Monday, August 15, 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - ACCIDENTALLY PERFECT (Hideaway Harbor, #1) by Marissa Clarke

Accidentally Perfect
Marissa Clarke
(Hideaway Harbor, #1)
Published by: Entangled: Amara
Publication date: March 1st 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Workaholic Lillian Mahoney has given everything to her job. The hugely popular lifestyle show she helped create monopolizes her time, energy, creativity, and anything remotely resembling a life. But all it takes is the show’s womanizing, egomaniac star throwing a massive hissy on live TV to utterly implode Lillian’s career in a New York minute.

Now Lillian’s hiding out in the gorgeous and completely unknown seaside village of Blink, Maine. Out of gas. A stolen wallet. A broken heel. And worse, she’s somehow managed to completely piss off the town’s resident hunk, Caleb Wright. She’ll show that hot, grumpy single father exactly what she’s made of.

But Blink isn’t quite what Lillian expects—and neither is Caleb…or his feisty teen daughter she can’t help but love. And while her entire life and career are in shreds, Lillian might just discover what happens when she gives her bad first impression a second chance.

Each book in the Hideaway Harbor series is STANDALONE:
* Accidentally Perfect
* Accidentally Famous

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play / Indiebound

Only 99¢ for a limited time!

EXCERPT:

“Good morning,” Caleb said, taking a step closer to her.

Lillian smiled and brushed some hair back off her forehead. “Good morning. This place is really nice. You built it?”

It was pretty basic. Nothing fancy, but it was well-built and clean. “I had a lot of help, and the residents of Blink raised the funds, but yes. I did a good part of the work,” he said.

She looked him up and down. “And here I thought you were just eye candy.”

“Only if you have a sweet tooth.” He hadn’t known what to expect after the kiss on her porch, but he and his rapidly heating body loved her teasing.

She put her hands on her hips. “Why, Grumpy Caleb. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you had a sense of humor.”

“I have a lot of things. Wanna see?”

Blush flushed from her neck all the way to where her hairline began. He loved this side of her. All-business Lillian liked a good flirt. He was happy to oblige. “Grumpy Caleb?”

“That shoe seems to fit,” she said as she strode toward the kitchen with a grin. He followed.

Author Bio:

Marissa Clarke is a multi-award-winning, RITA nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her ever-patient husband, two cantankerous Cairn Terriers, and an abundance of bossy chickens.
She loves to hear from readers, so please reach out through social media or on the contact form on her website, http://www.marissaclarke.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest


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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - DISCORDANT MEMORIES by Dee Rollings

Discordant Memories
Dee Rollings
Publication date: June 14th 2022
Genres: Adult, Thriller

A car accident, amnesia, two supposed lovers, and many dark secrets. In a race against time, who will come out on top?

Catrina Banks wakes up with bruises on her body and no memories from the last six months. An illustrious painter, she feels as though someone has stolen the colors from her canvas.

Under the teeming hospital lights and white coats crowding around her, Catrina faces questions she has no answers to. How did she end up in a city far from home? What was she doing there? Where is her phone, her ID, and most of all: Who assaulted her?

Struggling with intermittent flashbacks, Catrina tries to piece her life together. Cradling a gray hoodie and wedding bands she has no memory of, Cat returns home with her boyfriend Danny.

Even after she’s safe at home, she can’t shake the weird feeling that something is off, nor can she ignore the haunting glimpses she gets of a different life with another man.

“Discordant Memories” is a gripping domestic thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, desperate to flip the pages to find out what happens next.

Follow Catrina’s story and find out if she can overcome the obstacles in her way and regain the memories she so desperately craves.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I opened my eyes slowly, but as I reached up to scratch an itch on my forehead, pain shot through my side before my hand connected with whatever was stuck to my forehead. A bandage? I tried to sit up to shake off the weird dream I was having, but every muscle in my body protested. Pain shot through my ribs.

Something was wrong. I blinked the sleep out of my eyes and realized I was not at home. I was in a hospital bed.

“Help!” I shouted.

Was I still dreaming? I called out weakly a couple more times before a nurse rushed in.

“You’re awake!” she said, helping me sit up. “Can you tell me your name?”

“What’s going on? What happened?”

“You were in a car accident. You are at Nashville General Hospital. Please tell me your name.”

An accident? The scene that played out so many times in my dreams began to have clarity. The sounds and the glass. It must have been a roll-over.

“Nashville? When did I come to Nashville? Oh God, my Chevelle!”

The only possession I actually cared about was the car my dad had given me before he passed away. I didn’t know what I would do if it was totaled. I put my head in my hands to clear my thoughts and try to focus.

The nurse rolled the computer cart up to my bed and started typing. She wasn’t exactly cold, but she didn’t offer much sympathy either. She let out an exasperated sigh. “Can you please verify your name so we can see how you’re doing?”

How was she so calm when I was falling apart?

“Catrina Banks. Please, tell me what happened.”

“I’ve sent for the doctor; he can tell you more when he arrives.”

“Is there anything you can tell me? How long have I been here?” I tried to keep my voice calm, but it was difficult.

She ignored my question and checked my vitals, then asked me to tell her where I was on the silly little pain-scale poster that hung on the wall. I told her it was a mix between the regular sad face and the crying face. She gave me no additional information. When the doctor finally came in, she gave me a pitiful look and rolled her computer cart off to the corner of the room.
“Ms. Banks, it’s nice to see you again. I’m Dr. Parker.” He offered me a sweet smile and a handshake. He was tall and had thick silver hair. He wore a white coat over a green collared shirt and plaid slacks, which looked more appropriate for the golf course than a hospital.

“Catrina, your accident happened a day and a half ago. You suffered a brain contusion and have been in and out of consciousness since then. The ribs on the right side of your body are bruised and you have some additional bruising in places we rarely see in these types of accidents. Do you remember anything before or after the accident?”

I shook my head as I rubbed my hand against my ribs. Now I knew why breathing was so uncomfortable. “I don’t remember even leaving my house. Maybe something inside the car hit me?”

He wrote something down on my chart and clicked his pen a few times, clearly thinking about something he didn’t want to tell me yet. “You’ve been getting a lot of rest, which is good, but you have been regressing every time you fall asleep. We aren’t sure how long it will continue, or if you’ll even remember this conversation later.” The way he spoke led me to believe it wasn’t the first time he had told me this. He paused, giving me a chance to interject, but I had nothing to say. “Do you know what today’s date is?”

“April 10th,” I blurted without even thinking.

Another one of those pitiful looks came my way, but this time it was from Dr. Parker. The room was silent for a few moments except for the sound of the nurse typing away on her computer.

The doctor clicked his pen three more times before replying, “Actually, it’s October 15th. I’m afraid you have some time missing.”

Six. Months.

How the hell was I missing six months of my life?

Author Bio:

Dee Rollings was born and raised in the big city, but her heart lives in the forest.

She does her best writing on the porch of her tiny house in the woods when she’s not wrangling her kid and her dogs or having one-way conversations with chipmunks.

She has a gorgeous husband who resembles Paul Bunyan and builds the best campfires, which makes all her dreams come true.


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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Book Blitz - LOVE, NOT WAR: A CHARITY ANTHOLOGY FOR UKRAINE

Love, Not War: A Charity Anthology for Ukraine
Publication date: May 24th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance

LOVE, NOT WAR — A charity Anthology for the Ukraine Crisis Fund

17 authors have come together to write 16 different romance stories of all sub-genres and tropes.

LOVE, NOT WAR releases 05.24.22

All proceeds will go to benefit affected communities in Ukraine, with a focus on the most vulnerable, including children, who need access to food, medical services, and psychosocial support. It also supports humanitarian assistance in impacted communities in Ukraine and surrounding regions where Ukrainian refugees have fled.

PARTICIPATING AUTHORS:

A.R. HALL

CASSIA BRIAR

DEE GARCIA

EMERY LEEANN & ELIZABETH ST. JOHN

HAZEL GRACE

JEN STEVENS

JENSEN REED

KATHERINE MOORE

M. JAMESON

M.R. LEAHY

N.M. BLACK

SARA A. MOSIER

SAVANNAH SLOAN

SUKI WILLIAMS

SUMMER O’TOOLE

YOLANDA OLSON

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Friday, May 20, 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - SOUL STEALER by Shane Boulware

Soulstealer: Steven
Shane Boulware
(Soulstealer, #2)
Publication date: May 20th 2022
Genres: Adult, Supernatural

The Soulstealer’s greatest power is that no one believes it exists…

…except Steven Carpenter. One of the last remaining members of the Ordo Solis—a thousand-year-old order sworn to kill the ancient demon—even his faith has begun to wane. But when he witnesses the return of the Soulstealer with his own eyes, belief quickly turns to grim reality.

With the souls of the world at stake, Steven knows what he has to do—expose the Soulstealer. There’s just one problem, it knows it’s been discovered … and so do the nefarious cults sworn to the demon’s cause. In a race against time and evil, Steven will have to find help. But will it be enough? Or will they be too late?

Author Shane Boulware ramps up the action in his hair-raising second entry in the Soulstealer series. Burning the boundaries between urban fantasy and suspense thriller, this grim-dark stomach-churner will leave you as breathless as the characters trapped within its pages.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Though she didn’t believe him, Jeff promised Sara he’d read to Trista tonight, taking no more than two hours reviewing surveillance. He worked his schedule to spend the first hour watching the Gatekeeper in real-time as he arrived, and the second hour emailing and speeding through the day’s feed.

The Gatekeeper came into view as Jeff’s doorbell rang. Jeff stepped out of his office and got to the door in time to see Sara peering through the peephole. She scowled at Jeff as she opened it, revealing Steven dressed in a Star Trek t-shirt, leather jacket, steel-toed boots, jeans, and a ridiculous purple bandanna around his neck.

Steven waved. “Hi, Sara.”

“Steven.” She glared at Jeff. “Two hours, Jeff, and not one minute more.”

Steven grinned and made a whip-cracking motion with widening eyes as Sara returned to the living room.

“Yeah,” Jeff muttered, “I’m lucky I’m still in the house. Come on in. I’m watching the Gatekeeper.”

“Sweet!” Steven followed Jeff back into the office, setting his backpack down and pulling up a stool while Jeff returned to his chair. They huddled around the television. “Man, we haven’t done this in a while.”

Jeff cracked a smile. “Yeah, it’s been months since we’ve had a good ole fashioned sit-down. Aren’t you supposed to be out cruising the wild?”

Steven shrugged while glancing about the office; empty wrappers and gadgets strewn about. “I was in the neighborhood. I’m still on my vacation time though, so I’ll be headed back out for parts unknown.”

Jeff nudged him. “You were feeling guilty.”

Steven tilted his head. “Yeah, maybe a little. But I was serious when I said that I needed some time away from all this s***. The open road is the open road, and I got an urge I need to satisfy.” Steven pumped his fists and rocked his hips.

Jeff laughed while tucking away some unpaid bills on his desk.

“I decided to go south to the Carolinas,” Steven continued. “Through Tennessee and Missouri, then Ohio and back here. Tomorrow I’ll head out north, possibly all the way to Canuck-land. Who knows? I’ll figure it out when I get there.”

“Meanwhile…” Jeff began.

“Meanwhile, you’re fightin’ the good fight,” Steven added in a southern accent while eyeing the television. The Gatekeeper lounged in a brown leather chair, watching the fire as he did every day. A small table stood to his immediate right and another leather chair on the other side. His black leather fedora rested on the middle table.

Forty minutes into the video, a young man approached the Gatekeeper. Jeff leaned forward, snatched a notepad and mini pen from his back pocket, and scribbled notes on the paper.

Steven scrutinized the unfolding scene. “Easy, killer, just watch.”

The young man tried to sit before jerking still. He stood back up.

“I wish we had audio,” Jeff muttered.

“Shhh, just watch.” Steven strained to read their lips. The camera angles shot out both ways from the fireplace, giving them the perfect view. The Gatekeeper and his new friend began a conversation. Then the young man grabbed hold of the fedora and set it on his head, tapping the edge.

“Holy s***,” Jeff said. “That’s the Gatekeeper’s hat. He either knows exactly what he’s doing, or he has a death wish.”

“Mmmhm, we’ll see.”

They knew what would happen after the Gatekeeper verified the Soulstealer’s identity. They had learned about the procedure back when a much stronger Solis America infiltrated the Raptor’s former headquarters in Boston. Still, they could only guess at what words the two exchanged. The Raptors guarded the secret with a foolproof method: memorization.

The young man sat in the chair, back erect, and continued their dialogue. He took the Gatekeeper’s hat off and returned it to the table, tapping it again. The newcomer said something else, prompting the Gatekeeper to snatch his fedora, stand, and stride toward the VIP section.

The young man made no motion to follow, which they knew wasn’t part of the procedure unless the exchange failed. When the Gatekeeper left the room, the young man exited the bar the way he came.

Steven frowned. “That’s different.”

“What just happened?” Jeff asked.

“Looks like a failed attempt.”

“Yeah, but the guy knew what to do.”

“Or he was just a dumb drunk. It’s probably the Raptors messing with us again.”

“How could they know we’re still watching them?”

Steven gave Jeff a long look. “Jeff, they’ve probably been in your house a dozen times this year alone. I’m pretty sure they know.”

Jeff drew back, his voice trembling. “That’s not funny, Steven. I have a little girl in this house.” His eyes darted around the room as paranoia enveloped him.

“C’mon Jeff, they’re the Raptors. They have dossiers on every one of us, down to what kind of ice cream we like. We’ve been playing Spy vs. Spy since we figured out they supported the Soulstealer.”

“Is that your new name for it, the Soulstealer?”

“Catchy, isn’t it? I came up with it on the ride back. Sounds a lot better than ‘Stealer of Souls,’ or ‘Dracula.’ And Satan.”

Author Bio:

Shane Boulware is an unconventional idealist from Orlando, Florida. Naturally, he commissioned as a Contracting Officer in the United States Air Force in 2012, where he promptly got tased, was hit with pepper spray, participated in a mock riot, jumped out of an airplane, and lived in a combat zone. These experiences tempered his creative instinct and led him to publish two music albums, found an innovation company, break a Guinness World Record, and learn over sixteen dance styles.

Having grown up a huge fan of Dune, Star Wars, Stargate SG-1, Warhammer 40K, Harry Potter, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Lord of the Rings, Shane always wanted to create and share a world of his own. His imagination set him on a path to write the supernatural thriller, Soulstealer, and its sequel, The Ordo Solis.

When he’s not negotiating contracts or salsa dancing the night away, you can find Shane taking his creative passion out on an unsuspecting keyboard. If you want to know when his next book will be available, visit his website at ShaneBoulware.com, where you can sign up to receive release updates and join a community of savants, swashbucklers, and nerds.

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Monday, May 16, 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - RIVER OF ASHES by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor (Coming August 2nd!)

River of Ashes
Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
(St. Benedict, #1)
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 2nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller

“A psychological portrait akin to Lord of the Flies.” ~Midwest Book Review

SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET. SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.

ALONG THE BANKS OF THE BOGUE FALAYA RIVER, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Star quarterback. Handsome. Charming. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the haunted abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes clear that someone must stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

A howl came from the direction of The Abbey.

Andrea leaned away from him, listening. “What’s that?”

Beau nuzzled her neck. “Wild dogs. They live on The Abbey grounds. There’s a couple of legends about them.”

“What legends?” She stepped out of his embrace.

He watched her hips beneath her coat. “They say the dogs stay around The Abbey waiting for the lady in white. She was a gamekeeper for the seminary school and a lover of one of the monks. She died on the grounds, betrayed by the man she loved. Her dogs were kept to manage the varmint population. The wild dogs are said to be their offspring.”

Beau slipped the coat from her shoulders. “The gamekeeper was found hanging from a tree in a white hooded cloak. It was all kept very hush-hush at the time. After the woman’s death, the dogs roamed the grounds and lived off the land. They’re said to only appear when death is near.”

Beau looked at Andrea to see if she was sufficiently unnerved.

“That’s just creepy.” She glanced at his hands as he tugged at her jeans. “But a guy who brings girls to these abandoned cells is into creepy.”

He liked the image the cells portrayed. It was his laboratory, like he’d read about in Frankenstein, where he could experiment and create his own monsters.


Author Bio:

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.

One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)


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Book Blitz & Giveaway - THE IRISH WANDERS by Shannon O'Gorman

The Irish Wanders
Shannon O’Gorman
(Rose Hawthorne, #2)
Publication date: March 16th 2022
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery

Rose Hawthorne is a celebrity author in her early seventies, who dislikes the spotlight but has a penchant for Hermes scarfs, round violet sunglasses, and old colonial hotels.

One day, she receives a strange letter asking her to visit Newgrange, Ireland and look for something that has been hidden there for a thousand years.

She asks her granddaughter to accompany her, but she hadn’t expected Samantha to continually be posting photos of their progress on her Instagram account. An encounter with an old love and an unexpected discovery leads Rose further and further into the past, and she finds must make a hard decision about her future.

Don’t miss this second book in the Rose Hawthorne series!

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

She linked her arm around his as they walked, a natural move. She was allowed to do it. It felt right. Rose was drawn towards Bill. He was like a giant magnet pulling her and she couldn’t help but move closer to him.

They walked together, drunk and happy. She didn’t engage him in conversation. She knew the flow was right. He talked and she listened.

When they got to the next pub, he bought her another pint, and they sat down to listen to a lone fiddler. She sipped the Guinness. It was dark and warm, different from any other beer.

He’d leaned over her, and then—the kiss. The kiss came as a surprise to her. His soft lips were on hers. She could smell the beer on his breath.

After the kiss, he put his forehead against hers. They sat together, joined like that for a long time, letting the music wash over them, throbbing in time with their heartbeats.

At first, the music the fiddler played was lively, his fingers deftly danced across the strings, and a few couples got up to spin around the floor. Towards the end of his set, he played exquisite notes that washed over the pub, making the dust dance, and it rose in the air like magic. The cheering and conversation quieted down for his last song. It was a slow piece that most of them recognised. The fiddler hit the final note with such poignancy that it echoed throughout the pub. When the music stopped, the whole pub went quiet.They cleared their throats and blinked back tears, and then took a few last swallows from their pints.

“Nothing like a bit of Irish music to bring out the tears,” Bill admitted wiping an eye.

“It’s something so special,” Rose agreed with a small sniff.

And all around the pub, they raised their glasses to the fiddler and his music.

As people began to leave the pub, Rose realized that it was getting late and neither of them had eaten yet.

“Shall we eat something? Maybe grab some fish and chips?” Bill said, reading her mind.

“Perfect,” she replied in a low, quiet voice.

They bought some greasy fish and chips at a nearby takeaway. It was wrapped in brown paper and covered with the Dublin news.

Then, they walked the streets until they found a bench under the stars away from the shouts, laughter and the lights. Beside the river, they were alone. They unwrapped the greasy paper and ate the cod hungrily, stuffing the vinegar smeared fries quickly into their mouths.

“Do you want the last chip?” Bill had said softly, holding it up in his greasy fingers.

Rose raised her eyebrows and smiled. “I certainly do.”

Bill placed it gently in her mouth, looking deeply into her eyes. She kissed his fingers slowly.

Then he kissed her again. She’d clung to him and let him kiss her.

They were both tired. Bill took her hand and led her up a narrow laneway not far away.


Author Bio:

Shannon is originally from Winnipeg, Canada but has had the great fortune to have traveled and lived in several countries. After graduating with a degree in English literature she focused on travelling for a few years and eventually found herself teaching English in Japan. After more than a decade in Japan, she returned to teach ESL in Canada and convinced her husband and daughter to join her. These days she lives in San Jose, California, and enjoys coaxing her dog to train for a Camino.

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Saturday, May 7, 2022

Book Review - THE BOARDWALK BOOKSHOP by Susan Mallery

 


Title:  The Boardwalk Bookshop
Author:  Susan Mallery
Genre:  Romance, Small Town & Rural
Release Date:  May 31, 2022 (available now for pre-orders)


About the Book:

When fate brings three strangers to a charming space for lease on the California coast, the Boardwalk Bookshop is born. Part bookstore, part gift shop, part bakery, it's a dream come true for Bree, Mikki and Ashley. But while their business is thriving, their personal lives are…not.

Bree, wounded by brilliant but cold parents and her late husband's ultimate betrayal, has sworn to protect her heart at all costs. Even from Ashley's brother, a writer and adventurer who has inspired millions. He's the first man to see past Bree's barricades to her true self, which terrifies her. Mikki has this divorce thing all figured out—somehow, she's stayed friends with her ex and her in-laws…until a new man changes how everyone looks at her, and how she sees herself. Meanwhile, Ashley discovers that the love of her life never intends to marry. Can she live without being a wife if it means she can have everything else she's ever wanted?

At sunset every Friday on the beach in front of the Boardwalk Bookshop, the three friends share a champagne toast. As their bond grows closer, they challenge one another to become the best versions of themselves in this heartachingly beautiful story of friendship, sisterhood and the transformative power of love.

Buy Links: Amazon 
Available for Pre-Order - Release Date: May 31, 2022

My Review:

Susan Mallery is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. "The Boardwalk Bookshop" did not disappoint me. Three ladies, meeting by chance, come together as business partners, each with a shop of their own but sharing a space on the boardwalk for their bookstore, bakery and gift shop. They soon become more than business partners. They become good friends. This friendship and sisterhood happens at a time in their lives when they truly need each other. 

I must admit that I had to wipe away a few tears more than once while reading this book. Happy tears and sad tears. When a book pulls that kind of emotion from me, I know it's good. The story reminded me a bit of a Wendy Wax series I read, but Susan Mallery puts her own spin on things.

I highly recommend this as a great beach read this summer!

Disclosure: A complimentary advance copy was provided by NetGalley and the Publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing: MIRA, 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 www.SusanMallery.com.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Book Review - KISS HARD by Nalini Singh

  

Title:  Kiss Hard
Author:  Nalini Singh
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Release Date:  May 3, 2022

About the Book:

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh brings you a sinfully playful contemporary romance between two sworn enemies turned partners in crime...

Daniel Esera is a young god on the rugby field, a sexy and charming man who's got the world at his feet. There's just one problem: his sudden potent attraction to his number one nemesis--Catie River. No. Just no. Not happening.

Catie River is on her way to Paralympic gold, and she's not about to allow Danny "Hotshot" Esera to derail her plans. Too bad her body isn't cooperating. Even worse? Her heart might be coming along for the ride. No. Nope. Never.

The pair are united in their desire to remain enemies... until a stranger's reckless action threatens both their careers. Now, the only way out for Catie and Danny is to pretend to be in a relationship. How bad can it be? They're adults in full control of their hormones and their hearts. There will be no kissing. No PDA. And definitely no falling in love.

Let the games begin.
Buy Links: Amazon

My Review:

When I agreed to read and review an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of Kiss Hard, I didn't realize this was Book #4 in a series. Perhaps if I had read books 1-3 I would have enjoyed it more. But that's on me and not this awesome author! As it is, I was definitely able to read it as a stand-alone novel.

The "fake relationship that turns real" or "enemies to lovers" tropes have been done many times before, but Nalini Singh puts a bit more of a twist on it with characters that make you want to stand up and cheer. I loved the banter between Daniel and Catie and the slow burn that sent tingles right through me. I also loved the Bishop-Esera family relationship that warmed my heart. I may go back and read the previous books in this series to find out more about them.

I would have liked more of a plot, but altogether the book was an enjoyable read.

My Rating: 



About the Author:

Nalini Singh

I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.


I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - NO ORDINARY HATE by Melanie Summers and Whitney Dineen

No Ordinary Hate
Melanie Summers & Whitney Dineen
(A Gamble on Love Mom Com, #1)
Publication date: May 5th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Life in Hollywood is easy to hate…

According to Hollywood insiders, Harper and Brett Kennedy have the perfect family life—an image that has been carefully cultivated by an army of PR experts at Galaxy Studios. The truth is, their relationship has been on the rocks since Brett cheated when Harper was pregnant with their youngest child. Four years later, he’s still cheating, but this time with the nanny.

When the tabloids find out, a media frenzy ensues, all but making Harper and her kids prisoners in their Pacific Palisades mansion. Needing time out of the spotlight to regroup, Harper rents a cabin in the last place the press or anyone else would ever think to look for her—Gamble, Alaska.

There, she finds peace, solitude, and Digger McKenzie. Will the gruff lodge owner, who goes out of his way to make Harper feel like she doesn’t belong, realize he’s about to miss out on his one chance at happiness? Will Harper’s kids adjust to small-town life and heal from the chaos of their parents’ separation? Will Harper learn how to shoot a bear?

Find out in the deliciously funny and dishy first installment of the Love is a Gamble Mom-Com Series.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Dear Readers,

When I was just a wee lad of twelve, I, too, became embroiled in a love triangle. Me, Stacy Ferndweller, and Landon Post. I loved the sweaters Stacy wore—which at the time I mistook for lust. And Landon filled out a pair of red polyester gym shorts like nobody’s business. What was a boy to do?

I eventually decided to ask Stacy if I could borrow a sweater—baby pink with delicate chartreuse hearts all over it. I wore it to Landon’s soccer game and cheered him on like a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. He was less than impressed.

After the game, Landon searched me out to delicately disclose his rampant heterosexuality. He broke my heart, but alas, not my nose, so I was grateful. I decided to set him up with Stacy.

It’s for this reason that I’m so attuned to the “two humans in love with the same man scenario.” But unlike Landon, Brett Kennedy is no hero. He’s a cheater and defiler of nannies. He’s a wild card run amok in the landmine of love.

I’m not sure there’s a gesture big enough for Harper to consider taking him back. Tip: A boombox on top of your car isn’t going to cut it, dude.

I’m skipping my workout today in favor of a good, old-fashioned mud bath. My aura needs a righteous cleanse.

Dish,

Ferris Biltmore

Harper

I hurt everywhere—my head, my eyes, my belly button. Reaching under the covers I discover that I went to bed in my jeans and the button is digging into me. Popping it open, I roll over and release a world-class groan.

“Ah, you’re up.” It’s Digger’s voice but there’s no way he’s here in my cabin. “I just put on some coffee.” How is he here in my cabin?

Memories start to filter into my consciousness and the heat of embarrassment washes over me. The question at hand is, how much of what I’m remembering really happened and how much did I dream? I say the only thing that comes to mind. “Hi.”

“Good morning to you.” He walks fully into the room before sitting on the bed next to me. “How do you feel?”

“I’m … um … not great.” Lordy, this is one gorgeous man.

“You and Moira really tied one on last night.”

Okay, so the memory about him picking me up and bringing me home is real. Now to figure out what happened after that. “So, did you … uh … that is to say … sleep here?” He smiles slightly while nodding his head. “In my room?”

“Yup.” Son of a … did he sleep in my bed? I can’t bring myself to ask. He watches me closely before pointing across the room. “Over there in the chair.”

Thank God. “Why exactly?” I’m having a devil of a time meeting his gaze.

“I was getting ready for bed when Moira called, and by the time I carried you here, I was wiped out.”

“I’m so sorry,” I mumble. “I’m not much of a drinker.” I chance a glance at him from under my lashes.

The look on his face is so intense it’s practically melting me from the inside out. “Clearly.” He stands up and walks out of the room while saying, “I’m putting your coffee in a thermos. You can drink it on your way up to the lodge.”

“No, thank you,” I call after him. “I think I’ll go back to sleep for a while.”

He walks back in, shaking his head. “You’ll feel like crap all day if you do that. What you need is some fresh air, followed by a giant breakfast to soak up all the wine.” He reaches his hand out to me.

I don’t want to take it, but I do. As he pulls, I moan. “I never get drunk.”

“Sometimes needs must. I’m guessing Brett was the last person you expected to see up here yesterday.”

Author Bio:

Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries -- not always in that order.

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers' Favorite Awards, 2017.

Silver medal winner at the International Readers' Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

Author links
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

--

Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.

In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally - then she'll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for 'K' Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn't require makeup and/or nylons).

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she's not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken 'from above'. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something--more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.

Author links
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Book Review - MALEVOLENT (A Shaye Archer Novel) by Jana DeLeon

 

Title:  Malevolent
Author:  Jana DeLeon
Genre:  Psychological Thriller, Sleuths
Release Date:  July 23, 2015

About the Book:

From New York Times bestselling author Jana DeLeon, the first in a new thriller series.

Everyone wondered about Shaye Archer’s past. Including Shaye.

Shaye Archer’s life effectively began the night police found her in an alley, beaten and abused and with no memory of the previous fifteen years, not even her name. Nine years later, she’s a licensed private investigator, with a single goal—to get answers for her clients when there aren’t supposed to be any.

And maybe someday, answers for herself.

Emma Frederick thought her nightmare was over when she killed her abusive husband, but someone is stalking her and tormenting her with mementos from her past. With no evidence to support her claims, the police dismiss her claims as post-traumatic stress, but Shaye is convinced that someone is deliberately terrorizing Emma…playing a cat and mouse game with only one goal in mind.

To kill Emma.

Buy Links: Amazon

Right now... if you want to check out this amazing series... you can start with Book #1 free on Amazon.  Not sure how long this price will be effective, so you may want to act fast.

My Review:

If you have read this author's "Miss Fortune" series, please know that this book is entirely different. Do not read it if you are expecting humor. You may also want to stay clear if you can't stomach gore and horror. That being said, if you are a mystery fan and a psychological thriller fan you will love this book. 

I actually listened to it on Audible and that version was even better! 

Shaye Archer is a brand new private detective. Her first client believes she is being stalked... by her dead husband. Okay, that got my attention! I won't give away spoilers, but all I can say is that as soon as you figure out who the stalker is, I'd be willing to bet you are wrong. So many twists and turns! 

The story comes to a conclusion but there is more to learn about Shaye and her history. Yes, I'm going to read the next book because I really want to know more!

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.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway - MODERN DAY COWBOY by Nathaniel Sheft

Modern Day Cowboy
Nathaniel Sheft
(The Modern Gunfighter Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: May 8th 2020
Genres: Young Adult

The Organization or O.W.A, ( Organization of Wealthy Advocates) controls everything. Hundreds of millions of dollars are bet daily via the internet on the ultimate form of gambling. Today’s fighter pay will start at $300,000, and all fights are listed as high-noon types. Only .45 caliber old Western handguns are allowed. Each fighter will take their perspective corner and the countdown will begin. The first fight on today’s schedule will be in the woods, somewhere in Minnesota. Two top fighters will be featured: The Housewife, who is in pink hair rollers and wearing a floral bathrobe; against The SoCal Bunny, a former Southern California Playboy bunny. The second fight will come live from Park City, Utah. It will feature local favorite, Reese, the ex-actress whom most know as Sundance.— Against Amy, known as Aim, a former company exec with a long list of kills. The third fight…

Mattie Pilson had just graduated from high school with no direction in her life. She preoccupied her time with baby sitting Maurice, a mentally challenged kid. Then one terrible day it happened, Maurice was gunned down while under her care. Come to find out, it was a declaration of war from some unseen enemy. Someone set up a row of domino’s and then pushed the first one. At first, all she could do was watch; then one day her boss at the gun shop, Rusty, asked an unorthodox question.—Would she like to be trained as a gunfighter?

Seems she had a lifelong enemy before she was even born. Why? Because enemies are often born at the same time as the other part of one’s soul.—A personal taunt by the universe. Her enemy has wealth, nobility, and power; she holds dreams in her hand. Mattie is simplistic, just a nuts and berries type of girl. Despite her enemy having an entire continent at her whim, she desired the one thing Mattie had yet to appreciate, David.—So she went after Mattie’s prize, with a white wedding dress.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

She hears her voice talking, “I feel dark, gloomy, like the other creatures of the night are waiting for me to arrive. Think I’m over-dosing on death. My sickle is a .45 caliber metal sheath. One swoosh, and it’s all over. I am dressed in a dark hooded robe, reminiscent of an ancient Celtic priest cultivating a fire. My rod of spinning magic consists of gunpowder to cast small metal spells in the chest of victims. Slow motion sonic waves of jet propulsion that are aerodynamically sound through mathematical equations of why people die upon contact. I squeezed the damn trigger. Click, pow!” Mattie sits right up, eyes wide, was it a dream?

Sweating, panting as she tries to catch her heartbeat, talk it down from its hyper thought patterns. Her eyes are watered, carrying a certain sleep wetness like babies with bad dreams. Now she’s rambling, trying to make sense of this moment.

“I killed a cancer patient, I let Maurice die, and if it were night I would have an afterglow of guilt,” blurts out in panic mode. “Where in the hell am I? How did I get in the woods? And why are there leaves in my hair?” rattles off as she reaches up as if turning on the bedroom light. “Wait… I was in a hotel room last night, what happened?” She looks down, “There’s blood on the leaves… oh shit, there’s blood on my shirt.” Her phone rings almost in sync, she spins alarmed by the sudden sound, searches for the phone.

“What did you do?” David says with a heightened sense of alarm.

“I don’t know,” darts out as she stands while brushing herself off.

Leaves are torn from trees, broken bark is ruthlessly misplaced and painted blood is part of the scenic landscape. Scuffle marks, torched branches, staring woodland creatures. A squirrel is reading from a prayer book as birds sing dirges. A section was cleared violently. In the distance the sound of a motor is running as faint fumes dangle nearby. Delilah is still warm and in her holster. She’s armed, why is she armed? It isn’t her blood as she feels around reluctantly.

“You killed three chicks last night,” said with the intonation of shock and awe.

“What?” to a state panic.


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Saturday, April 23, 2022

Book Review - A FAMILY AFFAIR by Robyn Carr

  


Title:  A Family Affair

Author:  Robyn Carr
Genre:  Women's Fiction
Publisher:  MIRA
Release Date:  April 5, 2022




About the Book:

Life’s biggest dilemmas can provide its sweetest rewards

Anna McNichol knows how to take charge. Raised by a single mother, she’s worked to ensure her three children have every advantage she didn’t. And while her marriage has its problems, she values commitment and believes in "till death do us part." Now an empty nester, she’s at the peak of her career and ready to seize the opportunity to focus on her future.

But life can change in an instant, and when her husband dies suddenly, Anna’s carefully constructed world falls apart. The mysterious young woman at the memorial service confirms her husband had been keeping secrets, and Anna is determined to get to the truth.

For once, she doesn’t have the answers. Her kids are struggling with their grief, her mother’s health is in decline and Anna needs closure. Faced with one challenge after another, she finds support from an unexpected source. And as she puts her life back together, Anna realizes the McNichols may not be perfect but they’ll always be family, and family is forever.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

A Family Affair is a stand-alone book dealing with the numerous emotions a family must endure after the sudden death of Anna's husband. Years of secrets are revealed and each family member must handle this new knowledge that is discovered however they can and in their own way.

Perhaps if I read this ten or fifteen years from now, I would have enjoyed it more. The numerous mentions of COVID somehow bothered me and did nothing for the plot or storyline. I'm not sure why it was mentioned at all. For me, it was a little slap in the face of reality instead of a book that allowed me to escape reality. Again, I must say that is a peronal thing with me and really should not take away from this heartfelt story.

There was drama, heartache, acceptance and love. And yes, I shed a tear or two. I loved some characters and got totally annoyed with others. 

*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 romance and women's fiction author of over 60 novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River and Sullivan's Crossing series. Robyn is a recipient of the 2016 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2017, VIRGIN RIVER was named one of the HarperCollins 200 Iconic Books of the past 200 years. Netflix has taken notice of Robyn’s success and produced a series based on her bestselling 21-book Virgin River Series. Netflix released season 3 of the Virgin River Series in July 2021 and the series held the #1 spot in the US and in numerous countries around the world for over 2 weeks. A Sullivan's Crossing TV series based on Robyn's fan-favorite book series of the same name is in production. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr's website at www.RobynCarr.com.

 

The Novel Lady Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon