Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Blog Tour: A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

Author: Sarah E. Ladd
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Date of publication: May 16, 2017

Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?
In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.
Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.

As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.

Purchase Links

In A Stranger at Fellsworth,  Annabelle finds herself in a horrible situation of being forced to marry an evil and despicable man.  She fears for her life and decides to create her own destiny.  Hoping to find sanctuary, she flees to her aunt and uncle's school with the help of Owen, a gamekeeper on the estate near the school.  

I ended up enjoying this sweet and clean romance.  I admired Annabelle in her decision to take a chance on her own future.  Despite living a sheltered and pampered life of a lady, she was willing to learn how to do without and become someone new.  She didn't shy away from honest work.  I also loved Owen and his devotion to his daughter, despite rumors of her paternity.  His push to provide something better for her was admirable.  The romance in this one is subtle, but I ended up really buying into it.  

I definitely recommend this one. There is also a bit of a mystery and some tense action moments toward the end.  It's the third in a series, but works completely as a stand alone.  I look forward to reading more out of the series.

About Sarah E. Ladd

Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance.

Connect with Sarah

Sarah E. Ladd’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, May 15th: Laura’s Reviews – Excerpt
Tuesday, May 16th: Books a la Mode – Back cover/Suggest a subtitle game
Wednesday, May 17th: Just Commonly – Bio and audio clip
Friday, May 19th: Reading is My SuperPower – Excerpt
Monday, May 22nd: Let Them Read Books – Excerpt
Wednesday, May 24th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Back cover/What’s she thinking? game
Thursday, May 25th: View from the Birdhouse -Bio and audio clip
Tuesday, May 30th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 5th: Suzy Approved
Tuesday, June 6th: Laura’s Reviews
Wednesday, June 7th: Reviews from the Heart
Monday, June 12th: A Holland Reads
Tuesday, June 13th: Just Commonly
Thursday, June 15th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, June 19th: Reading is My Super Power
Monday, June 26th: A Night’s Dream of Books

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May Mini Musings

The Delphi Effect:  This one was just OK for me in the end. At times, I had a hard time following what was going on and had to re-listen to parts. I mean I got the gist of it, but the ending left me with so many questions. It was really dull during parts because there are places where nothing really happens. The main character, Anna, made a lot of really stupid decisions  There were also way too many pop culture references for my taste.  Those tend to take me out of the story because they don't feel authentic to the one I am reading.  The author must be a Harry Potter fan because those books are mentioned a ton in this book. I may peek at the next one, but I won't be eagerly awaiting it.

Gone for You:  This was a pretty predictable "rocker" romance. Nothing really I haven't read before.  I'm not sure I really buy into a player finally meeting the "one" who stops them from being a complete dog.  The romance was a bit quick for me.  I'm not sure I bought the love after a week but whatever.  It was a quick read, so there is that.

The Polygamist's Daughter:  It took me a really long time to get through this book.  I never want to criticize someone's memoir, because it was their own experience,  However, the book was kind of boring.  It kind of read like a laundry list of what happened to her.  I'm not discounting what she went through.  It is horrific to think about any child living a life like that.  I guess I was thinking it would be more of a true crime novel.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Blog Tour: All that is Solid Melts into Air by Carole Giangrande

Author:  Carole Giangrande
Publisher: Inanna Publications 
Date of publication: May 15, 2017

In the morning fog of the North Atlantic, Valerie hears the frenetic ticking of clocks. She’s come from Toronto to hike on the French island of St. Pierre and to ponder her marriage to Gerard Lefèvre, a Montrealer and a broadcast journalist whose passion for justice was ignited in his youth by the death of his lover in an airline bombing. He's a restless traveller (who she suspects is unfaithful) and she's the opposite: quiet, with an inner life she nurtures as a horticulturalist. Valerie's thinking about Gerard on assignment in her native New York City, where their son Andre works. In New York City, an airplane has plunged into a skyscraper, and in the short time before anyone understands the significance of this event, Valerie's mind begins to spiral in and out of the present moment, circling around her intense memories of her father's death, her youthful relationship with troubled Matthew, and her pregnancy with his child, the crisis that led to her marriage to Gerard, and her fears for the safety of her son Andre and his partner James. Unable to reach her loved ones, Valerie finds memory intruding on a surreal and dreamlike present until at last she connects with Gerard and the final horror of that day.

All that is Solid Melts into Air is the story of one woman's journey through the uncertainty of the day on 9/11 and subsequent days after.  It's kind of a hard book to say whether or not I liked it.  I'm not sure I can tell you either way.  It's a book that I think will affect everyone differently. It's a definitely a heavy book and one I couldn't read in one sitting.

 I thought the author did a really good job of portraying the panic and anxiety of that day.  With Valerie being on an island in France, she is cut off from reaching her husband and son to see if they are OK.  It brought back memories for me of that day and not knowing if coworkers who were traveling that day were safe.  Not knowing if loved ones in DC were safe.  Not knowing what was happening to our country.  Having said that, I'm not sure this book completely worked for me.  There were time jumps and memory sequences that made for a disjointed read.  The flow of the book wasn't as smooth as I would have liked.  I found myself wanting to skim parts.

 I do recommend giving it a  try.  While hard to read at times, I feel it's a book you have to experience for yourself.  Check out the list below to see what others think about that book.

"With shattering grace Giangrande divines catastrophic grief, the redemptive power of ephemeral joys, and the interconnectedness of all things as past and present conflate in terrorism's chaos. Memory becomes balm as life, all life, is porous. Exquisite, devastating, this book is a bomb." —Carol Bruneau, author of These Good Hands

"An elegy for lost innocence, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is at once extremely sad and exquisitely hopeful. Its hopefulness resides mainly in the stubborn resonance of the quotidian, and in the kind hearts and good wills of those who refuse to accept evil, no matter how often it crashes into their lives. Carole Giangrande has achieved a great deal in this short, beautiful book; confronting the incomprehensible without despair and describing profound grief without sentimentality." —Susan Glickman, author of The Tale-Teller and Safe as Houses

"All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is above all a compassionate book. Carole Giangrande takes that horrifying day—September 11, 2001—and filters it though the consciousness of a woman, Valerie, whose loved ones are in Manhattan as the crisis unfolds. She doesn’t know whether they are dead or alive, and Giangrande is masterful in her expression of Valerie’s surreal state of mind. The book captures with gut-wrenching acuity the anxiety, fear and distress of not only that particular day but of our current social climate as well. No one is safe anymore—was anyone, ever?—and our perceptions rule us: “The truth was that everything you looked at had to pass through the lens of what you imagined you saw. It was up to you to decide what was real.”  Timely words from a timely book." —Eva Tihanyi, author of The Largeness of Rescue

Purchase Links

About the author:

Born and raised in the New York City area, Carole Giangrande is a Toronto-based novelist and author of nine books, including the award-winning novella A Gardener on the Moon, the novels An Ordinary Star and A Forest Burning, the short story collection, Missing Persons and the novellas Here Comes The Dreamer and Midsummer. Her third novel, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air will be published in Spring 2017. She's worked as a broadcast journalist for CBC Radio (Canada's public broadcaster) and her fiction, poetry, articles and reviews have appeared in Canada’s major journals and newspapers (Her essay "Goshawk" was Lyric Essay Award Winner in the Eastern Iowa Review, 2016). She's read her fiction at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre, at the Banff Centre for the Arts (as an Artist-in-Residence), the University of Toronto, on radio and at numerous public venues. She has recently completed another novel.

Find out more about Carole at her website, and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Books We Didn't Finish - May edition

Hard-Hearted Highlander: So far I have been wishy-washy on this series. However, I had to DNF this one pretty early on.  I couldn't make myself like the characters or the situation they were put in.  I was also very put off by the Arran from the first book telling his son, Rabbie, to marry the 17 year old and take a mistress on the side.  That seemed so far from his character who is still supposed to be so in love with his wife after all these years.  I'm not sure if I will continue with this series.

The Dangerous Billionaire: This book is about Navy SEAL Billionaires.  Did I mention Van is a Navy SEAL?  Because he is and he will remind you of that just about every chapter.  And Chloe has had a crush on Van since she was 16, because she has.  Yes, it was a bit repetitive and kind of dull.  I didn't find the attraction between Van and Chloe convincing.  I DNF'd it at about 50%.

100 Hours:  Have you ever watched one of those really bad teen horror/survival movies on Netflix?  You know the ones that have one or two star ratings but the synopsis makes it seem it might be entertaining, but they turn out to be garbage?  Yeah, that is this book. I only made it about 25%. It has TSTL,forgettable teens and after spending time with them I really didn't care if any of them were kidnapped or made it out in the end.

The Beast is an Animal:  I gave it the old college try, but had to admit defeat at about 25%.  This book was so boring.  What could have been a creepy fairy tale, was just so dull.  The story was a mess.  I had no idea what was really going on.  I say pass on this one.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Blog Tour: True to You by Becky Wade

Author: Becky Wade
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date of publication: May 2017

It’s the exciting start of a brand-new series by a contemporary romance fan favorite!

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

True to You is the first in a new series featuring the Bradford sisters.  This is Nora's story.  Out of her three sisters, she is the "smart" one.  She has resigned herself to a single life buried in book romances.  Until she meets John.  He's a war hero, former Navy SEAL and all around nice guy.  The only problem is he has a girlfriend.

It thought this was a sweet romance. I loved watching Nora and John fall for each other. I will admit that I read this late into the night.  I was really drawn to this couple and their story. I felt like their struggle with things in their life was real.  I also appreciated that they were shown as struggling with their faith and how to let it help them. I was also eager to find out if John found his birth mother or not.

It did bother me a bit that John had a girlfriend when he met Nora.  As his feelings for her seemed to grow, he did do the right thing by distancing himself from Nora before anything inappropriate happened. So, that made me feel a bit better about the situation.  

I do recommend book.  I ended up really enjoying it.  I can't wait to read Willow and Britt's stories. Britt really needs to wake up and see what it standing right next to her!

About the author:

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky is the Carol Award-, INSPY Award-, and International Reader’s Choice Award-winning author of the Porter Family Novels.

Find out more about Becky at

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Spotlight: A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi

Author: Nadia Hashimi
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: August 2016

A vivid, unforgettable story of an unlikely sisterhood—an emotionally powerful and haunting tale of friendship that illuminates the plight of women in a traditional culture—from the author of the bestselling The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and When the Moon Is Low.

For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did, and demands justice.

Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed. As Zeba awaits trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have also led them to these bleak cells: thirty-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an honor killing; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, who ran away from home with her teenage sister but now stays in the prison because it is safe shelter; and nineteen-year-old Mezhgan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for her lover’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she been imprisoned, as they have been, for breaking some social rule? For these women, the prison is both a haven and a punishment. Removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood.
Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba’s Afghan-born, American-raised lawyer, whose 
commitment to human rights and desire to help his motherland have brought him back. With the fate of this seemingly ordinary housewife in his hands, Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines.

A moving look at the lives of modern Afghan women, A House Without Windows is astonishing, frightening, and triumphant.

About Nadia Hashimi

Nadia Hashimi was born and raised in New York and New Jersey. Both her parents were born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. In 2002, Nadia made her first trip to Afghanistan with her parents. She is a pediatrician and lives with her family in the Washington, DC, suburbs.

Find out more about Nadia at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Tour Stops

Wednesday, May 17th: Real Life Reading
Wednesday, May 17th: A Bookish Affair
Thursday, May 18th: Helen’s Book Blog
Friday, May 19th: Tina Says…
Monday, May 22nd: Reading is My Super Power
Tuesday, May 23rd: Girl Who Reads
Thursday, May 25th:From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, May 24th: BookNAround
Thursday, May 25th: The Book Diva’s Reads
Friday, May 26th: Read Her Like an Open Book
Monday, May 29th: Based on a True Story
Wednesday, May 31st: A Literary Vacation
Thursday, June 1st: G. Jacks Writes
Friday, June 2nd: Jenn’s Bookshelves

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Excerpt Reveal: Salvaged by Jay Crownover

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series with the next thrilling standalone, SALVAGED! Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below and pre-order your copy today!
Author: Jay Crownover
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: June 20

Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it. 

Pre-order Links:


Enjoy this excerpt!

I rounded the corner at the end of my block and came to a halt. The puppy took that as a sign that we were done playing outside and started jumping all over my lower legs and pawing at my shins. He whined at me until I picked him up, and as soon as he could reach my face, his little tongue started darting all over my chin and cheeks. I wondered if he could feel the tension that made my limbs stiff and the anxiety that tightened all my muscles. I felt my breath catch in the back of my throat and there was no stopping my eyes from rapidly blinking to make sure what I was seeing was real and not a figment of my imagination.
He looked like one of those black-and-white art prints that hung in every diner and restaurant I’d ever eaten in. The one that was a throwback to another era when cool was something you had to cultivate and couldn’t buy on Amazon. He was leaning against a black-and-silver car that looked like it should be on the cover of a hot-rod magazine and not parked on a busy and crowded Capitol Hill street. He had on dark jeans and a dark canvas jacket that had the logo of his garage embroidered on the front. His ankles were crossed on the curb in front of him and one booted foot bounced up and down, giving the impression that he’d been waiting for me for a while. His arms were crossed over his chest and his eyes were locked on mine as I stood still, unsure what to do. He had an effortless kind of charisma that radiated off of him. It was equal parts intimidating and irresistible. I was unsure if my feet wanted to rush me toward him or run me as far from him as possible.
The puppy made the decision for me. Seeing another human, and thus another opportunity for pats and rubs, he threw his wiggling little body out of my arms before I could react. He hit the ground with a little yelp and then bolted right for Wheeler. I let out a gasp and took off after him thinking I could catch the end of the leash that was trailing behind him. I didn’t want him to run into the road or veer off into a yard where he didn’t belong. I was light-years away from being able to handle a confrontation with a hostile stranger that didn’t want the puppy in their space.
I didn’t need to worry because Wheeler pushed his long, lean frame off the polished side of the car and reached the scrambling animal within just a few strides. He crouched down as the puppy hurled himself into his arms and scooped the excited bundle up in one fluid motion. Then he was rising back up to his full height, which meant he was towering over me when I made my way over to where he was standing. I was embarrassed at how out of breath I was. I was supposed to be stronger than I was before, but I could hardly handle a little jog up the block or the way my heart raced at the sight of him.

I shook my head and put my hands on my hips as I looked up and into those arctic eyes. He was scratching the puppy under the chin and looking at me from under lashes that had the barest hint of red to them. “Why don’t you have a coat on?”
It wasn’t what I was expecting but his question reminded me that I was cold and that the lightweight hoodie that had the Saints of Denver logo on it wasn’t doing much to keep the bitter chill in the air off my skin. The shirt came from the tattoo shop where both Rowdy and Salem worked and was probably the most exciting garment I had in my closet. It was the only thing I owned that was bright and colorful. I rubbed my arms up and down and fired my own question right back at him. “What are you doing here?”
The puppy barked like he was telling me not to be rude but I was unsettled by Wheeler’s unexpected appearance, and not the typical unsettled that I struggled with because he was a man that I didn’t know. It was the kind of unsettled that made parts of my body I forget could react to an attractive man feel warm and tingly. The kind of unsettled that had me involuntarily leaning closer to him as he started to shift so that he could pull his heavy jacket off one arm without letting go of the dog.
“I wanted to talk to you about the dog. Did you find someone to take him yet?” He shifted the puppy to his now bare arm as I watched the endless amounts of ink that covered his skin move and flex as he shook his other arm free of the coat.
“Uh…not really.” The truth was I hadn’t really put that much effort into finding someone because I didn’t want to let the puppy go. In just a few days I’d grown surprisingly attached even though I knew I wasn’t allowed to keep him in my apartment. I’d already asked since Dixie was allowed to keep Dolly, but the landlord informed they were grandfathered in before the laws surrounding pit bulls in Denver changed. My little guy wasn’t that lucky.
My response made Wheeler chuckle. He stared at me silently as he held out the coat he’d taken off in his free hand.
“Put this on.” I stared at him like he’d suddenly started speaking Russian until he shook the coat again and frowned at me. His voice was serious and left no room for argument when he repeated the command. “Put this on, Poppy.”

Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with SALVAGED, available June 20, 2017
Preorder and fill out the form here

Enter your name, email address, and the order number from your pre-order receipt on the form to receive an advance excerpt of DIGNITY and a Saints of Denver Doodle download to print at home. 
Entries must be received by midnight PST on June 19th to be eligible.
The print-at-home Doodle and Dignity excerpt will be emailed the week of June 20th

About the author:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked MenThe Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her dogs.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blog Tour: The Darkest Corner (Gravediggers Book 1) by Liliana Hart

Author: Liliana Hart
Publisher: Gallery, Pocket books
Date of publication: May 23, 2017

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he's alive, and he'll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God's sake, don't ever fall in love. That's a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can't be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she'll eat her hat if he's only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Deacon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what's known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist's dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart. 

The Darkest Corner is the first in a series about a super-secret elite group of soldiers who the world thinks are dead.  They have their headquarters set up in a small backward town in Texas.  For me, this was an OK read.  It had great potential, but didn't live up to all of my expectations.

My favorite part of the story was the Gravedigger team.  I liked their camaraderie and would have loved to get to know them better.  But, we are not really given much background on the team. How are they chosen? I wanted more on Deacon and what made him tick.  The setting kind of threw me off as well. If you were trying to hide a super secret elite team, why would you choose a small town where gossip is the hottest commodity? 

I also liked Tess.  She was feisty and smart.  But, I thought she took Deacon's revelation about what was going on way too easily.  There was no question, at all.  Just full acceptance.  As for the romance part, I never really bought into Tess and Deacon.  I wanted more of them together before I could feel the love between them.  We are told that they have been around each other for a while.  We are also told they each have a secret attraction, but never really see them interact with each other. There was just too much insta-love for me. 

This story had great potential.  I liked the idea of the team and almost would have liked it more without the romance.  It's very much a first book in a series, so I do want to see where the team goes from here. I'm hoping we get come more answers and background. The next book, Gone to Dust, comes out in June.

Buy links:

Amazon Kindle  B&N Nook  Kobo  iBooks  Google Play

About the Author:

Liliana Hart is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly Bestselling Author of more than 40 titles. After starting her first novel her freshman year of college, she immediately became addicted to writing and knew she'd found what she was meant to do with her life. She has no idea why she majored in music.
Since self-publishing in June of 2011, Liliana has sold more than 3 million ebooks and been translated into eight languages. She's appeared at #1 on lists all over the world and all three of her series have appeared on the New York Times list. Liliana is a sought after speaker and she's given keynote speeches and self-publishing workshops to standing-room-only crowds from California to New York to London.
Liliana can almost always be found at her computer writing or on the road giving workshops for SilverHart International, a company she founded with her partner, Scott Silverii, where they provide law enforcement, military, and fire resources for writers so they can write it right. Liliana is a recent transplant to Southern Louisiana, where she's getting used to the humidity and hurricane season, and plotting murders (for her books, of course).

Author Links:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Blog Tour: The Truth About Goodbye by Russell Ricard

Author: Russell Ricard
Publisher; W.I. Creative Publishing
date of publication: April 2017

Sebastian Hart has dealt with a lifetime of goodbyes. And now, a year after his husband Frank’s death, the forty-year-old chorus boy still blames himself. After all, Sebastian started the argument that night over one of Frank’s former date items, someone younger than Sebastian who still wanted Frank.

Challenged by his best friend, the quirky ex-Rockettes dancer Chloe, Sebastian struggles toward his dream of becoming a choreographer and grapples with romantic feelings for Reid, a new student in his tap class.

Ultimately, Sebastian begins to wonder whether it’s his imagination, or not, that Frank’s ghost is here, warning him that he daren’t move on with another love. He questions the truth: Is death really the final goodbye?

”Ricard offers a thoughtful debut novel . . . The narrative is endearing and impressively assured, and it will be an entertaining treat for fans of LGBT romantic fiction.” –Kirkus Reviews

”A magical, witty, and endearing story that taps deeply into your heart.” –Casey Nicholaw, Tony-award winning Director-Choreographer of The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, and Something Rotten!

In The Truth About Goodbye, Sebastian struggles with his grief over the loss of his husband a year earlier.  He also is struggling with turning 40 and aging out of the chorus boy roles that are available on Broadway.  I really wanted to love this one, but in the end it kind of fell short for me.

Let me start by saying that I thought the author did a wonderful job of showing Sebastian working through his grief.  I personally have not lost a spouse, but I have watched a close friend go through it and it is devastating.  I think that part was what I liked most about the book as that was well written. I was really rooting for him to work through his grief and be happy again.  

But in the end, I had a hard time connecting with the story.  I didn't feel like the characters were genuine and were almost too quirky.  I'm not sure if people are really like that in the theater world, but it just came across as overly comical.  I also didn't like the "romance" part of it.  I didn't feel the connection between Sebastian and Reid.  The addition of the many pop culture references took me out of the story and I fear they will really date the book in the future. 

While this story wasn't for me, I do think this is worth giving it a shot.  This is a debut book and I would like to see what Mr. Ricard comes up with next.

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About Russell Ricard

Russell Ricard is a veteran musical theater performer who s appeared in regional, national, and international productions and on Broadway. He received his MFA in creative writing from The New School. The Truth About Goodbye is his debut novel. He lives in Forest Hills, NY, with his husband, cat, and a lovingly supportive stand-up desk named Ruth.
Connect with Russell

Russell Ricard’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, May 15th: BookNAround
Tuesday, May 16th: A Book A Week
Wednesday, May 17th: Bibliotica
Monday, May 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, May 23rd: Read Day and Night
Tuesday, May 3oth: Suzy Approved
Thursday, June 1st: 50 Books Project
Categories: Uncategorized 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lost Rider by Harper Sloan

Author: Harper Sloan
Publisher: Gallery, Pocket Books
Date of publication: April 2017

Maverick Austin Davis is forced to return home after a ten-year career as a rodeo star. After one too many head injuries, he’s off the circuit and in the horse farming business, something he’s never taken much of a shine to, but now that it’s his late father’s legacy, familial duty calls. How will Maverick find his way after the only dream he ever had for himself is over?

Enter Leighton Elizabeth James, an ugly duckling turned beauty from Maverick’s childhood—his younger sister’s best friend, to be exact, and someone whose heart he stomped all over when she confessed her crush to him ten years back. Now Leighton is back in Maverick’s life, no longer the insecure, love-stricken teen—and Maverick can’t help but take notice. Sparks fly between them, but will Leighton be able to open her heart to the one man who broke it all those years ago?

Written in the vein of Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna, this Texas-set series is filled with sizzle, heart, and plenty of cowboys.

Lost Rider is the first in a new series about the Davis siblings. Maverick is a famous bull rider who is back home after his career has come to an end.  His abusive father is finally gone and Maverick must face more than one mistake he left behind, starting with Leighton James.  

As this is one of my favorite romantic themes, I had high hopes. In the end, I liked the story and found it entertaining, I just didn't love it.  Maverick was kind of hard to like in the beginning.  But as his story came out about what he went through as a kid and his reasons for hurting Leigh, I began to like him more.  I liked that he was able to own up to his wrong doings and his willingness to make amends.  He was a dumb 18 YO when he left, so I could see how he was a bit misguided. Leigh had to grow on me as well.  The way she had to over analyze everything drove me nuts. I loved their HEA.  It was very sweet.

As I said, I thought it was entertaining and worth giving a try.  I do want to read Quinn story next in Kiss My Boots coming out in August.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Excerpt and Giveaway of Sweet Southern Trouble by Michele Summers

Today we welcome to author Michele Summers.  She is with us promoting her latest book, Sweet Southern Trouble.  Enjoy her thoughts on one of her favorite things about the south as well as an excerpt from the book.

Author: Michele Summers
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pub Date: May 2, 2017
ISBN: 9781402293641

An ambitious Southern belle
Marabelle Fairchild knows she’s a gal who can get things done. Feeling unappreciated at the exclusive private school where she’s a kindergarten aide and varsity tennis coach, Marabelle determines to score with the next big fundraiser. What she doesn’t expect? A smokin' hot football coach to throw her off her game...

A reclusive NFL bachelor...
NFL coach Nick Frasier is Raleigh’s most eligible bachelor, but he wants to focus on his career…not his playboy status. He doesn’t need a smart-mouthed, pint-sized kindergarten teacher pestering him. So he cuts Marabelle a deal—in exchange for Nick sponsoring a bachelor auction starring him and his gorgeous celebrity pals, Marabelle will pose as his fiancée to ward off unwanted advances.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Thoughts about the south:

The best things about the South can be debated until the cows come home. For me, the list changes as often as our weather. I was born and raised a Carolina Blue Tarheel, but after college, I made my home in Miami, Florida and stayed for over twenty years (A different kind of south altogether). But since returning to my Tarheel state, it’s quite evident, some things have changed…and some things have not!

Here’s one of my favorite things about the south:

College Rivalries: I live in the heart of the ACC and yeah, we love our football, which includes tailgating with barbeque, fried chicken, deviled eggs, pimento cheese and sweet tea. But football is kind of like the appetizer, leading up to the main course. We use football season to get in shape and start flexing our school color muscles, because what we really cut our teeth on and can cause more devastating arguments than the Presidential debates is…basketball! Make that college basketball. Those buzzer-beater games where we all sit on the edge of our seats, praying our team wins before we succumb to our final heart attack. Where we cheer and cry along with our favorite players and shake our fists and curse at the blind refs or coaches who call bad plays. My kids have vivid memories of being shoved in their bedrooms during basketball games, when they were little, because mommy couldn’t be held responsible for her colorful language.

We take our basketball as seriously as we take our fried chicken, NASCAR or sweet tea.

“Coach Frasier, may I be perfectly frank?”
“Have you ever been anything else?”
Marabelle hesitated before answering. “Well, no, but I think it’s an admirable trait.”
Nick bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling. “Then certainly don’t change on my behalf.”
Blinking huge, chocolate-brown eyes, Marabelle looked more determined. Her face—sans the paint—was attractive. Faint freckles were scattered across her small, pert nose, but her mouth—by far the main attraction—had that bee-stung look that Hollywood stars coveted. For a moment, he wondered if her lips were as soft as they were full, if she tasted…
Where had those thoughts come from? She’s a kindergarten teacher, for chrissakes. He punted those unwanted thoughts right out of the stadium, and got his head back in the game by focusing on her small hands, which seemed to talk even more than her sexy, full mouth.
Marabelle paced in front of the large, white, dry-erase board. “Trinity Academy has a very important fund-raiser every spring that the whole community supports, and this year is going to be extra special, because they’re raising money to improve the football field and add two more tennis courts. And—”
Nick had heard this pitch a million times. Same setup, different location. “And you want me to contribute to the fund? Right?”
She stopped pacing. “Well, it’s more than just your money. Don’t get me wrong, your money is huge.” Nick chuckled at her lack of tact, but she ignored him, intent on lining up dry-erase markers in alternating colors.
“We need your help in contacting your celebrity friends and asking them to participate in the golf and tennis tournaments,” she said, leaning the markers against the board. “And we want you to ask the single, eligible men you know to sell themselves in our bachelor auction,” she finished all in one breath and turned, knocking all the markers to the floor.
“Um, what?” Nick shook his head as he bent to help her gather the scattered markers. This had to be a joke. “Are you secretly filming me for YouTube or something? Is this some sort of practical joke?” He’d had enough of being secretly filmed to last a lifetime, and if this fairy-tale character thought she could pull a fast one on him, she had no idea who she was up against. His gaze darted around the classroom, searching for a hidden camera. The room looked clean. Then he smirked. “Did my offensive coordinator set this up?”
Kneeling on the floor with puckered brows, Marabelle asked, “Who?”
Nick handed over three reds and two blues. “Coach Prichard. We’ve been arguing about the draft, but I didn’t think he was this upset.”
Right on cue, she turned stern schoolteacher. Standing, she released the handful of markers on the metal tray, her back as straight as if fused with a goalpost. “Coach Frasier, this is not some reality TV show, and I don’t even know your offensive coordinator. But if he’s upset, I suggest you make nice, and maybe you guys will start winning some ballgames.”
Splaying hands on his hips, he delivered one of his fiercest stares. “You tetched in the head or something? Are you telling me how to coach a professional football team?”
Marabelle didn’t flinch. A room full of five-year-olds must be tougher than he thought. Curling her fingers around a ruler in the metal tray as if she might rap his knuckles, she said in the same firm, schoolteacher voice, “If there’s dissension among your staff, it would be prudent to smooth things over. Arguing with your staff is bound to affect the players. It just goes to reason.” Tap, tap went the ruler in her palm.
Nick swore under his breath. Many a rookie had backed down from his most intimidating stare. Its effect was legendary. But not on crazy Marabelle. “Ms. Fairchild, you don’t know jack shit about coaching football.” Nick rarely lost his temper off the field, but she’d managed to push all his buttons. He knew his young team had struggled last season. He certainly didn’t need reminding from little Miss Muffet. He had the team’s owner, general manager, and the press for that. But Nick believed in his team. They had raw talent, and with good coaching and proper discipline, they’d only get better. Yet, it still rankled when he was confronted with their less-than-stellar record.
He didn’t need this hassle. “I’m out of here,” he muttered, starting for the door.
“Coach Frasier, please wait!”
Nick whipped around to squash the crazy, ruler-toting fairy once and for all, when three high school boys barged through the classroom door, carrying large tennis bags over their shoulders.
“Hey, Coach, you comin’ to practice today?”
“What?” The theme song from The Twilight Zone played in his head. Why would he be coming to practice here?
“Whoa! You’re Nick Frasier,” said the tallest of the boys as all three gazes landed on him.
Nick plastered on a smile, not wanting his scowl to be reported all over social media. “Hey, guys. What’s up?” All three eagerly shook his hand, talking at once. “You boys play for the tennis team?” Nick asked in between introductions and hand pumping.
“Yeah. We’re heading to practice and wondering if Coach is coming.”
“Coach?” Still confused, he searched their faces.
“Surprise, surprise,” Marabelle chimed softly next to him.

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About the author:

MICHELE SUMMERS writes about small-town life with a Southern flair, and has her own interior design business in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Miami, Florida. Both professions feed her creative appetite and provide a daily dose of humor. |