Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey – COVER REVEAL

Back Cover Copy: Two childhood friends discover that love–and family–can be found in unconventional ways in this timely, moving novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “beautifully Southern, evocative Peachtree Bluff series” (Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife). Recently separated Amelia Buxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker–and dredging up old wounds in the process. Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate. Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Buxton Beach. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family–the one you’re born into and the one you choose–is always closer than you think. From “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Under the Southern Sky is a fresh and unforgettable exploration of love, friendship, and the unbreakable ties that bind.

Sometimes the key to new love lies hidden in old friendships. In Under the Southern Sky, Kristy Woodson Harvey stirs up a warm-hearted mix of hometown charm and the sort of thoroughly modern problems that bring us back to the people who know us best and the places that remind us of who we really are.” –

Amazon Preorder Link (Don’t forget to use your affiliate link if you have!): https://rstyle.me/+kiE6JbAHGCsusjXAdRGL9w

Bookshop.org Preorder Link: https://bookshop.org/a/3588/9781982117726
*Painting is by Maren Devine Art*Quotes by Mesweens Writes

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The Book Of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult @jodipicoult @randomhouse #fiction #review #5stars

Overview

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light comes a riveting novel about the choices that alter the course of our lives. 

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband but of a man she last saw fifteen years ago: Wyatt Armstrong.

Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised. She has led a good life. Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, their beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, in which she helps ease the transition between life and death for her clients.

But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a career Dawn once studied for but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened. And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made.

After the crash landing, the airline ensures that the survivors are seen by a doctor, then offers transportation to wherever they want to go. The obvious destination is to fly home, but she could take another path: return to the archaeological site she left years before, reconnect with Wyatt and their unresolved history, and maybe even complete her research on The Book of Two Ways—the first known map of the afterlife.

As the story unfolds, Dawn’s two possible futures unspool side by side, as do the secrets and doubts long buried with them. Dawn must confront the questions she’s never truly asked: What does a life well lived look like? When we leave this earth, what do we leave behind? Do we make choices . . . or do our choices make us? And who would you be if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now?

Review

Dawn is a death doula. She works with hospice patients to ease their way into the afterlife. She is lead to this career after her mother passed away and this is also when Dawn’s life shifted from Egyptologist to wife and mother. As of late, she is questioning her choice. And the pull of an old lover, Wyatt, may be too much for her to handle.

This book is so well written and I loved it! Now, it is totally out of this author’s normal type of book. It is what I call a “smart read”. It is full of science and historical Egyptian references. Not sure everyone will feel the same way I do. But, I was so captivated by Dawn and her Egyptology and throw in her husband and his quantum physics with parallel universes and I was hooked.

But, that is not what made this book for me. The characters and their plight and the unique way Picoult wove the tale together is absolutely amazing. You do not want to miss this one! Makes you think…in more ways than one!

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

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Chance of a Lifetime by Jude Deveraux and Tara Sheets #excerpt #spotlight @harlequinbooks #mirabooks

CHANCE OF A LIFETIME
Author: Jude Deveraux & Tara Sheets ISBN: 9780778309932
Publication Date: September 15, 2020 Publisher: MIRA Books

BOOK SUMMARY:


In one century she loved him madly, and in another she wants nothing to do with him
In 1844 Ireland, Liam O’Connor, a rogue and a thief, fell madly in love with a squire’s daughter and
unwittingly altered the future. Shy and naive Cora McLeod thought Liam was the answer to her prayers.
But the angels disagreed and they’ve been waiting for the right moment in time to step in.
Now Liam finds himself reunited with his beloved Cora in Providence Falls, North Carolina. The angels
have given Liam a task. He must make sure Cora falls in love with another man—the one she was
supposed to marry before Liam interfered. But this Cora is very different from the innocent girl who fell
for Liam in the past.
She’s
a cop and has a confidence and independence he wasn’t expecting. She
doesn’t remember Liam or their past lives, nor is she impressed with his attempts to guide her in any
way.

About the Author

Jude Deveraux is the author of forty-three New York Times bestsellers, including For All Time, Moonlight in the Morning, and A Knight in Shining Armor. She was honored with a Romantic Times Pioneer Award in 2013 for her distinguished career. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide.

Tara Sheets is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Her debut novel, Don’t Call Me Cupcake, won the 2016 Golden Heart® award sponsored by Romance Writers of America. Tara began her career as an author in the Pacific Northwest, inspired by the rain and the misty mountains and the rivers of Starbucks coffee. She now lives in the warm, wonderful South where she can stand outside with no coat on, and she finds that pretty inspiring too. When not writing, Tara enjoys life with her book-loving family and a book-eating dog named Merlin. You can find out more about her on the web at http://www.tarasheets.com, on facebook/tarasheetsauthor, and on twitter @Tara_Sheets.

SOCIAL:
Jude Deveraux
Author Website: https://judedeveraux.com/
TWITTER: @JudeDeveraux1
FB: @JudeDeveraux
Insta: @Judedeveraux
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/28574.Jude_Deveraux

Tara Sheets
Author Website: https://tarasheets.com/
FB: @TaraSheetsBooks
Insta: @tarasheets
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17082616.Tara_Sheets

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Excerpt

Prologue

For an angel as old as Agon, there was nothing new under the sun, or above. After thousands of years studying the human condition, he’d pretty much seen it all. Time didn’t lie. It proved over and over again that human beings were flawed. They led messy lives. They didn’t always learn from their mistakes. And yet, as he swooped into the Department of Destiny and prepared for another day of judging souls, he remained ever the optimist. Because time also had a way of proving that even in the face of all odds, love would prevail.
He landed silently in the misty chamber and slapped his associate on the back. “What’s up, Samael?”
The shorter angel jerked, fumbling for the clipboard in his hands. He gave Agon a scathing look of disapproval. “How many times must I tell you not to sneak up on me like that?”
“Oh, yes. Sorry,” Agon said breezily. “Who’s up next?”
Samael checked the clipboard with a heavy sigh. Pale curls framed his round face. Next to Agon’s imposing figure and dark hair, Samael looked almost boyish. But he’d been in charge of the Department of Destiny for over three hundred years, and he ran it with a stoic sense of justice that made him seem much older. “A grave disappointment, to be sure. The soul of Liam O’Connor stands judgment today.”
“Ah.” Agon shook his head sadly. “Poor Irish ruffian. Such a tragic love story, Liam and the fair Cora.”
“Those two should never have fallen in love,” Samael said with a scowl. “It shattered all of our plans. For over a century! So many destinies were ruined because of it.” He tucked his wings neatly behind his back, then glanced at Agon. “Are you ready to call him in?”
“Yes.” Agon turned toward the wall of mist and pasted an encouraging smile on his face.
“I told you not to do that,” Samael said. “This is serious business. We must reflect the gravity of the situation through our appearance and mannerisms.”
“But humans like smiles,” Agon said. “I thought perhaps it would make him feel more comfortable.”
“His soul hangs in the balance between heaven and hell, and we’re about to judge it,” Samael said flatly. “Who could possibly be comfortable with that?”
“Right.” Agon arranged his features to appear as bleak and unyielding as the surrounding chamber.
“Much better,” Samael said with a nod. Then he raised his hand and called into the void. “I summon the soul of Liam O’Connor.”
Like a cannonball hurled through a cloud, a man shot out of the mist, tumbling head over heels to land before the angels in a tangle of curses and grunts. Unlike other souls who were called to the Department of Destiny, Liam did not rise on unsteady feet, shaking with fear, terrified to stand judgment for his past life’s choices. Instead, he jumped up, slapping at wisps of fog still clinging to his hair and clothing, dark eyes casually scanning the room.
Samael regarded him coolly. “Do you know why you’ve been summoned to the Chamber of Judgment?”
Liam raised a dark brow. “Judgment day, I’d imagine?” For someone who stood on the brink of eternal damnation, he was far too nonchalant. But the angels knew this was part of his act. Liam O’Connor was no stranger to deception.
“We have reviewed your past life and found you wanting,” Samael said. He flicked his hand, and moving images suddenly appeared in the misty wall. Liam picking pockets. Breaking into houses. Liam running through the forest carrying a bag of stolen jewels. A stagecoach in the background with victims shouting after him. A musket ball shattering the branch of a tree near his head. Liam laughing in the face of danger.
“You were a thief,” Samael said. “And you stole from innocent people. Often.”
“Well…” Liam crossed his arms and leaned against the wall of mist. “Crops were failing. I only stole to help put food on the table. Simple as that.”
“Do not attempt to lie to us,” Samael said coldly. “We can see into your soul, Liam O’Connor, and we know the truth. You enjoyed stealing. You reveled in your life as a thief.”
“Fine.” Liam pushed off the wall and began to pace, dragging the tips of his fingers through the roiling fog. “I did enjoy thieving, and I was good at it, too. I was never any good at farming. But I kept my brother’s family from starving, didn’t I? That has to count for something.”
Samael gazed at him sternly. “You didn’t only steal objects.” He flicked his hand and another image appeared, a sweet, innocent young woman with glossy blond curls and rosy cheeks. She had a round, pretty face with a nose just a little too prominent, and a smile just a little too trusting. She was holding out a rose.
“Cora,” Liam breathed. He stepped closer, but the image of the young woman vanished. “Bring her back!” He grasped at the fog with both hands. “Let me see her again.”
“She wasn’t meant for you, ruffian,” Samael said. “You stole her from her fiancé.”
“But I loved her,” Liam shot back. “And she—”
“You interfered with her destiny,” Samael interrupted. “She was supposed to marry that man, and together they were going to raise a child who would someday help the world.”
Liam scowled. “Her fiancé didn’t deserve her. She wanted me. It was me she loved in the end.”
“Ah, yes,” Samael said icily. “The end.”
Liam glanced away.
“Things ended very badly for her, as you well know,” Samael continued. “For both of you. And now, because of you, Cora’s soul has never found peace. In every new life we’ve given her, she’s afraid to fall in love. She never lives long enough to fulfill her destiny.” He flicked his hand again.
This time, terrible images appeared. Cora as a young nurse, caring for soldiers during an outbreak of scarlet fever…dying in a hospital bed. Cora as a nanny, rushing to save a young child from the path of a runaway horse…dying in the street. Cora working in a factory during WWII…dying in an explosion.
The angels knew Liam wouldn’t understand some of the things he was seeing, but the message was very clear. Cora’s life always ended in tragedy.
“Enough!” Liam flung his hands up, scrubbing his face. “Just tell me my fate. Is it to be hell, then?”
The angels exchanged glances.
“It is true you’ve done much wrong in your life,” Samael said. “But you’ve also done some good. For this reason, we’re going to give you a chance at redemption.”
Liam’s head shot up. He glanced back and forth between the two angels.
“Cora is on earth again in this twenty-first century,” Samael said. “You must make sure she fulfills her true destiny in this life.”
“But…how?”
“There is a man named Finley Walsh. He is her true soul mate—the man she must marry. The man she was destined to marry until you ruined everything. This time, you will see that Cora falls in love with the right man.”
Liam scowled and kicked the floor, displacing wisps of fog. He grumbled under his breath, then glanced up. “Will she remember me?”
“Of course not,” Samael said. “Certainly not as you remember her. The role you play this time will be…much different.”
Liam narrowed his eyes but remained silent.
“You have three months to complete the task,” Samael continued in clipped tones. “We will bestow upon you some knowledge of the current century, but it won’t be an easy transition. If anyone questions your struggles with modern technology, just explain you’re from a very rural town.”
Liam raised his chin. “What if I tell them the truth?”
Samael let out a huff of amusement. “That you’re a transplanted soul from 1844 Ireland? Good luck with that.” He slid the clipboard into a pocket of mist. “Three months, Liam O’Connor. Get Cora to fall in love with Finley. It is imperative that this happens. If you fail—and that includes sleeping with her—you will be sent straight to…”
All the light in the chamber vanished, plunging them into icy darkness.
“Hell.” Samael’s voice echoed off the chamber walls like a war drum.
“And if I succeed?” Liam whispered.
The light snapped back on.
“Heaven,” Samael said matter-of-factly. “Now, off you go.” He started to lift his hand.
“Wait!” Liam cried. “If Cora’s been on earth living all these different lives, where have I been the whole time?”
“Suspended up here,” Samael said. “Waiting for us to decide if you deserved a chance at redemption. I do hope you are worthy of it. Goodbye, ruffian.” He waved his hand a final time, and a hole opened in the mist beneath Liam’s feet.
They could hear him yelling for a long time as he fell, even after the hole closed.
Agon chuckled. “That was a rather dramatic exit, don’t you think?”
Samael shrugged. “I thought the moment could use a bit of theatrics.”
“And the flickering lights with the echoing voice?” Agon elbowed him in the ribs. “Nice job.”
Samael pressed his lips together and tried to look stern, but Agon could tell he was pleased.
They turned to the wall of mist as the image of Liam appeared. His body floated to earth, landing softly on a bed of leaves on the forest floor. He glanced around in a daze, his lips slowly curving into a smile.
“He always loved the forest,” Agon said wistfully.
“I thought he could use a moment here to reflect on his past, before we send him to work,” Samael said.
Liam’s eyes drooped. His dark lashes fluttered once. Twice. And then he slipped into a deep, dream-filled sleep.
“You didn’t tell him the truth.” Agon turned to Samael. “About the child.”
“He’s not ready to hear that—and neither is she.”
Agon glanced back to the image of Liam’s slumbering form. “Do you think he’ll succeed?”
Samael frowned. “What’s that human saying about a snowball’s chance?”
Agon shook his head. “It eludes me.”
“No matter.” Samael expanded his wings and stretched. “Time will tell.”
“Yes,” Agon mused. “Time always does.”

Excerpted from Chance of a Lifetime by Jude Deveraux and Tara Sheets, Copyright © Deveraux Inc. Published by MIRA Books.

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The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox @harlequinbooks @HesterBFox #review #historicalfiction

Overview

The dead won’t bother you if you don’t give them permission.

Boston, 1844.

Tabby has a peculiar gift: she can communicate with the recently departed. It makes her special, but it also makes her dangerous.

As an orphaned child, she fled with her sister, Alice, from their charlatan aunt Bellefonte, who wanted only to exploit Tabby’s gift so she could profit from the recent craze for seances.

Now a young woman and tragically separated from Alice, Tabby works with her adopted father, Eli, the kind caretaker of a large Boston cemetery. When a series of macabre grave robberies begins to plague the city, Tabby is ensnared in a deadly plot by the perpetrators, known only as the “Resurrection Men.”

In the end, Tabby’s gift will either save both her and the cemetery—or bring about her own destruction.

Review

Tabby and her sister have run away from home. They are orphans and have been taken in by their aunt and uncle. It is not exactly a life meant for children, especially gifted children. So, they runaway. Alice leaves Tabby on the steps of a church while she finds lodging for the evening. Alice never returns. Tabby hides in the cemetery. And oh boy….does this lead to some strange happenings.

Tabby sees dead people. She really does. So staying in a cemetery is not exactly the best situation for her. But Eli, the caretaker, takes her in and gives her a home. But, strange things occur. Bodies start to disappear from fresh graves. Tabby gets ensnared with the resurrection men and it threatens her young life.

Tabby is a fabulous young woman and she is determined to put a stop to the madness. But, when there is a threat to Eli, Tabby has to take different actions.

Oh wow! What a crazy, unique tale. The setting, the characters, the mystery all meld together to create a tale you will not soon forget.

Grab your copy today.

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

About the Author

Hester Fox is a full-time writer and mother, with a background in museum work and historical
archaeology. Most weekends you can find Hester exploring one of the many historic cemeteries
in the area, browsing bookshops, or enjoying a seasonal latte while writing at a café. She lives
outside of Boston with her husband and their son.

Author links

http://hesterfox.com/
TWITTER: @HesterBFox
Insta: @trotfoxwrite
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17440931.Hester_Fox

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Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker #thriller #review #fiction @stmartinspress @Wendy_Walker

Overview

In Wendy Walker’s thrilling novel Don’t Look for Me, the greatest risk isn’t running away. It’s running out of time.

One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life.

She doesn’t want to be found.

Or at least, that’s the story.

The car abandoned miles from home.

The note found at a nearby hotel.

The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

They called it a “walk away.”

It happens all the time.

Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.

But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?

Review

Molly’s life has not turned out the way she expected. After losing her young daughter, her family has fallen apart. Her husband is having an affair. Her older daughter has dropped out of high school. And her young son shunned her the last time she appeared at a game. Would they even care if she walked away? This has crossed her mind several times in the past couple of weeks. But, did this really happen the night Molly disappeared? The police think so…

Oh wow! So much to say about this novel. Molly is a character which pulls at your heartstrings. She is struggling to survive and keep her family together. Then…something else happens. Can you tell I am trying not to give anything away!

Nic, Molly’s older daughter, is the one who refuses to give up. She knows her mother is out there. Her mother did not WALK AWAY! Nic faces adversity at every turn. The police are no help. They believe Molly walked away. It has happened before in their little town. No way is Nic giving up.

This story is full of intensity and intrigue! I was mesmerized from the very beginning. And then…when you find out exactly who is behind the disappearance…OMG!

Grab your copy today!

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

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A Secret Crush Seduction by Jayci Lee Excerpt and Spotlight @harlequinbooks #excerpt #spotlight

Overview

She’s done waiting for what she really wants…Aspiring fashion designer Adelaide Song wants to prove she’s more than just a pampered heiress. All she needs is a little courage—and the help of deliciously sexy Michael Reynolds, her childhood crush and her brother’s best friend. But when her secret crush turns into an illicit liaison, Adelaide realizes mixing business with pleasure spells trouble for all her plans…

Harlequin Desire transports you to the worlds of the American elite—oil barons, family dynasties, business moguls and celebrities. Get ready for juicy plot twists, delicious sensuality and intriguing scandal.

About the Author

Jayci Lee writes poignant, sexy, and laugh-out-loud romance every free second she can scavenge. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. At times, she cannot accommodate real life because her brain is full of drool worthy heroes and badass heroines clamoring to come to life.Because of all the books demanding to be written, Jayci writes full-time now, and is semi-retired from her fifteen-year career as a defense litigator. She loves food, wine, and travelling, and incidentally so do her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal, and she hopes her books will do the same for you.

http://www.jaycilee.com/

Excerpt


What the hell kind of boy band medley is this?
A handful of young women—much younger than Adelaide Song’s twenty-six years—were spinning around in a circle on the dance floor at Pendulum, screaming along to some bubblegum pop song. It was early in the evening, and they were sloppy drunk.
Adelaide was most definitely not in the mood to play Ring Around the Rosie at her cousin Colin’s nightclub. After the face-off she’d just had with her grandmother, she needed to lose herself in good music and dance off her frustration.
What was the Tuesday DJ doing up there on a Friday night anyway? She hunted down Tucker, the top DJ and manager-in-training, to remedy the situation.
“Hi, Tucker.”
“Hey, Adelaide. You haven’t been in for a while. How are you doing?”
“I’ve had better days.” She smiled wryly. “Why is Ethan up there? I can really do without the
over-the-top pop tonight. It’s a Saturday night. Let’s get some real jam going.” Adelaide looked over her shoulder and out into the club. “By the way, where’s Colin?”
“He had a meeting and asked me to hold down the fort.” The heavily pierced and tattooed DJ stared at his shoes and fidgeted under her scrutiny. “Ethan begged me to let him play for an hour, and I felt bad for the guy. He’s a good kid.”
“A good kid who is playing Tuesday night pop on a Saturday night.”
“I got you. I’ll take over,” he said with a shy smile. “Thank you. You’re the best.”
And it was true. He was an immensely talented DJ, and he should be proud of his mad skills.
Within minutes, the sensuous, liberating strains of Tucker’s magic filled the air and calmed the tremors of frustration quaking under Adelaide’s skin.
For the last two years since she’d finished her MBA, Adelaide had been begging her grandmother to let her take her place at Hansol Corporation—the family’s multibillion- dollar apparel empire—but her answer was always, “Maybe next year.” It broke Adelaide’s heart because those words really meant that Grandmother still hadn’t forgiven her for her wild years in college.
It had been a time of switching from boyfriend to boyfriend, partying too hard to care about classes and distancing herself from the family. It wasn’t until her last year in college that she’d rediscovered her thirst for knowledge. She had cleaned up her act and learned to balance her responsibilities and recreations. That was nearly six years ago. But to her family, she was still an irresponsible wild child incapable of contributing any-thing of worth to Hansol. She felt a twinge of shame at her desperate plea to her grandmother. I’m not that kid anymore.
Refusing to let herself drown in sadness, Adelaide strode to the dance floor with sharp clicks of her stilettos and headed for a corner stage raised three feet from the floor. She gripped the railing when she reached the top and exhaled through pursed lips. Then she closed her eyes and let the music flow through her. The rhythm always grew in the pit of her gut and spread to her hips, legs, then the rest of her body. When it filled her to the brim, she danced.
Everything disappeared as it always did. Her loneliness. Her insecurities. Her grandmother with her dis-missive words and disappointed eyes. They all shrank and blurred as she moved her body, carried away by the music and its beat.
Her song came on. The bass in the music shook the dance floor and pounded in her blood. Primal and raw. She closed her eyes and lifted her arms above her head, tracing the outlines of the song with her body. She no longer existed. There was the song and she was its instrument. Adelaide wasn’t there anymore. She just danced. Danced until she was erased.

She heard a rough growl from beside her. The sound merged with the music in its feral possessiveness. It wasn’t until a pair of strong hands grasped her upper arms that she realized a person had emitted the sound. A very tall, blazingly furious man person.
“Goddammit, Addy. What are you doing here?”
“Good to see you, too,” she said with cool detachment.
Inside, she shivered with awareness and need that refused to be stilled. Michael Reynolds. Her
older brother’s best friend, and her first love. Unrequited, of course. He treated her like she was his kid sister for the most part. In the meantime, she was burning up from his innocuous touch.
“Let me take you home,” he said. “Your grandmother’s worried about you.”
Damn it. She wasn’t finished flushing out the anger and melancholy from her system. Her insecurities were rampaging in her mind, and she couldn’t handle any more heartache tonight. So she closed her eyes again and danced to make Michael disappear, as well.
Since he still held her arms, she placed her hands on his broad chest and assumed the junior high slow dance position. But rather than shift awkwardly from foot to foot, she swerved her body in languid waves in time with the music. Michael stood frozen for a few beats, then expelled a sound between a cough and curse.
“I’m taking you home. Now.” He abruptly picked her up off the floor with an arm under her thighs and the other cradling her back, frowning down at her with the same look everyone bestowed on her. Disappointment.
Enough.
“Stop with the Kevin Costner impersonation, and put me down,” she said, pushing against his shoulder.
“No way.” A hint of humor sparked in his eyes. “I remember how fast you can run. I’m not in the mood to chase you.”
Adelaide spied movement from the corner of her eyes. The club bouncers were heading toward them with fists clenched. They knew she was Colin’s cousin and were a protective lot, and Michael was carrying her out of the club, looking angry as hell.
“Oh, for God’s sake. I’m not a ten-year-old, Michael.” She struggled in earnest. If the idiot didn’t put her down, he would get beaten to a pulp by the bouncers before she could de-escalate the situation. “You need to put me down. I’ll walk out with you.”
“Adelaide? You all right?” Too late. Four of the loyal bouncers had surrounded them. “I suggest you get your hands off of her, buddy.”
“I suggest you go back to your posts, gentlemen.” Michael’s arms tightened around her, and a dark, recklessness entered his eyes. Why was he acting like this? “I’m escorting Ms. Song home.”

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Before She was Helen by Caroline B. Cooney @PPPress @carolinebcooney #fiction #review

Overview

As Before She Was Helen opens, readers are drawn into what appears to be a light, retirement-community caper. But author Caroline B. Cooney quickly flips expectations upside-down in this deceptively dark mystery. Between old crimes and fresh murders, septuagenarian protagonist Clemmie faces an unspeakable fear that will keep readers hooked in this twisty whodunit.”-Julie Hyzy, New York Times bestselling author

From the critically acclaimed, international bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney comes a domestic thriller perfect for fans of mystery books by Laura Lippman and Alice Feeney.

Her life didn’t turn out the way she expected—so she made herself a new one

When Clemmie goes next door to check on her difficult and unlikeable neighbor Dom, he isn’t there. But something else is. Something stunning, beautiful and inexplicable. Clemmie photographs the wondrous object on her cell phone and makes the irrevocable error of forwarding it. As the picture swirls over the internet, Clemmie tries desperately to keep a grip on her own personal network of secrets. Can fifty years of careful hiding under names not her own be ruined by one careless picture?

And although what Clemmie finds is a work of art, what the police find is a body. . . and she was the last person at the crime scene, where she left her fingerprints. Suddenly thrown into the heart of a twisted investigation, Clemmie finds herself the uncomfortable subject of intense scrutiny. And the bland, quiet life Clemmie has built for herself in her sleepy South Carolina retirement community comes crashing down as her dark past surges into the present.

From international bestselling author of The Face on the Milk Carton Caroline B. Cooney comes Before She Was Helen, an absorbing mystery that brings decades-old secrets to life and explores what happens when the lie you’ve been living falls apart and you’re forced to confront the truth.

Review

Helen finds a unique sculpture in her neighbors house…a house she is not supposed to be in. This sculpture leads to a death and a possible drug deal in her retirement community. Plus, Helen has a secret or two or three of her own. These are secrets she has kept well hidden for years but now, these secrets are coming back to haunt her.

Oh boy…did I love Clemmie or rather Helen…her alias. Yep…you heard right. She has a secret life and you just have to hear her story as to why and how she ended up as Helen. She is a great person and she has been through so much. And now it is all threatened. And then the story twists again. How much more can the reader take! I was stressed to the max reading this tale!

This story just reels you in. And honestly, I kept guessing and just plain guessing wrong! I love that! I love an author which keeps me on my toes and this one surely did!

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

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The Forger’s Daughter by Bradford Morrow #review #fiction

Overview

The author of the acclaimed suspense novel The Forgerreturns to the dangerously rarified world of literary forgery in this tense sequel.

When a scream shatters the summer night outside their country house in the Hudson Valley, reformed literary forger Will and his wife Meghan find their daughter Maisie shaken and bloodied, holding a parcel her attacker demanded she present to her father. Inside is a literary rarity the likes of which few have ever handled, and a letter laying out impossible demands regarding its future.

After twenty years on the straight and narrow, Will finds himself ensnared in a plot to counterfeit the rarest book in American literature: Edgar Allan Poe’s Tamerlane, of which only a dozen copies are known to exist. Facing threats from his former nemesis Henry Slader, Will must rely on the artistic skills of his older daughter Nicole to help create a flawless forgery of this Holy Grail of American letters.Part mystery, part case study of the shadowy side of the book trade, and part homage to the writer who invented the detective tale, The Forger’s Daughter draws readers into the diabolically clever—and, for some, inescapable—world of literary forgery.

Review

Will has been walking a clean line for quite a few years. But, he is reeled back into the forger arena by his enemy. He is asked to forge Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tamerlane. Will must rely on his daughter to help with this project. This is not what he ever planned to happen.

I had a hard time with this book. It sounds just like something I would absolutely love. But, the way it is written just did not work very well for me. The story is told in several points of view with no separation. This might be corrected on the final copy. But, half the time, when I realized which one was narrating a section, I would have to back up and figure out what was going on. There is a good bit of history in this and that is enjoyable but just a little confusing in some areas.

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

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The Book of Hidden Wonders by Polly Crosby @harlequinbooks #fiction #excerpt

Overview
THE BOOK OF HIDDEN WONDERS (Park Row Books; September 1, 2020; $27.99 USD), a beautifully imaginative story of a father and daughter growing older together, their magical world of stories, and a fantastical treasure hunt that leads to a priceless and shocking family secret.
Romilly Kemp grows up with her eccentric father and her adorable cat Monty within the walls of a dilapidated mansion in the scenic English countryside. As Romilly has trouble fitting in with her classmates, she turns to her reliable furry friend, and as her father struggles to make ends
meet, he turns to his art and writes children’s books based on Romilly and Monty. Soon, the tiny Kemp family’s world changes with the unexpected success of The Kemp Treasure Girl books and Romilly is thrust into the spotlight as their home is overrun by tourists looking for a treasure whose clues lie within the illustrations of her father’s stories.

As they both grow older, Romilly and her father begin to grow apart, and Romilly turns to his books to find the connection they have lost. And much to her surprise, the rumors were true – between the pages of The Kemp Treasure Girl stories are the clues that start Romilly on an unforgettable journey that leads her to the heart of a mysterious family secret worth far more than the gold and jewels the tourists on her estate have been searching for.

Excerpt

Prologue 

You probably know me as the Kemp Treasure Girl. Maybe you had the books as a child. Perhaps your dad read them to you in those wilting hours of sleep where books become dreams and dreams become books. Did you look for the treasure, digging in your garden, unsure of what you were searching for?

Mine was an unusual infamy for one so young. Not an all-encompassing, celebrity fame, but one that flattened me into two dimensions and picked out the colour of my eyes and my dress. One that stopped people in the street and made their necks crane back round to gaze at me.

The version of me in the books was my friend. She was always there for me, sharing in my adventures, appearing at the lifting of a page. But children grow up, and as I grew taller and wiser, Romilly Kemp in the book stayed young and innocent, a sickly-sweet imposter who wore my dress and suckled at my father’s love, leeching it away until there was barely any left for me at all.

But then I made a real friend. Someone I could trust: someone who knew intimately my deepest, darkest thoughts even if I dare not acknowledge them myself.

But the beginnings of a friendship are like the beginning of a book: you never know how they will turn out until the very end.

One

Braër was an ancient farmhouse. A month of living there had still not unearthed a fraction of its secrets.

As I ran from the house, tugging on unfamiliar wellies, I stared up at Braër’s mossy roof and dirty walls. Dad told me that it had probably once been called Brother Farm, but time and the soft Suffolk accent had changed it.

The house itself was long and low and surrounded on three sides by a moat clogged with cowpats and slime. Perched in the water at one end was a gargoyle, with a sinister, winking face. It ogled me as I ran past, its eyes bulbous and staring.

On the south side of the house, down an overgrown path stretched a bumpy meadow filled with sagging grass. It was the perfect camp for my newly invented invisible army, and the edge of my territory. I could go there on my own, making pretend campfires and having sword fights with prickly bushes, knowing that I was safe. I could barely see the house above the long, scratchy grass.

As I set off down the path, a sharp whistle brought me back. Dad was stooped in the back door, his huge shoulders nearly touching the frame on either side. Something small and snow-like was curled up in his open palm.

            ‘What is it?’

            ‘I wanted to draw one, so, why not?’ he said, planting the tiny kitten into my eager arms, and suddenly it was mine. ‘It’s a Siamese,’ he said, wiping his hands on his trousers, leaving a snail’s trail of white fur on the corduroy.

‘Is it a girl or boy?’ I asked, trying to look through the fur at the correct place.      

            ‘A boy.’ Dad crouched down, looking at me as I hugged the kitten. Briefly he reached forward and touched my cheek, and I leant into the roughness of his hand. ‘Yes,’ he said to himself, his voice a growl of love, ‘it’s that look in your eyes, right there that I want to capture.’ He straightened up, his knees creaking. ‘I’m going to need to paint him. And you, of course. I have an idea…’ he trailed off. Frowning at me, he turned on his heel and entered the house, leaving the kitten and I alone.

            I examined his bony body. He was small and soft, and smelt of wee and sawdust.  He had pale creamy fur tinged with chocolate brown at each edge. As I was studying him, he uncurled himself, tipping off my arms and towards the moat below us. I caught him by the tail just in time, tucking him back safely into the crook of my arm. He opened his eyes for the first time and stared at me with big, red-blue irises. He was hot and slightly sticky-damp in my hands, and I loved him immediately.

            I balanced him on my shoulder and made my way up the two flights of stairs to my bedroom, filling the kitten in on the minutiae of our lives.

            ‘Dad lost his university job ages ago, and he’s been trying to work out what to do with himself ever since,’ I said, tickling him under his chin as I ran up the second staircase; the tiny windy one that Dad was forever tripping up on. ‘He says we’ve moved here so he can paint instead of teach art. It’s the summer holidays, and I’m going to be nine soon, and Dad says he might have to give me a painting instead of a real present for my birthday, but that’s okby me because his paintings are like stories made real. He says someone has to make money, or we’ll be living on bread crusts and moat water. Here, this is us.’

I pushed open the three-foot-high door that marked the entrance to my vast bedroom.

The kitten perked up as we climbed through into the huge, bright space. It was the shape of a tent, one of those old-fashioned tents – a huge triangle. And it felt like a tent too: when it was windy outside, the air caught beneath all the beams and vibrated until you felt like there was nothing but thin canvas between you and the sky.

When Dad had first shown me my room, I spent the entire day in there, not daring to believe all this space belonged to me. There were dustsheets over the furniture, and in the corner, a pretty parasol leant against the wall as if the young lady it had belonged to had left it there only moments before. I liked to open it up and walk the length of the room in a sedate manner, pretending I was as posh as the young lady who had owned it last.

I tipped the kitten onto the bed, and studied him. ‘You look like someone important,’ I said, ‘and important people have long names. How about Captain Montgomery of the Second Regiment?’ Montgomery seemed satisfied with his name, and curled up happily on the quilt.

Excerpted from The Book of Hidden Wonders by Polly Crosby, Copyright © 2020 by Polly Crosby. 

Published by Park Row Books

Author Bio

POLLY CROSBY grew up on the Suffolk coast and now lives deep in the Norfolk countryside. Last year, THE BOOK OF HIDDEN WONDERS was awarded runner up in the Bridport Prize’s Peggy Chapman Andrews Award for a First Novel, and Polly also won Curtis Brown Creative’s Yesterday Scholarship, which enabled her to finish the novel. She currently holds the Annabel Abbs Scholarship at the University of East Anglia, where she is studying part time for an MA in Creative Writing whilst working on her second novel.

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The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain @suzyapbooktours @drmerylain #fiction #review

About The Book : 

With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced PersonsCamp, hoping to build a new life.

Soon after their arrival, however, a neighbor is arrested by the FBI for suspected involvement in the Rosenberg spy case―and they find themselves in the midst of one of the most notorious court cases of theRed Scare. In the years after WWII, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture, as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War.

Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their community brings the Holocaust out of the shadows. As the girls get older, they start to wonder about their parents’ pasts,and they begin to demand answers. But it soon becomes clear that those memories will be more difficult and painful to uncover than they could have anticipated.

Poignant and haunting, The Takeaway Men explores the impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, secrets, and lies on parents and children in mid-twentieth-century America.

Review

Bronka and Joanna Lubinski are twins. They have survived the Holocaust and are now immigrants in America. It is not as easy as it sounds. They are struggling to overcome many barriers. Then it is discovered that a former Nazi is actually living among them in their community. All the fears and the secrets of the past are now at the forefront of their lives.

This is a unique story of the aftermath and the struggle to overcome the terrors of the Holocaust and to just basically survive. This family has been through so much and it just keeps on coming. This novel captivated me. The secrets and the lies…oh boy! You need to read this to find out!

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

About The Author:

Meryl Ain’s articles and essays have appeared in Huffington Post, The Jewish Week, The New York Times, and Newsday, and at MariaShriver.com, among other outlets. In 2014, she co authored the award-winning book The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last, and in 2016 she wrote a companion workbook, My Living Memories Project Journal. 

She is both a student and teacher of history, as well as a school administrator and researcher. She holds a BA from Queens College, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an EdD from Hofstra University. She lives in New York with her husband, Stewart. They have three married sons and six grandchildren. This is her first novel.

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Twitter: @DrMerylAin

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