#BookReview- Honeysuckle Season #WomensFic


From bestselling author Mary Ellen Taylor comes a story about profound loss, hard truths, and an overgrown greenhouse full of old secrets.

Adrift in the wake of her father’s death, a failed marriage, and multiple miscarriages, Libby McKenzie feels truly alone. Though her new life as a wedding photographer provides a semblance of purpose, it’s also a distraction from her profound pain.

When asked to photograph a wedding at the historic Woodmont estate, Libby meets the owner, Elaine Grant. Hoping to open Woodmont to the public, Elaine has employed young widower Colton Reese to help restore the grounds and asks Libby to photograph the process. Libby is immediately drawn to the old greenhouse shrouded in honeysuckle vines.

As Libby forms relationships and explores the overgrown—yet hauntingly beautiful—Woodmont estate, she finds the emotional courage to sort through her father’s office. There she discovers a letter that changes everything she knows about her parents, herself, and the estate. Beneath the vines of the old greenhouse lie generations of secrets, and it’s up to Libby to tend to the fruits born of long-buried seeds.

Biography

A southerner by birth, Mary Ellen Taylor’s love of her home state, Virginia, and its past is evident in her contemporary women’s fiction, from her first The Union Street Bakery, set in Alexandria, to her latest, Spring House, which takes place on the state’s Eastern Shore. In Spring Cottage and prior novels, Mary Ellen’s protagonists search for their place in the world. They explore issues of family, home and belonging, and their stories entwine with those of the locales in which they unfold, encompassing mysteries past and present.

Richmond born, Mary Ellen has lived there most of her life. She grew up in a family that appreciates stories of all kinds, from a well-told anecdote to a good yarn or a tall tale. Perhaps it was inevitable that she would embrace her storytelling heritage, walk away from her marketing job and challenge herself to become a published author.

“I realized early on the tremendous power stories have to inspire laughter, love, sorrow and even fear. It didn’t matter if they were found in the pages of a book, spoken in hushed tones around a campfire, or shared at an old-fashioned family reunion. Stories create connections, and I knew that was what I wanted to do,” says Mary Ellen.

Alongside writing, cooking and baking are important creative outlets for Mary Ellen, who’s been known to name recipes in honor of her characters. Just a few years ago, she earned her Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate at the University of Richmond’s Culinary Arts Program. “In some ways, I liken baking to my efforts as a writer. You need to learn the basic tools of the trade before you can push the limits and create a distinctive sweet dessert or savory novel.”
Her two passions —writing and baking—merged for the first time in The Union Street Bakery. Since then, she’s shared favorite recipes, connected to her books Sweet Expectations, At the Corner of King Street, The View from Prince Street, Winter Cottage and Spring House.

Mary Ellen is also known nationally as New York Times and USA Today bestselling suspense novelist Mary Burton. Together, they have published thirty-eight novels, with Mary Burton’s latest, I See You, debuting October 2019.
When not traveling or holed up writing, Mary Ellen spends time with her husband enjoying their empty nest and spoiling their miniature dachshunds, Buddy, Bella and Tiki.

Photo by Brianna Martinez on Pexels.com


My Review

The prologue on this story drew me right in. A young woman on the run, a dirty sheriff, a mystery, all the key ingredients for a great read.

Then chapter one happened and I was confused as to what was happening. A different young woman, in a different generation, divorced and recovering from the recent death of her father. Libby is a photographer and meets the owner of a generations old estate while shooting a wedding. She is invited to photograph the renovations on the estate and soon discovers several long buried secrets that could change everything she knows about her family.

While I enjoyed the author’s writing style, I found the book slow going and easy to set aside. That said, if you enjoy family dramas, this is a solid read worth four stars from me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

#CoverReveal- Hiding Cracked Glass by @JamesCudney4 #Suspense @Shalini_G26


HIDING CRACKED GLASS BY JAMES J. CUDNEY

Series Name: Perceptions of Glass

Book #1 Name: Watching Glass Shatter

Book #2 Name: Hiding Cracked Glass (cover reveal for this one)

Publication for Book #2:

Next Chapter, October 8th, 2020

PreSale / Amazon Link:

Pending from Publisher

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54399989-hiding-cracked-glass

About the Book

An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?

In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?

Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.

Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved. 

 

About The Author

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

·       Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

·       Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

·       Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

·       Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

·       Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

·       Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

enter to win on @BookSweeps today — plus the rest of the exciting High-Tech Crime Solvers Series from a great collection of authors… AND a brand new eReader :D #amreading #Giveaway


BookSweeps Thriller BookGiveaway!

Today, I have a fun surprise to share with you…

I’ve teamed up with the rest of the fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of High-Tech Crime Solvers Series to 2 lucky winners!

Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁 

You can win my novel Virtually Gone, plus the complete High-Tech Crime Solvers series!

Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 bit.ly/HighTechCrimeSolvers-July2020

Good luck and enjoy!

Jacquie Biggar

Exclusive Excerpt of Virtually Gone

Matt spent the rest of the afternoon filling in a case report and waiting for the ME’s phone call. Paperwork was a necessary evil in a police detective’s job description. He’d seen too many cases thrown out of court due to an inaccurate paper trail—besides, it helped to ensure he didn’t overlook any of the facts. Not that there were many to miss.

Three women; all of differing backgrounds and religions. One, a young woman out to meet friends. The second, an Asian biology student at the University of Victoria. And now, Emily Carter; the youngest at just sixteen. She’d argued with her boyfriend, Alexander Friedman, and run off down the trail, straight into the hands of a heartless killer.

Matt clenched his teeth against the pounding in his skull. Ever since the concussion he’d suffered while chasing a perp a couple of months ago, he’d been getting sudden blinding headaches. He’d laughed when the doctor had suggested avoiding stress. Kind of tough to do in his line of work. He massaged his temples and popped a couple of pain killers, then stood, stretched his back, and crossed the bullpen to refill his coffee cup with the black sludge Esposito insisted on brewing. Matt caught Dan just as he was about to rinse out the pot. “Hold up there, I’ll take that.”

The wiry cop turned and grinned. “I’ve finally drawn you over to the dark side, huh?”

Matt scowled as the thicker-than-wallpaper-paste liquid poured into his mug. “It’s no wonder you’re so damn skinny, this shit’ll rot your guts out.”

Dan laughed and gave him a well-aimed jab to the kidneys. “What’s your excuse then, Roy?”

Matt grunted. “Do that again and your old lady will be having that kid without you.” Esposito’s wife, Prudence, was due to give birth to their first child any day now, making Dan more haywire than ever.

“Ha, that would leave you to give her comfort and you can forget that idea. My Pru only has eyes for me.” Dan winked.

It was true, too. Anyone who saw those two together knew they were a match made in heaven. Didn’t mean he couldn’t poke fun at his friend though. “Is that why she chose me to be the godparent, then? Better watch out, old man, I might just steal her away from you one of these days.”

Dan shook his head and carried on with the coffee-making process. “In your dreams, man. In your dreams.”

Matt was relieved the exchange, along with the pain pills, had worked to bring his headache down to a dull roar. He decided to take a break from the reports to add the details from the latest crime to his murder board. He’d always been a visual thinker and found using a cork board with photos of the victims, as well as any evidence, on one side and a list of suspects on the other helped him to focus. At the moment, the victims’ columns were filling up with information while the suspect pool remained noticeably empty, but he hoped today’s attack would turn the tide. If only the ME would call.

Matt turned when Connor entered the quiet conference room, yanking the tie from his neck. “Have I mentioned how much I hate getting called to court?”

Amen to that. Talk about a time suck. Half the cases ended up being dismissed anyway. It was enough to make a guy pull out his hair. Speaking of which… “Did you hear about the assault on the Galloping Goose today?”

Connor threw the paisley tie on the table and took a hesitant sip of Matt’s coffee. He grimaced at the taste and set the cup down. “Yeah. It was on the radio. Jules interviewed you?”

“Interrogated, you mean. That woman is like a dog with a bone when she’s after a story.”

“I don’t like it; she’s barely recovered from her experience with the ABC Killer. Why can’t she be a sports reporter?” Connor shrugged out of his navy-blue suit jacket and undid the top two buttons on his dress shirt. “What do you have so far?”

Matt was still contemplating the benefits of knowing someone who could score cheap hockey tickets. “You should talk to her about that sports thing. She’d get plenty of excitement interviewing athletic types. Never know what kind of perks might come with that sort of gig.”

“You’re a pig, you know that?” Connor shook his head and stared at the board. “Is that her?”

Sobering, Matt straightened the slightly crooked school photo of the Carter girl lined up next to her crime scene images. “Sixteen-years-old, she had her whole life in front of her.” He had to swallow the fury brewing in his chest in order to lay out the facts. “Parents are June and Henry Carter, of the furniture warehouse Carters. They forbade her to date, so she sneaked out to meet her boyfriend. They claim they had no idea. One other child; an older son in university. He wasn’t available when I was there today.” He took a drink of coffee, barely aware of the bitter taste. “Boyfriend is in the wind. We have an APB out on him. I was thinking of heading over to the coroner’s office to try and move them along. Interested in a drive?”

Connor grabbed his jacket, shoved the tie into a pocket and threw it over his shoulder. “Sure, but you know Dr. Robinson doesn’t like to be rushed.”

“That’s why I’m taking you; he likes you better than me,” Matt said as they left the station and walked through the parking lot toward his Charger.

“When are you going to let me drive that thing? And he likes you just fine.”

Matt slid behind the wheel and started the car. The motor emitted a deep-throated growl, then settle to a contented purr. He waited until Connor was in and belted up to tell him, “Never, you drive like an old woman. It would be an insult to Nelly.” He patted the dash lovingly before shifting into gear. “Hang on.” He was kidding… sort of. Truthfully, the 5.7 litre engine fed his need for speed and every now and then he took it to the track. But not today.

Enter the Giveaway Today

Enter Here

#NewRelease Last Chance Beach- Summer’s End #Romance #SummerReading @KathleenLawles6 @JoanReeves


LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End will make you want to book a vacation to the island of legend and love, the place where soul mates find each other and love at first sight happens all the time!

Hot August Night by Joan Reeves, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

When they met, it was hate at first sight. Now they’re stuck in the same overbooked beach cottage and horrified to discover they have the hots for each other!

Something New by Liz Flaherty, USA Today Bestselling Author

Their lives are planned out…until they’re not! Are they in love or just stuck in a habit?

I Do…Again by Nancy Fraser, Top 100 Bestselling Author

At a high school reunion; old flames meet again. Can they re-ignite what they once had and take a last chance on love?

The Man in Gull Cottage by Caroline Clemmons, Top 100 Bestselling Author

She faces a hard decision; he encourages her to choose with her heart. Will the solution drive them apart or into one another’s arms?

That One Summer by Maddie James, Top 100 Bestselling Author

It’s the typical annual week on the beach with the girls—until her summer fling from 20 years back shows up. He’s the one who got away. She’s the one who couldn’t commit.

Romancing the Spouse by Jan Scarbrough, National Bestselling Author

The kids are grown; her husband has an important career, and she wonders if she still loves him, and if he loves her. Can she turn back the clock to save her marriage?

Blue Sky Summer by Kathleen Lawless, National Bestselling Author

Of all the beaches on the coast, who shows up on her beach? Him! A former competitive surfer runs into her former love, and revisits all the reasons things didn’t work out for them before.

Hangover Husband by Bonnie Edwards, National Bestselling Author

She wants divorce—he doesn’t. What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas!

One Last Shot by Marcia King-Gamble, National Bestselling Author

She’s hiding from the paparazzi. He’s the guy next door, an amateur photographer. Will he accept tabloid money for pictures of her? Or will he choose love over jumpstarting his career?

Secondhand Hearts by Kathryn Hills, Award Winning Author

Kat must convince her Gran to move to the mainland, but Gran—and hunky neighbor Ben—want Kat to take over the B&B and antique shop. What will it take for Kat to stay? Some of Gran’s special island magic?

Paradise Perfume by Connie Vines, Award Winning Author

She returns to Last Chance Beach to begin a new life. He’s a single dad on vacation with his pre-teen daughter. He’s worried  his daughter may become too attached to her, but maybe he’s the one whose heart is at risk.

Dreams of the Past by Laura Hunsaker, Award Winning Author

Can dreams of the future erase her nightmares of the past? She’s looking for a fresh start, but he’s rented the same beach cottage. One bed, two people? Whatever will they do?

Beach Kisses & Sunset Wishes by Nora LeDuc

He’s handsome and in town for only 2 weeks. She wants someone interested in a fling. He wants someone interested in a ring.

Can’t Buy Me Love by Hannah Rowan

She won the big lottery, but doesn’t want anyone to know. He’s a fixer-upper specialist who’s also keeping a secret.

                                                   ***

Grab your limited-time-offer collection here for only 99cents. https://amzn.to/3hJseeT

I LOVE Kathleen’s cover, don’t you?

Welcome to the blog, Kathleen Lawless. Can you tell us the inspiration behind your story in the Last Chance Beach- Summer’s End box set?

Like so many authors, I tend to pull real life experiences into my books.  I was only four or five when I watched my mother rescue a young boy who was drowning at the beach where we spent our summers.  That memory has never left me and finally it worked its way into BLUE SKY SUMMER, my contribution to a box set with 13 other bestselling authors.  LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End is a binge-worthy beach read collection for only 99 cents. 

***

Of all the beaches on the entire coast to see him again. . .

What are the chances?  Former competitive surfer, Alisha, heads for Last Chance Beach, where no one knows who she is. 

No one except Mark.  Talk about a blast from the past, and the worst kind of luck she chose this island for her vacation. 

When Mark sees Alisha on the beach, memories come flooding back, along with the pain he felt when she dumped him.   Her actions might have been well intended, but the results were a disaster.   

They’re older now.  Are they also wiser? 

Here is a snippet from my second-chance romance, BLUE SKY SUMMER.

         Alisha spread out her beach towel and lowered herself onto it, straightening a floppy sun hat to shade her face.  It was the first time this week she’d ventured to this particular cove, home to the island’s surfers.  The break was small this morning, and the few surfers in the water looked like beginners.

         She leaned back, resting her weight on her hands, and tried to remember what it had felt like the first time she’d caught a wave.  One initial rush of freedom, and she had been hooked.   

         She’d barely settled in to watch the action and live vicariously through others, when she saw a newcomer walk to the shoreline with a board under his arm.  Something about his long-legged, self-assured gait took her back fifteen years, and the first time she’d seen Mark.

         She gave her head a shake.  She hadn’t thought about him in years.  Much.  Just because this surfer was the same height and coloring . . .

         As he positioned himself on his board and headed for the break, she pulled out her binoculars, more to reassure herself it wasn’t him. 

         She zoomed in, and the bottom fell out of her stomach.  

         It was Mark! 

Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys, which doesn’t stop her from creating a wide variety of interests and occupations for her alpha male heroes. 

 Her hero, Steele, in UNDERCOVER, is a modern-day cowboy, so when she was wooed by a man called Steel— while he’s not a cowboy, he is an Alpha male and her forever hero.  Which is why all of her stories end Happily Ever After.

Not that she can ever stick to just one genre.  So many stories to tell—never enough time.

With close to 30 published novels to her credit, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance into historical romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and stories for young adults.        

Sign up for Kathleen’s VIP Reader Group to receive a free book, updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers.    http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1

#TuesdayBookReview- No More Mulberries by @MarySmithWriter #WomensFic


Scottish-born midwife, Miriam loves her work at a health clinic in rural Afghanistan and the warmth and humour of her women friends in the village, but she can no longer ignore the cracks appearing in her marriage. Her doctor husband has changed from the loving, easy-going man she married and she fears he regrets taking on a widow with a young son, who seems determined to remain distant from his stepfather.
When Miriam acts as translator at a medical teaching camp she hopes time apart might help her understand the cause of their problems. Instead, she must focus on helping women desperate for medical care and has little time to think about her failing marriage. When an old friend appears, urging her to visit the village where she and her first husband had been so happy. Miriam finds herself travelling on a journey into her past, searching for answers to why her marriage is going so horribly wrong.
Her husband, too, has a past of his own – from being shunned as a child to the loss of his first love.

Biography

Mary Smith has always loved writing. As a child she wrote stories in homemade books made from wallpaper trimmings – but she never thought people could grow up and become real writers. She spent a year working in a bank, which she hated – all numbers, very few words – ten years with Oxfam in the UK, followed by ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She longed to allow others to share her amazing, life-changing experiences so she wrote about them – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism. And she discovered the little girl who wrote stories had become a real writer after all.
Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is an account of her time in Afghanistan and her debut novel No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan.
Mary loves interacting with her readers and her website is http://www.marysmith.co.uk.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000934032543
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marysmithwriter
Blogs: http://novelpointsofview.blogspot.co.uk
http://marysmith57.wordpress.com/2014/07

Mary lives in beautiful south west Scotland and is currently working, with award-winning photographer Phil McMenemy, on an illustrated book on the town of Dumfries.

Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com

My Review of No More Mulberries

When Miriam literally runs into the man of her dreams, Jarad, she doesn’t realize what a profound impact he will have on her future.

Convincing his family doesn’t come easily, but in the end their love triumphs and the young couple marry. Miriam takes to the cultural differences of her new country and thrives- until the sudden death of her husband.

Lost, desolate, but determined to raise their son in his father’s homeland, Miriam agrees to wed Iqbal and travel with him to his village to act as midwife in his clinic. Iqbal is kind and generous, but rigid in his belief of a woman’s place in his home.

Over time, resentment builds and when Miriam is offered a chance to get away to a teaching school for a couple of months she decides to accept.

What follows is a journey into the past for both Miriam and Iqbal, who carries burdens of his own.

This story is written with an obvious affection for the Afghan people and their culture. I enjoyed learning about a way of life so far removed from mine. Though Afghanistan has its problems, it’s a beautiful country with kind and caring people.

I give No More Mulberries 5 stars- this is a must-read!

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

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#NewRelease The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley #WomensFic


TBR - RB banner

“Lucinda Riley once again has written a masterful saga.”– People Magazine

The Butterfly Room, an all-new unforgettable, second-chance-at-love romance from #1 International bestselling author Lucinda Riley, is available now!

The Butterfly Room_300dpi (1)

Full of her trademark mix of unforgettable characters and heart-breaking secrets, The Butterfly Room is a spellbinding, second-chance-at-love story from #1 International bestseller Lucinda Riley.

Posy Montague is approaching her seventieth birthday. Still living in her beautiful family home, Admiral House, set in the glorious Suffolk countryside where she spent her own idyllic childhood catching butterflies with her beloved father, and raised her own children, Posy knows she must make an agonizing decision. Despite the memories the house holds, and the exquisite garden she has spent twenty-five years creating, the house is crumbling around her, and Posy knows the time has come to sell it.

Then a face appears from the past – Freddie, her first love, who abandoned her and left her heartbroken fifty years ago. Already struggling to cope with her son Sam’s inept business dealings, and the sudden reappearance of her younger son Nick after ten years in Australia, Posy is reluctant to trust in Freddie’s renewed affection. And unbeknown to Posy, Freddie – and Admiral House – have a devastating secret to reveal…

TBR out now

Download your copy today!

Amazon: http://mybook.to/thebutterflyroom Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Ai5lPe Amazon Worldwide: https://amzn.to/2X6xMs8 Nook: https://bit.ly/2M3dI3s Kobo: https://bit.ly/2XAdVk9

Add THE BUTTERFLY ROOM to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3er9LC1

Meet Lucinda

Kirjailija Lucinda Riley ||| Author Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four. Her books have been translated into thirty-seven languages and sold twenty million copies worldwide. She is a No.1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Lucinda is currently writing The Seven Sisters series, which tells the story of adopted sisters and is based allegorically on the mythology of the famous star constellation. It has become a global phenomenon, with each book in the series being a No.1 bestseller across the world. The series is currently in development with a major Hollywood production company.

Connect with Lucinda Facebook: https://bit.ly/3hcFFU5 Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2WxLIdX Instagram: https://bit.ly/3jeMQwR Amazon: https://amzn.to/3eGtEET Bookbub: https://bit.ly/3eIpUTa Website: https://bit.ly/2Ba6mcH

Connect with Blue Box Press https://theblueboxpress.com/

June #BookReviews from @JackieAshenden @SuzanneJenkins3 #amreading


Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

I should be writing, I have looming deadlines and blank pages, but the garden is calling me to slip off my shoes and read a book.

So I am 🙂

First in a bold, sexy new small-town Alaska contemporary romance series from Jackie Ashenden

Deep River, Alaska boasts a fiercely independent though small population. The people who live here love it, and they don’t much care what anyone else thinks. Until the day Silas Quinn comes back and tells them an oil reserve has been found below the town and now it’s neighbor vs. neighbor. Some want to take the money and run, while others want to tell the oil company to put its rigs where the sun don’t shine.

Hope Dawson never expected to leave Deep River. Her mom needs her. Her grandfather died and left her the local hangout to run. Her dreams of college and adventure died long ago. Until Silas comes back to town, holding the key to set her free. But freedom means she loses him again, and he’s the one she’s really always wanted.

Pre-order here

Biography

Jackie has been writing fiction since she was eleven years old. Mild mannered fantasy/SF/pseudo-literary writer by day, obsessive romance writer by night, she used to balance her writing with the more serious job of librarianship until a chance meeting with another romance writer prompted her to throw off the shackles of her day job and devote herself to the true love of her heart – writing romance. She particularly likes to write dark, emotional stories with alpha heroes who’ve just got the world to their liking only to have it blown wide apart by their kick-ass heroines.

She lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr Jax and two kids. When she’s not torturing alpha males and their gutsy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, wasting time on social media, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.

My Review

Hope Dawson dreamed of grand adventures and going to college, but when her grandfather unexpectedly dies, leaving her to run the local pub and care for her mother, Hope accepts her fate.

Then a blast from the past blows into Deep River in the form of one sinfully hot Silas Quinn. But he’s not here for a reunion, he has news that could destroy the sleepy little Alaskan town.

Silas doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a town, much less taking time away from his new business to deliver news he knows is going to be poorly received. Not to mention the fact that he’s bound to see Hope again- his best friend and the woman he’s never forgotten.

This was an enjoyable read by a new-to-me author. Her descriptions of The Happy Moose (the bar) and Deep River’s citizens brought the town to life for me. There are past wounds that need healed before Hope and Silas can have a chance to see where their attraction might lead, as well as the complication of oil being found under the town and how it creates rifts among the people.

This is lining up to be a good series!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”


After a fire almost destroys her house, firefighter Paul Saint lays eyes on curvy girl, teacher Emily Porter and all his imagined roadblocks to love come tumbling down.

Due to his fear of commitment, he doesn’t see marriage in his future. After moving into the old bunkhouse at Red Mountain Ranch, his new next-door neighbor gets out the binoculars and determining he’s available, sends out an SOS to all the local single women.
Paul confirms Emily is the woman for him, to the disappointment of his admirers and disapproval of his family.
Can they find happiness with so much going against them?

Biography

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USA Today Bestselling Author Suzanne Jenkins writes page-turning contemporary romance, mystery, and women’s fiction with passionately gripping characters that stay with readers long after they turn the last page. The Detroit Detective Stories, beginning with The Greeks of Beaubien Street are truly American with a touch of fantasy. Award winning Pam of Babylon books consistently rank in the Top 100 Best Sellers in American Drama with over 500,000 downloads.

A retired operating room nurse, Jenkins lives in Southern California.

Visit https://suzannejenkins.com where you may subscribe to an email list and receive free stories and excerpts of soon to be released books and new releases.

Like Suzanne on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/suzannejenkinswriter
and follow her on Twitter; suzannejenkins3

My Review

Paul Saint loves his job as a firefighter for Station #20 though his family would be happier if he was closer to home instead of fighting grassland fires.

He jumps at the chance to move to a small cabin on Red Mountain Ranch and looks forward horseback riding around the countryside. There seems to be an abundance of single women in the area, but Paul’s attention is caught by the lovely school teacher, Emily Porter. Now, he just has to convince her that he’s the man for her!

This is an endearing story of two people who must overcome personal issues in order to give their love the chance it deserves.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 
bird riding

The Girl in The Love Song by Emma Scott #BookReview #YARomance @EmmaS_Writes


Now a Top 100 Amazon Bestseller*At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…

Miller Stratton is a survivor. After a harrowing childhood of poverty, he will do anything it takes to find security for himself and his mom. He’s putting all his hopes and dreams in the fragile frame of his guitar and the beauty he creates with its strings and his soulful voice.

Until Violet.

No one expects to meet the love of their life at age thirteen. But the spunky rich girl steals Miller’s heart and refuses to give it back.

Violet McNamara’s life hasn’t been as simple as it looks. Her picture-perfect family is not so perfect after all. Her best friend Miller is her one constant and she is determined not to ruin their friendship with romantic complications.

But the heart wants what it wants. As Miller’s star begins to rise to stratospheric heights, what will it take for Violet to realize that she’s the girl in all of his love songs?

Lost Boys is a new series of interconnected, coming-of-age standalones from USA Today bestselling author Emma Scott, coming in 2020

Biography

Emma Scott is a USA Today and Wall St. Journal bestselling author whose books have been translated in five languages and featured in Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Daily News and USA Today’s Happy Ever After. She writes emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy emotionally-charged stories that rip your heart out and put it back together again, with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy her novels. Visit http://www.emmascottwrites.com

RECENT RELEASES

Someday, Someday (M/M standalone)

A Five-Minute Life (standalone)

Bring Down the Stars (Beautiful Hearts #1)

Long Live the Beautiful Hearts (Beautiful Hearts #2)

COMING SOON:
A new YA/NA series of interconnected standalones, coming in 2020

“At Santa Cruz Central High, we called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys.”

The Girl in the Love Song (Lost Boys #1) : http://bit.ly/2MLnYhU
The Shadows of Yesterday (Lost Boys #2) : http://bit.ly/37BsCHh
The Last Piece of his Heart (Lost Boys #3) : http://bit.ly/2QeVlfa

You can follow me at all the places…

Super-cute NON SPAMMY newsletter: http://bit.ly/2nTGLf6

Author page: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaScottwrites/

Reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/906742879369651/

Attribution: Amazon.com

Photo by Mark Angelo on Pexels.com

My Review

Homeless after his father deserts their family, thirteen-year-old Millar Stratton doesn’t have much faith in anyone- until he meets Violet.

Violet lives a privileged life and has never known what it means to be poor, but that doesn’t stop her from reaching a hand out to help the grungy looking boy who appears on her doorstep.

Soon, an unbreakable bond grows between the two and when Millar is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes after a scary situation, Violet vows to watch over him.

A ball and chain of rules and diets and restrictions, needles and pills that I’d have to carry across a tightrope without a net, for the rest of my life.

The Girl in The Love Song- Emma Scott

High school is tough for the street kid, even though Millar and his mom now live in a dumpy two bedroom apartment. He’s watched Violet blossom throughout the years and it makes him proud, and jealous of every guy who tries to go out with her.

Violet doesn’t understand how she went from geek to popular kid, but it’s kind of nice to have fun her last year of high school before she starts the strenuous studies for med school. She just wishes Millar was by her side as more than a friend. Violet’s parents loved each other and now they constantly argue- cementing her fear of taking her and Millar’s relationship to the next level.

Millar is madly in love with Violet, but doesn’t dare step over the limits of their friendship for fear of pushing her away. Instead he opens his heart the only way he knows how- writing songs that allow him to pour out his feelings in the melodies.

Millar, together with a ragtag group of friends, learn that life’s lessons can knock you down, but love can change the outcome.

This book had me in tears a couple of times. It puts a spotlight on T1D (Type 1 Diabetes) and the life-threatening complications associated with this disease. My grandson was diagnosed five years ago. He’s now thirteen (like Millar) and has faced many of the symptoms described. It is my hope and prayer that one day soon a cure will be found.

Until then, I am grateful amazing writers like Emma Scott can use their platforms to shed a light on illnesses, racial diversity, sexual discrimination, and homelessness.

We need to do more to change our world.

Michelle A. Bailey’s #Romance Reader Builder #Giveaway


Romance Reader Giveaway!

Follow and like some amazing authors on social media for your chance to win some awesome romance swag! The grand prize for this contest will be:

One paperback copy of “Where the Forest Meets the Stars” by Glendy Vanderah, One paperback copy of “Once Bitten” by Linsey Hall, One paperback copy of “By a Thread” by Lucy Score, One Spa Gift Basket, One bookish coffee mug, One Gourmet Coffee Gift Set, & a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

The more you follow and like, the more chances you have to win! You can also come back everyday for special tasks that will earn you daily entry points!

Enter Here

Giveaways like the one above are an excellent way for writers to connect with new readers, and readers to win #free stuff- and who doesn’t like that?

#BookReview- Honeysuckle Season #WomensFic


From bestselling author Mary Ellen Taylor comes a story about profound loss, hard truths, and an overgrown greenhouse full of old secrets. Adrift in the wake of her father’s death, a failed marriage, and multiple miscarriages, Libby McKenzie feels truly alone. Though her new life as a wedding photographer provides a semblance of purpose, it’s… Continue reading →

Visiting #CanadaBeaches- #SundayStills


Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Cathy Ryan from Picture This is hosting the #SundayStills challenge while Terri Webster Shrandt is away. This week’s theme- beautiful beaches. You can join the challenge here. Whether stormy or calm, the beach near our home is fascinating. Logs from the mills up island drift with the currents and land on… Continue reading →

Sunday Lines: Sunday, August 2nd


Originally posted on Word by Word:
Here are a few encouraging #SundayLines provided by our #WordbyWord authors with the theme WHEN YOU’RE READY TO BE INSPIRED and ideas for finding solitude, a voice, new ideas or maybe a purpose. Interested in learning more? Click on the pictures below to gain more insight about each author.…

#TuesdayBookReview and Anniversary News This Last Chance by D.L. Finn #Supernatural #Suspense @dlfinnauthor


Six months after Amber’s sister is brutally murdered, she’s still looking for answers, and now someone is stalking her and no one believes her. Home alone with a powerful snowstorm approaching, Amber is determined to take control of the investigation by hiring a private detective, but her plans are disrupted when she finds herself snowed in with people she may not be able to trust. Meanwhile, Nester the evildwel, whose entire existence has been feeding on fear and pain, is seeking help from the angel who’s protecting Amber. Nester and Amber need answers. Can Amber figure out what’s going on with some subtle help from an angel? Will Nester find what he needs from his enemies? The worlds of good and evil clash, and the outcome will determine not only Amber’s and Nester’s fate but life as they know it.

Biography

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

Photo by Photo Collections on Pexels.com

My Review

Heartsick Amber mourns the loss of her murdered sister and is frustrated with the lack of help from the local police force. Her mother seeks to forget in the bottom of a bottle and is no support for her daughter. Desperate, Amber turns to a private investigator for help.

Meanwhile, a war between good and evil is being waged between a society of evildwels and angels. There is a surprising plot at play that I wasn’t expecting in this suspenseful tale with evildwel Nester.

After spending generations killing and stealing souls, Nester feels a change come over him and seeks help from the angel tasked with watching over Amber.

A blizzard locks Amber at home with a group of suspicious people- one of which could be her sister’s killer. Will she survive long enough to find out the truth, and will Nester be able to stop the evildwels from taking over the world?

This story kept me guessing until the very end and hoping for Nester to overcome his dark side!

Favorite Line

“You need to move on, Amber.” That line had assaulted her ears like an eager beginner’s drum solo. She was surprised that her eardrums hadn’t burst with good intentions.

This Last Chance- D.L. Finn

This is an unexpected murder mystery with supernatural elements that add an extra layer of tension to an already suspenseful story.

Well worth the read!

It’s My Anniversary!

Thirty-six years ago this guy said, “I do” in front of God and everybody. He’s my best friend, my lover, the father of my child and grandfather to our grandson. He’s supported our family the best way he knew how, and has been my rock when life knocked me down.

We met on his eighteenth birthday and have been together almost every day since. When I am upset, he makes me laugh. When I’m frustrated, he calms me. When I’m lost, he guides me,

I will be forever grateful for the stroke of fate that brought us together- my soul mate.

#BookReview- Arsenic in The Azaleas by @DaleMayer #CozyMystery


A new cozy mystery series from USA Today best-selling author Dale Mayer. Follow gardener and amateur sleuth Doreen Montgomery—and her amusing and mostly lovable cat, dog, and parrot—as they catch murderers and solve crimes in lovely Kelowna, British Columbia.

Riches to rags. … Controlling to chaos. … But murder … seriously?

After her ex-husband leaves her high and dry, former socialite Doreen Montgomery’s chance at a new life comes in the form of her grandmother, Nan’s, dilapidated old house in picturesque Kelowna … and the added job of caring for the animals Nan couldn’t take into assisted living with her: Thaddeus, the loquacious African gray parrot with a ripe vocabulary, and his buddy, Goliath, a monster-size cat with an equally monstrous attitude.

It’s the new start Doreen and her beloved basset hound, Mugs, desperately need. But, just as things start to look up for Doreen, Goliath the cat and Mugs the dog find a human finger in Nan’s overrun garden.

And not just a finger. Once the police start digging, the rest of the body turns up and turns out to be connected to an old unsolved crime.

With her grandmother as the prime suspect, Doreen soon finds herself stumbling over clues and getting on Corporal Mack Moreau’s last nerve, as she does her best to prove her beloved Nan innocent of murder.

Attribution- Amazon.com

Biography

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at http://www.dalemayer.com. Or connect with her online with Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dalemayer and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/dalemayer.author. If you like Dale Mayer’s books and are interested in joining her street team, sign up here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/402384989872660/

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

My Review

When Doreen’s ex-husband cheats on her with the divorce lawyer and leaves her with nothing, Doreen is forced to accept her grandmother’s charity.

Nan has moved into a senior’s complex and gifts Doreen a ramshackle cottage, a talkative parrot, an oversized cat, and a dead body.

Doreen’s first day is adventurous, to say the least, and only gets more interesting when the handsome, irritating Corporal Mack Moreau arrives on scene.

More clues lead to an unsolved murder and another body and Doreen thought she was moving to a boring little town!

Doreen and her parade of pets made this a fun read. Nan is a person of interest in the investigation and though Mack has warned Doreen to stay out of it, she can’t resist trying to solve the murders which leads to some interesting hijinx.

The list of suspects grows by the moment, and kept me guessing to the very end. This is a fun start to the Lovely Lethal Gardens series!

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

#CoverReveal- Hiding Cracked Glass by @JamesCudney4 #Suspense @Shalini_G26


HIDING CRACKED GLASS BY JAMES J. CUDNEY Series Name: Perceptions of Glass Book #1 Name: Watching Glass Shatter Book #2 Name: Hiding Cracked Glass (cover reveal for this one) Publication for Book #2: Next Chapter, October 8th, 2020 PreSale / Amazon Link: Pending from Publisher Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54399989-hiding-cracked-glass About the Book An ominous blackmail letter appears… Continue reading →

A Study in Summer: Hide and Seek


Originally posted on Word by Word:
“Summer set lip to earth’s bosom bare, And left the flushed print in a poppy there. ” ~ Francis Thompson,?“The Poppy,” 1891 (This is a repost of a blog journal entry I wrote years ago, pre-pandemic. But I wanted to share it because while it’s slightly melancholic it’s also…

enter to win on @BookSweeps today — plus the rest of the exciting High-Tech Crime Solvers Series from a great collection of authors… AND a brand new eReader 😀 #amreading #Giveaway


BookSweeps Thriller BookGiveaway! Today, I have a fun surprise to share with you… I’ve teamed up with the rest of the fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of High-Tech Crime Solvers Series to 2 lucky winners! Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁  You can… Continue reading →

#BookReview- The Little Bookshop of Love Stories by Jaimie Admans #Romance @be-the-spark


Today is the Mondayest Monday ever. Hallie Winstone has been fired – and it wasn’t even her fault!

Having lost her job and humiliated herself in front of a whole restaurant full of diners, this is absolutely, one hundred percent, the worst day of her life.
 
That is until she receives an email announcing that she is the lucky winner of the Once Upon a Page Bookshop!
 
Owning a bookshop has always been Hallie’s dream, and when she starts to find secret love letters on the first page of every book, she knows she’s stumbled across something special.

But Hallie’s beloved bookshop is in financial trouble, and with sales dwindling, she can’t help but wonder if she is really cut out to run a business.

Things start to look up when she meets gorgeous, bookish Dimitri and between them, they post a few of the hidden messages online, reuniting people who thought they were lost forever.
 
But maybe it’s time for Hallie to find her own happy-ever-after, too?

Attribution- Amazon.com

Biography

Jaimie is a 32-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather, and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots.
She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.

She has been writing for years but has only just plucked up the courage to tell people.
She is the author of chick-lit romantic comedies Kismetology and The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters, and young adult romantic comedies Afterlife Academy, Not Pretty Enough, and North Pole Reform School.

Find out more on http://www.jaimieadmans.com or find me on Twitter @be_the_spark

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My Review

Bad luck follows Hallie Winstone like a dark cloud, so she is understandably amazed to find herself the winner of a quaint old bookstore.

Reading has always been Hallie’s comfort and she’s dreamed of owning her own store one day- but she didn’t realize how much work it would be to reorganize the old shop. Good thing it comes with a flat upstairs because the store is taking over her life. Financial concerns makes her wonder if she’s jumped from the frying pan to the fire, but a handsome, quirky artist convinces Hallie not to give up.

With Dimitri’s help, Hallie begins to get a handle on the business and excitement blooms when they find books with inscriptions inside their worn covers. The romantic in Hallie wants to bring the people in the messages together, so she and Dimitri hatch a plan to advertise the notes online and the results are more than either of them expected.

This is a sweet, charming rom-com with an underlying message of trust that I found refreshing. Klutzy Dimitri and hapless Hallie make a great couple. And who wouldn’t love to find romance in a bookshop!

“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”

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Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

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Father Figure by James. J. Cudney #Suspense #Sale @jamescudney4


Father Figure is a .99 Kindle download from 5/23 thru 5/27 – help yourselves!

Thank you so much for your support in sharing, downloading, reading, and reviewing. I appreciate it! You should pick it up before the virtual book club coming up soon… check it out

This was my introduction into James J. Cudney’s work, and can I just say, wow! Here’s a link to my review- https://jacqbiggar.com/2019/07/11/father-figure-by-jamescudney4-suspense-bookreview/

Father Figure’s plotline is nothing short of brilliant, with a surprise ending you won’t guess is coming!

Download @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure for only .99 this week

Overview of Father Figure

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly.

Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.

Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent.

Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.    

Father Figure was officially launched for sale on Amazon on April 2, 2018 as both an e-book and a physical book. Reviews have been extremely positive between Goodreads and Amazon since the 5-day free download and 5-day book blitz.

  • Book Blitz: For 5 days, (4/30 thru 5/4) we posted promotions, hints, and feedback
  • Blog Tour: For 5 days (6/4 thru 6/8) we posted reviews, interviews and a giveaway

Reviews

★★★★★ – “The book deals with abuse, identity, acceptance, overcoming obstacles, crime, sexuality, family secrets, and knowing who you are. Another great story to read, especially if you love emotive, suspenseful family dramas.”

★★★★★ – “Gripping and emotional… Mr. Cudney has written a book full of twists and turns that kept my eyes glued to its pages.”

★★★★★ – “Amalia and Brianna are fully developed characters with all the fears, naivety, anxiety and angst of teen, young adults; full of questions and doubts… Can’t wait for James Cudney’s next work.”

***

Book Excerpt

Chapter One – Amalia, August 1984

“I didn’t raise no harlot, Amalia. When you’re done with softball practice today, you will go directly to the hardware store and help your father manage that cash register.” The stagnant air, sealed tightly like an old glass jar of long-forgotten jelly, refused to dissipate in the Graeme family home—even it was afraid of Janet’s wrath.

“But Momma, I’ll be home to cook dinner before sunset.” The strains in Amalia’s voice weakened with each of her mother’s refusals to let her live the normal life of a teenager.

“Didn’t you hear me the first time, child? Only little whores go to the lake.” Janet’s stern voice emptied through thin lips stained from devouring a blueberry cobbler before they’d started cooking breakfast. “Are you a little whore, Amalia?”

Retribution for daring to break any of her mother’s rules was always swift and fierce. Amalia had obeyed every word since her mother locked her in the storm cellar for ten hours when she was a toddler —punishment for spilling juice on an antique lace tablecloth. “No, I’m sorry. I thought you might let me celebrate just this once…”

The plea had barely escaped Amalia’s hesitant lips before the clammy grip of Janet’s bony hands shoved her down the hallway. “Stop your sass talk, girl. We can take another trip downstairs if you don’t care to mind me.”

Amalia’s left arm grazed the wall when stumbling from the kitchen into the dark mudroom. Dingy white paint chips rained to the floor and clung to her favorite new red blouse while passing through the dilapidated archway. She cradled her elbow, flicked off the last few flakes of her mother’s venom, and firmly held her ground. “It’s not fair. You let Greg hang out with his friends all the time.”

“Leave your brother out of this conversation. Your responsibility belongs first to this family and then to the hardware store. Who said anything about friends? Now get yourself off to practice.” Janet’s one good eye stubbornly left behind after diabetes stole the vision in her other glared while Amalia reluctantly marched toward the back door. “You’re a spiteful little child.”

“I’m taking out the trash, Momma.” Her voice carried the defeat of a soul unable to find the words or summon the strength to defend herself anymore. As she leaned over, the scoop neck on Amalia’s blouse revealed the slightest hint of cleavage between her ample breasts.

“Stop right now. What are you wearing?” Janet’s tone lingered thick over such insubordination. A special brand of disdain had been developed by watching her daddy preach to his Southern Baptist congregation for nearly forty years before he anxiously married her off to Amalia’s father.

“It’s just a pretty shirt I found at a yard sale. I’m not showing too much skin.” Amalia dropped the trash bag on the mudroom’s gray linoleum and recalled the similar, previous lectures. She refused to turn around to face the woman. “I’m not a child anymore, Momma.”

Janet stampeded through the kitchen and kicked the garbage into the far corner. Though the vinyl flooring had peeled away from the walls as the house settled, it was still not one of the more noticeable improvements desperately needed in their home. “It’s lesson time, girl.”

Amalia yelped and dashed to safety after a cast iron frying pan full of hot grease collided with bare skin on the back of her arm. “No, Momma, please…” She dropped to her knees, scooted across the mudroom floor, and cowered behind the pantry door to protect herself from any further blows. An acrid burnt plastic odor from a fiery singe on the linoleum beneath her wafted through the air as she shuddered in pain. The nerves in her forearm and elbow convulsed when the wound began to blister from the impact of her mother’s lesson.

“Someday you’ll learn how to behave yourself.” Janet grudgingly placed the frying pan on the washing machine and lifted Amalia by the curls of her hair. She tightly squeezed her daughter’s breasts while trying to raise the blouse over Amalia’s head. “I don’t know where you got these girls from. You’re hoping to entice all the boys to put their dirty little hands where they don’t belong.”

Amalia pushed away her mother’s sticky fingers willing to risk more punishment if she kept them off her trembling body. The putrid smell of Janet’s three-day-old sweat and decaying teeth littered the air between their lips. “Leave it. I’ve got a bra on underneath to keep them strapped down. I know the rules.”

Amalia’s breasts had begun to develop when she turned eleven years old. By thirteen, a custom-size bra was bought to contain them. Dresses were never allowed given the attention they’d drawn to her body’s hourglass shape. Though Janet’s words were enough of a rebuke, reduction surgery was still threatened should Amalia’s breasts grow any larger.

“I pray every night for them to stop getting bigger and for God to teach you some morals. It’s like you’re rubbing my great Aunt Tilly’s rose garden’s Miracle Grow on those dirty pillows. Tramps like you get themselves into some mighty trouble when they don’t protect their bodies.” Janet stomped back to the kitchen with the now-emptied frying pan and quickly snapped her fingers. “Cover yourself up or forget about going away to college this summer.”

“Yes, Momma.” Amalia heaved herself from the floor with the help of the door handle and collected the remains of her veiled dignity.

“And put out the trash already. It smells like a sewer in here,” snickered Janet.

Fighting back the tears brimming on the surface of her weary eyes, Amalia sighed with relief upon noticing the frying oil hadn’t ruined her blouse. In a rush to tend to her wounds while running through the living room and up the flight of stairs, Amalia crashed into her father, Peter. At sixty, he’d begun to settle into a grandfatherly presence contented by a quiet and ordinary life. He’d aged quickly in the Graeme household. Everyone did.

“Daddy, I’m so sorry. I was…” Amalia hugged her father, rested her head against his narrow chest, and listened to his enfeebled lungs wheeze with exertion.

Peter fell toward the wall and knocked over the family portrait they’d photographed during Greg’s high school graduation. “Oh, my pet, what’s wrong?” He pulled Amalia closer with one hand and adjusted the brass picture frame with the other. A thin layer of ashen skin on his face failed to cover years of misery being married to Janet. He’d long-accepted divorce would never be permitted by the daughter of a Baptist preacher and that his life would be fraught with reproach. “Did you have another squabble with your mother?”

Amalia sniffled and concealed her burns, desperate to splash cold water on the pain. “She hates me, Daddy. Momma never loved me the way she loves Greg.”

“That’s not true, honey. She’s tougher because you’re leaving later this month.” Peter brushed away a few loose curls from Amalia’s face and smiled with a fatherly love that hadn’t receded over the years. “What happened this time?”

A cherubic expression brightened her pale face with the hope he would understand but disappeared once she remembered begging had never helped before. “I asked if I could go to the lake today with the rest of the softball team for Brant’s town fair, but Momma says I have to work at the store like I do every other day.”

The population of their hometown, Brant, Mississippi, founded in 1784, hovered around five hundred inhabitants, the majority born and raised in the surrounding isolation. The Graeme family, still considered outsiders, had arrived in the mid-1800s settling about a half mile from Lake Newton—the livelihood once used to transport goods to the neighboring settlements. Over the years, as the county paved new roads to share crops more efficiently among all the nearby villages, the lake became a gathering place for the local families and visitors to enjoy each summer. Store owners had organized a bicentennial celebration for the upcoming weekend where all the citizens would barbecue ribs, hold square dancing lessons, and play various outdoor games. Amalia looked forward to it every year believing she always had the chance to find a new friend who might make the rough days pass by a little easier.

“Your momma knows best, honey. We need to be available for our customers.” Every penny was important to Janet Graeme, especially with two kids attending college—they could never close the store early. Janet often reminded them how pitching in around the house or store was impossible on account of her many illnesses. Peter nudged Amalia away and kissed her cheek. “You can leave work early to meet your teammates at tomorrow’s picnic. Will that make you happy?”

“It helps, but I’ll be the only one not going tonight.” Amalia buried her flushed cheeks into the crook of his left arm. He always smelled of Old Spice. She’d bought him the same cologne for Father’s Day every year since shopping on her own.

If Peter noticed the stinging red color or the slight favor of her left arm, he either ignored it or thought she’d injured herself in a recent softball game. He adhered to an insulated belief that his wife’s normal way of parenting didn’t include hurting or abusing their daughter. It wasn’t the first time he’d misjudged a situation. Peter once took Amalia to a movie theatre as an early birthday present telling Janet they’d stayed behind at the store to count inventory and order stock, but she found a few popcorn kernels on the floor of the family Dodge the next morning while driving to church. Janet waited until Amalia arrived home from school later that week to teach her daughter a lesson about lying. Though Amalia had only been trying to catch a schoolboy’s attention by lightening the color of her hair with lemon juice, it was a vengeful wrath she’d unexpectedly invited as Janet took a pair of shearing scissors to her daughter’s golden mane. The emotional scars from an abusive homelife were profound, but Amalia never regretted sneaking off to watch the movie. She was proud of being a daddy’s girl. He was her hero, the father she’d always treasure, the man who made it easier being the daughter of the wicked Janet Graeme.

Peter patted Amalia’s back offering any chance to ease her disillusion. “I know, but tomorrow when you go to the lake, everything will be back on track. Bring some clothes to change into so that you don’t have to come back home in between. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“I can’t wait. I love you, Daddy.” She hugged him again and raced up the stairs to change her shirt before her mother had another outburst. Amalia applied cream to her wounds, then chose a long-sleeve button-down sweater she fastened two inches above the dip in her neck. After checking the mirror and wishing a bit of foundation could hide the uneven colors, she splashed water on her face to erase the evidence of her pain. One of Janet’s more ridiculous judgments echoed among Amalia’s numbed thoughts. ‘Only the vile women in this town wear makeup!’

Amalia flew back down the stairs and searched for the trash bag she’d left behind, realizing it would mean another lashing if her mother had stumbled upon it first. As she rushed into the living room, her father handed her a banana and elbowed her out the front door. “I already put it in the outside bin. Get to softball practice, my pet.” His voice barely audible, his expression as loud as a parade.

Amalia smiled and released an uncontrollable giggle as her countenance relaxed for the first time that morning. Although the tense nerves in her neck retreated into partial hiding, her body remained hypervigilant and always waited for the next blistery strike from her mother. She left the house flickering with excitement for the town’s festivities over the weekend but frightened at what her teammates would say about her missing the lake party. No one ever declined their much sought-after invitations without hazardous repercussions.

Although she’d graduated high school two months earlier, Amalia continued playing in the county’s summer tournaments to keep her pitching skills primed for college games. Risking a loss of the unexpectedly received scholarship—as it was the only reason she could afford to go away to school—was not an option. After practice, where she conveniently forgot to tell her teammates about missing the upcoming lake party, Amalia worked side-by-side with her father for a few hours and avoided any further trouble with her mother at home. Once Amalia climbed into bed that evening exhausted from an emotionally and physically grueling afternoon, she drifted asleep clutching her pillow and wished things would somehow improve the next day.

****

The following morning, Janet took the family’s only car to the First Baptist’s services leaving Amalia and Peter to trudge the two-mile distance to the center of town. Graeme Hardware Store was part of the town’s original train depot when first built in the mid-nineteenth century. Shortly before World War I, the train line was re-routed to a larger city a few miles away. This prompted Brant’s town council to vote in favor of converting the train depot into a lunch café and expanding the footprints of local shops hoping it would draw more income from surrounding villages. The loss of the train station left Graeme Hardware Store with far fewer customers managing barely enough to keep afloat during a good year.

Peter unlocked the store and began his morning routine to review the previous day’s sales and prepare the inventory. While he dragged a rolling stand filled with buckets of nails and screws to the exterior porch of the store, Amalia brewed a fresh pot of strong coffee. She retrieved a starter till from the safe under the desk and counted a hundred dollars in small bills and coins, then placed it in the cash register atop the laminate countertop. She grabbed a few dollars to buy breakfast from the local café and strolled to the front of the store. The sharp clank of the bell loosely hung by a nylon cord on the door bounced off all the metal tools and reverberated throughout the building. Amalia held the outer screen door to prevent it from slamming shut and made a mental note to convince her father to repair the hinge that afternoon. Customers didn’t appreciate buying tools from a hardware store with a broken front door.

“I’ll be right back, Daddy.” Amalia bounded down three short steps and traveled the building’s main wooden pathway. Frustrated by the inability to meet the girls from the softball team the prior night, Amalia recoiled at how much of an encumbrance Brant had become to her over the years. She often daydreamed of leaving it all behind but remembered no one had ever escaped. She scoffed at her emotions, slid her fingers across the pathway’s splintered handrails, and ignored the desire to run deep into the woods.

Father Figure Purchase Links

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About The Author

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

#BookReview- Virtually Dead by Edwin Dasso #Suspense @DassoEdwin


From critically acclaimed bestselling crime writer, Edwin Dasso, comes a gripping techno-thriller, part of a multi-author series tied together by an interlocking cast of characters, all centered around the fantastic new promise of high technology and the endless possibilities for crime that technology offers, in a world where getting away with murder can be not only plausible, but easy…if you just know how.

A young rising-star ad executive, Michael Saleen, in Vancouver dies unexpectedly. The police think it’s just another “routine” auto accident, in spite of some odd findings. The executive’s wife feels otherwise. A friend of hers knows Wes Watley, an ex-Army CID officer and FBI SAC who has now started a private security company, if he’d be willing to investigate the death. Though Wes’ company normally focuses on national security and antiterrorism cases, his friend compels him to take on the case of Saleen’s death. Wes thinks it will be a quick, open-and-close case. Wes is joined by his tech-whiz partner, Cameron, and they soon discover more and more oddities about the case. As they dig further, they uncover something far more extensive and dire than just the unexpected death of Michael Saleen. Uncovering the whole truth is going to stretch their crime-solving abilities and force them to use technology in new ways.

★★★★★ “I can’t wait to read more books by this author = unbelievable imagination and talent!”

Scroll up and grab Virtually Dead today!

Biography

Edwin Dasso, MD, a USA Today and Amazon International #1 Best-Selling medical thriller author, writes works of fiction that leverage many of his “stranger than fiction” experiences from years of practice at major medical centers and community hospitals.

“You might be shocked at some of the events in the books that are based on an actual experience.”

Member of the International Thriller Writers.

His “Jack Bass Black Cloud Chronicles” series has been developed into a TV series, “Jack Bass, MD,” (https://www.facebook.com/jackbassmd/?ref=bookmarks) which is actively being discussed around Hollywood. Network feedback has been very positive.

Fiction writing is reviving a lost love from earlier periods in his life where he enjoyed writing short stories. In addition to a number of years as a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care specialist, he has published articles in national healthcare journals, written many “Ask the Doctor” columns and has spoken frequently at national healthcare forums. He has also been instrumental in designing and deploying population health programs to help people deal with depression related to poor health.

Ed can be contacted at jackblackcloud2@hotmail.com or reach him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BlackCloudChronicles/).

Photo by Ognjen Karabegović on Pexels.com

My Review

When private security expert Wes Watley is asked to investigate a case for a friend, he doesn’t expect to be thrown into the confusing world of virtual gaming technology and murder.

An ad executive takes a sudden plunge off a cliff and the only clue is strange goggle-like markings on his face. Wes and his techy partner, Cameron, delve into the possibilities with little results until investigative reporter Julie Crenshaw gets involved and the stakes are raised.

This book delves into the latest in high-tech crime and the process used to track down a cold, ruthless killer.

Favorite Line

He soon spotted the yellow crime scene tape, a cold breeze making it flitter like a bird trying to escape to a better place.

Dasso, Edwin. Virtually Dead (High-Tech Crime Solvers Book 4)

I was fascinated by the research that went into writing this technical suspense filled with enough twists and turns to keep any mystery lover happy.

This is part of an eight book series written by different authors of high-tech crime thrillers with interconnecting characters and I look forward to reading more!

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The Girl in The Love Song by Emma Scott #CoverReveal #Romance @EmmaS_Writes


At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…

The Girl in the Love Song, book one in the Lost Boys, an interconnected coming-of-age series of standalones, from USA Today Bestselling author Emma Scott releases on June 7, 2020!

Cover Designer: Lori Jackson

Miller Stratton is a survivor. After a harrowing childhood of poverty, he will do anything it takes to find security for himself and his mom. He’s putting all his hopes and dreams in the fragile frame of his guitar and the beauty he creates with its strings and his soulful voice.

Until Violet. 

No one expects to meet the love of their life at age thirteen. But the spunky rich girl steals Miller’s heart and refuses to give it back. 

Violet McNamara’s life hasn’t been as simple as it looks. Her picture-perfect family is not so perfect after all. Her best friend Miller is her one constant and she is determined not to ruin their friendship with romantic complications. 

But the heart wants what it wants. As Miller’s star begins to rise to stratospheric heights, what will it take for Violet to realize that she’s the girl in all of his love songs?

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2MLnYhU
Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card: https://bit.ly/TGITLSCoverGive

About Emma:

Emma Scott is an internationally bestselling author whose books have been featured in Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Daily News and USA Today’s Happy Ever After. She writes emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy emotionally-charged stories that rip your heart out and put it back together again, with diverse characters, and heroes with a heart of gold, you will enjoy her novels.

Connect with Emma:

Amazon author link: https://amzn.to/2yUnFKJ

Webpage: emmascottwrites.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottFB

Reader group: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottEntourage

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottBB

Instagram: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottIG

Twitter: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottTW

Stay up to date with Emma by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2nTGLf6


#BookReview- Never Look Back by Mary Burton #CrimeFiction


Expect the unexpected in this gritty, tense, and page-turning mystery from New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton.

After multiple women go missing, Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the impulsive decision to go undercover as a prostitute. While working the street, she narrowly avoids becoming a serial killer’s latest victim; as much as it pains her to admit, she needs backup.

Enter lone wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. Stonewalled by a lack of leads, he and Melina investigate a scene where a little girl has been found abandoned in a crashed vehicle. They open the trunk to reveal a horror show and quickly realize they’re dealing with two serial killers with very different MOs. The whole situation brings back memories for Melina—why does this particular case feel so connected to her painful past?

Before time runs out, Melina must catch not one but two serial killers, both ready to claim another victim—and both with their sights set on her.

Biography

Mary Burton loves writing suspense, researching law enforcement and forensic procedures, morning walks, baking, books, and tiny dachshunds. She also enjoys hunting down serial killers, which she does in her New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels of suspense and romance. Library Journal has compared her work to that of Lisa Jackson and Lisa Gardner, and Fresh Fiction likened her writing to that of James Patterson.

Mary is routinely featured among the top twenty writers in Amazon’s Author Rankings for romantic suspense, and her recent novel The Last Move claimed the number ten fiction slot in the Kindle eBooks Store.

Research is a favorite part of Mary’s day. She never tires of learning more about police work, evidence collection and analysis. She’s known for taking a hands-on approach, whether it means interviews with professionals in the field, forensic seminars or lessons at the firing range.

A Richmond native, Mary has lived there for most of her life. She is a graduate of Virginia’s Hollins University and worked in marketing before she began writing full time. Her first book was published in 2000 and she’s now the author of thirty-four published novels, five novellas and four works of contemporary women’s fiction written as Mary Ellen Taylor.

A member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., and Romance Writers of America, Mary is known for creating multiple suspense stories connected by characters, such as her recent The Forgotten Files novels. Her new book, Her Last Word, and The Last Move, break that mold.

When not traveling for research or visiting with readers at bookstores, book festivals and conferences, Mary remains very much a homebody. She and her husband spend time alternately enjoying and lamenting their empty nest and spoiling their four-legged babies Buddy, Bella and Tiki.

Photo by Elina Krima on Pexels.com

My Review

When several women go missing in Nashville, TBI Agent Melina Shepard heads undercover and almost becomes a victim of a sadistic killer.

Career FBI Agent Jerrod Ramsey is on a fast track to DC and the latest serial killer case he’s assigned could be his ticket, but too many things about the investigation don’t add up- and an attraction to his temporary partner, the beautiful Melina Shepard, doesn’t help.

Soon, the two find themselves up against not one, but two vicious predators. What is the connection, and what does it have to do with Melina’s past?

This story had so many converging plotlines, it was hard to keep track. I’d hate to be the investigator chasing after either one of these creeps!

While well-written, I had a hard time connecting with Melina. It starts out with her going undercover as a prostitute to gain the other girls’ trust and hopefully find out information on two missing women. Within moments, a john appears in a white van and propositions our heroine, but she senses something and refuses- good thing, too, as he tries to grab her and she gets an eyeful of an elaborate torture chamber in the back of the van.

Furious, and injured, he drives away vowing revenge and you’d think that would be the premise for the story, right? Wrong. From then on, van guy barely makes an appearance until the last few pages of the book.

Instead, we focus on Melina’s past and how it affects another killer on the loose in her fair city.

I think the author would have done better to turn this into two novels in order to do justice to the individual storylines. The way it is, details are left out and the ending is rushed and dissatisfying.

On that note, I thought the plot was suspenseful and unique enough to keep my interest. I would read more from this author.

“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”

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#BookReview- Forever Right Now by @EmmaS-Writes #Romance


***STANDALONE new adult romance from the author of The Butterfly Project and the Full Tilt Duet***

Darlene Montgomery has been to hell and back…more than once. After a stint in jail for drug possession, she is finally clean and ready to start over. Yet another failed relationship is just the motivation she needs to move from New York to San Francisco with the hopes of resurrecting her dance career and discovering that she is more than the sum of her rap sheet. As Darlene struggles in her new city, the last thing she wants is to become entangled with her handsome—but cranky—neighbor and his adorable little girl…

Sawyer Haas is weeks away from finishing law school, but exhaustion, dwindling finances, and the pressure to provide for himself and his daughter, Olivia, are wearing him down. A federal clerkship–a job he desperately needs–awaits him after graduation, but only if he passes the Bar Exam. Sawyer doesn’t have the time or patience for the capricious—if beautiful—dancer who moves into the apartment above his. But Darlene’s easy laugh and cheerful spirit seep into the cracks of his hardened heart, and slowly break down the walls he’s resurrected to keep from being betrayed ever again.

When the parents of Olivia’s absentee mother come to fight for custody, Sawyer could lose everything. To have any chance at happiness, he must trust Darlene, the woman who has somehow found her way past his brittle barbs, and Darlene must decide how much of her own bruised heart she is willing to give to Sawyer and Olivia, especially when the ghosts of her troubled past refuse to stay buried.

Biography

Emma Scott is a USA Today and Wall St. Journal bestselling author whose books have been translated in five languages and featured in Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Daily News and USA Today’s Happy Ever After. She writes emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy emotionally-charged stories that rip your heart out and put it back together again, with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy her novels. Visit http://www.emmascottwrites.com

RECENT RELEASES

Someday, Someday (M/M standalone)

A Five-Minute Life (standalone)

Bring Down the Stars (Beautiful Hearts #1)

Long Live the Beautiful Hearts (Beautiful Hearts #2)

COMING SOON:
A new YA/NA series of interconnected standalones, coming in 2020

“At Santa Cruz Central High, we called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys.”

The Girl in the Love Song (Lost Boys #1) : http://bit.ly/2MLnYhU
The Shadows of Yesterday (Lost Boys #2) : http://bit.ly/37BsCHh
The Last Piece of his Heart (Lost Boys #3) : http://bit.ly/2QeVlfa

You can follow me at all the places…

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Author page: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaScottwrites/

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My Review

Darlene Montgomery moves from New York to San Francisco in search of a fresh start on her messed up life. She knows what rock bottom feels like and is determined never to go there again.

Sawyer Haas dreamed of becoming a prosecuting attorney ever since he was eight and lost his mother to a drunk driver. He’s close, so close when a woman shows up at his door with a baby and news that he’s a father. As if that’s not crazy enough, she runs away and leaves him holding the diaper bag. But one look at Olivia’s sweet face and he’s a goner. Now he just has to figure out how to study for the bar, care for his tiny daughter, and wait out the year until his name can go onto her birth certificate making her officially his baby girl- no pressure.

Darlene finds a loft apartment in an old victorian and is immediately drawn to the taciturn man on the second floor and his adorable little girl. She knows she’s supposed to be working on getting herself healthy, but Sawyer calls to her on an elemental level. He needs her help, whether he wants to admit it or not, and her nurturing heart is falling hard.

This is a wonderful story about overcoming life’s storms and finding the rainbow at the other side.

I love all of Emma Scott’s books and highly recommend them- she’s an incredible, emotional writer that knows how to draw on a reader’s emotions in all the best ways.

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Want Me Always by @Lea_Nolan #NewRelease #Romance


Today we have the release day blitz for Lea Nolan’s Want Me Always! Check it out and be sure to order today!

Title: Want Me Always

Author: Lea Nolan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Want Me Always:

Her mind says no…

Wren Donovan’s done with love. Betrayed and humiliated by her ex-fiancé, she retreats to her family’s beach house on Heron Harbor Island to lick her wounds and gorge herself on ice cream, spray cheese, and a box of glazed donuts. Wren vows to devote herself to her law career and swears off men forever, but she isn’t prepared for what being reunited with her oldest friend makes her feel…

His heart says yes, please…

Smith Connors can’t believe his eyes when Wren walks into his restaurant. He’s loved her since they were kids, when summertime found them inseparable best friends. As a boy, he’d never felt good enough for Wren. But now he’s a rising-star chef with a thriving business who knows what he wants—which means he’s not letting beautiful, brilliant Wren get away again.

Smith determines to show Wren how good they could be together, and soon neither of them can resist the heat growing between them. He’d do anything to earn her faith—and her heart, if only she could learn to trust again.

Grab Your Copy:

Kindle | Barnes and Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

Advance praise for Want Me Always:

“A heartfelt story that will make you laugh and swoon! The perfect feel-good read!” –Laura Kaye, NYT Bestselling Author “A seaside reunion story that will have you believing that love heals heartbreak and truly transcends time.” ~ Christi Barth, USA Today bestselling author

Exclusive Excerpt:

He was trying to tease her. And dammit, it was working.

It wasn’t fair. Wren had admitted her attraction and Smith was using it against her. It was time to turn the tables.

They put the finishing touches on the last wall, then turned to face each other.

“You’ve got a little paint.” Smith pointed to a small white dot on her T-shirt that she already knew was there.

“Well, you’ve got a lot of paint.” Wren swiped her still wet brush across his broad chest.

His eyelids stretched wide. “Did you really just do that?”

She nodded. “Uh huh. And guess what? I’m going to do it again.” Wren swung the brush in the opposite direction, drawing a giant white X across his black T-shirt.

Smith’s jaw dropped as he stared at his chest. “This is one of my favorite shirts.”

Oops. That might have been a mistake. Nervous laughter bubbled up her throat. “Sorry?”

He lifted his head to meet her gaze. “Oh, it’s on now.” With a devilish glint in his eyes, he bent and scooped a handful of paint from the tray, then hurled it at her. It splattered her T-shirt and leggings.

“Aaah!” Wren squealed, then ran across the tarp and ducked behind the covered furniture in the center of the room.

“You think you can hide from me?” Smith laughed as he stalked toward her.

“Um…maybe?” she giggled, crouched behind the dresser.

He loomed over her, his hand filled with another pool of white paint. “Uh uh. You started this war, you’ve got to fight in it.”

Wren stood, wearing her best sweet-and-innocent smile, the one she used when facing a particularly harsh judge in court.

“Truce?” she asked, her right hand tucked behind her back.

His lids narrowed. “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t dump this on your head?”

“Because it would be really hard to wash out.”

Smith exhaled. “That’s fair.” He slapped the paint on the tarp, then wiped his hand on the only dry spot left on his T-shirt.

Shaking her head, Wren clucked her tongue. “It isn’t smart to disarm yourself before your opponent does.” Rising on tiptoes, she pulled out the paintbrush she’d kept hidden behind her back and wiped it across his forehead.

Surprise flashed in his eyes. “You fight dirty.”

She shrugged. “I am a lawyer.”

“I’ll show you dirty.” In one smooth movement, Smith hoisted her up in his arms, and deposited her on the dresser top. Spreading her knees wide, he wedged himself between her legs and leaned in so far, she was nearly lying flat, propped on her elbows. A mischievous smile played on his lips. “That wasn’t very nice.”

“But it was funny.”

Smith’s eyes sparkled. “True, but you still deserve to be punished. What should your punishment be?” His hard length pressed against her. It was hot and hard and made her insides coil with need.

Wren swallowed. “It’s never a good idea to ask the accused to set their own punishment. They always go too light. I’ll leave it to you to decide.”

Kiss me. Hard and rough. Then rip off my clothes and do whatever you want.

“Hmm, what do you deserve?” His gaze bore into her.

Her breath raged as electric energy sparked between them.

Smith’s own fierce desire was written on his face. So what was he waiting for? All he had to do was dip his mouth to hers, then do all the things he’d promised last night.

Finally, his lips curled at the ends. “I’ve got it. But you’re not going to like it.”

Wren smirked. “Try me.”

About the Author:

Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author who writes smart, witty contemporary stories filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. She also pens books for young adults featuring bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. Born and raised on Long Island, New York she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three brilliant children, she resides in Maryland where she cracks crabs and bakes ugly birthday cakes.

Connect with Lea Nolan:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Newsletter

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#GuestPOst- Welcome to AlinTa Bay by Iris Blobel #Romance @_iris_B


Welcome to ALINTA BAY
I’m happy to share with you the second book in Iris Blobel’s series,
which is set at the Great Ocean Road in Australia.
If you love small town romance, be sure to get your copy today!

About Book Two

TELL IT TO MY HEART

Confronted with the choice to care for his friend’s family on the other side of the world or to return to Alinta Bay to be with his own newfound family, how will Noah choose?

Following the death of his grandmother, Noah Fielding returns to Alinta Bay and the first thing — or person — he finds is the next-door neighbour in his nan’s bathroom — naked no less. Still jetlagged, he doesn’t hit it off with Molly at first. Yet, over the next few weeks, as his past uncovers itself bit by bit, she becomes is anchor, his friend, and his lover.

Molly Reid had the world at her feet, happily married with a young son … until a tragic car accident took everything away from her. With her heart broken, she moves to Alinta Bay to escape the memories of the past. Her peaceful existence, however, is interrupted after a heavy storm floods her house and she temporarily moves into her recently deceased neighbour’s house next door.

When Noah’s friend and partner goes missing during a routine flight, Noah returns to Alaska to help, but will he come back for Molly?

Add TELL IT TO MY HEART to your Goodreads TBR !

Get your copy of TELL IT TO MY HEART today!
Amazon

Book One in the Series

DEFYING RULES

Sometimes one has to break rules in order to find happiness…

Widower Logan Hendrix is puzzled by the recent series of small crimes against his son’s new teacher. It’s a mystery to him, and he offers her his help. There’s an instant attraction, and Logan wants to take their parent/teacher relationship to a more personal level.

It doesn’t take Addison Ryker long to fall in love with Alinta Bay, the small town she’s moved to for her new teaching position at the local primary school. Her newfound haven is threatened, however, when her house is broken into and she is relying on the unbelievably stubborn but very sexy Logan for help. Although captivated by him, Addison worries her career could be compromised, because there are rules about dating a parent.

Add DEFYING RULES to your Goodreads TBR !

Get your copy of DEFYING RULES today!
Amazon

Where to find Iris:
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bQ68rL
Website http://www.irisblobel.com/
Blog http://www.irisblobel.com/blog
Twitter https://twitter.com/_iris_b
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/IrisBlobel
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4067254.Iris_Blobel
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Iris-Blobel/e/B00FNFP3LI/