Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Guest Post by Vicki Hinze

The story behind Beyond the Misty Shore


Vicki Hinze

Into every life, lemon juice does pour.  If you’re lucky, you learn to love lemonade. I’m lucky. And it’s a good thing because…

I was having a pitcher-full and a truth about life and lemonade settled in:  Loving lemonade is a choice.  I mean, we can’t avoid lemon juice any more than we can avoid challenges. We can fight it, but we are going to lose. Lemon juice will be poured; it’s inevitable. But that doesn’t mean it has to be bitter. We can make a different choice. Sprinkle in a little sugar or Splenda, so to speak, a little water, and we’ve got lemonade, which tastes quite good and, on a hot day, it’s amazingly refreshing.

So I got juiced. I was at this crossroad in my life, debating which way to go, and this lemonade truth kept stealing my attention. I refilled my glass with half-a-pitcher to go, and another thought came to mind.  We have a choice. When life throws us lemons, we can choose to make lemonade, or not. Another thought chased that one:

What if we couldn’t?

What if we didn’t have a choice. Or the choice wasn’t ours to make. We’d be stuck. Literally swimming in lemon juice without lemonade or a solution or resolution in sight!

I didn’t care for the feeling, and it shot holes in my theory that I had at least a little control in my life. Don’t you hate it when that happens?  When your illusions are shattered and as leaky as a sieve?

I more than didn’t like it, I hated it…but I was intrigued. So I thought about it.  Okay, so you have not a pitcher full of lemon juice but a barrel full. You’re already banged up.  (Can anyone get to adulthood in life without getting banged up?  Unlikely.  Rare, even.) So you’re chugging lemon juice from the barrel, eager to drain it and get the nastiness behind you.  You’ve deciphered your problems and have progressed to looking for solutions, and you’re feeling good about that because, while the bad stuff isn’t behind you yet, you’ve made progress.  You’re on your way to getting rid of it.

Only you’re not. You’ve wracked your brain and there just are no solutions. Not even one. Worse, not only have you been robbed of a solution, your choice in what to do has been stolen, too.  Now what?  What do you do?

That was the situation I found myself in that led me to write the Seascape novels, and Beyond the Misty Shore specifically.

Being stuck doesn’t exactly inspire you to be in the most receptive frame of mind. Sunshine is arrogant when you’re grieving, right? But isn’t it true that the worst possible time is always when important things happen? When life-changing things happen?

That’s been true in my life, and so I made it true in TJ MacGregor’s life, too.  He is the hero stuck at Seascape Inn in Beyond the Misty Shore.  Add more lemon juice in the form of Maggie Wright, a woman who loves to hate him, and Miss Hattie, the wise Seascape innkeeper (who seems to know everything about everything but won’t just tell anyone anything because “some things are best learned firsthand”), a colorful cast of local characters, Maine cliffs, and a little otherworldly intervention, and, well, T.J. has his work cut out for him, doesn’t he?

He did, and so did I. But don’t feel too bad for him.  We’ve all tasted the tart of the juice and, you know, sometimes when we’re broken, we have to really hurt to ever get beyond the pain. We have to figure out that we can heal before we do heal.

Eventually, we get it. And when we do, magic happens. We no longer just survive. We truly live.

Like you and me, he’ll figure it out… eventually. So will Maggie.  And what fun to watch without personally sucking lemons!

I’m getting a little misty here. I think I’ll pack a bag and go visit Seascape Inn again . . . just as soon as I finish this glass of lemonade.  Care to join me?

Vicki Hinze’s Seascape Trilogy is on sale through March 1st! Pick up these paranormal romances today!

Whimsy. Serenity. And a Touch of Magic. The Seascape Inn.

Marketing executive Maggie Wright and artist T.J. MacGregor are linked by a mysterious car accident that killed Maggie’s cousin, Carolyn, T.J.’s fiancĂ©e. When Maggie arrives on the Maine coast determined to get answers from T.J., she discovers a tortured man who is bound to the Seascape Inn by supernatural forces.

Despite the tragedy that stands between them, Maggie and T.J. begin to fall in love, seeking answers and a healing spirit they may never achieve.

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Upon a Mystic Tide – Only $1.99!

With their painful divorce looming on the horizon, radio psychologist Bess Cameron and her soon-to-be-ex-husband, John Mystic, meet at Maine’s Seascape Inn to finalize the terms of a property settlement. Bess believes John is in love with someone else, and she’s determined to move on without him. Their marriage appears doomed until the Inn’s matchmaking ghost, Tony, and its irrepressible owner, Miss Hattie, take matters in hand.

 Sometimes you have to leap upon a mystic tide and have faith the sand will shift and an island will appear . . . The second book of bestselling author Vicki Hinze’s Seascape Trilogy brings readers back to the gentle magic of a place where love is always stronger than the fragile boundaries of life.

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Beside a Dreamswept Sea – Just $5.99!

Welcome to the third book of The Seascape Trilogy, three mystical romance-mystery novels by bestselling author Vicki Hinze.

New love isn’t on the agenda for widower Bryce Richards, who comes to the peaceful Seascape Inn with his three children, hoping the ethereal setting will help them recover from the death of their mother. Likewise, fellow inn guest Callie isn’t looking for romance either; she’s recovering from an emotionally abusive marriage.

It will take all the matchmaking skills of innkeeper Hattie Stillman and her ghostly assistant to bring Bryce and Cally together.

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Check out my post tomorrow where I review all three books in the trilogy.

About the Author

Raised in New Orleans, Vicki Hinze began writing before Kindergarten but her journey to writing books included a lot of corporate pitstops. Eventually, she settled in and her first novel landed an array of awards and on the bestseller list. With nearly 40 books published, she's been back many times with awards in multiple genres and appearances on multiple bestseller lists, including USA TODAY. Vicki is recognized by Who's Who in the World as an author and an educator and is best known for chilling suspense, trailblazing, and creating series that genre-blend. Her works include suspense, mystery and romance. Since 1994, this former VP of International Thriller Writers has written heavily about military and military families and in nearly all genres except horror. Hinze is a Floridian married to a former Hurricane Hunter/Special Operations Officer. She constantly pushes the boundaries on existing genres, opening the door for new novel blends.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Unscrupulous by M.E. May

Genre: Adult, Mystery
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I have only read one other book by this author. It was the first book in the series. It isn't that I didn't or don't want to read the others. It has been a matter of having too many commitments. When asked to read and review this book I said yes. It definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat.  

A missing child is every parent's worse nightmare. When five-year-old Maricella goes missing and her mother is found dead, the natural suspect is her father, who has just been released from jail. If this scenario doesn't have your heart pumping then add in a nasty care-taker who you know really can't stand kids, heartless people who are working in trafficking of children for several reasons.  Surround them with people who can be bought at the drop of a hat and you have a worthless group of people to hate.  Now temper all of this with a new child who has recently been kidnapped and place them all in a rural setting with a young boy who has been held captive for five years and you will suddenly find yourself flipping from page to page to see what will happen. 

There was so much going on in this book. You had gang involvement, dirty cops, cop killings, and then one really crazy lady who is so jealous of her detective boyfriend that you just know things are going to really end up twisted.  

I really enjoyed this because I am from Indiana and could identify with so many of the settings in the book. I loved this series and will eventually get to read the books between the first one I read and reviewed and this one. I suggest you read them all. You won't be disappointed.

Other books by M.E. May:

Perfidy (Circle City Mystery, Book 1) – winner of the 2013 Lovey award for Best First Novel
Inconspicuous (Circle City Mystery, Book 2) – nominee for the 2014 Lovey award for Best Suspense novel
Ensconced (Circle City Mystery, Book 3)

Purged (Circle City Mystery, Book 4)

Check out her Website: www.memay-mysteries.com

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Collection of Children's Books

Genre: Children's Picture Books
Source: I received copies to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Zoom Boom the Scarecrow and Friends
Zoom Boom is a scarecrow on a farm. He loves helping everyone and taking care of them. He makes sure they stay safe, especially the crows who are always getting into trouble.

Be Tidy or Not?
I thought this would be a book about how to tidy up your room. I was surprised to find it was about being a friend to those who are different. Dirty Bird is a very clean and tidy bird. Charming is a very dirty and messy bird. Both of these birds are best friends. They look past each other's differences.

Be Careful
Zoom Boom is at it again. This time Careless Carrie the Crow is not paying attention to what she should be doing. He saves her from a car as she is crossing in front of the bus. He keeps her from running out into the street to get a book she dropped and then he saves her when she trips going down the stairs.  Great lessons about how to stay safe.

Fussy Gussy and the Giant Broccoli by Ortal Zerat & Hadas Korb

This book is a creative way to get kids to try vegetables, especially broccoli. Fussy Gussy hated vegetables. His mother tells him a story aout aking, who through a trick of the royal magician, learned to like broccoli.

Lily and the Animal Choir by Ayala Saar
Lily and her friends love to sing and dance. They set off one day to find a choir to join. All of the animals they meet and ask refuse to let them sing with them, saying their choirs are the best A wonderful book to read to see if Lily and her freinds will fina a choir to join.

Sories for Children 9 by Francois Bissonnette
The Musician and the Princess
In a kingdom lived a musician who was loved by all including the animals in the forest. He asked the King's permission to marry his daughter as they were in lovel The king agreed as long as he participated in three tests. Can you guess what the tests were and how well he did?

Alicia and the Unicorn
In the Rickward Kingdom was a princess named Alicia. Her father King Richard would do anyting for her. Her seventh birthday was approaching and she asked her daddy for a unicorn for her birthday present. Will she receive her wish?
I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Yalu and the Puppy Room by Brian T. Yates
When a small puppy is the last of her brothers and sisters left behind in a kennel, she wonders if she will ever find a forever home. She tries her best to stand out. When she finds her forever home, she realizes it is the perfect place for a princess like herself.

Oliver and Jumpy Stories 34-36 by Werner Stejskal

How I Found My Top Hat
This is the story of how Oliver obtained his white top hat. He always wanted to be an elegant hat. One day he passed a hat shop and saw the white top hat. He just had to have it. He worked hard to earn money to buy it. When the time came it was gone. Someone had bought it. Read to find out how he ended up with his beloved hat.
Oliver in the Circus
In this story, the circus comes to town and Oliver tries to join them. You can read about all of the different things he did in the circus and decide for yourself what he did best.
Ship Wreck
A ship is wrecked and sunk during a terrible storm. On board the ship is a treasure, including a tiara the kings daughter is to wear at her wedding.  The President asks Oliver and Jumpy to dive to the wreck to  retrieve the tiara. What kind of danger will they face, and who will help them?

As always these are wonderful stories, so fun to read.

1,2,3 Count With Me by Sybrina Durant
This is a cute counting book full of animals and other charming pictures to help your child learn to count to 10 and back There is a song that goes with it and you can find it here.