Life and Other Inconveniences by @Kristan_Higgins #BookReview #WomensFic


From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. 

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?

Biography

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. She is a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for Best Work of Fiction, and her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year of many prestigious journals and review sites. If you want to keep up with Kristan’s new releases and get a free short story, sign up for her mailing list at http://www.kristanhiggins.com.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two long-lashed children, a couple of frisky rescue dogs and an occasionally friendly cat.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My Review

Emma London hasn’t had it easy. Her mother committed suicide when she was eight and her father dumped her on a grandmother who was the antithesis of sweet and kind-hearted.

At eighteen, Emma became pregnant. When she refused to give up the child, her grandmother kicked her out. Emma had to dig deep for her London strength and pride to get through the next few years- thank God for Pops. Her mother’s father took her and baby Riley in and the three of them formed a tight family unit.

Everything changed with one fateful phone call– Genevieve London (Emma’s perfect patrician grandmother) was dying.

Though it goes against Emma’s instincts, she packs up Riley and they go to Gigi’s aid, only to find she’s as judgmental and rude as ever. Tempted to leave her to die by herself, it takes along time before Emma finds it in her heart to understand the woman who had such a strong influence on her life.

Favorite Lines:

You never realize it until you’re pregnant, or holding your baby in your arms, but your heart, soul and peace of mind will never be yours again. The tiny hijackers take over before they draw their first breaths, and you would do anything to keep them safe. Anything.

Higgins, Kristan. Life and Other Inconveniences (p. 7). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Parenting isn’t always a peachy-colored glow. Half the time, it’s just showing up and doing your best.

Higgins, Kristan. Life and Other Inconveniences (p. 393). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Family ties aren’t always easy, but they play an integral part in the person you become. Kristan does a beautiful job creating a tough, yet vulnerable matriarch in Genevieve and a supporting cast of characters who are sure to steal your heart (even Mac- you’ll have to read the story to see what I mean 🙂 )

I give Life and Other Inconveniences 5+ lovely kisses- My favorite kind of read; #FamilyFirst

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Father Figure by @JamesCudney4 #Suspense #BookReview


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.

Abused by her mother, Amalia Graeme 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 for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.

Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden New York City teenager, 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.

Biography

James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do outside of writing: I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then 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 segments 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 show how I live every day.

A bit of humor: Everything doubles as something else when you live in NYC. For me, it’s the dining room, my favorite space in the apartment, where more than just my cooking is on display! As I look out the windows onto a 12th floor terrace, various parts of nature (trees, bushes, flowers, bugs & animals) inspire me to write. How else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My Review

A coming of age story!

Set in a dual timeframe, the author creates a story of innocence lost, parental abuse, uncovered secrets, and the journey two young women take on the road to self-discovery.

Cudney uses the juxtaposition of completely different personalities- Amelia is shy and innocent while Brianna is confident and independent- to highlight underlying similarities. Both long for acceptance and love in a world that often seems unforgiving and harsh.

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

I give Father Figure 5 lovely kisses- A family saga with thorns!

While The Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle & Elsie Hancy Eaton #Memoir #BookReview @bakeandwrite


What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.
Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.
Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes

Biography

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. 

Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

Robbie has also recently published a poetry collection, Open a new door, together with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

My Review

The story of life behind war zones.

Elsie is born in England during a tumultuous period in history- WWII. Her family must learn to live on rations, restricted power, blackout posters, and food stamps while still providing milk to the nearby village.

Elsie understands the threat of war. The fear of German bombers is a backdrop to an everyday life without extras, but the family still manages to enjoy simple pleasures such as summer swims, afternoon tea, and on special occasions small gifts and treats.

I found it fascinating to read the lives of those not directly involved in the war effort. The average citizens just trying to survive what must have been a frightening time. While Elsie is young, she still grasps the stress her parents are under to provide a safe, warm home for their family.

Standout lines:

Britain had been at war with Nazi Germany since 1 September 1939, and the little girl could not remember a time when the distribution of food, coal, and clothing had not been controlled. She listened for the sound of bomber planes and air raid sirens without even realising it and even possessed her own gas mask.

While the Bombs Fell- Robbie Cheadle & Elsie Hancy Eaton

The air raid shelter smelled damp and musty, and the dark felt as thick as velvet curtains before Father lit the paraffin lamp.

While the Bombs Fell- Robbie Cheadle & Elsie Hancy Eaton

This is an enlightening read about village life in wartorn times.

I give While the Bombs Fell 5 lovely Kisses!

Cooking up Memories- Waldorf Salad #Family #Inspiration


The Christmas season is my favorite time of year. An air of festivity takes hold as stores bring out their holiday decorations and old time favorites play on the television.

One of my favorite Christmas recipes came from my grandmother- Waldorf salad. Every year I’d look forward to seeing that fancy glass bowl filled with chopped up apples taking pride of the place on our dining room table. It was Grandma’s donation to our holiday dinner.

Grandma and her sister

We’ve kept the tradition going, even though she passed away a few years ago. Now, when I look upon that simple bowl of salad every year, I feel her presence among us and smile.

WALDORF SALAD

1 cup Mayo

4 tbs. milk

2 tbs. sugar

Whip Mayo, sugar and milk together to form a loose dressing.

6 Spartan or Mac Apples

1 cup Chopped Walnuts

3 Stalks Celery

Use lemon juice or citric acid to whiten apples.

Peel and chop apples and celery into bite-size pieces, sprinkle with lemon juice. Add walnuts. Stir in dressing and refrigerate until use. Enjoy.

***

Papa and buddy- 2013

They say life can change in an instant… Lost and Found Sisters by @JillShalvis #BookReview #Reading #WomensFic


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From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins.

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.

 

 

Jill Shalvis

Biography

New York Times 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, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit http://www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
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

 

My Review

What would you do if you suddenly found out the family you know and love isn’t yours?

This is the news unsuspecting sous chef Quinn Weller receives on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, and it throws her already screwed up life into a tailspin.

In search of answers, she travels to her dead mother’s hometown, only to learn she’s inherited a cafe, a broken down house… and a teenage sister. Tempting as it is to run the other way, Quinn stays and learns love can sneak up on you even when you guard your heart.

This book has so many great quotes it’s hard to pick a favorite. Here’s just a couple that resonated with me:

I walk around like everything is fine but deep down inside my shoe my sock is sliding off.

I’ve learned that you can’t make everyone happy, you’re not a bowl of ice cream.

Shalvis, Jill. Lost and Found Sisters (p. 228). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

I loved the interactions between Quinn and her young sister, Tilly and the way their relationship changed throughout the story. And then there’s Beth, Quinn’s dead sister’s ghost who has sage advice and likes to pop up unexpectedly just when Quinn needs her.

There’s a flea-bitten cat, a pushover of a dog, a flock of killer chickens (or so Quinn believes!) and the handsome, supportive, sexy Mick who forces Quinn to look at parts of herself she’d closed up after her sister’s death.

This book will touch you, comfort you, and best of all, make you laugh!

I give Lost and Found Sisters 5+ lovely kisses- A must read!

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Brilliantly written and infused with @SusanWiggs trademark style… Map of The Heart #Romance #Reading @AvonBooks @PureTextuality


Widowed by an unspeakable tragedy, accomplished photographer Camille Palmer has made her peace with the past and is content with the quiet safety of life with her teenage daughter, Julie, in a sleepy coastal town. Then the arrival of a mysterious package breaks open the door to her family’s secret past. In uncovering a hidden history, Camille has no idea that she’s about to embark on an adventure that will shake her complacency and utterly transform her.

Camille, Julie, and Camille’s father, Henry, return to the French town of Henry’s youth, sparking unexpected memories for him—recollections that will lead them back to the dark days of the Second World War. And it is in the stunning Provençal countryside that they will uncover their family’s surprising history.

While Provence offers answers about the past, it also holds the key to Camille’s future. Along the way, she meets an American historian who stirs a passion deep within her—a feeling that she thought she’d never experience again.

Brilliantly written and infused with Susan Wiggs’s trademark style, this hugely popular author has created her biggest, most powerful story yet in MAP OF THE HEART—an instant New York Times bestseller on the hardcover list. MAP OF THE HEART beautiful and heartfelt novel that celebrates the bonds of family and pays homage to the sacrifices of the past.

 

About the Book

Map of the Heart
by Susan Wiggs

Series
n/a; standalone

Genre
Adult
Contemporary Romance

Publisher
Avon Books

Publication Date
April 24, 2018

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iBooks

 

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs - Promo Graphic 2

Excerpt

A car’s headlights swept across the front of the house, and crushed shells crackled under its tires. She glanced at the clock—nine p.m.— and went out onto the porch, snapping on the light. Her heart flipped over. Mr. Ponytail Professor was back.

“Did you forget something?” she asked when he got out of the car. “My manners,” he said.

What the . . . ? “Pardon me?” “Do you drink wine?” he asked.

“Copiously. Why do you ask?”

He held out a bottle of rosé, the glass beaded with sweat. “A peace offering. It’s chilled.”

She checked the label—a Domaine de Terrebrune from Bandol. “That’s a really nice bottle.”

“I got it from a little wine shop in the village.”

She nodded. “Grand Crew. My father was one of their suppliers. He’s retired now.”

“He was in the wine business, then.”

“He owned an import and distributing firm up in Rehoboth. And why are we having this conversation?”

“I came back to apologize. I got halfway across the bridge and started feeling bad for yelling at you, so I turned around and came back.”

She caught herself staring at him like a smitten coed with a crush on her professor. She flushed, trying to shake off the gape-mouthed attraction. “Oh.” An awkward beat passed. “Would you like to come in?” She held open the door.

“Thought you’d never ask.”

In the kitchen, she grabbed some glasses and a corkscrew. What was he doing back here? “Actually, you did forget something—your sunglasses.” She handed them over.

“Oh, thanks.” He opened the wine and poured, and they brought their glasses to the living room and sat together on the sofa. He tilted his glass toward her. “So . . . apology accepted?”

She took a sip of the wine, savoring the cool, grapefruity flavor of it. “Apology accepted. But I still feel bad about your film.”

“I know. You made a mistake. I should have been more understanding.” He briefly touched her arm.

Okay, so maybe he wasn’t such a jerk. She stared at her arm where he had touched it. Why was this stranger, whose one-of-a-kind film she’d ruined, taking care of her? Watching him, she tried to figure it out. “I’ve never screwed up a project like that,” she said.

“So what happened?”

“Everything was going fine until I got a phone call from the local hospital that my daughter had been brought in by ambulance. I dropped everything and ran out the door.”

“The girl I met earlier? Oh, man. Is she all right?”

“Yes. Yes, Julie’s fine. She’s upstairs now, online—her favorite place to be.”

“So what was the emergency?”

“She was in a surf rescue class—most kids around here take it in ninth grade. She hit her head and got caught in a riptide.” A fresh wave of panic engulfed Camille as she pictured what could have happened.

“Thank God she’s okay.”

Camille nodded, hugging her knees to her chest. “I was so scared. I held myself together until . . . well, until you showed up. Lucky you, getting here just in time for my meltdown.”

“You should have said something earlier. If I’d known you rushed off because you got a call about your kid, I wouldn’t have been such a tool.” He offered a half smile that made her heart skip a beat.

At least he acknowledged that he’d been a tool. “Well, thanks for that, Professor Finnemore.”

“Call me Finn.”

She took another sip of wine, eyeing him over the rim of her glass. “You look like a Finn.”

“But not a Malcolm?”

“That’s right. Malcolm is totally different.”

He grinned, flashing charm across the space between them. “How’s that?”

“Well, buttoned down. Academic. Bow tie and brown oxfords.” He laughed aloud then. “You reduced me to a cliché, then.”

“Guilty as charged.”

“Want to know how I pictured you?” Without waiting for an answer, he rested his elbow on the back of the sofa and turned toward her. “Long dark hair. Big dark eyes. Total knockout in a red striped shirt.” He chuckled at her expression. “I checked out your website.”

Oh. Her site featured a picture of her and Billy on the “about us” link. But a knockout? Had he really said knockout? He was probably disappointed now, because on this particular night, she didn’t look anything like the woman in that photo.

“You look just like your photo,” he said.

Wait. Was he coming on to her? No. No way. She should have looked at his website. Did history professors have websites?

She saw something flicker across his face, an expression she couldn’t read.

“Go ahead,” he said. “You can look me up on your phone. You know you want to.”

She flushed, but did exactly that, tapping his name on the screen. The information that populated the web page surprised her. “Ac- cording to these search results, you’re a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former intelligence officer. You’re now a professor of history at Annapolis, renowned for tracing the provenance of lost soldiers and restoring the memories to their families. You’re an expert at analyzing old photos.”

“Then we have something in common. If you ever come across something mysterious in a picture, I can take a look.”

She couldn’t decide if his self-confidence was sexy or annoying. In the “personal” section of the page, it was noted that he had been married to “award-winning journalist Emily Cutler” for ten years, and was now divorced. She didn’t read that part aloud.

“I’m renowned? You don’t say.” He shifted closer to her and peered at the screen.

“I don’t. Wikipedia says. Is it accurate?”

“More or less.” He grinned. “I don’t know about the ‘renowned’ part. I’ve never done anything of renown. Maybe choosing this exceptional wine. Cheers.” He touched the rim of his glass to hers and took a sip.

 

About Susan Wiggs

SUSAN WIGGS is the author of more than fifty novels, including the beloved Lakeshore Chronicles series and her most recent, instant New York Times bestseller Family Tree. Her award-winning books have been translated into two dozen languages. She lives with her husband on an island in Washington State’s Puget Sound.

Author Links

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Now That You Mention It by @Kristan_Higgins #WomensFic #BookReview #5StarRead


New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins welcomes you home in this witty, emotionally charged novel about the complications of life, love and family

 

 

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One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who’s always been distant, a wild-child sister in jail and a withdrawn teenage niece as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was, Nora has her work cut out for her if she’s going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family. Balancing loss and opportunity, dark events from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise…and the chance to begin again.

 

Get Your Copy Here

 

Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and a two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages and received numerous starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus and Romantic Times. She is a four-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for best work of fiction.

She loves to connect with readers on her website www.kristanhiggins.com and her Facebook page www.facebook.com/KristanHigginsBooks

Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, National Public Radio, Library Journal, iBooks and Amazon have named Kristan’s books to their best books of the year numerous times. The author is a popular speaker at schools, writers conferences, bookstores and book festivals.

Before she was a writer, Kristan worked in advertising and public relations. She waited tables and nannied while in high school and college, cleaned houses as a young mother, and is the proud descendant of a laundress and a butcher.

The author loves animals, children (even teenagers), the New York Yankees and dessert.

Along with her heroic and tolerant firefighter husband and two snarky and entertaining children, Kristan lives in her hometown in Connecticut.

My Review

I was granted an early copy of Now That You Mention It thanks to the lovely people at Harlequin and Netgalley.

Nora Stuart has it all, a handsome boyfriend, exciting career (okay, maybe not exciting, but it is rewarding), a lovely apartment, and plenty of friends.

So why is she waiting for the other shoe to drop?

When Nora is hit by a passing motorist and then awakens to her beloved flirting with a nurse over her seriously injured body, she is understandably upset.

Needing space to think, Nora hops a ferry back to Cupper Island and the not so warm arms of her family. It’s also the scene of her happiest and most heartbreaking moments in life.

As she tries to find her feet, readers are guided through a sentimental, emotional journey of her youth blended with the present day as she grapples with family connections and a new love interest.

 

This story is done in classic Kristan Higgans style; plenty of snarky humor, and characters who leap off the page and into your heart.

I loved every second of this book and will definitely be saving it to my keeper shelf!

I give Now That You Mention It 5 + lovely kisses- A Must Read!

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A secret half a millennium in the making… Bleeding Heart by @StaciTroilo #BookReview #RomSuspense


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In the heart of Pittsburgh awaits a secret half a millennium in the making.

After her father’s brutal murder, Franki discovers she and her three sisters are the only surviving, secret legacy of the Medici. The same people who brutally murdered her father now target her and her family for assassination. Unprepared to battle an unknown enemy, she finds her safety depends on the Medici Protectorate, the warriors who guarded her bloodline for centuries, but who failed to protect her father.

Gianni, Franki’s protector, blows his first meeting with her, but knows he must garner the trust of not only Franki, but also her sisters. Without that, he fails too, and that is unacceptable—not only to him but also to the Medici Protectorate. His troubles grow larger, for as he assumes his new role, he also undergoes inexplicable, explosive physical changes… transformations he can’t control. One of those is his uncontainable desire for Franki.

Their worlds collide in passion and violence, and Franki struggles to trust Gianni. When her life is on the line, Gianni will have to conquer both her fears and his own personal demons to rescue her in time.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Staci

Staci Troilo grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in her free time, so it was no surprise that she studied writing in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and she worked in corporate communications until she had her children. When they had grown, she went on to become a writing professor, and now she is a freelance writer and editor living in Arkansas with her husband, son, daughter, and two dogs.

Staci is a multi-genre author and an Amazon bestseller. Her fiction combines dark, dangerous heroes and strong, capable heroines woven together into a contemporary tapestry of tantalizing romance. Compelling villains and gripping mysteries engage the reader from page one of her novels and her short stories feature ordinary characters conquering the odds in extraordinary situations.

When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably playing with her dogs, relaxing poolside, or working in the kitchen. She loves to cook and bake and is an award-winning recipe developer.

My Review

This book opens with a wounded hero trying to save the men he’s pledged to protect- except they aren’t men, and he’s dangerously attracted to Francesca Notaro, the eldest sister of an ancient Italian family.

Giani knows it’s his job to keep the Medici descendants safe; he and his brothers carry stone daggers which allow them special powers, for this reason, but Franki isn’t making it easy. She’s willful, independent, and passionate. He’s captivated by her beauty.

Franki is, at first, skeptical of the stranger who unexpectedly shows up on the day of her murdered father’s mass, but then strange things start happening and she agrees to his help.

As the danger grows, so too, does their attraction.

Bleeding Heart is a fast-paced novel mixing action, suspense, romance, paranormal magic, and mystery, into one delightful story.

I give Bleeding Heart 5 lovely kisses and look forward to reading book 2 in this series!

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The bonds of history run deep… The Apple Orchard by @SusanWiggs #WomensFiction #FamilySaga #BookReview


#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs brings readers into the lush abundance of Sonoma County, in a story of sisters, friendship and the invisible bonds of history that are woven like a spell around us.

 

 

Tess Delaney loves illuminating history; returning stolen treasures to their rightful owners and filling the spaces in people’s hearts with stories of their family legacies. But Tess’s own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, and a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter.

Then the enigmatic Dominic Rossi arrives on her San Francisco doorstep with the news that the grandfather she’s never met is in a coma and that she’s destined to inherit half of a hundred-acre apple orchard estate called Bella Vista. The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen, the half sister she never knew she had. Isabel is everything Tess isn’t, but against the rich landscape of Bella Vista, with Isabel and Dominic by her side, Tess begins to discover a world where family comes first and the roots of history run deep.

 

susan wiggs

 

Susan Wiggs’s life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people. At the age of eight, she self-published her first novel, entitled “A Book About Some Bad Kids.”

Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries. Her recent novel, Marrying Daisy Bellamy, took the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and The Lakeshore Chronicles have won readers’ hearts around the globe. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature.

She lives with her husband and family at the water’s edge on an island in the Pacific Northwest, where she divides her time between sleeping and waking.

 

My Review

Susan Wiggs has a way of sneaking up on a reader and hooking them with her fascinating characterizations, and the beauty of her settings.

Tess Delaney knows something is missing from her life, but she could never have guessed it would be a sister she’d never heard of, or a family she’d never met.

What follows is the story of discovering herself through the connections of a family she’s always dreamed of having, and maybe a little romance along the way.

This book touches on tough family dynamics, forgiveness, and love.

A truly enjoyable read!

I give The Apple Orchard 5 lovely kisses

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LOST AND FOUND SISTERS by @JillShalvis is coming June 20/17! #LostandFound #WomensFic @InkSlingerPR


 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins. Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below and pre-order your copy today!

 

 

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.

 

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iBooks | Books-A-Million | IndieBound

 

 

ADD LOST AND FOUND SISTERS TO YOUR GOODREADS

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

“Mick?” she whispered.

“Yeah?”

“Are you feeling something?”

“You could say that,” he murmured. “You?”

She licked her lips and he nearly groaned. “I think so,” she whispered.

“That’s good.”

“Are you going to kiss me?”

He cupped her face, let his thumbs trace her jawbone, his fingers sinking into her silky waves. “No,” he said quietly. “And not because I don’t want to, but because when I do, I want to know you’re ready. That you’ll feel it.”

She sighed. “Guys do whatever they want all the time, no emotions necessary. I want that skill.” Another shaky breath escaped her, and since they were literally an inch apart, they shared air for a single heartbeat during which neither of them moved.

Her gaze dropped to his mouth. “Okay, so I’m definitely feeling things.” She hesitated and then her hands came up to his chest. “Maybe we should test it out to be sure.”

God, she was the sweetest temptation he’d ever met, and he wanted nothing more than to cover her mouth with his. Instead, he brushed his mouth to her cheek.

“Please, Mick,” she whispered, her exhale warming his throat.

He loved the “please,” and he wanted to do just that more than anything. But when she tried to turn her head into his, to line up their mouths, he gently tightened his grip, dragging his mouth along her smooth skin instead, making his way to her ear.

“Not yet,” he whispered, letting his lips brush over her earlobe and the sensitive skin beneath it.

She moaned and clutched him. “Why not?”

It took every ounce of control he had to lift his head and meet her gaze. “Because I want to make sure you’re really with me, that you’re feeling everything I’m feeling. That there’ll be no doubt, no regrets.”

“You sure have a lot of requirements.”

He laughed. And she was right, it was all big talk for a guy who didn’t do relationships anymore. Still, he forced himself to step back and shut the passenger door.

As he rounded the hood to the driver’s side, he tried to remind himself of all the reasons she was a bad idea. He lived two hundred miles away and he was hoping to move his mom up by him and never come back here. Not to mention that Quinn lived an equal two hundred miles in the opposite direction and she was in a deeply vulnerable place. No way would he even think about taking advantage of that.

But when he slid behind the wheel and their eyes locked, he realized that while his mind could stand firm, the rest of his body wasn’t on board with the in-control program.

 

 

They say life can change in an instant …

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood.

Pre-order your copy in any format and receive an exclusive crossover Heartbreaker Bay meets Wildstone bonus scene, featuring Archer and Elle going to Wildstone, CA, the town in which Lost and Found Sisters takes place – read about their night in a haunted B&B!

 

Simply enter your order number OR upload a screenshot of your proof of purchase. Entries must be received by June 25th and you will receive content via email on June 27th!

 

Preorder and fill out the form here!

 

 

About Jill Shalvis:

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, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

 

 

 

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It’s the Little Things #MFRWauthor #FamilyFirst


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This past weekend was cause for celebration. My grandson turned nine years old!

A few years ago when we moved from our home and followed my daughter to the west coast so that we could help with the care of our boy, we didn’t realize we would want to stay. He was five at the time and about to enter the school system for the very first time, {yikes} and needed care after school while my daughter attended university.

She came here with the dream of becoming a marine biologist, and four years later, she’s close to fulfilling that goal.

As for her dad and I, we’re grateful for the opportunity to live close enough to be there for our grandchild, as we were for our girl.

The older I get, the more time seems to slip through my fingers. It seems like just yesterday that I was sending my girl off to kindergarden, watching her grow up, teaching her to drive, and holding her hand when she needed us.

 

Now she’s doing the same with her boy.

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Training him to ride a bike.

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To learn the value of being a team player.

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We’re so very proud of both of them!

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It’s funny how you look back on life and it’s the little things that turn out to mean the most. So today I wanted to take a moment and share some of the many reasons I have for being grateful, and the blessing grandchildren bring to our lives.

Happy birthday, my boy. Grandma and Papa love you to Jupiter and beyond (because the moon isn’t far enough, as you kindly informed us :))

 

 

Aiden almost 7 yrs old-March 2014

THE NORTH COUNTRY CONFESSIONAL BY CRAIG C. CHARLES BOOK TOUR


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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I’m a native New Englander. I grew up in the sleepy shoreline community of Madison, CT. After graduating from high school in the late 80’s, I headed out West and spent a wonderful six years living in, exploring, and getting lost in the deserts of Arizona. After earning my B.S. from Arizona State University, I headed back East trying to find my path in life.

I found myself trying out MANY different careers. I learned the art of audio engineering and worked at a major recording studio in Manhattan for a while. I learned the nuances of fine wine from a wonderful South African man and sold libations in his high-end store. I sold power transmission equipment as a manufacturer’s rep in the Northeast. Next I ventured into the publishing world when I signed on with Yankee Magazine working in their Community Partners Program. It was here at Yankee’s headquarters in Dublin, NH that I fell in love with the art of writing and beauty of the Great North Woods of New Hampshire. I met tremendous people and embarked on my own quest to write an engaging mystery novel set in New England. However, I couldn’t ignore the internal pull I felt to work with young people. I went back to school and earn a Masters of Education degree and embarked on a career as a special education teacher working primarily with autistic children. This has been my main profession for the past 14 years as I continued to write and work towards mastering the craft of writing. I love the creative process of writing and editing.

In short, I’m a life long learner who continues to absorb all I can about the world around me.

Author Website: http://www.craigccharles.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraniteWriter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23792751-the-north-country-confessional?from_search=true

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/North-Country-Confessional-Craig-Charles/dp/0692307060/ref=asap_B00QX20IHY?ie=UTF8

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The North Country Confessional

by Craig C. Charles

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BLURB:

 

Family roots, teachings, and tradition permeate Darby Weeks’s existence despite a two decades old decision to walk away from a life of privilege. They have given him the courage to survive under impossible conditions, but the most challenging of them all comes from an unexpected place: his return home. As heinous crimes peppered with riddles begin to plague the North Country, Darby’s reappearance back home sparks an old rivalry between two families, releasing an evil to wreck vengeance upon everything around them. Darby’s proposal of a truce between them not only fails to appease the rival family’s thirst for retribution; it fuels it. And the town of Bretton Woods lies between the two when old passions ignite and set forth new determinations to win an old struggle.

Reunited with an old flame and guided by a pompous blowhard, Darby sets out on a journey to learn the truth about his family’s past and their ancient blood feud with a ruthless industrialist. Darby’s quest leads him all over New England, from the rare books library at Dartmouth College to Author’s Ridge – the final resting place of the literary greats Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Emerson. Darby discovers family he’s never known and an insidious danger lurking in the arms of a rekindled love.

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Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Emily Baines glanced down at the streets of Midtown Manhattan from her corner office at Tither Publishing and fiddled with the single gray strand of Tahitian pearls that clung around her neck. Rush hour had already paralyzed the streets of the city as throngs of humanity struggled to reach their insignificant evening destinations. Worker ants, she told to herself.

She had stayed late, disrupting her normal evening routine of pilates and a massage as she awaited confirmation that the assignment was complete. Her cell phone buzzed, announcing the receipt of the message. A smile blossomed on her face as she read the expected news. The object of her attention had paid the fee just like so many other political malfeasance, celebrities, and religious buskers that Tither had squeezed over the years, avoiding what would have been a very messy and very public scandal. Dirt was her business and business was never better. She verified the $20,000,000 transfer had been processed.

Sitting down, Emily congratulated herself as she poured another glass of Perrier-Jouët and marveled at how far she had come: building Tither Publishing into a media giant with no equal. She rarely thought about the past, but the picture and associated story on the front page of the New York Times stopped her cold in her tracks, causing unfamiliar pangs of nostalgia.

“Darby S. Weeks,” she said slowly while biting her bottom lip and caressing her pearls. She paced her expansive office for a minute, looking at the picture as memories invaded her mind. Throwing the paper on her desk, she hastily buzzed her personal assistant.

“Olivia, I’m going home to Bretton Woods for a little vacation. Make the necessary arrangements. I want to be in the North Country by tomorrow.”

Ready or not, here I come, war hero.

 

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Review:

I enjoyed this book a lot. One of my favorite lines came at the start of chapter thirteen- Words are like the summer sun: they can do to your heart what a ray of light can do to a fallow field.

The freshness of this author’s voice will stay with me for a while.

He touched on a tough subject in this story: environmentalism. And while I really like Darby, I was not a fan of his love interest, Emily. She came across as childish and mean throughout much of the book.

The descriptions of the north country in Washington state are vivid and well portrayed. I particularly enjoyed the Indiana Jones vibe this book gave as the hero and friends chase down a variety of clues to stop the villain while danger lurks around every corner.

Over all, very enjoyable read.

Craig will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Additionally, Goddess Fish Productions will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Craig would like to encourage his readers to follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2015/01/review-tour-north-country-confessional.html