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

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: 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:

Holy Wow ! What a powerful and haunting novel!

I was drawn in by Nola Nash from the first page of “Crescent City Moon” all the way to the very last paragraph of the last chapter.
Zeolie, Solene, Mama Nell and all the other colorful characters in this fantastic novel were haunting with the captivating tales of New Orleans and Voodoo Priestesses.

Many of the spine-tingling scenes left me with an eery feeling looking around to see that there were no unexpected folks in the room with me.
I am anxiously waiting for next release in this mysterious thrilling series.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: The Weight of the Heart by Susana Aikin (Goodreads Author)

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 26, 2020

Summary:

Set in contemporary Spain, Susana Aikin’s latest novel is a colorful, beautifully written examination of memory, romance, and the intricacies of family duty.

On a sweltering August day in Madrid, Anna, Julia, and Marion return to their childhood home. The once grand mansion, furnished with exotic objects and art that reflected the cultures of their English father and Spanish mother, once bustled with visitors. But since their father’s death, all three sisters have been reluctant to go back, still feeling the weight of his domineering influence. Julia believes that before the house can sell, it needs to be cleared of negative energy, and she has planned a limpieza, or cleaning ritual.

Marion, the oldest, fears what the ceremony might unleash. Anna, the youngest and most capable and ambitious of the trio, is skeptical of the Cuban santera hired by Julia. Still, she is wary of antagonizing her siblings, or of stirring up old resentment.

But as the ceremony progresses, guilt and recrimination become impossible to ignore. And if there’s a chance of bringing their house and their lives out of the shadows, it rests in the sisterhood, strength, and indomitable love that remains when the ghosts of the past surrender at last.

Review:

An intriguing novel about complicated family relationships and how they dealt with so many unexpected situations is what Susana Ailkin has given us. She provides many situations that are thought-provoking to the point you want to hug the sisters.

The characters were well developed and the three sisters Anna, Julia and Marion were well developed. Delia and Constantine were very memorable with their “limpieza” of the house.

“The Weight of The Heart” is an emotional and intense story with many complex situations throughout that kept me turning the pages.

 

I finished this tale of sisterhood in one evening.

 

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

4 Stars.

#BookTour & #BookReview: The Liar and other stories by Alison Ragsdale

FEB91DEB-8D48-4E1E-87D8-590C59BDBAFAIt is a great pleasure to be one of Today’s Stops on Kate Rock Book Tours for “The Liar and other stories” by Alison Ragsdale! She is one of my most favorite authors! Thank you Kate Rock and Alison Ragsdale for this opportunity!

Date of Release: March 29, 2020

4E88F245-4B4A-44C0-A490-9CC195A299EFOrder Here: https://www.amazon.com/Liar-Other-Stories-Alison-Ragsdale/dp/173303773X

Website: http://www.alisonragsdale.com

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

38A7F526-B44C-49F4-B5DE-615D91C37E93Summary: 

An accomplished liar who finally faces the truth about herself. A self-conscious lawyer who must quell her secret crush on her best friend’s fiancé. A stray dog that heals the hurt of his rescuers. A food critic who makes a startling discovery while reviewing a stylish bistro. A young widow who finds hope in the discarded wedding veil that floats out of a truck, and lands at her feet. With these, and other tales of love, regret and hope, The Liar and other stories will make you laugh, cry, and marvel at the strength of the human spirit.

Review by Annie Horsky McDonnell:

Life and all of its remarkable facets are captured by Alison Ragsdale in “The Liar and other stories”. There is so much hope and warmth pouring out onto these pages!

Each story has it’s very own heartbeat!

Ultimately, You will be moved!

Don’t miss this glimpse into Alison Ragsdale’s thoughts!

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

5 Stars.

Review by Serena Soape:

Alison Ragsdale has given us a charming yet serious series of short stories with “The Liar and other stories”.

All of the stories in the collection are believable and definitely relatable. I love how the endings told us enough but also allowed me to have my own “beyond the ending”

My favorite stories were “Homeless”, “The Guardian” and “Whisper”.

I absolutely recommend this, as well as, Alison’s other books!! You will not be disappointed !!!

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

5 Stars.

Thank you Alison Ragsdale for another amazing book!

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#BookReview: Wedding at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: June 25, 2020

Summary:

Book 4 in the Lakeside Resort Series.

Review:

Susan Schild has written another entertaining romantic page- turner with “Wedding at The Lakeside Resort”.

It was great to be back in Lakeside Resort! Beautiful place and you gotta love the Airstream.

I loved reading about the adventures with Jenny and Luke. They had such a whimsical and believable romance.  

Cannot wait for the next book in this series!!

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

4 Stars.

 

#BookTour & #BookReview: Teetering on Disaster: A Memoir by Michaela Renee Johnson

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: May 7, 2009

Summary:

“It was 1992 when her father saw the economic collapse coming, he had two choices, the rough path or the easy path, and he chose the rough one…” Dad began. Then I interrupted, “DAD, ITS MY MEMOIR ” And then my Mom piped in and yelled, “OH MY GOD I RAISED A BUNCH OF NARCISSISTS ” Let’s try again… Meet Michaela: she’s the girl next door–except that “next door” happens to be a 27-foot 5th Wheel Trailer with no electricity or running water in the Sierra Nevada’s. At 17 she sets out to take on the world, but 10 years later, she finds herself right back where she started…in a small mountain town in the middle of nowhere. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry -sometimes at the same time- as she stumbles upon a few Mr. Right Now’s and other adventures on her quest to find love and uncover the girl she always was but had lost somewhere along the way. Join ‘Crazy Kayla’ and her nutty cast of characters for a little muddy-path Rock Crawlin’ through the true story of how her American Dream survives and thrives, in the face of life’s inconveniences and heartbreaking setbacks that sometimes leave her Teetering on Disaster.

Review:

What an emotional journey !!!

Michaela Renee Johnson has written a powerful page-turning memoir with “Teetering on Disaster”.

Kayla had such a rough complex start to life with so many turns along her heart wrenching journey. I wondered what else could possibly happen and then something else always did!

There were so many inspirational quotes that we should remember as we travel through our lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and definitely recommend it.

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

4 Stars.

#BookReview: What She Found by Emerald O’Brien

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 26, 2020

Summary:

It was supposed to be the perfect getaway, but a knock at the door could ruin their lives.

After her recent separation, Tabitha Weaver is holding her life together by a thread. Luckily, her six closest friends have the perfect cure for heartbreak: a weekend in the countryside complete with relaxation, a blind date, and all the wine she can handle.

But it isn’t long before their night at the secluded rental house goes sour. The drinks flow a little too freely and lingering tensions arise before they’re interrupted by frantic knocking at the door. The stranger claims to have been in an accident, and though her head is bleeding, she refuses to let them call an ambulance.

With Tabitha distracted by her new beau, another friend leaving to check out the scene of the accident, and the rest of the group busy feuding, they lose track of the stranger’s whereabouts. It isn’t until she wakes up with a hangover that Tabitha finds a note on her dresser: Don’t stop until you find it.

Tabitha disregards the note, and the evening, and returns home believing the weekend is behind her. But when the strange woman is reported missing, the police start circling—the group must reexamine their accounts of what happened that night. And the discrepancies in their stories cannot be overlooked. It doesn’t help that the police have discovered clues to suggest foul play.

As the evidence mounts against them, loyalties are tested. Tabitha is desperate to find the truth about what happened to the woman.

Which of her friends is lying? Who can she trust?

A gripping psychological suspense for fans of Kiersten Modglin, Meghan O’Flynn, and Abigail Haas. If you liked Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, you’ll love What She Found.

Review:

WOW!!!!!

Emerald O’Brien has written an action packed, powerful mystery with “What She Found”.

I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting anxiously to find out whodunnit…… of course I was wrong…….

The friendship between this group of friends was complicated and so many deep deceptive secrets showed up throughout the novel!!!

There were so many twists in here that I was literally shaking my head at the end and actually read the ending twice!!!! I had to let it sink in and was just “wowed” again!!!!

I would highly recommend that you read this haunting page turner – you will not be disappointed.

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

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Lines We Cross (Nickel Bay Brothers #1) by Marika Ray

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 19, 2020

Summary:

Small towns were made for second chances…even if it’s your best friend’s sister.

Skylar Rae
I’m getting by just fine on my own when the boy who stole my heart and ran away twelve years ago shows up in town again. He’s a big shot baseball player now, needing my help to rehab his knee. If he’d just lay off the flirting and the dimples he throws with each grin, I might be able to do my job. Good thing I’m not dumb enough to fall for him a second time.

Max
I promised my best friend I would never make a move on his little sister. I kept that promise—if you don’t count that one kiss senior year—but now that we’re adults and I’m moving back home, all bets are off. Skylar Rae isn’t the same person I knew twelve yearsago and neither am I. It’ll take a lot more healing than I expected to see if she and I can cross that line again.

Review:

Marika Ray has written a heartfelt and touching romance with “Lines We Cross”.

This is the first novel in the Nickel Bay Brothers Series.

The relationship between Skylar and Max had both its good and difficult moments.

The character development for all of the brothers along with Skylar and Max was fantastic.

Nickel Bay seems like the perfect little town to either visit or live in.

This was a fun and entertaining novel that kept me wanting to turn the page all the way to the end.

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

4 Stars.

#BookReview: The Mother-in-Law by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 17, 2020

Summary:

There’s something strange about Loren’s new mother-in-law…

When Loren meets Jack, she’s sure he’s the man she’s been waiting for—a perfect husband and a father for her young daughter. Shortly after their wedding, their plans to start a life together are put on hold when the couple receives word that Jack’s father has died.

In an effort to appease her new husband, Loren invites her mother-in-law, Coralee, to stay with them while she grieves. When strange things begin to occur just after her arrival, Loren questions how much she knows about the woman she invited into her home.

One calculated move after the next, Coralee attempts to drive a wedge between Loren and her new husband. Jack believes his mother’s strange behavior is just further proof she needs their help, but Loren isn’t so sure. As Coralee’s actions become increasingly sinister, Loren is pushed to her breaking point and she realizes she must do whatever it takes to get rid of her mother-in-law for good.

What she doesn’t know about her new family could kill her…

Review:

I was totally and utterly shocked by Kiersten Modglin with her page-turning novel “The Mother In Law”.

The beginning was mysterious and draws you in instantly.

The twists in this novel were unexpected but that is one of Kiersten’s talents and she did not disappoint with this one.

The complex relationship between Loren and Jack was intriguing. Coralee the mother-in-law was powerful and intense.

I would absolutely recommend this; as well as, her other books.

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

4 Stars.

#BookTour: A Dog’s Hope by Casey Wilson

8297BD5E-C091-45C4-B34A-F9312C2EC61BTitle:  A Dog’s Hope

 

Publication Day: March 6th  2020

 

Author:   Casey Wilson  

 

Buy  Links:       

Amazon: https://geni.us/B083XYXMLKSocial

Apple: https://apple.co/2u41lyH

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FYLp3f 

Google: http://bit.ly/2RweWa6

 

Description:

There are some things in life that only a dog can teach you.

A poignant, heart-wrenching, but ultimately uplifting novel about the unbreakable bond between a boy and his dog. Perfect for fans of A Dog’s PurposeThe Art of Racing in the Rain and Marley and Me.

In the farming town of Riverside in Washington, Toby Fuller is feeling more alone than ever. Nothing Toby did was ever good enough for his father, but he never expected his father to leave, to abandon him and his mother forever. He loses hope, until a scruffy golden retriever called Buddy follows him home from school.

Though he’s struggling to walk, Buddy matches Toby step for step, never taking his eyes off him, as if Toby is all he needs in the world. And from that day on Buddy never leaves Toby’s side.

Buddy shows Toby a loyalty that he has never known. But then disaster strikes and Toby’s life is changed forever. Will Buddy be able to give Toby the strength he needs to carry on?

A tale of how unconditional love can bound into your life when you least expect it, giving you hope in the darkest of times.

 

770FB7EA-F696-4EF2-AA4B-121F4A24BCE0Review:

By Serena Soape

Ahhhhh- Not only was this a beautiful cover, but a truly poignant story written on the pages between……so moving and emotionally stirring!

Casey Wilson has written a totally heart and gut wrenching novel with “A Dog’s Hope”.

Buddy was such a loyal companion to Toby and is with him through it all. I loved watching their relationship grow.

I read the last couple chapters through tears as it touched me very deeply.

I absolutely recommend this page turner! You will not want to put it down!

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

5 Stars.

Review:

By Annie Horsky McDonnell

Written with all of the things you can’t buy; but, all of the emotions you can feel, “A Dog’s Hope” by Casey Wilson touches on a lot the hardships we deal with in life with grace…often seen through the eyes of a dog named, Buddy.

Such a captivating tale! So moving and touching!

The relationship between Buddy and his person are full of such love, it is beautiful.

This intensity can sometimes even hurt immeasurably.

It’s surprising what is on the other side of that pain.

Hope.

This is a story to wrap yourself up with!

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

5 Stars.

68CE303A-F198-45A0-BDBB-59175A855443Author Bio:

Casey Wilson is the author of A Dog’s Hope, published with Bookouture.

Born and raised in the United States in Nevada, she is the owner of a gorgeous golden retriever, who may or may not have inspired the dogs in her novels.

Author Social Media Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaseyWilsonAuth

 

 

#BookReview: The Ruby of the Sea by Peggy Lampman

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Book Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 5, 2020

Summary:

From the award-winning author of The Promise Kitchen comes a riveting new story of twin sisters caught in their mother’s crosshairs on what to do about their disturbed younger sister.

Lush with devastating secrets, lies, romance and psychological drama…”You tell me about a family without a certain amount of dysfunction, and I’ll tell you that family is lying.”

After aimlessly traveling the country for fifteen years, Linnea Chandler returns to her hometown of Key West, Florida keeping the genesis of a life-altering phobia to herself—not a good idea, as she comes to find out. The 19th Century lighthouse that she, her parents and two sisters call home also has a troubled past, carrying the frightening myth that eerily mirrors the mystery of her younger sister today. Should Linnea run while she can?

The women must decide to what extremes they are willing to go to protect their secrets. Ignore the brutality behind the retrieval of spoils from a fatal shipwreck in 1857? Defy a 2017 hurricane threatening to pummel their town? And when their world is upended, do the women have the strength to move forward?

Review:

Every once in a while I read a story that hits home for me in a lot of ways! “The Ruby of the Sea” is that story!

Peggy Lampman wrote a remarkable novel full of soul-stirring and poignant moments that touched my heart, bringing every emotion to the surface. I literally felt every sentiment pulling from my soul. My senses were heightened! There was no holding back!

Peggy Lampman wrote about family, and all of its fabrications with an evocative insightfulness. Happiness was almost enchanting! Feral Chickens. History, Magical! A gorgeous 19th century lighthouse. Even each crack was written about beautifully! Mental illness and it’s acceptance. Each word leading to the next; like a poem, a love letter. A perfectly planned execution, like a lyrical dance!

There was a piece of me in each character. Between that and Peggy Lampman’s writing, I was left with a sense of awe and appreciation when I closed the book.

Staring at it’s beautiful cover, knowing the Chandler family had left their mark and I was left better for knowing their story! and, no review I write can express my love for this book and my gratitude!

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

5 Stars.