Book Tour: Nicknames

Mary Geneva tells the tale of her crazy love life using nicknames for the many men who have come into and out of her life. | A book review by

There are a million bad dates in the city that never sleeps.

Mary Geneva has been on 999,999 of them.

When she moved to Manhattan in her mid-20s, Mary imagined being single in New York City would be like something out of a Hollywood movie. And it was—a horror movie.

Nicknames is a look at some of the most hopeless, horrendous, and frequently hilarious dates you can imagine. Mary shares her true-life adventures looking for Mr. Right in the treacherous New York dating scene. You’ll meet men so bizarre, their names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Our cast of characters includes:

● Crazy Eyes, who didn’t just resemble an escapee from the local mental hospital, but proved he probably belonged there

● James Bond, the mysterious South African with the secret life

● Germ Sperm, a guy so classy, he actually named himself Germ Sperm!

● And many, many, many more.

Part memoir, part self-help book, Nicknames will have you laughing out loud…and possibly abstaining from dating forever.

Note: I received a review copy of this book through Bliss Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

I requested this book expecting a fun and hilarious romp through somebody else’s love life (sounds kind of nosy when I put it that way, right?). And that’s what I got–to an extent.

In Nicknames, Mary Geneva lays bare her dating life, including all the crazy men she has met along the way. It’s a great premise, but unfortunately it just wasn’t for me. I’m a bit squeamish about reading sex scenes, and I clearly should have anticipated that there might be more than I could handle in a book about serial dating! Some of the stories are hilarious, but that wasn’t enough to make it enjoyable for me.

If you’ve just gotten out of a relationship, or you’ve dedicated years of your life to online dating, or you have some dating horror stories of your own, you’ll probably get a kick out of this book. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

You can find Nicknames on Goodreads or Amazon, and you can connect with the author on her website, Facebook, or Twitter @marygenevanyc.


Book Tour: Goodbye Tootsie

New Release….
Mystery and Romance in 1920s Manhattan…
A homicide detective and a tabloid reporter are on the road to romance but at cross-purposes at work when they investigate the New Year’s Eve murder of a young heiress after she comes into control of a family fortune.

New York City, 1925

It’s after midnight on New Year’s Day, and the richest girl in America has just fallen to her death from the top floor of the posh Cleveland Hotel in Manhattan.

When Detective Sean Costigan arrives at the scene, he learns it’s the day after Abigail Welles’s twenty-first birthday—the day she inherited a family fortune. It’s not the kind of coincidence that warms a detective’s heart. Neither is the fact that she wasn’t alone when she fell. Her new husband, Long Island party boy Nick Welles, lies incoherent in the master bedroom.

Sean’s girl, tabloid reporter Trixie Frank, is the first newshound on the scene. It’s a bigger scoop than she dreamed. The young heiress’s death will make national headlines. More importantly, this story hits close to home. And heart. The victim’s husband is Trixie’s ex-fiancé.

When Sean focuses on Nick as his prime suspect, Trixie is certain he’s dead wrong. But will saving her first love from the hot seat prove fatal to her new romance?

GOODBYE TOOTSIE is a stand-alone romantic mystery sequel to IT HAD TO BE YOU. It’s a complete mystery that can be read alone, after the first book, or before the first book. It contains romantic elements, which means it may include love scenes (sensual but not graphic).

Available to buy from…

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a huge fan of both mysteries and historical fiction, so Goodbye Tootsie sounded like the perfect book for me. Set in the opulent 1920s, tabloid reporter Trixie and her romantic interest, police detective Sean Costigan, both set their sights on unraveling the mysterious death of a young heiress. As they continue their investigations, the pair uncovers family secrets and dark pasts that may relate to the heiress’s death.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The setting is awesome–just turn on some jazz and you’ll be transported back to the Roaring Twenties. Trixie was very enjoyable as a character, and I found myself wanting to know more about her. (I found out later that this is the second book in the series, and you can in fact learn more about Trixie’s background in the first book–details below!) I didn’t enjoy Sean’s character as much, though, since he often seemed to belittle Trixie’s chosen career and even her family background. Still, I enjoyed the two as a couple; just be forewarned about a couple of mildly explicit romance/sex scenes, if you’re not into that sort of thing.

The mystery itself is also interesting and enjoyable. It’s full of juicy secrets and lots of suspects–including one suspect whom Trixie is closer to than Sean expected. But all of that pales in comparison (at least for me) to the setting. Late nights filled with dancing and drinking, grand mansions, gorgeous dresses and jewelry… This book lets you slip into another time and immerse yourself in that world.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

Also Available…
It Had To Be You

New York City, 1924

Determined to pursue her dream of becoming a crime reporter, heiress Trixie Frank believes she’s off to a running start when she lands a job at the most successful tabloid in Manhattan. Unfortunately, her high hopes fade fast when she’s assigned to the rewrite desk.

Sean Costigan is a demoted homicide detective on the commissioner’s blacklist. The last thing he needs complicating his life is a perky debutante with delusions of becoming the next great American journalist. Too bad she happens to hold one of the keys to solving his latest case, the Central Park murder of a notorious gangster. The other key?

Sean’s childhood sweetheart, the victim’s widow, who has gone missing.

Sean soon has more trouble with dames than any good man deserves. But that’s the least of his worries. When he suspects deadly corruption within his own department, it’s not just his and Trixie’s careers that depend on finding the killer. It’s their lives.

It Had to Be You, a finalist for the 2014 NJRW Golden Leaf Award


Available to buy from…   Barnes and Noble   iBooks   Kobo   GPlay

About the Author

Delynn Royer is the older, smarter, funnier, more ornery alter ego of author Donna Grove, who, as a young mother, published several lighthearted historical romances. The first, A TOUCH OF CAMELOT, won a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Soon after that, Delynn set aside her pen to concentrate on her day job and raising her two sons.

Motherhood never ends, but kids eventually fly the nest. Delynn has returned to her first love, writing. She has updated editions of her backlist to be available as ebooks and is working on new titles that she hopes will entertain and lighten readers’ hearts.

Delynn’s latest ebook release is GOODBYE, TOOTSIE, the sequel to IT HAD TO BE YOU, a romantic mystery set in 1920s Manhattan.

Aside from delving into the historical research that inspires her novels, Delynn enjoys classic movies, reading, travel and yoga. She lives with her husband in Pennsylvania.

Find the author on the following sites…

Follow the book tour


I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.





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#EdgesTour Review

Burnt Edges is a heartwrenching look at child abuse, life in the 60s, and writing your own story. #spon | A book review from Newbery and Beyond
Photo via Masquerade Tours

Note: I received a digital copy of this book from Masquerade Tours for review consideration.

Warning: This book deals with child molestation and abuse, and so does this review.

Burnt Edges is heart wrenching–this is both a compliment and a warning.  If you can’t stand to read about child abuse and sexual abuse, don’t read it.  I barely got through it myself.  This story takes place during the 1960s, and it deals with alcoholism and abuse within that time period, and its saving grace from all these painful topics is how well written it is.  The characters, especially the children, seem like real people, with all the mundane events and conversations of life, as well as the earth shattering ones.

Laurel is a young girl at the beginning of this story, doing her best to keep her head down and avoid her sullen and often-drunk father.  We gradually see that this quiet, angry man is physically abusive toward his children, and sexually abusive toward his daughter, Laurel.  Laurel’s mother is cold and controlling, and she refuses to listen to Laurel’s accusations toward her father.  Fearful and confused, Laurel takes the abuse, and as she grows up, she watches as it drives her older brother, Rusty, away and leads her younger brother toward the same rage and violence that her father possesses.  Meanwhile, Laurel is settling into a relationship with a man who is as controlling and angry as her parents.  Although she seems to be headed down the path of history repeating itself in her life, with more abusive, angry, controlling people by her side, she is able to change her story and create a new path for herself.

My main issue with this book is the length–it’s a fairly short book, and a lot of things happen within its pages.  I think this book would have benefited from a few extra pages for each event, just to allow us to absorb what was happening and what it meant for Laurel.  Still, Burnt Edges provides a sensitive, if not in-depth, look into the complex life of an abused child.  The book shows us just how complicated the child’s relationship with their abuser often is, that love and hatred, fear and guilt, are often mixed together in that relationship.  It gives us a painful glance at how easily these abused children can fall into a cycle of either abusing or being abused throughout the rest of their lives, but it also offers hope that the cycle can be broken.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good (but with a trigger warning)

Burnt Edges is a heartwrenching look at child abuse, life in the 60s, and writing your own story. | A book review from Newbery and Beyond
Photo via Masquerade Tours

Book Tour: The Castle Blues Quake

Note: I received a digital copy of The Castle Blues Quake from Masquerade Tours for review consideration.

Newbery and Beyond book review: Castle Blues Quake #spon | Pretty Darn Good

In this book, Pepper Connelly has just moved with her family from New York City to Santa Cruz, California.  Twelve-year-old Pepper finds it difficult to adjust to her new home and her loneliness, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Corey, she starts to think that maybe she has found a new friend.  What Pepper doesn’t know (but the reader does, from the very beginning, so this isn’t a spoiler!) is that Corey is actually a ghost.  Corey died in a recent earthquake at Castle Blues, and he recruits Pepper to help him contact Boppie, his grandfather, before he crosses over to the other side.  Pepper doesn’t realize that she is the only one who can see Corey (everyone else sees either a ghostly figure or just a flash of light), and she agrees to help him and protect him.

The Castle Blues Quake is all about friendship–is it possible to keep friendships strong when you move away?  Can you be friends with someone who will undoubtedly move on after you help him reach his goal?  Can a weird library girl who dresses in layers of thrift store clothing really become a new friend?  Pepper struggles with all of these questions in a very sweet and realistic way.  As someone who made a couple of cross-country moves in her childhood, I understand these emotions and questions, and reading about them brought back the feelings that followed me every time my family moved.  It is as difficult to hold on to old friendships as it is to make new ones, but somehow I always muddled through, and so does Pepper.

I really enjoyed the exploration of friendship in this book, as well as the matter-of-fact portrayal of the supernatural aspects (of course, the fact that Corey is a ghost, but also the occasional flashbacks that Pepper gets about the night of the earthquake, and so on).  Most of the chapters are narrated by Pepper, but a few are narrated by Corey, so we get a different voice as well as a different point of view, and we get to see Corey’s life with Boppie before the earthquake, as they played the blues all across the country.  The few lines of poetry that begin each of the chapters were just a little silly, but that might be just because I’m not exactly the target age group for this book…   On the whole, this was a very enjoyable book about friendship, family, blues music, reunions, and, yes, ghosts.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

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