Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Big Event by Anne John-Ligali

You are cordially invited to the party of the season where you'll meet Constance and friends in action.

Constance Jeffries is excited when she gets the chance to meet up with virtual friends at a get-together in a London hotel. She’s been tweeting and messaging her lovely friends for years and feels they must be just as excited to finally meet her in person too. Or so she hopes.

The Big Event is first part in a short story series about the importance of ‘real’ friendships and how it’s the little things that matter the most.

A Gorgeous Venue, A Room Full of Friends, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

My Thoughts
What a fun story of friendships through social media.
It's so funny to think that someone could be living within a 10 minute walk of someone else and now in this day and age of technology has never met face to face.
Her virtual friends come in all forms - the partier, the narcissist, the complication and the poser. 
What a line up of characters, what could possibly go wrong?
What a fun beginning to this new series!

Image result for champagne
Drink Selection
The perfect section to pair with Champs!  Drink up, well not too much!

5 wine glasses for this fun short story that sets that tone for part 2 to come.

Anne John-Ligali

About Anne
Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews.  She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.
Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series.  Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007. Since then, Anne has been writing on and off and enjoys participating in writing groups.
When Anne is not writing, she is likely to be at soft play with her kids, taking long evening walks in Hyde Park, making green smoothies, window shopping, or having a pampering session at her local beauty salon (whenever she gets the chance).
Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

Link to Purchase

Lowcountry Boil (A Liz Talbot Mystery, #1) by Susan Boyer

Private Investigator Liz Talbot is a modern Southern belle: she blesses hearts and takes names. She carries her Sig 9 in her Kate Spade handbag, and her golden retriever, Rhett, rides shotgun in her hybrid Escape. When her grandmother is murdered, Liz high-tails it back to her South Carolina island home to find the killer. She’s fit to be tied when her police-chief brother shuts her out of the investigation, so she opens her own. Then her long-dead best friend pops in and things really get complicated. When more folks start turning up dead in this small seaside town, Liz must use more than just her wits and charm to keep her family safe, chase down clues from the hereafter, and catch a psychopath before he catches her.

My Thoughts
Let me start out by saying that Liz Talbot is one tough girl.  LOVE her!  She carries her Sig everywhere she goes (with good reason) in her Kate Spade - fashionable and badass!
Liz returns home after a short stint away in Greenville, due to her grandmother's passing.  Little did she know, she would be thrown into an investigation of her grandmother's MURDER.
Her brother keeps trying to keep her locked up but nothing stops her - she climes down trees, escapes from police watches of her home, just to name a few.
I don't think she realized how much work it was going to be coming back to Stella Meris.  She is seeing ghosts, dealing with her conniving sister and her cousin from hell, and heck even getting proposed to a few times!  Geez!
All I have to say is I am so happy I started this series and can't wait to start book 2!  Perfect summer beach read to take along on those hot days!

Image result for mint julep

Drink Selection
I'm going with a Mint Julip all the way!  Pretty and delish!

10 mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish

Place the mint leaves in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass and top with the sugar. Muddle these together until the leaves begin to break down. Add a splash of seltzer water, fill the glass 3/4 full with crushed ice, and add the bourbon. Top with another splash of seltzer, stir, and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.

5 wine glasses for this awesome mystery!

Susan M. Boyer
About Susan
Susan M. Boyer is the author of the USA TODAY bestselling Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, won the 2012 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and garnered several other award nominations, including the Macavity. The third book in the series, Lowcountry Boneyard, was a Spring 2015 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick, and was short-listed for the 2016 Pat Conroy Beach Music Mystery Prize. It was also a 2016 Daphne du Maurier finalist for the Mainstream Mystery/Suspense award. Lowcountry Bordello, the fourth Liz Talbot mystery, was released November 3, 2015. Lowcountry Book Club was released July 5th, 2016 and was a Summer 2016 SIBA Okra Pick. The seventh novel in the series, LOWCOUNTRY BOOKSHOP, comes out May 29, 2018.

Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives. You’ll find all of the above in her novels. She lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.

To learn more about Susan, visit

Link to Purchase

California Summer by Anita Hughes

Ben and Rosie are Hollywood’s newest director/producer dream team. After hitting it big at Sundance, it seems that their ten years of love and hard work are finally paying off. Rosie is happy making independent films, but Ben wants the A-List celebrity package: a house in Beverly Hills, fancy cars in the driveway, and his name on the biggest blockbusters. He’s willing to do anything, even sleep with the most famous producer in town, to get them.

Rosie is devastated by Ben’s affair, and she decides to take a break from show business. She accepts her best friend's invitation to spend the summer at her parents' estate in Montecito. It's far away from L.A., the perfect place to start over.

In Montecito, Rosie meets a colorful cast of characters including Rachel, who owns a chocolate store, and Josh, a handsome local who splits his time between surfing and classic cars. Suddenly Rosie has new friends and a new purpose. She starts a business in the village, and her luck seems to be turning around. But Rosie knows all too well that success comes with a price, and the price might be losing love...again.

My Thoughts
I love everything about Anita's writing style, it's carefree and whimsical.  I read this book in a little over a day because I just couldn't separate myself from it.
I really connected with Rosie.  There are times when I feel like I am living someone else's life and not the one that I would choose for myself.
I have thoughts of moving and being in a place or location that makes me happy and smile each day.
Ben and Rosie had, what she thought was, a great relationship.  They fell in love at school and loved the same movies, had the same passions and knew that they wanted to create this film making empire together one day.  Rosie basically couldn't make a decision without asking Ben first, he was her crutch.
Then one day she came home from scouting and he had done the unthinkable after 10 years, he had cheated and she knew by the position of the sheets.
What was she going to do?  Her life literally revolved around him - her home, her job and most of her friends.
Her best friend Angelica gave her a getaway she couldn't refuse, a cottage to stay in on her parents estate in Montecito. 
This is going to be a journey of self-discovery for Rosie - from making new friends, figuring out her path and who she wants to be.
This is a must read summer hit and highly recommend it as your next beach read!

Image result for strawberry-Lemon Mojitos
Drink Selection
I'm going to pair this sexy summer tail with a strawberry-lemon mojito!  Delish!

8 lemon wedges

24 mint leaves, plus 4 mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)

4 strawberries, plus 2 halved strawberries, for garnish

8 ounces gold or aged rum

3 ounces fresh lemon juice

2 ounces prepared sugarcane syrup or agave nectar

Step By Step  
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lemon wedges with the whole strawberries and mint leaves. Add ice and the rum, lemon juice and sugarcane syrup; shake well. Strain into crushed ice–filled highball glasses. Garnish with the berry halves and mint sprigs.    

     5 glasses, hands down!   

Anita Hughes

About the Anita
Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia. She attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing program. She is the author of MONARCH BEACH, MARKET STREET, LAKE COMO, FRENCH COAST, ROME IN LOVE, ISLAND IN THE SEA, SANTORINI SUNSETS, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA, EMERALD COAST and CHRISTMAS IN LONDON published by St. Martin's Press.

Link to Purchase

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

River Bodies by Karen Katchur

In this dark, gripping mystery, a brutal murder unearths old secrets that should have stayed buried.
A body just turned up in the small town of Portland, Pennsylvania. The crime is eerily similar to a twenty-year-old cold case: another victim, brutally murdered, found in the Delaware River. Lead detective Parker Reed is intent on connecting the two murders, but the locals are on lockdown, revealing nothing.
The past meets the present when Becca Kingsley, who returns to Portland to be with her estranged but dying father, runs into Parker, her childhood love. As the daughter of the former police chief, Becca’s quickly drawn into the case. Coming home has brought something ominous to the surface—memories long buried, secrets best kept hidden. Becca starts questioning all her past relationships, including one with a man who’s watched over her for years. For the first time, she wonders if he’s more predator than protector.
In a small town where darkness hides in plain sight, the truth could change Becca’s life—or end it.

My Thoughts 
Wow, this book pulled me in from the first chapter through to the end.
It's a story that brings together both the past and the present with two dead bodies and one killing style that can't be forgotten.
A town that is known to live peacefully (as much as you can) with a gang.  The Scion's take care of the people and the people stay hush about their business until one day when a young woman returned to town to say goodbye to her ailing father, the retired head of the police department.
Memories she didn't recall start coming back little by little.  Her feelings for Parker  begin to become stronger and stronger.
Others begin to realize that the story of the morbid past may come to the surface and the Scions can't let that happen.
Will Becca be able to save her own life?  Will Parker be able to get justice for a double murder? The answers will all come to light November 1st.
This first book was great, I can't wait for the second in the series.
 Image result for vodka and coke
Drink Selection
 I'm going to pair this read with a Vodka and Coke.  It's a little rough around the edges just like this story line.

5 wine for sure.

About the Author 
Karen Katchur is an award-winning suspense novelist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a master's degree in Education. She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
Link to Purchase

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Q & A with Karen Katchur, author of River Bodies

I would like to start out by thanking Karen Katchur for taking time to chat with me and answer some questions for my readers here at Books and Wine are Lovely!  Let's get started:

1.  When writing your latest book, River Bodies, was this “insidious evil” based on a true story or was this something you came up with on your own?  If this was self-created, I always wonder how authors come up with these evil plots on their own?  Does it just pop into your head one day?

Well, geez, if I say my evil plots are all self-created I’m not sure my husband would be able to sleep at night! ☺ The ideas for my stories come from either a personal experience or from something I’ve read, seen, or heard that sparked my interest.

River Bodies happens to be a combination of the two. It isn’t based on a true story, but it’s not entirely self-created either. When I was growing up, I remember hearing about a body that had been pulled from the Delaware River. Now, this isn’t necessarily unusual for the area. However, what was unusual was that the victim had sustained injuries similar to how a hunter field dresses a deer. Years later I heard of another case where a mother and daughter were found with similar injuries. It got me thinking and wondering what the motive was behind this specific type of crime. From there, the story behind River Bodies started to take shape. I wanted to explore how violence effects the lives of the characters involved and how it impacts their relationships and families.

2.  When you aren’t reading or writing, what do you like to do for fun?

I’m pretty low key. I love hanging out with my husband and our two girls whether we’re playing tennis, sitting by the pool, or running errands. Whatever it is we’re doing, they always make me laugh. The same goes with my girlfriends.

3.  If you were given a free voucher to fly (although with planes these days, I’m a little nervous) anywhere for 2 weeks where would you go?  Any particular reason?

Fly me to Baia delle Zagare, Puglia in Italy. All the beaches in Italy look absolutely breathtaking. I’m a beach person, so yeah, plop me down there but be warned, I may never leave.  

4.  What made you decide that you wanted to be a writer?  Has it always been a passion or is it something that you just fell into one day?

I can’t say writing has always been a passion, but it has always been a part of my life. I just didn’t know it! I thought everybody walked around with stories in their heads. I got the idea of writing a book after my second daughter was born. I was home raising my two girls and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was bored. It felt like my brain was oozing out of my ears. I needed something more than diapers and bottles to fill my days. I happened to catch an episode of Oprah one afternoon. They were discussing a book, While I Was Gone, by Sue Miller. The audience was divided about the main character’s actions to the point where a heated argument had broken out. I was riveted. I wanted to write a character that people talked about. At night after my girls were asleep, I started writing. I was hooked.

5.  Do you have a new book in the works?  Are there any details that you can share with your fans/readers?

Yes! River Bodies is the first book in the Northampton County series, and I’m currently working on book two with a working title, Cold Bones. Detective Parker Reed is back with a new partner, Geena Brassard. The story is set against the landscape of a missing person cold case, where three childhood friends reunite to confront their past and expose their secrets. It has a Stranger Things vibe as the chapters alternate from the 1980’s to present day. But rather than having a science fiction element, the monster in Cold Bones is human and he’s very real.

If that doesn't make you want to read River Bodies ( and Cold Bones ) then I don't know what will!

Karen Katchur 
About the Author 
Karen Katchur is an award-winning suspense novelist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a master's degree in Education. She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
 Link to Pre-Order