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#Book Blitz #Green House Haunting: An Andy Watts Ghost Column by Olivia York #New Adult #Mystery #Suspense @Xpresso Book Tours

Green House Haunting: An Andy Watts Ghost Column
Olivia York
Publication date: September 29th 2022
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Supernatural, Suspense

A terrible tragedy dead and buried. Can a young woman dig up the haunted truth without falling into madness?

Andy Watts needs a break. So when the struggling journalist is asked to revisit a fifty-year-old mystery, she jumps at the chance to move into an abandoned house and honor her long-gone mom by becoming a respected reporter. But she’s shocked when she discovers not only did a polio-stricken boy disappear from within its rooms, but his mother took a fatal tumble down the stairs.

Stonewalled by the locals and unnerved by unexplained events in the eerie home, Andy fears the town would rather bury evidence than admit one of their own could commit murder. And with the ghostly image of a youngster in leg braces persisting, she’s terrified by hints that the awful answer is calling from beyond the grave.

Can Andy deliver justice for the voiceless before she becomes the next victim?

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EXCERPT:

Green house stood solemnly in a noiseless field of overgrown vegetation. The dim rays of daylight disappeared in the distance beyond, darkening the front while sharpening the jagged exterior outline with a looming violet glow. It rose above the ground, perhaps two floors high, but a lack of windows at the top told Andy it may not have an attic to speak of.

The house drew her closer. The windows appeared somewhat new, the lining freshly painted white. It contrasted the worn, splintered wood on the verge of collapsing from the weight of a perched bird. At the base of the sagging stoop was the frame of a crumbling, rusted bicycle, rendered useless by the rain and condensation.

Andy climbed the front steps. Two, three, four steps upward, each one creaking an undecipherable note of an ominous melody. An unraveling front door mat read “Home” in tattered, fading letters.

This isn’t so bad.

Andy winced, unable to swallow her own lie. Quickly, she found the key in the envelope before she could change her mind and turn back. The shiny silver looked brand new compared to the decrepit bronze lock on the door. Studying the door closer, she spotted the new keyhole. A stern-looking deadbolt glinting a couple of inches above what must have been the original lock.

She pushed the door open, and the weight dragged it all the way open to gently bounce off the interior wall. Andy peered inside, but her feet stayed glued to the mat outside the door. The interior contents were fuzzy in the fading light, yet she could spot the three glinting hooks on the wall for sweaters and hats. A little deeper inside was one wing of the house, and to the right was another. In the center was a semi-carpeted staircase leading upstairs, where what followed remained unseen around the corner.

There was nothing particularly extraordinary about the home. She was no expert on houses made in the ’30s and ’40s, but it looked about how she’d expect. The ceilings were low, and the wooden floor was dull. However, Andy couldn’t help but feel something was different. That there was something in plain sight she couldn’t see. She stood motionless at the door, searching for what she thought was missing. The house stood, too, waiting patiently.

Author Bio:

Olivia York writes supernatural suspense novels with family drama woven throughout (and hints of mystery). After a stint working for a local news station as reporter/anchor in the Midwest, she decided to make the switch to her imaginative side and write.

She is a lover of cats, road trips, and visiting old fashioned candy shops along the coast. Olivia lives with her husband and two cats, who are kind enough to humor her love of paranormal TV shows and never-ending collection of horror films.

Sign up for Olivia York’s Newsletter to find out about new releases, updates, cover reveals, and more!

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#Book Blitz #Whispers in the Waters by Sarah Chislon #Fantasy #Mystery @Xpresso Book Tours

Whispers in the Waters
Sarah Chislon
Publication date: September 27th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Ladies don’t shame their families.

Ladies don’t confront Otherwordly threats.

Ladies certainly don’t admit some taint of the fae has touched their souls—unless they wish to find themselves confined to an Institution.

Gently-bred herbalist Jessa Caldwell is trying to be a lady. She conceals her true nature amongst her plants and her sketches—where she can almost shut out the whispers she alone hears. But a threat to her beloved aunt forces her from the comfort of home to a town perilously near an Otherworldly Crossing, with its ever-present risk of fae incursions.

To protect her aunt and the townsfolk she comes to care for, she must uncover the individual responsible for a series of increasingly dangerous attacks—but to find this saboteur will require embracing the part of herself she fears most, an act that could cost her dearly. In a world where Vigilists lock up fae-touched mortals, Jessa must decide if she’s willing to risk exposing her true nature to obtain the truth and protect those she loves.

Whispers in the Waters, a gaslamp fantasy novella, serves as the prequel to Tattoo of Crimson, the first book in the Blood of the Fae series. If you like quick-minded heroines who solve cases with logic and intuition, Otherworldly intrigues, and beautiful yet deadly fae, then you’ll love this mystery set in a world of manners and mythical monsters.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

I rounded a bend, and the slight woman I’d seen in the stratesman’s shadow when we’d arrived in Milburn stumbled down the lane, her gown of muslin streaked with dirt and littered with forest debris. She clutched a ragged silk shawl around her shoulders, as though it could shield her from notice.

Nelda, Mrs. Wilkins had called her. Her palm dripped blood, and tears streaked her cheeks. For a moment, I remained rooted in place. If the townsfolk were to be believed, Nelda had brought a vengeful attack against Melle and her family. But the downcast lines of her body spoke of brokenness and distress, not malice.

“Nelda?” I hoped she wouldn’t take offense at the use of her given name from a stranger. I hurried forward. “You’re hurt. What happened?”

“I . . . I don’t know.” Nelda lifted her hand and watched as blood wept from it, one drop after another splatting against the dusty surface of the road. The wound cut deep.

Could Mrs. Wilkins have been right when she’d suggested madness? I shifted the bundle of clothes from one arm to the other. “Can I accompany you home and find someone to tend your injury?”

She laughed, a wild, off-key sound. “Home? I have no home.”

“Then where are you staying?” I lowered my voice in an attempt to soothe her. “I’ll help you there and fetch an herbalist, if it suits you.”

“Staying? No one will house me. Not after what’s happened at the mill.” She jabbed toward the trees with her uninjured hand. “I stay in the forest. At least here, I’m close. Close to where home used to be.”

I drew in a sharp breath. To live in the forest, this close to a Crossing? It was unthinkable. Otherkind might lurk anywhere, not to mention natural predators. Had the entire town truly forsaken her, simply because she’d wed the wrong man and he’d abandoned her? Or was there more that I missed? Society offered swift condemnation for those who failed to abide by its strictures, but other than a poor choice in a husband, what wrong had she done?

She swayed, and I rushed to steady her. “You can’t stay out here. You need proper shelter and someone to look at your wound. Come with me into Milburn, and we’ll find an herbalist.”

“No, I can’t.” She backed away, every scrap of color leeching from already-pale features. “No one here wants to help. They’d only try to lock me up!”

Author Bio:

Sarah Chislon lives in Virginia with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing, she’s homeschooling her children and running a web development business with her husband. As an avid reader and a lifelong story-weaver, she delights in creating fantastic worlds and exploring them alongside her characters.

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#Book Blitz #Wild at Heart by Stacy Gold #Contemporary Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

Wild at Heart
Stacy Gold
(Wild Love, #1)
Publication date: May 2nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

They each hit the trail solo in search of themselves…

Overworked entrepreneur Jules Martinez is sick and tired of men leaving her for their exes. Determined to wipe the giant, scarlet Rfor rebound off her forehead, she kicks off a yearlong vow of celibacy with five, blissful weeks backpacking her favorite trails through Washington State. Solo.

Out-of-work financial analyst Evan Davenport hasn’t been happy since camping in Scouts as a kid—before his wealthy parents and now ex-fiancé made all his major life decisions. Hoping to find joy and purpose, he buys all the latest ultralight backpacking gear, flies to Washington, and sets off alone on a weeklong speed hike through the wilderness.

Mother Nature has other plans, though, and keeps shoving Evan and Jules in each other’s paths. Usually naked. When sparks fly, can they find what they’re looking for in life together instead of apart?

Goodreads / Purchase

On sale for $1.99 for a limited time only!

Author Bio:

Award-winning adventure romance author Stacy Gold would rather be in the middle of nowhere than almost anywhere else. To that end, she’s run more than 50 rivers in three countries, been heli-dropped into remote ski huts multiple times (and made it into even more under her own steam), worked for the U.S.D.A. Forest Service as a backcountry ranger, river ranger, and naturalist, and spent fourteen years as a commercial river guide and kayak instructor. Her last “real job” was serving as Communications Director for a state-wide mountain biking non-profit.

When she’s not busy kayaking, skiing, mountain biking, or hiking, with her husband and happy dogs, Ms. Gold writes about independent, badass women finding love and adventure in the great outdoors. Her latest release, Wild at Heart, came out May 2nd, 2022.

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#Book Blitz #Escape Room Tango by CC Bridges #Contemporary Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

Escape Room Tango
CC Bridges
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: September 28th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

David never expected to fall for his rival. After getting fired and dumped, he wasn’t even looking for a relationship. But she’s the one woman he can’t have—his business is the reason hers is failing.

Elena built her escape room like she rebuilt her body after the accident—piece by piece with determination. And this guy thinks he can show up and put in the minimal work? He deserved to have the fire inspector called on him.

But Elena can’t ignore the connection between them. Will she have to sacrifice her dreams for a chance at love?

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EXCERPT:

“My name is David Brant. I’m the owner.” He didn’t know why his words made the dark-haired woman glare at him, but David didn’t really care.

He only had eyes for the redhead. She had stolen his attention from the moment she walked into the lobby. He’d been excited about welcoming his first customers, his intro speech on his lips. Every word left his mind the moment he saw her.

She held herself differently than the other two women, with her shoulders back and neck extended. Her cinnamon-colored hair hung over her shoulder in a long braid. He wanted to pick up that braid and tickle her nose with it to make her laugh, anything to see what her smile might look like. Her green eyes speared him with their gaze, rendering him temporarily mute.

He held out his hand. “Pleased to meet you…” He trailed off, hoping she’d take him up on the offer.

She took it, her grip firm and decisive. “Elena.”

“That’s a lovely name.” He grinned, realized he was acting like an idiot, and stepped forward to greet the other two women in the same way. They were all his customers and deserved the same courtesy. “Can I take your coats? There are hooks back here.”

He’d designed the lobby to be comfortable but clearly a place of transition. With any luck, his customers wouldn’t spend much time here at all before being escorted into one of the three escape rooms in the back. If he wanted to be successful, he needed to have a constant flow of customers.

That didn’t mean his lobby couldn’t be fun. He’d placed Rubik’s cubes and other mind-teasing puzzles on the coffee table near the chairs along one wall. He included a water cooler for those who arrived thirsty. If they were hungry, he’d happily direct them to Spano’s Pizza next door, owned by the family of his best friend, Tony.

Without Tony, he didn’t think he’d have ever pulled the trigger and made this fresh start by opening his own business.

“Of course, thank you.” Elena handed over her coat.

David collected it and those belonging to the other two before hanging them.

“Have you ever done an escape room before?” he asked, trying to keep the conversation going.

“A few. But this place is new to us.” Elena seemed to be the only one willing to speak.

Not that he minded, he liked the sound of her voice. Man, Tony was right. Before the ladies had walked in, he’d been telling David he had to get back in the dating scene, go on the rebound, get it out of his system. Clearly, his words held some truth if David had immediately started checking out his customers. Well, one notable customer in particular.

Author Bio:

CC Bridges spent her childhood visiting other worlds in books, comics, and the starship Enterprise. It’s no surprise that she ended up a librarian, being surrounded by the books she loves so much. She writes about amazing worlds with honorable heroes. Her hobbies include paying money to get locked in a room for an hour so she can solve puzzles to escape, along with the aforementioned reading. She lives with her husband and son on the Jersey Shore. She is currently pursuing an MFA from Southern New Hampshire University.

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#Blog Tour #Daggers at the Country Fair (Martha Miller Mysteries, Book 2) by Catherine Coles #Mystery #Amateur Sleuth @rararesources @Boldwood Books

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Daggers at the Country Fair, the second book in Catherine Coles’ series of cozy mysteries featuring Martha Miller.

Daggers at the Country Fair

Winteringham Village 1947

As a thank you for her previous brilliant crime solving, amateur sleuth, Martha Miller is guest of honour at the Winteringham Country Fair. However, this time she is looking forward to simply judging dog shows and eating cream teas rather than apprehending a killer!

And Martha is just beginning to enjoy spending quality time with Vicar Luke Walker away from the prying eyes and gossips of her own village, when disaster strikes, and the local teenage femme fatale is found stabbed to death behind the tea tent by Martha’s trusted red setter Lizzie!

But who would want to kill such a young girl and why? Someone in the village has secrets to hide and it seems Martha and Luke have another case to solve!

Let the investigation commence!

Purchase Link

My thoughts:

Are you a fan of Agatha Christie mysteries? Then you would agree there’s nothing more enjoyable than a classical whodunnit set in a small village with a likeable amateur sleuth and their endearing sidekick and other traditional secondary characters.
Daggers at the Country Fair is the second book in a series of cozies set in rural Britain in 1947. Martha Miller is still considered a newcomer in her village of Westleham. Why, she’s only been living there for ten years and has only recently been able to make a few friends. The rest of the village still suspect that Martha isn’t an abandoned wife (her husband Stan Miller left for work one day and never came back), but is a cold-blooded murderess herself with Stan’s remains lying under Martha’s potato patch. No-one is surprised more than Martha when she receives an invitation to open a Village Fair in another village. Martha’s sister Ruby suspects it’s all due to Martha’s fame after the events described in book 1.

You can read Daggers at the Country Fair as a standalone or start from the second book, as the author masterfully includes background information without overloading the narrative. Still, the first book is so entertaining that I would definitely recommend starting from there. If nothing else, you’ll meet Martha’s adorable sidekick- the dashing vicar Luke Walker and see the evolution of their relationship from the beginning.

When Martha and Luke discover a body behind their tent at the Fair, they cannot help getting involved in the case given the fact that the teenage victim was the niece of Luke’s old friend, the vicar of Winteringham. It quickly transpires that the seventeen-year-old wasn’t universally loved in the village and had a bit of a reputation. We don’t have all the elements from the beginning, which would allow us to use our deductive powers to see the solution to the puzzle. No, we discover and analyse the significance of the clues step by step in a very engaging journey.

In this book we see Martha come into her own. She has always been independent and resourceful, but now there’s more- she isn’t afraid to stand up to more more powerful and more privileged who routinely shift blame and responsibility for their own shortcomings and selfish (and sometimes even criminal) behaviour onto those less fortunate instead of helping them. For Luke, this investigation is going to test whether he really knows his friends as well as where the line between him being a vicar and just an ordinary, decent human being.

I loved all the small and big details that set the narrative in the post-war rural Britain e.g the mention of Princess Elizabeth and the road signs which used to be covered during the war in case the enemy troops invaded the country. The role and position of women in society and attitudes towards unmarried mothers were very different. Crimes too, of course, as well as methods for solving them- no DNA analysis to mention just one type of forensic evidence we see so often in contemporary police procedurals. On the other hand, good old-fashioned information gathering was as important then as it is now, if not more so.


I really enjoyed this second book in the series and can’t wait to read the next installment!

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources, Netgalley and Boldwood books for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Catherine Coles writes bestselling cosy mysteries set in the English countryside. Her extremely popular Tommy & Evelyn Christie series is based in North Yorkshire in the 1920’s and Catherine herself lives in Hull with her family and two spoiled dogs.

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#Can’t Wait Wednesday #Off The Map by Trish Doller #Romance #Romantic Comedy @St.Martin’s Griffin

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you’re continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

And the book I am waiting for is…

From the blurb:

A road trip romance through the Irish countryside where two new friends wonder at something more.

Carla Black’s life motto is “here for a good time, not for a long time.” She’s been traveling the world on her own in her vintage Jeep Wrangler for nearly a decade, stopping only long enough to replenish her adventure fund. She doesn’t do love and she doesn’t ever go home.

Eamon Sullivan is a modern-day cartographer who creates digital maps. His work helps people find their way, but he’s the one who’s lost his sense of direction. He’s unhappy at work, recently dumped, and his one big dream is stalled out—literally.

Fate throws them together when Carla arrives in Dublin for her best friend’s wedding and Eamon is tasked with picking her up from the airport. But what should be a simple drive across Ireland quickly becomes complicated with chemistry-filled detours, unexpected feelings, and a chance at love – if only they choose it.

Trish Doller’s Off the Map proves: on the road to love, you don’t need a GPS.

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Expected Publication Date: August, 2023

Publisher: St.Martin’s Griffin

Romance /Romantic Comedy

ISBN 9781250809490, 1250809495

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TRISH DOLLER is a writer, traveler, and dog rescuer, but not necessarily in that order. She is the international bestselling author of Float Plan, The Suite Spot, and Off the Map. She has also written several YA novels, including the critically acclaimed Something Like Normal. When she’s not writing, Trish loves sailing, camping, and avoiding housework. She lives in southwest Florida with an opinionated herding dog and an ex-pirate.

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#Book Blitz #Magic and Mayhem by Annie Anderson (The Wrong Witch 2) #Urban Fantasy @Xpresso Book Tours

Magic and Mayhem
Annie Anderson
(The Wrong Witch, #2)
Publication date: September 27th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Goodreads / Amazon

All it took was one bite.

A week ago, I was the perpetual screw up of the Bannister coven and a probationary agent for the Arcane Bureau of Investigation. Somehow, I’ve managed to get myself mated to an Acosta Alpha, pissed off my family, and gotten on the radar of a dark Fae.

As much as I’d like to bury my head in the sand, I have a badge to secure—and with a new case on my proverbial desk—a job to do. Because I’m not the first witch that the Fae has tried to steal, but I will definitely be the last.

Just as soon as I get this curse under control…

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life… interesting.

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#Book Blitz #Mermaid of Venice Series by Jincey Lumpkin #Fantasy #Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

Mermaid of Venice
Jincey Lumpkin
(Mermaid of Venice, #1)
Publication date: March 15th 2021
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

IndieReader Approved with 4.8 of 5 stars: “MERMAID OF VENICE is an electrifying series starter that immerses readers in a world filled with glamor, sex, murder, and mermaids.”

Dive into the extremely glamorous life of Gia Acquaviva, an ultra-rich Venetian mogul with a portfolio of clubs and casinos around the globe. Gia harbors dark secrets––and an underwater graveyard filled with the bones of her former lovers.

Her family’s roots descend from the mythological sirens of ancient Greece, but she’s taken every precaution to protect her anonymity and the existence of other mermaids. Gia lures in men with a beguiling façade, but inside lurks a deeply troubled soul, severely damaged by a mysterious past.

Despite her sinister desires, she longs for true intimacy and believes she may have found her match in Cameron Langley, a successful London-based banker and dead ringer for Chris Hemsworth. He offers Gia her first real opportunity for lasting love. They share an intensely passionate, deeply sensual connection… but is her growing affection for new lover enough to lull the murderous cravings she feels building within?

Fans of Killing Eve and Big Little Lies will love Mermaid of Venice, a sexy psychological thriller with lush fantasy elements. The setting is modern day Europe with all the chic locales, hot spots and vistas of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley and a juicy splash of the lavish lifestyle in E. L. James’s 50 Shades series. This is not the Little Mermaid you grew up with. Gia’s out for blood.

Mermaid of Venice is the first installment in a series of 6 books about Gia Acquaviva.

The complete series:

Goodreads / Amazon

The full series is out NOW! Get started on it today!

EXCERPT (book 1):

In a dark corner of the canal, Gia Aqcuaviva sat on the curved wooden edge of her Riva doing what most locals did during the Venice Film Festival: She observed celebrities. Mega-yachts littered the Grand Canal—no doubt there were many billions in global currencies floating on the water.

She was not a star-struck teen. On the contrary, she’d crossed paths with her fair share of the glitterati on the floors of her casinos and in the VIP rooms of her clubs in Paris and Berlin and Monte Carlo. Gia preferred the shadows, though. On this particular evening, she was staked out for one particular star, Nicolás Ángel Fernández, her lover.

Nico was scheduled for the red carpet at five o’clock, a prime slot for maximum exposure to the paparazzi. His handlers would make sure he hit every mark and, then, that he would be smuggled out of the theater’s side door just as the lights went down. He couldn’t stand the sight of his own famous face on the screen. Never mind that he’d attained “Sexiest Man Alive” status several times over.

He didn’t even like to see himself on directors’ monitors. The lack of vanity, the self-loathing, it was all part of his appeal. He preferred, instead, to look at Gia. Her deep brown hair, nearly waist long. Her pearly skin. She was almost fifty, but he didn’t know that—almost no one did. Those fortunate enough to meet her assumed that she was a rich woman in her late twenties or thirties. Her beauty defied logic, except that it didn’t.

Author Bio:

Jincey Lumpkin is a writer who splits her time between NYC and Lisbon. She has been profiled by Dateline NBC, Vice, and GQ, among others. Out Magazine listed her in its “OUT 100,” naming her as one of the world’s most influential LGBTQ+ people, alongside celebrities like Laverne Cox and Ricky Martin. Sign up for exclusive content at JinceyLumpkin.com

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#Top Ten Tuesday #Typographic Book Covers

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

Jana from That Artsy Girl assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. Anybody is welcome to join and create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. You can put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! 

Todays’s Topic:

Typographic Book Covers

1 You Should Have Seen It Coming by Shani Mitchel

2 Carrie Soto is back by Taylor Reid Jenkins

3 The Crows by Anders Fager and Peter Bergting

4 Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James

5 The Weather Weaver by Tamsin Mori

6 City of Saints&Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

7 Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley by Lyndall Clipstone

8 Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

9 How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

10 In the Woods by Tana French by Naomi Novik

Have you read any of these books? If yes, did you like or hate them? Would you recommend them?

Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Topics:



October 4: Favorite Bookstores OR Bookstores I’d Love to Visit (The UK celebrated National Bookshop Day on October 1, so I thought it would be a fun topic!)
October 11: Books I Read On Vacation (bonus points if you tell us where you were!) (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer)
October 18: Favorite Words (This isn’t so much bookish, but I thought it would be fun to share words we love! These could be words that are fun to say, sound funny, mean something great, or make you smile when you read/hear them.)
October 25: Halloween Freebie
November 1: Unlikable Characters You Can’t Help but Love (These are villains, criminals, jerks, etc. that make you fall in love with them anyway, perhaps because they evolve by the end or they’re secretly wonderful and have been all along.)
November 8: Series I’d Like to Start/Catch up on/Finish
November 15: Favorite “Aww” Moments In Books (Share those sweet/cute moments in books that give you warm fuzzies.)
November 22: Thankful Freebie
November 29: Cozy Reads (Share books that give off a cozy vibe, whether through atmosphere, setting, or some other factor. Please tell us why they’re cozy for you, too!)
December 6: Freebie
December 13: Books on My Winter 2022-2023 To-Read List
December 20: Books I Hope Santa Brings This Year
December 27: Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection (What books did you get as presents this holiday season? Or what did you buy with gift cards?)

Thank you for stopping by and reading the post! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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#Happy Publication Day #September 27th, , 2022 #Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong #Forestfall by Lyndall Clipstone #The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik #Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young

So many great new releases today! Happy Publication Day!

From the Blurb:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends comes the first book in a captivating new duology following an ill-matched pair of spies posing as a married couple to investigate a series of brutal murders in 1930s Shanghai.

It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.

Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging—and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption for her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.

Code name: Fortune.

But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.

To reduce suspicion, however, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong, and though Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanor infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.


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Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

ISBN 9781665905589, 1665905581


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Forestfall by Lyndall Clipstone

Series: World at the Lake’s Edge Duology (#2)

In this breathtaking second book in Lyndall Clipstone’s duology, following Lakesedge, Leta learns the cost of the bargain she made with the Lord Under.

The curse that haunted Lakesedge Estate has been broken, but at great cost. Violeta Graceling has sacrificed herself to end the Corruption.

To escape death, Leta makes a desperate bargain with the Lord Under, one that sees her living at his side in the land of the dead. And though he claims to have given her all he promised, Leta knows this world of souls and mists hides many secrets.

When she discovers she is still bound to Rowan, Leta goes to drastic lengths to reforge their connection. But her search for answers, and a path back home, will see her drawn into even more dangerous bargains, and struggling to resist the allure of a new, dark, power . . .

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Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

ISBN 9781250753410, 1250753414

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The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik

Series: The Scholomance (#3)

Saving the world is a test no school of magic can prepare you for in the triumphant conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate.

The one thing you never talk about while you’re in the Scholomance is what you’ll do when you get out. Not even the richest enclaver would tempt fate that way. But it’s all we dream about, the hideously slim chance we’ll survive to make it out the gates and improbably find ourselves with a life ahead of us, a life outside the Scholomance halls.

And now the impossible dream has come true. I’m out, we’re all out–and I didn’t even have to turn into a monstrous dark witch to make it happen. So much for my great-grandmother’s prophecy of doom and destruction. I didn’t kill enclavers, I saved them. Me, and Orion, and our allies. Our graduation plan worked to perfection: we saved everyone and made the world safe for all wizards and brought peace and harmony to all the enclaves of the world. 

Ha, only joking! Actually it’s gone all wrong. Someone else has picked up the project of destroying enclaves in my stead, and probably everyone we saved is about to get killed in the brewing enclave war on the horizon. And the first thing I’ve got to do now, having miraculously got out of the Scholomance, is turn straight around and find a way back in.

Story Locale:Fantasy world

************************************************************

Publisher: Del Rey

ISBN 9780593158357, 0593158350

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Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young

“Lush with secrets, magic, and a past that won’t stay where it belongs, this novel is (quite fittingly) spellbinding.”—JODI PICOULT, author of Wish You Were Here
 
From New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young comes a deeply atmospheric story about ancestral magic, an unsolved murder, and a second chance at true love.

Emery Blackwood’s life changed forever the night her best friend was found dead and the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her. Years later, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence on the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and running the family business, Blackwood’s Tea Shoppe Herbal Tonics & Tea Leaf Readings. But when the island, rooted in folklore and magic, begins to show signs of strange happenings, Emery knows that something is coming. The morning she wakes to find that every single tree on Saoirse has turned color in a single night, August returns for the first time in fourteen years.     

August knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night everything changed. As a fire raged on at the Salt family orchard, Lily Morgan was found dead in the dark woods, shaking the bedrock of their tight-knit community and branding August a murderer. When he returns to bury his mother’s ashes, he must confront the people who turned their backs on him and face the one wound from his past that has never healed—Emery. But the town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises spanning generations threaten to reveal the truth behind Lily’s mysterious death once and for all.

Story Locale:Pacific Northwest

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Publisher: Delacorte Press

ISBN 9780593358511, 0593358511

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Have you read any of these books? If yes, did you like them?

If no, are you looking forward to reading them?

Featured

It’s Monday! What are you reading? September 26th, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

Daggers at the Country Fair (A Martha Miller Mystery) by Catherine Coles

and then my library purchased The Last Graduate and I went on an improvised Naomi Novik-readathon 😂😂😂

A Deadly Education (The Scholomance#1) by Naomi Novik

The Last Graduate (The Scholomance#2) by Naomi Novik

What I am reading/listening to now:

The Change by Kirsten Miller

You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry

What I’m reading /listening to next:

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

The Resting Place by Camilla Sten

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Book Blitz #The Shadows We Make by Jo Allen Ash #YA #Dystopian #Science Fiction @Xpresso Book Tours

The Shadows We Make
Jo Allen Ash
Publication date: July 14th 2022
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Grace Irese, sixteen-year-old desert warrior with a chip on her shoulder, is gifted in ways she does not yet realize. Duncan Oaks, teenage member of the Grif-Drif Con-Artist Guild, is a boy who has made one bad choice too many. When they are both remanded to an off-world juvenile facility with lifetime sentences. Grace and Duncan plot an escape into the horrific environment beyond in order to save Duncan’s sister from Grace’s war-torn world. Will they and their unlikely companions survive unscathed or find themselves forever altered?

Set in dark alien words and told in the first person with three separate voices, The Shadows We Make is a young adult tale filled with bravery, magic and the binding power of friendship.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Author Bio:

I have been traditionally and self-published with books released by the former Warner Books, Kensington, and indie companies under my own name and pseudonyms. Once and Always (written as Alyssa Deane), was translated and sold in various European countries. I self-publish the Connor Falls Christmas series as Robin Maderich, but I have always wanted to return to writing for the young adult reader. Perhaps this is why The Shadows We Make, penned as Jo Allen Ash and my debut as a YA author, is the accomplishment about which I am most excited.

The Shadows We Make is a young adult tale of dystopian sci-fi/fantasy filled with complex and compelling characters. In The Shadows We Make, I burrow down into dark themes such as addiction, hopelessness and loss, countered by the strength and unexpected sweetness of forged friendships. The next book in the planned series, The Thrice-Gifted Child, continues where The Shadows We Make leaves off, with the same cast of characters and a few more besides.

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#Book Blitz #The Mystery of Alan Norman McBride #Mystery #Young Adult @Xpresso Book Tours

The Mystery of Alan Norman McBride
Sarah Fader
Publication date: November 30th 2018
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

Pam and Emily are two sisters who live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Emily is a born investigator and is notorious for eavesdropping on conversations she hears on the streets of New York City. One Saturday, the sisters happen to overhear two gangsters planning the murder of millionaire Alan Norman McBride. They decide it is their duty to warn McBride and stop the murderers in their tracks!

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Eliezer Tristan Publishing Company, where she is dedicated to sharing the words of authors who endure and survive trauma and mental illness. She is also the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York.

Sarah is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Like six million other Americans, Sarah lives with Bipolar type II, OCD ADHD, and PTSD. Through Stigma Fighters, Sarah hopes to change the world, one mental health stigma at a time.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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Book Blitz #The Sleeping Giant (The Acadian Secret 2) by Tammy Lowe #Fantasy #Time Travel # YA @Xpresso Book Tours

The Sleeping Giant
Tammy Lowe
(The Acadian Secret, #2)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: September 21st 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Time-Travel, Young Adult

When a tormented man begs 17-year-old Elisabeth London to travel back in time to save his life, she reluctantly agrees. Assuming Scotland is the destination, she ends up in Ancient Rome instead.
The good news is she finds the man; now a bold 17-year-old named Aquarius. The bad news is he’s an indentured slave, sentenced to death in the arena, and doesn’t even know her yet.
Elisabeth helps Aquarius escape and becomes an outlaw herself. Armed with her wits and his rock sling, the new friends are on the run from a relentless slave dealer, Rufus Leptis.

Elisabeth soon realizes she’s not here to save Aquarius from Rufus, but from the doomed city of Pompeii. Although trying to be brave, the thought of remaining in Aquarius’ swashbuckling world a minute longer than necessary is inconceivable.

At least, it used to be.

Before that darn, happy-go-lucky slave stole her heart.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Author Bio:

An adventurer at heart, Tammy has explored ruins in Rome, Pompeii, and Istanbul (Constantinople) with historians and archaeologists.

She’s slept in the tower of a 15th century castle in Scotland, climbed down the cramped tunnels of Egyptian pyramids, scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge, sailed on a tiny raft down the Yulong River in rural China, dined at a Bedouin camp in the Arabian Desert, and escaped from head-hunters in the South Pacific.

I suppose one could say her own childhood wish of time traveling adventures came true…in a roundabout way.

Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Pinterest

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#Flashback Friday #Archibald Finch and the Lost Witches by Michel Guyon (Narrated by Steve Hendrickson) #Magic Portal Fantasy @Andrews McMeel Publishing

From the blurb:

History, magic, and adventure collide in this riveting middle-grade fantasy novel about an unusual boy who unlocks an ancient relic—and with it, a forgotten world. Befriended by a band of young witches, Archibald Finch must quickly adapt to survive in Lemurea, where a battle born in the Middle Ages is still unfolding . . . 

Archibald is a risk-averse boy with quirks that earn him plenty of eye-rolls, especially from his older sister, Hailee. Things get worse when his parents move the family from London to his grandmother’s creepy manor in the English countryside. Now he has to deal with hairless dolls in the library, weird stone creatures on the roof, and a spooky forest at the edge of the backyard. But these turn out to be the least of Archibald’s problems . . . 

One day, as he’s exploring the cavernous house, he finds a curious globe that whisks him away to a secret world, hidden for 500 years. Archibald finds himself on a thrilling adventure full of medieval magic, mysterious symbols, and the strangest beasts, while Hailee—who witnessed her brother’s disappearance—embarks on a daring quest to find him. 

9-12 y.o.

Publication Date: October 19, 2021

Publisher: Andrews McMeel

352 pages

9781524867720, 1524867721

Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic

My thoughts:
I loved this magical adventure so much that after listening to an advanced copy, I went on to buy my own copy. This proved to be an excellent decision because the illustrations are absolutely marvellous and add so much to this already fascinating story.
After the funeral of his much loved grandmother Celestine (although Archie does have a bone to pick with her- she was the one responsible for giving him his rare and old-fashioned name!), eleven-year-old Archibald and his family. move into a mansion in a small town half an hour away from London. Archibald is a nerdy (he literally knows every single thing his teachers ask him and has no idea how or why), but confident and adventurous kid and he starts exploring his new home straightaway. This is how he finds an odd object that looks like an antique globe, which transports him into a magical world populated by strange looking ferocious beasts and … kind and resourceful tween and teenage girls who turn out to be witches.

At this point the story splits into two, as Archibald’s thirteen-year-old sister Hailee launches her own investigation, helped by an antique dealer’s son Oliver, and together they will do everything possible to save the world from mysterious villains (religious fanatics and witchhunters?) and bring Archie back home.


Archibald is thrown into his adventure and has to hit the ground running. Luckily for him, he is a strong and, I daresay, opinionated character. I loved the supporting characters of witches, especially down-to-earth Faeryday, who manages to expand Archie’s already impressive vocabulary (I sure didn’t know what a topiary was at Archie’s age) by teaching him endless archaic synonyms for common insults. The second plotline was even better as you can see Hailee go through so much development- she stole the show for me.


I liked the concept of a globe as a magic portal and the magic system of using stone golems as ingredients for a limitless range of new, situation-specific spells.
Steve Hendrickson does a wonderful job as the narrator. He had me hooked on the story from the word go until the last minute. A perfect audio version for 9-12 year-olds.

Can’t wait to read and listen to the sequel Archibald Finch and The Curse of the Phoenix which is coming out in May 2023.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy, provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

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#Book Blitz #A Lady Never Surrenders (Sisterhood of Scandal 1) by Bronwen Evans #Historical Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

A Lady Never Surrenders
Bronwen Evans
(Sisterhood of Scandal, #1)
Publication date: September 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance

From USA Today Bestselling Author, Bronwen Evans comes her new Sisterhood of Scandal series. A group of ladies whose friendship is based on ensuring they can take on the world dominated by their men folk. No male relative is going to choose their destinies.

Shhh. Blue Stocking Miss Tiffany Deveraux has a secret. The poor orphan is not so poor. But she does not want that information to become common knowledge. Being a plain Jane, any hint of money would just bring fortune hunters to her door. No. In society’s eyes she will remain the poor orphaned ward of the Earl of Marlowe. Only then will she ensure the man who eventually professes his love for her is genuine.

Lord Slade Ware, the Marquess of Wolfarth also has a secret. He’s a renowned investment guru with everything he touches turning to gold. Or is he? Society may think so, but mostly his investments have been blind luck, and he’s pretty sure his luck is about to run out. Help comes in the form of his best friend’s ward. He’s learned Miss Tiffany Deveraux’s secret. She’s an investment guru who has accumulated a considerable sum. Marriage would seem a sensible option with so many dependents relying on him. But what’s a man to do when the one thing a woman wants isn’t his looks, title or money—it’s his heart and Wolfarth’s heart is shattered beyond repair.

Goodreads / Amazon

PLUS! Grab your copy the FREE short story, A Lady Never Concedes, a prequel to A Lady Never Surrenders!

uthor Bio:

Waving from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

USA Today bestselling author, Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Evans is a three-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand with her dogs Brandy and Duke.

You can keep up with Bronwen’s news by visiting her website

http://www.bronwenevans.com

and get a FREE book by signing up to her newsletter

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/m2k3w3

You can keep up with Bronwen’s news by visiting her website http://www.bronwenevans.com

Or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bronwenevansauthor

Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/bronwenevans_NZ

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#Book Blitz #Pride and Piña Coladas by Melanie Summers (Paradise Bay, 5) #Comedy #Romcom @Xpresso Book Tours

Pride and Piña Coladas
Melanie Summers
(Paradise Bay, #5)
Publication date: September 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

From best-selling author Melanie Summers comes a enemies-to-lovers tale that’ll have you laughing, swooning, and blending up a pitcher of fruity girl drinks…

I’m Nora Cooper—single woman about to turn thirty, wildly unsuccessful plant fanatic, and event planner at Paradise Bay Resort. My shot at ‘the big time’ has finally arrived—the resort is hosting the World Bartender Championships and I’ve been asked to head up the hospitality team.

There’s only one big problem. And his name is Theo Rojas. You’ve heard of his family—they own Rojas Rum (and about 200 other premium liquors, some of which may be on your shelf right now). As the major sponsor of the event, Theo has decided to be onsite, micromanaging every second of the competition.

He’s stuck up, rude, and arrogant (and a bunch of other adjectives I had better not use). He also seems to have added ‘make Nora’s life absolute hell’ to the top of his to-do list.

Too bad for Mr. Grumpy Chinos because he doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. I’ve taken on far worse foes than him. And if he thinks he’s going to get the best of me, he’s in for a wake-up call.

So when we find ourselves stranded on a private island overnight, I’m determined to put him in his place once and for all.

Only somehow, instead of continuing our constant sparring, we wind up kissing. And I did NOT expect him to kiss like that.

And now I have totally forgotten all the nasty things I was planning to say to him. Something about him being arrogant, right?

Gah! Someone please send help because I absolutely CANNOT fall for this guy…

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

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

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

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

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

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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#Book Blitz #Shadow of Fire (The Fires of Alleryan 1) by Kate Schumacher #Fantasy @Xpresso Book Tours

Shadow of Fire
Kate Schumacher
(The Fires of Aileryan, #1)
Publication date: May 5th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

A potent power is about to be unleashed.
Forbidden and forged in flame.

Control over the elements is a gift from the Gods, but since the creation of the Rift, fire magic has been outlawed in Merawuld. The Rift is a source of mystery, fear, and, for some, a tempting source of power.

Ash is a fire caster who has spent years hiding her magic, but when her explosive powers reveal themselves she is imprisoned by the Mage Council. Ash’s powers are coveted by the High Mage, who seeks to use her as a pawn against not only his enemies, but his allies as well.

With the Bone Mother’s winter fast approaching, the fae Princess vows to fight against the corrupting influence of power, forming an alliance whose success rests on a human man’s desire for peace; a man who must decide if he will play the game he’s inherited or begin one of his own.

But in Aileryan, the Gods have their own plans. As the Mother of All turns the wheel of the year, the land is brought to the edge of war. Loyalty and courage will be sorely tested as paths intertwine and Fate plays her hand.

If Ash can’t learn to control her magic, the scheming of gods and mortals could spell doom for them all.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Author Bio:

KATE SCHUMACHER is a writer, mother and teacher. When she isn’t writing, she is reading her way through an ever-growing TBR pile. Kate has wanted to be an author since she was a child, when she used to write stories about her friends and ‘publish’ them with the help of a stapler. Kate completed a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Journalism, and an Honours degree in Screenwriting, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Education. She currently works as a High School English and History teacher.

She lives in Northern NSW, Australia, with her partner, two children and three very spoiled cats. Shadow of Fire is her first published novel.

Website / Goodreads / Instagram

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#Can’t Wait Wednesday #Gone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen #Thriller @St.Martin’s Press

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you’re continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

And the book I am waiting for is…

From the blurb:

Nothing is as it seems in New York Times bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen’s latest novel about a mother’s secrets to protect her daughter and what happens when they begin to unravel.

Catherine Sterling thinks she knows her mother. Ruth Sterling is quiet, hardworking, and lives for her daughter. All her life, it’s been just the two of them against the world. But now, Catherine is ready to spread her wings, move from home, and begin a new career. And Ruth Sterling will do anything to prevent that from happening.
Ruth Sterling thinks she knows her daughter. Catherine would never rebel, would never question anything about her mother’s past or background. But when Ruth’s desperate quest to keep her daughter by her side begins to reveal cracks in Ruth’s carefully-constructed world, both mother and daughter begin a dance of deception.

No one can know Ruth’s history. There is a reason why Ruth kept them moving every few years, and why she was ready–in a moment’s notice–to be gone in the night.

But danger is closing in. Is it coming from the outside, from Ruth’s past? Is Ruth reaching a breaking point? Or is the danger coming from the darkness that may live in Catherine, herself?

Propulsive, brilliant, layered, and provocative, GONE TONIGHT is a thriller that showcases Sarah Pekkanen at the top of her game.



**************

Expected Publication Date: August, 2023

Publisher: St.Martin’s Press

Thriller

ISBN 9781250283979, 1250283973

**************

SARAH PEKKANEN is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight solo novels. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, her work has appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many other publications.

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#Book Blitz #Alex McKenna & Death Is Not The Beginning by Vicki-Ann Bush (Alex McKenna, 4) #Suspense #YA #Paranormal @Xpresso Book Tours

Alex McKenna & Death Is Not The Beginning
Vicki-Ann Bush
(Alex McKenna, #4)
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: September 20th 2022
Genres: LGBTQ+, Paranormal, Suspense, Young Adult

In the fourth and final installment for the series, Alex faces his most difficult case yet—the school bully.

For two years Kyle tried to make Alex’s life even more complicated than it already is. Choosing to single him out for his psychic abilities and other life events, the angry teen took every chance he could to challenge Alex’s well-being.

Despite the constant insults, when the bully is murdered and comes to him for help, Alex sets aside the past to help a soul in need. Searching for the killer, Alex uncovers a truth that answers the question why he was the victim of Kyle negative attention, and the answers that will set them both free.

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

Author Bio:

Originally from New York, Vicki-Ann currently resides in Nevada. Writing Young Adult paranormal, she finds inspiration from events that have been in her life for as long as she can remember. Inheriting her sensitivity to the supernatural from her family, they continue to be an endless source of vision.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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#Book Review #Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man by LaQuette #Romance #Small Town #Second Chance @St.Martin’s Griffin

From the blurb:

A debut sexy romantic comedy about a woman getting her groove back and getting a second chance at love.Vanessa Jared, a 40-something divorcee, decided that the best way to pull herself out of their post-divorce slump was to form The Savvy, Sexy, Singles Club and start the “Do Me” portion of her and her friends’ lives.

But on the two year anniversary, a sexy sheriff shows up on Vanessa’s doorstep wanting her to help him keep his little sister from marrying her no-good ex. Vanessa is not down for this at all. She wants nothing to do with her ex…until she spots a photo of her ex’s new fiancee wearing her grandmother’s ring–which he clearly stole from her. So now it is on. Vanessa is ready to take this trifling (fill-in-the-blank) down. What she does not expect is to fall in love along the way.

Publisher: St.Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: September 20th, 2022
ISBN 9781250773395, 1250773393

272 pages
Purchase Link

My thoughts:
Can we just admire this hot and sexy and sensual cover for a moment? gorgeous!!!

Two years after her divorce, Vanessa Jared is still trying to find her feet and her purpose in this new life without her manipulative and abusive husband Karl. Luckily for her, she’s made two fantastic friends Cree and Janae, both of whom were attending the same Post-Divorce Support Group, and founded their own fabulous Savvy, Sexy, Singles Club. Vanessa is approached by the Sheriff of the small town of Monroe Hills, where incidentally both of her friends live. Michael Park’s much younger sister Cindy has just got engaged, but Michael’s intuition told him the man is not to be trusted, so he did a little investigation and decided that a little help and a friendly talk from this so called widower Karl Scott’s ex-wife might be exactly what is needed. Reluctant as she is to intervene and break another woman’s heart with the sad truth, Vanessa finally agrees and it isn’t just about getting back her grandmother’s engagement ring stolen by her good-for-nothing ex, it is about doing the right thing. Little does she know that this trip is going to change her life…

I was immediately drawn in the story and my heart went to the protagonist. Vanessa reminded me so much of one of my friends with all the turmoil and emotional pain of her divorce and how difficult it was for her to re-build her confidence and start her new life. LaQuette shows life as it is from the courage it takes to file a divorce and walk away from an abusive partner to how hard it is to start trusting people, how even a simple comment can rub you wrong way because you don’t want to be patronised or taken advantage of. We also see other aspects of divorce through the secondary characters and their challenges. My admiration for creating realistic, relatable characters in an age group which doesn’t get enough representation in romance and not shying away from portraying real life problems.

While Vanessa is rediscovering her independence and what it means to take care of yourself so that you can love and take care of others, Michael is also doing his own balancing act of being a strong, protective older brother without either spoiling his little sister or never letting her spread her own wings. There’s also wonderful cast of supporting characters- fully developed and well-differentiated with their own unique voices that add more humour and genuine emotion to the overall story.

The chemistry between the protagonists- oh my gosh! Normally I don’t go for anything insta, including instalust, but here there’s all this immediate powerful attraction Vanessa and Michael feel for each other, all this tension that keeps building up. When they do act on it, it feels natural and it’s hot, hot, hot, it’s like fireworks going off on a New Year’s Eve. Once again, I am so happy to see the author showing that asking for and expressing consent is crucial.

LaQuette’s writing is engaging and I could almost hear my friends talking and teasing each other on a night out. With all that, there is a certain gravitas- she knows that the issues she’s raising are important and have to be dealt with in a sensitive way.

All I can say, I can’t wait to come back to Monroe Hills for more hot and sizzling romance!

Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin’s Griffin for the review copy, provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

About the author:

2021 Vivian Award finalist and DEIA activist in the romance industry, LaQuette writes sexy, stylish, and sensational romance. She crafts dramatic, emotionally epic tales that are deeply pigmented by reality’s paintbrush. This Brooklyn native’s novels are a unique mix of savvy, sarcastic, brazen, and unapologetically sexy characters who are confident in their right to appear on the page.

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#Book Review #Something in the Heir by Suzanne Enoch #Comedy #Regency Romance @St.Martin’s Griffin

From the blurb:

Smart, capable heiress Emmeline Pershing will do anything to keep her beloved home; and all it takes is an arranged marriage and a teeny white lie to fulfill her family’s silly inheritance rules! But now her little fib means that she and her completely unsuspecting husband are going to inherit big — and very messy! —trouble in this spicy, sexy delight from bestseller, Suzanne Enoch.

Emmeline and William Pershing have enjoyed a perfectly convenient marriage for eight years. Their relationship is a seamless blend of their talents and goals. They’ve settled into separate, well-ordered lives beneath the same roof, and are content to stay that way—or so Emmeline thinks. And if William has secretly longed for a bit more from the woman he adores, he’s managed to be content with her supreme skills as a hostess and planner, which has helped him advance his career.

Then when Emmeline’s grandfather, the reclusive Duke of Welshire, summons them both for his birthday celebration and demands they bring their two little angelic children, William is stunned to discover that his very proper wife invented not one, but two heirs to fulfill the agreement for living at Winnover. But surely if Emmeline and William team up and borrow two cherubs to call their own, what could go wrong? Enter George, age 8, and Rose, 5—the two most unruly orphans in Britain.

As the insanity unfolds, their careful, professional arrangement takes some surprisingly intimate turns as well. Perhaps it takes a bit of madness to create the perfect happily ever after.

Publisher: St.Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Purchase Link

My thoughts:

My first book by Suzanne Enoch and, now that I’ve discovered her witty and entertaining writing style, it won’t be the last.

The premise was hilarious- Emmeline has to get married as soon as possible in order to secure her place in her own house. The house is ‘on the lease’ from her grandfather the Duke of Welshire. Once it gets vacated, the first girl in her generation to get married secures the use it for five years and should she have a child in the following five years, she and her spouse can stay there for all their life. Emmie’s horrible cousin just got engaged, so the news of her own parents leaving the house and moving to Bath comes as a bit of shock and a call to action. On the spur of the moment, Emmie proposes a marriage (of convenience) to her childhood friend Will Pershing, who (unbeknowst to her) has been harbouring tender feelings for her. Match, set, marriage! Winnover House is hers…for the time being.

Fast forward eight years and our fabulous protagonist finds herself in a new predicament. While her marriage to Will may be considered an exemplary partnership, the couple are childless, so Emmie might have been less than completely truthful when she informed her family that she has two sweet, but unfortunately very sickly children. Now the Duke is summoning all his close and distant relations to celebrate his birthday and would love to see Emmie and her family. Including the non-existent children. It turns out it isn’t that easy to borrow two children for a few weeks and pass them as your own offspring…Still our enterprising protagonists succeed in finding two orphaned siblings George and Rose Fletcher. Now the destiny of Winnover House and the couple’s reputation will depend on the feisty orphans’ ability to pass for Flora and Malcolm Pershing. No pressure!

It is quite hard to classify this book- there’s a lot of comedy for sure, but just a tiny bit of romance as Emmie and Will re-discover the joy of attraction to each other. The romance in this book is absolutely secondary to …everything else that is happening, above all, the children’s shenanigans and Pershings gradually developing a better understanding of what being a parent or a guardian involves. I did want more romance or failing that more friendship/that elusive understanding that good couples have. At the beginning Emmie Pershing is totally oblivious to anything but her own socialite role. As the plot develops, this changes and she finally sees the light and her own very attractive and incredibly patient husband. To be fair to Emmie, she had a very cold and emotionless role-model of her own mother, so discovering that she herself might even want to be a parent is going to take some time…and some pages.

George and Rose are adorable: strong-willed, resourceful, independent and completely right for their age. Again there’s a bit of repetition as both the children (especially George) and Pershings go through a change of heart and build up some kind of trust. Perhaps the book could have been shorter, especially had another character, important to the children, not been introduced, but boy, did he ratchet up some drama!

Of course, there’s only one way in which this romcom could end, but this predictability comes from the internal plot logic and character development and I never say no to a HEA in my romance books.

Overall: more on the comedy side than romance, but also sweet (don’t let that king-size bed on the cover mislead you), entertaining, and fun. Recommended.

Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin’s Griffin for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? September 19th, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

Murder in Myrtle Bay by Isobel Blackthorn

Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man by LaQuette

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Something in the Heir by Suzanne Enoch

What I am reading/listening to now:

The Change by Kirsten Miller

Buried Deception by Amanda McKinney

What I’m reading /listening to next:

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Daggers at the Country Fair (A Martha Miller Mystery) by Catherine Coles

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Book Blitz #The Unlikely Spy by Sophie Schiller #Historical #Romance #Spy Thriller @Xpresso Book Tours

The Unlikely Spy
Sophie Schiller
Publication date: August 21st 2022
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance, Thriller

Casablanca meets Notorious in a Hitchcock-style thriller of espionage, romance, adventure, and intrigue.

1917. Emma Christensen is a young widow who returns to the Danish West Indies to reclaim the life and the villa she left behind. When she discovers her husband has disinherited her in favor of his young heir—an illegitimate son—she turns to the one thing she knows, gambling, and soon finds herself deeply in debt.

Emma is approached by Cornelius Smith, a representative of an American shipping line, who offers an alternative: infiltrate the suspicious Hamburg-American Line and spy on its nefarious leader, Julius Luckner, to gain valuable business intelligence for his firm.

It doesn’t take long for Emma to realize that both Smith and Luckner are not as they seem. Close to the Allies but even closer to the enemy, Emma bravely engages in missions that could blow her cover at any moment. But with the Panama Canal at stake, how far will she go to help the Allies?

A gripping and suspenseful World War I spy thriller from an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Sophie Schiller is an author of historical fiction and spy thrillers. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews has called her “an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer.” Publishers Weekly called her novel, ISLAND ON FIRE, “a memorable romantic thriller”, her novel RACE TO TIBET, “a thrilling yarn,” and her TRANSFER DAY, “a page-turner with emotional resonance.” Kirkus Reviews called her latest novel, THE LOST DIARY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, “an engaging coming-of-age story of heartbreak, bravery, honor, and triumph.” Her latest novel is THE UNLIKELY SPY, a historical spy thriller set during WWI. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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#Book Blitz #The Proposal Laughbox by Julia Kent (Laughbox Boxed Sets 2) #Comedy #Romcom @Xpresso Book Tours

The Proposal Laughbox
Julia Kent
(Laughbox Boxed Sets, #2)
Publication date: September 13th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

The Proposal Laughbox contains THREE full-length novels and TWO novellas – ONE ALL NEW! – from New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Julia Kent’s series.

Who doesn’t love a funny, heartwarming proposal? Diamond engagement rings, flowers, candy, romantic dinners — it’s all in here in rom com style.

Julia Kent’s madcap style, that is.

Future brides swallow engagement rings, paparazzi crash tender moments when billionaires pop the question, mistaken identity causes mayhem, small-town lumberjacks ask their girfriends for their hands in marriage, and rock stars make grand gestures on New Year’s Eve.

Laugh, swoon, blush and let your imagination heat up as you read across varying series, different heat levels, but all connected by love.

This boxed set includes:

Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee
Random Acts of New Year
Shopping for a CEO’s Fiancee (A USA Today bestseller)
Random Acts of Yes

and an ALL NEW novella, Love You Fiancee, featuring Kell and Rachel from Love You Right, as Kell pops the question during the I Will Always Love You festival in his hometown of “Love You,” Maine – where every day is Valentine’s Day.

Sink into five fun books that leave you with all the feels, loads of laughs, and strange looks from people around you as you read, giggle, and fall in love.

Note: each of these books can be read as a standalone, but they are part of larger series. All of my Laughbox boxed sets are designed to give readers a taste of my books, centered on a specific concept (in this case, proposals and engagements). Full disclosure for readers.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 21 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French, German, and Italian, with more titles releasing in the future.
From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).

She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.

She loves to hear from her readers by email at julia@jkentauthor.com, on Twitter @jkentauthor, on Facebook at @jkentauthor, and on Instagram @jkentauthor. Visit her at http://jkentauthor.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Newsletter / Amazon

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#Shy Girls Can’t Date Billionaires by Milly Rose #YA #Enemies to Lovers #Billionaire #Sweet Romance (Shy Girls Sweet Romances) @Xpresso Book Tours

Shy Girls Can’t Date Billionaires
Milly Rose
Publication date: September 5th 2022
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Young Adult

I never existed until the wrong guy took notice…

I was born shy. And near him, I fall apart. No wonder he can’t stand the sight of me.

After a fire destroys our home, my family is taken in by a billionaire tycoon. His mansion has countless bedrooms, yet my room is next door to his son, Thomas Ashworth III. Yes, he’s as pompous as the name suggests. And, for some reason, he hates my guts.

Even though his arrogance drives me crazy, his chiseled features turn me into a stammering, awkward mess. I hate being stuck with someone I can’t stand. And when he does something unexpectedly kind, it confuses my heart.

When I bump into him in the middle of the night, I’d never guess it lead to us sharing secrets.

He’s impossible to get out of my head. But he wouldn’t consider dating someone like me. Would he?

You will love Christie and Ash. They are stuck together in forced proximity, becoming practically roommates. He is a billionaire, alpha male type who is learning to love. She is the new girl in school, dealing with past trauma. Together they will go from enemies to lovers in an adorable young adult romance.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

My thoughts:

Tell me the book has the ‘Enemies-to-Lovers’ main plotline and I’m sold! But there’s so much more going on with this one: ‘Opposites Attract’, ‘New girl-Popular Guy’, ‘Forced Proximity’ and ‘High School/Mean Girls’- there’s something for everyone in this smörgåsbord of romance tropes. Just beware, this is a YA book with sixteen-year-old protagonists -so if you happen to like a ‘Workplace romance/Capable assistant secretly pines for her billionaire boss’ story-sorry, this one isn’t on the menu today.

When Christie’s house burns down and her family loses everything, her father’s boss Mr Ashworth offers a temporary residence in his mansion. Yay! Who hasn’t dreamt of living like a billionaire just for a day? add Christie’s Dad’s promotion, and no wonder Christie’s parents are totally charmed. She, on the other hand, is too busy trying to work out what Mr Ashworth’s son’s problem is. One moment Thomas would like nothing better than see the back of Christie’s family, next, he’s all kind and sympathetic. He’s also a drop-dead-gorgeous, undisputed king of Christie’s new school, where she (as usual) is struggling to make new friends. But then again maybe Thomas or Ash as everybody calls him has his own share of worries and disappointments and being with a shy listener can help?

The book is all written from Christie’s point of view, so, if you are/were shy at school and didn’t find it easy to meet new people and open up to strangers, you will relate. Also, there’s quite a lot of first love/ high school drama, so again get ready for some misunderstandings, heated arguments, inexplicable conclusions drawn out of sero evidence, and, of course, Mean Girls. Since I don’t think there is anything wrong with being shy, I am more than happy to see more rep for this trait! I love the way Milly Rose gave Christie a perfect creative outlet- painting. Ash also has a passion of his own- I would have loved to see more of his nerdy side and how it matches her artistic one.

Christie and Ash are sixteen, so obviously they still have a long way from having everything worked out in life. I didn’t find it too credible the way Mr Ashworth provided for everything or some of Mrs Ashworth’s actions, while Ash relied on his parents’ money a bit too much- it would have worked if the protagonists were older.

Overall, it was a very quick and easy read. Although I would have prefered more humour, Milly Rose did capture how important family dynamics and school relationships are at sixteen. Hope we’re getting Ash’s sister Nessa’s story next!

Thank you to NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Author Bio:

Milly Rose is an animal-loving romance enthusiast with a swoon-inducing book formula. Shy girl + hot guy + first kisses. Her YA sweet romance books will have you falling in love every instalment. Milly Rose is the quintessential shy girl, who you can contact via her mailing list and reply to her monthly email blasts! Milly spends her days vying for her cat’s affection, dreaming up her next book boyfriend, and writing a fun meet-cute under candlelight with a lovely brewed cup of tea.

GET A FREE BOOK HERE >> https://dl.bookfunnel.com/cod6m6wfzw

(You will sign up to Milly Rose’s Newsletter and are free to unsubscribe anytime!)

Follow along on Instagram + Tiktok @shy.author.milly.rose

Giveaway:

Tour-wide giveaway (INT)

Paperback copy of Shy Girls Can’t Date Billionaires

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Thank you for reading the post! Have a wonderful Friday and a lovely weekend!

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#Thursday Throwback #The Village Shop for Lonely Hearts (Riverside Lane 1) by Alison Sherlock #Clean Romance @Boldwood Books

From the blurb:

A feel-good story of new beginnings set in a gorgeous country village, perfect for fans of Katie Fforde and Milly Johnson.

After losing her job in New York, Amber Green isn’t looking forward to visiting her godmother in the sleepy village of Cranbridge. With its empty lanes and rundown shops, it’s hardly a place to mend her lonely heart.

But when Amber discovers that Cranbridge Stores, owned by her godmother Cathy and son Josh, is under threat of financial ruin, she realises that her skills as a window dresser might just be able to help save the struggling shop.

When disaster strikes, Amber and Josh must unite to save both the shop and the village from flooding.

Can Cranbridge Stores become the heart of the village once more?

And as the village begins to come back to life, perhaps Amber will discover a reason to stay…

My thoughts:

Oh be still my DIY loving heart…Who doesn’t like a good makeover story? Fascinated and mesmerised, we watch home improvement TV shows and think we could do as well- just a lick of paint here and there, a few cushions, a fireplace, and a gingham table cloth…Nah, better leave it to experts 🙂 or if you’re Alison Sherlock, get a great plotline out of turning an old and tired looking village shop into something quirky and memorable.

Seriously, I love this series. It is sweet, relaxing, and heartwarming, like a cuppa on a cold and windy November day. It’s all about community spirit and lovely friendships, finding a place where we belong and people we belong with.

en’s parents decided to move to New Zealand, so when she is made redundant by her New York employer, Amber doesn’t feel she has a place she’d call a home. Her parents are more than happy to welcome her on their brandnew farm, but would like Amber to visit her godmother Cathy in England. cathy has had a few very tough years. First, her husband Todd passed away, then she had cancer treatment. Cathy’s son Josh feels their family shop could do with some serious modernising, but his mum, stuck in her grief, stubbornly refuses to change things.

Enter Amber..and what an entrance it is! Some books start with a bang, this one starts with a tumble into the local river…Amber is a lovely, kind-hearted girl and it’s impossible not to wish her all the happiness in the world. But is she really just passing through this picturesque village or is there a chance that Amber can help this lovely, peaceful place get a push towards revival?

The Village Shop for Lonely Hearts is the first book in Alson Sherlock’s Riverside Lane series which focuses on four friends (Amber, Lucy, Belle and Molly) who live in a little village called Cranbridge. The protagonists are very likeable (although Josh could have been a teeny-tiny bit less grumpy and more proactive) and there’s a large cast of secondary characters, including Grandma Tilly (she will steal your heart), Dodgy Del, Stanley and many others- don’t worry, somehow it doesn’t get overwhelming, you just get a nice glimpse of this supportive community.

It was nice to come back to this series and re-read the first book. And now I’m off to the second book!

Author Bio 

 
Alison Sherlock is the author of the bestselling Willow Tree Hall books. Alison enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream.

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#Can’t Wait Wednesday #What Have We Done by Alex Finlay #Thriller @Minotaur Books

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you’re continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

And the book I am waiting for is…

From the blurb:

From Alex Finlay, the author of Every Last Fear and The Night Shift, comes an action-packed new thriller about the lives we leave behind and the secrets we carry with us forever.

A stay-at-home yoga mom with a past.
A has-been rock star with a habit.
A reality TV showrunner with a crushing gambling debt.
Three disparate lives.
One big secret.

Twenty five years ago, Jenna, Donnie, Nico, Arty, and Ben were the best of friends, a bond forged as residents of Savior House, an abusive group home for wayward teens. When the home was shut down—after the disappearance of several residents—the group was disbanded.


Though the trauma from Savior House has never left them, each went on to successful, if troubled, lives. They haven’t seen each other since they were teens, but now are reunited for a single haunting reason: someone is killing them one by one.

It’s a reunion none of them asked for or wanted. But one that may be the only way to save all their lives.




**************

Expected Publication Date: March 7, 2023

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Thriller/Suspense

9781250863720, 1250863724

**************

ALEX FINLAY lives in Washington, D.C. and is the author of critically-acclaimed novels, including the 2021 breakout, Every Last Fear. His work has appeared on numerous best-of-the-year lists, been published in seventeen languages around the world, and is currently in development for a major television limited series.

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#Blog Tour #Happy Publication Day #The Ultimate Village Game by Beth Merwood #Q&A with the author @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Beth Merwood’s newest novel. Happy Publication day to The Ultimate Village Game!

About the book:

The Ultimate Village Game

Riddled with guilt and tormented by desire, Lucy Short keeps notes about newcomers to the village, but why? The misfit with the rescue dog has a mysterious past. She’s been biding her time, plotting and scheming, and now she’s determined to get what she deserves. It won’t be straight forward. Someone is sure to be watching her every move, and there seems to be something more sinister going on.

Mr. Lester Senior is dead. The family is in turmoil. The future of the famous village treasure hunt is in doubt, but for Lucy a new world beckons. She must stick to her task. The rewards could be huge, but will there also be a price to pay?

Purchase Links

UK / US

Q and A with Beth Merwood

Have you got a writing routine?What do you find most enjoyable about writing?

I aim to find a few hours a day when I can leave everything else behind and become totally absorbed in my writing. If I can achieve that I’m happy!

I think I enjoy writing because of that absorption. I’m able to become completely immersed, and I can lose track of time when I’m working on a story. I enjoy escaping into the world that I am creating. 

Has the pandemic situation influenced your writing process?

I don’t think anyone would choose to be in lockdown, but to be honest, I believe it helped me in some ways. I had more time on my hands; I was able to spend more of my day writing, and there were less distractions. I’ve not introduced a lockdown or  pandemic into my work so far, though. I don’t think I’m likely to want to incorporate either into a novel, but I believe the experience we all went through influenced my thinking in some ways and also helped me to recognize what I value.

Why did you choose to write in this genre?

That’s a great question. In fact, I think I write what comes naturally. I believe my first and my current novel fit more than one genre. Both are mysteries, but neither is a typical mystery. In my eyes, my debut novel was more literary and my new novel is more cozy. I have written some magical realism in the past, and that’s a genre I would like to explore a little more.

What kind of research do you do for your books?

It depends on the particular novel. For The Ultimate Village Game, my research was mostly people watching, taking note of interactions and snippets of conversation. I searched out some inspiring settings too.

There is more background reading to do for the novel I am working on at the moment. I have collected a pile of books and am looking for a number of experts to consult on some subject matters. I’m not intending to write anything overly informative, but I feel I need a more thorough understanding of certain subjects to be able to create authentic characters.

Were there any parts of The Ultimate Village Game or any characters that you found difficult to write?

Lucy, the protagonist, was difficult to write at times. She’s struggling with internal conflict, in the throes of a personal psychological battle, and the novel is written in the first person, so I needed to feel that I was inside her mind at all times and that I fully understood her thought processes.

I always find it challenging to write the more tragic parts of a story. In effect it means that I am choosing to create dreadful events for the characters. It sometimes seems cruel to put a character into a place that will cause them anguish or introduce an event that hurts or damages them. After writing a scene such as this, I can also feel disturbed. In the real world I prefer to avoid difficulty wherever possible!

What’s in the pipeline? What are you working on at the moment?

I am currently working on a mystery with a touch of paranormal.

Thanks for the questions and for having me on Reading Tonic.

Author Bio

Beth Merwood is a writer from the south of England. Her debut novel, The Five Things, was published in 2021.

Social Media Links

instagram / twitter / website / facebook / goodreads / bookbub /tiktok

Giveaway to Win 1 x Paperback and 1 x e-copy of The Ultimate Village Game (Open to UK Only)

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1st Prize- Paperback copy of The Ultimate Village Game

2nd Prize – E-copy of The Ultimate Village Game

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Thank you to Beth Merwood for answering the questions and thank you for dropping by and reading the post! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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#Top Ten Tuesday #Books with Geographical Terms in the Title

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

Jana from That Artsy Girl assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. Anybody is welcome to join and create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. You can put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! 

Todays’s Topic:

September 13: Books with Geographical Terms in the Title (for example: mountain, island, latitude/longitude, ash, bay, beach, border, canyon, cape, city, cliff, coast, country, desert, epicenter, hamlet, highway, jungle, ocean, park, sea, shore, tide, valley, etc. For a great list, click here!) (Submitted by Lisa of Hopewell)

…and here is my list (as usual, in no particular order):

1 Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

2 Black Tide by KC Jones

3 The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

4 Starting Over in Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen

5 Oasis by Katya de Becerra

6 The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

7 Beach Read by Emily Henry

8-10 StillHouse Lake, Killman Creek, and Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine

Have you read any of these books? If yes, did you like or hate them? Would you recommend them?

Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Topics:

September 20: Books On My Fall 2022 To-Read List
September 27: Typographic Book Covers (Book covers with a design that is all or mostly all words. You can also choose to do books with nice typography if that’s easier!) (Submitted by Mareli @ Elza Reads)
October 4: Favorite Bookstores OR Bookstores I’d Love to Visit (The UK celebrated National Bookshop Day on October 1, so I thought it would be a fun topic!)
October 11: Books I Read On Vacation (bonus points if you tell us where you were!) (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer)
October 18: Favorite Words (This isn’t so much bookish, but I thought it would be fun to share words we love! These could be words that are fun to say, sound funny, mean something great, or make you smile when you read/hear them.)
October 25: Halloween Freebie
November 1: Unlikable Characters You Can’t Help but Love (These are villains, criminals, jerks, etc. that make you fall in love with them anyway, perhaps because they evolve by the end or they’re secretly wonderful and have been all along.)
November 8: Series I’d Like to Start/Catch up on/Finish
November 15: Favorite “Aww” Moments In Books (Share those sweet/cute moments in books that give you warm fuzzies.)
November 22: Thankful Freebie
November 29: Cozy Reads (Share books that give off a cozy vibe, whether through atmosphere, setting, or some other factor. Please tell us why they’re cozy for you, too!)
December 6: Freebie
December 13: Books on My Winter 2022-2023 To-Read List
December 20: Books I Hope Santa Brings This Year
December 27: Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection (What books did you get as presents this holiday season? Or what did you buy with gift cards?)

Thank you for stopping by and reading the post! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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#Blog Tour #Murder in Myrtle Bay by Isobel Blackthorn #Mystery @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Isobel Blackthorn’s new book release Murdr in Myrtle Bay.

Murder in Myrtle Bay

When feature writer Ruth Finlay and her elderly neighbor Doris Cleaver visit an antique and collectibles market in the small town of Myrtle Bay, they get a lot more than they bargained for.

After Ruth’s old tennis coach is found dead, they discover that there’s no lack of people who harbor a grudge against the victim, and a tangled web of family ties and lies begins to unravel. But can Ruth and Doris find the killer in time to avert a second murder?

A quirky feel-good mystery laced with intrigue, Murder in Myrtle Bay is the first book in Isobel Blackthorn’s ‘Ruth Finlay Mysteries’ series. Set in small town Australia, it is a sure pick for any fan of classic whodunits and cozy mysteries!

Purchase Links

UK / US

My thoughts:

Murder in Myrtle Bay is the first book in Isobel Blackthorn’s new series of cozy mysteries featuring Ruth Finlay, an intrepid journalist with a passion for cooking.

As you would expect it, a lot of attention is paid to describing the characters- our protagonist Ruth, her father who is now living in a home, Ruth’s neighbour/ surrogate mother figure Doris Cleaver, and lots of other inhabitants of Ruth’s little town of Myrtle Bay. Isobel Blackthorn masterfully weaves the tapestry of creating stories and unique features for her large cast of characters. Of course, some of them become suspects in this new case of a murder in an old factory/marketplace. While Ruth is more on a cautious (i.e. let’s not jump to conclusions!) side, her seventy-five-year old neighbour Doris doesn’t waste much time in going after her suspects straightaway. I must admit I totally admire Doris’s adventurous sense of fashion and her encyclopaedic knowledge of who is related to and who might have wronged who in this little town.

The mystery starts with Ruth and Doris visitng the marketplace and finding a dying man in one of the stalls. With his last breath David Fisk, a local P.E teacher, manages to say ‘I didn’t do it’- the words Ruth and Doris will have to ponder over multiple times over the course of their amateur investigation. Ruth has fond memories of David and for the life of her can’t see why anyone would want to do harm to this sweet man, but she is bound to discover that there were plenty of people to bear a grudge against The Coach. Luckily for Ruth, there is a limited list of suspects-people who were present at the antiques and collectables market when the crime happened. Still, our amateur sleuths will have their hands full and that is even before they discover another mystery- that of two lovers who had their trysts in the old factory in an attempt to hide their extra-marital affair.

Ruth is also on a writing deadline for her piece on the factory history. It was surprising entertaining to read about a successful business that implemented innovative management practices and flourished economically only to die a slow death in 1980s when cheap exports flooded Australian markets. Ruth’s article, the descriptions of her running route and Ruth’s and Doris’ obligatory sleauthing at the local Bakery add to creating a good sense of what the town of Myrtle Bay where the series is set is like.

If you love cooking, baking and feeding people as a way of showing your love and something to help you clear your mind and concentrate, you’ll relate to Ruth. I found her relationship with her elderly father very touching and I hope to see more of Mr Finlay in the sequels. I also expect Doris’s daughter Emily to play a part and hope Ruth can find a good friend in her.

Thank you to the author and the publisher for the complimentary review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

Author Bio –

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of unique and engaging fiction. She writes across a range of genres, including gripping mysteries and dark psychological thrillers.

The Unlikely Occultist: A biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey received an Honorable Mention in the 2021 Reader’s Favorite book awards. A Prison in the Sun was shortlisted in the LGBTQ category of the 2021 International Book Awards and the 2020 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Her short story ‘Nothing to Declare’ was shortlisted for the Ada Cambridge Prose Prize 2019. Her dark thriller A Legacy of Old Gran Parks won a Raven Award in 2019. The Cabin Sessions was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award 2018 and the Ditmar Awards 2018.

Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism from the University of Western Sydney for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey’s life and works has culminated in the biographical novel The Unlikely Occultist and the full biography Alice A. Bailey: Life and Legacy.

Isobel carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain, her former home. Five of her novels are set on the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. These standalone mystery novels are setting rich and fall into the broad genre of travel fiction.

Isobel has led a rich and interesting life and her stories are as diverse as her experiences, the highs and lows, and the dramas. A life-long campaigner for social justice, Isobel has written, protested and leant her weight to a range of issues including asylum seekers and family violence. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives in rural Victoria, Australia.

Social Media Links

twitter / website /facebook

Thank you for reading the post! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? September 12th, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

The Lost Notebook by Louise Douglas

Archibald Finch and the Lost Witches by Michel Guyon

A Perfect Discovery by Margaret Amatt

The Santa Killer by Ross Greenwood

What I am reading/listening to now:

Murder in Myrtle Bay by Isobel Blackthorn

All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

What I’m reading /listening to next:

Buried Deception by Amanda McKinney

Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man by LaQuette

The Other Side of Night by Adam Hemdy

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Book Blitz #A Hate Like This by Melanie Summers and Whitney Dineen (A Gamble on Love Mom-Com, 2) #Romcom @Xpresso Book Tours

A Hate Like This
Melanie Summers & Whitney Dineen
(A Gamble on Love Mom-Com, #2)
Publication date: September 8th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Single mother Moira Bishop hates when her family interferes in her love life. If life as a young widow isn’t hard enough, just add three boys, a slew of unruly pets, and ownership of Gamble Alaska’s only diner. The last thing she needs is a man to look after too.

Entertainment lawyer to the stars Ethan Caplan hates his clients. There’s only so much coddling and placating a man can do in a lifetime. He’s finally decided he’s had enough, so he escapes to the tiny no-horse town of Gamble to work on the novel he’s always wanted to write.

Positive that Alaska will be distraction-free, Ethan’s sure he can pen a bestselling legal novel. That is until he lays his eyes on Moira Bishop. Suddenly he finds himself having five meals a day at the diner, just so he can talk to her for a few minutes.

When Moira’s son wins tickets to the Galaxy Studio Theme Park in L.A., Ethan jumps at the chance to play host to the family. He’s sure he can win her over by showing her how glamorous life could be with him. With the help of his friends, he plans the date to end all dates, hoping one incredible night will change her mind about giving love a second chance.
Will Moira open her heart to Ethan? Will Ethan do what it takes to prove that he can be the man Moira and her boys need in their lives? Will little Colton be tall enough to ride the Galactic Mindbender?

Find out in the deliciously fun second installment in the Gamble on Love Momcom series.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Moira Bishop is something of a conundrum. On the surface she looks like a go-getting live wire, but beneath that façade she appears to be experiencing her own struggles. Being a parent has never been a driving force in my life, so I don’t spend much time imagining what it’s like. Yet I can certainly see that being a single parent to three boys is an exhausting endeavor. Add her job at the diner, and she probably doesn’t have a minute for herself.

Moira goes over to a youngish couple sitting at a table on the other side of the dining room. The woman openly scowls at her before demanding a coffee refill. I wonder if they had some sort of argument before I got here. Or maybe the woman is just a horrible person. She has a hard look about her. I pull my phone out of my pocket and open the notes tab—I might be staring at the villain in my novel. I hurry and type out a description of her.

A few minutes later, Moira sets my meal in front of me. “I brought hash browns and bacon to help fuel your day. But only three eggs, so you won’t get weighed down.” Her eyes sparkle with humor.

“You realize the amount of food on this plate could feed a family of six in Beverly Hills.”

She giggles loudly. “I doubt most families in Beverly Hills would eat much of what we serve here.”

“Priorities are definitely a bit skewed there. So are portion sizes.”

“Remind me never to move to Beverly Hills,” she says sardonically.

“You can see why it was imperative I got away,” I tell her. “I’ve been slowly starving for years.”

As she walks back to the counter, I look down at my plate and dig in with gusto. While I stuff my face, I watch as Moira zips around refilling cups and dropping off bills. By the time I’ve eaten every bite, I’m so full I’m wishing I’d ordered a bowl of Special K. .

Moira returns to my table. Staring at my empty plate, she says, “Oh, dear, what would the good folks from Beverly Hills say?”

“They’d either get busy planning an intervention or they’d pool their resources and find me a surgeon to perform an emergency gastric bypass.” I look around the now-empty diner before indicating the seat across from me. “Care to join me?”

“Sure.” She sits down into the booth across from me and groans. “Oh, that’s nice.” Her trainer-clad feet suddenly appear on the bench next to me. “It’s still early, but my dogs are already barking. What’s up?”

Author Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

Author links
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

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

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

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

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

Author links
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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Book Blitz #Just Like Family by Barbara Casey @Xpresso Book Tours

Just Like Family
Barbara Casey
Publication date: July 28th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance

All in one day, thirty-five-year-old Hallie Marsh learns that the man she loves, works for, and is living with has found someone else-and that she no longer has a job, a place to live, or a car since she crashed it into a hedge. Her feelings of rage and desire for revenge are soon replaced by a fascination with her new neighbors-four peculiar, elderly people who decide to buy an old run-down estate, fix it up, and live in it “just like family.”

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Hallie’s heart raced as she walked briskly past the other offices to the executive suite at the end of the corridor. Since Jeff had sent word asking to see her, it must mean that he was finally finished with that project he had been working on day and night for the past several weeks and that he needed her as much as she needed him. She knew his divorce had just been finalized, although he hadn’t told her yet. She had called the courthouse downtown and found out on her own. He was probably just waiting for the right time to tell her. Over a romantic dinner at one of their favorite places. Or maybe he would take her somewhere for the weekend. He enjoyed surprising her. And there was the awards banquet tonight. He hadn’t mentioned that to her either, but naturally he would want her to go with him. In real estate circles, it was the event of the year. Even though it was supposed to be a secret, everyone knew that Jeff was getting the Salesman of the Year Award again. So much to celebrate and what better way than to make love in his office now.

“Mr. Darnell is expecting you, Ms. Marsh.”

Hallie smiled at the secretary, hoping that her demeanor was that of a public relations director going into a meeting with the president of the company and not of a woman who was going to make love to her boss in his office at four o’clock in the afternoon. “Thanks, Mary,” she said shifting her notebook in an exaggerated movement from one hand to the other, feeling slightly self-conscious. She suppressed the urge to giggle, something she frequently did whenever she felt self-conscious, and walked past the secretary’s desk. On the other side of the ornate double doors was Jeff’s office, a large multi-functional room that had both a southern and eastern exposure.

Jeff was standing with his back to her, looking out one of two mullioned, floor-to-ceiling windows, the one facing the intracoastal waterway. Hallie quietly closed the door and locked it. The desire she felt for him was tremendous and had somehow managed to gravitate to an area the size of a baseball between her naval and vulva. Without saying anything she unbuttoned her navy blue coatdress, silently applauding the fact that she had decided to wear it today since it was so easy to take off. Then she walked up behind him, slipped her arms around his waist, and pressed her body into his back. “You can’t imagine how much I have missed you,” she whispered when he turned around. She eagerly sought his lips as she loosened his tie and began unfastening the buttons on his shirt, completely forgetting the self-consciousness she had experienced moments earlier. He did that to her. Things she wouldn’t normally do under any other circumstances, she felt no inhibitions in doing with Jeff.

“Hallie, I need to tell you something.” Jeff held her trembling hands in his but she continued with the buttons, stopping only when she reached the buckle on his belt. She pulled his shirt loose from his trousers and opened it, exposing his bare chest. Then she tenderly kissed his neck, working her way down his chest and stomach with her mouth and tongue.

“Hallie, please. Stop. We have to talk.”

Hallie looked up into Jeff’s face, breathless and flushed with desire. Curiously at that moment she remembered seeing somewhere in a magazine two similar photographs side by side, the caption under one of them reading, “What’s wrong with this picture?”

Author Bio:

Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, established in 1995, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014 Barbara became a partner in Strategic Media Books Publishing, an independent publishing house that specializes in true crime and other cutting-edge adult nonfiction. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her three cats who adopted her.

Website / Goodreads

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#Book Blitz #Force of Nature by Skye Warren & Amelia Wilde #Contemporary Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

Force of Nature
Skye Warren & Amelia Wilde
Publication date: September 6th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Carter Morelli survived a violent childhood and dangerous missions. After he emergency lands the small aircraft, he faces something even worse: having someone depend on him. Geologis June Porter wants to study rocks. She didn’t plan to be stranded on a deserted island.

They aren’t alone on the island. A man hides among the broad leaves. He’s almost feral, this man. But he provides them shelter and food.

There are secrets in his hidden cabin. Desire, too.

Carter doesn’t want to care about the bookish, beautiful June.
But he doesn’t like this strange man’s interest in her, either.
Simmering chemistry wars with the need for survival.

Will they be found before they give into temptation?

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

Author Bio:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her books have sold over one million copies. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

Amelia Wilde is a USA TODAY bestselling author of steamy contemporary romance and loves it a little too much. She lives in Michigan with her husband and daughters. She spends most of her time typing furiously on an iPad and appreciating the natural splendor of her home state from where she likes it best: inside.

Amelia is a USA Today best selling author from northern Michigan. Be her friend!

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Amazon / Bookbub

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#Book Blitz #The Elf King’s Sacrifice (Elves of Eldarlan 3) by Elisa Rae #Fantasy #Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

The Elf King’s Sacrifice
Elisa Rae
(Elves of Eldarlan, #3)
Publication date: September 6th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Romance

The King of Eldarlan hates parties. Superficial conversations and social niceties never come easy for him. When cursed to host human princesses at a party every night, he considers it mild torture until an unusual princess appears one night. Wrapped in a worn robe with bare feet and tousled hair, she intrigues him immediately

Kate had been a princess only a matter of hours before being pulled from her bed by a magical spell. It drops her in an enchanted garden populated by silent elves and princesses of various ages. Attempting to avoid the unsolicited advice of her new peers, she retreats to the dark hedge maze where she encounters her host.

The Elf King’s Sacrifice is a light, fantasy romance novella with a romance between a powerful elf king and an unusual human princess. It features friends to lovers amid curses and chronic illness. Also included is a marriage of necessity, an adorable puppy, and a relaxed alpha hero.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

A reader of fairytales and folklore, Elisa Rae loves a happy ending. Noblebright characters, dastardly villains, and chemistry between characters delight her. When she isn’t writing, she loves to watch superhero movies and literary dramas.

If you like romantic adventures of various kinds, join her at: authorelisarae.com!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Amazon

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#Book Blitz #Pack of Secrets by Amara Mae #Urban Fantasy @Xpresso Book Tours

Pack of Secrets
Amara Mae
Publication date: September 6th 2022
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

As the daughter of the Seattle alpha, Grace is expected to carve out her place in a shifter pack still reeling from the horrors of war. Only Grace has two major problems with fulfilling her father’s expectations: she’s an omega—meant to support, not lead—and she was born with her inner wolf caged, unable to shift. Determined to become the asset her pack needs, she’s spent her life training to steal a magical artifact rumored to have the power necessary to release her wolf.

Unfortunately, things never go as planned.

The theft triggers an enraged guardian, one that her inner wolf can’t seem to resist, and Grace realizes she’s in way over her head. She’ll need the help of a small but capable team to journey to a foreign land and track down a mythical tree.

Easy peasy for an outcast burglar with a fractured psyche, right?

To complicate matters further, her father is acting weird, her best friend just made out with her, and she’s pretty sure a dragon is on their tail.

Across the world from the only home she’s ever known, Grace must face the questions she never dared to ask. Deadly secrets begin to unfold, and Grace will have to decide: Is unleashing her wolf worth risking everything?

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

Author Bio:

Amara Mae is a new adult urban fantasy author who has written additional genres under other pen names for more than ten years. Fantasy has always been her first book love, and she’s researched and generally geeked out for years to build the Fractured Earth world which will be home to her Celestial Artifacts and several other series. She resides in the rainy Pacific Northwest, where she enjoys real and imagined adventures alongside her husband and their five boys and two dogs.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Pinterest

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Book Blitz #Shy Girls Can’t Date Billionaires #YA Romance @Xpresso Book Tours

Shy Girls Can’t Date Billionaires
Milly Rose
Publication date: September 5th 2022
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Young Adult

I never existed until the wrong guy took notice…

I was born shy. And near him, I fall apart. No wonder he can’t stand the sight of me.

After a fire destroys our home, my family is taken in by a billionaire tycoon. His mansion has countless bedrooms, yet my room is next door to his son, Thomas Ashworth III. Yes, he’s as pompous as the name suggests. And, for some reason, he hates my guts.

Even though his arrogance drives me crazy, his chiseled features turn me into a stammering, awkward mess. I hate being stuck with someone I can’t stand. And when he does something unexpectedly kind, it confuses my heart.

When I bump into him in the middle of the night, I’d never guess it lead to us sharing secrets.

He’s impossible to get out of my head. But he wouldn’t consider dating someone like me. Would he?

You will love Christie and Ash. They are stuck together in forced proximity, becoming practically roommates. He is a billionaire, alpha male type who is learning to love. She is the new girl in school, dealing with past trauma. Together they will go from enemies to lovers in an adorable young adult romance.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:

Milly Rose is an animal-loving romance enthusiast with a swoon-inducing book formula. Shy girl + hot guy + first kisses. Her YA sweet romance books will have you falling in love every instalment. Milly Rose is the quintessential shy girl, who you can contact via her mailing list and reply to her monthly email blasts! Milly spends her days vying for her cat’s affection, dreaming up her next book boyfriend, and writing a fun meet-cute under candlelight with a lovely brewed cup of tea.

GET A FREE BOOK HERE >> https://dl.bookfunnel.com/cod6m6wfzw

(You will sign up to Milly Rose’s Newsletter and are free to unsubscribe anytime!)

Follow along on Instagram + Tiktok @shy.author.milly.rose

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Book Blitz #Monica (Family Ties 2) by Delaney Diamond @Xpresso Book Tours

Monica
Delaney Diamond
(Family Ties, #2)
Publication date: August 26th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A second chance at love for a wealthy socialite and her bad boy ex.

After having her heart broken nine years ago, Monica Connor has no interest in marriage. She’s busy living her best life and building a following as a social media influencer. When a wealthy businessman contracts her to promote the opening of his new lounge, she’s excited for her most lucrative deal yet. Then she learns she has to work with someone else on the project—Andre Campos, her first love—the owner’s future son-in-law.

Andre is engaged to marry the daughter of the man who gave him a chance when no one else would, but seeing Monica causes old feelings to resurface and calls his plans into question. Being with Monica means losing everything he’s worked hard over the years to attain. But he can’t stop thinking about her, and pretty soon they surrender to the fiery passion that neither can deny.

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

Author Bio:

Delaney Diamond is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sensual and passionate romance novels. She reads romance novels, mysteries, thrillers, and a fair amount of nonfiction. When she’s not busy reading or writing, she’s in the kitchen trying out new recipes, dining at one of her favorite restaurants, or traveling to an interesting locale. To get sneak peeks, notices of sale prices, and find out about new releases, join her mailing list. And enjoy free stories on her website at delaneydiamond.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

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The Sweetest Game by Cookie O’Gorman #New Adult #Romance #Sports @Xpresso Book Tours

The Sweetest Game
Cookie O’Gorman
Publication date: September 8th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Sports

Hopelessly in love with my best friend’s brother.

That’s what it will say on my tombstone. Here lies Junior “June” Dorsey. Tomboy. Car lover. Bookworm. She suffered from a severe case of unrequited love syndrome.

It’s not like I haven’t tried liking other guys. I have. It’s just none of them measure up to him.

Baylor O’Brien. Beautiful. Cocky. Talented (on the field and in the bedroom—or so I’ve heard).

And completely oblivious to my love for him.

When Bay asks for my help, I can’t say no. He needs my PR expertise to revamp his reputation and up his chances of being scouted after one scout—the one he really wants—dismisses him as nothing more than a party-loving playboy.

When he asks me to be his fake girlfriend, I accept his proposal.

But how am I supposed to act like I’m in love without revealing the truth? And why is Baylor so good at pretending?

One thing I know that’s true:

All’s fair in love and baseball.

Wish me luck,

June

This new adult sports romance features two friends destined to become lovers, one sizzling fake romance, and a sexy set of brothers guaranteed to make you swoon.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Cookie O’Gorman writes YA & NA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her novels ADORKABLE, NINJA GIRL, The Unbelievable, Inconceivable, Unforeseeable Truth About Ethan Wilder, The Good Girl’s Guide to Being Bad, WALLFLOWER, CUPCAKE, and FAUXMANCE are out now! She is also the author of NA sports romances, The Best Mistake, The Perfect Play, and The Sweetest Game.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Newsletter

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#Blog Tour #Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds by Amanda McCabe #Mystery @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Flora Flowerdew and the mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds by Amanda McCabe, the first book in a new series of mysteries set in the Victorian London.

Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds

Flora Flowerdew has a secret. The former Florrie Gubbins, music hall dancer, is now Madame Flowerdew, one of London’s most renowned spirit mediums. But it’s actually her beloved Pomeranian dog, Chou-Chou, who can see the ghosts.

One of her most lucrative seances, for the wealthy Petrie family whose daughter is about to marry a handsome young duke, goes chaotically awry. The duke’s late, and very irate, grandfather demands Flora and his grandson Benedict find the long-missing family diamonds—even the search becomes littered with mayhem and murder! Can Flora discover the jewels before she loses her career, her sanity—and her heart?

Sparks fly as Flora, Benedict, and Chou-Chou pursue the truth of the diamonds’ disappearance in this lighthearted, cozy historical mystery set in foggy, gas-lit London

Purchase Links

UK/US

My thoughts:

This was an unexpectedly sweet and entertaining read from one of my mother’s favourite authors Amanda McCabe!

Flora Flowerdew hasn’t had the easiest life- an unknown father, abandoned at an orphanage in East London, then less than glamourous career in a theatre, but she is a survivor and a sensible young woman determined to make her own living and stay safe. Her new career of a medium requires good listening skills, understanding people and …empathy. To be honest, Flora doesn’t believe in ghosts, so when an angry one ‘turns up’ in one her seances and starts rambling about lost diamonds and a family curse, she is intrigued, scared too- mostly of what rumours of her not being able ‘to control misbehaving spirits’ could do to her reputation of a well-respected medium. Flora is also curious about ‘the ghost’s’ grandson, the new duke of Everton. Sweet and kind-hearted Benedict is about to marry Maud Petrie- that is if the prospective bride’s rich family allow it. Maud’s parents were more than happy for their daughter to become a duchess, but she appears to be reluctant to proceed and not only because of an old curse attributed to the Everton Diamonds. Flora suspects there may be matters of heart that compliate this already curious case….Can Flora find the missing jewels and solve the family mystery? and should she be worried about letting her gourd and enjoying the company of Benedict who she likes more and more despite the huge difference in their position in life?

I was surprised at how engaging this historical cozy was with the biggest mystery being Flora herself. Bit by bit we get to know this fascinating, strong woman and learn how difficult living and earning independent means was for a woman in those times. Of course, she isn’t a real detective, but she has a good intuition, determination and, above all, common sense. She isn’t afraid or too bored to dig into dusty documents or interview unlikeable witnesses (grandma Everton, urgh!). Flora is a wonderful protagonist and I would love to see where this series is going to in future. There’s a whole cast of interesting secondary characters with their own peculiarieties and their own life stories- e.g. Flora’s maid Mary, her friend Evie and so on. And then there’s the duke and an undeniable attraction between him and Flora.

A quick and easy read for anyone who enjoys a clean romance/historical mystery. Looking forward to the next book in this new series!

Author Bio – Amanda McCabe wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)

She’s never since used algebra, but her books (set in a variety of time periods–Regency, Victorian, Tudor, Renaissance, and 1920s) have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in New Mexico with her lovely husband, along with far too many books and a spoiled rescue dog.

When not writing or reading, she loves yoga, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook. She also writes as Amanda Allen…

Please visit her at http://ammandamccabe.com

Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds & a Victorian necklace (Open to US Only)

rafflecopter link

*Terms and Conditions –US entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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#Blog Tour #Book Review #A Perfect Discovery by Margaret Amatt#Contemporary Romance @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for A Perfect Discovery, a new contemporary romance by Maragaret Amatt.

A Perfect Discovery

To find love, they need to dig deep.

When kind-hearted archaeologist Rhona Lamond has her precious research stolen, she returns home to the Isle of Mull, lost and frustrated. An island project that tugs at Rhona’s soul comes up, and she’s desperate to take it on. But there’s a major problem.

Property developer Calum Matheson has a longstanding feud with the Lamond family. After a plot of land he owns is discovered to be a site of historical importance, his plans are thrown into disarray and building work put on hold. Calum doesn’t think things can get any worse, until archaeologist Rhona turns up. Not only is she a Lamond, but she’s all grown up, and even stubbornly unromantic Calum can’t fail to notice her – or the effect she has on him.

Their attraction ignites but how can they overcome years of hate between their families? Both must decide what’s more important, family or love.

Purchase Link

UK / US

My thoughts:

A Perfect Discovery is book nine in Margaret Amatt’s Scottish Island Escapes series. If you’re considering picking up this lovely romance set on the Isle of Mull, but you haven’t read the previous books, don’t worry, it works perfectly well as a standalone, although you may want to go back and gorge on some of the secondary characters love stories (e.g.Beth, Kirsten, Georgia) -getting to see their HEA and then finding out how they got there is incredibly satisfying!

Rhona Lamond is a twenty-eight year old archeologist who has just come back home after an unscrupulous colleage has taken advantage of her kindness and team spirit. Rhona would love to make a good use of her degree and get into doing consultancy work after countless volunteer jobs. She doesn’t lack knowledge or enthusiasm, but she needs experience of working on evaluating archeological conditions attached to property development, and here is a perfect opportunity, right next to her parents’ house. The only problem is the land belongs to the Lamonds’ archi-enemy- Calum Matheson. A dark event from school years sparked years of their families’ feud, but Rhona is open-minded and would love nothing better than do this job and hopefully discover something new and important.

I loved the character of Rhona- she is quiet and sweet, but in the end it is time for her to re-evaluate her relationships and how she deals with conflict- some things are so important that you have to be ready to fight for them. My sister-in-law is an archeologist, so it was lovely to see this career shown in a work of fiction in a realistic light- there’s joy and celebration of discovering a new artefact, but there are also endless digs and lots of sifting through mud and dirt and endless paperwork to accompany it. Calum is also an interesting character, clearly cast as a villain by his neighbours and a large proportion of the population of the island, Calum is keen to prove himself and become successful through his own hard work. There’s a mystery of what really happened when he was at school, but I won’t give the story away.

The setting is absolutely gorgeous and as usual I has to do a bit of cyber-travelling reading the book. Add Rhona’s enthusiasm and vivid imagination in re-creating scenes of past life and it’s difficult not to dream of seeing this lovely place with your own eyes.

I really enjoyed Calum’s redemption story- it was great to see more of his family and loyal friends. The resolution seemed almost too easy after all these years of a veritable Romeo and Juliet kind of feud, but we all want to believe in the power of love, forgiveness, and clear communication.

Lovely addition to a sweet and entertaining series! Can’t wait to come back to the Isle of Mull in the next story and witness another couple find their happily-ever-after!

Author Bio –

Margaret is a writer, mummy, wife and chocolate eater (in any order you care to choose). She lives in highland Perthshire in a little house close to the woods where she often sees red squirrels, deer and other such tremendously Scottish wildlife… Though not normally haggises or even men in kilts!

She has published nine books and written many more. Margaret won a short story writing competition in 2012 and her winning entry was performed live to an audience at Pitlochry Festival Theatre as part of their Winter Words Event. This spring boarded Margaret’s journey from writing for fun to novel writing – though she still enjoys every minute of it.

Margaret is also a keen amateur photographer, who enjoys drawing, reading, and talking about books.

Social Media Links

Facebook / instagram/ twitter / website

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#Book Blitz #Out of The Ashes by Samantha Grosser @Xpresso Book Tours

Out of the Ashes
Samantha Grosser
Publication date: August 4th 2022
Genres: Adult, Historical

Amid the ruins of the Second World War, an illegal and tentative relationship begins.

England 1944. As Allied forces battle their way through Europe, German prisoners of war are sent to camps all over England. In a sleepy Somerset village, Clare is still grieving for her husband when the first prisoners arrive.

As the men start working on the farm, it isn’t long before she finds herself face to face with the enemy who made her a widow. Hating them all, she avoids them as best as she can. But when one of them saves a young child’s life, she is forced to reconsider. As an unexpected and illicit connection develops between them, her loyalties are stretched to the limit.

Their secret doesn’t last. Shunned by family and friends for illegal fraternisation with the enemy, Clare risks losing all she has. Then long-held secrets are brought to light and she must make an impossible choice.

In a world that has changed beyond recognition, can they find a way to build a future together, or will their happiness be destroyed by the burdens of the past?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

She sat at the table, numb. She should have sweet tea, she thought, remembering it was supposed to be good for shock, but she was unable to bring herself to make the effort and the stove remained blank and unlit. She waited, expecting the numbness to pass and the pain of the grief to take over, but there was nothing. Her body felt as though it belonged to someone else, and her thoughts drifted, hazy and unformed. What was wrong with her? She had heard of other women collapsing with such news, weeping and hysterical. Why did she feel so empty?

She laid the telegram on the table and straightened it out against the tablecloth, letting her eyes wander over the brief impersonal notice again, Walter’s death contained within it. How could so few words hold such momentous news? A letter would follow, it said. But really, what more was there to say? She would never hear her husband’s voice again, nor hold him in her arms. Their son no longer had a father.

She let out a breath, unaware she had been holding it, and feeling began at last to creep through her veins, a hollow in her guts. She placed her hand on top of the telegram, covering the words. She had always known, she thought. Right from the beginning when he told her he was going she had known, and she had spent all her tears and anger then in bitter fights and cruel words she had regretted ever since. Now she would never have a chance to make up for saying them.

The memory of the last time she saw him flickered through her thoughts – the sadness in his eyes as he turned to walk away from her along the platform with the kitbag on his shoulder, a stranger in his uniform. She had watched him mount the carriage steps, squeezed his hand a final time, until with a hiss of steam and a whistle he was gone. She had known even then they would not meet again.

A dog’s bark outside in the yard roused her from her thoughts and she lifted her head towards the noise. The clock on the mantelpiece struck the half-hour. Soon Eric would be home and she would have to tell him that his father was dead. She shuddered at the thought of it and sighed, tracing the words on the telegram with her fingertips as though she might feel Walter’s presence within them – his warmth, his kindness, his laughter. The hollow inside her began to fill with pain, and her vision blurred with sudden tears. She pressed her hand against the sheet of paper under her palm. She would have to tell Walter’s mother too, she remembered then, and his sister and her husband, everyone else in the village. She would have to say it aloud.

Walter is dead.

She wrapped her thoughts around the words and tried to roll them on her tongue, but her mouth refused to form the sounds. Her breath began to catch in her chest and as she wiped at her face where the tears had started to fall, she cast a glance towards the door. She wasn’t sure if she could face it. It was the thought that she must say the words to others that finally broke her defences. Lowering her face into her hands, she began to weep at last.

Author Bio:

Samantha Grosser is a very British author who doesn’t function without tea. Having spent many years teaching English in Asia and Australia, she has now made her home on the sunny beaches of Sydney, Australia, where she lives with her husband, teenaged son, and a very small dog called Livvy.

She is the author of Another Time and Place, The Officer’s Affair, The King James Men, and the historical fantasy series Web of Witches. When she isn’t writing or reading, (which isn’t often) you can find her either doing yoga, going for long walks, or watching old movies.

You can find out more at samgrosserbooks.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / Pinterest

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#Happy Publication Day, September 6, 2022 # The Deceptions by Jill Bialosky #Literary Fiction #Marriage&Divorce @Counterpoint

Happy Publication Day to The Deceptions by Jill Bialosky!

Publisher: Counterpoint

Publication Date: September 6, 2022
ISBN 9781640090248, 164009024X

From the Blurb:

An explosive tale of art and myth, desire and betrayal, from New York Times best-selling author Jill Bialosky

Something terrible has happened and I don’t know what to do. An unnamed narrator’s life is unraveling. Her only child has left home, and her twenty-year marriage is strained. Anticipation about her soon-to-be-released book of poetry looms. She seeks answers to the paradoxes of love, desire, and parenthood among the Greek and Roman gods at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As she passes her days teaching at a boys’ prep school, spending her off-hours sequestered in the museum’s austere galleries, she is haunted by memories of a yearlong friendship with a colleague, a fellow poet struggling with his craft. As secret betrayals and deceptions come to light and rage threatens to overwhelm her, the pantheon of gods assume remarkably vivid lives of their own, forcing her to choose between reality and myth in an effort to free herself from the patriarchal constraints of the past and embrace a new vision for her future.

The Deceptions is a page-turning and seductively told exploration of female sexuality and ambition as well as a human drama that dares to test the stories we tell ourselves. It is also a brilliant investigation of a life caught between the dueling magnetic poles of privacy and its appropriation in art and literature. Celebrated poet, memoirist, and novelist Jill Bialosky has reached new and daring heights in her boldest work yet.

************************************************************

About the author:

JILL BIALOSKY is the author of six acclaimed collections of poetry, three critically acclaimed novels, and two memoirs, including History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life, a New York Times bestseller. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Best American Poetry; The New Yorker; The Atlantic; Harper’s Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; The Kenyon Review; Harvard Review; and The Paris Review, among other publications. She is executive editor and vice president at W. W. Norton & Company. Her work has been a finalist for the James Laughlin Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and the Books for a Better Life Awards. In 2014, she was honored by the Poetry Society of America for her distinguished contribution to poetry. She lives in New York City.

Author Residence: New York, NY


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It’s Monday! What are you reading? September 5th, 2022

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read / listened to last week:

Gallant by V.E.Shwab– this was good… The illustrations are gorgeous and are an integral part of the story!

Cackle by Rachel Harrison- liked this one so much that I had to go and get the author’s previous book The Return straightaway. Saving it for October!

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman- this was a re-read, since I’m going to read the second book this week.

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin- pure entertainment! Thank you to all of you, my friends, who have recommended this page-turner to me.

What I am reading/listening to now:

The Lost Notebook by Louise Douglas

The Deceptions by Jill Bialosky

What I’m reading /listening to next:

Archibald Finch and the Lost Witches– a re-read of this chaarming middle grade fantasy before diving into its sequel

All of Our Demise by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

A Perfect Discovery by Margaret Amatt

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

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#Blog Tour #Book Spotlight #A Scandinavian Summer by Helga Jensen @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for A Scandinavian Summer by Helga Jensen.

A Scandinavian Summer

It’s the right time for love, but is it the wrong place?

After the tragic, premature death of her husband Anthony, Martha has spent all her time focused on her teenage daughter Rosie in their small Welsh village.

But with Rosie leaving the nest, and Martha’s own job on the line, it feels that life is passing her by.

Inspired by her love for Scandi-noir dramas, Martha impulsively books a trip to Denmark, determined to push herself out of her comfort zone – even if the thought terrifies her…

Her trip to the tiny island of Fano becomes something much more: in the form of handsome stranger, Lars. Can Martha find love under the Scandinavian skies… but more importantly, can she find herself?

A romantic, warm and uplifting read, guaranteed to leave you smiling. Fans of Jenny Colgan and Kathryn Freeman will adore this feelgood read!

Purchase Links

AMZ/ Kobo /Apple / Hive

Author Bio

Helga Jensen is an award-winning British/Danish best-selling author and journalist. Her debut novel was a winning entry in the 2017 Montegrappa First Fiction competition at Dubai’s Emirates Literary Festival. Her debut was also a contender for the coveted 2021 Joan Hessayon Award for new writers. Helga’s second romantic comedy, A Scandinavian Summer, went straight to number one on the Amazon Kindle charts for Danish travel on its publication day. Helga holds a BA Hons in English Literature and Creative Writing, along with a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University. She is currently working on a PhD.

Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Thank you for reading the post! Have a wonderful Monday!

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Book Blitz #Welcome to Visanthe by L.M.Sanguinette #Fantasy #Romance #YA @Xpresso Book Tours

Welcome To Visanthe
L.M. Sanguinette
Publication date: September 2nd 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

THE SHADOWS HAVE AWAKENED…

Raised on a small unassuming island in the Caribbean, with the kind of sleepy town lifestyle better suited to old fishermen than fiery young troublemakers, Savara believes she has her world all figured out—and hates it. Yet, on her eighteenth birthday—the anniversary of her parents’ death—she wakes up to find the only world she has ever known might have all been a lie.

An unexpected death and the appearance of a mysterious off-worlder force Savara to question everything she has ever known as she and Jasper—her “only adventurous in books” best friend—are thrust into a new world, faced with a task that will not only determine their fates, but the fate of an entire nation. The shadows of a long-forgotten past have awakened with a thirst for blood. Will she be able to stop them from devouring everything in their path? Or will she fall victim to her own demons?

Join them on their journey to a world of elemental magic, where the lines of good and evil have been distorted, and truth is most often paid for in blood.

Welcome to Visanthe.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

When she was younger, Savara used to listen to the stories her uncle would tell with rapt attention, wishing that they were real. Fantastical beasts, fires that lived, oceans that sang, people who moved like gods… Sometimes she even wished to be one of them, the people who could move stones with their mind, summon fire at the twitch of their fingers, create gigantic waves or powerful winds with the flick of their wrists, or even steal light from the world around them.

“My uncle used to tell me stories…” she said cautiously, unwilling to divulge too much of her memories. “I think they were about this place. About the creatures that call it home, and what they’re capable of…” When the man didn’t reply, she added, “They weren’t just stories.” Savara waited for an answer to the not-quite-question that might ease her worries.

His pause felt eternal. The flickering of the lamp’s flame filled the space where words should’ve been. Finally, he took a breath. “No.”

Back then, his stories seemed to resonate with something inside her, which she mistook for longing. Now, she wasn’t so sure. Besides, from what she now remembered, none of his stories ever ended well.

“They weren’t happy stories,” she continued.

“Not all stories are happy, no matter the world.”

Thinking back on all the strange tales her uncle had filled her head with over the years, she realised that part of the pleasure in stories is that they are just that, stories, things to imagine without facing consequences. No one gives a second thought to the monsters that lurk in the shadows so long as the hero is safe at the end. But hearing a story is different from living it. She couldn’t simply close the book when she got scared or skip to the end to know everything would be alright. Savara didn’t like the new sensation taking root in the pit of her stomach, the one that left her wondering what exactly it meant to not be human, and in Jasper’s case, to be one in a world that wasn’t.

Author Bio:

L. M. Sanguinette was born on a small island in the Caribbean, where the palm trees watched over her like giants and the sea crept up to her feet to say “hello”. Nowadays she can be found in one of the many hidden coffee shops of Madrid conversing with the spirits of the old city.

Website / Goodreads / TikTok / Instagram

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Book Blitz #Resolved by Nikki Kiley #Contemporary Romance #Comedy @Xpresso Book Tours

Resolved
Nikki Kiley
Publication date: September 1st 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Can a perky optimist and a moody bachelor overcome their differences to discover that opposites make the best matches?

Sarah
I will let nothing get in my way as I navigate my demanding position on the Home Design Network, especially not a grumpy, gorgeous 6’4 man built like a tank. Jeremy Chance may resent that he’s been assigned to be my babysitter—and he voices it, rudely often enough—but as we tackle the job before us I can’t help but feel drawn into his quiet appeal.

Jeremy
Reasons I should never offer home repair help.
1. Everyone takes you and your time for granted
2. The job is never just fifteen minutes
3. The customer is ALWAYS right (especially when they’re WRONG.)
4. And now I’ve been saddled with an ambitious, take no prisoners workaholic who has no clue what she signed up for

But something about Sarah’s Hayes sweet, frazzled determination tugs at my well-buried heartstrings and I can’t stop myself from helping this hardworking charmer succeed.

Author’s Note: A steamy, swoony, laugh-out-loud workplace romantic comedy with a grumpy hero determined to save the day and a feisty heroine who is realizing that there’s more to her co-worker than just a man that can get the job done. This is a stand-alone romance with a HEA!

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Nikki Kiley is an aspiring author of Contemporary Romance. Since she was a young girl, she dreamt of writing stories that would entertain and move her readers, like she was and still is, by talented authors.

When not working the day job running a medical office, she spends hours crafting and writing stories about heroes and heroines earning their chance at love. She makes her home in Puerto Rico with her husband, two young adult children, and a gentle giant, the bull mastiff, Kira.

She loves the beach, her Nespresso maker, and cupcakes (S’more in particular).

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Newsletter

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#Blog Tour #Rock’n’Rose by Suzan Holder #Guest Post by Suzan Holder: I Love Rock’n’Roll! @rararesources

Today I’m delighted to present a guest post by Suzan Holder as a part of a blog tour for her new book Rock’n’Rose!

About the book:

Rock ‘n’ Rose

It’s Now or Never…In the summer of 1960, eighteen-year-old Rose Featherstone took a trip to Memphis that changed her life. Now, Rose confesses to her granddaughter, Daisy, that she returned home with more than just memories all those years ago – she was carrying Elvis Presley’s child!

Daisy is sure the claim can’t be true, and yet, what if it is? When her grandmother passes away soon after her startling revelation and leaves Daisy with a ticket to Memphis, Tennessee, Daisy decides it’s time to discover the truth. She’s always struggled to fit in but this trip might just show her the benefits of being born to stand out and is a moody motorcycle cop called Blue the answer to all her dreams?

Her adventures in Memphis take her behind the famous music gates of Graceland. Pack your Blue Suede Shoes for a rockin’ rom-com.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK / Amazon US / HarperCollins

A Guest Post by Suzan Holder

I LOVE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!

They say ‘rock n’ roll will never die’ and ‘the old songs are the best’ and looking around at the resurgence of love for both The Beatles and Elvis Presley this year you have to admit both claims are proving truer than ever in 2022.

That’s very lucky for me! I’ve written two rock n’roll themed rom-coms published this year by One More Chapter, Harper Collins so I certainly seem to have my finger on the musical pulse.

My debut novel called ‘Shake It Up, Beverley’ is about an obsessive Beatles fan and my new book ‘Rock ‘n’ Rose’  is about a woman trying to solve a mysterious family connection to Elvis Presley and  goes behind the gates of his Graceland home in Memphis.

But I don’t think it’s just the music that flips my heart and blows my mind, there’s another reason Elvis and the Beatles aroused a passion in some of us that will never die… I mean … have you SEEN Elvis clad head to toe in black leather in the 1968 Comeback Special? Never has anyone, male or female, ever looked more beautiful … imho ) As for darkly bearded, intense but playful Paul McCartney in 1969… as writer Caitlin Moran so wittily observed on twitter – why are techno gazillionaires like Elon Musk wasting money on space rockets when they could be developing the technology for 1969 era Macca-style sex-bots for willing consumers? I mean, it’s a fair question.

We live in an era where we can access brilliance and beauty that has gone before.  When you stop to think about it, that is a wonderful, amazing, magical thing and many of us give thanks for that every, single day.

While politicians let you down and the cost of living crisis crushes us; as the fall out from a global pandemic rumbles on and the war in Ukraine sends us delirious with worry what have we got we can actually rely on? Rolling Stone Keith Richards once said: “Music is all you can trust.” Wise words Keef and never have those words resonated with me more while the world seems to be spinning out of control. I accept it won’t pay rising bills or bring peace to war-torn nations but music can be uplifting, hopeful and can connect you with a place or a person you love or have loved in a way nothing else can.

So it doesn’t surprise me at all that the release late last year of unseen footage of The Beatles in Peter Jackson’s ‘Get Back’ documentaries made such a huge impact. Beatles fans were reminded why they thought John, Paul, George and Ringo were the very best band in the world and youngsters got to see just what all the fuss has been about. Watching the footage is like hanging out in the recording studio alongside them. Incredible. Not only does music pour out of them like they are possessed, they are funny, sensitive and emotionally mature in ways history would tell you was impossible in men in the late sixties and early seventies.

Similarly the Baz Luhrmann biopic movie of Elvis Presley shows the heart and soul of a man left lost and tortured by the price of his colossal fame. Elvis may not have written his own songs but his amazing ability to channel his emotions into music never left him.

You see, the people who create such music are also my ultimate heroes. They are the ones who help us connect with each other when we sing or dance or put our arms around each other at a gig.

I am a writer, but it’s taken me around 90,000 words to tell each story. A gifted songwriter, however, can tell a story, unleash an emotion and tap into your innermost feelings and desires all in a three minute song with a tune that never leaves you. That’s a skill I am completely in awe of.

Songwriters take the feelings we all feel and put them to words we very rarely have the guts to say out loud. Why do you think so many people have ‘a song’?

When I sat down to write both of my books I wanted to spread some of the magic from the music I love through the pages. I want readers to feel like dancing down the street once they’ve read the book, just like when they’ve seen a brilliant rom-com movie with a killer soundtrack.

The Beatles sang ‘All You Need is Love’ but I believe Love is all we really have … Love and Music.

Suzan Holder

Author Bio

Real rock wife Suzan, wife of former Slade frontman Noddy Holder, has written another ‘rock n’ roll rom-com’ to follow her Beatles themed debut ‘Shake It Up, Beverley’.

Journalist and TV producer Suzan once again weaves her love for music into a hilarious and heart-warming story that is uplifting and laugh-out-loud funny.

Suzan says: “I love that my books celebrate music and have been inspired by my own life experience of living in a slightly crazy, rock ‘n’ roll, rom-com world…some of the weirdest and funniest stories in the books really have happened to me!”

Suzan Holder trained as a newspaper journalist and worked on regional and national newspapers before moving into TV. She produced a variety of television news and lifestyle programmes and was executive producer of ITV’s daytime network show ‘Loose Women’. She is a monthly columnist for Cheshire Life Magazine and appears regularly on radio.

Suzan has one son, two step-daughters and two step grand-children. Originally from the West Midlands Suzan now lives with Noddy Holder in Cheshire, they have been together for 32 years.

Social Media Links –

.Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HolderSuzan

Twitter https://twitter.com/HolderSuzan

insta – https://www.instagram.com/SuzHolder15/

Thank you for stopping by and reading Suzan’s wonderful guest post! Have a lovely weekend!

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