#BookRelease, #BookReview & #BookGiveaway: Love, Jane By Katie Blanchard

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Jane always longed for security and thought she found it when she married Stewart. When stress takes a toll on their marriage, she hires yoga instructor Shana to help him, but finds that sometimes inviting a stranger into your home means they never leave.

Tossed out of her home and marriage, penniless, while Shana sleeps in her place, Jane is brutally attacked. With help from Billy, the cop who saved her life, Jane takes on a new identity to hide from the man who assaulted her. Hiding is exhausting, but she’s not sure who to trust. Even Billy has past ties to her husband.

While the cops hunt for her attacker, a run-in with Shana exposes a secret that could result in a new madman on Jane’s tail– Stewart. Both women are in peril and Jane must decide if she can help the woman who ruined her marriage.

Will she be able to save them both or is the danger closer than either of them imagines?

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Katie Blanchard does it again with “Love, Jane”!

We all met the steadfast Jane Voss in “Dear Anna” and now we are afforded the opportunity to learn her backstory. It is not often that an author takes us on this journey and what an awesome idea this is. I found it to be not only super exciting, but; realized how truly powerful learning her history was.

The theme that runs vibrantly through this novel is that “Girls Stick Together” and…it bleeds into (or out of) “Dear Anna”. That is the beauty of how Katie Blanchard wrote these novels; you can read them in either order.

The depth with which each character is driven is triumphant! I truly felt compelled to care for each character. Her character development is flawless.

The most magnificent part of this novel was that Jane’s ex-husband, Stewart plays one of the strongest characters in the storyline, yet we never meet him, or even see him from a distance. He is so hated by me. He is so vile, and disgusting….It is pure talent that can give this type of power to a character that is unseen.

I was totally taken away! I not only recommend this book…I give it high praise!

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

5 Stars.

—-Annie Horsky McDonnell

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Katie Blanchard is an author of women’s fiction and suspense. Her debut novel, ‘Pressing Flowers’ is available for purchase through Amazon. Katie resides in Southwestern, Pennsylvania where she spends most of her days chasing two children. When they give her a moment, she’s found crocheting on the couch. You can find out more about Katie and her upcoming releases at www.authorkatieblanchard.com, or follow her on Facebook. http://bit.ly/KBlanchardFBPage

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#NewRelease, #AuthorInterview & #Giveaway: Meet Eileen Sanchez and learn more about “Freedom Lessons: A Novel”

1CFD5BB2-3D9E-4704-BC53-B87AABEAD12EQ: What first sparked your interest in writing “Freedom Lessons”? 


Ten years ago, I was at a professional educational conference in New Orleans, LA. After a long day of presentations, we went out to Pat O’Brien’s, a great bar in the French Quarter. If you ever visit NOLA be sure to go there to have a
Hurricane and request your favorite song to be played by the dueling pianos. In between the drinks and entertainment, I surprised the people I was with when I told them I had taught in a small rural town in Louisiana. It was during the mandated integration that followed the October 29, 1969 Alexander v Holmes Supreme Court decision which ordered schools across the county to desegregate. I had rarely shared that experience. I explained how a 22-year-old young woman from NJ wound up in the middle of the poorly planned mandated integration of the public schools. My husband was in the Army and we lived there for the last year of his service.

I always knew the impact it had on my personal history, but that revelation made me realize how significant the event was in the history of our country. I was a witness and felt a responsibility to share it. At the time, my first grandchild was two years old and a friend challenged me to write about my life during that year so that my granddaughter would learn about it.

When I started to write, I realized that I only knew my story. I had returned to NJ at the end of that school year when my husband was discharged. What happened to my second grade students after that traumatic year? I uncovered numerous personal stories through reading and research.


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Q: Is there any truth to your story that is personal to you?


The story is told from three points of view. Colleen represents my own experience and I created two characters, Evelyn and Frank, to tell the point of view of a black teacher and a black high school student. My November 12, 2019 publishing date commemorates the 50th anniversary of southern states meeting the mandate of the Brown v BOE decision, followed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and finally on October 29, 1969 the US Supreme Court ordered schools across the country to desegregate in the little-known but milestone case,
Alexander v. Holmes. It was 15 years after Brown v Board and most black students in the South still attended segregated black schools.  If they had not integrated public schools, they would have forfeited federal funds on Dec. 31, 1969. Stubborn resistance to move beyond “Freedom of Choice” plans created numerous last minute decisions to meet the mandate.

My book is based on my personal experience that I more fully understood by studying the impact on the black families and teachers forty years later through research and interviews about that school year of 1969-1970.

I fictionalized my experience to create the characters of Frank and Evelyn after reading first hand accounts of the impact of the mandated integration on families of the children I taught and the black teachers and administrators who were moved from respected positions to secondary support staff. Having two POV characters who are black and one white misplaced “Yankee” I have tried to give a more accurate expression of the small stories and the wide impact of this event.


Q: Do you have a favorite character? Why?

That’s easy, it’s Frank. Five years ago, I was able to visit the town and the school I taught in. The visit filled some of the history of the people and the community. One of the opportunities allowed me to meet the current principal of the school. The school had been reopened and now serves as a middle school. She had been away in college the year of the mandated integration, but she told me some of her own family’s experiences. The stories about her brother who was a high school senior in 1969 helped me to personalize and build a deeper background for Frank. He became the character to tell the story from a student’s point of view.  I created a family for Rachel, one of Colleen’s second graders. Frank became Rachel’s brother, the eldest son who was deeply impacted by his father’s death in a suspicious fire. Frank and his parents had been counting on a football scholarship for him to be able to attend college. But when the schools were integrated the football team spots were already filled by the white students.  He wasn’t able to play and lost his chance for the scholarship. He struggled with the unfairness but maintained the core values from his parents.


Q: How long did it take you to write “Freedom Lessons”?

Five years. Slow and steady. I tend to write in chunks of time. The discipline of writing every day for an hour doesn’t work for me. I get immersed in the research and the “telling”. Some writers can turn out books very quickly but that’s not how mine happened. Once a week for four years I met with my writing group as we wrote our novels under the tutelage of my mentor, Michelle Cameron (The Fruit of Her Hands: the Story of Shira of Ashkenaz, & Beyond the Ghetto Gates). There are other methods to writing a novel, but I wrote 10-20 pages a week for three years. We each read our pages aloud to the group and then received feedback. I had to learn to show not tell. After decades of writing educational reports of all kinds which required concise specific explanations, I had to learn how to let the story roll out through the characters. Creating characters and learning who they were was a huge challenge because two of my main point of view characters are African American. It took a great deal of research to understand Frank and Evelyn. I began a personal black history study and wove what I learned into their background and their lives.

Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist?

“Who me?” It’s still sinking in.

Annie: Today is the day! Congratulations!

Q:  As you geared up for your Book being released, what was the most exciting part(s) for you?

The initial critical reviews from people who I’m not related to! I’m most pleased with my Library Journal (LJ) review and being included in a LJ article titled Fall/Winter Best Debut Novels.


Q:  With this being your first novel, do you think you will always explore historical fiction? Maybe still more to tell about this particular era?

There’s always more to tell about an era. I enjoy writing and the history research that supports the story.


Q: I love the Music that comes with the book. Where can people order this?

I created the playlist mainly for book club swag. It’s from my personal music burned to a CD. So, I can’t sell it, but some lucky readers can win it!

Name

Artist

My Girl

The Temptations

All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)

Charley Pride

A Beautiful Morning

The Rascals

Okie from Muskogee (Rerecorded)

Merle Haggard

Yellow Submarine

The Beatles

Honky Tonk Women

The Rolling Stones

Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The…

The 5th Dimension

Ball of Confusion (That’s What the…

The Temptations

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Simon & Garfunkel

ABC

Jackson 5

Both Sides Now

Judy Collins

Get Together

The Youngbloods

Annie: Thank you for including this CD in your Giveaway!

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style?

There are two authors that have influenced my interest in storytelling.

Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings follows thirty-five years of a complex relationship between Sarah and her ownership of Handful, as both women strive for lives of their own. I would never compare myself to Sue Monk Kidd, but I love her books and wish that her readers might like mine. She is a prolific writer and develops the rich interior lives of her characters with prose that keeps you turning the page. Her books build from real historic figures to tell the small stories of everyday people that make up our history. My book tells the small stories directly from the everyday people. I can hope for some of her readers, can’t I?

 Amy Hill Hearth’s endorsement, featured on the cover of Freedom Lessons, validated my writing and the telling of the story. She has been generous with her support of a second career debut author. Amy, a New York Times best selling author, has written several books, two fiction and several non-fiction, the most recent is Streetcar to Justice. Her most successful book became the Broadway play “The Delany Sisters – Having Our Say”. I loved these two: Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society: A Novel and Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County: A Novel. The Stories take place in a rural area of Florida that became Disney World and the setting rises to a level of the characters. A transplanted “Yankee” from Boston shakes up the community by starting a literary salon, aka a book club. Both books “will touch the heart of anyone who ever felt like an outsider longing to fit in.”


Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us…

When I started Freedom Lessons I wrote in an upstairs bedroom dedicated to be “A Room of my Own”. It was sacred and when I returned to write more the next day the thoughts and ideas returned as I started to write. Mornings are the most creative times for me to write but I can return to ideas any time of day. I need to be alone to write; I can get distracted easily. I’ve witnessed an author friend writing pages by hand in a notebook in the middle of activity around us as we waited for a conference to begin. I write on my laptop. I type fast and the ease of quick edits releases my worry about getting it right the first time. I’ve learned that I just need to write it and then fix it later. A handwritten manuscript would slow me down. I can type almost as fast as I’m thinking the ideas.

Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?

I’ve already mentioned Amy Hill Hearth and Sue Monk Kidd. I would add Camille Di Maio, and Tara Conklin. Kwame Alexander inspires me with his poetry and books for “children of all ages”.  Books? Any book by Sue Kidd Monk but The Secret Life of Bees came to mind first.  I love poetry and have just discovered Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover because of my grandson. Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic is an old favorite to pull out. Judith Viorst keeps me laughing as I age with her poems from How Did I Get to Be Forty, Forever Fifty, Suddenly Sixty and I’m Too Young to Be Seventy. (Yup, 72! How else could I have been there in 1969?)

Annie: I love Sue Monk Kidd!  Must read Kwame Alexander, as I love poetry.


Q:  What books are in your nightstand right now?

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is my most recent finished book. Starting in 18th century Ghana to Jazz Age Harlem, the novel illuminates’ slavery’s troubled legacy. I am often reading several books at a time. I’m reading a lovely lyrical memoir by new author Marlena Maduro Baraf’s, At the Narrow Waist of the World, which tells the coming of age story of a young Jewish woman in Panama who is torn by love and worry for her mentally ill mother.  And I’m listening to Camille Di Maio’s The Beautiful Strangers, it’s historical fiction and a cozy mystery. To further support my book talks and events that are coming up I’m reading non-fiction The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson.


Q:  What is your favorite part of being a published author?

Holding the book, meeting people who are interested in the story and hearing the connections they have to the themes in Freedom Lessons.


Q:  Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?

Is traveling a hobby? I love to travel and if I had unlimited funds I would do more, I like to explore the history of the places we travel to.

Annie: Traveling, learning the history! Amazing hobby..especially for authors! Often makes for great novels. (Hint, Hint)


Lastly, Do you prefer Print Book or eBook?? Audible?

Each of these have their place for me. I prefer holding a print book and I have stacks of books on shelves and tables to prove it. But eBooks are great, especially for traveling. I used to listen to books only when I would be driving but now I find myself listening when I’m cooking dinner. How else could I be reading three books at the same time?!

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Intro: Colleen and Miguel were married for five days when they moved into the home Miguel had found for them.
Trailer pic: “Oh my God.” Colleen clapped her hand to her mouth. “You’ve got to be kidding. It’s turquoise! It has porthole windows! Does it float too?”

 

 

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Intro: Colleen taught in a segregated black school. Each Saturday she took four of her students to the library to get library cards. She had just dropped the children off at their homes and was stopped by a police officer.
Road pic: “Officer, did I do something wrong?”
“Well now, that depends. Why would a white woman be out driving in these parts?”

 

Annie: Congratulations Eileen on your New Release today! I know “Freedom Lessons” is going to be an amazing story for so many to read. Thank you for telling it! I appreciate you taking the time for this interview today. Learning more about you and  your story has been amazing!

GIVEAWAY:  PRINT COPY OF BOOK AND BOOK CLUB SWAG PACK WHICH INCLUDES CD OF MUSIC, BOOKMARKS, AND RECIPES THAT CONNECT TO THE BOOK.

TO ENTER PLEASE LEAVE COMMENT BY 9PM FRIDAY.  THANK YOU.

#BookReview: Never Forget (Honoring Those Who Serve #1) by Marie Savage

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: November 11, 2019

Summary:

Staff Sergeant Adam Brody is ready to put eight years of military life behind him. After witnessing his best friend and fellow soldier Mike Hargrove’s death, he carries a burden of guilt he can’t shake. Returning home to make good on a promise he made to his friend is the only way to keep his sanity and hope that one day he will be forgiven.
Mike’s widow Shannon Hargrove is not only facing eviction but the possibility of losing custody of her unborn son. Despite her efforts to make a life for herself and her baby, she faces obstacles that she may not be able to overcome by herself. With no husband, no support from family and a baby due in a few weeks, she doesn’t have the finances or the strength to continue fighting. That is until her husband’s best friend Adam, steps in to help.
Adam is duty-bound to make sure his friend’s wife and baby are taken care of, even if it means taking on a new role as a husband and father. Shannon is running out of choices and time, but is a marriage of convenience the answer? And when she begins to have feelings for her new husband, will she be betraying the love for the man she promised to never forget?

Review:

Marie Savage has written this deeply emotional novel that I enjoyed

Shannon’s heart wrenching story was one that was deep and believable.

With Veterans Day approaching, this was a truly touching story.

I have enjoyed all of Marie Savage’s books and this one is no exception.

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

4 Stars.

#BookReview: No Time for Goodbyes (No Brides Club, #7) by Christina Butrum

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Reviewer : Serena Soape

Release Date: November 1st, 2019

Summary:

When six friends make a pact not to let love get in the way of their careers, the No Brides Club is born. But could meeting the right man at the wrong time cause them to break their vows to each other?

Brooke Collins thought she had everything she wanted. Since relocating from her small town to work as an Oncology Nurse at one of Manhattan’s most respected children’s hospitals, she’s worked hard to make a life for herself in the big city. When a life-threatening emergency takes place back home, every choice she has made in the past three years is suddenly called into question.

As a firefighter, Austin Jensen knows how to handle a fire, but that doesn’t help when dealing with old flames. When his ex comes back to town and old feelings begin to resurface, he begins to wonder if the connection between them is worth risking getting burned again.

Sparks fly in this sweet, second chance romance as Brooke finds new reasons to stay in Lawson Heights and leave her life in the city behind while Austin remains unsure of what their future may be. Should they fan the flames or douse them with water and walk away for good?

Review:

Christina Butrum has once again written a sweet and from the heart romance with “No Time for Goodbyes”.

Brooke has life all figured out until she must head back home. When things feel like they are upside down, she is able to find some stability with Austin.

In the midst of making these decisions, it seems like they were always meant to be, but is she willing to uproot her life, abandon the No Brides Club and start life with Austin. You will have to read to find out.

This was my first read in The No Brides Club, so it can definitely be read as a stand alone. However, I am anxious to read the others !!!!

I have read many of Butrum’s books and all of them have been great !!!!

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

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Crescent City Moon: Crescent City Series: Book 1 by Nola Nash

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Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Release Date: October 30, 2019

Summary:

Things put underground in New Orleans don’t often stay there. Even things that should – like bodies, and secrets.

How do you fight an enemy you can’t see that can kill on a whim? In 1820s New Orleans, on the eve of her twenty-first birthday, Zéolie Cheval discovers the mangled body of her father murdered in his bed and a maniacal voice haunting the recesses of her mind. When the priest sent to comfort her is killed while the house is swarming with police, Zéolie becomes entangled in a web of mystery that takes her from the French Quarter, to the Ursuline Convent in the Ninth Ward, and deep into the Louisiana swamps.

Officer Louis Saucier, who is losing his heart to Zéolie and his grip on logical reality, helps her find the pieces to her puzzle. The mother superior of the Ursulines offers assistance from a mediumistic nun and a voodoo priestess, blurring the lines between the spiritual and the supernatural. After opening the family crypt to find it uninhabited, Zéolie realizes that her father lied about her mother’s death – amongst other things. Now, Zéolie must to come to terms with magic she inherited from her grandmother and the price that comes with it.

Step inside the magic and mystery of the 1820s French Quarter to see if an unlikely menagerie can help Zéolie take down a murderous maniac while she shields the officer she loves. Can she harness powers she didn’t know she had? Or, will she make the ultimate sacrifice?


Review:

“Crescent City Moon” by Nola Nash is scary and sinister just in time for the Halloween season.

If you have ever been to New Orleans, you may want to read this novel. I found myself constantly looking up places on the map to see if they were the ones I remembered. The hotel where we stayed, the convent and the cemeteries we visited were all mentioned in the story. I had a great time reading this book.

Nola told of the old religion that was practiced in new Orleans years ago and is still in existence today. I remember the voodoo shops we walked by and now I know more about spells and witches. This book messed with my dreams and sleep and I’m looking forward to a good night of sleep!

It scared me too pieces and not sure when I’ll be ready to read more like this but, maybe there was a spell cast by Nola (NOLA) while reading her book and I won’t be able to resist. 

4 Stars.

 

#BookReview: Find Me In Florence by Jule Selbo

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Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Release Date: October 30, 2019

Summary:

Survival means finding the courage to dig deep and find that elusive inner strength…

Finding herself at life’s crossroads, always-dutiful Lyn Bennett jumps at the chance to teach in historic Florence, Italy; it’s an opportunity to unearth the mysterious details of her mother’s past as one of Florence’s revered Mud Angels who helped save the city during the 1966 flood – as well as to re-evaluate the choices she’s made in her life. When her husband betrays her and a best friend falls to the wayside, Lyn is devastated. When handsome and magnetic Matteo strives to help, she has to decide if she will allow the people – and the city of Florence, with its pride, vitality and beauty – inspire her to open her heart again?

Review:

Oh my, I think I have fallen in love! 

“Find Me In Florence” by Jule Selbo was so beautifully written and has so much to offer a reader. The majority of the story takes place in Florence, Italy. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy and Jule made me feel like I was there. It is such a gorgeous, ancient city. Some of their customs, foods and language were woven into the story. I enjoyed the history of the Mud Angels. They were volunteers who worked endlessly following a flood back in 1966 to save artifacts that were hundreds of years old and many times irreplaceable. There is history there that we don’t often think about because our history in the United States is so young compared to other places in the world. I love a book that teaches me things in a fun way. 

The characters were quirky, all in their own way. From the friends Lyn made, her writing students, her Italian teacher to a romantic man all women have dreamed of falling in love with. These characters leaped off the page and right into my life. I was sad when I finished the book because I am going to miss my new friends. 

I hope there is a sequel in the works! 

5 Stars.

#BookReview: How Fires End by Marco Rafalà

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Summary:

A dark secret born out of World War II lies at the heart of a Sicilian American family in this emotional and sweeping saga of guilt, revenge, and, ultimately, redemption.

After soldiers vacate the Sicilian hillside town of Melilli in the summer of 1943, the locals celebrate, giving thanks to their patron saint, Sebastian. Amid the revelry, all it takes is one fateful moment for the destiny of nine-year-old Salvatore Vassallo to change forever. When his twin brothers are killed playing with an unexploded mortar shell, Salvatore’s faith is destroyed. As the family unravels, and fear ignites among their neighbors that the Vassallo name is cursed, one tragedy begets another.

Desperate to escape this haunting legacy, Salvatore accepts the help of an Italian soldier with fascist ties who ushers him and his sister, Nella, into a new beginning in America. In Middletown, Connecticut, in the immigrant neighborhood known as Little Melilli, these three struggle to build new lives for themselves. But a dangerous choice to keep their secrets hidden erupts in violence decades later. When Salvatore loses his inquisitive American-born son, David, they all learn too late the price sons pay for their fathers’ wars.

Written with elegiac prose, How Fires End delves into the secret wars of men; the sins they cannot bury; and a life lived in fear of who will reveal them, who will survive them, and who will forgive them.

Review:

Marco Rafalà’s “How Fires End” is a Triumph! It is a powerful ache that you read until you find relief.

Rafalà puts his emotion on the pages; poignant moments shared between the characters and across seas and continents. He literally leaves your heart to cry or pound! All wrapped up in the hope I trust he wants us to believe in.

“How Fires End” is more than a story, it is an absolute truth being shared after generations of secrets.

Do not miss this debut novel, for I am sure this is the first of many evocative, strong, and must read novels by Rafalà.

 5 Stars.

#BookReview, #Excerpt, #Giveaway & #HolidayReads: Mistletoe at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild

C392CA06-7096-48F4-942E-AE62138637E0Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Release Date: Today. October 25, 2019

Summary:

USA Today Bestselling author Susan Schild writes heartwarming and funny novels about women over 40 having adventures, falling in love and finding their happily ever afters.

The soon to be released MISTLETOE AT THE LAKESIDE RESORT is a Christmas novella and the third book in Susan’s popular Lakeside Resort series. You’ll catch up with Jenny and her gal pals, fiancé Luke, and Levi and the boys as they plan a very special Christmas for guests at her rustic cabinson beautiful Heron Lake.

A few hints: Jenny’s been gifted a new vintage camper and has the jitters about her future with Luke. Charlotte and Ashe are at odds about their upcoming wedding, and Mama and Landis make a startling announcement.

If you’re looking for a feel good read to get into the Christmas spirit, Mistletoe at the Lakeside Resort offers cozy romance, classic Christmas carols, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and a happily ever after.

 

Review:

“Christmas at Lakeside Resort” is a feel-good, charming and always engaging story about people you want to know and a place you want to visit! I’d call ahead and reserve my spot if I could right now for this upcoming Christmas Season!

Since we can’t do that…I suggest you get lost in the land that Susan Schild’s created at Lake Heron called Lakeside Resort.

Between the wonderful town, amazing people and absolutely delightful animals I could not put this novella down. I know you will feel the same way!

This is part of a series, but I believe you could read this first and then go back to the others! So….Grab this little piece of the holiday joy now….so you can start your celebrations early!

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

5 Stars.

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Excerpt:

“With a businesslike look on her face, novice house stager Charlotte pulled a scribbled list from her purse. “Ladies, I need accent chairs, even if they’re ratty. I need lamps, but only if there are two of them. Vintage water skis are hot. Look for lake-related memorabilia, like books or old pictures of families on the water. Dog prints always come in handy. Cool baskets, macramé, bowls, and rugs are useful though I’d need to sniff the rugs before I buy them. I got a beauty at an estate sale last year. When I got it home, I realized it smelled of dog tee-tee.” She wrinkled her nose. “That smell never comes out. Never.”

The parking lot of the fire hall was already packed, even though the sale didn’t officially start for another ten minutes. Mama expertly swung the big SUV into the last slot in a line of cars parked on a grassy roadside.

“Are we too close to a ditch bank?” Jenny asked nervously.

“I’ve got plenty of room,” Mama said, a confident look in her eye as she switched off the ignition.

The three of them stepped out of the SUV.

When Jenny paused to adjust her wrinkled sock in her boot, she heard a cry, a muffled thud, and then a small moan. Wildly, she glanced over to the driver’s side of the SUV. Mama had disappeared.

Charlotte realized something was wrong at the same moment Jenny did, and they both scrambled around to the other side of the car. Mama was sprawled in the grassy ditch, groaning and touching her right foot.”

….thank you, Susan Schild

#BookReview, #Excerpt & #Giveaway: Viable Hostage by Audrey J. Cole

51B21276-4A6B-42DE-9099-1EE036E829F4Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Release Date: October 28,

Summary:

Detective Blake Stephenson of the Seattle Homicide Unit teams up with Sergeant Wade McKinnon in Audrey J. Cole’s medical thriller, Viable Hostage, the new action-packed novel in her Emerald City Thriller series.

When McKinnon’s niece, Malorie, witnesses her best friend and roommate leave a campus bar with a mystery date driving a silver Mercedes, she suspects foul play, especially when Lani fails to return home the next day. Both women, med students in their final year at Elliott Bay University, have a lot riding on the line, but due to Lani’s wild past, no one in her family is worried. When Malorie’s fears for her roommate deepen, however, she turns to her Uncle Wade.

Within 48 hours after Lani goes missing, the partial remains of a brutally murdered young woman wash up on Alki Beach, and a human hand is found in a crab pot off Bainbridge Island. When one of the bodies is identified as a pregnant, fourth-year medical student, Wade believes there’s a connection with Lani’s disappearance. And, that they might be looking for a serial killer.

Malorie suspects Lani’s kidnapper is someone they know, possibly even one of their professors at the university, a prominent Seattle anesthesiologist whose wife is the president of EBU. But when Stephenson discovers evidence that links another suspect to the professor’s Mercedes, he and Wade must act fast to attempt a wild rescue in the middle of Puget Sound.

REVIEW:

If you’re like me and like anything medical, you will enjoy Viable Hostage by Audrey J Cole. There were a few surprises in this book that I didn’t see coming.

This book kept my interest and kept my mind busy trying to figure out who the culprit was. There were a few characters who had motive and there were some who may have had a motive so, the were many times during the story I was on the edge of my seat.

This was not a very long book. The author did not take you on a lot of dead end excursions. She is precise and to the point when she tells her story. You never feel like you want to tell her to hurry up and get on with what’s important. I liked that!
Viable Hostage would be a great book to curl up with on a gloomy rainy day!

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

4 Stars.

9962D505-18DB-4653-96D1-06C9302D9526Excerpt:

The lights were on when Malorie opened the door to her apartment. Had she left them on? She couldn’t remember.
She set her bag on the kitchen table and looked around the apartment. Something was off, but she wasn’t sure what. There was a faint smell she didn’t recognize. Nothing appeared out of place, but she had a creeping feeling someone had been inside her apartment.
She went to Lani’s room and turned on the light. It was the same mess it always was. She crossed the hall and stood in the doorway to her own room. It was perfectly neat. Her bed was still made from yesterday morning, since she’d slept on the couch the night before.
She felt a chill when she returned to the living room. Her eyes moved toward their large window and the rain that spilled onto the floor under the opened windowpane. She moved across the room and pulled the window shut. She looked down at the fast-moving traffic five stories below.
Like the lights in the apartment, she couldn’t remember opening the window. But she did open it from time to time. And she hadn’t exactly been clear minded since Lani disappeared. Still, she wondered if she should call her uncle. Although she couldn’t waste his time when she wasn’t even sure she hadn’t opened it herself.
She turned from the window and scanned the apartment’s main living space. It didn’t leave many places for an intruder to hide. She was sure she was alone. Plus, being on the fifth floor, there was no way someone could’ve gotten in through the open window. Maybe she was growing paranoid from her lack of sleep. If she wanted to pass her midterm tomorrow, she needed to get some rest.
Malorie turned off the living room lights before heading to her room. She changed into sweats and crawled into bed. After two hours, she found herself staring at the ceiling, unable to will herself to fall asleep. She rolled over and checked the time on her phone. It was almost two a.m.
She threw back her covers and crossed the hall to Lani’s room. She climbed into her roommate’s unmade bed and lay her head atop Lani’s pillow. When she smelled the familiar scent of Lani’s perfume, she smiled.
Malorie turned on the lamp on Lani’s bedside table and opened the textbook that lay on the nightstand. She pulled out the ultrasound photo and rolled onto her back. She traced her finger across the tiny form. Barely noticing the tears that escaped down her cheeks, she set the ultrasound photo back on the nightstand before turning out the light. She continued to think about her fun-loving friend until she was finally overcome by sleep.

There was something evil in the way he had looked at her. He was dangerous. Psychotic. Malorie could see it in his eyes. Those cold, dark eyes. He was chasing her.
Malorie ran faster, with so much adrenaline she didn’t feel the ache in her legs or the burn in her lungs as she gasped for air. She could feel him getting closer. Hear the sound of his boots scrape against the pavement behind her. He’s going to kill me.
She felt him close in behind her. A sharp pain ripped through her arm as he grabbed her and drew her close to him with tremendous strength. Malorie opened her mouth to scream as she was awakened by the sound of her alarm.
She wasn’t being chased. She was in Lani’s room. She sat up in her roommate’s bed, sweating through her t-shirt and breathing hard.
She silenced her alarm, flooded simultaneously with relief that it was just a dream and the familiar dread that her best friend was missing and possibly never coming back.

……Thank you Audrey J. cole

#BookReview & #GiveAway: Spice of Love by Anya Stassiy

0A7DCE7C-EFCD-4EAB-B907-F238D0052398Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Release Date: October 31st, 2019

Summary:

A Caribbean island welcomes wedding guests with the promise of romance and excitement.

Angelina, an aspiring writer and Kai, a handsome doctor spring to action during an inflight medical emergency. Angelina’s feelings stir for Kai, her high school crush. But life is complicated, he is moving to Grenada and she is dating a famous novelist. Isn’t she?

Gretchen is a single mother with a hot new look and a bold new attitude. She meets widower, Mitchel on the flight to her friend’s wedding. But is he ready for romance? And is he the man to show her what it’s like to be loved?

This tropical island will wash away what once was for these guests and introduce them to an unexpected spice, but will they like the new flavor of love?

DD3040D0-D18A-4888-A8BE-BF26DF0B04E5Review:

Do you want a good book to curl up with on a chilly fall day? Try “Spice of Love” by Anya Stassiy. I think you will find this a satisfying story. I read this novel cuddled up on my couch with my furbabies, a cozy throw and a warm cup of tea. Perfect!

A large part of this book takes place on the beautiful island of Grenada. Just what you are dreaming of as our weather turns cold because the weather there is hot and sunny. Plus, a wedding is planned and what could be better?
I liked this entertaining book and all of the characters. Although, there were several characters, the author took the time to develop and introduce them. I didn’t have a problem remembering who they are and what they mean to each other. That’s what makes this book easy and fun to read.
So, grab yourself a copy of “Spice of Love”, go to your cozy reading spot and get ready to enjoy an all around fun novel. You’ll be glad you did!

 

5 Stars.