Monday, November 30, 2015

Author Q & A | Giveaway!!

Brief Summary:

The Charleston streets are dressed for the holidays in sophisticated Southern style: topiaries adorned with red ribbons, garland entwined with white lights, and poinsettias potted in gold planters. The high class bordello in a stately historic home is certainly no exception. When Private Investigator Liz Talbot’s dear friend Olivia swears she saw a dead body in the parlor of this bordello, one Olivia accidentally co-owns, Liz promptly comes to her aid.
With her wedding back home on Stella Maris less than a week away, Liz must juggle one elderly madam, two ex and future in-laws, three ghosts in the bordello, four giddy bridesmaids, five lovely courtesans, six suspicious patrons…and a partridge in a pear tree as she tries to keep her bridesmaid out of jail and live to walk down the aisle.
Related subjects include: women sleuths, private investigator mystery series, murder mysteries, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations, Southern fiction, Southern humor, Southern living.

A Day in the Life of Liz Talbot, PI, by Susan M. Boyer
The dead are not altogether reliable. Colleen, my best friend, calls herself a Guardian Spirit. I can’t argue with the facts at hand: She’s been dead seventeen years, and she watches my back. I’m a private investigator, so situations arise from time to time wherein my back needs watching. Technically, Colleen’s afterlife mission is to protect Stella Maris, our island home near Charleston, South Carolina, from developers and all such as that. Since I’m on the town council and can’t abide the notion of condos and time-shares on our pristine beaches, protecting me falls under her purview.
Solving my cases, however, does not. She’ll tell me that in a skinny minute should I happen to mention how she could be more helpful. But she has been known to toss me the occasional insight from beyond that provokes a train of thought, which, upon reflection, proves useful. Here’s the thing: Colleen shows up when she detects I’m in danger. Sometimes she warns me in advance. Occasionally she drops by just to chat. But she doesn’t come whenever I think of her or call her name. It rarely works like that.
One Monday in December, I really could’ve used Colleen’s perspective. We were closing in on Christmas, and I was getting married on the twentieth—in five days. I was a teensy bit distracted, is what I’m saying.
It was a little after ten in the morning, and I was at my desk in the living room of my beachfront house, which doubles as my office. I was deep into research on a criminal case Nate, my partner and fiancé, and I were working for Andy Savage. Andy was a high profile Charleston attorney, and while this case didn’t amount to much more than fact-checking, we hoped it would lead to a lucrative relationship for Talbot and Andrews, our agency.
I stared at my computer screen and reached for one of Mamma’s Christmas cookies. My phone trilled out the ringtone named Old Phone. Old Phone was reserved for old friends. I grabbed my phone instead of the cookie.
Robert Pearson. He’d been a year ahead of me in high school, the same age as my brother, Blake. He’d married one of my best friends. Robert was also our family attorney, and he and I were both on the Stella Maris town council.
I tapped the green “accept” button.
After we exchanged the usual pleasantries, he said, “I wondered, if you’re not too busy, could you drop by this afternoon? There’s something I want to run by you.”
“I have an appointment at one that’s going to take most of the afternoon.” Multi-toned highlights are a maintenance issue, especially with hair as long as mine. My natural sandy blonde would turn Tweety Bird yellow if Dori looked at it wrong. She always took her time, but five days before my wedding she’d be excruciatingly meticulous. I couldn’t walk down the aisle with yellow hair.
“Noon?” he asked.
“Sure. See you then.”
“Thanks, Liz. I really appreciate it.” He sounded way too grateful for such an ordinary request. This is what should’ve tipped me off that something was up.

Copyright © 2015 by Susan M. Boyer -- This excerpt is reprinted by permission from Henery Press. All rights reserved.

Author Q&A:

P&B: If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go? I love St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. But We’ve been there several times, so if we’re talking about someplace I’ve never been, that would either be to Tuscany or 
to  Finland to stay in one of those glass igloos where you can watch the Northern lights. I have trouble with decisions. 

P&B: How did you get into writing? I’ve loved books my entire life, and have wanted to write them for as long as I can 
remember. I finally had the opportunity when the company I was working for went out of business in 2003 and rather 
than relocate for a comparable position, my husband offered that I should “give the writing thing a try.” He knew it had 
long been my dream.  

Authors who've influenced you? Probably every one I’ve read in ways I don’t even realize. Specifically, but for different 
reasons, Charlaine Harris, Dean Koontz, Sue Grafton, Robert B. Parker and Susan Elizabeth Phillips come to mind. 

How long did it take you to write Lowcountry Bordello? About three months. 
What was your biggest influence for this story? The title itself was the first kernel. I started with it because it fit my 
naming convention. From that, all sorts of ideas popped into my head. 

What's your writing process? I write every day when I’m in a writing cycle. Each day I read what I wrote the day before 
and edit it as a way of slipping back into the story. This way, by the time the first draft is complete, it’s been edited once. After that, I go through the manuscript twice more editing and polishing before turning it in.

Fave breakfast food? Greek yogurt with blueberries, chia seeds, and almonds.

P&B: Coffee or tea? How do you take it? Both. I have to have strong hot coffee every morning, with a stevia and raw sugar blend and fat free half & half. Then I start drinking iced tea and alternate that with water for the rest of the day, switching to decaf tea around three in the afternoon.

P&B: Ideal day? I’m at a cottage on St. John overlooking one of the north shore beaches with my husband. We swim, read, relax, and pop out for food when we feel like it, or maybe he’ll put something on the grill.

P&B: What's up next in your writing career? LOWCOUNTRY BOOK CLUB releases April 19, 2016.

P&B: Best love advice you've ever received.  Be particular.

Author Bio:

Susan M. Boyer is the author of the USA TODAY bestselling Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, won the 2012 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and garnered several other award nominations, including the Macavity. Lowcountry Boneyard, the third Liz Talbot mystery, was a Spring 2015 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick. Lowcountry Bordello, the fourth book in the series, was released November 3, 2015. Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives. You’ll find all of the above in her novels.
Susan lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.

November 9 – Caroline Fardig – Excerpt

November 10 – Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A & Excerpt

November 10 – Change the Word – Q&A & Excerpt

November 11 – Celia Kennedy – Review & Excerpt

November 12 – Fiction Zeal - Review

November 12 – Chick Lit Club Connect - Excerpt

November 13 – Granny Loves To Read – Review & Excerpt

November 16 – Nails and Tales – Review & Q&A

November 16 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

November 16 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review

November 17 – Queen of All She Reads – Review & Excerpt

November 18 – Hello Precious Bliss – Review & Excerpt

November 23 – The Book Sirens – Review

November 25 – Fiction Dreams – Excerpt

November 27 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

November 30 – Polished & Bubbly – Q& A& Excerpt

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gift Guide | Books...

you should gift to people in your life. Phew, that is a really long title. But that's what we've got on deck for today, a new series! I'm going to be posting a new gift guide every Wednesday until Christmas. Today is all about one of my favorite things to get...BOOKS!

For Her

*on my wish list!

The Definition of Icing by Aven Ellis

For Him

For the Littles

Are there any books on your wish list? Let me know in the comments cause you know I'm always in the market for more books! Xo!

Ps. I am taking tomorrow off to eat lots of turkey, but will have a little fun post on Friday & then back to regular posts next week. I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! I'm extremely thankful for anyone who is taking the time to read this now, it means more to me than you'll ever know, xx!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pairing Wines with Turkey!

So I figured I would share some of the knowledge I obtained while managing a liquor store for 10 years with you today. I'm going to teach you what wine you should be bringing along with you to Thanksgiving dinner (cause if you're reading this, then you're like me and wait until the very last minute to do anything...aka you'll see me in the grocery store after work tomorrow! Procrastinators unite!)

*images from google

White Wines

Riesling- Light, fruity, and well-balanced with a fresh, clean finish. 
Serve chilled. 
My pick: Relax or Funf 5

Gewurztraminer- A golden color with a moderate intensity and consistancy of fruit and spice. A sweet fruit  wine with a bit of spice, with hints of orange and/or lemon and apple. 
Serve chilled. 
My pick: Fetzer 

Sauvignon Blanc- Pale white wine that is crsip and refreshing with citrus fruit flavors. 
Serve chilled. 
My pick: 90+ Cellars Lot 2 (if you can find it!) or Nobilo

Red Wines

Beaujolais Nouveau - A radiant ruby red color with fruit flavors of strawberries and jam-like fruits accompained by a perfumed nose. It is a well-balanced wine on the palate with a smooth finish. 
Serve room tempature. 
My pick: George Duboeuf 

Pinot Noir- A light to medium body ruby-red color with enticing aromas of ripe red fruits with notes of strawberry, raspberry, and subtle hints of spice. 
Serve room tempature. 
My pick: 3 Girls or Mark West

Monday, November 23, 2015


Not really 100% sure how I managed to post this already, but that's what I get for trying to take shortcuts and polyvore from my ipad, lesson learned! Anyway the AMAs were last night and on top of all the music, the eyes were definitely in for a treat with the fashion! Here's what I would've worn

As many fun dresses we see on the carpet, long and short, I decided to go with a Balmain jumpsuit instead. I paired it with a pair of strappy stilettos, a gorgeous ear cuff, fun sparkly bracelet, and a Chanel clutch. (I know what you're thinking, no McQueen?! Celeb Kayla wanted a little Chanel in her life...)

This glam has me feeling some type of way. I'd go with the striking lined eyes with the structured contour. Paired with a berry lip and classic black nails. I am in love with this glam. 

Who do you think was best dressed last night? Let me know so we can share fashion notes, xo!

Friday, November 20, 2015


I can see my 4 day weekend next week. It's SO close, yet so far away. Work is kicking my bootay lately, but nothing like a sissy date night tonight to cure the stressed out blues! We're headed to NYC to see a show and have some us time. Lots of blog work tomorrow and Bitches Who Brunch hits a new spot Sunday! Stay tuned to my IG for some fun pics of this weekend, xo!

sweet little bae.

this guy has been sleeping with me every night.

pop of color on the lips takes away from my dirty hair ;)

mid week spread

Laurenslist on IG is major nail inspo!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Planner Chat!

Are you guys subscribed to my YouTube channel? If not, then you missed this video! I have recently become obsessed with all things planner and stickers. Check out the video below to hear all about my Happy Planner. Next week, I'll share my sticker haul :) To see last week's spread check out my IG: polishedandbubbly

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Life Lessons | Cyber Bullying

Growing up my Grandma always stood by the saying "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all." And I'll admit as an adult, sometimes I don't live by this motto. But for the most part, I would say that it's something I try to practice. The reason I'm bringing it up today is because I recently read some comments on the YouTube video below. I watched the video when it was under 1,000 views and only about 100 comments or so. And what was SO surprising to me is that barely any were nice or positive.

Almost every comment said the same thing "WTF was that?" "Is she trying to be funny?" "Wow, terrible acting." But those weren't the ones that bothered me the was these "Now I know why I unsubscribed." "I used to love your channel, but you're a sellout." "I wanted to really try to watch your videos again, but you barely put up any content and when you do it's stupid like this." Putting a computer in front of someone gives them the biggest set of balls and it's really unfair to the person on the other end. I know that in running a YouTube channel or writing a blog you are putting yourself out there for the world to judge. Trust me, I get it. But what I don't understand is, why take the time to comment? Why take the time to watch a video of someone you unsubbed from? You clearly unsubbed for a reason, but now you took the time to not only watch, but comment. YouTubers like Blair (whom I personally enjoy) make money from their views & comments; good or bad. You just put money in her pocket, but you "hate her." I guess the point of this is, I don't understand this side of cyber bullying. To me, it makes zero sense. If you don't like a hockey team, you don't go to their games. If you don't like a singer, you don't buy tickets when they hit your city. If you don't like a YouTuber, you shouldn't watch or comment on their video. But because you can put someone down from the privacy of your home, you do it and I bet most of the people who leave negative shit on people's hardwork, feel good about themselves after. But in all honesty, by leaving hate you are actually helping build their brand. So I guess when it comes down to it, we should let the haters hate cause we could make more money. As The Notorious BIG said Fuck bitches, get money, xo!

Monday, November 16, 2015

a book in review!

Brief Summary:

In high school, everyone has their secrets. Even well-brought-up Emma Fraser. Emma’s sophomore year started out all wrong. First, her best friend Andy confessed to losing his virginity in the back seat of a car, leaving Emma all alone in the V-Club. Then the rest of her friends got weird and, suddenly, Emma found herself feeling like a stranger. Now, struggling to find her new place, Emma wonders if things could get any worse. When Deegan Burke, a rich, gorgeous senior, asks Emma to be his date for the prom, Emma thinks her luck has begun to change. But rather than being able to celebrate, her whole world starts to unravel. And when secrets that once seemed so innocent start to take a very dangerous turn, Emma discovers that friends are friends no matter what…and some secrets aren’t worth keeping.


I received this book in exchange for an honest review. First, I have to say how pretty is this cover? Love! This story is full of ups and downs, but I think once you read it, you'll agree there's a lot more downs. Being a teenager can be hard stuff. You can end up overthinking every moment or you can not weigh the pros and cons and jump in head first. Emma is a tender and raw main character. This story is real, it'll bring up memories of high school for you, no matter who you were in high school. I can't say enough good things about the core of this story. I recommend this 5 star book to anyone who wants a story that will tug on your heart strings and will bring you back to your teenage years, xo!

Buy the Book: