Book Review: Murder at the Book Club by Betsy Reavley #amreading #murdermystery #bookreview

Murder at the Book Club

Blurb:

Imagine nine women meeting. Tea and cake are on the coffee table. They’ve come together to share their love of books. They are friends. They trust each other. It’s a happy gathering. What could be more harmless?

Then scratch the surface and look closer.

One is lonely. One is desperate and one of them is a killer.

When the body of a woman is discovered on a Cambridge common, DCI Barrett and DI Palmer are called in to investigate. But the motive behind the crime isn’t clear…  And it all leads back to a book club.

As the lies, volatile friendships and tension among the group rise to the surface, DCI Barrett and DI Palmer must work out the motive and track down a cold-blooded killer. But just when they think they are on the right track, a twist in the case throws them off course…

Review:

**3.5 stars**

This was the first book by Betsy Reavley that I’ve read. Murder at the Book Club is a murder-mystery that surrounds a group of women in a book club. After two of them are killed, the police uncover a host of secrets and lies that the women have been living with for years.

I started out really enjoying the book, and could tell from the beginning that it was going to be akin to Midsomer Murders – a cosy murder-mystery, but maybe a little cliched. It was a good idea, and I did like storyline / plot, however, I felt it was let down by the stereotyped characters.

Writing wise, I noticed a few minor errors that were missed in editing, such as the comment in Toni’s POV that they enjoyed a glass of chardonnay at the book club (in the first chapter), which was quickly followed by her disgust that some of the members turned up with wine, and she preferred to drink tea.

The book is written in third-person omniscient. For me, this didn’t quite work and took me out of the story a few times. I don’t enjoy switching POVs as it can be confusing, but this is just me and it may work for other readers.

Saying that, it was a quick read and didn’t require too much thinking. I would consider this a “holiday read”. Would I read it again? Probably not. But, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys cosy, Hallmark-type murder mysteries.

Want to read it for yourself? Murder at the Book Club is available to buy: HERE.

This review is also available on Goodreads and Amazon UK. 

What to give your favourite author for Christmas #reviews #book #amreading

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Christmas is a time for giving.

As anyone who follows me knows, I’ve made my short story ‘STRANDED‘ perma-free, and it’s available to download from all good e-reader stores. It will remain free for the rest of its e-book life. I have no intention of ever charging for it. It’s a short story, for anyone who loves hot and erotic romance and reads eBooks. That’s my gift to you, the reader.

I support other authors by offering blog space to help promote their books. I share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. I retweet and share posts. I review books that I’ve read on Goodreads & Amazon. I buy books. That’s my gift to you, the author.

And, I’d like to invite other authors and readers to join me on the “giving” spree. It doesn’t have to cost you anything. There are plenty of free ways to give back to the literary community.

Your Words

As an author, I regularly reach out to readers to say thank you – either directly if they’ve contacted me, or through the power of social media if it’s an anonymous sale. (I can’t see who’s buying my books!) As a reader, I regularly reach out to authors to do the same, because I know how hard it can be. Writing is a lonely job, and there are so many times when we feel like giving up. Reaching out and sending a single email / tweet with words of encouragement could make a huge difference to your favourite author.

Reviews

Reviews are worth their weight in gold. They don’t have to be lengthy or particularly well-written. A single sentence is appreciated. The important part is that it gets put on sites like Amazon US / UK. Reviews are a way for readers to communicate with authors – I know that I read every single one that I receive. We use them to better ourselves and work on the bits you didn’t like. But more than that, they help that title get seen by other readers.

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Sales

I have a love-hate relationship with money. I wish it didn’t exist, but unfortunately, we all need it to pay the bills. Writing is a career. For many, it is a full-time job. It’s not a hobby. Yes, we’re lucky enough to be self-employed in a job we love, but only if it pays the bills. I’ve known so many excellent writers to give up because they don’t have the time to concentrate on writing. It sounds mercenary and perhaps selfish, but it’s necessary. To continue to write, we need the sales. Buy an eBook for yourself, buy a print book as a present for someone else. Even the smallest of sales help.

Authors aren’t rich. For every $2.99 book I sell, I receive maybe $1, depending on my contract. Even self-published authors don’t get 100% of sales – they get a 35%-70% royalty, again depending on the contract they have with their sellers, and whether it’s an eBook or paperback. Point of fact – eBooks provide you with a higher revenue as there is less cost into creating it. It’s not uncommon for a traditional publisher to offer 10%-20% royalties on a $9.99 paperback, but 40% on a $2.99 eBook.

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Can you afford to buy a new book? Fabulous – treat your favourite author to a new sale. Are you as skint as the rest of us? Leave a review, or send a message to your favourite author, letting them know that you appreciate them.

New Year’s Resolution 2019 #newyears #resolutions #amreading #amwriting #bookblogger #reviews

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It’s that time of year when we all start to think about making resolutions. For me, 2019 is going to be all about making my writing a full-time career. But, that doesn’t mean I’m going to write more – in fact, I plan to write less. In the past 12 months, I’ve written five books, and I’m still not making six-figures. I’m not even making four-figures, so the problem is now how much I’m writing, but how much I’m marketing. And that’s where I need to make some big changes.

Blogging

I have more than one blog, and all of them have fallen a bit flat just recently. I plan on changing that. For this blog, I’m going to open it up a bit more. I will be hosting more blog tours, cover reveals, release blitzes, sales promos, and reviews. I will also have a “Book of the Month”, where I will host and review a title that I have particularly enjoyed and think deserves five-stars.

Reviews will be placed on Amazon, Goodreads, and this blog, shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.

If you are interested in any of these, I would highly recommend contacting Lucy Felthouse at Writer Marketing Services: http://writermarketing.co.uk/

Reading

I used to be an avid reader, but over the past five years, I’ve found that I’m too busy to just sit down and read. That needs to change. I will read pretty much any genre (although I’m not a huge fan of hardcore erotica), and have bookshelves and a Kindle full of titles that are begging to be read. Every year I take part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. In 2018, I read 7 books, and most of them were titles related to my degree. In 2019, I’m challenging myself to read two books a month. Every book I read, will be reviewed honestly, because authors love reviews!

Writing

I’m supposed to be taking a break from writing romance. I’ll be honest, I’ve fallen out of love with it. I still enjoy reading it, but I’m struggling to come up with new ideas. So, 2019, I’ll be focusing on my paranormal / fantasy alter-ego, C.V. Leigh. I have one book coming out next year, and have another one yet to be submitted. I’m also writing a YA fantasy that my highly critical daughter is helping with.

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That doesn’t mean I’m walking away from romance, I just need to take a step back and re-evaluate what it means to me.

Sales & Marketing

I have some sales set up for the new year already, with a Valentine’s promo set up for February. This will include some of my romance titles. And don’t forget that Later is free to read through Kindle Unlimited, and Stranded is free through all good e-retailers!

I want 2019 to be successful. I plan to play as hard as I work.

What do you have planned?

The Billionaire Shifter’s Series Exclusively on Amazon / Kindle Unlimited #KU #Amazon

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The Billionaire Shifter’s Club is a 6-book series by Diana Seere, the paranormal pen name for two New York Times and USA Today bestselling romantic comedy authors. All six books (standalones *within* a series) are now exclusively available in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program.

The Billionaire Shifter Series Blurb:

Welcome to the most exclusive club in the world. The Novo Club. Novo is Latin for “change.” Our members prefer the word “shift” though.

It’s the hottest club in town.

The price of membership is your heart and your secrecy.

All you need to do to join is to be loved beyond your wildest imagination by someone powerful with an…alpha side so primal it’s in their blood.

Are you ready?

Good. Then let’s begin.

The Billionaire Shifters Club is a series featuring the five Stanton siblings, four brothers and one sister who are all part of an ancient shifter family living in modern America. The subterranean club-within-a-club beneath the streets of Boston, Massachusetts holds secrets only the Stantons and their fellow shifters know.

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Book 1 – The Billionaire Shifter’s Curvy Match (9/13/16)

When Lilah Murphy started serving drinks at the exclusive Platinum Club, she never expected she would be on the menu.

Biotech billionaire Gavin Stanton had one taste of the new, curvy server and his craving could never be satisfied until he had her fully. Completely.

Eternally.

Fate brought them together, but a centuries-old secret could tear them apart, for the Stanton family holds a shifter legacy that no human has ever threatened.

Until now.

Gavin Stanton is the billionaire CEO of a Boston biotech firm. He’s also a werewolf, the son of a large, ancient family with roots in the British aristocracy. His work is his life. But then he feels the Beat—an irresistible urge to mate with Lilah, a beautiful human who inflames his passions like no other—and he abandons everything he thought he knew in his need to claim her.

Lilah Murphy is broke and desperate. All she wants is a job to support herself, her sister, and her ailing mother. The last thing she needs is to get involved with a rich, powerful guy who would discard her after a few hot nights together and get her fired at her new, high-paying job. But she, too, feels the Beat. She hears him in her mind, feels him in her soul, and the urge to answer the ancient call is undeniable. Is she strong enough to embrace his secrets—and her own?

The Billionaire Shifter’s Curvy Match is the first in an all-new series of hot (did we mention *hot*?) romances about the billionaire shifters and the women they’re fated to love.

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Book 2 – The Billionaire Shifter’s Virgin Mate (10/11/16)

McDermott “Derry” Stanton is an old-money playboy who sleeps his way through half the world, one willing woman at a time.

A bear shifter, he never hibernates alone. Sometimes even one woman isn’t enough.

But when this irresistible billionaire meets Jessica Murphy, everything changes. The man who views life as a female feast suddenly acquires more discerning tastes. The only woman who can satisfy him now…

Is Jessica Murphy. He must have her. Immediately. Frequently.

Jess, however, doesn’t want any man, least of all a spoiled playboy who’s about to become her brother-in-law. A pre-med student with deep ambitions and a past filled with painful rejection, she’s all business.

Too bad Derry Stanton is her business. A frequent customer at the Platinum Club where she waits tables, and now the best man to her maid of honor in her sister’s wedding, the guy is everywhere.

And pretty soon, she finds herself everywhere, too.

In his arms, on his bed, between the sheets….

But sex is the last thing she needs.

Or it was until she meets Derry and starts hearing the Beat. And feeling a connection she’d never imagined, never dreamed, never hoped for.

It’s all too unbearably good.

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Book 3 – The Billionaire Shifter’s Second Chance (12/2/16)

A wildland firefighter–and mountain lion shifter–Edward is the youngest of the Stanton siblings, and hasn’t touched a woman in a decade, not since his late fiancee was killed in a violent tragedy.

But when he meets the sweet, adorable Molly Sloan, a friend of his new sister-in-law, Lilah… his determination to remain celibate begins to unravel.

Something about Molly is irresistible. Something about her makes him forget the past… and hear the Beat. But Edward will have to fight for her — forces are gathering to use her in ways that might separate them forever.

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Book 4 – The Billionaire Shifter’s Secret Baby (4/4/17)

A masquerade ball in Malibu led to a single night of passion under the stars… and set the wheels of fate in motion.

Three years ago, waitress Kara Jablonski gave in to her wilder side with a fellow weretiger, the rock star billionaire Lars Jensen, a sun-kissed blond drummer with a viking’s build. Six weeks later, the pregnancy test came back positive.

Knowing Lars’ powerful, overbearing mother would be able to take the baby away, Kara did what she had to do.

She hid him.

Now chance has brought Lars back into her life, his touch making her pulse beat like the old legends. So strong, so loud, so bold.

So right.

But can she trust him to want more than another night under the stars? Can she trust him to claim his son as his heir… and Kara as his mate?

Fate responds with a roar…

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Book 5 – The Billionaire Shifter’s True Alpha (10/24/17)

Zach Hayden was an ordinary guy until an accident in Gavin Stanton’s research lab left him howling at the moon. Turned into a werewolf by the same serum he helped to create, biochemist Zach is now seven inches taller, has seventy pounds of new muscle, and, well — everything got bigger.

Sophia Stanton is a confident billionaire bear shifter who enjoys the finer things in life — especially fine men. Unlike her older brother Gavin, she has no plans to settle down with just one mate. Why limit yourself to a single taste when you can have a little lick of everything?

Unconvinced that Zach has adjusted to his transformation, Sophia’s brothers confine Zach to their family compound in Montana, where Sophia offers to teach him how to manage his new powers—and libido.

But when Zach and Sophia both hear the Beat, an old shifter legend that guarantees they are made for each other, is falling in love their fate—or is it just wishful thinking?

When her powerful family questions his motives and powers, can Zach rise to the occasion—

And become Sophia’s true alpha?

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Book 6 – The Billionaire Shifter’s Final Redemption (9/13/18)

Asher Stanton has devoted his entire, long life to protecting the shifter world — but he couldn’t save his own beloved human wife and child. Walling off his emotions and turning his life into mission to consolidate power, he is ruthless, determined — and most definitely never falling in love with another human again.

Years later, a dark threat looms over the shifter world as Asher’s childhood friend, Tomas Nagy, becomes into his worst enemy. With the future of the shifter world in question, he must turn to a human scientist, the fiery, headstrong Dr. Samantha Baird, to help him fight the forces of evil.

Too bad he can’t fight his attraction to her, an all-consuming urge that strips him of his well-honed restraint. A man accustomed to being in control at all times, Asher finds himself unable to resist.

Her.

Fate has a funny way of showing up when least expected, and when an old prophesy predicts Asher and Samantha’s union, the family patriarch must accept the fact that he, and he alone, cannot protect her.

Samantha may be the shifter world’s greatest gift.

And Asher Stanton’s final redemption.

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Buy Links:

The Billionaire Shifter Series (all 6 books)

Amazon US:  https://amzn.to/2MOTCYL

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2QIqXrL

Book 1 – The Billionaire Shifter’s Curvy Match

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ppfAIz

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2QL0BoQ

Book 2 – The Billionaire Shifter’s Virgin Mate

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2QMHb2N

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2xzLEgB

Book 3 – The Billionaire Shifter’s Second Chance

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2MQXJ6K

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2xJMwQ3

Book 4 – The Billionaire Shifter’s Secret Baby

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2O3h3m4

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2QJ54bH

Book 5 – The Billionaire Shifter’s True Alpha

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2DgBl7a

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2OEYnpH

Book 6 – The Billionaire Shifter’s Final Redemption

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2DdcrVW

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2DdcrVW

 

About the Author

DIANA SEERE was raised by wolves in the forests outside Boston and San Francisco. The only time she spends in packs these days is at romance writing conventions. In truth, Diana is two New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors who decided to write shifter romance and have more fun.

Social Media Links

Website:  https://www.dianaseere.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DianaSeere/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/dianaseerebooks

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Diana-Seere/e/B01LFFDEAQ/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15723286.Diana_Seere

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/diana-seere

Newsletter:  http://bit.ly/2xwTCHh

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Blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

When reading becomes an Olympic sport…

I wouldn’t even win a bronze medal.

There was a time when I would read a book a day – no, seriously, I could sit and read an entire novel in a single day. I’d read it while I was getting dressed, eating my breakfast, take it down to work with me and read it during my breaks or while I was on cleaning duty, read during lunch, and then as soon as I finished? More reading. I would have won a gold medal before anyone else had even picked up a book. But now? Now, I’m lucky if I can read a chapter in one day.

As much as I hate Goodreads, I do like their reading challenge, and take part each year. When I started, I was reading between 40 and 50 books a year. This year, my target is 10. TEN! And I have read 5 so far this year – the second and third George R. R. Martin “A Song of Ice and Fire” books, 2 of Tirgearr Publishing’s City Night Series (Paris and Boise), and the final instalment of Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series. I’m currently reading Zara Stoneley’s Country Affairs. I can’t even blame the books – sometimes a book is really hard to get into and drags my reading, but these have all been easy to read. Some of them have been more difficult than others, but considering the City Night books are novellas, I should have read more by now. And I don’t think I’m going to hit my target. I have 5 months left, and the next book on my TBR list is Book Four of A Song of Ice & Fire – these books take me months to read.

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The current read.

My daughter is a mini-bookworm. She decided to take part in our local library’s summer reading challenge – read six books over six weeks. She completed it in one day. ONE. DAY. Okay, granted that her books are a lot shorter than mine. She’s currently obsessed with the Daisy Meadows books – Rainbow Fairies. It’s lower than her reading capability, but she loves them, so I’m not going to argue. In the time it’s taken me to read half of Country Affairs, she has read pretty much the entire series, plus a few Roald Dahl as well. (She will read Matilda in one night.) I envy her.

I don’t have an excuse for my lack of reading. I’d like to say it’s because I’m working hard at writing, or marketing, or housework, or being a parent during the summer holidays. But the truth is I’ve had plenty of time to read and I’ve found myself watching the Summer Olympics, or crappy TV, or playing on Facebook. But, I have a holiday to Majorca coming up, and I hope that I will get plenty of reading done them. The Kindle is fully-loaded with new titles. I suppose like a marathon, I still have time to catch up. Maybe if I leave George R. R. Martin at home, I might just make it to the finish line, and not crash and burn.