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Book Review: Baltimore Blues

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Welcome to the TLC Book Tour for Baltimore Blues


Tess Monaghan’s life — like the recessed Baltimore of the late 1990’s in which she lives — is stagnant. On hold. In her late 20’s, her career as a reporter sputtered and stalled when the newspaper employing her ceased publication and she was not hired by its competitor, the Beacon Light. She ekes out a living by renting quarters above her eccentric and free-spirited Aunt Kitty’s niche bookstore and working odd jobs, including for her uncle (who is secretly paying her with his own funds, rather than those of his government employer). Tess is beginning to wonder if she still wants to pursue a career in journalism, although she isn’t pursuing any other career options. She is equally indecision when it comes to romance, having settled into a comfortable yet unsatisfying friends with benefits arrangement with colleague Jonathan Ross, an investigative reporter with the Beacon Light.

The only constants in Tess’s life are her commitment to rowing every morning and her friendship with Darryl “Rock” Paxton, a researcher obsessed with the sport, with whom she eats breakfast each day following their workouts. When Rock tells Tess that his beautiful fiancé, Ava Hill, a would-be lawyer with Baltimore’s preeminent law firm who can’t seem to pass the bar exam, has been even more aloof and mysterious of late than is typical for her, Tess agrees to accept Rock’s generous offer of compensation in exchange for dabbling as an amateur private investigator.

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My special guest today, Joan Steinau Lester, recently published her second novel, Mama’s Child. She describes writing as “totally involving, pleasurable, existing only for itself, not the end product.… [W]writing is an activity that fully absorbs me. When I finish, I’m flushed with pleasure.”

Mama’s Child traces the journey of an idealistic young white woman who traveled to the American South as a civil rights worker, fell in love with an African American man, and started a family in San Francisco, a liberal city sure to embrace such a couple — except when it didn’t. Tensions tore their marriage apart when their son and daughter were still young. For Ruby, their biracial daughter, her parents’ divorce further destabilized her already challenged sense of self —- “Am I black or white?” she must ask herself. “Where do I belong?” Is she her father’s daughter alone? As the years pass, the chasm between them widens, even as the mother attempts to hold on to the emotional chord that binds them. It isn’t until Ruby becomes a wife and mother that she begins to
develop compassion and understanding for the many ways that her own mother’s love transcended race and questions of identity.

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Gloria Loring is no stranger to daytime television fans or music lovers. However, she is also well-known for her work on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, serving as its Celebrity Spokesperson and appearing in public service announcements and commercials, as well as hosting telethons and fundraisers.

In her new book, Coincidence Is God’s Way of Remaining Anonymous: Reflections on Daytime Dramas and Divine Intervention, Gloria reveals that while she was starring in Days of Our Lives, she was also dealing her young son’s diabetes diagnosis and the disintegration of her marriage. The book is her “spiritual exploration of how coincidence helped her make sense of life’s challenges and uncertainties.”

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Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Welcome to the third annual Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop!

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Welcome to Virtual Author Book Tours’ Blog Tour for Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know

Imagine your dog penning a diary or journal in which he/she not only recounts the developments in his/her life, but also reveals his/her thought processes. Consider how much easier the life of a dog lover would be if the answers to some of life’s most perplexing questions were finally revealed. For instance, if you understood why your dog ate your new sofa, you would be able to prevent such calamities in the future. And if dog owners really understood why their dog wagged his/her tail, the seven basic rules of food, why dogs chase cars or, perhaps most importantly, “The Bed Rules,” life would be infinitely less complicated.

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Guest Post: Finding Your Breed

September 9, 2012

Through the telling of 115 short stories related by eleven canine authors, secrets maintained for centuries are finally revealed in Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know. Those brave storytellers finally clue their people in on all the hairy details, including why they always dash toward the good rug when they about to vomit, […]

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Guest Post: This Makes Me Uncomfortable

September 5, 2012

In author Suzanne Jenkins’ first novel, Pam of Babylon, fictional Pam Smith has led a charmed life. She has a beautiful home by the water in tony Babylon, New York. A homemaker, her children have grown and left home, but fifty-something Pam is content in her long marriage to Jack, a successful businessman. Following Jack’s […]

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Book Review: And When She was Good

August 24, 2012

Welcome to the Partners In Crime Blog Tour for And When She Was Good Synopsis: Heloise grew up as Helen Lewis, the product of her mother’s unfortunate devotion to her father, Hector, an abusive adulterer who never divorced his wife. Hector told Helen that she had a “nothing face” and refused to support her as she pursued […]

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Book Review: The Choice

August 19, 2012

Welcome to Litfuse Publicity’s Blog Tour for The Choice Synopsis: Sandy Lincoln has everything going for her. At seventeen, she is a beautiful and popular honors student and cheerleader headed for college and a bright future. But when Brad Donnelly, a charming football player, convinces her to become intimate with him, her life plan is instantly […]

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Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop

August 17, 2012

The days are already growing shorter and the neighborhood children have been back in school for a couple of weeks. Hard to believe that summer is rapidly drawing to a close already! Of course, in California’s beautiful San Joaquin Valley, there will still be plenty of sunshine and warm weather. Here in Lodi, the grapes […]

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Book Review: Love Finds You in Mackinac Island Michigan

August 4, 2012
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Welcome to Litfuse Publicity’s Blog Tour for Love Finds You in Mackinac Island Michigan Synopsis: The Bissette family is on the verge of homelessness. Arthur Bissette’s factory is about to be shut down by the bank and seized, along with the family home in Chicago and summer cottage on Mackinac Island, Michigan. It is June 1894 […]

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Book Review: Inescapable

July 29, 2012
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Welcome to Litfuse Publicity’s Blog Tour for Inescapable Synopsis: Lttle Charity, age six, has never known her father. That’s because her unmarried mother, Lizzie Engel, left the tiny little Mennonite community of Kingdom, Kansas, shortly after her birth. Settling in Kansas City, Lizzie first took a job as a waitress before joining the staff of Harbor […]

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Book Review and Giveaway: Lost Girls

July 27, 2012
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Welcome to Pump Up Your Book’s Virtual Book Tour for Lost Girls Synopsis: Chelsea King was a vivacious, accomplished, and extremely popular high school senior who expressed her goals and ambitions with eloquence and insight far beyond her years. She was good girl who had never been in any sort of trouble and never given […]

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Guest Post: Why I Felt Compelled to Write Lost Girls

July 26, 2012
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It is my honor to welcome acclaimed true crime author Caitlin Rother to Colloquium today. She has penned eight fiction and nonfiction works, including Dead Reckoning, in which she recounted the story of Tom and Jackie Hawks, the couple from Newport Beach, California, who lost their lives when they were thrown overboard, tied to the […]

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Book Review: Long Gone

July 24, 2012
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Welcome to the TLC Book Tour for Long Gone Synopsis: Alice Humphrey really needs a job. So when she attends a gallery opening and is approached by Drew Campbell about serving as the manager of a new gallery, she disregards the warning signs indicating that the offer is too good to be true. Campbell represents […]

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