An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham @stmartinspress @lauraTrentham #music #romance #fiction

Overview

From award-winning author Laura Trentham comes an emotionally layered novel about redemption, second chances and discovering that life is worth fighting for.

At thirty, Greer Hadley never expected to be forced home to Madison, Tennessee with her life and dreams up in flames. A series of bad decisions and even worse luck lands her community service hours at a nonprofit organization that aids veterans and their families. Greer cannot fathom how she’s supposed to help anyone deal with their trauma and loss when everything that brought her joy has failed her.

Then Greer meets fifteen-year-old Ally Martinez, a gifted girl who lost her father in action and now hides her pain behind a mask of sarcasm. But Greer sees something undeniable that she can’t walk away from. To make matters more complicated, Greer finds herself spending more and more time with Emmett Lawson—a man with both physical and emotional scars of his own. When a situation with Ally becomes dire, the two of them must become a team to save her—and along the way they might just save themselves too.

Review

Greer has made a mess of her life. She has tried and failed to make it in Nashville. Her long time boyfriend cheated on her…she CAUGHT HIM IN THE ACT! Then she destroyed a bar and ended up in front of her uncle, the judge. Instead of sentencing her to pick up trash, he made her community service about music. The one thing she is trying to forget! She is to volunteer at a non profit organization which helps veterans and their families heal through music.

Greer has been given two of the hardest cases in the organization. A teenage girl, Ally, who lost her father in military action. And then there is Emmett. Emmett is a mess as well. He lost his leg and his will to function in this world. When these two get together sparks fly, in anger and attraction!

Now, I fluctuated between 4 and 5 stars on this read. The main reason I went with 5 stars…the music! Many, many times in my life music has been my lifesaver. It is in this book as well. Music can heal if you let it. And that is exactly what the author portrays in this read. This book does slow down a little in the middle but the characters, trauma and the healing really create a great read.

Now…this cover is not at all what the book is about. I guess the design was meant to portray tranquility…sooo not what I got out of the book. Music as the cover would have been much better, in my opinion. But, it is still a very good read! Grab this one today!

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

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January Escapes and Escapades #wrapup #januaryreads

January was THE LONGEST MONTH EVER! But, my month was full of escapades and wonderful escapes. We will start with the escapades!

First…I had lunch with a good friend’s mother. My friend, who shall not be named (no, it is not Voldemort!) lives in NYC and her mother lives in Memphis. I had to travel to Memphis one day and I was by myself. I just up and decided to take this sweet lady to lunch! We had a wonderful conversation, mostly about…NAMELESS!

Next up in the escapades series…a trip to my FAVORITE BOOK STORE EVER! Square Books in Oxford, MS. If you are ever traveling this way…DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE!

I buy most of my signed books there.

This was my signed book haul!

I also created a new reading journal.

It is almost too pretty to write in!

And finally the highlight of the whole month! Seeing the these three lovely ladies!

Lauren Willig, Beatriz Williams and Karen White!

Soooooo, I had a very eventful January full of escapades….NOW ON TO THE ESCAPES!

I started 2020 off right with some fabulous reads….HERE WE GO!

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain @D_Chamberlain @StMartinsPress #review #5stars

Words I Never Wrote by Jane Thynne #review #historicalfiction @janethynne @randomhouse

Cartier’s Hope by M.J. Rose @AtriaBooks @MJRose #historicalfiction #review

Whispers of War by Julia Kelly @gallerybooks #review #historicalfiction

Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis @jillshalvis @WmMorrowBooks #review #fiction

Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict @sourcebooks #historicalfiction #bookexpo2019

The Road to Delano by John DeSimone

I also read Ask Again, Yes. This was our book club selection. It was a good read but very sad!

Well, that is it for January Escapes and Escapades! NOW ON TO FEBRUARY!

Thanks for stopping by!

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January Audible Reads #audiobooks #audible #audiblebooks

I had a fantastic audible book month. Every one of these titles are great reads. The one which stands out the most is Elton John! I laughed and I cried and I WANT TO LISTEN TO IT AGAIN! I know I missed something.

The narrator is so amazing in this read!

Me Elton John

You would think I would be tired of WWII books! This one is a different take on it…it is about Manila. It is wonderful!

Along The Broken Bay

This last one was the least favorite of the month. It is a good read, just not as good as I expected. Or rather…the hype.

Such A Fun Age

What were some of your favorite audible books this month? Inquiring minds want to know!

Thanks for stopping by!

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A Man Called Smith by Tanya E Williams @tanya_breathes @suzyapbooktours @SuzyApproved #historicalfiction

Overview

A battle-scarred father. A disillusioned daughter. Can a grieving widower rebuild his splintered family to find peace at last?

South Dakota, 1949. WWII veteran John Smith longs for the life he lost after the tragic death of his wife during childbirth. But in the desperation to provide for his two small children, he is manipulated into an unsuitable marriage by a young woman with a dark neurosis. Tormented by his own grief and the ravages of war, John is blind to his children’s turmoil and pain. 

 Washington State, 1964. John’s sixteen-year-old daughter Calla dreams of a life beyond her vindictive stepmother. Forced to care for her younger siblings with a list of household demands larger than she is tall, Calla knows it’s only a matter of time until she can escape the abuse and begin anew at college. But her dreams crumble when her heartless stepmother claims the college fund for her own selfish purposes. 

 As John fears he is too late to stop the war within his home, Calla vows to build a new life worth living. 

 Can John survive the consequences of war on the home front? Can Calla find the strength to rediscover the meaning of family.

 A Man Called Smith is the heartwarming and heart wrenching conclusion to a gripping historical fiction series following the life of John Smith. If you like courageous characters and narratives told over multiple generations, then you’ll love Tanya E. Williams’ emotional tale.

https://tanyaewilliams.com/book-trailer-for-a-man-called-smith/

About the Author:

A writer from a young age, Tanya E Williams loves to help a reader get lost in another time, another place through the magic of books. History continues to inspire her stories and her insightfulness into the human condition deepens her character’s experiences and propels them on their journey. Ms. Williams’ favourite tales, speak to the reader’s heart, making them smile, laugh, cry, and think. https://tanyaewilliams.com/

Social Media:

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

Instagram: https://instagram.com/tanyaewilliams_author

Twitter: @tanya_breathes 

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tanya-e-williams

Review

Calla is struggling to overcome the abuse caused by her step mother. She is determined to go to college and have a completely different life. This all changes when her stepmother steals her college fund.

Calla shows true strength during adversity. I felt for her and her situation. I was rooting for her all the way through this story. She is a great kid and does not deserve her lot in life. And believe me…it does not stop her one little bit.

This is an emotional read, almost too much of one. Basically because I ended up really….and I mean REALLY despising John Smith. He is way too passive as a father and I wanted to come through the pages and Gibb slap him….more than once. He really got my dander up. Now, I know he has been through so much but…there comes a time when your children must come first. So, I guess any book that creates this kind of anger in a reader…is a pretty dang good read.

I received this novel from the author and Suzy Approved Book tours for a honest review.

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Cartier’s Hope by M.J. Rose @AtriaBooks @MJRose #historicalfiction #review

Overview

From M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of Tiffany Blues, “a lush, romantic historical mystery” (Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale), comes a gorgeously wrought novel of ambition and betrayal set in the Gilded Age. 

New York, 1910: A city of extravagant balls in Fifth Avenue mansions and poor immigrants crammed into crumbling Lower East Side tenements. A city where the suffrage movement is growing stronger every day, but most women reporters are still delegated to the fashion and lifestyle pages. But Vera Garland is set on making her mark in a man’s world of serious journalism.

Shortly after the world-famous Hope Diamond is acquired for a record sum, Vera begins investigating rumors about schemes by its new owner, jeweler Pierre Cartier, to manipulate its value. Vera is determined to find the truth behind the notorious diamond and its legendary curses—even better when the expose puts her in the same orbit as a magazine publisher whose blackmailing schemes led to the death of her beloved father.

Appealing to a young Russian jeweler for help, Vera is unprepared when she begins falling in love with him…and even more unprepared when she gets caught up in his deceptions and finds herself at risk of losing all she has worked so hard to achieve.

Set against the backdrop of New York’s glitter and grit, of ruthless men and the atrocities they commit in the pursuit of power, this enthralling historical novel explores our very human needs for love, retribution—and to pursue one’s destiny, regardless of the cost.

Review

Vera is from a wealthy New York family. But, she does not let this hold her back. She has an alter ego… Vee Swann. Vee is actually a journalist. During this time period of the gilded age, this is a huge, out of the norm, job for a female. When Vera runs across a family secret plus a family “suicide”, she is determined for Vee to get revenge and crack the mystery of the Hope diamond.

This is not my favorite M.J. Rose story. But, that is not to say it is not good. It is delicious! I just actually figured this out. Unusual for me. And let me add…no doubt in my mind…no one does better female characters than this author. And Vera is the best! She does not conform to the women of the day. This stresses her mother beyond belief, which is an added side story. (Had me laughing in places).

There are so many twists and turns in this tale. M. J. does and excellent job with all the unique aspects. I was hooked from the start. The setting, the time period, the mystery and of course…the love interest…you must read this to find out!

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

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Words I Never Wrote by Jane Thynne #review #historicalfiction @janethynne @randomhouse

Overview

A chance discovery inside a vintage typewriter case reveals the gripping story of two sisters on opposite sides of World War II in this captivating novel for readers of Lilac Girls and The Women in the Castle.

New York, present day: On a whim, Juno Lambert buys a 1931 Underwood typewriter that once belonged to celebrated journalist Cordelia Capel. Within its case she discovers an unfinished novel, igniting a transatlantic journey to fill the gaps in the story of Cordelia and her sister and the secret that lies between them.

Europe, 1936: Cordelia’s socialite sister Irene marries a German industrialist who whisks her away to Berlin. Cordelia, feistier and more intellectual than Irene, gets a job at a newspaper in Paris, pursuing the journalism career she cherishes. As politics begin to boil in Europe, the sisters exchange letters and Cordelia discovers that Irene’s husband is a Nazi sympathizer. With increasing desperation, Cordelia writes to her beloved sister, but as life in Nazi Germany darkens, Irene no longer dares admit what her existence is truly like. Knowing that their letters cannot tell the whole story, Cordelia decides to fill in the blanks by sitting down with her Underwood and writing the truth.

When Juno reads the unfinished novel, she resolves to uncover the secret that continued to divide the sisters amid the turmoil of love, espionage, and war. In this vivid portrait of Nazi Berlin, from its high society to its devastating fall, Jane Thynne examines the truths we sometimes dare not tell ourselves.

Review

Juno buys and old typewriter. Inside she finds a manuscript and some letters. She does some research and finds out the author is a journalist like herself. This leads her on a quest to find out more, more than she bargained for.

This story revolves around two sisters, Cordelia in England and Irene in Berlin. Politics and war get in the way of their relationship and causes a huge tear. When the war is over Cordelia travels to Berlin as an interpreter. She finds her sister but it is not easy to repair the fissure in their relationship.

I fluctuated between three and four stars on this read. Basically because of the flow. I settled on four stars because of the ending. But, this story had a slow start, picked up, slowed down again, then ended well. It is very well researched and I enjoyed reading about Berlin before and after the war. It just has some flow issues. But it is not enough to make you put the book down. The mystery surrounding this story is intriguing and unique. So give it a go!

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

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Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis @jillshalvis @WmMorrowBooks #review #fiction

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Wildstone with the touching story of finding your place in the world—and the people who make it home.

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

Review

Piper has raised her siblings and is really wanting to go back to school and get her degree. But, as with all families, things change like the wind. Her brother and sister both show up with baggage they are not ready to share. Then to add to her distress…there is Cam. Cam is a love interest…absolutely NOT what she was looking for.

Cam and Piper are so good for each other. He really knows how to help her come out of her shell…in more ways than one….I loved Cam. He is a super nice guy, plus he is super HOT! As a matter of fact, I loved all the characters in this read. They all had their part to play and The complemented each other so well.

Let me say this about Jill Shalvis…she is a such a steady author! Her stories are always good, funny and will ALWAYS put a smile on your face. This book hit me at the right time. I needed something lite, but serious. This was perfect.

If you do not follow Jill on social media, you are missing out. She is a hoot! This is an author I have not met yet, but I would love to have a glass of wine and chat.

Let me add a little side note…this cover does not fit this story AT ALL. Piper is scared to go out on the water…and she takes care of a cat, not a dog.

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