Posted in Blog Tour

Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas **Book Review** @tlcbooktours

Happy Thursday all!

Delighted to share with you today this entertaining story filled with family, food, fun, and forgiveness!👩🏻‍🍳

My Thoughts

Food, family, forgiveness, fun.

This was a sweet and salty story about family, with a splash of romance and a ton of food. Isa has moved to France to live with her father and her new stepmother. She is not terribly fond of her new stepmother especially because she caught her kissing her father before her parents were divorced. The situation is not helped by the fact that stepmom is now pregnant and refuses to eat the food that Isa makes. When Isa’s new step brother Diego shows up things get even more complicated. This was a fun feel good coming of age story that made me smile. Isa is a likable character with A lot of determination. When she earns the prestigious apprenticeship with an internationally acclaimed chef she is definitely tested. The chef was very demanding and somewhat hostile, to say the least. I definitely admired her tenacity. My only tiny Kniggle with this book was I wanted more romance and less food prep. But that could just be me, I’m more into the eating and less into the preparation. A slow burn romance that will make you happy and hungry.

This book in emojis 🍽 🍲 👨🏻‍🍳 👩🏻‍🍳 🐶 🛵

*** Big thank you to Blink for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

SYNOPSIS: A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to becoming a top chef for 17-year-old Isabella Fields than just not getting chopped … especially when the chances of things heating up with an intriguing boy and becoming a food star in the kitchen are both on the chopping block.  

Aspiring chef Isa’s family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. She moves in with her dad and her new stepmom, Margo, in Lyon, France, where Isa feels like an outsider in her father’s new life. Isa balances her time between avoiding the awkward, “why-did-you-cheat-on-Mom” conversation with figuring out how a perpetually single woman can at least be a perpetually single chef.

The upside of Isa’s world being turned upside-down?

Her father’s house is located only 30 minutes away from the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigiously competitive international kitchen apprenticeship. The prize job at Chef Grattard’s renowned restaurant also represents a transformative opportunity for Isa who is desperate to get her life back in order—and desperate to prove she has what it takes to work in an haute kitchen. But Isa’s stress and repressed grief begin to unravel when the attractive, enigmatic Diego shows up unannounced with his albino dog.

How can Isa expect to hold it together when she’s at the bottom of her class at the apprenticeship, her new stepmom is pregnant, she misses her abuela dearly, and things with the mysterious Diego reach a boiling point?


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


Connect with Mayra

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Let’s Connect

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Have a lovely day!🌸

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Road to Delano by John Desimone

Happy Tuesday all!

Delighted to share with you today this compelling story they gave me a lot to think about. 🚜

My Thoughts

A compelling story about an often forgotten part of history. John Desimone has skillfully captured time and place with his descriptive storytelling. 1968 the California central valley Jack is a high school senior determined to earn a baseball scholarship and make it out of his small town. Things have been hard for Jack and his mother after the death of his father. Resolute to save the farm Jack heads to town to sell some farm equipment when he runs across one of his fathers old friends who shares with Jack some information that his father was murdered. Jack wants justice for his father, but in pursuing it he gets his friend Adrian arrested. Will Jack be able to solve his father’s murder and save his friend from prosecution? Will he ever make it out of Delano or is this is destiny?

A well told, well researched genre potpourri . A little historical fiction, a little mystery, a little coming-of-age. Jack was a great character, an all American boy I could definitely get behind. I liked how Cesar Chavez, the labor struggle, and the striking field workers were infused into the story. It was interesting and disturbing how crooked and violent things got involving these labor disputes. I felt for the small town, for Jack, for his mother Shirley, and for Adrian. A captivating thought-provoking story that made me more aware of an important piece of our history.

This book in emojis ⚾️ 🚜 ☀️ 👨🏾‍🌾

*** Big thank you to the publisher for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About The Road to Delano

• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Rare Bird Books (March 10, 2020)

Jack Duncan is a high school senior whose dream is to play baseball in college and beyond?as far away from Delano as possible. He longs to escape the political turmoil surrounding the labor struggles of the striking fieldworkers that infests his small ag town. Ever since his father, a grape grower, died under suspicious circumstances ten years earlier, he’s had to be the sole emotional support of his mother, who has kept secrets from him about his father’s involvement in the ongoing labor strife.

With their property on the verge of a tax sale, Jack drives an old combine into town to sell it so he and his mother don’t become homeless. On the road, an old friend of his father’s shows up and hands him the police report indicating Jack’s father was murdered. Jack is compelled to dig deep to discover the entire truth, which throws him into the heart of the corruption endemic in the Central Valley. Everything he has dreamed of is at stake if he can’t control his impulse for revenge.

While Jack’s girlfriend, the intelligent and articulate Ella, warns him not to so anything to jeopardize their plans of moving to L.A., after graduation, Jack turns to his best friend, Adrian, a star player on the team, to help to save his mother’s land. When Jack’s efforts to rescue a stolen piece of farm equipment leaves Adrian?the son of a boycotting fieldworker who works closely with Cesar Chavez?in a catastrophic situation, Jack must bail his friend out of his dilemma before it ruins his future prospects. Jack uses his wits, his acumen at card playing, and his boldness to raise the money to spring his friend, who has been transformed by his jail experience.

The Road to Delano is the path Jack, Ella, and Adrian must take to find their strength, their duty, their destiny.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Rare Bird Books

About John DeSimone

John DeSimone is a published writer, novelist, and teacher. He’s been an adjunct professor and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. His recent co-authored books include Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan (Little A Publishers), and Courage to Say No by Dr. Raana Mahmood, about her struggles against sexual exploitation as a female physician in Karachi. His published novel Leonardo’s Chair published in 2005.

In 2012, he won a prestigious Norman Mailer Fellowship to complete his most recent historical novel, Road to Delano. His novels Leonardo’s Chair and No Ordinary Man have received critical recognition.

He works with select clients to write stories of inspiration and determination and with those who have a vital message to bring to the marketplace of ideas in well-written books.

Find out more about John at his website, and connect with him on Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

One Little Lie by Colleen Coble **Book Review** @tlcbooktours @thomasnelson

Happy Tuesday evening everybody!

Just got informed that my high schooler will be home until April 30! So if anyone can help me with the teaching of calculus please let me know! Thank goodness we all have books to give us an escape from the craziness!

My Thoughts

This was a well crafted suspense novel with a splash of romance. This is the first book in Colleen Coble’s Pelican Harbor series. A police procedural series with a strong sassy female protagonist. The book kicks off with a young girl in a cult giving birth to a baby boy. The girl is told by her father that the baby has died. Then the book jumps forward to Jane Hardy The newly appointed chief of police in Pelican Harbor. Pelican Harbor is a sleepy little town on the Alabama gulf coast where nothing much ever happens. That is until the bodies start dropping. When multiple dead bodies start popping up Jane realizes something sinister is going on. Jane is determined to prove she is up for the job as well as to prove her father the X chief of police innocence.

Jane was a great character I loved her fighting spirit. The mystery was compelling and well paced. Where this book falls a little short is in the romance. There really is no romance even though this is classified as romantic suspense. There is a potential love interest Reid, A reporter who is writing an article about small town law enforcement. Jane is pretty much forced into working with him, so their relationship does not start off on a positive note. I’m assuming there will be more to this love connection in future books. In spite of this I really enjoyed this book. It was a great crime thriller with a lot of interesting angles to it. And bonus there is a police dog who you will love!

About the Book

It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense. 

Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, after her father retires, but there’s no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she’s facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.

After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?

Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane’s career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid’s calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross—especially once her father’s lie catches up with him.

“Colleen Coble always raises the notch on romantic suspense, and One Little Lie is my favorite yet! The story took me on a wild and wonderful ride.” —Diann Mills, bestselling author

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson

Connect with Colleen

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Let’s Connect

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Have a lovely day!🌸

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson **Book Review** @wmmorrowbooks @harperaudio @tlcbooktours

Hello lovely book people!

Have you read this one yet? I strongly encourage you to pick it up, it was so good! The perfect read while your social distancing.

My Thoughts

What a clever book! A captivating, compelling, and intelligent murder mystery. Peter Swanson has really hit it out of the park with this one. Not a thriller, but a well thought out, refreshing, murder mystery. A nod two classic mysteries of the past. Malcolm Kershaw owns the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston. He is an expert on all things Mystery books, even though he’s not reading them anymore. Mal is approached by an FBI agent who believes that a serial murder is using a list he posted on his blog years ago to commit murders. The blog post was about the eight perfect murders committed in literature. Perfect meaning the killer was almost guaranteed to get away with it. Mal is sucked up into the investigation not only to find out who is using his list, but also to prove his innocence. Tense and addictive I was completely hooked!

Graham Halstead does an exceptional job of narrating this audiobook. He really brought the perfect voice to Mal. His steller delivery and perfect pacing added some extra tension to this already engaging story. I loved all the literary references in this book. The story unfolded so well the perfect amount of twists, turns, and misdirection. I have seen other reviews mention that this book does spoil all the books on the perfect murder list and I suppose it does, but I also think it probably sparked some interest for those books as well. Mal was such a sympathetic yet quirky character who I didn’t quite trust, bu I was definitely rooting for. The secondary characters were all equally interesting and I cannot forget the cat Nero. Another winner from this exceptional author.

this book in emojis. 🔎 📚 ✍🏻 🧩 🐱

*** Big thank you to William Morrow & Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About Eight Perfect Murders

• Hardcover: 288 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (March 3, 2020)

“Swanson rips us from one startling plot twist to the next… A true tour de force.” —Lisa Gardner

“Fiendish good fun.” —Anthony Horowitz

From the hugely talented author of Before She Knew Him comes a chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. There is killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Jim Ferguson

About Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson is the author of five novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, Before She Knew Him. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionThe Atlantic MonthlyMeasureThe GuardianThe Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives outside of Boston, where he is at work on his next novel.

Find out more about Peter on his website and follow him on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

A Flame Through Eternity by Anna Belfrage **Guest Post** @tlcbooktours

Happy Thursday!

I always love when an author shares something a little unique on my blog! Thank you so much Anna Belfrage for this wonderful guest post!

About the Book

According to Helle Madsen, being the protagonist of a time-spanning epic love story has some things going for it, primarily Jason Morris. Because seriously, meeting up with your fated lover after 3 000 years apart is not bad–at all. Unfortunately, where Jason goes, there goes Sam Woolf, yet another very, very ancient acquaintance–with the fundamental difference that Sam is not into Happily Ever After. He’s into destruction, more specifically of Jason and Helle.

Helle may believe in second-chance love, but she sure doesn’t believe in reincarnation. Okay, she didn’t believe in stuff like that until she met Jason Morris a year or so ago. By now, she has accepted that sometimes impossible things are quite, quite possible–like an ancient princess being reborn as an ambitious financial analyst.

Finding Jason was like finding the part of her that had always been missing–a perfect match. But handling Sam Woolf, the reborn version of their ancient nemesis is something of a trial. No sooner do you have him well and surely beat, but up he bounces again. Sheesh, will it take an oak stake to permanently rid their lives of him?

Sam Woolf is a powerful adversary. Too powerful, even. Jason and Helle will need help from unexpected quarters to finally bring this tangled, ancient love-and-hate triangle to some sort of conclusion. Question is, will they survive the experience?

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Anna

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Guest Post

The Romantic hero – a victim of male objectification

Some time ago, I heard an interesting interview on the radio about the objectification of the male body. This, apparently, was major news, with the male presenter almost stuttering as he expressed just how upset he was by this new development. (The fact that women have been the unfortunate recipients of equivalent objectification since ages back was sort of glossed over)

That young male presenter had it wrong, IMO. Men have always been objectified. Take, for example, the depictions of the male body on ancient Greek urns—these are handsome, chiselled dudes with bulging muscles and narrow waists. Somehow, I think the majority of those ancient Greek men did not look quite like that, but they likely wanted to look like that, so they spent hours in the gym, oiled their hair and generally went about beautifying themselves as much as they could. Yup: clear case of male objectification.

The trend continues through history:

Roman statues may often depict graceful female nudes, but just as often virile, potent males with bulging muscles, profiles to die for and jawlines that show just how determined these men are—were.

Michelangelo’s Davide is yet another example of male perfection, and I wonder just how many Florentine youths stood in front of it and cursed the artist to hell and back for placing the bar so very, very high. How would a real man ever compare to this marbled perfection? (I dare say they were very relieved that Davide’s package is surprisingly modest)

To the Tudor gentleman obliged to sport hose all the way to the very, very short puff breeches, keeping his legs looking good was important. As were codpieces, even if I suspect the more exaggerated among these did not have women swooning in hope at the delights potentially offered, but rather giggling on the sly.

In the 18th century, gentlemen would pad their stockings so as to get the required muscular calf-profile. The handsome rakes of the Regency period worked out with boxing, riding and fencing – because wearing tight, tight buckskin breeches with no muscular thighs beneath was not on.

For most of recorded history, men have taken centre stage. It follows that they have groomed their bodies and adorned themselves in rich cloths, in jewellery and other accessories. Like preening peacocks, the males of our species have showed off, spending a lot of time and money to ensure they looked their best—all the way from their arranged locks to their muscles. Male objectification, dear peeps, has been de rigeur through the ages.

Male objectification is standard in romance novels – as is the female version. Rarely do we read of ugly, squat and overweight people being swept off their feet by love. One could argue there should be a niche here, as the number of people in the world who are not gorgeous, tall, well-muscled (if they’re men) or gorgeous, well-shaped and with masses of glorious hair (if they’re women) is relatively low. Writing a romance featuring a protagonist that is more like most of us—a woman who has to hold her breath to close her jeans and then goes about the entire day tugging at her sweater to ensure it hides the roll of fat above the waistline, alternatively a man with thinning hair and a slight paunch that strains against the buttons of his shirt—should lead to mases of readers identifying with the main characters, thereby driving sales. Yes? No.

You see, we read romance to escape. We read to pretend we’re somewhere else, someone else. As a fifty-plus woman I like pretending I’m a young gorgeous someone who has her whole life in front of her—and an equally gorgeous man by her side. Which does not mean I don’t read novels with a far more realistic depiction of life and the people who walk this world—but it sure doesn’t qualify as romance!

I shall continue indulging myself. In the romances I read, I like my male heroes tall, strong—maybe somewhat dark—and brave. In the books I write, my male protagonists tend to be of the same ilk: they’re men of integrity, of eyes that flash with conviction. They’re strong and muscled, they’d die for their lady-love (except that she is usually the kind of lady-love that would be really, really angry with him if he did something that stupid) and look surprisingly good when naked. Am I guilty of male objectification? Yup—and utterly unrepentant!

In my series The Wanderer (the third book being A Flame Through Eternity), my dashing hero is Jason. Tall? Tick. Muscled? Tick. Amazing eyes? Tick, tick. A profile to die for? Tick. Add to all that gorgeousness a sensitive and very, very, very experienced man—that’s what you get when you’ve lived through fifty-odd lives (well; unless you go totally crazy) and I’d say Jason is the perfect man. Except, of course, that while we want our romantic heroes hot, we don’t want them without flaws, and Jason has his fair share of those!

***************************

Anna has recently released A Flame Through Eternity, the third in her Romantic Suspense series, The Wanderer.

When she isn’t writing contemporary suspense with a time travelling twist, Anna is usually visiting her favourite historical periods, namely the 17th century and the 14th century. And yes, she is quite convinced people were as much about love back then as we are now!

Find out more about Anna on http://www.annabelfrage.com.

Or pop by her Amazon page and browse through her books, http://Author.to/ABG

Posted in Blog Tour

Last Day by Luanne Rice **Book Review**

Happy weekend bibliophiles!

Do you like a good who done it with a beautiful setting? Then this is the book for you!🖼🌼

My Thoughts

Murder, Family secrets, infidelity, betrayal, friendship, and a tragic past. This was a who done it with a whole Lot of suspects. What I liked best about this story was the relationship between the sisters and how their past tragedy had ties to the current murder. The bulk of the story is told from the perspective of Kate and while I did like her she wasn’t easy to get to know. This was a story that kept me guessing… Red herrings, miss directions, loads of secrets, and plenty of suspects. The setting of the book added a lot of intrigue to the story. I was completely hooked until the very end and then I was kind of let down. The ending while it caught me completely by surprise, I cannot for the life of me figure out why this person behave the way they did?

This book in emojis. 🖼 🩸 🛩 🕵🏻

About the Book

SYNOPSIS: From celebrated New York Timesbestselling author Luanne Rice comes a riveting story of a seaside community shaken by a violent crime and a tragic loss.

Years ago, Beth Lathrop and her sister Kate suffered what they thought would be the worst tragedy of their lives the night both the famous painting Moonlight and their mother were taken. The detective assigned to the case, Conor Reid, swore to protect the sisters from then on.

Beth moved on, throwing herself fully into the art world, running the family gallery, and raising a beautiful daughter with her husband Pete. Kate, instead, retreated into herself and took to the skies as a pilot, always on the run. When Beth is found strangled in her home, and Moonlightgoes missing again, Detective Reid can’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu.

Reid immediately suspects Beth’s husband, whose affair is a poorly kept secret. He has an airtight alibi—but he also has a motive, and the evidence seems to point to him. Kate and Reid, along with the sisters’ closest childhood friends, struggle to make sense of Beth’s death, but they only find more questions: Who else would have wanted Beth dead? What’s the significance of Moonlight?

Twenty years ago, Reid vowed to protect Beth and Kate—and he’s failed. Now solving the case is turning into an obsession . . .

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Luanne

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Let’s Connect

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Groomed by Elizabeth Melendez Fisher @tlcbooktours *Review*

Happy Monday all!

This year I’ve decided I’m going to try to read more nonfiction and this is one of the books I decided to give a go. Some of the subject matter was really tough to read about, but I think it is so important. Additionally I think all these victims deserve to have their stories told and heard.

My Thoughts

This book was so powerful and insightful. It shed light on being groomed and how it has so many more meanings and implications than I previously thought. As somebody who was in an emotionally abusive toxic marriage for many many years, this book really hit home for me. It made me think about why I reacted and acted the way I did. The book also focused on the who the what and the how of grooming and how to move on from it. It also offered up a lot of information on human trafficking. It is so disturbing how prevalent this is not only in other countries but right here in the US. This is a small book that packs a big punch! Full of relevant and important information that all women will truly benefit from. About the Book

Someone in your past sold you a false story about who you are and what you’re worth. It has been holding you back for too long. Take control of your future.

A staggering one out of three women in America was a victim of sexual abuse at some point in her childhood. No matter how many years it’s been, if that’s your story, those scars are probably still with you. But even if that’s not part of your story, this book is for you. Women today have been groomed for a lot more than just sex.

Using her own story of abuse, family tragedy, and rebellion, Elizabeth Melendez Fisher guides readers toward an understanding that grooming is oftentimes subtle, but it’s always life-altering. In GroomedFisher incorporates the language and lessons gained over the past decade working with sex trafficking victims and her work in ministry and counseling before that. She draws out five specific ways that women have been groomed, from physical appearance to spirituality to finances, and shows how those manipulative messages have affected the way we see our worth and how they’ve oftentimes stifled and limited us. From there Fisher offers readers a way to overcome their past, starting with the all-important but rarely explored idea of a selah, or a time of rest and reflection, and exploring active ways to forgive and move forward to a new level of freedom.

No one has to be defined by her past. No one has to live for her groomers. It’s time to take a look back at where we came from to escape the messages of our past and take control of our future.

‘In Groomed Elizabeth shares a raw, heart-wrenching story, digging deeply to save others–a vital education, a sad tale, and a miracle of truth. Stopping sex trafficking and helping young women thrive is only possible through the education this book provides. And, ultimately, the sad realization that it could have been any of us!’ –Dina Bair Maher, WGN-TV, Chicago, anchor/reporter

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson

Connect with Elizabeth

Selah Freedom Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Posted in Blog Tour

Sisters by Choice by Susan Mallery @tlcbooktours @harlequinbooks *Excerpt*

Happy Monday!

I had an amazing weekend at an author event on the Queen Mary, only problem was I was not able to post everything I needed to, the Wi-Fi was very spotty. So I had more of a break then I was anticipating, simply because so many things would not load for me, but I am back!

About the Book

From the New York Times bestselling author of California Girlscomes an all new original Blackberry Island novel told with Susan Mallery’s trademark humor and charm. Sisters by Choiceis a heartfelt tale of love, family and the friendships that see us through.

Cousins by chance, sisters by choice…

After her cat toy empire goes up in flames, Sophie Lane returns to Blackberry Island, determined to rebuild. Until small-town life reveals a big problem: she can’t grow unless she learns to let go. If Sophie relaxes her grip even a little, she might lose everything. Or she might finally be free to reach for the happiness and love that have eluded her for so long.

Kristine has become defined by her relationship to others. She’s a wife, a mom. As much as she adores her husband and sons, she wants something for herself—a sweet little bakery just off the waterfront. She knew changing the rules wouldn’t be easy, but she never imagined she might have to choose between her marriage and her dreams.

Like the mainland on the horizon, Heather’s goals seem beyond her grasp. Every time she manages to save for college, her mother has another crisis. Can she break free, or will she be trapped in this tiny life forever?

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Susan

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Excerpt

Chapter Two

While the Blackberry Island Inn restaurant offered break¬fast and lunch, it didn’t serve dinner…except on alternate Wednesdays when the doors were opened for a traditional fried chicken supper. Sophie had been told by the nice lady at the front desk, and two women who had come by to “take a look” at the warehouse, that it was a do-not-miss event.

After confirming that Amber and Heather could make it, Sophie had made reservations for three. The restaurant didn’t have a liquor license, so she’d swung by one of the local tasting rooms to pick up a bottle of chardonnay and returned to the inn in time to meet Heather and Amber in the main reception area.

Sophie saw Heather first. The twenty-year-old held the front door open for her mother. Sophie had heard about Amber’s car accident, but hadn’t expected her to be using a cane or walk-ing so slowly.

Other than that, Amber looked much as she always did. A little rumpled, with a disapproving expression. Her hair was a medium brown, nearly the same shade as Kristine’s, but without the pretty highlights. Heather was taller than all of them, with hazel eyes, instead of the brown the cousins shared. Sophie al¬ways figured Heather had inherited the color from her father—a rodeo cowboy who, according to Amber, had seduced her into a one-night stand that had left her pregnant and with a ruined life.

On second thought, maybe she should have only invited Heather to dinner.

The wishful thinking made her smile as she hurried forward to greet them.

“You’re back!” Heather hugged her close. “I’m so excited to see you and hear about the business. I can’t wait to see the ware¬house you rented. It’s so exciting.”

Amber’s hug was less enthusiastic. “I can’t believe how far the parking is from the front door. I should have made my doctor give me a handicapped sign so we could have parked closer.”

“Mom, I let you off at the front door, then went and parked.”

“Where I had to stand by myself, waiting for you.” Amber rolled her eyes.

“You’re here now,” Sophie said, touching Amber’s arm, knowing the best way to handle her was to defuse the situation as quickly as possible. “Thanks for joining me for dinner. Shall we go get our seats?”

Amber set a snail’s pace that made Sophie instantly antsy. She distracted herself by linking arms with Heather.

“How’s school? Do you still have forty-seven jobs?”

“I took my last final yesterday. I should be able to see my grades anytime now. I only have three jobs.”

“You’re such a hard worker,” Sophie said. “You’ve been work¬ing since you were what, twelve? You must have a lot of money saved. Good for you.”

Heather looked at her mother then away. Sophie felt an in¬stant uptick in the tension between mother and daughter and wondered how she’d managed to step in it during the first three minutes of the conversation.

“The warehouse is huge,” she said, hoping to change the topic to something more neutral. Normally, she wasn’t bothered by the emotions of those around her but lately she was more sen-sitive to what everyone was feeling and that was a serious drag.

“It’s nearly double the square footage of what I had before. There’s less office space, but that’s okay. I don’t need that many employees and if necessary I guess we could easily frame in a few offices. I’ll have to see.”

“Because you’re too successful?” Amber asked, her tone more annoyed than playful. “Poor Sophie, overwhelmed by how glo¬rious it all is.”

“Mom! She had to move because her business burned down,” Heather said. “We’re glad she’s back but it’s not as if she moved by choice.”

“I’m okay,” Sophie said brightly. “Or I will be. It is a little hard, dealing with everything. A lot of work.”

They reached the restaurant and were quickly shown to a table with a view of the water. A sailboat caught the wind as it headed toward the setting sun on the horizon. The hostess handed them a slim piece of paper.

“The menu is fairly simple,” she said, waving at Heather. “You can order two, three or four pieces of chicken, along with two sides each. There’s a choice of cobbler for dessert. Your server will be by shortly to take your order and open the wine.” She smiled. “Heather, iced tea for you?”

“Just water’s fine, Molly.”

“A friend of yours?” Sophie asked, thinking they looked to be about the same age.

“I waitress here in the morning. They’re always busy and the tips are great.”

Sophie wrinkled her nose. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you worked here. I could have picked a different restaurant. You must be tired of their food.”

“I know I am,” Amber said with a sigh. “The same thing, every morning for breakfast.”

Heather visibly stiffened. “I didn’t know you felt that way, Mom. I always get the special, whatever it is. I’ll stop bringing you breakfast after my shift.”

“There’s no need to do that,” Amber told her. “I can make do.”

Heather’s expression was unreadable. She turned to Sophie. “Believe me, the chicken dinner is a real treat. I’ve only had it once before and it was delicious.”

“When did you have dinner here?” Amber asked sharply. “I didn’t know that. I never get to go anywhere.”

“You’re here now,” Sophie said quickly as she waved the menu. “Yummy. All the sides look delicious.”

“I can’t believe they only have cobbler for dessert.” Amber sighed. “I wanted pie.”

They were rescued by the server’s appearance. She opened the wine and poured two glasses, then brought water for Heather and biscuits for the table.

Posted in Blog Tour

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours #bookreview

happy Saturday everyone!

this book was so wild! I’m still trying to digest the ending. If you like twisted books with wild slightly unbelievable endings, this one’s for you!

Cross Her Heart

My Thoughts

Cross My Heart, Hope To Die.

This book is wild! I’m still trying to wrap my head around how we got from the beginning of this book to the end? Sarah Pinborough Has once again left me reeling and thinking WTAF? This book started off simply enough. We have Lisa the helicopter mother, Ava The rebelling daughter, and Marilyn the devoted friend. We know Lisa has a bit of a past, because she is hesitant to start a new relationship with Simon. We also know that Ava has started an online correspondence with an older man. Then one day Eva is at the beach, a child goes into the water and she jumps in and saves him and gets some media attention. Then the book goes off the rails. Secrets are revealed, lies are told, feelings are hurt, trusts are betrayed, revenge is seeked. The story is told from the perspectives of Lisa, Ava, and Marilyn, and all three of these ladies have secrets to hide. Twists and turns, zigs and zags, I didn’t know if I was coming or going. Seriously the last 40% of this book I spent with my jaw on the floor. The story and these ladies lives were spinning out of control. This is a story that will definitely make you stretch your mind and if you’re all about believability, this might not be the book for you. Miss Pinborough has spun a disturbing tale with a deranged ending.

This book in emojis ❤️ 💓 💞 💔 💘

*** Big thank you to William Morrow for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 14, 2020)

“Sarah Pinborough is about to become your new obsession.”—Harlan Coben

Lisa is living a lie and everyone is about to find out.

Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job and her best friend Marilyn.

But when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him, too. Maybe she’s ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it’s time to let her terrifying secret past go.

But when her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see, Lisa’s world explodes.

As she finds everything she has built threatened, and not knowing who she can trust, it’s up to Lisa to face her past in order to save what she holds dear.

But someone has been pulling all their strings. And that someone is determined that both Lisa and Ava must suffer.

Because long ago Lisa broke a promise. And some promises aren’t meant to be broken.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough is the number one Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of the psychological thriller Behind Her Eyes, and more than twenty other novels and novellas, including The Death House and a young adult thriller, 13 Minutes. She has also written for the BBC. She lives in England.

Find out more about Sarah at her website, and connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

The Hollows by Jess Montgomery @tlcbooktours @minotaurbooks #bookreview

Happy Thursday all!

Delighted to share this compelling story with you today! This was a book that I definitely liked more than I was anticipating, and isn’t that always the best?🗝

My Thoughts

The perfect blend of history and Mystery this is the second book in Jess Montgomery’s Kinship series based on The real first female sheriff of Ohio. While I thought this worked just fine as a standalone, I also would have liked a little more of the characters backstory that I am sure is given in the first book. 1926 Ohio Lily is called to the scene of an elderly woman having dropped onto the train tracks from above and then been hit by the oncoming train. No identification, no shoes, no idea if she jumped, fell, or was pushed. And who is this mysterious person all in white the break man swears he saw? A compelling Mystery with threads of history woven in. The story was not only told from Lily’s perspective but also that of Marvena and Hildy. Three strong, sassy, self-assured women trying to find their way in a man’s world. Lily was constantly having to prove herself and that she did indeed deserve to be sheriff. This book was well researched and touched on a lot of historical events such as the underground railroad and the WKKK something I had no previous knowledge of. An absorbing Mystery, captivating characters, enthralling history. This book checked all the boxes, and I am eager to see what is next in store for Lily.

This book in emojis. 🗝 🛤 🌲

*** Big thank you to Minotaur for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

Jess Montgomery showcases her skills as a storyteller in The Hollows: a powerful, big-hearted and exquisitely written follow-up to her highly acclaimed debut The Widows.

Ohio, 1926: For many years, the railroad track in Moonvale Tunnel has been used as a shortcut through the Appalachian hills. When an elderly woman is killed walking along the tracks, the brakeman tells tales of seeing a ghostly female figure dressed all in white.

Newly elected Sheriff Lily Ross is called on to the case to dispel the myths. With the help of her friends Marvena Whitcomb and Hildy Cooper, Lily follows the woman’s trail to The Hollows–a notorious asylum–and they begin to expose dark secrets long-hidden by time and the mountains.

Purchase Links

Amazon Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Jess

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

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Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨