January #BookReviews! @howellwave @RZanetti_Author @JoanHallWrites @wendy_dalrymple @PamSCanepa1

I started the new year out with some entertaining books that I want to share. I only post 4 and 5-star reviews.


PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

In this follow-up novel to The Eternal Road, we find Samantha being given a mission by Archangel Michael to help find two souls who have gone missing on their journey to find the eternal resting place. Air Force pilot Ryan Sanders, and his escort, the infamous Eddie Rickenbacker, are missing. With the angel’s permission, Sam chooses to take James with her on the mission. Of course, that leads them to the magical 1956 Oldsmobile.
The journey brings Sam and James face-to-face with their arch-enemy, Lucifer. No doubt the devil is behind the missing souls. He lives up to his evil reputation when he insists on claiming the soul of Ryan Sanders.
When Sam and James finally catch up to Sanders and Rickenbacker, the four are sent on a horrifying soiree through history, each stop growing more intensely painful than the one before. From the battle of Gettysburg to the sinking of the Titanic and Auschwitz prison camps, their faith and fortitude are tested over and over. They cannot let Lucifer win.
This is truly a story of good vs. evil. I love how Sam and James stayed focused and steadfast throughout each trial. Their relationship strengthened as they went, while Lucifer became more evil and degenerative. If you are looking for a historical fantasy adventure of epic proportions and the ultimate test of faith, you will enjoy this book. I highly recommend it! It was a great way to start off a new year of reading!

PURCHASE LINK

I will preface this review by saying I am not a big fan of vampire stories. That being said, this story is not your typical vampire trope.
The book opens with Cara’s four-year-old daughter, Janie, waking her mother up to tell her they are coming. Great opener! Immediate tension and worry. Janie is psychic, and Cara is a strong empath. I loved that aspect of the story.
Talen is a super-human warrior. And he’s a vampire, but not a stereotypical one. His family, the Kayrs, have been around for hundreds of years and, for many years, have had a peaceful truce with another group of vampires, the Kurjans. But things have changed, and treaties are being broken.

And Cara and Janie are in the dead center of it all. The Kurjans intend to capture Cara and Janie to help procreate their species, even though they would have to wait many years for Janie to grow up. The Kayrs will not let them be taken, so Talen Kayr gets to them first. This book is filled with lots of heart-stopping action, including fight scenes where heads are being decapitated, and shapeshifters join in the melee.
Talen Kayr claims Cara as his mate, and the sex scenes are rough and sometimes brutal. And there are many. That part of the story became redundant. Talen has the power to immobilize Cara with unearthly desire and raw lust. I have nothing against graphic sex scenes, but there were a bit too many in this book for my taste. Half the amount would have been more enjoyable. While I won’t be reading more in this series, I am still a died-in-the-wool Rebecca Zanetti fan. She is a talented writing force!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

Menagerie is a collection of unforgettable short stories. From the first dual-timeline story to the last heartfelt family drama, I was sucked in.
It is hard to pick out a few favorites, but I’ll give it a try.
“Ghost Bridge” is a chilling account of a doctor in the 1800s who could not get to his patient in time and himself dies in a horrible accident on a bridge. Rumors have it that he still roams the bridge trying to reach his patient. The story comes forward to modern times, and Kate is severely injured and trapped. Is it the ghost of the good doctor who comes to rescue her?
“Seven Days” could be a lesson for us all. We are so tied to our electronic devices. What would it be like to go without them for a whole week?
“Lone Wolf” was another that really stood out to me. The close-up encounters are realistic and believable.
But out of the thirteen stories in this book, only left me with physical goosebumps on my arms. “Storm Rider” is a tale that I will not ever forget.
If you enjoy stories set in small towns, tales that include ghosts and folklore, you will devour this book, as I did. I highly recommend it. This author did a superb job of creating these tales!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This is a enemies to lovers romance set in the midst of a category-five hurricane on the Florida coast. Melody Orlean, a meteorologist, and her cameraman, Ty, have been sent to a beachside resort to cover the storm for her local station. They arrive to find another meteorologist, Mark Fox, and his camera crew, Jade, already stationed at the resort and filming. Melody is fit to be tied. First of all, they’ve been promised exclusive access to the resort, and secondly, Mark Fox is a sworn enemy. I struggled to understand Melody’s intense dislike for Mark, and even when the reason was revealed, it seemed a little flimsy. But the story was good, and the setting intense. The author did a great job of putting the reader in the middle of this gigantic storm while the hotel is being battered and crumbling around the characters.
When I picked up the book, I thought I was getting a romantic comedy, but instead, it is an intense struggle for survival while dealing with past issues. I loved the characters’ determination to survive and how they put aside differences to band together. The story is well-written, has a happy ending, and carries a great message to anyone in the path of one of these deadly storms.

PURCHASE LINK

Janie is exhausted, running the Crossroads Diner almost single-handedly. At first glance, the diner seems like any normal restaurant, but as this short story unfolds, the reader becomes aware that it is a very special place in between worlds. Everyone is going somewhere. Some come for a short time, and some stay. It is a jumping-off place of sorts for those who need help moving on. There is an incessant blizzard, and folks seek shelter inside. When Cowboy shows up, Janie isn’t sure she can trust him, as trust doesn’t come easy. While it appears he is there to help, he has to prove himself.
This is the perfect mix of realistic fantasy. I immediately related to Janie and her exhaustion. Yet, there was no way to stop and rest as the place stayed filled to capacity. Her work was never done. I wasn’t sure about Cowboy at first, but he proved himself pretty quickly. An imaginative story of a place that is no place and a time that is no time. I highly recommend it!

That’s it from me this month. I hope you saw something that grabbed you!

November Book Reviews! @HarronIsabella @sgc58 @StevieTurner6 @colleenhoover @bakeandwrite Rebecca Zanetti

I had some great fun reading an eclectic group of books this month!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

The opening prologue to this story grabbed me before reading the first chapter. I had to know what happened with the little girl, Marissa. Fast forward fifteen years, and Marissa (now going by Mary) has graduated from college with a teaching degree. She’s studious, hard-working, and has no time for partying as her friends do. But they talked her into a weekend getaway to the beach, and Mary has always loved the water. It’s that weekend that changes her entire life. When catching a football, Jared Hawk knocks Mary over on the beach, and if the saying “love at first sight” ever applied to two people, it does for them. Neither Mary nor Jared do one-night stands, but their attraction is strong, and Mary spends the night with him. What happens after that is a series of misunderstandings and missed opportunities. When Mary lands her first temporary teaching job, the last thing she expects to see is the handsome hunk, Jared Hawk, in her senior English class. Shocked is not a big enough word. Mary is pregnant, and Jared is the father, but she hasn’t seen him since that day and night on the beach. And now their situation is even more complicated by the difference in their ages (three years) and the fact that Mary is now his teacher. The story unfolds one delicious layer at a time as these two fight huge odds to find their way back to each other and create a family. Everything is on the line for both of them. Jared’s dream to play in the NFL league doesn’t fit with sudden family responsibilities at the age of 19. Mary’s teaching career, which just started, is in jeopardy. I rooted for them both throughout the story. The author did a good job of sprinkling in backstory and strong family dynamics throughout. If you are looking for an epic love story, you will no doubt enjoy this one as I did.

PURCHASE LINK

Flights of Fancy is a collection of short stories and one novella. I was hooked from the first story to the last. What a shocking twist the first story delivers. What appears to be a cold-blooded murder is really something else entirely. I don’t want to give it away. I’ll just say be prepared to be surprised. Each story through the collection is unique and different because of Sally’s unique perspective and writing style. I think if I had to choose a favorite, it would be the last one in the book, which is actually the novella. What a tragic tale, but as Sally is apt to do, justice is served on a heaping platter.
This is an entertaining read and perfect for a bedtime story or two before lights out. The stories mainly focus on romance, ghosts, the supernatural, sweet justice, or, as you might want to say, revenge. I highly recommend it. 

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

When James Hynde’s world came crashing down around his ears, he did what any weak-minded man would do—commit suicide. End it all. After all, He can’t face prison, which he knows is the only future for him, after stealing millions from the bank where he worked. With a bottle of whiskey in hand, he climbs to the top of a parking garage and throws himself off.
Olivia Benet is rushing to get back to her car before her paid time runs out. How could fate possibly intervene at that exact moment for her to cushion Hynde’s fall? Yet it did.
James only suffers minor injuries, while she is left completely paralyzed and unable to walk. Her career as a ballet dancer is ended, and her dream crushed.
While James goes to prison for his crime of embezzlement, Olivia is faced with trying to rebuild her life again from a wheelchair. The only thing that keeps her going is the desire for revenge, to take from James as much as he took from her on that fateful day.
What happens next is quite the twist, when James falls in love with Olivia. They even marry, once he is out of prison. But her motivation is still revenge, and she finds a way to get her hands on the hidden money that no one knew about except Hynde’s mother.
Over and over again, things come together for James and Olivia, only to fall apart again throughout the story. I don’t want to leave any spoilers here, but as secrets are revealed, and lives are devastated, there only seems to be one way to go from rock bottom, and that is up. Ms. Turner did a great job writing this story, and I ignored chores to finish reading it. She even brought the COVID pandemic into the story in a completely realistic and believable way. If you are a fan of compelling drama with realistic overtones, you will enjoy this story as much as I did. 

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

The Deanne family was suffering financial hardships, and Christmas was just around the corner. I loved how the father was willing to sell off a few possessions to buy meager gifts for his girls. But the biggest gift came in the form of a baby bird in need of a home. The girls eagerly took over the care of the baby bird, and it grew and flourished. When the family had the chance for a vacation to the ocean, they took the bird with them, and just when it appeared he had flown away, he showed back up for the trip home. This book shows how youngsters can care for baby animals and how at some point if it’s a wild animal, it has to be set free. This is a heartwarming family story perfect for young children.

PURCHASE LINK

What a rollercoaster ride! Kenna Rowan is broken, so broken that she is barely functioning. After spending five years in prison for involuntary manslaughter, she’s returned to the town where it all started. Why? Because she has a five-year-old daughter, she gave birth to while in prison, whom she’s never seen. This story is complex and deeply layered.
Kenna loved Scotty. Scotty died because of a car crash that, if Kenna had been rational and thinking, could have prevented. Everyone hates her for killing Scotty. So, how will she ever be able to see her daughter, Diem, who is being raised by Scotty’s parents?
Enter Ledger, Scotty’s best friend. What happens after that kept me up late at night reading page after page. I had to get to a hopefully happy ending for Kenna. This book will twist you up inside. It will tug at your heartstrings and make you ball your fists in anger. It has it all. I highly recommend this to anyone who just devours a good story. Colleen Hoover never disappoints!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This collection of poetry and flash fiction could not be more aptly named. I love that the author dedicates her latest to the online writing community, which supports and inspires.
The book starts with different forms of poetry, which Ms. Cronin writes with exquisite artistry. I loved them all, but of course, some stood out personally to me. “Rejection” tore at my heart. We’ve all experienced that emotion at some point in life, and this poem expresses it visually through words. “Dress Rehearsal” is another favorite, perfect for Halloween or masquerade balls. I also love that Ms. Cronin took the time to share her exploration of her ancestors through DNA. Therefore, “Origins” tops the list of fabulous poetry.
Under the Short Story category, I had a few favorites as well. Topping the list is “The Healer.” A woman with the gift of healing fears for her life. But as in all of Ms. Cronin’s stories, it has a wonderful ending. “The Home Help” is another that resonated with me. It carries a warning to be careful of your words and actions, as they most always come back to roost.
This is an eclectic collection of emotive writing that I can highly recommend to everyone, as there is something to please every reading palate.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I quite literally closed this book after finishing it, looked up at the ceiling, and said out loud, “Wow! What a story!”
Josie Dean wanted family more than anything. An orphan child, she grew up in the foster care system, never knowing the feeling of security, of being wanted.
Then she met Shane. In a very short time, they marry, and she is convinced she’s finally found what she craved. They will start a family, and Josie will make sure their children are always loved and secure. But then Shane disappears.
Josie is left to pick up the pieces and create a life for herself. The one foster parent she’d had who showed caring and kindness was an accountant, so that is the career she chose to pursue. Two years later, Josie gets a call to come to the hospital, that her husband is being treated for a head injury. She wants nothing more than to serve him divorce papers. But Shane has other ideas, as he walks back into her life with no explanation of where he’s been. And to complicate matters more, he has amnesia and has left behind three dead bodies near the river.
Shane and his three brothers were raised in a military camp and trained to be killing machines. Not only that, they were created in test tubes by a mad scientist. Each brother has superhuman abilities. Shane can hear a whisper from a block away. And his body is big, muscled, and immune to pain.
But he loves Josie, his angel. And he’ll do anything to keep her safe as her life is in grave danger.
Their relationship is volatile at times, the sex rough and passionate, and the commitment unwavering. So many unanswered questions. I wasn’t sure Josie would have the inner strength to stick it out. I hope this review is making sense. This story is so complex and has so many different layers, I’m still sorting it all out in my mind. And I don’t want to leave any spoilers. Rebecca Zanetti is fast becoming an automatic go-to author for me, as her stories never disappoint. If you love a story filled with thrilling action, a complex plot, and unforgettable characters, you will devour this book, as I did!


That’s it from me this month. I hope you saw something that grabbed your interest. These were all fantastic books!

October #BookReviews! @AmberDaulton1 @Virgilante @LBroday @bohemienneivy @m_morganauthor @JacqBiggar

I read some fabulous books in the month of October and am happy to share my thoughts on them with you!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

Belle Hamlin lives to perform on stage, singing, and playing guitar. She’s tough as nails and has built thick walls around her heart, determined never to let anyone in. That is until she discovers she’s pregnant. A one-night stand with a sexy mechanic, Benjamin Starwell, changes her life.
He’s the father.
I love that she told him. I’ve read so many stories where the woman tries to go it alone and not tell the father, so Belle’s bold honesty is refreshing. The tumultuous and passion-driven course their lives take is riddled with obstacles. A drug lord, a jealous ex-boyfriend, and an even more jealous singing rival cause all sorts of life-threatening situations for Benjamin and Belle. I rooted for them all the way. They worked so hard at trying to build a relationship based on having a child together, but in the process, fell in love. The author threw plenty of hardships their way and kept me engaged and interested. The sex scenes sizzle. While there may have been a tad too many that did nothing to move the story forward, they were hot and graphic. The personalities of the characters are well-defined and three-dimensional. Belle’s snarky attitude fit her perfectly, and Benjamin’s undying loyalty endeared him to me. There are other characters in this story I enjoyed. I know this book is a part of the Onyx series, but it works well as a standalone. If you like a romance filled with action, angst, and hot sex, you will enjoy this book!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

In the sixth book of The Hat series, Lizzie and The Hat face an evil nemesis determined to destroy The Hat. The Midnight Rambler is on a mission and using any means he can to accomplish it, including infusing fruits and vegetables with his evil power, turning them into vicious monsters who bite and destroy humans.
The first clue is when Lizzie stops at a roadside fruit stand to make a purchase. When she has to run for her life, there is no doubt another monster is on the loose and must be destroyed. The story only ramps up from there. The reader is introduced to Ray, a creation of Professor Lagamorph. Ray is a Frankenstein-like entity made from mixed-up, mismatched human parts and pieces. His very existence is in danger because now the Professor is missing, and he’s running out of the medicine required to keep him alive. The author did a great job of tying the kidnapping of the professor into the evil villain, The Midnight Rambler.
We see another softer side of Lizzie in this segment of the story when she falls for Ray as they join forces, along with The Hat, to try and find the professor and eliminate the Midnight Rambler.
As in all of the segments of this story, we get glimpses of Lizzie’s role in the band, Lizzie and the Pythons. Those are always entertaining, as is Night Bump Radio. This is an urban fantasy that is over-the-top bizarre, funny (at times), and a deadly race to destroy evil. This book, as with others in the series, is a standalone. If you like urban fantasy with a dabbling of magic, you will no doubt enjoy this story!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

A man so scarred he hides in the darkness. A town dying. A doctor determined to save them all.
That’s what you’ll find in this poignant story about losing all hope, only to find it again. Jericho tried to save all the children in the fire. He couldn’t save Hope, and it torments him. He carries scars deep in his heart that match the horrendous ones on his face. People call him a monster. Yet, in the dead of night, he goes around town helping those who need it. Folks awaken to mended fences, food on their porches, or medicine they can’t afford. The new doctor in town follows him one night and witnesses his deep grief as he places a hand-carved wooden angel on the grave of a child.
Jericho has only one trusted friend. That is until Kathleen O’Shea makes it her mission to help him. This is such a heartwarming story and perfect for the Christmas season. Broday’s talent for wringing every drop of emotion out of a story will have you rooting for Jericho and holding your breath as more and more people die. I highly recommend it!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

There are so many things I loved about this book. The storyline is fantastic. Who couldn’t love a story with King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot as side characters, not to mention the Elves of Avalon? The tale opens with twelve-year-old Issylte getting prepared to meet her widowed father’s betrothed. She’d much rather be riding her horse across the fields of Ireland than dressing like a royal princess. The joining of King Donnchadh and Princess Morag of Scotland creates a powerful alliance between the two kingdoms. But things take a quick turn when Issylte meets Morag.
Morag’s exquisite beauty doesn’t hide the iciness of her touch and the evil in her eyes. Two years after the royal wedding, Isslyte’s father is called away on business. It is during his absence, Morag makes her move, first sending away Isslyte’s nursemaid who’s been with her since birth, which breaks the young girl’s heart. That’s only the beginning of Morag’s devious actions. When Isslyte is escorted on a ride through the forest by two guards, they reveal the evil queen’s plot to have them kill her and bring her back the girl’s heart. But the guards are unable to perform such a horrific act, and Isslyte flees into the forest. It’s the beginning of a long journey for her.
The story bounces back and forth between the castle of Tintagel and an ambitious young knight, Tristan, who is the heir to the kingdom of Cornwall, ruled by his uncle, King Marke. Tristan competes for a chance to travel to King Arthur’s court and become a Knight of the Roundtable. It is there he trains under Sir Lancelot and becomes a fierce warrior. The story takes a long way around, covering several years as Isslyte struggles to avoid death. People Isslyite loves, get killed along the way. She is forced to change her name first to Eglantine, then to Lilee. As the years pass, she is trained by fairy witches and becomes a gifted healer. Her powers grow to great proportions, and she develops the gift of sight. It is in a vision she knows her father, the king is dead. She must regain the throne. But how? She is but a young girl with no army. The story culminates close to the end when Tristan is brought to Lilee to be healed, and they finally come together. The author does a fabulous job of describing the settings as well as showing incredible knowledge of herbs, oils, and healing gemstones. The ending of the story segues into the next book, and I will look forward to reading it. My only critique of this story is that it seemed too drawn out with some repetition that could have been tightened up. For a debut novel, it’s fantastic

PRE-ORDER LINK

MY REVIEW:

I received an ARC of this book via BookFunnel, and I am so glad I did. Just as I have come to expect from Mary Morgan, she has woven a tale that kept me glued to the pages.
Aine is half fae and half human. She lives in a protected realm with her uncle and brother. But she longs for more. She wants to see the other Scotland and walk among humans. Even though it is forbidden, she uses her magic to make her wish under a star. The results are immediate and met with violence from her brother. Alex, chieftain of a Scottish clan and brave knight, stumbles through the veil in response to Aine’s magic. Aine’s brother promptly delivers a hard blow to the man’s head, and he is unconscious. At Aine’s insistence, they take him to Castle Toloch to heal. When Alex awakens, he is more than puzzled, and he has no memory of who he is or how he got to the castle.
I don’t want to leave any spoilers here, so I won’t get further into the plot of the story. But I will say Mary crafted three-dimensional characters that I had no trouble visualizing or falling in love with. She is also an expert at writing medieval settings mixed with magic. I loved everything about this book, from the odd quirks of each character to the intricately woven storyline. Aine was my favorite character. Even though she is a woman, she prefers working with the forge creating quality weapons rather than toiling in the kitchen chopping vegetables. She’s strong-willed and headstrong and filled with passion. Just what the brave knight needs. But will the gods allow them to be together, half-fae and human? You’ll have to read the story to find out. I highly recommend it. The book is currently available for pre-order and releases on December 5th.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This is such a great story with deeply flawed characters, dysfunctional family dynamics, and a love that won’t die. Renee is back home after two years of no contact. She fled without a word to anyone following her father’s suicide. It’s not until the last part of the book that the author lets the reader see why she carries such heavy guilt. Izzy, her younger sister is left to pick up the pieces after their father’s death. Not only does she take on the responsibility for their younger brother, Benjamin, but she also becomes their mother’s caretaker as cancer claims her vitality. Izzy holds a strong resentment toward Renee for abandoning them when they all needed each other. And it’s the death of their mother that has brought Renee back to the small town. The author does a great job of setting this story up, designating different chapters for different points of view, including Simon whose heart was shattered when Renee left. Of all people, she should have confided in him. But the reason she didn’t is shown in an early scene. If only. That’s what I kept thinking throughout the story. If only they’d each put aside their pain and egos and talk. But if they did, the story would be over. It kept me engaged and turning the pages. I love stories that delve into the human psyche and show many different responses to the same pain. The only reason I didn’t give this story five stars is the ending left me hanging. I needed some resolution, especially with Ben, and I didn’t get it. I needed to see a short scene after the near-drowning episode. I understand the author is setting this story up for the next one, but even just a few lines of dialogue between the siblings would have satisfied me. Nevertheless, it garnered four stars from me.

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That’s it from me for October. I hope you found something that intrigued you!

It’s Release Day! Saddled Hearts @wildrosepress

It’s finally here!!

Created in Canva

I am SO over the moon excited about the birth of this final book in The White Rune Series!

I will be a guest on the Coffee, Tea, Friendlee, and Me News Radio show at 10 am CST this morning (10-19-22).

I’d love it if you could join in. It is streamed live on Facebook and YouTube.

https://www.facebook.com/friendleenews or https://www.youtube.com/c/FriendleeNews

This will be the second time I’ve been a guest on this show, and it is so much fun!


Also today, I am at N.N. Light’s Book Heaven. Mrs. N. has posted a promo, so please take time to visit and share!

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/saddled-hearts-bs


Grab your hat and boots and pick your favorite horse because starting tomorrow, we are going on a trail ride Book Blog Tour!

Derailed Hearts – #NewRelease @DarleneLF

I am super excited to welcome Darlene Fredette back to my blog today to talk about her new book release!

Universal Purchase Link

Thank you, Jan, for hosting me and allowing me to share my new release with your followers!

My inspiration for this post comes from the return of my digital magazine as it turns twenty in January. The title Still Moments always makes me reflect on the hustle and bustle of daily life. With the days passing so quickly, we sometimes forget to…

Stop and take a moment to breathe.

Stop and allow yourself to be in the moment.

Stop and take in the beauty around you.

Stop and enjoy the now.

The less you focus on the chaos, the quieter your day becomes because some of life’s best moments happen when you take a moment to enjoy them.

I hope you take a moment to find the mysterious matchmaker to make his appearance in Derailed Hearts! 😊

Blurb

Single father and ER doctor, Ethan Marley, is ready to put down roots. He and his daughter embark on a train adventure across Canada from the west to the east coast. Boarding the train, he meets a woman who steals his breath, and he learns that she too is headed to Redford Falls. He is intent on maintaining a friendship only, but Jenn makes his heart race faster than the train.  

Fashion designer, Jenn Martini, travels by train to Redford Falls to visit her father. Her plan for a solitude escape derails after meeting Ethan and his daughter. Sharing a confined-spaced cabin sparks an immediate attraction, and by the end of the trip, she longs to be a part of their family. Only as she opens her heart to love, do the scars from her past begin to heal.

With more in common than relatives in Redford Falls, is their love strong enough to overcome the truth behind the accident…and save their future?

Excerpt:

Avery pointed to herself, Ethan, and then Jenn.

Ethan rested his forehead against his daughter’s. “You want Jenn to come, too?”

Avery nodded.

The little voice in Jenn’s head told her to return to her cabin and to stay clear of Ethan and his daughter. They were as enticing as strawberry ice cream. “I would love to join you.” The words fell from her lips.

Ethan stood and set Avery on her feet.

The child held onto her father’s hand and reached outward with the other.

Jenn accepted the tiny hand and in doing so, she sensed a comfortable connection to this family—a connection she suspected would be incredibly hard to break.

Universal Purchase Link:

http://darlenefredette.blogspot.com/2021/04/my-books-purchase-links.html

About Darlene Fredette

Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada, where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to develop the many stories coming to life in her head. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, painting, or drawing, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador.

Website: http://darlenefredette.blogspot.com/

Blog: http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Amazon Author Page CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Darlene-Fredette/e/B005NAF660/

Amazon Author Page US: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Fredette/e/B005NAF660/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darlenefredette1/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarleneLF

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/DarleneLF

Jazz House – #NewRelease #giveaway @donnavstone @WildRosePress

I am happy to share a new book release from a fellow Wild Rose Press author, D.V. Stone! Take a look!

Jazz House

Impact Series Book 2

by D.V. Stone

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Jordan Vasilakis is on the run, living under an assumed name. After a disastrous marriage to a notorious Greek business tycoon, she flees to the States and starts rebuilding her life. But her ruthless husband is determined to destroy her…once he finds her.

Michael Machau is drawn to the new singer at Jazz House restaurant, but the guarded woman is harboring dangerous secrets. The dedicated police officer may have to risk more than just his heart to forge a connection with the woman he knows as Madeline Cielo, especially when he discovers she’s living a lie.

Worlds collide. Lies entangle. Survival, much less love, is in question. They must quickly distinguish friends from enemies or risk losing everything—including a future together.

Rock House Grill

Impact Series Book 1

Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He’s rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.

Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.

Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?

**Only .99 cents!**

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Bookbub * Goodreads

D. V. Stone is an award-winning, multi-genre, traditionally and independently published author. She writes books people want to read. Whether romance or fantasy, her stories are about the importance of friends and family. About overcoming obstacles while doing it with humor.

Around the Fire is a popular weekly blog where she introduces both established and new authors giving an insider’s look into their lives and books as well as tidbits about her own life.

After retiring, she is now a full-time author and incorporates her life experiences into her books.

A former Emergency Medical Technician, she volunteered in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At the same time, she worked as a professional EMT in a women’s state prison. She was the proprietor of a coffee shop, and a small restaurant/ice cream stand in the years that followed. The years following were as a manager in an animal emergency hospital, while her last position was in a human medical office.

When not behind the wheel of 2Hoots—a 41 foot long 13.2 feet high 5th Wheel camper, she rambles around town in Northern New Jersey in a white Camaro. She also loves travel and history.

D.V. is wife to an amazing husband, mother to one son, and not your average grandma to three beautiful grands. A woman of faith, she believes and trusts in God.

My greatest pleasures are spending time outside with friends and family, cooking over the open fire, sipping a glass of wine, and reading.”

Hali, her rescue dog, always reminds her to let readers know, “Woof, woof.” Which is loosely translated as support your local animal rescue.

You can find out more about D. V. by following her on Social Media.

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EXCERPT:

Jordan scrambled to the other side of the limo.

“You sing good tonight.” He scrolled through his phone.

“Yes, Kyrios.”

Outside the window, massive cruise ships docked in the port. Happy older people made their way up the gangplanks toting bags filled with souvenirs, while the younger ones debarked dressed for the nightlife. Sparkly sequins flashed like diamonds as one young woman twirled on the pier.

God, how had she come to this life? She willed her hovering tears not to fall. Kyrios wouldn’t approve.

When she was offered a place in the touring group ten years ago, she thought it was the beginning of great things. Standing in the cabaret with the lights shining down was her dream come true. When she was the woman in the sparkly dress.

Until he showed up.

Each night, Kyrios Vasilakis, Greek business tycoon, sat at the front table watching her. Yes, he was older but so very handsome. Dark hair with silver at the temples, he cut a dashing figure in his black suits.

Jordan began to sing to him. It was the beginning of the end. After a whirlwind romance, she found herself a prisoner in marriage to a brute.

MY REVIEW:

Jordan was born to sing jazz. That’s all she’s ever dreamed of. So, when wealthy greek tycoon, Kyrios promises to make all her dreams come true, she’s thrilled.
Only things aren’t as they seem. Once married to Kyrios, he becomes controlling and abusive. Now, Jordan is trapped. There is no way out of this prison, and she’s tired of trying to cover up the bruises.
That is the scene that sets this story.
Her opportunity to escape comes with an attack at one of the nightclubs he owns. Suffering from a bullet wound, she flees and is presumed dead until all the bodies from the fire are identified. All except hers. Now he knows she is still alive and will not rest until he finds her.
Under an assumed name and fake passport, Jordan makes her way to the United States and finds a jazz club in Pennsylvania where she can finally lay down some roots and continue to do what she loves, and that is to sing.
This is such a good story. Even though it is predictable, there are still a few surprises along the way. Michael Machau is a cop and a good one. He cares about right and wrong and is good at his job. When smitten by Jordan, aka Madeline, he can’t help but be curious about her. But it’s more than curiosity that fans the flame. A relationship is a long shot for both Jordan and Michael, but the heart wants what the heart wants. While this is the second book in a series, I was never at a loss about any of the characters or past events, so it works well as a standalone. I loved all the characters in the story. It is a gentle romance with a heavy emphasis on family and faith. I enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a story with a solid plot and true love.

August #BookReviews – @DWallacePeach @TPolen6 @StaciTroilo @JillWeatherholt

I read some AMAZING books in August, aside from the ones I’ve already posted through Lone Star Literary Blogging and NetGalley. I’m excited to share these additional reviews with you!

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MY REVIEW:

This story gripped me from page one. A Necromancer is summoned by the King of Verdane. His beloved wife is dying in childbirth. Barus, with a severely crippled, bent, and gnarled body, is the Necromancer. He overhears the queen begging the king to save the life of the child and let her go. But in his grief, the king cannot make that choice, so both mother and child die. But Barus has already fallen in love with the beautiful child, and in the midst of the chaos surrounding the queen’s death, he steals the baby’s lifeless body, takes her to his thatched hut, and through the use of his knowledge and abilities, returns the child’s life. Never was a little girl loved more than Aster. Barus teaches her the healing art, and she grows into a beautiful and happy young woman who can communicate with dragons. So, when the king eventually comes to claim his only heir, things begin a slippery and deadly downhill slide.

Stephen Spielberg once gave writing advice to authors, telling them to put their characters up a tree and throw rocks at them. This author, D. Wallace Peach, did that in spades in this story. The unimaginable torture and hardships Aster went through were enough to have me biting my fingernails and holding my breath.

Captured and placed in a cage to freeze to death overnight, it appears all is lost. That is until young Jareh decides to disobey his powerful father and help her escape. The journey that one single action took them on was long, cold, and treacherous.

I won’t spoil the story by giving away too much. I’ll just say I was mesmerized as it all unfolded, leaving me gasping for breath more than once.

If you are a fan of epic fantasy that includes herbal healing, magic, dragons, corruption, and greed, you are sure to love this book! I highly recommend it!

 

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MY REVIEW:

This YA Dystopian book gripped me from the beginning to the end. As a young boy, Asher Solomon has to run with his two sisters to escape being taken by The Colony soldiers. At first, he is sure it’s only a drill. After all, their father has insisted they be prepared for the one unavoidable time it would be real. And that time arrives at the start of the story. But when Asher’s sister is injured while escaping, he’s forced to leave them in a cave, promising to return for them.


The world-building in this story is phenomenal. The author did a fabulous job of creating believable characters in nail-biting situations of survival. Oh, and they are all teenagers.


The Colony has figured out a way to harvest highly sought-after, desirable genes from children in order to create a perfect society of beautiful people free of all disease. Of course, that kind of perfection comes at a price. The price of human life.


Children, referred to as outliers, are ripped from their families and taken to harvesting centers.
Asher joins a group of teenagers, Insurgents, whose mission is to rescue these children.
While Asher and his group may be young, they are wise and capable way beyond their years. There are a lot of characters in this story, but besides Asher, I loved Noah, Brynn, and Paige. They are the backbone and strength of the Insurgents.


But there are secrets. And when they are revealed, change everything Asher ever believed about his parents and his life, and have the potential to destroy everyone he loves.
This story concludes with somewhat of a happy ending mixed with a cliffhanger. I could see this entire story unfold as a movie and would be thrilled for the author if it were to be developed as a major film. If you are a fan of gripping dystopian stories where survival is tenuous, you will love this book.

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MY REVIEW:

This is a book that is so real, you can imagine Vanessa and Royce Keller being your next-door neighbors. Royce Keller is an esteemed doctor. Vanessa spends her time helping raise money for charities. Then there are three children, all teenagers.


Somewhere along the way to building a busy, successful medical career as Chief of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Keller lost touch with his wife and children. That is until tragedy strikes.

When his teenage daughter, Hope, is brought into the emergency room, a victim of a motorcycle accident, he doesn’t recognize her. He goes against all medical protocol by treating her and then, in a frantic attempt to save her waning life, gives a blood transfusion directly from his vein to hers. After all, she is his daughter, and their blood should be a match. The result is Hope’s death. The reason—severe trauma wounds and a blood mismatch. The first of many secrets is revealed. Hope is not his child.


And that’s just where the story starts.

The family undergoes such an emotional rollercoaster from the first page of this book until the end. It is a character-driven story, and those are my favorites. While, at times, I wanted to shake both Royce and Vanessa, what they went through on their journey to redemption is relatable and believable. The two remaining children were often stronger than their parents as layer after layer of trust had to be rebuilt.

And did you know it is possible for twins to have different fathers? I didn’t until I read this book. It is called heteropaternal superfecundation.

This is family drama at its best. If you are a fan of deep psychological wounds, healing, and acceptance, you will enjoy this story as much as I did! I highly recommend it!

 

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MY REVIEW:

I received this book as a gift and found it to be a refreshingly light read. Several things appealed to me, such as the small town setting where everyone knows everyone, a single dad raising a little girl, who is also a paramedic and dashingly handsome, and a big city lawyer who has given up on love and God.
Faith is woven throughout the story, but it’s done in a tasteful way so that it doesn’t come across as preachy.
One of my favorite characters in the story is Rebecca, a precocious little girl who adores her father. While the plot and storyline are predictable, I enjoyed the light-hearted read, and it left me feeling hopeful. I am a sucker for a happy ending. Especially one where all the characters come out winners. This author writes from the heart, and that is obvious in this story. If you love Christian-based clean, and wholesome romances, you’ll enjoy this book.

The Time Traveling Matchmaker #Review @Janie_Emaus @WildRosePress #NetGalley

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and the publisher, The Wild Rose Press. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

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The book cover was the first thing that attracted me to this story. Then the blurb sucked me in. Also, Janie Emaus is a fellow Wild Rose Press author, and I love supporting others.

This book is different from anything I’ve ever read. I loved the story concept of an organization whose purpose is to bring soulmates together, even if it involves traveling backward or forward in time.

I’ll admit it took me a few chapters to really get invested in the story. The pace starts slow but steady. However, around the mid-mark, things pick up and shift into high gear.

Jessica Singleton isn’t looking for love. In fact, quite the opposite. She’s recovering from a bad breakup and sworn off men. She’s putting all her energy into writing screenplays and working in a coffee shop.

That is until a mysterious stranger shows up with a shimmering trenchcoat and a disturbing disappearing act. Of course, she has no idea what to make of the strange events that occur whenever the stranger is around. And she has no idea she’s been chosen to be a soulmate for an unknown man named Frank.

But the tables turn when sparks fly between Jessica and the time-traveling matchmaker, Renn. Once it becomes obvious that a mistake has been made and Renn and Jessica are the true soulmates, the entire organization and the greed and corruption that’s spawned begin to unravel.

There are so many great scenes once Jessica discovers Renn is from another space in time. Then there’s a tie-in with Jessica’s deceased mother and her father, who is still alive.

If you like a romance where sparks do more than fly, with a different sort of twist, you’ll enjoy this book from Janie Emaus.

I rated this book 3.5 stars and rounded it up to 4 for Amazon and Goodreads.

June #BookReviews @dlfinnauthor @DAntion @TeaganGeneviene @harmony_kent @CharlieDaniels @pat_garcia

I’ve had a wonderful month of reading outside the NetGalley and Lone Star Literary books I already reviewed.

I only share 4 and 5-star reviews. Reviews are strictly my own opinions.

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Book Cover for Life and Soul
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MY REVIEW:

Poetry is not meant to simply be read, it is meant to be savored. It is the truest and most raw form of emotions expressed. In this beautiful collection, the author takes the reader through a journey of loneliness, seeking, and finding.
The journey is honest.
Alone in a crowd, an empty life, and deep longing fill the first section of Life and Soul. This stanza expresses it perfectly, “Sitting at a crowded table. Good food, good friends, good wine. And still, a silent tear escapes the corner of my eye…”
The seeking and wisdom in the second portion of the book grabbed at my heart. “All paths and all ways lead to luminous light…” And this, “Love yourself ‘fore another. Believe in yourself. Only then can you love all.”
The Brief Soul collection of poetry brings a short reprieve and understanding. Then it flows into Friendly Soul. I think my favorite in this segment is “True Friend.” “Friendship does not measure nor count the give and take…” Then the joy of finding that one, THE ONE is expressed in joy and gratitude and pure love. In the poem “Bridge,” this line grabbed me, “Through still waters that run deep, love has built a bridge between your soul and mine…”
In the final section of the book, “The Soul,” you will find an eclectic variety of poems expressing a gamut of emotions and experiences. If you appreciate well-written emotive poetry, I can highly recommend this collection from Harmony Kent!

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MY REVIEW:

Deep in a California forest, a grieving widow has not only lost her husband but her loyal canine of many years. She is existing in isolation, close to ending it all and joining Rob in death.

Andrea Burr has lived in the forest for so long, that it’s quite comfortable to her, even with bears rummaging through her garbage. She’s a crack shot with a gun and can take care of the generator and necessary wood supply. She prides herself on her independence.
But things change quickly. First, a dog shows up and she happily takes him in and feeds him. Then next a cat with a rat on her back shows up and Drea takes them in as well. And just in time, because she desperately needs a purpose and company. But imagine her shock when she realizes these animals can talk. Oh, and they can use the bathroom and flush the toilet. But it is what they reveal that is both fascinating and horrifying. And that’s just the beginning.

A serial killer is on the prowl and his victims are widows. Andrea is in his crosshairs and he begins to toy with her. Luckily, her late husband’s best friend, Adam, is a policeman. He tries his best to protect her. But it’s Andrea who takes down the killer. Now, it’s over and she can relax.
Wrong! Next comes a crazed lunatic, then aliens.

There are so many complex layers to this story and the author did a superb job of weaving them all together, including a little light romance. This sentence from the book sums it up perfectly: “Ghosts, aliens, serial killers, crazy men trying to take over the world—life won’t be dull around you, Drea.”

If you are a lover of animals, enjoy tense nail-biting suspense, and happy endings, this book is a must-read for you. It is so well-written and gripping. A page-turner for sure!

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MY REVIEW:

We see performers on stage and think what amazing lives they must lead, but as Charlie Daniels shows in this book, it’s never as it seems.
The memoir starts with Charlie’s birth when a bureaucratic mixup put an s at the end of Daniel, therefore changing the family name forever. His parents were LaRue and William Daniel. But the world would know Charlie as Charlie Daniels.
I loved the depiction of his carefree growing-up years as an only child. While he states his father was an alcoholic, the man worked hard and taught Charlie to work hard.
Throughout this memoir, Charlie Daniels shows us the ebb and flow of trying to get established in the world of music. He had several bands before ever settling on The Charlie Daniels Band (CBD) which the world came to know quite well. He was often broke, but he had a fire burning inside that pushed him to keep trying.
Then when the dam broke open, it broke big and the CDB was off and running. And run hard, they did. One of the things that impressed me in this memoir is the strength and determination Charlie had to rise above all the odds and do it with integrity. Honesty was of utmost importance to the man and he demanded it from the people who worked for him.
His love for his wife and child surpassed everything else and that shines through in the writing. Charlie Daniels rubbed elbows with the most elite in Nashville, Hollywood, Los Angeles, and New York City, but he never changed. He had a burning passion for the music he loved.
He sums it up in this excerpt: “If you don’t have a fire in your belly and a heart so full of desire that you can’t imagine your life without a career in music, don’t even put your foot on the path because you are going to get your heart broken.”
He spent an entire lifetime in the music business. At the age of seventy-one, he was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. Then nine years later, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
I think the biggest thing I took away from this beautifully written memoir is the importance of falling down, getting back up, and digging out. As someone once said, it’s not the number of times you fall down that counts, it’s the number of times you get back up. That describes Charlie Daniels. If you are a fan of Southern rock music, you will definitely enjoy this memoir.

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MY REVIEW:

What an epic conclusion to Emlyn’s journey. I’ve followed this saga from book 1 through to the ending.
I’m not sure where to start. I loved everything about this final chapter of the Dead of Winter saga. The author wrapped it up perfectly.
The emotions and insecurities Emlyn felt, despite her amazing accomplishments, made the story realistic. And it was great to be reminded she is only twelve years old, although her abilities far exceed what any normal adult could do.
I won’t leave any spoilers. So much happened in this final episode. I loved the part the goddess Coventina played. Despite her fierce demeanor, her compassion and care for young Emlyn are shown. As the story unfolds and concludes, we are taken along for an intense nail-biting battle against the King of the Nightwalkers. Then the Veil must be repaired so that the dead can return once more to their world and the living world could be safe once again. I think my favorite scene was with Emlyn and Coventina flying. I could almost feel it through the words.
So much happened in this episode, I found myself breathless. What a way to end a saga! I give this author kudos for such a huge undertaking with this series. 

Knuckleheads book cover
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MY REVIEW:

I have always been fascinated by the dream world and the mystery that surrounds it. But lucid dreaming holds an even greater intrigue. Is it truly possible for someone to purposefully travel in dreams? In this book, Zach finds out. This coming-of-age tale is told from Zach’s point of view in a conversation with his daughter, Abbie.
The conversation begins following Zach’s retirement party and takes the reader back through his growing-up years in Pittsburg, Pa., and his attempt to explore and understand his paranormal ability of lucid dreaming. His best friend, Billy, has psychic abilities. He can’t always know details, but he knows outcomes. The lengths Billy will go to to protect Zach touched me. Both Zach and Billy are particular about whom they confide in and Zach’s father becomes their go-to person. I loved how the father respected the boys’ abilities but also how he tried to help them learn how to use and control them.
The setting, the sixties, is a wonderful era; Pre-computers, pre-cellphones, pre-TV as we know them. The author did a fabulous job of bringing me into this time period with his descriptions and wonderments. The bowling alley belonging to Zach’s father is the setting for a lot of the scenes, with manual pin-setting and maintenance of the lanes. The two boys had so many lessons to learn and I loved that both of them were hard-working and conscientious (something today’s youth could use). The mention of a transistor radio certainly took me back in time, as well as eight-track players and manual transmissions in cars. And while the unusual formatting of the conversation between Zach and Abbie was slightly off-putting at first, once I got into the flow of the story, it disappeared into the background. A great journey backward through the eyes of Zach, but with a paranormal twist. I enjoyed this story!

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MY REVIEW:

This is a super short read (thirty minutes) that left me with a warm fuzzy feeling. Tessie has never been married and she’s turning sixty-five. She’s always dreamed of living in a big house full of children with a man who adores her. But it’s only a dream.
Or is it?
Surprises are just around the corner for Tessie. This book encourages people to never give up on a dream or on love!

That’s it for me this month. I hope you found something that grabbed your attention. 

Betting On Love – @BeesleyAuthor @LoneStarLit #BookTour #wrpbks

I am super excited to share this book from fellow Wild Rose Press author, Mary Beesley!

BETTING ON LOVE

by
MARY BEESLEY
 
RomCom / Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: March 24, 2021
Number of Pages: 193 pages
 
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Tempest Swan is out for revenge. Billionaire Leonard Allred’s software program has put her out of a job. She makes a bet with a friend that she’ll get Leonard to take her on a date so she can get retribution, but a fortuitous accident with an adorable nerd might just derail her vengeance.
 
Leonard has reasons for hiding his identity from the public. It’s worked well for him so far, until he starts falling for the honest and witty Tempest. But how can he destroy their budding romance by admitting he’s actually the guy she hates?
 
 
PRAISE FOR BETTING ON LOVE:
“If I could give Betting on Love more stars I would because 5 stars aren’t enough.” -Jacky, Goodreads reader
 
“BEST BEACH READ!! Witty and fun and it was super hard to put down.” – Katherine, Goodreads reader
 
“It had just enough spice to make you feel the sparks.” – Rebecca, Goodreads reader
 
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Mary Beesley is a Whitney Award Nominee and received a Crowned Heart of Excellence Review and a 5-star Reader’s Favorite Award.
 
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GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS!
1st: Signed copy of Betting on Love + $25 Amazon Gift Card;
2nd & 3rd: signed copies of Betting on Love

(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 6/24/2022)