Monday, August 31, 2020

8/31/2020 HIS ONLY WIFE BY PEACE ADZO MEDIE - ALGONQUIN BOOKS



“Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.”

Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. She is smart; she is pretty; and she has been convinced by her mother to marry a man she does not know. Afi knows who he is, of course—Elikem is a wealthy businessman whose mother has chosen Afi in the hopes that she will distract him from his relationship with a woman his family claims is inappropriate. But Afi is not prepared for the shift her life takes when she is moved from her small hometown of Ho to live in Accra, Ghana’s gleaming capital, a place of wealth and sophistication where she has days of nothing to do but cook meals for a man who may or may not show up to eat them. She has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, and so she must see it through. Or maybe not?

His Only Wife is a witty, smart, and moving debut novel about a brave young woman traversing the minefield of modern life with its taboos and injustices, living in a world of men who want their wives to be beautiful, to be good cooks and mothers, to be women who respect their husbands and grant them forbearance. And in Afi, Peace Medie has created a delightfully spunky and relatable heroine who just may break all the rules.
 



Advanced Praise for His Only Wife

MOST ANTICIPATED LISTS:

The Millions: “Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2020 Book Preview”

Parade: “20 Upcoming Books By Black Female Authors You Don't Want to Miss”

BookRiot: “45 Upcoming Books by Black Authors You Can Preorder Right Now”

Bookstr: “New Books for Summer and Fall 2020”


ADVANCED PRAISE:

“A delightful debut novel… Crazy Rich Asians for West Africa.”

—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“A hilarious, page-turning, sharply realized portrait of modern womanhood in the most infuriating of circumstances. A gem of a debut.”

—Wayetu Moore, author of She Would Be King

"A unique and unapologetic marriage story that shines with honesty, humanity, power and grace: once you pick this book up, you won't be able to put it down. Medie's urgent, intimate voice is exactly what the world needs right now."

—Mathangi Subramanian, author of A People’s History of Heaven

“Its message bold and its viewpoint appealing, His Only Wife is an inspiring novel.” —Foreword Reviews




THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

Peace Adzo Medie writes a timely novel about the strength and sacrifices of women for their family, to gain acceptance of the cultural and social norms, as well as, the cost of life choices.

Young Afi Tekple's life is about to change. She is given an opportunity of a lifetime - to receive a proposal of marriage to one of the wealthiest families in their small town. Aunty Faustina Ganyo has helped Afi and her widowed mother Olivia, so when this opportunity arose to marry Aunty's son Elikem, Afi could not refuse such an offer. Though she has never met him, she knows this will help her family greatly.

Afi enters into this marriage with great difficulty - First, Elikem marries Afi with a stand-in and to make matters worse, Elikem is in love with a Liberian woman named Muna. Though she is settled in a luxurious flat in Accra, it would be weeks before she is to see her husband. Afi easily gets comfortable with the luxuries of her new life - out of poverty. Does she continue to sacrifice in order to secure a better future for herself and her family, or is this self-sacrifice costing her own life's happiness and more?

This was a brilliantly told novel with deep characterization, and a well written heroine of our time that addressed significant cultural references, and the injustices relating to gender, class and wealth.

This was a fascinating read that I highly recommend.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:




Peace Adzo Medie is a Ghanaian writer and Senior Lecturer in Gender and International Politics at the University of Bristol in England. Prior to that she was a Research Fellow at the University of Ghana. She has published several short stories, and her book, Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa will be published by Oxford University Press in 2020. She is an award-winning scholar and has been awarded several fellowships. She holds a PhD in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in Geography from the University of Ghana. She was born in Liberia.

8/31/2020 The Quiet Girl by S.F. KOSA - Sourcebooks Landmark @bookmarked




Paperback : 384 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-1728215563
Publisher : Sourcebooks Landmark (August 1, 2020)

Good girls keep quiet. But quiet girls can't stay silent forever―and the consequences are sure to make some noise.

When Alex arrives in Provincetown to patch things up with his new wife, Mina, he finds an empty wine glass in the sink, her wedding ring on the desk, and a string of questions in her wake. The police believe that Mina, a successful romance author, simply left, their marriage crumbling before it truly began.

But what Alex finds in their empty cottage points him toward a different reality: Mina has always carried a secret. And now she's disappeared.

In his hunt for the truth, Alex comes across Layla, a young woman with information to share, who may hold the key to everything his wife has kept hidden. A strange, quiet girl whose missing memories may break them all.

To find his missing wife, Alex must face what Layla has forgotten. And the consequences are anything but quiet.

In her debut thriller, S.F. Kosa presents a tightly-woven book sure to inspire questions about trauma, memory, and how well we ever know the people we love.

Reviews:

"A cunningly constructed thriller that's as twisted as it is heartbreaking... Kosa writes sensitively of trauma without sugarcoating the aftereffects in this page-turning domestic thriller of the secrets we keep quiet in order to protect the ones we love." - Criminal Element

"Prepare to be enthralled - The Quiet Girl will grab your emotions and then hang on with a death grip. Atmospheric and twisty enough to deliver whiplash, S.F Kosa writes with a keen eye for detail and surprise endings. A compelling narrative that hums with momentum long after the reader is done." - Maureen Joyce Connolly, author of Little Lovely Things

"The Quiet Girl is brimming with twists and turns from the first page to the last. It's a story that will keep you reading well past your bedtime as you try to unravel truth from fiction in this clever novel. Chilling and shocking, The Quiet Girl is sure to stick with you even after the last page has been turned." - Gina LaManna, author of Pretty Guilty Women

"Dueling narratives propel this stunning psychological suspense...Hitchcock fans won't want to miss this nuanced, multilayered novel." - Publishers Weekly

"Kosa puts her real-world experience as a clinical psychologist to work exploring trauma and its insidiousness while deftly weaving together two seemingly unrelated narratives...A twisty and poignant debut." - Kirkus Reviews

"A page-turning thriller with well-written, complex characters and several twists and surprises that will not disappoint readers of the genre." - Booklist

"S.F. Kosa's The Quiet Girl is the rare thriller where a husband isn't the prime suspect in his wife's disappearance." - POPSUGAR

Thoughts/Review:

The Quiet Girl by S.F. Kosa is a gripping and enthralling psychological thriller that grabbed me from the very first page to the very end. I loved this book!

The Quiet Girl follows newlyweds Alex - a business venturist living in Boston, hoping to find the cure for cancer, and Mina - a well-known romance writer who lives in Cape Cod, Provincetown. A little row brings Alex to visit his wife only to find Mina missing with her wedding bands left in the house and an empty glass of wine. 

Told in alternating point of views between Alex's search for his wife of only 6 months in a whirlwind romance and whom he is only getting know, and Layla - a local woman whose memory is unclear and has suffered some trauma. 

The writing was so suspenseful, with Kosa revealing only the slightest bit at the right time while unraveling shocking secrets and plot twists. I found that the way Kosa wrote Alex's character was brilliant. You could really feel the desperation of a husband in search of a loved one while also dealing with a very stressful situation managing his business. I found it to be completely immersive and so satisfying to read as you discover more. 

This was really an amazing and entertaining book I thoroughly enjoyed. I recommend it!


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:



S.F. Kosa is a clinical psychologist with a fascination for the seedy underbelly of the human psyche. Though The Quiet Girl is her debut psychological suspense novel, writing as Sarah Fine, she is the author of over two dozen fantasy, urban fantasy, sci-fi, and romance novels, several of which have been translated into multiple languages. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their (blended) brood of five young humans.

Friday, August 28, 2020

8/28/20 WITHIN THE SHADOWS BOOK 2 OF "WITH EMMA" SERIES (A CONTRACT FOR LIFE) BY T.L. MAHRT

 




Release Date: August 28, 2020

Within the shadows:

Synopsis

Emma’s world is rocked as the real monster lurking in the shadows is unveiled.

Emma Andrews’ last memory of her mother is seeing her bleeding to death on the bathroom floor. Several years later, Emma is kidnapped and forced to face the same monster that killed her mother. Quickly, Emma—a daydreamer with an inventive personality—must learn to separate her fantasies from reality in order to differentiate friend or foe.

As secrets unfold and the shadows emerge, Emma wonders if she can endure reliving the trauma of her past. One thing she does know for certain—she can’t do it alone.

Will Emma escape from this monster alive? Will Chance still love her after she reveals her past? Or, will someone new teach Emma the true strength hiding within her?

Thoughts/Review:

I read the first book of this series early this year and enjoyed the book a lot. I fell in love with Emma and Chance immediately and loved the romantic suspense element. In this second installment, Emma is dealing with her dark past and how she will be able to move forward with Chance as she opens up with her trauma. 

T.L. Mahrt wrote a wonderful suspenseful read with just the right balance of thrill and romance. I loved that the characters had a great backs story and added to the character development for both Emma and Chance. I enjoyed the surprising twists and definitely more to come in this fabulous series. Keep 'em coming! I cannot wait for the next chapter!




About the Author: 




T. L. Mahrt is a former business owner, where she utilized her education in cosmetology, barbering and massage therapy for several years. She was raised on and is currently living on a farm in Nebraska, where you can find her running barefoot in the country side with her loving husband and inspiring children and massive dogs.

After having her son, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, she made the life altering decision to stay home to care for her two children and pursue her love for writing. She has a love for romance and poetry where, her overactive imagination, along with her adventures and up beat lifestyle drives her inspiration for her writing.

Marketing/Buy Links: 

8/30/2020 The Memory House A Love Story in Two Acts BY Jenetta James Quills and Quartos Publishing

 

The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts by Jenetta James

Publication Date: August 10, 2020
Quills and Quartos Publishing
Paperback & eBook; 276 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
A house in one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods is home to secrets, mysteries, and two love stories spanning two centuries. In 1859, independent-minded Kitty Cathcart dreams of escaping Veronica Gardens but her father’s determination to marry her off to a rich man of his choosing forces her to seek happiness and find her own voice by other means. And then the handsome but poor Alex Faraday walks through the front doors. In 2019, Oxford-educated Josie Minton never dreamt of living in a house as grand as Veronica Gardens, but the nanny’s quarters are a perfect fit for a young woman in need of a job. Wealthy financier James Cavendish and his twin girls quickly find her indispensable to their happiness, but Josie is still searching for her future. Then the great house reveals the first of its secrets, and the tragedy and romance of one era are brought into sharp relief with another.

Thoughts/Review:

A beautiful story told in two distinct periods of time 1859 and 2018 - spanning two centuries of secrets in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in London. James' writing is so exquisite, I was in pure and sheer delight reading about this. Love reading about Regency England and this one masterfully incorporating Modern London into the twist. The juxtaposition of the characters and the time frame was so well done and really enjoyed reading about Kitty Cathcart in 1859 and then of Josie Minton, a nanny in 2018. 

The atmospheric writing was incredible and really built into the amazing timeline - the descriptions of the late 1850's London from the wealth of the family, the beautiful Veronica Gardens - I was really devouring this book for the amazing characters and Kitty's life dealing with such an ill-tempered father Sir Roland. In contrast to that is Josie and James love story in a modern romance with a twist. 

I loved this book so much for the beautiful writing, vivid and rich details of the life in Victorian London, with a great contrast with a modern twist. 

I was so entertained by this book and I loved it!

 

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Jenetta James is a lawyer, writer, mother and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practises full time as a barrister. Over the years she has lived in France, Hungary and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing and playing with Lego. She is the author of "Suddenly Mrs Darcy", "The Elizabeth Papers" and "Lover's Knot" as well as a contributor to The Quill Ink series of anthologies, "The Darcy Monologues", "Dangerous to know", "Rational Creatures" and "Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl".

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 10 Review at Books and Backroads Tuesday, August 11 Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit Friday, August 14 Feature at The Caffeinated Bibliophile Saturday, August 15 Review at Gwendalyn's Books Monday, August 17 Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Wednesday, August 19 Review at Passages to the Past Thursday, August 20 Excerpt at Bookworlder Monday, August 24 Review at A Darn Good Read Wednesday, August 26 Feature at Reading is My Remedy Friday, August 28 Excerpt at Probably at the Library Review at Books, Writings, and More Sunday, August 30 Review at Nursebookie Monday, August 31 Review at Tangents and Tissues

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of The Memory House! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter. The Memory House

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

8/21/2020 The Heart of a Peach By Jess B Moore

 



Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Independently published (July 11, 2020)
Language: English



The Heart of a Peach

Olivia Hamilton can do no wrong. Or at least that’s what the community of Fox River, North Carolina thinks of the odd but sweet young lady. She’s hiding a past she’d rather forget, engaged to the town’s most eligible bachelor, and longing for someone to see past the mask she wears. Olivia wants to find herself, forgive herself, and fall in love with someone who sees and embraces her flaws.

Denver MacKenna grew up the fiddle-playing prodigy of not only his hometown of Fox River but of North Carolina and the surrounding states. He plays obsessively and tours as often as possible, escaping a life of loneliness at home. Until he meets a beautiful siren who calls to him and has him making plans to settle down. Denver knows it’s wrong to covet the elusive Olivia, but finds himself inexplicably drawn to the brief glimpses she gives him of her true self.


Purchase Link - http://mybook.to/foxriversix




THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

I have read previous books in the Fox River Romance Series and this one was a delight.

What I am always so excited about is how charming and heartwarming these reads are - they are small town feels, super cozy and absolutely a fun and delightful read.

Jess B Moore's series never disappoint me for the quick pacing, charming characters you get to know very well, and that contemporary romance you crave.

In this series, we fall in love with Olivia and Denver - love how music is incorporated and their chemistry was amazing.

As they struggle in their relationship in the beginning with some past history, the story will give you that sweet satisfaction when their relationship blossoms.

I loved this one so much!

Author Bio –







Jess B. Moore is a writer of love stories. When she's not writing, she's busy mothering her accomplished and headstrong children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she'll likely never finish.

Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.

The Fox River Romance novels combine her interests in family, music, and small towns into thoughtful tales of growing up and falling in love. These books can be read as stand-alone, or as a series starting with The Guilt of a Sparrow.

Follow Jess on social media @authorjessb
Please consider leaving a review to let other readers know what you think

Social Media Links –

Facebook: http://facebook.com/authorjessb
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjessb/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/authorjessb

Website: https://jessbmoore.com

One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues By Cara Achterberg - PEGASUS BOOKS

 


Since today is NATIONAL DOG LOVERS DAY, I am featuring One Hundred Dogs and Counting review on my blog today!



Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by Pegasus Books

After nearly a year struggling to find a home for a particular foster dog, Cara begins to wonder how the story ends - when will all the dogs be saved? Even after the 100th foster dog passes through Cara’s home, the stream of homeless dogs appears endless. Seized by the need to act, Cara grabs her best friend, fills a van with donations, and heads south to discover what’s really happening in the rural shelters where her foster dogs originate.




What she discovers will break her heart and compel her to share the story of heroes and villains and plenty of good dogs in the hope of changing this world. From North Carolina where pit bulls fill the shelters and heart-worm rages to Tennessee where dogs are left forgotten in pounds and on to Alabama where unlikely heroes fight in a state that has largely forsaken its responsibilities to its animals, Cara meets the people working on the front lines in this national crisis of unwanted animals. The dogs, the people, and their inspiring stories draw her south again and again in search of answers - and maybe a dog of her own.



One Hundred Dogs and Counting will introduce listeners to many wonderful dogs - from sweet Oreo to quirky Flannery - but also to inspirational people sacrificing their personal lives and fortunes to save deserving animals.



Join Cara on the rescue road as she follows her heart into the places where too many dogs are forgotten and discovers glimmers of hope that the day is coming when every dog will have a home.




THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

One Hundred Dogs and Counting is such an amazing book any dog lover or animal lover must read. Cara's story is so touching and really brought me to tears reading her stories, what she advocates for and for her heart. 

I have learned so much about how our animals and dogs in particular are mistreated and unfortunately, with the lack of funding and resources, our dogs continue and will continue to suffer consequences through abuse, malnutrition and neglect. Since there is severe lack of space, even a healthy puppy only months old can be euthanized. 

I love how the book brings awareness about shelters and rescues, how to foster, volunteer in every type of avenue, donating for the cause and how to advocate for these dogs in every way possible. The book is such an amazing read that I enjoyed a lot. At times, I did need to break for the heavy topics but it did not deter me from learning more about it, and picked it back up again. 

Today is as good as any time to do this for our dogs - a man's best friend. I challenge you! Pick this book up and do something positive for our dogs today.



AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:




Cara Sue Achterberg is a blogger, novelist, and rescue dog advocate who lives on a hillside farm in York County, Pennsylvania but longs for the mountains of Virginia.

She is the co-founder of Who Will Let the Dogs Out, an intiative of Operation Paws for Homes. It's mission is to raise awareness and resources for southern shelters and rescues. Find more information at WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org.

Information on all her books, blogs, and upcoming appearances can be found at CaraWrites.com. Her next book, Blind Turn, a novel about forgiveness in the aftermath of a fatal texting and driving accident will be released January 2021.

When not writing or weeding (which can sometimes be one and the same), Cara enjoys hiking, reading, visiting Virginia wineries, and trying not to fall off her favorite horse, True.

You can keep up with Cara on facebook (Cara Sue Achterberg, writer), twitter (@CaraAchterberg), or Instagram (carasueachterberg), and of course, at CaraWrites.com.

YOU LUCKY DOG By Julia London - Berkley Pub Blog Tour

 


Since today is NATIONAL DOG LOVERS DAY, I am featuring this review on my blog! I am so excited to have had the opportunity to read this book and I really loved it! 


Publisher : Berkley (August 25, 2020)


An accidental dog swap unleashes an unexpected love match in this new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Julia London.

Carly Kennedy's life is in a spiral. She is drowning in work, her divorced parents are going through their midlife crises, and somehow Carly's sister convinces her to foster Baxter--a basset hound rescue with a bad case of the blues. When Carly comes home late from work one day to discover that the dog walker has accidentally switched out Baxter for another perkier, friendlier basset hound, she has reached the end of her leash.

When Max Sheffington finds a depressed male basset hound in place of his cheerful Hazel, he is bewildered. But when cute, fiery Carly arrives on his doorstep, he is intrigued. He was expecting the dog walker, not a pretty woman with firm ideas about dog discipline. And Carly was not expecting a handsome, bespectacled man to be feeding her dog mac and cheese. Baxter is besotted with Hazel, and Carly realizes she may have found the key to her puppy’s happiness. For his sake, she starts to spend more time with Hazel and Max, until she begins to understand the appeal of falling for your polar opposite.


THOUGHTS/ REVIEW 


I THOUGHT THIS WAS SUCH A CUTE PREMISE. Meet cute – Basset Hound switcharoo style and I am hooked – Hazel and Baxter were just so adorable. Can we also just appreciate the beautiful cover of this book which I was immediately drawn to.

I enjoyed reading about the characters Carly Kennedy and Max Sheffington – they were such a delight to read about and they were such cute sometimes over the top and slightly over dramatic - totally get it! That actually made it so much more fun to read for me - so cute and so delightful.

I found the writing to be so charming and adorable. Also, including an autistic character in the book also brought the heart melting moments for me about Max – I thought the writing captured this in such a beautiful and sensitive way that I really admired in this novel. 

I found this to be a perfect summer escape read many would enjoy, for being funny, and also for being such a light hearted read that involved really adorable hounds and so much more. 

If you are a dog lover, you cannot miss this!


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:




Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than two dozen romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular historical romance series, the Cabot Sisters, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch, and The Perfect Homecoming.

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. To keep up with all the Julia London news, please visit http://www.julialondon.com. Follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/julialondon



Tuesday, August 25, 2020

HIDDEN BY LAURA GRIFFIN - BERKLEY BLOG TOUR



When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he's ever seen, and nothing adds up.
Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn't who she claimed to be and believes this mugging-turned-murder could have been a targeted hit. When she digs deeper, the trail leads her to a high-tech fortress on the outskirts of Austin where researchers are pushing the boundaries of a cutting-edge technology that could be deadly in the wrong hands.

As a ruthless hit man's mission becomes clear, Bailey and Jacob must embark on a desperate search to locate the next target before the clock ticks down on this lethal game of hide and seek.

Thoughts/Review:


I really enjoy a fast-paced romantic suspense read that keeps you at the edge of your seat, and a thriller to keep your heart pumping and fingers turning those pages. Laura Griffin is a new author to me, and she has quickly become a favorite. She writes the best mix of suspense and romance.

Hidden is the first book the “The Texas Murder Files” series where in this installation, a woman is found brutally murdered in the hike and bike trail in Austin. The main character is Bailey Rhoads who is an investigative report who is following this investigation. That leads us to the lead detective, Jacob Merritt who definitely has great chemistry with Bailey. I love a great cat and mouse type of a read and this one did not disappoint. I loved that the plot was intricate and razor sharp. Kept me thinking and guessing and I love the uniqueness of nothing is what it seems and for the characters to dig deeper into a complex and intricate web and dark secrets.

Griffin’s storytelling style is truly gripping and exciting. I love how she keeps the pacing going where the suspense just keeps building. The writing was fabulous and atmospheric – characters are great to read about and you feel the intensity of this suspenseful read.

What a great and fantastic start to this series. I cannot wait for more. In the meantime, I will be binging on Griffin’s other series.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:





Laura Griffin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty books. She is a two-time RITA Award winner, and her book Desperate Girls was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by Publishers Weekly. Booklist magazine calls Laura's popular Tracers series "the perfect mix of suspense and romance."
Series:
* Tracers
* Wolfe Security
* Texas Murder Files
* Alpha Crew
* Moreno and Hart Mysteries
* Glass Sisters
* The Borderline


Eighty Days to Elsewhere (An Exlibris Adventure) By: KC DYER - Berkley Pub Blog Tour


“The Amazing Race" meets Around the World in 80 Days as a woman desperate to save her family bookstore falls for her competition.

Born and raised in New York City, Ramona Keene dreams of attending photography school and traveling to Paris, but her reality never quite catches up with her imagination. Instead, she works at her uncles' quaint bookstore, where the tea is plentiful and all the adventures are between the covers of secondhand books. But when the new landlord arrives with his Evil Nephew in tow, Romy's quiet life comes crashing down. He plans to triple the rent, something her uncles can't afford.

In order to earn the money to help save the bookstore, Romy applies for a job at ExLibris Expeditions, a company that re-creates literary journeys. Romy snags the oddest internship ever: retrace Phileas Fogg's journey from Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days and plan a suitable, contemporary adventure for a client. The task is close to impossible; sticking to the original route means no commercial aircraft permitted, and she’s got a lot less than eighty days to work with. Shaking off her fear of leaving home, Romy takes on the challenge, only to discover she’s got competition. Worse, Dominic Madison turns out to be the – unfortunately hot – nephew of her family’s worst enemy.

Can Romy win the race and circle the globe in time to save the bookstore? And what happens when she starts to fall for the very person who may just be the death of her dreams?


Thoughts/Review:

This book had everything I loved – reading about a quaint bookstore that needs to be saved, a Jules Verne’s adventure by traveling all over the world, and of course falling in love (with the enemy) oops.  Since I read an early ARC Copy, I was not able to appreciate the illustrations available in the finished copy, which I definitely will be snagging very soon.

Ramona "Romy" Keene, a New Yorker and our introverted heroine who dreams of travelling to Paris and going to photography school needs to put on hold her dreams to save her uncle’s second hand book shop as the new landlord is set at increasing the rent which means closing down the bookstore. Romy has an opportunity to save the bookstore by joining the ExLibris Expeditions to perform a literary journey in 80 days to travel around the world - Romy has less than 50 days to do this. Mission Impossible if you ask me. 

This was the perfect read for me during the quarantine, where my travel dreams are put on hold and yet through this book, I was taken to so many adventures. I loved the beautiful writing that was vivid, and so beautiful and fun- I enjoyed the plot and enjoyed reading about the characters in this book especially Romy and Dominic. This was the perfect escape.

I really enjoyed this book so much!

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:




kc dyer loves to travel. When she’s not on the road, she resides in the wilds of British Columbia, where she likes to walk in the woods and write books. Her most recent novel, is a romantic comedy, published by Berkley Books. EIGHTY DAYS TO ELSEWHERE is the madcap story of a young woman so desperate to save her family’s bookstore that she undertakes a race around the world, but ends up falling for her competition.

She is the author of FINDING FRASER, an international bestseller in romantic comedy, and published by Berkley Books. US Weekly called FINDING FRASER a “humorous but relateable self-discovery tale”, and Bustle named it a ‘Must-Read for OUTLANDER fans”.

For teens, kc’s most recent work is FACING FIRE, a sequel to the acclaimed novel, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, published by Doubleday/Random House. kc is represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

 

The Rose and the Whip by Jae Hodges

Publication Date: March 25, 2020
WordCrafts Press
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook; 252 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Lidia Wardell walked naked through the Newbury meeting house. She was prosecuted, and publicly whipped for this crime. This event is common historical knowledge. The Rose and the Whip is set in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in May 1663, but tells the entire story of systematic persecution of dissenters, by dissenters. Lidia relates the story of her life, and the series of events that culminated in her decision to take this action in protest of the Puritan community leaders' treatment of Quakers. As she is charged, sentenced, and tied to the whipping post, then subsequently thrashed with twenty or thirty lashes, she critically examines each of these events and reflects on how they served to transform her and her perspectives on truth and faith.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | IndieBound

THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

The Rose and the Whip written by Jae Hodges is about the little known colonial period set in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1663. The story is centered on a woman named Lidia Wardell who expressed against the oppression against the Quakers by the Puritans. The same group of people who had left Mother England against religious prosecution only to exact brutal tactics of torment against the Quakers. Lidia, sick and tired of the heinous punishments and torture, decided to walk into the Newbury meeting house naked. Lidia was severely punished for this by being tied to a post and received lashes. 

Hodges wrote about our heroine, a strong woman who stood up against oppression and religious prosecution and unfair treatment of the Quakers. This was written well, and I found myself feeling every lash Lidia had to endure and truly sympathized with the Quakers. I felt that I learned a lot about the era which I was not very familiar with. I knew about the roles of women at the time, but was very enlightened to learn about the violence and unfair treatment by the Puritans. 

I recommend this amazing historical fiction read that really immersed me into that time period. Thank you to the author and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour for having me in this fantastic book tour.


About the Author

Everyone has a history and a story. Jae uses the most alluring stories from the chronicles of her own ancestry and others around her to create timeless tales of everyday people making history. On her quest to capture the essence of walking in their footsteps, she travels and uses her pencil and camera lens to imagine them in their own surroundings.
Jae lives on the Tennessee River in Alabama with her husband and companion pooch.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 27 Review at Books, Cooks, Looks Wednesday, July 29 Review at Passages to the Past Thursday, July 30 Interview at Passages to the Past Saturday, August 1 Review at Reading is My Remedy Wednesday, August 5 Review at Gwendalyn's Books Friday, August 7 Feature at I'm All About Books Wednesday, August 12 Review at Books and Zebras Thursday, August 13 Review at Older & Smarter Friday, August 14 Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals Monday, August 17 Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit Thursday, August 20 Review at Nurse Bookie

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of The Rose and the Whip by Jae Hodges! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Paperback giveaway is open to the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. Rose and the Whip

8/20/2020 LOSING CONTROL BY RACHEL STEWART

 







Losing Control

She watched him walk away…

…and now he’s back to claim her!

A family feud forced me to walk away from the woman of my dreams, Alexa—but I didn’t expect her to betray me by falling into my brother’s arms. Now, after a tragic accident, I’ve returned home to find Alexa leading the family business…and the chemistry between us is hotter than ever. The sparks reignite our electrifying connection, but can we learn to trust each other again? 

Thoughts/Review

I am so excited to be reading another Rachael Stewart romance. I love her books, the writing, the characters and just the heartwarming and steamy romance that is her brand of amazing. 

In Losing Control, our bad-boy "black sheep" Cain O'Connor is back and this time, not only to claim their family business but the one he left behind - Alexa. In a horrendous tragedy, her brother and father dies in an accident - Cain is left reeling from the betrayal he felt for them both. This was gut wrenching and so emotional. The story was well written, fast paced and quite the unputdownable book! So fair warning if you start this too late, forget about sleeping because your fingers will go wild turning those pages. 

The chemistry between Cain and Aexa are undeniable and oh so so hot! This steamy romance explores second chances, and the chance to forgive and follow your heart. What an amazing read I really enjoyed. 

Purchase Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0842DH5C7

US - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0842DH5C7

Author Bio –


Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.


She's been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she's not glued to her laptop, she's wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

Social Media Links –

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rachaelstewartauthor/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/rach_b52

Wesbite - https://rachaelstewartauthor.com/

Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Losing Control Rachael Stewart (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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494384/?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

8/18/20 THE LONDON RESTORATION BY RACHEL MCMILLAN @thomasnelsonbooks

The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan

Publication Date: August 18, 2020
Thomas Nelson
Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction
From author Rachel McMillan comes a richly researched historical romance that takes place in post-World War II London and features a strong female lead. Determined to save their marriage and the city they love, two people divided by World War II’s secrets rebuild their lives, their love, and their world. London, Fall 1945. Architectural historian Diana Somerville’s experience as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her knowledge of London’s churches intersect in MI6’s pursuit of a Russian agent named Eternity. Diana wants nothing more than to begin again with her husband Brent after their separation during the war, but her signing of the Official Secrets Act keeps him at a distance. Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King’s College, hopes aiding his wife with her church consultations will help him better understand why she disappeared when he needed her most. But he must find a way to reconcile his traumatic experiences as a stretcher bearer on the European front with her obvious lies about her wartime activities and whereabouts. Featuring a timeless love story bolstered by flashbacks and the excavation of a priceless Roman artifact, The London Restoration is a richly atmospheric look at post-war London as two people changed by war rebuild amidst the city’s reconstruction.

REVIEW:

I just love reading about this era in my historical fiction reads. And Rachel McMillan did this book justice. This was an incredible read I really enjoyed!

This story was centered around post World War II London - the time of "restoration", and the main characters Diana Somerville and her husband Brent. Just as London was recovering from the devastating effects of the war, so were Diana and Brent. The mystery, secrets, espionage, and trying to put your life back together - a marriage, after the harrowing war was really quite the read. 

McMillan transported me to the time with the rich detail and well-researched story. I learned a lot about the architectural history of one of my favorite cities to visit. This was a very exciting read for me because it had everything I wanted in a book. A historical fiction story with a touch of mystery and thrill. It was so beautifully written I really enjoyed this one. Well done Rachel McMillan, I am definitely a fan. 


 

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Rachel McMillan is the author of The Herringford and Watts mysteries, The Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries and The Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. Her next work of historical fiction, The London Restoration, releases in Summer 2020 and takes readers deep into the heart of London's most beautiful churches. Dream, Plan, Go (May, 2020) is her first work of non-fiction. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada and is always planning her next adventure.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, August 18 Review at Nursebookie Guest Post at Let Them Read Books Wednesday, August 19 Review at Austenprose Review at Amy's Booket List Thursday, August 20 Review at Gwendalyn's Books Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary Friday, August 21 Interview at Heidi Reads Review at Foals, Fiction, and Filligree Saturday, August 22 Review at Donna's Book Blog Monday, August 24 Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals Interview at The Green Mockingbird Tuesday, August 25 Review at The Green Mockingbird Wednesday, August 26 Review at 100 Pages a Day Interview on Jorie Loves A Story Thursday, August 27 Review at The Lit Bitch Friday, August 28 Review at Read Review Rejoice Saturday, August 29 Review at Books and Backroads Review at Reading is My Remedy Monday, August 31 Review at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 copies of The London Restoration! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter. The London Restoration

Saturday, August 15, 2020

8/15/20 Loving Well in a Broken World: Discover the Hidden Power of Empathy By Lauren Casper - EXCERPT TOUR



Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 18, 2020)
Language: English

How can we love our neighbors amid so much division and hurt?

Loving your neighbor as yourself would be easy if your neighbors were all people you understood, people you agreed with, people like you. But what about playground bullies, colleagues, refugees, online adversaries? They're all our neighbors, and Jesus said to love them. Every one. But how?

Lauren Casper believes the key is the lost art of empathy, stepping into other people’s shoes and asking what if?—what if it were my child? What if it were me? Casper helps us discover how to
identify our blind spots and tune our hearts to the stories around us;
seek and extend forgiveness with grace and humility; and
engage in diverse and meaningful relationships.

Following these steps will enable us to connect in simple but life-altering ways, to respond to conflict with grace, bring about needed change, and shine God’s unconditional love into a dark world.



THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

I loved this book! 

The writing was easy to understand and in each of the story chapters, Lauren Casper shares some of her most personal stories and relates it to a story from the bible. I find that as I read on, every story is so relatable to me and find it very endearing to read about how it also relates to some of my favorite movies and TV shows for example. 

Reading the chapters brought me so much joy and without being preachy teaches us how to love ourselves and others, empathize and learn to place ourselves in someone else's shoes, and to do this with joy, grace and humility. 

Overall, this is a book I find myself that I will read, and re-read, share with my family and friends, gift to colleagues and neighbors too. 

Thank you Lauren Casper for writing this and showing us how to be better versions of ourselves.


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:





Lauren Casper is a writer, speaker, and amateur baker. She is the founder of the popular blog laurencasper.com and has had numerous articles syndicated by The Huffington Post, The TODAY Show, Yahoo! News, and several other publications. Lauren and her husband, John, have two beautiful children and one fluffy dog. They make their home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.


Enjoy an Excerpt from the book:


Book Excerpt Ch.10 “The Next Right Thing”

 

Last summer I spent hours at the community pool with my children. We had reached that magical place where both kids knew how to swim well enough for me to sit on a lounge chair and watch from a distance as they splashed and dove and jumped off the diving board. There was a steady rotation of friends for the kids to play with, as well as parents for me to enjoy adult conversation with.

One afternoon I was preoccupied by an article I had read that morning about children being separated from their parents as families sought asylum in our nation. More and more information was coming out about the conditions they were forced to endure, and the national outcry had reached fever pitch. It was weighing heavy on my heart, so I, thinking it might be helpful to process this together, raised the issue with an acquaintance at the pool. I was stunned when she said she didn’t know what I was talking about.

This story had been front­page news for several weeks. How could she have missed it? Then she informed me that she had known something was going on, but she considered it too upsetting to know about, and so she had avoided the news altogether for over a month. In fact, she had stopped listening to the news on radio and television, checked only the email tab on her computer each day, and turned off all breaking­news notifications on her phone. She had put a lot of effort into protecting herself with detachment.

As shocked as I was that she was unaware of a crisis of such magnitude, a crisis that was harming human beings to such a degree that doctors classified it as a form of torture, I also recognized a bit of myself in her response. I, too, feel the pull of detachment when things break my heart.

We tend to think of such detachment as a sort of safe neutrality. We may not be doing anything to help, we tell ourselves, but at least we aren’t part of the problem. What we don’t see is the damage we do—to ourselves and others—when we move through life wearing noise­canceling headphones. Nor do we see the waste of all the potential good we might do if we engaged.

What might happen if we instead chose to redirect all the effort we invest in detachment into flinging the doors of our hearts wide open? What might happen if we turned toward the crisis rather than away from it? Perhaps it would actually make our hearts stronger. Perhaps we could use our creativity to act with compassion and make a difference in someone else’s life. We’ll never know how we could have played a role in changing the world for the better if we aren’t brave enough to open ourselves up to the things that scare us.

The lengths to which we’ll go to distance ourselves from knowing too much about the suffering of others stems from a desire to protect ourselves from feeling the weight of this broken world. We’re afraid we’ll buckle beneath it. But our efforts do nothing to alleviate that suffering. I’m pretty sure that when a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see or hear it, the tree still falls. Like it or not, when faced with heartbreak, we are always making a choice—to love or not to love.

Empathy is an invitation to love by choosing action. God has been shaping and preparing us our entire lives for this calling—to love our neighbor. Whether the neighbor is across the street or across the ocean, in the county jail or the nursing home, in the rehabilitation center or the maternity ward, at the border or the halls of congress, on the school campus or in the office cubicle—we make little choices to love or not love every day.

If we’ll let it, the brokenness of the world can be the beginning of a beautiful journey. So, what’s breaking your heart? What are you avoiding out of fear it might keep you up at night if you linger a little longer?

Is it hungry children?

Homelessness?

Those battling addiction?

Those who are incarcerated?

Refugees?

Cancer patients?

Teenage mothers?

Gun violence?

Racial injustice?

The effects of climate change on our children?

Lack of access to clean water?

LGBTQ+ youth?

Victims of sexual assault?

Bereaved parents or spouses?

People struggling with mental illness?

Don’t turn away from whatever it is that makes your heart break and your eyes well up with tears. Sit with it a little longer and see where your heart might lead you. Maybe you’ll find yourself working at the county jail, volunteering at a rehabilitation center, or serving at a homeless shelter. Perhaps you’ll sit fidgeting in a basement meeting room one evening and find yourself diving headfirst into activism. You might finally begin working for that law degree or find yourself demanding justice via megaphone on the steps of the Capitol building. Maybe you’ll pass out hugs at a Pride Parade and find yourself locked in the embrace of a son or daughter who hasn’t known the hug of a mother or father in years.

Where is empathy leading you to love? You might be scared, I know I am, but the next right thing is simply showing up—and we can do it.

 

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