#Blogtour #Giveaway Izzy As Is by Tracie Banister

Totally I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for the excellent Izzy As Is by the brilliant Tracie Banister!

thumbnail_TracieBanister-IzzyAsIs-NewRelease

 


izzyasis

Length: 351 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: The party is over for bikini model Izzy Alvarez. For six years she’s made a good living by flaunting her God-given assets on runways and in front of cameras, but now as she approaches the big 3-0, the bodacious Latina is shocked to learn she’s aged out of the profession that’s kept her in mojitos, mani/pedis, and designer thongs. What’s a girl with a taste for the finer things in life and no marketable skills to do?

Getting a regular job is too boring to even consider, so Izzy decides to follow in the footsteps of her newly-engaged frenemy and become a trophy wife. Although she’s desperate and too broke to get a chipped nail fixed, Izzy still has standards for her future husband, which means no uggos, no vertically-challenged guys, and no geezers who need to pop a blue pill to perform in the bedroom. Enlisting the aid of her computer whiz nephew and her closest pals, Izzy goes on the prowl for a rich, marriage-minded man, encountering likely candidates in a lot of unlikely places.

The high life she’s dreamed of may be within reach when Izzy meets a charming, successful man who’s not only hotter than a steamy summer night in Miami, but ready to settle down. Now all Izzy has to do is make sure her loud, crazy Cuban family doesn’t scare off el hombre perfecto—oh, yeah, and squelch those pesky, romantic feelings she keeps having for the sweet, cash-strapped guy she’s known forever. Will Izzy’s hunger for money win out, or will her fiery heart demand to be heard?

Review: I recently gushed about Mixing It Up (review here ) but even before that I loved In Need of Therapy (read review here), which was the first book about one of the Alveraz sisters. This is the second (please God let there be more to come!), and I love it even more! As you can see this is all about Izzy, a model who, on opening, is being told by a nervous agent named Marty that she is outside of the age bracket that is preferred for her type of modelling career. Cue ott reacions that made me settle down and enjoy straight away. I was thrilled then to become re acquainted with her family, who are as loud and bright as ever, with the scowling Ana, the lovely Pilar and their mother, who more than contributed to Izzy’s knowledge of how to get her own way, as well as their lovely father, who has quite a job keeping things under control. All the characters in this book jumped off the age, they were bright, fresh and hilarious, with the banter non stop and brilliant.

Characters make a book for me and her friends were also the perfect mix of crazy and sensible, and then there were those int he side lines too, including more than one or two Izzy was willing to flirt with, again with banter that made me grin and nod along, especially when Izzy sadly realised that it wasn’t quite the time to be flirting. In terms of the story, this had it all, there were blind dates that really didn’t work out and love interests you wanted, and others you didn’t, with my type of comedy going bam, bam, bam all over the place, (I loved that there was actually a nice little lump pf mom lit thrown in as Izzy babysat and ended up being minded herself!) mixed with pacing perfection! The romance was excellent, although to be honest, me being the prude that I am, I could have probably lived without the sex scenes, but they didn’t take away from the book. As for Izzy? Well she was chick lit perfection, never being afraid to say what she thought, being cheeky and selfish but ultimately, such a good person too.

I hearted this book so much. Very highly recommended. Thanks so much to the author for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

RELEASE WEEK BLITZ GIVEAWAY: Purchase a copy of Izzy As Is during release week (January 24th-30th, 2018) and you could win a fantastic prize pack inspired by the book’s sassy Latina heroine (nail polish, jewelry, and mojitos are some of her favorite things) and the beachy setting in Miami. People who purchased Izzy during the pre-order period are also eligible for the giveaway!

IzzyReleaseWeekGiveaway

This prize pack includes:

Deco Miami Custom Trio Set of Nail Lacquer with

Champagne Mami, Feeling Fuego, and Señorita Betsey Johnson Peacock Feather Earrings

Gift Republic Mojito Cocktail Scented Candle Coconut Scented Gift Set from The Body Shop

(inc. Shower Gel, Body Scrub, Body Butter, Soap, and Bath Lily)

Bella Pilar Gem-Topped Gold Pen

She Spiral Notepad Set by Kate Spade New York (Quotes on Notepads: 1 – She believed she could, so she did. 2 – “How many shades of red lipstick do you need,” they asked. “That question,” she replied, “is complex and intriguing.” 3 – She adores pretty things and witty words.)

To enter this giveaway, e-mail Tracie Banister at traciebanister@gmail.com with your proof of purchase. Entries will be accepted until midnight on January 30th, 2018 when a winner will be selected via random drawing. This is an international giveaway, so anyone who buys Izzy As Is within the allotted time frame is eligible to win. Good luck!

AUTHOR BIO:

tracie

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. She is the proud winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award (Romantic Comedy) and a Bronze Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards (Chick Lit). Although Tracie swore she’d never write a sequel to any of her books, the character of Izzy Alvarez, who first appeared in In Need of Therapy, would not be denied. Izzy As Is is Tracie’s fifth novel, and she hopes readers enjoy this return trip to Miami.

CONNECT WITH TRACIE:

Author Newsletter – The Banister Buzz

Blog http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/

Twitter @traciebanister

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tracie.banister

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/traciebanister/

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#Excerpt #FirstChapter An American Cage by Ted Galdi

americancage
Length: 330 pages
Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book
What they say:
Three inmates break out of a maximum-security prison in Texas, one of them Danny Marsh, a suburban kid in his twenties who landed in jail because of a crime he never intended to commit.

An American Cage, a “tale of convicts on the run that convincingly examines their psychological states” (Kirkus Reviews), follows Danny and his two escape partners over a twenty-four-hour period as they struggle to cross Texas to freedom in Mexico. On this dangerous journey, Danny has to evade the rabid Texas authorities, and even worse, the schemes of one of his closest allies, who isn’t who he seems.

Click here to read the first chapter!
About the author
Suit HS(1)
Ted Galdi, an Amazon #1 bestselling author, has been featured by Kirkus magazine, ABC, FOX, iHeartRadio, and many other media outlets. He’s a winner of a Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award and a Silver Medal in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Ted is a graduate of Duke University.

His available releases are the books Elixir, An American Cage, and Lion on Fire, and the short story A Road to Nowhere.

To learn more about him and take advantage of his free offers, visit his website at

#Blogtour Her Last Lie by Amanda Brittany

herlastlie

Length: 303 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Six years ago Isla was the only victim to walk free from Carl Jeffery’s vicious murder spree. Now, Isla vows to live her life to the fullest and from the outside it appears perfect.

Determined to finish her book Isla plans her final trip to Sweden, but after returning from Canada and meeting a man she never thought she would, her life begins to derail.

Suddenly Isla is plagued by memories of the man who tried to murder her, and the threat that he could be back causes her to question everything, and everyone around her.

This debut psychological thriller will have you closing down social media accounts, looking over your shoulder, and hooked until the very last line.

Perfect for fans of Sweet Little Lies, Friend Request and Louise Jensen.

 The Review: Ahhh. That’s the sound when you finish a very satisfying, rewarding thriller that had you on tenterhooks fairly early on and kept you there until the end. I really really enjoyed this. It’s the story of Isla, a travel writer who barely escaped with her life after the attempt on her life by serial killer Carl Jeffrey. From early on in the book there was goings on, with Isla wondering if the person who seems to be stalking her is in fact the Carl Jeffrey, who was imprisoned for three life sentences.

We had a number of suspects from the get go, although what you’re suspecting them of you’re not quite sure, as you also have to take into account that she’s been through a lot and is in a fragile state of mind. This is a book that takes you in and holds you, although it is not of the headachy variety, there’s always enough people about and everyday happenings/ drama to keep you looking about, plus the descriptions of places and her surroundings contained some gems that actually made me want to head off to Sweden! The relationships and friendships were done well and I had some people I seriously hearted. Also serious kudos on the tension and notching up of suspects.

The book moves between the past and the present, the past showing around about the time of the attack. You obviously never know how tough a book is until you’ve everything has come to a head and I was a little nervous as to what had happened all those years ago but I was able to handle it (phew!) Actually this did lead me to a slight issue I had with the book, and that was all that was unsaid, I can’t really say more but I always rather being able to tick suspects and happenings off as being case closed. I loved the ending both in the change in point of view (adored this point of view) and the race to the finish, the pick up in pacing being a definite high point for me and then the realisation of who was involved.

This is a book that’s for those who like the likes of Kathryn Croft or Louise Jensen (above you’ll see others liken the book to Louise Jensen, Sweet Little Lies and Friend Request but I still have to get to the last two books-I know, I know!) , and I’ve just seen that the royalties of downloads of this book go to Cancer Research so really, just go get!

I have to say that one of the quotes says that Amanda Brittany  is an exciting new voice and I’ll totally agree, I will definitely be looking out for her new releases. Thanks so much to HQ digital for allowing me to be part of this blog tour and for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5

Check out the rest of the blog tour

Her Last Lie Blog_Tour[2]

The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney

themissingones

Length: 434 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror.

The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’

When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.

Fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni will be gripped by this page-turning serial killer thriller, guaranteed to keep you reading late into the night.

The Review: I read a review quite a while ago from a blogger who gushed about an author who lived in her locality, saying that everything was a billion times more real because she knew she lived in the area that the book was loosely based around. I remember thinking how great that would be, but, being outside the box in terms of irish fiction (romantic comedies and thrillers are most definitely trumped here by literary fiction that I can’t always get my head around), I didn’t think it would ever happen. And then it did! One day, I was speaking to my son’s teacher, and she mentioned that a friend of hers had gotten a major book deal. She said that she was with a publisher that was different to other publishers, but were huge. That evening  our internet was down (this was back in the day of our non existing internet, before we moved house), and I totally forgot about it until she asked me was I going to the book launch and that’s when I went googling and oh my word!

‘She’s with Bookouture!!’ I squealed at her when I met her the following day. The poor lady just nodded and I began to gush about how much I ADORED Bookouture and how they’d put out some of the best books for me of the past few years. I then gushed about her friend (Ms. Gibney), who I’d seen on Twitter and the fact that she was writing thrillers. A writer from westmeath putting out thrillers! The gushing continued at home, where I’m sure my husband wanted to stuff his fingers in his ears and sing ‘la, la, la, la, la’ until I left the room. I downloaded the first two of her books and requested the third and a few days later headed over to her book launch for ‘The Stolen Girls,’ where I bought it as a beautiful paperback, which I will share pics of with you when I get to it (very soon). So I’ll leave the lead in at this, amazing author with amazing publisher puts out an amazing book and it’s supposedly set around here, but with the name Ragmullin (not Mullingar, isn’t that ingenious?!) Okay. I’m stopping. Honest.

So we start off with a dark prologue that features a group of children seeing things that they cannot and should not get their heads around. I have to admit that already I was so shocked that I nearly forgot to highlight. Then there’s the meeting of a lady with someone from her past in a cathedral and a murder (this sounds so wrong but I have to admit I loved the modern twist in terms of the murder weapon!). Actually as an aside I have to admit when I heard that it was largely based around the catholic church my heart lurched a little. Ireland has a horrifically sordid past in terms of how mothers and children were treated, and I think it’s one of the most tawdry and wrong in the world and I have to admit there’s times I wonder how we don’t hang our heads more but then saying that I do try to go to mass when I can (I’m a cherry picker Catholic if you will, sorry if that offends people, but I choose to go by the nicer parts of catholicism, those that are inclusive and teach being nice, helpful and loving, and disapprove of anything that isn’t fair on people or that excludes people for any reason). Takes breath (yes I know this is an odd review, I’m sorry, I’ll get back to it now!!!).

So DI Lottie Parker has been called to investigate. I loved her straight away and, as the book unfolded, enjoyed finding out about her family life, which is tough going, the kids have lost their father and the love of Lottie’s life, Adam, and she’s struggling to cope. The kids were lovely, Lottie was real and I loved reading about their family life as much as the case, which is something that always draws me in and keeps my eyes flying over the screen. Then there was the dynamics of the station, and her colleagues was brilliantly done (I have to admit I truly hearted Boyd, who was by her side when she needed him).

This book is enshrouded in dark and mystery, with shifty, weak characters, and terrifyingly sinister looming figures that fill you with dread. It jumps between past at St Angel’s children’s home and present, shocks and makes you grimace. It is not always outwardly graphic(sometimes it is), but gives you enough to leave imagery in your head that shouldn’t be there. It is a memorably book for me, not just because of it’s origins, but because it’s probably one of the most unputdownable books I’ve read since I’ve started blogging. Beyond recommended and cannot wait to get to the next of this series.

Rating: 5/5

Prosecco Christmas (Pot Love Book 3) by Sylvia Ashby

proseccoLength: 274 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Family is where life begins.
And what better time to spend with your family than Christmas week?

Ashley and Giacomo go to Upper Swainswick, a postcard village ten minutes’ drive from Bath, to stay with Ashley’s mum and stepdad. It’s their last visit before the arrival of their first child.

But babies have a habit of being unpredictable.

So when Ashley goes into labour on Christmas Eve, three weeks ahead of schedule, it takes everyone by surprise.
She’s not ready! Her perfect Birth Plan is packed away in her hospital bag two hundred miles away, she has no going home outfit, and she has a live event planned for New Year’s Eve for her YouTube channel, The Sinking Chef. People have been signing up for it for weeks. She can’t possibly disappoint them on the last day of the year. What is she to do?

The tinsel gets even more tangled when Giacomo’s parents decide to fly from Italy to meet their first grandchild. Hotels are fully booked, so everyone has to stay under the same roof.

Would eleven people in the house, not counting the baby, turn out to be simply too much for Ashley?

The review: You’ll remember I adored The Treachery of Trains (review is here ), gobbled up Pot Love 1 (review here ), hosted an extract of Pot Love 2 here and gushed about it  here so I was thrilled to see this on Amazon and jumped for it.

We’re back with the brilliant Ashley and the lovely Giacomo who are preparing for their first child. As you can see they are prepared, but all their preparations have gone slightly to pot (pun intended!), as Ashley ends up in labor far away from everything she felt she needed to give birth. This is a mini review as I devoured this as my Christmas read, but as a result feel I need to review before the new year, as some people will still be looking for the book to accompany the end of their festivities.

Saying that this is actually a book you could read after Christmas without any grievances- the family mayhem is indicative of that of a family home at Christmas as they get visitor after visitor and yet a lot of it could be any family gathering, especially given that you’re so enraptured with the beautiful cooking (recipes are still a part of this offering, yay!) and taken up by the drama unfolding and the excellent, excellent humour (special mention for Paolo’s letter declaring basically that he’s off!), that I’d have read this any time of the year.

Saying that the descriptions of a sharp winter’s night are perfection as they bundle into a car to get Ashley to the hospital on time, the craziness is epic (we’ve all had ‘just one more thing’ to get in the shops on the worst day of the year to be there), the romance is varied and beautiful, the characters brimming with quirks and the food delicious. Right up my street and very much recommended.

Rating: 5/5

Close to Home by Cara Hunter

closetohome

Length: 385 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal buy link for the book

What they say:

Last night, eight-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a family party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.

DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows the nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew.

That means someone is lying…
And that Daisy’s time is running out.

Introducing DI Fawley and his team of Oxford detectives, and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2018, CLOSE TO HOME is the new crime series readers and authors are raving about.

The Review: Another book that didn’t quite live up to hype (sooo many big names have reviewed this!), although I did really enjoy it. I have to begin by saying that when you are reading an arc you take it for granted there will be editing issues, but here I had more than that, I had text jumping into the middle of sentences and conversations moving paragraphs, and, actually, I’m almost sure that two things they said happened, hadn’t actually happened by that point, so I think that text had moved too and so it is some testament to the book that I kept going. (Please note this must have just been the copy I got, I haven’t seen anyone else having these issues and this book is so popular I’m sure someone would have said!)

Anyhoo. This is  the story of the disappearance of Daisy Mason, an eight year old who was at a family party at 5 Barge Close, but suddenly disappeared. I enjoyed the setting from the start, and was right there, wondering how a little girl had disappeared with so many people about. We meet each of the family, a very ‘just-so’ mother (loved how they showed her to be when she thought no one was looking), the distraught father, who seemed to be hiding something and her brother, Leo, all with their own issues ( I felt so much for Leo and was very interested to see what he had to say when he spoke). I also loved the police procedure to begin with, although I found I couldn’t ‘see’ the investigating officer, as unusually the detective’s suppositions are relayed to us in the first person.

There is also a twitter feed in places, which I didn’t feel fit the genre, I would have preferred to have properly ‘heard’ the people talking about their opinions as they jumped to their conclusions on the family, how they were dealing with their disappearance and who had done it.

Another thing that didn’t click with me was that dialogue was given to us straight, with no inclinations as to how the people were reacting, so in the investigation room you wouldn’t see a person’s eyes darting  back and forth, or someone nervously tucking their hair behind their ear, that sort of thing!

Saying that there were excellent descriptions for me, both at the scene and beyond, the pacing was brilliant and I really couldn’t wait to see what had happened to poor Daisy and what would happen to her brother Leo. Thanks to Penguin and Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

#shortstory #minireview #free Checkout Girl by Aimee Alexander @aimeealexbooks

checkout

Please note that the cover image leads to a sign up link for the story

Link for Amazon for audio version: buy here

What they say:

When an 83-year-old woman dies, she is not transported straight to heaven. She is taken on an unexpected detour back to her life shortly before she died. Only this time, she is seeing the world from a different point of view. This is the first time she has ever experienced a detour being the best part of a journey.

Checkout Girl was published as part of the short story compilation Moments in aid of the tsunami. It was also part of a short story collection published in Germany.

Aimee Alexander is the pen name of best-selling Irish author Denise Deegan.

The Review:

“Christmas Eve 1989. Eighty-three years of life end in one split second. I feel no pain, jiust shick. My last thoughts are not profound: He broke the lights! I had the green man. My life does not flash in front of me. Someone else’s does. Someone I don’t even know. A checkout girl at the supermarket I was in, a little earlier.”

What a gem of a story. It’s so short that all I can tell you is that the lady in question oversees the checkout girl aka ‘Debbie’s’ life, showing us the hardship of a person who, in our protagonist’s own life, has just done a good deed and has suffered for it. There’s loveliness, wistfullness, magic, some life lessons and a nice little kick at the end. You’ll remember I gushed over The Prince and The Pea short story here  and All We Have Lost here (both same author, Denise Deegan writes as Aimee Alexander!) and adored them both and this is right up there with them. It is beautiful, wonderous, entertaining and, well, just excellent really. And it’s free so really, off you go. Go get and honestly enjoy it, I hope you fall in love with it as much as I did! 🙂

Rating: 5/5