Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Book Review: Star In The Shadows 10/31/2019

TITLE: Star In The Shadows
PUB: Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd.
PUB DATE: 10/30/2019

Star in the Shadows
The world thinks that pop superstar Kiara Anderson has it all, but she spends her nights drinking away memories of her childhood and life as a teen runaway.
The Jacobs family are desperate to see the girl next door again and discover why she ran away, especially their son Shane, who blames himself for her disappearance.
When Kiara’s manager forces her into a reveal-all TV interview she knows the family she loved more than her own will finally discover the truth.
Can she overcome her demons or will the shadows of the past rob her of fame, fortune, and a chance to finally fall in love?

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Author Bio –

Helen has spent over thirteen years working and volunteering for charities in the UK and abroad, including four years in Honduras. She currently works as a charity communications manager and lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and son.
Social Media Links – Twitter – HelenCBuckley/ Insta – helencatherinebuckley / website:


Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Star in the Shadows, a beautiful dreams and goal planning journal, a star print scarf, and three yummy chocolate bars from Creighton's Chocolaterie. (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK 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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Please enjoy an Excerpt of the book:
In this extract the main character, Kiara, is taking part in an exclusive TV interview with Beth Winters. Kiara is part of a famous girl band and has been forced into the interview by her manager Marco.
Beth nodded, tilting her head sympathetically. “Your dad died when you were twenty-one, right?”
Kiara looked down, chilled by the memory of her last visit to the trailer and what she had done. “Yes, just before I turned twenty-one.”
She stayed silent and her gaze met Beth’s. “Besides your dad, did you have any other family?” she asked.
“No. It was just me and him.”
It was a lie, but Kiara couldn’t talk about her cousin Rob. She had first met him when she was a teenager, he had come to the trailer for some unspecified reason, her dad allowing him to stay for a few days on the couch. She thought maybe he had been in some kind of trouble and needed somewhere out of the way to stay, but neither her dad nor Rob wanted to tell her what was really going on.
It had been the first time she had met anyone else who counted as family. Rob had a strange, lurking quality to him, as if he belonged in a shadowy corner like a spider. He had slept most of the time, drank beers, answered her questions in a flat voice with heavy-lidded eyes, his pale skin greasy and sallow with smatterings of acne across his chin. He told her about his apartment in New York and she asked question after question about life in the city.
Only Marco knew how important Rob had eventually been to her, and it was definitely something she didn’t want to discuss with Beth Winters. Fortunately, Marco had agreed with her on this point.
Seeing that the family question was a dead-end, Beth moved on. “I’m curious, how did you go from your music lessons to the pop star you are today? When did that dream start to take shape for you?”
Kiara felt her heart stutter, just ever so slightly. She was getting to the point where she would have to unpack the memories of that night from where she had stuffed them down deep into locked rooms in her mind.
She breathed out slowly, trying to calm her pulse.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Book Review: Auschwitz Syndrome and Author Interview with Ellie Midwood

TITLE: Auschwitz Syndrome
Series: Women and The Holocaust Book 3
PUB DATE: 10/11/2019
PUBLISHER: Ellie Midwood
GENRE: Historical Fiction WWII
364 pages

Germany, 1947.

A strange case scheduled for the Denazification Court lands on the desk of an American psychiatrist currently serving in Germany, Dr. Hoffman.

A former Auschwitz guard, Franz Dahler, is set to appear in court, and he has requested to bring the most unexpected witness to testify in his defense - one of his former inmates and current wife, Helena.

As soon as one of the newly emerging Nazi hunters and former Auschwitz inmate, Andrej Novák, recognizes the officer’s name, he demands a full investigation of Dahler’s crimes, claiming that the former SS man was not only abusing Helena in the camp but is also using her as a ploy to escape prosecution.

Silent, subdued, and seemingly dependent on her husband’s every word, Helena appears to be a classic victim of abuse, and possibly more of an aid to the prosecution instead of the defense.

As she begins giving her testimony, Dr. Hoffman finds himself more and more confused at the picture that gradually emerges before his eyes; a perpetrator is claimed to be the savior and the accuser, the criminal.

The better Dr. Hoffman gets to know each participant, the more he begins to question himself; whether he’s facing a most unimaginable love story, or a new and still-nameless psychological disorder affecting the very manner in which Helena sees the events of the past.

Partially based on a true story, this deeply psychological, haunting novel will take you back in time to the heart of Auschwitz and post-war Germany, and will keep you guessing the true motive of each side.

THOUGHTS/REVIEW: This was such a well written and well researched story about Helena and Franz, an unlikely love story that must be shared with everyone. This is a remarkable story of a young SS guard Franz who saved Helena and her sister from the gas chamber. How these two end up falling in love, when their utmost being was taught to hate each other, in the circumstance they were in, where sickness, brutality and murder are happening at every turn.

 I felt that this story gives a glimmer of hope, and highlights the miracle of love that can come from the horrors of the WWII death camp, Auschwitz. Midwood crafted beautifully, and with utmost care and compassion, a fictional tale based on true stories. I was moved by her writing though the circumstances were horrifying and unimaginable. In Helena's words, "we should never forget".

This was an amazing read for me and one that a highly recommend.


1. When did the transformation happen from being an avid reader about WWII and Holocaust History to writing about it? – In my early twenties. I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember (I think my first attempt was in first-grade) but I've only concentrated solely on WW2 in my early twenties. I felt that I was finally ready to dive into that era.

2. The subject matter of the Auschwitz Syndrome is indeed heavy and emotional for the reader. I could only imagine what it would be like for you as a writer. What is your writing process like, as you creatively build these stories based on these real-life events? – Writing novels based on true stories is a huge responsibility. It demands a lot of work from an author even before they get to the actual writing. It's my responsibility to get everything right and I always try my best to research every single setting, every single event, to the best of my ability, so I get even the tiniest details right. I learned about Helena and Franz's story a long time ago but I only felt emotionally ready to write it all down last spring. By then, I had read countless memoirs written by Auschwitz survivors, read studies that dealt with their particular story and dug out as many photos and witness' testimonies as I could. When I felt like I knew them both personally, after doing all that research, I set to writing their story. It was an emotional experience for me personally, as I had to virtually put myself in their shoes – the victim and the perpetrator – for a few months but I'm glad I did it. Such stories definitely need to be told so that history doesn't repeat itself.

3. Have you made any literary pilgrimages for the books you have written? How important is it to visit those places you write about? – Unfortunately, all of my books are set "across the pond" and, so far, I could only “virtually” visit those places, via photos and documentaries filmed there. I did, however, visit an Auschwitz Exhibition that is currently still here in NYC and couldn't be more grateful for that experience. It's in my plans to visit all of those places that I've written about (and plan to write about), in the future and especially the camps.

4. As a linguistics major, what was an early experience where you learned that language had power? – To me, studying foreign languages and cultures always represented the ultimate expression of freedom. The more you learn about different cultures, the more you realize that we're all one big family and the more you understand that racism, xenophobia, and bigotry stems from narrow-mindedness and a desire to isolate oneself from the rest of the world. "This is my part of the land; only people like me can live here; I don't want anyone 'different' here; 'different' is bad, only my kind is good." It sounds like Nazi Germany, right? But it's been this way from the dawn of mankind and it's still here; this isolationist view that promotes nothing but hatred for diversity. The more a person travels, the more they learn about others – including different religions, traditions, history, etc. – the more they understand how every single culture is so closely connected to the other and that hating each other, for our differences, makes virtually no sense. So, in my personal opinion, the more we learn about each other, the better it is for humanity in general. Studying foreign languages not only helps us communicate with each other but also understand each other better, cultural-wise, and it's definitely something extremely powerful.

5. Your book certainly teaches us never to forget. What other books do you plan to write to ensure that other experiences in history should never be forgotten? – All of my books deal with the Holocaust/WW2 history. I'm Jewish, so it's a very personal subject to me and I don't think I will ever get tired of writing about it and particularly now when anti-Semitism is on the rise again across the globe. It's important to bring awareness to it, to remind people of what can happen if we allow hatred to run free and permeate our society and how it all starts with just small things but can quickly grow into something atrocious that can devour countless human lives. There is one particular woman, who I would love to write about one day, Mala Zimetbaum. She also was an Auschwitz inmate who managed to escape it and who was basically a living symbol of resistance for all the inmates. But, honestly speaking, I'm in such awe of her, I'm not emotionally ready to write about her just yet. So far, I'm gathering the material, because her story is one of those stories that needs to be told. She was a true hero.

6. Would you ever write other genres besides historical fiction? – Actually, my other favorite genre besides historical fiction is horror/suspense/psychological thriller (a lot of times, the lines are blurred between those three, so I mix them into one). I'm a huge fan of everything disturbing and gothic and I would love to write something really creepy someday.

7. How did you discover Helena and Franz's story and decide to write about their extraordinary experience? – Actually, I came across their story while doing the research for my very first historical fiction novel; "The Girl from Berlin". Ever since then, it's been there, in the back of my mind, waiting to be written but I just didn't feel that I was ready to do it (just like I don't feel ready for Mala just yet). Almost five years passed since I first learned about Helena and Franz and finally, I felt that I had enough material – and courage – to write about their incredible story. It's definitely raw, it’s emotional; it defies all logic and belief and yet it happened and, therefore, it gives us even more reason to talk about it. I think the very idea that a young, heavily-indoctrinated SS man (and young people were the most indoctrinated ones as they grew up seeing and hearing only what the Party-line said was true) could change under the influence of someone who was supposed to be his ideological enemy, is something deeply inspiring. When I first read about them, I thought; "well, not all hope is lost for humanity then, if a Nazi could fall in love with a Jewish girl and risk his own life to save her and her sister from inevitable death." I think it was then that I knew I just had to write it. I hope I did them justice.

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Auschwitz Syndrome! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Book Review and Feature: Beautiful On the Outside

TITLE: Beautiful On The Outside
PUB: Grand Central Publishing
PUB DATE: Oct 15, 2019
Hardcover, 256 pages

Former Olympic figure skater and self-professed America's Sweetheart Adam Rippon shares his underdog journey from beautiful mess to outrageous success in this hilarious, big-hearted memoir.
Your mom probably told you it's what on the inside that counts. Well, then she was never a competitive figure skater. Olympic medalist Adam Rippon has been making it pretty for the judges even when, just below the surface, everything was an absolute mess. From traveling to practices on the Greyhound bus next to ex convicts to being so poor he could only afford to eat the free apples at his gym, Rippon got through the toughest times with a smile on his face, a glint in his eye, and quip ready for anyone listening. Beautiful on the Outside looks at his journey from a homeschooled kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to a self-professed American sweetheart on the world stage and all the disasters and self-delusions it took to get him there. Yeah, it may be what's on the inside that counts, but life is so much better when it's beautiful on the outside.
"To be clear: Rippon is funny. He lands a joke like it's a triple axel, with eyebrow-raising, hilarious passages that demand to be read out loud to whomever is nearby...Comedic gold."-Washington Post

I loved this memoir! You have to read this and should not be missed!
This book was well written that got me from laughing to crying to laughing again on this juicy memoir full of raw honesty and an absolute page turner. Rippon's journey and passion to becoming an Olympic athlete was detailed so beautifully. Watching the Winter Olympics Figure skating was always a family affair and was never missed. So when this memoir came out, I knew I had to read it. I enjoyed it so much for the fun, humorous, witty and charming read into his life and vulnerabilities. I wouldn't miss this read at all. It is truly a fun read and absolutely amazing story that is inspirational and heartwarming.
I highly recommend this memoir.
5 stars 

Author Info:
Adam Rippon is an Olympic athlete and medal-winning figure skater. He won the 2010 Four Continents Championships and the 2016 U.S. National Championships and was selected to represent the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He came out as gay in October 2015 and, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, won a bronze medal as part of the figure skating team event, thus becoming the first openly gay U.S. male athlete to win a medal in a Winter Olympics. Later that year, he was named to the TIME 100 List of Most Influential People, Forbes 30 Under 30; AdWeek's 100 Most Creative and OUT Magazine's Power 50: The Most Influential Voices in LGBTQ America. He won season 26 of Dancing with the Stars: Athletes before going on to be a judge on the premiere season of Dancing with the Stars Juniors.

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RRR Book Tour and Review: Christmas Secrets at Villa Limoncello  10/26/19

Christmas Secrets at Villa Limoncello

 Escape to Villa Limoncello… where dreams come true in the most unexpected ways.

 With Christmas around the corner, Izzie Jenkins is ready to kickstart the new ‘Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes’ course at Villa Limoncello with chef and business partner, Luca Castelotti.

 However, secrets are stirring with their latest guests and when nasty accidents keep befalling the group it looks like Izzie will have to turn detective once more to protect the Villa’s fledgling reputation. On top of all this, Izzie’s been offered the job of a lifetime – back home in Cornwall. Will she be coming home for Christmas, or will Tuscany work its magic to keep her at Villa Limoncello with Luca?

Christmas in Tuscany and in a Villa - what else would you want? I thoroughly enjoyed this read so much for the wonderful writing style and description of the beautiful Tuscany, the foods, and the characters. There is the right amount of mystery and suspense and a feel-good Christmas read. This read was truly a fun escape where dreams do come true. I highly recommend this read to get into the Christmas spirit and for those who love an amazing story filled with the magic of the season.

I loved how Daisy James wrote a story that transported me to a beautiful escape and location while also giving her readers an exciting story and one full of love for the Christmas season.

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 Author Bio

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea - china plates and teacups are a must.

Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks or on Instagram @daisyjamesstories.

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Friday, October 25, 2019


Series: Monkeewrench #10
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
PUB Date: Sept 10, 2019
330 pages

Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth join Grace MacBride and Monkeewrench to uncover a dark and ugly conspiracy that reaches deep into the safety of homes in this latest electrifying thriller from New York Times bestselling author P. J. Tracy.

It's a bitter winter in Minnesota--too cold to kill. There hasn't been a murder for a month, but the lull quickly comes to an end for Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth, when they're called to the gruesome homicide of Kelly Ramage. Found in a friend's vacant house, this was no random attack, and clues reveal that she was living a very dangerous secret life.

Magozzi and Gino trace her steps back to an art gallery where she was last seen alive. The gallery seems like a dead end, but the art is disturbing and exploitative. It may very well be inspiring a sadistic killer, because in this instance, art doesn't imitate life, it imitates death.

Tipped off about a year-old murder that is a mirror-image of Kelly's crime scene, Gino and Magozzi enlist the aid of Grace MacBride and her eccentric, tech genius partners in Monkeewrench Software to help them decipher the digital trail that might connect the cases.

As coincidences emerge, Magozzi, Gino, and the team have to work around the clock at breakneck pace to unravel a series of clues that form the framework of a larger, more sweeping, and insidious conspiracy than any of them could have imagined. Is Kelly the last person to die or just the most recent? And is there any way to stop it?

When I started this book, I was already drawn in with the thrilling writing and how to book moved in a pretty fast pace and kept your attention and the suspense from page to page. It definitely was an unputdownable book. The story begins when a gruesome murder, of a beautiful married woman named Kelly Ramage, was discovered in a friend's house. Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth join the Monkeewrench Software crew to uncover a deep mystery that involves a war-criminal, a disturbing and highly controversial artist, and some underground bit currency criminal underground conspiracy. As the detectives deep-dive into the case, they are faced with the possibility that these conspiracies could be related to the murders in some way. I started this book without the knowledge that it was book #10 of the Monkeewrench series, but it worked for me as a stand alone. I will be going back to read the entire series because I absolutely love the characters in this book and I need more! This is my first P. J. Tracy book and definitely am a fan! I highly recommend this book and the series. Amazing read. I thoroughly enjoyed this. 
 5 stars


PJ Tracy is the pseudonym of mother-daughter writing duo P.J. and Traci Lambrecht, winners of the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards. Their eight novels, MONKEEWRENCH, LIVE BAIT, DEAD RUN, SNOW BLIND, SHOOT TO THRILL, OFF THE GRID, THE SIXTH IDEA, and NOTHING STAYS BURIED have become national and international bestsellers. PJ passed away in December 2016, but Traci continues to write the Monkeewrench series. THE GUILTY DEAD, the ninth installment, will be released fall of 2018 - August 23rd in the UK, September 11th in the US.

Learn more about PJ Tracy at

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

RRR Book Review: The Summer Springsteen's Songs Saved Me 10/24/19

The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me

 Coming home to catch her husband with his face between the long, silky legs of another woman is the last thing Sofia expects—and on today of all days. So, after scratching an expletive into his Porsche and setting the cheating bastard’s clothes on fire, she cranks up her beloved Bruce and flees, vowing never to look back.

 Seeking solace in the peaceful beachside town of Bradley Beach, NJ, Sof is determined to start over. And, with the help of best friends, new acquaintances, a sexy neighbor, and the powerful songs of Springsteen, this may be the place where her wounds can heal. But, as if she hasn’t faced her share of life’s challenges, a final flurry of obstacles awaits.

 In order to head courageously toward the future, Sofia must first let go of her past, find freedom, and mend her broken soul.

REVIEW: I LOVED this book! First of all, I adore Springsteen music and loved that the songs that surround the stories were incredibly relatable - at one point I started listening to the music while reading the chapters. It was amazing!

Sofia is such a relatable character and many of the things she did made me yell out loud cheering for her. She was not going to be a victim and I love that Quinn writes amazing characters in this story. I love that this story had an amazing pacing and I enjoyed reading this story about love, second chances and the importance of friendship and healing. This was an amazing easy breezy read that I absolutely needed.

Quinn is a new author to me and I am already looking at the backlist to read her other works. I highly recommend this book for a fun read and for Springsteen fans, this is a must!

 Author Bio

 Barbara Quinn is an award-winning short story writer and author of a variety of novels.

 Her travels have taken her to forty-seven states and five continents where she’s encountered fascinating settings and inspiring people that populate her work.

 Her many past jobs include lawyer, record shop owner, reporter, process server, lingerie sales clerk, waitress, and postal worker. She’s a native New Yorker with roots in the Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester. She currently resides with her husband in Bradley Beach, NJ and Holmes Beach, FL. She enjoys spending time with her son and his family and planning her next adventure. She wants to remind everyone that when you meet her, SHE’S NOT SHOUTING, SHE’S ITALIAN.

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RRR Book Tour and Review: Weave of Love 10/24/19

Weave of Love
Choices and Consequences Book 3

Thoughts/Review: I really enjoyed this amazing book by Rachel Bonner. The world she created in this Paranormal Romance was exquisite. It had amazing pacing and read very well. The characters were relatable and I fell in love with them and the world Bonner created in these stories. The book was unputdownable and I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining read. I am so excited to read the 4th book in this series to further see how these characters will continue the path they have chosen. If you enjoy amazing world and characters, with unpredictable story line, then this book is for you. Bonner's creativity in her writing really drew me in to the amazing story. Highly recommend this series.

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Price : £2.99

What if the choice you have to make has devastating consequences for others?
How can anyone know the right thing to do?

Leonie chose to sacrifice everything to save other people. Now those around her have to face the consequences – and those consequences are not what they expected.

Prospero must deal with his own guilt. He was the one who gave Leonie the tools she needed – her life was in his hands. To make the most of what she did, he will have to face up to all the family issues he has avoided for so long. Whatever he chooses to do, someone he loves will be hurt. For Leonie’s sake, is he now strong enough to make the choice he couldn’t make before?

The crisis predicted by Lord Gabriel has come and gone. But his task isn’t over. Leonie’s very existence may be out in the open but Gabriel discovers that the past is never what it seems – and nor is the present. How can he use what he now knows to bring together those who have been enemies for as long as anyone can remember? If he fails in this, everything he’s had to do so far will be in vain.

Thread of Hope
Choices and Consequences Book 2

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What if your secrets are so dangerous they could destroy the one you love?
Is honesty always the best policy?

Leonie may have run away but Prospero will find her. He loves her and he wants a future with her by his side whatever the consequences. Only when he does find her, he ought to tell her who he really is, outside the monastery. That’ll make her run again. Dare he risk it? But if he doesn’t tell her, someone else may...

Marriage to Prospero is what Leonie wants most and the one thing she knows she can’t have. If he found out what she was really like, what she’d been, what she’d done, he’d despise her and she couldn’t bear that. Better to leave now than live a lie – but it’s harder than she expected. If only…

Gabriel is starting to discover the secrets inherent in Leonie, secrets that not even she knows, secrets that will tear the world apart. And the secrets he is keeping are tearing him apart. How can sacrificing those he loves possibly achieve peace when everything he discovers risks the death of millions?

Strand of Faith
Choices and Consequences Book 1

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From 12th October until 5th November, ebook copy of Strand of Faith is available free from Bookcave but requires a subscription to my newsletter.


A girl. A monk. An unthinkable sacrifice.
When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?

In a post-apocalyptic future, a girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love. But their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.

After the troubles of his youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery. Then he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation. How can it possibly be right to leave a life of worship and service for human desire? And if he does leave, will the pressures from his past destroy him?

Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the Abbey. When she comes into contact with Prospero everything spirals out of her control. Everyone she’s ever loved has died. She can’t do that to him. But how can she walk away from the first place she’s truly belonged?

Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice. He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war. Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for. Is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?

 And coming soon (February 2020)

Cloth of Grace
Choices and Consequences Book 4

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When the fate of the world rests on your shoulders, how do you choose between what you ought to do and the only thing you really want?

Leonie finally knows who she is. But now she needs to decide who she is going to be. Her choice will affect not just her family, not just those she knows but tens, hundreds of thousands, millions of people that she doesn’t. And every path that’s open to her will put Perry under the pressures that caused his breakdown before. How can she do what she must and still protect Perry?

 Perry desperately wants to make things easier for Leonie. Somehow he has to find the strength to face the things that all but destroyed him in the past. But every way he turns some aspect of his past lies waiting to pounce – even during his happiest moments. And he can never forget that Leonie’s life is in danger from someone, somewhere. That danger may be much closer to home than anyone suspects.

Gabriel has managed to negotiate peace, at least in theory. Now he must put that into practice and reunite Leonie with the family she never knew she had. Then disaster strikes right in the middle of his own sanctuary. Can he still protect those he loves, or has he been harbouring a villain the whole time?

 Author Bio

Rachel J Bonner is the author of the compelling and enthralling four book Choices and Consequences series. The first book in the series, Strand of Faith, was published in November 2018. Book 2, Thread of Hope, released on 2nd May 2019, followed by Weave of Love on 24th October, and Cloth of Grace at the end of February 2020.

Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in fantasy or romance. Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun. When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club. Shooting targets only, honest. Nothing to worry about. (Okay, sometimes we shoot Polo mints. Or cabbages. Still nothing to worry about.)

She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary. It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.

You can find out more about her books and sign up for Rachel’s newsletters at
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Giveaway to Win signed copies of Strand of Faith, Thread of Hope and Weave of Love, plus a selection of bookmarks, plus three MixPix acrylic photo tiles (Open INT)

*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.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Book Review: Charles and Ada: The Computer’s Most Passionate Partnership 

Synopsis: Charles and Ada: the computer’s most passionate partnership
PUB: The History Press
Paperback 256 pages

The partnership of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace was one that would change science forever.
They were an unlikely pair – one the professor son of a banker, the other the only child of an acclaimed poet and a social-reforming mathematician – but perhaps that is why their work is so revolutionary.
They were the pioneers of computer science, creating plans for what could have been the first computer. They each saw things the other did not; it may have been Charles who designed the machines, but it was Ada who could see their potential.
But what were they like? And how did they work together? Using previously unpublished correspondence between them , Charles and Ada explores the relationship between two remarkable people who shared dreams far ahead of their time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this well research bio on some of the most famous names in the pioneer in computer engineering - Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace, who were both well ahead of their time. Essinger was able to capture and made well use of the research and the extensive collection available in the British Library Babbage Archive in London, and also included amazing amounts of personal material on Babbages' eventful life, both tragic and private. Essinger's brilliant story telling and filling in the blanks to what Charles Babbages life was his true genius. The book read with such ease and the stories presented were so interesting that included the social history of that time. I learned a lot and really enjoyed this read with such enthusiasm that I highly recommend this amazing and well-written biography.

Author Bio

James Essinger was born in Leicester in 1957 and has lived in Canterbury in Kent since 1986. He was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys, Leicester, and at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read English Language and Literature. He spent much of his time between 1981 and 1983 teaching English in Finland before working in public relations in London and then in Canterbury. Since 1988, James has been a professional writer.

His non-fiction books include Jacquard's Web (2004), Ada’s Algorithm (2013), which is to be filmed by Monumental Pictures, and Charles and Ada: the computer’s most passionate partnership (2019) His novels include The Mating Game (2016) with Jovanka Houska, the film rights of which have been optioned, Rollercoaster (2019) and The Ada Lovelace Project (forthcoming in 2020).

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Book Review: Bedside Manners
AUTHOR: Heather Frimmer
PUBLISHER: Spark Press
PUB DATE: 10/16/2018

Bedside Manner is a beautiful and emotional mother daughter story about life and its delicate moments. Just when things are moving along well, the unexpected happens in the most unlikely time and situation.
Marnie is completing her medical school and have a bright future to look forward to - a surgical internship, a wonderful fiancée, and her mother Joyce takes time off work to help with the wedding plans. Just when you think everything is going as planned on the surface, underneath are the realities of the human struggles we all have to contend with. Marnie soon realizes her inadequacies and her role as a doctor when her young patient dies. She is faced with  the reality that as a doctor, she cannot save every patient and sometimes her patients do not want to be saved. As the wedding plans are finalized, she sees that her relationship with her fiancée and his family may not be as perfect as she once thought. Then her mother discovering a lump in her breast throws everything off balance.
The best parts of the book for me was seeing how Joyce navigates the healthcare system as she goes through what happens when you discover a lump in your breast. There is just the right amount of medical and funny moments. Joyce's point of view as a non-medical person is brilliantly written by Frimmer. She got it right! From the emotions to the support groups and the doctors. It had me turning the pages and enjoying this heartfelt and emotional read.
Bedside Manner is from a debut author and physician, Heather Frimmer. This book's release is timely in that October is Breast Cancer awareness month and this story will truly touch your heart, especially if you or someone you know has gone through breast cancer or any cancer diagnosis. This is a brilliant read for me and one that I highly recommend.
I voluntarily received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions expressed are mine.
SYNOPSIS: As Joyce Novak’s daughter, Marnie, completes medical school and looks ahead to a surgical internship, her wedding, and a future filled with promise, a breast cancer diagnosis throws Joyce’s own future into doubt. Always the caregiver, Joyce feels uncomfortable in the patient role, especially with her husband and daughter. As she progresses through a daunting treatment regimen including a biopsy, lumpectomy, and radiation, she distracts herself by planning Marnie’s wedding.

When the sudden death of a young heroin addict in Marnie’s care forces Marnie to come face-to-face with mortality and her professional inadequacies, she also realizes she must strike a new balance between her identity as a doctor and her role as a supportive daughter. At the same time, she struggles with the stark differences between her fiancé’s family background and her own and comes to understand the importance of being with someone who shares her values and experiences.

Amid this profound soul-searching, both Joyce and Marnie’s futures change in ways they never would have expected.


From Heather Frimmer's Website:

I’m a book addict who is not even considering recovery. Funding my book habit as a radiologist by day, I read over 100 books per year, especially enjoying women’s fiction, psychological suspense, historical fiction and family stories. A reviewer for Books, INK, I also post the occasional review of my own right here on my website.

For my day job, I am a physician—a radiologist specializing in breast imaging. When I’m not interpreting mammograms and x-rays in a dark room, or reading/reviewing books, you’ll find me writing. Bedside Manners (SparkPress, October 2018), my debut novel, is a tale of unbreakable maternal love and triumphant survival, offering a fictional window into the world of medicine.

Aside from books, reading, writing, books, and more books, I’m an enthusiastic foodie. Travel is another top hobby since it opens up doors to new food and restaurants. A lifetime member of Hadassah, I’m also a supporter of Pink Aid, an organization helping underserved breast cancer patients.

Suburban Connecticut is my home, where I live with my husband, Benjamin, a trained actor and now middle school theater teacher, and our two sons. The boys all have the acting “bug” and I serve as their most loyal and supportive audience member.

Tentatively titled, “Where the Blame Lies”, my second novel will again focus on the medical field, weaving a complex tale of addiction, love and survival on the operating table.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

KR Book Tour: LEGACY OF FEAR 11/7/2019

TITLE: Legacy of Fear  
AUTHOR: A.J. McCarthy                     
Release Date:  11.7.19
GENRE: Thriller/Suspense


What dark secret is hidden in her past? What evil has been handed down through generations?

Emily Burton found happiness in a small, picturesque town on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Her sense of peace and security is shattered when she’s brutally attacked, and an innocent person is murdered. The authorities believe the incident is random, until Emily becomes the target of further violence and threats.

With the help of her enigmatic neighbor, she uncovers an eerily similar crime that dates back sixty years. Could there be a connection between the two attacks? Did malevolence stretch its deadly arm across generations?

Emily is convinced there’s a link, but she needs to find it before it finds her.


About the Author

The Three Rs - Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic - are the cornerstones of A.J. McCarthy's life. The first began at a young age when she devoured novels by Agatha Christie, Sidney Sheldon, and other masters of mystery and suspense. The second was a passion born later in life, and the third was a major part of her full-time career. The author of three published novels, Sins of the Fathers, Cold Betrayal, and Legacy of Fear (to be released November 2019), A.J. is working on another manuscript in the suspense thriller genre, while juggling ideas for a couple of others.

Monday, October 14, 2019

ARIA BLOG TOUR: The Child From the Ash Pits 11/26/2019

About the book

In the aftermath of the General Strike, times are tough for coal miners and their families. Can little Cally break free from poverty, and forge a successful life for herself?

 When Cally loses her beloved mum, she hopes her father will comfort and protect her. But instead she soon acquires a cruel and vengeful stepmother, and Cally begins to fear that she is on her own.

 Through uncomfortable years in service, to a terrifying brush with the streets, through hard work and determination, Cally finally finds a place for herself. She even trusts enough in the future to create her own family, despite being so cruelly abandoned by her own.

 At last in a place of peace and contentment, Cally has all she ever hoped for, but with World War 2 looming, how long can she hold on to the people she loves?

 Taking us from 1926 all the way to end of the Second World War, Chrissie Walsh has written a heart-breaking tale of love and survival, perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Lyn Andrews.

REVIEW/THOUGHTS: This is a truly amazing historical fiction that had me rooting for Caroline “Cally’ right from the start. Cally’s life begins with such an emotional hardship when her mother and unborn sibling dies, when she witnesses her father’s indiscretions, and when she experiences having a step mother who hates her to the core. In her growing years, she yearns for the love of her parent. However, her father buried in his own guilt and grief was not able to provide any love or attention she needed and craved. Worse yet, as she buried herself in doing well in school she was denied by her step-mother the opportunity to further her studies. Instead, her step-mother sends her away to work in a home where the master is known to take advantage of young women.
The story goes through history from 1926 through WWII, and the hardships of the laborers in the mine, the country and the injured soldiers. As the saga of Cally’s life continues, we see her through her marriage and family, her life continues to be tested. But because of Cally’s strength and resilience we are rewarded with a satisfying story where difficulties and challenges are a part of life. Walsh is an exceptional storyteller that has brilliantly delivered an amazing life story of how a girl finds her way and picks herself up from the ash pits.
Thank you to Aria and Vicki Joss for having me in the blog tour. 

 Please Enjoy an extract of the book:

Cally pressed her back hard against the sharp brick of the ash pit wall, the scratchy feeling through her old winter coat nurturing her frustration. Mam would be lying in bed upstairs full of aches and pains, waiting for Cally to go up and see her… and downstairs… she wondered what her dad and Annie were doing at that very moment.

She’d been thrilled when Mam first told her about the baby, a little brother or a sister to play with, but she didn’t feel like that now. It’s the baby’s fault Mam’s poorly and Annie’s staying to mind the house, she silently told the distant slag heaps. All I want is for Mam to get back to the way she used to be and for Annie to go away.

Her thoughts black, and her bony little bottom chilled from sitting on the cold flagstones, Cally wandered onto the wasteland in search of something pleasanter to occupy her mind. Trailing vetch and fescue grasses tickled her ankles and a film of white blossom iced her crow-black hair where it grazed the tallest parsley fronds. In a bedraggled thorn bush a pair of robins flitted from branch to branch. Cally stopped to watch them, their beady little eyes twinkling back at her and making her giggle. Close by the bush a cluster of aconites sprouted amongst the weeds. Cally plucked them, her fingers nimble with impatience. She’d take them home for Mam; Mam liked flowers.

Then she remembered. Her dad had locked her out. She badly wanted to go to her mam but she didn’t dare go back home until her dad called her. Tightening her grip on the bunch of aconites, she crushed the sappy stalks to slime before tossing the wilting posy into the air: Babies! Pit strikes! Annie! They all stank!


Meanwhile, in the larger of the two bedrooms in number eleven, Jackson’s Yard, Ada Manfield wakened from an uneasy sleep. Gazing up at the ceiling, she solemnly assessed her situation. She hadn’t suffered like this when she was expecting Cally; she had positively bloomed in her first pregnancy. Not even the three brief miscarriages that followed had caused this much grief. Now, her limbs swollen with fluid and every breath agonising, she feared death might easily find her. And if that wasn’t enough to contend with, she was now faced with the George and Annie thing.

Through closed eyes Ada recalled the day Annie had arrived at the door of number eleven, begging to be taken in. At first she hadn’t recognised the trollopish young woman standing there, a battered Gladstone bag at her feet. It wasn’t until Annie had thrown herself against Ada’s chest gabbling a tale of woe that Ada had realised this was the sister she hadn’t seen for seven years.

And I was pleased to see her then, thought Ada, tossing back the bedcovers. I even thought it propitious that she should arrive just when I needed someone to help run the house and care for Cally whilst I was laid up. How wrong was I?

But I had no way of knowing she had grown into a devious, spiteful young woman, thought Ada. After all, she was only a child when I last saw her. And now she’s a brazen seventeen-year-old vamp with an eye for your husband, urged an inner voice, and he, the fool, seems happy to play his part.

Ada heaved herself to the edge of the bed, thinking back to the first time her suspicions had been aroused. Then she had contented herself with the idea that it was her condition making her unusually sensitive. She had come downstairs unexpectedly, to find Annie in George’s arms, their lips almost touching. ‘She’s got something in her eye,’ George had blustered, Annie twittering that a spark had shot out from the fire whilst she was tending it. And I wanted to believe them, Ada told herself, planting her feet on the floor and struggling upright.

Guest Post:

I took great pleasure from writing this novel. In many ways it was cathartic. Not only is it set in Yorkshire, my home place when I was much younger, it’s about the kind of people to whom I belong. It also got me thinking about how all too often we have an inability to communicate our feelings, particularly to those we most love: Cally and George are both guilty of this. Maybe it’s the everyday struggle to put bread on the table and clothes on backs or settle the bills that clouds the bigger picture until, gradually, we drift apart. Only when we open our hearts and our mouths and talk about the sorrows we share and the fears that haunt us, can we speak of our hopes and dreams for the future.

 When I started writing this story I had a clear picture of where it was going: a neglected, motherless child who strives against all the odds to make a happier future for herself despite her having a cruel stepmother and a father suffering from guilt and depression. I wanted Cally to be strong and clever and like the willows her mother talks about: they bend but they don’t break.

 George, a collier, has thoughts as black as the coal he hews, and through him I tried to convey the struggle that all miners had during the 1920’s when the industry was plagued with dangerous working conditions, low wages and strikes. As for Annie; she is unkind, but one could almost pity her given the circumstances that led to her marrying George.

 All this I had planned, but as Cally grew older the story seemed to write itself. I began recalling things my mother had told me about her own younger days; working in service and public houses, and later about her own marriage. When it got to the part where Cally’s son Richard dies, I found myself writing my mother’s words, almost verbatim, as I recalled her telling me about the death of her first child, my brother, Trevor. I rarely cry when I’m writing, but I did then.

 At this time in my life, I feel blessed. I have always been a writer, but I never imagined that other people would read and enjoy my stories. Now, with the love and support of my family and the dedication of my agent, Judith Murdoch, and the wonderful team at Aria Fiction, I am living the dream. 

About the author

 Born and raised in West Yorkshire, Chrissie trained to be a singer and cellist before becoming a teacher. When she married her trawler skipper husband, they moved to a little fishing village in N. Ireland. Chrissie is passionate about history and that passion and knowledge shine through in her writing. The Girl from the Mill is her debut novel.

Follow Chrissie:

Twitter: @WalshChrissie

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BLOG TOUR: A Family By Christmas 10/16/2019

About the Book:
Author: Viv Royce
Pub. Date: October 14, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Bliss)
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 200
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo

Chocolatier Emma Miller has a new business selling bonbons to the residents of the quaint town of Wood Creek. When a tiny visitor stops by her shop with an interesting request, Emma is intrigued. The young girl needs chocolates that will help her widowed dad fall in love, preferably with her teacher. What Emma didn't count on was Casey's ever so charming and handsome dad, Grant, stepping into her life. She has to remind herself to be cautious because the one thing she learned in foster care is that people always leave.

Pilot Grant Galloway is touched by his daughter's gift and is curious about the person who made the world-class chocolates. But when he steps into Emma's shop full of delicious smells and tasty morsels, he forgets to breathe. And it has nothing to do with his favorite dessert. She's pretty and kind, and when she has to deal with a difficult client, his protective instincts kick into high gear. But he risked his heart once. When his wife died, it left him broken. He's just now beginning to pick up the pieces, and he and his daughter will be leaving town once the holidays are over.

Thanks to some Christmas wishes, though, these two might discover that their carefully laid plans are about to change.

About Viv:
With the same trademark atmospheric settings, relatable characters and cute canines that made several of her cozy mysteries #1 Amazon US and Canada bestsellers in multiple categories, Vivian Conroy pens romance as Viv Royce, creating heartthrob heroes ranging from rugged pilots to royals reluctant to believe in true love who meet their match in that girl next door or the co-worker with the business ideas exactly opposing their own – happy endings guaranteed! When not frequenting fictional worlds, Viv loves to hike (especially in the mountains), craft with paper, felt and clay, and hunt for the perfect cheesecake. Quite active on Twitter, she's the founder of #HistFicChat, a live Twitter chat about historical fiction, featuring authors like Kate Quinn, Anna Lee Huber and Susan Spann, and would love for readers to follow her and connect via @VivWrites.

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BLOG TOUR: My Forever Plus One 10/15/2019

Author: Shannyn Schroeder
Pub. Date: October 14, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (August)
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 200
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo

Evelyn is a woman who has everything--a successful career as a TV producer, and her best friend—sexy firefighter Owen Hanson—who looks mighty fine as her plus-one to awards dinners and backyard picnics. But something is missing and it’s not just the sex.

Owen Hanson is living the dream—a Chicago firefighter who volunteers at a youth center on the Southside and he’s got his best friend Evelyn—who knows him better than anyone. When Evelyn starts hinting about wanting something more, Owen panics.

Sex changes everything but taking their relationship to the next level surpasses even their wildest dreams. Until Evelyn’s ex-husband shows up and could make even the most perfect couple crash and burn...

Each book in the Daring Divorcees series is STANDALONE:
* One Night with a Millionaire
* My Best Friend’s Ex
* My Forever Plus-One

About Shannyn:
Shannyn is an occasional English teacher, who also works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.

Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.

After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”

So she did.

That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today. The 6-book O’Leary series has wrapped up, as well as 2 Hot & Nerdy new adult trilogies. She’s currently working on her next series.

She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.

Shannyn is represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | BookBub | Goodreads

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1 winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card, International.

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Thursday, October 10, 2019


Title:Anything For Love
Kindle Edition 477 pages
Published 9/1/2019

Leah Jensen, Yorkshire lass born and bred, needs money and she’ll do anything - yes, anything - to get it. Her Grandad Thomas is in pain and the cost of an operation on his bad knee is way beyond the family’s means. Leah tries everything to earn the fee – but in the end, and like so many before her, she turns to the world’s oldest profession.
Madam Butterfly’s exclusive escort agency in London is a different world to where Leah comes from. In Whitby, the sea air is sweet, and legends of Dracula jostle with jet-mining and whaling history; it’s a place where dog lovers meet and tourists come to marvel at the views.
Leah may be out of her comfort zone, but one daring, brief encounter will bring many surprises in this memorable romantic comedy full of pithy Yorkshire humour.

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Author Bio – 

Gracie Bond loves a good romantic comedy, either to read or to watch on Netflix. Her favourite go-to novel is (Pride and Prejudice)- and she’s always happy to watch ( Bridgett Jones) any time of the day. Among Gracie’s interests are Newfoundland dogs, horses, and handsome Yorkshire men. Her idea of fun would be to ride a spirited horse along a Northumberland beach, followed by a pack of her favourite dogs.

Gracie lives in Yorkshire with her partner John and she has close connections with Whitby, the setting for this novel.

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Title: Tangled Roots
Author: Denise D. Young
Series: Book 1 of the Tangled Magic Paranormal Romance Series
PUB: Sage and Shadows Books
Pub Date: May 14, 2019


A beautiful witch lost in time. A brooding farm boy with magic in his blood and a chip on his shoulder. Dark secrets and shadowy magic. Paranormal romance with a time slip awaits in the first book of this new series. Cassie Gearhart casts a spell in the forest in the summer of 1974. The next thing she knows, she wakes up to find the world irrevocably changed.

It’s 2019, for one thing. For another, all of her coven members have vanished, leaving behind only one man who holds the key to their secrets.

Nick Felson has sworn off magic, until a confused Cassie knocks on his door in the middle of the night, somehow missing forty-five years’ worth of time. But Nick knows falling for the captivating witch means letting magic back into his life—and that’s one line he swore he’d never cross.

Can Cassie unravel the mystery that transported her decades into the future? And can Nick resist the powerful magic and heart-pounding passion that swirl in the air whenever he and Cassie are together?

The Tangled Magic Series is intended for readers 18-plus who enjoy fast-paced reads, wild and witchy magic, swoon-worthy kisses, and small-town charm. The series is best read in order.

Tangled Roots is available at most major ebook retailers and in paperback from Amazon. Get your copy of Nick and Cassie’s story Purchase Link -


Witches. Spells. Love. A magical modern day Sleeping Beauty story if Aurora was part of a witch's coven.

I am loving this First book in the Tangled Magic Paranormal Romance Series by Denise D. Young, and I absolutely cannot wait for the rest of the series. The book opens in 1974 where Cassie Gearhart is found after being in hiding from her abusive family. Cassie performs a spell, and with a Goddess' help allowed her to escape her family. It is now 45 years later and the coven has vanished and the only one left is Nick Felson who has sworn off magic.

Nick at only 23 years old is a broken man. The only witch the torrent left behind - ready to start anew and away from what he calls his home in the farm, Saunders Farm House built in the 1920's, in Willow Creek, Virginia. Nick was ready to sell the property and move to Arizona until one night, Cassie came knocking on his door.

Denise Young writes a beautiful story that is fast paced and truly a magical love story between Cassie and Nick. Once I started this amazing read, there was no way to put it down. There is so much excitement! The attraction and connection of these two characters were undeniably electrifying and oh so supernatural. I loved the characters, and the world Young has built. The story is also wrapped up nicely for the next installment of this mystical read.


Equal parts bookworm, flower child, and eclectic witch, Denise D. Young writes fantasy and paranormal romance featuring witches, magic, faeries, and the occasional shifter. Whatever the flavor of the magic, it’s always served with a brisk cup of tea–and the promise of romance varying from sweet to sensual.

She lives with her husband and their animals in the mountains of Virginia, where small towns and tall trees inspire her stories. She reads tarot cards, collects crystals, gazes at stars, and believes magic is the answer (no matter what the question was).

If you’ve ever hoped to find a book of spells in a dusty attic, if you suspect every misty forest contains a hidden portal to another realm, or if you don’t mind a little darkness before your happily-ever-after, her books might be just the thing you’ve been waiting for.

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12/5/2022 WITCHA GONA DO By Avery Flynn

  Publisher: Berkley (December 6, 2022) An unlucky witch and her know-it-all nemesis must team up in the first of a new, hot romantic comedy...