House of Desire by Margaret Lucke – Book Spotlight

Overview

When a trip across time barriers leads to murder …At a gala fundraiser to save a grand San Francisco Victorian, reluctant psychic Claire Scanlan encounters a mysterious young woman, Roxane, who is invisible to everyone but her. Roxane is a “soiled dove” plying her trade in the mansion in 1896. She has discovered a secret portal that lets her slip into what she calls the Future House to escape the most brutal of the men who buy her favors. When the fundraiser’s organizer is murdered in the mansion, Roxane is the sole witness. Terrified, she flees back to her own time and enlists the only true gentleman she has ever met to help her find justice for the victim. Claire’s philandering brother-in-law is accused of being the killer. To clear his name she must find the elusive Roxane—which means risking a perilous journey into the past from which she may never return.Praise for Margaret Lucke’s novels“Margaret Lucke is an exceptional writer.”— Marcia Muller, Grand Master, Mystery Writers of America, author of the Sharon McCone detective series“A gripping, richly textured mystery. Read and enjoy.”— Rita Lakin, award-winning creator of the Getting Old is Murder series“Mystery, romance and ghosts come together in this first-class tale.” –– Romantic Times“A fascinating blending of romance, mystery and the paranormal.”— Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine“I was drawn into Claire’s story from the first page and could hardly put the book down for wanting to know what could possibly happen next.”— Fallen Angels Reviews

About Margaret Lucke

Margaret Lucke flings words around in the San Francisco Bay Area, as a writer, editor, teacher of writing classes, and writing coach. She is fascinated by the power of stories and the magic of creativity. 

Her latest novel, HOUSE OF DESIRE, a tale of love, ghosts and murder in San Francisco, is now available for preorder as a Kindle book. A print edition is coming soon. It is the second book in the Claire Scanlan Haunted House series, following HOUSE OF WHISPERS. 

Other works include two novels featuring artist/private eye Jess Randolph: SNOW ANGEL, in which Jess makes a desperate search for a missing child, and A RELATIVE STRANGER, an Anthony Award nominee for Best First Mystery, and two how-to books on writing: SCHAUM’S QUICK GUIDE TO WRITING GREAT SHORT STORIES and WRITING MYSTERIES. 

Margaret is also the editor of FAULT LINES, an anthology of 19 stories by Northern California crime writers, published in 2019 by the NorCal chapter of Sisters in Crime.

A former president of the Northern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, Margaret teaches fiction writing classes at UC Berkeley Extension and frequently leads writing workshops and classes for libraries, writers organizations, and other groups. Visit her at http://www.margaretlucke.com.

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Matrimony, Inc. by Francesca Beauman From Personal Ads to Swiping Right, A Story of America Looking for Love – BOOK SPOTLIGHT

MATRIMONY, INC.: From Personal Ads to Swiping Right, a Story of America Looking for Love (Pegasus Books; October 6, 2020; Hardcover; ISBN: 978-1643135786; 240 pgs; $27.95)

Overview

A clever, thoughtful, and funny history that reveals how the Union of states was built on a much more personal union of people.

Have you ever used a dating app or website? Then you have more in common than you know with lonely homesteaders in 18th century New England. At once heartwarming and heartbreaking, Matrimony, Inc. reveals the unifying thread that weaves its way through not just marriage and relationships over the centuries, but American social history itself: advertising for  love.

Amazingly, America’s first personal ad appeared in the Boston Evening Post as early as 1759. A “person who flatters himself that he shall not be thought disagreeable” was in search of a “young lady, between the age of eighteen and twenty-three, of a middling stature, brown hair, of good Morals…” As family-arranged marriages fell out of fashion, “Husband Wanted” or “Seeking Wife” ads were soon to be found in every state in the nation.

From the woman in a Wisconsin newspaper who wanted “no brainless dandy or foppish fool” to the man with a glass eye who placed an ad in the New York Times hoping to meet a woman with a glass eye, the many hundreds of personal ads that author Francesca Beauman has uncovered offer an extraordinary glimpse into the history of our hearts’ desires, as well as a unique insight into American life as the frontier was settled and the cities grew. Personal ads played a surprisingly vital role in the West: couple by couple, shy smile by shy smile, letter by letter from a dusty, exhausted miner in California to a bored, frustrated seamstress in Ohio. Get ready for a new perspective on the making of modern America, a hundred words of typesetter’s blurry black ink at a time.

“So anxious are our settlers for wives that they never ask a single lady her age. All they require is teeth,” declared the Dubuque Iowa News in 1838 in a state where men outnumbered women three to one. While the dating pools of 21st century New York, Chicago or San Francisco might not be quite so dentally-fixated, Matrimony Inc. will put idly swiping right on Tinder into fascinating and vividly fresh historical context. What do women look for in a man? What do men look for in a woman? And how has this changed over the past 250 years?

Jacket Art :: Publisher Page

Praise for MATRIMONY, INC.

“Francesca’s book gives us a window into the history of the U.S. and the politics of how marriage shaped this country.  Fascinating, just like Francesca.”

—Joey Soloway, creator of Transparent

“Francesca Beauman’s deep historical dive into a person’s most naked ask into the universe is hilarious and shocking and heartbreaking, and reveals through these incredible finds how the needs and expectations of what we look for in a mate have evolved, and what has stubbornly remained the same. You won’t be able to hear the phrase “swipe right” quite the same way again.”

—Kathryn Hahn, actress and comedian

“Beauman has uncovered a treasure trove of fascinating detail. Matrimony Inc is the ultimate proof that we humans are fools for love. But also desperate, courageous, and occasionally lucky.”

—Dr. Amanda Foreman, historian and international-bestselling author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

“Funny, outrageous, revealing, and heartbreaking, the personal ads in Beauman’s remarkable research illuminate the American experience brilliantly across hundreds of years and into the present. And her engaging voice makes it impossible to put Matrimony, Inc. down.”

—Francesca Delbanco, creator of Netflix’s Friends From College

“Francesca Beauman writes with elegance, wit and profound intelligence. . . .  A joyous and clever read.”

—Elizabeth Day, novelist and podcast host of How to Fail

“A fascinating, hilarious, and occasionally heartbreaking work of history, Francesca Beauman’s MATRIMONY, INC. takes a cultural artifact that seems so perishable — the personal ad — and rescues it from the scrap heap, drawing together a huge trove of these lonely-heart epistles to tell a larger story about social life in America . . . With wry wit and a trained eye for the absurd, Beauman is a companionable guide through two hundred and fifty years of single people boldly, hopefully, pathetically, comically seeking mates.”

—Patrick Radden Keefe, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of Say Nothing

About Francesca Beauman

After a decade as a T.V. host, Francesca Beauman is now a writer, historian and part-time bookseller at London’s most beautiful bookstore, Persephone Books. Francesca is the author of six books, including a history of the pineapple and a history of British personal ads. She also runs the popular book forum “Fran’s Book Shop” (@fransbookshop).

Connect with Fran! Author Website // Instagram // Twitter // Fran’s Book Shop

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The Prospects of a Woman by Wendy Voorsanger @prbythebook #historicalfiction #review

Overview


Elisabeth Parker comes to California from Massachusetts in 1849 with her new husband, Nate, to
reunite with her father, who’s struck gold on the American River. She soon realizes her husband is
not the man she thought—and neither is her father, who abandons them shortly after they arrive. As
Nate struggles with his sexuality, Elisabeth is forced to confront her preconceived notions of family,
love, and opportunity.
She finds comfort in corresponding with her childhood friend back home, writer Louisa May Alcott,
and spending time in the company of a mysterious Californio Don. Armed with Ralph Waldo
Emerson’s Self-Reliance, she sets out to determine her role in building the West, even as she comes
to terms with the sacrifices she must make to achieve independence and happiness.
Prospects of a Woman is a fresh, authentic retelling of the West that explores women’s contributions
in California and shatters the stereotypes of the typical hard-boiled novel of the West that has
captured the American imagination for over a century.

Review

Elizabeth has married Nate and they have struck out for California. They want to find Elizabeth’s father and create a new life. However, it does not magically happen the way Elizabeth expects. Nate does not turn out to be the man she thought he was and Elizabeth must rely on her own intellect to survive.

You talk about a book I wanted to throw across the room…THIS IS IT! I was so frustrated with Elizabeth on so many levels. And the repetition by the author! It was repeated multiple times about Elizabeth not liking ants. And apparently, Elizabeth is sex craved…another fact mentioned multiple times!

If you like westerns you may enjoy this one. However, this story fell a little short for me. And I hate to post a bad review. I hate to damage an author’s hard work based on my opinion. And this is only my opinion.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Buy the book:
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About the Author:


Born and raised on the American River in Sacramento, Wendy Voorsanger has long held an intense
interest in the historical women of California. She started her career in the Silicon Valley, writing
about technology trends and innovations for newspapers, magazines, and Fortune 100 companies.
She currently manages SheIsCalifornia.net, a blog dedicated to chronicling the accomplishments of
California women through history. Her debut historical novel, Prospects of a Woman will be published
in October 2020 (She Writes Press); an excerpt entitled “Shifting in California” won 1st place in the
California Writers Club short story contest and is published in the Fault Zone: Shift: An Anthology of
Stories.
She earned a B.A. in Journalism from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and
an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a member of the Castro Writers’ Cooperative, the
Lit Camp Advisory Board, and the San Mateo Public Library Literary Society.
In addition to being an author, Wendy has worked as a lifeguard, ski instructor, and radio disc jockey.
Wendy lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons.

Links

Author website: www.wendyvoorsanger.net

Additional website: Sheiscalifornia.com

Facebook: Author Wendy Voorsanger

Instagram: @authorwendyvoorsanger

YouTube book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RDfTJXFdfo&feature=youtu.be

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First to Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan @ForgeReads @HankPRyan @suzyaobooktours #suspense #fiction #review

About The Book: 

We all have our reasons for being who we are―but what if being someone else could get you what you want?

After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn’t know―she isn’t the only one plotting revenge.

An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who has to choose her new reality. Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?

Bestselling and award-winning author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers another twisty, thrilling cat and mouse novel of suspense that will have you guessing, and second-guessing, and then gasping with surprise.

Review

Ellie is a news reporter. She is trying desperately to take down a drug company. This drug company is lying and they are killing women due to their negligence. Ellie is not going to stand for it. Then, her news station assigns her an assistant, Meg. Ellie is not a fan….at all!

Ellie is a great character. She is tough and smart. Plus she is out to see justice done. Then there is Nora. Nora is a pharmaceutical rep. She is iffy. As a reader…you can’t quite put your finger on why. Then there is Meg…oh Meg is an odd duck for sure. Finally, there is Gabe…or is it Guy?

Wow! Talk about completely twisted. This book is twisted all around itself and you are guessing who is who and what is what. You think you know who this person is….but you don’t! Now, I did figure out bits and pieces. But when the whole picture came together, that was an “AH HA!” moment!

Need a good guessing game! Y’all! This is it! Now, you can’t take your eye off the ball or you will miss something. Pay attention!!!

Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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About The Author:

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the bestselling author of eleven award winning novels of suspense. National reviews have called her a “master at crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “a superb and gifted storyteller.”

Her upcoming domestic suspense thriller THE MURDER LIST is a Most Anticipated Book of Summer 2019 from Criminal Element. AJ Finn calls it “a fireworks display of a novel–explosive, exciting and likely to leave you gasping.” BA Paris says: “A cracker of a read!”

Her first psychological standalone, TRUST ME, is an *AGATHA AWARD* nominee. It was named a Best Book of 2018 from REAL SIMPLE Magazine, BookBub, PopSugar, Bustle, CrimeReads and The New York Post. Mary Kubica says: “Dazzling!” and Lisa Gardner says “Mesmerizing!” The Booklist STARRED review says “..it’s a knockout. First-rate psychological suspense.” 

Her thriller SAY NO MORE is a Library Journal BEST OF 2016. And a nominee for the AGATHA AWARD, the DAPHNE award, and the MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD! Associated Press calls it “stellar” and Publishers Weekly calls it “thrilling” “unflinching” and “gratifying.”

Her 2015 book, WHAT YOU SEE, is a Library Journal BEST of 2015, an ANTHONY and AGATHA Award nominee, and a Top Pick!, dubbed “exceptional suspense.” It received a starred review from Library Journal which says: “Readers will find themselves racing to the finish!” 

Her 2014 book, TRUTH BE TOLD, won the AGATHA Award for best mystery, and is a Library Journal Best of 2014. It received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, which says, “Drop everything and binge read!” 

THE WRONG GIRL won the Agatha Award and the Daphne Award, and is a seven-week Boston Globe bestseller and Anthony Award nominee. 

THE OTHER WOMAN won the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was listed as a Best Book of 2012 by the Kansas City Star, the Sacramento Bee, Suspense Magazine, and The Boston Globe, won the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was the only novel nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, Shamus and Daphne awards for Best Novel of 2012.

Her first four mysteries, beginning with the Agatha Award-winning PRIME TIME, feature Charlotte McNally, a Boston television reporter. FACE TIME was a BookSense Notable Book, and AIR TIME and DRIVE TIME were both Anthony and Agatha Award nominees for best novel of 2009 and 2010. They are now available in all new editions.

Hank is also an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston’s WHDH-TV. In addition to 36 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank’s won dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. 

Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in refunds and restitution for victims and consumers. She’s been a radio reporter, a legislative aide in the United States Senate and an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone Magazine, working with Hunter S. Thompson, Richard Avedon and Richard Goodwin.

Hank is a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and served as 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and Career Authors.Learn more about Hank at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com

Social Media:

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

Instagram: https://instagram.com/hankpryan

Twitter: @HankPRyan

Book Blurbs: 

“Hank Phillippi Ryan is at the top of her game. THE FIRST TO LIE is a masterfully twisty tale full of all my favorite things: interesting women, family secrets, and well-plotted revenge. Start reading early, because you will tear through the pages of this breathless, keep-you-up-all-night thriller.”—Jennifer Hillier, award-winning author of JAR OF HEARTS and LITTLE SECRETS

 “The First to Lie is a twisty, winding road of deception and secrets that starts with a bang and ends with an explosion. Put this one on your list because Hank Phillippi Ryan is at the top of her game.”—Samantha Downing, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife and He Started It

“With flawless pacing and impeccable character development, Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers yet another powerful, relevant story of deceit, betrayal, and the extent to which someone will go to right the wrongs they have suffered. The First to Lie is a magnificent, intricately plotted thriller that will have you questioning everyone’s motives until the stunning ending.”—Samantha M. Bailey, bestselling author of Woman on the Edge

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Rainbow Bridge by Dan Jackson – Spotlight

Overview

Our dogs are our friends and companions, our guardians and defenders. Their love and loyalty enrich our souls, and few things bring our lives greater joy than their companionship and devotion. Until that inevitable day arrives when we have to say goodbye.

What if there comes a time and a place where we can be reunited with the dogs we have loved and lost? 

At each juncture of Nathan Wilkinson’s life, he experiences friendship, guidance and personal growth from his canine companions. First is Shiloh, the wise German shepherd of his youth; followed by Lindsay, the miniature schnauzer whose misfortune changes his adult life. When called to battle, he befriends Georgie, the stout war dog, whose courage under fire inspires him. Finally there are the Labradors, whose seemingly mindless antics mask an iron-willed devotion to protecting his growing young family. Each of these remarkable dogs shares with Nathan countless adventures, love and companionship, and ultimately, the heartache of loss. 

And then one day, an unexpected tragedy provides him the chance for a brief but joyous reunion with those very same dogs at the place where all departed pets await their human companions…the Rainbow Bridge.


In an epic tale spanning thirty years of Nathan Wilkinson’s life, Jackson tells the story of the remarkable bond between dog and human, and the deep pain felt when we lose a special dog.***********ADVANCED PRAISE:

“Coming through loud and clear throughout the pages of Rainbow Bridge is how well the author knows dogs. How thoroughly he understands the unique and special bond that is forged between dogs and their humans. How the excruciating pain of losing a dog is like no other. Ditto how important it is to NOT abandon your dog to the vet when it’s time for them to leave you, and that you really do owe it to your faithful companion to be there and comfort them in their final moments.” – Kristine Lowder, reviewer for Pages and Paws

“This epic, beautifully told, tale is for everyone who’s ever looked into their dog’s eyes and seen something timeless and mysterious, who has asked their pup from the bottom of their soul, “Just who are you, and how did I get you?!” And beautifully, Jackson’s answers keep the mystery intact, just as our dogs always have.” -Douglas Green, author of The Teachings of Shirelle: Life Lessons from a Divine Knucklehead


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Dan V. Jackson is a writer, a family man, and dog owner. He enjoys running, golf, and football, and is a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan.
He earned his BA in 1982 and an MBA in 1984, both from the University of Chicago, and has over thirty-five years’ experience as a financial consultant.
Mr. Jackson lives outside of Dallas, Texas, in the fast-growing community of Frisco, with his wife, Cheryl.
Fortunately, his three dogs, Abby, Bella, and Sammie, are there to provide companionship and entertainment.
Rainbow Bridge is his second novel.
His first novel, The Forgotten Men, was published by Mediaguruz in 2012.

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The Secret of Misty Mountain by L. Michelle Bowen – Book Spotlight and Excerpt #bookspotlight #excerpt

The Secret of Misty Mountain

By L. Michelle Bowen

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

About the Book

When is it right to tell a secret?

When Anne, a young country girl who lives in the beautiful countryside of South Carolina meets Catherine, a pretty and wealthy new girl in town, they become unlikely friends. Everything seems perfect until Catherine confides in Anne a secret too big to keep. When schoolmates learn of her secret, it threatens to tear apart not only her friendship but Catherine’s family as well.

The Secret of Misty Mountain will resonate with anyone who has ever been sworn to secrecy too big for them to bear.

Author Bio

I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina but I was mostly raised in Greenville, South Carolina. I have a heart for the southeast and all of it’s southern charm. I love the accents, the attitudes and the atmosphere. I was raised between the Great Smoky Mountains and Atlantic Ocean. My childhood consisted of vacations to both. We would climb through the woods and wade the creeks of the mountains and then head to the beach to jump the waves and play at the arcades.

All my life I have been a story teller. Everything I said and did were presented in grandiose fashion and my children were sponges to that. I loved reading books to them (and their friends). I never passed up the opportunity to read to them or tell them about something unique that happened that day, but in story form. One night, while my children were visiting their grandparents for the weekend, I had a very funny dream about a girl who’s mama tricked her one morning to get her out of bed. When I woke up, my first thought was to tell the kids. But they were gone. The story was too funny not to tell them so I began writing it down so I wouldn’t forget.  As I was writing the cute scene, I began to envision the characters more vividly and enjoy their company. When my kids got home, I told them the story and when I finished, my middle child said, “What happened next, mama?” And that was the birth of my first book, The Secret on Top of Misty Mountain. I started pouring myself into knowing more about Anne and Charles and Catherine and falling in love with them and rooting for them throughout their journeys.

In my free time, I like to watch and sing to musicals, have coffee with my daughter, cook and read books. But my favorite thing to do with my free time is to be with my kids!

Links:

Web: https://www.lmichellebowen.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MBowenAuthor/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MBowenAuthor

Excerpt:

            “Anne, I need to tell you something. I haven’t told you this because I wasn’t sure how you’d react. The whole reason we moved out of Nashville was because people weren’t ready for what I’m about to tell you. It’s the reason we live in the middle of nowhere. And if you repeat this, I’ll surely die because people just aren’t ready. You hear me, I’ll surely die.”

I was nervous. I had no idea what Catherine was going to say, and I felt a bit sick. “Ok, Catherine. You can tell me. You can tell me anything. You can trust me.”

“Anne, Virginia is family. Actual family. She’s family because she’s…she’s my daddy’s wife.”

Silence. There was no sound to be heard. Absolute silence. I was numb from the top of my head to the soles of my dirty feet. I kept trying to think if I might have heard wrong. If maybe she meant something else. But there were no ways to twist the words. “Virginia is my daddy’s wife.” 

I can’t even imagine how long Catherine and I stared at each other. I kept thinking: Say something, Anne. But no words came.

“Well, are you going to say something?” Catherine asked.

And there it was. I had to say something now.

“Well, I’m not sure what to say. I’ve never known someone married to a colored person before. This is all new to me. You’ve got to give me a second here, Catherine,” I said. My head was spinning. I never really thought I’d have to think about this kind of thing.

“What? You’re not going to run away calling me or my daddy a nigger lover?” Catherine asked kind of in a nasty tone. Almost like she was challenging me.

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The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe – COVER REVEAL #summeroflostandfound #maryalicemonroe

Overview

From Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster:

The “authentic, generous, and heartfelt” (Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author) Beach House series returns with this tender and compassionate novel following the historic Rutledge family of Charleston South Carolina. Together, they face a summer of upheaval and change with perseverance, a spirit of unity, and a dose of humor. So that by summer’s end, they discover unexpected joys and lessons that will endure long past one season.

The coming of Spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, Spring 2020 threatens stagnation. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores. For her—and her family—finances, emotions, and health teeter at the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders—is it possible to love two men at the same time?

Love in the time of coronavirus proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea and the Rutledge family continue to face their challenges with the strength, faith, and commitment that has inspired readers for decades.

In The Summer of Lost and Found, Mary Alice Monroe once again delves into the complexities of family relationships and brings her signature “sensitive and true” (Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling to this poignant and timely novel of love, courage, and resilience.

Bio

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Timesbestselling author of 27 books, including the Beach House series: The Beach HouseSwimming LessonsBeach House MemoriesBeach House for RentBeach House Reunion, On Ocean Boulevard, and her latest The Summer of Lost and Found

More than 7.5 million copies of her books have been published worldwide, and she’s earned numerous accolades and awards, including: Induction into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame; the Southwest Florida Author of Distinction Award; South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence; RT Lifetime Achievement Award; the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the prestigious Southern Book Prize for Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Beach House is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie.

Monroe is the co-creator and co-host of the weekly web show and podcast Friends and Fiction featuring the five bestselling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Kristin Harmel, and Patti Callahan Henry with endless stories, special guests, and a way to connect readers and writers.

Monroe is captivated by the beauty and fragility of the wild habitat around her. In particular, the coastal southern landscape became a strong and important focus of many of her novels.  Monroe immerses herself in both academic research and hands-on/volunteering to learn about a species or conservation issue. Then, she uses the knowledge and experiences working with animals and the wildlife experts to craft captivating stories that identify important parallels between nature and human nature. Bottlenose dolphins, monarch butterflies, shorebirds, and loggerhead sea turtles are among the wild species she has worked with and woven into her novels.

Monroe is an active conservationist and serves on the South Carolina Aquarium Board Emeritis, The Leatherback Trust, The Pat Conroy Literary Center Honorary Board, Friends of Coastal Carolina and Casting Carolinas Advisory Board. She is especially proud to be a twenty year plus state-certified volunteer with the Island Turtle Team, the group that first sparked her love for loggerhead sea turtles, and is the inspiration of her Beach House series.

Monroe has also published two children’s books, which complement the environmental themes she’s known for in her novels. Monroe’s first Middle Grade book, The Islanders, will be released June 15, 2021. 

Her latest novel, The Summer of Lost and Found, will be released nationwide May 10, 2021.

She is also a contributor to Beach Reunion, an upcoming anthology by several bestselling authors and writers as a tribute to the life and legacy of their friend New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank.

AUTHOR WEBSITE

https://maryalicemonroe.com/

Preorder link

The Summer of Lost and Found

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The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow @orbitbooks @hachetteus @AlixEHarrow #review #fiction

Overview

In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in a Hugo award-winning author’s powerful novel of magic amid the suffragette movement.In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters — James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna — join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote — and perhaps not even to live — the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.
For more from Alix E. Harrow, check out The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

Review

Juniper, Agnes and Bella are three sisters. They have been apart for several years. But, fate and circumstances have brought them back together. These three begin a witch’s movement and it turns out…they may not be the only witches around. Good, bad or ugly, these three suffer through some evil sorcery. Will they survive?

Now! This book is a great read for the Halloween season. You just can’t go wrong with witches, spells and battles. Plus, this story is full of history and I love the folk tales thrown in. Very unique indeed. The only reason for the 4 star rating is I just felt the story is a little too long. I think there is too much explaining in places. But, that is minor. The characters and the time setting really keep you turning the pages.

Grab this Halloween read today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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The Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell @atriabooks @lisajewelluk #suspense #fiction #review

Overview

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart. In his thirties and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct—accusations he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel forums, where he meets a charismatic and mysterious figure.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author).

Review

Saffyre has been in psychotherapy for several years. When her therapy ends, she feels like there should have been more to it. She never did actually tell the therapist her trauma. So, Saffyre watches from afar, her therapist, Roan, and his family. She discovers many secrets and actually becomes a friend of Roan’s son. And things are not as they should be.

Well, I will be honest. When I first started this read, I really thought it was going to be a DNF for me. But, the further I went along the more I became hooked. Now, this is not my favorite Jewell novel. It is way too slow of a start. But, Saffyre is a unique character which captures your heart. She is the reason I kept going. And I am very glad I did.

This story just keeps twisting around and you just keep guessing. But, toward the end…you realize one of your guesses is right! You must read this to find out! And the creepy neighbor, Owen. He is a weirdo!

Slow burn….but very much worth the effort! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Overview

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

Review

Mae and her family always celebrate Christmas with friends at a cabin in Utah. Mae has made some mistakes and she is hoping this year at the cabin will open up her eyes to what makes her happy. Little does she know the universe has a plan!

Mae is a young lady with plenty of flaws. I enjoy that in a character if the author can pull it off. Christina Lauren does an excellent job with Mae. Mae makes bad decisions. Heck, she makes terrible decisions. But, her sarcastic wit and her loving nature makes it all workout.

This is not my favorite book from these authors. It was a little monotonous is spots. But, it is still a laugh out loud novel. This author team always has some huge comical relationships and their characters crack me up.

Need a good, comic relief book for the holidays. This is it! Grab your copy today.

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