#Review “Build a Mate (A Holiday with Love Romance)” by Janice Croom

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3.5/5 Stars

Jasmine Green is seeing red. A life-size sex doll is raking in the orders during the Christmas season… and it has her face. When she tracks down robot creator, Homer Jackson, he’s shocked to see a human version of his creation and confused when Jasmine accuses him of using her to market his sexbot (Build-A-Mate).

His invention—XM-14—was created to save trapped miners and is locked away in his vault.

The two form a tentative friendship to get to the bottom of the mystery. Jasmine wants her face removed from the XM-14/Build-A-Mate and Homer wants to help her… and he wants her.

The problem? Homer is on a deadline. His assignment is almost over—he returns to his home planet on Christmas Eve.

Yes… home planet.

Though he is human, Homer left Earth almost eighty years ago.

Disgusted and distraught by the rampant racism which claimed his father’s life, Homer stepped through a “poster portal” and landed on Bronzeville—a multi-race planet where everyone works together for the betterment of all.

But right now, Homer is on Earth where unscrupulous product promotions vip, Rachelle Myers, works to discredit the all-too-trusting Homer and make Build-A-Mate a worldwide sensation.

The connection between Homer and Jasmine is undeniable, but even with a nod and a wink to destined soul mates, a few too many unexplained loose ends bugged me, like how are Homer and Jasmine so deeply connected and how she can do some of the things he does? Jasmine’s a successful female firefighter… on holiday. With such an occupation, it would have been nice to see her skills on-the-job or at the mines.

Still, though light on details and explanations, this short read delivers emotion with heart and a great ending.



Can a brother from another planet find love?

Homer is an alien from the planet Bronzeville. A week before Christmas in a small West Virginia town, he’s running final tests on the XM-14, a lifelike robot designed to save trapped miners. All he wants is to finish XM-14 and return to his planet.

Jasmine is a firefighter in that small West Virginia town. She’s led an unremarkable life until this full page ad ran on Black Friday:
Whatever you want.
Whenever you want.
For however long you want.
Build-a-Mate. Available this Christmas.

Homer didn’t know his technology had been coopted to develop Build a Mate. Until the ad ran, Jasmine didn’t know that XM-14, aka Build a Mate, looked exactly like her. So it’s easy to understand why Jasmine burst into Homer’s office and demanded her face back.

Not so understandable is how Jasmine’s face ended up on XM-14 in the first place and how a quest to right this wrong might lead to a love that spans the galaxy.

by Janice Croom

Genre Fiction/Humor & Satire/Holiday

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“The Stupidest Angel (v2.0)” by Christopher Moore

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The Stupidest Angel (v2.0): A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (Pine Cove Book 3)

by Christopher Moore

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Humor & Satire/Dark Comedy

1.99 at time of posting!

‘Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.

But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he’s not on his deathbed; no, his dog hasn’t run away from home. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead.

But hold on! There’s an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It’s none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel’s not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say “Kris Kringle,” he’s botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.

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“Accidents Happen” by Sharon Karaa

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Accidents Happen

by Sharon Karaa

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Humor & Satire

99¢ at time of posting! (Reg. 2.99) Kindle Countdown!

Tabitha was a true survivor – until she wasn’t. One week before her loveless marriage to a wealthy man, a freak accident causes her soul to trade places with a womanizing lush paying penance for his sins as a soul collector. While she waits for Death to unravel the bureaucratic red-tape and return her to her life, she’s forced to take on Mort’s duties, accompanied by the sexiest but rudest man she’s ever met.

Cooper was a bank manager until his demise, and he’s got a lot of making up to do. He’s determined to be the best damn soul collector heav…he…Death has ever seen. Saddled with baby-sitting the soul of a selfish, amoral airhead, he’s determined to teach her a lesson.

Can Tabitha convince Death to switch her back before her wedding and her reputation are ruined? Will Cooper make her see the error of her ways? Or will Fate have the last laugh and teach them all a lesson in love?

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“Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire (Book 1) Action Adventure Comedy” by Jillianne Hamilton

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Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire (Book 1) Action Adventure Comedy

by Jillianne Hamilton

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Humor & Satire/Crime

FREE at time of posting!

Join Molly on her hilarious adventures as she dodges bullets, trespasses, wears disguises, and steals her way into trouble.

Professional, experienced contract burglar.
It’s not exactly something you can put on a business card.

Molly Miranda has made a successful living from “acquiring” valuables and delivering them to clients who pay buckets of cash for her unique services.

So what if she has to lie about her lavish lifestyle in Manhattan and her frequent trips out of the country? Molly has everything under control.

Things go astray when she knocks boots with her charming roommate right before taking off to Scotland with an untrustworthy wildcard on a job assignment that doesn’t go quite as planned.

It doesn’t help that this new partner-in-crime is super annoying. And attractive…

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“#1 Bundle of Fun – Humorous Cozy Mysteries – Funny Adventures of Mina Kitchen with Recipes: Kitchen Addiction! + Christmas Bizarre Books 1 + 2 (Mina Kitchen Cozy Mystery Series Bundle 1)” by Lizz Lund

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#1 Bundle of Fun – Humorous Cozy Mysteries – Funny Adventures of Mina Kitchen – with Recipes: Kitchen Addiction! + Christmas Bizarre – Books 1 + 2 (Mina Kitchen Cozy Mystery Series – Bundle 1)

by Lizz Lund

Genre: Genre Fiction/Humor & Satire

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

TWO funny Mina Kitchen mysteries for the price of ONE? BOGO!


If you’re looking for funny novels for women, packed with humor, chatty animals (in the guise of pets) — and recipes — look no further. Lund’s cozy mystery series – Books 1 & 2 – are hilarious light hearted mysteries that blend delightful characters and great dialogue with a dash of thrillers and suspense. These cozy comedy capers whip up frothy fiction that’s sure to amuse Kindle readers. They also deliver a virtual tourist romp through Lancaster City and its surroundings.


Chock full of delightful surprises, both mysteries finish with a bonus section of free recipes, vetted by Lund’s chef husband, for your culinary pleasure!


Meet Mina Kitchen, a forty-something single who likes to cook — and cook and cook. In fact, her zest for whipping up trays of canapés is dwarfed only by her weird luck and mountain-lion size tabby cat, Vinnie. That, and her godmom’s tendency for blackmailing new members into joining St. Bart’s. Okay, maybe Mina’s Swiffer-addicted neighbor, Vito, is a bit weird, too. As if all that wasn’t enough, Mina’s a Jersey girl transplanted in the midst of the Amish-flavored countryside of Lancaster, PA.

Things get really complicated when she learns that her neighbor Vito is in a witness protection program, and her dry cleaner deals in prescription samples. Throw in a few mysterious flaming feces flingers and a fuse box labeled in Arabic, and you have a recipe for catering disorders.


What do Santa’s Sidekick, a dead lawyer and a geriatric vampire have in common? Meet Mina Kitchen — a forty-something single who finds trouble quicker than she can whip up a batch of breakfast breads. Plural. Her catering disorder runs neck-and-neck with her weird luck, and her cat’s weirder tendency toward gnawing elf gear. Okay, and getting kidnapped a couple of times in one week is a little strange, too.

Her next door neighbor Vito’s past as ex-leader of the Moils, the Jewish-Polish Family from Bumville, New Jersey, comes to light and throws a dollop of dilemmas into an already simmering plot.

Top it all off with a counterfeiting ring, a county-wide dearth of holiday wrapping tape, and a mass of pets running loose at the local mall, and what do you have? A recipe for disaster that Mina whips to a froth.

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“Death of an Island Tart: A Kadence MacBride Mystery (The Kadence MacBride Mystery Series Book 2)” by Janice Croom


Death of an Island Tart: A Kadence MacBride Mystery (The Kadence MacBride Mystery Series Book 2)

by Janice Croom

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense/Humor & Satire/African-American

2.99 at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

She wanted a reconciliation.


She got a murder.


If You Like a Sleuth With Attitude


You’ll Love Kadence MacBride

Following a breakup of 268 days, 12 hours and 23 minutes, Kadence MacBride has messed up and knows it, so she swallows her pride and makes a surprise visit to the Caribbean to try and reconcile with her boyfriend Terrence.

Unfortunately for her, Terrence has moved on and is about to marry hootchie-momma Barbie.

Unfortunately for him, the wedding is called because of death when his bride to be is found strangled. Instead of saying I do, the police believe Terrence did, commit the murder that is. Since suspects on the island are more likely to see the inside of a coffin than a courtroom, Kadence has to help.

They conduct their investigation in the midst of what the tourist bureau deems civil unrest, but plain folks call riots. With no phone, no lights and no motor car, they’re more stranded than Gilligan. On the run, stripped of their tourist status, the real murderer is closing in.

Unfortunately for them, it looks like the only way they’ll ever leave the island will be in a pine box.

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“We Have Lost The Chihuahuas: A Great British Canine Comedy” by Paul Mathews

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We Have Lost The Chihuahuas: A Great British Canine Comedy

by Paul Mathews

Genre: Political/Humor & Satire/Comedy

99¢ at time of posting! KINDLE COUNTDOWN!

London, 2046. The British Republic has a new First Lady. She’s Californian, ‘in-your-face, for sure’ and she’s got big plans for a Buckingham Palace refurb. When her three Chihuahuas go missing, one man is determined to avoid getting dragged into it all. His name is Pond. Howie Pond – presidential spokesperson, retired secret agent and cat lover.

Meanwhile, Howie’s wife Britt is handed her first assignment as a National Security and Intelligence Service rookie – to solve the mystery of the missing canine trio.

Will Howie manage to slope off to the pub before he can be roped into help? Will Britt unmask the dognapper and grab the glory? Find out, in this crazy canine comedy from barking-mad British author Paul Mathews.

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“Nappily Ever After: A Novel (Nappily Series Book 1)” by Trisha R. Thomas

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Nappily Ever After: A Novel (Nappily Series Book 1)

by Trisha R. Thomas

Genre: Genre Fiction/Contemporary Fiction/Humor & Satire

2.99 at time of posting!


What happens when you toss tradition out the window and really start living for yourself?

Venus Johnston has a great job, a beautiful home, and a loving live-in boyfriend named Clint, who happens to be a drop-dead gorgeous doctor. She also has a weekly beauty-parlor date with Tina, who keeps Venus’s long, processed hair slick and straight. But when Clint–who’s been reluctant to commit over the past four years–brings home a puppy instead of an engagement ring, Venus decides to give it all up. She trades in her long hair for a dramatically short, natural cut and sends Clint packing.

It’s a bold declaration of independence–one that has effects she never could have imagined. Reactions from friends and coworkers range from concern to contempt to outright condemnation. And when Clint moves on and starts dating a voluptuous, long-haired beauty, Venus is forced to question what she really wants out of life. With wit, resilience, and a lot of determination, she finally learns what true happiness is–on her own terms. Told with style, savvy, and humor, Nappily Ever After is a novel that marks the debut of a fresh new voice in fiction.

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“Coma Girl: part 1 (Kindle Single)” by Stephanie Bond

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Coma Girl: part 1 (Kindle Single)

by Stephanie Bond

Genre: Romance/Humor & Satire/Short Read

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

An Amazon exclusive!

From the international bestselling author of STOP THE WEDDING! (now a Hallmark Channel movie) and the BODY MOVERS mystery series comes a new story of family drama, suspense, comedy, and romance.

In COMA GIRL, a victim of a tragic event lies in a hospital bed, at the mercy of friends and relatives who think she can’t hear them. But she SO can.

This COMA GIRL, Part 1 novella is a month’s worth of daily segments: JULY

The Part 1 novella is JULY, Part 2 is AUGUST, Part 3 is SEPTEMBER, Part 4 is OCTOBER, Part 5 is NOVEMBER, part 6 is DECEMBER.

(In total there are 6 parts to COMA GIRL.)

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#AuthorSpotlight Angela Petch, author of “Mavis and Dot”

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Author Angela Petch is on the blog today talking about her latest release, Mavis and Dot, and the bittersweet real-life inspiration behind it.

Welcome to Nesie’s Place, Angela! Tell us a little bit about Angela, the author. How long have you been a writer? Since I was a little girl and wrote plays for my family to watch but I have only really started calling myself a writer since being published and winning a couple of competitions. My stories have appeared in women’s magazines, The People’s Friend and PRIMA in the last couple of years and that (together with my publishing deal) has given me writer confidence.

How long did it take you to write your first book? My first book, which originally went under the title of Tuscan RootsNever Forget and is now published as Tuscan Roots took me three years to write. My mother-in-law is Italian, and she talked often about her years as a war bride, her life in Italy under occupation during the Second World War and her subsequent move to England. I turned these stories into a novel and tweaked the truth. I am so glad I did as she now suffers from Alzheimer’s. I feel I have recorded her memories for the family.

Pantser or Plotter? A bit of both.

What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?  I write short stories and historical fiction mostly, but my present book is completely different. I’m not sure what genre Mavis and Dot belongs to really – I suppose it is a mixture of humour/romantic comedy/contemporary.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid? I’m a hybrid author, having self-published two historical novels set in Tuscany, plus Mavis and Dot, to be launched December 1, 2018. However, I have just signed a two-book deal with Bookouture who will be publishing two of my historical Tuscan novels (I live in Tuscany for half of the year and this amazing region inspires me).

Where do you get the most writing done? I write mostly in Tuscany as I have so much peace and quiet there. During my winter months in England, I’m busy with five grandchildren and there is lots of catching up to do.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it? I need social media. We live in a remote river valley in the Tuscan Apennines and my first reason to need social media is to keep in touch with family. I also need it to stay in touch with other writers and of course for marketing. However, it is really important to ration time spent on social media. It mounts up frighteningly and steals precious writing time.

What’s your favorite genre to read? I enjoy historical novels because I enjoy learning about other periods – my history teacher was very boring at school – she used to write notes on the blackboard and history never came alive for me until I read historical novels and visited sites.

Do you venture into other genres other than your preferred? You bet! I have to always have a book on the go. And I enjoy contemporary novels too, as well as crime and psychological thrillers.

What are you reading now? An absolutely beautiful novel by Julie Cohen: Together. A love story written back to front – it starts at the end. Really compelling and skillfully written. She is such a talented author.

And favorite beverage to read with? More often than not a good cup of strong British tea. Wine makes me sleepy and it’s too annoying when your eyes close and you want to read the next wonderful page.

Tell us about your latest project and share an excerpt with us. The inspiration behind this novel is rather sad. I wrote it in memory of my best friend who died from ovarian cancer in 2006. So, it has taken me twelve long years, on and off, to write. It started with my inventing a whimsical story for Olga when she was really ill, based on two characters that we adopted for ourselves whenever we went out charity/thrift shopping together, or looked round antiques’ markets, which we both loved.  I can’t remember which of us was Mavis and which was Dot, but we had great fun together. She laughed at the story. After she died, I stuffed the pages away in a file. A few years later, I read it to my writing group and they enjoyed it.  I added more episodes and decided to publish it as a novella. Any money I make from selling Mavis and Dot will be donated to cancer research. I lost another close friend last month through cancer, so my quest has become more serious.

It’s been bitter-sweet writing it, but I have enjoyed the process. I think Mavis is my favourite lady, although I am very fond of Dot. Mavis is naughty and fun. Dot has a few problems, but don’t we all? My favourite part is when Mavis ends up in a night club and doesn’t realise it is a haunt for cross-dressers. She performs on stage, after getting a little tipsy on too many cocktails.

Blurb – Frolics, foibles and friendships by the seaside.

“Angela has a very vivid, natural and direct way of writing…” Julia Gregson, best-selling author of “East of the Sun”.

A gently humorous, heart-warming snapshot of two memorable ladies with past secrets and passions.

Meet Mavis and Dot, newly retired to Worthington-on-Sea, where there are charity shops galore. Apart from bargain hunting, they manage to tangle themselves with illegal immigrants, night clubs, nude modelling, errant toupees and Mal, a lovable dog who nobody wants.

Escape for a couple of hours into this snapshot of a British seaside town.

You’ll laugh and cry but probably laugh more.

Written with a light touch, in memory of a dear friend who passed away from ovarian cancer, Angela Petch’s seaside tale is a departure from her successful Tuscan novels. All profits from the sale of this book will go towards research into the cure for cancer.

“This book is quirky, individual, and has great pathos… it will resonate with a lot of readers.” Gill Kaye, Editor of Ingenu(e).

Excerpt from Chapter 6

(Mavis decides to dye her hair, so she can impress an Italian waiter she has fallen for).

“She read the instructions carefully and decided to wash her hair with the shower attachment and to enjoy a long soak and ‘chill out’, an expression she had picked up from the girls she looked after at school. Only ‘chill’ was not going to come near her bath: she liked her water piping hot. She lit a scented candle and placed it on the shelf above the bath. When she’d soaked luxuriously for five minutes, she applied the new shampoo to her scalp. The instructions told her it would take thirty minutes for the colour to work, so she settled back in the bubble-filled tub to read her latest historical saga, The Secrets of the Missing Courtesans. The bathroom was steamy and warm; she felt comfortably relaxed and as the lines on the page of her novel blurred, the book dropped onto the rack across the bath and she fell asleep. She dreamt of village feasts in hilltop towns and dances in the piazza with a handsome Latin lover.

One hour later she awoke to tepid water and a stinging scalp. Climbing out of the bath, she slipped and fell back, splashing water everywhere and after she’d grabbed a towel to rub steam from the mirror, she peered at her reflection. A blister had formed on her hair line and she touched it gingerly with the tip of her forefinger. She winced and then shrieked. Rather than staring at a gorgeous brunette, a purple apparition glared back.

Maybe it will wash out with cold water, she thought, and knelt awkwardly over the bath, yelping as she sprayed cold water over her smarting head.

But the mirror, when she steeled herself to look again, still told the awful truth. Her hair was the sort of bright purple that primary children use to draw rainbows. She could have cried.

She wrapped her head in a soft towel and went to put on the kettle for a strong cup of tea, before deciding on the stiff upper lip solution of a good night’s sleep.”


Oh no! Poor Mavis! Looking forward to finding out how she resolves her new “do!”

Do you have any advice for new authors? Read loads and join a writing group to share your work and receive constructive feedback. Write, write and write some more. Like anything else, you need to practise to improve.

Thank you, Angela for stopping by the blog. Continued success to you!

Scroll on and find out more about Mavis and Dot and download your copy today. Remember to follow Angela on social media!


Mavis and Dot coverA warm slice of life, funny, feel-good, yet poignant. Introducing two eccentric ladies who form an unlikely friendship. Meet Mavis and Dot – two colourful, retired ladies who live in Worthington-on-Sea, where there are charity shops galore. Apart from bargain hunting, they manage to tangle themselves in escapades involving illegal immigrants, night clubs, nude modelling, errant toupees and more. And then there’s Mal, the lovable dog who nobody else wants. A gently humorous, often side-splitting, heart-warming snapshot of two memorable characters with past secrets and passions. Escape for a couple of hours into this snapshot of a faded, British seaside town. You’ll laugh and cry but probably laugh more. “This book is quirky and individual and has great pathos…[it] will resonate with a lot of readers.” Gill Kaye – Editor of Ingenu(e). Written with a light touch in memory of a dear friend who passed away from ovarian cancer, Angela Petch’s seaside tale is a departure from her successful Tuscan novels.

All profits from the sale of the books will go towards research into the cure for cancer.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US



Angela PetchAuthor Bio

A prize-winning author, Angela Petch lives half the year in West Sussex and the summer months in a remote valley in the Tuscan Apennines. She recently signed a two-book deal with Bookouture for her Tuscan novels and “Mavis and Dot” is a temporary departure from her usual genre. She has travelled all her life: born in Germany, she spent six years as a child living in Rome, worked in Amsterdam after finishing her degree in Italian, moved to Italy for her job, then to Tanzania for three years. Her head is full of stories and she always carries a pen and note-book to capture more ideas.

In May 2017, Angela Petch won PRIMA’S monthly short story competition and recently had a dozen stories published by The People’s Friend magazine.

Mavis and Dot was written in memory of a dear friend who lost her battle with ovarian cancer. All profits from sales of the book will go towards research into a cure for cancer.



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Tuscan Roots (to be reissued by Bookouture in 2019)

Now and Then in Tuscany


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