Thursday, July 30, 2020

Book Review - DEAD-END DETECTIVE by Amanda Flower

Title:  Dead-End Detective
Author:  Amanda Flower
Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Private Investigator
Release Date:  August 25th, 2020

Available for Pre-Order Now!

About the Book:

USA Today bestselling author and Agatha Award winner Amanda Flower brings charm and intrigue to her first cozy mystery for Hallmark.

They were the Two Girls Detective Agency.
Now, one of them is dead,
and the other is suspected of murder.

Darby Piper is in shock. Samantha Porter—her mentor and business partner at Two Girls Detective Agency—has died in a car crash, and it doesn’t look like an accident. In fact, evidence is pointing toward Darby.

Darby had expected to inherit Samantha’s half of the agency, but Samantha had recently changed the will to leave it to Tate Porter, her nephew, who returns to town.

Tate is no P.I. He’s a veteran, a world traveler, and something of a mystery himself. But as he helps Darby delve into secret histories and real estate development plans, he does seem to have a knack for the job. Will the agency have a future…even if Darby can prove her innocence in time?

Buy Links: AMAZON
Available for Pre-Order - Release Date: August 25th, 2020

My Review:

What happens when you are the prime suspect for a murder and the lead police officer is your ex-boyfriend? 

Great start to a new series! This was my first time reading something from this author, but I'm sure it won't be my last. Although an interesting plot, I have to admit that the story didn't really hold my interest until the last few chapters and I had put it down several times. I'm glad I stuck with it though because an interesting twist developed and the pace picked up near the end.

The characters were well rounded and likeable, but there were quite a few unanswered questions about them that I'm hoping we will discover in the next book.

I'd love to see this series on the Hallmark Mystery Channel. Just sayin'!

I received a complimentary advance copy (ARC) from NetGalley and Hallmark Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

My Rating: 

About the Author:

manda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she'd found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel and her children's mysteries, Andi Unexpected and Andi Under Pressure, were an Agatha Award Nominees for Best Children's/YA Novel. Andi Unstoppable won the Agatha Award for Best Children's/YA Novel 2015. Amanda is a former librarian living in northeast Ohio. 

Visit her at

Monday, July 20, 2020

Book Review - THE FRIENDSHIP LIST by Susan Mallery

Title:  The Friendship List
Author:  Susan Mallery
Genre:  Romance, Small Town & Rural
Release Date:  August 4, 2020 (available now for pre-orders)

About the Book:
[ ] Dance till dawn
[ ] Go skydiving
[ ] Wear a bikini in public
[ ] Start living

Two best friends jump-start their lives in a summer that will change them forever…
Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.

So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?

The Friendship List begins as a way to make others believe they’re just fine. But somewhere between “wear three-inch heels” and “have sex with a gorgeous guy,” Ellen and Unity discover that life is meant to be lived with joy and abandon, in a story filled with humor, heartache and regrettable tattoos.

Buy Links: Amazon 
Available for Pre-Order - Release Date: August 4th, 2020

My Review:

Ellen and Unity are best friends, but each of them have been living stagnant lives. Ellen, a single mother, got pregnant while in high school and hasn't had a date since. Unity was happily married until three years ago when her husband, Stuart, was killed while serving in the military. She still lives in his house surrounded by pictures of him and still has his clothes in her closet. Her inability to let go and move on with her life even caused her grief support group to kick her out! Realizing that their lives were going nowhere, the two best friends decided to create a bucket list of things they wanted to accomplish over the summer to help them move on with their lives.

Every time I read one of Susan Mallery's books, I am reminded why she is one of my favorite authors. This book has characters to love and some you occasionally want to smack in the head. But it portrays so much about friendship, parenting ups and downs, and dealing with sexual situations with your teen, it is a must-read.

This one is a bit steamy (fanning self), but those sexy scenes go along with the storyline.

Disclosure: A complimentary advance copy was provided by NetGalley and the Publisher, HQN Books, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

My Rating: 

About the Author:

Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women's lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan's books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.

Critics, too, have heaped praise on "the new queen of romantic fiction." (Walmart) Booklist says, "Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling," and RT Book Reviews puts her "in a class by herself!"

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month, January of 1992. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool's Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a tattletale toy poodle. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they're an integral component to a happy life. Visit Susan online at

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Book Review - A WALK ALONG THE BEACH by Debbie Macomber

Title:  A Walk Along the Beach
Author:  Debbie Macomber
Genre:  Family Saga Fiction
Release Date:  July 14, 2020

About the Book:

Two sisters must learn from each other’s strengths and trust in the redeeming power of love in a touching new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.

The Lakey sisters are perfect opposites. After their mother died and their father was lost in grief, Willa had no choice but to raise her sister, Harper, and their brother, Lucas. Then, as an adult, she put her own life on hold to nurse Harper through a terrifying illness. Now that Harper is better and the sisters are living as roommates, Willa has realized her dream of running her own bakery and coffee shop, bringing her special brand of caretaking to the whole Oceanside community.

Harper, on the other hand, is always on the go. Overcoming a terrible illness has given her a new lease on life, and she does not intend to waste it. When Harper announces her plan to summit Mount Rainier, Willa fears she may be pushing herself too far. Harper, for her part, urges Willa to stop worrying and do something outside of her comfort zone—like taking a chance on love with a handsome new customer.  

Sean O’Malley is as charming as he is intriguing—a freelance photographer whose assignments take him to the ends of the earth. Soon Willa’s falling for him in a way that is both exciting and terrifying. But life has taught Willa to hedge her bets, and she wonders whether the potential heartache is worth the risk.  

Life has more challenges in store for them all. But both sisters will discover that even in the darkest moments, family is everything.

My Review:

Grab the tissues! Heartwarming and heartbreaking, this one had tears streaming down my cheeks throughout the book, starting with the dedication to Ms. Macomber's close friend, Roberta Stalberg a/k/a Christina Skye who died of cancer in May 2018.

Author Debbie Macomber brings us back to the small town of Oceanside, this time focusing on two sisters, Harper and Willa. Harper is beautiful and vivacious, while Willa is serious, cautious and more of a "mother hen". She has had to be. When their mother died and their father fell apart, it was up to Willa to take care of her sister and her brother Lucas. After Harper's recovery from a serious bout with cancer, Willa is able to build her own life, starting with her coffee shop and bakery. Things begin to look good for Willa, especially when she starts to see the handsome photographer, Sean. When Harper's cancer returns, Willa's life takes a downward spiral.

This heartwarming family saga can be read as a stand-alone, but gives us cameo appearances of characters from "Cottage by the Sea".

Note: I received a complimentary copy of "A Walk Along the Beach" from NetGalley, Random House Publishing and Debbie Macomber.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 1,000 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Thirteen of these novels hit the number one spot.

In 2017, Macomber’s all-new hardcover publications include If Not for You (March), Any Dream Will Do (August), and Merry and Bright (October). In addition to fiction, Macomber has also published two bestselling cookbooks, an adult coloring book, numerous inspirational and nonfiction works, and two acclaimed children’s books.

Celebrated as “the official storyteller of Christmas”, Macomber’s annual Christmas books are beloved and five have been crafted into original Hallmark Channel movies. Macomber is also the author of the bestselling Cedar Cove Series which the Hallmark Channel chose as the basis for its first dramatic scripted television series. Debuting in 2013, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove was a ratings favorite for three seasons.

Macomber owns The Grey House CafĂ©, which also features a gift shop and a Hallmark Gold Crown store inside. It is located in the Village Square campus, which also serves as Debbie’s corporate headquarters.

She serves on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, is a YFC National Ambassador, and is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative. A devoted grandmother, Debbie and Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington, the town which inspired the Cedar Cove series.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Book Review - LIGHTS OUT LUCY by Elicia Hyder

Title:  Lights Out Lucy
Author:  Elicia Hyder
Genre:  Sports Fiction, Humorous Fiction
Release Date:  April 23, 2018
Print Length:  384 Pages

About the Book:


Lucy Cooper isn't looking for love when she finds it—or slams into it, rather—during rush hour traffic. But her heart, like her car, is a total loss the moment West Adler steps out of his truck to inspect the damage.

West truly is the perfect guy: handsome, funny, rich. The benefactor of not one, but two children's hospitals. And he's the main sponsor of the Music City Rollers, Nashville's championship roller derby team.

When Lucy discovers the Rollers are actively recruiting "Fresh Meat," she puts her life on the line to catch West Adler's attention. But will accident-prone Lucy skate off with the heart of Nashville's Most Eligible Bachelor? Or will she get herself killed in a sport that promises, "It's not a matter of if you'll get hurt—but of how bad and when."
Buy Links: Amazon

My Review:

I'm not a big sports fan, so I wasn't sure about this book. Gotta admit... I loved it!  Elicia Hyder adds humor to a story of self growth and moving on with life. There's romance, friendship, family and more information than I ever thought I wanted about the game of roller derby. I actually learned a lot and was able to visualize every heart-pounding moment on that derby floor. But this book was so much more than that. 

The character development in this story was outstanding. We see all sides of Lucy. We see her struggles at work, mixed with a bit of humor, and how she handles all kinds of situations. We see her social life go from zero to astronomical. We see her love life go from flat out nothing to meeting and falling for Nashville's most eligible bachelor! We see her grow and become more confident.

When accident-prone Lucy decides she wants to try out for the Music City Rollers, she surprises not only herself, but her brother, her father, her employer, her best friend, and West Adler. Will she make it? You need to read it to find out. And I mean you Really. Need. To. Read. This!

Even better on Audible!! Right now it is FREE on Audible Escape!

My Rating: 

About the Author:
Elicia Hyder is the author of The Soul Summoner series, the Journey Durant novels, and her new roller derby series, The Music City Rollers. Elicia enjoys barefoot walks on the beach, the proper use of the semicolon, and good IPAs. She sucks at CAPTCHA puzzles and firmly believes heaven will have heavy metal music.

Find her on social media @eliciahyder and on the web:

**SPECIAL NOTE:   Elicia Hyder is a Featured Author for Coastal Magic Book Convention, which will be a Virtual event in February of 2021.  You can learn more about this event at

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Book Review - A COTTAGE WEDDING by Leigh Duncan

Title:  A Cottage Wedding (A Heart's Landing Novel)
Author:  Leigh Duncan
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Publisher:  Hallmark Publishing
Release Date:  June 2, 2020
Print Length:  300 Pages

About the Book:

It’s more than a charming small town—
it’s a premier wedding destination.
But will one journalist ruin Heart’s Landing forever?

Tara Stewart’s boss at Weddings Today magazine sends her to Heart’s Landing to debunk its romantic legends. This could devastate the many local businesses who cater to weddings, from Forget Me Knot Florist to Dress for a Day.

The locals convince Jason Heart, the handsome descendant of the town’s founder, to show Tara around the town. But can he persuade her to believe in the romance?

This heartwarming romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Orange Balsamic Roasted Carrots.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Having recently read A Simple Wedding, the first book in this Heart's Landing series, I was excited to see that this new novel was available. Both books can be read as stand-alones, but the more you read, the more you will fall in love with the charming town of Heart's Landing and the charismatic people who live there.

First, let me say that author Leigh Duncan lures her readers into this charming small town that is so easy to visualize that you feel like you are right there, surrounded by quaint little shops and horse drawn carriages. Her descriptions are so lovely that you never want to leave. And her characters... Oh my! Her characters go straight to your heart!

Tara Stewart is a junior writer for Weddings Today magazine, with dreams of becoming a senior writer and making her family proud of her decision to go into journalism instead of their family restaurant business. Her one shot at doing just that is to discredit America's Top Wedding Destination, which happens to be the Captain's Cottage in Heart's Landing. Tara is smart, honest and caring (a very likeable character). Then there is Jason Heart, the great, great, grandson of the town's founder, Captain Thaddeus Heart and he is the owner and manager of the Captain's Cottage. I immediately fell in love with Jason! A truly good man who is respected by the entire town. You can feel the chemistry between these two characters with every page you read!

This is such a sweet romance and I'm so ready to watch this on the Hallmark channel, but I'm glad I read the book first in order to gain all the insight going on in the minds of these characters. One more thing I should add... I had a tough time reading the epilogue. That's because I had to keep removing my reading glasses to wipe the tears from my eyes. I truly hope there will be more novels based on this town of Heart's Landing. Loved it and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys sweet romance.

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

My Rating:

About the Author:
Leigh Duncan is the award-winning author of more than two dozen novels, novellas and short stories. Her first full-length book, The Officer's Girl, was released by Harlequin American Romance in 2010. Leigh went on to write seven more books for Harlequin, including the highly acclaimed Glades County Cowboys series, before she began writing the more complex, heart-warming and emotional stories that have resonated with her readers. One of the lead authors for Hallmark Publishing, an Amazon best-selling author and a Readers' Choice Award winner, Leigh lives on Central Florida's East Coast where she writes women's fiction and sweet, contemporary romance with a dash of Southern sass.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Although the Coastal Magic Convention in 2021 will be held as a "Virtual" event instead of live on the glorious beaches of Daytona Beach, Florida, author Leigh Duncan will be one of the Featured Authors and it is certain to be an outstanding event you can attend from your own living room. You can learn more about Coastal Magic at See you there!!

#SCBL20, #CMCon21

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Book Review- Refuge: A Mountain Ranch Novel by Willa J. Brand

Title:  Refuge: A Mountain Ranch Novel
Author:  Willa J. Brand
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Print Length: 119 pages
Release Date:  May 30, 2020

About the Book:

Taylor is a mother on the run from an abusive husband, searching for a safe place for she and her young son. Convinced that her possessive spouse is hunting them, she is paranoid, exhausted and virtually penniless. Finding herself stranded in rural Montana, she is taken in by a couple who help her not knowing her past, and she is able to find work on their ranch. She intends on staying only long enough to save the money needed to move on to a large city where she believes they will be safer. But as time passes friendships develop, as does a love interest, and Taylor struggles to hold on to her secrets. Inevitably, her past catches up with her and her worst fears will become reality.
Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Refuge: A Mountain Ranch Novel is a debut novel by an author with fabulous potential, an author I will be watching in the future. 

Taylor has taken her baby and fled from a rich and powerful abusive husband. She lives in fear of being found and goes to great lengths to protect her identity, protection that causes her to be in dire need of a job and a place to stay. She is fortunate to have come across a decent man and his wife who not only provide shelter, food and a job, but also provide much needed friendship.  When she later meets Owen there is an immediate attraction, but her fears and paranoia keep her at a distance. Owen recognizes that Taylor has secrets, so he takes things slow and allows her the time she needs to trust again.

The ending was a bit rushed, but the story itself was heartwarming with characters you wish you really knew personally (except for Taylor's husband, a man you want to rip apart). This reminded me a bit of Julia Roberts' "Sleeping With the Enemy". 

There is an element of romance in the book, but is what I would consider "sweet romance".

My Rating: 

About the Author:

Willa J. Brand is a pen name for my alter ego, and although she is much more creative than I am in my daily life, we share many of the same interests.

I am a wife, mother of four children and three angels, and lover of the outdoors. I have been an avid reader from an early age and lover of all forms of literature since before I can remember. Busy as life is helping out on our family farm and caring for children, I craved some kind of creative outlet, and writing was a natural fit for me.

I love all animals and enjoy working with cattle and spending time with my horses and dogs. In more recent years I have found a love for chickens that I never knew I had, and my flock is constantly growing!

I would love to hear any feedback or questions you may have for me and I will do my best to answer any and all questions.

You may also visit my website, to see more about upcoming releases and sign up for my email list. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Book Review - THE SOUL SUMMONER by Elicia Hyder

Title:  The Soul Summoner
Author:  Elicia Hyder
Genre:  Psychic Suspense, Mystery
Release Date:  November 4, 2015

About the Book:

An ordinary woman with an extraordinary gift is out to stop evil with two irresistible men. One of them would die for her; the other would kill to keep her safe. 

**Find out why The Soul Summoner series has been a #1 bestseller in Paranormal Suspense and has been downloaded over a half million times, earning thousands of 5-Star ratings.** 


Blessed or cursed with a connection to the souls of others, Sloan Jordan can see the best in people...and the worst. With nothing more than a glance at a photograph, she can judge the living from the dead and the good souls from the evil ones. For twenty-seven years, she's kept her ability a secret, but eleven young women have been murdered in the mountains of North Carolina, and Sloan may be the only hope of finding their killer. 

She has just agreed to help Detective Nathan McNamara with the case, when a stranger--who is as alluring as he is terrifying--shows up at her doorstep with a dark past and another puzzling mystery: she can't see his soul at all. 

Now Sloan is on the hunt for a deadly psychopath with two irresistible men. One of them would die for her, and the other would kill to keep her safe. 


Book 1 – The Soul Summoner 

Book 2 – The Siren

Book 3 – The Angel of Death
Book 4 – The Taken

Book 5 - The Sacrifice

Book 6 - The Regular Guy
Book 7 - The Soul Destroyer
Book 8 - The Guardian
Book 9 - The Daughter of Zion

The Detective: A Nathan McNamara Story
The Mercenary: A Warren Parish Story
The Archangel: An Azrael Story
Buy Links: Amazon

My Review:

I have had my eye on this book for quite some time. And then I actually won a copy of the book during a game we played at the Virtual SCBL Book Convention!  Okay now!  Fate had it that I absolutely MUST read this book! And read it, I did. In one sitting! Because once I started reading it, I could not put it down. Loved, loved, loved it!

We have Sloan, a woman with some rather incredible secrets, a mystery within herself. Then we have Nathan, a hot detective involved in the search for a serial killer. And let us not forget Warren! I really want to tell you about him, but I don't want to give away any spoilers. The chemistry and vibes between these three characters is amazing! Excellent writing from an author I want to read more from. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series, and I have already downloaded a book from another series written by Elicia Hyder.

For those romance readers, let me tell you that this book gives you all those wonderful tingles of romance without the ... um... serious details. Well done, Elicia Hyder!!

My Rating: 

About the Author:
Elicia Hyder is the author of The Soul Summoner series, the Journey Durant novels, and her new roller derby series, The Music City Rollers. Elicia enjoys barefoot walks on the beach, the proper use of the semicolon, and good IPAs. She sucks at CAPTCHA puzzles and firmly believes heaven will have heavy metal music.

Find her on social media @eliciahyder and on the web:

**SPECIAL NOTE:   Elicia Hyder is a Featured Author for Coastal Magic Book Convention, which will be a Virtual event in February of 2021.  You can learn more about this event at

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Book Review - LOUISIANA LONGSHOT (Book #1 of the Miss Fortune series)by Jana DeLeon

Title:  Louisiana Longshot
Author:  Jana DeLeon
Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Sleuths
Release Date:  December 21, 2013

About the Book:

It was a hell of a long shot....

CIA assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever—in Sinful, Louisiana. With a leak at the CIA and a price placed on her head by one of the world's largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off-grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element. Posing as a former beauty queen turned librarian in a small bayou town seems worse than death to Fortune, but she's determined to fly below the radar until her boss finds the leak and puts the arms dealer out of play. Unfortunately, she hasn't even unpacked a suitcase before her newly inherited dog digs up a human bone in her backyard.

Thrust into the middle of a bayou murder mystery, Fortune teams up with a couple of seemingly sweet old ladies whose looks completely belie their hold on the little town. To top things off, the handsome local deputy is asking her too many questions. If she's not careful, this investigation might blow her cover and get her killed. Armed with her considerable skills and a group of elderly ladies the locals dub The Geritol Mafia, Fortune has no choice but to solve the murder before it's too late.

What authors are saying:

"Southern wit at its best!" - NYT Bestselling author Gemma Halliday

"Sinfully funny!" - NYT Bestselling author CC Hunter/Christie Craig

What readers are saying:

“If you like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, you’ll love Miss Fortune.”

“This was a hoot!!! If you like mysteries and Southern eccentrics, this is the book for you. More twists and turns than the Louisiana bayou.”

“It has a flavor of Miss Congeniality, but it is much more than that.”

“I read this book in one night, unable to put it down because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.”

“I’ve rarely thanked writers for the entertainment they provide. Nevertheless, I feel strangely compelled not only to thank this author, but to recommend this book to everybody and anybody – I give it five laugh out loud stars!”
Buy Links: Amazon

Right now... if you want to check out this amazing series... you can start with Book #1 free on Amazon.  And for only $1.99 more, you can get the Audible book, which I highly recommend!  Not sure how long this price will be effective, so you may want to act fast.

My Review:

I became totally hooked on this series from the moment I started reading Book #1 of the Miss Fortune series. I couldn't stop. I went from book to book and read all 17 of the books in this series, one right after the other! ALL SEVENTEEN BOOKS!

This is such a well written series with fabulous characters, lots of action and a whole lot of laugh out loud moments! 

My Rating: 

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jana DeLeon was raised in southwest Louisiana among the bayous and gators. Her hometown is Carlyss, but you probably won't find it on a map. Her family owned a camp located on a bayou just off the Gulf of Mexico that you could only get there by boat. The most important feature was the rope hammock hanging in the shade on a huge deck that stretched out over the water where Jana spent many hours reading books.

Jana and her brother spent thousands of hours combing the bayous in a flat-bottom aluminum boat, studying the natural habitat of many birds, nutria and alligators. She would like you to know that no animals were injured during these "studies," but they kept makers of peroxide in business.

Jana has never stumbled across a mystery or a ghost like her heroines, but she's still hopeful.

She now resides in Dallas, Texas, with the most spoiled Sheltie in the world.

The Novel Lady Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon