Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Christmas is almost upon us but there is plenty of time still to work in a few holiday reads.  Today, we're diving into a selection from my personal library from the land of Storybooks with a festive title indeed.  It's a book I discovered while browsing my local library's bookstore and as soon as my eyes lit on the cover, I was sold.  Wanna know a secret?  I think you will be too.  So, friends and family, gather round, it's time to meet and greet today's book of choice....

Robert Barry
A Doubleday Book for Young Readers

As the title states, this is the story of a Christmas tree but not just ANY tree mind you, for it belongs to Mr. Willowby.  This fine old gent is full of holiday spirit and ready to decorate his home, nay mansion, with some festive flair.  What better way than a Christmas tree, right?  Right!  He gets the biggest, the bestest, the most Christmasy one ever delivered straight to his parlor.  But what's this?  Upon standing it up to its full's TOO TALL?!?  Egads!  It seems his eyes where bigger than his ceiling!  No worries though, his butler knows just what to do and so a few moments later its OFF with the tree top.  

*blink blink*

The tree top?
Yes, the tree top!
Whereas you or I usually take a little off the bottom, he cut a fairly large amount off the top.  Though it might seem strange, it all works out rather well for you see in this tale, nothing goes to waste.  The previously attached tree top turned mini tree ends up with the maid, who finds it too large and chops it down to size again.  Again!  Ah, but wait for it...that newly formed mini tree makes it way to the trash pile where the gardener finds it and continues the cycle until the smallest of the small, little Mistletoe Mouse, has a tree just like our dear old Mr. Willowby.

It's a VERY sweet story with amazing illustrations.  The color palette chosen works perfectly for the time of year depicted while the line work and detail put into each scene makes it clear this was a labor of love versus just another story.  I love the lessons shared along the way from waste not want not, sharing is caring, and one man's trash is another man's treasure.  Add to those the joy that the little trees bring to each barer and recipient, and you have a book that's a perfect addition to anyone's holiday reading list.

This title is available now via Random House Children's Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy holidays and happy reading!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Once Upon a Grind by Cleo Coyle - Review, Guest Note + CONTESTS!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're saying a big HELLO to a blog tour via Great Escapes Blog Tours starring the 14th addition to the Coffeehouse Mystery series.  Know of it?  You should and if you don't allow me to introduce you...I insist!  Today's book of choice is...

Cleo Coyle
Berkley Prime Crime

About the book....
When coffeehouse manager turned amateur sleuth Clare Cosi roasts “magic” beans for a Fairy Tale Fall event, she brews up a vision that leads to a sleeping beauty in Central Park; a big, bad wolf of Wall Street; and an East Side enclave with storybook secrets…

Fairy tale fever has descended on New York City. Broadway fans are flocking to Red Riding Hood: The Musical; museums are exhibiting art inspired by the Brothers Grimm; and Clare Cosi and her merry band of baristas give their coffee truck a “Jack and the Beanstalk” makeover for a Central Park festival. Clare’s coffee hunter ex-husband contributes a bag of African beans with alleged magical properties. His octogenarian mother entertains customers with readings of the grinds, but Clare remains skeptical–until she receives a vision that helps her find a young model’s body in the park’s woods.

The police dismiss “sleeping beauty” as the victim of a drug overdose. Then Clare uncovers evidence that points to a list of suspects–from a New York Giant to quite a few wicked witches–and a cold case murder that reaches back to the Cold War. Now Clare is really in the woods with a dangerous predator on her heels and an investigation that leads from a secret Prince Charming Club right back to her own NYPD detective boyfriend. If she doesn’t solve this mystery, those magic beans predict an unhappy ending.


In a word....wonderful!
In many words....much more than that.

This being the 14th installment in the Coffeehouse Mystery series, one would expect a reader to have some familiarity with it before embarking on a journey through the pages.  Well now, THAT would have been the wrong assumption.  Let's just say that I'm a reader that likes to take chances (sometimes) and while this series was on my radar for a while, I'd not picked it up as of yet....until now.  THIS was my inaugral voyage into the writing of author Cleo Coyle.  THIS was my first taste of the coffees and just desserts offered by the Village Blend.  THIS was my first meeting with Claire Cosi, Mike Quinn, Matt, Madame, and so many more.  Did I like what I read?  Why yes, indeed!

Claire is a a great leading lady.  She's both strong and emotional, motherly and formidable, smart and not easily pushed aside.  She takes on more than she can brew, I mean chew, in a heartbeat and if family or friends are threatened, WATCH OUT.  I enjoyed seeing the care she showed for Mike's children, the heart she shared with her staff when faced with personal demons, and her selflessness when trying to help Anya, Red, and even her ex Matt.  A master brewer she may be, but she knows the human condition just as well.  Those that play partner in her adventures are just as memorable as is the story as it unravels layer by layer.  While the draw for some may be all the coffee talk, I loved the fairy tale spell placed on the overall story.  It starts during Fairy Tale Week (which sounds INCREDIBLE by the way), winds its way into the Prince Charming Club, and ends with more than one Sleeping Beauty.  If you manage to figure out what's stewing beneath it all along the way, more power to you my friends because I for one was take by complete surprise.  

In closing, I can only think that as grand as this adventure was, it could only be made better by watching the story unfold from the beginning.  So, guess what I'm adding to my "wish list"?  Yep.  The rest of the series...and you know what?  I can't wait.  And now ladies and gents, it's time for an EXTRA SPECIAL treat for I have the pleasure of not only hosting a spot on this fabulous tour, but featuring a Guest Note from author Cleo Coyle!  


A Note From Cleo....

For over a decade, my partner in crime-writing has also been my partner in marriage. This begs the question: Can a husband and wife really write murder mysteries together without killing each other? 

In a word yes. While the writing process isn’t always a party, Marc and I completely respect each other. When we have creative disagreements—and we do—we check our egos at the door and argue things out rationally. Marc will present his side, and I will present mine. Then comes the alcohol (or a really good meal). In the course of the discussion, one of us can usually persuade the other or we’ll find a middle ground. The truth is, neither of us cares whose idea wins, as long as it leads to a good story well told.

Is Once Upon a Grind a good story? Heck, yeah! It’s a wicked good murder mystery. We had a grand time writing it, and we hope you’ll have as much fun reading it.

Our new release is also a culinary mystery, featuring some unique foods that might make you drool on the page (or screen), especially the Black Forest Brownies, Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Ale-Battered Onion Rings.

To sample some of the book’s wicked good recipes click here.

To read the Prologue and First Chapter, click here.

Holiday Cookie Swap! Today we’re sharing another tasty cookie with you: Eggnog Shortbread with Eggnog Glaze. This is one of the most popular recipes on our blog, and you can get the recipe now by clicking here.

SECRET CODE: The 9th of the 9 words in Cleo’s Secret Code Contest is WILL. (Learn how to enter Cleo’s Secret Code giveaway here.)

Thank you to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers for hosting us today. And thank you for joining us on this delightful Coffeehouse Escape Blog Tour.

May your reading be joyful, and may your holidays be bright!

~ Alice and Marc (Cleo Coyle)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

About the authors.....

CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini.  CLEO COYLE grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York City, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting



Special thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to bring this tour to you and to author Cleo Coyle for the SIGNED ARC!  (Signed....squee!)  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the series, this tour, and those upcoming, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title reached publication just this month, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.  

Now, for those that have been holding their breath in anticipation...and rightfully's time to unveil the contest portion of our post.  Thanks to the generosity of the author and publisher, I have the honor of giving you a CHANCE TO WIN A HARDCOVER COPY of this very title!  Exciting, right?  Absolutely!  Oh, but gets better.  

The authors were swept away by the spirit of the season and their excitement over this release and decided that one contest per stop wasn't enough; two was a MUCH better number.  Who am I to argue?  ^-^  So, they decided to give EVERYONE a chance to win a Coffeehouse Prize Pack including....

* An autographed copy of Cleo's brand new book, ONCE UPON A GRIND, in its beautiful first-edition hardcover format
* A complete set of all 13 Coffeehouse Mysteries published to date, each one personally inscribed by Cleo to the winner 
* A durable, custom-designed Coffeehouse Mystery Tote Bag 
* A freshly-roasted package of Billionaire’s Blend, a hand-crafted coffee created by One Good Woman Fine Coffees and Teas as a tribute to Cleo's recent bestseller BILLIONAIRE BLEND.
* A Coffeehouse Mystery cup, featuring a favorite saying of Madame's, the octogenarian owner of The Village Blend: “Survive everything. And do it with style.”

(Gosh...can I enter?  *-*)
Now, all that's left to be done is YOU entering to WIN!  Just fill in the Rafflecopter options below and BAM, you're entered.

Until next time...happy holidays and happy reading!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Taste Testing Tuesdays...on Wednesday!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

So, today is WEDNESDAY so I bet you're wondering why I'm sharing today's post today in lieu of I right?  Well, it's simple really...because I felt like it.  *smirk*  ...and for this reader, ANY day is a GREAT day to share a tease.  So for all those in agreement, *hive five*; those in disagreement, you'll survive...promise.

The book I'm teasing up today is actually scheduled to swing by the blog TOMORROW on tour with a review, guest post, giveaway; you know, the whole nine yards.  Thought I might bring it to the forefront of your minds though TODAY to add a little extra fun.  So, without further ado, let's get to the teaser!

Cleo Coyle

"And if you're not careful, Clare, it's going to happen to you and your blue knight..."
It was Madame's voice that issued the haunting warning in my head.
I ignored it, refusing to believe a thing like that could happen between me and Mike.  I still couldn't believe it was happening to Esther and Boris.
When those two first met at a Brooklyn Poetry Slam, it was love at first phrase.  In the years after, I saw the adoring passion in Boris's eyes whenever he gazed at his Esther, rapping on stage, doing her work with inner-city kids, or pouring her perfect latte art.

-- pg 119 


Okay, so it's more than a one liner tease but the first part was perfect to build intrigue (at least it did for me....what's happening and why?!) and the second part was for the phrasing..."love at first phrase".  Love it!

So, have you read any of this series before?
Is this one on your wish list?
Do tell, do tell!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow as we welcome this Coffeehouse Mystery courtesy of Great Escapes Book Tours and check out the rest of the tour while you wait!

Until next time....happy holidays and happy reading!

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