About Me

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I am an avid reader, animal lover, devourer of guacamole, storyteller and the author of An Unexpected Obsession, A Dose of Reality, Witch Way, A Coven by Christmas, Love Spells, Summer Solstice (coming soon), Flirting With Death, Flirting With Murder and the rest of the upcoming Assassins Anonymous series. I attended Arizona State University (go Sun Devils!) and make my home in the Valley of the Sun with my husband and three pampered pets. I like to discuss everything funny, sexy, sassy and absurd. But mostly I like to talk about books... and shoes... and outrageously expensive purses... and Chanel sunglasses ...oooh, and anything sparkly... or fluffy! So, come on in and let's chat!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Need Something to Read While Waiting for Flirting with Secrets -- Assassins Anonymous Step Three? Try The Housewife Assassin's Handbook by Josie Brown...

Okay, as an author of humorous assassin stories, I admit when I bought this book I'd hoped it would suck... I'm twisted that way... **said tongue-firmly-in-cheek** But it didn't so I have no option but to recommend :-).

The Housewife Assassin's Handbook by Josie Brown is an entertaining read! I was surprised when I stumbled across this book because I really didn't think there was anything similar to my Assassin's Anonymous series (naive, I know). Fortunately, Josie Brown's character comes at the dilemma from the opposite angle (thank goodness!) -- a housewife who becomes an assassin, not an ex-assassin exiled to suburbia and trying not to kill anyone. Phew - Different, but just as fun.

I love the idea of a housewife trying to keep her secret life, well, a secret. Not easy to do while being a single mom to three, what with keeping up appearances and all! I love the mix of action, romance and reality woven throughout this story. I feel confident that if you're a fan of the AA series, you'll want to read these books, too. I stopped at book one (because I didn't want to subconsciously plagiarize anything), but I have a feeling you will want to read all of them. And since the first in the series is only $0.99, it's a bargain for full-length entertainment! Try it and be sure to let me know what you think!

Description (From Amazon):

Murder, suspense, sex--and some handy household tips.

"Secrets, sex, money and scandal! Josie Brown is truly entertaining reading." -- Jackie Collins


- EVERY DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE WANTS AN ALIAS: Donna Stone has one...and it happens to be government-sanctioned.
- BUT DONNA EARNED IT THE HARD WAY: Her husband was killed the day she delivered their third child.
- TO AVENGE HER HUSBAND'S MURDER: Donna leads a secret life: as an assassin.
- BUT ESPIONAGE MAKES FOR STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: And brings new meaning to that old adage, "Honey, I'm home..."

Also in this series:

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

**UPDATED** LOVE THIS SERIES!!! The J.J. Grave Mysteries by Liliana Hart


Wow! I mean, I really enjoyed this book! Loved the main character, J.J. Graves. Adored the love interests. Got wrapped up in the mystery and thrills...

Plain and simply, Dirty Little Secrets is a fabulous read! I could wax poetic about all the little details, but really, you should just buy it! And quick -- as it is currently only $0.99!!!

Seriously, if you are a fan of mystery, romance, humor and suspense, you will not be disappointed in Dirty Little Secrets. I'm already on to A Dirty Shame, Book 2 in the J.J. Graves series and I can't read fast enough. Love it!!! (Finished! See below.)

Description (From Amazon):

J.J. Graves has seen a lot of dead bodies in her line of work...

She's not only in the mortuary business, but she's also the coroner for King George County, Virginia. When a grisly murder is discovered in the small town of Bloody Mary, it's up to J.J. and her best friend, Detective Jack Lawson, to bring the victim justice.

The murders are piling up...

When a popular mystery writer shows up on J.J.'s doorstep with plans of writing his new book about the Bloody Mary Serial Killer, J.J. has to decide if he might be going above and beyond the call of duty to create the spine tinglers he's so well known for.

Passions are rising...

J.J and Jack discover each victim had a shocking secret, and the very foundation of J.J.'s life is in danger of crumbling when it turns out she’s harboring secrets of her own—secrets that make her a perfect target in a deadly game.

I just finished reading A Dirty Shame, the 2nd book in the J.J. Graves Mystery Series and just had to add it to  this post. Another fantastic read!

Jaye is back, a little worse for wear but getting her life on track. I don't think I can say whether I enjoyed the mystery or the romance better in this book because they work so well together. And, once again, Liliana Hart kept me guessing until the final pages in regard to the true identity of the enemy. Great plot!

My only complaint -- Book 3 isn't out yet! And the cliffhanger is just... mean ;-). Get writing, woman! I need to know ASAP how this is going to play out! What happens next? All I know is book three is on my auto-buy list!!!

Read this series! You won't be disappointed.

Description (From Amazon):

J.J. Graves is back in Bloody Mary, but she's a long way from feeling at home. Between her physical scars from being the target of a murderer and the emotional scars left by her parents, she doesn't know who she can trust. But death doesn't stop for anyone.

The first murder is grisly. The second even more so. And though things are shaky between them, she and her best friend, Jack, have no choice but to join forces and find the killer. Because the life of someone they love dearly hangs in the balance.

Happy Reading!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Looking for a Free Romantic Read That's Actually Good?

I don't read too much romance anymore, but something about the cover of Waking up Married caught my eye. Oh, it might have also been the price - FREE... but probably not. I've pretty much given up on the virtual freebie aisle. The good ones are too far and few between. Waking up Married, on the other hand, was actually a very cute read.

I had my doubts. But a few pages in and I was hooked. Actually, a few pages in, I thought, "No wonder it was free - it's only the first few pages." But I was wrong. Whoever put the ebook edition together made it appear it was nothing more than a sample. Not true. Swipe a few more pages forward and, what do you know, the actual book appears. Yay!

And then I couldn't put it down. The premise is actually kind of eye-rolling -- a handsome, successful guy does a favor for a stranger and the next thing you know, they're married... and he wants it to stay that way. I know, right? But somehow it works. And then some. I really enjoyed these characters. Found them extremely well rounded and likable. A highly recommended read by me -- even if I'd had to pay for it.

Description (From Amazon Product Page):

From USA TODAY bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly comes WAKING UP MARRIED, a free book in Harlequin's brand-new contemporary romance collection—Harlequin KISS.

Her first thought: "Who are you?"

It's the morning after her cousin's bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she's in a stranger's penthouse having woken up with something else as well—a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!

Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible—been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she's gone from first meet to marriage in one night!

Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor's shocking bombshell?

"I don't want a divorce."

~ ~ ~

Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Reviewing the latest by the Queen of Chick-Lit - Notorious Nineteen

Okay, don't get me wrong - I'm a huge fan of the Stephanie Plum books. HUGE! But... I really want something new to happen. Although it does appear Stephanie is leaning toward a life with Joe Morelli, (not my choice, but I'm a rebel) Notorious Nineteen is just another frustrating look at Stephanie fumbling along trying to scare up some cash with petty criminal bounties. If there isn't some movement in the storyline, I may eventually give up as so many of her other reviewers have stated.

Fine. That's a lie. I'm no quitter, but wouldn't it be nice to have an end in sight? Just tell us - how many more books do we have to buy until the end? I always enjoy the stories. They're funny. Comfortable - like catching up with an old friend. But if Stephanie was my friend I would have slapped her silly by now. And, has anyone kept a running total of how many cars she's destroyed? Like I said, I love this series, but having something new happen would probably give me an instant orgasm after nineteen books of foreplay - and that's not even counting the "Between the Numbers" that have come out.

Notorious Nineteen is actually an improvement since the last few. A little more "meat" to the story, in my opinion. And when Twenty whatever comes out, I'll be first in line. But I'm not holding my breath for a resolution...

In conclusion - as ever, I highly recommend Notorious Nineteen. Janet Evanovich always delivers on a nice break from reality. At $12.99 a pop, they're not cheap entertainment if you're a voracious reader, but it's nice to have the collection to fall back on while waiting for the next installment. If you enjoy chick-lit, anything by JE is a solid choice.

Description (from Amazon Product Page):

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don’t just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don’t do what Tiki tells you to do.

After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track down the con man. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.

The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory. . . .

Happy Reading!

*I am not a professional reviewer. The opinions expressed here are my own and given from a reader's perspective.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Magical Mysteries! The Stacy Justice Mysteries by Barbra Annino

I actually read Opal Fire by Barbra Annino over a year ago (you can read my original blog post/review here, but I'll copy/paste below, edited for current pricing, etc., to save you some clicks). I remember enjoying the book very much and don't know why it's taken me so long to get back to the series. Now that I have, I'm anxious to read the rest... even though I have to wait for the fourth one to be released... get writing! I want more ;-)

What a fun, witchy series!!!

~ ~ ~

Original review of Opal Fire:
If you love Cozy Mysteries and Paranormal, you will love this book. Opal Fire is the debut novel in a new series by Barbra Annino and I'm so glad I found it. It has a little bit of all my favorites: Paranormal, Romance, Mystery,  the humor of Chick-Lit, and, of course, WITCHES. Another great addition to my witchy library.

Opal Fire is currently $4.99 on Amazon. Have fun!

Description: (from Amazon's product page)
Stacy Justice is just your average green-eyed, redheaded, twenty-something witch who would rather focus on her job as a reporter than practice the crazy magic her grandmother and great-aunts are into. She’s perfectly content to spend her free time hanging with her cop boyfriend and her gassy Great Dane and helping her cousin Cinnamon run the Black Opal bar. But when the Opal goes up in flames, Stacy may need that magic after all.

The blaze was arson—and Cinnamon is the prime suspect. Determined to clear her cousin’s name, Stacy digs deep into the crime and makes a shocking discovery amid the rubble. It’s clear someone wants her dead—and she’ll have to dodge everything from angry motorists to exploding chickens to survive. It’s time to dust off her so-called magic skills. But will they be there when she needs them?

With its strong, sexy heroine and her razor-sharp wit, and its collection of eccentric small-town characters, Opal Fire introduces a bewitching new mystery series.

~ ~ ~

Bloodstone is book 2 in The Stacy Justice Mysteries series and I loved it! Some of the highlights: Ivy - I absolutely adored her spunk and the journal entries were HILARIOUS (especially her ever-changing signature line). Thor - who wouldn't love Thor though - he's awesome! The Geraghty Girls - especially Lolly... having to ply her with liquor to get her to function somewhat normally? Fantastic!

What could I live without? Some of the history was a bit tedious and kind of dumped all at once. Pet peeve? No, but I'm trying to be impartial here, so I don't get accused of being a sock puppet ;-) - I had to come up with something I didn't love!

Bottom line: Read it! You won't be disappointed!

Description: (from Amazon's product page)

All Stacy Justice wants to do is recover from the bizarre couple of weeks she’s had—a whirlwind kicked off by the arson attack on her cousin’s bar, the Black Opal. But just when life should be settling down, a fourteen-year-old girl named Ivy appears on Stacy’s doorstep, claiming to be her sister. Ivy says their mother’s life is in danger and insists that the family’s magic is crucial to saving her. Sure, Ivy has Stacy’s fiery red hair and green eyes—but is she really her sister? And can the secretive teen be trusted with magic?

Then a man is found dead at Stacy’s grandmother’s bed-and-breakfast, and she has no choice but to see where Ivy’s story leads. Strange warnings appear at every turn, including the disappearance of the family’s Blessed Book, and it seems someone is out to kill Stacy—again.

Picking up where Opal Fire left off, the second book in the spellbinding Stacy Justice series dazzles with even more magic, mystery, and mayhem—revealing the dark secrets of the Geraghty clan.

~ ~ ~

Now we're almost up-to-date. The final book of the series so far is Tiger's Eye. I really enjoyed the twists in this book. Never saw them coming and yet, when they were revealed I went, "Aha! That makes sense." I'm also glad the spirit animals were continued in Tiger's Eye as they add new life to a theme that is expected - ghosts. And the introduction to "mini Thor" was a fun and interesting twist. I highly recommend this book and the others that come before. 

Great job!

Description: (from Amazon's product page)

Stacy Justice is looking forward to a lazy summer of hot dogs and beer; swims in the lake with her Great Dane, Thor; and hanging with her rekindled old flame, Chance. But when she gets a creepy anonymous call hinting that her father’s “accidental” death fourteen years ago was actually a murder, she’s too unsettled to relax. Stacy has blamed herself for his death all along—in fact, it’s the reason she’s fought so hard against being a witch. But who’d want to kill an innocent small-time newspaperman?

That’s the question on Stacy’s mind when she casts a spell that goes horribly wrong. And between the white tiger that keeps appearing out of thin air, the body in the lake, the feisty razor-toothed Chihuahua, and the gun-toting maniac, she suddenly has her hands full once again. But solving the mystery of her father’s death is Stacy’s number-one priority…and avenging it, if necessary, is a very close second.

Continuing the thrilling Stacy Justice saga, Tiger’s Eye drives the reluctant witch deeper into the mysteries of her family’s past…and the darker regions of her soul.

~ ~ ~

The wrap-up: The Stacy Justice Mysteries are an auto-buy for me. While the price has gone up since the debut of the first novel (which I'm only mentioning because I'm sure a few of you will notice, as I did), it is still less than I would have been paying when bookstores and grocery store checkout aisles were my only options for the latest reads. 

**Tiny side rant** In fact, I may be digressing here, but even though I'm thrilled to find a great book in the freebie section or even one priced at $0.99, there is simply too much sludge at those prices to risk wasting my time. **End of rant**

If you're up for a series with hours of entertainment at a great price, don't hesitate to pick up this series. I, for one, am anxiously awaiting book four and you will be too. Pinky-swear.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fun Read - A Fine How-De-Do by Lisa Scott

Light and fun, A Fine How-De-Do by Lisa Scott is a great beginning to the new Willowdale Romance Short Stories collection! Perfect for those of us who crave a great story, but don't have much time in our busy schedules for a full-length novel. If a quick shot of romance is what you're after... read Lisa Scott!

Amazon Book Description:

It’s been a bad month for Tonya Garcia. After her beloved nonna died, her boyfriend's only sympathy involved big plans for spending her inheritance. What was she doing with that skinny-legged jerk, anyway? Now that he’s out of the picture, Tonya needs a new start and with the help of a dartboard decides Willowdale, North Carolina is the place.

The move from the Big Apple to this hole in the wall isn’t as easy as she figured, though. On her first day in the tiny town, she gets a speeding ticket from a hot cop and a warning from the locals not to open a new beauty salon like she’d planned. The only saving grace is the chicken and biscuits at The Jelly Jar diner, a new friend desperate for a decent 'do, and the police chief who might be interested in her for all the wrong reasons.

Can Tonya find new love and a new life? Or was her ex right—that she’ll be running back to him in New York?

This is the first short story in the Willowdale Romance series. Try short story #2, "A Little Hanky-Panky," and #3, "A Perfect Setup." Lisa's first novel in the series, No Foolin', is now available.

I really enjoyed this book and wouldn't hesitate to recommend A Fine How-De-Do, or anything else Lisa Scott writes, to romance readers everywhere. Besides, at $0.99 how can you pass it up?

Happy Reading!