Category: Guest Post

A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell

Posted August 19, 2017 by karenbaron in Cozy, Dogs, Ghosts, Guest Post, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Review, Series, Urban / 0 Comments

A Ghostly Light by Juliet BlackwellA Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell
Published by Berkley on June 4th 2017
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 330
Format: Kindle
five-stars

In the latest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Give Up the Ghost, it will take a beacon of ghostly intervention to guide contractor Mel Turner to the truth... Dangerous tides ahead...  When her friend Alicia hires Turner Construction to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, Mel Turner can’t wait to get her hands dirty. Alicia plans to transform the island property into a welcoming inn, and while Mel has never attempted a project so ambitious—or so tall—before, she’s definitely up for the challenge.   But trouble soon arises when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up to threaten both her and Mel, and later turns up dead at the base of the lighthouse stairs. With no other suspects in sight, things start looking choppy for Alicia. Now, if Mel wants to clear her friend’s name, she’ll need the help of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to shine a light on the real culprit...

This lighthouse holds more than just light.

A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell this is one of my favorite series. I truly love the mix of history, home renovation, paranormal, mystery and the quirkiness of San Francisco and the bay area.

The world that Ms. Blackwell has created by mixing fact and fiction is so believable. Honestly, I would like to hire Turner Construction just to be a little part of this world.

I really think that Mel is shining in this addition. It’s nice to see her with her new man Landon. She is so happy. She still has things to work on (such as her recent fear of heights0 but don’t we all. She is finally working through all of her jobs: ghost, construction or murder. Landon is extremely supportive. It’s so sweet.

Mel has two mysteries to solve: the recent murder that her friend has been accused of and the mystery of the lighthouse ghost. Ms. Blackwell does such a great job keeping the whole thing moving through the past, present and glimpses of the future.

I adored the lighthouse history that was included with the story. The treasure maps were so thoughtful. What a wonderful way to teach and entertain your child, so much better than handing them a cellphone to play with.

I found this quote online and thought it was such a great fit for this story. “Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.” ~E.P. Whipple

My rating is 5 stars, of course. If you haven’t read the other books you should try the first book in the series, Home Renovation or you can just start with this one. I guarantee you will want more. Mel and her entourage are worth your time.

**A Ghostly Light**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany.

While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures. Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was a producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California, she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade.

In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, she wrote the Agatha Award-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America.

Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.


Giovanni Meets A Coven by Kathy Bryson

Posted August 2, 2017 by karenbaron in Comedy, Fantasy, Guest Post, Review, Series, Short Stories / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Giovanni Meets A Coven by Kathy BrysonGiovanni Meets A Coven by Kathy Bryson
Series: The Med School #2
Series Rating: four-stars
Published by Kathy Bryson Books on September 15, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Humor
Pages: 90
Format: Kindle
four-stars

Having successfully dealt with his first zombie, Giovanni is looking forward to the upcoming semester. Then the accidents start, costing Giovanni two jobs, no end of embarrassment, and multiple contusions and abrasions!

Is it just bad luck or is the curse of the zombie out to get him? And which of the voodoo queens suddenly surrounding him can he trust to help out?

Surprise, not everyone is what they seem to be.

Giovanni Meets a Coven by Kathy Bryson is a wonderful read. Giovanni is a med student with numerous jobs. He is so busy, he doesn’t have a place to live and he has a big dog. Studying has become the easiest part of his life that is when he can find the time. However, living in a morgue isn’t the greatest way to save money.

I like Giovanni, he loves coffee. He’s from New Jersey going to med school in Atlanta. He seems to be handling the cultural shock fairly well. He is stronger than he seems. He has a good heart and sense of humor. I would most definitely be his friend.

Gio has made many friends in Atlanta. However, I like the sassy, bossy and intimidating Astral. She isn’t perfect. She’s got some jealousy and anger issues. But hey, who doesn’t? She knows what she wants and she is working towards it, even though she thinks she is entitled. I believe that she can handle whatever is thrown at her, preferably with a little help from her friends.

I enjoyed the story. I was caught off guard by the ending, which only makes the story better. It was fast paced, with no poor pitiful me from Giovanni. Oh yes, the floor buffer incident made me laugh out loud. I was laughing about it for hours. My husband must have thought that I had lost my mind. That will haunt Gio for a long time.

My rating is 4 stars, and I plan to fit the first book Giovanni Goes to Med School into my TBR list. If you are looking for a clean story with a touch of paranormal this is one for you.

**Where to find Giovanni Meets a Coven**

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

four-stars

About Kathy Bryson

Kathy Bryson is the award-winning author of a series of leprechaun romances as well as the adventures of a hapless med student. She has degrees in both advertising and literature as well 20+ years in business that came in handy for exposing leprechauns. For, the zombie stuff, she shamelessly exploit her coworkers. A recent transplant to Texas, she also runs a college writing center and caters to the whims of spoiled cats.


Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Posted July 21, 2017 by karenbaron in Contemporary Romance, Guest Post, Horses, Mystery, Review, Suspense / 0 Comments

Come Sundown by Nora RobertsCome Sundown by Nora Roberts
Published by St. Martin's Press on May 30th 2017
Pages: 466
Format: Hardcover, Kindle
five-stars

A saga of love, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession
The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…
When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.

Marvelous Montana is smaller than some would think.

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts is another hit. I loved the fast paced combination of mystery, romance, intrigue, and of course family.

The Bodine-Longbow family is very big on family, respect and taking care of their own, whether they are blood or not. All wonderful qualities that I have found in many of the people that I have met in Montana. I immediately like the Bodine Longbow, she smart, feisty, independent and an extremely hard worker. Although the rest of the family is full of characters, like Ms. Fancy and Cora. Those two are giving their two cents and holding their own, for the elderly women they are the bomb.

Then there is Alice. Alice is so strong and yet she has no idea. Her life has been tragic and yet she is now finding a positive in her life that is filled with family and love. Nora Roberts characters are so well written that its like she is just telling the story of this wonderful Montana ranch family, complete with all of the skeletons in the closets and the all the wonderfully sappy happy moments too.

I love the setting. Montana is one of my favorite states. The descriptions that Ms. Roberts uses are spot on. It was so easy to visualize the beauty and the isolation of southwestern Montana. Besides who can fault a book with cowboys and horses?

My rating is 5 stars, Nora Roberts doesn’t disappoint. If you haven’t read it Come Sundown yet, you will want to pick it up.

**Where to find Come Sundown**

** Goodreads **        **Turn the Page Bookstore**

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. After a school career that included some time in Catholic school and the discipline of nuns, she married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland.

She worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.

Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.

Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.

Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.

Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”


Once Lost Lords by Stephan Morse

Posted May 12, 2017 by karenbaron in Fairies, Fantasy, Guest Post, Magic, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Vampires, Werewolves / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Once Lost Lords by Stephan MorseOnce Lost Lords by Stephan Morse
Series: Royal Scales #1
Series Rating: four-stars
Published by Stephan Morse on July 10th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Format: ebook
four-stars

Humanity hasn’t been alone for almost two thousand years. Elves, wolves, vampires, all joined together with mankind to eradicate the ‘darker’ races and maintained a tentative peace until modern times. Society adapted, everyone has rules that help keep the peace in this modern era. Yet, absolute genocide is impossible when talking about creatures beyond the pale. Some hid, some buried, other were re-purposed.
Some, like Jay Fields, pass for human with a little bit extra. His abilities didn’t belong to one of the major races, but any information was buried along with the long dead boogie men. All Jay cared about was those closest to him and a job that let him hit people. He used to be a bouncer at a bar, a part-time enforcer for a loan shark, and even a fight club champion. That was four years ago, before betrayal by someone close sent him packing.
Now he’s back and trying to recover a life he left behind. Questions of origin aren’t his only problems. His ex-girlfriend is a vampire. His part-time boss doesn’t think he’s up to snuff anymore. There’s a missing elf who might have some answers, and Jay’s best friend is caught up in something dangerous…

The story begins with the return of Jay Fields, although he uses other names to make finding him harder. Jay has been traveling around for the last 4 years and lots of things at home have changed and some have stayed the same.

Jay likes to hit people, he is like an enforcer. Basically, he does what he knows best to make a living. Jay is also a collector and he is pretty possessive when it comes to his treasures, really all things that he considers his. Jay is human with a few added abilities, due to a vampire bite when he was young or is he? Jay uses his ability to track down people who owe his boss Julianne money, he gets the money, something of value or he may teach them a lesson. Jay also rents an apartment from Julianne and works as a bouncer at her bar.

Throughout the book, we learn more and more about Jay’s actual origin. However, Jay can’t remember and the clues lead him to things that don’t make sense and yet seem familiar. Jay is tough and can hold his own against vampires, wolves, fairies and humans. We meet the people of his life. They are a strange group of individuals. There are lots of secrets that seem like only Jay doesn’t know.

Jay’s ex-girlfriend is Kahina, she is a vampire who hasn’t finished the transformation yet. She loves purple and apparently still loves Jay. She seems kind of pushy, yet she is there when he needs her.

Then there is Julianne, she is my favorite. She is tiny and still human. She runs the bar with no nonsense and a smart mouth. Julianne comes from the wolf pack, she just hasn’t transformed into a wolf. Her grandfather is the head of the pack and tolerates her bar and bookie business. Julianne cares about Jay, more than he realizes. She protects him and calls an intervention to help him. I love the way she and her brother banter back and forth. Julianne is one tough cookie.

What I like about the story is the way the author portrays the characters. There are the four main races who eradicated all the other races for peace and yet there are still the prejudice and fight for power, the secrets about the races eradicated and lost history. It proves that no matter what race you are, it’s what is inside you and how you treat your friends and family that matter.

My rating for this book is 4 stars. If you like to read fantasy, with a modern urban flair, I recommend this book, Once Lost Lords by Stephan Morse. This is the first book in what looks to be an exciting series, The Royal Scales. The second book in the series is also available so you won’t have to wait to continue with the story, Lady’s First Knight.

**Where to find Once Lost Lords **

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

four-stars

About Stephan Morse

Stephan Morse was born the year 1983 in San Diego. The next fifteen years were spent slowly escaping California and surviving a public education system. Thus far he’s made it to the Seattle (WA) region with little desire to go farther. When not trying to shove words together into sentences Stephan spends time reading, catching up on sleep, and otherwise living a mundane life.


Behind the Title (Creation of a Love Story) By Romance Author Cynthia Roberts

Posted May 8, 2017 by karenbaron in Guest Post, Romance / 0 Comments

by Cyntha Roberts
Genres: Romance

Creating romantic fiction has been a passion of mine, ever since I was old enough to understand the connection between the sexes.  I think I was twelve, when I wrote my first love story and like most young minds; I truly thought it was a masterpiece.

There’s another masterful connection that has been going on now for centuries, and that, is the one between music and literature.  There is a full alphabet of songs that have been written retelling a work of literature as far back as the 18th century.

“If I Die Young” by The Band Perry was based on a poem, Lady of Shallot.  “Love Story” by Taylor Swift is loosely based on Romeo & Juliet.  The artist Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street” was based on an Anne Rice Novel, Interview With A Vampire.

More interesting though, the anatomy of a song has also within its lyrics a pretty fascinating back story as well.  For more than five decades, authors have been creating fictional pieces and bringing readers deep inside the lyrics.  I grew up listening to my mom’s collection of romantic ballads from the 40s, 50s, and 60s.  Those lyrics have forever been embossed into my brain, I still sing along whenever I hear them.  Lyrics like those back then told a story, and they were so strong, and emotional, their affect were everlasting.

I have a library of love songs on iTunes I listen to religiously, while I write, as a source of inspiration and a tool that gets me in the mood and mindset I need to be in.  It is from this list, I began to formulate a series of ideas, followed by cryptic notes on paper, and finally the creation of my Love Song Standards Series.  I made a list of the songs I connected with personally, whittling it down to thirty-five.  That number was quite overwhelming and I thought virtually impossible to create that many scenarios.  So, I chipped away at the songs and their lyrics, until I decided on a top ten.

I had made a commitment to myself to finish one book a month throughout 2016, writing a chapter every day, leaving me ample time to polish and edit each one.  I knew from the on-start, what I wanted my covers to look like.  They had to resemble each other in a way that would tie them together, but strong enough for them to stand on their own.  My designer Covers by Ramona did an exceptional job tying all my ideas together.

After Book 6, Chances Are, was completed, my brain was fried.  I took a short reprieve and switched it up a bit with a Romantic Suspense, A Pawn for Malice.  Happily, the first two books of my series received a 5-Star Readers Favorite Award, which ended my promotion efforts.  I was forced to take an extended break due to personal issues that had set me back both physically and emotionally.  My focus now is to both promote my series and finish the final four titles All The Way, It’s Impossible, Sincerely, and Unforgettable.

If you’re a lover of contemporary romance, please do check out my Love Song Standards Series.  I know you’ll be pleasantly pleased.  Buy links and descriptions are available on my website at RomanceAuthorCynthiaRoberts.com.  If you subscribe to my mailing list, we can stay in touch as to when the other titles are completed PLUS you’ll receive a complimentary copy of Book 1, Unchained Melody.  All that I ask is for you to please, please share an honest review at the online retailer you use most. It will help me dramatically towards promoting my book and the series.

Hugs from me to you.

” This is definitely a novel that I would read again. It is going to stay on my bookshelf for a very, very long time.”  —Readers’ Favorite

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About Cyntha Roberts

My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family. It wasn’t until much later in life I actually took up the pen to write my first historical romance, Wind Warrior . I really don’t fit into one specific niche. Once a story starts to flow, it’s only then I know what genre/sub-genre it will fit under.

I have only one regret, and that is not getting to this point in my career much sooner, rather than later. Life has a way of setting up road blocks, which for me, was supposed to work out that way. Because of those detours, I have become a more passionate and expressive writer, allowing me to create the kind of raw human emotion I want my readership to feel.

It is my hope you walk away with not just an entertaining read, but the importance in knowing, “Without imagination & dreams, we lose the excitement of wonderful possibilities.”