspray can cause a girl some damage.” She kept her tone calm and friendly as she glanced over the man’s shoulder.

No one was in sight.

“I want to see Jessica. She’s my favorite.”

He pulled something from his pocket and held it up. “Put this on. It’ll help. It’s the perfect shade.” He smiled shyly. “I’ll even let you do it. You’re the expert.” He reached out and grabbed her wrist and laid the item in her hand before letting go.

Chills ran through her as she opened her palm. In it lay a gold tube of Jessica’s signature Ravenous Red.

A knife appeared, clutched in the stranger’s left hand. Callie’s heart beat erratically. Her words died in her throat.

“Don’t worry,” he said softly. “You know how to be Jessica whenever you want.”

Her palms grew damp. The lipstick he’d given her almost slipped from her hand.

“Jessica likes to be seen wearing this color. Put it on. Now.” His voice was quiet, but the underlying threat hung in the air all the same.

Callie brought a shaking hand to her mouth and realized the lid was still on. She removed it and twisted a few turns before she lifted the lipstick close again.

Oh, God, she was so nervous. She stroked color onto her upper lip and then across the bottom. Her hand slipped, though, and a searing red line jutted across her lower cheek.

“You made a mistake. Wipe it off. Do it again. It has to be perfect.” The tone was deadly.

“I’ll need some cold cream. Red stains pretty badly.” She gulped air, trying to calm herself. She couldn’t let this guy see how rattled she was. “And I know you want this to be perfect. So do I.”

“I can fix it.”

She watched him pull a tissue from his jacket pocket. He gave it a lick and then stroked it down her cheek to her jaw several times.

“That’s better,” he said, dreamily smiling as he inspected his work. “Now try again.”

Her eyes met his, and Callie prayed her hands would stop shaking enough for her to get it right.

4 out of 5 stars

Callie Chennault is an actress famous for her role as the notorious Jessica on a daytime soap. Beautiful and talented Callie plays the fan favorite Jessica with ease, but not all fans can tell the difference between Callie and the role she plays. When Callie is attacked by a stalker her world falls apart. She leaves her acting life behind and heads home to Alabama to heal. In Alabama she meets author and former baseball player Nick La Chappelle who is escaping his own demons. Callie is hoping being home will heal her little does she know there is a bigger danger stalking her and Nick both.

Leave Yesterday Behind is a great romantic suspense. The characters and believable and tension builds. Callie goes through numerous ups and downs throughout the book and the author does a good job of evolving her character. I wish that Nick had shown up a little sooner in the book so I could have connected better with him. In all I would recommend Leave Yesterday Behind for fans of romantic suspense.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Promo Post: Below the Water Line


Title: Below the Water Line: Getting Out, Going Back, and Moving Forward in the Decade After Hurricane Katrina
Author: Lisa Karlin
Publisher: Centennial Publishers
Pages: 376
Genre: Memoir
Format: Paperback 14.97/Kindle 9.99/Audio 22.99

Below the Water Line provides a gripping account of a family’s hurricane evacuation experiences and all that followed in the decade after Hurricane Katrina. The story begins in August 2005, when author Lisa Karlin, her husband, thirteen-year-old daughter, eleven-year-old son, and two dogs evacuated New Orleans for what they thought would be a two-day “hurrication.” The day-by-day account of the weeks that follow vividly chronicles the unprecedented displacement of thousands of Americans, and on a personal level, describes how her family makes the trifecta of major life decisions: where to live, where to work, and where to enroll their children in school. Below the Water Line provides a first-hand commentary on how everyday life has been impacted by Katrina’s aftermath and how, a decade later, there are still lingering effects of one of the most devastating events in American history.

For More Information

  • Below the Water Line: Getting Out, Going Back, and Moving Forward in the Decade After Hurricane Katrina is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
About the Author
Lisa Karlin is the author of Below the Water Line: Getting Out, Going Back, and Moving Forward in the Decade After Hurricane Katrina. She is an oncology nurse who, unlike weather chasers who look for storms to track, has had the weather chase her, and these experiences are described in her memoir. Lisa lives in New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband, daughter, son, and Yellow Lab named Buddy.
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Book Excerpt:

The pool water is bathtub warm, and the sky is postcard-perfect, clear and blue.

Thirteen-year-old Samantha floats on a raft near me. My daughter has carefully positioned herself with her arms extended by her sides and her chin tilted up toward the sun. Since school started last week, her tan has faded and she is determined to preserve it. She lies perfectly still; her only movement is the subtle rise and fall of her chest as she breathes.

A major hurricane named Katrina lurks just a few hundred miles away, out in the Gulf of Mexico, but we are not concerned. Landfall predictions are still uncertain, and I’m expecting that this hurricane will turn to the east or west and spare New Orleans, just like all of the hurricanes in the past forty years have done. 

I take notice when I come in from the pool, turn on the television, and see the satellite image showing that Katrina has increased in intensity, and is now bigger than the state of Texas. Even so, the hurricane watch area extends all the way from western Louisiana to the eastern edge of the Florida panhandle. Anything can happen with this hurricane at this point.

Late in the afternoon, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin calls for a voluntary evacuation. He says he’s adhering to the state's evacuation plan, and will not order a mandatory evacuation until thirty hours before Katrina’s expected landfall so that people living in low-lying surrounding areas can leave first and avoid gridlocked escape routes.

My eleven-year-old son calls and tells me he’s ready to be picked up from his friend Colin’s house. On the stoop outside their house, Colin’s father asks if we are evacuating, and I tell him my plan is to watch the news and The Weather Channel and then decide. If Jim Cantore shows up in New Orleans, then we’re going to skedaddle, since he always seems to broadcast from the bulls-eye of a storm. Colin’s father says he plans to see how things look in the morning. And I have jury duty on Tuesday, I tell him. Can’t miss that!

My son John and I make a quick stop at Breaux Mart on the way home. Cars circle the parking lot, competing for the few open spaces. The store is clogged with people, and many shelves already are bare. I dispatch John to see if there are any hamburger buns still on the shelf. He reports back that just a few packages remain and like a fisherman, proudly holds up his catch. I see a few scattered packages of ground beef lying in a refrigerator case, and speed up to get there before anyone else does.

There’s nervous chatter in the long checkout line as people debate hunkering down or getting on the road. Older folks recall evacuating in ’92 after Hurricane Andrew blasted across southern Florida, and then entered the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward Louisiana. Andrew made landfall as a category 3 hurricane a couple of hours west of New Orleans, so we dodged that bullet. Hurricane Alberto in ’94 looked like it was headed for New Orleans, but veered off to the Florida Panhandle. And no one could forget evacuating for Hurricane Ivan last year and the arduous, tortuous process that was.

With ample time in the checkout line, many evacuation stories are told, eliciting nods of recognition from the people standing in the adjacent lines. We know all too well what it was like to batten-down the house, creep north along the interstates, spend a sleepless night out, and return a day or two later to sunny, intact New Orleans to start reversing the process. “Here we go again,” another “hurrication,” seems to be the sentiment of many in line. A number of people say they’re waiting to see how things look in the morning.

It’s inconceivable that a major hurricane is headed this way. The sky is clear, the air is still, and the sunset is spectacular. Buddy, our 80-pound yellow Lab, takes a leisurely swim in our pool while we eat dinner on the patio. It’s just another ordinary day.

All evening long, we wear down the television remote jumping from station to station. We, too, have decided to see how things look in the morning, knowing that a lot can happen in twelve hours. I’m still predicting that fateful turn that hurricanes take at the last minute, the turn that produces a collective sigh of relief from the people in their initial path.

We watch evacuation footage and see that even with the contraflow on the interstate this year, it’s no better than last September when about half of the people in New Orleans evacuated for Hurricane Ivan. Despite six lanes of traffic all heading westward, the traffic on Interstate 10 does not move at all. People are standing beside their cars, an impromptu and odd social gathering of sorts. Good thing we didn’t leave tonight, I tell my husband, Rich. We’d be stuck out there on the highway in the dark. I can’t imagine our family—two adults, two kids, and two dogs—inching along the interstate all night.

John plops down on the couch and announces that it would be fun (fun?) to evacuate at night. He tells us he would bed-down in our car, tell the dogs goodnight, and go to sleep. Rich raises his eyebrows.  He knows our two kids would be squabbling before we back out of the driveway. And there’s no telling how Buddy and John’s 12-pound Jack Russell Terrier, which he named Jack, would handle a long car ride. We have trouble driving around the neighborhood with our dogs, and with our kids for that matter.

A news announcer casually mentions that Pat Sajak and Vanna White, who are in town taping New Orleans-themed episodes of Wheel of Fortune, have cut production short and are leaving. The “Wheelmobile” and eight tractor trailers of equipment are being readied for departure. It is the first time in its thirty-year history that the long-running game show cancels taping.

I silently pray that Katrina weakens and changes course, but the latest information indicates that this hurricane is strengthening and coming our way. Local weatherman Bob Breck pronounces that “the water will be so high that you’ll be on the roof with the cockroaches!”

Around 10 p.m., we are surprised to see Mayor Ray Nagin back on TV. He looks just as surprised to be on TV; earlier today, he said he would issue his next statement in the morning. The mayor says he received a phone call from Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, who in turn had received a call from the National Hurricane Center Director. The news is not good. As Nagin puts it, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a test. This is the real deal.”