#BookReview: True to Me by Kay Bratt

CBD7996D-2A95-4112-98DF-503A22A8B4DDReviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: December 10, 2019

Summary


From the bestselling author of Wish Me Home comes a breathtaking novel about the secrets that families keep and one woman’s illuminating search for the truth.

Quinn Maguire has a stable life, a fiancé, and what she thinks is a clear vision for her future. All of that comes undone by her mother’s deathbed confession—the absentee father Quinn spent thirty years resenting is not her real father at all. With that one revealing whisper, Quinn embarks on a journey to Maui, her mother’s childhood home, a storied paradise that holds the truth about her mother’s past and all its secrets Quinn is determined to uncover.

But settling on the island has its complications, and with the fiancé she left behind questioning every choice she makes, Quinn’s quest for her truth is even more difficult than she expected. As time passes and she digs deeper into her family history and her own identity, one thing becomes clear: Maui is as beautiful as she’d always imagined, and its magic is helping uncover the woman that Quinn was always meant to be.

Review:

Kay Bratt has written a beautiful heartfelt novel with “True To Me”.

Quinn’s truly emotional journey was one that instantly drew me in and had me right there with her through the happy and the sad times. Complex and tear jerking at times! I loved this story and found it hard to put down!

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for an emotional journey!

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

5 Stars.

#BookTour, #BookReview, #AuthorSpotlight, & #Giveaway: More Than by Diane Barnes

1798C4E2-9668-4819-B9C2-F2968E715622Reviewer: Serena Soape

Release Date: October 29, 2019

 Summary:

“You are obese, Mrs. Moriarty.”
Peggy Moriarty is stunned. She knows she’s let herself go a bit, but she thinks her young, skinny doctor is exaggerating. Her husband’s death fourteen years ago left her to raise their twins, Grace and Greg, alone. But now that they’re teenagers, doing their own things, her only hobby is watching Messages from Beyond, a show about a medium who connects the grieving with their deceased loved ones.

When the twins leave for college, they give Peggy a gift certificate for an exercise class. At first, Peggy is insulted. But once the sting wears off, she realizes if she gets in shape, she might gain the confidence she needs to go on her favorite TV show and talk to her husband one last time.

With help from her new friends at the gym and Carmen Tavarez, the mother of Grace’s boyfriend, Peggy begins to emerge from her prolonged grief and spread her wings. She may soon discover that her sum is more than a mother,
a widow, and her body.

E81DD5F0-BE71-41C4-AE30-757C884CD07AReview:

Diane Barnes has written “More Than” about Peggy and her life starting when the doctor tells her that she is obese. It’s all the unbelievable result of sadness.

The story definitely kept my interest right from the start and was hard to put down!!! I loved the characters and how they all interacted with Peggy.  Peggy’s various circles were all rather entertaining, whether it was at boot camp with her friends home. I just enjoyed everybody.

Peggy’s story is one that would definitely be relatable to so many people that struggle with the same issues that Peggy has. But it’s “More Than” that!! It’s about resilience and pushing through! Peggy’s perseverance through Boot Camp, which she did more than once; was inspiring.

I found myself wanting to get back into exercising after reading this book. Now that should tell you something!

This was my first book for Diane Barnes, but definitely see more in my future.

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

 

4 Stars.

8D27A1BF-B88F-4111-898B-499110E4672A
Author Spotlight:

Writer, Reader, Ridiculous Amount
of Chocolate Eater. 

How many people get to do what they love? Since I was old enough to hold a pencil, I’ve loved writing. Today, I’m fortunate enough to have two careers that give me the opportunity to write. By day, I write marketing copy and corporate communications for a company in the healthcare market. After hours I pen fiction.  I’m also a voracious reader and can sit for hours, preferably on a beach or by a pool, devouring good books.

I live outside of Boston with my husband. I don’t talk like a Bostonian, but some people still detect Southern California in my accent from the years I lived there. When I’m not writing or reading, I’m at the gym, running, or playing tennis, trying to burn off the ridiculous amounts of chocolate and ice cream I eat.

 

Follow Diane:

Website: https://www.dianembarnes.com/   Instagram:  @DianeBarnes777


GIVEAWAY –    3 eBooks. Just leave a comment that you’d like a copy  and that you’ll post a review. Giveaway Closes on Friday, November 1st, 2019.

#BookReview & #HolidayReads: Christmas in Snow Valley by Tammy L Grace (A Novella included in Christmas at Mistletoe Lodge: New Holiday Romances to Benefit St. Judes Hospital)

Reviewer: Serena Soape

Release Date: On Sale Now

30572B4D-8FD7-4F14-B9D4-062E2596377F
Summary:

Tammy L. Grace – Christmas in Snow Valley — Fifteen years ago, he broke her heart. She never moved on. Will a little Christmas magic bring them back together?

Review:

Tammy L. Grace has joined ten other authors to bring together new Holiday Romance Set of novella’s to benefit St. Judes Hospital called “Christmas at Mistletoe Lodge”.

She has has written another heartfelt, touching story that brought happy smiles throughout the story, called “ “Christmas in Snow Valley”.

From the moment the main character Emily arrived, I knew there had to be a bunch ifsurprises in store. Sure enough there was; you will have to read to find out.

Snow Valley was such a warm, inviting town that seems like a great place to visit! Most especially at the holidays!

I would recommend this book, as well as; her other books. She is such a heartwarming writer.

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

4 Stars.

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

Reviewer: Serena Soape

Expected Release Date: October 25, 2019

034758F0-6E08-4C33-9E32-CCA30540A1EC
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 cabins on 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:

“Mistletoe at Lakeside Resort” is a sweet and charming Christmas Novella that left me feeling happy, joyous and looking forward to the holidays.

The way Susan Schild describes Jenny and Luke’s adventures, I could picture myself being right there with them in one of the cabin’s on Heron Lake.

It’s definitely a wonderful place to spend the Holidays!

I have enjoyed all of Susan Schild’s books, and I cannot wait for the next.

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

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Controlling Shelly Fagan by Olive Dunn

67D77798-A84A-4024-A6A8-DD06FDF21D5D
Reviewer: Serena Soape

Summary:

Have you ever loved someone so much it took your breath away?

A captivating, unforgettable love story, Olive Dunn restores glory to the romance genre with this intense and provocative novel.

Controlling Shelly Fagan is a riveting romance novel that will guide readers through a tantalizing journey of a young woman whose life has been dominated by secrets and deceit. She trusted her parents—only to discover years later they lied.

A first love, an endless love. Shelly Fagan at seventeen loved Chris Johnson with every ounce of her being. Forced away from him and everything she knew and loved, she was hidden in a convent, pregnant and alone. Now, at age thirty-six and married to another man, a life-changing event takes Shelly back to the same small Indiana town where it all began.

This novel will take you back to 1967—a year of music, sex, freedom, laughter, love, and Vietnam.

Controlling Shelly Fagan is a gripping emotional story that will stay with you.You grow up, but you never forget. You can’t forget.

Review:

Olive Dunn clearly shows us how lies and deceit can hurt a family and friendships in her novel “Controlling Shelly Fagan”.

This a deeply poignant story telling us about Shelly and her very difficult life. From her teenage years through her mid-thirties we watch her maneuver through so much heartbreak; because of what happened to her as a teenager and then all of the unimaginable choices she had to make as an adult.

There were many times where my heart truly broke for her. I kept wondering what choice she would make when she came to certain crossroads and wondered would I have done the same???

I must admit that I was surprised a couple of times as I thought the story was headed a different direction, only to be taken the opposite.

I thoroughly enjoyed this from cover to cover! Olive Dunn’s Debut novel surely was wonderful, I hope she writes more!

4.5 Stars.

#BookReview: All About Evie by Cathy Lamb

Reviewer: Jennifer Bryan-Vawser

Expected Publication Date: October 29th, 2019

FE17B06C-2AEC-4962-88DF-AC5262115E8ESummary:

Set against the natural beauty of the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest, acclaimed author Cathy Lamb’s latest novel tells the emotionally compelling story of one woman’s life-changing discovery about her past . . .

As a child, Evie Lindsay was unnerved by her premonitions. As an adult, they have become a simple fact of life—sometimes disruptive but also inescapable, much like her quirky, loveable family.  Evie’s mother, Poppy, and her aunts, Camellia and Iris, are well known on San Orcanita island for their free-spirited ways and elaborately decorated hats. Their floral shop and Evie’s bookstore draw streams of visitors all summer long. This season promises to be extra busy: Evie’s sister, Jules, is getting married on the island.

As Jules plans her unconventional wedding, she arranges to do a DNA test with her mother, sister, and aunts, to see how much accepted lore about their heritage holds true. The results blow apart everything Evie has grown up believing about herself and her family. Spurred on by the revelations, Evie uncovers the real story of her past. But beyond her feelings of shock and betrayal, there are unexpected opportunities—to come to terms with a gift that has sometimes felt like a curse, to understand the secrets that surrounded her childhood, and to embrace the surprising new life that is waiting for her …

Review:

“All About Evie” is one of those books that will make you laugh out loud one minute and ugly cry the next!

Cathy Lamb has a unique writing style. The story was both entertaining and intriguing. You can tell she really took her time in developing each of her characters.

Evie has had premonitions for as long as she can remember. Sometimes they are a blessing and other times they are a curse.

She lives with her mother and 3 aunt’s. They are a fun, colorful bunch! They are strong, independent, witty, hilarious and crazy; you can not help but fall in love with them all.

Evie loves books, she owns her own bookstore and she has a huge love for her pets. All 10 of them! The one thing I really loved was how each of her beloved pets played a roll in the story. I especially loved her cat, Garfield.

There are twists I did not see coming and Evie had some really tough decisions to make. 

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

4 Stars.

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

Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Expected Release Date: 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.
034758F0-6E08-4C33-9E32-CCA30540A1EC
The soon to be released MISTLETOE AT THE LAKESIDE RESORT is a Christmas novella and the third book in Susan’s popular Lakesid
e 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 Christmasfor guests at her rustic cabins on 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:

Susan Schild does not disappoint! Her new book “Mistletoe At the Lakeside Resort” was such a nice visit with friends and I really enjoyed catching up with them. Susan has an easy way of developing her characters so that you feel like you know them. I love living in their world if only for a little while. 

This is the third story in her series with the fourth one coming out in June of 2020.

So, if you haven’t read the Lakeside Resort series yet, you have time to get them read before “A Wedding At the Lakeside Resort” comes out. Who doesn’t love a wedding?

You will love these characters and want to follow then for a long time coming. 

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

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Beneath Pale Water by Thalia Henry

Reviewer: Annie McDonnell

8ED82A28-4526-48C3-8832-0F2790B71019Summary:

Set amidst the physical and psychological landscapes of New Zealand’s southern hills and grasslands, Beneath Pale Water is a social realist and expressionistic novel that follows a triangle of three damaged individuals – a sculptor, a vagrant and a model – who have grown calcified shells against the world. Their search for identity and belonging leads them into dangerous territory that threatens both their sanity and lives. As their protective shells crack they are left vulnerable – both physically and emotionally – to the high country winds and their own conflicts that, ultimately, might free or destroy them.

Review:

I found this to be one of the most lyrical novels I have read in a long time. It was quite refreshing to read a book that I actually had to decipher the underlying meaning to.

The imagery was just stunning. I felt totally transported. It stirred my soul.

It was truly a beautiful dance between these characters that had me guessing right up until the end. I absolutely hated to put it down when necessary.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to take a break from the everyday story.

This Novel will win awards, and the author is going to write wondrous stories!

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

5 Stars.

#AuthorInterview: Bette Lee Crosby author of “Memory House”

C7E05B8B-03C7-451E-8341-301FDB3A7EBDI always enjoy speaking with Bette Lee Crosby. It is a very comfortable conversation, as if I have been friends with her all of my life.  Bette is one of the kindest, most easy going people I know.

Tonight we spoke about her novel, “Memory House”, which is my favorite of her stories. It will always hold a special place in my heart because I read it first, and I love Ophelia so very much.

But, of course, you cannot speak a whisper of this book without talking about most of her other novels. This conversation is Chick full of information, great laughter and lots of Bette’s book covers! Haha! I had to show them all.

Be sure to grab your tea and watch our chat! It’s not to be missed!

Ps. Tonight was the 6-month Anniversary Of our Book Club Live Chats..Bette did the first one, too.

Bette’s Website:

https://betteleecrosby.com

Facebook:

https://m.facebook.com/authorbetteleecrosby/

Twitter:

https://mobile.twitter.com/BetteLeeCrosby

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/betteleecrosby/

Pinterest:

https://www.pinterest.com/bettelcrosby/

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3222582.Bette_Lee_Crosby?from_search=true

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Bette-Lee-Crosby/e/B005TLT1PK?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1570096751&sr=1-

BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/bette-lee-crosby

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Bette%20Lee%20Crosby%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

#BookReview: Memory House by Bette Lee Crosby

Reviewer: Jennifer Bryan-Vawser

84962035-138A-4837-A2EF-00C26B567402Summary:

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A MEMORY TO OUTLIVE ITS OWNER?

Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety.

Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading.

When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one. The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and Ophelia fears things have gone too far.

Review:

I don’t know how “Memory House” is only my second book by Bette Lee Crosby!

I feel like I have been missing out on an extraordinary author!

This book took me on a powerful journey!

I felt so involved in these characters lives, Ophelia was so well-written and by far one of my favorite character’s written into a storyline.

Ophelia’s memories pull at your heart strings. She made me feel as if I were living through her memories. I felt so many emotions, there was joy, sadness and most of all love.

“A good memory is something you have to live with for awhile, let it settle in and become part of who you are”

This book captured my heart!

I look forward to reading the series and many more books by Bette Lee Crosby!

I highly recommend this book to everyone that loves a good heartwarming story!

5 Stars.