October 19, 2017

Beyond Believing by D. D. Marx - Review and Giveaway

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own

Book Details:
Book Title: Beyond Believing (Book #1)
Author: D.D. Marx
Category: Adult Fiction, 200 pages
Genre: Chick-Lit
Publisher: Beyond Dreams Publishing
Release date: October 2017
Tour dates: Oct 16 to Dec 22, 2017
Content Rating: PG 13 Non-explicit sex, swear words (light...couple f-bombs)

Book Description:
When Olivia gets news of her best friend Dan’s fatal car accident, her entire life is upended. Shattered with grief and struggling to find any meaning or purpose to life, she trudges along with a gaping void in her heart. Finally, when her frustration reaches its peak, Olivia decides to trust Dan’s eternal friendship. That trust allows him to break through to her from the beyond, and Dan guides Olivia through the twists and turns of her life into something new and entirely unexpected.

When Olivia exposes a gigantic internal scandal at work, her career implodes. With no job and no one to turn to, she escapes to Palm Springs for the sympathy and care of her beloved cousin, Garrett. He isn’t quite the comfort Olivia hoped for, but on that journey, meets someone who fills the void in her heart. She’s never experienced such a deep love. It heals her soul and rekindles her spirit - and just may have been the design of her dearly departed friend all along.

Beyond Believing is a sweet, funny and romantic story that touches the heart, serves up delicious twists and turns, and shows the reader that there’s no such thing as “coincidence.” Author D.D Marx regards this book as her love letter to friendship.

To read more reviews, please visit D.D. Marx's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy Beyond Believing:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

Watch the trailer:



Meet the Author - D.D. Marx
D.D. Marx is a contemporary romantic fiction writer and blogger, as well as a lover of all things social. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton, as well as the Second City program in Chicago, where she currently resides. A proud aunt and self-described hopeless romantic, Marx has always had a knack for humorous and engaging storytelling. Her pen name is a dedication to her beloved friend Dan, who continues to guide and inspire her in her daily life.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest


My thoughts
This was the first book that I have read by this author and it was enjoyable. It is a story about love and friendship. The character development was very good as the author created some strong characters who could be someone you know. This is one of those books that you could not put down as you did not want to stop reading about your friends. There are some sad parts to this book as well but they have to be there to tell the story. But do not fret there is also some humor to this story. I think this would be a good quick beach read. A bit of trivia about this book is that it was written in memory of the author’s best friend Dan and she calls this book a “love letter to friendship”. If you like romance or chick-lit then you will enjoy this book. This book is a part of a trilogy and I have had the pleasure of reading the entire series. Watch for my reviews.

Guest post
How do you write a novel based in a place where you’ve never been?

When I embarked on the journey with this series, I started with foundational basics. First, my goal was to tell the story from two different perspectives, in alternating chapters. It was important for these characters to be leading parallel lives but in very different worlds. The easiest way to accomplish that was to create physical distance between them.

Olivia’s character was loosely based on my life so that was easy. I wrote about what I knew and what was comfortable. For Finn’s character, who is entirely fictional, I took pieces and parts from people and experiences in my life that were familiar to me. For example, I came up with Finn’s hometown because my neighbor was a lovely woman who was born and raised in Scotland. I loved her accent. She was always cheerful and pleasant. She’d greet me in the morning on my way to work and say, ‘you look smashing’. She told me stories of her childhood and I felt attached. I could envision the places in the stories she was sharing. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a hunk from Scotland? Hello, Gerard Butler and voila, that became the birth of Finn McDaniels.

From there, I went on a quest to learn more about Scotland, through research, to create back stories for this character. I just kept asking questions. Who was Finn? Where did he come from? Did he have siblings? What was his passion? What motivated him to pursue it? Each answer led me down endless winding roads that developed him into who he was. He became a real person in my head. Once I knew who he was and where he came from the rest came easy.

Don’t ever shy away from pursuing your dreams. The sky is the limit

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 28






Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb - Review and Giveaway

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Book details
Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I by Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
William Morrow Paperbacks
Paperback & eBook; 384 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Beook description
New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War. August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris. But as history tells us, it all happened so differently… Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene? Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him… 

Praise for Last Christmas in Paris

“Beautifully told…the authors fully capture the characters’ voices as each person is dramatically shaped by the war to end all wars.”—Booklist

“For fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society comes another terrific epistolary historical novel that is simply unputdownable [...] this remarkable novel will undoubtedly go on my keeper shelf.” —Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of The Night the Lights Went Out

“Humor, love, tragedy, and hope make for a moving, uplifting read. A winner!” —Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network

“An extraordinary epistolary novel that explores the history and aftermath of the Great War in a sensitive, memorable and profoundly moving fashion. A book to savor, to share and discuss with friends, and above all to cherish.” —Jennifer Robson, international bestselling author of Goodnight from London “There is a special talent to writing the epistolary novel and Gaynor and Webb have mastered it. Letter by letter, the complex lives of Evie and Thomas unfold as WWI wages on, bringing with it the heartbreaking news of physical and emotional casualties. And yet, in the midst of such sacrifices, an ever-deepening love surfaces, finding a unique way to live on in this devastatingly beautiful work of historical fiction.”—Renee Rosen, author of Windy City Blues 
Meet the authors - Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor
HEATHER WEBB is the author of historical novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin's Lover, and the anthology Fall of Poppies, which have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Elle, France Magazine, and more, as well as received national starred reviews. RODIN’S LOVER was a Goodreads Top Pick in 2015. Up and coming, Last Christmas in Paris, an epistolary love story set during WWI will release October 3, 2017, and The Phantom's Apprentice, a re-imagining of the Gothic classic Phantom of the Opera from Christine Daae's point of view releases February 6, 2018. To date, her novels have sold in ten countries. Heather is also a professional freelance editor, foodie, and travel fiend. 

HAZEL GAYNOR is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel The Girl from the Savoy was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris will be published in 2017. Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of ‘Ten Big Breakout Authors’ for 2015 and her work has been translated into several languages. Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland.
Blog Tour Schedule

My thoughts
I enjoy reading books set in Paris so I jumped at the chance to get to read this book. The authors did a good job of describing the setting. I felt as if I was right there with the characters. I also liked the way the book was broken up as letters. It mad the story not only more interesting but also read quickly. You could not help but feel for the characters and the situation they were in. By reading the letters you get to hear everyone's tale. It must have been horrible to have to go through. The writing was detailed enough so that you could understand each of the emotions. I am glad I got the chance to read this book.

Giveaway
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 copies of Last Christmas in Paris! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Last Christmas in Paris


Blog tour stops
Monday, September 25 Review at 100 Pages a Day Review at Books of All Kinds 
Tuesday, September 26 Review at The Lit Bitch 
Wednesday, September 27 Review at Just One More Chapter Review at History From a Woman's Perspective 
Thursday, September 28 Review at So Many Books, So Little Time 
Monday, October 2 Review at Let Them Read Books 
Tuesday, October 3 Spotlight at Passages to the Past 
Wednesday, October 4 Review at A Literary Vacation 
riday, October 6 Review at Library Educated 
Monday, October 9 Review at A Bookish Affair Review at Suzy Approved Books 
Tuesday, October 10 Interview at A Bookish Affair 
Thursday, October 12 Review at Creating Herstory 
Friday, October 13 Review at Pursuing Stacie 
Monday, October 16 Review at Curling up by the Fire 
Tuesday, October 17 Review at Faery Tales Are Real 
Wednesday, October 18 Review at The Maiden's Court Interview at Faery Tales Are Real 
Thursday, October 19 Review at A Holland Reads 
Friday, October 20 Review at CelticLady's Reviews 



Trail of Defects by Sara Candell - Spotlight

 

Book details
Cozy Mystery 4th in Series - 
Author Notes - It is a series but can stand alone. 
Self Published (May 23, 2016) 
Paperback: 260 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1541057531 
E-Book ASIN: B01G3XSOC8

Book description
This modern day mystery contains unpredictable elements, reminiscent of earlier days in the Wild West. Crime waves in a small town can be confusing but it is especially daunting for Sheriff Hobson. It is unclear which side of the law his townspeople are on. Starting with an armed robbery of Kelly’s Lounge, elder abuse, and a runaway child, strange happenings pileup.

Meet the author - Sara Candell
I grew up in a small ranching community in Colorado where I learned to judge beef on the hoof and under wrap. After moving around the country for my husband’s career and catching college courses as I could, I finally found myself in one place long enough to finish my degree. I was an artist (acrylic), raised three children, managed offices, and started my own genealogy resource business before weaving my stories and experiences into novels. I now lives in central Texas with my patient husband and four cats. In my spare time I do genealogy and historical research and nurses orphan kittens back to health for the local animal shelter.

Twitter: @CaudellSara 

P urchase links Amazon B&N 

Other Books in the Series

 


TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
October 11 – Shannon Muir's Infinite House of Books - INTERVIEW 
October 12 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
October 13 – Sapphyria's Books – SPOTLIGHT 
October 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 
October 14 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT 
October 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW 
October 16 – Island Confidential - CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
October 16 – Readsalot - SPOTLIGHT 
October 17 – Laura's Interests – GUEST POST 
October 18 – Back Porchervations - REVIEW 
October 19 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT 
October 19 – A Holland Reads - CHARACTER GUEST POST


October 18, 2017

Best-Laid Plants by Marty Wingate - Guest Post

Book details
Cozy Mystery 6th in Series 
Alibi (October 17, 2017) 
Print Length: 294 pages 
ASIN: B01MSAATUW
  

Book description
A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve.

Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues.

With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated.

Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:

The Potting Shed series: THE GARDEN PLOT | THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE | BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE | THE SKELETON GARDEN | THE BLUEBONNET BETRAYAL | BEST-LAID PLANTS

Meet the author - Marty Wingate
Marty Wingate is a Seattle-based writer and speaker who shares her love of Britain in her two mystery series. The Potting Shed books feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England, and Birds of a Feather follows Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village. Marty writes garden articles for magazines including Country Gardens and theAmerican Gardener. She is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Crime Writers Association. She leads garden tours to England, Scotland and Ireland, spending free moments deep in research for her books. Or in pubs.

Author Links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/martywingateauthor 
Purchase Links Amazon B&N kobo Google Play

Guest post
Why write a series of four, six or ten books instead of a standalone? Because I can’t let my characters go. But that’s not only one reason – there are many more.

There’s something generous and expansive about multiple books with the same characters. When I happen upon a new (to me) series and love reading on book, it’s a delight to know there are more books for me just waiting. I confess that I’ve sometimes read one after another until the end, but generally I prefer to put a bit of space between reading each story, so that I can stay in that world as long as possible.

And so, when I write, I like to write a series, so that I have the ability to take my character on a longer journey than the confines of one book. Although, sometimes I feel as if she’s leading and I’m only following along.

In the first Potting Shed mystery (The Garden Plot), Pru Parke is a relatively new arrival to England from Dallas, Texas. Amid the murder, the investigation, encounters with a by-the-book detective chief inspector, and her attempts to find a proper job as a head gardener at a small, but historic garden (poor Pru, the book is littered with rejection letters from gardens all round England), I’ve inserted a little weekend away. Yes, Pru gets to take a weekend break, and it’s much needed. Off she goes with her friend Jo to the Cotswolds where we find the village of Upper Oddington, the Horse & Groom pub, and Grenadine Hall, the home of Jo’s relatives, Natalie and John. She meets their head gardener, Oliver, and there’s an autumn fete to attend, and although she gets little rest, things do move along on several fronts.

In The Garden Plot, Pru returns to London after her idyll in the Cotswolds, and through the next four books, she hops round the country a bit – Sussex (The Red Book of Primrose House), Scotland (Between a Rock and a Hard Place), Hampshire (The Skeleton Garden), and back to London (The Bluebonnet Betrayal). But with Potting Shed #6 – Best-Laid Plants, I discovered the joys of returning to an old scene with a new crime.

Upper Oddington, the Horse & Groom, Grenadine Hall – they’re all here. Why look – here’s Oliver the head gardener at Grenadine Hall. Pru gets to spend time with Natalie and John, although she isn’t staying at the Hall, but at a rather retro (and not in a good way) bed-and-breakfast nearby. Woven through these people and places I’ve kept in my mind these last few years, are new characters and an important setting – Glebe House, where Pru has been asked to advise on the garden renovation. I knew we would be back here on day – but that’s something I couldn’t have done if The Garden Plot had been a standalone. Then what would I have done with all these characters milling around in my brain? No, much better that Pru continues her adventures and I continue writing them. Enjoy!



TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
October 16 – Carole's Book Corner – REVIEW 
October 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT 
October 18 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST 
October 19 – Reading Reality - REVIEW 
October 20 – Christ Reads and Writes – REVIEW 
October 21 - The Power of Words - REVIEW 
October 22 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 
October 23 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW 
October 24 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT 
October 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
October 26 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST 
October 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
October 28 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW 
ctober 29 – A Chick Who Reads - REVIEW 

A Sea of Sorrow by David Blixt and others - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Knight Media, LLC
eBook & Paperback; 524 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction


Book description
Odysseus, infamous trickster of Troy, vaunted hero of the Greeks, left behind a wake of chaos and despair during his decade long journey home to Ithaca. Lovers and enemies, witches and monsters--no one who tangled with Odysseus emerged unscathed. Some prayed for his return, others, for his destruction. These are their stories… A beleaguered queen’s gambit for maintaining power unravels as a son plots vengeance. A tormented siren battles a goddess’s curse and the forces of nature to survive. An exiled sorceress defies a lustful captain and his greedy crew. A blinded shepherd swears revenge on the pirate-king who mutilated him. A beautiful empress binds a shipwrecked sailor to servitude, only to wonder who is serving whom. A young suitor dreams of love while a returned king conceives a savage retribution. Six authors bring to life the epic tale of The Odyssey seen through the eyes of its shattered victims—the monsters, witches, lovers, and warriors whose lives were upended by the antics of the “man of many faces.” You may never look upon this timeless epic—and its iconic ancient hero—in quite the same way again.

About the Authors
Amalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). Amalia's novels include Tamer of Horses, Helen of Sparta, By Helen's Hand, and Daughter of a Thousand Years.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

David Blixt's work is consistently described as "intricate," "taut," and "breathtaking." A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS'D series) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY'S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history. Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, he describes himself as "actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order."
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. Libbie's recent novels include Daughter of Sand and Stone, Mercer Girls, A Song of War, White Lotus and Persian Rose. She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Russell Whitfield was born in Shepherds Bush in 1971. An only child, he was raised in Hounslow, West London, but has since escaped to Ham in Surrey. Gladiatrix was Russ's first novel, published in 2008 by Myrmidon Books. The sequel, Roma Victrix, continues the adventures Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix, and a third book, Imperatrix, sees Lysandra stepping out of the arena and onto the field of battle.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Scott Oden was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Shannon. Oden’s previous works include the historical fantasy, The Lion of Cairo, and two historical novels, Men of Bronze and Memnon. He is currently working on his next novel.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of multiple books set in the ancient world, including the YA novels, CLEOPATRA'S MOON, based on the life of Cleopatra's only daughter, and CURSES AND SMOKE: A NOVEL OF POMPEII and the adult historical collaborations, A SONG OF WAR, A YEAR OF RAVENS, and A DAY OF FIRE. She has written a mid-grade series on mythology (ANUBIS SPEAKS, HADES SPEAKS, and THOR SPEAKS) as well as two award-winning biographies for kids. She a She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to residents in the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. A Sea of Sorrow



Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, October 17 Review at A Book Drunkard 
Wednesday, October 18 Feature at A Holland Reads 
Thursday, October 19 Feature at View From the Birdhouse 
Friday, October 20 Review at Pursuing Stacie 
Monday, October 23 Review at The Maiden's Court 
Tuesday, October 24 Feature at The Reading Queen 
Wednesday, October 25 Review at A Bookish Affair 
Thursday, October 26 Review at What Cathy Read Next 
Friday, October 27 Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time 
Monday, October 30 Review at Creating Herstory 
Tuesday, October 31 Review at Historical Fiction Reviews 
Wednesday, November 1 Review at Back Porchervations 
Thursday, November 2 Feature at The Writing Desk 
Friday, November 3 Review at 100 Pages a Day 
Monday, November 6 Review at Broken Teepee 
Tuesday, November 7 Feature at A Literary Vacation 
Wednesday, November 8 Feature at Passages to the Past 
Friday, November 10 Review at Locks, Hooks and Books 
Monday, November 13 Review at Unabridged Chick Feature at CelticLady's Reviews 
Tuesday, November 14 Review at Bookramblings Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots Thursday, November 16 Feature at I Heart Reading 
Friday, November 17 Review at A Book Geek Review at The True Book Addict

October 17, 2017

Cookies, Corpses and the Deadly Haunt - Guest Post

 

Book details
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Self Published Print 
Length: 164 pages 
ASIN: B074TY4ZXD
 

Book description
House flippers Jack & Juniper agree to lend and help prep their latest purchase—The Doctors House—an old Victorian mansion to act as the eerie setting for the town’s Halloween bash, they’re expecting to find missing floor boards, and pesky bats, not the ghostly specter of the murdered Doctors Wife.

But when the head of the council is found stuffed in a trunk in the attic, it appears history is repeating.

As June and the team, carry on with party preparations, they unravel a century of family secrets, whispers of lunacy—and the number one suspect goes on the run. But the victim’s family insists that the ball must go on, even with a killer on the loose. With Halloween fast approaching, June sees the woman in white and wonders if keeping the killer out was ever really a possibility. Now she’s desperate to unmask the killer before the Annual Halloween Bash turns into even more of a deadly haunt…

Meet the author - Rachael Stapleton
Rachael Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian home with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers.

Author Links Webpage Blog Facebook @RaquelleJaxson Amazon GoodReads 


Guest post
GUEST POST: FIXING YOUR FIXER-UPPER 
Guest Blogger: Author Rachael Stapleton 

Buying a historic house often means acquiring a fixer-upper. But if you’re anything like me and my hubby then it’s worth it! Details like original crown moulding, fireplaces, and wide floorboards make all the difference. And they are usually unspoiled by previous renovations—you just have to uncover them. Rip out that old carpet and knock down that dropped ceiling and Voila! It’s an exciting opportunity to bring an old house back to life. Two years ago, my husband and I decided purchase this second empire Victorian with a mansard roof and thus my Haunted House Flipping Series was born.





That’s right, Jack and Juniper’s spooky old house in Cookies, Corpses & the Deadly Haunt is based on my own home although I have no secret passages—none that I’m willing to share, anyway. In order to adjust I found myself writing about these house-flipping characters who were renovating just as we were.

Check out some of our renos below and soak up the tips.

Tip #1. Be prepared to throw on an extra sweater

If you want a historic home, you’re going to have to forfeit some of the creature comforts that come with 21st century living. Older house, have irregularities and they tend to be drafty. The good news is you don’t need air conditioning; those old houses stay cool on the hottest of summer days. 




Tip #2. Watch out for water damage

Keep an eye out—especially around the ceilings, floors, and windows—for signs of water damage. Just a couple of months ago, my hubby and I woke to see part of our ceiling dangling down. Apparently the attic window was leaking. Luckily it was minor and my husband’s a pro at handling situations like these. However, we weren’t quite as lucky in my library. We put the roof off a little too long and had to rip out all the insulation but we planned to spray foam anyway. Water damage has long-term effects like dry rot. Also, bugs love wet environments so you always want to stay on top of that.



Here’s a pic of my library/writing room before renovations and right now.

Tip #3. Start with the roof, windows, and masonry

It might be tempting to pick out kitchen cabinets and paint swatches right away, but the first stages of the renovation should be practical rather than aesthetic.


Demolition work and new floor in the Christmas room. At least that’s what we called it ‘cause it was painted red and green. Yuck! See pic below. This addition was put on at some point during 20th century which meant we could expose the brick. I love exposed brick. We added barn wood to the ceiling and knocked a hole in the wall to make a kitchenette in the next room.




Here’s the before and after of my new quirky kitchen.

I’m happy to have found this house with all its history and this town with all its quirks and I’m so grateful that it inspired this mysterious tale. I hope you enjoy Cookies, Corpses & the Deadly Haunt too.

Cheers!
Rachael Stapleton



TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
October 10 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW 
October 10 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
October 11 – Socrates' Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
October 11 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW 
October 12 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 
October 12 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW 
October 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, INTERVIEW 
October 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT 
October 15 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW 
October 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
October 17 – Reading Authors – REVIEW 
October 18 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST 
October 19 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW 
October 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST 
October 21 - The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW 
October 22 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW 
October 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST 
October 23 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW