Tag Archives: family drama

The Dirty Martini Club (A Tess Kincaid Novel) by Jude Randazzo (Book Review / Author Interview)

THE DIRTY MARTINI CLUB (a Tess Kinkaid Novel) by Jude Randazzo

 
Tess Kincaid, celebrity golf professional, decides to visit and meet, for the first time, her presumptive fiancé Eddie Spinozza’s family in Albany, New York for Thanksgiving, in anticipation of the next step in their relationship. The Spinozza and Cuchinelli families have been entrenched in Albany for two generations, but Eddie has assured Tess that he is not involved in his family’s “business”. However, on the first night of her visit, sitting in The Dirty Martini Club watching Eddie perform with his band, she witnesses the brazen shooting of one of the band members. Almost simultaneously, and without much warning, an epic, once-in-a-lifetime snowstorm suffocates Albany, preventing Tess from leaving town. 

She subsequently becomes a material witness to a series of events, which the police are only reluctantly investigating. What happens next is a daring, and life-altering event that brings Eddie and Tess to a do or die scenario amid mob warfare. The results are quite unpredictable.

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Tess Kincaid, a professional golfer, went to meet her fiancé’s family, but everything didn’t go as planned. Dealing with a less than welcoming embrace from her future mother-in-law was the least of her worries. On the same night she met Connie (MIL), a rival mob family struck The Dirty Martini Club.

Tess soon discovered what type of family she was marrying into, and she wasn’t a fan. I can’t blame her. As things went from bad to worse, we met Ari, who runs an Army surplus store. Once I met him, I was Team Ari all the way. I wish he had more screen time because I liked him, not Eddie (Tess’s fiancé).

We also met a fireman named Stone. He wasn’t present for long but left a lasting impression on me.

Okay back to Tess…

Tess has big cajones! She took it upon herself to save a damsel in distress. Her feat even impressed Ari (ex-military). She showed readers her strength of body and mind.

Tess also took on Grandpa Spinozza in a checkers match that shouldn’t require an opponent to have a big set of (you guessed it) cajones, but it did. Tess proved time, and again she was no pushover. She’s too good for that family. Too good for Eddie (IMHO).

The finale was not the end for Eddie and Tess. Hopefully, we will see Ari and Stone in future installments. A girl can only hope!

Side note: I’ve never tasted a martini before. Also, I love the club’s music choices. 🙂

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Jude: Yes, I’m a financial advisor and have been since I retired the first time in 1997 to Maui.

 

How long have you been writing? Do you ever get writer’s block?

Jude: I wrote my first story when I was seven years old. I had been flitting around the house annoying my siblings until my mother told me to sit down and write a story instead of being obnoxious. I wrote The Door Knob which is about a boy who becomes a door knob and sees and hears all on both sides of the opened and closed doors. It didn’t help with being obnoxious which six decades later I have perfected to an art, but it did get me started. I’ve been writing novels since I first got inspired on a beach in Maui twenty-five years ago. I wrote The Golden Cocoon on a dozen yellow legal tablets. I do not suffer writer’s block and never have been afflicted with same, but I do have arthritis in my thumbs and cure that temporarily with copious amounts of Scotch.

 

What is your next project?

Jude: The continuance of Tess’s adventures. Oh, and maybe a little more of Eddie.

 

What genre do you write and why?

Jude: I like the idea of a suspenseful thriller to keep readers entertained and engaged but I like a little romance thrown in for spice maybe because I’m Italian. The Omen of the Crow is in the same genre as Rear Window which I found incredible.

 

 What is the last great book you’ve read?

Jude: Stuart Little! Who doesn’t like a story about a mouse against the world who is debonair, adventurous, and romantic? It’s the greatest story ever told.

 

connect with the author: 
website twitter facebook instagram ~ goodreads

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Wrong Side of Murder by Lauren Carr (Book Review)

THE WRONG SIDE OF MURDER (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr

 

One spring morning, Jodi Gibbons got up and went to school as she did every day. Her young life went sideways though when the police found that her mother had been brutally killed during the night.

Twenty years later, many in Pine Grove believe Jodi got away with murder. After all, how could she have possibly slept through her mother’s violent death in the very next room?

After decades of silence, Jodi accepts investigative journalist Nikki Bryant’s invitation to tell her side of the story. However, before the interview can take place, someone silences Jodi permanently.

Now it is up to Nikki Bryant and her friends to uncover the secret that Jodi Gibbons has been protecting—a secret someone believes it is worth killing to keep from being revealed.

 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

 
The Wrong Side of Murder had multiple murder cases to solve – past and present crimes. I was impressed at how well Lauren Carr connected the crimes. That’s no easy feat and demonstrates her skill as a storyteller.

 

Not all the murders were quick to solve. Not every motive popped off the pages in a clear picture, which was fantastic. Oh, how I love a mystery that isn’t wrapped up in the book’s first half. I will say that I solved 50% of the cases: suspects and motive. The other 50% left me guessing. I’m sure other readers will be baffled about who killed who and why. 

Even though The Wrong Side of Murder revolved around a not-so-funny topic, Lauren did sneak in some comedic scenes. For instance, Kathleen grounding her 36-year-old daughter. Another example is Elmo’s need to tidy up a messy home. Yup, the dog has OCD. Oh, and the flashback image of Harrison and Kathleen at their kids’ dance and doing the infamous lift from Dirty Dancing from the song, “Time of your Life.” If that had been my mom or dad, I would’ve switched schools the following day. 

 

Special Note: Like with Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Book 1), The Wrong Side of Murder is rated G for everyone! Nikki and Ryan are still together, but there’s only a smooch here and there. No hanky panky at all. The death scenes are not graphic; however, they do vary in causes. One involves a staged suicide. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Lauren Carr and Sterling

​Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

 
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.
The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 
She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

connect with the author: 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Book 1) by Lauren Carr (Book Review)

KILLER DEADLINE (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes. 

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Audible ~ BookBub
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Move over Scooby-Doo, Elmo has now been crowned the coolest canine in town! Elmo, a canine influencer, can complete many chores with great precision: making a bed, running a vacuum, putting laundry in the wash, and loading a dishwasher. If only he could do windows…


Elmo is not here just to do stunts for our amusement; he is a vital character in the book from start to finish. 


Killer Deadline had three deaths being investigated simultaneously. Was their one murderer? Two? Three? Oh, I can’t tell you that. You must read the story to find how who did what and why. I think you’ll love being an amateur detective and trying to solve these mysteries before Nikki and Ryan do. 


Speaking of the dynamic duo, they are into each other—big time. Yes, they are step-siblings, but they are not blood-related, so it’s not that creepy. I mean, I wouldn’t date my step-sibling, but many would. There’s a genre surrounding this sort of coupling, and it makes bank for many authors.
 

Ryan and Nikki were a fun duo, past and present. I loved their childhood reminiscing stories. Some of their exchanges reminded me of one of my favorite comedic movies, You’ve Got Mail. Both Nikki and  Kathleen Kelly (from the movie) were a bit slow on the uptake, but everything worked out for them in the end. 


Special note: Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Book 1) is rated G for everyone! So, share this book with your teen and see who can solve the mysteries first. You or your teen!

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Lauren Carr and Sterling

​Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. 

The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  
 
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 
She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 
 
connect with the author: 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama by William A. Glass (Book Review / Author Interview)

OFF BROADWAY: A MARRIAGE DRAMA by William A. Glass

 
Cindy and Dave Knight got married too young. Several years later they are trying to make the best of it. He is a salesman on the fast track with a prestigious corporation. She is the indispensable assistant to a prominent Broadway producer. They own an apartment in Manhattan and enjoy knocking around the city together. However, Dave’s erratic behavior and career obsession strain the relationship. Can it be saved?
 
 
BUY THE BOOK
Amazon ~ B&N
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Before I begin my review, I would like to note the content rating: PG-13 + M. Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama by William A. Glass contains some profanity and has mature themes, including drug use (pot), adultery, and sexual situations. There are no graphic sex scenes. 
 
One of the first encounters that dealt with a mature scene happened when Cindy and Dave met up with the friends Phil and Susan. As their evening progresses, Phil informs the other couple that he and Susan had an open relationship and wants to swing with them. Dave isn’t up for swapping, but that doesn’t stop him from getting handsy with Susan. I could sense from that encounter that he doesn’t have an issue being with another woman, but I don’t think he wants his wife with another man. That’s a realistic scenario. 

Dave and Cindy’s marriage troubles are prevalent throughout the story. She hates his forgetfulness, his erratic behavior, and his messiness. I wasn’t surprised she told him she hadn’t loved him in a very long time because she yelled a lot at him. The break-up scene in the restaurant was rough. It would’ve been an awkward scene to witness if it occurred in real life. 


Marriage component aside, let’s discuss Dave’s sales career. 


As a consumer, we take for granted how our favorite items get on a store shelf. When Dave went on sales calls, we saw the behind-the-scenes aspect of how stressful and competitive product placement can be. We also witness what happens when a salesperson drops the ball on product placement. And how many hours (on and off the road) they put in each week. I was astounded to read how many demos a salesforce organizes in one weekend! 


Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama read as a dated piece. For instance, Dave went nuts on a cigarette vending machine. I don’t think I’ve seen one of those in several decades. 


The “drama” was not limited to his marriage with Cindy. It happened between Dave and his father (Knight) and during his time with UpTempCo, LLC. Plus, the people around him (family and business associates) were also waist-deep in their own drama. If you love drama, then you’ll love Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama.

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author William A. Glass

 
William is a retired business executive now living in South Carolina with his wife, Bettina. She teaches high school German while Bill is the soccer coach at a small college. Their three sons, Alex, Robert, and Gordon have all graduated from college and moved away to pursue careers. Now Bill and Bettina enjoy long walks with their dogs. When the weather permits, Bill commutes on his motorcycle. “It’s like taking a roller coaster to work!” he enthuses.
 
 
 
 
Kam:  What is your favorite childhood memory involving books?     
Bill:     I memorized a Golden Reader called ‘Grey Squirrel’s Party’ after having it read to me so often.  At age five, I figured out that the letters under the pictures were words and deciphered them.  Because of that, I was reading ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by age eight.

 
Kam:  Did you always want to be an author while you were growing up?
Bill:    My only ambition growing up was to get out of school, then move as far from my family as I could.

 
Kam:  If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Bill:    Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

 
Kam:  What is your most unusual writing quirk?
Bill:     I’m a college soccer coach and much of my writing is done on the team bus traveling to games.  
    
 
Kam:  What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
Bill:    Whiskey

 
Kam:   If you could tell your younger writing self, anything, what would it be?
Bill:     Put your pen down and go fishing.

 
Kam:  What book do you feel is under-appreciated? How about overrated?
Bill:     Most under-appreciated: Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant; Most overrated: The Naked and the Dead.     
                      

 
Kam:   If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
Bill:     Mrs. Waters. 

 
Kam:  What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
Bill:     Paths of Glory directed by Stanley Kubrick

 
connect with the author:
 website blog twitter facebook instagram goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries by Lauren Carr (2 Book Spotlight)

KILLER DEADLINE (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr

 ​
“I love this cozy mystery! It is full of suspense, action-packed, fast pace with that small-town feeling. I love the characters, I have to admit, I fell in love with Elmo on the spot! I loved Nikki’s spunk and determination. She keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire book! And I usually try to pick up all if the clues and figure out whodunnit but this story kept taking twists and turns that I was surprised. This is just type of cozy mysteries I love to read.” – 5-Star review by Splashes of Joy

“An excellent blend of mystery and suspense with comic relief and romance…. Lauren has a great way of balancing this without taking away from the story. We have well-developed characters, that you can’t help but feel a connection to. I loved Nikki’s character but also her connections to her hometown, her family and her lost love.” – review by Working Mommy Journal

 

 
Book Series Description:
Folks in the small town of Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

After years of chasing mysteries around the globe, Nikki Bryant returns home to Pine Grove to take over managing WKPG-TV and reconnects with her first love, Ryan Spaulding, the chief of the state police crime lab.

It doesn’t take long for Nikki and her family to realize that you can’t keep this ace reporter and her boxer dog Elmo behind a desk–especially when a mystery is afoot.

 
Buy the Series:
Amazon.com
 

 
 
Meet Nikki Bryant!
KILLER DEADLINE (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
 

 
“Here we go! Carr is a master storyteller who always offers a plot full of twists and turns, a bit of humor to offset the dark, and a unique cast of characters. In Killer Deadline that cast includes – handsome Ryan, her first love (who is now her step-brother); a mysterious social media friend called Nerdy Guy; Elmo, a super smart dog, a boxer, she rescued who has become a social media star and has a penchant for cleaning; a TV station full of suspicious employees; and more.

“This book is a wonderful read to pick up at the end of a long day. It truly is a “cozy murder mystery.”  I promise, it’ll draw you in right from page one and keep you turning the pages until you reach the very last page. I can’t wait for the second book in this series.” – Marilyn R. Wilson, Olio by Marilyn

 

 
Book Description:

​Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes. 

 
Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Audible ~ BookBub
Add to Goodreads
 

 
 
Nikki Bryant’s Next Case Takes Her to
THE WRONG SIDE OF MURDER!
THE WRONG SIDE OF MURDER (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr

 
Book Description:

One spring morning, Jodi Gibbons got up and went to school as she did every day. Her young life went sideways though when the police found that her mother had been brutally killed during the night.

Twenty years later, many in Pine Grove believe Jodi got away with murder. After all, how could she have possibly slept through her mother’s violent death in the very next room?

After decades of silence, Jodi accepts investigative journalist Nikki Bryant’s invitation to tell her side of the story. However, before the interview can take place, someone silences Jodi permanently.

Now it is up to Nikki Bryant and her friends to uncover the secret that Jodi Gibbons has been protecting—a secret someone believes it is worth killing to keep from being revealed.

Pre-Order the Book:
release date: July 21
Amazon
 

 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Lauren Carr and Sterling

​Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. 

The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 

She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

connect with the author: 

 
 
 
 
 

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