Book Review: Sweetheart Cove (Blue Haven Book 1) by Jacquie Biggar


Today on my blog, I’m sharing a review of one of Jacquie Biggar’s earlier books. I’ve read two of hers to date, and below you can check out her …

Book Review: Sweetheart Cove (Blue Haven Book 1) by Jacquie Biggar

I’m honoured to come across this wonderful review for Sweetheart Cove from Jay. Thank you so much!

#BookReview- Brazos Wind by @JanSikes3 #Western


War-torn drifter, Jack McClean is left with nothing but bad memories, scars, and a restless soul. When he stumbles upon a burning homestead, and an unconscious woman, beside the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, he stops to render aid. Grieving widow, Savannah Logan, sees no reason to live, and only wants to join her husband and children in their graves. But, Jack refuses to let her die. In saving her, he might somehow find redemption for himself and hope for a new tomorrow. Is it possible that both Jack and Savannah can find a new destiny in the changeable flow of the Brazos wind?

Biography

Jan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of Authors Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), the RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHOR (RWISA), sits on the RWISA Executive Council and hosts a monthly RAVE WAVES blog talk radio show, ASPIRE TO INSPIRE.

Connect through Jan’s website: http://www.jansikes.com
Follow Jan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks
Follow Jan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JanSikes3
Follow Jan’s Blog: http://www.jansikesblog.com

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My Review of Brazos Wind by Jan Sikes

Two damaged souls come together to mend their wounded spirits.

Jack McClean has seen the worst of humanity during the war and just wants to find a quiet place to finish out his life. When he comes across an unconscious woman next to a burned out home, Jack is given the opportunity to change his path.

Savannah Logan lost her faith in God with the deaths of her husband and two children. She’s living-barely- day-to-day when a fire destroys the one thing she has left- her home. Now she just wants to curl up and wait to die, but an aimless drifter arrives on her doorstep and gives her the will to live.

This short story has all the feel-goods of a much longer novel. I quickly became invested in Jack and Savannah and their journey. Hopefully, there will be more about these two in an upcoming book!

Second chances can be right around the corner- don’t give up.

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

#BookReview- The First Girl Child @AHarmon_Author #Fantasy #Read


From the New York Times bestselling author comes a breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation.

Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.

Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.

Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.

What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

Biography

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Her books have been published in eighteen languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Utah.
Amy Harmon has written thirteen novels, including the USA Today Bestsellers, The Smallest Part, Making Faces, and Running Barefoot, and the #1 Amazon bestselling historical, From Sand and Ash. Her novel, A Different Blue, is a New York Times Bestseller. Her USA Today bestselling fantasy, The Bird and the Sword, was a Goodreads Best Book of 2016 finalist. For updates on upcoming book releases, author posts and more, join Amy at http://www.authoramyharmon.com.

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My Review of The First Girl Child

Stunning visuals- this should be a blockbuster movie!

We are gently introduced to a larger-than-life world created by the God, Odin. A land called Saylok. Warring clans, an evil king, a curse upon the land, benevolent, powerful keepers whose runes protect those in need; this story is a saga of treachery and deceit and a love that transcends time.

Bayr, the temple boy as he is called, has been raised in the cradle of the keepers, loved and protected by his uncle Dagmar. He has the strength of Thor, and when a fearless rescue brings him to the attention of the queen, young Bayr is commissioned to guard her baby daughter- the first girl child the clans have seen in twelve, long years.

Betrayed by Banruud before he was king, Dagmar’s sister cursed all of Saylok with no girl children on her deathbed, so the seemingly miraculous birth of Alba guaranteed Banruud his place as king.

Bayr and Alba become inseparable, and as the years pass their bond grows. But King Banruud has a plan for his daughter and it doesn’t include the temple boy.

There are so many memorable moments in this book, I know I’m going to be reading it again, and again!

Favorite Lines

“Be careful what you fear,” Ivo replied, grave. “We draw the attention of the fates when our fear grows too loud. The fates are cruel, and they will reward you with what you fear most.”

The First Girl Child- Amy Harmon

“We do not live to endure. We endure so someday we can . . . live. I have endured a great deal, but there have only been a few moments when I have truly lived.”

The First Girl Child- Amy Harmon

Her happiness seeped from her chest, ran down her weak legs, and pooled beneath her feet, leaving her as empty as she’d been yesterday and the day before.

The First Girl Child- Amy Harmon

Read this Book!

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#BookReview- Murder They Wrote #Suspense #Reading


Murder They Wrote

Murder comes in 7 different genres. By 7 different authors. Are you a fan of courtroom drama? In the anthology’s first story, Abraham Lincoln defends a friend’s son against a charge of murder. For lovers of speculative fiction, Jason Fogg dissolves into mist to sneak through open windows and snoop for clues. How about a cozy? Jazzi, Jerod, and Ansel discover a dead body while renovating a kitchen, dining room, and half bath. Have a craving for a Regency? Lord Peregrine and his wife, Elizabeth, use their sharp minds and quick wit to solve a murder at a garden party. Need a bit of literary fiction? A young, lonely widow must deal with the theft of a valuable butterfly collection. And what about a little psychological horror? Twin sisters discover that their attic is haunted by not one, but two ghosts. Last, but never least, the anthology concludes with a historical mystery. A young, newly married knight is accused of murdering his obnoxious host at a holiday gathering in his castle.

My Review of Murder They Wrote

Help, there’s been a murder!

Seven authors come together in this highly entertaining anthology featuring murder mysteries in a variety of genres from historical through speculative fiction.

Each short story is well-written, with memorable characters and enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing. I love multi-author box sets as a way to introduce new-to-me authors along with some of my favorites.

Mae Clair’s regency, A Winter Reckoning, and Judi Lynn’s The Body in The Kitchen were standouts for me, along with C.S. Boyack’s From the Files of Jason Fogg and Lincoln Uncovers the Real Story of How Preston Metzger Got Himself Kilt by D. P. Reisig.

All are guaranteed to give you hours of reading pleasure!

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Two very Different #FamilySaga #BookReview @jamescudney4 @PintipDunn


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Two Fabulous Reads from James J. Cudney and Pintip Dunn

For the first time ever, I went past a writing deadline and had to ask for an extension from the members of the upcoming boxset, Cute But Crazy 2 : Ditzy Dudes. Talk about stressing out! On top of that, my eyes have been incredibly sore, and yes, before you ask; I’ve been using medicated eye drops and allergy tablets, but the long hours on the computer really did them in. I even turned the light down to low (can’t handle night mode on the big screen, though I love it on my phone). But, as of today, it’s done- so, yay!

These books were finished a while ago, but I couldn’t manage the time to get the reviews done, so I’m making it up now 🙂

First up:

Watching Glass Shatter

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia’s husband unexpectedly passes away. But when Ben’s will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.

Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.

Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father. But will the secrets destroy their family, or bring them closer together?

My Review

A letter from the grave will rip everything a family believes apart

The Glass family are rich, well-liked, family-orientated. But all of that disintegrates under the burden of a secret so devastating it’s hard to comprehend.

A child lost.

A lie kept.

Will the family be able to overcome their patriarch’s betrayal, or will it destroy them all?

Told from the perspective of each of the Glass family members, the reader gets to experience their pain, anger, cyniscim, and doubt.

The author weaves lives together finesse, and an eye to detail that makes this story a joy to read. This isn’t my first James Cudney book, and it won’t be the last!


Dating Makes Perfect

The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed.

Until now.

In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school.

In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster.

The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him.

If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.

My Review

Dating her enemy shouldn’t be this much fun

Winnie loves her crazy Thai family, even if her parents have some archaic ideas. Her twin sisters weren’t allowed to date in high school, but now that they’re in college, the parents suddenly want to know when to expect grandbabies- oiy!

In retaliation, the girls say they’re having too much fun and don’t plan to marry for a loooong time. Driven to change their ideals, the parents decide Winnie should ‘practice’ date, but that’s not the worst part- they choose the one boy she swore to hate forever, Matt Songsomboon.

The one upmanship begins almost immediately. Mat is just as irritating as Winnie remembers, and disturbingly handsome. Hard to imagine they were once best of friends, and now, without her sisters’ sage advice, she’d give up and stay single for life.

If Winnie can just get through the next three months, Mat will get what he wants, and she… well, we’ll see.

This story is filled with humor, familial love, emotional moments, and cultural heritage. While this is a friends-to-lovers romance, it’s also the journey of a young woman as she learns a valuable life lesson and gains the respect of those who love her.

I especially enjoyed learning about a new culture in a fun and informative way- a great read!

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 
good day!

#BookReview- The Summer Deal by @JillShalvis #Romance


From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes a friends-to-frenemies-to-lovers story… Add in a few secrets. Shake. Stir. Then read on a lazy summer day at the beach…

Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She’s fierce, tough, and she’s keeping more than one bombshell of a secret from Brynn — her long-time frenemy.

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey’s best friend, Eli, renewing her childhood crush. The good news: he’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell. The bad news: when he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have real connections, possibly love, and a future—if she can only learn to let go of the past.

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.

Biography

Multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is … mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning heartwarming and full of humor novels wherever books are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures. Her most recent book, ALMOST JUST FRIENDS, was just published last month and her next book, THE SUMMER DEAL, comes out in June.
http://www.facebook.com/jillshalvis
http://www.twitter.com/jillshalvis
http://www.instagram.com/jillshalvis
http://jillshalvis.tumblr.com/
or email her at contact@jillshalvis.com

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My review of The Summer Deal

Brynn, Kinsey, and Eli have a past. As in summer camp when they were kids. And even though camp is meant to be fun, it was anything but for a shy Brynn and her cabin enemy, Kinsey- the girl who made her life miserable.

Jump forward a decade and Brynn is still trying to find her footing after a bad breakup. Left without choice, she moves home to her moms, and is suffocated by their well-meaning love and attention. When an opportunity arises to move into a room in the beach house owned by her one-time crush, Eli, she takes it hoping for a fresh start.

That is until she realizes who she’ll be sharing a bathroom with- Kinsey.

Kinsey is used to dealing with adversity, she’s battled life-threatening health battles most of her life. If that makes her snarky at times, so be it. She’s not in this world (for however long that may be) to please everyone. Actually, other than Eli-her friend-mate for life- she doesn’t much care what anyone thinks. Or so she tells herself.

But then Brynn comes back and suddenly Kinsey has a second chance to correct old wrongs, and maybe, just maybe make the most important connection of her life.

This is the heart-warming story of two half-sisters and their journey to each other. Kinsey broke my heart. She tries so hard to act the tough girl, when really she’s scared to let anyone in because she knows she’s going to die.

Favorite Lines

I’ve learned that being anxious about shit ahead of time just means I’ve got to be anxious twice. I’m no Miss Merry Sunshine, but sometimes it helps to just think as positively as possible.”

The Summer Deal- Jill Shalvis

You can’t make someone be your person. You can’t make them love you. You can’t hurry love up, or even set it aside. I know, because I’ve spent too much of my life trying to do just that.

The Summer Deal- Jill Shalvis

I give The Summer Deal 5 lovely kisses- an excellent read!

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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#BookReview- The Stones: Astral Conspiracy Book 2 by @STACITROILO writing as D. L. Cross #SciFiSuspense


He’s running from Astrals. Running with Black Ops. And running toward the end of the world.

Landon Thorne belongs to an elite group: he’s one of the few people who have ever accessed the Akashic Record. He discovers a weapon that could defend the Earth.

The Astrals want to stop him. The government wants to control him. Even his allies are hiding something.

Through it all, he has one purpose. One compulsion. He’s drawn to the Georgia Guidestones.

His journey is fraught with danger – bandits, cannibals, and ancient booby traps — but when Landon finally reaches the Stones, even he is surprised by what he finds. If he can decipher the code, he can save the world.

If he can’t? His discovery may destroy him – along with the rest of the human race.

Biography

D.L. Cross has loved science fiction ever since she was a young girl and fell for Major Don West on television’s Lost in Space. To this day, she still quotes the show, though her favorite lines were spoken by the robot and the antagonist. Parallel universes or alternate realities, aliens or dinosaurs, superpowers or super viruses, time travel or AI… no sci-fi theme is off limits and all of them fascinate her. D.L. Cross also writes other genre fiction under the name Staci Troilo, and you can find more information about all her identities and all her work at her website: https://stacitroilo.com.

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My Review for The Stones by D. L. Cross

What a thrill-ride!

Aliens have landed, and they aren’t friendly. The race is on to save humankind before there is utter destruction.

Landon Thorne-the man everyone ridiculed for his outlandish ideas-now seems to be the key to stopping an alien invasion. He’s doing his best to assimilate all that’s happening, but the professor isn’t prepared for the high-stakes race he’s been pushed into. After a startling vision, Landon knows his next step is to reach the Georgia Guidestones- if he can escape a crazed madwoman determined to take over the world, travel across a country gone mad, and avoid giant bug-like creatures who want him for lunch.

Part of a rebellion force, Reverie Sterling is as tough as they come. Tasked with the assignment to find people in need and bring them back to the tunnels she calls home, she takes her trusted team and heads into a chaotic new world. She doesn’t expect to find new, annoying, friends or to bear witness to the ultimate sacrifice. It messes with her head and makes her doubt her ability to protect her team. But there’s no time to dwell on painful memories. Time is ticking. The world is changing. Survival is all they have left- or do they?

Favorite Line:

Silence so thick, it oozed down her throat. She damn near gagged on the bitterness. Knew something was off. Felt it in her bones, wore it like a prickly shroud.

Cross, D.L. . The Stones: An Invasion Universe Novel (Astral Conspiracy Book 2) . Sterling and Stone. Kindle Edition.

This is a fast-paced page-turner with so many twists and turns you’ll be running to catch up! I love the interactions between Reverie and Ford- they literally strike sparks off each other. Then there’s the priest who’s forming an army to do God’s calling, the uber-crazy AATIP Agent, Nadia Adler, an alien in a bunker, and so much more!

You can read The Stones as a standalone, but I recommend starting with book 1 in the Astral Conspiracy series- The Gate (you can read my review here: https://jacqbiggar.com/2019/05/20/the-gate-an-invasion-universe-novel-astral-conspiracy-book-1-by-stacitroilo-writing-as-d-l-cross-scifi-bookreview/ ) to get a better sense of the incredible storyline and a cast of amazing characters.

The Stones is a 5* + read!

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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#BookReview- I Wouldn’t be Surprised by @DLFinnAuthor #Fantasy #Suspense


Do you ever wish you could take back your words? Janice and Dale Hart sat around the dinner table laughing at silly “I wouldn’t be surprised” jokes that included UFOs, Bigfoot, hand-delivered food, and serial killers. A week later, an innocent plate of food is left on Dale’s truck in the middle of the night. That’s only the beginning, and the presents go from harmless to life-threatening. Will the Harts find help in time to survive an evil bearer of “gifts”? Find out in this paranormal thriller.

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 Pixabay on Pexels.com

My Review

This short story packs a punch!

Janice and Dale live in their dream home on a piece of land deep in the woods. They enjoy the privacy, or at least they did, until strange things begin to happen. A plate of food left without a note, power outages, a strange hole in the yard, all are eerie and unexplainable.

When the danger escalates, Janice and Dale must fight an frightening assailant before he kills them, and receive help from an unexpected source.

This is a quick read- possibly because my fingers flew over the pages- but contains all the elements for a good thriller. The author does a superb job building suspense and the touch of paranormal adds just the right amount of mystique to turn this into a must-read!

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#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.

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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 

#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.
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#BookReview- In Moonlight and Memories by @JAWalkerAuthor #Romance #SummerReading


MOST LOVE STORIES HAVE ONE BEGINNING AND ONE ENDING. THIS LOVE STORY HAS MANY.

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker comes an epic story about sacrifice, friendship, and the awe-inspiring power of love.

Maggie: Ten years ago, Cash Armstrong stole my heart. Then he promptly joined the army—dragging my best friend with him—and left me crying on the front porch in a red sequined prom dress. Now he’s back. They’re both back. Cash, the one who still has my heart. And Luc, the one who saved my life.

Cash: How do you know if you’re at the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out since a traumatic brain injury made me “unfit to serve.” I’m back in New Orleans, and picking up the shattered pieces of my past means I must confront where my life’s journey began… and where it all might end.

Luc: Long ago, Maggie May was mine. Not mine in the way you might think. She was mine because she was my only friend. Then Cash came along and we became brothers by something stronger than blood. We became brothers by choice. When tragedy struck, I was forced to make a decision that changed all our lives. I thought, after ten years, it was safe to come back home. I was wrong…

Biography

A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Julie loves to travel the world looking for views to compete with her deadlines. And if those views happen to come with a blue sky and sunshine? All the better! When she’s not writing, Julie enjoys camping, hiking, cycling, fishing, cooking, petting every dog that walks by her, and… reading, of course!

Be sure to sign up for Julie’s occasional newsletter at: http://www.julieannwalker.com

To learn more about Julie, visit her at http://www.julieannwalker.com. Or follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/julieannwalkerauthor and/or Instagram: @julieannwalker_author.

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My Review

Maggie’s doing just fine. Her dream of owning a bar (well hers and Cash and Luc’s dream) has materialized. She has the support of family and friends and a full life, so why do old memories continue to drag her down?

Cash had no intention of returning to New Orleans. He’d put the past (namely his father) behind him and kissed it goodbye. His only regret- Maggie. But when a suicide bomber almost takes him out while on tour, Cash gains a new perspective on life and comes up with a plan to fix the mistakes he’s made and that requires going home.

Luc fell in love with Maggie May from the awkward age of fourteen, but the moment she meets his friend Cash he knows they’re fated to be together. Bottling his feelings, he takes the next best thing, her friendship. It kills him to leave her when Cash goes on the run, but his buddy needs him.

Now that Cash and Luc are back, the Louisiana swamp is giving up her secrets. Will they handle the fallout, or will the bayou swallow them forever?

I loved this book!

There were so many great moments. The characters leap off the page, they’re so well-written. The relationships between Luc and Cash, Cash and Maggie, Luc and Maggie May- I loved them all.

Favorite Lines

I read a quote that pretty much sums up my situation. True love is not the number of kisses, or how often you get them. True love is the feeling that lingers long after the kiss is over.

In Moonlight and Memories- Julie Ann Walker

At first acquaintance, Luc comes off as an unobtrusive guy. Not so much meek and mild, but quiet. Self-effacing. And yet he has a particular brand of toughness I’ve only ever seen in other men of his ilk. Men who’ve come from the place where murky waters run through tall marsh grass. Where gators growl and bobcats howl.

In Moonlight and Memories- Julie Ann Walker

Sometimes the past is like that whole objects in mirror are closer than they appear thing. The trick to forgetting is simply not to look.

In Moonlight and Memories- Julie Ann Walker

There’s so many more, but I better quit now, lol. Buy the book, you’ll love it!

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Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

Two Fantastic #Reads #TuesdayBookReview @BetteAStevens @KennedyRWrites


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Two Very Different Stories of Strength over Adversity

I didn’t get much writing done last week- okay, no writing done last week- but I did read two wonderful books while watering my plants. I call that a win 🙂

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

Biography

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight. Stevens lives in central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat). The author is currently (2019) working on two poetry collections. MY MAINE: Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection (2019).

My Review

Shawn Daniels is the oldest of a dirt poor family and his days are full of cutting wood, hauling water, caring for his younger siblings and trying to keep up his grades at school.

Compounded by a drunkard for a father who makes the family a laughing stock, Shawn dreams of escaping the doldrums of his day-to-day existence.

It’s not all bad though. Shawn and his brother, Willie, go on many adventures together; biking, fishing, sneaking apples from the neighbors field, and learning to milk cows so his family doesn’t go without. He picks up odd jobs and soon knows how to do a wide variety of life skills.

Shawn’s strength of will and ingenuity shine throughout this heartwarming tale. Set in the 50’s the vernacular takes us back to ‘simpler’ times when work was long and hard for little payment and indoor plumbing was for the rich.

This is a wonderfully told story that will leave you laughing in places, and gasping in others!


From Wall Street JournalUSA Today Bestselling and RITA® Award-winning Author Kennedy Ryan, comes a captivating second chance romance like only she can deliver…

The boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have…

Dig a little and you’ll find photos of me in the bathtub with Ezra Stern.
Get your mind out of the gutter. We were six months old.
Pry and one of us might confess we saved our first kiss for each other. The most clumsy, wet, sloppy . . . spectacular thirty seconds of my adolescence.
Get into our business and you’ll see two families, closer than blood, torn apart in an instant.
Twenty years later, my “awkward duckling” best friend from childhood, the boy no one noticed, is a man no one can ignore.
Finer. Fiercer. Smarter.
Taken.
Tell me it’s wrong.
Tell me the boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have.
When we find each other again, everything stands in our way–secrets, lies, promises.
But we didn’t come this far to give up now.
And I know just the move to make if I want to make him mine.

Biography

A RITA® Award Winner and USA Today Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.

Kennedy and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour and many others. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but has a special passion for raising Autism awareness.The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for ASD families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.

Stay In Touch!

Facebook: facebook.com/KennedyRyanAuthor
Book Group: facebook.com/groups/681604768593989/
Twitter: @Kennedyrwrites
Instagram: @kennedyryan1
BookBub: bit.ly/KRBookBub
Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/7429243.Kennedy_Ryan
Google +: plus.google.com/u/0/+KennedyRyanAuthor/posts
New Release Text Alerts: Text Kennedy Ryan 797979

My Review

The first time Ezra and Kimba met was in a bathtub- as babies. Even then they clicked.

Growing up as neighbors, the kids formed an alliance. They played together, their families often ate together, and they attended school together. But with Ezra’s mixed heritage background, he was often bullied.

Kimba hated that her friend was tormented and it fostered a need to change the rights of minorities.

For Ezra’s part, he kept his head down and worked hard on his grades while learning about his Jewish faith.

At thirteen, the best friends develop new attractions for each other and a wonderfully portrayed first kiss is later ruined by a horrible fight between Ezra and Kimba’s parents. One that will separate the two of them for three decades.

When they meet up again, Kimba has just lost her father and Ezra’s relationship with his son’s mother is on its last legs.

While I loved the first half of the book, I found the second part to be sex, sex, sex. It ruined the storyline for me. These are supposed to be two almost forty-year-olds and they make out like teenagers in a car in her mother’s driveway- in broad daylight! I’m not buying it. Maybe I’m jaded, but I’d sooner read about their very real issues, than how they can’t keep their hands off each other.

It’s too bad, because this had the makings of a truly great story.

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

June #BookReviews from @JackieAshenden @SuzanneJenkins3 #amreading


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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

Crazy Hearts by Tara Janzen #BookReview #RomanticSuspense


DYLAN HART IS THE SPECIAL OPS BAD BOY WITH NO PAST.
THAT’S ABOUT TO CHANGE…

Dylan had shown up in Colorado as a teenager on the run for his life. He’d left his name behind, along with any record of his existence. He had no family, no friends, and no connection to anyone in the world except the men out to find him and kill him. The last place in the world he thought they would ever look was Denver, Colorado.

He’d been right.

THE CHOP-SHOP BOYS OF STEELE STREET

Within weeks of his arrival, he’d been scooped up by a crew of juvenile car thieves, and together they became legends on the streets of the Mile High City. Years later, they are the legends known as Special Defense Force, SDF, an elite team of soldiers tasked by the United States government to protect the country from threats both near and far.
But you can never leave your past behind, and Dylan’s day of reckoning has arrived. His long, lost past is headed straight at him at 100 miles per hour in a Porsche 718 Cayman – and there isn’t anybody who can stop it.

Biography

TARA JANZEN, New York Times bestselling author, is the creator of the acclaimed Steele Street series of romantic suspense novels about a hotshot crew of former juvenile delinquents and car thieves in Denver, Colorado who grow up to become one of the U.S.A.’s most elite black ops forces. The eleven book series begins with CRAZY HOT and CRAZY COOL and finishes up with LOOSE ENDS. One of the books is on AMAZON’S TOP TEN ROMANCE LIST – LOOSE AND EASY, 2008. Three of her books are on the Romantic Times ALL-TIME FAVORITES list – RIVER OF EDEN, CRAZY WILD, and SHAMELESS.

Writing as Glenna McReynolds, she is the author of thirteen Loveswept romances, an epic medieval romantic fantasy trilogy, THE CHALICE AND THE BLADE, DREAM STONE, and PRINCE OF TIME, and a contemporary romantic adventure set in the Amazon, RIVER OF EDEN. Tara loves doing research for her books, and her love of anthropology and the natural sciences has helped her create the landscapes of her novels, from the rich historical background of THE CHALICE AND THE BLADE trilogy, to the shores of the blackwater rivers flowing through the Amazon rain forest in RIVER OF EDEN.

Photo by Cesar Perez on Pexels.com

My Review

The Steel Street gang are back!

Dylan Hart’s past comes calling when a young man who could be a young doppelganger lands in hospital with a gunshot wound.

Dylan has always known his stepfather would never give up searching for him, but thought his tracks were covered. He’d changed his name, made a new life for himself, married the woman of his dreams, and ran a highly secretive government Special Defense Force, yet the ghosts of his past haunted him still.

Now a brother he hadn’t known existed is on his doorstep and trouble isn’t far behind.

It’s time to take care of business.

This series is on my reread shelf and I was stoked to see a new edition had come out! The chop shop boys were forged together as a group of teenage misfits. They’re deadly, loyal, sarcastic heroes that you won’t be able to resist.

I highly recommend this series. They easily read as standalones, but to get the best experience I’d suggest starting with book 1- Crazy Hot

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

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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.

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon #BookReview #Historical #TimeTravel @aharmon_author


An Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post bestseller.

In an unforgettable love story, a woman’s impossible journey through the ages could change everything…

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar. Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.

As tensions rise, Thomas joins the struggle for Ireland’s independence and Anne is drawn into the conflict beside him. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make?

Biography

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Her books have been published in eighteen languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Utah.
Amy Harmon has written thirteen novels, including the USA Today Bestsellers, The Smallest Part, Making Faces, and Running Barefoot, and the #1 Amazon bestselling historical, From Sand and Ash. Her novel, A Different Blue, is a New York Times Bestseller. Her USA Today bestselling fantasy, The Bird and the Sword, was a Goodreads Best Book of 2016 finalist. For updates on upcoming book releases, author posts and more, join Amy at http://www.authoramyharmon.com.

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Book Review

Raised by a loving grandfather, Anne Gallagher is heartbroken at his death. She follows his last wishes and takes his ashes home to Ireland to spread them on the lough near the home where he’d grown up.

The moment she lands, Anne is overcome by a sense of history and tries to find out more about her grandfather’s life as a child. She has a few photos of her mother, father, and their best friend, Dr. Thomas Smith.

After visiting the graves of past members of her family, Anne rents a boat and heads out on the lough, only to get lost in a sudden fog. Frightened, she calls for help and gets shot by a stranger in a trawler.

When Anne awakens, it is to find herself in the care of a man who looks exactly like the Thomas Smith from her photos and it soon becomes clear that nothing is as it should be.

They can’t forget, they never will, the wind and waves remember Him still.

“Thomas?”

I’d called to him before. I’d screamed his name across the water until I was hoarse and hopeless. But I called to him again. “Thomas?” His name hung precariously in the air, weighty and wishful, before it teetered and fell, sinking like a stone beneath the surface. The lough whispered back with liquid lips, slow and sighing. Tho-mas, Tho-mas, Tho-mas.

Harmon, Amy. What the Wind Knows

This story shines a light on the Easter Rising, a massacre that took place in 1916 and changed Ireland forever.

“I’ve been reading about Ireland—biographies and documentaries and collections and diaries. I’ve been doing research for six months. I have so much information in my head, and I don’t know what to do with it. The history after the 1916 Easter Rising is just a garbled mess of opinions and blame. There’s no consensus.” Eoin laughed, but the sound was brittle and mirthless. “That, my love, is Ireland.”

Harmon, Amy. What the Wind Knows

While the rebellion is a key part of the book, so to is the growing romance between Thomas and Anne- a forbidden love.

Anne is from the future. How can she stay in her mother’s time period, even though it gives her the opportunity to live with her grandfather when he was a child, and Thomas?

When she makes the decision to risk all, outside forces step in to separate her from the life she truly wants.

I can’t imagine all men love their women the way I love Anne. If they did, the streets would be empty, and the fields would grow fallow. Industry would rumble to a halt and markets would tumble as men bowed at the feet of their wives, unable to need or notice anything but her.

Harmon, Amy. What the Wind Knows

I didn’t know much about Ireland’s turbulent history. What I learned is that Irish people are proud of their culture and their land. They are passionate of what they believe in and won’t give up- no matter the odds.

What the Wind Knows is a sweeping saga of love and history that proves where there is hope, there is a chance.

#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.

Where the Lost Wander by @AmyHarmon #Historical #BookReview @aharmon_author


In this epic and haunting love story set on the Oregon Trail, a family and their unlikely protector find their way through peril, uncertainty, and loss.

The Overland Trail, 1853: Naomi May never expected to be widowed at twenty. Eager to leave her grief behind, she sets off with her family for a life out West. On the trail, she forms an instant connection with John Lowry, a half-Pawnee man straddling two worlds and a stranger in both.

But life in a wagon train is fraught with hardship, fear, and death. Even as John and Naomi are drawn to each other, the trials of the journey and their disparate pasts work to keep them apart. John’s heritage gains them safe passage through hostile territory only to come between them as they seek to build a life together.

When a horrific tragedy strikes, decimating Naomi’s family and separating her from John, the promises they made are all they have left. Ripped apart, they can’t turn back, they can’t go on, and they can’t let go. Both will have to make terrible sacrifices to find each other, save each other, and eventually…make peace with who they are.

Attribution- Amazon

Biography
Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Her books have been published in eighteen languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Utah.
Amy Harmon has written thirteen novels, including the USA Today Bestsellers, The Smallest Part, Making Faces, and Running Barefoot, and the #1 Amazon bestselling historical, From Sand and Ash. Her novel, A Different Blue, is a New York Times Bestseller. Her USA Today bestselling fantasy, The Bird and the Sword, was a Goodreads Best Book of 2016 finalist. For updates on upcoming book releases, author posts and more, join Amy at http://www.authoramyharmon.com.
Photo by Zetong Li on Pexels.com

My Review

Seeking a better life, widow Naomi May joins a wagon train with her family heading across the country to California. She knows it will be a tough journey but faces it with enthusiasm and a touch of trepidation.

When John Lowry agrees to help his uncle guide a wagon train as far as a fort where he is to deliver his father’s mules, he doesn’t expect to be instantly attracted to the beautiful Naomi. But their relationship is doomed to fail. He is half Pawnee, a man straddling two worlds. She is everything he wants but cannot have.

The trail is a hard taskmaster. Soon, the wagon train is faced with challenges they could never have imagined; hostile territories, lack of drinking water, dangerous river crossings, dysentery, and racial prejudice.

It’s been a long time since I was so caught up in a story. The author does a wonderful job drawing the reader into the hearts and heads of our two protagonists, John Lowry and Naomi May. We get real insights into the pride of indigenous people, the clash of two cultures, and those caught in the middle.

Favorite Lines

That’s what hope feels like: the best air you’ve ever breathed after the worst fall you’ve ever taken. It hurts.

Harmon, Amy. Where the Lost Wander: A Novel

This kiss is slow and languid like the Platte, hardly moving, while beneath the surface the silt shifts and settles. His arms snake around me, and my palms flatten over his heart, needing and kneading, and heat grows in my belly and in my heart and where our mouths are moving together.

Harmon, Amy. Where the Lost Wander: A Novel

…eventually, time thinks for us. It cuts through the fog of emotion and delivers a big bowl of reality, and feelings don’t stand a chance,” John says with bleak finality.

Harmon, Amy. Where the Lost Wander: A Novel

Where the Lost Wander is a sweeping saga of a love that knows no bounds and defies a nation at war. It’s real. It’s brutal. It’s unforgettable.

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Twilight’s Encore #Romsuspense #Read #mgtab


Twilight’s Encore- Wounded Hearts Book 3 is Free! One man’s betrayal will seal another’s fate. Ty Garrett fell in love with Katy Fowler from the moment they’d met. When her father’s betrayal yanks the young couple apart, Ty becomes bitter. After a decade away, Katy returns to Tidal Falls with plans to get married in… Continue reading →

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – New Releases, #Writers Pre-Order Lizzie Chantree, #Writers P.C. Zick, #Romance Jacquie Biggar


Originally posted on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine:
Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with new releases, reviews and offers for authors on the shelves. A new non-fiction guide to book marketing from Lizzie Chantree – Networking for Writers: A Fun Way to Sell More Books on Pre-Order at £1.99/$2.99 for October 29th. About the book…

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

#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 

#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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