Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Book Tour for Mist by Emily Mims (Review & GIVEAWAY)

With this atmospheric romance readers will find themselves on a suspenseful journey full of twists and turns.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Mist by Emily Mims, along with my impressions of it, then add it to your bookshelf.  You'll also hear from Ms. Mims as she discusses why readers love musicians as well as learning even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this first installment in The Smokey Blues series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $10 bookstore GC too!

Making Music Together-the Appeal of Musicians in a Romance Novel...
I admit it.  I’m a sucker for a musician hero or heroine in a romance novel.  It doesn’t matter if the musician is a seasoned professional on the stage of Carnegie Hall or a rank amateur leading songs around a campfire.  A musician is always a winner.  As a long-time reader of romance novels, I’ve encountered just about every kind of fictional musician there is between the pages of a book or on the screen of an I-pad…and have created more than a few of my own.  So let’s talk about why characters such as Kylie and Ren, my musician leads in ‘Mist’, work so well as heroes and heroines.
Readers can almost always identify with a musician.  Some identify more than others, maybe, but somewhere down inside every reader there’s a singer or a dancer or pianist or a hard rock guitar player screaming to come out.  The readers can identify with the character as they make music come to life.  They can live out their fantasy of playing ear-splitting guitar riffs in a packed arena, or foot-stomping mountain music at an Appalachian gas station jam session, or a violin concert at the Bass Performance Hall.  Through the heroes and heroines their own dreams of making music come to life.
Sometimes the fantasy perhaps becomereality.  Who knows how many times a reader has read of a character playing a guitar or a dulcimer or a ukulele and then picked one up and learned to play it themselves?  It’s probably happened more often that we would think.  Or how many times has a reader read about a music festival or a concert, thought ‘That sounds like fun’,and then gone online and purchased a ticket to the next local production?  Of course, this can work in reverse.  I learned to play the dulcimer and ukulele before I ever developed the characters of Kylie Richards of ‘Mist’ or Leilani Mahuiki in ‘Evergreen’.  The festivals I depict in ‘Mist’ and the subsequent Smoky Blue stories?  I’ve been to every one of them.  I’ve shamelessly mined my experiences as a musician and a music lover to create the world of mountain music in the Smoky Blue books.  And I seek out stories about musicians when I sit down to read.
Another reason musicians make wonderful characters in romance novels is that making music gives the reader an insight into the emotions of a character.  Musicians inevitably use their music to express what they are feeling at the time.  Are they happy?  The music sounds happy.  Are they sad?  You bet, it’s right there in the song.  In fact, music like nothing else has the power to draw forth powerful emotions and memories.  Musicians do this in their music.  Fictional musicians do the same.  The reader knows exactly how that hero or heroine is feeling.  They can feel the power of their character through the music.
Finally, I know of no better way for two people who love each other to express that love than through making music together.  In ‘Mist’, Ren and Kylie create magic when they play together, as do Cooper and Francesca in ‘Smoke’ and Bradley and Leilani in ‘Evergreen’.  Their love is revealed in every note they play together.  Too, think of the many real-life couples in love with one another who have made musical magic-Johnny Cash and June Carter, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Beyonce and JayZ, Sonny and Cher, Ike and Tina Turner-just to name a few.  Even when the relationship ended badly, as it all too often does in real life, the music these couples and others like them made together when they were in love is and will always be special.  And even though my husband and I are amateurs and always will be, the time we spend with one another in two different musical groups making music together is very special to us…and I like to think that maybe the music we make together is better than what either of us could do on our own.
I firmly believe that musicians will always make wonderful characters in romance novels.  I hope to create many more of these heroes and heroines in the future.
And a very happy birthday today to my lovely host!  May the day bring you joy.

The widow of a lying drug dealer, dulcimer-player Kylie Barstow Richards finds herself struggling to see through the mist of the Smoky Mountains to the truth-about her life, about the nightclub where she works, and about the bluegrass-playing musician who has arrived to steal her heart.


Kylie looked Ren in the eye.  “How much of that is the truth and how much of it was bullshit?"
Ren’s lips firmed.  “It’s the truth, every damned bit of it.  And that’s also why I did what I did.  The DEA honestly thought you were guilty.  A drug dealer took out one of my best friends, Kylie.  I’ve missed Jerry every day for the last two years."
“And that justifies what you did to me?  Sorry, Ren.  Not buying it.  And I don’t care what your reasons for lying were, a liar is a liar.  And I can’t stand liars."
“I get that, Kylie.  Look, obviously we blew it, and I’m just as sorry as I can be that I hurt you."
“If you can be believed, which I seriously doubt."
“I do mean it.  I’m sorry.  I’m really sorry."
“I am, too, Ren.  I was just beginning to have a little bit of faith and trust again and you very effectively managed to take that away from me.  Congratulations.  I will probably never trust another man as long as I live."
“Aw, Kylie, no.”  Ren leaned forward.  “Look, I know there is no way I can take back the lies I’ve already told.  But I can promise you this.  I will never, ever lie to you again about anything."
Kylie shrugged.  “And now I’m supposed to believe that?  Ren, I’m sorry.  The damage is done.  The trust is broken.  Kind of like Humpty Dumpty."
“I understand.  But Kylie, I’m going to tell you the truth from now on whether you believe me or not."
“Knock yourself out.”



From its opening pages readers will find themselves quickly immersed in this atmospheric romance that has music bringing two people together under a haze of deception and suspense.  Family and obligations serve as a backdrop to the burgeoning romance that gets put through the wringer.  As feelings of love quickly turn to betrayal the past continues to weigh heavily on the hard-fought conclusion which had me guessing until the end.

Kylie thought she had a good marriage with an honorable man until he was shot dead, leaving behind embarrassing truths as well as ruining her dreams for the future.  Time passed and she's become content with her life of music and family but is surprised to find herself attracted to the wandering musician who's come to join the family band.  Just as Ren becomes an integral part of her life the truth comes out about his real purpose and she's once again left heartbroken. With danger regarding Ren's real reason for joining their band coming ever closer to her, readers will be on edge waiting to see if she'll be able to keep herself safe along with healing her bruised heart.  Kylie's a strong-willed heroine who values family and supports them every step of the way as they do her. Finding out the truth about her husband was heartbreaking but putting her dream in jeopardy was even worse.  Music is everything to her, she shines when on stage, and it's what brings her and Ren together.  Theirs is a crackling connection that has them making beautiful music together before she discovered the truth about him.  How she handled that was believable and had me rooting for her every step of the way as she deserved a HEA for all she got put through.

Ren's devoted much of his life to bringing others to justice through his undercover work with the DEA.  It's left him little time for love and happiness which is why his attraction to Kylie catches him off guard.  Even though she's his suspect he can't deny how much he cares for her.  He soon becomes her champion, and a mentor for her son, which makes the fallout from the truth about his identity that much harder to deal with.  Despite everything though Ren does whatever necessary to keep Kylie safe while putting his heart in jeopardy along the way.  Ren's an immensely appealing hero, torn by duty but bound by it.  He has a strong love and appreciation for music which is the basis of their sensual connection and leads to all sorts of musical foreplay.

On a whole this was a well-paced story that nicely balanced romance with the suspense of who the real villain is.  The identity of that villain is kept well-hidden until close to the end too which I always appreciate.  Ms. Mims has vividly depicted the Smoky Mountain region with all its charm, sensuality, and tight-knit community feel that further helped immerse me in this compelling tale.  Ren and Kylie were an enthralling couple who had me cheering for them from the first page to the last as they dealt with hurt feelings and hidden danger.  Surrounding them are a colorful cast of secondary characters, mostly family, who support each other through all their highs and lows.  The most memorable of them being Cooper, the direct and somewhat abrasive amputee who harbored moments of pity for himself.  He was sometimes angry and prejudicial, sometimes an ass, but I still look forward to his story being told.. Ultimately, this was my first time reading a story written by Ms. Mims, but it won't be the last as she kept me captivated with this romance that's almost pitch perfect.

My rating for this is a B+/A-

*i got this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.


Author of twenty six romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time.  The mother of two sons and grandmother of three, she and her husband Charles live in central Texas but frequently visit grandchildren in eastern Tennessee and Georgia.  She plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele and belongs to two performing bands.  She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them.  Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”



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  1. Thank you for your impressions. Very helpful.

  2. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  3. Thank you for having me today...and thank you for the lovely review. Cooper and Bradley's stories are out now (Smoke and Evergreen) and I am currently writing Sawyer and Timberlynn's story.
    Readers, do you have any questions or comments? I love hearing from my readers!
    Best, Emily

    1. TYVM for being here today (and for the birthday wishes)! I'll definitely look into the rest of this series as I'm intrigued to see more of Cooper (as a disabled person I'm thrilled to see a character I can relate to).

      The Scarf Princess