Friday, July 8, 2016

The Daredevil Snared: The Adventurers Quartet Volume 3 by Stephanie Laurens - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review



The Daredevil Snared

About The Daredevil Snared

  • Mass Market Paperbook: 384 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (June 28, 2016)
Responsibility knocks, and a reckless, hedonistic man responds and opens the door to love—thus is a daredevil snared.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens brings you the third installment in THE ADVENTURERS QUARTET, continuing the drama of Regency-era high seas adventure, laced with a mystery shrouded in the heat of tropical jungles, and spiced with the passionate romances of four couples and their unexpected journeys into love.

Captain Caleb Frobisher, hedonistic youngest son of a seafaring dynasty, wants to be taken seriously by his family, and understands he has to prove himself sufficiently reformed. When opportunity strikes, he seizes the next leg of the covert mission his brothers have been pursuing and sails to Freetown. His actions are decisive, and he completes the mission’s next stage—but responsibility, once exercised, has taken root, and he remains in the jungle to guard the captives whose rescue is the mission’s ultimate goal.

Katherine Fortescue has fled the life of poverty her wastrel father had bequeathed her and come to Freetown as a governess, only to be kidnapped and put to work overseeing a child workforce at a mine. She and the other captured adults understand that their lives are limited by the life of the mine. Guarded by well-armed and well-trained mercenaries, the captives have been searching for some means of escape, but in vain.

Then Katherine meets a handsome man—a captain—in the jungle, and he and his crew bring the sweet promise of rescue.

The sadistic mercenary captain who runs the mine has other ideas, but Caleb’s true strength lies in extracting advantage from adversity, and through the clashes that follow, he matures into the leader of men he was always destined to be. The sort of man Katherine can trust—with her body, with her life. With her love.

The first voyage is one of exploration, the second one of discovery. The third journey brings maturity, while the fourth is a voyage of second chances. Continue the journey and follow the adventure, the mystery, and the romances to the dramatic end.

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Praise for the works of Stephanie Laurens

“Stephanie Laurens’ heroines are marvelous tributes to Georgette Heyer: feisty and strong.” —Cathy Kelly

“Stephanie Laurens never fails to entertain and charm her readers with vibrant plots, snappy dialogue, and unforgettable characters.” —Historical Romance Reviews

“Stephanie Laurens plays into readers’ fantasies like a master and claims their hearts time and again.” —Romantic Times Magazine

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My Thoughts:

Stephanie Laurens has always been a favorite author of mine - her "Cynster Family" series and the "Black Cobra Quartet" are among some of my favorite romances! So I was thrilled to be asked to review her latest book, "The Daredevil Snared."

This is the third book of Laurens' The Adventurers Quartet series, so it took a little bit to get into the flow of the story, but there is enough backstory provided that readers can understand the story's history and jump into the action of the present adventures.  The characters in this tale are feisty, brave, and well, romantic in the face of all the danger that lurks around them.

If you're looking for a bit of spice and a bit of excitement in your romance reading this summer, then "The Daredevil Snared" is the book for you.  And you might want to pick up the previous two books in the series - "The Lady's Command" and "A Buccaneer At Heart" - you'll be glad you did!

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About Stephanie Laurens

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New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens originally began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career; she has been writing historical romance novels for more than 20 years. Currently living outside Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two cats, she spends most of her days writing new stories in her signature ‘Errol Flynn meets Jane Austen” style.

Connect with Stephanie

Website | Facebook

Stephanie Laurens’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS

Monday, June 27th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, June 28th: From the TBR Pile – excerpt
Wednesday, June 29th: The Sassy Bookster – excerpt
Friday, July 1st: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, July 4th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, July 5th: A Bookaholic Swede – excerpt
Wednesday, July 6th: The Maiden’s Court
Friday, July 8th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, July 12th: Becky on Books
Wednesday, July 13th: A Holland Reads
Thursday, July 14th: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Friday, July 15th: What I’m Reading
Monday, July 18th: Broken Teepee – excerpt
Monday, July 18th: Buried Under Romance – excerpt and review
Tuesday, July 19th: Beverages and Books
Wednesday, July 20th: Diary of a Stay At Home Mom
Thursday, July 21st: Black ‘n Gold Girls Book Reviews
Friday, July 22nd: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, July 25th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, July 26th: The Reading Wench

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My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to Mira Books for providing the review copy of the book. I was not compensated for my opinion.


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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Last Woman Standing by Thelma Adams - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review


The Last Woman Standing

About The Last Woman Standing: A Novel of Mrs. Wyatt Earp

Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (July 1, 2016)

Thelma Adams has built a successful career writing profiles of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars. From Julianne Moore and George Clooney to Jessica Chastain and Matthew McConaughey, her portfolio is dazzling and reputation as a film critic in the industry stellar.

Now, Adams shifts from Hollywood to the Wild West with THE LAST WOMAN STANDING (Lake Union Publishing; on-sale July 1, 2016), the first biographical novel about Josephine Marcus, Wyatt Earp’s wife, the gutsy Jewish beauty who captured the lawman’s heart in 1881, the year he fought the legendary Gunfight at the OK Corral.

In her well-researched and vividly composed novel, Adams doesn’t waste any time proving her talent as a dynamic writer with a cinematic flair. She explores the brief defining period when Josephine comes-of-age on the American frontier, weaving action, wit, and clever introspection.

The daughter of Jewish immigrants, Josephine shames her tight-knit family (her over-bearing mother begins to sit-shiva the minute Josephine walks out the door) when the 19-year-old follows the smooth-talking and attractive lawman, Johnny Behan, from San Francisco, California to Tombstone, Arizona. Hanging on the slim promise of a wedding, the naïve young woman eventually discovers the older man’s untrustworthy side. She also learns that divided loyalties and corruption plague the silver boom town—with her fiancé at the conflict’s heart. And she can’t pretend she hasn’t noticed the courageous straight-shooter Wyatt Earp who becomes Behan’s sworn enemy.

When Behan betrays Josephine, she leaves him—and immediately faces the harsh realities of being a woman on her own in the Wild West, a world where a lady’s every action depends on a man’s approval.

Adams’s storytelling from a female perspective, and her rich and descriptive style, allow the reader to feel Josephine’s desperation as she realizes the only available options she has are prostitution or returning home. That is—until Wyatt Earp declares his love for her. As their romance blossoms and their bond deepens, Behan’s jealousy ignites a rivalry destined for the history books.

THE LAST WOMAN STANDING is a compelling novel: both an epic tale of an improbable romance and a retelling of an iconic American legend through a female lens. Josephine is a charismatic, fierce heroine who seeks to reinvent herself—and find her soul mate—in a lawless outpost among cowboys and lawmen, where few people are what they seem on the surface.

“Adams is that rare, vivid author who brings a cinematic quality to her wildly entertaining fiction.” —Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

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My Thoughts:

I've always been a big fan of western history, and I've always been especially keen on learning more about the women that played huge roles in history but who are often put into the background.

In her new book, Last Woman Standing, author Thelma Adams brings to the forefront of history the amazing and dazzling story of Josephine Marcus Earp, the wife of famed gunman Wyatt Earp. Writing in the voice of "Josie," Adams takes her readers to Tombstone, Arizona where the West was really wild and Josie Marcus found herself right in the middle of all the action. Sassy and fearless, this lady was besotted by the handsome and daring Wyatt Earp and he by her, and the adventures they set out on are the type that fantastic stories are made of, and Adams does this brilliantly.

While this book is a work of fiction, Adams had done her research, bringing meticulous detail to a fast-paced, lively story of one lady and how she just might have changed Western history for the better in some ways!  (I'm a big admirer of the movie, "Tombstone," and kept envisioning the characters in this story as the same from the movie - Kurt Russell as Wyatt, Dana Delany as Josie - silly, but made the reading extra enjoyable!)

I absolutely loved this book, and highly recommend it to history fans, fans of western fiction, and fans of strong women characters!



About Thelma Adams

Thelma AdamsThelma Adams is an established figure in the entertainment industry. For two decades, she has penned celebrity features and criticism for high-profile publications. Her portfolio of actor interviews includes Julianne Moore, George Clooney, Jessica Chastain, and Matthew McConaughey, among many others.

While covering film for the New York PostUs Weekly, and Yahoo Movies, Thelma became a regular at film festivals from Berlin to Dubai, Toronto to Tribeca. She sits on the Hamptons International Film Festival Advisory Board and twice chaired the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle.

Her debut novel, Playdate, published by Thomas Dunne Books, won high critical acclaim. Adams is often recognized, as she has been invited to share her expertise on many broadcast outlets, including appearances on NBC’s Today, CBS’s Early Show, and CNN.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a history degree from UC Berkeley and earned an MFA from Columbia University. She lives in Hyde Park, New York, with her family.

Connect with Thelma

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Thelma Adams’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, June 27th: WV Stitcher
Tuesday, June 28th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, June 29th: The Magic All Around Us
Friday, July 1st: Lavish Bookshelf
Tuesday, July 5th: A. Holland Reads
Wednesday, July 6th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, July 7th: Just One More Chapter
Monday, July 11th: Books Without Any Pictures
Monday, July 11th: FictionZeal
Wednesday, July 13th: Laura’s Reviews
Thursday, July 14th: Reading is My Superpower
Friday, July 15th: Write Read Life
Monday, July 18th: A Bookaholic Swede
Tuesday, July 19th: Books and Bindings
Wednesday, July 20th: West Metro Mommy Reads
Friday, July 22nd: Worth Getting in Bed For
Monday, July 25th: Just Commonly
Wednesday, July 27th: Mom in Love with Fiction
TBD: Open Book Society


My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour, and to Lake Union Publishing for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.


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Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Hummingbird by Stephen P. Kiernan - Blog Tour Stop and Review


The Hummingbird PB cover

About The Hummingbird

• Paperback: 336 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 28, 2016)

Deborah Birch is a seasoned hospice nurse who never gives up—not with her patients, not in her life. But her skills and experience are fully tested by the condition her husband, Michael, is in when he returns from his third deployment to Iraq. Tormented by nightmares, anxiety, and rage, Michael has become cold and withdrawn. Still grateful that he is home at last, Deborah is determined to heal him and restore their loving, passionate marriage.

But Michael is not her only challenge. Deborah’s primary patient is Barclay Reed, a retired history professor and fierce curmudgeon. An expert on the Pacific Theater of World War II, Barclay is suffering from terminal kidney cancer and haunted by ghosts from his past, including the academic scandal that ended his career.

Barclay’s last wish is for Deborah to read to him from his final and unfinished book—a little-known story from World War II that may hold the key to helping Michael conquer his demons. Together, nurse, patient, and soldier embark on an unforgettable emotional journey that transforms them all, offering astonishing insights into life and death, suffering, and finding peace.


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My Thoughts:

I first read "The Hummingbird" when it first came out last fall and was absolutely enthralled with the emotional and beautifully told story.  So I was thrilled to be asked to once again bring this wonderful book to the attention of book readers this summer.

Author Stephen P.  Kiernan takes his readers through three stories that intertwine with each other to present a story of past, present and the understanding that both require. Kiernan's cast of characters are just fascinating and fully developed, and the historical background provides an intriguing grounding for each of the characters to present their tales upon.

I included this book as one of my favorite reads of 2015, and am pleased to include it once again in my favorite books for summer reading! 


About Stephen P. Kiernan

Photo credit Noah KiernanStephen P. Kiernan is a graduate of Middlebury College, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. During his more than twenty years as a journalist, he has won numerous awards, including the Brechner Center’s Freedom of Information Award, the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment, and the George Polk Award. He is the author of The Curiosity, his first novel, and two nonfiction books. He lives in Vermont with his two sons.

Find out more about Stephen at his website and connect with him on Facebook.

Tour Stops

Tuesday, June 28th: BookNAround
Thursday, June 30th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, June 30th: Kritters Ramblings
Friday, July 1st: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, July 5th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, July 6th: she treads softly
Thursday, July 7th: Bibliotica
Friday, July 8th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Monday, July 11th: Literary Feline
Tuesday, July 12th: 5 Minutes For Books
Wednesday, July 13th: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Thursday, July 14th: Into the Hall of Books
Monday, July 18th: The Book Diva’s Reads




My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to William Morrow Books for providing the review copy. I was not compensated for my opinion.



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Book Spotlight - How Secrets Die by Marta Perry


Bestselling author Marta Perry takes her readers back to Laurel Ridge in the third book, "How Secrets Die." Check it out for a thrilling and fascinating read, just right for summertime thrills and chills!

How Secrets Die

About How Secrets Die

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (June 28, 2016)
As Laurel Ridge embraces a stranger hungry for answers, a sinister truth is awakened. 

A hard-hitting reporter, Kate Beaumont unearths the deepest lies and brings harsh truths to light. But the story that lures her to the gentle town of Laurel Ridge, Pennsylvania, is closer to her heart than anyone knows. The details of her half brother’s sudden death have never made sense. She owes him justice, yet the one man who can help her is the stubborn sheriff she can’t stand.

Protecting his town is Mac Whiting’s top priority. Everything else—including pacifying a beautiful crusader on a mission best left resting in peace—is secondary. But as Kate’s search embeds her in his world and attracts a skilled criminal, she needs Mac’s protection. Drawn together by deadly secrets, they must find a way to trust each other before a killer silences them both.


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Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

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About Marta Perry

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Marta Perry realized she wanted to be a writer at age eight, when she read her first Nancy Drew novel. A lifetime spent in rural Pennsylvania and her own Pennsylvania Dutch roots led Marta to the books she writes now about the Amish. When she’s not writing, Marta is active in the life of her church and enjoys traveling and spending time with her three children and six beautiful grandchildren. Visit her online at www.martaperry.com

Connect with Marta

Website | Facebook

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Marta Perry’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Wednesday, June 8th: Reading Reality – review & excerpt
Thursday, June 9th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Friday, June 10th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 13th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Tuesday, June 14th: A. Holland Reads
Tuesday, June 14th: Booked on a Feeling
Wednesday, June 15th: Open Book Society
Thursday, June 16th: Diary of a Stay At Home Mom
Friday, June 17th: The Sassy Bookster – excerpt
Monday, June 20th: Romancing the Book – review & excerpt
Tuesday, June 21st: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, June 22nd: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, June 23rd: A Bookaholic Swede – excerpt
Monday, June 27th: How Secrets Die
Tuesday, June 28th: Write Read Life
Tuesday, June 28th: Luxury Reading
Wednesday, June 29th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, June 30th: Books a la Mode – excerpt




My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour.  I was not compensated for my opinion.



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Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving A Transcendent Childhood by Claire Hoffman - Review and Tour Stop


Greetings From Utopia Park cover

About Greetings From Utopia Park

• Hardcover: 288 pages
• Publisher: Harper (June 7, 2016)

In this engrossing memoir, Claire Hoffman recounts the remarkable years she spent growing up in an increasingly isolated meditation community in the American heartland.

When Claire Hoffman’s alcoholic father abandons his family, his struggling wife, Liz, tells five-year-old Claire and her seven-year-old brother, Stacey, that they are going to heaven—Iowa—to live in Maharishi’s national headquarters for Heaven on Earth. For Claire’s mother, Transcendental Meditation—Maharishi’s method of meditation and his approach to living the fullest possible life—promises world peace and Enlightenment just as their family is falling apart.

At first this secluded utopia offers warmth and support, and makes these outsiders feel calm, secure, and connected to the world. At the Maharishi School, Claire learns Maharishi’s philosophy for living and meditates with her class. With the promise of peace and Enlightenment constantly on the horizon, every day is infused with magic and meaning. But as Claire and Stacey mature, their adolescent skepticism kicks in, drawing them away from the community and into delinquency and drugs. To save herself, Claire moves to California to live with her father, breaking from Maharishi completely. After she works for a decade in journalism and academia, the challenges of adulthood propel her back to Iowa, where she reexamines her spiritual upbringing and tries to reconnect with the magic of her childhood.

Greetings from Utopia Park takes us deep into a complex, unusual world, illuminating its joys and comforts as well as its disturbing problems. While there is no utopia on earth, Hoffman finds, there are noble goals worth striving for: believing in belief itself, finding inner peace, and reaching a firm understanding that there is a larger fabric of the universe to which we all belong.


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My Thoughts:

"Greetings From Utopia Park" is a fascinating look at the world of transcendental mediation, the "guru" who founded the phenomenon, and how it affected one woman's childhood and ultimate adulthood.

Claire Hoffman describes how her parents originally got into the whole "transcendental meditation" movement and how she, as a tiny little girl, was given her own secret mantra to chant. She also describes how she fell out of  "enchantment" with the whole idea of "utopia," and how it affected her entire life. It makes for interesting reading as Hoffman relates the ups and downs her family had taken over the years and how even after all the heartache and sorrow, there was still an attraction for the mystery of it all.

I recommend this memoir for those interested in a look at an unusual childhood surrounded by mysticism, mantras and a bit of madness.



About Claire Hoffman

Photo credit Timothy Greenfield-SandersClaire Hoffman writes for national magazines and holds a Master’s degree in Religion from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University. She was a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Times and has reported for the New York Times. She serves on the board of her family foundation, the Goldhirsh Foundation, as well as ProPublica and the Columbia Journalism School. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Find out more about Claire at her website and follow her on Twitter.

 

Tour Stops

Tuesday, June 7th: Book Hooked Blog
Thursday, June 9th: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Monday, June 13th: Life By Kristen
Wednesday, June 15th: Tina Says…
Monday, June 20th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, June 22nd: Rambling Reviews
Thursday, June 23rd: Becklist
Monday, June 27th: Back Porchervations
Tuesday, June 28th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, June 28th: I Brought a Book
Wednesday, June 29th: 5 Minutes For Books
Thursday, June 30th: Read. Write. Repeat.
Friday, July 1st: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Tuesday, July 5th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Thursday, July 7th: Book Addiction



My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this blog tour and to Harper Collins Books for providing the review copy. I was not compensated for my opinion.



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Monday, June 27, 2016

Follow The River Home by Carran Harrington - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review



Follow the River Home

About Follow the River Home

Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Arbor Farm Press (April 14, 2016)

Daniel Arroyo has suffered a lifetime of guilt over the sudden death of his infant sister, who died when he was eight years old. He now lives his middle years between that guilt and worsening episodes of PTSD from a Vietnam he left thirty years ago.

When a violent encounter on a dusty highway forces Daniel to face what haunts him, he finds himself pulled back to the neighborhood of his youth, where old houses hold tired secrets. What really happened on that steamy August afternoon? The answer comes spilling from the old neighborhood, and Daniel begins to find his way home.

Corran Harrington takes the reader along the Rio Grande, from its headwaters to the sea.

“Deeply, bravely imagined, Corran Harrington’s radiant fiction records the ways in which our deepest loyalties and grief’s spring from our first soil, brilliantly revealing the secret ways our lives touch each other without our knowing. Compassionate, luminous, wise, this is a book to savor and give to friends.” Kathleen Hill, author of Who Occupies This House

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My Thoughts:

To me, it is interesting to see how an author puts together their story and how they present it to their readers. Author Corran Harrington has taken a complex story, a cast of varied and also complex characters, and combined them together to created an unforgettable book that will resonate with readers for a long while after the final page is turned.

Harrington touches on so many subjects in this slender volume - family interactions and dramas, past history that still haunts today, the Vietnam War and the PTSD the main character suffers from, and sexual identity problems. "Follow The River Home" is definitely a mature reader's book and it will take time to absorb all the different pathways that meander through the story, but it all comes together for a touching ending that is satisfying.

I highly recommend "Follow The River Home" for those looking for a book that makes you think a little!



About Corran Harrington

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Corran Harrington is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Santa Fe Writers Project finalist, a Hidden River Arts Eludia Award finalist, a Bosque Fiction Contest finalist, and a New Millennium Writings Award semi-finalist whose short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals. A former lawyer, Harrington also has a background in cultural and linguistic anthropology. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Connect with Corran

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Coran Harrington’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, June 6th: I’d Rather Be at the Beach
Tuesday, June 7th: Savvy Verse & Wit
Thursday, June 9th: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, June 13th: BookNAround
Wednesday, June 15th: Puddletown Reviews
Thursday, June 16th: She Treads Softly
Monday, June 20th: The Magic All Around Us
Tuesday, June 21st: Building Bookshelves
Wednesday, June 22nd: Travelling Birdy
Wednesday, June 22nd: Write Read Life
Thursday, June 23rd: Stranded in Chaos
Monday, June 27th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Wednesday, June 29th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, June 30th: Kahakai Kitchen
Friday, July 1st: Patricia’s Wisdom


My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to the author for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.



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