#BookReview- Always the Last to Know by @Kristan_Higgins #WomensFic #amreading


Sometimes you have to break a family to fix it.

From New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins, a new novel examining a family at the breaking point in all its messy, difficult, wonderful complexity.

The Frosts are a typical American family. Barb and John, married almost fifty years, are testy and bored with each other…who could blame them after all this time? At least they have their daughters– Barb’s favorite, the perfect, brilliant Juliet; and John’s darling, the free-spirited Sadie. The girls themselves couldn’t be more different, but at least they got along, more or less. It was fine. It was enough.

Until the day John had a stroke, and their house of cards came tumbling down.

Now Sadie has to put her career as a teacher and struggling artist in New York on hold to come back and care for her beloved dad–and face the love of her life, whose heart she broke, and who broke hers. Now Juliet has to wonder if people will notice that despite her perfect career as a successful architect, her perfect marriage to a charming Brit, and her two perfect daughters, she’s spending an increasing amount of time in the closet having panic attacks.

And now Barb and John will finally have to face what’s been going on in their marriage all along.

From the author of Good Luck with That and Life and Other Inconveniences comes a new novel of heartbreaking truths and hilarious honesty about what family really means.

As posted on Amazon.com

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About the Author

Biography

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 19 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and 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 , People and Booklist. 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.

Her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year. Kristan is also a cohost of the Crappy Friends podcast, which discusses the often complex dynamics of female friendships, with her friend and fellow writer, Joss Dey.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband. They own several badly behaved pets and are often visited by their entertaining and long-lashed children.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

My Review

Sadie Frost left her first love, her family, and her home in Connecticut to chase her dream of becoming a famous artist in New York City. But a frantic phone call from her older sister sends her racing back to the past.

Beth Frost loves her life. She has two successful (well, one more than the other, but we won’t get into that), beautiful daughters, a career she enjoys, and a husband of almost fifty years. And yes, there is a reason John comes in on the end of the list. Truthfully, their marriage is hanging by a tattered thread. They don’t have the same interests, rarely talk, and have seperate bedrooms. He doesn’t even see her anymore. He’s planning a triathlon for pete’s sake. She’s ready to move on and plans to ask for a divorce on their anniversary.

But a horrible accident changes everything.

Juliet Frost has worked hard to get to where she is in the prestigious architect company she helped grow into an international corporation, and expects to become partner any time now. Her husband is one in a million. Her two daughters are beautiful (if moody), and her house is perfect. So why is she having these stupid panic attacks? And then she sees her father practically making out with a woman on the sidewalk near her work and Juliet’s already teetering world, crashes.

This story is of a dynamic family whose secrets almost tear them apart. I love Beth. She’s seventy years old and has been through many crises, but when her husband has a stroke and she learns he’s been cheating on her, she doesn’t do the expected and dump him on his sorry ass. Instead, she overcomes her anger and hurt feelings to give him the care he needs.

Juliet is a complicated character with incredible strength, yet she’s also vulnerable and weighs her worth by her successes.

Sadie is a free spirit, and while I liked her character, I don’t think she deserves Noah. He never got over her and she can’t decide if being an artist in New York is more important than their relationship.

Kristan Higgins is a master manipulator when it comes to emotions. She gets the most out of her characters, thereby leaving the reader laughing or in search of tissues!

I give Always The Last to Know 5+ lovely kisses- Family drama done right!

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

#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

Photo by Kenneth Carpina on Pexels.com

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- How Lulu Lost her Mind by Rachel Gibson #WomensFic


From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Gibson comes the story of a mother-daughter journey to rediscover the past before it disappears forever.

Lou Ann Hunter’s mother, Patricia, has always had a passionate nature, which explains why she’s been married and divorced five times and spooned enough male patients to be ousted from three elderly care facilities. She also has Alzheimer’s, which is why she wants to spend the rest of her life surrounded by childhood memories at Sutton Hall, her family’s decrepit plantation home in Louisiana.

Lou Ann, a.k.a. Lulu the Love Guru, has built an empire preaching sex, love, and relationship advice to the women of America—mostly by defying the example her mother has set for her. But with Patricia suddenly in need of a fulltime caretaker, Lou Ann reluctantly agrees to step out of the spotlight and indulge her mother’s wishes, even if it means trading in her Louboutins and Chanel N°5 for boots and mosquito repellant.

Upon her arrival at Sutton Hall, Lou Ann discovers that very little functions as it should—least of all Patricia’s mind. And as she adjusts to this new and inevitably temporary dynamic with the help of a local handyman and a live-in nurse, she is forced to confront the reality that neither her nor her mother’s future is going according to plan.

Heartrending at times and laugh-out-loud funny at others, How Lulu Lost Her Mind is the book for everyone and their mother. Fans of Emily Giffin, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis won’t be able to forget it.

About Rachel Gibson

Rachel Gibson is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over twenty-five novels, including The Art of Running in Heels and Just Kiss Me. She has received the RITA Award, the Golden Heart, the National Readers Choice Award, and more.

When not writing, you can usually find Rachel with her ’56 T-Bird at Classic Car shows where she kicks butt, takes names, and thinks she Suzanne Summers in American Graffiti.

Photo by Andreea Ch on Pexels.com

My Review of How Lulu Lost her Mind

Lou Ann (Lulu, the love guru) keeps her life running in tip-top shape, everything except her eccentric mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. When Patricia is evicted from her third senior care home for her romantic tendencies, Lou Ann is forced to set aside an important tour to take her mother back to her childhood home in Louisiana.

The plantation is in rough shape, the mosquitos are huge, and don’t even get her started about the alligators, but Lou Ann vows to make the best of a bad situation as long as it makes her mother happy.

While a sexy cajun handyman works on the mansion, Lou Ann and her mother delve into a long forgotten past and reconnect with each other in the process.

This book explores the horrible disease of Alzheimer’s in a humorous, yet heartwrenching way that is bound to touch readers. My grandmother passed away a few years ago from dementia and I found myself relating to Lou Ann’s frustration, pain, and love over the person who had taken over her beloved mother’s body.

Dementia changed my kind, sweet grandma into one who was often angry and scared. I pray that a cure will be found for this brain disease.

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

#BookReview- Honeysuckle Season #WomensFic


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

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

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

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

Biography

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Brianna Martinez on Pexels.com


My Review

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

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

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

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

#TuesdayBookReview- No More Mulberries by @MarySmithWriter #WomensFic


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

Biography

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

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

Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com

My Review of No More Mulberries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#NewRelease The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley #WomensFic


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

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

The Butterfly Room_300dpi (1)

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

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

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

TBR out now

Download your copy today!

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

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

Meet Lucinda

Kirjailija Lucinda Riley ||| Author Lucinda Riley

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

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

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

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

#BookReview- If You Must Know by Jamie Beck #WomensFic @writerjamiebeck


Life turns upside down for two sisters in Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie Beck’s emotional novel about how secrets and differences can break—or bind—a family.

Sisters Amanda Foster and Erin Turner have little in common except the childhood bedroom they once shared and the certainty each feels that her way of life is best. Amanda follows the rules—at the school where she works; in her community; and as a picture-perfect daughter, wife, and mother-to-be. Erin follows her heart—in love and otherwise—living a bohemian lifestyle on a shoestring budget and honoring her late father’s memory with a passion for music and her fledgling bath-products business.

The sisters are content leading separate but happy lives in their hometown of Potomac Point until everything is upended by lies that force them to confront unsettling truths about their family, themselves, and each other. For sisters as different as these two, building trust doesn’t come easily—especially with one secret still between them—but it may be the only way to save their family.

Biography

Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than two million copies. She is a two-time Booksellers’ Best Award finalist, a National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing novels, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

Fans can learn more about her on the web (www.jamiebeck.com), which includes a fun extras page with photos, videos, and playlists. She also loves interacting with everyone on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks). For monthly fun tips, birthday sweepstakes and other exclusive content, join my newsletter at http://bit.ly/1V0d7Qi. NO SPAM–EVER. For updates on discounts, follow me on BookBub at http://bit.ly/2GBcLM3.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

My Review

Pregnant, in love with her handsome husband and owner of her dream home, Amanda Foster believes she has the world by the tail- that is until he disappears on a so-called business trip, taking her mother’s life savings with him. And then she learns of his affair.

Erin Foster puts out a confident, take-no-crap attitude, but in reality she deeply mourns the loss of her father and the emotional distance between herself and the rest of her family. A messy breakup convinces her it’s time to make some changes in her life.

When Erin and Amanda’s mother has a series of accidents caused by stress, the sisters pull together to watch over her, get back the stolen money, and see that justice is served.

This is a well written story on family dynamics. Sometimes, life knocks us down, as Amanda learned, and the family we take for granted are the only ones we can truly count on to have our backs.

The characters are multi-dimensional and though the plotline went a little over the top, it was believable because of their reactions.

An enjoyable read!

“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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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!

#TuesdayBookReview- What You Wish For by @KatherineCenter #WomensFic


“The story’s message, that people should choose joy even (and especially) in difficult and painful times, seems tailor-made for this moment. A timely, uplifting read about finding joy in the midst of tragedy, filled with quirky characters and comforting warmth.”—Kirkus (starred review)

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.

Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living.
But she wasn’t always that way.
Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.
But he wasn’t always that way.

And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.

As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.

With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.

Biography

Katherine Center is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away and the upcoming Things You Save in a Fire (August 2019), as well as five other bittersweet comic novels. She writes about how we fall down—and how we get back up. Six Foot Pictures is currently adapting her fourth novel, The Lost Husband, into a feature film starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb. Katherine has been compared to both Nora Ephron and Jane Austen, and the Dallas Morning News calls her stories, “satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” Katherine recently gave a TEDx talk on how stories teach us empathy, and her work has appeared in USA Today, InStyle, Redbook, People, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Real Simple, Southern Living, and InTouch, among others. Katherine lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her fun husband, two sweet kids, and fluffy-but-fierce dog.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sam Cassidy loves her job as librarian in the cute and eccentric elementary school she ran to after falling for a fellow teacher at her previous school. The staff are the best and Principal Max and his wife, Babette, accepted her like a daughter.

Then Max died and everything changed.

Babette’s neurotic son-in-law becomes head of the board and immediately appoints a new principal about as different from Max as it was possible to be- oh, yeah, he’s also the man Sam had fallen for in her previous life.

But this Duncan Carpenter wasn’t anything like the funny, sweet guy she remembered. This Duncan Carpenter wanted to bleed every drop of personality out of their precious school. He installed security gates, locks, metal detectors, and painted over their bright colorful artwork, turning their whole world gray.

He had to go.

Then Sam learned Duncan’s deepest, darkest secret and suddenly getting rid of him became so much harder to do.

This is my first book by this author and I am so glad I picked it up! Filled with insightful, heart-wrenching moments it will live on in your thoughts for a long time after turning the last page. I will definitely be reading more from Katherine Center.

“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 

Meet the Author- @jacqbiggar #Romance #Writer


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Meet the Author

You’ve probably heard it said that writing is a lonesome job, but I haven’t found it to be true. My head is filled with the characters I’m creating, the fictional places I’m traveling to and the adventures… ooh-la-la!

Here is part of an interview I recently did with book promoters Itsy Bitsy Book Bits:

Author Interview With Jacquie Biggar by Itsy Bitsy Book Bits

How Did You Get Into Writing?

  •  I’ve been a romance reader since my pre-teen years and developed a dream of writing my own novel then. I didn’t make the fantasy a reality until I was semi-retired and had time on my hands. Now I wish I’d started much sooner!

What’s Your Favorite Genre to Write?

  •  Romantic suspense- I like the action-adventure thrill of suspense novels.

Is there a genre you’ve always wanted to write in that you haven’t yet?

  •  Historical. I’m intimidated by the research it would take, though.

Who are some of your inspirations?

  •  My biggest inspiration is my daughter. She’s a single mother with a Type 1 Diabetic son who is making her way through a masters degree for biology. She’s hands down the strongest person I know.

Do any of your stories have personal experiences in them?

  • Most of them incorporate some part of my life, whether it’s a cafe (I owned and operated one for years), dealing with disabilities (my grandson’s T1D, dementia, cancer), or small town life.

Who are some of your favorite authors to read?

  •  Loreth Anne White, Emma Scott, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins.

What’s your writing process look like? (Outline or go with the flow of your character)

  • I’m what is termed a linear pantser; meaning I have a general idea for the story and a character in mind, after that it’s one line at a time 🙂

What are some of your hobbies?

  • Gardening tops the list, reading, bird watching, walking my cat (yes, you read that right!)

Have you attended any signings? If so, what was your favorite thing about it?

  •  I’ve been to one signing at our local library, and while the crowd was small, it was a good learning experience for this introvert.

When reading reviews, what is something you love to see written?

  • Someone who really gets my characters and has empathy for their story. It means I’ve connected with my reader, which is the ultimate thrill!

If you could spend the day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?

  • Tough question: Jared Martin from The Rebel’s Redemption. He’s a tough guy with a heart of gold. I’d love to spend an afternoon fishing with him 🙂

What are you currently working on?

  • A romantic suspense set around a female stalker of a NHL hockey player.

What’s your writing routine?

  •  I do my blog and promo work through the morning and afternoon, then spend the evening writing- approx 4-6 hours a night.

Do you have any superstitions when it comes to writing? If so, what?

  • Does three circles around my chair before I start writing count? Jk! No, I don’t have any superstitions.

You can read more of this interview here: https://itsybitsybookbits.com/2020/01/the-sister-pact-home-is-where-the-heart-is-by-jacquie-biggar/

The Sister Pact

Two sisters lose sight of what’s most important- family bonds.

Holly Tremaine is living on borrowed time. A life-threatening illness ends her promising musical career and sends her home in the hope of making amends for the past.

Levi Anderson is on the fast track to a successful year within his profession- the last thing he has time for is his twin brother’s shenanigans. But when it includes the one woman Levi hasn’t been able to forget, his conscience won’t let him avoid the temptation to see her again.

Can remorse heal all wounds? Or will past betrayals continue to ruin family ties, one thread at a time?

Early Reviews:

 I seem to gravitate toward the deep family stories lately and the emotions that go with them, this was an amazingly written book and as I said above, not sure why this is my first read by this author, but I can guarantee I have already looked at what else is available and my tbr has grown and I’ll be watching for any and everything from this point on.

AMAZON REVIEWER

This is a story that had my emotions going up and down the entire time I was reading it. Holly and Levi are likable characters and I found myself wanting them to find happiness. There are moments that tug at your heart and others that had me wondering if the past could be overcome. I highly recommend reading this story.

AMAZON REVIEWER

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081L4SWDB/

International: https://books2read.com/TheSisterPact

Add to TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48920512-the-sister-pact

Recommend on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-sister-pact-home-is-where-the-heart-is-by-jacquie-biggar

Also Available



Everyone Has Secrets; Some More Devastating Than Others…

Everyone Has Secrets; Some More Devastating Than Others…

Presenting a brand new collection of page turning romance and suspense from NINE International USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors.

Nine stories, nine heart-wrenching soon to be revealed secrets. Can the truth really set them all free?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082GH6X62

International: https://books2read.com/InvincibleSecrets

TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49803837-invincible-secrets

Recommend us on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/invincible-secrets-invincible-women-s-fiction-book-2-by-jen-talty-and-suzanne-jenkins

The Sister Pact is live- #NewRelease #WomensFic


The Sister Pact is live!

I’m thrilled to introduce my very first women’s fiction about two sisters who lost their way.

Two sisters lose sight of what’s most important- family bonds.

Holly Tremaine is living on borrowed time. A life-threatening illness ends her promising musical career and sends her home in the hope of making amends for the past.

Levi Anderson is on the fast track to a successful year within his profession- the last thing he has time for is his twin brother’s shenanigans. But when it includes the one woman Levi hasn’t been able to forget, his conscience won’t let him avoid the temptation to see her again.

Can remorse heal all wounds? Or will past betrayals continue to ruin family ties, one thread at a time?

What Readers are Saying:

I believe fans of Susan Mallery and Robyn Carr would enjoy this lovely story of a family in crisis. 

PaytonPuppy- Amazon Reviewer

A heartwarming story with a blend of family drama, family differences, loyalty, misunderstandings and romance.

B.- Amazon Reviewer

What a well written book about a family and its secrets and how those secrets can destroy and hurt those they love. 

Lori- Amazon Reviewer

Order your Copy Today

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081L4SWDB/

International: https://books2read.com/TheSisterPact

Add to TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48920512-the-sister-pact

Recommend on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-sister-pact-home-is-where-the-heart-is-by-jacquie-biggar

Exclusive Excerpt

Holly brushed out her hair and used a white scarf knotted under the heavy length to sweep it away from her face. A light blush to tint still-pale cheeks, a dab of lipstick and she was ready for her great adventure.

Her stomach fluttered at the thought of spending time with Levi. Alone.

She’d carefully blocked out their mistake in judgement, as she preferred to think of it, but the memories were making themselves known now. The day her sister walked up the aisle and said ‘I do’ to the man Holly always thought would be her husband, had turned out to be harder than she could have imagined. Instead of cutting her losses and disappearing into the night, she’d sat through the entire affair—literally, as it turned out—without a clue to how it all would end.

Sleeping with the best man; how cliché.

Worse, in her drunken stupor she’d attempted to pretend Levi was his brother. Until he forced her to say his name in the throes of passion. She should have ended it there, but she didn’t, and now that night was embedded in her brain.

And yet, here she was, butterflies and all, waiting by the front door like a teenager on her first date.

“Why in the world are you hovering like that, and what are you wearing?” her mother asked.

Startled, Holly whirled from peeking out the sidelight window and stumbled over her backpack laying on the floor. “Mom, don’t sneak up on people that way; you almost gave me a heart attack.”

Claire raised her brow. “I don’t consider walking in my home, sneaking. If you didn’t have all of your attention on whoever you’re waiting for, you would have heard me, I’m sure.” She frowned at the door. “Where are you going?”

Holly debated the wisdom of telling the truth, then lifted her chin. “Levi invited me out for the afternoon. He should be here any minute now.” Hopefully.

Claire fidgeted with the glass bowl on the hall table. “Do you think that’s a good idea?” She glanced up, her gaze worried. “It could cause… complications.”

For you or for me, Mom? Aloud she simply said, “It’s just a drive. We aren’t running away to get married.”

“Holly, that wasn’t necessary.” Claire shoved the bowl and the porcelain balls inside clanged together. “Do what you want, then. You always do.” She turned and marched away, her back poker straight.

Holly stared at the misplaced bowl and blinked back tears. Why did her mother blame her for Susan’s mistakes?

#BookReview- A Long Walk Home by @DLFinnAuthor #HolidayFiction


All alone on Christmas Eve, Kenzie was feeling the betrayal of her recent break-up. While the sky was heavy with the dark clouds of an impending storm, she walked home from work to clear her head. Lost in her memories, Kenzie was completely unaware she was being followed by a man with green-eyes. Was this not-so-human being the good or evil that lurked around her? On the most magical night of the year, will Kenzie be able to save herself from that evil or will she need some divine inspiration? The outcome will depend on whether she can find the strength to forgive as the storm not only rages outside, but deep within her soul.

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 Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

My Review

When Kenzie is betrayed by her fiancé and supposed best friend, she spirals into a deep depression exasperated by the joy of the Christmas season.

She closes herself off from friends and family, contemplating late one night if death wouldn’t be easier.

A not-so-chance encounter with a hungry and cold momma cat and her kittens pulls Kenzie out of the well of her self-pity and gives her a new purpose. It’s the catalyst that changes her life and allows her to forgive her friend’s betrayal.

This is a sweet holiday story with a twist at the end that proves things happen for a reason.

I give A Long Walk Home 5 lovely kisses- an enjoyable read!

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#BookReview- Sisters by Choice @SusanMallery #WomensFic


From the New York Times bestselling author of California Girls comes an all new original Blackberry Island novel told with Susan Mallery’s trademark humor and charm. Sisters by Choice is a heartfelt tale of love, family and the friendships that see us through.

Cousins by chance, sisters by choice…

After her cat toy empire goes up in flames, Sophie Lane returns to Blackberry Island, determined to rebuild. Until small-town life reveals a big problem: she can’t grow unless she learns to let go. If Sophie relaxes her grip even a little, she might lose everything. Or she might finally be free to reach for the happiness and love that have eluded her for so long.

Kristine has become defined by her relationship to others. She’s a wife, a mom. As much as she adores her husband and sons, she wants something for herself—a sweet little bakery just off the waterfront. She knew changing the rules wouldn’t be easy, but she never imagined she might have to choose between her marriage and her dreams.

Like the mainland on the horizon, Heather’s goals seem beyond her grasp. Every time she manages to save for college, her mother has another crisis. Can she break free, or will she be trapped in this tiny life forever?

Order your copy today- Amazon

Biography

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

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

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

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they’re an integral component to a happy life. Visit Susan online at http://www.SusanMallery.com.

Image by Helga Kattinger from Pixabay

My Review

When Sophie Lane’s business empire goes up in smoke- literally- she makes the decision to move back home to Blackberry Island to make a fresh beginning. The factory is easy enough to find, but finding the right staff and regaining her hard-earned confidence takes more time.

Kristine (Sophie’s cousin) married right out of school, had kids, the house with the white picket fence, a loving- mostly- husband, and a budding enterprise as a baker. She dreams of opening a bakery and running her own business, but her husband thinks she’s foolish- after all, she’s a wife and mother, isn’t that enough?

Heather works four jobs, cares for a mother (Sophie’s cousin) who defines the word self-pity, and wishes more than anything that she could leave her responsibilities behind.

Told from varying perspectives, this is a novel about family, friendships, and a strength that will carry us through life’s challenges- if we only believe.

I enjoyed the premise of the story. It shows women are smart, industrious, and able to handle whatever is thrown their way.

My problems came with a bedroom encounter only half an hour after supposedly indomitable Sophie meets the guy. Her heartache over losing a beloved pet cat, yet she takes in a foster cat about to have kittens. And worst of all, she is portrayed as a hard-headed multi-millionaire business woman, yet she can’t seem to hire the staff to run her new business.

While I like Kristine and rooted for her, I thought she could have better stood up for herself.

Heather was the most relatable for me. She’s a young girl trying to do the best she can with the crap hand she’s been dealt. I think she was the strongest of all the women.

Overall, Sisters by Choice is a good read- 4 lovely kisses!

Have you read any Susan Mallery books? Love them or… ?

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

cat mom
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- Good Luck with That by @Kristan_Higgins #WomensFic


New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins is beloved for her heartfelt novels filled with humor and wisdom. Now, she tackles an issue every woman deals with: body image and self-acceptance.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.

A novel of compassion and insight, Good Luck With That tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.

Biography

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 19 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and 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 , People and Booklist. 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.

Her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year. Kristan is also a cohost of the Crappy Friends podcast, which discusses the often complex dynamics of female friendships, with her friend and fellow writer, Joss Dey.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband. They own several badly behaved pets and are often visited by their entertaining and long-lashed children.

Photo by Luizmedeirosph on Pexels.com

My Review

Good Luck with That is a heart-wrenching story about learning the hardest lesson of all- self-love.

When best friends, Georgia and Marley, are called to their summer camp buddy’s deathbed it is a catalyst for change in their lives. All three girls had varying issues with weight loss, family acceptance, and ostracization and attacked the problem in different ways.

Emerson comes from an abusive background and uses food as a crutch, and later an addiction that ends her life.

Marley has a loving supportive Italian family, but feels unfulfilled both through lack of a meaningful relationship and the death of her twin at a young age.

When Georgia’s parents divorced she was left in the care of an cold, vindictive mother and brother with anger-management issues. She never felt good enough (read thin enough) in the eyes of her mother and the self-hatred carried into her marriage and caused her divorce.

This book hit home in so many ways. The dream as a child/teenager is to be accepted and liked by your peers. If you’re different in ANY way, the hyenas will rip you apart. It takes a strong family unit and a competitive spirit to survive those years- a friend you can trust helps, too.

I was one of the lucky ones. I kept my head down, did my work, and had a good support network. But, those years of doubt and anxiety carried into my adult life and contributed to the introverted person I’ve become.

It’s hard to admit that out loud. Overweight kids/adults would sooner be invisible than thrust into the spotlight. For some, like Emerson, it even means death.

Diversity comes in many forms; race, religion, sexuality. I believe body image should be included. Now is the time to change attitudes. Be the person who looks beyond the obvious to the essence of those who are afraid to speak and reach out to them.

It matters more than you know.

love yourself

#BookReview- The Country Guesthouse by Robyn Carr #WomensFic @RCarrWriter


#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr delivers an emotional and triumphant novel about the fierce power of a mother’s love.

A summer rental, a new beginning…

Hannah Russell’s carefully crafted plans for her life have been upended without warning. When her best friend died suddenly, Hannah became guardian to a five-year-old named Noah. With no experience at motherhood, she’s terrified she’s not up to the challenge. She and Noah need time to get to know each other, so she decides to rent a country house with stunning views on a lake in rural Colorado.

When they arrive at the house, they are greeted by the owner, a handsome man who promises to stay out of their way. But his clumsy Great Dane, Romeo, has other ideas and Noah immediately bonds with the lovable dog. As Hannah learns to become a mother, Owen Abrams, who is recovering from his own grief, can’t help but be drawn out of his solitude by his guests.

But life throws more challenges at this unlikely trio and they are tested in ways they never thought possible. All three will discover their strengths and, despite their differences, they will fight to become a family. And the people of Sullivan’s Crossing will rally around them to offer all of the support they need.

Get your copy here

Biography

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River Series. The fifth novel (THE COUNTRY GUESTHOUSE) in her fan-favorite series, Sullivan’s Crossing, will be released in January 2020. Robyn’s latest women’s fiction novel (released May 2019), THE VIEW FROM ALAMEDA ISLAND, appeared on four bestseller lists: New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly and Wall Street Journal. Robyn is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 and in 2017, VIRGIN RIVER was named one of the HarperCollins 200 Iconic Books of the past 200 years. Netflix has taken notice of Robyn’s success and is producing a 10-episode series based on her fan-favorite bestselling Virgin River Series. The Netflix series will be released in late 2019. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at http://www.RobynCarr.com.

My Review

Robyn Carr can write heartwarming stories that touch the heart!

When Hannah’s friend unexpectedly dies and leaves her as guardian to a young boy with disabilities, it brings about a cosmic change in her life.

Knowing they both need time away to recover from the loss and to become comfortable with each other, Hannah books a vacation in a remote cabin on a lake, but when they arrive it’s to find the owner ensconced in the barn.

Noah enjoys the solitude of his beautiful home when he’s not travelling as a professional photographer. He doesn’t mind renting the cabin out when he’s gone, though it can be inconvenient when his plans change. Like now.

He can’t help but like the engaging child who shows up on his doorstep, and his guardian… she’s pretty special, too.

Sullivan’s Crossing is portrayed as the perfect place to unwind from life’s hassles; the characters are engaging, the setting idyllic, there’s romance and a goofy Great Dane- what’s not to love?

I give The Country Guesthouse 4 lovely kisses- written like a warm breeze on a summer’s day; enjoyable!

“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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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!

Give Thanks #GratitudePost #Family


Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Gratitude

What gratitude means to me.

This is going to be a rather personal post, but I feel the need to put into words my topsy-turvy state of mind.

I guess it all started a couple of years ago when my daughter and grandson moved to the other end of the country so she could pursue her master’s degree in biology.

I’m so very proud of her, but miss them horribly.

Then, earlier this year my mother-in-law passed away. She’d been ill for a while, and we expected a call sooner or later, but it’s still hard.

July comes and DH’s union decides to call a strike. This is the first time he’s ever been in a union, so we didn’t know what to expect- five months and counting wasn’t on the list!

And finally, my mom went in for her regular blood work check up last week and received a call the same night to get in to emergency as her potassium had bottomed out and she was in danger of a heart attack.

What does all of this have to do with gratitude you might ask?

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I’m grateful for the roof over my head, the medical services available in our country, the family and friends who have supported us during these rough periods, and most of all, for the strength to keep going when I’d sooner hide under a rock.

I’ve come to realise, no matter how hard life seems, faith and hope is a fire that will NOT let us give up. And sometimes, miracles happen.

Do you ever get depressed? What do you do to overcome it?

My upcoming release is the story of two sisters faced by the ultimate betrayal and how the strength of family ties bring them together again.

#CoverReveal

I’m excited to share the cover for my upcoming women’s fiction novel, The Sister Pact!

The Sister Pact: Home is Where The Heart is

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081L4SWDB/

International: http://bookShow.me/B081L4SWDB

Two sisters lose sight of what’s most important- family bonds.

Holly Tremaine is living on borrowed time. A life-threatening illness ends her promising musical career and sends her home in the hope of making amends for the past.

Levi Anderson is on the fast track to a successful year within his profession- the last thing he has time for is his twin brother’s shenanigans. But when it includes the one woman Levi hasn’t been able to forget, his conscience won’t let him avoid the temptation to see her again.

Can remorse heal all wounds? Or will past betrayals continue to ruin family ties, one thread at a time?

Book Review- Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie #WomensFic #Review


A hilarious novel full of Hollywood glitz, glamour, and scandal from New York Times bestselling author Gigi Levangie.

When he changes the locks, she changes the rules.

Agnes Murphy Nash is the perfect Hollywood wife – she has the right friends, the right clothes, and even a side career of her own as a writer. Her husband Trevor is a bigshot producer, and from the outside it looks like they’re living a picture-perfect celebrity life, complete with tennis tournaments and lavish parties.

But the job description of a Hollywood wife doesn’t cover divorce, which is the way Agnes’ life is headed after she comes home one day to find her credit cards cancelled and the security passwords to get into her enormous LA home changed. Oh, and there’s a guy there whose job it is to tase her if she tries to enter…which she does.

Needless to say, Agnes’ husband is dead set on making sure she loses big time, but Agnes isn’t the type to just lie down and take it. In a world of fremenies and hot nannies, personal psychics and “skinny” jello shots, Agnes may be losing her husband, but could that mean getting her own life back?

Been There, Married That is a drop-dead hilarious battle of wills that will make you laugh out loud, cringe, and keep turning the pages to see what crazy disaster will happen to Agnes next…and how she’ll rise from the ashes.

Amazon

About the Author

GIGI LEVANGIE is the author of several novels, including The Starter Wife, which was adapted for an Emmy award-winning miniseries starring Debra Messing, and Maneater, which was adapted for a Lifetime miniseries starring Sarah Chalke. In addition, Levangie wrote the screenplay for the movie Stepmom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. Her articles have appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Glamour.

My Review

Smart, snarky humor blends with real life trauma in this Hollywood wives adaptation!

Agnes Murphy Nash thought she was living the dream; Hollywood producer husband, mansion in the hills, and socialite friends, until it all came crashing down with just one word- divorce.

Suddenly, she’s persona non grata at the swanky restaurants she’d practically made famous. The friends have disappeared into the woodwork, her credit cards have been canceled, the mansion is for sale. But worst of all, her ex is suing her for full custody of their beautiful child.

This means war.

It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a book so much. Agnes has plenty of reasons to curl up with a bottle of gin and the pharmaceutical of the day, but instead she’s a fighter and there is no way her no-good philandering husband (who she’d vowed to love forever) was going to win the battle.

Over her dead body.

Favorite Lines

Nothing bad can happen if you wear a scarf; it’s like garlic to vampires.

The day was hot and dry, the city in a drought that would never end, much like my divorce.

I give Been There, Married That 5+ lovely kisses- I’ll be looking for more of this writer’s work!

“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 

My Way to You by @CatherineBybee #WomensFic #BookReview


A woman’s journey through tragedy leads to the discovery of love in a novel about hope and survival by New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee.

When a wildfire nearly destroys Parker Sinclair’s family home, it’s just one more disaster to add to her mountain of stress. For the past two years, she has shouldered the responsibility of raising her younger brother and sister after their parents’ untimely deaths. Forced to leave college for a crappy job that barely pays the bills, Parker manages her family property, which consumes every aspect of her life. Now winter is coming and the forecast isn’t spreading sunshine on the dark cloud over her head. The last thing Parker needs is a mudslide destroying everything she has worked so hard to maintain.

Colin Hudson’s job as a public works supervisor is to protect Parker’s property and neighborhood from further damage. But it’s a little hard when the owner of the land is a control freak who tries to do everything herself. The hardworking, attractive young woman is far from the “hot mess” she claims to be. In fact, her tight grip of control is one of the things that attract him the most. It’s also the hardest to crack. Now Colin’s working overtime to help Parker open up her heart, trust him, and let him in.

As Parker and Colin work together to keep her home and neighborhood safe, they may be in for another disaster. Or they may just realize that sometimes it takes destruction to create something new.

https://amzn.to/2N6WLXn

Biography

#1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
New York Times Bestselling Author
USA Today Bestselling Author
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
#1 Indie Reader Bestselling Author

Catherine Bybee is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five books that have collectively sold more than eight million copies and have been translated into twelve languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite series, the Weekday Brides series, and the Most Likely To series.

Visit me at http://www.catherinebybee.com

My Review

A relevant and scary look into the California wildfires!

Parker Sinclair is forced into growing up when her parents unexpectedly die, leaving her in charge of her teenaged siblings and the family home.

She’s barely hanging on when a wildfire rips through the hills behind her house, threatening everything they own. Thankfully, the fire crews manage to get it under control, but the hillside is compromised now that the trees are gone. If a flood were to occur, it would wash away their home.

In steps public works supervisor Colin Hudson with a plan to fortify the embankment and build two buildings to house the rainwater and stop a potential mudslide- if only he weren’t so attracted to the homeowner.

Throw in a mysterious renter who jumps at every noise, and you have the setup for a page-turning story of strength, determination, and willpower.

Favorite Lines

Southern California was in its seventh year of a severe drought. The hillsides were nothing but dense vegetation, too starved for water to even scream anymore.

My Way to You- Catherine Bybee

Band-Aid on a hemorrhage. Water rushed off the mountain like anxious kids on a slip-and-slide.

My Way to You- Catherine Bybee

This story was written as a way for the author to show her appreciation for all the people who protect, serve, and care for those in the way of these destructive acts of nature.

I give My Way to You 5 lovely kisses- an eye-opening read!

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“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 

Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of The French Revolution’s Women #Historical #Romance @InkSlingerPR @LauraKayeAuthor


Today we have the release blitz of Ribbons of Scarlet! Check out the gorgeous new release and grab your copy today!

Title: Ribbons of Scarlet

Authors: Laura Kamoie * Kate Quinn * Stephanie Dray * Sophie Perinot * Heather Webb * E. Knight

Genre: Historical Fiction

About Ribbons of Scarlet:

Ribbons of Scarlet is a timely story of the power of women to start a revolution—and change the world.

In late eighteenth-century France, women do not have a place in politics. But as the tide of revolution rises, women from gilded salons to the streets of Paris decide otherwise—upending a world order that has long oppressed them.

Blue-blooded Sophie de Grouchy believes in democracy, education, and equal rights for women, and marries the only man in Paris who agrees. Emboldened to fight the injustices of King Louis XVI, Sophie aims to prove that an educated populace can govern itself–but one of her students, fruit-seller Louise Audu, is hungrier for bread and vengeance than learning. When the Bastille falls and Louise leads a women’s march to Versailles, the monarchy is forced to bend, but not without a fight. The king’s pious sister Princess Elisabeth takes a stand to defend her brother, spirit her family to safety, and restore the old order, even at the risk of her head.

But when fanatics use the newspapers to twist the revolution’s ideals into a new tyranny, even the women who toppled the monarchy are threatened by the guillotine. Putting her faith in the pen, brilliant political wife Manon Roland tries to write a way out of France’s blood-soaked Reign of Terror while pike-bearing Pauline Leon and steely Charlotte Corday embrace violence as the only way to save the nation. With justice corrupted by revenge, all the women must make impossible choices to survive–unless unlikely heroine and courtesan’s daughter Emilie de Sainte-Amaranthe can sway the man who controls France’s fate: the fearsome Robespierre.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

National Convention

Paris, France

December 1792

“There she is, the harlot . . .”

“La femme Roland . . .”

“Traitorous slut . . .”

The whispers followed me as I made my way across the floor, looking neither right nor left. It was the first time a woman had been called to address the Convention, and I’d dressed for the occasion as though it were an honor: a blue gown that foamed about my feet as I stalked to the bar, a white fichu pinned with my tricolor cockade, red ribbons twined through my hair. A revolutionary patriot, top to toe. When I turned to face the questions, I let my eyes travel, bold and confident, to the high bleacher seats where the radical Jacobins held court.

Before the proceedings could even begin, some heckler from their ranks called, “How do you answer the charge of treason, citizeness?”

I replied with calm contempt. “The charge is ludicrous, and all here know it.”

It was a smear job of the crudest kind: an unsavory informer reporting he had discovered a London conspiracy to restore the king, and that my husband and I were complicit. My husband had already been summoned to account for himself and had perhaps not done as well as he might: he couldn’t hide his indignation, and he became flustered when the tone turned sneering. I would not give my questioners a chance to sneer.

“The informer states clearly, Citizeness Roland, that you—”

“I did not summon him.” I spoke briskly, taking the reins before my questioner could bring down the whip and speed this interrogation to the pace my enemies wanted. This was going to go at my pace, not theirs. “From my files of letters I can see the man wrote to me, asking for an interview with Minister Roland. I receive dozens of such requests every week.”

“You do not deny you received the man?”

“He paid a brief call, and from his probing I concluded he was sent to sound us out about some scheme or other.” I smiled. “Or perhaps I was wrong. I am a woman and not skilled in these matters.”

The questioner took turns with his colleagues, trying to turn my words on me, trying to talk me in circles. As long as I had listened to politicians drone over my dinner table, I could talk anyone in circles. I shredded their accusations and stamped the shreds underfoot, feeling the color rise in my cheeks—not embarrassment, but the fierce heat of pride. Was this what Roland felt when he addressed the Convention? This rush of power that tingled the fingertips, the confidence that my words were deploying like obedient soldiers and the crowd sat in the palm of my hand? Why would anyone who had command of this floor ever leave it?

Finally, I was excused to the sound of ringing applause among the deputies, the charge dismissed in full, the honors of the session formally accorded to me. I looked from Robespierre to Danton to Marat with a wide bland smile as I glided out, and the smile became a beam as my husband drew me into the nearest empty hall.

“Thank goodness it’s over.” His face was creased with relief. “Let me take you home, calm your nerves.”

“My nerves are calm, and I can take myself home. You stay, speak with those who need reassuring.”

He kissed my forehead. “I hated seeing you up there,” he muttered, before rushing back inside.

He’d hardly gone before a low voice spoke behind me, prickling my skin. “I loved seeing you up there. You were born to it.”

I turned, smile draining away. The man who loved me stood feet planted wide, arms folded, dark hair rumpled—he must have been waiting to catch me alone. “Citizen,” I managed to say, not daring to put his name through my lips.

“You were brilliant,” he said quietly. “Brave as a lioness.” A voice of calm power for a man not yet thirty-three. Six years younger than I, what did that say about me? “They should have known better than to try to trap you in so crude a snare.”

“That shabby excuse for a conspiracy might have been crude, but it was real, even if we had no involvement.” I kept my voice brisk, turning the conversation to safer waters. “As long as the king lives, there will be plots to restore him. The matter will have to be dealt with.”

“The king is just a man, and a small one.”

“With a long shadow.”

We both smiled involuntarily. It had always been like that with us, the eager cut-and-thrust of our minds. “If you wish to speak to my husband . . .”

But the man who loved me took my hand.

“Manon, I honor Roland and support him always. But I am here for you.”

About Laura Kamoie:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller Laura Kaye is the author of over forty books in romantic suspense and contemporary and erotic romance and has sold more than one million books in the U.S. alone. Among her many awards, she won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014 for Hard As You Can. A former college history professor, Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Laura also writes historical fiction under the name Laura Kamoie, also a Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today bestseller.

Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Maryland Romance Writers, the Washington Romance Writers, and she is past president of the RWA-Contemporary Romance Writers.

Connect with Laura Kamoie:

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A short Teaser from my upcoming #WomensFic #WIPWednesday


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I’ve had heroes on my mind lately.

From Dictionairy.com:

noun, plural he·roes; for 5 also he·ros.

a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character: He became a local hero when he saved the drowning child.

a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal: My older sister is my hero. Entrepreneurs are our modern heroes.

the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.

Classical Mythology.

  1. a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.
  2. (in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.
  3. (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.
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In my novels I try to create men/women who have many of the qualities above, along with vulnerabilities that create empathy in my readers.

It’s a fine balance to tread.

To me strength comes as much from inside a person as physicality. You have to be courageous to do the jobs they do. But more than that, is their Achilles’ heel, for want of a better name. What is their weakness? The thing that makes these strong warriors weak in the knees?

I like to think it’s compassion. Love of fellow man. Gentleness and mercy.

This week’s teaser comes from a women’s fiction novel I’m working on about two estranged sisters and the path to forgiveness and understanding.


Many evenings she and Susan would sit at his feet and listen enthralled, as he regaled them with tales of pirates and princesses, mischievous elves and buried treasure. As with every good fairytale, a dashing hero would arrive just in time to save the day. It was probably then, listening to stories at her father’s knee, that Holly began to dream of her own hero. He’d need to be strong enough to slay dragons. Charming and kind, yet able to make her laugh. Handsome and gentle; a father as perfect as her own. A good kisser; that’s as far as her nine-year-old mind would go at the time. And above all else, someone she could talk to, share ideas with.
Even then, she’d known the value of a true friend.
The rattle of a key in the front door lock jerked her back to the moment. Self-conscious, she dropped her hand from where it had been resting and turned to greet her parents.
Except it wasn’t her mother and father.
Susan hesitated on the threshold, their gazes fusing across the distance. A cold draft knifed its way between them filled with ugly words and betrayals.

© Jacquie Biggar 2019

What does a hero mean to you? Let’s talk about it!

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.

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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.