Weekly Wrap Up: October 27th through November 9th 2019

Books I’ve Read:

Awakening

Agent Jack

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories

This Earl of Mine

Let It Be Me


Books with Pending Reviews:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Review coming November 4th


Books with Published Reviews:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Review Here

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore—Review Here

The Brutal Time—Review Here

Fever—Review Here

This Earl of Mine—Review Here

Let It Be Me—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:

All the Best Lies—St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

A Highlander in a Pickup—St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Wild, Wild Rake—St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Queen of the Unwanted—Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

The Other People—Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

No Mercy—Saint Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books

The Vanishing Season—Saint Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books


Author/Publisher Requests:

Been There, Married That—St. Martin’s Press


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Aces High—Book Blitz

Dark One’s Bride—Book Blitz

Forged by Fire—Book Blitz

My Path to You—Book Blitz

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Blog Tour

The Event—Book Blitz

The Brutal Time—Blog Tour

Angel Blue: Season One—Book Blitz

Death Among Us—Blog Tour

Dorothy in the Land of Monsters—Book Blitz

Princes of the Lower East Side—Book Blitz

On His Bended Knee—Book Blitz

Shopping for a Baby’s First Christmas—Book Blitz

All of Him Anthology-–Cover Reveal

This Earl of Mine—Blog Tour

Panic—Book Blitz

Disenchanted—Cover Reveal

Under His Skin—Book Blitz

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Excerpt

The Traveler—Book Blitz

The Assassin and The Soldier—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

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Blog Tour: The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by [Butland, Stephanie]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: October 29th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Where you can find The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.
She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point.
She knows she needs to find her father.
She’s missed so much that her friends have left her behind.
She’s felt so helpless for so long that she’s let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. And now she barely knows where to start on her own.

And then there’s Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn’t make it. And now she’s supposed to face all of this without him.

But her new heart is a bold heart.

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . .


First Line:

It’s 3 a.m. here in cardio-thoracic.

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

My review:

I wasn’t expecting how emotional The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae made me. I knew, going into it that it was a book about life after a transplant. The physical limitations, the medications that need to be taken, and don’t forget, the mental adjustment is enormous. The author did a fantastic job of showing that all.

The plotline for The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae was well written and well researched. There were a few times where I wished that there was a glossary for different medical terms. I liked the pacing of the book too. It wasn’t too fast, and it wasn’t too slow. It was just right for me to get settled in and read.

I liked Ailsa. The strength that she showed during the book was unbelievable. I mean, she had a heart transplant!! I loved her sense of humor and her determination to have a healthy life. There were things about her I didn’t like. She was too trusting and wore her heart on her sleeve. She battled her mother about her biological father. And then there was Seb….sigh.

I wasn’t a fan of the blog inserts. I get why the author wrote them. It gave additional insight into how Ailsa’s mind worked. It showed how her mindset evolved from right before the transplant to the end of the book. Still, I wasn’t a fan. I had an issue transitioning between the POV. It went from 2nd person (the blog posts) to 3rd person. Also, while I am on it, I wasn’t a fan of the articles written about Ailsa and Seb. To me, those articles show everything that is wrong with today’s society. No wonder Ailsa freaked out. I would have too.

Ailsa’s relationship with Seb was cute until the end. Then it got confusing. After that sound bit was released (and yes, it sounded awful), I wasn’t sure what they were. That last email between them only muddied the waters for me. I hate being confused!!!

I do want to mention that a lot of British and Scottish slang is used. I did have an issue with the Scottish slang. Mainly being that I only read historical Scottish romances and modern-day slang isn’t allowed. Again, it would have been handy to have a glossary included.

The storyline with Hayley, Ailsa, and her biological father broke my heart. I was with Ailsa at first. She had every right to learn about her biological father. I couldn’t understand why Hayley wasn’t so forthcoming. Then, at the end of the book, everything was revealed, and I understood. I won’t say much more about it except that Hayley handled everything like a BOSS!!! I loved her!!

The end of The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae was emotional for me. There was confusion about Seb and Ailsa. But it was the final chapter that had me sobbing. I loved it!!


I would give The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae an Older teen rating. There is a mention of sex. There is mild language. There is no violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

WWW Wednesday: October 30th, 2019

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

The Brutal Time Special Edition (Angelbound Origins Book 6) by [Bauer, Christina]

“This author’s words were spellbinding, I was in absolute bliss. This book produced a fiery blaze that was pure Myla!” – Book Reviews by Shalini

As the Great Scala, Myla Lewis is the only being who can move Purgatory’s souls to Heaven or Hell. It’s a big job. Too bad Myla goes through assistants faster than a hot knife through brownies. Not that it bothers her much; Myla’s always been a solo fighter.

Then comes the problem of the fading angels. Millions of Heavenly residents are dying. According to a prophecy, the only way Myla can save them is by traveling back in time, meeting King Arthur, and creating her own knights of the round table. The catch? Doing so might end the after-realms in a bloody demonpocalypse.

Yipes.

Myla and her main squeeze, Lincoln, aren’t afraid of taking a few chances (in between kisses). But this time the stakes may be too high, even for them. And the biggest challenge of all? Finding those knights.

Because Myla Lewis doesn’t play well with others. At all.

“These books don’t just capture your attention, they straight up demand it. Christina Bauer has created a fascinating and unique world that you do not want to miss out on.” – Bookhalolic Brittany

I am loving this book. From the plotline to the characters, I can’t get enough of it!!

The Brutal Time is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review on November 1st (blog tour).


I recently finished reading:

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories by [Bentley, Stephen, Alldredge, Greg, Artieri, Kelly, Kane, L. Lee, Spinelli, Michael, Cheadle, Robbie, Castaneda, Kay, Bauer, Justin, Locatelli, Aly]

Who knew death could be so eclectic? Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer.’

Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.

Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.

These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.

But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.

There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, LA, England, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.

The ten authors who have contributed to the anthology are:

Stephen Bentley
Greg Alldredge
Kelly Artieri
Robbie Cheadle
Michael Spinelli
L. Lee Kane
Kay Castaneda
Aly Locatelli
Justin Bauer
& ‘G’ Posthumously

Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lies behind them.By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up.

Get it now.

I normally don’t read anthologies. I find them hard to review. But I enjoyed this one!! This is the perfect book for Halloween!!

Death Among Us is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review tomorrow (blog tour)


What books I think I’ll read next:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by [Butland, Stephanie]

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.
She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point.
She knows she needs to find her father.
She’s missed so much that her friends have left her behind.
She’s felt so helpless for so long that she’s let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. And now she barely knows where to start on her own.

And then there’s Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn’t make it. And now she’s supposed to face all of this without him.

But her new heart is a bold heart.

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . .

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore (A Twisted Fairy Tale: A Young Adult Fantasy) by [Märgen, Birgitte]

“We all need someplace to escape, and sometimes the mind is just as good of a place as any.”

A trailer park Alice. A hole that traps souls. The white rabbit’s a tricky hare. And the world is upside down. This fairy tale just got twisty . . .

Rule One: Don’t eat or drink.
Rule Two: Never, ever tell anyone your name.
If ya do – your soul will be lost there forever.

How do I know? I been there myself. This is my story.

There was a full moon brimmin’ that night, and that meant strange things could happen. As I walked through the woods, I reckon I shoulda known by the way my hair stood up on end like Uncle Red’s toupee —that I shoulda coulda stayed home. I call it the willies, but grandpappy calls it premonition. One thing I can tell ya as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks: If you’re fix’n to wander way over yonder —it’s important to know the right direction.

What direction ya ask? Well, ya have to read the story to find that one out.

* * *

AFTER FALLING INTO a dark hole when she was running through the forest, Evie finds herself trapped in a strange new world that mirrors our own. Her only guide is a compass stick given to her by an angry gnome who lives in an ancient knobby tree. As she travels through the lands of this upside-down world she happens upon creatures that are twisted versions of fairytale folklore. A place where fairies bite, unicorns charge, mermaids are menacing, and nightmares are more than dreams. A world where the souls of those who could not follow the unspoken rules are trapped forever.

As a southern girl born on the wrong side of the tracks, Evie relies on the wisdom passed down by her grandpappy and the haunting memories of her mama to teach her perseverance of the soul. She learns that things are rarely what they seem as her world is turned upside down.

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter

This is the incredible tale of Operation Fifth Column, a Second World War MI5 operation so secret that its existence was only revealed by the National Archives for the first time in 2014.

It’s the true story behind Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription” and Anthony Quinn’s “Our Friends In Berlin”.

Throughout the war, “Jack King” – in reality, a bank clerk named Eric Roberts – pretended to be a Gestapo agent to whom hundreds of British-based Nazi sympathisers and informers passed their secrets, thinking that he was sending them back to Germany. Many were put on a salary by what they thought was the Third Reich and some were even ‘awarded’ Iron Crosses for their services to the Fatherland; they never found out the truth.

Among the secrets they tried to pass were: a tip-off about Bletchley Park; details of the deadly Mosquito bomber; complete plans of a highly effective anti-radar technology codenamed WINDOW. The larger-than-life characters who populate the book include Roberts himself, the deceptively ordinary-seeming bank clerk; Maxwell Knight, who recruited Roberts; Victor Third Baron Rothschild, Roberts’ spymaster, who did a sideline in bomb disposal using his Cartier screwdrivers; Theresa Clay, the distinguished biologist who co-ran the operation with Rothschild, but because she was a woman was only ever classified as an ‘assistant’; Marita Perigoe, possibly the most dangerous of the fascists, who despite having her suspicions about Roberts, continued to recruit spies for him and pass him secrets to the end of the war.

Win Big: A Wynn Hockey Novel by [Jamieson, Kelly]

When your name is Wynn, victory’s the only option…

Everly Wynn: As the only daughter in the Wynn family of hockey heroes, I never shared the ice with my brothers—or the approval they got from my father.
And that was before the scandal that ruined my life at sixteen.
Now that I’ve put all that behind me and built a successful career, the last thing I need is another hockey player in my life.
Especially one like Wyatt Bell.
He’s an arrogant, fast-living party boy. I hate how he gets by on his good looks and charm.
So why can’t I get him out of my mind?

Wyatt Bell: Life is short, and you’ve got to live it to the fullest. I learned that the hard way.
So on the ice, I always play to win, and on the town, fun and flirting are my game.
Because it’s better to laugh your way through the pain than to let them see you’re hurting—but I’ll never stop wishing I could find someone to share the real me with.
Something about Everly Wynn makes me think she could be the one.
But all she sees is a hockey jock hooked on good times.
If she didn’t take herself so seriously, maybe she would take a chance on being happy.

A Cowboy Like You (Heart of Texas Book 4) by [Grant, Donna]

In the Heart of Texas, a heartthrob cowboy may get his second chance at love…

Danny Oldman, the handsome Lone Star sheriff, is still single. He tells himself, and anyone who asks, that he is married to his job―and what matters most is keeping the people of his beloved Texas hometown safe. The truth? Danny still hasn’t gotten over his high school crush. She moved away after graduation and took Danny’s heart with her.

Skylar Long never thought she would have to flee Houston and return home―where it all began for her. But that’s what happened after the man of her dreams turned out to be an actual nightmare. Now, Skylar is desperate to escape her obsessive boyfriend. Nothing shocks her more than seeing Danny again and realizing that their long-ago attraction is more powerful than ever. But can she and Danny find a way to fight against Skylar’s wealthy, powerful ex who is dead set on tearing them apart?

Weekend Fling: A Crazy Love Novel by [Lynn, Stacey]

Fresh out of a long-term relationship, Willow Parks is working two jobs and caring for her mother, whose husband left her with nothing but a pile of bills. That’s why Willow made a vow: no men until she figures out her own life.

But while she may not need a man, she could use a break. And a weekend away at a California beach to clear her head? That’s appealing. Even if the offer comes from Trey Collins, the irresistible tech-mogul millionaire who visits her coffee shop every morning like clockwork—and needs a date for his best friend’s wedding. With an adorable, occasional stutter, he refuses to take no for an answer.

Once the weekend begins, Trey is intent on proving how good they can be together. Willow’s even feeling tempted to break her vow—until reality rudely interrupts her well-deserved getaway. There’s no way she and Trey have a future, not with the colossal amount of baggage Willow has to offer.

But Trey is used to getting what he wants. He just has his work cut out for him convincing her that they want the same thing.

Into the Inferno: Book #6 (The Legend Series) by [Stewart, Kylie]

To understand means to accept one’s own mistakes.

Alexandria is trapped in Hell’s Inferno. Can she accept Guinevere’s past and face Arthur’s sins while they are played out before her very eyes? In accepting her past, she will endure the devastation, betrayal, and passion stamped in time over thousands of years.To wander into Hell as a guest is to accept mortality.

Avalon is fated to fight his way through the nine levels of The Inferno. Every step is agony, and every level a trial, reminding him of his gravest mistakes. Will his self-loathing consume him and take those standing by his side? Or will they band together to save the queen and woman they love?Everyone’s demons will have to be faced. Old wounds will be torn open and bleed anew. Will faith and love be enough?

Mini-Reviews

Normally, I don’t do mini reviews. But I am super behind on my reviews (think 6 4 books…yikes!!) I need to catch up.

Since I am moving the end of November/beginning of December (cross country to Texas), I will be doing another round of mini-reviews after I get unpacked/kids enrolled in school/everything set up.

So, here goes nothing!!

Ice Hard

Ice Hard (New York Nighthawks, #2)
click on picture for Amazon link

Hockey’s resident bad boy is hell on skates. But when he falls in love, he falls hard.

“Tracy Goodwin is an author to watch.”—Kelly Jamieson, USA Today bestselling author of the Aces Hockey series

Nick: As one of the New York Nighthawks, I’ve got it all: fame, success, wealth, plus I’m handsome as hell.
As for my relationships? They could be better.
I know how to do one-night stands, but I’m starting to crave something more.
Then I meet Camille Benetti.
She’s sexy, smart, sarcastic—totally my kind of girl.
The only problem? Cami doesn’t date hockey players.
But she’s never met me. . . .


Cami: Nick George is impossible to resist. Not only is he scorching hot, he’s kind, he’s funny, and he wants me bad.
But I learned my lesson the hard way: no jocks.
So why do I agree to be Nick’s date to the wedding of the year?
One night . . . that’s our deal.
He is the best man, after all.
But Nick is crystal clear about his intentions. He wants a relationship.
And he’s tempting me to break all my rules. . . .

4 stars

I didn’t think I would like Ice Hard based on the synopsis. Honestly, I thought it was going to be all sex with a minimal plot. Yeah, I was more than surprised when I started to read the book. The plotline was amazing. As was Cami and Nick’s relationship. I will say that I thought that Beth, Cami’s sister, deserved a huge smack upside her head for the stunts she pulled in the book. I didn’t like her. The sex was graphic but didn’t overwhelm the book. The end gave me the warm fuzzies!!


Followers
click on picture for Amazon link

An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.

Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

4 stars

I found Followers fascinating to read. Mainly because I can 100% picture what happened in the book happening in real life. I did wonder how Marlow, Orla, and Floss were all tied together. But I wasn’t expecting what was revealed. It shocked me. I did find parts of the book to be a little hard to believe (the whole scene with Marlow being tied up in the car was a big one) but over all, it was an interesting read. Scary but interesting.


Christmas Angels
Click on picture for Amazon link

3.5 stars

Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Angels Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.

When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.

While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Angels Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well? 

I wasn’t a huge fan of Christmas Angels. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the romance part of it. Thought that was well written and sweet. It was just that I couldn’t connect with Liz. I thought she was taking unnecessary risks on a place she hadn’t seen in decades. I also thought the town rallying behind her (like their livelihood depended on her reopening the inn) was a bit much. But, I did enjoy where the book was set (an hour from where I live) and I loved that it was set between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


My Best Friend's Sister: A Forbidden Romance (The Masons Book 1) by [Kelly, Hazel]
Click on picture for Amazon Link

I’m not an anxious person, but Quinn Draper has always made me nervous.

Okay, so that’s a lie. I am an anxious person. Always have been. And no one reminds me of that more than my brother’s best friend.

He’s the walking, talking opposite of my comfort zone, and he sees through my false bravado. Senses my insecurities. I think that’s why I feel so vulnerable when he’s around. So…under-clothed.

Which is ridiculous. He doesn’t even know me.

Still, every bone in my body senses danger when he’s around. Like he’s always about to push me under a spotlight I’m not ready to squint into, a spotlight that would expose me for the awkward introvert that I am.

Yet he never says more than two words to me. As if he knows that’s the surest way to drive me crazy.

And I hate him for it. Always have.

Always will.

Author’s Note: This standalone romantic comedy is the first book in a new series by best-selling author Hazel Kelly. If you like feisty women and funny men, you’ll love this forbidden romance about two unlikely roommates and the trouble they get into when big brother stops watching…

4 stars

My Best Friend’s Sister was a fantastic book to read. I will admit that I went into this book thinking that it was going to be sex, sex and more sex. And there was a lot of sex….once Maddie and Quinn got down to it. But, other than that, it was a sweet book about falling in love. I loved Quinn (he was in touch with his feelings about Maddie from the beginning) and I loved Maddie (she fought her feelings for Quinn and then fought for him). There were parts I cheered and parts I cried. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!!

Weekly Wrap Up: October 13th through October 19th 2019

Books I’ve Read:

Christmas Angels

Followers

My Best Friend’s Sister

Ice Hard

The Widow of Rose House


Books with Pending Reviews:

Sweet Retribution—review coming September 17th


Books with Published Reviews:

Christmas in Harmony Harbor—Review Here

Sweet Retribution—Review Here

The Widow of Rose House—Review Here

Cilka’s Journey—Review Here

Lethal Nights—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:


Author/Publisher Requests:

Releasing Keanu (Instant ARC from author)

Jesse and The Return of Antheia (author request/not on Goodreads)

Jesse & The Thinkers (author request)

The Angel of Evil (author request)

The Wrongful Death (author request)

The Die of Death (author request)


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Winter’s Captive—Book Blitz

Sweet Retribution—Blog Tour

Kingdom of Thorns and Dreams Boxed Set—Book Blitz

Dark Faerie-–Cover Reveal

The Alchemist and an Amaretto—Book Blitz

Samba—Book Blitz

Grayton Beach Dreams—Book Blitz

The Ghost on Firefly Lane—Cover Reveal

Rhodes—Cover Reveal

Kingdom of Darkness and Light boxed set—Cover Reveal

Scorpion Blood—Excerpt

The Widow of Rose House—Blog Tour

Magic Harbor—Excerpt

Alfheim Academy—Book Blitz

To Kill a Fae—Book Blitz

Drowning Lessons—Book Blitz

Winter King—Book Blitz

Seven Letters—Excerpt

Tesoro—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday


WWW Wednesday: October 16th, 2019

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

Christmas Angels: A Novel by [Naigle, Nancy]

The next heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story by USA Today Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle.

Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Angels Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.

When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.

While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Angels Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well?

I am about a chapter into Christmas Angels and so far I like it. I needed to read a sweet romance and this seems to be what I needed.

Christmas Angels is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.


I recently finished reading:

Followers

An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.

Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

This was an interesting book to read. Not going to get into the plotline but I can see something like what Marlow was doing happening in real life. And that is scary.

Followers is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is January 14th, 2020. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


What books I think I’ll read next:

A Hundred Suns by [Tanabe, Karin]

An evocative historical novel set in 1930’s Indochine, about the American wife of a Michelin heir who journeys to the French colony in the name of family fortune, and the glamorous, tumultuous world she finds herself in—and the truth she may be running from.

On a humid afternoon in 1933, American Jessie Lesage steps off a boat from Paris and onto the shores of Vietnam. Accompanying her French husband Victor, an heir to the Michelin rubber fortune, she’s certain that their new life is full of promise, for while the rest of the world is sinking into economic depression, Indochine is gold for the Michelins. Jessie knows that their vast plantations near Saigon are the key to the family’s prosperity, and while they have been marred in scandal, she needs them to succeed for her husband’s sake—and to ensure that her trail of secrets stays hidden in the past.

Jessie dives into the glamorous colonial world, where money is king and morals are brushed aside, and meets Marcelle de Fabry, a spellbinding French woman with a moneyed Indochinese lover, the silk tycoon Khoi Nguyen. Descending on Jessie’s world like a hurricane, Marcelle proves to be an exuberant guide to ex-pat life. But hidden beneath her vivacious exterior is a fierce desire to put the colony back in the hands of its people, starting with the Michelin plantations, fueled by a terrible wrong committed against her and Khoi’s loved ones in Paris.

Yet it doesn’t take long for the sun-drenched days and champagne-soaked nights to catch up with Jessie. With an increasingly fractured mind, her affection for Indochine falters. And as a fiery political struggle builds around her, Jessie begins to wonder what’s real in a friendship that she suspects may be nothing but a house of cards.

Motivated by love, driven by ambition, and seeking self-preservation at all costs, Jessie and Marcelle each toe the line between friend and foe, ethics and excess. Cast against the stylish backdrop of 1930s Indochine, in a time and place defined by contrasts and convictions, A Hundred Suns is historical fiction at its lush, suspenseful best.

Fever: A Dark Kings Novel by [Grant, Donna]

His kiss was fire and passion. She shivered, wondering how he knew just how to touch her, to send her spiraling into an abyss of pleasure…

For centuries, the Dragon Kings have lived among mortals, forsaking their true selves. But for Kelton, hiding in the realm of shadows—and existing only in the world of dreams—is no longer an option. A human woman claims to know that he, like other dark warriors of his kind, is real. That the legends about these powerful, seductive men with hearts ablaze are true. And that, with just one embrace, Kelton could destroy her…or love her until the end of time.

Bernadette Davies is an anthropologist who knows better than to fall into the arms of a Dragon King. But how can she resist Kelton when he’s so willing to share his secrets and bear his soul? He hasn’t met a beautiful, trustworthy woman like Bernadette in…forever. But once they give into their mutual desire, their worlds will never be the same. Soon Bernadette must face her dilemma: Should she expose the truth about Kelton in the name of science? Or join him in his battle with the dark forces—in the name of love?

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore (A Twisted Fairy Tale: A Young Adult Fantasy) by [Märgen, Birgitte]

“We all need someplace to escape, and sometimes the mind is just as good of a place as any.”

A trailer park Alice. A hole that traps souls. The white rabbit’s a tricky hare. And the world is upside down. This fairy tale just got twisty . . .

Rule One: Don’t eat or drink.
Rule Two: Never, ever tell anyone your name.
If ya do – your soul will be lost there forever.

How do I know? I been there myself. This is my story.

There was a full moon brimmin’ that night, and that meant strange things could happen. As I walked through the woods, I reckon I shoulda known by the way my hair stood up on end like Uncle Red’s toupee —that I shoulda coulda stayed home. I call it the willies, but grandpappy calls it premonition. One thing I can tell ya as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks: If you’re fix’n to wander way over yonder —it’s important to know the right direction.

What direction ya ask? Well, ya have to read the story to find that one out.

* * *

AFTER FALLING INTO a dark hole when she was running through the forest, Evie finds herself trapped in a strange new world that mirrors our own. Her only guide is a compass stick given to her by an angry gnome who lives in an ancient knobby tree. As she travels through the lands of this upside-down world she happens upon creatures that are twisted versions of fairytale folklore. A place where fairies bite, unicorns charge, mermaids are menacing, and nightmares are more than dreams. A world where the souls of those who could not follow the unspoken rules are trapped forever.

As a southern girl born on the wrong side of the tracks, Evie relies on the wisdom passed down by her grandpappy and the haunting memories of her mama to teach her perseverance of the soul. She learns that things are rarely what they seem as her world is turned upside down.

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter by [Hutton, Robert]

This is the incredible tale of Operation Fifth Column, a Second World War MI5 operation so secret that its existence was only revealed by the National Archives for the first time in 2014.

It’s the true story behind Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription” and Anthony Quinn’s “Our Friends In Berlin”.

Throughout the war, “Jack King” – in reality, a bank clerk named Eric Roberts – pretended to be a Gestapo agent to whom hundreds of British-based Nazi sympathisers and informers passed their secrets, thinking that he was sending them back to Germany. Many were put on a salary by what they thought was the Third Reich and some were even ‘awarded’ Iron Crosses for their services to the Fatherland; they never found out the truth.

Among the secrets they tried to pass were: a tip-off about Bletchley Park; details of the deadly Mosquito bomber; complete plans of a highly effective anti-radar technology codenamed WINDOW. The larger-than-life characters who populate the book include Roberts himself, the deceptively ordinary-seeming bank clerk; Maxwell Knight, who recruited Roberts; Victor Third Baron Rothschild, Roberts’ spymaster, who did a sideline in bomb disposal using his Cartier screwdrivers; Theresa Clay, the distinguished biologist who co-ran the operation with Rothschild, but because she was a woman was only ever classified as an ‘assistant’; Marita Perigoe, possibly the most dangerous of the fascists, who despite having her suspicions about Roberts, continued to recruit spies for him and pass him secrets to the end of the war.


Blog Tour: The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

The Widow of Rose House: A Novel by [Biller, Diana]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: October 8th, 2019

Genre: Romance, Paranormal

Where you can find The Widow of Rose House: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age debut novel

It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.

Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history―and her heart.

Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.


First Line:

Alva Penrose Rensselaer Webster had been inside Delmonico’s for nine seconds before Mrs. Henry Biddington asked the maitre d’hotel to throw her out.

The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

My Review:

I didn’t know what I was expecting when I started reading The Widow of Rose House. I was interested in reading the book. Anything with ghosts and romance in it, and I am reading it. But, I was a little iffy on the Gothic description. I haven’t had the best luck when it comes to reading books in that genre. That was my only hold back from being delighted in reading The Widow of Rose House. I am happy to say that, I was pleased to read this book. I did have an issue with the ending, but other than that, it was a great read.

The Widow of Rose House’s plotline was medium paced. It wasn’t too fast or too slow. Which was perfect for me, and it made reading the book enjoyable. There were no dropped storylines. But there were storylines that I felt needed clarification like how Henry ended up with the Moore’s or why Alva’s mother hated her. The latter gave me a feeling that there was more going on in that relationship than what was said.

Alva was such a complicated woman, and I found her hard to get to know in the beginning. The author held back a lot when it came to her marriage to Alain. There was a point in the book where I did wonder if she was as scandalous as the gossip made her out to be. Then the author explained that Alain was abusive. That is when she started to come to life in my eyes. Alva was vulnerable but at the same time had a backbone of steel. She was damaged goods, and she knew it. She had such a hard time trusting people, after what her husband did, and it took her forever to trust Sam.

I loved everything about Sam. He defined the term absent-minded professor. People could be standing in front of him, and if something caught his attention, bam, they would cease to exist for him. It was awesome!! Take, for instance, the serving tray conversation. I was dying laughing as I read that scene. It was hilarious. I also loved how deeply he loved his family. They were everything to him and vice versa.

Sam and Alva’s romance was unique. I say unique because Sam knew right away that Alva was his other half. But, he also saw that she was damaged. He did pursue her, but everything that happened was on her terms. On Alva’s side, she fought her feelings for Sam tooth and nail. It was amusing and sad to read. Amusing because she blustered a lot and sad because she felt she wasn’t good enough for him.

I didn’t get any sense of sexual attraction or chemistry between Alva and Sam. So when they had sex, it was a surprise. It was a clean sex scene. Nothing explicit. It was descriptive but didn’t go over the line. I loved it!!

The ghost storyline was interesting. I say interesting because I enjoyed the search that Alva and Sam did on the previous owners of the house. I also enjoyed seeing how paranormal research would have looked like in the late 1800s. But then the ghost storyline took a weird turn that involved possession and being able to see slightly into the future. I was a little “eh” on that part, but it did add a unique flair to the storyline.

The storyline with Alva’s brother-in-law and Alva’s marriage was sad. I liked how the author didn’t get graphic with the abuse that Alva and her mother-in-law suffered. Alva’s brother-in-law was skeezy. He was trying to blackmail her into giving him money each month. Considering how divorce was looked upon in that century, I didn’t blame Alva for caving into him. But, I wasn’t expecting what happened to him at the end of the book.

The end of the book was alright. But I got a sense that it was rushed. But overall, it was a good read. I do hope that there will be other books about the other Moore siblings!!


I would give The Widow of Rose House an Adult rating. There is sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Widow of Rose House. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**