In the still of a cool Colorado evening, the Circle J Ranch house burns to the ground, leaving Susannah Jones and her two brothers orphaned and homeless. Embittered by the tragedy, Susannah's older brother grows increasingly cruel, leading Susannah to make the difficult choice to leave the last of her family behind to forge a new life for herself. It is the kindness of Dr. Kate, the woman physician in town, as well as a chance meeting with a rugged homesteader that give Susannah the strength she needs to escape.
When Joseph Iverson encounters the harassed young woman on his land one day, he has no thought but to provide the assistance she so clearly needs. Overcoming his shyness, he takes Susannah under his wing and agrees to a marriage of convenience to liberate her from her brother. As the pair works side by side, their mutual admiration deepens. But their happy existence is threatened all too soon by a series of "accidents" on the farm. With danger looming ever closer, Susannah and Joseph must discover who is bent on their destruction before the life and marriage they've built together goes up in flames.
How could Susannah's eldest brother and heir to their family's ranch be so cold and cruel during ad after the tragic events of their home burning down. She knew she could not endure her younger brother's treatment of her, now that he was in charge. She made he difficult choice of fleeing her home. She had a small "stash" of cash. She would find refuge with Dr. Kate until she could escape the town.
When things did not go as planned, she escaped to an abandoned shack, only to discover it was on someone's property. With no where to turn, a bargain was made.
Saving Susannah Jones is a very entertaining tale of "old western" days, when times were tough, yet women began to "take a stance" and became doctors, teachers, and began to be a part of the "business world", while still not truly accepted by most men.
This is a story of one woman's perseverance and courage to have some control of her own destiny, without succumbing to the will and conniving of her kinsman.
Although very well-written, there were a couple of parts that did not "flow" smoothly. The story line, also, needed a little more depth, with a stronger ending.
Still, the characters and scenes were easily visualized, allowing the reader to feel connected and a part of the story.
The Title and Cover were a good "fit". For the "browser", the Cover was not overly "eye-catching".
I offer a Four and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me by the publisher, with no urging to post a positive review. This is my honest review.
About Carolyn Twede FrankCarolyn lives in Kaysvile, Utah with her husband and teenage daughter, her other four children having fled the nest, but still live close by (thank heavens). When she's not writing, she loves to read, garden, sew, and play with her grandson.
In 1994, she incorporated her basement sewing business, eventually moving it into a warehouse, hiring more people, and developing her unique line of puppets and educational curriculums into a full-fledged, international business. She sold the main arm of her business in 2009, retaining a small portion to bring in income while she pursued her writing career. She has been writing seriously since 2006.
Learn more about Carolyn and her books one her website, www.carolyntwedefrank.com
To enter the Giveaway, complete the Rafflecopter below!
PRESENTED BY COVENANT COMMUNICATIONS PUBLISHING
Chance Blackwell’s return--
Could cost her everything!
Ten years after he eloped with Katie Montgomery’s sister, Chance Blackwell is back in Montana to sell his family ranch. Katie could lose her job and the only home she’s known. But the loyal cowgirl is keeping a secret that could shatter trust and jeopardize her future with the widowed musician and her toddler niece. Unless Chance’s growing affection for her and all things Blackwell can earn Katie his forgiveness—and his love.
I feel 'The Return of the Blackwell Brothers' Series are an outstanding series by very talented writers!
The Rancher's Homecoming is the culminating story of the series.
The author has done an incredible job in "bringing back" the last brother to decide on the final outcome of Blackwell Ranch, in the absence of their missing granddaddy.
Although it is quite predictable, the author is able to connect with the reader in a way, causing emotions to surface and enabling the reader to feel he/she is a part of the scenes.
Chance has lost the love of his life, his wife, and the success of his music career is waning. His twin brother, plus his agent, are able to persuade him to briefly return home...a thing he swore he would never do. He will do what he has to do and get back out of the country!
This is an entertaining final accounting of a brother. with an unexpected ending.
I am determined to go back to the original Blackwell brother series, to get the full experience of the Blackwell sagas!
*This was gifted me with no request for a positive review. This is my honest reveiw.
I offer a Four Stars rating.
ABOUT the AUTHOR:
A geek at heart, USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart writes "refreshingly unique, quietly humorous, and profoundly moving romance." (RT Book Reviews) Her books include The Tremayne Family Romances, The Butterfly Harbor series for Harlequin Heartwarming, and the Honor Bound series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.
NYTimes bestselling author Brenda Novak says "The talented Anna J Stewart delivers every time!" Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her).
In affiliation with ...
The Rancher's Fake Fiancée (Return of the Blackwell Brothers #4) by Amy Vastine
Paperback, 384 pages ISBN: 1335633855 (ISBN13: 9781335633859)
Published November 6th 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming
"I'm coming home...With my bride-to-be." Tyler Blackwell just announced that he and Hadley Sullivan are getting married. And they've never even dated! Now she and her boss are in Montana so Tyler can sell his family ranch. Hadley only agreed to continue the deception in exchange for a promotion. But moving up the corporate ladder pales beside her growing feelings for Tyler. Will his past and Blackwell family secrets sabotage what Hadley wants more than anything--a real wedding?
The Rancher's Fake Fiance - Amy Vastine
I love this series. The Blackwell brothers are awesome and all their significant others are great.
This story is another fun romance with one of the brothers of the Blackwell Ranch.
Every time I read one of these stories, I feel like I would be right at home on their ranch.
The characters are well-developed and great to get to know. It's easy to feel their emotions.
The story flows well from chapter to chapter and is easy to follow along.
The title and book cover fit the story well.
I give this book a literary rating of 5/5
written by vickie
MY REVIEW: (LAWonder10)
After having his whole office - especially his assistant - frustrated with him for not answering repeated messages from his family, Tyler Blackwell finally answers one of many calls from one of his brothers. He thought of every excuse he could think of why he couldn't leave to return home for a major decision, affecting the Blackwell Ranch. He could care less about it, but after his partner heard about it, he insisted that is just the thing Tyler needs. His obsessions at work were driving the whole staff crazy! There was just one major problem. In order to appease his brother, he told him he was getting married very soon. He hadn't dated in months!
Tyler made a bargain with his assistant to go with him on this trip and pretend to be his fiancé, in exchange for a promotion.
Hadley had worked hard for the previous promotion, but was "passed over"' so Tyler's partner could hire his inept nephew. After weighing the oris and cons, Hadley felt the "farce" she had to play would be worth it, although it went against her values of integrity.
The charade was going very well, until some unforeseen complications arose.
I totally enjoy the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series. Each of the characters of these stories are very endearing. Each feels so real, it is easy to forget they are fictional characters. The scenes are equally portrayed well, enabling the reader to feel he/she is there.
Author Amy Vastine, has done an incredible job in contributing to the series. She is every bit as talented as the others. He insight was touching and delightful.
The Book Tittle & Cover were both very well chosen.
I offer a Five Stars rating.
ABOUT the AUTHOR:
Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read. Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.
Shopping for an Heir (Shopping for a Billionaire #10) by Julia Kent
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance
Gerald Wright works for billionaires. He never imagined he’d become one.
The former Navy Seal is a chauffeur by day, artist by night, so when hotter-than-ever ex-fiancée Suzanne Dayton interrupts his nude model sculpting class to serve him with inheritance paperwork from a man he’s never heard of, he assumes it’s a joke.
Turns out the joke’s on him. There’s just one catch. A big one.
And it might be Suzanne — in more ways than he ever dreamed.
Shopping for an Heir is the 10th book in the New York Times bestselling Shopping for a Billionaire series by Julia Kent.
Goodreads | ~ Purchase: Amazon |B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play |
~ Audiobook links: Amazon Audio | Audible | iTunes | Kobo Audio | Authors-Direct |
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. 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 lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.
Social Media Links:
Website: | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter | Instagram | Bookbub | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Yours by Christmas by Jennifer Youngblood- Buy ebook for $.99 ONE DAY ONLY - Thursday, December 13th !
Yours by Christmas by Jennifer Youngblood
A recovering alcoholic turned firefighter, a mysterious woman with a secret, and the Christmas miracle that just might save them both. Beckett Bradshaw knows what it’s like to be on top of the world and then to come crashing down to the lowest form of human existence, living on the streets. It has taken a huge amount of hard work and self control to get where he is today. He’s content with his job as a firefighter and so incredibly grateful for the miraculous recovery of his young daughter. When a mysterious old lady shows up at the fire station and makes a prophecy that Beckett will find love by Christmas, he doesn’t believe it. Beckett doesn’t dare pray for the desires of his heart for fear that he’s used up all of his miracles. Then, Beckett meets the beautiful and vivacious Ava Lawrence and starts to hope that maybe he really can find love. Beckett is hesitant to tell Ava about his checkered past for fear that she won’t want him. However, Ava has a few secrets of her own that could destroy everything Beckett has built. Will a Christmas miracle be enough to bind two lonely hearts together or will the scars of the past prevent Beckett and Ava from finding the lasting love they
It was the kind of cold that would freeze a person’s toes and fingers off. In another time and place, Beckett wouldn’t have spent more than thirty minutes outside. Tonight, however, he was grateful for the cold. It sank through the holes of his worn shoes, moving up his legs and torso like morphine, numbing his aching heart. The cold snuffed out the fire raging in his head—the voice that screamed of his failures and how any path to redemption was forever barred.
He trudged through the snow, oblivious to the trash littering the sidewalk or the bars covering the windows of the aging buildings. The sights and stench of the streets would’ve horrified him before, when he was donning two-thousand-dollar suits and driving a Lexus to his high-rise office in the center of downtown Salt Lake City. Now, it was as commonplace as breathing..
The frigid wind picked up. He pulled his thin coat tighter around him as he tucked his chin into his neck and plodded forward.
Normally, Beckett’s senses were dulled to the point where he hardly remembered the life he lived before. Alcohol was the great cure-all. If he drank enough of it, he could hardly remember his own name. Today, however, was different. Today was Jasmine’s birthday. She was turning seven today. Beckett didn’t want to think about Jasmine with her happy, rosy cheeks and cocoa-colored ringlets. The trusting look in her deep brown eyes. The lilt in her voice when she called him daddy. Jasmine wanted a pink Barbie cake with sparkles.
Tears pressed against his eyes as he swallowed. Unbidden scenes from the accident flashed before his eyes, the guilt knotting his gut. It had been a normal day. Pressures at the office were increasing. Beckett was always behind. Nothing he did was enough to satisfy his bulldog boss. Before darting out of his office to pick up Jasmine from her dance class, he’d taken a few swigs out of the flask he kept hidden beneath a stack of files in his bottom desk drawer. One minute he was driving, the road a blur, Jasmine chattering about a new dance she’d learned. The next minute, everything changed. Beckett felt the blunt force of the crash the same instant he heard the sickening sound of crunching metal. Then came the worst—Jasmine’s terrified screams that gave way to intermittent whimpers. He’d called 911, screaming into the phone. It seemed to take forever before the wail of the sirens pierced the night air. A few hours later, in a sterile hospital waiting room, a grim-faced doctor would deliver the blow. Jasmine’s ankle had been crushed. It would require multiple surgeries, and there was a chance she’d never walk again.
Melinda’s face had crumpled, tears streaming down her cheeks. As Beckett went to hug her, she pushed him away, condemnation burning in her eyes. “This is all your fault!” she spat.
“Please, Melinda.” His voice had cracked with desperation. “I—I’m sorry. I never meant—” He reached for her again.
She got up in his face. “I can smell the alcohol on your breath.”
For an instant, Beckett saw something in her eyes—a sliver of the love they’d once shared. Before he could blink, however, her eyes went flatter than dull pennies as she turned her back to him and walked away. It was then that he’d known, he was dead to her. He loosened his silk tie and threw it into the garbage on his way out of the hospital. That was six months ago.
He wet his dry lips, the thirst for a drink rising in him like a greedy vulture demanding to be satisfied. He paused and leaned against the side of a building, removing the bottle from inside his coat. Beckett took a long swig, appreciating how the liquid burned down his throat. Another couple of drinks helped ease the pain.
The snow was falling harder, large blobs coating everything in white. Cars moved along the streets like cautious snails, trying to avoid contact. The world felt still, like he was in one of those snow globes Jasmine loved. Beckett’s breath pushed out a warm mist against the air as he continued to his destination. Fifteen minutes later, he went in through the backdoor of a shelter. A middle-aged, portly man with a tapered salt and pepper beard was sitting behind a metal desk, chewing on a pencil as he stared at the screen of his laptop. When he saw Beckett, he waved in recognition as he stood, pulling his pants over his belly.
“Hey, Blanket Man. I wondered what time you’d show up here.” He went to a nearby counter and picked up a stack of blankets, depositing them in Beckett’s arms. “It’s a cold one tonight. The temperature’s falling into the single digits.”
“I’m sure there’ll be plenty of people who can use these blankets. Some ladies from a local church dropped them off today. It’s mighty kind of you to deliver them. After you get done passing these out, there are plenty more.”
Beckett nodded. This was how the conversation always went, with Scotty making small talk and Beckett throwing in a few short answers and nods. Scotty didn’t seem to mind that Beckett didn’t want to talk. He was always pleasant, and he looked Beckett in the eye when he spoke to him. Most people didn’t. The homeless moved through the city like faceless ghosts, scavenging what they could to survive.
“Oh, by the way, I reserved you a spot at the shelter tonight. It’s too cold to be outside.”
“Thank you.” Beckett’s hands ached from the cold. He’d had a pair of gloves once, but they were long gone.
“Tell everyone you see that they need to get indoors.” Scotty’s mouth turned down in a frown as he pulled at his beard. “This is the kind of weather that kills people.”
If only Beckett could be so lucky. Death was preferable to his miserable existence. Several times, he’d looked up at the tops of the buildings, thinking how easy it would be to just jump and end it all. He didn’t know what was keeping him here. Maybe it was cowardice. Even now, he craved life and the bottle. Maybe it was Jasmine. His heart clutched as he pushed the thoughts away. He no longer had a wife or daughter. He was a nobody. With the blankets in hand, Beckett went out the door. After the warmth of the shelter, the night felt colder. He suppressed a shiver, forcing himself to embrace the cold as his feet worked through the snow. His first stop was a group of four men at a nearby park. They were sitting on the ground, huddled close together, their backs resting against a waist-high concrete wall.
“It’s Blanket Man,” an older man named Beaker exclaimed in a hoarse voice. No one went by their real names on the streets. They used names that fit the person’s personality or features. Beaker had a large, pitted nose. He held up a gnarly hand. “Join the party,” he said glibly. “It’s a little cold, but what can ya do?” He laughed at his own joke.
Slim Jim, sitting next to him, barked out a raspy smoker laugh, his thin shoulders shaking. “Yep, we’re having us a party.” He raised a hopeful eye to Beckett. “Got anything to drink?”
“Or a cigarette?” a young man with greasy hair and glassy eyes asked. A pang shot through Beckett. The kid was a newcomer. He couldn’t be more than eighteen or nineteen years old. His face was gaunt, his eyes ringed in hollow circles. It seemed such a shame for him to be here, strung out on drugs. Even as the thought ran through his mind, Beckett laughed inwardly. He, of all people, had no room to judge. No one on the streets would ever imagine that he used to be an executive at one of the most prestigious financial advisory firms in Salt Lake. Out here, he was a scruffy drunk who delivered blankets to those who didn’t have the presence of mind to seek shelter when the temperatures plummeted. He didn’t really know why he felt compelled to go out night after night, delivering blankets. Maybe it was a form of atonement for his past sins. All he knew was that he couldn’t seem to rest until the blankets were handed out.
“Nope, sorry. I’m all out of both,” Beckett lied, “but I do come bearing gifts.” No way was he sharing his booze. He’d spent a full day cleaning trash out of a yard to earn the money to buy this bottle. He handed them each a blanket. “It’s supposed to be down in the single digits tonight,” he said, repeating Scotty’s words. “It might be wise to get to a shelter.” The cold seeped into his bones, making him feel sluggish. Beaker waved a hand. “Nah, too crowded. We’ll be all right.” The young man started singing a song about them being all right.
“Suit yourselves.” Beckett moved on to the next stop, passing out more blankets. He suspected that a few of the people were so far gone in their minds that they didn’t even realize they were cold. One man was holding an animated conversation with an imaginary person, laughing one second and shouting curses the next. Maybe Beckett would end up that way—not having a clue who he even was.
When the blankets were gone he returned to the shelter, intent on making one more round before hunkering down for the night.
“Hey,” Scotty said, “you’re back.”
Beckett gave a curt nod of acknowledgment and went to the counter, picking up an armful of blankets. Scotty touched his beard. “Uh, Beckett, before you head back out, there’s someone here to see you.” Beckett frowned, hearing his own name. Not once, in all the times he’d come to this shelter to pick up blankets, had Scotty called him by his real name. Up until now, Beckett hadn’t even realized that Scotty knew his name. Suspicion stirred inside him.
“Who is it?” he demanded. It had better not be his former boss! Jack Bisson had come lurking around once, about a month after Beckett had thrown in the towel. He urged Beckett to check himself into a rehab center, saying he’d even pay for the treatment. “Think of your wife and daughter,” Jack had said. “With Jasmine’s ankle in such bad shape, she needs you now more than ever.” Beckett laughed in his face, telling the pompous man in no uncertain terms exactly what he thought of him. Had Jack shown him an ounce of compassion when Beckett was working, instead of riding his case 24/7, Beckett might not have turned to alcohol. Then, he never would’ve been drinking the night he picked Jasmine up from her dance class, and he wouldn’t have had the car accident that shattered her ankle. Beckett balled his fist, squeezing the blankets. He’d refrained from punching Jack Bisson in the face the last time he showed up. This time, Bisson wouldn’t be so lucky.
“Where’s Bisson?” he growled. Scotty frowned. “I’m not sure who that is.” He scooted back his chair and stood, his eyes resting on the blankets in Beckett’s arms. “Maybe you should put those down and follow me.” Reluctantly, Beckett complied.
When they entered the large common room, Beckett scanned the crowd of people, packed like sardines into every available inch of floor space. When he saw them across the room, his breath froze in his throat. He couldn’t do it! His eyes narrowed as he spun around to Scotty. “What is this?”
Scotty held up a hand. “Your wife and daughter have gone to great lengths to find you. The least you can do is hear them out.” He lowered his voice. “I know your history, Beckett. That you’re a good man. You had a career, a wonderful family. That man is still in there. You just have to find him.”
Beckett let out a harsh laugh. “If I were a good man, my daughter wouldn’t be in a wheelchair.” Tears rose in his eyes as he cleared his throat and swallowed. He’d lost count of the number of times he’d dreamed of seeing Jasmine over the past few months. A hot anger coursed through his veins. Melinda had no right to bring Jasmine here. Maybe she wanted Jasmine to see firsthand how far her dad had fallen. Everything in him wanted to turn around and flee as far from here as he could get.
“Daddy!” Jasmine’s face lit up as she waved.
Too late to run. Beckett sighed in resignation as he forced his feet to move forward. When he reached them, he stood there awkwardly, at a loss for words. Melinda’s pinched face said it all—that he was an embarrassment. Melinda had always been concerned about social status and the image they portrayed to the world. He could only imagine what she must think of his ragged clothes, scraggly beard, grimy fingernails, his unwashed stench. He was a walking skeleton, a shadow of his former self. Jasmine was beaming. She seemed oblivious to the change in him.
“I’ve missed you so much.” She held out her hands for him to hug her. Beckett’s feet stayed rooted to the floor. He wanted to hug her, but life on the streets had hardened him to the point where personal contact seemed foreign. Finally, he patted her hand instead. She was soft, untouched by the ugliness of the streets.
“Good to see you, pretty girl.” His eyes settled on the cast, visible beneath her sweat pants. He hated himself in that moment, wished he could disappear into nothing. How dare Melinda bring Jasmine here! He wanted Jasmine to remember him as he was before. Not now, consumed by his vice. He glared at Melinda. “What’re you doing here?”
Melinda looked thinner than he remembered, her face drawn and pale. It seemed like it had been another life when he’d loved her.
Melinda lifted her chin, a protective hand going over Jasmine’s shoulder. “I came here because of Jazzie,” she said stiffly. “It was her birthday wish.”
Jasmine gave him a searching look. “Come home with us, Daddy.” Her voice cracked. “Please.”
“For her sake,” Melinda added. “You need help.” Her jaw tightened. “It’s bad enough that Jasmine’s going through all the pain and suffering of her ankle. Must she lose her father too?” The words came out in short, angry bursts. She gave him a hard, resentful look. “You’re being selfish.” Tears bubbled in Jasmine’s eyes, her lower lip trembling.
“Please, Daddy, come home. We miss you.”
Selfish! Loser! Drunk! Beckett’s head felt like it was splitting in two. Oh, how he wished he could relive that dreadful night of the accident, that he could go back and nip the drinking in the bud before it turned into a hideous monster. He thought of the bottle beneath his coat, the need for a drink overwhelming. He hated this—loathed his weakness. Tears pooled in his eyes. Beckett Bradshaw was an illusion. There was nothing left of that man except pain and regret. “I’m sorry,” he uttered as he fled.
The last thing he heard before he darted out the door into the cold was Jazzie’s anguished cry. “Daddy!”
I am so excited that TWO THOUSAND YEARS by M. Dalto is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author M. Dalto, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $15 Amazon Gift Card, International, courtesy of M., The Parliament House Press, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
Title: TWO THOUSAND YEARS
Author: M. Dalto
Pub. Date: December 11, 2018 | Formats: Paperback, eBook
Publisher: Parliament House Publishing | Pages: 310
READER BEWARE: Contains Strong Language
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks
Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.
Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.
Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire's torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice - or her fate - that determines how she survives the Empire's rising conflicts.
CHAPTER 1 (partial)
The streets were quiet for a Friday night in the city. Alexandra Ross clenched her collar tighter around her neck as the wind began to pick up, unseasonably cool for so early in Boston’s September. Her heels clicked along the damp cobblestones of the old sidewalks as she headed towards her apartment. She had to take extra care while walking in her four-inch heels.
Especially when she knew she was being followed.
The city had been her home for three years now, so the late-night trek home remained familiar, almost a comfort. In the now twenty-two years of her life, maintaining her independence was as much of a priority as the switchblade in her jacket pocket was a security. There was a part of her that truly enjoyed the peaceful solitude these walks could bring, but she wasn’t stupid enough to do it without protection.
She was aware he remained a short distance behind her ever since she left Faneuil Hall.
This evening was no different, except that she was celebrating her twenty-second birthday, which also may have involved too much alcohol. Perhaps it was the intoxicated appreciation of her city within the quiet of the early morning hours that distracted her from her surroundings.
Even the reflections in the familiar storefront windows she passed by reminded her of the fact she that wasn’t alone.
Either way, her attention was focused anywhere but where it belonged. It wasn’t until her heel caught in the sidewalk, and a hand grabbed her arm to keep her upright, that she realized she tripped and started to fall.
And that the one she believed to be a stalker turned out to actually be a rescuer.
His grip remained firm as his other arm wrapped around her waist to steady her on her feet. As she composed herself, trying to clear her head, her hand went towards the knife in her pocket while she glanced towards the individual who just saved her from needing a nose job.
The stranger’s hair was dark under the streetlights, side swept and held loosely in a ponytail at the nape of his neck. He was dressed casually: wearing a dark, button-down shirt over clean denim jeans and sensible dress shoes as if he, too, had just emerged from the bustling social atmosphere that brought so many to Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
His features were thin with chiseled cheekbones beneath skin too tanned to be local, but then she looked into his eyes. They were the most piercing blue she had ever seen—almost too blue, especially without the sunlight’s shining assistance. They radiated with their own luminescence; which was odd at first, but the color was as though they were refractions off of the ocean’s waves. As she continued to stare, the more familiar they seemed. Looking up and into his eyes felt as if she had stared into those eyes before—been lost within them too many times to count.
The feeling was almost nostalgic, though she was certain she’d never met him before. She would have remembered those eyes, regardless of how many cosmopolitans she may have drank.
By the time she realized she was staring, he had already released her from his grasp.
“I—” She blinked, struggling for words as her grip tightened around her knife.
“A simple ‘thank you’ would suffice.” His words purred with a foreign accent—familiar, but she couldn’t place it. Irish? Scottish? Perhaps Welsh, she thought to herself, though she wasn’t even certain if it was European at all.
“Oh,” she spoke, clearing her throat. “Thank you.” She moved to smooth out the short, black dress she wore, awkwardly running her hands over her legs, her ass—anything she could do to avoid his gaze. “I didn’t even hear you behind me.”
“I know.” He smirked. Again, that sense of nostalgia clenched at her chest, her stomach, lower. Before she could inquire further, or at least find out where he came from, he had already moved past her, continuing on his way down the street.
“Happy birthday, Alex.” He waved back to her without another glance.
How did he know?
“Hey, wait!” she called after him, her voice laced with panic, but he disappeared out of sight as quickly as he arrived.
Deciding she had had enough excitement for one birthday, Alex slowly, and far more cautiously, finished her walk home. Occasionally, she would chance a glance behind her to ensure she wasn’t followed again. He was just some creep who must have been too close for comfort while they were drinking the bar, she convinced herself as she turned the corner onto the street that led to her apartment. Or merely a lonely someone who overheard her saying her goodbyes to her friends on the way out and thought he’d get lucky.
She came to the gate that barred the walkway leading to her apartment, the skin on her neck prickled and the hairs on her arms stood on end. Something was off. The familiarity of home felt wrong, like a lost memory, just within reach moments ago, now nowhere to be found. Her hand had been stuffed into her jacket pocket ever since her encounter with the dark-haired stranger, and she continued to grip the knife tightly as she opened the gate and she headed down the final stretch.
Her apartment was situated in one of the older colonial row houses within Boston’s North End that later converted into apartments and condominiums as the years went on and the economy grew. She rented out the bottom floor of the building, with her ground-level entrance beneath the building’s main stairway barred behind a wrought-iron gate. Taking another look around her surroundings, she approached her door as her other hand managed to find her keys, but nearly dropped them as she stopped to survey the scene before her.
The light from a nearby street lamp shone on the damage that had been done. The gate was bent in a fashion that looked as though a gorilla took a bar in each hand and spread them apart. Through the warped iron, she could see the lock to her apartment had been destroyed, the surrounding door blown apart with it, shattered beyond easy repair.
ABOUT the AUTHOR:
M. Dalto is a Young Adult / New Adult fiction writer of adventurous romantic fantasy stories, and her debut, TWO THOUSAND YEARS, won one of Wattpad.com’s coveted Watty Awards in 2016. She continues to volunteer her time as a Wattpad Ambassador, where she engages and hopes to inspire new writers, and also mentors authors through the #WriteMentor program.
As a mentor, MB is on the lookout for YA and NA novels heavy in plot with the ability to make her fall in love with its characters. Her favorite tropes include love triangles of all kinds, enemies to lovers, dream sequences, and prophecies. She always wants villains you can’t help but be attracted to, redemption arcs or otherwise. She loves novels with deep character development, a setting where she can get lost, and plot twists that make her want to throw the book across the room. Give her main characters you love to hate, but can’t help but hate to love.
She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to hone her craft. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.
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1 winner will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card, INTERNATIONAL.
False Hope (False, #2) by Meli Raine
Publication date: December 11th 2018 | Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Recommended reader be 18 years if age or older
She thinks she’s fooled me. But I’ve known all along.
Lily is hiding something, a secret so big, she came out of a year-long coma and her first instinct was to lie.
Who does that? Someone who is afraid. No—not afraid.
Terrified. And it’s my job to take that fear away.
My partner and I have spent countless man-hours hunting down the cold-blooded killer who did this to her. Meanwhile, Lily’s spent her waking hours recovering. Getting stronger. Getting smarter.
Never get involved emotionally. That’s my dictate. Never get attached.
When you realize you’re caught in a triangle, it turns out there is no exit.
Crossing a line is easy. Holding a line takes strength.
Lily’s shooter knows that she’s my weakness.
One I have to get back.
No matter what it takes.
Goodreads | ~ Purchase: iBooks exclusive |
Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.
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Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Cambria gave this year’s TV Bachelor the face-slap seen & heard across America.
Can she offer him redemption too?
Canyon Byer, pharmaceutical rep turned famous model, is the new eligible bachelor on Find My Fiancé. Weeks into filming the reality TV show, Canyon earns the title of America’s Shallow Bachelor, as he seems to eliminate women with substance. As the finale draws near, he needs a shot at redemption, but in order to get it, America’s favorite bachelorette—the same woman Canyon wishes he hadn’t wronged—will have to give him a second chance.
While Cambria Wilson sits among family and friends during finale night, mixed feelings fight for a place in her heart. Sure, she and Canyon shared a very memorable kiss and she’d even been falling for him until she realized what a jerk he was, but that doesn’t explain the strange sadness that looms as she waits to see which of the finalists he’ll propose to.
In an unexpected twist during the final episode, Cambria learns that Canyon’s not going to propose to either of the bachelorettes left on the show. In fact, he’s about to appear on the doorstep of a woman he hopes to win back—all on live TV.
The bachelorette will be asked to join Canyon on a two-week winter wonderland getaway. Cambria would bet her Soap and Body Shop that she’s the last woman he’d choose; that is, until the chime of her doorbell proves her wrong.
Haven Lockwood’s Christmas takes a nosedive when she discovers that her mother and identical twin sister, Brynn, ditched her, leaving her to spend Christmas alone in their New York City apartment. To make matters worse, Brynn’s boyfriend Wyatt shows up, ready to take Brynn on a road trip to Atlanta to meet his family.
Haven is fully prepared to tell Wyatt the hard news—that her flighty twin sister jetted off to Ireland with a movie star, leaving him high and dry—however, when she finds herself staring into his mesmerizing blue eyes, all explanations fly out the window. Not only is Wyatt devastatingly handsome, but also charming and witty with an adorable Southern accent that rolls like a ballad off his tongue.
Haven knows that when Wyatt looks at her with adoring eyes it’s only because he has mistaken her for her glamorous clothing designer sister. She wants to tell Wyatt the truth, but she can’t stand the thought of spending Christmas alone. As one thing leads to another and Haven and Wyatt share a near-kiss, Haven makes a split-second decision to accompany Wyatt to Atlanta—as Brynn!
When the sizzling attraction deepens to something real, Haven faces an internal dilemma—should she come clean now, before Christmas, or wait until afterwards? Will the truth destroy Haven’s chance for happiness … or will it be the very thing that brings two searching hearts together?
A famous movie star and the drama teacher who calls him a hack! Will they get their Christmas Miracle?
Grant Kent, movie star extraordinaire, doesn't like the fact he has to have a fake 'media' relationship with his co-star to keep his movie producer's happy. And he really doesn't like the fact his brothers' give him grief about it. So when he's asked to help out at an acting camp for inner city kids, he jumps at the chance to do something real. Too bad the woman in charge tells him outright she thinks he's a hack.
The talented Jewel Olympia only wants to help inner city kids by giving them an opportunity to learn acting skills. When she's notified the week before Christmas that the P.I. she's hired to track down her birth mother has a solid lead on her whereabouts, she decides it's time to finally meet the woman that abandoned her in a hospital emergency room twenty-five years ago. Too bad an amazing looking movie star keeps bugging her to go on a date--bug off, she's unavailable.
But when her parents show up on her doorstep asking where she's going, she tries to distract them with Grant's star power to avoid hurting their feelings. When he blurts out he's her fiance, everything gets derailed and she finds herself on a jet to Jackson--this is not her life!
When a simple trip turns into a media frenzy, they're left with a choice--trust in Christmas angels or lose everything.
Farm girl sass takes on America’s Most Eligible Bachelor in this fun fake fiance romance.
Callum Hawk has it all—fame, money, and a family that loves him. He doesn’t have time for romance but that’s all right, his head of marketing does a great job scheduling dates with models and actresses for the necessary social events. When he almost hits Alexia Hall with his motorcycle, he’s intrigued by the feisty blonde and offers to hire her to be his fake fiancé for his brother’s wedding. When she not only turns him down but tells him to never come near her again, he has no clue what went wrong.
Lexi Hall almost kills her billionaire boss--ripping his Brioni suit, and scarring his motorcycle. Her errant tongue offends him and she storms away from the job opportunity of a lifetime. Hours later, she finds out her mom has finally been matched to a kidney donor, if Lexi can help pay for the surgery and medications. Her options are to swallow her pride and beg Callum Hawk to take her back as his fake fiancé or jeopardize her mother’s health and let her entire family down.
Christmas Cash Giveaway Details
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/16/18
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
We're launching the Book Tour for Two More Outstanding Books -STARVING HEARTS and NEVER PAST HOPE by Janine Mendenhall!
Starving Hearts (Triangular Trade Trilogy #1) By Janine Mendenhall
Christian Historical Romantic Suspense | Paperback & ebook, 300 Pages
May 16th 2016 by Heritage Beacon Fiction
Carol Award Finalist + Selah Award Finalist
Plagued by nightmares, Annette yearns to find her anonymous rescuer — the man who saved her life from a near deadly assault. Deep inside she is starving for companionship and a mutually respectful relationship. When Mr. Peter Adsley, an abolitionist pastor dealing with his own emotional baggage, agrees to a clandestine meeting, the event appears providential. But self-doubt, deception, and the schemes of a mutual enemy threaten to keep the pair apart. A phantom adversary will stop at nothing to win Annette’s dowry for himself, even if it means killing Peter.
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Review by LAWonder10:
Annette was at the engagement party of her cousin, when it started to pour rain. While the crowd scurried to the main house, Annette delighted in the unconventionality of enjoying the rain. She ran to the old church on the hill. She hated conforming to rules of society. What she didn't plan on was another person doing the same. At first he seemed polite but then he proved to be a rake. When she feared all was lost, another came to her rescue. She heard the scuffle end then all went black.
When abolitionist pastor, Peter Adsley, attended his brother's Birthday celebration, it was a life-changing event.
This first book of the Triangular Trade Series, mostly centers on the related families of the Adsley's and the Chetwynd's. From the first page, the reader's interest is immediately drawn into the tale. The adventure and intrigue continue mounting until the very end of the book.
Saving hearts is an outstanding, well-written story, during the time of abolition and beginning reformation. It, also, addresses he ignorance concerning some of the health issues and treatment of that time period.
This is an inspiring Christian romance drama.
The characters are portrayed in a manner the reader feels he/she is a part of the families involved. The scenes are vividly described and easily visualized, as well.
The Book Cover is eye-catching and relates to the story. The Title was slightly "tricky" but if the reader pays close attention, it is also reflective of the story.
Although it is the first of the series, the ending was profound and complete, yet left the reader anxious for the next book.
I offer a Five Stars rating .
This book was gifted me with no request of a positive review. This is my honest review.
"Not only is this a delightful regency romance but it is also suspense filled mystery of the very best kind." - Amazon Review
"The author did a great job, maybe too great a job, describing the slave scenes. Spine tingling and suspenseful. I was biting my nails throughout much of this book." - Amazon Review
Never Past Hope (Triangular Trade Trilogy #2)
By Janine Mendenhall
Christian Historical Romantic Suspense | Paperback & ebook, 308 Pages
September 10th 2018 by Heritage Beacon Fiction
Miss Mary Hope Adsley always considered herself to be the sensible one. But now, her sensibilities are unraveling around a man she thought she knew. After he attempted to marry her best friend—for money, no less—authorities charge Sir Steven Likebridge with masquerading as a gentleman and abduction. With his execution days away, Mary Hope desperately seeks to learn the truth about the man she loves.
Will the truth turn out to be worse than his lies?
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REVIEW BY LAWonder10:
This second book in the Triangular Trade Series was not as "gripping' from the beginning as the first was but it was still very well-written and the story line is quite creative. The adventure never ceases, although the "pace" of the tale is a little slower in this book.
The Adsley's, and Chetwynd's, plus, connected characters continue in their saga and the highs and lows of human nature in following Christ's example. However, he emphasis are placed more on separate family members than the first book.. It portrays the human struggle to be "Christlike", more than the first book did.
This book continues to depict life and its challenges then, but one can also relate to the challenges one faces in this day and age.
The tragedies, trials, social injustices and inspiration continues. Once again, the ending is solid, yet, entices the reader to contemplate reading the final book of the series.
Although the ending was strong, I offer Four and a Half Stars rating, due to the slightly weaker beginning.
*This book was gifted me with no request for a positive review. This is my honest review.
"I thoroughly enjoyed this clean, historical fiction. . . enjoyed most that it is not the usual presentation of a regency novel." - Amazon Review
"A lovely story that shows how despicable each of us can be and yet God not only still loves us, but He was willing to die for us." - Amazon Review
ABOUT the AUTHOR:
I love losing myself somewhere in time with Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice or a number of other classics like Jane Eyre and Redeeming Love. I cry over most things Nicholas Sparks (because they usually end sadly) and Amazing Grace, both the movie and the hymn, because they lead to the Ultimate happily ever after.
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Rockin' Book Reviews
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Locks, Hooks and Books
- 1 winner will receive an Emerald Crown (picture is an example, may not be the same crown), Evening Khaki Lace Wrap, and a print copy of Starving Hearts
- US only
- Ends December 19, 2018
When the most wanted terrorist in the world escapes from a high security prison, Nate Hughes is part of the task force sent to recapture him. During the mission, he meets Abby, a fellow investigator that seems to have it all together. He’s drawn to her and hopes they can join forces, but when her past is revealed, loyalties are called into question. Could she have turned against the country she once held dear?
The CIA wants her captured and interrogated, but with a terrorist attack imminent, Abby may be the only person in a position to help them stop it. Nate must make a choice to either trust her or turn her in—but the wrong decision would clear the path for the largest attack on freedom the world has ever seen. And time is running out.
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To celebrate the release of Second Look, books 1-3 in the Griffin Force Series are on sale December 10th & 11th!
The lights were off, but a little sunshine filtered through the two high windows in the room. He peered inside, his weapon at the ready. He hadn’t expected to see a place that looked like something straight out of a luxury hotel with white linens, cream-colored couches, and pillows everywhere. Abby was curled up in the middle of the large four poster bed, her eyes closed. Her breaths weren’t even, though. Not only was she not very good at the quiet game, she was terrible at playing possum.
“You’re a terrible faker,” he said softly, turning to shut the door. “The first rule of playing possum is to make sure you’re taking deep, measured breaths.”
She sat up, staring at him in disbelief. “Are you a fake sleeping champion, too?” she said in mock annoyance. “I’ll have you know, you took about a year off my life. I thought you were Ramzi coming to check on me and I didn’t want to get caught with this.” She pulled a laptop out from underneath the pillows next to her.
“Find anything interesting on it?” He smiled at repeating the same words to her that she’d said to him at Belmarsh. This was the Abby he’d met at the prison— confident and familiar.
“I was just getting to that when you walked in.”
ALSO BY AUTHOR:
ABOUT the Author Julie Coulter BellonJulie Coulter Bellon is the author of nearly two dozen romantic suspense books. Her books All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense, The Capture was a Whitney finalist for Best Suspense/Mystery, and Pocket Full of Posies won a RONE Honorable Mention for Best Suspense.
Julie loves to travel and her favorite cities she’s visited so far are probably Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. In her free time she loves to read, write, teach, watch Hawaii Five-O, and eat Canadian chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.
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$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
The Songs That Brought Me Back by Mylissa Demeyere
Have you ever made a mistake? One so monumental you lost everything? I did, and I hate myself for it! All I want to do is close my eyes, and let the darkness consume me. Make it all go away. The end. Ainsley is drowning in the depth of her despair. One wrong decision left her alone, with only regret as her constant companion. To escape it all, she makes another choice. One she hopes will end everything. Instead, she’s thrown into a whole new world filled with opportunities she doesn’t believe she deserves. Ethan gives the appearance of breezing through life. But underneath his bright facade, he’s scarred by loss. When fate leads him into Ainsley’s world at the exact moment she needs someone the most, he can’t ignore the chance to right the wrongs of his past. Ainsley and Ethan will struggle to help each other heal and start anew. They’ll learn that the secret to conquering their pain lies within their power, if only they can do it together. Always together. Sometimes the ending is really the beginning.
The Songs That Brought Me Back - Mylissa Demeyer
Excellent story. At first I was nervous about reading this story because I still have hard times after losing my teenage son to suicide.
I was so impressed by the way this story shows what it is like to be in Ainsley's situation and how wonderful family and friends like Ethan, Donna and Jan can help us through the hard times.
There is so much suicide around us these days and I would love for everyone to read this book to see how important it is to be understanding and loving with those have lost loved ones.
The characters are very well-developed. I laughed and cried with them as I felt their emotions strongly.
The book cover is great and the title fits the story perfectly. Music can be such a great help to lift our spirits. The play lists are an awesome idea.
I love this book and highly recommend it to everyone.
I give it a literary rating of 5/5
written by vickie
Why I wrote Ainsley’s story (from Mylissa Demeyere)
Did you know that every forty seconds 1 person dies due to suicide? That’s close to 800,000 worldwide, each year. There are indications that for each adult who dies of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. That’s an estimate of 16,000,000 attempted suicides worldwide amongst adults. (Source: The World Health Organization).
Five days shy of my sixteenth birthday, my father’s body was found after he had killed himself. Needless to say, it wasn’t the sweet sixteen it could have been.
That event had quite an impact on my life and how I decided to face the challenges I meet.
When I wrote The Songs of You and Me, I delved into Jackson’s past. He got to tell his side of how Ainsley’s choices affected him. I never felt I could leave her tale untold. Each story always has at least two sides to it.
Why does a person make such horrible choices as Ainsley did? What drives them to such selfishness? And does a person like Ainsley have it in her to redeem herself?
My dad made the choice not to fight and right the wrongs in his life. It not only ended his life; it impacted many other lives.
Ainsley’s story is my way of showing you what can happen when people who make mistakes decide to try and do better. Because everyone deserves a second chance to right the wrong and start over again.
This is Ainsley’s story of what happens when you choose to not give up.
I hope that whomever reads this, will realize that we all, at one point in our life need and deserve second chances. When we take those chances, and turn our lives around, miracles can happen. I have seen it firsthand and the stories that follow are beautiful. Not perfect, but definitely worth living.
Even when life seems dark, lost, and like there is no other way than ending it, there is ALWAYS another option.
To everyone who has ever felt like there was never another way, this story is for you. My dad didn’t take the other way, but I hope you will find help. Life isn’t always perfect, but it is a wonderful gift. Definitely worth fighting for.
Author Mylissa Demeyere
Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium, and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast.
The Songs That Brought Me Back is her second novel in The Songs Series, with a third book releasing in the middle of 2019.
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$25 Tour Giveaway
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
For the Love of Laura Beth by Aubrey Wynne
The Korean War destroyed their plans, but the battle at home may shatter their hearts…
Laura Beth Walters fell in love with Joe McCall when she was six years old. Now she is counting the days until Joey graduates from college so they can marry and begin their life together. But the Korean War rips their neatly laid plans to shreds. Instead of a college fraternity, Joey joins a platoon. Laura Beth trades a traditional wedding for a quick trip to the courthouse.
The couple endure the hardship of separation, but the true battle is faced when Joey returns from the war. Their marriage is soon tested beyond endurance. Laura must find a way to accept the tragedy thrown in their path or lose the love that has kept them anchored for so long. With a determination that only comes from the heart, Joe relentlessly fights an invisible enemy…for the love of Laura Beth.
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Praise for For the Love of Laura Beth
Warmth, compassion, heartache, faithfulness and more are emotions you will experience as you read this. I was completely immersed in this Korean War era tale, the historical details making the story come alive.
Aubrey Wynne did an awesome job with this Historical book. Thank you Aubrey Wynne for a very beautifully written story!!
An emotional read about the life, fears, and love during the Korean War! Aubrey Wynne begins each chapter with a thought-provoking quote. As a Midwesterner, who often visited Chicago in the 1950s, this romance includes well-researched historical details about Chicago, the era, and journalism. Aubrey Wynne blends history with a nicely paced full of family dynamics love story.
“Son, you’ve got some mail.”
The tone of his father’s voice sent a chill through Joey. He looked over his shoulder, straightened up, and smacked his head on the hood of the Crosley station wagon. Rubbing his scalp then wiping oily hands on his overalls, he took the envelope with an official-looking seal in the corner.
Joe held it as if it were poison.
“Do you want me to open it, son?”
He shook his head, the pulse beating rapidly in his neck. With trembling fingers, he tore at the paper. The words blurred as he sunk onto the bumper of the pickup. “It’s a conscription notice,” he whispered, looking into his father’s terrified eyes. “I’m being drafted.”
“It’s my fault.” Max let out a moan and lowered himself onto the bumper. “If I hadn’t spent your college tuition, you’d be in school right now.”
“It’s nobody’s fault, Pa. You served your time, and now it’s my turn.” He waved the letter in the air. “Maybe we’ll end up with matching limps.” It was a bad attempt at humor, and he wanted to take the words back as soon as they left his mouth. Unlike many of his friends, Joe did not have any romantic ideas about soldiering. His father had been straight up with him about the horrors of war.
“I just pray you come back, boy, and you don’t have to live through what I did.” The lines on his father’s face seemed to have deepened in the last five minutes. He swiped his palms at his eyes and squeezed Joe’s arm. “When do you go?”
“It says I report for my physical January 2 at ten o’clock.” Maybe he wouldn’t see active combat. He wasn’t chicken, but his father still screamed at night once in awhile. His mother had said they were night terrors left over from WWII. “I do have a skill, Pa. I’m sure they need mechanics.”
“That’s true, son. Maybe they’ll have you keep those jeeps running for the generals.” He forced a chuckle. “Go on and get out of here now. It’s Friday night and you’ve got a purty little gal to take to the movie.”
An awkward silence ensued as both men stared at the floor. Laura Beth. How would he tell her? It was bad enough they had to postpone their wedding, but now this? It was just plain bad luck. And they’d all had enough of that for one year. The thought of the tears welling up in those clear, blue eyes made his blood cold. She’d been their pillar these past months, and now he would break her heart.
“I’ll get cleaned up, I guess.” Joe headed to the door then stopped. Without turning around he said, “She’s really gonna flip, Pa. I think telling her might be as hard as going.”
In a thick voice, Max tried to offer some comfort. “The only thing worse than war was losing your mother, but Laura Beth is a strong young woman and loyal as they come. She won’t give up on you, and it wouldn’t be fair not to let her know right away. So go on now and get ‘er done.”
Author Aubrey Wynne
Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her
husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas.
Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies have won
Readers Choice Awards. Dante’s Gift and Paper Love received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.
In addition to her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will release two more Regency romances in 2019. Once Upon A Widow series will officially launch in March 2019, the Wicked Earls’ Club will release again just in time for the holidays.
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$50 Blast Giveaway
Winner’s choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
REVIEW CORRECTION! I apologize to all! When I first posted this on 12/07, it had been a few days since I listened to it while suffering a severe migraine. It had been a couple o days later that I posted. I "royally" messed it up! I knew my thoughts and enjoyment of it, but confused a couple of the stories and its characters. After listening to it twice since, I realized hw faulty my review truly was!
This is my new and accurate review - below!
Book Title: Spring Thaw by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult fiction, Unabridged Audiobook
Genre: Murder Mystery, Short Stories
In today’s hectic world, many whodunit fans don’t have time to get their mystery fix diving into a whole novel. Lauren Carr’s SPRING THAW AND OTHER MYSTERY SHORT STORIES is for these fans—but that doesn’t mean whodunit fans who do have time can’t dive in as well.
A novella, Spring Thaw features retired federal agent Chris Matheson from Lauren Carr’s newest bestselling cold case series. When his late father’s former friend is indicted for the seven year old murder of a church bishop, Chris renews old broken friendships to thaw out the cold case.
Featuring Mac Faraday from Lauren Carr’s popular Mac Faraday Mysteries, an estate auction turns into a deadly affair after Gnarly's antics cause Mac to purchase a gem of a dress, which isn't his color in Killing Bid. (Previously published in Lauren Carr’s BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)
Beauty to Die For features the Lovers in Crime, Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates in a race against the Angel of Death to clear the name of a dying woman's son, who was framed for murdering Miss Pennsylvania. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)
Countdown to Murder returns to the Lovers in Crime where Cameron and Joshua try to solve the murder of a young pregnant widow before it happens. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)
Mystery fans will see that every dog has his day, especially if that dog is Gnarly. In Lucky Dog, Gnarly helps Mac Faraday to solve the murder of a wealthy society girl. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)
Dog Loving Mystery Fans will get a special treat when they read The Gnarly Rehabilitation Program. In this Gnarly Mystery Short, Bert and Ernie learn the hard way that crime does not pay when they dog nap Gnarly. (Previously published as a bonus feature with A WEDDING AND A KILLING.)
Gnarly, the rambunctious German shepherd, is also features in Lauren Carr’s Christmas short, A Gnarly Christmas. It is Christmas day and Gnarly has been up to his old tricks again. Now he's in the dog house--or rather the boathouse--after stealing the Christmas feast! Moments after Archie and Mac leave Spencer Manor, Gnarly hears a call for help from Rocky, the Maltese down the street. Four assassins for hire have invaded the home of Rocky's elderly owners. While the home invaders wait for instructions from a mysterious caller, Gnarly must plot to stop them. Can Gnarly save Christmas with only the help of an 8-pound Maltese dressed in an elf suit? (Previously published as a single short story by the same name.)
To read more audiobook reviews, please visit Lauren Carr's page on iRead Book Tours.
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This audio is a culmination of a few short stories, including, Chis Matheson, his mother & daughters, David O'Callaghan, the, now, District Attorney Thornton and his wife, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates, Mac, Archie and, who else but Gnarly! Of course, there are other interesting characters which the tales are based on their stories.
The first story involves retired Federal Agent Chris Matheson, plus, his mother Doris, and retired police dog, Sterling, whose day begins normally, except Chris is a chaperone for his daughter's field trip. As he awaits on his daughter, Doris discovers the news about a murder case being reopened, since a new witness has come forth. A former close friend of theirs is the one accused! The man is accused of murdering a minister. Chris and Doris are convinced thus isn't possible.
There is a humorous , suspense tale of Mac & Wife, Archie, along with another wealthy couple, attending Mac's first estate auction. In addition to the mystery and suspense, this is full of hilarity, involving Mac and Gnarly!
The action and humor is a delightful introduction to the other following tales.
Another favorite was an episode in the life of District Attorney Thornton and his wife, Homicide Detective Gates. Attorney Thornton was called in the middle of the night by his cousin, a doctor, at the request of a dying woman. She had failed to get enough information on her own to prove her son innocent of a murder he was convicted of. Her dying wish was to have Thornton prove hs innocence before shed dies... She only has days to live!
The action and adventure just keeps increasing as the narrator reads the story.
Each story was a very entertaining suspenseful tale. Lauren always creates characters one feels one knows and creates scenes in a manner that the reader feels he/she is there.
The final one were especially entertaining because Gnarly was "Showcased". It was truly hilarious!
Lauren Carr is a very talented author. Each of her books captivates its reader and keeps him/her guessing "who done it" until the very end. There is always a little humor and romance in her stories. However, there was some rougher language, in a couple of them, than she usually uses. The couples sometimes talk of sexual things, but there are no explicit scenes in any of her books.
I didn't care for the Narrator, Mike Alger, at first, because he sounded like he was a commentator on a sports channel, rather than narrating a suspense/romance story. As he progressed in his narration, his "voices" grew stronger and his voice "grew on me", so to speak. I actually became impressed how well he did the various "voices" without sounding the same or confusing any of them! I feel my first impression if him was incorrect.
On the whole, I offer a Five Stars rating for the tales, Three and a Half on the Narrator, ending n a Five Stars rating.
Praise for Lauren Carr's books:
“Lauren Carr is a master storyteller who combines the humor of Janet Evanovich and the investigative skills of Patricia Cornwell. She is always at the top of my reading list."
- Sherry Fundin, Fundinmental
"Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!"
- Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R
"Lauren Carr's books are never boring, that's for sure. They entertain, give us a good mystery to dig into, keep the reader guessing, give us a few good laughs and make us eager for the next book. Warning: Lauren Carr's series are addictive, so be ready to read more than just one book!"
- Laura Fabiani, Library of Clean Reads
"She is an amazing author that draws you into the story, makes you fall in love with the characters (they feel like family!) and keeps you guessing right to the very end."
- Working Mommy Journal
"Lauren Carr does a good job of moving the quirky storyline along nicely with an abundance of witty dialogue. And you have no idea who the good guys are and who the bad guys are until the end."
- Every Free Chance Book Reviews
Meet the Author:
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
Enter the GiveawayPrizes: Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of Crimes Past (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers / 1 winner)
Ends Dec 22, 2018
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Shopping for a Baby’s First Christmas (Shopping, #15)
by Julia Kent
Publication date: December 6th 2018 | Genres: Adult,
Synopsis: My mother wants all her kids and grandkids to spend Christmas Eve at her house and wake up on Christmas morning together.
Sounds reasonable, right?
And it would be... If it weren’t my mother.
My husband, Declan, is protesting any involvement, though he’s openly intrigued by the idea of claiming his territory by suggesting we have sex in my childhood bed.
And by ‘suggest,’ I mean make a series of really hot offers that make me whimper when I have to say no.
Wait – why am I saying no again?
Mom has turned her house into a Christmas showcase that makes Frankenmuth look like the picked-over clearance rack at Target on December 26. You know those crazy people on Etsy who make felted gnomes out of belly button lint and use … a certain kind of hair… to make thatched roofs on little decorative elf homes?
Those people are saner than my mother.
There is no force of nature stronger — and more emotionally volatile — than a fifty-something grandmother determined to create holiday memories.
Wait a minute. Maybe there is.
Goodreads | ~ Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play |
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. 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 lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.
Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter | Instagram | Bookbub | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page |
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Hope on the Horizon by Kathryn McNeill Crane
Publication date: November 29th 2018 | Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Falling in love isn’t on her to-do list.
Managing a two-hundred acre campground and guiding whitewater trips are enough to fill Hailey White’s lonely days. When acts of vandalism threaten her home and business, she’s forced to ask for help. Her best friend’s brother is the last person she expects to come to her rescue.
One bullet will end all his nightmares forever.
Angry voices in his head, survivor’s guilt, and a busted leg make Walker Carriker wish he were dead. When a roadside bomb ends his career as a Marine, he’s forced to stay with family in the remote mountains of North Carolina. His sister’s best friend is the last person he expects to help him find a reason to live.
She’s bubbly and optimistic, with a smattering of sarcasm.
He’s angry and bitter, with a heaping dose of cynicism.
She talks too much. He has all the answers.
These two are like oil and vinegar, but the more time they spend together, the more they heal.
When he’s lost all faith, can Hailey show Walker there’s Hope on the Horizon?
Goodreads | ~ Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo |
She bit back a grin. The last thing she wanted was for him to think she was laughing at him or his circumstances. As it was, his stare burned her cheek. A quick swipe didn’t turn up anything,
though a clump of mashed potatoes wouldn’t surprise her.
“What?” she asked, when she couldn’t take another second of his silence. “Do I have something on my face?”
“Are you just going to ignore my outburst?”
His stunned confusion amused her.
“Can I ask why?”
“I’m really not the nosy type.” She shrugged, her gaze flitting back and forth between him and the road.
“Huh. That’s really strange.”
“That doesn’t mean I haven’t dissected it a hundred thousand times, but I figure you’ll tell me if you want me to know.”
He scrunched his face and narrowed his eyes. “Are you sure you’re female?”
She burst out laughing. “A little girl, if I remember what you said correctly.”
“Well, compared to me, you are little.” He stared out the front window at the nothingness of the night. The fine lines around his lips and eyes told her laughter was normal for him. She vowed to help him get his old self back as much as possible. “That day goes through my mind on repeat, and even though I’ve seen it over and over and over again, I still can’t figure out what I missed.”
Bestselling author Kathryn Crane is a simple country girl who likes to spend time with her family. Born and raised in Eastern North Carolina, she loves to travel, but can't imagine ever leaving the western mountains she's come to call home. She holds Jeremiah 29:11 very close to her heart and believes it with every fiber of her being. She pens Contemporary Southern Romance novels where her endearing characters and their once in a lifetime love stories will 'burn into your memory and bury deep into your soul' long after you put her books down.
Author links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website |
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.