Tag Archives: wedding

Matrimony. Mayhem, and Murder (A Fiona Quinn Mystery) by C.S. McDonald (Book Review)

Matimony Mayhem and Murder (A Fiona Quinn Mystery) by C.S. McDonald

 
The venue is set, invitations sent, and the flowers ordered. It’s almost time for Fiona and Nathan to get married…again. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing…well, until the wedding planner is found dead.
Then the woman Fiona has never met shows up–Nathan’s enigmatic mom, Rita Landry. And she’s wearing a gorgeous but mysterious necklace. Worse, Rita is being followed by two sinister-looking men, forcing her to flee the country. And who gets dragged along? None other than the bride-to be! How does a girl prepare for all of that? Looks like Fiona’s perfectly planned matrimony has morphed into mayhem and murder!

You’re formally invited to Fiona and Nathan’s wedding. Question is: Will the wedding happen?
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
It’s very common for some hiccups to occur in preparation for a wedding or even during the big event. However, no one could have foreseen the details unfolding before Nathan and Fiona got married for a second time.


First off, their wedding planner gets whacked, and Fiona’s brother is the prime suspect. You’d think that’s the worst event to happen, but that is just the beginning of the drama. A very important and expensive necklace has gone missing, two persistent Russian agents are following Nat’s mom around, and yet that’s still not all the drama. 


C.S. McDonald has named this book appropriately because there was Matrimony. Mayhem, and Murder. There was also a meddlesome mom, aka Nancy, Fiona’s mom. If I’m ever in trouble, I want her in my corner. I want Rita (Nat’s mom) as well! 


While the story does contain a murder, which is not a funny crime, C.S. McDonald included much humor in this story. I found Rita’s interaction with the Russian agents quite amusing. Fiona’s retelling of Chad’s “band performance” was also quite comical. 


From beginning to end, I was entertained by Matrimony. Mayhem, and Murder. It’s a story I would proudly recommend others to read. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
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Meet the Author: 
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
 
 
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Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
 
 
 

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The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery (Book Showcase)

 

The Somerville sisters believe in love, but they’ve lost faith it will happen for them. Reggie hasn’t been home since the end of the world’s shortest engagement. When her parents decide to renew their vows, she buffs up her twinkle to help with the Christmas wedding. Unexpectedly, Toby, her first love, is back too, and the spark between them shines as brightly as ever. In the spirit of the season, will they let go of past hurts and greet the New Year together?

Done waiting for the one, Dena is pregnant and on her own—on purpose. But then a gorgeous, sad-eyed songwriter checks in to a room at her inn. Micah, unable to write since he lost his wife, finds inspiration in Dena’s determination to be a mom. One snowflake-speckled kiss and he’s a goner. But Dena is afraid to believe that a rock star could fall for a cookie-cutter small-town girl like her.

As the Christmas wedding draws closer, these two sisters just might unwrap the most treasured gift of all—love.

 

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“It’s a vacuum,” Reggie Somerville said, trying to sound less doubtful than she felt. “You reinvented the vacuum?”

Gizmo stared at her, his hurt obvious, even behind his thick glasses. “It’s a smart vacuum.”

“Don’t we already have those round ones that zip across a room?”

“They’re not smart. They’re average. Mine is smart.”

Reggie was less sure about the vacuum’s intelligence than her client’s. Gizmo had a brain that existed on a different plane than those of average humans. His ideas were extraordinary. His execution, however, wasn’t always successful. A basic knowledge of coding shouldn’t be required to work any household appliance—a fact she’d tried to explain to him about fifty-seven thousand times.

She eyed the triangular-shaped head of the vacuum. The bright purple casing was appealing, and she liked that it could roam on its own or be a regular stick vacuum if that was what she wanted. The printed instructions—about eighteen pages long—were a little daunting, but she would get through them.

If the trial went well, she and Gizmo would discuss the next steps, including her design suggestions. Once those were incorporated, they would start beta testing his latest invention. In the meantime, she would be doing a lot of vacuuming.

“I’ll get you my report in a couple of weeks,” she said.

Gizmo, a slight, pale twenty-year-old who lived with his extended family just north of Seattle, offered her a small smile. “You can have until the first of the year. I’m going to be busy with Christmas decorations for the house. We started putting them up just after Halloween, and it’s about to get really intense. I’ve worked out some of the kinks from last year, so the animatronics look more real. It’s taking a lot of time. My grandma’s really into it.”

“Sounds like fun.”

“We’re launching the Friday after Thanksgiving, but we’ll be upgrading everything through December. Come by close to Christmas. You’ll be blown away.”

“I can’t wait,” she said with a laugh.

She and Gizmo talked for a few more minutes before she walked him out of her home office. When the door closed behind her client, Belle, her one-hundred-twenty-pound Great Dane, poked her large head out from behind the desk.

“You didn’t come say goodbye to Gizmo,” Reggie said. “I thought you liked him.”

Belle shifted her gaze to the purple vacuum sitting in the middle of the area rug, obviously pointing out that potential death still lurked.

“It’s not going to hurt you,” Reggie told her. “It’s not even turned on.”

Belle’s brows drew together, as if she wasn’t willing to accept the validity of that claim. Reggie tried to keep from smiling. Belle made a low sound in her throat, as though reminding Reggie of Gizmo’s last invention.

“Yes, I do remember what happened with the dog walker robot,” Reggie admitted.

The sturdy, odd-looking robot had started out well enough—walking a very concerned Belle around their small yard. Unfortunately, about ten minutes in, something had gone wrong with the programming, and the robot had started chasing her instead. Belle, not the bravest of creatures, had broken through the screen door in her effort to escape the attack, hiding behind Reggie’s desk for the rest of the day.

Gizmo had been crushed by the failure and had needed nearly as much reassurance as the dog. Sometimes, Reggie thought with a sigh, her job was the weirdest one ever.

“I’m going to leave this right here,” Reggie told Belle. “It’s turned off, so you can poke at it with your nose and get used to it.”

Belle took two steps back toward the desk, her body language clearly saying she would never get used to it, and why couldn’t Reggie have a regular job that didn’t threaten the life of her only pet?

“Or you could sit on it,” Reggie pointed out. “The robot weighs about ten pounds. You’re more than ten times that size. You could probably crush it like a bug.”

The dog’s brown eyes widened slightly, filled with affront.

Reggie held in another smile. “I’m not commenting on your weight. You’re very beautiful and way skinnier than me.”

She settled on the sofa and patted the space next to her. Belle loped all of three strides before jumping up and leaning heavily against Reggie. The soft rose-colored sweater Belle wore to protect herself from the damp cold of mid-November looked good on her dark gray fur. Reggie put an arm around her dog and pulled her phone out of her pocket. A quick glance at the screen told her she’d missed a call. From her mother.

She tried to ignore her sudden sense of dread. Not that she didn’t love her parents—she did. Very much. They were good people who cared about her. But they were going to insist she come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and she couldn’t think of a single reason to refuse.

Last year had been different. Last year, she’d stayed in Seattle, with only Belle for company, enduring the holidays rather than enjoying them. She’d given herself through New Year’s to mourn the breakup and subsequent humiliation that went with the man of her dreams proposing at the Lighting of the Trees on the Friday after Thanksgiving, arranging an impromptu celebration party on Saturday, and then dumping her on Sunday.

After sharing her happiness with nearly everyone she knew, having her friends coo over her gorgeous ring and ask about wedding plans, she’d had to explain Jake had changed his mind. She assumed. His actual words, “I can’t do this. It’s over. I’m sorry,” hadn’t given her much to work with.

Hurt and ashamed, she’d buried herself in work and her life in Seattle. She hadn’t returned home to Wishing Tree even once since it had happened, preferring to lick her wounds in private. She’d told herself she was healing, but Reggie knew the truth was less flattering. She was hiding, and it was time to suck it up and get over herself. She’d worked hard to put Jake behind her and move on with her life. Thanksgiving was next week, and she was going home, like she did every year. Besides, it wasn’t as if she was still mourning her ex-fiancé. She’d gotten over him, and now it was time to demonstrate that to her hometown…and possibly herself.

“At least, that’s the plan,” Reggie told her dog and pushed the button to phone her mother.

“Hey, Mom,” she said when the call was answered.

“Reggie! It’s you. You’ll never guess. It’s so wonderful. Your dad and I are getting married.”

Reggie blinked a couple of times. “You’re already married. Your thirty-fifth wedding anniversary is coming up next month. I thought we’d have a party or something.” She and her sister had talked about the possibility a couple of weeks ago.

Her mother laughed. “You’re right. Technically, we’re married. We eloped and I have to tell you, I’ve always regretted not having a big wedding. Your father pointed out I’ve been upset about that for the last thirty-five years, so maybe it was time to do something about it. We’ve decided we’re renewing our vows with a big wedding and a reception afterwards. It’ll be the Wednesday before Christmas.”

“You’re having a wedding?”

“Yes. Up at the resort. We’re inviting everyone. It’s been so much fun, but the planning is getting out of hand. I was hoping you could help me.”

 

Click HERE to read Chapter One in its entirety!

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Meet the Author:

SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.

 

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Grace Under Siege: Not a Love Story by René Voland (Book Review)

GRACE UNDER SIEGE: Not a Love Story by Rene Voland

 
​Grace, a newlywed in her 30’s, discovers that her new life isn’t exactly what she expected. Her husband Narcissus is a handsome, former special agent whose puzzling behavior follows a mysterious pattern. Despite Grace’s best efforts, she finds it incredibly difficult to build a happy life with him. The ultimate revelation leads to a showdown with Narcissus. Grace believes the well-being of others depend on what she must reveal.
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
Grace Under Siege: Not a Love Story by René Voland dealt with a very touchy subject that many individuals are facing currently or have faced in the past — domestic abuse. René Voland emphasizes domestic abuse is more than strikes to the body. Criticizing, controlling a person’s life, and name-calling are just a few examples of abuse Grace faced. At times, it’s a combination of any or all of the following three: mental, physical, and emotional abuse. Unfortunately, most people’s (like Grace) struggles don’t end when they walk away from the toxic relationship. Fear is always lurking, and so is their abuser. 


Grace Under Siege: Not a Love Story does talk extensively about narcissistic personality disorder. Since I love psychology, the discussions revolving around it were fascinating. If you love the psychobabble talk, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well. 


If you aren’t a religious person, be warned this is a book of faith. If you are, then you’ll love and appreciate every mention of faith and the Lord. No matter your religious status, if you are in an abusive relationship, please get in touch with the National Domestic Violence listed in the book. (1-800-799-SAFE)


On a final note: René Voland added a feature to her book that I hadn’t seen before, and it’s worth noting. After the Epilogue, she listed Topics for Book Club Discussion. How ingenious! I hope many other authors will follow suit. 


On a final, final note: I loved your book’s cover! Those eyes drew me in like a moth to a flame. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
GRACE UNDER SIEGE: Not a Love Story by Rene Voland
René is an author, playwright, poet and publisher/editor. She is a seasoned business owner, private coach and ministerial leader. Grace Under Siege is her debut novel. She and her spouse live in Georgia. She is a graduate of Georgia State University.

connect with the author: website ~ instagram

 
 
 

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Scorned : A Wolf Shifter Paranormal Romance (Never Marry a Shifter Book 2) by Azaaa Davis (Book Showcase)

Releases February 23rd on Amazon! 

She’s the only one that can stop her cursed husband’s murderous rampage. 

Theresa lived a planned and pampered life that left her unprepared for the dark secrets and brutal people surrounding her new husband. Trapped in the form of a white wolf, the handsome Dr. James Patrick is in danger of dying, crazed and alone, or turning into something even shifters fear, a rogue alpha.

Theresa is bound to the unruly and vicious wolf pack James has tried to distance himself from in more ways than one. Theresa must stop relying on her looks and start using her mind. Can a human female that is best known for her beauty tips somehow save her cursed husband before he kills … again?

Preorder your ebook copy of Scorned today!

 

 

Be sure and check out book one! 

We said “I do,” and then he disappeared. 

Administrative assistant by day and boss lady on social media by night, Theresa enjoys sharing her charmed life with half-million followers. The only thing she loves more is being engaged to the hottest doctor at the clinic where they both work. Cementing her fame by reaching one million followers would be the icing on her wedding cake. 

Life stops running smoothly when her husband vanishes on their wedding night and a leaked photo of a barely-dressed Theresa yelling at the police sparks a viral sensation. With everything at stake—love, reputation, followers, and career—she embarks on a reluctant voyage of discovery. Follow Theresa as she stumbles over her new husband’s secrets and develops her inner strength. 

 

Start reading this thrilling paranormal romance novella today!

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Azaaa Davis is an International Bestselling American author of urban fantasy & paranormal romance novels. ✨

She fell in love with reading as a high school freshman and continues to read, write, and draw today. Her background in social work helps her portray realistic characters in otherworldly–and sometimes terrifying–situations. A New York native, Azaaa currently lives in New Hampshire (USA) with her husband and daughters.

Azaaa is working diligently to finish writing more fantasy novels while raising her daughters. Thank you for showing an interest in her stories!

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Jilted: A Wolf Shifter Paranormal Romance by Azaaa Davis (Book Review)

 

We said “I do,” and then he disappeared. 

 

Administrative assistant by day and boss lady on social media by night, Theresa enjoys sharing her charmed life with half-million followers. The only thing she loves more is being engaged to the hottest doctor at the clinic where they both work. Cementing her fame by reaching one million followers would be the icing on her wedding cake. 

Life stops running smoothly when her husband vanishes on their wedding night and a leaked photo of a barely-dressed Theresa yelling at the police sparks a viral sensation. With everything at stake—love, reputation, followers, and career—she embarks on a reluctant voyage of discovery. Follow Theresa as she stumbles over her new husband’s secrets and develops her inner strength. 

 

Start reading this thrilling paranormal romance novella today!

Kindle Purchase Link

 

 

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

It’s nothing new for a person to be driven to have the perfect marriage – a perfect family – a perfect life. Some individuals strive to marry someone of wealth or have a specific job. 

Theresa was determined to prove to everyone from her past that she made something of herself. She strived to have A LOT of social media followers, gain sponsorships, receive freebies, and have people covet her life. In the world of social media and influencers, more people are becoming household names and living off commissions from ads. 

To her Insta followers, Theresa appears to be living the dream. In reality, she’s caught in a nightmare that seems only to be getting worse. 

For the first three-fourths of Jilted, I wondered who was the true big bad wolf. Theresa had sparks between two of them (wolves). I wanted that played out more, maybe a love triangle. An epic (highly-detailed) fight scene between the two men (beasts) would’ve also been on my wish list. Without divulging any spoilers, I will say the ending was surprising, and maybe my wishes will come to pass in the sequel, Scorned. 

I can’t wait to find out!! 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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Azaaa Davis is an International Bestselling American author of urban fantasy & paranormal romance novels. ✨

She fell in love with reading as a high school freshman and continues to read, write, and draw today. Her background in social work helps her portray realistic characters in otherworldly–and sometimes terrifying–situations. A New York native, Azaaa currently lives in New Hampshire (USA) with her husband and daughters.

Azaaa is working diligently to finish writing more fantasy novels while raising her daughters. Thank you for showing an interest in her stories!

Website and Blog
Newsletter Sign Up
Social Media Links

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