Because You’re Mine by Rea Frey

Never for one moment did I envision how this book would end – never.

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Because You’re Mine is the intriguing story of the interwoven lives of three people and one charming young boy who is on the spectrum. Mom, Lee, who works her butt off to provide a loving, comfortable and safe home for her son, Mason. His tutor, Noah, for whom Lee has a growing interest but tries to quell it in order not to upset Mason’s routine and Grace, the dutiful and caring friend. The story is told from each of their perspectives and we get glimpses into each of their lives, thoughts and concerns but primarily it all revolves around Lee and Mason. When Grace convinces Lee to get away for a weekend with two other friends, leaving Mason in Noah’s care, it seems that Lee finally will get some much needed time for herself. However, as the weekend progresses, secrets are revealed and only three of the friends come away alive. Sounds familiar, right? Wrong! Because You’re Mine is a unique twist on this theme and it is one that I’m sure you find interesting.

#Netgalley #BecauseYou’reMine

Death at High Tide: An Island Sisters Mystery, Book 1 – Welcome to #MurderousMondays

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After so many noir reads, I needed a lighthearted mystery to keep me company. Death at High Tide was exactly right for good night’s read. Plus, I love reading the first book in a new series, don’t you?

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Cats, Corpses and Creepy old inns set the stage for this delightful cozy from Hannah Dennison. When Evie’s older husband dies of a heart attack, Evie is devastated. Her sister flies in from America to help Evie sort out the paperwork only to find that Robert, the husband, was hiding one secret after another, including the deed to an old inn on a often deserted island. Evie and her sister decide to check out the inn only discover hidden agendas, hidden secrets and a vicar who talks to animals!

Seriously, as strange as the description may sound, Death at High Tide checked all of the boxes for a wonderful cozy mystery. Evie and her sister make the perfect amateur sleuths despite the fact that I wanted to slap Margot, the sister, every other page. The characters are all properly suspicious and the deaths continue to mount until the very end of the tale. It was all rather wonderful! Because it was the first in a new series, I had hoped to have a better connection with the sisters than I did, but perhaps that was more me than the writing. Despite that tiny worry, Death at High Tide is a perfect cozy mystery that will keep you engaged from beginning to end!

Thank you to #Edelweiss, #MinotaurBooks and the author, Hannah Dennison, for my copy of this fun tale.

 

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

Little Secrets!? How about BIG BIG LIES! That would be my suggestion for the title of this “can’t put down” thriller!

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Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier was not even close to what I was expecting! The blurb suggests the book is about college sweethearts whose marriage is falling apart after their son is abducted. I thought perhaps it would be an abduction story – and that was a secondary part of the tale. But wow – oh wow – the rest of the book is SO MUCH MORE. There is a lot happening in this book. Are all of her books like this!? I don’t know, I haven’t read them but I will, I WILL!! There are little secrets, BIG LIES, cheating spouses, people you will hate, no one you will love, and everyone running around one another trying to keep their lies a secret. Naturally it doesn’t work but will finding the truth help them to find the child!? Oh My Gosh, who knows!? Well, you will – if you read this fantastic thriller.

 

The Familiar Dark #AmyEngel @aengelwrites

Everyone is a suspect.

Everyone has something to hide.

And someone will answer for her daughter’s murder.

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It has been a while since I’ve written about Southern Noir and I’ve missed it especially after reading the perfect book for this collection, The Familiar Dark.

Eve Taggert was raised on the wrong side of the tracks – far, far away from those tracks, in a trailer with a drug using/selling mother. Things didn’t get a lot worse than Eve’s home life. Her family had the reputation of being the worst of the very worst. Now, as adults, Eve has moved into town and has a daughter whom she adores. Her brother is a respectable cop. Eve lives entirely for her daughter, Junie, and is completely devastated when Junie and her best friend is found murdered in the park. In any other town in America, Junie’s death would be considered reprehensible but in this dirty backwoods Ozark town, it’s just another day in America. That is why Eve has vowed to find the killer herself, even if it means reverting to her mother’s brand of vigilante justice.

Let me just write a few WOWs here! WOW! Oh WOW! Seriously WOW!! Because I am stubborn, I didn’t read the first book by Engel, The Roanoke Girls, which was all the buzz a few years ago. That’s because I’m really stupid!! Amy Engel is a southern author to be reckoned with whose flair for noir puts Nordic authors to shame! From the opening lines, which perfectly capture the last horrifying dying moments of the two girls, to the volatile and satisfying ending, there is not one moment of The Familiar Dark that is not brilliantly written. Every.Single.Word. The characters are raw, gritty, dirty, corrupt and corruptible. Even the richest in this town are grimy and you know it, you feel it. Those of us who ever have lived in the Ozarks know towns exactly like this one. We’ve known people like Eve and her family and Engel skillfully brings the town and these people off of the pages and into our reality with a flourish of her pen-stroke.

I’m not going to elaborate on the plot, I’m simply going to say that if you have not read The Familiar Dark yet, I have no idea what you are waiting for. Go. Get it right now and start reading it today and, if you haven’t read The Roanoke Girls, then make sure you get that one as well, because of course I had to go back and read that one too!

The Familiar Dark gets all the stars all the way up to the highest Ozark Mountaintop! WOW!

Aria’s Travelling Book Shop #BlogTour #RebeccaRaisin

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There really aren’t enough words to describe how excited I was to be asked to join the blog tour for Rebecca Raisin’s latest book, Aria’s Travelling Book Shop! Last year I read and reviewed about the hilarious and often perilous adventures of Rosie in Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop where we first were introduced to Rosie and Aria so, naturally, I was anxious to continue on the journey with these van-lifers. I’m thrilled that I did!

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Unlike Rosie, whose unspeakably awful husband walked out on her, which led to her joining the life of the van-lifers, Aria’s husband and the love of her life died three years old. Aria was devastated by the loss and swore that she never would love another soul again – outside of those found in her beloved books. But then she met Jonathan last year at the final festival of the season. Now he has shown up on the tour circuit again and, despite their attraction, Aria is determined to stay true to her oath. As the travelling vans wind their way through Paris, the city of love, will she be able to keep her feelings in the check or will Paris take over her heart and allow her a second chance at love?

There are very few romance authors who I truly love and enjoy reading and, let me tell you, Rebecca Raisin is right there at the top of my list of favorites! Her characters are realistically funny, heart-breaking and lovable, their humor is very much like my own and the story lines always are interesting and FUN! I find myself reading these books in one sitting because, once started, I cannot stop until I know how they end. This series is particularly interesting because I find the travelling vans so intriguing. I think this would be a lifestyle that I would enjoy and so reading about their triumphs as well as their pitfalls is very compelling. Obviously, I recommend Aria’s Travelling Book Shop to all, as well as the first in the series, Rosies Travelling Tea Shop. Read them both and enjoy!!

REBECCA RAISIN IS A TRUE BIBLIOPHILE….

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This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.

Author Links:

Website: http://rebeccaraisin.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RebeccaRaisinAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jaxandwillsmum

You can find ARIA’S TRAVELLING BOOK SHOP AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arias-Travelling-Book-Shop-uplifting-ebook/dp/B07XNNW1PW/ref=sr_1_12?keywords=rebecca+raisin&qid=1570436644&sr=8-12

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XNNW1PW?pf_rd_p=2d1ab404-3b11-4c97-b3db-48081e145e35&pf_rd_r=BPQPWBSEZQCEP4RJG4RB

 

The Sea Glass Cottage @RaeAnneThayne Harlequin Blog Tour

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I am so excited to be part of the Harlequin Blog Tour for The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne. I’m a recent convert to Thayne’s books and I’m discovering how wonderful each and every one of them is.

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First let me say that this cover is stunning! The inviting feel that it evokes is exactly how I felt about the book. In fact, I loved the cover so much that I’m in the process of landscaping my back walkway to look just like this one! 🙂

If you are a fan of Thayne, then you will be familiar with some of the characters and certainly the community of Cape Sanctuary. Here we find Olivia, a serious and successful programmer who moved away from Cape Sanctuary years before. Her past there holds tragedy and painful memories but when her mother is hospitalized, she drops everything and rushes home to care for her mother. Here Olivia will encounter her past, reunite with her best friend and cope with her some-what obnoxious niece, the daughter of her sister whose life and death were tragic. Throughout the book we discover secrets held by Olivia, her mother, niece and even her sister. The Sea Glass Cottage is a book about healing, understanding, and forgiveness, as well as recognizing the strengths each of us hold within ourselves. The book, the story and the characters are beautifully written, engaging and entrancing from beginning to its satisfying conclusion. It is a story you will not want to miss. Yes, it is part of a series but, as someone who hasn’t read the rest of this series, I can assure you that it works very well as a stand-alone.

The Sea Glass Cottage was published earlier in March, 2020 and can be found at any of the links listed below.

Publisher: HQN Books

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

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New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @RaeAnneThayne

Facebook: AuthorRaeAnneThayne

Instagram: @RaeAnneThayne

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/116118.RaeAnne_Thayne

Thank you to Samantha and Harlequin for my copy of this beautiful story!

 

The Girl With the Golden Scissors by Julia Drosten

I absolutely love historical fiction especially when it is written as eloquently as The Girl With the Golden Scissors.

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Franny was born in 1889 in Vienna only to be abandoned by her unwed mother. She is cared for, lovingly, at a foundling home where she grows into a precocious child and a talented young woman. Ultimately, she finds herself as an apprentice in one of the most prestigious fashion houses in Austria-Hungary. Isn’t it interesting how many of these young women end up in fashion houses? I can’t sew on a button so I’m always amazed at this. Just as her life appears to be stable, war breaks out across Europe testing the loyalties of her friendships, people she trusted and, worse, the monarchy itself. It does, however, afford her the opportunity to search for the truth about her parentage.

The Girl With the Golden Scissors is a beautifully written saga that sweeps across Europe during a time that few people alive today fully understand. Which country was loyal to whom, families stretched across the globe, divided by their current nationalities. It is within this scene-scape that we discover the truth about Franny and how that truth will alter her life forever. Wonderfully written by the duo known as Julia Drosten and perfectly translated from German to English, this is an historical novel from a very different perspective and one that will leave you breathless and wanting more. I’m not sure how I’ve missed this writing duo before now but I definitely am a fan now.

With much gratitude to #Netgalley and Amazon Crossing for my copy of this incredible book…

 

The Girls With No Names @serenaburdick

I finally understood what my fortune meant….I was bone and skin and earth and sky. Death was not literal, Time was infinite, my Existence..eternal.

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Set in the early 1900s, a time of great change and social reforms, The Girls With No Names is the story of young girls, some wealthy and other travelers or from among the working poor. It is a brilliant example of all that was wonderful and horrific about “the gilded age.”

Luella and Effie Tildon are children from a wealthier family. Their lives are spent in school, wandering the land around their home and obeying the strict rules set forth by their parents. They know that if they don’t obey these rules they will be sent to the House of Mercy, a work house wayward girls. The institution was meant to be home for young women without support or who were unmarried and pregnant. What it became was a place for men to send women and girls who didn’t conform to the “rules.” A house of horror, hunger, torture and worse, the House of Mercy was used as a cautionary reminder for all females to obey. When Luella discovers a secret her father is hiding, she begins to rebel against him to the point that, when she disappears, Effie immediately assumes Luella has been banished to the House of Mercy. Effie, who has a debilitating heart condition, decides she will find a way to get sent to the house so that Luella will not be alone. What transpires is a horror show for the young girl and for all of the girls held captive within those walls.

Serena Burdick has woven together a story of the rich and the poor, of the Suffragette movement, of work houses run by “the church”, of an age that glorified the male while subjugating women. The stories of these young women is one of friendship, love, bravery and hope. It is, by far, one of the most remarkable stories I have read and, sadly, it is based on the true stories of the House of Mercy in Innwood Park.

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The Girls With No Names is a cautionary reminder about how new and how fleeting our rights as women actually are or could be, a wake up call for women around the world.

#Netgalley, #Harlequin-ParkRow and @SerenaBurkick – thank you!

 

Chickenlandia: A Shady Hoosier Detective Agency Mystery by @DaisyPettles

Pawpaw County, Indiana is all a twitter with the annual chickenfest happening. That is, until Ma and Peepaw Horton’s prized rooster and hen go missing. RJ and Veenie are hired, however, to search for the missing Chicken BBQ queen instead. Things turn even darker when the local chicken dance king is run over by a car with out of state plates. Can things get any stranger or darker for the people of Pawpaw County!?

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First, allow me to say thank you for all of your thoughts and well wishes while my husband had by-pass surgery. He is home now and doing very well. They did some “extra work” while they were in there and soon he will be better than new. It’s great to be home and a little more settled, though. I thought I would read a million books during this time – I read none. <sigh> But, thank you all!

To say that I love (LOVE) this series is an understatement. I don’t know if it is because I’m from Indiana and know just how crazy the folks here can be or if it is the characters that Daisy Pettle’s creates or maybe a little of both! What I do know is that this cozy mystery series is a laugh out loud good time and fun reading.

Through the previous two books, we have come to love the chickens – and Rooster Dewey – at the Horton’s farm. The chicken houses are built to resemble famous buildings from all over the world, including the white house, so naturally we and the people of PawPaw County are very worried when something fowl happens there. Then, of course, there is the mysterious disappearances of the BBQ queen and more…..  What makes Chickenlandia and this series so wonderful are the senior sleuths who work at the Detective Agency. I’m not sure I ever have read about or related to fictional characters as much as I do RJ and Veenie. They are colorful, hilarious and always get their man with plenty of laughs, sarcasm and shenanigans along the way.  If you like cozy mysteries and if you love humor, then this is a book for you. You can read Chickenlandia as a stand alone, but the books are quick reads and I suggest you read them all.

Thank you to @Netgalley, #DaisyPettles and #BooksGoSocial for my copy of this delightful book.

The Little Engine That Could – NINETIETH Anniversary Edition

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Seriously! How is it possible that this delightful, inspirational tale is NINETY years old!?! Well, it is and to celebrate there is a brand new edition just waiting to be read and added to your library!

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Everyone knows the story of the little engine, right? I think I can…. I think I can…. and soon she absolutely could! By far this was my favorite story as a child. I was small and so often there were things I was told I was “too little” to do. This engine became my hero, her mantra became mine. When I was a Weight Watchers group leader the members in my group used it as their mantra as well. If you think you can, you will do!

The text in this updated version is the same heart felt prose we always adored but the illustrations are new and absolutely gorgeous. They will make you fall in love with them! Just look at the colors in this one:

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This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new re-imagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Every child and adult alike should have a copy of this inspiring tale on their shelves to read when self-doubt rears its head. It’s perfection.

 

(Thank you to #Edelweiss, #PenguinPublishingGroup, #Grossett&Dunlap for my copy of The Little Engine That Could)