Thursday, February 28, 2019

Spotlight: The Sisters Hemingway by Annie England Noblin

Author: Annie England Noblin
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Date of publication: February 2019

The Hemingway Sisters of Cold River, Missouri are local legends. Raised by a mother obsessed with Ernest Hemingway, they were named after the author’s four wives—Hadley, Pfeiffer, Martha, and Mary. The sisters couldn’t be more different—or more alike. Now they’re back in town, reunited to repair their fractured relationships.

Hadley is the poised, polished wife of a senator.
Pfeiffer is a successful New York book editor.
Martha has skyrocketed to Nashville stardom.

They each have a secret—a marriage on the rocks,  a job lost, a stint in rehab…and they haven’t been together in years.

Together, they must stay in their childhood home, faced with a puzzle that may affect all their futures. As they learn the truth of what happened to their mother—and their youngest sister, Mary—they rekindle the bonds they had as children, bonds that have long seemed broken. With the help of neighbors, friends, love interests old and new—and one endearing and determined Basset Hound—the Sisters Hemingway learn that he happiness that has appeared so elusive may be right here at home, waiting to be claimed.

Purchase Links

About Annie England Noblin

Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.

Follow Annie on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Instagram Features

Tuesday, February 12th: Instagram: @oddandbookish
Tuesday, February 12th: Instagram: @thepagesinbetween
Wednesday, February 13th: Instagram: @megabunnyreads
Friday, February 15th: Instagram: @somekindofalibrary
Saturday, February 16th: Instagram: @marissa_writes
Monday, February 18th: Instagram: @books.tea.quotes
Tuesday, February 19th: Instagram: @storiesandcoffee
Wednesday, February 27th: Instagram: @writersdream

Review Stops

Tuesday, February 12th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, February 13th: Peppermint PhD
Thursday, February 14th: Bibliotica
Friday, February 15th: Lindsay’s Book Reviews
Monday, February 18th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog
Tuesday, February 19th: BookNAround
Wednesday, February 20th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Friday, February 22nd: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Monday, February 25th: Instagram: @giuliland
Tuesday, February 26th: Laura’s Reviews
Wednesday, February 27th: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, February 27th: Literary Quicksand
Thursday, February 28th: What Is That Book About
Thursday, February 28th: From the TBR Pile

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Review: No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

Author:Joanna Schaffhausen
publisher: Minatour Books
Date of publication: January 2019

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”

For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the Spider-Man-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.
Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job—stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own—a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.
No Mercy is the followup book to The Vanishing Season.  Once again we follow Ellery and her FBI colleague Reed as they try to solve a serial rape case.  This one takes place in a different setting than the first.  When the book opens, Ellery has been living in Boston and has been attending group therapy in an effort to get her police job back.  There she stumbles on a couple of mysteries and enlists Reed to help her. I enjoyed this follow up.  Since there was more than one mystery to be solved, it had a steady pace and keep me engaged.  It can be read as a stand alone, however, you will be spoiled a bit for the first book if you read this one first.  

What I liked most about the book was the changing and growing friendship between Ellery and Reed.  They are no longer "the victim and the rescuer", but finally equals.  There is a hint that there could be more, but I'm not sure how I feel about their relationship going any further than friendship.  The book ends on a semi-cliffhanger that potentially sets things up for a next book.  I hope there will  be further adventures with these two characters and I look forward to reading it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Blog Tour: Excerpt of Let Me Love You by M. K. Moore

About Let Me Love You

My professional life has taken off. Now if I could get a personal one,
that would be great. He is so amazing. Good looking, smart, and
everything I ever wanted. Why won't he let me love him?

Coming home from a life of service is hard. It's even harder when
you're injured.
Why did she have to be so beautiful? She is everything I never knew I wanted. Letting her love me was the easy part.

Don't let the title fool you, this book is full of all the MK Moore
yumminess that you can handle. As always, you can expect a safe and
steamy happily ever after.

After all, 425 Madison Avenue is the perfect place to fall in love.
*Each story is completely standalone.

I laugh. “Whatever you want Mallory. Whatever you want,” I say, barely holding it together.
“Challenge accepted,” she says grinning. This gives me a perfect view of her straight white teeth. Fuck, even those are pretty. God, who thinks teeth are pretty besides dentists? She puts on the first season of a show. A few hours and several episodes later, I'm hooked. It's hilarious.
“What is this?” I ask. I get really into the show, but every so often, I look over at Mallory and stare at her. Thankfully, she doesn’t see me. I am sure I look like a fucking creeper.
“The British version of The Office. I've seen the American one, but I think this one is funnier.”
“Don't you need to write?” I ask. She smiles brightly and her brown eyes shine with it.
“You know about that, huh?”
“Margo told me,” I say, laughing.
“Oh Lordy, I can just imagine what she said. I do need to write, but I’m having a better time with you,” she says, smiling yet again. I can’t help smiling as well.
“Me too.” Right then, my grumbling stomach reminds me that I haven't eaten since five this morning. “So, what's good to eat around here?”
“Is this your first time in New York?” she asks, tapping her finger on her chin. Damn, she is adorable.
“Yes,” I say, nodding.
“Well then, pizza of course. Do you want to go out or order in?”
“Order in. I'm exhausted from traveling today.” I'm still leery of social situations, I know that I'm cringing, but she doesn't say anything. She just nods understandingly.
“Okay,” she says. “I know the perfect place to order from. What kind do you want?”
“Pepperoni and mushroom,” I reply.
“Ooh, me too,” she says, and I listen as she grabs her phone and orders two large pies.
“That's ambitious,” I say when she hangs up.
“Two large pies? How are you ever going to eat that much?”
“You'd be surprised; besides, I love leftover pizza.” She shrugs as she gets up from the couch and heads into the kitchen. “I have red wine or Foster's,” she yells. I already don’t like that she is out of my sight.

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Author Info:

MK is married to the love of her life. She lives in Tennessee with her husband. She is an avid reader and loves telling steamy stories she deems filthy contemporary.  She loves meeting readers, so come hang out with her!


About the 425 Madison Series

Welcome to 425 Madison Ave the perfect place to fall in love. Nine delicious romances set in fast-paced & sexy NYC just waiting for you to read.

The series features stories from some of your favorite romance authors: Leigh Lennon, MK Moore, Allie York, Aubree Valentine, Kay Gordon, Lauren Helms, Sylvia Kane, Katy Ames, and C. Lesbirel.

Join these authors as they come together, each with a standalone romance for you to enjoy.

Featuring some of readers' favorite tropes: second-chance romance, best friends sibling romance to a good ol' enemies to lovers romance. We've got you covered with a sports romance, a fake relationship and even an ugly duckling or two. Don't forget a brother's best friend and falling for your soul mate. Maybe a little love triangle as well. Each tale offers you something new, something different. After all, 425

For more information, visit the series website ➝

Follow the series on Facebook ➝

This release event is brought to you by Forever Write PR - Forever your source for all your writing needs.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Blog Tour: Review of Low Country Hero by Lee Tobin McClain

Author: Lee Tobin McClain
Date of publication: February 2019

Welcome to Safe Haven, where love—and a second chance—is just around the corner…
Sunny, carefree days splashing in the ocean—it’s the life Anna George has always wanted for her five-year-old twins. And now that they’ve made it to Safe Haven, South Carolina, she won’t let anyone stand in her way. Not the abusive ex she’s just escaped and not the rugged contractor who caught her setting up house in the shuttered beachfront cabins he’s refurbishing. When he offers Anna and her daughters a place to stay in exchange for her help with renovations, she’s tempted. His gentle way with her girls makes her want to trust him, but she’s been wrong before…

A family is the last thing contractor and former military man Sean O’Dwyer wants right now. But when he discovers Anna and her girls, he recognizes kindred spirits. They’re survivors who’ve seen the worst of people, just like he has, and he’ll do anything he can to help them. As he and Anna spend their days bringing the cottages back to life and their nights sharing kisses in the warm bayou breezes, Sean must choose between the life he always wanted and the family he can’t live without.

Low Country Hero is the first in a new series about a small town called Safe Haven.  It's a town known for being a safe place to recover and find new life.  This is Anna and Sean's story.   The prologue was pretty in your face brutal and sad.  But, it sets up the reason for Sean and his brothers to be raised in Safe Haven. 

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I thought it did a nice job of dealing with the reality of domestic abuse. However, I thought the romance between Anna and Sean was way too fast.  I would have loved to see Anna stand on her own two feet and be financially secure before agreeing to have a HEA with another man.  I just felt like the trust and love came too soon.  But that is on me.  It was still an enjoyable read.  I loved the twins!  They were the best part of the book.  I will probably check out the next one to see Liam's story.

Purchase Links

About Lee Tobin McClain

Lee Tobin McClain read Gone With The Wind in the third grade and has been an incurable romantic ever since. When she’s not writing emotional love stories with happy endings, she’s probably driving around a carload of snarky teen girls, playing with her rescue dog and cat, or teaching aspiring writers in Seton Hill University’s MFA program. She is probably not cleaning her house.

Connect with Lee

Lee Tobin McClain’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS

Monday, February 18th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, February 19th: Lori’s Reading Corner – excerpt
Wednesday, February 20th: Midwest Ladies Who Lit
Thursday, February 21st: Write Read Life
Monday, February 25th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, February 26th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Wednesday, February 27th: Back Porchevations
Friday, March 1st: Rockin’ Book Reviews
Monday, March 4th: Book by Book
Tuesday, March 5th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Wednesday, March 6th: Amy’s Book-et List
Thursday, March 7th: Booktimistic and @booktimistic
Friday, March 8th: What is That Book About
Friday, March 15th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, March 18th: Girl Who Reads
Thursday, March 21st: Thoughts on This ‘n That

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Books I Didn't Finish in February

The Whole Package:  I was so disappointed with this book.  I am a fan of this author, but I couldn't get into this new series.  I couldn't figure out who the book was supposed to be focused on, but from the synopsis, I guess it was Reid and Naomi.  There were too many side characters and I honestly have no desire to read more about them.  I didn't feel the connection between Reid and Naomi.  I'll be skipping this series.

Valiant: I dnf'd this one fairly early on.  I'm not a fan of time travel stories and this one is full of it.  The world building was no existent. Had I known this had time travel, I wouldn't have tried it out.

Ghosted:  Another book I dnf'd pretty early on.  I couldn't get into it. There was nothing thrilling about an obsession for a man who the main character spent 7 days with.  I was never sucked in and didn't really care to find out what happened.

Best Bad Things: I found this book really confusing. I think I started it over 3 times.  The story involves a female "detective" who often goes undercover as a man in the underbelly of the drug trade.  I didn't care about that, but I found myself getting confused because when she is undercover, she is referred to as her male name.  However, within the same chapter, there are scenes with her as a woman.  I decided I didn't want to keep getting confused.  There were also too many characters introduced at once.  It could have been the narrator of the audiobook that made it more confusing.  Her voices all sounded the same. Maybe I'll try the physical book at some point in the future.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

February Mini Musings

The Guardian:  I've had this one in my TBR for a while now.  I haven't read a Highlander romance in a long time, so this was a nice change of pace.  I ended up really enjoying the plot and the characters. The story was filled with a lot of humor and was just a really fun read. Ian and Sileas were great together.  I also enjoyed the relationship between Ian and his friends.  I look forward to reading their stories.

The Lonely Dead:  This was a typical teen "supernatural" mystery.  There were no real surprises and the ending was very anti-climactic.  I figured out the killer very early on.  The characters were kind of forgettable, including the main character. She didn't make any good decisions.  Can authors please stop having characters speak to the police without a lawyer?  Especially if they are a minor?  It's unrealistic.  It's not badly written, I've just read better.

The Lights:  I found this quick audiobook in SCRIBD. The only thing it had going for it was the 2 hour listening time.  This book was horrible.  The bare bones of a good horror story were there, but the execution was just not done well at all.  The dialogue was awkward.  The teens were forgettable.  The three main characters never seemed too upset about what was going on around them.  For example, they watch one of the children murder a man in the town square. Then they go back to one of their houses and make tea.  Huh?  I could go on.  Don't waste your time, it's 2 hours I can't get back.

Dare You to Lie:  This was a random audiobook from my library.  It's the first in a new series featuring Kylene, who moves back to her hometown after her FBI father was arrested for murder.  While Kylene sets out to find out what happened to her father, she ends up solving a different mystery, which leaves room for a squeal.  I really enjoyed the story.  Kylene was a great snarky character.  I loved her friends and their relationships.  I'll definitely read the next one when it comes out.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Review: Panacea by F. Paul Wilson

Author: F. Paul Wilson
Pulisher: Tor Books
Date of publication: July 2016

Two secret societies vie for control of the ultimate medical miracle--Panacea--in the latest novel by New York Times bestselling author F. Paul Wilson. 

Medical examiner Laura Hanning has two charred corpses and no answers. Both bear a mysterious tattoo but exhibit no known cause of death. Their only connection to one another is a string of puzzling miracle cures. Her preliminary investigation points to a cult that possesses the fabled panacea--the substance that can cure all ills--but that's impossible.

Laura finds herself enmeshed in an ancient conflict between the secretive keepers of the panacea and the equally secretive and far more deadly group known only as 536, a brotherhood that fervently believes God intended for humanity to suffer, not be cured. Laura doesn't believe in the panacea, but that doesn't prevent the agents of 536 from trying to kill her.

A reclusive, terminally ill billionaire hires Laura to research the possibility that such a cure exists. The billionaire's own body guard, Rick Hayden, a mercenary who isn't who he pretends to be, has to keep her alive as they race to find the legendary panacea before the agents of 536 can destroy it.

Panacea recently popped up on my library's Overdrive site.  After finishing the book, I am really glad I gave it a chance. Panacea is the first in a trilogy, with the third book having been recently released. Naturally. I wanted to start at the beginning. The story follows Laura, a medical examiner, who gets swept up in the hunt for a miracle drug that cures any illness.  A rich terminally ill recluse hires Laura to team up with a secretive body guard, Rick to find the cure.  

I really enjoyed the book.  It was a little confusing in the beginning, because I wasn't too sure what was going on.  However by about 25% in, things began to come together to make more sense.  So definitely stick with it.  I loved Laura and Rick as a team. They had great chemistry and fun banter.  This is a  well laid out and really fast paced adventure.  I was engaged through the entire book.  I will have a review of the second and third books, The God Gene and The Void Protocol, in the coming weeks.  If you are a fan of mysterious adventures, I definitely recommend this one!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Blog Tour: Review of Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs

Author: Susan Wiggs
Publisher: William Morrow Paperback
Date of publication: February 2019 (reprint edition)

Love and family. War and secrets. Betrayal and redemption.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs returns with a deeply emotional and atmospheric story that spans oceans and decades, from the present-day Delaware shore to the battlefields of WWII France.

Widowed by an unspeakable tragedy, Camille Palmer has made her peace with the past and settled into the quiet safety of life with her teenage daughter Julie in a sleepy coastal town. Then the arrival of a mysterious package breaks open the door to her family’s secret past. In uncovering a hidden history, Camille has no idea that she’s embarking on an adventure that will utterly transform her.
Camille, Julie, and Camille’s father return to the French town of his youth, sparking  unexpected memories — recollections that will lead them back to the dark days of the Second World War. And it is in the stunning Provençal countryside that they will uncover their family’s surprising history.
While Provence offers answers about the past, it also holds the key to Camille’s future. Along the way, she meets a former naval officer who stirs a passion deep within her — a feeling that she thought she’d never experience again.

“Susan Wiggs seamlessly melds historical drama with contemporary romance,” raves Mary Kay Andrews. Now, this hugely popular author has created her biggest, most powerful story yet — a beautiful and heartfelt novel that celebrates the bonds of family and pays homage to the sacrifices of the past.

I always know reading a book by Susan Wiggs that I will run the gamut of emotions and will be left smiling in the end.  Map of the Heart was no exception.  Told in duel time lines, it is a beautifully written story about love, sacrifice and family. 

I really loved this story.  I'll admit in the beginning that I wasn't too keen on Camille.  But as her story unfolded, I could understand her reluctance to let her heart feel again. As well as he over-protectiveness toward her doughier.  Finn was my absolute favorite.  He was funny and a breath of fresh air.  My favorite part of the book was Lisette's storyline. It was bittersweet and gut wrenching at the same time. I don't want to give anything away.  It's best to let the secrets within the book be discovered along with Camille and Finn.  I highly recommend picking this book up.

Purchase Links

About Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs’s life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She lives at the water’s edge on an island in Puget Sound, and in good weather, she commutes to her writers’ group in a 21-foot motorboat. She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR, PRI, and USA Today, has given programs for the US Embassies in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and is a popular speaker locally, nationally, internationally, and on the high seas.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature. Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries and languages. According to Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with “refreshingly honest emotion,” and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is “one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book.” Booklist characterizes her books as “real and true and unforgettable.”

Her novels have appeared in the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and have captured readers’ hearts around the globe with translations into more than 20 languages and 30 countries. She is a three-time winner of the RITA Award,. Her recent novel, The Apple Orchard, is currently being made into a film, and The Lakeshore Chronicles has been optioned for adaptation into a series.
The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book. She lives on an island in Puget Sound, where she divides her time between sleeping and waking.

Visit her website at, and connect with Susan on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Instagram Features

Wednesday, February 13th: Instagram: @basicbsguide
Thursday, February 14th: Instagram: @jennblogsbooks
Friday, February 15th: Instagram: @simplykelina
Saturday, February 16th: Instagram: @hollyslittlebookreviews
Sunday, February 17th: Instagram: @worldswithinpages
Sunday, February 17th: Instagram: @shelovesthepages
TBD: Thursday, February 14th: Instagram: @writersdream

Review Stops

Tuesday, February 12th: As I turn the pages
Wednesday, February 13th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Thursday, February 14th: Comfy Reading
Friday, February 15th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, February 19th: Literary Quicksand
Wednesday, February 20th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, February 21st: From the TBR Pile
Monday, February 25th: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, February 26th: What Is That Book About
Wednesday, February 27th: Instagram: @jennsbookvibes
Monday, March 4th: Laura’s Reviews

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Blog Tour: Excerpt of Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Join us for an excerpt tour, followed up by a review and Instagram tour beginning at release, March 5th for BEAUTIFUL BAD

Author: Annie Ward

Publisher: Park Row; Original edition 
Date of pubication: March 5, 2019

A devoted wife, a loving husband and a chilling murder that no one saw coming.

Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries. Hospitals and lakes. When Ian drinks vodka in the basement. ISIS. When Ian gets angry… That something is really, really wrong with me.

Maddie and Ian’s love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

Excerpt #3:
The light seeped through the shutters of the back windows, and Diane crouched close to the house as she made her way across the patio toward the door. She saw the barking dog. There were actually two of them; small, black-and-white Boston terriers. Anxious but sweet creatures, they looked baffled at having been locked out of the house. Their eyes were wide and wet, and both were panting and pacing, completely beside themselves.

Diane turned the handle on the door. “Back door’s unlocked,” she said into her mic.
Nick was the first to respond. “EMS has been notified. They know you’re waiting on a second officer to enter the residence. I’ve told them to stage at 2218 Lincoln and wait for update.”
“Copy,” Diane answered. Nick knew the routine. She was, without question, supposed to wait on a second officer to enter. If she went in, she was going against procedure. She’d get in trouble. Diane glanced over her shoulder at the sandbox. The water table. Then she decided. She’d rather lose her job than lose a child.
Diane pushed the door inward and held out her foot to stop the dogs from following her inside. She closed it softly behind her. As she crept into the house, she glanced back. The front paws of both Boston terriers were against the glass, flexing and pleading, coaxing her to return, to come let them in.
The back door opened into a far corner of the lower level next to a round glass breakfast table and four chairs. An empty wine bottle appeared to have rolled to a rest against the wall. On the table was another bottle of wine, and underneath on the floor was an elegant cylinder of Stolichnaya Elit vodka.
Diane was not much of a food snob, but noted that this was no chips-and-dip poker party. In the center of the table was a thick wooden cutting board covered in a semi-eaten array of olives, salami, crackers, cheese and grapes.
Though she tried to focus on the entirety of the scene, the bloodstain was hard to ignore. If she glanced up and across the great room, there it was again. Mesmerizing. Sickening.
Despite the fact that the room was open concept, it was dotted with chairs and a sofa as well as bookcases, end tables and floor lamps. Hiding places everywhere. She moved stealthily, her pistol ready and her eyes flitting back and forth from one quiet corner to another.
As she inched past the breakfast table she had to watch her step. The shattered remains of several glasses were scattered about, big and little shards everywhere. Of the four yellow upholstered chairs surrounding the breakfast table, one was overturned and one was stained a shade darker where there had been a spill. Next to the fallen chair was a wet photograph.
Diane leaned down to get a better look. It pictured two brunette women. That much Diane could tell from all the windswept hair. They were standing in front of an unusual building. The design was vaguely Middle Eastern, almost like a mosque with no minaret. Whatever had pooled on the floor had seeped through the paper and the women’s features now bled into one another. Diane imagined someone sitting at this table holding it shortly before. Reminiscing? Do you remember when we...? Yes, let me just go grab the photo...
Separating the living area from the kitchen was an island in the shape of a crescent. Several tall chairs ran the length. It was not until Diane passed the breakfast table that she could see over the kitchen bar.
The little puddles varied in size and looked like something left on the sidewalk after a big rain. Except they were crimson. The droplets leading away resembled a beaded necklace, almost like a thin strand of bloody pearls.
The slaughter had happened between the refrigerator and the inside of the bar, where the sink and dishwasher were located. The surrounding walls and appliances were splattered. Diane felt a tightening in the back of her throat. The front of the refrigerator was papered in finger paintings now artistically spotted with tiny red flecks; a nightmarish rain slanting over neat box houses, a stick family of three, fluffy clouds and a happy-face sun.
The trail of beadlike blood moved from the kitchen puddles to the big slick in the middle of the room. It was messy, almost as if mopped, and Diane imagined someone crawling on hands and knees before managing to haul up on his or her feet for one more staggering go at life. She had an irrational urge to start running through the house calling out for the child, but she’d already broken one rule just by entering.
On the wall across the room, an oval wooden African mask with holes carved for the eyes and mouth stared at her with an expression of horror.
Diane looked anxiously over her shoulder at the table laid out as if for an indulgent wine-and-cheese feast among friends. Then she looked ahead, at the nightmarish slop of a human spill beckoning her to come see; come see what unspeakable thing has happened here.

Purchase Links

About Annie Ward

Annie Ward has a BA in English literature from UCLA and an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. Her first short screenplay, Strange Habit, starred Adam Scott and won awards at the Aspen and Sundance Film Festivals. She lives in Kansas with her two sons and British husband, whom she met in the Balkans. She was recently awarded a Fulbright scholarship and An Escape to Create artist’s residency.

Connect with Annie

Excerpt Tour:
Monday, February 18th: The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, February 19th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Wednesday, February 20th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, February 21st: Helen’s Book Blog
Friday, February 22nd: She Reads With Cats
Monday, February 25th: Books and Spoons
Tuesday, February 26th: Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated Mind
Wednesday, February 27th: Jessicamap Reviews
Thursday, February 28th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Friday, March 1st: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Tuesday, March 5th: Lori’s Reading Corner

Instagram Tour:
Monday, March 4th: @whatmeganreads
Tuesday, March 5th: @jennblogsbooks
Wednesday, March 6th: @bookstackedblonde
Thursday, March 7th: @bookclubwithbite
Thursday, March 7th: @dropandgivemenerdy
Friday, March 8th: @girlsinbooks
Saturday, March 9th: @createexploreread
Sunday, March 10th: @cristiinareads
Monday, March 11th: @bookishwinterwitch

Review Tour:
Monday, March 4th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Tuesday, March 5th: Helen’s Book Blog
Wednesday, March 6th: Novel Gossip and @novelgossip
Thursday, March 7th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, March 8th: Books & Bindings
Monday, March 11th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Tuesday, March 12th: Tar Heel Reader
Wednesday, March 13th: Where the Reader Grows and @wherethereadergrows
Monday, March 18th: The Baking Bookworm
Tuesday, March 19th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Wednesday, March 20th: She Reads with Cats and @shereadswithcats
Thursday, March 21st: The Pages In-Between and @thepagesinbetween
Friday, March 22nd: Audio Killed the Bookmark
Monday, March 25th: @bookishconnoisseur
Tuesday, March 26th: Write Read Life
Wednesday, March 27th: @tbretc
Thursday, March 28th: Jessicamap Reviews and @jessicamap
Monday, April 1st: @love_my_dane_dolly_
Tuesday, April 2nd: Jathan & Heather
Wednesday, April 3rd: Girl Who Reads
Friday, April 5th: Thoughts on This ‘n That

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Spotlight: Between Before & After by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

Author:  Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Publisher: Blink
Date of publicaiotn: February 2019

The carnage began with the roses. She hacked at their ruffled blooms until they dropped into monstrous drifts of red on the parched yellow lawn … Only two things kept my mother grounded to us: my uncle Stephen and stories.”

Fourteen-year-old Molly worries about school, friends, and her parents’ failed marriage, but mostly about her mother’s growing depression. Molly knows her mother is nursing a carefully-kept secret. A writer with an obsession for other people’s life stories, Elaine Donnelly is the poster child of repressed emotions.

Molly spends her California summer alternately watching out for her little brother Angus and tip-toeing around her mother’s raw feelings. Molly needs her mother more than ever, but Elaine shuts herself off from real human connections and buries herself in the lives and deaths of the strangers she writes about. When Uncle Stephen is pressed into the limelight because of his miracle cure of a young man, Elaine can no longer hide behind other people’s stories. And as Molly digs into her mother’s past, she finds a secret hidden in her mother’s dresser that may be the key to unlocking a family mystery dating to 1918 New York—a secret that could destroy or save their future.
Told in dual narratives between 1918 New York City and 1955 San Jose, California, Between Before and After, by award-winning author Maureen McQuerry, explores the nature of family secrets, resiliency, and redemption. This is an historical coming-of-age Young Adult story about the complex bonds between mothers and daughters.

Purchase Links

About Maureen Doyle McQuerry

Maureen McQuerry is an award winning poet, novelist and teacher.  Her YA novel, The Peculiars is an ALA Best Book for YA 2013, Bank Street and Home Book recommended book. Her MG fantasy duo, Beyond the Door and The Telling Stone were a Booklist Top Ten Fantasy/SciFi for Youth and a finalist for the WA State Book awards.  Her poetry appears in many journals and anthologies.  She lives in Washington State.

Connect with Maureen

Maureen’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS
Monday, February 4th: @girlsinbooks
Tuesday, February 5th: @the_readers_nook
Wednesday, February 6th: Blooming with Books
Thursday, February 7th: Books and Cats and Coffee
Monday, February 11th: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, February 12th: Write Read Life
Wednesday, February 13th:
Thursday, February 14th: 100 Pages a Day
Monday, February 18th: @prose_and_palate
Tuesday, February 19th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, February 19th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
Wednesday, February 20th: @createexploreread
Monday, February 25th: Run Wright
Tuesday, February 26th: @librarycutie
Wednesday, February 27th: Jessicamap Reviews and @jessicamap
Thursday, February 28th: Book Fidelity
Friday, March 1st: What is That Book About

Monday, February 18, 2019

Blog Tour: Excerpt of California Girls by Susan Mallery

We are excited to be a part of an excerpt tour for California Girls beginning mid-February, followed by a review tour starting on the day of release, February 26th!  COme back on March 20 for a review of the book!

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: Harlequin
Date of publicaiton: February 26, 2019

The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…
Finola, a popular LA morning show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.

Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.

Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.

But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.

Excerpt #6:
Chapter Two

Oh good, you’re still here, were not words Zennie Schmitt wanted to hear eight minutes before the end of her shift. She’d been on her feet for ten hours already. The relatively light day had included two angioplasties that had gone surprisingly well, considering the age and physical condition of the patients. She’d been on her way to the locker room to grab her things when she’d heard herself being paged over the intercom.
Dr. Chen had expressed his relief that she was still in the hospital. “I have an emergency bypass surgery. Are you up for it?”
Zennie understood the question. She’d already put in a full day. She was tired and if she didn’t think she had the stamina to assist Dr. Chen through a coronary artery bypass operation, then she was expected to tell him. She was more than a perioperative nurse—aka scrub nurse—she was part of an elite nursing team that worked in one of the country’s most prestigious and busy cardiac care hospitals. They saw some of the sickest patients in the world and when someone was on their table, it was often a life-or-death situation. Giving less than 1000 percent wasn’t permissible.
Zennie took a second to close her eyes and breathe. Yes, she was tired, but not exhausted. With luck they would only have to replace one artery, but odds were more were involved, stretching a three-to-four-hour surgery into something much longer. Still, she and Dr. Chen worked well together and she enjoyed being a team player.
“I’ll swing by the café, then be right there,” she said.

Dr. Chen hung up without saying anything like Hey, that’s great or the somewhat expected but rarely heard thank you. He was a gifted, brilliant surgeon who practically worked magic, reviving hearts others thought past saving, but when it came to his people skills...not so much with the glibness. As Zennie hurried to the café, she wondered if they’d ever had a single conversation that wasn’t about a patient.
She bypassed the coffee and went straight to the espresso machine. She knew exactly how long a double shot would take to ramp up her alertness. She would crash toward the end of surgery, but by then adrenaline would be pumping, so she would be fine. Tomorrow she would be extra nurturing with her diet to make up for the abuse her body would take in the night.
Eight hours and forty minutes, not to mention one double bypass later, Zennie finally made it to her car. She was beyond tired and she ached all over. The bright lights of the parking garage were at odds with the quiet and darkness beyond. It was well after midnight, and the good news was she wouldn’t have to worry about traffic on the drive home. In fact the normally twenty-five-minute trip took all of twelve minutes. She stumbled into her bedroom just after one.
She stripped off her scrubs, then washed her face and brushed her teeth. Before sinking into the welcome softness of her bed, she grabbed her phone and checked for messages.
She had a reminder for her 5:00 a.m. running date. No way that was happening, she thought with a yawn. Not that anyone would be surprised. She was always a firm maybe on Fridays, but a for-sure yes on the weekend, barring her being on call. She also had a ten-thirty appointment with her baby sister, Ali, to get fitted for her bridesmaid dress.
Zennie did her best not to groan as she thought about the upcoming nuptials. Not that she didn’t love her sister, but weddings were a pain and to be honest, Zennie wasn’t a huge Glen fan. He just didn’t seem to ever look at Ali with undisguised love and affection. Nigel, her sister Finola’s husband, was totally different. When he looked at his wife, you could feel the heat.
Speaking of heat... Zennie shoved her heating pad under her back. Her muscles were tight from hours spent in surgery. There was a text from her dad showing his sailboat anchored in a gorgeous Caribbean bay. Wish you were here. She smiled. Wish I was there, too. Miss you, Dad.
She knew she wouldn’t hear from him for a few hours.
Between the time difference and her father and stepmother living on “island time,” texts could take a while to be answered. Still, the thought of a couple of weeks on a sailboat somewhere like the picture was nice.
Her last text was from her mother. Zennie held in a laugh at her mom’s offer to set her up on a blind date with “a handsome young man that you will absolutely adore,” before ending the text with, I’m not getting any younger and I expect grandchildren before I die.
Zennie was still chuckling when she fell asleep 

Purchase Links

About Susan Mallery

#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at

Connect with Susan

Excerpt Tour:
Monday, February 11th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, February 12th: Tar Heel Reader
Wednesday, February 13th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Thursday, February 14th: Books & Spoons
Monday, February 18th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, February 19th: Rad Babes Read
Wednesday, February 20th: Reading Reality
Thursday, February 21st: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Friday, February 22nd: Thoughts on This ‘n That
TBD, Friday, February 15th: Cheryl’s Book Nook

Review Tour:
Monday, February 25th: Reading Reality
Monday, February 25th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Monday, February 25th: @booknerdingout
Tuesday, February 26th: The Book Date
Wednesday, February 27th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Friday, March 1st: Books & Bindings
Friday, March 1st: Not in Jersey
Monday, March 4th: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, March 4th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, March 5th: Odd and Bookish and @oddandbookish
Wednesday, March 6th: Bookchickdi
Thursday, March 7th: Running Through the Storms
Thursday, March 7th: Why Girls Are Weird
Friday, March 8th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, March 11th: The Romance Dish
Monday, March 11th: Tar Heel Reader and @tarheelreader
Tuesday, March 12th: Girl Who Reads
Wednesday, March 13th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, March 13th: Romantic Reads and Such
Thursday, March 14th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Thursday, March 14th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Friday, March 15th: Mrs. Mommy Booknerd
Monday, March 18th: Jathan & Heather
Monday, March 18th: Rad Babes Read and @radbabesread
Tuesday, March 19th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Wednesday, March 20th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, March 20th: A Splendid Messy Life
Thursday, March 21st: Broken Teepee
Friday, March 22nd: Girls in Books and @girlsinbooks
Monday, March 25th: Eliot’s Eats
Tuesday, March 26th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, March 27th: Into the Hall of Books
Thursday, March 28th: A Holland Reads
Friday, March 29th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Friday, March 29th: What is That Book About