Friday, October 29, 2021
Spooky Quick Reviews
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Last House on the Street
From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel that perfectly interweaves history, mystery, and social justice.
When Kayla Carter's husband dies in an accident while building their dream house, she knows she has to stay strong for their four-year-old daughter. But the trophy home in Shadow Ridge Estates, a new development in sleepy Round Hill, North Carolina, will always hold tragic memories. But when she is confronted by an odd, older woman telling her not to move in, she almost agrees. It's clear this woman has some kind of connection to the area...and a connection to Kayla herself. Kayla's elderly new neighbor, Ellie Hockley, is more welcoming, but it's clear she, too, has secrets that stretch back almost fifty years. Is Ellie on a quest to right the wrongs of the past? And does the house at the end of the street hold the key? Told in dual time periods, The Last House on the Street is a novel of shocking prejudice and violence, forbidden love, the search for justice, and the tangled vines of two families. - from Goodreads
This sounds a bit creepy! I need to know what's going on!
Monday, October 25, 2021
Blog Tour + Excerpt: Love In A Pickle
Love in a Pickle, an all-new standalone contemporary romance from L.B. Dunbar, is LIVE in Kindle Unlimited!
When a mysterious silver fox becomes intrigued with this small town’s most disliked society woman, he finds she’s more than a little trouble and possibly a whole lot of heart.
Scotia Simmons. The name says it all—ornery, judgmental, mean—but underneath a woman like that is typically a shattered heart. Locked within her secrets, this fried pickle princess has used her unkindness as a shield of protection against the loneliness. However, menopause and a one-night stand can change a woman’s perspective on things. Who knew it would take a man the likes of him to push her strong will to its limits?
Chester Chesterfield. The name has more than one meaning—generous, quiet, private—but within one man is a multitude of personas. The gruff oil mogul has a wounded heart (and a big secret) that holds him hostage from the man he’s meant to be. His past defined him, or so he thought. He never imagined it’d take a woman like her to push him over his carefully constructed edges and show him love has no boundaries.
When you’re in a pickle, it’s time to relish what—or rather who—stands before you and accept that even over forty, a second chance at love can be a big dill (every pun intended).
'Love in a Pickle' is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #9 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.
Grab your copy TODAY!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2VRtcAq
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3shpCLq
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3j2eVcA
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3D07VF8
Read the Green Valley Library Series of Standalones for F-R-E-E in Kindle Unlimited!
I give Chester a five-second head start before I follow him. My heart bleeds for him after hearing the story he’s told me. This big, beautiful man—his heartbreak is so huge.
We move away from the crackle and snap of the fire and into silent darkness. The loud crunch of my wellies on gravel echoes in the night. My sister’s farm has been restored now that she owns it outright and shares the land with Jedd. He’s built a horse barn on the property, and Chester stalks in the direction of the structure.
I want him to talk to me, but he continues to walk faster without looking back. With his long legs, he’s put quite a distance between us. He detours into the barn as I’d suspected. Once I enter, he seems to have disappeared inside the dark building. Despite a dim light illuminating the passageway, I’ve lost him.
“I know you’re in here,” I call out as if we’re children playing a game of hide-and-seek. Perhaps we are, as it seems we share bits and pieces of ourselves with one another, hiding truths, and then seeking full disclosure. We’re . . . curious . . . about each other, or at least, I am about him. I want to know more about him. And I’m not letting him walk away after the bomb he just dropped.
I pause before a horse stall. The heavy breath of Lucky One steams into the cold passageway. Jedd breeds and trains horses for the rodeo. It’s a process I don’t pretend to understand, not being much of an animal lover myself, but it makes him happy. Jedd’s happiness makes Beverly ecstatic, which is something she rightfully deserves after all she’s been through.
I think about Chester. His best friend, Davis, and his wife, Harper, lost their lives in a house fire, leaving behind three beautiful boys. Chester is now their guardian and an excellent provider for them. For a moment, I wonder why he doesn’t live with them. Why does he live in a bus just over the border instead of the valley? I suppose the locale might have something to do with his ownership of The Fugitive, but then again, his Chesterfield Oil offices are said to be in Knoxville. There’s a hefty distance between the locations with Green Valley in the middle.
I’d reach up to pet the horse, but I’m afraid he’ll bite me. Jedd likes to call him a mean sonofabitch, yet surprisingly, the animal has a soft spot for Beverly. While Beverly loves animals, Naomi loves the woods, which reminds me of her Samhain ritual later tonight. I’m doing my part to keep up the sisterhood rejuvenation plan, and after what I’ve learned about Chester’s friends, I take a moment to recognize I’m blessed that my sisters are still with me. I’ve missed them. We’re very different people as adults, and in many ways, it should make us more incompatible than ever, but there’s something about blood I can’t deny. My sisters are the truest people I have in my life next to my daughter, who I haven’t spoken to in a week.
After a few minutes, I decide I’m not going to find Chester in the dimly lit barn and give up on the hope of him speaking further to me. I turn toward the entrance and pause when I see him blocking my exit.
“Why did you follow me?” His low, gruff tone startles me, and we stare at one another for a minute.
“Because I don’t want you hurting. That was a lot you shared, and I just want to be sure you’re—”
I’m cut off from more words as he closes the distance between us in three broad steps and crushes his mouth to mine. His hands firmly cup my face. He kisses me as though he can’t get close enough. Our mouths nip and suck, devouring one another, reminding me how I’ve never been thoroughly kissed. Never like this.
About L.B. Dunbar
L.B. Dunbar has an overactive imagination. To her benefit, such creativity has led to over thirty romance novels, including those offering a second chance at love over 40. Her signature works include the #sexysilverfoxes collection of mature males and feisty vixens ready for romance in their prime years. She’s also written stories of small-town romance (Heart Collection), rockstar mayhem (The Legendary Rock Stars Series), and a twist on intrigue and redemption (Redemption Island Duet). She’s had several alter egos including elda lore, a writer of romantic magical realism through mythological retellings (Modern Descendants). In another life, she wanted to be an anthropologist and journalist. Instead, she was a middle school language arts teacher. The greatest story in her life is with the one and only, and their four grown children. Learn more about L.B. Dunbar by joining her reader group on Facebook (Loving L.B.) or subscribing to her newsletter (Love Notes).
Find L.B. Dunbar online
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Friday, October 22, 2021
Fiction/Nonfiction Quick Reviews: The Kennedy Edition
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Can't-Wait Wednesday: Weather Girl
A TV meteorologist and a sports reporter scheme to reunite their divorced bosses with unforecasted results in this charming romantic comedy from the author of The Ex Talk.
Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.
In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.
Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies? - from Goodreads
My sister has gotten me hooked on Rachel Lynn Solomon, so I'm definitely looking forward to this romance!
Monday, October 18, 2021
Guest Blogger: Backlist Musings
Do you deep dive into author’s backlists? Are there any authors that you have read pretty much everything they’ve ever written?
Friday, October 15, 2021
Blog Tour + Excerpt: Forrest For The Trees
Forrest for the Trees, an all new slow burn small town romance from Kilby Blades, is LIVE in Kindle Unlimited!
Forrest Winters isn’t just a federal fire marshal; he’s a thorn in Ranger Sierra Betts’s side. The way he swings his big axe, fixes her with his chameleon gray eyes, and talks about his jurisdiction has a way of breaking her concentration. He has a way of showing up everywhere he doesn’t belong, including Greenbrier Ranger Station. And he really needs to quit stealing her bacon bites.
When a series of suspicious fires, an underhanded co-worker, and a cagey Parks Police Chief threaten her job and the park itself, Sierra grudgingly agrees to partner with Forrest. Their side investigation may be her best shot at preventing the framing of an innocent man. But can his firefighting expertise and her detective skills lead them to the real arsonist before Forrest breaks her with his charm?
'Forrest for the Trees' is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone and is book #1 in the Green Valley Heroes series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe
Grab your copy TODAY!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3mjGDE7
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3xRkjUh
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2XjDnhh
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3jYau1N
“Do you walk around with bacon in your pocket or something?” Sierra asked.
Forrest gave Everest a final rub and rose to his feet. “I reckon it’s just good, old-fashioned Southern charm.”
Reaching toward his face, he pushed up the temple of his sunglasses until they sat on top of his head. Forrest looked down at her, smirk on his face, as usual, having his fun. Only, for Sierra, there was nothing fun about the heat that rose to her ears every time his gaze set on her, clouding her thinking with his smoky eyes.
Forrest’s eyes weren’t just gray, and they weren’t “just eyes.” His gaze was penetrating and clear, with dark lashes that matched his dark hair. His irises were never the same, though whatever their hue at any given moment, a dark charcoal ring that looked like drawn pencil outlined the lighter color, adding intensity. Today they shone brightly—the color of wet shale—a stark difference from the last time she’d seen him. They’d turned dark, like slate, when he’d talked about the fires. There was something wondrous, and magical, and devastating about watching the way they changed.
“What are you doing in my neck of the woods?”
Forrest chuckled and crossed his arms. “Your woods again, huh?”
Sierra mirrored his posture. “‘Neck of the woods’ is a Southernism. I know how y’all like your sayings.”
He laughed again, his voice rich and deep—another thing about him she had the bad habit of replaying in her mind.
“Better than a pig likes slop.” Forrest’s eyes twinkled.
It made Sierra grateful for her own sunglasses—windows to her soul, and all. She didn’t want to think what Forrest might notice if he really saw her then. He would never stop gloating if he knew of her susceptibility to his allure.
“You never said what you were doing here,” she pointed out.
“Following up on some potential fire hazards. Just being vigilant. You know how it is …”
Sierra nodded. “I do.”
“I was just down at the ranger station …” he began haltingly. “I wanted to thank you for what you left me—you know, my fire marshal snacks.”
Sierra bit her lip against her own smile. “You liked that, huh?”
“Not just me. The guys thought it was pretty funny.”
“You told me you could read, so I figured …” She trailed off innocently, and shrugged.
After their last conversation and his repeated, willful ignorance of her Tupperware marked specifically as being “Ranger Snacks,” she’d brought in a smaller Tupperware labeled “Fire Marshal Snacks.”
“Sad thing is, a different fire marshal must’ve beat me to it,” he continued. “Imagine my disappointment when I opened the container and it was empty.”
“Oh, no!” She feigned shock. “What did you do?”
“Picked up the phone and called Ed Ellis. Asked him to put out an APB to track down whoever had my bites.”
“Then you helped yourself to the ranger bites, I’m guessing.”
He made a production out of looking distraught. “They’re not as good as fire marshal bites, but I had no choice.”
He didn’t take his gaze off of her. When heat rose again in her ears, she knew she had to go. Plus, if she didn’t get moving, she really would be late.
“Nice to see you, Marshal Winters.”
His smirk melted into a half-smile. “Always a pleasure, Ranger Betts.”
About Kilby Blades
Kilby Blades is a USA Today Bestselling author of Romance and Women's Fiction. Her debut novel, Snapdragon, was a HOLT Medallion finalist, a Publisher's Weekly BookLife Prize Semi-Finalist, and an IPPY Award medalist. Kilby was honored with an RSJ Emma Award for Best Debut Author in 2018, and has been lauded by critics for "easing feminism and equality into her novels" (IndieReader) and "writing characters who complement each other like a fine wine does a good meal" (Publisher's Weekly).
During her career as a digital marketing executive, she moonlighted as a journalist, freelanced as a food, wine and travel writer and lived it up as an entertainment columnist. She has lived in five countries, visited more than twenty-five, and spends part of her year in her happy place in the Andes Mountains. Kilby is a feminist, an oenophile, a cinephile, a social-justice fighter, and above all else, a glutton for a good story. Follow her everywhere @kilbyblades.
Find Kilby Blades online
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Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Blog Tour + Review: A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale
From "A holiday publishing darling" (Entertainment Weekly) and Emmy Award-winning writer of Netflix's hit rom-com A Christmas Prince comes this heartwarming, feel-good Christmas romance about the power of believing in yourself to find your happily ever after...
A charming Christmas village, a storybook castle, a royal ball, and a gorgeous prince are the last things New York City reporter Kaylie Karlyle expects to find on her holiday freelance assignment to Europe. But when the family she's interviewing turns out to be the royal family of Tolvania, Kaylie has a meltdown when the quirky queen wants her to write a Christmas fairy tale for the spunky, young princess. Kaylie must battle the princess's father, who doesn't trust the media, and her own insecurities about writing anything beyond the news.
To spark inspiration for the fairy tale, the queen recruits the prickly Prince Alexander to show Kaylie the family's most spectacular royal holiday traditions. And sparks definitely fly when the only thing Kaylie and the prince agree on is that they're both more "bah humbug" than "ho, ho, ho."
But somewhere between sleigh rides and snow angels, merrymaking and mistletoe, upside-down Christmas trees, and a legendary Christmas crown, Kaylie and the prince open their hearts to Christmas and start believing in themselves and each other. It's a real-life fairy tale in the making until Kaylie discovers a secret about a royal Christmas heirloom that jeopardizes everyone's happily ever after. Can the magic of the season save this holiday happy ending? - from Goodreads
Monday, October 11, 2021
Blog Tour + Review: Today's Wonder Women
Meet the women and female-identifying heroes who have defied death, flouted cultural norms, and risen above poverty to become CEOs, entrepreneurs, activists, role models, media moguls, and movement creators. This collection of stories, essays, and interviews celebrates their superpowers: love, determination, vision, and grit. These 50 women share their wisdom and advice in ways that will inspire you to discover your own superpower.
Each story will transport you into the life and perspective of one who dares to challenge the status quo, dismantle barriers, and empower those around her: Alexa Carlin, a CEO at the age of 17, overcame a 1% chance of surviving sepsis and started the Women Empowerment Expo; Mariah Hanson launched "the Dinah," the world's largest party and music festival for lesbians; activist and gun control advocate Shira Tarantino founded the ENOUGH Campaign; Laverne Delgado is program director of Fashion & Freedom, which rescues victims of sex trafficking and helps them learn skills to enter the fashion industry; plus dozens of other women who refused to accept societal limitations and whose achievements offer inspiring lessons for us all. - from Goodreads
Friday, October 8, 2021
Try It, You Might Like It #12: Dark Romance
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Can't-Wait Wednesday: Never Fall for Your Fiancée
The first in a new historical rom-com series, a handsome earl hires a fake fiancée to keep his matchmaking mother at bay, but hilarity ensues when love threatens to complicate everything.
The last thing Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, ever wants is a wife. Unfortunately for him, his mother is determined to find him one, even from across the other side of the ocean. So, Hugh invents a fake fiancée to keep his mother’s matchmaking ways at bay. But when Hugh learns his interfering mother is on a ship bound for England, he realizes his complicated, convoluted but convenient ruse is about to implode. Until he collides with a beautiful woman, who might just be the miracle he needs.
Minerva Merriwell has had to struggle to support herself and her two younger sisters ever since their feckless father abandoned them. Work as a woodcut engraver is few and far between, and the Merriwell sisters are nearly penniless. So, when Hugh asks Minerva to pose as his fiancée while his mother is visiting, she knows that while the scheme sounds ludicrous, the offer is too good to pass up.
Once Minerva and her sisters arrive at Hugh's estate, of course, nothing goes according to his meticulous plan. As hilarity and miscommunication ensue, while everyone tries to keep their tangled stories straight, Hugh and Minerva’s fake engagement starts to turn into a real romance. But can they trust each other, when their relationship started with a lie? - from Goodreads
This had me at historical rom-com!
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves
- Synopses that don't give an accurate description of the book: I
hate when I start reading a book, thinking it's about one thing, and I
get something completely different. This seems to be happening a lot lately with the romances I'm reading - I think it's going to be light/fluffy/funny, and it's anything but!
- Long paragraphs/chapters: If a paragraph is too long, I'm likely going to skim it. I like details, but breaking it up with some
dialogue or into smaller paragraphs is just easier to read. Also, it's a
quirk, but I usually look ahead to see how long a chapter is before I
start it. I don't like stopping in the middle, so long chapters are kind of a bummer.
- People who are not careful with their books: I try to keep my books
in good condition, so it irks me when I lend a book to someone and I
get it back with folded pages, ripped covers, or broken spines, or I don't get it back at all and have to buy a new one!
- Quick or convenient endings: Some books have so much going on and then, all of a sudden, they just end. If I've invested all this time in a book, I want a satisfying ending! Not one that ties up all the plot lines in a page or two, in ways that make it seem like the author was taking the easy way out, ran out of ideas, or hit their page limit.
- Perfect characters: Perfect people don't exist - when a character is beautiful/handsome, and smart, and successful, and kind, etc., it just makes me want to roll my eyes.
- Ugly book covers: I'm gonna be honest, I totally judge books by their covers, so if the cover is too garish, inappropriate, or cheap-looking, I probably won't even take the time to see what the book is about.
- Starred reviews on Goodreads before a book is even released: I'm not talking about people who have ARCs and review the book early, but those people who rate a book before they've even read it, or when the cover or blurb comes out. It's okay to say you're excited, but giving a 5-star review for a book you haven't even seen yet is so misleading! And don't get me started on people who leave 1-star reviews just because they don't like the blurb or have some issue with the author.
- Unrealistic dialogue: Sometimes characters give long monologues or just way too much detail in their dialogue, and I don't think people talk that way in real life!
- Overused phrases: There are just some phrases that so many authors seem to use - "fiercely independent" is one that comes to mind. Another is "massive curls" to describe someone's hair - I feel like I don't know THAT many people with curly hair, yet they seem to pop up in every book I read, and it's always described the same way.
- Poorly edited books: OMG, typos! I can't stand typos, and if a character's name is spelled two different ways on the same page, that's a big problem. Let's be real, I make mistakes all the time in my posts, but this is not a published book that someone will spend money on!