Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Tour, Giveaway & Review: Best in Show (Mina’s Adventures Series, Book 6) by Maria Grazia Swan

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Best in Show ebook

Mina’s Adventures Series, Book 6
Maria Grazia Swan
Cozy Romantic Suspense, 188 pages
Mina Calvi, Italian transplant to Southern California, thinks her love life might finally come together, just as her professional life has. Her Furry Friends Foundation, a no-kill shelter for rescued cats and dogs, is a success, and Mina hopes she may find a loving forever home for herself, in the arms of Diego Moran, her elusive, frustratingly mysterious, on again-off again, lover.
When a seemingly innocent night out with friends lands Mina in a hospital bed and Diego undercover, and not the covers Mina wants him to be under, Mina has to draw on all her new-found maturity, and all her supportive friends for strength.
Meanwhile, a Best in Show cat takes up residence at the Ritzy Cats B&B, Mina’s other venture, setting Mina on the trail of a suspicious character who might not have the cat's best interests at heart.
Add a Matchmaker to the Stars, a temperamental Italian chef and the usual menagerie of people and pets, stir it all up and you have an entertaining, hard to put down romantic tale of suspense.


Amazon ebook    Amazon Print

books 1 thru 5

Books 1 thru 5 Available at Amazon


Okay, she had to do something. She grabbed a chilled bottle of Prosecco from the fridge and headed over to Millie’s, cutting through the garage. The sight of her old Volkswagen in the garage, hidden under the custom cover she’d had made, flooded her soul with memories. Mina walked around the car and lifted the corner of the cover by the driver’s side, and got in the car.

She sat in the car, her eyes closed, revisiting the past, the good and the bad times. The car was like her personal diary. The bottle of chilled wine was making her fingers turn blue. When she set the bottle on the dusty passenger seat, Mina noticed something white on the well-worn floor mat. She bent down and picked it up. It was a plain white envelope, nothing written on it, and not sealed. She could feel something inside, something that wasn’t just folded paper.

There wasn’t much light in the garage, and especially not much under the car cover. The car’s battery had died a very long time ago, but it had never bothered her until now. What should she do? She retrieved the bottle from the passenger seat, got out of the car, and quickly walked back into her house. The car cover could wait until morning.

In the kitchen, she laid the envelope on the table. Curiosity had Mina’s hands trembling. Without losing sight of the envelope she got a stem glass from a shelf and uncorked the bottle. Then she sat, sipping Prosecco, staring at the envelope as if she expected the thing to come alive or something.

She tried to remember the last time she had actually been inside the Volkswagen. A long time ago, for sure. But the blank envelope didn’t look that old, no yellowing of the paper, no stains. It looked—new. She lifted the flap and with two fingers slid the folded paper out. It was as plain and as white as the envelope. Folded in four, it looked sort of square, but not really.

Another sip of Prosecco. Her fingers holding the glass left foggy marks against the frost on the crystal glass. She breathed deeply and unfolded the paper. Something maroon and looking like crumbled tissue paper landed on the tabletop. When she tapped her finger on it, it basically pulverized. What was it? The slanted, large cursive handwriting left no doubt about who the writer of the brief message was.

“If you are reading this, you were sitting in the Volkswagen. In the dark. No, I’m not a magician, I just know you well. You felt lonely and sad, and maybe a little mad at me for not being there for you. I can’t blame you. I’m always amazed that you are willing to wait for me even when you don’t know when or if I will come back. Keep the faith, bella. You know that old cliché. Yes, I know how much you like American expressions. This one promises good things to those who wait. Soon, very soon.

“P.S. That powdery dark red stuff? Remember the rose you threw in the wastepaper basket in De Fiore’s office when you were mad at me because of the kidnapping of Houdini, and the mix-up with the other cat? Yes, I saved it. It was all I had left of you at the time. Now I’m returning it because I have you back in my life.”


*** 3.5/5 Stars ***

Mina is back together with a lost lover named Diego. She ends up embroiled with his lively work life and a mess of mysteries. A few past friends and new romances pop up and Mina is in the business of finding out what's really going on with a show cat in her boarding facility.

Cute book that was fairly easy to follow enough though this was the first of the series I have read. The characters are likable and there were some pleasant twists and turns to end on a happy note. Mina was an average heroine who had her romantic worries and jealous times. She seemed to miraculously solve the problems that popped up to the thanks for her friends and lover. The action was a bit slow and the book dragged a little, but was still an easy, quick read. Some of the character descriptions were humorous and the author did  good job tying up all the mysteries going on in the novel.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review during this book tour.


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Best selling author Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss. She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona--but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?

As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a writer. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy to design for--ooh-la-la--haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people and pets find the perfect home.

Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco--but then, who doesn't?

Find Me Here –Maria Grazia Swan

[email protected], personal   [email protected] readers/website

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I Love My Cat locket (US only)
Paperback copy of any of Maria’s Books, winner’s choice (US only)
Ebook copy of any of Maria’s Books, winner’s choice (Intl)
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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Lightsreach by T. C. R. Felton

Kindle Cover Final
In a land where only a few can live in the light, one young girl may be the key to bringing the entire world out of the darkness.
Without knowing the secret prophecy that has altered her destiny, ten-year-old Lily will have to leave the safety of her home in Lightsreach on a journey that will alter the course of the future. But when she and her mysterious travelling companion are waylaid along the way, things quickly spiral out of control. Suddenly this young girl is the epicenter of a revolution that had been brewing within an ancient, lost civilization for thousands of years. Lily is the key to restoring peace and balance in a world torn asunder when it long ago lost the light.

On sale for $.99 until 11/7/2015!




*** 5/5 Stars ***

I can be a bit of a fantasy junky at time and usually prefer YA or adult fantasy. I can be a bit leery of middle grade or fantasy geared toward a younger set. This book? Nerp. This novel can appeal to all ages though the author states it's targeted for some of the younger folk. The blurb perfectly explains the book. Lily is an excellent example of a vulnerable, but very strong young lady in the face of challenges. The supporting characters are appealing. Their backgrounds, personalities, and roles in the book are clear and stated. The fantasy concept of magic, gods, and mischief are absolutely present and fun. Many of the elements in the book such as loss, courage, and growing (in a physical and mental sense) can ring true with any audience. The plot is fairly easy to understand, but the end action caught me in surprise. I am going to happily pass this book onto my nephew who is 11 years old. The fighting and adventure scenes are on par with a Harry Potty or Percy Jackson. There is nothing inappropriate in this lovely novel. I can absolutely see this book appealing to girls, boys, or adult version of kids, like myself. ;) For unsure or wary readers, this would be a great introduction to the fantasy realm and a story even older kiddos could read with their parents.

The cover is gorgeous! Mr. Felton illustrated it all :)

Note: The author provided a review copy in return for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way.


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T.C.R. Felton is a Houston, Texas based artist that graduated with honors from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He is married and has one child with another on the way this year. 


"Lightsreach" came about naturally after a conversation with fellow painter, Benjamin Walton. T.C.R. painted a series of illustrations in his studio that came completely out of the blue. There were castles, dragons, and lights and none of them were intended to be connected. They were just spur of the moment painting with no plan or thought put into them before the paint hit the canvas. They each just came from the brush strokes. 

Ben came into the studio and asked how they were all related, as they shared similar themes. T.C.R. then sat down and wrote a few pages that ultimately became "Lightsreach," the final piece in the series of paintings.



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