Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fallen by Leslie Tentler (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Pump Up Your Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Fallen by Author Leslie Tentler!

Author Guest Post

Telling Your Truth

After completing the Chasing Evil trilogy, I had an idea germinating for a new romantic suspense, one that was still set against the investigational aspects of law enforcement, but that also told a parallel story about a once happy couple who had come apart in the face of a terrible loss.

The truth is, this book took more time to write than I’d planned, perhaps because I was struggling with some of the heavier story aspects. My heroine, a skilled ER doctor at a large downtown hospital, was also different from the other strong-but-fragile women I’d written about before. Brilliant, caring and brave, Dr. Lydia Costa is also flawed, scarred by the events of her life, and the cracks are beginning to show. I worried for a time that some readers wouldn’t like Lydia for some of the mistakes she’d made. But Lydia spoke to me…and I wrote on. I wanted to tell her truth.

Fallen is also the first of my books set in Atlanta, which is where I reside. For the Chasing Evil trilogy, I set books in idyllic places that have always appealed to me. I sampled the gothic influences of New Orleans, the serene horse country of Virginia and a cozy beach bungalow on the Florida coast. But I wanted to place Fallen in Atlanta; it just felt right. It gave me a chance to look at this place I’ve lived in for two decades now in a different way, to see it as a story venue. Some of my favorite areas and landmarks appear in the story, from the newly renovated Ponce City Market to Olympic Centennial Park.

I don’t want to mislead. Fallen is a romantic suspense story built around the tense hunt for a serial cop killer. But what is playing out at the same time between my two main characters – Lydia and her ex-husband, APD Detective Ryan Winter, who are thrown together again in the midst of chaos – is at the story’s heart.

As an author, I’m often asked about the rules of storytelling. How many points-of-view in a story are too many? Are prologues good or bad?

To me, there are no rules to writing other than to tell the story that’s in your mind and heart in the way that only YOU can. Don’t be compromised by doubt or fear of failure – because they’re cold-blooded story-killers. Make sure your story has characters your readers will care about and an emotionally charged reason to keep reading.

If you read Fallen, I hope that Lydia and Ryan will stay with you long after the pages are turned.

About The Author

Leslie Tentler is best known as the author of the Chasing Evil Trilogy (Midnight Caller, Midnight Fear and Edge of Midnight). She was named as a finalist for Best First Novel at ThrillerFest 2012 for Midnight Caller, and as a finalist in the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense for Edge of Midnight. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Maggie Award of Excellence. Her latest romantic suspense novel is titled Fallen.

Leslie is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, The Authors Guild and Novelists, Inc. A native of East Tennessee, she currently resides in Atlanta.


Book Review

Fallen by Leslie Tentler
Publisher: Left Field Press
Publication Date: October 12, 2014
Format: Paperback - 396 pages
              Kindle - 2801 KB
              Nook - 685 KB
ISBN: 978-0990639008
BNID: 2940150550469
Genre: Romantic Suspense


Discuss this novel at PUYB Virtual Book Club at GOODREADS

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book Tours.

Book Description:

“If it wasn’t an armed robbery, it was a hit. An execution.”

Amid a sultry Atlanta summer, someone is targeting police…

The investigation becomes personal for APD Detective Ryan Winter when a colleague and friend is shot dead, the second victim in just weeks. But even as he finds himself being drawn into the tense hunt for a serial cop killer, he is forced to re-examine his own shattering personal tragedy.

An ER physician at Atlanta’s busy Mercy Hospital, Dr. Lydia Costa is no stranger to suffering. Still, the recent police slayings reopen barely healed wounds—and bring her face-to-face with her ex-husband, Ryan Winter.

As the body count rises and paranoia tightens its grip on the police force, Lydia and Ryan are pulled together by circumstances and fate…causing old passions to reignite despite their painful shared past. But as Ryan moves closer to discovering the killer’s identity, someone is watching, placing both him and Lydia in mortal danger.

Book Excerpt:

“GSW, two minutes out!” Jamaal Reeves made the booming announcement from behind the ER admittance desk at Mercy Hospital. His words put medical personnel on alert, including Dr. Lydia Costa, who stood in the jaundiced glow of the light box, reviewing chest films for an eighty-two-year-old with suspected pneumonia.

“It’s a ten-double-zero, people,” he added, using police code that over time had slipped into the level one trauma center’s vernacular.

Officer down.

A momentary hush fell over the staff before the beehive of activity resumed, leaving only Lydia frozen. Gunshot wounds were always nasty injuries, but it was the ten-double-zero that caused anxiety to pool in her stomach. There were hundreds of police inside the city, she reminded herself. Still, leaving the X-ray hanging, she shouldered her way through the scrubs-clad crowd. Reaching Jamaal’s desk, she asked, “What else do you know about the incoming?”

He slurped from a Varsity cup. “Multiple bullets to the chest and abdomen, intubated by paramedics on scene—”

“Do you have a name? A precinct?”

“What? Uh, uh—didn’t ask.” Jamaal shrugged, his eyes returning to the stack of paperwork in front of him, information forms for the three dozen or so coughing, vomiting or otherwise miserable-looking people who waited in rows of vinyl-covered chairs for treatment.

“Plainclothes, though,” he murmured as an afterthought, scribbling directives onto one of the forms.

Lydia felt her knees weaken. Still, her inner voice spoke to her, pointing out that she was one of the attendings on a busy Friday night. She moved briskly toward the automated, sliding glass doors that led inside from the ambulance bay, joining the assembling team and preparing to take charge of whatever faced her with the paramedics’ arrival.

“Get trauma room three set up,” she ordered, raising her voice to be heard above the din. “We’re going to need an echocardiogram. Have a crash cart and thoracotomy set ready.”

All the while, a mantra repeated inside her head. It was more like a prayer, if she believed in such things. She used to, but didn’t anymore.

Please don’t let it be him.

My Book Review:

If you like reading riveting romantic suspense novels that keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat, then Fallen is the book for you! Author Leslie Tentler weaves a thrilling tale that follows the murders of Atlanta police officers by a serial killer that unwittingly brings an ex-married couple back together for an unexpected second chance at love.

Atlanta Homicide Detective Ryan Winters and ER Doctor Lydia Costa were once married until a tragedy tore their marriage apart, leaving them with a painful divorce that neither has gotten over. Ryan and Lydia are brought back together when a series of serial cop killings occur in Atlanta. With unresolved painful personal issues between them and a dangerous threat existing, can Ryan and Lydia survive the serial killer's ruthless murders and find their way back to each other?

Fallen is an intriguing romantic suspense thriller that easily draws the reader into Ryan and Lydia's story. It has enough drama, tension, emotion, unrequited love, and surprising twists and turns that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seat guessing what will happen next. You can't help but feel the palpable chemistry and connection that still exists between Ryan and Lydia, and when you add in the suspense and mystery of who the serial killer could be, you get a riveting story that you simply won't be able to put down. The author does a wonderful job of interweaving the suspenseful mystery with the intense and passionate second chance romance. The storyline flows seamlessly with a strong realistic cast of characters and witty dialogue that makes you feel like you are transported into the action and drama that make up this exciting story.

What could be better than reading a story about two people torn apart by tragedy, only to find their way back to each other in the face of danger? Wow! Fallen is a must read for every romantic suspense fan, you won't be disappointed!


Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

Monday, October 6
Character Interview at The Literary Nook

Tuesday, October 7
Book Featured at Fiction Zeal

Wednesday, October 8
Book Featured at Examiner

Monday, October 13
Book Featured at Booklover Sue
Book Featured at My Life. One Story at a Time.

Tuesday, October 14
Book Featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Book Featured at Midnight, Lace and Mayhem

Wednesday, October 15
Book Review at Becky on Books

Thursday, October 16
Interview at Deal Sharing Aunt

Friday, October 17
Book Featured at Maureen’s Musings

Monday, October 20
Book Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Book Featured at Bound 2 Escape
Interview at From the TBR Pile

Tuesday, October 21
Interview at The Writer’s Life

Wednesday, October 22
Book Review & Character Guest Post at Bless Their Hearts Mom

Thursday, October 23
Book Review at Undercover Book Reviews

Friday, October 24
Book Review at Jane Reads
Book Review at My Life, Loves and Passion

Monday, October 27
Book Featured at CBY Book Club

Tuesday, October 28
Book Featured at Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 29
Guest Blogging at Carol’s Notebook

Thursday, October 30
Book Featured at Mysteries, Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews

Friday, October 31
Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Sifting Through Mud by Demetria Foster Gray (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Pump Up Your Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Sifting Through Mud by Author Demetria Foster Gray!

Author Guest Post

Why It’s Hard for Authors to Ask Readers for Reviews 
By Demetria Foster Gray 

Before becoming a published author, I never saw the significance of leaving book reviews. I always figured that’s something other people do, not me. I’ve been an avid reader for pretty much all my life, but I’ve never once considered how I could help my favorite authors. Never have I supported their work other than buying their books. Being a supportive reader never even entered my mind. 

There are many ways to support your favorite authors. Writing a book review of their work is one of them. However, most readers tend to buy the book, hopefully read the book, and possibly tell a friend or two about it. It never occurs to them to leave a review on retailer sites like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or even make mention of it through their social media networks. 

Most readers are unaware they’re missing crucial opportunities to spread the word and affect author awareness on a broader scale. Unaware it’s an opportunity to share their unique perspective, knowledge, and insight of a book, which in turn can affect the buying decisions of so many others. 

But here’s the thing; it’s not the reader’s job to promote our books. Nor do we pay them to be our spokesperson. 

We create books for their reading pleasure, not to hustle them to the masses. This, among other reasons, is why it’s hard for authors to ask for reviews—because we know it’s not your job. Plus, we don’t want to put people on the spot, or create in readers a false sense of obligation to the author. The bottom line is we really only want you to enjoy the read, and we also want everyone else to enjoy the read. Unfortunately, the only way to reach everyone else, is through everyone else. This means advertising, promotion, and word of mouth. This means asking for reviews. 

Now, as an author, I walk the author shoes. I understand the importance of a review and the impact that it serves. It’s not until you walk the shoes that you understand the shoes, and I now understand how difficult it can be to ask for reviews. Yet, in order to promote and create awareness for our work, we have to accept “the asking” as part of the territory. 

Therefore, to all you wonderful readers out there, if you’ve read a book and enjoyed the book, consider supporting your favorite author(s) with a kind and honest book review (and any other form of support). You won’t even begin to imagine how much that author will appreciate your gesture.

About The Author

Demetria Foster Gray is a novelist, freelance writer, and communications consultant. She earned a degree in Marketing Communications and spent the bulk of her career writing for the corporate world. Creating fictional characters and building stories has always been her first love. A native of the Chicago, IL area, Demetria now lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Sifting Through Mud is her debut novel. Visit Demetria at


Book Review

Sifting Through Mud by Demetria Foster Gray
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: August 8, 2014
Format: Paperback - 284 pages
              Kindle - 642 KB
ISBN: 978-1500669331
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Sifting Through Mud

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book Tours.

Book Description:

The death of Nyla's husband comes as a shock to everyone except Nyla. What’s shocking to Nyla is her inability to grieve his death like a typical loving wife should grieve. But Nyla isn't a typical loving wife. She's a woman in desperate need to breathe. The oxygen in her life has long gone, and the astonishing thing she feels from her husband's death is relief, not grief.

Even more astonishing is the rare and unexpected friendship which develops between Nyla and her dead husband's mistress. However, Nyla isn’t aware her new best friend is a former mistress. And as their friendship deepens into an unshakable bond, Nyla is forced to face secrets her husband took with him to his grave. This means she has to sift through mud to unravel the truth. A truth that’s better off dead.

Yet through it all, the one thing which makes Nyla violently breathless, is the exact same thing that causes her to finally breathe.

My Book Review:

In her debut novel, Sifting Through Mud, author Demetria Foster Gray weaves an emotional story of buried secrets, betrayal, forgiveness, an unexpected friendship, and redemption that will tug at the reader's heartstrings.

When Nyla's husband Nathan dies, she is unable to grieve his loss, instead his death has brought her relief from their troubled marriage. Nyla unknowingly befriends Nathan's pregnant mistress Vivian, and as their connection develops into a friendship, they embark on an emotional journey that will uncover buried secrets that will test their will and strengthen their unexpected bond, and help them move forward with their lives.

Sifting Through Mud is a wonderful story that is told in the alternating first person perspectives of Nyla and Vivian. The author easily draws the reader into Nyla and Vivian's story, you can't help but feel compassion for these women, and the unexpected situation that brought them together through Nathan's deception. As their story unfolds, they weather a storm of trials and tribulations as they work through the betrayal, anger, and grief that is brought upon them from Nathan's death, which ultimately turns into an unlikely bond of friendship that grows out of forgiveness and redemption.

If you are a fan of inspirational contemporary women's fiction, then Sifting Through Mud is a must read!


Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card


1 eBook Copy of Sifting Through Mud

Demetria is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and 1 Free Ebook copy of Sifting Through Mud!

Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate and 1 ecopy of her book.
• This giveaway begins October 6 and ends on November 1.
• Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, November 3
• Winner has 48 hours to reply. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

October 7
Interviewed at Review From Here
Book Featured at Queen of All She Reads

October 9
Book Featured at PUYB Virtual Book Club

October 13
Book Reviewed at Hanging Off the Wire

October 15
Book Featured at Celticlady’s Reviews

October 17
Guest Blogging at I’m Shelf-ish

October 20
Book Reviewed and Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews

October 22
Book Featured at My Life. One Story at a Time

October 23
Interviewed at Read Your Writes

October 24
Book Featured at Confessions of a Reader
Book Featured at Storeybook Reviews

October 27
Guest Blogging at Melina’s Book Blog

October 28
Book Reviewed at All Things Romance

October 29
Book Reviewed at The Phantom Paragrapher

October 30
Interviewed at Literal Exposure

Crisis of Serenity by Denise Moncrief (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Crisis of Serenity by Author Denise Moncrief!

Author Guest Post

Last night, after I had spent a long day with a stubborn geriatric convalescent, I opened my work in progress and began to get back into the story. I hadn’t written anything new all day and I was in some major withdrawal. My fingers itched to tap out more riveting plot. As I sat down and opened my Mac, it smacked me right between the eyes. I still hadn’t decided who my villain was and the obvious choice had literally been right at my fingertips all along. I should have sighed with relief, but I had a big problem. I had written this character too nice. Yeah, that’s right. The villain had too many redeeming character traits. So what’s a writer to do? Of course, I had to go back and scan my manuscript looking for places where I needed to nasty him up. After that, the plot began to shine with the sparkle of suspense that had been lacking.

Don’t get me wrong. I often let my characters get by with murder. Literally. A lot of them have killed at least one person, maybe more. I like to add a little depth to my villains. I love to give them just one redeeming quality so they aren’t so one-dimensional. To make them a little more, you know, human. But this guy? He was just way too nice and understanding and helpful. Something had to give. So you know what I did? I gave him a gun. Yep. That changed him into a detestable SOB pretty fast. Once he had the weapon in his hand, he didn’t hesitate to draw it on my heroine. Ah, did the universe just realign into proper balance? I think it did.

I’m a pantser. I decide where my story begins and where it ends when I start a manuscript. But after that? I fly by the seat of my pants. Or rather sit at my makeshift desk, which is really just my coffee table pushed up close to my sofa. My “office”. Since I quit that horrid day job the living room has become my favorite place to play…um…I mean work. Anyway, I digress.

Here’s my long-winded point… In between the beginning and the end, I allow my characters to develop their own personalities and character as the story progresses. I allow the action of the plot to proceed according to what my characters would do next based on their personalities. The story feeds my characterization. My characterization feeds my story. They feed each other. A symbiotic relationship. So I let my characters get by with a lot, even murder.

Can you imagine how a story could get all janked up if one of the characters isn’t fulfilling his or her proper role? Heroes should be heroes, albeit sometimes a wee tad flawed. Heroines should be heroines, even if they have one or two character flaws they need to work on. I love letting my characters decide how they want to act and who they want to be, but sometimes I have to smack one around and make him (or her) play nasty.

So if you want to read what kind of nasty my villains can get into, check out Crisis of Serenity, a story with several villains written in varying shades of nasty.

About The Author

Want to know a little bit more about Denise Moncrief? She's a Southern girl who has lived in Louisiana all her life, and yes, she has a drawl. She has a wonderful husband and two incredible children, who not only endure her writing moods, but also encourage her to indulge her writing passion. Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys traveling, reading, and scrapbooking.

Accounting is a skill she has learned to earn a little money to support her writing habit. She wrote her first story when she was a teen, seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she had read. She's been writing off and on ever since, and with more than a few full-length manuscripts already completed, she has no desire to slow down.


Book Review

Crisis of Serenity by Denise Moncrief
Book 2: Crisis Series
Publisher: 5 Prince Publishing
Publication Date: July 14, 2014
Format: Paperback - 332 pages
              Kindle - 464 KB
              Nook - 818 KB
ISBN: 978-1631120480
BNID: 2940149736607
Genre: Romantic Suspense

BUY THE BOOK: Crisis of Serenity

BUY THE SERIES: Crisis Series
Book 1: Crisis of Identity
Book 2: Crisis of Serenity
Book 3: Crisis of Security - Publication Date: TBA

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Tess Copeland lives a quiet life in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thanks to the government’s witness protection program, she enjoys the freedom of never having to glance over her shoulder to see if someone is following her. Life has become safe, serene...and boring. Her heart longs for something more than just existing...until a ghost from her past shatters her serenity.

Once upon a time, Tess was caught between the FBI and the men the feds were trying to take down. Jake Coleman is the U.S. Marshal who extracted her from the jam she was in with the FBI, a man she could have fallen for...hard...if she had let herself. It’s been a year since she last saw Jake, and in all the months that have passed, he’s never tried to find her. The longer he keeps his distance, the more she wonders why his absence hurts so much.

When a stranger comes to town searching for her, all of Tess’ old fears are resurrected. Asking Jake for help with her current crisis might lure him into a dangerous trap involving murder, kidnapping, and revenge. When Jake and Tess come face-to-face with the past, they will have to use all their wits to survive.

Book Excerpt:

The late afternoon sun warmed my face as I trudged down the street toward the trolley stop. The atmosphere held the pleasant promise of fall and color. I arrived in Tennessee last year just as the trees were turning gold, crimson, orange, and yellow, a gorgeous autumn. I hadn’t yet had the chance to indulge in a trip into the mountains, something I longed to do, but I didn’t own a car. That’s why I had to bum a ride to work every morning. The trolley didn’t start running until eight, sometimes ten, depending on what time of year it was.

Autumn had turned to a hard winter last year. The necessities of settling into a new life had consumed my waking moments until the first hard freeze. The ground had frozen and so had my heart. That’s when my thoughts had turned toward Trevor again. Snowbound landscapes always reminded me of him. His memory heated my core, and I wished with all my heart he hadn’t left me cold.

I missed him, missed him like crazy. As good as I was at running, he was even better at leaving. The last time was more than I could take, and I’d asked my handler to move me out of Arizona. No, more like begged him to send me somewhere else—anywhere Trevor would have a hard time finding me.

We were no good for each other.

I’d had too many men in my life tell me they cared only to take what they wanted and then leave me with nothing but loneliness and pain. My relationship with Trevor had developed so fast, and I had assumed he was no different than any other man.

I was wrong.

He was different, but his differences were not enough to keep him by my side when he had the urge to indulge in adventure wherever he could find it. He was a private investigator, a bounty hunter, and a solver of mysteries, and he couldn’t be tied to one spot too long. When I first went into witness protection, he stayed three months with me in Tucson and then one night he left without saying goodbye. I ranted and raved, then settled down into being a single, pseudo-mother for Joyce, my sister’s child. When Trevor had showed up at my front door four months later, I let him in, hoping he was back to stay.

I was wrong again.

I pulled my mind back to the present. With the advent of spring, my heart had thawed a bit. Then right before tourist season kicked in, I took the job at Sadie’s. Summer kept me hopping from one Hiker’s Breakfast Plate to the next with no time to dwell on what pained me. Autumn had made an appearance after the last cold snap. My favorite season. This year, the expectation of crisp days and cold nights failed to cheer me. All the vibrancy drained from me when I recalled the police officer at the stoplight and the icy cold stare as his eyes met mine across the roadway. What was Iverson doing here? How had he gotten another job in law enforcement?

I glanced over my shoulder. No one trailed me down the street. At least, I didn’t think so. Was that man staring at me? Did that car slow as it passed? Was there a hint of malice in the air?

My Book Review:

Crisis of Serenity is a fast paced romantic suspense thriller that grabs the reader's attention from the start, and doesn't let go until the last page has been read. Written in the first person narrative, the reader catches up with Tess Copeland as her quiet life in the federal witness protection system in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is turned upside down when her niece is kidnapped, and Tess seeks the help of sexy U.S. Marshall Jake Coleman.

In Crisis of Serenity, the second book of the Crisis Series, author Denise Moncrief weaves another intriguing tale that keeps the reader on their toes as Tess and Jack's story unfolds. The reader was originally introduced to Tess and Jack in Crisis of Identity, the first book of the series, and now in Crisis of Serenity, the author recounts Tess and Jack's complex backstory and smoothly interweaves it with their troubled past that comes back to haunt them with danger lurking around every corner as they search for Tess' kidnapped niece.

Crisis of Serenity is an intense, action packed, and multi-layered story that has enough intrigue, danger, tension, drama, and suspenseful twists and turns that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seat, and guessing what will happen next. And if trying to stay alive while searching for Tess' niece isn't enough, the author throws in an emotional romantic twist between Tess and Jack that jacks up the exciting storyline another notch. This is a riveting story that will take the reader on an exhilarating roller coaster ride, leaving them wanting more!

If you are a fan of thrilling romantic suspense novels, then Crisis of Serenity is the book for you!


Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour 

Tour Schedule:

October 13 – Chick Lit Plus – Review 
October 14 – A Blue Million Books – Q&A & Excerpt
October 15 – What Shall We Blog About Today – Excerpt
October 15 – Chick Lit Club Connect – Guest Post
October 16 – Doorflower – Guest Post
October 17 – Ai Love Books – Review
October 20 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
October 22 – A Cup of Tea and a Big Book – Review, Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
October 23 – Reading in Black and White – Guest Post & Excerpt
October 23 – What’s Beyond Forks – Review, Guest Post Q&A & Excerpt
October 24 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
October 27 – The Book Obsessed Mama – Review & Excerpt
October 27 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Book Blogger Platform by Barb Drozdowich (Book Blast Event / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book blast event for The Book Blogger Platform by Author Barb Drozdowich!

Book Review

The Book Blogger Platform by Barb Drozdowich
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: July 28, 2014
Format: eBook - 126 pages
             Kindle - 1808 KB
Genre: Non Fiction / Reference Guide

BUY THE BOOK: The Book Blogger Platform

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book blast event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

Book Blogging - One of the Best Hobbies in the World!

Join thousands of book bloggers in expressing their joy of reading!

Are you a book blogger or do you want to be one? Are you having trouble handling the technical details of blogging? The Book Blogger Platform can be a "user manual" for your blog! A book written by a book blogger for book bloggers and that answers all your questions!

The Book Blogger Platform covers topics such as:

1. What a book blogger blog needs to contain
2. A step by step guide to manipulating images and videos
3. A description of all the common features hosted by book bloggers
4. A description of the social media aspect to a book blogger platform
5. Being Social - the social aspect of book blogging

If you are tired of always asking other bloggers questions

Let The Book Blogger Platform guide you painlessly. Over 80 color graphics lead you step by step through some of the more difficult technical issues that bloggers face.

Pick up a copy today and approach blogging with confidence!

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1:

Just as all book bloggers are different, their approach to book blogging is also different. Some book bloggers consider themselves primarily book reviewers. Some book bloggers consider themselves primarily promoters of books. Some book bloggers will only post about a book they have read. Some book bloggers will post about any book that belongs to a genre that fits the profile of their blog.

Book bloggers who consider themselves primarily book reviewers make their reviews the main focus of their blog. They often take their self-imposed “job” of reviewing books very seriously. They put hours of work into reading a book and then creating the right combination of words to best describe their thoughts and impressions. It’s a labor of love.

Many book bloggers, such as myself, consider themselves primarily promoters of books. I began my blog posting reviews of books I’d read, and I worked hard to grow my blog’s audience. I am very proud of my blog and the work that goes into it. However, I have a full-time job and a family. I don’t have enough reading hours to review one book a day, so I fill my blog’s days with a mixture of reviews and promotions. I don’t post more than once a day, but I use the platform I have built to promote as many books and authors as I can that fit within my reading taste.

As I mentioned above, some book bloggers will only post about books they have read. They feel that posting about a book is a recommendation of that book and they don’t want to recommend a book they haven’t read.

Have I read all the books that are promoted on my blog? No. I fit into the other camp of book bloggers. I see promoting books, whether through blog tours, reviews, or other promotions, as simply sharing information. I leave it up to my readers to decide whether to read the book or not.

Another area in which people hold strong feelings centers on whether or not to post negative reviews. One camp feels that all book bloggers who review books need to post negative reviews. They feel that having an assortment of positive and negative reviews creates balance. It allows readers to read about what the blogger likes and doesn’t like and why. It is often said that reviewers who only post positive reviews risk having their honesty questioned.

I am of the camp that doesn’t bother to finish a book if I am not enjoying it. I feel no need to talk about a book I didn’t like. I have boxes and boxes of books to be read. My Nook (e-reader) is full of little gems waiting for my attention. Maybe it’s my age, but I don’t soldier on, I move on. I do, however, make it clear in my review policy that I only talk about books that I enjoyed reading.

This topic will come up again later; you do need to give some thought to your philosophy on book blogging. Are you going to only post reviews? Are you only going to promote books you have read? This isn’t necessarily something that will be decided on at the beginning and that you can never change. Many book bloggers change their views as time progresses.

Accompanying your philosophy of blogging is your view of how much of a platform you are going to have. I started my blog to express my thoughts about the books I’d read. It never really occurred to me that other people would read what I had read, let alone comment on it or share it with friends!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with creating a book blog to share your thoughts with friends—old friends as well as new. If, however, you actively seek out blog tour posts and post promotions of author’s books, you should also be actively growing your book blogger platform. If someone is paying to post on your blog via a blog tour, you should be able to share this information with as many people as possible.

Everyone starts out as a baby blogger. Everyone has a different view of what they want their blog to be. There is no right or wrong answer. Every blog should be a reflection of its owner and its owner’s tastes.

I hope to use this book to describe the Book Blogger Platform in its entirety. I hope to give you a lot to think about. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and my blogs every day. My contact links will be listed at the end of this book. I love answering questions and chatting about books!

My Book Review:

In The Book Blogger Platform, author Barb Drozdowich calls upon her own personal book blogging experience to write a very informative and thorough step-by-step guide to creating, maintaining, and enjoying book blogging.

As a book review blogger since June 2010, I wish I had this awesome guide when I began to think about creating a book blog that would share my passion and love for reading with other bookworms. As I read through each chapter of the guide, I found a lot of valuable information, advice and guidance that is very relevant and useful.

In The Book Blogger Platform, the author takes the reader through every stage of creating a book blog that is more than just a hobby, it is a labor of love. From defining who book bloggers are; to creating a blog using the popular sites of Free Word Press and Blogger; to the intricate details of formatting the perfect blog that will capture your passion; to the trials, tribulations, and satisfaction of creating a successful book blog that will generate worldwide book followers; to social media exposure, working with authors and publicists, and virtual book blog tours; this is a nifty reference manual that provides the perfect guidance and advice for the newbie and experienced book blogger!

It doesn't matter if you are a newbie or an experienced book blogger, The Book Blogger Platform is a must have, it will always be a useful reference guide that you can refer back to from time to time!


About The Author

Social Media and Wordpress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught at Universities and Colleges, trained technical personnel in the banking industry and, most recently, used her expertise to help dozens of authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books.


Contest Giveaway

Win A $20 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

Author Barb Drozdowich will be awarding a $20.00 Amazon/B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20.00 Amazon/B&N gift card to a randomly drawn host.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here:

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Virtual Book Blast Tour

Book Blast Tour Schedule:

September 29: Harps Romance Book Review REVIEW
September 30: Sexy Adventures Passionate Tales
October 1: MAD Hoydenish REVIEW
October 1: Lilac Reviews
October 2: Bunny's Review
October 3: The Reading Addict REVIEW
October 6: FictionZeal
October 7: Welcome to My World of Dreams
October 8: Room With Books
October 9: Crazy Four Books REVIEW
October 10: SBM Book Obsession
October 13: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
October 14: Long and Short Reviews
October 15: Unabridged Andra's
October 16: Deal Sharing Aunt
October 17: Jersey Girl Book Reviews REVIEW
October 20: Book 'Em North Carolina
October 21: Straight from the Library
October 22: It's Raining Books
October 23: Bookgirl Knitting REVIEW
October 23: The Cerebral Writer REVIEW
October 24: My Devotional Thoughts REVIEW
October 24: Brooke Blogs REVIEW

Fuzzy Logic by Susan C. Daffron (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Fuzzy Logic by Author Susan C. Daffron!

Author Guest Post

How One Naked Idea Became Fuzzy Logic
By: Susan C. Daffron

People often ask how authors come up with ideas for their books. In the case of my first novel, Chez Stinky, my sister originally came up with the title years ago and the premise that the house was stinky because of the presence of many animals. The story evolved (drastically) from there. But that's what started it. The title cracked me up, and even though every book on writing novels says that you shouldn't include foreign words in your title, I decided to use it. Realistically, the French word chez, which means house, is not completely unknown to most English speakers, particularly if they like eating at French restaurants.

Unlike Chez Stinky, the original germ of an idea for my book Fuzzy Logic came from a real experience. When I was about nine years old, my sister was playing in her room with the neighbor kid. He was probably five at the time. My mom had not done laundry in a while. In a fit of self-reliance and desperate need for clean underwear, I decided I wasn't going to wait any longer and I would do it myself.

The laundry basket was in the closet in my sister's room. I took off all my clothes because I wanted to wash those too and walked into the room to get the rest of the laundry. My sister and the neighbor kid were sitting on the floor playing a board game. They both looked up at me in surprise because I wasn't wearing any clothes. I ran out of the room screaming and specifically tried to avoid seeing the neighbor kid again because I was mortally embarrassed. Experiences like extreme nudity in front of boys seem terribly tragic when you're nine.

When I was casting around for ideas for the second book in my Alpine Grove series of romantic comedies, I remembered that experience because now looking back on it, the whole thing is totally funny. (Things that seem tragic when you're nine sometimes aren't so much when you're older.)

Since I write romantic comedies and not serious stuff, anything that tickles my funny bone is fodder for my books. So my main character, Jan, has a similar naked experience when she's little, but then meets the neighbor kid 20 years later. I thought that it would be even more fun if she meets him at her mother's wedding. And then I threw in a dancing dog too. Because what's not to love about a Samoyed who can do the merengue?

Although I used to worry that I'd never come up ideas, it hasn't been a problem. They are everywhere!

About The Author

Susan Daffron is the author of the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedies, a series of novels that feature residents of the small town of Alpine Grove and their various quirky dogs and cats. She is also an award-winning author of many nonfiction books, including several about pets and animal rescue. She lives in a small town in northern Idaho and shares her life with her husband, two dogs and a cat--the last three, all "rescues." You can read more about her at her website


Book Review

Fuzzy Logic by Susan C. Daffron
Book 2: An Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy Series
Publisher: Magic Fur Press
Publication Date: June 15, 2014
Format: Paperback - 217 pages
             Kindle - 407 KB
ISBN: 978-1610380232
Genre: Romantic Comedy

BUY THE BOOK: Fuzzy Logic

BUY THE SERIES: An Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy
Book 1: Chez Stinky
Book 2: Fuzzy Logic

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Librarian Jan Carpenter likes things just so. Nestled in her tidy little cottage on the outskirts of the small hamlet of Alpine Grove, she enjoys her quiet life with her friendly, rotund black lab, Rosa.

Jan's orderly life is turned upside down when she attends her mother's latest wedding in San Diego. (Number six...or maybe seven, but who's counting?) There, Jan encounters Michael Lawson, the obnoxious neighbor kid from twenty years ago. He's still irritating, but not as annoying as his dog who has a habit of eating...everything. The last thing Jan wants to do is risk heartache on a vacation fling with a smooth-talking serial dater, even if he is sinfully gorgeous and finds her unusual ability to remember obscure facts fascinating.

Amidst wardrobe destruction, canine digestive indiscretions, and episodes of extreme mortification, Jan's desire to avoid drama may put the brakes on her fiery attraction to Michael. But maybe being cautious and responsible isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Book Excerpt:

This is part of the scene where the main character, Jan, is on the plane to San Diego. She explains to the person in the seat next to her why she is taking the trip.

 Ethel tilted her head, causing the ossified bluish curls on her head to shift in an unnatural way. “Why are you going to San Diego?”

Jan sighed a little too loudly. Maybe Ethel wouldn’t notice. “My mother is getting married.”

Ethel straightened in her seat and leaned closer to Jan. “That’s wonderful! I love weddings. Who is the lucky man? What does he do? Are you excited? It’s beautiful to see such an expression of love. Where are they getting married?”

It was apparent that Ethel had not been retrieving breath mints out of her suitcase. Jan replied slowly, “Well, they are getting married on the beach. The man was actually her next-door neighbor many years ago. I knew him when I was growing up.” Jan shrugged. “I don’t know if I’m excited exactly. But it will probably be interesting.”

“Interesting? But weddings are so gorgeous. The flowers! The lovely food! How can you not just adore that?”

Jan twisted in her seat, leaning her back away toward the window. If she were any farther away from Ethel, she’d be outside the plane. Discussing anything related to her mother was never fun. “My mother tends to do things differently, I guess.”

“What do you mean differently? It’s a wedding! There are traditions. People say vows!”

“Well, I think for one thing, there will be a puppet show.”

The woman looked slightly taken aback, but then smiled knowingly. “Oh, is it one of those sex-puppet shows? I’ve never seen that at a wedding. But it could be fun.”

Jan didn’t know what a sex-puppet show was. And she didn’t want to know. She’d seen way too many puppet shows in her lifetime as it was. “No, no, nothing like that. My mother was on local children’s television for a long time. She was the assistant to The Farmer, the kid’s TV show in San Diego. She did the puppet shows with the sock-puppet farm animals.”

“Your mother is the Farm Lady? I loved her. My kids loved her. My grandkids love her in the reruns. Oh my goodness me, I can’t believe I’m sitting next to the daughter of the Farm Lady. This is so exciting! Oh and the Farm Lady is getting married? How wonderful for her! Is she finally marrying the Farmer?”

After so many years, Jan was used to people knowing her mother as the Farm Lady with the sock puppets. And it never failed to embarrass her. Years of being teased at school by other kids making every possible form of revolting farm noise was hard to shake. The pig sounds were to the point that she still couldn’t eat bacon. And what people didn’t know was that the wholesome sweet TV persona was nothing like the real woman, Angie Carpenter. Responsible motherly farm matron, she certainly was not. “Maybe you didn’t hear, but Bob Myers, the Farmer, died a few years ago and the show went off the air. The man my mother is marrying is in the plumbing business.”

Ethel narrowed her eyes and gave Jan a knowing look, “Oh, plumbers make a lot of money. He must be a great catch. How did their love blossom? I’m sure there’s a romantic story there.”

“I don’t know how romantic it is. Like I said, we were neighbors a long time ago, but he was on television, too. They met again recently on a retrospective special that featured stars from old TV shows and commercials. If you saw the ads for the Toilet King years ago, that’s him.”

Ethel clapped her hands together, “My heavens! The Farm Lady is marrying the Toilet King! I can’t wait to tell all my friends. Does he still have purple hair and wear the blue jumpsuit? I just loved those commercials with the swirling and all that.”

“I haven’t seen him in a long time. I live in Alpine Grove now.”

My Book Review:

In Fuzzy Logic, the second book in the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy series, author Susan C. Daffron transports the reader back to Alpine Grove for another lighthearted and entertaining story that is sure to tickle the reader's funny bone.

The story follows the trials and tribulations of Alpine Grove librarian Jan Carpenter as her ordinary quiet life is turned upside down when she unexpectedly encounters Michael Lawson, a rude and obnoxious ex-neighborhood kid from her past, who is now an irritating but attractive man! And if that isn't enough, poor Jan has to also deal with her zany mom, Angie's drama and antics as well! Can Jan let go of her cautious and responsible demeanor, loosen up, and let love walk in the door?

Fuzzy Logic was such a fun read, the author does a wonderful job of weaving an entertaining tale that has a good mixture of comedy, drama, and romance. The reader is easily drawn into the story as they follow the humorous trials and tribulations that Jan encounters in Alpine Grove and San Diego. The lovable characters from the first book, Chez Stinky return along with the motley crew of lovable animals to provide a touch of added comedy to the story with their individual personalities and crazy antics. The reader will easily find themselves laughing out loud as they turn the pages. There are enough interesting twists and turns that will keep the reader's interest throughout the story. When you add in a lighthearted sweet romance; family drama; a quirky cast of friends and townspeople; and a young woman's journey of self-discovery and finding unexpected love, you get a delightful story that will leave you wanting more.

An Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy Series is such a fun romantic comedy series to read, there's nothing better than interweaving a little bit of romance, comedy, and lovable animals within a story that is sure to leave a satisfied smile on the reader's face.


Contest Giveaway

Win A $35 Amazon Gift Card

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Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

September 22 – Karma For Life Chick – Excerpt
September 24 – A Blue Million Books – Guest Post & Excerpt
September 26 – The Little Reading Cabin – Review 
September 30 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
October 2– Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Excerpt
October 7 – Book Suburbia – Excerpt 
October 9 – The World As I See It – Review & Excerpt 
October 13 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review
October 13 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review & Excerpt
October 14 - Reviewsby Molly – Excerpt 
October 15 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Excerpt
October 16 – Two Children and a Migraine – Review
October 16 –Two Children and a Migraine - Guest Post
October 17 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
October 20 – Reading in Black and White – Review & Excerpt
October 20 - Chick Lit Club Connect - Guest Post