Life and Other Neath-Death Experiences, by Camille Pagan (@cnoepagan) #review #TLCbooktours #giveaway

About the book, Life and Other Near-Death Experiences Life and Other Near-Death Experiences


Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (November 1, 2015)

Many a novel has examined a woman’s life as she battles cancer—but perhaps no writer has approached the subject with the disarming charm and sharp wit that Camille Pagán employs in her second book, Life and Other Near-Death Experiences: A Novel (Lake Union; November 1, 2015). Pagán, an award-winning journalist, pits her optimistic heroine against not just a life-threatening disease, but also a host of startling revelations that cause her to question everything she thought she knew about life and love.

When Libby Miller learns that she has a rare form of cancer, she naturally assumes it is the worst news she could possibly get that day—or ever. So when she arrives home and her husband blurts out a startling confession that makes their long and (she thought) happy marriage a sham, Libby is pushed to her breaking point. On an uncharacteristic impulse, she quits her job and heads to a small island in Puerto Rico. Just when Libby thinks nothing else could go wrong, a near-fatal plane crash triggers a new adventure, and she begins to fall in love with Shiloh, a pilot who has his own philosophy on life—and how Libby can best cope with her disease. But that’s only the beginning.

Life and Other Near-Death Experiences is a poignant, uplifting novel that examines just what it is that makes life worth living.

Buy, read, and discuss Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About the author, Camille Pagán Camille Pagan

Camille Pagán’s work has appeared in dozens of publications and on websites including Forbes,Glamour, Men’s HealthParadeO: The Oprah MagazineReal, andWomen’s Health. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children.

Connect with Camille

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts MissMeliss

You wouldn’t think a book that opens with the main character learning she has cancer would be hilarious, and yet Life and Other Near-Death Experiences is one of the most satisfying, funniest, freshest novels I’ve read in a long while.

While I disagreed with Libby’s initial reaction to the news of her cancer, I certainly understood it. As she progressed in her relationship with herself, with her cancer, and with the people she meets when she decides that the status quo isn’t working for her (prompted by her husband’s announcement on the same day she gets her diagnosis) I found myself liking her more and more. She’s smart, and acerbic, and can pass for being strong and confident, but she’s also flawed, and all-too-human.

Her brother Paul, seen mainly via text messages and such, and Shiloh, whom she meets and spends a significant amount of time with in the latter half of the book, form a sort of Greek Chorus (along with her husband) both commenting on her life, and reflecting her choices (and refusal to make choices back at her), and I really liked that construct, whether or not the author intended it to read that way.

Author Pagan (forgive me for not including the accent marks) has an ear for natural-seeming dialogue, and an eye for detail. I loved the way all the different characters had distinct voices and facial expressions, but I also took note of things like the barista who had piercings and dreadlocks.

While the subject would seem grim, Life and Other Near-Death Experiences is not a novel about cancer. It’s a novel about love and life and getting rid of anything that doesn’t improve your life.

Goes well with an ice cold margarita and a plate of ceviche, served surfside.

Giveaway Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

One lucky winner in the US or Canada can win a copy of Life and other Near-Death Experiences.

To enter:  Leave a comment on this entry (include a working email address – only I will see it) telling me about a time that you wanted to escape your life.

You can also find my tweet about this review (I’m @melysse on Twitter) and retweet it (make sure I’m tagged).

Contest is open until 11:59 PM CST on Monday, November 23rd.

Winner will be notified by email (or Twitter), and must provide their mailing address, which will be forwarded to the publicist for fulfillment.

Camille Pagán’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: TLC Book Tours

Monday, November 2nd: Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, November 2nd: Thoughts on This ‘n That

Wednesday, November 4th: BookNAround

Thursday, November 5th: Book Lover

Thursday, November 5th: Spiced Latte Reads

Monday, November 9th: Kritter’s Ramblings

Tuesday, November 10th: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Wednesday, November 11th: FictionZeal

Thursday, November 12th: Just Commonly – review

Thursday, November 12th: Just Commonly – guest post

Monday, November 16th: Books and Bindings

Tuesday, November 17th: Bibliotica

Tuesday, November 17th: Raven Haired Girl

Tuesday, November 17th: Booksie’s Blog

Wednesday, November 18th: Life is Story

Thursday, November 19th: Luxury Reading

Monday, November 23rd: Patricia’s Wisdom

Wednesday, November 25th: 5 Minutes for Books


An Old-Fashioned Christmas, by Ellen Stimson (@ellenstimson) #review #giveaway #TLCbooktours

About the book, An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home An Old-Fashioned Christmas

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Countryman Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2015)

With its snowy streets, pine forests, sleigh rides and woodsmoke curling from the chimneys, Vermont was practically invented for the Christmas postcard. And no one celebrates the season better than Ellen Stimson, author of the best-selling Mud Season, and now the author and home cook behind this cozy new collection of holiday magic.

From warm drinks for the first snowfall to treats for furry friends, from indulgent snacks for carolers to a traditional menu for Christmas day, An Old-Fashioned Christmas will keep you and your loved ones eating, drinking, laughing and baking all through the holiday season.

Anyone who loved Mud Season will remember Stimson’s hilarious and heartwarming stories of life in her small Vermont town—and An Old-Fashioned Christmas brings her trademark touch to holiday memories new and old. Readers will be inspired to begin their own family traditions like the Stimsons’ annual Christmas Adventure, the collection of nostalgic tree ornaments, and of course, the legendary Christmas party attended by friends and family from all over. This is a book you will return to year after year.

A guide to celebrating Christmas in proper Vermont style—from sleigh rides to country stores—rounds out this deeply personal and completely delicious collection. The 98 homey recipes in this book will soon become annual favorites for your family too, including:

Maple Pecan Cookies

Root Beer Pulled Pork

Maple, Fennel, Sausage and Cheddar Meatballs

Chestnut Mousse

“I’ve been a little uneasy about Christmas for a long time and now I shall stop. ‘A festival of debauchery’. I like that idea. A big party. Cut out the stuff you don’t enjoy. And a whole raft of stimulating recipes. And a good snowstorm. Wonderful——Garrison Keillor

Buy, read, and discuss An Old-Fashioned Christmas

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About the author, Ellen Stimson Ellen Stimson

Ellen Stimson is a bread-and-butter homecook…possibly more butter than bread. Her table is usually overflowing with friends, family, and folks who have come just to listen to her stories. Some of those tales made it into her bestselling memoir, Mud Season. She cooks and writes from a farmhouse in Vermont.

Connect with Ellen

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts: MissMeliss

The vast majority of the books I review for TLC Book Tours (and other publicity companies) come to me as digital copies, by my request. I was a quick convert to the joys of Kindle-reading, and love having an entire library in my hands all the time. When I was offered the opportunity to review this book, An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Sweet Traditions from Hearth and Home, however, something in my gut told me to request the hardcover version, and I’m glad I did, because even though I live in North-Central Texas where we had winter on a Thursday last year, we do have a cool and rainy season that would be made so much warmer and cozier with a lot of these recipes. (Coffee Encrusted Skirt Steak is already on the must-try list, as is Curried Cauliflower.)

I was in Mexico when the book finally arrived at my door, and that saddens me only because I didn’t have time to play in the kitchen before writing this review. Like Ellen, the author (I hope it’s okay that I call her Ellen – we’ve never interacted in any way, but I feel a kind of kinship with her) I’m a homecook who doesn’t measure. I call my cooking style Kitchen Improv. For this reason, I was nodding and smiling while reading her notes about the recipes being guides rather than strict rules. Cooking should have room for personal taste and flair, and I love that she acknowledges that.

I also really responded to her stories about her personal traditions – this book is as much memoir as cookbook – and her comment that her ornaments would be among the first things saved from a fire really hit home for me. My own ornaments have been collected, one at a time, throughout my entire life. I’m 45, and have been married almost 21 years, and to this day, my mother says that one of her saddest experiences was the year she packed MY ornaments separate from her own.

My personal response aside, however, this wonderful book is a treasure of recipes and ideas. The book itself manages to evoke Vermont with a sturdy cover with red and white as predominant colors. The pages inside are the glossy paper one expects of high-quality cookbooks, and the photos of both the ornaments and the food are exquisite. The recipes range from main dishes (Winter Suppers) to pastries, from side dishes to savory breads, and while some of them are quite rich hearty, if you use fresh, real ingredients they’re really not unhealthy. (Well, the loaded mashed potatoes are not an everyday food, but…)

The tone of the book is also quite accessible. Ellen Stimson writes in a voice that makes you feel like you’re swapping recipes and stories with your best friend or (depending on your age) a favorite aunt.  I haven’t read her memoir, Mud Season, but you can bet I just added it to my Amazon wishlist (along with one of those French rolling pins that are a solid cylinder rather than a dowel with handles).

If you love winter, the holiday season, family traditions, or just cozy cooking, you will love this book.

Goes well with: homemade sugar-glazed doughnuts (p 254) and freshly brewed coffee.

Giveaway An Old-Fashioned Christmas

One lucky winner in the US or Canada can win a copy of An Old-Fashioned Chistmas: Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home.

To enter:  Leave a comment on this entry (include a working email address – only I will see it) telling me about your favorite ornament or favorite holiday tradition. (It doesn’t have to be Christmas – if you have a Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Yule, or secular winter tradition, tell me about that).

You can also find my tweet about this review (I’m @melysse on Twitter) and retweet it (make sure I’m tagged).

Contest is open until 11:59 PM CST on Tuesday, November 17th.

Winner will be notified by email (or Twitter), and must provide their mailing address, which will be forwarded to the publicist for fulfillment.

Ellen Stimson’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: TLC Book Tours

Monday, November 9th: Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, November 10th: (Never) Homemaker

Wednesday, November 11th: Bibliotica

Thursday, November 12th: Under My Apple Tree

Friday, November 13th: I’d Rather Be at the Beach

Monday, November 16th: I Wish I Lived in a Library

Wednesday, November 18th: Majorly Delicious

Wednesday, November 18th: Open Book Society

Thursday, November 19th: The Things We Read

Monday, November 23rd: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 24th: Time 2 Read

Wednesday, November 25th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Friday, November 27th: Joyfully Retired

Monday, November 30th: Broken Teepee

Wednesday, December 2nd: girlichef

Friday, December 4th: A Chick Who Reads

TBD: Reviews from the Heart

TBD: Full Bellies, Happy Kids

Water on the Moon, by Jean P. Moore (@jean_pmoore) #review #TLCBookTours

About the book,  Water on the Moon Water on the Moon

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: She Writes Press (June 3, 2014)

Acclaimed Debut Novel, Winner of the 2015 Independent Publishers Book Award for Contemporary Fiction

When her husband comes out as gay and an airplane crash inexplicably destroys her home, the mother of teenage twin daughters must rethink everything she knows.

In her debut novel Water on the Moon, Jean P. Moore introduces readers to Lidia Raven, whose life begins taking seemingly endless wrong turns. Lidia and her girls miraculously survive the plane crash that destroys their home and are taken in by Lidia’s friend Polly, a neighbor with a robust collection of first-edition books who lives alone on a sprawling estate.

Struggling to cope with each of these life-changing events, Lidia discovers a connection between herself and Tina Calderara, the pilot who crashed into her home. In the months that follow, Lidia plunges into a mystery that upends every aspect of her life.

Rife with age-old dilemmas, this contemporary novel explores the relationships between mothers and daughters and the trials and triumphs of women’s friendships. As Lidia learns to reconcile her pain with her need to be true to herself and to accept that need in others, she discovers that while life has the power to unhinge her, it also has the power to open her to new ways of being in the world.

Buy, read, and discuss Water on the Moon

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About the author, Jean P. Moore Jean P. Moore

Jean P. Moore began her professional life as an English teacher, later becoming a telecommunications executive.  She and her husband, Steve, and Sly, their black Lab, divide their time between Greenwich, Connecticut and the Berkshires in Massachusetts, where Jean teaches yoga in the summers.

Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals such as upstreetSN ReviewAdannaDistillery, Skirt, Long Island Woman, the Hartford Courant, Greenwich Time, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Water on the Moon was published in June of 2014 and won the 2015 Independent Publishers Book Award for Contemporary Fiction.

Connect with Jean

Website | Blog | Twitter

My Thoughts MissMeliss

While I don’t pay attention to whether or not a book has won awards when I’m in the process of reading it, it was easy to see why Water on the Moon has done so. This novel opened with a bang (literally: a small plane crashes on top of a suburban house), and while the pace isn’t exactly breakneck, the story never plods, but unwinds like miles on a road trip where the scenery is ever-changing and yet, still similar enough to be part of the same region.

Protagonist Lidia and her two daughters, the Ravens, or the Raven girls, are, in many ways just like every other suburban single mother and her children, at least until the afore-mentioned plane crash. She’s divorced, her husband left her for another man three years before, and like their mother, the girls are still angry with their father, and have little contact with them. When their house is destroyed we meet their neighbor Polly, who is really a surrogate mother to Lidia, though estranged from her own daughter. (I would love to have a neighbor like Polly. When I’m older (in my 70s) I want to be Polly, though, I don’t have children to be estranged from.)

I really liked that all of the main characters – Lidia, the girls, Polly, even Harry the FBI agent, and Owen (Lidia’s ex, met mostly via phone calls) were all fully realized, and each one had her (or his) own story arc. So many times children in novels are just accessories, but I’d happily read a novel from either of the girls’ point of view – they’re all that compelling.

As Lidia learns that there was a connection between herself and the pilot of the crashed plane, a woman named Tina, the plot becomes deeper and more intricate. Suddenly, instead of a suburban housewife with a personal disaster, we’re delving into family history, literary history (I love that Byron is part of the plot. Byron is a favorite of mine.), aviation history, and so much more. Lidia’s world, and, indeed her family, both literally and in terms of how she defines family, both expand.

As I said, all of the characters were fully realized, dimensional people. Any of them could live in your neighborhood. What I also loved was the author’s use of language – nothing ever felt too stilted or too slang-y – and her use of detail.  The juxtaposition between Polly’s ancient black CORDED phone and her completely up-to-date computer, for example, was rich and vivid. I felt like I could see, smell, and touch everything.

I also particularly liked the way the title was referenced (and relevant to) the novel as a whole, but I won’t spoil that happy surprise, because it’s a key moment in the story.

Suffice to say, this is no ordinary novel, it’s a breathtaking glimpse at a life that’s just a little bit less ordinary than our own, in a reality that’s ever-so-slightly heightened.

Goes well with hot coffee and apple tarts served on a rambling porch on a crisp fall afternoon. All partakers are wrapped in cozy flannel throws, of course.

Giveaway Water on the Moon

One lucky winner in the U.S. or Canada will be selected to receive a copy of Water on the Moon

To enter: Find my tweet about this review on Twitter, and retweet it (I’m @Melysse), or leave a comment on this post and tell me what figure from history you’re related to. (Not related to any great historical figures? Tell me who you WISH you were related to.)

Contest is open until 11:59 PM CDT on Sunday, October 25st.

Winner will be notified by email (or Twitter), and must provide their mailing address, which will be forwarded to the publicist for fulfillment.

Jean P. Moore’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: TLC Book Tours

Monday, October 19th: Bibliotica

Tuesday, October 20th: Books a la Mode – author guest post

Wednesday, October 21st: Mallory Heart Reviews

Thursday, October 22nd: Kritter’s Ramblings

Monday, October 26th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Tuesday, October 27th: Thoughts from an Evil Overlord

Wednesday, October 28th: Bookmark Lit

Thursday, October 29th: Mallory Heart Reviews – author guest post

Monday, November 2nd: 5 Minutes for Books

Tuesday, November 3rd: Just One More Chapter – author guest post

Wednesday, November 4th: A Bookish Way of Life

Friday, November 6th: Necromancy Never Pays

Monday, November 9th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Tuesday, November 10th: Savvy Verse and Wit

Thursday, November 12th: Kahakai Kitchen

Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters, by Lida Sideris (@lidasideris) #review #giveaway #TLCbooktours

About the book, Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters

• Paperback: 332 pages
• Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc (September 30, 2015)

Watch out Southern California! There’s a new entertainment attorney in town and she’s got game. Only problem is, it’s not the one she should be playing. Corrie Locke belongs behind a desk, not behind a Glock. She should be taking VIP calls, not nosing around a questionable suicide. Instead, she’s hot on the trail of a murderer.

Luckily, she’s the daughter of a late, great private eye and she’s inherited his love of sleuthing…and illegal weaponry. It doesn’t help matters that her gene for caution is a recessive one. Corrie finds herself in the center of a murder case, unearthing suspects in shocking places. With a cold-blooded killer on the loose, Corrie will have to up her game, or die trying.

Buy, read, and discuss Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About the author, Lida Sideris Lida Sideris

Like her heroine, Corrie Locke, Lida Sideris hails from Southern California and worked as an entertainment attorney for a film studio. She has written numerous magazine and newspaper articles, a poem or two and a teleplay. She shares her home with her family and an assortment of dogs and chickens. She was the recipient of the 2014 Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America scholarship for mystery writing. Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters is her first novel.

Connect with Lida

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts MissMeliss

This book, Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters defies typical mystery description. The mystery at the story’s center is both interesting and compelling, but the tone of the novel, the fresh first-person POV, and the specifics of the characters and the events surrounding the solving of said mystery make the novel a roller-coaster ride of hilarity, in a way that’s both reminiscent of, and distinctly different from, Janet Evanovich’s early work.

Heroine Corrie Lock is part classic gumshoe, part ingenue. I love that she broke into her mother’s closet for appropriate work attire – that detail said so much about the character. I also love that she’s just jaded enough that it grounds her, but that there’s still a hint of idealism inside her. She’s engaging and funny, and would probably be fun to hang out with, as long as it wasn’t behind a hedge.

The supporting characters, among them quite a few suntanned men and women in clacky heels (well, it is Southern California) all add to the story, but Veera and Michael were my two favorites in this novel. The former is just the kind of friend/partner in crime every woman needs, while the other – a longtime best friend who is also a bit of a crush – is a good standby. While there were others in the novel who stood out (am I the only reader who wanted to punch Marshall at least once?) it is this pair that made me want to see a sequel, or a series.

I’ve already mentioned that this novel is in first person, from Corrie’s POV. Sustaining first person can be difficult. The challenge to ascribe feelings or motivations to others without truly knowing about them is ever present, but Sideris does an amazing job keeping the tone and the voice consistent while still giving the novel needed dimension. Every character sounds distinctly different, while still belonging (believably) to the same universe.

If you don’t mind a bit of hilarity with your crime-solving, you should check out Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters. It’s a fast-paced read that will keep you entertained from the first page to the last.

Goes well with frozen cheese pizza, doughnuts, and milk.

Giveaway Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters

One lucky winner in the U.S. will be selected to receive a copy of Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters.

To enter: Find my tweet about this review on Twitter, and retweet it (I’m @Melysse), or leave a comment on this post and tell me if you’ve ever ‘borrowed’ clothes from your parent or siblings without permission.

Contest is open until 11:59 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 21st.

Winner will be notified by email (or Twitter), and must provide their mailing address, which will be forwarded to the publicist for fulfillment.

Lida’s Tour Stops TLC Book Tours

Thursday, October 15th: Bibliotica

Monday, October 19th: Joyfully Retired

Tuesday, October 20th: Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, October 20th: Open Book Society

Thursday, October 22nd: From the TBR Pile

Monday, October 26th: The Reading Cove Book Club

Tuesday, October 27th: A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, October 28th: Buried Under Books

Friday, October 30th: Queen of All She Reads

TBD: Ageless Pages Reviews

TBD: Worth Getting in Bed For

The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story, by Megan Chance (@meganschance) #review #giveaway #TLCBookTours

About the book,  The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story The VIsitant: A Venetian Ghost Story

  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 22, 2015)

The shadows of Venice have long inspired writers—from Henry James and Thomas Mann to Daphne DuMaurier and Ian McEwan. Now, its Megan Chance’s turn, as the acclaimed novelist takes readers through the alleys and canals of this ageless and mysterious city in her compelling new book, The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story (Lake Union Publishing; September 22, 2015). Part haunted tale, part love story, part mystery, this riveting historical novel explores the truth behind a terrifying reality, as a young American woman, immersed in a strange foreign culture, encounters a world beyond her wildest imaginings. Buried secrets of a tragic past converge, threatening to destroy not just her hopes of redemption, but her very life.

Set in 1884, The Visitant paints an unforgettable portrait of a decaying city and the secrets that lurk in its dark, crumbling corners. Elena Spira has arrived there to take up the duties of nurse to a young epileptic man who has descended to the depths both physically and psychologically. Samuel Farber wants none of Elena’s help as he wallows in a laudanum-triggered haze of hallucinations. Samuel speaks of visits from a spirit, seemingly wild claims that Elena first rejects as drug-fueled. But, the truth is far more sinister. When Samuel’s best friend and host, Nero Basilio, arrives, Elena finds herself drawn to this charming man as he shows her the hidden delights of Venice. But there are dark forces at play—forces that Elena cannot begin to comprehend. Casa Basilio possesses a tragic history, and a ghost whose presence may be driving Samuel to madness.

Buy, read, and discuss The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About the author, Megan Chance Megan Chance

Megan Chance is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of historical fiction, including Inamorata, Bone River, and City of Ash. Her novels have been chosen for the Borders Original Voices and Book Sense programs. A former television news photographer and graduate of Western Washington University, Chance lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters.

Connect with Megan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts MissMeliss

From the moment I opened this book (well, the file on my Kindle) and joined Elena on her journey, I was hooked on this story. It’s the perfect blend of moody, mouldering castle descriptions, historical thriller, and romance, with just enough of the supernatural to make you kind of glad all the rooms in Casa Basilio are dimly lit, so you can’t tell what’s lurking in the corners.

Elena, the nurse sent to care for a family benefactor’s son, is both strong and feminine. She isn’t afraid to exert her rightful authority, but she also isn’t so impulsive as to leap without looking, and I really liked this about her, because when love finally entered her sphere, it did so in a way I found really organic and believable.

Similarly the characters of Nero and Samuel are both rich and textured. I particularly liked the way author Megan Chance gave the latter epilepsy, and then kept his illness within the context of late nineteenth-century Venice.

Gulia, Zuan, and Madame were all complex and interesting characters as well, and then of course, there’s Laura, who exists as a ghost, a memory, a fever dream, and is absolutely a character in her own right.

Chance’s deft handiwork keeps this novel moody and atmospheric, but the plot never feels slow or plodding. Like the decay creeping over the huge house, the story is nuanced, here poking into one crack, there washing over another. I liked the use of language, not just the specific word choices the author made, but also the fact that Elena doesn’t speak Italian, and has to get by in English (she’s American) or French.  Adding that communication barrier adds to Elena’s isolation and confusion, and enhances the mood for the reader.

Overall, I found this novel rich with description, pouring with plot, and a great psychological exercise. Which is scarier: the kind of ghost that exists as a metaphysical being, or the kind that is conjured by our own unresolved emotions: guilt, grief, loss?

Read The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story to make that determination for yourself.

Goes well with strong cheese, fresh bread, and a hearty bowl of minestrone soup, the latter of which isn’t mentioned in the book, but everything was so dismal and damp that, trust me, it’s in order.

Giveaway The VIsitant: A Venetian Ghost Story

One reader in the US or Canada will win a copy of this book. (Winner notified by email, winner’s name and address to be forwarded to TLC Book Tours, who will, in turn, relay to the publisher, who will provide the copy.)

TO ENTER: Leave a comment answering this question: Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not? Alternatively, you can tweet about this review, just make sure you tag me (@Melysse) when you do.

Contest open until 11:59 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 14, 2015.

Megan Chance’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: TLC Book Tours

Monday, September 21st: Bookish Whimsy

Tuesday, September 22nd: FictionZeal

Tuesday, September 22nd: Bibliophilia, Please

Wednesday, September 23rd: 100 Pages a Day…Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Thursday, September 24th: Kissin’ Blue Karen

Friday, September 25th: Walking with Nora

Monday, September 28th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Tuesday, September 29th: Savvy Verse and Wit

Wednesday, September 30th: Vox Libris

Monday, October 5th: Kahakai Kitchen

Tuesday, October 6th: A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, October 7th: Mom in Love with Fiction

Thursday, October 8th: Bibliotica

Friday, October 9th: Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, October 12th: It’s a Mad Mad World

Tuesday, October 13th: From the TBR Pile

Wednesday, October 14th: Books a la Mode – author guest post

Thursday, October 15th: Mom’s Small Victories

Date TBD: Romantic Historical Reviews

Starlight on Willow Lake, by Susan Wiggs (@susanwiggs) #review #TLCBookTours #giveaway

About the book, Starlight on Willow Lake Starlight on Willow Lake

Hardcover: 384 pages

Publisher: Mira (August 25, 2015)

Join #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs on a journey to a charming Catskills town that feels like home and where a cast of brilliantly drawn characters awaits in a poignant story of reconciliation and the healing power of love.

When caregiver Faith McCallum arrives at the enchanted lakeside estate of Avalon’s renowned Bellamy family, she’s intent on rebuilding her shattered life and giving her two daughters a chance at a better future. But she faces a formidable challenge in the form of her stubborn and difficult new employer, Alice Bellamy. While Faith proves a worthy match for her sharp-tongued client, she often finds herself at a loss for words in the presence of Mason Bellamy—Alice’s charismatic son, who clearly longs to escape the family mansion and return to his fast-paced, exciting life in Manhattan…and his beautiful, jet-setting fiancée.

The last place Mason wants to be is a remote town in the Catskills, far from his life in the city, and Faith McCallum is supposed to be the key to his escape. Hiring the gentle-hearted yet strong-willed caregiver as a live-in nurse gives his mother companionship and Mason the freedom to return to his no-attachments routine. For Faith, it means stability for her daughters and a much-needed new home. When Faith makes a chilling discovery about Alice’s accident, Mason is forced to reconsider his desire to keep everyone, including his mother, at a distance. Now he finds himself wondering if the supercharged life he’s created for himself is what he truly wants…and whether exploring his past might lead to a new life—and lasting love—on the tranquil shores of Willow Lake.

Buy, read and discuss Starlight on Willow Lake

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About the author, Susan Wiggs Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs is the author of many beloved bestsellers, including the popular Lakeshore Chronicles series. She has won many awards for her work, including a RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America.

Connect with Susan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts MissMeliss

Knowing that this was from Mira, one of the many divisions of Harlequin, I was a little bit worried that Starlight on Willow Lake would be overly romantic. What a delightful surprise to find that it was, instead, about the just-as-strong love that exists between family members, with just a soupçon of romance for flavor.

Having been previously unfamiliar with author Susan Wiggs’s Lakeshore Chronicles, I was also a bit wary about jumping into an established series, not at the beginning. This concern proved to be unfounded, as each book is written to be enjoyed either as a stand-alone novel or as part of the greater whole. (I like this recent trend in contemporary fiction, of creating towns or using established cities and placing a string of novels there. It means less worldbuilding because oh, hey, that cafe/bar/beach already exists, and more focus on plot and character. As well, it means you have a sense of familiarity as you explore an author’s entire collection, as I tend to do.)

As much as I really liked Faith, as a mother, as a professional caregiver, and just as a person, I felt that the novel was really more Mason’s story in a lot of ways – his instinctive pushing people away to protect both himself and them, and his growth as he learns that pulling people closer is a much healthier response most of the time. I enjoyed his relationship with his siblings, with Alice, his mother, and with Faith, though I felt his fiancée was a bit more of a plot device than a fully fledged person.

Aside from the fiancée (see, I don’t even remember her name; I’m horrible), I thought all of the characters were incredibly well drawn, and felt like people you might encounter in a lakeside community in the Catskills, or in any other small town.

Author Wiggs also crafted a plot that was well-paced and truly interesting to read. Capturing the different nuances of all these different, interconnected relationships, not the least Faith and Alice as well as Faith and Mason, was done with great delicacy and precision. It’s easy to see why her work is so popular: it deserves to be.

If you’re looking for a traditional romance, this is not the novel for you.

If, however, you want to spend time getting to know some really compelling characters, and learning their stories, you should run, not walk, to your favorite bookstore (or bookstore’s website) and buy a copy today.

Goes well with fresh-caught trout, grilled to perfection, a baked potato, and a glass of chilled chardonnay.

Want a copy of Starlight on Willow Lake for your very own?

One lucky reader from the United States or Canada will win a copy. To be a contender, leave a comment on this post and/or retweet the twitter post I make about this review (with the link intact), by 11:59 pm CDT on Wednesday, September 23rd. Be sure to use a working email address if you comment.

Winners will be contacted by email before being publically announced. If your name is selected (I use a highly scientific method that involves one of my dogs pulling pieces of paper from a basket), your name and mailing address will be forwarded to TLC Book Tours, who will, in turn, forward it to the publisher’s representative who will fulfill your prize claim. This will not happen until the tour is complete, and it may take several weeks for the book to arrive.

Review tour for STARLIGHT ON WILLOW LAKE: TLC Book Tours

Monday, August 24th: Book Reviews & More by Kathy

Tuesday, August 25th: The Sassy Bookster

Wednesday, August 26th: Romancing the Book

Friday, August 28th: The Bookish and The Romantic

Monday, August 31st: Raven Haired Girl

Tuesday, September 1st: The Sassy Bookster – author guest post

Tuesday, September 1st: Books and Spoons

Tuesday, September 1st: Written Love Reviews

Thursday, September 3rd: Kritter’s Ramblings

Friday, September 4th: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Friday, September 4th: From the TBR Pile

Monday, September 7th: A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, September 8th: Bookchickdi

Wednesday, September 9th: Mignon Mykel Reviews

Thursday, September 10th: Mom in Love with Fiction

Thursday, September 10th: Luxury Reading

Friday, September 11th: Not In Jersey

Monday, September 14th: Book Babe

Wednesday, September 16th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books

Thursday, September 17th: Bibliotica

Friday, September 18th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

TBD: Urban Girl Reader

TBD: Books a la Mode – author guest post

TBD: Booked on a Feeling


Godiva’s Ancient History, a Guest Post from Eliza Redgold (@elizaredgold) #giveaway @hfvbt

Naked Blog Tour

Godiva’s Ancient History: Pagan goddess or Christian saint?

This blog post comes to us from Eliza Redgold, author, academic and unashamed romantic. Her new novel Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva was released by St Martin’s Press in July.

After dinner, the gleeman took up his usual place in front of the fire. For the first time since the festival of Easter we had supped on hare stew. Many of my people, Aine included, still celebrated the Christian feast as well as honoring Eostre, our goddess of Spring. Since hares were sacred to Eostre they would not eat them until after her feast day.

Quote from NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva

Eliza Redgold at

How old is the legend of Lady Godiva? The tale of her famous naked ride is over a thousand years old. So the story goes, Godiva of Coventry begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. He demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town.

Lady Godiva (or Countess Godgyfu, in the Anglo-Saxon version of her name) was a real person who lived in 11th century Anglo-Saxon England. Yet her myth goes even further back in time.

There are many ancient stories linked to Godiva. Her tale is connected to Greek and Celtic myths and sacred, semi-clad female processions. The Teutonic goddess Hertha made a procession through the woods after her ritual bath, while in Greek legend there is the secret woodland bathing of the goddess of the hunt, Diana. Godiva’s ride may well have descended from one of these rites.

In another version, Godiva’s ride is not a procession, but a love-chase. In this story, Leofric sets his wife a riddle to test her. She must come to him neither being clothed or unclothed, without a foot touching the ground. Cleverly, Godiva rides rather than walks and covers her naked body with a golden net of her hair. In some tellings of this love chase, Godiva is accompanied by a hare – connecting her to the Celtic goddess of Spirng, Eostre. She also strongly resembles another spring goddess who took a woodland May-Day procession to summon the new season. Her name? The goddess Goda.

Like many pagan myths, such stories were absorbed into Christianity. In the Middle Ages Goda’s tale became connected with the real and genuinely philanthropic Countess Godgyfu and the old pagan love-chase became a Christian procession celebrating her piety. Godiva’s story has also been Biblically linked to that of Mary Magdalene, twisted with her long hair and the idea of a ride made in repentance of sin. Even more powerfully are threads of Godiva’s ride interwoven with the tale of third century martyr, St Agnes. The beautiful Agnes was forced to walk naked through the town as a punishment for refusing to give up her faith. Agnes’s hair miraculously grew long enough to cover her, and such a bright angelic light surrounded her that no man could see her.

Godiva’s story has come down to us through the ages in a mix of fact, folk-lore and legend. Some call her a goddess, some call her a saint. All we know for certain is that her extraordinary story continues to catch us in the net of her long, golden hair.

About the book, Naked: a Novel of Lady Godiva Naked, a Novel of Lady Godiva

Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 320

Genre: Historical Fiction

We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.

Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.

Buy, read, and discuss Naked: a Novel of Lady Godiva


About the author, Eliza Redgold Eliza Redgold

ELIZA REDGOLD is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. As a non-fiction author she is co-author of Body Talk: a Power Guide for Girls and Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.

Connect with Eliza

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Monday, August 10
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, August 11
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 12
Guest Post at The Maiden’s Court
Spotlight at A Book Geek

Thursday, August 13
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Friday, August 14
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Saturday, August 15
Guest Post at Mina’s Bookshelf

Monday, August 17
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, August 18
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, August 19
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, August 20
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Friday, August 21
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, August 24
Review at I’m Shelf-ish
Review at Please Pass the Books
Guest Post at Bibliotica

Tuesday, August 25
Review at A Fold in the Spine
Review & Interview at History Undressed
Guest Post at Curling Up By the Fire

Wednesday, August 26
Review at Bookish
Spotlight at The True Book Addict

Thursday, August 27
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review & Guest Post at Romantic Historical Reviews
Guest Post at The Lit Bitch

Friday, August 28
Review at A Book Drunkard
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview at Let Them Read Books



To enter to win a copy of Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva or a $50 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below. Three winners will be chosen.


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva Blog Tour

The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach, by Pam Jenoff (@PamJenoff) #review #giveaway @TLCBookTours

About The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mira (July 28, 2015)

Adelia Montforte begins the summer of 1941 aboard a crowded ship bound for America, utterly alone yet free of Fascist Italy. Whisked away to the seaside by her well-meaning aunt and uncle, she slowly begins to adapt to her new life. That summer, she basks in the noisy affection of the boisterous Irish-Catholic boys next door, and although she adores all four of the Connally brothers, it’s the eldest, Charlie, she pines for. But all hopes for a future together are throttled by the creep of war and a tragedy that hits much closer to home.

Needing to distance herself from grief, Addie flees – first to Washington and then London, where the bombs still scream by night – and finds a passion at a prestigious newspaper. More so, she finds a purpose. A voice. And perhaps even a chance to redeem lost time, lost family – and lost love. But the past, never far behind, nips at her heels, demanding to be reckoned with. And in a final, fateful choice, Addie discovers that the way home may be a path she never suspected.

Buy, read, and discuss The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Goodreads

About the author, Pam Jenoff Pam Jenoff

Pam Jenoff is the Quill-nominated internationally bestselling author of The Kommadant’s Girl. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a master’s degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania. Jenoff’s novels are based on her experiences working at the Pentagon and also as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland. She lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.

Connect with Pam

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts MissMeliss

I started reading this book late on a Saturday evening, and had weird dreams that night because I stopped at a particularly poignant scene. I spent the following Sunday immersed in the book, barely coming out of it to eat or give attention to my dogs.

First, I was hooked because I was practically born at the Jersey Shore, where the summer parts of this novel take place, and second, I was hooked because Adelia – Addie – is an Italian Jew, which isn’t something you see a lot in literature. We tend to think of all Jewish refugees as coming from Germany, Russia, and Poland, and forget that Hitler’s regime affected all of Europe.

History aside, I was soon drawn into Addie’s story, and her blend of intelligence and innocence. I really liked the way she began as a naif and ended up a strong woman, largely by her own making, but with the support of others, and while this was absolutely a period piece, and her choices were very much dictated by the constraints of the day, I feel this story would translate equally well to a contemporary setting because it tackles universal themes: growing up, coming of age, the endless battle between head and heart, and the choices we all must make between career and family.

I wasn’t ever in love with the character of Charlie – he seemed just a little weak to me at times, but dark and broody Liam intrigued me from the first. I love the way this boisterous Irish-American family of mostly boys took this Italian-American girl into their hearts, and made her, at times, a friend, a sister, a confidante, etc.

Overall, I found that the language the author used lent the book a lyrical quality reminiscent of my own childhood summers at the shore, where memories are veiled in gauze and you never get too close a look at them. I thought the story was well plotted, with some frustrating plot twists that paid off in the end, and well paced. Some of the descriptions were so cinematic that, at times, I felt like I was reading a Hallmark Channel movie (or maybe Merchant Ivory, but more likely the former). Someone buy the rights to this novel and film it, please?

If you want a summer read that has just enough meat to keep you satisfied, but isn’t so heavy you feel like drowning yourself, The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach would be a perfect fit.

Goes well with ham and cheese sandwiches (even though they’re not kosher) wrapped in waxed paper, deviled eggs, and slices of watermelon.

Giveaway Giveaway: The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach

One reader (must live in US or Canada) will win a copy of the book The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach, and a limited edition beach bag (no beach required). To enter: Comment on this post telling me about a summer romance you had.  Generic comments will be discarded. Alternative entry: Find my tweet about this book review in my feed (@melysse) and retweet it, making sure to let me know.

Entries close at 11:59 PM US Central time on Tuesday, August 11th. Winner will be notified by email (or twitter) before being announced on this blog. Winner’s name and mailing address will be forwarded to the publicist for this author for fulfillment.

One entry and one tweet per person will be counted.

Pam Jenoff’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:TLC Book Tours

Monday, July 27th: Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, July 28th: Raven Haired Girl – review and guest post

Tuesday, July 28th: The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, July 29th: Bewitched Bookworms – excerpt #1

Thursday, July 30th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – excerpt #2

Saturday, August 1st: Romantic Historical Reviews – excerpt #3

Monday, August 3rd: Just One More Chapter

Monday, August 3rd: Books a la Mode – author guest post

Tuesday, August 4th: The Romance Dish

Wednesday, August 5th: Bibliotica

Thursday, August 6th: Mom in Love with Fiction

Monday, August 10th: Read Love Blog – author guest post

Tuesday, August 11th: West Metro Mommy Reads

Wednesday, August 12th: Let Them Read Books – Q&A or guest post

Friday, August 14th: Written Love Reviews

Monday, August 17th: A Chick Who Reads

Monday, August 17th: Luxury Reading – guest post

Tuesday, August 18th: A Novel Review

Wednesday, August 19th: Savvy Verse and Wit

Thursday, August 20th: A Literary Vacation

Friday, August 21st: Kritter’s Ramblings – Review and Q&A

Monday, August 24th: One Curvy Blogger

Tuesday, August 25th: The Reading Date

Wednesday, August 26th: Time 2 Read

Thursday, August 27th: Life is Story

Friday, August 28th: Bookshelf Fantasies

TBD: Lavish Bookshelf


Clownfellas: Tales of the Bozo Family, by Carlton Mellick III (@carltonmellick3) #review @tlcbooktours #giveaway

About the book Clownfellas: Tales of the Bozo Family Clownfellas

  • Publisher: Hydra (July 14, 2015)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC

“Carlton Mellick III goes past silly, through weird, detours around dumb, blasts through bizarre, and gets to a place where the normal physics of narrative no longer apply. You will never be the same.”—Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Homeland

In a topsy-turvy world where clowns are killers and crooks, Little Bigtop is a three-ring circus of crime, and no syndicate is more dangerous than the Bozo family. From the wildly original mind of Carlton Mellick III comes the short-story collection ClownFellas—an epic mob saga where life is cheap and the gags will slay you.

For years, the hard-boiled capos of the Bozo family have run all of the funny business in Little Bigtop, from the clown brothels to the illegal comedy trade. But hard times have befallen the Bozos now that Le Mystère, the French clown Mafia, has started moving in and trying to take over the city. If that weren’t enough, they’ve got to deal with the cops, the Feds, the snitches, the carnies, the mysterious hit man Mr. Pogo, and the mutant clowns over in the Sideshow district. With the odds stacked against them, the Bozos must fight to survive . . . or die laughing.

Buy, read, and discuss Clownfellas: Tales of the Bozo Family

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million  | Goodreads

About the author, Carlton Mellick III Carlton Mellick III

Carlton Mellick III is an oafish gentleman with the stylishest of sideburns. He is one of the leading authors in the bizarro fiction genre—a booming underground movement that strives to bring weird, crazy, entertaining literature to the masses. Imagine a mixture of David Lynch, Dr. Seuss, South Park, and Troma movies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Connect with Carlton


My Thoughts MissMeliss

Publisher’s Weekly described Clownfellas: Tales of the Bozo Family as “Mario Puzo meets Barnum & Bailey” and that’s about as accurate a description as I can think of. Make no mistake about it, this collection of short stories is hilarious – clowns as gangsters? really?? – but it’s also dark, gritty, and disturbing.

In the world this book inhabits, Clowns are a kind of metahuman mutant, and each faction has different characteristics. The Bozo family is comprised of traditional American-style circus clowns, while other factions include the French Le Mystère (who are not, apparently, mimes, though I wouldn’t have been surprised if they were – a further tale, perhaps?)  and deal with attacks from the Jugglers.

The author, Carlton Mellick III has taken every gangster trope and every clown trope mixed them up and come up with something fresh and fantastic (in all senses of the word). In one story a coulrophobic (coulrophobia is fear of clowns) veterinarian is dragged to Little Bigtop to save the life of Don Bozo’s pet lion. In another, a human Associate is resisting the serum injection (Happy Juice) that will turn him from Human to Clown because he’s terrified of becoming a statistic. In the universe of Clownfellas, it seems, one in ten people become Sideshow Freaks instead of true Clowns, and are sent off to fend for themselves in the Sideshow without rights or recognition.

(A part of me wonders if that one-in-ten number was just for convenience, or if it was chosen specifically because that statistic is a popular (if not necessarily accurate) representation of the segment of our population that is LGBT.)

Whether you read it for a deeper cause, or simply enjoy the sendup of every mafia movie you’ve ever seen, this collection of tales is entertaining and thought provoking: what is normal? What constitutes crime? Would we be better off if we really could kill someone with a C4-loaded pie to the face and guns that used lethal BANG! signs instead of conventional bullets? Is it true that all you really need in life is “…a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants…?”

Goes well with popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy, hot dogs, and beer served in a dangerously flimsy plastic cup.

Giveaway Clownfellas

This tour includes a Rafflecopter giveaway for a HYDRA mug and a copy of the book!

<a class=”rcptr” href=”” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”235babe7234″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_du4egdek”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

Carlton Mellick III’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS: TLC Book Tours

Monday, July 13th: For the Love of Fictional Worlds

Wednesday, July 15th:

Wednesday, July 15th: Wildfire Books

Monday, July 20th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Tuesday, July 21st: Wag the Fox – author interview

Thursday, July 23rd: The Qwillery

Friday, July 24th: From the TBR Pile

Monday, July 27th: W. A. R. G. – The Writer’s, Artist’s & Reader’s Guild

Tuesday, July 28th: The Horror Honeys

Wednesday, July 29th: Mallory Heart Reviews

Thursday, July 30th: Bibliotica

Monday, August 3rd: Bewitched Bookworms

Wednesday, August 5th: It’s a Mad Mad World

Friday, August 7th: Life is Story

TBD: The Scary Reviews

TBD: Bell, Book & Candle

TBD: Kari J. Wolfe

The Memory Painter, by Gwendolyn Womack (@Gwen_Womack) #BookBlast #Giveaway

About the book, The Memory Painter The Memory Painter

  • Publisher: Picador (April 28, 2015)
  • Formats: eBook, Hardcover, Audio
  • Pages: 336
  • Genre: Supernatural Historical Thriller/Romance

What if there was a drug that could help you remember past lives?

What if the lives you remembered could lead you to your one true love?

What if you learned that, for thousands of years, a deadly enemy had conspired to keep the two of you apart?

Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there’s a secret to his success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. When Bryan awakes, he possesses extraordinary new skills…like the ability to speak obscure languages and an inexplicable genius for chess. All his life, he has wondered if his dreams are recollections, if he is re-experiencing other people’s lives.

Linz Jacobs is a brilliant neurogeneticist, absorbed in decoding the genes that help the brain make memories, until she is confronted with an exact rendering of a recurring nightmare at one of Bryan’s shows. She tracks down the elusive artist, and their meeting triggers Bryan’s most powerful dream yet: visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s, died in a lab explosion decades ago.

As Bryan becomes obsessed with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the scientists’ deaths, his dreams begin to reveal what happened at the lab, as well as a deeper mystery that may lead all the way to ancient Egypt. Together, Bryan and Linz start to discern a pattern. But a deadly enemy watches their every move, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that the past stays buried.

A taut thriller and a timeless love story spanning six continents and 10,000 years of history, The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack is a riveting debut novel unlike any you’ve ever read.

Buy, read, and discuss The Memory Painter

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo | Powell’s | Goodreads

Read an Excerpt of The Memory Painter


Watch the official book trailer for The Memory Keeper

About the Author Gwendolyn Womack Gwendolyn Womack

Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing theater plays in college while freezing in the tundra at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. During that time she lived in St. Petersburg, Russia on an independent study working with theater companies. She went on to receive an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Directing theater and film where she was encouraged to write her own material. After graduating she focused on writing feature screenplays and was a semi-finalist in the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship. In 2009 she moved to Japan and began THE MEMORY PAINTER the following year. Currently she resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son where she can be found at the keyboard working on her next novel.

THE MEMORY PAINTER is her first novel.

Connect with Gwendolyn

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Twitter


To enter to win a signed copy of The Memory Painter, please enter via the GLEAM form below.


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Memory Painter

The Memory Painter Book Blast Schedule

Wednesday, July 1
Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 2
The Never-Ending Book
What Is That Book About

Friday, July 3
Bibliophilia, Please

Saturday, July 4
The Reading Queen

Sunday, July 5
CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, July 6
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, July 7
A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, July 8
A Bookish Affair
Book Lovers Paradise

Thursday, July 9
Room With Books

Friday, July 10

Saturday, July 11
Just One More Chapter

Sunday, July 12
Broken Teepee

Monday, July 13
100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, July 15
Genre Queen

The Memory Painter at HFVBT