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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/

Order On World of the Write Review Bookshop here:

https://bookshop.org/a/23681/9781950495122

Order on Amazon Here:

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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 

Order from World of the Write Review BookShop Shop:

https://bookshop.org/a/23681/9781800193666

Order from Amazon:


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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

Order On Amazon Here:

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#NewRelease & #BookReview: Paradise Road by Marilyn Kriete ~ 5⭐️


Date of Release: March 21st, 2021

Publisher: Lucid House Publishing

Summary:

A restless child of the 1960s, Marilyn yearns for love, hippiedom, and escape from her mother’s control. At 14, she runs nearly a thousand miles away to Vancouver, British Columbia, eventually landing herself in a Catholic home for troubled girls. At 16, she’s emancipated, navigating adulthood without a high school diploma, and craving a soulmate. When she falls in love with Jack, the grad student living next door, life finally seems perfect. The two embark on a cross-continental bicycle trip, headed for South America, but before they reach Mexico, tragedy strikes. Utterly shattered, Marilyn does the hardest thing she can imagine: a solo bicycle trip, part tribute, part life test. She conquers her fears but goes wildly off course, chasing her heart as she falls into a series of tragicomic rebounds. Two itinerant years later, a chain of events in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains leads to a peace she never expected to find.

Reminiscent of Wild and Travelling with Ghosts, Marilyn’s journey portrays a life unmoored by grief, brought to shore again. 

Review:


Watching Marilyn Kriete crack wide open and feel utterly wounded, only to watch her attempt to piece herself back together one mile at a time.

From her happiness feeling truly ebullient to her crestfallen soul, we meet a woman furiously bicycling towards her future.

“Paradise Road” is such a beautifully painted story, I felt as if I was with her and cheering her on the entire time.

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

5 Stars.

Author Bio:

Never one to choose the boring route, Marilyn has lived in four continents and 16 cities (so far), earning her keep as a cook, waitress, janitor, chambermaid, fisher-woman, bill-deliverer (on foot in 40 below zero weather), missionary, church leader, tutor, academic writing editor, housekeeper, and–with a little luck–author. She writes about her adventures in a series of memoirs, all slated to be published over the next few years. 

She makes her home in Kelowna, BC, where she shares her cozy home with three cats and her husband of many decades, Henry. They have two grown children and are eagerly awaiting their first grandchild, scheduled to arrive in July, 2021. 

PARADISE ROAD is her first memoir, and yes, in the way of all good memoirs, it’s every bit true. 

Follow Marilyn Kriete Here:


Add to your Goodreads TBR List:


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21270138.Marilyn_Kriete

Order Here:

Kindle/print:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/paradise-road-marilyn-kriete/1138999526

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#Giveaway & #BookTour & #BlogTour & #BookReview: A Child Lost (Henrietta & Inspector Howard #5) by Michelle Cox ~ 5⭐️

Summary:

A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl . . .

When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta―much to Clive’s dismay―begins to believe the spiritualist’s strange ramblings.

Meanwhile, Elsie begs Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results. 

Review:

Michelle Cox saved the best story for last! At least for now! “A Lost Child” is a true stunner! It has everything, and I fell right into this rabbit hole! It was too exciting! Of course, it tugged at my heart strings because of the lost child! But, what a story! Michelle sure can deliver a well-researched, heartfelt, mysterious story that you don’t want to put down. She is on the pulse of what readers want!
I give Michelle Cox’s writing the highest praise!

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

5 Stars.

Author Bio:


Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there. Coincidentally, her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and many others, so she might be on to something. Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade. 

How to find Michelle & purchase the book:

Website: http://michellecoxauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michellecoxauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/michellecox33
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michellecoxwrites/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-cox-ab8700193/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/michelle-cox
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/michelle-cox-610476432

Buy Child Lost by Michelle Cox

Amazon (Kindle, Audible, & Print)
Apple{eBook)
Apple (Audiobook)
Kobo (eBook)
Kobo (Audiobook)
IndieBound

Giveaway Child Lost by Michelle Cox Tour – $100 Amazon Gift Card

This giveaway is open to Canada, the U.S. , and UK only and ends on March 31, 2021,midnight pacific time. If you live in the UK, the amount will be the equivalent in pounds. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e23ee71d1436/

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#BookReview: The Arrangement by Kiersten Modglin ~ 5 ⭐️

Date of Release: January 28, 2021

Summary:

Ainsley Greenburg is a fixer.
It’s what she prides herself on.

So, when she realizes her marriage is at its breaking point, she makes a decision to repair it, no matter the cost. Approaching her husband to propose the arrangement is supposed to be the hard part, but Peter agrees to the salacious plan almost immediately.

The rules are simple:
They will each date someone new once a week.
They will never discuss what happens on the dates.

Soon, though, the rules are broken, turning terrible mistakes into unspeakable consequences.

When the only person they can count on to keep their darkest secret is each other, new questions and deceits surface. Can they truly trust the person they share a life with, or will the vicious lies that have mounted over the years destroy everything they’ve built?

Once, Peter and Ainsley vowed to stand together forever, but as they push boundaries of deception, suspicion, and temptation, each begins to wonder if ’til death do us part may come sooner than they’d intended.

Review:

Kiersten Modglin’s sublime writing keeps surprising me! I don’t know how she does it! In “The Arrangement” she digs deep and truly finds twists and turns that have me carefully turning the pages as if I’m sneaking around the corner! I’m so careful because the intensity has me there in the story!
Not knowing what will happen at any given moment in the story gives me goosebumps and the little hairs on my arm are always at attention.
While my body prepares for her surprises, I realize I can’t because she is a shocking writer! Once again I felt like I had whiplash from how often she proved me wrong!
If you can, try going into this book willing yourself to not have your heart set on an ending, or guessing anything…..because I promise, you’ll be wrong!
Epic storyline, characters you’ll love or love to hate and an ending you’ll never guess!
Kiersten did it again! Another prize of a book!!
I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review..

5 Stars.

Author Bio:

Kiersten Modglin newly signed to Bookouture. She is an Amazon Top 30 bestselling author of award-winning psychological thrillers and a member of International Thriller Writers. Kiersten lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and their two Boston Terriers: Cedric and Georgie. She is best known for her unpredictable suspense and her readers have dubbed her ‘The Queen of Twists.’ A Netflix addict, Shonda Rhimes super-fan, psychology fanatic, and indoor enthusiast, Kiersten enjoys rainy days spent with her nose in a book.

CONNECT WITH KIERSTEN:

➜ NEWSLETTER: http://eepurl.com/dhiRRv
➜ FACEBOOK: facebook.com/kierstenmodglinauthor
➜ FACEBOOK READER GROUP: facebook.com/groups/kierstenstwistedr…
➜ INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/kierstenmodglinauthor
➜ TWITTER: twitter.com/kmodglinauthor
➜ WEBSITE: kierstenmodglinauthor.com
➜ TEXT ALERTS: kierstenmodglinauthor.com/textalerts….

Kiersten Modglin may be coming to a city near you! Check out her “events” tab to see all the signings she’s attending in the near future:

kierstenmodglinauthor.com/events.html (less)

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#BookReview: Lilac Girls(Lilac Girls #1)by Martha Hall Kelly ~ 5⭐️

Date of Release: April 5, 2016

Summary:

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and secrets that were hidden for decades.

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

Review:

This is historical fiction at its best! I was totally enamored with everything, I had to know more, to see which parts were true. I love flying down that research hole!
Martha Hall Kelly’s pen was meant to write this story! She was so invested, you could feel her love for her characters. I had the sense that special care went into each detail.
This is a Series to get lost in.

5 Stars.

annie mcdonnell, Annie’s Favorites, book review, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Kensington Publishing Corporation, the write review

#BookReview: The Undertaker’s Assistant: A Captivating Post-Civil War Era Novel of Southern Historical Fiction by Amanda Skenandore ~ 5⭐️

Date of Release: July 30, 2019

Summary:

“The dead can’t hurt you. Only the living can.” Effie Jones, a former slave who escaped to the Union side as a child, knows the truth of her words. Taken in by an army surgeon and his wife during the War, she learned to read and write, to tolerate the sight of blood and broken bodies–and to forget what is too painful to bear. Now a young freedwoman, she has returned south to New Orleans and earns her living as an embalmer, her steady hand and skillful incisions compensating for her white employer’s shortcomings.

Tall and serious, Effie keeps her distance from the other girls in her boarding house, holding tight to the satisfaction she finds in her work. But despite her reticence, two encounters–with a charismatic state legislator named Samson Greene, and a beautiful young Creole, Adeline–introduce her to new worlds of protests and activism, of soirees and social ambition. Effie decides to seek out the past she has blocked from her memory and try to trace her kin. As her hopes are tested by betrayal, and New Orleans grapples with violence and growing racial turmoil, Effie faces loss and heartache, but also a chance to finally find her place . . .

Review:

Amanda Skenandore reminded me of The Reconstruction Era, an era in our history I had forgotten about. This story is one of my favorite’s this year. It is rich in actual-history, which had me looking everything up to teach myself more about this era.
Effie Jones is a character I would love to sit and talk with. She is a strong, powerful survivor!
Reading a book that makes me smarter is always an ace in the hole!!
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.