#BookReviews & #HolidayReads: A Season for Hope & The Magic of the Season (Christmas in Silver Falls #2) by Tammy L. Grace

E77591AD-7280-43CD-903F-1EE45682F47AReviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

A Season For Hope Date of Release: October 26, 2018

Summary:

From the award-winning author of the Hometown Harborseries, comes a heart-warming and inspirational story for the holidays readers describe as the perfect Christmas story.

When their car breaks down, Hope and her young son, Jake, are stranded in Silver Falls as the holidays approach. A woman who runs a guesthouse offers them a place to stay while the car is repaired.

Frightened and broke, Hope finds a part-time job, thanks to the family who owns the guesthouse. Hidden beneath her strong work ethic and cheerful demeanor, Hope conceals a private mystery. A secret she can’t reveal.

As the Christmas season nears, the small town nestled beneath the snowy mountains and its annual holiday festival captivate Hope, while the family at the guesthouse suspects there’s something she’s hiding. In a moment of weakness, she divulges her secret.

Will an offer of help destroy her life and all she cherishes, or will it be the gift she needs to triumph over her past?

A Season for Hope is a charming story about the kindness of strangers and finding hope where you never expected it. Cozy up with the first in the Christmas in Silver Falls novellas for a holiday read sure to warm your heart.

Review:

”A Season For Hope” By Tammy L. Grace truly is one of my favorite Christmas Tales; alongside her next story. She brings you to a place you want to call home, to people you want to meet because of their genuine kindness. You will definitely want to move there…I absolutely loved Silver Falls. I know this is a book I can cuddle up with again year after year under the Christmas Tree, knowing I will be taken away to a place of joy and comfort!

The Magic of the Season

Release Date: October 24, 2019

Summary:

Will a city girl forced to spend the holidays in her small hometown recapture the magic of the season?

Madison hasn’t visited Silver Falls since she left the snowy mountain winters behind for the beaches of California twenty years ago. In the midst of the annual Christmas festival, an accident forces her to return and manage her mom’s candy business at the Sugar Shop.

Grant hasn’t seen her since she left for college, but remembers spending summers at the lake with the skinny, plain girl he and everyone used to know as Sugar. The contemporary advertising executive he encounters now is anything but plain.

Will Grant’s kindness, the charm of Silver Falls, and the caring community open Sugar’s heart to all she’s been missing?

The best-selling author of A Season for Hope, the tale readers describe as the perfect Christmas story, delivers a touching sequel with the second in her Christmas in Silver Falls series in this new festive novella that pairs perfectly with a cup of cocoa in front of a blazing fire.

Review:

Absolutely love these types of Christmas Stories where the City Mouse lands back home in her old hometown after becoming all prettied up! Tammy L. Grace had me at Hello with “The Magic of The Season”! Full of  joy, love, smiles, happiness and all that makes Christmas Bright! This is absolutely one of my favorite Holiday Reads this year!!

Both Receive 5 Stars.

 

#BookReview: Next Day Gone by J.C. Wing

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date Of Release: December 17, 2019

Summary:

In the fall of 1998, four girls disappeared in Redwood, a small town just outside of Asheville, North Carolina. All of them were young. All of them were beautiful. None of them were found alive. Drew’s mother, Willow, was one of those girls.

Sixteen years later, Paige, Drew’s girlfriend, disappears from school. When she’s found dead, the details of her murder are eerily similar to his mother’s. Residents fear the return of the Sleeping Beauty Strangler, and Drew’s family is thrown back into the spotlight.

Things are a bit different this time around because Drew has seen the killer.

What’s worse is the killer knows it.

Can he untangle the details of both murders while under the watchful gaze of the killer? Can he keep his loved ones safe, or will he die before bringing the murderer to justice?

Review:

J.C. Wing has written a suspenseful, “never would have guessed it”, novel with “Next Day Gone”.

This page turner was gripping and spine tingling.

I was totally hooked from the first chapter.

There were definitely some emotional heart-breaking moments in this novel.

At the conclusion, I was truly in awe.

This was my first book by J.C. Wing but I will definitely be looking into other books.

I received a copy of this book by the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4.5 Stars.

#BookReview: Not So Merry Murder by Amabel Daniels

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: December 10, 2019

Summary:

All I want for Christmas is…

Well, it certainly isn’t finding Mrs. Claus shot dead in the photo hut at Franklin’s Ma
Marlena Ridge was a nasty woman, a bitter boss, and a scornful manager at our seasonal booth for all kinds of kids to sit on Santa’s lap for an overpriced picture. But I’ve never wished her dead. Someone did, though, because there’s no mistaking the fatal wound in her gaudy, velvet holiday getup.

What’s worse is the infuriating, sexy cop in charge of the investigation, Knox James, seems to think I might know something about her murder. Or perhaps, that I could have been the one to pull the trigger.

Review:

Amabel Daniel’s “Not So Merry Murder” was a fun to read Christmas Novella.

With entertaining characters, some mystery and humor too; this was a book that held my interest throughout.

Jade was just doing her job but who knew what she was going to find Mrs. Claus dead in the photo hut?

If you are looking for a Christmas novella that is sure to keep you reading, this is the book for you.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

3.75 Stars.

#BookReview: All the Silent Voices by Elena Mikalsen

perf5.000x8.000.inddReviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: January 6, 2020

Live interview with Annie: January 7, 2020

Summary:

Twenty-one years ago, Emma Shephard was sexually assaulted and forced to leave college. She has tried to forget the trauma, building a new life as a loving wife and parent with a successful marketing career. Then her world is rocked when her rapist buys the pharmaceutical company where she works.

Now it’s an impossible choice between keeping the safe life she’s created and pursuing justice. With her marriage at risk and her child in danger, Emma finds herself at the center of ugly secrets and scandals.

Review:

Elena Mikalsen has written an action packed thriller with “All The Silent Voices”.

Emma was placed in many difficult situations, which led to complicated decisions that she had to make all through the novel. Aidan her husband and Sophie her daughter played an instrumental role in these decisions. Richard was that thorn in her side that never seemed to go away after he hurt her traumatically so many years ago.

It was hard to put this gripping action-packed book down once I started it.

I loved all of the twists and turns and was surprised more than once during the book.

I would absolutely recommend you buy this book and finding out for yourself what decisions Emma is faced with and how she deals with these life-altering choices.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4.5 Stars.

#BookReview: Dear Anna by Katie Blanchard

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: July 16, 2019

Summary:

The poverty-stricken past of Medeia is stained with blood that’s not hers, but it was the price paid for John to bring her into his wealthy life.

His rules made her who she is today — the perfect wife.

Only John is not the perfect husband.

He has Anna.

With vows broken and a prenup staring her in the face, Medeia refuses to go back to the shack of her childhood nightmares. Even if it means more bloodshed.

Review:

Katie Blanchard has “wowed” us with the Audible version of “Dear Anna”.

Medeia being the “perfect wife” and John being the “not so perfect” husband weaved quite the story for us.

From the very first paragraph, I was totally hooked and could not stop listening.

The twists and turns throughout kept me guessing at what might happen to the characters. It was so suspenseful and thrilling it had me on the edge of my seat!

The narration in the book was fantastic !!! It brought the captivating and gripping story to life. Each character was truly memorable!

Katie Blanchard is definitely one of my newer favorite authors and I look forward to more of her books !!!!

I received this a copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Lesson for Two(Maple Glen, #5) by Christina Butrum

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: December 13, 2019

Summary:

As a dance teacher, Cassie Mitchell lives her dream every day.
Grant Weber’s dream was shattered the day he lost his wife.

When Grant and his daughter move to Maple Glen, Cassie is all too excited about the possibility of a new student in her class. What she didn’t count on was her instant attraction to the charming widower.

Cassie didn’t expect Grant and his beautiful daughter, Alex, to fit so well into her life and they didn’t plan on welcoming someone new into theirs.

As Cassie and Grant grow closer, challenging and pushing each other in every way, it turns out the lessons they’ll be learning won’t only be for dance, but for the heart.

Review:

I was excited to be back in Maple Glen with Christina Butrum’s “Lesson for Two”. The characters in this novel are so very sweet and like-able that you just want to hug them….

There were some emotional ups and downs that left me wondering how the story would end.

The Maple Glen Series is heartwarming and I would most definitely recommend “Lesson for Two”, as well as, the other books in the series.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Killer Secrets by Sherrie Orvik

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: June 5, 2019

Summary:

Small towns can have big secrets; this one’s a killer.

Ten years after Elyse Benson’s father and younger sister are brutally murdered and her mother institutionalized for the crime, a disturbing phone call compels Elyse to return home. She expects closure. Instead, she becomes a target.

Ten years ago, Sheriff James Warrick’s father made a deadly mistake during a murder investigation, the truth of which James has vowed to bury. However, when Elyse comes crashing into James’ life in need of protection, in order to help, he might be forced to confront the ghosts he’s been trying so hard to put to rest.

As they work to unravel Elyse’s past, together they discover that they have much more in common than either could have imagined—and that the secret they share could be a killer.

Review:

From the moment this story began, my heart started racing. Sherrie Orvik gave us a total visceral experience from beginning to end in “Killer Secrets”.

Elyse and James entered my life like no other characters in a very long time. There was a sense of urgency that was so palpable it was literally jumping off the pages, almost needing me to stand up as I read the first chapter!

This book does need to come with a warning for those that have suffered any serious trauma, because Sherrie Orvik writes every ounce so very well. I have complex-PTSD and have suffered serious personal trauma, and came out the other end of this book feeling wonderfully vindicated, because an author finally got our voice exactly right!! That is a beautiful thing, my friends!! 

I was in love with Elyse and more in love with James.

I found myself both scared and comforted often at the same time…

This is a must read for any suspense or thriller readers out there. With a twist of romance.

It would be a shame if you missed it!

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Flip-Flops After 50: And Other Thoughts on Aging I Remembered to Write Down by Cindy Eastman

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date Of Release: April 8, 2014

Summary:

Flip-flops After 50 will amuse, enlighten, and provoke readers to think about the topics that affect all of us. Who hasn’t dealt with the emotions from family events, stress from lousy jobs, or the bittersweet feelings when the kids leave home? Not to mention body image, high school reunions, and parenting. Eastman’s conversational style and easy humor tackle the sublime and the ridiculous, the sacred and the profane. After a certain age—and it’s no secret that it’s 50—Eastman argues that attitudes change for the better. Making decisions gets easier, although there’s no guarantee that life does. Even so, her writing allows us to take a look at our own issues with the reassuring handholding of a confidante.

Review:

This is a super, want to dive into book, once you open it! Each chapter leads you to the next vignette that Cindy Eastman shares with us to enlighten us to our own path in “Flip-Flips after 50”…and it is stunning! It’s wild how much I connected to her story. I learned so much along the way, and will definitely take some lessons to travel further along my journey.

I love how gently everything was shared. I felt like I was in conversation with a friend.

I highly recommend this book to women. Women of any age…at least I am going into my 50th birthday warmed with this 200 page book and a pair of flip-flips. I am very grateful.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: The Clergyman’s Wife: A Pride and Prejudice Novel by Molly Greeley

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: December 3, 2019

Summary:

For everyone who loved Pride and Prejudice—and legions of historical fiction lovers—an inspired debut novel set in Austen’s world.

Charlotte Collins, nee Lucas, is the respectable wife of Hunsford’s vicar, and sees to her duties by rote: keeping house, caring for their adorable daughter, visiting parishioners, and patiently tolerating the lectures of her awkward husband and his condescending patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Intelligent, pragmatic, and anxious to escape the shame of spinsterhood, Charlotte chose this life, an inevitable one so socially acceptable that its quietness threatens to overwhelm her. Then she makes the acquaintance of Mr. Travis, a local farmer and tenant of Lady Catherine..
In Mr. Travis’ company, Charlotte feels appreciated, heard, and seen. For the first time in her life, Charlotte begins to understand emotional intimacy and its effect on the heart—and how breakable that heart can be. With her sensible nature confronted, and her own future about to take a turn, Charlotte must now question the role of love and passion in a woman’s life, and whether they truly matter for a clergyman’s wife.

Review:

“The Clergyman’s Wife” by Molly Greeley really walks in the path alongside Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice”. I felt the same tempo, magic and slow passage of time as when I read Jane Austen. There is nothing better than a book that makes you want to stop time!

I loved Charlotte Lucas, so it was wonderful to revisit with her.

Often these Austen retellings feel forced, and definitely not taken in stride; but that does not happen here. I truly felt taken away….Taken away in the beautiful use of language, and and a truly magnificent storyline.

You’ll need some time to spend frolicking with Charlotte and her family and friends through her days, because you won’t want to put the book down.

I hope that Molly Greeley has more stories in the making that are of this classical fraction, because she sure hits the nail on the head. This is certainly her wheelhouse.

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.