Monday, March 28, 2016

When Life Gets in the Way

The last couple of months have been terrible reading months! I've only managed to read a couple books. Life has been so hectic, and making time for reading has been impossible. I'm hoping in April life will slow down, so I can get back on track with my reading goals. I've been wanting to read non-mystery books lately. I know this blog is called "The Mystery Tavern," but I'll be review other genres as well. I plan to read whatever fancies me at the time of choosing my next book. I'm currently reading Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley for review, and it's fantastic. That review will be up April 5th as part of a blog tour for her newest book, Silenced in the Surf. Just wanted to write a quick update. Time to go read!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

TOUR - Wake Me Up by Justin Bog - Review



Wake Me Up

By Justin Bog

Genre: Literary Fiction, Crime, Family Saga, LGBT

About Wake Me Up:
A FATHER IS HAUNTED BY HIS PAST — HIS WIFE LIVES HER LIFE IN A RIGID SHELL — THEIR SON, UNTETHERED, DISCOVERS THE SECRET THEY SHARE WITH DEEPIKA, A VISITOR TO THEIR TOWN. 

“I see all of these people. They’re living and breathing and acting on their basest impulses. I lay in a coma. They live. I hover over all of them, all at once. I can see my body, motionless, wired up, adrift. And I can find out why this happened. This is my story and I won’t remember any of it when—if—I wake up. But I’ll try to remember—I’ll try damn hard.” 

MIDDLETON, MONTANA—OCTOBER 2004—AN ELECTION YEAR

A small college town’s populace is tied, complicity, to the brutal attack of a teenage boy by four of his classmates. Soon, heated rumors of a possible hate crime surface. Injustice is a hungry beast.

While Chris Bullet remains unresponsive in a coma, his skull shattered, he floats above dire circumstance. In this phantom state, compelled to witness his past once more, the family’s darkest secrets, hidden over generations, will be aired.

My Review:
Wow! This book was intense. I've been trying to read books that promote diversity. Wake Me Up deals with LGBT themes. Chris is beaten because people think he is gay. He then falls into a coma for days. 

The characters are put together so well that they felt real. I felt all of their emotions right along with them. I think that was my favorite part of the whole book. The emotions the characters we able to make me feel ran from happy to utterly depressed. I loved it.

I felt like the plot was a little slow in some places, but it didn't detract from the story. I just happen to be an impatient reader sometimes. 

I recommend this to anyone looking to diversify their reading. I gave this book 4.5 stars!

Author Bio
A member of ITW: International Thriller Writers group, Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest with his two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling. He is the author of the Suspense Magazine Award-winning collection, Sandcastle and Other Stories: The Complete Edition, and Hark: A Christmas Collection. Find Justin at http://www.justinbog.com and on Facebook at Justin Bog.


Find Justin Here:
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/JustinBog

Monday, March 14, 2016

Cover Reveal: Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks' Secret by Paula Berinstein *Giveaway*

Welcome to the cover reveal for Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ Secret by Paula Berinstein. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ SecretAmanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ Secret (Amanda Lester, Detective #4)
by Paula Berinstein
Genre: Mystery/detective
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: March 31, 2016

Blurb:
What does a dusty old secret have to do with peacocks?

Everything, as it turns out. When Amanda is knocked off her skateboard by a rare all-blue peacock, she learns that the species harbors a vital secret she must race to uncover. But before she can unravel the mystery, a startling archaeological discovery turns all of Britain against the detectives and threatens their very existence.

As old enemies gather strength and new adversaries emerge, Amanda finds herself dealing with hysterical teachers, a disappearing mentor, a mysterious poisoner, and a would-be magician. With so much at stake and so little time, the last thing she needs is to fall in love.

You can find Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ Secret on Goodreads

You can pre-order Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ Secret here:- Amazon
Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ Secret first Darktower class excerpt:
On Monday Amanda and her friends had their first class with the new logic teacher. It was a scary affair. The pirate was rude, strict, and humorless, and now he smelled like cigars. Probably drank grog too, by the look of him, Amanda thought, whatever that was.
The first thing Professor Darktower said, in a really loud voice, was, “Alice in Wonderland is not fun!” No introduction, no “Good morning,” nothing. The statement was so abrupt and the message so out of any context that every kid in the class dropped something, gasped, choked, or bit their tongue, even if they weren’t chewing. Then he said, “In this class we will read nothing but Lewis Carroll—Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, the whole shebang. These publications are no laughing matter. You think Tweedledum and Tweedledee are funny? The Mad Hatter is a joke? Alice is cute? BALDERDASH!”
This extremely loud exclamation caused poor Dreidel to fall off his chair and twist his knee. But Professor Darktower would not let him go to the nurse. “Detectives are not sissies,” he said. “You will stay here and learn to be absolutely, impeccably logical. Got that?”
The boy nodded up and down and attempted to hide his pain. It was obvious that he was hurt, though, because he kept grimacing every time he tried to move his leg. Amanda was so outraged that she refused to keep quiet. “He’s hurt. He needs medical attention.”
The huge man fixed her with a stony stare and said, “Then he’s out of my class. Do you think, missy, that when you’re out battling the likes of Blixus Moriarty you can take a time out and go to the nurse? Now stop acting like a girl and be a detective. And as for you, laddie, one more sissy incident like this and you’re out of my class. Got that?”
Dreidel nodded again but Amanda was furious. She opened her mouth to protest, but Ivy tugged on her sleeve and gave her a low “Uh uh,” and she realized that her revenge would have to wait. But revenge she would have, and it would be a doozy. The man was worse than a boor. Why, he was even ruder than an arch-criminal. Even Blixus had never been as bad as that. She wondered what Professor Darktower’s parents must be like to produce a son like him.
There was something she could do right then and there, however. She reached into her bag and surreptitiously texted Dreidel: “R U OK?” “Y,” the response came almost immediately. Of course he would say that. Dreidel was a trouper. And then it hit her that he hadn’t gone off to Skye after all. She was glad, not just because he’d stayed to support Legatum, but because he was a good guy and a great lab partner. She texted back a smiley and let it go for the time being.
Darktower glared at the class and said, “As I was saying, there are equations and syllogisms in these volumes that underlie every word, and we’re going to find them. You will be responsible for finding them. Then, for your term paper, you will be expected to arrange them in a different way that’s still logically valid and write the text they would produce. Is that clear? I repeat: this task is not humorous or fanciful. It is deadly serious work, and you won’t be able to build ironclad cases unless you can master it.”
The man made about as much sense as that strange page Amanda had found. Sometimes it was hard to understand Professor Ducey, but not like this. What did he mean, equations and syllogisms underlie every word? It sounded like he was saying that the books had been translated into English from math. You could read an equation out loud, of course, and you could translate it into Spanish or Chinese, but how could you—OMG. This was storytelling, just like the way she and Holmes had done when they’d put together the training film about a cyberforensics problem, except with math rather than words.
She glanced over at Holmes and found him looking at her and smiling. He’d got it too. He gave her a quick wink and then everything exploded.
“MR. Holmes!” bellowed the teacher. “Out, NOW!” Holmes looked astonished, then got up and walked out of the room. “MISS Lester!” the teacher continued. Amanda was surprised. “Oh, you thought I didn’t know who you were,” the man said. “I want you to take your things, find Mr. Holmes, and wait in my office. Is that clear?”
“But—” Amanda said.
“OUT!” he roared.
Amanda felt the strongest urge to stick her tongue out at him again, but she managed to control herself and abstained. She picked up her bag and followed Holmes out into the hall.
“What in the world was that?” he said when she’d caught up with him. He looked confused, as if he didn’t know quite what to do with himself.
“The man is a lunatic,” said Amanda. “He wants us to go to his office.”
“But the class just started,” said Holmes. “It will be fifty minutes.” Gosh, he looked good. His eyes seemed to be on fire. She looked away for a second.
“All I know is that’s what he said.”
He shook his head but he was smiling. “You know, the dumb thing is that up until he had his little meltdown, he was making sense.”
“You got that too?” she said, matching his grin.
“Of course. You taught me.”
“I did, didn’t I?” she said. She felt absolutely triumphant. It was a wonderful feeling after that ridiculous scene in the classroom. “Who needs him?”
“I guess we do,” said Holmes. “If we want to stay here.”
“You’re not thinking of going to Skye?” she said.
“Never. Not even for Professor Ducey.”
And then, instead of worrying or fuming or plotting revenge, the two of them cracked up so hard they had to hold their stomachs.
When they calmed down enough to speak, Holmes looked at her with mischief in his eyes and said, “You know what this means, don’t you?”
She threw back her head and laughed. “We have forty-five minutes to do whatever we want.”
“Come on,” he said. “Let’s go.”

Paula BerinsteinAbout the Author:
Paula Berinstein is nothing like Amanda. For one thing, she’s crazy about Sherlock Holmes. For another, she’s never wanted to be a filmmaker. In addition, compared to Amanda she’s a big chicken! And she wouldn’t mind going to a secret school at all. In fact, she’s hoping that some day she’ll get to build one.

You can find and contact Paula here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Paula's blog on Goodreads
- The Writing Show podcasts

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ Secret. You can win a 50$ amazon gift card. Open international.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

TOUR - The Island by Clarissa Johal *Giveaway*

THE ISLAND
Clarissa Johal
Paranormal Horror
Editor: Marisa Chenery Booktrope & Forsaken Imprint (2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1-5137-0161-5
ASIN: B010TE7W1G
Number of Pages: 210  

About THE ISLAND: Exploring a remote island can sometimes get you into trouble. Especially when you stumble upon a cave and awaken two demons. Rumors and superstition. That’s what Emma thinks about local gossip concerning her grandmother’s “cursed” private island. Emma journeys to the island to ready it for sale. While out exploring, she unearths a hidden cave–a cave which holds answers to the island’s dark past. There may be more to the rumors than she thought.  

Excerpt from THE ISLAND:
She was jarred awake by a cry. The vestiges of her nightmare dissipated as she orientated herself. Nightmare. Emma let out a sigh of relief. The cry sounded again. A distant sound, high and wailing. A baby’s cry. Her heart quickened. Good god, surely that can’t be a baby?
The fire in the stove had burned down, its embers lending a glow to the living room. Emma looked out the front window. The yard was still. She unlocked the door and opened it a crack. The cry drifted in with the breeze, faint but unmistakable. She ran through her mind what possible bird or animal could make the sound and came up with nothing. Characteristically, the island was blanketed with silence, almost like a vacuum. She stood, uncertain. After several minutes, the sound started again—the unmistakable high wail of a baby. She slipped on her boots and parka.
Fog trailed like cobwebs in her wake. The mournful cry threaded through the trees and came from the direction of the house ruins. In spite of a growing anxiety at what she’d find, she quickened her pace. If that is a baby, it’s still alive, and I need to get to it. If it’s not a baby… She blocked out the possibilities of what else it could be.
She approached the ruins and the sound stopped. Her heart raced. I know it was coming from here. The area held an unnatural heaviness. A branch cracked behind her and she turned with a start. Something dark darted through the trees.
“Hello?” Her voice sounded muffled in the fog. Emma’s attention snapped to the left. The dark figure ducked out of sight. She took one step backward, and fled.
Heavy footsteps echoed from behind as she plunged through the trees. They were catching up with her. Emma pushed herself to run faster, terrified she’d lose her footing on the uneven ground. The cabin loomed large, a haven in the thick fog. Stumbling across the cabin’s porch, she hurdled through the door and slammed it shut, locking it.
Emma rooted her feet to keep from running around in circles. Straining to hear, she was greeted with eerie silence. Several moments passed before the baby’s cry started again. And this time, it sounded from right outside the door. 

During the blog tour The Island will be on sale for only $.99!
***
THE ISLAND Buy Links: 
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/zhe7cej


About the Author: Clarissa Johal is the author of paranormal novels, THE ISLAND, VOICES, STRUCK, and BETWEEN. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing, taking pictures of gargoyles, or swinging from a trapeze. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters, and every stray animal that darkens their doorstep.  

Find Clarissa Online:
Author Website: http://www.clarissajohal.com/
Blog: http://clarissajohal.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarissa.johal.9
Twitter: @ClarissaJohal
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4502113.Clarissa_Johal
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Clarissa-Johal/e/B003KVTMPK/
 Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/clarissajohal/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/101586327494596967316/posts  

WIN an ecopy of THE ISLAND by Clarissa Johal 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Top 5 April 2016 New Release Cozies

This is my top 5 list for my most anticipated new releases for April 2016.


1. Vanilla Beaned by Jenn McKinlay
Book 8 in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery Series
April 5, 2016

Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are taking a gamble by opening their first franchise of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, so where better to hit the jackpot than in Vegas? Business manager Tate Harper has lined up a meeting with Holly Hartzmark, a former showgirl who’s looking to bring Mel and Angie’s sweet treats to Sin City, but Mel isn’t so sure she’s ready to hand her recipes over to a complete stranger—especially one as brash as Holly.

But after the potential bakery location gets blown up, Mel begins seeing another side to Holly—one that reminds her very much of herself. Determined to help a kindred spirit, Mel sets out to discover who is trying to keep the bakery from cashing in. But with a murderous mischief maker on the loose, the odds are stacking up against a happy ending for Mel and her friends...

2. Killer Takeout by Lucy Budette
Book 7 in the Key West Food Critic Series
April 5, 2016

 It’s Fantasy Fest at Key West, and food critic Hayley Snow is ready to celebrate. But a killer seems intent on crashing the party. . .

Every year, Key West’s weeklong Mardi Gras–style festival has tourists and locals alike lining up for costumed revelry and delicious eats. Key Zest magazine has assigned Hayley to write a piece on the fest’s grab-and-go food, so she’s planning on hitting up the mobile eateries while checking out the party preparations.

Hayley’s office mate, Danielle, recently elected Queen of Fantasy Fest, is also buzzing between festivities and fundraisers.  But when a former royal rival gets taken out, Hayley needs to put down her party hat and her pen and figure out who served up a side of murder—before Danielle gets crowned a killer. . .

3. An Unhappy Medium by Dawn Eastman
Book 4 in the Family Fortune Mystery Series
April 5, 2016

 Former cop and novice psychic Clyde Fortune finds herself in a race for justice when a Zombie Fun Run turns deadly...

All of Crystal Haven, Michigan, is psyching up to participate in a Zombie Fun Run organized by Clyde’s nephew Seth, but Clyde is fretful about the undead festivities. For one thing, her sister, Grace, has unexpectedly returned to town after fifteen years. For another, Clyde has the nagging feeling that something is about to go wrong...

When one of the zombie runners is found murdered and then Grace disappears, Clyde realizes her grim premonition is dead-on. Now, she and her police detective boyfriend Mac must find a ghoulish murderer before someone points the finger at Grace. And when a tangled web of family secrets and old grudges combines with a mysterious case of stolen diamonds, even someone as quick-witted as Clyde might not be able to outrun a killer...

4.  Breach of Crust by Ellery Adams
Book 5 in the Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery Series
April 5, 2016

Ella Mae LeFaye’s delicious pies are still drawing long lines—as well as the attention of Beatrice Burbank, president of the Camellia Club, a philanthropic organization comprised of high-society Southern ladies from the charming and affluent town of Sweet Briar, Georgia. To ensure the success of their centennial dessert cookbook, Bea hires Ella Mae to teach the tasty tricks of her trade to the club’s members at their annual retreat. Eager to work on new recipes for customers with food allergies and dietary restrictions, Ella Mae readily agrees.

But when Ella Mae finds Bea’s body floating in Lake Havenwood, she wonders what she’s gotten herself mixed up in. Someone certainly wanted Bea to eat humble pie, and the retreat offers no shortage of unsavory characters, including Ella Mae’s longtime nemesis, Loralyn Gaynor. Ella Mae definitely doesn’t need magic to tell her she must find the killer before someone else gets panned.

5. Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower
Book 1 in the Magical Bookshop Mystery Series
April 5, 2016 

 Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother’s bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of perfect health. Violet doesn’t need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Charming Books. It’s where the perfect book tends to fly off the shelf and pick you...

Violet has every intention to hightail it back to Chicago, but then a dead man is discovered clutching a volume of Emily Dickinson’s poems from Grandma Daisy’s shop. The victim is Benedict Raisin, who recently put Grandma Daisy in his will, making her a prime suspect. Now, with the help of a tuxedo cat named Emerson, Violet will have to find a killer to keep Grandma from getting booked for good...