Posted in Audiobook Review

The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman @viola_shipman @blunder_woman @HarlequinBooks @HarperAudio #bookreview #audiobook #thesummercottage

Happy Thursday bibliophiles!

Excited to share with you today my review for this ultra charming story!🐚

My Thoughts

Rule#1: Leave Your Troubles at the Door. Rule#3 Nap Often. Rule#13 Everyone Must Be Present for Sunset.

A charming story bursting with sunsets and love. Viola Shipman Rights such delightful books filled with engaging characters and good vibes. Stories about The importance of family tradition and friendship. Tales that make you realize we are all forever tied to our loved ones that came before us.

Adie Lou has returned to her families summer cottage after divorcing her philandering husband, quitting her demanding job, and grieving the loss of her parents. Her plan is to turn the beloved summer cottage into a bed and breakfast, however this is not quite as easy as she thought it would be.(Where are the property brothers when you need them?) The cottage needs a lot of renovation, not to mention part of the property has been declared a historical monument. BUT Adie Lou not deterred! Even after her first weekend of demanding rude guess. Adie Lou decides to focus on the positive and what transpires is a lovely story full of hope and love.

Adie Lou was a compelling, likable, and relatable character. I admired her strength and tenacity. I loved watching her navigate her way through the cottage renovations and then navigate her way through love. Very sweet, a little sappy, The romance in this book is sure to make you smile. BUT this book is much more than a romance. It is about figuring out what really makes you happy and the magic of family traditions.

🎧🎧🎧 this book is narrated by Tanya Eby who did a stellar job as always! Something I want to give Miss EBy major props for is that she does a remarkable job with male voices. Seriously you forget that it is a female narrating. Another story I felt was enhanced by the listening experience!

Rule #14: Shake the Sand from Your Feet, But Never Shake the Memories of Our Summer Cottage. It Is Family!

*** huge thank you to Harper audio and Harlequin for my copies of this book ***

About the Book

“Every now and then a new voice in fiction arrives to completely charm, entertain and remind us what matters. Viola Shipman is that voice and The Summer Cottage is that absolutely irresistible and necessary novel.” (New York Times best-selling author Dorothea Benton Frank) 
From the best-selling author of The Charm Braceletand The Recipe Box comes the perfect summer escape about the restorative power of family tradition, small-town community, and the feel of sand between your toes. 
Adie Lou Kruger’s ex never understood her affection for what her parents called their Cozy Cottage, the charming, ramshackle summer home – complete with its own set of rules for relaxing – that she’s inherited on Lake Michigan. But despite the fact she’s facing a broken marriage and empty nest and that middle age is looming in the distance, memories of happy childhoods on the beach give her reason for hope. She’s determined not to let her husband’s affair with a grad student reduce her to a cliché or to waste one more minute in a career she doesn’t love, so it becomes clear what Adie Lou must do: rebuild her life and restore her cottage shingle by shingle, on her terms. 
But converting the beloved, weather-beaten structure into a bed-and-breakfast isn’t quite the efficient home-reno experience she’s seen on TV. Pushback from Saugatuck’s contentious preservation society, costly surprises, and demanding guests were not part of the plan. But as the cottage comes back to life, Adie Lou does, too, finding support in unexpected places and a new love story on the horizon. 

One cottage rule at a time, Adie Lou reclaims her own strength, history, and joy by rediscovering the magic in every sunset and sandcastle.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Silver Ladies of Penny Lane by Dee MacDonald @DMacDonaldAuth @bookouture #bookreview #thesilverladiesofpennylane

Happy Thursday all!

Delighted to share with you today my review for this fun little gem! Thanks so much to Kim for my invitation to the tour and to Dee MacDonald for making me smile!🦋

My Thoughts

Dee MacDonald Rights delightful stories with engaging characters. This was a book that put a big smile on my face and swept me away into these characters lives. Tess and Orla we’re great characters and I enjoyed spending time with them. This was an upbeat heartwarming tale Full of heart and hope.

Tess and Orla are BFFs and own a dress shop for plus size women. Test the size she needs to make some changes before her daughter’s wedding including losing some weight and finding a date. Tess and Orla join a shady dating service and go on some pretty disastrous dates. There are some definite struggles when it comes to love and weight loss, but the friends are buy one another’s side. I really loved how supportive these ladies were of one another. I enjoyed watching Tess try to improve herself, but… I wish she could have come to realize she could do this without a man! Ugh too many times a woman improves her situation in a book by finding a man, I’m sure this is a personal pet peeve but still. I did however still truly enjoy this story, because these characters were so delightful.

An engaging story that will make you feel good! Live gloriously!

*** many thanks to Bookouture for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Tess and Orla have been best friends throughout most of their adult lives. So when life gave them lemons and their loved ones let them down, they pooled their resources and bought a dressmakers shop on the corner of Penny Lane. And they’ve been doing just fine ever since.

But one day, while studying her tired eyes and shapeless figure in the mirror, sixty-two-year-old Tess realised that she doesn’t want her life to be just fine anymore. She wants it to be extraordinary. For as long as she can remember she’s put everyone else first. Now she wants to rediscover herself – and experience the kind of whirlwind adventure that will have the power make her smile when she’s confined to the armchair of a retirement home.

With the encouragement of fun-loving and quirky Orla, Tess joins an over-the-hill dating agency and the two friends book a singles cruise around the Mediterranean. And that’s when their adventure of a lifetime really begins…

A totally uplifting, heart-warming, hilarious page turner about embracing the moment, learning to love again and the joy of second chances. Perfect for fans of The Kicking the Bucket List and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.


About the Author

Dee MacDonald wrote her very first book – at around seven years of age! This was a love story which she duly illustrated before sewing all the pages together up one side. Writing was what she ‘was good at’ in school and she won several essay competitions, but then life got in the way and she didn’t pick up a pen again until after retirement.

Dee left Scotland and headed for London at the beginning of the swinging sixties. After typing her way round the West End she became an air stewardess on long haul routes with BA (then BOAC) for eight years. After that she did market research at Heathrow for both the government statistics and for BA, she became a sales rep., and was the receptionist at the Thames Television Studios in Teddington when they had the franchise.

She then ran a small B&B for ten years in Cornwall, where she lives with her husband. Dee has one son and two grandsons who live locally.

You can find Dee on Facebook at

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Audiobook Review

Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly @mserinkelly @minotaurbooks @macmillanaudio #bookreview #stonemothers

Happy Hump Day All!

Excited to share with you today my review for this intriguing story that completely fascinated me! 🌻

My Thoughts

enthralling, atmospheric, chilling, unsettling, and eye-opening!

Erin Kelly has crafted a compelling story that starts with a whisper and ends with a shout. This is a slow burner that becomes more and more riveting as the story progresses. The story was cleverly constructed, Creating a constant air of mystery, and a continuous need to know. A story about living a life always fearing that the truth will come out. An institution that meant different things to different people. A real and raw look at Women and mental health throughout history.

The story jumps around in time and is told from multiple perspectives. The book opens with Marianne returning home to help care for her ailing mother. Her loving husband has a surprise for her, A luxury apartment to stay in rather than camping out on her sister’s couch. The thing is the apartment is located in a renovated mental hospital, The place where all Mariann’s secrets are buried. Home also comes with the risk of running into her ex-boyfriend Jessie who is still bitter and blames her for the past. The story then bounces back in time to 1988 where we learn what Marianne and Jessie were up to. Then we jump back even further to 1958 where we meet a young Helen. I felt structuring the story this way was tremendously impactful. We got to meet the characters and then we got to understand why they were the way they were and what their motivations were.

I found all these characters compelling, but I have to admit I found Helen’s story the most intriguing. The treatment of women who did not conform in the 1950s and earlier, in both the UK and the US was disgusting and disturbing. You really got to know and understand all these characters perspectives. They all wanted different things for different reasons and a lot of these things were conflicting, but I completely understood where each of them was coming from. Didn’t always agree with their actions, but I understood their motivations.

This was an extremely well done, genre defying book that I won’t soon forget!

🎧🎧🎧 this audiobook was narrated by three different narrator’s. Giving each character their own unique voice. I thought each narrator did a really good job. I need to give major props to whoever narrated Marianne she did an amazing Jessie voice. I think the English accents especially the regional accents really added to the overall atmosphere of this book.

*** many thanks to Minotaur Books and MacMillan Audio for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

“Doubly excellent – truly fine psychological suspense, and plenty to think about, too, when your pulse has returned to normal.” (Lee Child) 
Erin Kelly, the masterful author of
 He Said/She Said, delivers another intense, irresistible audiobook of psychological suspense. 
You can’t keep the secret.
 
You can’t tell the truth.
 
You can’t escape the past….
Marianne was 17 when she fled her home in Nusstead – leaving behind her family, her boyfriend, Jesse, and the body they buried. Now, 30 years later, forced to return to in order to help care for her sick mother, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving in the first place, is finally threatening to expose the truth. 
Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built, the husband and daughter who must never know what happened all those years ago. Even if it means turning to her worst enemy for help…. But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Him by Clare Empson @ClareEmpson2 @Tr4cyF3nt0n #bookreview #him

Happy Wednesday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this twisted character study of obsessive love! Thank you to Tracy Fenton for my invitation to the tour!🖤

My Thoughts

A dark story of obsession, love, and guilt! A tale of love gone wrong, oh so very wrong! This is a slow burning in depth character study of two people and their destructive obsession with one another. This book was simultaneously fascinating and unsettling. This is not a twisted psychological thriller it is rather a character study of twisted individuals.

The story bounces around in time. We get Catherine’s past and present perspectives, as well as the perspective of Lucian in the past. Catherine and Lucian dated years ago and something happened to tear them apart, something tragic. Catherine never gets over Lucian even though she marries a different man and has children with him. Now Catherine is in the hospital suffering from selective mutism. In order to get better Catherine must face the past, but how will that impact her present and her future?

Neither Catherine or Lucian were very likable, there was a kind of shadow of doom over them. The only character in this book I found likable and very sympathetic was Sam, Catherine’s husband that poor guy. Clare Empsom was very thorough and concise in her storytelling. You really get a comprehensive picture of both Catherine and Lucian and the situation. A well told story about obsessive love.

About the Book

‘You’re stuck there, aren’t you? Right at the end. And I wonder if it might help to go back to the beginning, to put everything in some kind of order.’

Catherine has witnessed something so traumatic that she can’t speak. Or won’t speak.The doctors say the only way forward is to look into her past.

Catherine needs to start with HIM .

Fifteen years ago she met Lucian at university and fell into a passionate love affair. They were meant to be together forever. But something happened. Something that destroyed them.

Catherine married someone else. Had two children. She moved on – or so she thought. Now Lucian is back, showing her how different life could have been.

But going back to the beginning won’t change the ending.
In fact, it might be the thing that finally breaks her…

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth @SallyHepworth @StMartinsPress #bookreview #pubday #themotherinlaw

Happy Pub Day to this stellar story!

Excited to share with you today my review for this book I read in December but still sticks with me today! This was a group read and we all absolutely loved it!💕

My Thoughts

Sally Hepworth completely sucked me in with this compulsive engaging addictive story! This book took a hold of me and did not let go until the last page was turned!

This was an intense twisty story full of complex characters and complicated relationships. I absolutely love books that dig deeply into the psychology of the characters, and oh boy did this book do that! Perhaps there is no relationship more tenuous than that of mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. My own mother in law unfortunately passed away a year ago, and I will be forever grateful that she really stayed out of our business, LOL! Someday I will have my own daughter in law, a relationship I am looking forward to because I trust my son’s taste in a significant other. Although I am imagining it will be a tricky relationship I am up for the challenge! What is that saying;”adaughter is a daughter for all of her life, but a son is a son until he takes a wife.”

This story is told from duel points of view, mother-in-law Diana and daughter-in-law Lucy. I felt this was a extremely impactful way to tell the story, you could really see how much misunderstanding there was between these two women. They both truly sought the approval of the other, and neither really knew how to go about it. Most interesting indeed!

The book starts out with the apparent suicide of Diana. As the book progresses we get a look at events leading up to the tragedy. As well as the present day investigation. As things begin to unfold and secrets begin to be revealed we really find out how truly complicated it all was. As the past is revealed Diana becomes a more and more sympathetic character. You truly do need to understand where someone’s coming from to fully appreciate their current actions. I liked Lucy from the very beginning and I enjoyed delving deep into her immediate family dynamics. Her relationship with Oliver and the kids was so relatable. Tom, Diana‘s husband and the father in law was a jovial likable character, who sometimes should’ve perhaps had Diana‘s back a little more! Always much easier to be good cop then bad cop!

This book will feed your appetite for domestic Drama with a glimpse into this family‘s conflict. I just think there is something so alluring about a domestic thriller, it just is always so intriguing to read a story about family dynamics.. What is so brilliant about this story, is this family could be any of ours! It is so familiar and there is something comforting about that, making the story just that much more!

Strongly recommended to anybody who enjoys a story with complicated characters, complex relationships, twists, turns, and a well structured compelling plot!

*** many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

A twisty, compelling new book about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in death….
From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana…except Lucy. 
That was five years ago.
Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she no longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body.  
But the autopsy finds no cancer. It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation. 
Who could possibly want Diana dead? 
Why was her will changed at the 11th hour to disinherit both of her children and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone?  
Fractured relationships and deep family secrets grow more compelling with every chapter in this twisty, captivating new audiobook from Sally Hepworth.

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

Kendall @ Sunflower Book Lover

💕💕 Be sure to check out all the Besties’ reviews!

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Psychological Thriller, Thriller and Suspense

The Night Visitors by Carol Goodman @C_Goodmania @WmMorrowBooks #bookreview #thenightvisitors

Happy Tuesday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this intense thriller! I am featuring this book on Instagram today if you want to check it out follow my link below! But you can read my review right here right now!🙌🏻

My Thoughts

An Erie and atmospheric thriller.Brimming with tension and peppered with the supernatural!

Carol Goodman has crafted a creepy and addictive tale that will keep you up far past your bedtime. Unique and clever, this is a story you don’t just read you experience. Miss Goodmans descriptive writing will have you shuttering and covered in goosebumps. The feeling of impending doom and the cold of the snow seep through the pages of this book.

There is an element of the Supernatural in this book that added the perfect amount of tension to the story.

Alice and Oren arrive in a small town in the Catskills by bus in the middle of the night. Mattie A complete stranger is waiting for them at the bus station. She works for an agency that finds placement for women and children fleaing domestic abuse. Mattie is immediately drawn to Oren, for that reason and the impending blizzard she takes them home with her rather than to the shelter. Mattie still lives in her family home, a once beautiful old Victorian now in need of much repair. The house was as much a character in the story as Mattie, Alice, and Oren. Each of these characters is hiding something and the truth might possibly put their lives in danger. Who can be trusted? And what will happen when the secrets are revealed?

A creepy house, a brutal snowstorm, intriguing characters, and dark secrets all make for a compelling story. I really liked both Alice and Mattie, But I was also suspicious of both of them throughout the book. Oren was an adorable kid and I loved his passion for Star Wars. I really wanted everything to work out for all these characters, I just wasn’t quite sure what that was? I loved how the layers of this story were peeled away and the truth was eventually laid bare. Towards the end of this book I was seriously on the edge of my seat, the tension was palpable, and the results startling.

A cunning tale that was simultaneously creepy and heartwarming. A unique thriller packed with twists and turns and a shocking end!

*** many thanks to William morrow for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

The latest thriller from the internationally best-selling author of The Lake of Dead Languages and The Other Mother, a story of mistaken identities and missed chances, forgiveness, and vengeance.
“Carol Goodman is, simply put, a stellar writer.” (Lisa Unger, New York Times best-selling author of The Red Hunter)
Alice gets off a bus in the middle of a snowstorm in Delphi, NY. She is fleeing an abusive relationship and desperate to protect Oren, 10 years old, a major Star Wars fan and wise beyond his years. Though Alice is wary, Oren bonds nearly instantly with Mattie, a social worker in her 50s who lives in an enormous, rundown house in the middle of the woods. 
Mattie lives alone and is always available, and so she is the person the hotline always calls when they need a late-night pickup. And although according to protocol, Mattie should take Alice and Oren to a local shelter, instead, she brings them home for the night. She has plenty of room, she says. What she doesn’t say is that Oren reminds her of her little brother, who died 30 years ago at the age of 10.
But Mattie isn’t the only one withholding elements of the truth. Alice is keeping her own secrets. And as the snowstorm worsens around them, each woman’s past will prove itself unburied, stirring up threats both within and without.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Forever People by Alison Lyke @AlisonLyke @RRBookTours1 #bookpromo #foreverpeople

ForeverPeople

I’m thrilled to be part of the launch tour for Forever People by Alison Lyke! Today, I have a sneak peek for you to read and a giveaway to enter! 

final_cover (1)Forever People

Publication Date: March 28th, 2019

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Cyberpunk

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Welcome to Zeta City, where the whole world goes to die. Here, the Node System uploads the minds of the dying so they can spend eternity in a digital Promised Land. But, this cyber heaven is causing hell on earth for the living because the System forces them to earn Points to buy data in the afterlife.

Camille is a salty mercenary out to hoard as many Points as possible by exploiting the dying with illegal technology. She’s on the hunt for Toy, a rebel leader who uploaded lethal technology to her own brain in an attempt to wipe out everyone’s Node Points.

Camille goes to increasingly dangerous lengths in pursuit of Toy. She soon finds that the Node is full of warm reunions with loved ones and otherworldly creations. It’s also full of lies.

“Forget poetic dreams of ghosts in the machines. We are the machine. We donated our souls to it.”

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Chapter One

CAMILLE

Camille had three kinds of clients: those who were trying to extract funds or rare items from someone else before they died, those looking to find a loved one before they died, and regulars with a myriad of shady reasons for needing repeated, illegal services. Wren Barrett was Camille’s favorite type of the three. He was a balding account manager, from the Delta Zone, who’d come to Zeta City to find his son. Like most others arriving in Zeta for the first time, he was ill-equipped, soft, and confused.

He washed up in Camille’s office like a beached manatee: gasping for air and bleached by the sun. Her office walls were stark white, as was her desk and other furniture, and even the floor, giving the woman herself the appearance of a smudge on a piece of blank paper.

Camille wore a grey tank top, black shorts, and she was unadorned aside from her wrist mounted reality augmentation device. The device’s long touch-sensitive screen and pad ran down her forearm; her RAP was an impressive piece of technology that marked her as wealthy and well connected. She also had a mop of frizzy, black hair that hung raggedly around her ears.

While Wren Barrett spoke, Camille sipped on an orange juice box straw and watched him closely. Mr. Barrett’s son was dying. Sashi Barrett was born dying, even more so than the rest of us. Sashi had a heart condition that made life a painful struggle. So, Sashi did what many people from all over the world do when they want to die; he came to Zeta City.

Zeta City was the capital of the Zeta Net, so-called because the entire area was covered by a wireless network designed to upload people’s consciousness at the time of death and store it in the Node’s massive computer system. Zeta was not the only Net, there were dozens of others, but many people chose Zeta because Zeta was the first netted city in the world.

Generations of people made pilgrimages to Zeta before the other Nets were built, and now some people superstitiously clung to it as the place to go to die. Maybe it was because Zeta gave the world the first promise of a tangible afterlife. “Going to die in Zeta” was the new “going to church on Sunday.”

“You can find Sashi?” Mr. Barrett asked sadly, “you can keep him alive?”

“I can find him and keep him alive, more or less, until you’re ready to let him go into the Node. I accept cash and other forms of payment. You know what I mean,” Camille said.

“Of course. I’ll transfer two-thousand Node Points to you, as a thank you for your service, along with four hundred in cash. Does that work?”

“No rush. We’ll sort it once it’s over, Wren.”

When Camille stood up to shake Mr. Barrett’s hands, he was surprised to see that she that she was a thick woman with large breasts and the hint of a belly. He was expecting a fit, muscled mercenary. Then he realized, there was no reason for her to be fit, most of her bounties couldn’t run away. . . . .

Camille found Sashi, who was a boy – twenty at the most – in an alley two blocks from the Water Street Gate, in an area known for drug abuse and homelessness. He was a heap of bones and in dirty, Central Charity-issued clothes. His method of suicide, a drawn-out opiate overdose, was not doing him any favors. Camille double-checked the hologram on her wrist RAP to verify his identity, and then crouched next to him.

“You wanna tell me why you’re trying to die?” Camille asked him softly. He took a moment to answer. It was clear that he hadn’t carried on a conversation for quite some time.

“Death in the Node has got to be better than life here.” He struggled.

Her suicidal bounties always gave some form of that same statement as their reason for killing themselves.

“You got enough Node Points, kiddo? Don’t want to die without enough of those NPs.” Camille always asked her dying bounties some form of that question. It turned out that Sashi had more than enough Node Points to have a comfortable afterlife. The wealth that afforded his addiction would also support him in death. It wasn’t supposed to work that way, that wasn’t how the Founders set it up, but the Founders were long gone down the Node’s rabbit hole.

“Do you want to see your dad before you go? He’s the one who sent me,” Camille asked. Sashi’s dull eyes lit up, and faded just as fast.

“I won’t make it through the hour,” he mumbled.

“It’s okay. I have a Confiner.” Camille tapped her wrist RAP. She called Mr. Barrett and then hovered over Sashi in the alley for the rest of the afternoon. The device within her wrist RAP stabilized the electronic version of Sashi’s mind inside his body, and it would last as long as she was close to him. Once she turned off the Confiner or moved away from the deceased, his consciousness would release into the Net and, eventually, be uploaded into the Node. The technology wasn’t above the table, but it was also quite rare.

Camille would have preferred moving Sashi to her place, which functioned as an office, apartment, and an occasional hospice, but he did not want to move and she was compelled to accommodate the dying. Sashi did die before his father came, forcing Camille to use the Confiner.

Camille often chased after debtors and thieves who were trying to die before they could be seized. She would hold them, in their dead, damaged bodies until they resolved their issues with their victims or creditors. But some days, like that day with Sashi, were just sad and slow. On these days, Camille felt like an angel, guiding the broken home.

She stood about fifteen feet away from Mr. Barrett and his dead son (the farthest that the Confiner could reach and still hold the dead in place) as they spoke softly and tearfully. The boy’s mother, who had been estranged from both of them, showed up.

Afterward, Camille went home to her apartment, which was on the other side of a door in the back of her office. She left the clinical, white room for the for the chaos and color of her own apartment. She checked her wrist RAP to make sure that Mr. Barrett had transferred the promised Points. Satisfied, she unhooked the device from her wrist and set it on her coffee table. She sat down on her sofa and cried for several minutes before tearfully ordering wild mushroom soup and crusty bread from her favorite diner.

The next morning, Camille received a call from her least favorite kind of client, a regular named Cody. He wanted Camille to extract a young woman, named Toy, from an old cabin on the edge of Zeta’s bayou and bring her to Camille’s office, if possible. Otherwise, Camille was to confine Toy in place until Cody arrived.

Available on Amazon!

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For your chance to win a digital copy of Forever People, click on the link below!

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About the Author

Alison Lyke

I’m an author and an English and Communications professor from Rochester, NY. I’m an insatiable reader and a dedicated writer. I’ve spent many years honing my skills and I now enjoy helping others find and explore their own voices. I write fantasy and science fiction and I aim to captivate and inspire. I’ve written two published novels: a modern mythology titled Honey, which came out in 2013 and Forever People, a cyberpunk science fiction slated to come out in the spring of 2019. I also regularly contribute poetry and short stories to literary magazines.

Alison Lyke | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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R&R Book Tours

Posted in Cover Reveal

Sketch by Didi Oviatt @Didi_Oviatt @RRBookTours1 #coverreveal #sketch

Sketch cover

Wow! Talk about cover love! I am so happy to reveal this unique cover of upcoming book by Didi Oviatt, Called Sketch. Today, I also have a sneak peek for you, so be sure to read on!

Sketch

Expected Publication Date: June 2019

Genre: YA Thriller/ Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Creativia

When the body of the local girl, Misty Crawl, is found dismembered in an underground bunker, the town is thrown into a whirlwind of panic and speculation. Times aren’t exactly smooth sailing with a depression in full swing. The spaced out community of farmers pull together as one, trying to uncover the guilty party.

Thrown smack in the middle of such chaos, is a group of teens. They’re known troublemakers, but have good hearts. Although they’re innocent, the local law enforcers believe otherwise, and the true killer is lurking far too close for comfort. Will the four be able to uncover the truth before one of them pays the price for Misty’s death? Or will the brutal killer strike again, attacking the heart of the four?

*Sketch is a young adult psychological thriller. It’s a quick easy read, appropriate and gripping for mid-teens and up, with no sexual content and some bloody gore. Parent’s be advised.

Excerpt

As soon as Steven’s dad, Robert Smith, pulls down the road, they look mischievously at one another and then take off in a sprint down the steps into his basement. Steven’s always wanted to know what’s locked away down here. His father told him years ago that it was just a room full of old newspapers. But, Steven’s always known there has to be more to this dingy looking door all locked away. It doesn’t take Chloe long to pick the lock. She’s getting better and faster at it with every lock she opens. The door creaks as it swings open, and there it is.

“Holy shit,” gasps John.

“This is the best day of my life,” says Michael.

“Look at the dust on all this stuff. I’ll bet this door hasn’t been open in years! No one will even notice if we take it!” adds Chloe.

Steven whispers in fear, “I don’t know guys, my dad will kill me if he finds out.”

“No he won’t, Red, I can take him,” jokes Michael.

Staring back at them from the wall to wall metal storage shelves are two small crossbows and an open chest of arrows. Along with old war paint, hatchets, a couple machetes, rope, and one box of newspapers setting on the floor.

“What the hell was my dad doing with this stuff?”  Steven asks, more to himself than the others.

Steven’s dad isn’t an adventuress man, and aside from the yearly deer and occasional bear he shoots, he doesn’t even like to get out and do much.

“The bears are getting out of control around here,” and, “we gotta’ have meat to survive,” is his logic for hunting.

He doesn’t enjoy hunting as a sport like the majority of other men and even women in town. It’s more of a chore for him. Which is only one step away from insanity, in Steven’s point of view. Hunting is Steven’s favorite thing to do with his dad, aside from throwing a football.

“Who cares why he has this stuff!?” John says, always the planner of the group. “Let’s just take it now and hurry, in case he forgot something and has to come back home. We don’t want to get caught carrying it all out of your house.”

They grab as much as they can lift and head straight for the woods. Distracted by all the cool things, they don’t even bother to glance at the newspapers in the box on the floor.

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About the Author

Didi's Pic

Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her  thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Sketch, Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, Justice for Belle, and New Age Lamians. Along with a six- piece short story collection called the Time Wasters. She’s also collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology The Suspenseful Collection. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, sun-bathing in the desert heat, along with watching the relaxing dance of a campfire plays an important part of her day-to-day lifestyle.

Didi can be found on her Website/Blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and most importantly AMAZON!

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Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian @LauraKalpakian @BerkleyPub #bookreview #thegreatpretenders

Happy Monday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this stunning story that truly exceeded my expectations! This was a group read and not everyone has finished yet but everyone is loving it so far!🎬

My Thoughts

an elegantly told exquisite tale of Old Hollywood and the girl who turned it on its head!

Laura Kalpakian stole my heart with this brilliant book! Have you ever finished a Book and thought, I need more and I need it now! That was me with this book. I was so invested in the story and these characters, I was seriously crushed when it was over. Kalpakian completely transported me to 1950s Old Hollywood with her riveting words.

Roxanne is Hollywood royalty, growing up on the back lots of her grandfather’s studio. Raised by her grandparents she is devastated when her grandmother passes away and is angry with her grandfather for leaving her beloved grandmother for a much younger woman. Not wanting to continue college and cut off (sort of) from her grandfather she finds herself living in a bungalow in Malibu. Realizing she knows Hollywood better than most she decides to pursue a career as an agent. After not being taken seriously and dealing with sexual harassment she decides to set out on her own. A huge risk, but Roxanne is all about risk. After a chance encounter (or two) Roxanne finds herself falling in love with Terrence an African-American reporter. BUT this is the 50s and multiracial relationships are a huge taboo even in liberal Hollywood. Will Roxanne‘s risks ultimately pay off? Will love conquer all or leave her heartbroken? You are definitely going to need to read this book and find out the answers to these questions and so much more!

Roxanne was so feisty, so fierce, and so ahead of her time. She was sassy with a vulnerable side and that made her even more endearing. This book took place during the “red scare, “the “blacklist,“ I found the politics of Hollywood fascinating. I also had absolutely no idea that Los Angeles was so segregated in the 50s. Growing up in southern California I guess I always like to think we are a little more enlightened than the rest of the country when it comes to racial relations, I guess not so much? Also fun fact… max one of the screen writers in the story who is blacklisted moves 60 miles south east of LA to the city where I live now(He was pretty much exiled to Riverside). I imagine it was quite rural here back in the day and seemed extremely far away from the hustle and bustle of LA. Now it is nonstop cities and freeways and traffic from LA to Riverside.

Such a magical story! I just loved everything the history, the characters, the setting, the tension, the romance. Roxanne was an amazing character who I won’t soon forget. Her relationship with Terrence was so raw, so intense, and so heart wrenching. I fell for these two so completely. This book had a Beautiful perfect ending, BUT I SO wanted more! A follow up would be great, I would really love to see what happens to these characters next. In case you can’t tell I strongly recommend this book!

*** A huge thank you to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

The daughter of Hollywood royalty, Roxanne Granville is used to getting what she wants – even if she has to break the rules. But after a falling-out with her grandfather, a powerful movie mogul, she has to face life on her own for the first time….
Roxanne forges a career unique for women in the 1950s, becoming an agent for hungry young screenwriters. She struggles to be taken seriously by the men who rule Hollywood and who often assume that sexual favors are just a part of doing business. When she sells a script by a blacklisted writer under the name of a willing front man, more exiled writers seek her help. Roxanne wades into a world murky with duplicity and deception, and she can’t afford any more risks.
Then she meets Terrence Dexter, a compelling African American journalist unlike anyone she’s ever known. Roxanne again breaks the rules and is quickly swept up in a passionate relationship with very real dangers that could destroy everything she’s carefully built.
Roxanne Granville is a woman who bravely defies convention. She won’t let men make all the rules and won’t let skin color determine whom she can love. 
The Great Pretenders is a riveting, emotional novel that resonates in today’s world and reminds us that some things are worth fighting for.

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Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

Kendall @ Sunflower Book Lover

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Contemporary Fiction

House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler #bookreview

Happy easter!

Generally I only share book recommendations on my blog. Today I have a review for a book I am really on the fence about recommending. I liked most of it but found some of it a bit too salty. Read my review to find out the reference!🍟

My Thoughts

A tense emotionally charged domestic drama with some questionable subplots.

This is a really hard book for me to review. I was completely compelled and addicted to the main storyline. BUT there were some subplots in this book that were over the top. It’s like when somebody puts too much salt on your french fries. I mean french fries are the best, right? I am perfectly fine with just a little salt, but if you overdo the salt they become really unpalatable. However, that is not the fault of the french fry it is the fault of the salt. SO in this book I really enjoyed the french fries, but not the salt. The problem is it’s hard to separate the salt from the french fries, and you can’t dip a book in ranch!🙃

The main storyline is about a blended family and how they handle and are impacted by a terrible tragedy. Leigh and Pete are coming home early from an anniversary getaway when they get the call. Pete’s son Kip and Lee’s daughter Chrissy have been in an accident, and Kip has been charged with drunk driving. The next day Chrissy is rushed to the hospital where she dies of a brain embolism, and Kip is charge with manslaughter. Leigh is tremendously supportive of Pete and Kip until the story changes and Kip claims that Chrissy was driving. I was so compelled by the story putting myself in both Leigh and Pete’s positions. As a mother I completely understood Leigh was completely distraught. But Pete understandably needs to stand by his child. I felt as though the book portrayed a very real and honest look at grief and conflict. The court case was intriguing and I was keeping my fingers crossed for a satisfying conclusion.

The subplots involved a Sheikha, a minister, A Russian temptress, and a mystery house. Now in the beginning I really felt as though these subplots added some color to the book. But as the book goes on they became more and more outlandish and detracted from The riveting main plot. The ending was pretty wild and I’m still not certain what to think? I really like how the main plot was tied up, but the rest? I think this was just a case of a debut author wanting to put too much in her book. I am really looking forward to what she has in store for us next because I think she did a very good job with that main storyline and I was most impressed with her writing.

*** many thanks to atria for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Publisher’s Summary

In the best-selling tradition of Jodi Picoult and Celeste Ng, a tightly wound and suspenseful novel about a blended family in crisis after a drunk driving accident leaves the daughter of one parent dead – and the son of the other parent charged with manslaughter. 
Divorce lawyer Leigh Huyett knows all too well that most second marriages are doomed to fail. But five years in, she and Pete Conley have a perfectly blended family of her children and his. To celebrate their anniversary, they grab some precious moments of alone time and leave Pete’s, son Kip, a high school senior, in charge of Leigh’s 14-year-old daughter, Chrissy, at their home.
Driving back on a rainy Friday night, their cell phones start ringing. After a raucous party celebrating his college acceptance to Duke and his upcoming birthday, Kip was arrested for drunk driving after his truck crashed into a tree. And he wasn’t alone – Chrissy was with him.
Twelve hours later, Chrissy is dead, and Kip is charged with manslaughter.
Kip has always been a notorious troublemaker, but he’s also a star student with a dazzling future ahead of him. At first, Leigh does her best to rally behind Pete and help Kip through his ordeal. Until he changes his story and claims that he wasn’t driving after all – Chrissy was, and he swears there is a witness.
Leigh is stunned that he would lie about such a thing, while Pete clutches onto the story as the last, best hope to save his son, throwing his energy and money into
 
finding this elusive witness. As they hurtle toward Kip’s trial date, husband and wife are torn between loyalty to their children and to each other, while the mystery of what really happened that night intensifies.
This richly conceived and tightly plotted exploration of family and tragedy will have you racing toward its shocking and thought-provoking conclusion.

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Have A lovely Easter Sunday!🐰🐣

Berit☀️✨