Review + Giveaway: Langston’s Daughters

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Welcome to my tour stop for Langston’s Daughters by Juliette Harper. This is an adult contemporary mystery that is also very focused on family, small town and ranch life as well as some clean romance. This is the first in the series. It is appropriate for ages 16+.

The tour runs Feb. 23- March 6 with reviews, author interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for more information.

Langstons DaughtersTitle: Langston’s Daughters
Author: Juliette Harper
Publisher: Skye House Publishing
Release Date: December 2014
Length: 156 pages
Series?: The Lockwood Legacy #1
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Kate, Jenny, and Mandy. Langston Lockwood’s daughters. His tyranny drove them away. His suicide draws them home. They inherit his land, his millions, and his mysteries. Meet the women of the Rocking L and the men who come into their lives. Together, they begin the journey to discover the truth about The Lockwood Legacy. From the pain of the past they find the strength to build a dynasty.

***** Review *****

In spite of herself, Mandy smiled. Her father was a foul-tempered, cantankerous old bastard, but he wore the most beautiful Western hats she’d ever seen.

Kate, Jenny and Mandy Lockwood are all incredible women in their own right. They are drastically different from one another, yet very intuitive and perceptive to one another. Despite their differences in how their relationships went with each of their parents, the three sisters band together after the suicide of their father, Langston.

There’s just one problem. 

None of them believe he committed suicide.

At least not wearing his thousand-dollar Stetson and most definitely not with his favorite gun.

“Something’s not right,” she whispered.

“Exactly, which is why you’re coming home.” 

So she had agreed. To go to Texas. She couldn’t bring herself to call it home.

This thought alone drives Jenny and Mandy home, and all three girls get the surprise of their life at the reading of their daddy’s will. What’s more, each sister is also developing a relationship with a local man. For Kate, it’s high school classmate John Fisk, who also served as her father’s attorney in the months before his death. For Jenny, it’s next door neighbor Josh Baxter, and for Mandy it’s none other than the town major, Joe Bob, or “Just Joe.”

As the novel progresses, more and more is revealed of their father and mother, and it is a heartrending thing to have lived through and witnessed growing up.

“You taught me everything you know, and I learned it all. I’m just not good enough to help you run the place now because I’m not your son.” 

“Keep talking like that and you won’t be my daughter much longer neither.”

“Was anybody mad at him?” 

Kate stared at her slack jawed. “Seriously, Jenny? Daddy pissed people off for the pure pleasure of it.”

“If our Daddy fought the good fight, it was because he started the trouble in the first place.”

“But Mama is buried in town,” Jenny said. “Didn’t he want to be buried next to her?” 

Kate stared at her for a minute, surprised by the lump in her throat. “He left burial instructions at the lawyer’s office to be opened before the will was read. He said he wanted to be here.” 

“What did he really say?” Jenny asked, her voice soft. 

“He wrote, ‘That woman was my hell on earth and I will not spend an eternity beside her.'”

“She was his hell?” Jenny asked indignantly. “He actually said that?” 

“Let it go, Jenny,” Kate said, her voice rough. “I think they were pretty much each other’s hell. Let’s try not to continue the tradition.”

I can imagine perfectly the life that Langston and Irene Lockwood had, as he sounds like my grandfather incarnate. I know exactly how Kate feels in not measuring up to Langston’s standards because she isn’t a son and the tongue lashings she received from the stalwart Langston Lockwood.

Life gets complicated as the girls begin unraveling their father’s last day and as his place of choice, the barn, brings to light some interesting information. The further the girls dig, the more pieces of a convoluted puzzle they uncover. They set their sites on answers, and the one person who can give supply them. Things just don’t go according to their plan…

***** About the Author *****

julietteJuliette Harper is the pen name used by the writing team of Patricia Pauletti and Rana K. Williamson. Like the characters of their debut series, The Lockwood Legacy, Juliette is a merging of their creative energies.

Pauletti, an Easterner of Italian descent, is an accomplished musician with an eye for art and design. Williamson, a Texan from a long line of hardheaded Scots, knows the world of the Lockwoods like the back of her hand.

“We decided to write under a pen name because neither one of us by ourselves could have created Kate, Jenny, Mandy, and their world,” says Pauletti. “Juliette is a little bit of us both. We want to be her when we grow up.”

“Patti teases me that I just don’t want to own up to writing a book with romance in it,” Williamson adds, “but that’s not true. I like the Lockwood women and the way they tackle everything life throws at them. And before we’re done, they’ll be ducking a lot. I imagine coming into the office every day and saying, ‘Okay Juliette, what’s going to happen now?’ She tells us, and we get it down on paper.”

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

***** Giveaway *****

cbbbutton$100 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

Ends 3/11

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

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WWW Wednesdays (February 25)

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This is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. To join in, click on the image above, and answer these three questions: 

What are you currently reading? 

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I started this one, but I am just not that into it. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be…but it’s just too outlandish. It wants to be real, but it’s a poser, a fake. I don’t like that. I don’t like that in people, I don’t like it in my books.

BUT I’m already past the quarter mark. I don’t want to not finish it, but one of my resolutions was to not force myself to continue reading a book I should DNF.

So…I am considering DNFing it. We are just not clicking.

What did you just finish reading?

Langstons Daughters

I just finished the first book in The Lockwood Legacy, Langston’s Daughters. The title is very apt, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Despite the nature of the reason the daughters are called back home (and from the standpoint of someone who has had multiple relatives and friends commit suicide), Harper did a pretty good job of glossing over it. The other characters kind of dance around it, trail off, and leave it unsaid.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I will be jumping into children’s and middle grades literature for March. The rebellious Princess Madeline will be one of the first reviews for the month.

The Kingdom of Soron is known for many things: its rolling landscape, haunting history, fiery sunsets, and beautiful princess. Princess Madeline woke on her sixteenth birthday to realize that her future had been planned out, a life full of privilege, royalty, and boredom… a life with a husband and knight champion that she did not choose. Using her charm, strength, and stubbornness, she defies the King at every turn, determined to keep her freedom on her terms.

But freedom quickly turns to disaster as she finds herself seized by a group of wandering bandits. The kingdom is in turmoil over her capture—her Knight Champion eager to prove himself, a group of dedicated suitors determined to win her hand, and a group of exiled wizards joining forces in the hunt to rescue her. Follow Princess Madeline in this adventure to find freedom and love.

How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog OR the link to your WWW Wednesdays post. Happy Reading! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.

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Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books

  1. Claire from Outlander
  2. Jackie from Bloody Jack
  3. Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie
  4. Harley from Christmas at Copper Mountain
  5. Charlie from Just Not Ready Yet
  6. Charlotte from The Husband Maker
  7. Rachel from Life Interrupted
  8. Amelia from Becoming Lady Lockwood
  9. Amory from Murder at the Brightwell
  10. Ardis from Shadows of Asphodel

Who are your favorite heroines?

Author Interview: Darcie Chan

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Today I have author Darcie Chan on the blog for an interview! Since I already have an overflowing mountain of a TBR pile, one of you has to read The Mill River Redemption for me. 🙂

“A satisfying read with sympathetic and relatable characters that will be good for book group discussions and vacation reading.”  Library Journal

In THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION, Josie DiSanti, recently widowed, flees her New York City home with her two young daughters to take refuge in Mill River, Vermont, and live with her only remaining relative, Ivy Collard, the local bookstore owner and a woman Josie barely knows. There, the young mother and her girls build a new life—until a shocking tragedy tears the sisters apart. Years later, the sisters are forced together for the reading of their mother’s will, and what they discover shakes up their worlds, forever shaping their futures.

***** Interview *****

Thank you for your interview. Can you tell readers a little about yourself?

Thank you for inviting me for an interview! I’m a lawyer-recently-turned-writer, although my path through that transition is rather unlikely. I like to write stories about regular people faced with extraordinary circumstances, with all the humor and heartache those situations bring. I grew up in small towns in several states, but I currently live in the New York City metro area — yet another unlikely development for someone whose hometown has only two stoplights!

In your own words, can you tell us a little bit about your book, The Mill River Redemption?

The Mill River Redemption is the story of a newly-widowed mother, Josie DiSanti, and her struggle to start a new life and provide for her two daughters, Rose and Emily. It’s told in two timelines. One takes place in the past and shows how Josie recovers from the loss of her husband to become a strong single parent. The other begins at Josie’s wake, when her now-adult daughters, who have been estranged for years, are thrust into a last-ditch scheme concocted by Josie to force their reconciliation. The two timelines merge and move forward as one at the climax of the novel.

How did growing up in small towns across the country set the scene for your novels?

It’s true that pretty much all of my childhood was spent living in small towns. The smallest of them — Cheraw, Colorado — still holds school only four days per week because it’s cheaper for the school district to go four long days than pay staff and bus expenses for a typical five-day week!  I feel comfortable writing about small towns…it’s what I know best, and when I began to work out the story for my first novel, there was never any question that it would have a small-town setting. I wanted Mill River to have the same strong sense of community, peaceful atmosphere, and friendly neighbors that I’d known while I was growing up.

How would you describe the characters in your book?

I wanted very much for the characters in my books to be the kinds of people that many would easily recognize — friendly folks, most with normal, regular jobs who experience common problems.  I wanted my readers to feel comfortable with the people in Mill River, much as they would feel about a friendly, long-term neighbor. However, I did want my characters to be memorable, too, so several of them have peculiar quirks, and others find themselves in extraordinary situations.

How were you motivated along the way to become a writer?

I have always loved books and reading, and I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl.  I think the first time that I articulated that was in middle school…I think I was eleven years old. After winning a school writing contest, I rushed home with my little trophy and announced to my parents that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.  The truth is that writing makes me happy, and I write for myself, first and foremost. I suppose my motivation was rooted in that truth, and also the dreamy idea of being able to do something I enjoyed so much as a job!

It took me a while to get to a place where I felt ready to seriously try on my “writing cap.” I wanted to finish my education and make sure that I could always take care of myself financially, which is tough to do as a writer. In college, I was an English major, and I became very interested in environmental law. Later on, after finishing college and law school and settling into a legal job I loved, I decided it was finally time to attempt a first novel.

Since starting out, what has been the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer?

I’ve learned a few things since I’ve started writing full-time. First, it’s very important to have some structure to my work day. That means getting enough sleep (which I’m always tempted NOT to do since I love to write late into the night) and setting manageable daily and weekly goals. I’ve also learned that starting a career as a writer is much easier than maintaining such a career. I have readers literally pestering me about when I’ll have another book out — and this is a very good thing and something for which I’m grateful, don’t get me wrong — but I feel the weight of people’s expectations now, including my own. Learning to manage those expectations and the inevitable uncertainty and self-doubt that creeps into my mind every once in a while has taken some work.

Do you have any other books in the works?

I’ve just sent the first draft of the third Mill River book to my editor! I’m not sure what I’ll write next, but once promotion for The Mill River Redemption slows down a bit, I’ll focus on deciding which idea will become the focus of my next book.

Now for some fun! This or That!

  • Hugs or Kisses?  Hugs!
  • Coffee or Tea? Both!  Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon!
  • Drama or Action? Drama.
  • Dogs or Cats? Cats! (Although I love animals of all kinds!)
  • Night or Day? Night, definitely. I love to write late at night, into the wee hours of the morning!
  • Sand or Snow? Snow! I was born in Wisconsin and lived there until age six. I’m pretty sure that’s why I still feel like there’s something wrong if snow isn’t on the ground by Halloween!

***** About the Author *****

image004Darcie Chan is the New York Times bestselling author of the eBook sensation The Mill River Recluse and the novel The Mill River Redemption. She has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. For fourteen years, Chan worked as an attorney drafting environmental and natural resource legislation for the U.S. Senate. She now writes fiction full-time and lives north of New York City with her husband and son.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Review + Giveaway: Just Pru

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Welcome to my tour stop for Just Pru by Anne Pfeffer. This is a review tour and runs February 16-27th.  Just Pru releases March 2, 2015. Check out the tour page for more information.

JustPru_Lo res_11.20Title: Just Pru
Author: Anne Pfeffer
Release Date: March 2015
Length: 232 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

Preorder Just Pru from Amazon for only $2.99!

When twenty-five-year-old Pru Anderson—braless, pajama-clad, and clutching her cat, Chuck—is rescued from her burning Los Angeles apartment, the thing that scares her most is meeting the neighbors. New people make her hide in the bathroom, counting by sevens, but when her home is destroyed, she must turn strangers into friends …  or crawl back to the controlling parents she only recently escaped.

What would her idol, Pepper Hathaway, do? That’s a no brainer: the detective-slash-supermodel heroine from Pru’s favorite TV series would take no prisoners while looking fierce in a tankini and stilettos. So when the chance comes up to live with playwright Ellen, Pru sets aside her fears and goes for it.

Thus begin the adventures of a girl who’s never had a job, a friend, or a first kiss. Swept into Ellen’s whirlwind life, Pru begins to build her own, as director’s assistant for a new play, muse to brooding actor Blake, and possible love interest to adorably neurotic neighbor, Adam.

Only one thing can derail Pru’s exhilarating journey. Well, actually, it’s two things—and they’re in a car headed straight for LA to torpedo her life. When the past that nearly destroyed her comes calling, who will she be: a Prudence or a Pepper?

***** Review *****

Where had I thrown my bra? When you’re a size 36D, you do not venture forth into public without one.

Pru Anderson is a former college friend in my body…plus a few inches of height. I could very well relate to Pru. I loved her character, and the narrative voice she has in the story. Although the girl on the cover looks very much like a teenager and much thinner than Pru is described, I liked everything going on in this book. I liked the fact that Anne Pfeffer made it a point for Pru to be a curvy, weighted woman. 😉

I could still hear my father’s voice, cool and cutting. You won’t last a month in Los Angeles. Mark my words, you’ll be back in Oregon before you know it. Well, ha ha on him, I’d lasted two months now. And ha ha on me, because I didn’t know if I could last a third.

When Ellen extends her home to Pru, the victim of a fire that has destroyed her apartment, it is a complete God send. It brings Pru out of her shell, out of her comfort zone, and in close contact and quarters with others. She meets Adam, who immediately suspects her of setting the fire.

As life goes on, Ellen’s exuberance and busy, bustling life filled with dramatic actors begins to consume Pru. She is hesitant at first, but slowly wades the waters into Ellen’s world. She seems to be the only one who can tame Ellen’s lead actor, Blake, who is a bit of a two-timing ass. As Pru works with him rehearsing lines, more and more of his character comes out. There is some depth to the man, and a very real reason why he is resistant to playing the role he’s been cast in.

Right now, for a brief moment, my life was rich and fun and full of possibilities. I was going to milk it for all I could get before the jail door slammed shut again.

As Pru works with Ellen, she and Adam also start spending more time together. It seems Adam and Ellen are like the social caretakers of those in their building, and things start developing between the two of them. Adam is much more than meets the eye, especially with his hand-washing and  germ neuroses (which is actually kind of cute!). He and Pru both put themselves out there…and the saints come marching in.

I curled up in the armchair, marveling that I had someone, a friend, to help me find pretty clothes. It was one of so many firsts – a ride in a convertible, a kiss on the cheek from a man, a glass of wine. I wanted to save up the memories, like a stack of shiny pennies. I wanted to save them in a safe place and keep them to look at when all of this had gone away.

Saints, right? That’s what Pru’s parents think they are. I loved the accomplishments and achievements Pru made. There was a great deal of character development and growth on her part. She has worked hard to get to where she is, and she’s in a good place. Her parents swoop in and all hell breaks loose. They are the two people in the world who have the ultimate power to absolutely destroy Pru, and she’s left to deal with all the ends of her unraveling world.

***** About the Author *****

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnne Pfeffer worked in finance and was a children’s rights attorney before she decided to follow her respective dreams of writing books and working in her pajamas. Since then, she has self-published the novels Any Other Night, The Wedding Cake Girl, and Girls Love Travis Walker, which was named one of IndieReader.com‘s Best Indie Books of 2013.

Anne loves her family, cool breezes, carbohydrates, and elastic waistbands. She lives in Santa Monica, California, with her dachshund, Taco.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

***** Giveaway *****

Two (2) winners get a paperback set of Anne Pfeffer’s books, Any Other Night, Girls Love Travis Walker, The Wedding Cake Girl and Just Pru.

Open to US only. Ends March 4, 2015.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Sunday Post (February 22)

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

School – and an undiagnosed digestive issue – has kept me down these last few weeks. You probably saw that coming with the decline in posts and reviews each week. Last week I didn’t even get up a Sunday Post. I am exhausted, and quite frankly, a bit miserable. I am hoping for a CT scan and a referral to a GI doctor to get some answers. I am also going to try really hard to get back in the groove, keep up with my reading and all the blogosphere life. 🙂

And, y’all, it’s my birfday today!

~ The Last Weeks on G1000W ~

~ This Week on G1000W ~

  • Review + Giveaway ~ Just Pru
  • Top Ten Tuesday ~ Book Heroines
  • Author Interview: Darcie Chan
  • WWW Wednesdays
  • Feature Follow Friday

~Around Town in the Spotlight ~

Feature Follow Friday (February 20)

Alison Can Read Feature & FollowIt is the Friday Feature Follow!

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (links above) and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
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The Question:

Do you like fantasy or realistic books? – Suggested by The Realm of Books.

My Answer: 

Do I like? UH, YEAH!

I like them both! Now do I love them? I would say I love realistic books, but I just like fantasy books. And I’m not in like, like like with fantasy books. Not really. It’s not like that. But I do like like realistic books, major.

Which brings your reading game: fantasy or realism? Leave a comment with your response and your Friday Follow.