Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday's Film Adaption: The Penguin Pool Murder by Stuart Palmer

A dead stockbroker in a penguin tank leads Miss Withers to a shocking mystery

For the third graders at Jefferson School, a field trip is always a treat. But one day at the New York Aquarium, they get much more excitement than they bargained for. A pickpocket sprints past, stolen purse in hand, and is making his way to the exit when their teacher, the prim Hildegarde Withers, knocks him down with her umbrella. By the time the police and the security guards finish arguing about what to do with Chicago Lew, he has escaped, and Miss Withers has found something far more interesting: a murdered stockbroker floating in the penguin tank.

With the help of Detective Oscar Piper, this no-nonsense spinster embarks on her first of many adventures. The mystery is baffling, the killer dangerous, but for a woman who can control a gaggle of noisy third graders, murder isn’t frightening at all.

The Penguin Pool Murder is part of the Hildegarde Withers Mysteries series, which also includes Murder on the Blackboard and Murder on Wheels.

A feisty school teacher sets out to solve a murder in an aquarium.

Release Date: December 9, 1932
Release Time: 70 minutes

Edna May Oliver as Miss Hildegarde Martha Withers
Robert Armstrong as Barry Costello
James Gleason as Inspector Oscar Piper
Mae Clarke as Gwen Parker
Donald Cook as Philip Seymour
Edgar Kennedy as Policeman Donovan
Clarence Wilson as Bertrand B. Hemingway
James Donlan as Security Guard Fink
Gustav von Seyffertitz as Von Donnen/Dr Max Bloom
Joe Hermano as Chicago Lew
Guy Usher as Gerald Parker
Rochelle Hudson as Parker's Telephone Operator
Wilfrid North as The Judge

Author Bio:
Stuart Palmer (1905–1968) was an American author of mysteries. Born in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Palmer worked a number of odd jobs—including apple picking, journalism, and copywriting—before publishing his first novel, the crime drama Ace of Jades, in 1931. It was with his second novel, however, that he established his writing career: The Penguin Pool Murder introduced Hildegarde Withers, a schoolmarm who, on a field trip to the New York Aquarium, discovers a dead body in the pool. Withers was an immensely popular character, and went on to star in thirteen more novels, including Miss Withers Regrets (1947) and Nipped in the Bud (1951). A master of intricate plotting, Palmer found success writing for Hollywood, where several of his books, including The Penguin Pool Murder, were filmed by RKO Pictures Inc.



(Amazon & B&N are part of the Hildegarde Withers Collection)

Beyond the Ivory Tower by Jill Blake

Title: Beyond the Ivory Tower
Author: Jill Blake
Series: Lazarev/Kogan Trilogy #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 11, 2015
If there’s one thing math professor Anna Lazarev believes in, it’s the value of higher education. So when her younger sister announces she’s dropping out of college, Anna places the blame squarely on the man who inspired her sister’s rebellion.

Venture capitalist Ethan Talbot claims the US academic system is broken. His solution? Pay top students to “opt out” and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams without wasting time and money on a university degree.

In a passionate battle for the hearts and minds of a new generation, Anna will do whatever it takes to prove Ethan wrong. But when his demands take a more personal turn, will she sacrifice her principles to come out on top?

(Please note: while this is book 1 of the Lazarev/Kogan Trilogy, each book can be read as a stand-alone. Book 2 follows Anna’s friends Becca and Leo. Book 3 tells the story of Leo’s brother Vlad and Anna’s sister Klara. Look for these books on Amazon in 2016!)

The phone rang. And rang. And rang. 

Anna groaned and rolled over, fumbling for the receiver.



She winced and shut her eyes against the shards of sun coming through the open blinds. Her temples throbbed, and her mouth felt as parched as a dried-out river bed.

“Anna, are you there?”

“Hi, Bec,” she rasped. “Could you dial it down a bit?”

There was a beat of silence, and then Becca’s cautious voice, “Are you alone?”

She risked another glance around the room before closing her eyes again. “Yes.”

“You weren’t answering your cell,” Becca said. “The front desk put me through to your room. Are you all right?”

That was debatable. On a humiliation scale of one to ten, where would she rank getting drunk and throwing herself at a man who looked like the “after” shot in a workout ad?

At least she still had her clothes on. She popped one eye open to double-check. Yep. The dress was a little wrinkled, but definitely intact.

She wondered what Ethan was doing this morning. Probably thanking his lucky stars for his narrow escape. Vague memories of the night before made her cringe. Good thing she was heading back to L.A. today. She didn’t think she could face him in the sober light of day. 

Which reminded her of what she’d nearly forgotten: there was a reason she didn’t date. As her sister would say, she sucked at it. Big-time.

“Listen, Bec, can I call you back?”

“What’s wrong?”


“You sure?”

That was the trouble with best friends: they could tell when you were lying. And they weren’t shy about sticking their noses into your business.

“Fifteen minutes,” Anna promised.

* * * * *

A hot shower, two cups of coffee, and three ibuprofen later, she felt slightly more human and in control.

“You did what?” Becca shrieked, after hearing an abbreviated version of yesterday’s debacle.

“Just a little louder, Bec. I don’t think the citizens of Kansas heard you.”

“Wow. Ethan Talbot. I can’t believe I had to drag it out of you.”

Anna switched to speaker phone and lifted her suitcase atop the bed. “It’s not like I planned it,” she said, gathering discarded items of clothing and tucking them into a laundry bag. “It just happened.”

“Period cramps just happen. Weight gain just happens. Ending a three-year-old dry spell with Ethan Talbot doesn’t just happen.”

“I didn’t exactly end the dry spell.” She shoved the shoes into a different bag. “He dropped me back at the hotel and left. End of story.”

“Well, don’t keep me in suspense. When are you seeing him again?”

“I’m not.” She debated dumping the unused box of condoms. It wasn’t as if she’d need them any time soon. 

Then again….She glanced at the expiration date. Two years. A lot could happen in two years.

“Why not?” Becca prodded.

“Because I’m heading home.” What the hell. She tossed the condoms in her suitcase. “Besides, we have nothing in common. And he refused to release Klara from the Fellowship.”

“Anna, sweetie, sorry for pointing out the obvious, but most people view the Talbot Fellowship as something prestigious.”

“It’s not a degree, Bec. It’s not even a certificate.”

“Maybe not, but it’ll still look good on Klara’s CV.”

Anna ducked into the bathroom for her toiletry bag. 

Becca’s voice followed her. “You know Klara will do what she wants, regardless of what you say. Which means you’ve got two choices: prolong the battle and risk alienating her completely, or accept what she’s doing and move on.”

Anna returned to the bedroom. “What’s option C?”

“It wouldn’t kill you to be a little more flexible. Klara’s the only family you have. Shame to lose her over something that’s going to be over in two years.”

Anna sighed. “Bec, the problem is, we’re not just talking two years. We’re talking her entire future.”

“Does the word hyperbole mean anything to you?”

Anna ignored her attempt at humor. “If Klara doesn’t finish her education, she’ll end up regretting it. Maybe not now, but someday.” She glanced around to see if there was anything left to pack.

“She can always go back to school,” Becca said. “There are plenty of returning students of all ages.”

“I guess.”

“And look on the bright side. Now that Klara’s moved out, you have the whole place to yourself. You can finally have a social life.”

“Is that supposed to cheer me up?” Anna said, zipping the suitcase.

“It’s all in the attitude. Now tell me more about Ethan Talbot.”

“Nothing more to tell.”

“Come on, you have to do better than that.”

“Seriously, Bec. I’m lucky if the guy doesn’t turn around and walk the other way the moment he sees me.”

“I’m sure you’re exaggerating.”

“I’m not.”

“Okay, so what did you do?”

“I threw myself at him.”

“You what?”

Anna winced and lowered the cell phone volume. “I may have had a little too much to drink.” She waited for Becca’s laughter to taper off. “It’s not that funny.”

“Sorry. I’m just trying to picture it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you drunk.”

“Yeah, well don’t hold your breath.” Anna lifted the suitcase off the bed. “I have to go check out.”

“Wait—that’s it?”

Anna sighed. “It’s a long drive, Bec. I’ll talk to you when I get home.”

Two hours later, her phone buzzed. She ignored it. Another hour passed before she pulled into a rest stop to use the facilities and check messages.

She read Ethan’s text while standing in line for coffee. 

How are you feeling?

Oh, boy. Mortified would just about cover it. Hung over would work too. And determined to put the entire unfortunate interlude with Ethan behind her. 


She dropped the phone back in her bag and stepped up to the counter.

Two and a half hours later, as she unlocked the front door of her Santa Monica apartment, another text came through: 

You OK?

Clearly, the man wasn’t going to let it go until she responded.

She dumped her belongings in the living room and typed: 

All good. Back in LA.

His response was immediate: 

Didn’t get chance to say goodbye.

She sank down on the couch. 

Sorry, she wrote. Goodbye.

And that should have been the end of it. Except for some reason, Ethan seemed determined to go off script. 

When are you back in SF?

Was he asking because he wanted to see her again, or because he wanted advance notice so he could avoid running into her? She wouldn’t blame him if it was the latter. She’d never made such a fool of herself before. The only thing that would have been worse was if he’d taken her up on her offer, and then she’d vomited all over him. Or passed out in the middle of things. Or woken up naked and alone and not remembering a damn thing about how she got that way.

Considering all the worst case scenarios that hadn’t happened, she supposed she should be grateful. But that didn’t mean she wanted to see Ethan again. Ignoring the little voice in her head that said liar, liar, she texted back: 

Busy with work. Have to stay in LA.

Then she shut off her phone and headed for the bedroom. She squelched any residual guilt by reminding herself that they had nothing in common. If he tried texting or calling her again, she’d simply ignore him. The same way he’d ignored her emails and phone calls when she’d first attempted to contact him. 

Of course he hadn’t known her then. He probably got a ton of spam and solicitations, and her messages might have gotten lost in the shuffle—assuming they ever reached him at all. Now that they’d met, the dynamics had changed.

But that was beside the point. She didn’t belong in his world, and he had no place in hers. Best to cut her losses before anyone got hurt. And by anyone, she meant herself. Because she really couldn’t imagine a man like Ethan Talbot getting too hung up on a woman whose IQ far exceeded her bra size.

She toed off her sensible flats, stripped off her clothes, and climbed into the shower. Time to get back to real life.

Author Bio:
Jill Blake loves chocolate, leisurely walks where she doesn’t break a sweat, and books with a guaranteed happy ending. A native of Philadelphia, Jill now lives in southern California with her husband and three children. During the day, she works as a physician in a busy medical practice. At night, she pens steamy romances.


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Choosy Bookworm Holiday Extravaganza: Stacy Juba & Mary Smith & Dianne Greenlay

Choosy Bookworm has partnered with eNovel Authors at Work to bring you a month long celebration with great books, great book deals, and let's not forget the great giveaways! 

Check out today's featured authors and books, then head on over to the event page and enter to win one of two $250 Amazon Gift Cards or Paypal Cash!

Be sure to check out the featured books and the awesome author sponsored giveaway below!

Fooling Around With Cinderella
by Stacy Juba
Series: Storybook Valley, #1
Genre: Chick Lit/Romantic Comedy

What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella's toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom.

Meet Stacy Juba
Stacy Juba has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette, and determined women sleuths.  She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List.  She is currently writing the second book in the Storybook Valley series.

No More Mulberries
by Mary Smith
Genre: Women's Fiction/Romance

Scottish-born midwife, Miriam loves working at a health clinic in rural Afghanistan but she can no longer ignore the cracks appearing in her marriage. Her doctor husband has changed from the loving, easy-going man she married. When an old friend appears, urging her to visit the village where once she was and her first husband had been so happy. Miriam finds herself travelling on a journey into her past, searching for answers to why her marriage is going so wrong.

Meet Mary Smith
Author, poet and journalist, Mary Smith lives in Scotland. She spent ten years in Pakistan and Afghanistan and, wanting to share those experiences, picked up her pen and wrote about them. As well as her novel, No More Mulberries she has written a memoir Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni.

Deadly Misfortune
by Dianne Greenlay
Series: Quintspinner Trilogy, #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Tess and William have survived a vicious pirate attack and a shipwreck, managing to stay together, drawing strength from each other in this fierce new world that they find themselves in.

However, one false step in the dark does what the other calamities have not been able to do, and they are torn from each other’s grasp. Before they can find one another, frightening circumstances spin out of control, and devastated by such a turn of events, each believes that the other is likely to be dead. Unknowingly, the only thing that they now have in common is that, in their quest for proof, they are about to be thrown into the path of a psychotic killer.

Meet Dianne Greenlay
Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, Dianne Greenlay is the author of multiple award winning novels QUINTSPINNER – A PIRATE’S QUEST and DEADLY MISFORTUNE, Books One and Two in a fast-paced adventure series, set in the 1700's, in the pirate-infested waters of the West Indies. Straying into the genre of humor/comedy, Dianne is also the author of THE CAMPING GUY, (Winner of Best One Act – Theatrefest) which is available as both a one act comedy (live theater script) and a short story.

Greenlay is also a playwright, producer, and Creative Director of the long-running community theater group, Darkhorse Theatre. She is fluent in at least her mother tongue and she thanks her fierce English teachers for that. More of her thoughts on life can be found at

Stacy Juba

Mary Smith

Dianne Greenlay

Fooling Around with Cinderella
($0.99 Sale November 1 - 30)

No More Mulberries

Deadly Misfortune

Head on over to the
Choosy BookwormHoliday Extravaganza
event page to learn more and enter to
win one of two $250 Amazon Gift Cards or Paypal Cash!

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Release Day Blitz: The Domville 6 by CJ Fallowfield

Title: The Domville 6
Author: CJ Fallofield
Series: Domville #6
Genre: Erotica
Release Date: November 13, 2015
No one knows what goes on behind closed doors

Toni Bradbury was looking forward to a night in The London Domville’s ballroom, but with a healthy dose of trepidation. It was her ten year University reunion. Ten years since she’d last seen Finian Delany. Just the thought of him made her heart race and palms sweat. Best friends from the moment they met in college and inseparable throughout University, it was astonishing that they’d never once ended up in each other’s beds. It wasn’t for lack of attraction that was for sure. With his sexy Irish lilt, wild untameable dark locks, eyes as stormy blue as the Celtic sea he’d grown up near, Finian was the guy all the women wanted. Finian was the guy all the women got. Except for Toni. She’d always wondered why, but never asked. Too embarrassed to have it confirmed that of all the girls in the world, she was the only one he wasn’t attracted to.

Once they graduated he moved to Dubai, to work as an Architect, promising to keep in touch. But she never heard from him again. Until last month. She’d declined the reunion invitation, but when Finian told her how much he was looking forward to seeing her again, her heart had skipped a few beats. She’d never got over her crush on him, but she was still full of anger at how he’d left things. Toni made up her mind there and then, she was going. Not only that, she was going to find out why he’d never slept with her or called her again.

Sparks fly when the former friends reunite. But would those sparks reignite their friendship, or burn it forever.

The Domville 6 is the sixth in a series of self-contained hot erotic reads, set in the exclusive six star hotel chain. 

Warning – This is an erotica series, which is sexually driven. Not all of the novellas in this series will feature a happy ever after.

This novella contains explicit adult sexual content and is suitable only for those aged 18 and over.

Author Bio:
C.J. Fallowfield is an #1 Amazon bestselling author of contemporary humorous erotic romance novels.

Her alter ego, Charlotte Fallowfield, writes contemporary romantic comedy novels.

CJ is from the United Kingdom and is half French. She lives in the wonderful countryside of Wales, surrounded by rolling hills, trees and fields full of sheep and cows. Her writing aids include chocolate, Ben & Jerry's and copious amounts of coffee, wine or cider. Reading was her main pastime, until she discovered the joy of creating hot, erotic, romantic fiction, but she still tries to set aside time to indulge her appetite for steamy reads by other authors too.


Domville 6

Domville 1

Domville 2

Domville 3

Domville 4

Domville 5

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Release Day Blitz: Dawn by M’Renee Allen

Title: Dawn
Author: M'Renee Allen
Series: When They Return #1
Genre: Horror
Release Date: November 13, 2015
Publisher: Driven Independent Media
Cover Design: Driven Independent Media
Dawn Montgomery is not your average eleven year old.

Actually, Dawn is not your average person, period. No matter how many psychiatrists she sees, none of them can explain to her parents why she never feels hot, happy, excited or even hungry. However, there is one emotion Dawn does feel…fear.

Every time she looks into the mirror, she feels an overwhelming amount of fear at what’s staring back at her. Her doctors tell her what she’s seeing isn’t real. They say it’s a figment of her overactive imagination. If that’s true, why is this so-called mirage able to touch her, to harm her?

And why does it want her to kill… everyone?

Her mother sobbed louder. Dawn didn’t miss the fact that her mother didn’t object to what her father said. They both wished her dead. Sometimes Dawn wished the same thing. Her parents had been her only hold on reality. Now that she knew what they really wanted, her fragile grip on reality slipped away and Dawn felt like she was falling faster. A chill crept over her, sinking into her bones causing her teeth to chatter.

“She’s shaking,” her mother cried.

“Grab another blanket.”

“We have to do something. We need to call the ambulance.”

“Just get the blanket,” Roy, her dad screamed.

Dawn didn’t need a blanket. It wouldn’t protect her from this bone-deep cold she was feeling. Though she tried, she couldn’t open her eyes. Was this it? Were her prayers finally going to be answered? Would this be the day she died?


This time the word was whispered in her ear. It wanted her to remember. Remember what? Why? For over a year she’d tried to ignore the voice, ignore the mirage. Maybe it was time for her to listen to it.

Author Bio:
M’Renee Allen is an author of horror and urban fiction. When she’s not writing in those genres she’s busy writing paranormal romance as Siren Allen and Romantic Comedies as Monica Garry-Allen.  She resides in southern Mississippi with her wonderful husband. 


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