Thursday, December 31, 2015

FALL READING CHALLENGE: The Word Game by Steena Holmes

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Description: Go inside the complicated world of sisterly relations, family secrets and unthinkable acts with this course by Steena Holmes. Past students are still talking about it!
Paperback: 207 pages

  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (November 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1503947130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1503947139

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    Synopsis: For overprotective parent Alyson Ward, any time her daughter, Lyla, is out of sight is reason to panic. So it’s a big step for her when she lets Lyla attend a sleepover at her cousin’s house. Comforted by the knowledge that her sister, Tricia, is the chaperone, Alyson does the one thing she never thought possible: she lets go and trusts that her daughter will be safe.

    But Alyson’s sense of peace is short lived. When Lyla comes home the next morning, she reveals something that could tear apart not only their family but also the entire community. Now, Alyson and Tricia must confront their painful shared past as they come together to help a little girl who they fear might be harboring terrible secrets similar to their own. Will the sisters be strong enough to face their demons in order to protect the child, even if it means telling their most private truths?

    Review: This book, at its core, is the story of four women: Ida, her grown daughters Alyson and Tricia, and their friend Myah. It's also about the daughters of Alyson, Tricia, and Myah, and about secrets that should never be kept. So much of this book hit home for me as I read through it---it resonated in my soul and heart due to my own life experiences.

    Each of the four women  is unique, and we get to read chapters from each of them throughout the book. In that way, we slowly pick up on things that the others might not know, which definitely adds to the tension of trying to put the whole story together.

    Steena Holmes is a pro at writing about complicated relationships. We get a look inside marriages, adult friendships, children's friendships, and parent-child relationships. We see how "family" can go so much deeper than blood relatives--and how far a sibling will go to protect another sibling (which is a reveal that quite literally took my breath away!)

    **I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

    Rating: Five stars

    About the author
     photo steena-holmes_zpsccfnue3z.jpg NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author - Steena is the author of the heart wrenching Finding Emma series. 

    Her latest novel - The Word Game will be released in November 2015.

    Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a Bachelors degree in Theology.

    In 2012 she received the Indie Excellence Award. Holmes was inspired to write Finding Emma after experiencing a brief moment of horror when she’d thought her youngest daughter was missing. 

    She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.
    Novels in her Finding Emma series:
    Finding Emma
    Dear Jack
    Emma's Secret
    Dottie's Memories
    Megan's Hope

    The Memory Child
    The Memory Journal

    Stillwater Bay Series:
    Before the Storm
    Stillwater Rising

    2016 Reading Challenge

    This is going to take some doing, but I've already chosen books for most of the categories.  Will update as I read books that apply. 

    Two levels of achievement:

    Tier One
    Read 36 books selected from the categories. Up to four may be "wild card" books of your choice.

    Tier Two
    Read a book from each of the 43 categories, plus 9 "wild cards" for a total of 52 books.

    Read a book that takes place on each continent, or is written by an author from that continent (fiction or non-fiction)
    1. North America: The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey
    2. South America:  Something Fierce: Memoirs Of A Revolutionary Daughter by Carmen Aguirre
    3. Africa: We Are All The Same: A Story Of A Boy's Courage And A Mother's Love by Jim Wooten
    4. Antarctica: Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
    5. Europe: Just One Day by Gayle Forman
    6. Asia: The Last Train From Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back by Charles Pellegrino
    7. Australia: The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarity

    8. A banned or challenged book: Identical by Ellen Hopkins
    9. An award winning book (Pulitzer, Hugo, Man Booker, etc.): A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
    10. Memoir/Autobiography/Biography: Accused by Tonya Craft
    11. A dead author's last book: Persuasion by Jane Austen
    12. A book with LGBT matter or character(s) George by Alex Gino
    13. A book your favorite author loves: Son Of The Morning by Linda Howard
    14. A retold fairytale: The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
    15. A Young Adult book: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
    16. A history book (fiction or non-fiction): The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage by Daniel Mark Epstein
    17. A book where you have seen the movie, but not read the book: The Maze Runner by James Dashner
    18. A book from the NYT Bestseller list: See Me by Nicholas Sparks
    19. A book with the point of view of an immigrant: Brick Lane by Monica Ali
    20. A controversial book: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    21. The first book you see when you walk into a library or bookstore
    22. A classic: Animal Farm by George Orwell
    23. A debut novel: The Longest Night by Andria Williams
    24. Published this year (2016): 
    25. Based entirely on the cover
    26. Own but never read: Maximus by Richard L. Black
    27. A book by an author you never read before : A Stabbing In The Senate by Colleen J. Shogan
    28. A book recommended to you by a friendly librarian:
    29. A book by a Nobel Prize winner: Royal Highness by Thomas Mann
    30. Mythology (not just Greek):  The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    31. A book written by someone born the same year as you: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Future by Michael J. Fox
    32. Dystopia: Anthem by Ayn Rand
    33. Reread of a favorite book: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 
    34. A book about books: The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
    35. Book published the year you graduated high school: Kindred by Octavia Butler
    36. A book a child/teen/someone younger than you loves:
    37. A book about/set by the sea: The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate
    38. A book with two authors: The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
    39. Author from your own state, province, or country: Bluish by Virginia Hamilton
    40. A book about a trip (road, cruise, around the world): Just One Year by Gayle Foreman
    41. A book with the name of a person in the title: Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt
    42. Science Fiction: One Second After by William R. Forstchen
    43. Fantasy: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
    44. Wild card: Swan Deception by Glede Browne Kabongo
    45. Wild card: The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
    46. Wild card: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
    47. Wild card: Thread and Gone by Lea Wait
    48. Wild card: All In Her Head by Sunny Mera
    49. Wild card: The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello
    50. Wild card: 14 Days To Die by A.B. Whelan
    51. Wild card: Karma's A Killer by Tracy Weber
    52. Wild card: Sweet Pepper Hero by J.J. Cook

    Wednesday, December 30, 2015

    CINDERELLA COUNTDOWN #15: Nobody's Cinderella by Joan Reeves

    Hey God? Yes Charles: Conversations On Life, Loss and Love by Rebecca H. Cooper

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    Book Information
    Genre: Christian, memoir, nonfiction
    • Paperback: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Turner (November 10, 2015)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1630268860
    • ISBN-13: 978-1630268862

    Synopsis: Sunday, November 11, 2007, Becky Cooper watched her husband drive out of sight, heading from their Nashville condo to his office and apartment in Atlanta. She never saw him conscious again.

    Monday, November 12, was his 58th birthday. Since he would be out of town, their granddaughters and Becky had made him a cake and celebrated before he left on that Sunday.

    Wednesday, November 14, Charles caught Becky at her desk, calling just to let her know that he’d had some pain radiating down his back. He was sure it was nothing, but the company nurse, who just happened to be in the office that day, heard what happened and insisted on calling 911 as a precaution. They swapped love yous. She didn’t even get out of her chair.

    Twelve days later, despite hundreds, maybe thousands, of prayers, Charles died. Emergency open heart surgery was followed by complications, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and various lung infections. He and Becky had been married almost 39 years.

    In the following year, Becky learned that the connection with someone you love doesn’t cease with death. Charles was always bigger than life, and his presence, his love, his humor, and these conversations were just as real after his death.

    For better, for worse, Becky started scribbling down what she was overhearing in heaven.

    She was done talking to God. Charles, as it turned out, was not.

    Review:  This is one of the few books of this size that I read in one sitting this year. When I got started, I simply could NOT put it down. There were so many emotions in the pages of this book--I laughed and I cried, and laughed until I cried. 

    The short, simple conversations between Charles and God are a very different way of exploring the grieving process of a surviving spouse. We get the viewpoint of the deceased spouse as he watches her try to make it through each day, and we get words of wisdom from God.  Be prepared for God's sense of humor in this book--I think that was one of my favorite aspects of it.  We already know He is caring and compassionate toward us, but apparently He loves a good joke as well.   :)

    Although I have not experienced the loss of a spouse yet in my life, I have been close to people who have, and I feel this book captures so many of the emotions perfectly. I'm keeping it on my shelf, and I hope to be able to pass it on to friends/relatives who may be hurting, and to use it someday to remind myself that grief is an emotion from which you CAN recover.

    HIGHLY recommend this to absolutely everyone!!

    **I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

    Rating: Five stars

    About the author
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    Rebecca Cooper is a Belmont University graduate and former teacher, business owner and career professional. Her love of writing dates back to elementary school, and she has produced stories, poetry, and various articles over the years. In her first published work, scribbles on scraps of paper capture conversations she began to overhear after the sudden death of her husband. While prioritizing her grandchildren and a love for travel and books, she divides the rest of her time among church and other family and friends – all of whom took turns carrying her along a journey of love, loss and recovery. Rebecca currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee. for more information. 

    Tuesday, December 29, 2015

    RELEASE TOUR: And Night Descends (Small Gods #3) by Bruce Blake

    Heaven Enough by Ken La Salle

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    Book Information
    • Paperback: 324 pages
    • Publisher: Limitless Publishing, LLC (February 9, 2015)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1680580523
    • ISBN-13: 978-1680580525

    Synopsis:  Heaven Enough 

    Is a poem about longing, about wishing for something more. "What would it be like if I had heaven enough?" it reads. 

    Matt Murphy reads these words for the first time at his wife's funeral. After a death shrouded with mystery, it is the first time he learns that she wrote poetry. He and Diva were married for nearly twenty years, yet he did not "know" her. A poet and lover of culinary delights, she is struck by a car and killed instantly—randomly—on the wrong side of town. 

    When her brother, the "monk," appears for the funeral, Matt is set on an unprecedented course. The two find Diva's computer filled with preparations to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Over 2600 miles from Mexico to Canada...and she was leaving without her husband. 

    Matt takes it upon himself to hike the trail and sprinkle her ashes along the way. What happens in the first two hours is dumbfounding. 

    What happens next changes his life forever.

    Review: I had never heard of this author or book before I was offered the opportunity to read and review it. The "hook" for me was that the wife was a poet, which I have been since the age of ten. On that connection alone, I chose to give this novel a chance, and I am very glad I did.

    This book is powerfully written and is very inspirational. It's a beautiful, clever story. Most of the story takes place on the Pacific Coast Trail, where we begin to see a transformation in Matt. There are surprises for the reader, and for Matt along the way. This is a tale of love, romance, sorrow, grief, regret, humor and more.

    The ending was very surprising, but one that made a great deal of sense upon reflection.

    Rating:  Four stars

    About the author
     photo kenlasallewebsiteshot2_zps2j7huscv.jpg Novelist and Playwright, Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue-collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you'll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. He's also very funny.

    Monday, December 28, 2015

    RELEASE TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: Forever Christmas--The Second Season by Joanne Jaytanie, Angela Ford, Karen Hall and Jackie Marilla

    CINDERELLA COUNTDOWN #14: Pumpkin: A Cindermama Story by Ines Johnson

    It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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    What I read last week:
    1) Doctor's Daughter--Journey To Justice by Belle Blackburn
    2) Heaven Enough by Ken LaSalle
    3) Hey God? Yes Charles: Conversations On Life, Loss and Love by Rebecca H. Cooper
    4) Grayland by Maddie Delange
    5) Death Crashes The Party by Vickie Fee
    6) The Word Game by Steena Holmes
    7) The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay

    What I listened to last week:
    1) A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams
    2) Christmas Letters by Debbie Macomber

    What I'm currently reading:
    1) Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty by Angela Ewell Hunt

    What I'm currently listening to:
    1) Summer's Child by Diane Chamberlain

    What I plan to read this week:
    1) Cause She's A Good Girl by Groovy Lee
    2) Conspiracy Of Silence by Augustine Sam
    3) A Free Unsullied Land by Maggie Kast
    4) A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly
    5) Death Comes To The County Fair by Annette Drake
    6) Finding Sheba by H.B. Moore

    What I plan to listen to this week:
    1) War Room by Chris Fabry

    What I got in the mail last week:
    1) Sweet Pepper Hero by J.J. Cook
    2) All In Her Head by Sunny Mera
    3) How To Grow An Addict by J.A. Wright
    4) The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston

    What I won last week:

    Christmas Actually (A Holiday Collection) By Aimee Horton, Katie Rose Guest Pryal, Cheryl McAllister, Didier Quémenerr, Laura Schalk and Vicki Lesage

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    Book Information
    • Paperback: 188 pages
    • Publisher: Velvet Morning Press (July 13, 2015)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0692467629
    • ISBN-13: 978-0692467626

    Synopsis:  You never know how Christmas will turn out! Festive and fun, or dreary and dull? While the holidays are magical for some, they are somber for others. Christmas, Actually is a holiday collection that runs the gamut of seasonal emotions: humor, hope, joy, confusion, excitement. 

    Curl up next to the fire, and laugh, cry and dream along with the characters in this collection of holiday tales. Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future... All play a part inChristmas, Actually. 

    A Christmas collection full of Christmas humor, Christmas spirit, and even a little Christmas romance 
    If you're looking for a great read this holiday season, don't miss Christmas, Actually! The six stories in this holiday collection take you on an adventure full of Christmas cheer. And it makes the perfect Christmas gift! 

    Interview with the editor
    Q: There are a lot of Christmas stories out there. Why read this collection in particular? 
    A: The answer is in the question! This book is a Christmas collection, with no two stories about the holiday season alike. You'll find Christmas humor and Christmas romance. Christmas spirit and Christmas cheer. Noticing a theme? One thing's for sure, it's a must-have this Christmas season! 

    Q: What types of stories will we find in this Christmas collection? 
    A: The stories are grouped into Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future. Spanning a variety of genres (humor, memoir, fiction, dystopia), you're sure to find something you like? 

    Q: Can you share a little bit about each contributor to this anthology? 
    A: Of course! 

    Aimee Horton ("Survival of the Christmas Spirit") is the author of the Survival Series, a collection of humorous novels about Dottie Harris, a mother of two energetic kids who loves her gin. 

    Katie Rose Guest Pryal ("Nice Wheels") is the author ofEntanglement and its novella prequel Love and Entropy. She is a lawyer, freelance journalist and author. 

    Cheryl McAlister ("Noëlle") has been published in several anthologies, including That's Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm in the City of Light, also published by Velvet Morning Press. She loves travel and escaping to France whenever she can. 

    Didier Quémener ("Chris Aftermaths") is a chef, foodie, father and writer. He lives in Paris where he eats fresh bread every day, rain or shine. 

    Laura Schalk ("Joyful Noise") writes in stolen moments throughout the year and has also been published in That's Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm in the City of Light

    Vicki Lesage ("All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth") is the author of the Paris Confessions series, a collection of humorous memoirs where she recounts the ups and downs of her life in the City of Light. 

    Q: What's the key to a great Christmas story? 
    A: The key to a great Christmas story is the same as the key to any great story—make the reader feel something. Whether it's the joy of the season or the strong emotions that come out this time of year, a Christmas story needs to draw the reader in and make them feel like it's Christmastime, no matter where they are or what time of year it is when they're reading it. 

    Review: A wonderful little collection of Christmas stories which evoke a variety of reactions.  These six stories were all very quick reads, and each was enjoyable in its own way.

    The book is divided into Christmas Past, Present and Future, with two stories in each section. With the variety of stories and emotions, there is definitely something for everyone in this little book. I for one will be keeping it to read year after year during the holiday season.

    Rating: Four stars

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

    Doctor's Daughter: Journey To Justice by Belle Blackburn

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    Book Information
    • Paperback: 448 pages
    • Publisher: Demonbreun Press (September 2, 2012)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0615690955
    • ISBN-13: 978-0615690957

    Synopsis:  Everybody, including her mother, believes that Kate's father committed suicide. Determined to prove otherwise, Kate sets out on a fascinating and sometimes hysterical journey through antebellum law and medicine. Set in 1860s Nashville and told with a biting wit, determined Kate finally discovers the truth - but at what cost? Will she ruin her own life trying to defend the life of her dead father?

    Review: A really great historical fiction novel, which was obviously extensively researched. The details about "medical" treatments of the time were fascinating. The author's careful attention to detail puts the reader right in the era.

    Kate is a strong-willed and determined young woman trying to clear her father's name and remove the humiliation of suicide from her family. Although the book is set in the Civil War era, and the characters are seen dealing with issues surrounding the war, the main focus of the story is Kate and her life journey. 

    This is a very well-written story that keeps you reading and turning the page. The mystery of Kate's father's death will keep you guessing, and I don't think you will be surprised by the way it all plays out.

    Kate grows up a great deal over the course of the novel, and that progression is both entertaining  and at times heartbreaking. There is no shortage of enjoyable other characters along the way, either.

    I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Civil War era historical fiction.

    **I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

    Rating: Four stars

    About the author
     photo 61rCg7laXrL._SX150__zpszsiyh9fy.jpgI was the little nerdette with a library card in my kindergarten hand, reading the kiddie books and planning what I would write. Come college time accounting seemed a more certain way to bring in a dollar so journalism was a minor. Writing was put on the back burner while dollars were made and kids and parents were raised, however, reading was always on the front burner. Probably my biggest influences would be Susan Howatch, Diana Gabaldon and Margaret Mitchell. A conversation with my husband 20 years earlier about suicide vs. murder percolated in the back of my mind and then announced it wanted to be written. I obeyed and out came The Doctor's Daughter: Journey to Justice. The history of Nashville during the Civil War is just so interesting and so important at that time but most people won't sit down with a history book so I sneaked the history and the antebellum law and medicine in with a good story. 

    And to all of you who have been asking - yes, a sequel is on the way!

    Thursday, December 24, 2015

    The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith

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    Book Information
    Genre: Memoir
    • Hardcover: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Harmony (October 28, 2014)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0553418556
    • ISBN-13: 978-0553418552

    Synopsis: For readers of Richard Paul Evans and Greg Kincaid comes The 13th Gift, a heartwarming Christmas story about how a random act of kindness transformed one of the bleakest moments in a family's history into a time of strength and love.

    After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children--especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their "True Friends." As the Smiths came together to solve the mystery of who the gifts were from, they began to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.

    Review: This is a book that will now be one of those I read EVERY December.  I've been planning to read it since it came out last year, but it got lost in the shuffle of my TBR pile, so I saved it for this Christmas season. The fact that the author is a local resident was also a drawing point for me.

    This book deals with a family grieving the death of their husband and father, and their first holiday season without him. It is a very touching story, and shares the true spirit of the season. The gifts that show up on the family's doorstep each day not only help them to get the holiday spirit back in their lives, they also bring the family back together.

    I couldn't stop reading this book, wanting to get to the next chapter to find out about the next gift. By the end, you will realize that the thirteenth gift is the most meaningful one of all.

    I'm going to be recommending this one to everyone, and probably gifting it to people next year.  

    Rating: Five stars


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    Joanne (Jo) Huist Smith was an award-winning journalist for the Dayton Daily News where she chronicled the lives of people and issues shaping her Ohio community. She began writing short stories and journaling at age nine.
    Jo was awarded first place from the Ohio Associated Press for Best Community Service for her 2009 package of stories on heroin’s destructive path through rural and suburban neighborhoods. The judges said her series “delivers information straight to the bloodstream.”
    Jo’s career has been guided by advice given to her by former Dayton Daily News Managing Editor Steve Sidlo: “Love truth and you’ll be alright.” Those words are echoed in everything she writes, including The 13th Gift.
    She is a life-long resident of the Dayton area and a graduate of Wright State University. She has three adult children and two absolutely adorable red-headed grandchildren.

    Tuesday, December 22, 2015

    PROMO POST AND GIVEAWAY:Country Courtship (Texas Two Step #3) by Kathy Carmichael

    hot flash
    Only 99c reduced from $3.99 until 12/31
    The Texas Two-Step romantic comedy series is a reader favorite. All of the stories in the series are sweet, charming and emotional contemporary romance. Each story in the series stands alone, but all Texas Two-Step novels and novellas feature love stories about members of the Nelson, Murphy or Palmer families — and sometimes, more than one!

    When Kelli Palmer meets Bobby Gray Nelson at a family get-together, their attraction is immediate. But Kelli's kid sister already has dibs on Bobby Gray.

    Bobby Gray Nelson never takes no for an answer, a resolve that made him a rodeo champion.

    But Kelli is standing her ground.

    Now Bobby Gray must do something he's never done: woo the woman who's already claimed his heart, and earn permission to place his brand on hers.

    Country Courtship is the third sweet romance in the Texas Two-Step contemporary romance series from USA Today bestselling author Kathy Carmichael. Previously titled: Kissing Kelli

    Available to buy at only 99c (until 12/31) from...

    “I have always had a hard time leisurely reading any of Kathy Carmichael’s books and this one was no exception. This delightful story is sure to please her many and varied fans!” ~ Kathy Boswell, Fresh Fiction

    Another beautifully sweet romance from Kathy Carmichael. I simply adore this series. Country Courtship is sweet, funny, and incredibly romantic. I highly recommend it.
    ~ Reviewer on Amazon

    Also Available
    Chasing Charlie, Texas Two-Step Series Book 1 FREE EBOOK
    Raised in a family of rodeo champions on a South Texas cattle ranch, Charlie wants only one thing: to avoid thrill-seeking cowboys.

    Davis Murphy, cowboy wannabe and one of Dallas's most eligible bachelors, needs a pretty and witty faux fiancée so his widowed mother will marry her longtime gentleman friend.

    Charlie, his local librarian, seems the prefect choice.

    Charlie's first reaction is to run, but she's promised herself to step out of her plain-jane routine.

    When Charlie accepts, Davis's plan is set. But now Charlie's sweet ways are challenging his bachelor heart.

    FREE from the following sites....

    The Lassoed Bride (a novella), Texas Two-Step Series Book 2 NEW RELEASE
    A Novella. Six years ago, Barbara Palmer fell head-over-heels for cocky cowboy Ben O'Shea. He was devastatingly appealing, and he knew it. He had her heart—until the day he stood her up and disappeared. Now he’s back, determined to take up again where they left off—even though she's about to marry another man.

    Despite all the growing up Ben has done in the past six years, including the highly successful dude ranch he's built that's made him a millionaire—he's never forgotten Barb and he wants her back.

    But her wedding grows closer every day. He has to win back her love and her trust, before she's lost to him forever.

    Available to buy from...

    THE TEXAS TWO-STEP, in series order
    Western Pleasure (A Novella) (Book 0)
    Chasing Charlie (Book 1) 
    The Lassoed Bride (A Novella) (Book 2)
    Country Courtship (Book 3)
    Courting Trouble (Book 4)
    My Southern Bride (Book 5)

    About the Author
    USA Today Bestselling author Kathy Carmichael resides on the west coast of Florida with her Scottish husband, two not-so-wee sons, three cats, a part-time dog, and a huge collection of dust bunnies.

    Kathy writes award-winning romantic comedies and humorous mysteries. Her Texas Two-Step romance series is a reader favorite. Kathy's romantic comedy, Hot Flash, was named by the American Library Association's BOOKLIST magazine as one of the Top 10 Romance Fiction titles for 2009.

    In addition to her novels, she’s sold short stories and wrote a bi-monthly column on the business of writing for a national writing trade magazine. Kathy is also a contest judge for Writers Digest. She’s a member of the International Thriller Writers, an active member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters-in-Crime, Novelists Inc., the Florida chapter of MWA, is the published author liaison of the Tampa Area Romance Authors, and is an active member and past national board member of the Romance Writers of America.

    Kathy loves hearing from readers.

    Find the author on the following sites...
    Website   Facebook   Twitter   Google+   Pinterest   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

    Subscribe to Kathy’s Readers Group HERE and receive the link to download your free digital copy of Western Pleasure! You don’t want to miss out on the fun stuff Kathy offers, including contests just for her subscribers
    Read an excerpt from Country Courtship HERE

    Follow the Book Tour
    I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
    Win $20 GC / Paypal Cash (winners choice) 
    Open Worldwide
    Ending on Tuesday 22nd December at 11.59pm EST

    Enter Below and Good Luck !!
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    BOOK TOUR, GIVEAWAY AND EXCERPT: The New Mrs. D by Heather Hill

    Four days into their honeymoon in Greece, Bernice and David Dando have yet to consummate their marriage and after having accepted his almost non-existent desire for sex throughout the relationship, Bernice finally discovers the reason; he is addicted to porn. Learning that the love of her life chooses the cheap thrill of fantasy over her is devastating but then, 'every man does it; it’s just looking, right?’ If she leaves the relationship because of virtual adultery, will she be labelled as pathological, overreacting, or even worse, frigid?
    When funny, feisty, forty-something Bernice plans the adventure trip of a lifetime, she doesn’t expect to be spending it alone. But as it turns out, unintentionally contributing to a Greek fish explosion, nude karaoke and hilarious misadventures with volcanoes are exactly what she needs to stop fretting about errant husbands and really start living. But when Mr D tries to win her back, Bernice has a decision to make: is this a holiday from her humdrum life, or the start of a whole new adventure?

    Review: What a great story! I so enjoyed watching Bernice grow more confident and self-assured as the story unfolded. And the hilarious situations she found herself in...I laughed so hard!

    Bernice is a very realistic character, and you can't help but feel for her. Who expects their marriage to be over on their honeymoon, after all?  I enjoyed reading her various Facebook entries, where she was trying to put on a brave sense and not let anyone at home know that her husband isn't with her. 

    Porn addiction is a very serious issue, and the author handles it in a tasteful, honest, well-written way. The same is true with the body issues Bernice deals with throughout the book.

    I enjoyed that the author stayed true to Bernice language-wise, as well, using British vocabulary throughout. I admit to having to look some of the slang up, but that was fine with me. I'm a huge fan of their way of speaking--even though it is so closely related to our own, it seems so much more sophisticated.

    Another great debut novel from 2015. I certainly hope Ms. Hill will grace us with more of her work in 2016.

    Rating:  Four stars


    ‘Why are you alone?’
    The question came from a little girl sat at the next table with her parents –who were both engrossed in the game. She had long dark hair, green eyes and peered at me polishing off the last of my meal over small, round glasses. Pretending not to notice she was speaking to me, I ignored her and waved to get the waiter’s attention.
    ‘Could I have some water please?’ I said, pointing to my glass and giving him a wink, in case it was international waiter/customer language or something. After dinner and one half of a carafe of wine, I was beginning to think I might need scissors to get the crushing Spanx pants off later. And wasn’t I supposed to be cleansing myself of all this boozy living?
    ‘Well, why are you?’ the little girl continued to question me.
    I looked at her and forced a smile. ‘Because that’s the way I like it,’ I said.
    ‘By yourself?’
    She continued to stare without blinking, making me shift in my seat like a Mastermind contestant on their fourth pass.
    ‘What happens just before a man…’
    ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish! …ejaculates?’
    ‘Ooh... err... I used to know this one! Oh, it’s been a long time… Erm… Oh, pass!’
    ‘Evie!’ The brusque voice of the little girl’s mother brought me back to reality. ‘Don’t be so rude! I’m so sorry.’ The woman smiled at me before turning Evie back round to face her. ‘Leave the poor lady alone.’
    The words, ‘poor lady’ stung a little. It was how I must have looked - a poor, lonely lady.
    Sighing, I picked up my handbag and headed for the toilets. As I checked my reflection, I reaching into my handbag for some lipstick, but instead found some kind of wire coiled inside. I tugged on it and out popped a bulbous object I recognised. Oh for heaven's sake! I’d dropped the damn pelvic toner in my bag! I pulled the machine out and stared at the cone, wondering if this was a sign telling me I was to be condemned to Slack Vaginasville for forgetting today’s session. Maybe I could just nip back to the apartment after my meal and have an early one? I could phone Suzy while I was squeezing.Urgh, noooo. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Anyway, could I hold a vaginal cone in for twelve minutes without a toilet break after a half carafe of wine? Deciding against it, I shoved it back into my bag, which I threw over my shoulder, checked my hair in the mirror and hurried back outside.
    As I strolled back to my table, there was a tug at my shoulder.
    ‘What’s that thing?’ It was Evie, and the cheeky little minx was tugging on my handbag!
    Turning to see what she was referring to, I froze on the spot. To my horror, I realised she was pulling on the wire from the pelvic toner, which was hanging out of my half-closed bag.
    ‘Get off that!’ I hissed. ‘Don’t you know it’s rude to…’
    ‘Wow! What is that?’
    As the entire thing came free into her hands, she stood gazing at the cylindrical bulb in wonderment. It was time to think up some very clever explanation and fast. However, I was pants at that.
    ‘It’s a... it’s a...’
    Looking around the taverna it was clear everyone was – thankfully – focussed on the football, which by now had now kicked off.
    ‘It’s a mini karaoke machine,’ I lied. ‘But it’s broken, so give it back to me please.’
    ‘A karaoke? Oh, I love singing! Can I have a go?’
    ‘Well, you could but as I said, it’s broken so…’
    She rolled the vaginal cone around in her hands, fiddled with the buttons on the monitor and stared back up at me. ‘How is it broken?’
    ‘See, there’s no music. Now if you’ll just give it to m…’
    ‘Mummy, look at me! This lady gave me a microphone! She wants to hear me sing! Can I?’
    Her mother was still engrossed in the TV and without turning waved a hand at her. ‘Okay, that’s lovely Evie, now shhh!’
    ’Water for you?’
    My waiter had appeared, giving Evie the chance to break away, skipping round the back of the tables holding the vaginal bulb to her mouth as a makeshift microphone.
    I looked at the waiter, who was now watching her with a bemused look on his face.
    ‘Please,’ I said, grasping his arm. ‘I’m actually feeling a little sick. Do you mind if I cancel the rest of this order and just pay my bill?’

    Author Bio
    Heather Hill is a Scotland based comedy writer, author and mum of five (not the band). She is one of a rare kind; the rare kind being one of only 0.5% of women who are colourblind. She has been known to leave the house with blue eyebrows on at least one occasion. Her debut novel, 'The New Mrs D' is being pitched for film by a British TV comedy producer and Snipper Films.


    Twitter & Instagram name: @hell4heather
    Links to buy The New Mrs D:
    Amazon UK
    Amazon US

    Also available to order at all UK Waterstones, Foyles Bookstores & WH Smiths branches

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