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Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway for Purr M for Murder by T.C. Lotempio

Purr M for Murder

by T.C. Lotempio
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat-- along with Littleton's dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington-- who just happens to be Sydney's old high school crush-- is highly suspicious of the sisters' involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton's death-- until the killer notices she's pawing a little too closely at the truth.

Will glanced up. “Pretty observant of you, Syd. The ME will determine the cause of death.” He tapped on his notebook with the edge of his pen. “Why don’t you walk me through what happened. How did the two of you come to be in Littleton’s shop so early?”

“We had something we wanted to discuss with Mr. Littleton, and we thought the earlier the better,” I said.

“I see. And just what was the nature of this discussion?”

I shifted my weight to my other foot. “Friendly Paws has teamed with Dayna’s Treats & Sweets for a cat café event to benefit the shelter. For a nominal fee, people can have their coffee and goodies in a room with shelter cats that are available for adoption.”

Will glanced up, and I could see a light of interest in his eyes. “I’ve heard of those cafes. They’re mostly in Europe.”

“There are a few in the States, big cities mostly. This will be the first event of it’s kind in North Carolina. We’re hoping to increase revenue for both the café and the shelter.”

“Let me guess. That idea didn’t sit well with Littleton?”

Kat and I both shook our heads in unison and Kat exclaimed, “I should say not! He was in the shop yesterday, and he made his feelings pretty darn clear. He thought having the cats around would be detrimental to business. Heck, he thinks-thought- the shelter in general was a detriment to the town.”

“A sentiment you two didn’t agree with,” he said slowly.

“I should say not!” Kat returned, her cheeks starting to flame. “Syd and I tried to reason with him yesterday but he dind’t want to hear it.”

“And that’s why you decided to come here this morning?”

I nodded. “Yes. I put together a pretty good argument of pros for the event. I was hoping to appeal to his sense of business acumen.”

“Why did you feel this was necessary? Had he threatened you?”

“Not in so many words,” I said carefully. “But he did say yesterday that he was determined to put a stop to the proceedings, and we hadn’t heard the last from him.”

“Um-hm.” Will murmured, scribbling some more.

“And Leila Addams – do you remember her, Will? She’s a reporter for the Deer Park Herald now,” Kat chimed in. “Leila said that she thought Littleton was inquiring about starting a petition against showing the shelter cats – and the shelter in general.”

Will made another notation in his book. “So when was the last time you saw Littleton?”

“Yesterday around one-thirty.” I cleared my throat. “If that’s all the questions you have, we need to get going.”

He snapped his notebook shut. “You’re free to go for now,” he said, “but I will probably need to talk to you some more later on.”

“That’s fine,” I said. “We’ll be here.”

The corners of Will’s lips twitched slightly. “Good to know.”

Once we were back out on the street, Kat hauled off and punched me in the arm – hard.

“Yow!” I cried. “What was that for?”

“For thinking that you could come here and face Littleton without me, for one,” Kat said. “I knew you had your fingers crossed last night.” I rubbed at my arm. “Can’t put anything over on you, can I?”

She gave me a shrewd look. “So, how did it feel, seeing Will Worthington again after all these years! I heard he was back in town, but I had no idea he’d become a detective – homicide, no less.” She cut me a sidelong glance. “Funny, isn’t it, how you two came back to Deer Park almost at the same time. Like Karma, or something.”

“Well, I’d rather deal with Will than his partner, Colombo Junior,” I said. “Come on, let’s get my car and get to the shelter. I hope Maggie isn’t too worried.”

We walked through the alleyway and when we were almost at the spot where I’d parked, I suddenly stopped short. “Hey,” Kat cried as she ran full tilt into my back. “What’s wrong?”

I pointed to the empty space beside my car. “There was a white Lincoln there when I came, parked pretty badly. The license plate read TLITTLE. I thought for sure it was Littleton’s car, but if it’s gone…”

“A white Lincoln? That’s his wife Petra’s car,” Kat said. She glanced around, then pointed to the gym. “She must have parked it here instead of the gym parking lot, like she usually does. I wonder why.”

Another disturbing thought occurred to me as I slid behind the wheel. It would have been impossible for Littleton’s wife not to have seen the ambulance and police cars parked in front of her husband’s shop. Why hadn’t she come to see what was wrong? Unless, of course…she didn’t have to. Because she already knew.

I'm back to review Purr M for Muder by T.C. Lotempio, the first book in her new Cat Rescue mysteries. The first book I've read by Lotempio was Nick & Nora's third book, Crime and Catnip. That was alright, though stretched my suspension of disbelief and didn't really grab me. The same cannot be said of Purr M for Murder.

I loved it! It's cute, fun, hilarious, great cast, the cats are adorable, helpful, and more down to Earth, and I didn't figure out the mystery until Sydney did.

  • Sydney actually does investigating on her own instead of being lead around by a cat with freakish abliities.
  • Love that they work in a shelter and talk about taking care of the animals. 
  • I love Will the crush's return
  • Great that the detectives are bumbling around, capable of doing stuff, and do figure out plenty by themselves.
  • I love Sydney and Kat's sibling relationship.
  • I love Sydney and her roommate's friendship and hanging out. Roommates are that weird even as an adult, ya know!
  • Very enjoyable, easy, quick, with funny moments

If you love cozy mysteries, especially in small towns with cute kitties, Purr M for Murder would be perfect. Except it's continuation of the status quo. While there's no triggering content, people that aren't' straight and white won't find themselves among the cast and crew.

My only problem is the same as always with the cozy mystery genre: lack of diversity. What's a quick good time for me, is a reminder to many people they wouldn't be welcome. Instead of confronting problems and expanding the genre, it's the same ol' same old.

It's why I don't read many cozy mysteries anymore. Besides, the Blanche series I'm having a devil of a time finding more diverse cozies. If you have any recommendations, let me know!

About the Author

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM. #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, is out this December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

ROCCO’s blog Website Amazon Facebook Twitter

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Agoraphobic: Inside Out by Sara Secora Review

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | | | Please comment!

Agoraphobic: Inside Out

by Sara Secora
A short story - 11 pages
Release Date: January 30th 2017

28-year-old Kade hasn't been able to make it past his sidewalk in eight years. In this chilling short story, you will be given a glimpse into the inner workings of his mind as he goes through the process of trying to face his irrational, but very real fears.

Experience firsthand what goes on in an Agoraphobic's mind and begin to understand the silent disorder that millions of people across the world struggle with.

  • Tunnel vision on Kade struggling to leave his safe zone
  • Very descriptive regarding the terror, the anxiety, the mental and physical toll
  • Short = scant on details on how Kade survives on his own, therapy, etc. obviously
  • Love the fishy friend included. Fish don't get enough respect as pets.
  • FYI: no family in sight which might be hard for some people to read.
  • Don't know if this is #ownvoices or not
  • Disappointed there isn't information at the end, like a list of resources or further reading for instance.

Agoraphobic: Inside Out is a short story with 11 pages of content. It's available on Amazon for 99 cents. If you think about it, that's a whopping 9 cents per page and is worth it.

If I knew if this was own voices or if there was list of references in the back, I'd give 5 stars. 

Another fiction book about agoraphobia that I've read, loved, and recommend:
Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall, #ownvoices YA contemporary.

About the Author

Sara Secora has a passion for all things gamer and nerdy, as evidenced on her YouTube channel, AviGaming. She is also a well-branded voice over artist.

Secora has always been in love with writing, and nearly a decade ago, she finally turned her talents to the arduous endeavor of authoring an exciting fantasy trilogy. Her whimsical stories are full of enchantment, mystique, and insight—destined to intrigue readers of any age.

Secora lives in Detroit, Michigan, where she continues to explore old and new avenues for her talent and hard work.

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Broke Home Reviews 4 Things From Straightener Brush to Shoes

Brooke Banks | 8:30 PM | | Please comment!

More trying out products, yay! Don't worry, I'll have more book reviews soon, but they take more out of me. Plus, I'm kinda working on something big....

Hair Straightener Brush by Sara Mor:

Heated Gold Detangle Comb for Straightening, Infused with Anion, Rapid Heating Ceramic Plates, and Thermal Insulation Tips plus Free Travel Bag and 2 Hair Clips

Look, I'm a lazy girl. Doing my hair is very low on my list of stuff to do even though the general state of my hair is irritating. I just don't have the time or the energy.

Originally, I was getting this straightener brush out for my daughter. She love getting her hair done and straightening it helps a lot. Thankfully, we don't get ready at the same time and have to leave at the same time or we might be fighting over this one.

My hair is a lot of fine strands with bangs I've grown out, layers, wavy baby hair, flyaways, and it's almost down to my butt. I've usually got a bump from just throwing it up in a ponytail.

While my daughter has thick, luxurious wavy hair that's down to her butt and likes to frizz out all the time. She hates putting it up, except for an occasional braid.

This Sara Mor's straightener brush works wonders for the both of us. 

Using a brush instead of the plates feel so much more natural and so easy! It's not too heavy or bulky at all. I was able to do my hair and my daughter's hair. That's NEVER happened before with the plates. Usually I'm dead before she's even halfway done.

Everything about this straightener rocks, but I cannot get over how fucking clever it is to make it a brush.

The automatic shut off saves me from my anxiety and the finger guard saves me from burning myself when forgetting this brush is hot.

I'm a complete and total convert. My daughter loves it. My co-workers are now asking about my hair style in a complementary way. I don't have first hand knowledge of how it works on curly or coarse hair, but there are several positive reviews on Amazon for women with it.

I highly recommend Sara Mor's Straightener Brush. Sorry I forgot to take pictures of our hair before and after, I'll take pictures when I can next time and do an update.

SILYHEART Love Heart Swarovski Elements Crystal Tennis Bracelet

Sparkley but tight on me.

Looks Much Better On My daughter.

See how tiny the circumference is? And the link holding onto the lobster hook is the one that came loose.

  • Sparkly! Shiny!
  • Barely fit me with the last link on the extension & needed help putting it on.
  • Even my 9 year old had to use a couple links on the extension.
  • I had a reaction to the metal, my daughter didn’t.
  • My daughter wore it for 2 weeks before the hook came off. It didn’t break, but slipped off as the holder link stretched out.
  • Hasn’t tarnished or irreparably broken
  • Made for tiny wrists but good costume type jewelry

Because the bracelet has been on sale and I got a coupon to review it, I didn't notice the full price at first. 100 bucks?!? No way in hell is this bracelet worth it, TBH.

 Yes, it's sparkly and catches the light well and is very attention grabbing. But, unless you've got the budget to buy one piece of costume jewelry for children-sized wrists and really must have the design, then obviously stay away.

Did I mention the clasp slipped after only 2 weeks?

I never would have bought this without a coupon even with it being on sale. My daughter loves it and makes her happy, but there's no doubt in my mind how much it's worth.

New Generation - Velvet Poster GO Alive Unicorn

Augmented Reality coloring 11x15 Velvet Posters - 2 PACK of Fuzzy Posters

The Good The Bad & The Other
Coloring Fun w my daughter App Took Forever to Download
Velvet Didn't get Everywhere The "Come Alive" aspect is a lie
Markers included are an upgrade from the usual

I am pretty proud of our coloring job. 😊

I'm impressed with how well the included markers did. We only used Crayola markers for the colors not included. We haven't done the pegasus poster yet. We may get back to the pegasus over spring break.

 I didn't watch the video for the VR before hand and just took New Generation's word on it.. The VR letdown really took the wind out of our sails. It's not even close to what the posters are like and is generally terrible.

If you take nothing else from this review: make sure you check out the VR video before getting your hopes up!

Other Designs:

Look, dragons! But I haven't found them ANYWHERE online. It's like they don't exist! BOOOOOOOO!

I wouldn't pay the regular price for them. $20 bucks is insane. Not even an option, not even for the dragons.

For $15 bucks, get it if you love the designs and miss fuzzy poster coloring. Forget the "come alive" part, will you be happy with the posters for this price? For the unicorn & pegasus, I'm very happy I didn't pay for full price.

Before you get excited, ALWAYS check out the videos for the VR aspect. The dolphins, horses, and butterflies are pretty and much better than the alicorn for this poster but not worth $15 bucks if you're not into the posters themselves.

Do you see that giant pink horn? The terrible wings? The whatever facial expression? For something I really love like dragons, my tune might change but it's not online so....*shrug* My daughter wants the dauphin posters and I'm entertaining the idea. Perhaps for her B-day in May if she's still asking for it then.

Cut Out Buckle Ankle Bootie - Low Stacked Wood Heel

Vegan Leather Sammi by J. Adams Campaign

Sorry, no pics of me wearing them. I totally forgot and now that I'm in recovery from surgery wearing heels is not on the agenda for a bit.

  • Had some trouble receiving them. At first, I was sent the wrong size. I had to return them and reorder them as my size 11 wasn't in their warehouse. From another reviewer on Amazon, it looks like there might be an issue with the larger sizing getting shipped right.
  • Had to break them in a bit the night before.
  • Was able to wear it a full 12+ hours the next day. No pain except being used to flats for so long.
  • My feet get sweaty and the smell was terrible with these shoes.
  • Either my feet are extremely wide (news to me) or these are as wide as others say.
  • All scuffs, dirt and bending shows up
  • Easy to clean off so far
  • Heal is solid and love the clomp sound
  • Cute as shit

All in all, easily recommendable for people with smaller feet. If your feet are larger, you might have problems receiving them correctly and may have to work to get them to fit.

That's all for me today, what did ya'll think? Is there any product or type of stuff you'd like me to review?

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Biker's Librarian by Shyla Colt Book Blitz & Giveaway

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | Please comment!

Biker's Librarian

by Shyla Colt
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: Re-Releasing March 2nd
Publisher: Hot ink Press
Recovered from an abusive relationship, Juliette Moore is ready to live life on her own terms. Successful, intelligent, and slightly timid, she makes a pact with her best friends to seize the day. She gets more than she bargained in the tall, dark, and dangerous biker Shooter.

Drawn to her purity and charm, Shooter, finds himself smitten before he knows what’s happening. With his claim firmly placed, he’s ready to go to war when she’s threatened by a madman from her past. Together they weather life’s storms and find common ground as they merge their two very different worlds.

About the Author:

Shyla Colt is the sassy international bestseller of the popular series Kings of Chaos and Dueling Devils M.C. This genre-hoppers stories feature three of her favorite things: strong females, pop culture, and alternate routes to happy ever after. Listening to her Romani soul, she pens from the heart, allowing the dynamic characters, eccentric interests, and travels as a former flight attendant to take her down untraveled roads.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, this mid-west girl is proud of her roots. She used her hometown and the surrounding areas as a backdrop for a number of books. So, if you’re a Buckeye, keep an eye out for familiar places.

As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there's never a dull moment in her household.

She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company.

You can interact with Shyla Colt online via her website

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The Secret Billionaire by Teymour Shahabi: Excerpt & Giveaway

The Secret Billionaire

by Teymour Shahabi

1960s — March 24. Billionaire Lyndon Surway takes off in his private plane and never returns.

His will leaves the entirety of his wealth—one of the largest fortunes in history—to his “dear friend Lucian Baker.” Only there is no trace of anyone by that name. And the fortune itself is nowhere to be found.

Andrew Day knows nothing of wealth and privilege, but he won a scholarship to study at the most exclusive school in the country, in the town where the mystery, decades later, remains unsolved. There he discovers friendship and danger with the aristocratic Cameron and the beautiful Olivia. But watchful eyes follow him everywhere... Until, one night, he comes across a secret that will change his life. As he begins to unravel what really happened to the Surway fortune, the question remains: who is Lucian Baker?

The Boots” Excerpt from The Secret Billionaire, by Teymour Shahabi

They continued to follow the fence on the sandy path along the road. But the House remained hidden. The elms on the other side of the fence barred their sight. They all sensed, without saying so, that the trees would thin out. They were so hopeful for a clearing that they could picture it as they went, lying just beyond the shadow of the last trunk they could see. But the last trunk kept receding, and the curtain of trees kept on going beyond it, as silent and unhelpful as the empty road alongside.

All of a sudden, Olivia stopped. Her eyes were fixed on the ground. Neither Cameron nor Andrew could make out what she was staring at in the sand of the path. She brought a hand over her knee and crouched. The boys gathered closer. Their shadows mingled over her. She looked up into their faces. After a few seconds, she asked,
“ What do you guys think?” “ What do we think of—?”
Cameron began, taking another step closer, when suddenly she shouted,
“ Cameron, stop!” She jumped up and held out her arms.
“ What the hell was that?” he yelled out. “ Don’t step on it!”
“ Don’t step on what?”
“ The footprint!” she answered in a whisper, as if just remembering the sound of her own voice. She glanced over both shoulders, gave Cameron and Andrew a significant look, and slowly lowered herself once more to the ground. The two of them mirrored her movement. All at once, Andrew saw it. It was a footprint, unmistakable, elementary, like a picture in a comic book, a single elongated shape with a line separating the heel. Cameron asked in a muted voice,

“ What kind of shoe is that? It doesn’t have any—any details.”

Olivia rolled her eyes. Not even whispering could soften her contempt.
“ It’s a boot,” she said. “ A boot,”

Cameron repeated. And after a second’s reflection,
“ So it’s a boot. So what? People leave footprints every day on every path in the world. Some of them wear boots.”
But he didn’t dare to go back to his normal voice.
Olivia continued to study the print as if he hadn’t spoken. It was Andrew who answered,
“ But no one leaves footprints on this path.” Cameron and Olivia looked up.
“ There’s nothing along this road, nothing for miles in either direction, right? Nothing but the gate of the Surway House.”
They stared at him without reply.

“ Well,” he went on, examining the footprint, “ assuming that’s the case, then there’s really no reason for anyone to have come here recently—no reason other than...” His eyes turned to the fence.

Olivia’s gaze followed his.
“ It’s not just the fact that someone was here recently—” she began.
“ How do you guys know it’s so recent?” Cameron broke in. “ The print could go back several days, anytime since the last rainfall. For all we know, someone could have left it over the weekend. No one here’s an expert in detection.” “ No,” Olivia rejoined, “ but I’m an expert in shoes. That’s how I know it’s a boot.”

About the Author:

Teymour Shahabi was born in Paris in 1985 of Persian parents. He moved to the United States to study Comparative Literature and Mathematics at Harvard University. He currently lives in New York City, where he's spent the last few years among serious grownups who probably have no idea he’s doing this. The Secret Billionaire is his first published book.

You can watch (and help) him try to figure out writing and life at www.youtube.com/PageWingChannel.

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