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.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tax Cut by Michele Lynn Seigfried (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 Tax Cut by Author Michele Lynn Seigfried!

Author Guest Post

A Tour of the Shore
By: Author Michele Lynn Seigfried

Have you ever wondered why it is that so many Jerseyans (including myself) are so obsessed with the Jersey shore? (And I don’t mean the TV show either!). I mean, you can certainly go to any beach anywhere and soak up the sun. What is it that makes Jersey so special?

While I can’t do the Jersey shore justice in only one guest post, I’m certainly going to try to give you a little overview of the myriad of places to go, things there are to see, and fun waiting to be had a place that’s my home away from home.

New Jersey has over 120 miles of ocean frontage, which means fun in the sun for the hundreds of thousands of people. Whether you visit Spring Lake’s quiet beaches, take a dinner cruise in Brielle, hop on a fishing charter in Belmar, or admire the not-so-normal palm trees while eating at a trendy restaurant in Long Branch, you are guaranteed a good time. If you can go for a day trip or a long vacation, you won’t be disappointed in all that New Jersey has to offer. Kayaking, renting wave runners, sightseeing, surfing, gambling, parasailing, biking, shopping, eating, fishing, crabbing, and soaking up the sun just to mention a few. And here are a few more of my favorite places:

Point Pleasant is a wonderful place for families by day and party animals by night. Its small boardwalk provides just enough entertainment for the little ones. Games, rides, arcades, shops and restaurants decorate the one-mile long boardwalk area. On one end is also Jenkinson’s Aquarium, which is a fun thing to do for adults and children alike. While there are plenty of eateries in Point Pleasant, my favorite restaurants sit bayside—Jack Baker’s restaurants. There’s something about dining while watching the boats go by and eating fresh seafood that is relaxing.

Cape May is to the far south of Jersey and is a favorite destination for a week-long trip for many. Victorian-style homes speckle the area for a different kind of sightseeing. The bay beaches are great for young children, as the currents and waves aren’t so strong. The dolphins take morning and evening swims up and down the coastline. The Cape May Lewes Ferry will take you on a scenic ride to tax free shopping in Delaware as well as some of the Delaware beach attractions. There is a very large zoo in Cape May (wear comfortable shoes) and lots of places to shop and eat. My favorite thing to do in Cape May is visit the five wineries in the vicinity for tastings and to take home a few bottles to enjoy.

Speaking of Ferry boats, the Seastreak in Altantic Highlands offers a variety of fun to its travelers. Its large size provides a bar and both indoor and outdoor seating. They offer service to New York City for shopping/sightseeing and to Yankees’ games, which is much easier than driving and public transportation. They also provide excursions to Martha’s Vineyards, the New York Mets, and Six Flags New England. From New York, the Seastreak will take you to Sandy Hook for a beach day.

Long Beach Island was my favorite destination when I was a teenager. My family rented a house in Surf City when I was young, then later, my cousins lived in a house in Beach Haven Crest. The beaches are small from many years of erosion, but it is a nice place for families. There is a small amusement park—Fantasy Island, shopping, and great restaurants. There are several fun clubs at night for the 21 and up crowd. The Barnegat Lighthouse is a great location for fishing and crabbing. Driving along the coastline, you will see beautiful and large beachfront homes with modern architecture in an array of pastel colors.

Atlantic City is most famous for their casinos, but there is so much more to do than just gamble. The outlet stores are vast and numerous and can be seen just past the bridge into the city. There is an IMAX Theatre, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, the Absecon lighthouse, cruise boat tours, a boardwalk with rides, games, and more shops, top-notch restaurants, and an aquarium to name just a few things to do. I’ve gone there at least once a year for the past 20 years, and I have yet to experience everything Atlantic City has to offer.

The Wildwoods are home to the largest carnival-like boardwalk in New Jersey and the widest beaches I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been to fifty or so beaches in my lifetime). The beaches are free, but, you’ll probably spend a lot of money having fun on the boardwalk. There are plenty of games to play, arcades, rides, restaurants and shopping along the boardwalk. Since the boardwalk is so long, you can catch the tram car to take you where you want to go. Johnson’s caramel-like popcorn, boardwalk fries, awesome pizza, cotton candy, salt water taffy, and ice-cream are some of the delicacies found at this and other beach towns in New Jersey. There are speedboat rides and dolphin watching to name a couple of the things I enjoy doing in Wildwood.

Seaside Heights is probably best known for being the setting in MTV’s Jersey Shore series. It also has a carnival-like boardwalk, which sadly, burnt to the ground last year. There are businesses that are rebuilding and reopening regularly. My favorite places in Seaside Height include Kohr Brother’s frozen custard and the Sawmill CafĂ©, known for their giant slices of thin-crust pizza.

Sea Bright is the town where I got married. It is situated between the Atlantic Ocean, the Navesink River and the Shrewsbury River. Located on a narrow island, the three bodies of water obliterated the town during Hurricane Sandy. Sea Bright is coming back strong and is known for its oceanfront beach clubs, good restaurants and pristine beaches. The most beautiful sunsets can be seen over the rivers. I recommend Woody’s and McLoone’s (when it is rebuilt) for great places to eat.

In my novels, Red Tape and Tax Cut, I write about the fictitious towns of Sunshine and Coral Beach, located at the Jersey shore. People often ask me which beaches I’m thinking of when I write. In my mind, Sunshine and Coral Beach are located on a fake barrier island, somewhere between Point Pleasant and Sea Bright, but I mostly picture a condensed version of Long Beach Island in my head when I write.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about my home state and why I love it so much. And I hope you’ll visit here someday if you haven’t already.

About The Author

Michele Lynn Seigfried is an award-winning novelist, children’s book author/illustrator and public speaker who was born and raised in New Jersey. In her mystery novels, she draws from her personal expertise in the area of municipal government, in which she has served for over 16 years in two different municipalities. She holds a B.A. in communication from the College of New Jersey with a minor in art. She obtained the Master Municipal Clerk certification from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 2010. She also holds the Registered Municipal Clerk certification and Certified Municipal Registrar Certifications from the State of New Jersey. In combining her love of writing with art, Michele began writing and illustrating children’s picture books in 2013.


Book Review

Tax Cut by Michele Lynn Seigfried
Book 2: Jersey Shore Mystery Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: January 2, 2014
Format: Paperback - 258 pages
             Kindle - 4067 KB
ISBN: 978-1494215330
Genre: Mystery 


BUY THE SERIES: Jersey Shore Mystery Series
Book 1: Red Tape
Book 2: Tax Cut

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 Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

“I saw him,” she said. “He handed an envelope filled with money to the tooth fairy.”

The ramblings of eighty-nine-year-old woman with dementia. The government employees are used to her regular phone calls and dismiss the crazy old lady; but the new municipal clerk, Chelsey Alton, isn’t so sure the woman is off her rocker. Something’s amiss in the Village of Coral Beach, a small, New Jersey shore town community, and Chelsey’s determined to find out what it is.

The former clerk of Coral Beach, Vinny Buttiglieri was murdered and dead bodies keep popping up all over town. Between being a single mom to a temper tantrum throwing two-year-old, bosses who humiliate her in public, the dead bodies, and a man named Mike Nero that is stalking her, she has her hands quite full!

Chelsey recruits her good friend, Bonnie, a voluptuous woman with an off-color sense of humor, to assist her on a few recon missions. The deeper they dig, the more they put themselves in danger, becoming entangled with sinister mobsters, criminal activity, and government corruption.

Not everything is as it seems. Chelsey thinks she’s doing the right thing, trying to uncover the truth and protect herself at the same time, but can she save herself when she becomes entrenched too deep in this Jersey shore mystery?

Book Excerpt:

It was seven o’clock and I was setting up the boardroom for the meeting, when I saw Nero walk into the room. Coral Beach did not have metal detectors or guards for any of their government meetings, which meant I was momentarily alone with Nero. I rolled my eyes.

“Hello, my love,” he said with stars in his eyes.

I marched right over to him, grabbed him by the ear, and dragged him out of the room, into the hallway with him screaming, “Ow, ow, ow,” all the way there.

“Listen here, you idiot. I can’t stop you from coming to an open public meeting, but if you say anything, and I mean ANYTHING at all to embarrass me any further than you already have, I swear, I will jump over the dais and rip your tongue right out of your mouth. You’ve done enough damage for the short time that I’ve been working here, and I’m not getting fired because of you.”

“I like it when you are angry. You’re so sexy.”

Ugh!” I screamed. “Enough is enough, Nero. The more you talk, the less I like you. Now, go sit down and be quiet!”

“All right, geez, somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.”

“I’m serious, Nero. I’m warning you. No more games. I’m going to file a harassment complaint if you don’t knock it off. And if the police don’t do anything, I will hunt you down at your house and shoot off your little toe.”

“Boy! You’re being mean to me. And I’ve been nothing but nice to you!”

“Oh, puh-lease! You call what you’ve been doing ‘nice’? You are like a tick, sucking the life out of me and I can’t seem to pick you off with my tweezers.”

“I still love you.”


I marched back into the boardroom and continued setting up. The board of trustees arrived, as well as several members of the public and press. Winifred was in her usual attire, which left little to the imagination. If she had bent over during the meeting, we would have witnessed a full moon. Someone needed to remind her she hadn’t been a teenager in many, many, many years.

Marc called the meeting to order and some basic items were voted on. When it was time for public participation, Mike Nero stepped up to the microphone.

“I’ve been living here in Coral Beach,” he said. “Something used to be out of my reach. But now that I’m here, that something is near, and she is sure a peach.”

“I’m not sure I understand what you are saying,” Marc said.

“I’m here to profess my undying love in front of all the public to see, to be documented on record. I’m in love with…”

Oh no, he is not!

My Book Review:

If you are looking for a fast-paced mystery to wile away a lazy summer day, then I have the book for you!

In Tax Cut, the second book in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series, the author transports the reader back to the Jersey Shore to follow Municipal Clerk Chelsey Alton on her latest mystery investigative adventure. Set in the small shore town of Coral Beach, Chelsey takes the reader on a riveting roller coaster ride full of surprising twists and turns as she and best friend Bonnie investigate the murder of her predecessor, Vinny Buttiglieri and other Coral Beach townspeople.

This book has enough humor, mystery, suspense, and romance that easily draws the reader into the story and keeps them guessing until the surprising conclusion. Chelsey's new position in the seaside town gets a tad bit crazy when her amateur sleuthing has her dealing with the mafia, corrupt politicians, crazy townspeople, and even a stalker! As this entertaining action-packed whodunit unfolds, the quirky characters and intriguing storyline will make you laugh, keep you in suspense, and even engage you in trying to solve the mystery along with Chelsea.

I would be remiss if I didn't send out congratulatory props to my fellow Jersey Girl, author Michele Lynn Seigfried.

Tax Cut is a fun mystery to read, and even though it can be a standalone read, I'll have to go back and read Red Tape, the first book in the series since I've become a Chelsey Alton fan!


Contest Giveaway

Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card

Everyone who leaves a comment on the Tax Cut tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases a copy of Tax Cut by July 14 and sends their receipt to will receive 10 bonus entries!

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

June 23 – Tabby’s Tantalizing Reviews – Review & Excerpt 
June 24 – Two Children and a Migraine – Excerpt
June 24 – Two Children and a Migraine – Guest Post
June 24 – Two Children and a Migraine – Review
June 25 – Notes From a Rumbly Cottage – Review
June 30 – The Book Tart – Guest Post & Excerpt
June 30 – Relatively Yours – Guest Post & Excerpt
July 1 – Chick Lit Plus – Novel Spotlight
July 2 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
July 7 – Book Suburbia – Excerpt
July 8 – Traveling With T - Excerpt
July 9 – Ski-Wee’s Book Blog – Review
July 9 – Ski-Wee’s Book Blog – Excerpt
July 10 – Ski-Wee’s Book Blog – Guest Post
July 11 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
July 14 – Little Whimsy Books – Review & Excerpt