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#NewRelease & #BookReview: “The Season of Lights” by Gregory Erich Philips ~ 5⭐️

Date of Release: Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Summary:

Passion, ambition and escape in the colorful artistic underworld off-Broadway, Cammie, a dancer in her mid-thirties, has just landed her first part in a show since coming to New York City. Yet the tug of familial obligation and the guilt of what she sacrificed to be there weigh down her dancing feet. Her lover, Tom, an older piano player, came to the city as a young man in the 1980s with a story eerily in tune with Cammie’s own. Through their triumphs and failures, both learn the fleeting nature of glory, the sweetness of new love, and how a dream come true isn’t cherished until it passes. The bright lights of the stage intoxicate, while degradation and despair lurk close behind the curtain. Their sagas are marred by two pandemics, AIDS in the 1980s and COVID-19 today, which ravaged the performing arts community, leaving a permanent scar on those who lived through them. The poignant intersection of their stories reveals a love affair unbound by time, reaching across decades through the notes of a piano’s remembered song. 

Review:

With bright and smoothly written ambience, Gregory Erich Phillips took me back to a time that still resonates deeply in my soul. Only “Season in Lights” brought me invigoratingly closer to a life I always wonder about. 

This is a book to be savored. 

Leaning in personally and stirring my heart from one beat to the next, I was mesmerized. 

I was falling in love. It was a state of all-inclusive love by the end, without exception.

This novel felt alive. 

Close your eyes (after each chapter) 

And feel the pulse. 

The movement.

Frantically flipping from page to page feeling like I was an exuberant eavesdropper. 

Close your eyes at the end.

And feel that last pulse!!

That movement!

Gregory is a force with the written word, a force with his knowledge of the arts and surely a gift to all of us who love these crafts!! I feel Gregory loving my city.

As I wait for theaters to open in NYC, “A Season in Lights” gave me a reprieve from the heartache of it being closed!

I was utterly beguiled with Gregory’s story. As he opened the curtain to his story he had my full attention. As a New Yorker, I say Bravo!

I’d certainly offer “A Season in Lights” a standing ovation.

I’ll read this again. It’s a book I’ll keep on my nightstand.

5 Stars.

Author Bio:

Award-winning author Gregory Erich Phillips writes stories with strong characters whose lives, with their many challenges and joys, resonate with a wide audience. Raised in a literary family, Gregory began writing at the age of fourteen. 

His debut novel, Love of Finished Years, won the the grand prize in the Chanticleer Reviews International Writing Competition and was an Amazon bestseller in historical fiction. It was praised by Publishers Weekly, which called it “beguiling.” His second novel, The Exile, won first place in mainstream fiction in the PNWA literary contest.

Also an accomplished tango dancer and musician, Gregory has impressed audiences from the West Coast to New York City with his drama and grace on the dance floor (visit Moonlight Tango to see him in action).

Gregory’s website: https://gregoryerichphillips.com/about/

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#BookTour & #NewRelease & #BookReview – Her Last Chance by Alison Ragsdale ~ 5⭐️

Date of Release: April 13th, 2021

Summary:

My darling girl, I watch you playing outside in the grass. Your long blonde hair sweeps back and your blue eyes are bright with joy. You are utterly perfect, I never imagined something could be so wrong and I’d be powerless to protect you…

Ava’s daughter Carly is everything a ten-year-old should be: energetic, creative and the light of her parents’ lives. But when she starts stumbling down stairs and walking into doors, Ava wants to rush to the doctor. Her husband Rick is sure she’s fretting over nothing – kids can be a little clumsy sometimes. But Ava’s instinct is telling her something is seriously wrong.

Against Rick’s advice, Ava takes Carly to see a specialist and is given a devastating diagnosis: a rare genetic condition that will change her future forever. When Rick realises the truth, he is determined to do all he can to help Carly enjoy what light she has left. The close-knit family take it one day at a time, walking to the beach and watching the sunrise.

Just as Ava begins to imagine a new future for them all, a tragic accident throws their lives into chaos once more. To give her daughter a chance at a full life, Ava faces a devastating choice. How can she possibly choose between the two people she loves most?

An emotional, heartbreaking page-turner about a mother’s love and an utterly devastating decision. Readers of Kate Hewitt, My Sister’s Keeper and Diane Chamberlain will keep this story in their hearts forever.

FOLLOW ALISON’S BOOK TOUR:

Review:

Alison Ragsdale is going to give Jodi Picoult a run for the money with these books that dig so deep into the real grit of life, and leave you weeping, tugging at your heartstrings and parts of your soul you didn’t realize you had! 

Her novels are always smart family stories with complex drama that you can tell is extensively researched! This story knocked it out of the park for me. 

“Her Last Chance” had me begging to comfort the characters from their razor-sharp anguish that had me crying out.  

I even paused to wonder if it was me that needed comforting. 

Don’t get me wrong, this story isn’t all sadness. But, those were the parts that compelled me to keep reading. I needed relief, if there was any!

To elevate our deeply-seated emotions to this level takes sheer talent.  I imagine the profound suffering Alison Ragsdale’s pen must sense after some scenes are written, let alone Alison herself.  I thank her for this gift.

Alison always gets it right! Her storytelling is superb! Gold-Star!

I dare anyone to read this and not be fully absorbed! Invested! Mind, Body & Soul!

#Tissues

5 Stars.

Author Bio:

A former marketing executive, originally from Edinburgh, Alison now lives near Washington D.C. with her husband and dog. She was educated in England and holds an MBA from Leicester University.

For more information on upcoming books go to www.alisonragsdale.com.

Author Social Media Links: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralisonragsdale

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AlisonRagsdale 

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#NewRelease & #BookReview: The Sound Between the Notes by Barbara Linn Probst ~ 5 ⭐️

Summary:

The highly anticipated new novel from the multiple award-winning author of Queen of the Owls . . .

What if you had a second chance at the very thing you thought you’d renounced forever? How steep a price would you be willing to pay?

Susannah’s career as a pianist has been on hold for nearly sixteen years, ever since her son was born. An adoptee who’s never forgiven her birth mother for not putting her first, Susannah vowed to put her own child first, no matter what. And she did.

But now, suddenly, she has a chance to vault into that elite tier of “chosen” musicians. There’s just one problem: somewhere along the way, she lost the power and the magic that used to be hers at the keyboard. She needs to get them back. Now.

Her quest―what her husband calls her obsession―turns out to have a cost Susannah couldn’t have anticipated. Even her hand betrays her, as Susannah learns that she has a progressive hereditary disease that’s making her fingers cramp and curl―a curse waiting in her genes, legacy of a birth family that gave her little else. As her now-or-never concert draws near, Susannah is catapulted back to memories she’s never been able to purge―and forward, to choices she never thought she would have to make.

Told through the unique perspective of a musician, The Sound Between the Notes draws the reader deeper and deeper into the question Susannah can no longer silence: Who am I, and where do I belong?

Review:

Barbara Linn Probst delivers a novel that tugged at my heart strings so often I could imagine the sound of music coming from my soul as I read. 

Her reverence for women is remarkable!

While taking a break from reading, I would close my eyes, and visualize piano strings in movement, actually being able to touch “The Sound Between the Notes”. 

Her message was delivered.

My heart in cadence with the life of Susannah.

This book felt personal to me, I dare a woman not to find herself somewhere.

I admire the melodious nature in which Probst shares this story. 

Exceptional!

She treats a woman’s life in an amazingly ceremonious manner, no matter what part of the story she is telling. 

In this, I learn that my life is always extraordinary. “I am woman, here me roar”!

Probst teaches us lessons!

While there are piercing moments there are soft edges, too. “The Sound Between the Notes” is truly an inspired work.

As we dig deeper into Susannah’s life, I realize that her life is like that of a piano chord. A chord is the combination of two or more notes played simultaneously. 

This was her life’s struggle…wanting to hit that chord in her real life!

Hit two or more things at once successfully and make it sound and feel like wonder!!! She just wanted everything to work, and never feel neglect.

You must read this to learn the sound of her song. I bet you will learn a little bit more about yours.

I love a book that lives in you and moves your spirit. This is it!

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

5 Stars.

Author Bio:

Barbara Linn Probst is a writer, researcher, clinician, and “serious amateur” pianist living on a historic dirt road in New York’s Hudson Valley. 

Barbara’s novels (QUEEN OF THE OWLS, April 2020, and THE SOUND OF ONE HAND, coming in April 2021) tell of the search for authenticity, wholeness, and connection. In both novels, art helps the protagonist to become more fully herself. 

QUEEN OF THE OWLS has been chosen as a 2020 selection by the Pulpwood Queens Book Club, a network of more than 780 book clubs across the U.S.

Author of the groundbreaking book on nurturing out-of-the-box children, WHEN THE LABELS DON’T FIT, Barbara also holds a PhD in clinical social work and is a frequent guest essayist on major online sites for fiction writers. To learn more about Barbara and her work, see http://www.barbaralinnprobst.com/

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#NewRelease & #BookReview: The Secret Stealers by Jane Healey ~ 5⭐️

Date of Release: April 1st, 2021

Summary:

A female American spy in Nazi-occupied France finds purpose behind enemy lines in a novel of unparalleled danger, love, and daring by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Beantown Girls.

Anna Cavanaugh is a restless young widow and brilliant French teacher at a private school in Washington, DC. Everything changes when she’s recruited into the Office of Strategic Services by family friend and legendary WWI hero Major General William Donovan.

Donovan has faith in her—and in all his “glorious amateurs” who are becoming Anna’s fast friends: Maggie, Anna’s down-to-earth mentor; Irene, who’s struggling to find support from her husband for her clandestine life; and Julia, a cheerful OSS liaison. But the more Anna learns about the organization’s secret missions, the more she longs to be stationed abroad. Then comes the opportunity: go undercover as a spy in the French Resistance to help steal critical intelligence that could ultimately turn the tide of the war.

Dispatched behind enemy lines and in constant danger, Anna is filled with adrenaline, passion, and fear. She’s driven to make a difference—for her country and for herself. Whatever the risk, she’s willing to take it to help liberate France from the shadows of occupation and to free herself from the shadows of her former life.

Review:

Utterly fascinating WWII Novel by Jane Healey that had me so engrossed, I actually lost sleep.

“The Secret Stealers” was yet another gift about a corner of history that women stood out with their strength and perseverance, that Jane Healey shared with us.

Thank you, Jane! All women, and readers alike, thank you for helping us bear witness to this part in history.

Her characters are always so engaging that you don’t feel so “outside” the story!
I was truly enraptured! Give me Historical Fiction, WWII, France, Female Empowering stories and I’m all in!

Like “The Beantown Girls”, I met a menagerie of strong women that I was rooting for until the last page….and, now I am searching Female WWII Spies”!!

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

5 Stars.

About Author:

Jane Healey shares a home north of Boston with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. When she’s not writing historical fiction, she enjoys running, reading, cooking and going to the beach. 

For more information on the author, her upcoming events or to schedule a virtual book club visit: 

Website: http://www.janehealey.com

Facebook: facebook.com/JaneHealeyBooks/


Twitter and Instagram:@healeyjane


YouTube: https://bit.ly/2O3c72

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