Monday, January 27, 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - WHEN HOPE ENDS (LIFE BEGINS) by Freya Barker

When Hope Ends (life begins)
Freya Barker
Publication date: January 21st 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
It’s the best day of his life–the worst of hers.
She left her soul behind in the dead silence of a hospital room.
He is bright with hope after being so close to losing faith.
One moment in time leaves their paths unavoidably entwined.
An invisible connection held by one heart beating between them.
***Previously part of the anthology; Then There Was You.
I pull myself up and run my hands through my hair as I walk down the steps. There I turn back to her. “Stay.”
Her eyes brim with tears. “But the risk is—”
“Every day you get out of bed is a risk. You and I know better than most how true that is. Whether you’re here, or somewhere else, won’t make a difference once the truth is out there. If they dig they could still find us, and all those other families. Leaving won’t serve any purpose.” I’ve been pacing back and forth, but on my last words I stop and face her.
“I don’t know what the smart thing is to do.”
She wrings her hands in her lap and her teeth are biting her bottom lip so hard I’m afraid she’ll break the skin.
I’ll examine why it’s so important to keep her here later, but for now I place my hands on the stair railing to brace myself, and lean forward, my nose almost touching hers.

Author Bio:
Award-winning author Freya Barker loves writing about ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Driven to make her books about 'real' people; she creates characters who are perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy, but just as deserving of romance, thrills and chills in their lives.
Recipient of the 2019 Best Book We've Read All Year Award for "Covering Ollie, the 2015 RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for Best First Book, “Slim To None”, and Finalist for the 2017 Kindle Book Award with “From Dust”, Freya continues to add to her rapidly growing collection of published novels as she spins story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention!


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Ramblings & Recipes - Nutrisystem Week One

I can do this.

I NEED to do this.

A person can endure almost anything for a month or two.  Right?

What?  I can't have wine during the first week?  

(Deep Sigh)

My starter kit arrived on Monday, so I officially started the Nutrisystem diet on Tuesday.  The box contained various little packets marked Breakfast, Lunch, Snack and Dinner.  These little packets look like something you would find in a Post-Apocalyptic Survival Kit.  

Breakfast consisted of a one ounce packet of fruitless cereal or a granola-type bar.  The plan didn't say I could have coffee, but there was no way I was going to face the day without it.  It's bad enough that I can't have wine, but no coffee?  Nope.  Not leaving that out!  I did not use the sweetened, flavored coffee cream I have grown to love and crave however.  I just added a bit of fat-free milk.  I think that was okay but I'm not sure.

Mid-morning I was allowed a chocolate pro-biotic protein shake.  These you make with 1/2 cup of crushed ice, a cup of water and one packet of the powder  to this cute little tumbler with a little wire mixing ball inside.  Then you shake it.  You shake it until your arm hurts.  

That may be how you lose weight.  I wonder how many calories are burned by shaking this thing.

I know there are people out there who enjoy these shakes, but I am definitely not one of them.  I had a hard time getting it down.  Hubby says I'll get used to it.  Not sure about that.  He also said I would get used to Daylight Savings Time.  Heh!  That didn't happen either.  Maybe next week when I'm allowed to have a wee bit of fruit I can throw in a half cup of frozen berries.  That may improve the taste.  I'll let you know.

Update:  Okay, after day four, I am getting used to the protein shakes.  They aren't all that bad tasting and they kind of fill me up so that I'm not totally starving by lunch time.  And the food isn't bad either!

During this first week you can add non-starch veggies to your diet.  They actually want you to have at least four each day.

Hint #1:  Cut up celery sticks, cucumbers, baby carrots, bell peppers and other veggies and put them in ziploc bags on the main shelf in your refrigerator.  Make them the first thing you see when you open that fridge door.  Easy to grab when you feel those hunger pangs coming on.

Hint #2:  Place your dinner food on a plate along with steamed veggies.  It looks like more food that way.  You can trick your brain into thinking there is more there for dinner! 

I found these amazing zucchini spirals in the freezer section of my grocery store. Add a half cup of these to your Nutrisystem packaged pasta dinner and you feel like you have more pasta than you see in the little package.


As I write this, I'm only on day #4 and I have already lost 3.4 pounds!  I feel encouraged to stick with this.  I have a lot more to go, but this is a good start.

If you would like to join me on this Nutrisystem journey, let me know.  Right now, they have a special BOGO program.  You buy the first month at full price and your second month is free.  That's what I'm doing.  I need at least two months and maybe more.  If you send me an email at, I may be able to get you a $30 discount on your first month (another special they are offering for referrals).

We can do this!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Book Review - EAST OF EDEN by John Steinbeck

Title:  East of Eden
Author:  John Steinbeck
Genre:  Family Saga Fiction, Classic Literature
Release Date:  1952

About the Book:

A masterpiece of Biblical scope, and the magnum opus of one of America’s most enduring authors

A Penguin Classic 

In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love; and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.

The masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years, East of Eden is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence. Adapted for the 1955 film directed by Elia Kazan introducing James Dean and read by thousands as the book that brought Oprah’s Book Club back, East of Eden has remained vitally present in American culture for over half a century.

This edition features an introduction by David Wyatt.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

East of Eden is one of those books that have been on my TBR list for a long, long time.  It wasn't until I accepted a reading challenge from a book club that required the reading of a novel published in the decade I was born that I made the decision to read this.  Now I'm sitting here shaking my head wondering why it took me so long.  

Written almost as a memoir, John Steinbeck tells a story that spans multiple generations with characters that resemble to a certain degree that of the biblical story of Cain and Abel.  The story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming with characters you love as well as those you love to hate.  The history, from the early days of fighting the Indians to World War I, is brought to the forefront of each family. We follow Adam Trask from his early childhood until his end of days with notable characters and the relationship between brothers, sons, fathers and mothers.  There is pain and pride, humiliation, resentment and love.

This is a good sized book of almost 700 pages, but each page will be burned into my memory and this will quite possibly be a re-read for me in the years ahead.

My Rating: 

About the Author:
John Steinbeck (1902–1968) born in Salinas, California, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a laborer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold (1929).

After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California books, The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933), and worked on short stories later collected in The Long Valley (1938). Popular success and financial security came only with Tortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey’s paisanos. A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California laboring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939). The Grapes of Wrath won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.

Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker with The Forgotten Village (1941) and a serious student of marine biology with Sea of Cortez (1941). He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-novelette The Moon is Down (1942). Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright (1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceded publication of the monumental East of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family’s history.

The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely. Later books include Sweet Thursday (1954), The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957), Once There Was a War (1958), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961),Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962), America and Americans (1966), and the posthumously published Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters (1969), Viva Zapata! (1975), The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976), and Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath (1989).

Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, and, in 1964, he was presented with the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Steinbeck died in New York in 1968. Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures. 

Photo by JohnSteinbeck.JPG: US Government derivative work: Homonihilis (JohnSteinbeck.JPG) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, January 20, 2020

Book Review - FLAMING CRIMES (Book #4 in the Disaster Crimes series) by Chrys Fey

Title:  Flaming Crimes
Author:  Chrys Fey
Genre:  Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Release Date:  January 3, 2018

About the Book:

Beth and Donovan are nowhappily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream ofstarting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovanbecomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes whatcould've been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so whois cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, forthe sake of the woman he loves and the life they're trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mindgame, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight tokeep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither ofthem expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just goup in flames...

Adult Content 18+
Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Here we go again!  Hurricane's, Earthquakes and Tsunami's can't stop them, but will raging fires see the end of Beth and Donavan?  Or will it be the bad guys who are lurking in the smoke?  "Flaming Crimes" is one of those books that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  I could almost feel the heat from the fires in this one (as well as the heat between Beth and Donovan!)

I listened to this fourth book in the Disaster Series on Audible, and it was just as intriguing as the paper books.  Loved it!  Great characters!  And it was really good to learn more about Thorn in this book.

Author Chrys Fey writes fast paced, action-packed, adventures and Flaming Crimes did not disappoint!    

Great book, but I highly recommend you read the other books in this series before delving into this one.  The background of how Beth and Donovan met and how Thorn came into the picture will help establish their connection.

My Rating: 

About the Author:
Sign up for Chrys Fey's bi-monthly newsletter:

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press. Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four cats and three nephews; both keep her entertained with their antics.

~Thrilling and Romantic with Heroines of Steel~

Disaster Crimes Series:
Hurricane Crimes (#1) 
Seismic Crimes (#2)
Lightning Crimes (#2.5 free story)
Tsunami Crimes (#3)
Flaming Crimes (#4)

* Flaming Crimes is available as an audbiobook!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

RAMBLINGS & RECIPES - DIET is a 4-Letter Word a/k/a Adventures with Nutrisystem

I can't believe we are actually doing this!  My husband is the biggest gourmet eater of all time.  Very picky eater.  Will not eat sirloin.  Only wants filet mignon.  Then he saw an ad on TV that said he could lose 18 pounds in one month (he neglected to see the tiny words that said "up to 18 pounds").  Those two little words could mean one pound or even one ounce.  But anyway, he actually wanted to try the Nutrisystem plan for one month.  I got excited!  I've been on numerous weight loss plans but with great difficulty because as I would sit down to my 3 oz. broiled chicken breast with steamed veggies, he would be gobbling up lasagna with garlic bread.  So this is something we could actually do together!

I still wasn't convinced he would stick to it, so I let him order his food first.  It's rather pricey and I was afraid I was going to get stuck with a month's worth of food he wouldn't eat and if I had ordered my food at that same time I could get stuck with that food too.  I decided that if he could make it through a few days, I would go ahead and order my Nutrisystem food and do this with him.

When his first shipment of food arrived in a cardboard box, I was again convinced that he would not stick with this.  But he was determined.  By the way, the month's worth of food comes in two shipments... the dry packaged stuff and then a big styrofoam cooler filled with the frozen stuff.  Food for the first week comes in a special green box.  You can only eat stuff out of this box for those first seven days.  Hubby looked at it and said "If I was able to eat MRE's in the military, I should be able to eat this".  And eat it he did.

When I saw his determination, I went ahead and ordered my food from Nutrisystem.  We will do this together!

I cleaned out my freezer and refrigerator.  

When my frozen stuff arrived too, I labeled the shelves so that we wouldn't get things mixed up.  I separated items on the shelves according to Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks.  He has his and I have mine.

The dry packaged stuff ended up in a box on my kitchen counter.  As of today, I still have not received my dry packaged stuff or my First Week green box.  So I'm eating Lean Cuisines and low calorie stuff until I can officially start.

For the first week, the plan says you can add certain non-starch veggies to the diet 4 times a day.  

So I emptied the refrigerator of all the fattening stuff and cut up fresh celery, carrots, cucumbers, squash, zucchini and bell peppers and placed them in ziploc bags within easy reach.  I purchased fresh broccoli, mushrooms and bags of salad.  There is more you can add the second week, but I'll tell you about that next week.

Hubby has been on this diet for a few days now and he has already lost two pounds.  I'm still waiting for my packaged food, including my "first week box" to be delivered.

On a positive note, the frozen stuff was still frozen when I received it.  It came well packaged in a large styrofoam cooler with dry ice.  I've tried a couple of other diet programs where they send you frozen food and it has always been delivered thawed.  Not a good thing.  I had to cancel because of that.  But I live in the Florida Keys and the temperature here is generally warm and delivery times tend to be delayed.  So I was happy to see that Nutrisystem packs the food with enough dry ice to keep the food frozen.

I should be receiving my "first week" box today or on Monday, so I'll tell you next week how it's going.  If you want to do this with me, let me know.  I'd love to see your progress!  I'm too embarrassed to tell you how much I weigh, but I'll be happy to tell you how much I lose!

No recipes in "Ramblings & Recipes" this time!  I don't want to think about any foods I can't have!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - LOCK AND KEY by Angeline Anderson

Lock and Key
Evangeline Anderson
(Nocturne Academy, #1)
Publication date: January 18th 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
What do a mysterious necklace, forbidden Blood Magic rituals, and a sarcastic Nocturne boy with the face of a fallen angel all have in common?
Me, apparently.
Since I started school at Nocturne Academy, strange happenings have befallen me. The weird key-shaped necklace I found at a flea market chokes me every time I try to take it off. Also, a tall, beautiful, and bitingly sarcastic Nocturne has the lock that matches it.
His name is Griffin Darkheart, and—like this freaking necklace—I can’t seem to stay away from him, though he’s being Censured for mysterious crimes. Among a student body composed of vampires, witches, were-dragons, and fairies, I no longer know what my future holds.
To heck with graduating with honors. I’m just hoping to graduate alive. Nocturne Academy is full of deadly dangers.
And I’ve already got a target on my back…
A warm breath of humid Florida night air breathed through the hallway like the exhalation from a giant mouth. On it, I caught the scent of orange trees mixed with the flat, wet scent of the lake that surrounded the castle.
And running through it all was Griffin’s own scent—a cold, clean, somehow completely masculine aroma that flooded my senses and made the key around my neck throb even harder.
Stop him! it seemed to be crying—I swore I could almost hear its voice in my mind. Stop him—he’s getting away!
Maybe that was what made me speak—what made me call out to him, though every instinct I had told me I should stay silent and let him pass. Griffin was a predator—seeing him in the darkness like this, I knew it to my bones. He was a killer and his kind preyed on mine. I had the feeling of a rabbit calling back a hawk that had wheeled by overhead or an antelope calling out to a lion.
But still I spoke.
“You’re wrong, you know,” I called to his back, when he was already halfway out the door.
Griffin turned, his eyes gleaming silver in the dim moonlight spilling in through the half open door. He seemed to deliberate for a moment—almost to struggle with himself—and then he let the door close and came striding back to stand in front of me, even closer than before.
“Wrong about what, little witch?” he murmured in that cool, silky voice of his. The voice a snake might use before it struck.
“I…I’m not a witch,” I told him, lifting my chin and meeting his eyes, though he radiated danger the way another male might radiate body heat.
“Oh no? Then what are you, Megan Latimer?” he drawled, putting emphasis on my last name.
“I’m just a Null,” I went on doggedly. “I can’t even light a candle with magic. I don’t have any magic—I don’t belong here.”
“Yet, here you are. Putting yourself in harm’s way. Why?”
He reached out and gently—oh so gently—stroked one long, cool finger down my hot cheek. The key jumped at his touch and so did my heart. I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t get a deep enough breath.
“I…I don’t know,” I whispered. And then—either daringly or stupidly added—“Are you the harm you’re talking about?”

Author Bio:
Evangeline Anderson is the USA Today and NYT Best Selling Author of the Brides of the Kindred, Alien Mate Index, and Born to Darkness series. She is thirty-something and lives in Florida with a husband, a son, and two cats. She had been writing erotic fiction for her own gratification for a number of years before it occurred to her to try and get paid for it. To her delight, she found that it was actually possible to get money for having a dirty mind and she has been writing paranormal and Sci-fi erotica steadily ever since.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Book Blitz & Giveaway - INHERENT TRUTH (Blood Secrets, Book 1) by Alicia Anthony

Inherent Truth
Alicia Anthony
(Blood Secrets, #1)
Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: Adult, Suspense
A woman with buried secrets…
An agent with an impossible mission…
An inheritance that will destroy them both…
When Liv Sullivan’s grandmother beckons for help from beyond the grave, the reluctant psychic returns to her small Ohio hometown. Scrambling to make sense of the clues left by the vision, Liv finds herself face to face with undercover agent, Ridge McCaffrey.
Assigned to protect a woman whose gifts unnerve him, for a covert psychic intelligence operation he doesn’t understand, Ridge struggles to place duty over desire. But when a gruesome discovery is unearthed at Sullivan Farm, the truth becomes clear…
Some family secrets are best left buried.
Inherent Truth is the first book in the gripping new Blood Secrets psychological thriller series about the cost of truth and the price we pay for love. If you like pulse-pounding page-turners laced with a touch of romance, and shocking twists that will leave you dying for the sequel, Alicia Anthony’s thrilling debut is for you.
I was ten when I watched my cousin die. Granted, at the time I didn’t know the kid I’d seen through a light blue haze was a member of my family. To me, he was just a stranger, like all the rest. A specter sent from the depths of my brain to wake me up in the middle of the night. I still remember like it was yesterday.
The dream sent our household into a sleep deprived frenzy. Me, screaming for my parents to turn on the lights, tears running in rivers down flushed cheeks. My dad, sitting on the edge of the bed, rubbed his hand in circles across my shoulders, consoling me. It took a long distance phone call the following morning for my mom and dad to understand that the dream had been more than a figment of my overactive imagination.
“How did it happen?” My mother’s voice was tight, wobbly as she spoke into the kitchen telephone receiver. It was the only one in the house that was still corded. I watched from the living room couch as she twisted the stretched curlicues of cord around her index finger.
When she slid into a chair at the kitchen table with her hand planted firmly over her lips, heaviness descended on the room, blanketing the air with cold finality. To this day I remember the lead weight in my chest, the struggle for breath. Maybe that’s what he’d felt in his last moments. My mother was still holding the phone in one hand when she turned to stare at me. Eyes wide with some emotion I couldn’t yet interpret. Now, sixteen years later, I can tell you for certain it was terror.
My sixteen-year-old cousin, Curt, had been killed racing home from a party to make curfew. I’d seen it all. Told my parents every detail. The skid on the damp roadway. The slam into a poorly placed telephone pole. Even the good Samaritans who’d stopped in the dead of night to try to dig him out of the twisted wreckage. Smoke filtered up from the heap of metal before I saw him, standing on the other side of the car, smiling at me.
“Tell Mom, I’m sorry,” he’d said. His voice cut short by the wail of a siren.
It’s funny. I can still picture that dream in lifelike detail. But now, instead of terror, there’s a peaceful comfort attached to the memory. I think that’s how it works for me. The visions can’t hold any power over me once I work them out–figure out how to help.
In those early days, I’d been scared senseless. I’d wake up in a cold sweat, flailing to turn a light on, to familiarize myself with reality again. For a while I slept with the bedside lamp on, hoping the luminescence would create some kind of barrier between this world and the next. It was my grandmother who helped me realize it was useless, of course. The dreams were a part of reality–my reality, anyway.
But that awareness of what my dreams were–what that made me–changed everything. The energy in our household sparked with frustration. My mother and father argued. Family outings trickled to a rare occurrence. My life consisted of school, home, homework, and bed, praying to whatever god would listen to let me sleep through the night. Every once in a while some deity would listen, most times, not. I learned to keep what I saw to myself. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Within two years, my mother had run through all the psychiatrists and magic pills she could find to make me normal again. By the time I was twelve, I was spending the majority of my time at my grandparents’ farm, away from the family I’d disgraced and the marriage I’d destroyed. At least, that’s how it seemed to twelve-year-old me.
“I will not allow my daughter to be a freak.” My mother’s words after a particularly heated exchange with my father regarding my condition are what drove me to become the Liv Sullivan I am today.
The “f” word, as I’d taken to calling it, hummed in my skull now, just as it had when I was a girl. Hunkered down on the steps of my parents’ home, eavesdropping through tears, the people I loved arguing about an affliction I didn’t fully understand and over which I had no control.
Of course, if it wasn’t for all of that, I might never have learned I had two choices in life–remain the small-town freak or reinvent myself as a big city fraud. I chose the latter, finding out pretty quick that the best place to hide was in plain sight.

Author Bio:
Alicia Anthony’s first novels were illegible scribbles on the back of her truck driver father’s logbook trip tickets. Having graduated from scribbles to laptop, she now pens novels of psychological suspense in the quiet of the wee morning hours. A full-time elementary school Literacy Specialist, Alicia hopes to pass on her passion for books and writing to the students she teaches.
A two time Golden Heart® finalist and Silver Quill Award winner, Alicia finds her inspiration in exploring the dark, dusty corners of the human experience. Alicia is a graduate of Spalding University’s School of Creative & Professional Writing (MFA), Ashland University (M.Ed.) and THE Ohio State University (BA). Go Bucks! She lives in rural south-central Ohio with her amazingly patient and supportive husband, incredibly understanding teenage daughter, two dogs, three horses, a plethora of both visiting and resident barn cats, and some feral raccoons who have worn out their welcome.
When she’s not writing or teaching, Alicia loves to travel and experience new places. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram @AliciaAnthonyBooks. She’d love to hear from you!


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Book Review - THE COUNTRY GUESTHOUSE by Robyn Carr

Title:  The Country Guesthouse (Sullivan's Crossing)
Author:  Robyn Carr
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Publisher:  MIRA
Release Date:  January 7, 2020

About the Book:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr delivers an emotional and triumphant novel about the fierce power of a mother’s love.

A summer rental, a new beginning…

Hannah Russell’s carefully crafted plans for her life have been upended without warning. When her best friend died suddenly, Hannah became guardian to a five-year-old named Noah. With no experience at motherhood, she’s terrified she’s not up to the challenge. She and Noah need time to get to know each other, so she decides to rent a country house with stunning views on a lake in rural Colorado.

When they arrive at the house, they are greeted by the owner, a handsome man who promises to stay out of their way. But his clumsy Great Dane, Romeo, has other ideas and Noah immediately bonds with the lovable dog. As Hannah learns to become a mother, Owen Abrams, who is recovering from his own grief, can’t help but be drawn out of his solitude by his guests.

But life throws more challenges at this unlikely trio and they are tested in ways they never thought possible. All three will discover their strengths and, despite their differences, they will fight to become a family. And the people of Sullivan’s Crossing will rally around them to offer all of the support they need.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:
Gotta say... I was thrilled when I was contacted by Robyn Carr's publicist to read and review her latest book, due to be released on January 7th.

THE COUNTRY GUESTHOUSE is Book #5 in the Sullivan's Crossing series, but it can certainly be read as a stand-alone.  Reading the previous books in this series, however, may enhance your enjoyment because many of our favorite characters are brought back to life.

It seems like each time I read one of Robyn Carr's novels, it becomes my favorite.  Not sure if that's because her writing just keeps getting better and better or if the emotions are so fresh in my mind from the latest book.  Whatever it is, I absolutely LOVED this book!  I cried (real tears streaming down my cheeks!), I smiled and I got those wonderful tingles that happen when you read the romance as it develops between Hannah and Owen.  Ohmigosh!  I loved Owen!  He's not the hunky, muscular, sexy type, but in my opinion he is the perfect man.  There was so much emotion in this book!  The sadness over the death of Hannah's best friend, meeting the sweet and personable Noah, seeing Noah's joy as he meets Romeo... I could go on and on but I don't want to give away any spoilers.

Pssst.... Just to let you know, Robyn Carr's Virgin River series, Season 1, is currently available on Netflix!  I binge-watched it and now I can't wait for the next season!!

*Disclosure:  I received a complimentary advance copy from NetGalley and the author in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.

My Rating:

About the Author:
Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. The third novel (THE FAMILY GATHERING) in her fan-favorite new series, Sullivan's Crossing, will be released in April 2018. Robyn is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 and in 2017, VIRGIN RIVER was named one of the HarperCollins 200 Iconic Books of the past 200 years. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr's website at


The Novel Lady Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon