August #BookReviews @maeClair1 @jacqbiggar @WillieNelson @LisaWellsauthor @teagangeneviene @sashawrites

What a great month of reading I had! I am super excited to share my thoughts on the books I devoured!

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I am a huge fan of Mae Clair’s writing and thought I had read everything she’d written until I ran across this book. And I’m glad I did!

Caithelden Breckwood is a tortured soul, carrying the weight of guilt for the death of his best friend. But they were only kids and all because of his family wealth and family name. Now he’s an adult with a set of steel bars around his heart and a new last name leaving behind all association to the Breckwood family. The only one he lets in is his young son, Derrick. He’s fiercely protective, determined that what happened to him will not ever happen to his son.

However, when he is hired as a Private Investigator to get to the bottom of who and what is sabotaging Stone Willow Lodge, he comes face-to-face with his past including the one woman he has always loved. Veronica is not prepared to face Caith again. The wound he left on her heart is permanent. As the events that occur at the lodge escalate into an all-out attack, Caith and Veronica are swept into a nail-biting journey that also finds them still deeply attracted to each other and often winding up in each other’s beds. The child, Derrick, plays a big part in helping each of the adults in this story heal and forgive.

I loved all of the characters, but especially Caithelden’s mother, Morgana, who is fascinated by myth and magic. The family drama that unfolds is believable as personalities clash and old issues arise. I rooted for Caith and Veronica all the way. That kind of love cannot be denied. The book came to a more than satisfactory conclusion. If you love a good mystery mixed with a steamy romance, you will love this book. I highly recommend it! 

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I enjoyed catching back up with the characters I met in other Wounded Hearts books. It was like visiting old friends. The always tough SAC agent, Amanda Rhinehart, is seven months pregnant as a result of an illicit affair with a previous member of her team, Adam O’Connor. Adam has no idea she is pregnant or even where she is. At the end of the last book, she left Texas. But as circumstances arise that force Amanda to seek out Adam and other team members, for their own safety, there is no avoiding the fact that she is pregnant with his child.

The author did a great job of layering this story with high-profile drug cases as well as the complex personalities of the characters. No doubt this pregnancy has softened Amanda and cracked her hard exterior, yet she refuses to let Adam in or even admit to him the baby is his. They are both denying their love and it takes some pretty drastic measures to get past the barriers they’ve put in place. The other characters in the story, Maggie, Frank, Cameron, Emily, and a new character, Brianne, all play important roles. The jury is still out on Cameron. One minute he seems like a good guy and the next he’s evasive and hard to read. I look forward to more with him. To me, the story came to an abrupt end. I would like to have seen the reunion with Adam and Amanda rather than being told about it. But that is my only critique. If you like layered characters and plots, you will enjoy this book! It’s a quick easy read.

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If I could give this book ten stars, I would. I loved Willie before I read this book, but I love and respect him even more after reading it. As the title suggests, this is a compilation of letters from Willie – Letters were written not only to people living but many who have passed on. He even wrote a letter to his famous guitar, Trigger, to his audiences, his children, and to his heroes. The book is like a chronological recap of his life from early childhood in Abbott, Texas to today, dealing with the pandemic, politics, climate change, and a plethora of other immediate issues. But through it all, he is positive and upbeat. He lists Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code in a letter to Gene Autry (a boyhood hero). This code is one we would all benefit from if we lived by it.

One of my favorite passages in the book is in the chapter he wrote about all the frequent rumors that circulate about his death. He says: “The question is not: Which one of us is going to die tomorrow? The question is: What am I going to do today? Remember my song, “Three Days,” which helped kick off this book? There are only three days – yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And there’s only one of those we can do anything about. So let’s go earn our day. Let’s do our best to enjoy life on this side of the dirt.” Such words of wisdom.

There is also a chapter on the Power of Positive Thinking that I found uplifting. Visualization and positive thinking are the keys to a happy productive life. I believe it! Included with these letters and chapters are many song lyrics scattered throughout the book. I highly recommend this for anyone seeking self-improvement or if you just love Willie!

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With a hexed small town named Knotty, a sexy neighbor named Jason, and an inherited haunted house, I knew I was in for a real treat with this story. Remington never planned to return to the place where she grew up in an orphanage, but when her best friend, Beth, dies and she inherits a house, how can she stay away?

It mattered not that the two friends hadn’t spoken in years. The bond remained. And when Beth makes herself visible to Remington, the story ramps up. Armed with a book of spells, Remington embarks on the journey to becoming a full-fledged spell-casting witch. Ever seen a dog that meows? Perhaps some of the spells need a little tweaking.

This author has such a knack for writing quirky, steamy stories, and this one is the best I’ve read so far. The characters are charming, if not a bit eccentric. The ghosts that roam about are entertaining at the least. But the sparks that fly between Remington and Jason literally turn into visible streams. The story takes a dizzying array of twists and turns, with a surprise ending that I could not have predicted. There is a good bit of humor in this story and I laughed out loud more than once. If you want a sexy easy read that will entertain and distract you, this story is for you.

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This was such a realistic story. The author obviously has some first-hand insight into the ruthless cutthroat world of the music business.

Krystal King has grown up on the stage and in the spotlight, with a father who was a country music giant. She, her sister, and her brother make up The Three Kings and produce hit after hit. But Krystal is broken inside, while outwardly, she’s tough as leather. And when a newcomer is brought in after winning a talent show, she is not happy about being forced to allow him to record a song (her song) that means the world to her. But the record label insists. And not only insists that she give him the song to record, but that her sister will sing the duet with him, not her. The hurt and betrayal go deep. But Emmy Lou, Krystal’s twin sister understands and fakes a sore throat, forcing them to let Krystal sing with Jace Black. Krystal wants to hate him and tries to find every reason to do so.


But Jace is a gentleman through and through. And he’s overwhelmed at the opportunity he’s been given to work with his idols, having signed a contract to open shows for them. He’s finally out of the oilfields and living his dream. Now he can make a better life for himself and his little sister whom he takes care of. Neither Krystal nor Jace are prepared for the intensity of the chemistry between them.


Krystal suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a man whom everyone thought was a family friend (even called him uncle). And although it’s been years, the deep scars have never healed. Krystal is convinced she is so flawed no one can ever love her. Jace is determined to prove her wrong.
Her resistance is strong, but he is stronger.


This is such a good story with a realistic view into the world of stardom, life on the road, and a family that survives whatever is thrown at them. The characters are believable and the world-building is great. If you love a highly charged romance with lots of obstacles, this book is for you, and especially if you are also a music fan!

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This book is the first installment in a series of monthly novelettes from this author and I found myself immediately drawn into Emlyn’s world. The author did a great job of setting the scene. Emlyn is gifted but must keep her gift hidden or face banishment from a strict religious community ruled by the brethren. Women have no value except for childbearing and serving.
Only her mentor knows of Emlyn’s gift and is helping her develop and grow under the ruse of teaching her to read and cipher numbers. This segment of the story is told from Emlyn’s point of view so we see her encounter with a large white wolf through her eyes, as well as the ghosts that appear before her.
The author leaves lots of teasers and foreboding of things to come. “Winter is coming,” is a phrase that echos in Emlyn’s mind. Preparations must be made.
I look forward to the next segment of Emlyn’s journey.

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The world-building in this segment of this series is fantastic. The way the author describes the village, the inn, the characters, and the landscape, I am there. I could smell the biscuit the cook gave to Emlyn while her father bartered for her. And what a shock for the child to realize he wanted to get rid of her. At first, I hated him for that, but given the restrictive and zealous religion they are bound under, he actually wanted to protect her. After all, she must be a witch if she can see spirits. Emlyn’s home life is torturous with a sister who is hateful and spiteful and a brother-in-law she is terrified to be alone with. This segment of the story gave us a deeper look at the fantasy world and its inhabitants. I particularly loved seeing more of Zasha and her companion, Tajin. Emlyn is a mere child, but she is an open channel to the spirit world. I have no idea what will become of her, but I will keep reading to find out! This story is addicting. Each segment is a quick easy read and well-written.

May #BookReviews Part 1 – @LBroday @lisawellsauthor @1rburkey @CalebPirtle @CW_Hawes @jamesrcallan @virgilante

I have had SUCH a great month of eclectic reading! I’m happy to share my thoughts on these books but it is going to take two posts to share them all. Please keep in mind I only share four and five star review reads.

Deacon Brannock is determined to make a name for himself and the saloon he’s worked his whole life to afford. He was prepared for life in the Wild West, but he hadn’t counted on Grace Legend…

Grace has always fought hard for what she believes in, and after her best friend is killed at the hands of her drunk and angry husband, that includes keeping alcohol out of her town. When the owner of the new saloon turns out to be a kind and considerate man, she can’t help but wonder if they could have a future together…if they weren’t on opposite sides of every issue.

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MY REVIEW:

I first met Grace Legend in book 2 of the Men of Legend Series. She was a baby, but a precocious one and soon had the calloused cowboys on the huge Lone Star Ranch wrapped around her little finger. In this book, she is all grown up and forging a life for herself. She’s ambitious and sassy. She joins a Women’s Temperance Movement and marches with other women into the notorious Hell’s Half Acre in Fort Worth, known for the danger that lurks there. However, she isn’t prepared for the handsome and kind owner she finds at the Three Deuces saloon. And when they smash his whiskey barrels, destroying his livelihood, things heat up. Deacon Brannock has gone through hell and back to establish his business and just when things are running smoothly, here come these women determined to destroy him. One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Grace Legend’s father, the great Houston Legend, forces her to go to the saloon and clean up the mess she helped the women make. Then Houston replenishes Deacon’s whiskey supply. The tension been Grace and Deacon is so thick you can’t cut it with a sharp knife. It is highly unlikely that the two could ever be civil to each other, much less fall in love. This story is filled with such powerful imagery. Broday has depicted life in the rough and rowdy town of Fort Worth, Texas in the late 1880s perfectly. She uses all of the senses to bring the scenes to life. The characters are well-developed and layered, each with their own bag of secrets. If you love western romance, you are going to love this new book! I highly recommend it.

Librarian Kinley Foster wants to write erotic romance—the steamy, sexy, curl-your-toes kind of stuff. The problem? She desperately needs a little erotic inspiration. And at a romance convention in Vegas, she finds it…or rather him.

Literary agent Ian Thompson is a professional. Mentoring an aspiring author is one thing, giving her a thoroughly satisfying sexy education is quite another. Especially when she’s as stunning and deliciously curvaceous as Kinley. Yet Ian can’t help himself when Kinley makes him a wager he can’t resist. A wager that will tempt Ian to cross every professional—and every sensual—boundary in the book…

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MY REVIEW:

Steamy with a Capital S!!! This was such a fun book to read and I immediately fell in love with both characters. Kinley Foster has an older brother, so grew up around all of his friends. She’s had a major crush on his friend, Ian Thompson, since she can remember. But he rejected her and she’s never forgotten. Now she’s an aspiring author, writing steamy romance and heading to Las Vegas for a conference where she hopes to land a literary agent. To her surprise, the man she hasn’t seen in ten years who picks her up at the airport is none other than Ian Thompson. He’s every bit as handsome as she remembers. One debacle leads to another and she has to share a hotel suite with him. What a surprise to find that Ian Thompson is actually the acclaimed literary agent, I. Hartley. Kinley is in over her head after an indecent proposal from Thompson where he promises to teach her what she needs to know to write steamy romance. This is an off-the-charts steamy romance with a little light BDSM and a lot of hot sex with a series of missteps and mishaps. I won’t leave a spoiler, but I will say I enjoyed this light read. It’s a great way to escape from reality!

One photograph – A single image – A lonely boat on the edge of the sea.
Is it adrift? – Was it abandoned? – Did it wash ashore? – Was anyone aboard?
Did someone leave it behind? – Is anyone coming back? – Who knows.
The sea has washed the footprints away.
Look at the vessel and think: “If that old boat could talk, what stories it would tell.”
Wonder no longer. Twelve members of Underground Authors all gazed upon the same image.
And to each, the photograph told a different story. Same boat. Same image. Different genres. From mystery and technothriller to romance and magical realism, from horror and historical fiction to fantasy and suspense with a little paranormal thrown in for good measure. These stories are presented in Beyond The Sea and are the handiwork of award-winning authors. The stories are all different as the boat had more than one secret to tell. It had a dozen.

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MY REVIEW:

This is a compilation of short stories from twelve different authors. Each story is unique and the twelve together cover a diverse compilation of genres. There is everything from mystery to apocalyptic to historical and suspense. While I enjoyed them all, there were a few that really stood out to me, as a reader. C.W. Hawes wrote a compelling short story that I didn’t want to come to an end. His words came alive and I joined in with the characters in a hair-raising survival journey in a post-apocalyptic world. Great world-building and great writing! The Breakfield and Burkey writing duo wrote an inspiring tale about taking that proverbial leap of faith not knowing if it will end all the hopes, dreams, and goals of two ambitious young ladies. James R. Callan offers a nail-biting tale about an unexpected kidnapping and daring escape. Linda Pirtle took me on a mystery-solving journey while Kelly Marshall left me with goosebumps from her chilling tale of revenge. The theme of all of these stories is the boat you see on the cover. That is the common thread. It’s so amazing to me how any group of people can view one photo and all see a different story in it. Again, while I enjoyed each story, these are just a few that stood out to me. If you are looking for entertaining diversity, this compilation of short stories is perfect as there is something for everyone! I highly recommend this book to all readers of all genres! And as a result of this book, I will be exploring other work by these authors.

Lizzie and the hat are back in action, only this time they’re up against the most tragic monster of all, a werewolf.

This adventure is more like hunting an animal, and the werewolf is unlikely to come to any of their musical performances. This puts Lizzie out in the dark corners and wooded areas of the city. It may be more beneficial to get the monster to hunt Lizzie than to stalk him on his own turf. All she has to do is be quicker on the trigger than the wolf is on his feet.

At the same time, the police think they’re after a serial killer. Lizzie tries to keep them alive while also keeping them out of her way. As the body count rises, so do the pressures. It doesn’t help that people are blaming Lizzie and the hat for the killings. This involves an urban myth about them that the locals call Hellpox.

Pull on your boogie shoes and join the hunt. Designed as an afternoon read, this one is tons of supernatural fun.

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MY REVIEW:


This story, which is book 4 in The Hat series, is multi-layered. Lizzie St. Laurent and her magical sidekick, The Hat (a creature from another dimension) find themselves entrenched in a futile search for a killer. Not only a killer, but one who devours its victims, leaving behind only a few small body pieces and rivers of blood. This quickly earns him the nickname of “Sausage Maker” from the media. While Lizzie and The Hat normally hunt down vampires and ghouls, this one is different and The Hat tries to talk Lizzie out of pursuing it. The other plot unfolding in the story is police sergeant, Joe Yoder, who is grieving the death of his wife. He keeps a pomander drenched in her perfume (Emeraude) and smells it when he needs to feel her near or wants to communicate with her, which he does quite often. When he’s assigned to the murder cases, he’s at a loss. This doesn’t seem like anything human. Yet, what else could it be? Everyone knows werewolves and vampires don’t really exist, even if all of the killings do occur on the full moon. One of the things I’ve loved in each of The Hat books is the banter back and forth between Lizzie and The Hat. It adds a nice helping of humor to an otherwise dark story. The Hat loves surfing the internet and spending money. The Hat is also the manager for the band, Lizzie and the Pythons, where he plays the stand-up bass through Lizzie’s fingers. In this book, we get a closer look at some of the other band members. Lizzie fears one of them could be the murderer. The way this book concludes, we get to see a softer more vulnerable side of Lizzie that’s not been shown before. This is an entertaining read with fabulous world-building and engaging characters. I highly recommend this and the other books in The Hat series. Also, it’s worth noting that you do not have to read the previous books before this one. It works well as a standalone

PART 2 OF MY MAY REVIEWS COMING UP!