Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Suspense Magazine Tour - PICT

Suspense Magazine

by John Raab

on Tour June 2015

coverSuspense Magazine is an all digital magazine that was founded in 2007. We publish short stories, interviews, exclusive excerpts, articles and more. We have also in the past published alternate endings to very popular books, IE: Sara Paretsky's book "Critical Mass".
"Suspense Magazine is chock full of stunning artwork, intriguing fiction, and interviews It's a winner!"
—Tess Gerritsen, International Bestselling Author

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My Thoughts:

Suspense Magazine has so many features - short stories, articles by authors, amazing artwork, book reviews, etc. - everything you would want in a good magazine. I received the June 2014 issue to read for this tour, and it is truly everything I would want and look for in a suspense type magazine.

The articles as well as the short stories were well written and did captivate me from beginning to end. I loved the Featured Artist and the international Reader's Corner features. They were among my favorites of this issue.

If you love suspense and enjoy a full featured magazine, then Suspense Magazine is the perfect magazine to add to your must reads. I'm sure you'll not only enjoy the subscription, but want to pick up back issues as well.

More About John:

John Raab founded Suspense Magazine in 2007. Also the host of three radio shows on Suspense Radio Network (Inside Edition, One on One and Beyond The Cover) also the producer for two more shows, Crime and Science Radio and The Story Blender.

The CEO / Publisher of Suspense Publishing a book publisher that publishes #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Paul Kemprecos, along with several other authors.

Catch Up: 

author's website author's twitter author's facebook

Still on the Fence? Enter to Win:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for John Raab & Suspense Magazine. There will be 1 ebook winner of Cornerstone by JM Leduc, 1 ebook winner of The Lone Wolf by Joseph Badal, and 1 winner of the next e-release of Suspense Magazine. The giveaway begins on June 1st, 2015 and runs through July 3rd, 2015.

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Tour Participants:


Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

I received a copy of this book from PICT courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Suspense Magazine Tour - Guest Post - PICT

The number one question I’m asked is “How do I sell more books?” If I had a nickel for every time we are emailed that, I wouldn’t have to know the answer because I would be retired. Well I’m about to answer the most important question any author can ask, are you ready?

First let’s start by saying this. If you are an author and are looking to retire from your writing, or sell a million copies, get out now. It will only cause you heartbreak. While there are a handful of authors that actually do accomplish this goal, it’s the same as a young kid right now putting all his eggs in a basket hoping to play professional sports, have a backup plan.

I’m not saying it can’t happen, but it is very, very difficult. However I have the answer that will get you on your way. “How do I sell more books?” Yep, that’s what you want to know. Ok, so the answer is….

Ok, hold on. I know you really want to know this, but I’m going to tell you a quick story first, because if I tell you now you probably won’t read the rest of this post, and I’ll just be typing to nobody. When we got into the magazine business, our goal had zero to do with money. We wanted to help out authors. We wanted all authors, regardless of their sales or listing on any bestseller list to have voice. I will let you in on a little secret, every time you walk into a Barnes and Noble and you see all those books up in the front on the table or on the shelf, the publisher paid for those spots. That is not Barnes and Noble being nice, it’s pay to play for them. Most authors end up in the stacks, where less than 5% of all people actually go and look around. By starting the magazine we wanted to change the game and put the authors in control, and so far we have done a good job.

But now I think it’s time to reveal the magical answer once and for all. After all I’m a professional, an expert in the field you might say (except my wife since she knows what I wear to bed, but we will leave that for another post), I’ve done several years of research; I see what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve sat in conferences, given speeches, taught classes and talked with some very intelligent person. The answer to the question “How do I sell more books?” Write the absolute best book you can and work your butt off marketing it.

Oh come on, you didn’t really think I had fairy dust and could solve the problem that has been asked by authors for hundreds of years did you? The basic answer is there is no answer. There is no formula; there is only hard work before you write the book, during the writing process and after it’s finished. If you are not willing to put in the work, that’s fine, but don’t complain when your royalty check is under $10.00.

Writing is like everything else, a job. Either you are willing to put in the hours to make yourself better at your job, or you are just punching a time clock. The choice is yours to make.

John Raab founded Suspense Magazine in 2007. Also the host of three radio shows on Suspense Radio Network (Inside Edition, One on One and Beyond The Cover) also the producer for two more shows, Crime and Science Radio and The Story Blender.

The CEO / Publisher of Suspense Publishing a book publisher that publishes #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Paul Kemprecos, along with several other authors.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Dairy Good Cookbook by Lisa Kingsley

The Dairy Good Cookbook
Everyday Comfort Food from America's Dairy Farm Families
Author: Lisa Kingsley
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 9781449465032
Hardcover: 256 pages
Release Date: June 2, 2015

About the Book:
The Dairy Good Cookbook is a celebration of the world of the 47,000 dairy farm families and their contributions to American life. The 115 recipes showcase the taste of dairy in many forms, from cheese to yogurt, milk, and butter. The book gives a unique perspective through recipes and photographs of a day in the life of dairy farms, cows, and the farmers who bring us our dairy.

Dairy farming is one of the hardest types of farming there is, and these farmers take a tremendous sense of pride in their work. Ninety-five percent of the 49,000 dairy farms in America are family owned, and many families have continued to own their farms for generations. Milk is in their blood. The Dairy Good Cookbook showcases the lives of these hard-working farmers across the country. This book celebrates not only the love that people have for dairy foods, but it also pays tribute to the dairy farmers—and even the cows that make all this great cuisine possible.

The book is divided into six sections organized by a day in the life of a dairy farmer, beginning with Sunrise and ending at Sundown, along with other special days in the year (including holidays and family get-togethers). Each chapter highlights one of six different types of dairy cows and includes profiles of both large and small dairy producers. Nothing soothes the soul quite like a warm bit of Macaroni & Cheese, Apple Cheddar Pizza, Apricot Dijon Pork Chops, or a taste of Dairyman's Chocolate Cake. The 115 recipes include dishes from the archives of Dairy Management, Inc. as well as family favorites from farmers themselves. Tips on cooking with dairy are included along with family-friendly recipes and myriad photographs of the food and farms.

Unlike other foods that we consume, where our milk originates is probably less than 100 miles from our homes. Dairy is still a small, community-based business, and dairy farmers are the original environmentalists since their livelihood depends on the health and well-being of their animals and where they live. This cookbook has the endorsement and support of Dairy Management, Inc., the umbrella organization to which all of America's dairy farmers belong. Carla Hall from The Chew has contributed the foreword, and it will be released in early June for National Dairy Month.

My Thoughts:

I grew up in dairy country and spent many hours milking, feeding and taking care of cows. This delightful book brought back so many memories: from the life of dairy farming to the wonderful taste taste of fresh milk and dairy and the amazing recipes made from them!

The above description of the book really does a fine job, so I won't rehash what is already there. The recipes I tried were delicious. The Apple-Pecan Coffee Cake, Pepper and Egg Brunch Bake, Creamy Pea Soup, and Cajun Mac and Cheese are ones I will certainly make again. One thing I found difficult was to sit and find just recipe I wanted to try. They all sound soooo good, but even worse for me was the beautiful photography that is throughout. Not only is the food photography superb, but the many farm photos that are sprinkled throughout the book were a tremendous distraction! This book is so beautiful, you could easily put it out as a coffee table book.

Full of stunning photographs, delicious recipes and information about farm life and cows, this book will delight anyone that loves good down home cooking, dreams about being on a farm or someone that just loves a beautiful cookbook to add to their collection. Celebrate National Dairy Month by purchasing your copy in June.

The Dairy Good Cookbook book comes VERY HIGHLY recommended!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Sussex Downs Murder by John Bude

The Sussex Downs Murder
A British Library Crime Classic
Author: John Bude
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publishing Date:   May 5 2015
Paperback ISBN: 9781464203718
eBook ISBN: 9781464203725
Print Length: 210 pages

About the Book:
'Already it looked as if the police were up against a carefully planned and cleverly executed murder, and, what was more, a murder without a corpse!’

Two brothers, John and William Rother, live together at Chalklands Farm in the beautiful Sussex Downs. Their peaceful rural life is shattered when John Rother disappears and his abandoned car is found. Has he been kidnapped? Or is his disappearance more sinister – connected, perhaps, to his growing rather too friendly with his brother’s wife?

Superintendent Meredith is called to investigate – and begins to suspect the worst when human bones are discovered on Chalklands farmland. His patient, careful detective method begins slowly to untangle the clues as suspicion shifts from one character to the next.

This classic detective novel from the 1930s is now republished for the first time, with an introduction by the award-winning crime writer Martin Edwards.
My Thoughts:

There is something about a good British mystery that can't be topped. From the way the mystery is presented to the inquisitive detective, the Brits just know how to draw the reader in and keep them captive from beginning to end and believe me, "The Sussex Downs Murder" is no exception.

From the opening pages, we meet John and William Rother. Both run a business making and selling lime. When John leaves on a trip, he says goodbye to his brother and his wife, reminding the brother to take good care of the business. John's car is found abandoned with other clues that scream foul play.

Enter Superintendent Meredith... He has been called to lead the investigation and he leaves no stones upturned as he searches for answers - following lead after lead and suspecting first one then another. Full of great red herrings, this book will leave the reader guessing through to then end.

This captivating mystery was written in 1936 by Ernest Carpenter Elmore, an English theatre producer and director who penned his mystery novels under the pseudonym John Bude. He published more than 30 crime novels, this being the 3rd. Elmore died at the young age of 56 in 1957.

Recommended to those that love British mysteries, Agatha Christie, or any well written mystery that has some good red herrings!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Eight Hundred Grapes
A Novel
Author: Laura Dave
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publishing Date: June 2, 2015
ISBN: 9781476789255
Hardcover: 272 pages
Genre: Women's Fiction

About the Book:
A breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You). “Laura Dave writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she's describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine).

There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…
My Thoughts:

"Eight Hundred Grapes" delivered something far from what I was expecting. I expected to find an average romance taking place at a winery. What I got was a story that was rich and full and complex but at the same time, so very simple and can be summed up in one sentence. It's a story about what one wants out of life and what will have to be sacrificed for it.

Within the beautiful setting of a vineyard, the story is rich with information of what it takes to masterful at making a great wine and also the lessons of life that come with it. The main character, Georgia Ford discovers herself and her true desires and needs when she returns home a few days before her wedding.

This mesmerizing look at Georgia and her return to find a not perfect family made this a wonderful and hard-to-put down story. Easy to read, yet complex to a point, I found a ring of truth to the situation: when we lose our rose colored glasses and see life for what it is.

I enjoyed Georgia and her struggles and found myself adoring Jacob and Dan. The shifting from present to past was not difficult because the past was in 3rd person and the present was in 1st person. The ending was a bit predictable but was truly satisfying.

If you are looking for a decent Women's fiction book to read this summer, look no further. "Eight Hundred Grapes" is a wonderful book that will entertain you with humor, drama and self-realization.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Monday, March 30, 2015


Recipes for Japanese Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Tsukemono
Author: Karen Solomon
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
ISBN: 9781607744788
Pages: 54 Genre: Asian Cooking, Pickling

About the Book:
A DIY guide to making the salty, sweet, tangy, and sometimes spicy pickles of Japan, featuring 16 recipes for traditional tsukemono as well as new favorites with innovative ingredients and techniques.

For Asian food aficionados and preservers and picklers looking for new frontiers, the natural standout is Japan's diverse array of pickled products and innovative flavor pairings that wow the palate. In Asian Pickles: Japan, respected cookbook author and culinary project maven Karen Solomon introduces readers to the unique ingredients used in Japanese pickle-making, such as koji rice, fermented rice bran, shiso leaf, miso, soy sauce, and numerous other techniques beyond the basic vinegar brine. And for the novice pickler, Solomon also includes a vast array of quick pickles with easily-accessible ingredients. Featuring the most sought-after Japanese pickle recipes--including Pickled Ginger, Umeboshi, and more--plus beautiful photography, Asian Pickles: Japan will help you explore a new preserving horizon with fail-proof instructions and additional resources.
My Thoughts:

A delightful book filled with a nice conversational prose as well as some interesting Asian pickling recipes. There is one thing to be said about the recipes - they may not taste exactly like you might think. Japanese cooking and pickling is quite a bit different than American cooking, and the recipes show that. I tried a couple of the recipes and questioned how they turned out. We have a Chinese friend that said they were perfect and that they are supposed to taste just like I made them!

With that said, the recipes appear to be quite authentic. It also appears that some of these may be an acquired taste. If you like Asian cooking (real Asian - not the Americanized type) or you are an adventurous cook, then you may really enjoy this book!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

Hello From the Gillespies
Author: Monica McInerney
ISBN: 9780451466723
Paperback: 624 pages
Genre: Women's Fiction

About the Book:
For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself—she tells the truth....

The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping badly with retirement. Her thirty-two-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.

Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when Angela is taken away from them in a most unexpected manner, the Gillespies pull together—and pull themselves together—in wonderfully surprising ways….
My Thoughts:

It is said that everyone has two different lives: a public life and a private life - one we share and one is where we keep all our family secrets hidden from everyone. What would everyone think if they KNEW about all the things that go on behind closed doors?

"Hello From the Gillespies" is a story about what happens when secrets are revealed. Enter Angela - a wife and mother who shows the world how wonderful her life is. Every year she sends out the Christmas newsletter telling about the family and all the great things going on. It is again time to write the newsletter, but she is having a hard time with it because things aren't bright and shiny - so instead she writes a long email newsletter telling exactly what is happening and exactly how she feels. This email was never to be sent, but something she needed to do to get things off her chest. Great idea, except the email IS sent.

A humorous account of what happens when one accidentally airs their dirty laundry and how a family deals with the hidden truths, feelings and situations. Although light-hearted, this story rings with truth and I'm sure everyone can identify with it at some level.

Although a fun read, this 624 page tome was just a bit too long and detailed for my taste - personally, I think it could have had the same effect being it a bit shorter. It was definitely worth reading - the humor kept it light enough to enjoy, but there was a bit too much drama at times and I found myself skimming those parts.

Overall, this is still a book worth reading and I'd certainly recommend it to anyone who likes women's fiction with a touch of humor.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.


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