Friday, March 5, 2021

#SALE .99 DARE TO LOVE A SPY by Debra Elizabeth

 

Blurb:

Miss Hannah Richardson is enjoying a Season in London. She's not looking for a husband, at least not this Season. She wants to enjoy herself before settling down to married life. All that changes, however, when she sees the Duke of Wetherby. He's tall, dark and impossibly handsome and someone Hannah wants to get to know better.

Camden Darkin, the Duke of Wetherby, is not fond of attending soirees, dinners or balls, but his latest mission for the Crown demands he mingle with the ton. He has vowed not to marry because of his dangerous work and the constant bevy of beauties anxious mothers throw into his path is not tempting him in the least. That is, until he meets Hannah Richardson, a young woman unlike any other he's ever met. Can he learn to love or will his hardened heart rob him of the very thing he needs the most. 

Read for FREE with KindleUnlimited

Amazon link:

https://www.amazon.com/Dare-Love-Spy-Book-Innocence-ebook/dp/B01IWR62CW/ref=twoen-20

Reviewer’s Comments:

 

"I loved the murder-mystery flair thatseemed present and the deliciously tense undertone of the spy network.These points gave lots of flavor to the budding romance and caused lotsof conflict well so we ended up with a really meaty story" Unabridged Andra

 

"A very well-written book, I highly recommend it for those who love a witty, fast-paced Regency romance." Notes from a Romantic Heart

 

"Besides the strong love story plot there is also a murder mystery plot. I love a good love story, but a murder mystery just added another level and dimension to the story - plus an extra star in this review." Ally, Goodreads reader

 

"All in all, Dare to Love a Spy is a charming love story with an intriguing mystery to boot, and I recommend it to any fans of historical romance." Anna, Goodreads reader

 

"This story pulled me in from the first digital page and I carried my Kindle all over the house, reading while I cooked, baked cookies, and fed my toddler!" Dawn, Goodreads reader

 

Excerpt:

 

Camden descended the stairs leading into the garden and kept to the shadows as he moved closer to the couple. He had to make sure that Charles was safe. Just as he was about to turn the corner and spy on them, a sound alerted him that he was not alone in stalking Charles and Lady Sargent. He turned, ready to defend himself and Charles, if necessary, only to be confronted by Miss Richardson. What was she doing in the garden? She could easily foil the opportunity for Charles to get answers from Lady Sargent. He did the only thing he could think of.

He pulled the delectable Miss Richardson into his arms.

Her eyes flashed and she opened her mouth to protest, but before she uttered a sound, his lips captured hers. The kiss was hard and demanding, and when he teased his tongue across her lips, they parted, inviting him in.

He deepened the kiss, and his tongue swept over hers as he explored every inch of her exquisite mouth. He wanted to keep on kissing her all night, but he heard Charles and Lady Sargent whispering as they headed back into the parlor. He reluctantly broke the kiss and set Hannah back on her feet.

She stood dazed, staring at him while she got her bearings back. He was about to apologize for his impetuous kiss when she slapped him hard across the face. “How dare you?” she choked out. “You wicked man.”

Camden rubbed the sting on his cheek. “That’s quite the slap; certainly not something I’m used to. My apologies, Miss Richardson, but tell me this—if you didn’t want me to kiss you, why did you follow me into the garden?”

Hannah’s entire being was burning with indignation, her cheeks a flaming red and her lips swollen from his kiss. She was irresistible. He wanted to kiss her again, but did not relish the idea of another slap. He waited for her answer, but none was forthcoming.

“Just as I thought. You crave wickedness and wanted me to kiss you. Perhaps it would be prudent for you to return to the other guests now. Unless, of course, you’d like me to kiss you again? Is that why you’re still out here in the garden?”

 

 


 


 


Monday, March 1, 2021

#Review: MY DARLING DUKE by Stacey Reid

 


Alexander Masters, Duke of Thornton, is reclusive and hasn't been seen in society in years. While there have been much gossip and rumors about him in the past, none of it was true. However, when he receives word that he is betrothed to Miss Kitty Danvers, he is intrigued especially since he's never met the young woman. The more he reads about Kitty, the more he wants to meet her. The ballroom is shocked when his name is announced and no one is more shocked than Kitty. She came up with the scheme of their betrothal to save her mother and sister from impending poverty. Having her name linked with the duke has helped her sister attract gentlemen. She never meant to hurt anyone and when she comes face to face with the duke who wears a mask covering half his face and is in a bath chair, she is fascinated with the elusive man. When he orders her to visit him in Scotland, neither of them could predict where the visit would take them. Can Kitty help Alexander out of the darkness in his mind or will he ruin her disavowing their engagement?

I absolutely loved this story. Alexander was such a strong character having endured and fought to recover from a devastating injury when his home goes up in flames. I felt such empathy for him and admired him as well. He is determined to live a lonely existence in the silence of his castle, that is, until Kitty comes to visit. She fascinates him and begins to chip away the ice around his heart. Kitty was such a strong and fiesty young woman especially how she is willing to do anything and sacrifice everything to help her mother and sisters. As she gets to know Alexander, she begins to understand his reluctance to interact with anyone, but she also is not willing to walk away from the scarred duke who is slowly worming his way into her heart. Ms. Reid does a masterful job with Alexander's character teasing out the details of his injury and all that he endures to reclaim even a shred of independence. I loved the interactions between Kitty and Alexander especially the humorous ones. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series. 


 

#Excerpt: THIEVES by Greg Jolley

Thieves
Greg Jolley
(Obscurité de Floride Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: February 15th 2021
Genres: Adult, Suspense

From Tropea, Italy to Michigan and Florida, the thieves Molly and April Danser are on the run, trying to escape from an enraged ex-US Marshal. He is hell bent on stopping them once and for all, his twisted black heart fired up for revenge and their total destruction. Will the sisters elude his blood-soaked hunt? They have their smarts and resource but have never faced a pursuit like this.

Can they somehow put an end to his blood lust?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Chapter Twenty-Nine

A Day to Do

April woke at first light, seeing she had slept on top of the bed instead of climbing in under the blankets. After putting the coffee percolator on the burner, she went and checked the boat’s position at the lower helm. Starting the engines, she steered southeast in the northward Gulf Stream and watched the blue swells until the boat was pretty much in the same location as the day before.

“At least eat,” she instructed herself, it being twenty-four hours or more since her last meal. Opening a can of stew, she ate it cold with a spoon while sipping coffee. Looking at the closed laptop at her elbow, she hesitated to reach for it.

“Only one way to deal with fear.” She opened the lid and started the computer.

Her fingers unsteady above the keys, the vision from the previous day’s nightmare came fully into view. The big dark doorway at Klave’s. Her imagination ran with and gave her the rolling door crashing down and up fast like steel teeth chomping, chewing.

“Back off.” Her shoulders shuddered, and she barked at the vignette.

Opening a secure internet browser, she launched the messaging application.

After addressing an email to Allison, she froze for a minute, her fingertips quivering. The three hardest words she ever typed displayed.

April: Did she die?

Hitting send, she stared at those three words, waiting for the reply that she couldn’t will Allison to answer.

***

Sometime later, she opened a browser alongside the messaging application where her question to Allison still floated without an answer. The local television stations had previously recorded ‘on scene’ footage ripe with frightful images of Klave’s with the breathless voices of newscasters. There were no details of any worth.

Opening the online Daytona Beach News-Journal, the story was in the banner.

Three Killed in a Possible Attempted Robbery

April read that David Klave was declared dead on the scene. She learned that Molly’s pal, Dennis, was also murdered, evidence suggesting that he was trying to cover and protect another victim. No other names were offered, pending notification of next to kin. One man had been shot twice and was expected to survive. He was being attended to in the ICU at Memorial Medical Hospital. There was nothing about the third victim. No mention of Molly or her status.

She saw her own name given as one of the ‘persons of interest.’

Klave’s employees were quoted as saying that the suspect had a long face that was injured. He had driven off in a late model red Corvette, heading north.

She read three more news reports in the Ormond Beach, Orlando, and St. Augustine newspapers, the body count making the story a headliner. There was no additional information, only a recap and worthless commentary.

She closed the browser and looked to the messaging application.

No reply from Allison.

She sent the text again and waited ten long and painful minutes.

Leaving the table for the flying bridge, she grabbed a bottle of water and a package of the saltines she had seen her sister snacking on. The light went out over the middle of the galley as she left, and she made a mental note to put in a fresh bulb.

Up top, the breeze was sweeping away the heat of the day. She checked her location, fired the engines, and spent the next hour staring at the ocean until she had the boat back in place.

Climbing down the ladder, she went inside and saw that Allison had not replied.

“My beautiful Molly…” she held her eyes closed, “… I’m still hoping.”

She spent the rest of that day at the lower helm, getting up every half hour to look for a message from Allison.

As the sun set at her back, she went inside to look again. The darkening galley reminded her to find a package of light bulbs and a step-ladder. She found both in the click-lock supply closet and had the dead bulb out and was poised to twist in the new one when it slipped from her fingers. It shattered, and she got a new one from the closet, along with the dustpan and broom. The second bulb went in easily, and she climbed down to sweep up the aluminum cone and shards.

The messaging application pinged.

Instead of hurrying to it, she stalled, fearful of the news. She finished up the sweeping and stepped to the table, the ball of her right foot landing on a stabbing missed piece of glass.

“Brilliant.” She felt the deep cut as she swung around on the bench and looked to the message screen.

April: Did she die?

Ali: Don’t know.

April: Find out.

Ali: I’m on it. It is a fuck storm here. Wasn’t here when it happened. Parts store.

April: You learn anything?

Ali: Yes, of course.


Author Bio:

Greg Jolley (also published under Gregory French) earned a master of art in writing from the University of San Francisco. He is the author of sixteen novels and one collection about the fictional, film industry-based Danser family. He currently lives in the Very Small town of Ormond Beach, Florida

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Thursday, February 25, 2021

#Review: HIDDEN HART by Emily Royal

 

3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Lady Atalanta is this Season's most beautiful debutante and gentlemen vie for her hand and her large dowry. Atalanta dismisses their attentions and longs for someone who will see beyond her beauty to the compassionate, determined and fiesty heroine who wants to change the lives of the less fortunate. She is saved by a masked man when accosted by ruffians one night and within minutes, he seems to understand her like no other. Devon Hart has a sordid past, one that he's not proud of especially the cuckolding of fellow soldiers wives. One night changes his life forever when he tries to save a woman and gets his handsome face slashed by her attackers. He retreats from Society, choosing instead to prowl the London streets at night foiling would be villains bent on attacking London citizens. When he saves Atalanta, he recognizes her innate goodness, but knowing he's a beast now and can never be worthy of her.

The Beauty and the Beast trope drives this story. I liked Atalanta's character especially her drive to help others. She wants to be seen as more than just a pretty face and her work in the local hospital defines that drive. Devon on the other hand loses his attractiveness in an unfortunate encounter with ruffians and believes no one could possible love him. He's a complicated character and I wasn't particularly enamored with him. I thought his internal dialogue that he was unworthy went on a bit too long. I did really like his interactions with Fanny and Margaret and wished there had been more scenes with these two strong women. While the HEA is a foregone conclusion, there are still a few twists and turns in the story to keep you turning the pages.

I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.


 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

#Review: THE UNEXPECTED EARL by Anna Harrington

 


  4 of 5 stars

Brandon Pearce gave up Amelia twelve years ago to save her from a cruel father's threats, but he's never forgotten his one true love. Now adjusting to his new title, Pearce runs into Amelia and all his old feelings came surging back, but Amelia wants nothing to do with him. Pearce is investigating  a secret criminal group and Amelia seems to be caught up in their cross hairs when she tries to find out if her brother Frederick has ties to the group. Can Pearce convince her he still loves her and to tell him the truth before it's too late to stop the criminal enterprise Scepter?

Ms. Harrington weaves a gripping story of love lost and found with government conspiracy and a criminal enterprise that is more far reaching than anyone could imagine. She teases out details of what happened twelve years ago between Pearce and Amelia. I loved Pearce. He was such a honorable and true gentleman always protecting Amelia from whatever came their way and Amelia was no wilting miss either. She stood up for what she believed in even if it went against her brother's orders. A shocking plot twist at the end involving Frederick, Amelia and Pearce kept me turning the pages to the end.

I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own. 


 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

#Review: BONE HUNTER by Thea Atkinson

 

5 of 5 stars

From the opening sentence "I tasted blood" I knew I was in for a hell of a ride. Buckle up because Ms. Atkinson takes you on another Isabella Hush adventure that will keep you riveted with all the twists and turns in this book. Who are the bad guys? Good guys? Isabella is caught between a rock and hard place when a dark fae master delivers an ultimatum that requires her to retrieve a god's bones or he'll suspend the glamour around her apartment. She needs that glamour to stay safe from Scottie, a sadistic criminal who believes Isabella belongs to him. Unfortunately for Isabella, she can't ignore the fae master any longer. He carries out his threat and Scottie finds her once again and sends his thug muscle to teach her a lesson about running away from him. She's hurt and bleeding and it's only when Maddox shows up and somehow takes away the hurt and bruises that Isabella begins to believe Maddox cares for her. But can she trusts him and what about that dark fae master?

I love Ms. Atkinson's books and this dark fantasy doesn't disappoint. She's a master storyteller teasing out details about the other characters--Maddox, Fayed and the god bones Isabella is supposed to recover. Such a good twist! Make sure to carve out enough time to read this book because once you start, you won't want to put it down! 


 

Friday, February 19, 2021

#Guest Post: WHAT IS SEMANTIC BLEACHING by Grammar Girl


Today we’re going to talk about a totally awesome topic: semantic bleaching. This has nothing to do with words in our language turning white. Instead, it has to do with how the meaning of words can fade over time — just like a colorful shirt fades after it’s been washed too many times.

 

3 Predicable Ways Words Change

For example, sometimes the literal sense of a word develops a figurative use. The verb “to milk” originally meant to draw milk from a cow or other animal. Over time, the meaning extended, and now you can “milk” someone for anything valuable, usually through trickery or extortion. To “escalate” once meant simply to travel up an escalator. Now, it refers to an increase in intensity or scope, for example when you say something like “Well, that situation sure escalated quickly.” 

 

Another predictable way that words change is by having their scope of meaning narrow. For example, back when Old English was spoken, “meat” referred to any type of food. Over time, the meaning narrowed—and today, of course, we use “meat” to refer only to the flesh of animals. “Liquor” used to mean … a liquid. Now, it refers almost exclusively to alcoholic drinks like beer, wine, and whisky. 

 

Words also change by having their meaning broaden. For example, the word “embargo” originally referred to an order prohibiting ships from entering or leaving a port. The word now can refer to any sort of stoppage or prohibition. You could say you’re putting an embargo on listening to any more Grammar Girl podcasts until you finish your homework, for example!

 

A 4th Way Words Change: Semantic Bleaching

Another pattern of language change we’re going to focus on today is called semantic bleaching. That occurs when the specific, often powerful meaning of a word becomes diluted over time through repetition and overuse.  

 

For example, the original meaning of the word “awesome” was “full of awe, profoundly reverential.” Something awesome might be the peak of a snow-covered mountain, breaking through the clouds. The vastness of the ocean. Or the spread of stars above you on a clear night. 

 

But then we had to go and start calling everything “awesome.” Our new shoes are awesome. This one kind of shampoo is awesome. The new Heath Caramel Brownie Blizzard from Dairy Queen is awesome. (I mean, it actually is awesome … but you get my point.) 

 

Through overuse, the word has lost its potency. No one expects a pair of shoes to “fill you with awe.” Awesome is now just a general word that means nifty or cool.

Another example of semantic bleaching is “literally.” Every now and then, we use this word the way it was intended: to indicate that what we’re saying is absolutely true. If you said that you got hit on the head by hail that was literally the size of golf balls, then the hail should have been 1.68 inches in diameter.  

 

But more often, we simply mean that the hail pellets were pretty big. We’re using the word “literally” to intensify what we’re saying, not to label it as factual. 

“Terrible” and “horrible” have also been weakened by semantic bleaching. “Terrible” originally meant “to inspire great fear or dread”; “horrible” meant “extremely repulsive to the senses or feelings; dreadful, hideous, shocking.”  

 

We still use those words to mean these things. But we also say “my lunch was horrible,” or “that tuna salad was terrible.” We may not have liked the tuna, but did it really “inspire great fear or dread?” Probably not. We’re using “terrible,” but with a faded meaning of “yukky” or “unpleasant.”

 

Why Does Semantic Bleaching Occur? And Is It Bad?

So why do we insist on overusing words to the point that they lose their meaning? Why don’t we speak more precisely? Why don’t we say that our “tuna salad has a putrid odor,” rather than just “this tuna salad is horrible?” 

 

In part, it’s because we’re lazy. Or as linguist Donka Minkova puts it, most of us “have no particular talent for words.” We take the easy route in speech (and writing). We default to generalizations and commonly used words — rather than making the mental effort to say precisely what we mean.  

 

Is semantic bleaching bad? On the one hand, yes. Using a word like “awesome” to describe everything from a sunset to a stick of gum can narrow the rainbow of ways you can express yourself to one single color. Using more specific words — speaking of a radiant sunset or a tangy piece of gum — could give your speech more vibrancy and perhaps enrich your experience of life itself.  

 

On the other hand, semantic bleaching isn’t bad or good; it simply is. It’s one of the predictable ways that we’ve observed language to change, ever since people have been observing changes in language. It’s kind of like the tide; it erases sandcastles, but also deposits a bounty of treasures on the shore that you can build with the next day. 

 

In short, whether it’s awesome or terrible, semantic bleaching is literally here to stay. 

 

 

Link to article:

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/what-is-semantic-bleaching

 

About the Author

Samantha Enslen, Writing for Grammar Girl 

 

Samantha Enslen is an award-winning writer who has worked in publishing for more than 20 years. She runs Dragonfly Editorial, an agency that provides copywriting, editing, and design for scientific, medical, technical, and corporate materials. Sam is the vice president of ACES, The Society for Editing, and is the managing editor of Tracking Changes, ACES' quarterly journal.

 


 

 


Thursday, February 18, 2021

#NEW Release: SIGN OF EVIL by NYT Best Selling author M.A. Comley

 

Blurb:

From NY Times bestselling author of the Justice series, M A Comley, who has sold over three million copies worldwide.
 
The love of money can be deadly...
 
And evil has an agenda.
 
DI Sara Ramsey is tasked with trying to solve yet another missing person case. This one is far more perplexing than any she’s dealt with before.
 
Amber Rowse was on a path of self-improvement which unfortunately led to her downfall. She's the first but it's not long before other girls end up on the missing list.
 
Can Sara and her intrepid team conquer the evil which confronts them, to save Amber and the other girls before their terrifying fate is revealed?
 
To celebrate I'm having a giveaway, all you have to do is share this post to enter. On offer this month are a beautiful sterling silver necklace, a lovely hand made book mark and three signed paperback copies of Sign Of Evil
 
Facebook giveaway link:
 
Winners announced on Sunday. Good luck.
 
 


 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

#Review: DANCING WITH DANGER by Kerrigan Byrne

 

5 of 5 stars

Raphael Sauvageau along with his brother Gabriel run a criminal enterprise in London and they have no time for romantic entanglements, that is, until Raphael runs into amateur sleuth, Mercy Goode. Something about the infuriatingly independent young woman draws his attention. She is a ray of sunshine that he can't seem to resist. Mercy is determined to solve the murder of her friend and at every turn she encounters the impossibly handsome Raphael. Can she resist the charms of the notorious rake while she tries to solve the case?

From the opening pages Ms. Byrne draws the reader into Mercy's world--a world where she is smarter than most of the men she encounters and her frustrations are evident with the male sex. She takes her sleuthing seriously especially when the latest murder is her friend. When Mercy finds herself drawn into a criminal turf war, Raphael is there protecting her and drawing her in with his mesmerizing eyes and sinful lips. Ms Byrne is masterful in such exquisite descriptions of their sexual encounters and she delights the reader with their wild highs and lows of their emotions. I don't know how I missed the first two books in this series, but I can't wait to read Felicity and Gabriel's story.

I voluntarily read this advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.


 

Friday, February 12, 2021

#Review: THE DUKE HEIST by Erica Ridley

 


  4 of 5 stars

Lawrence Gosling, the Duke of Faircliffe, is trying to fix the mistakes and pay the debts of his late father, but that takes money, the one thing the dukedom doesn't have. He needs to wed a wealthy widow if he wants the title to be on stable grounds again. His plan is set, that is, until he is accidentally kidnapped by Chloe Wynchester. Once Chloe realizes her mistake, she asks Faircliffe for an invitation to a tea and he agrees to greet her, but nothing more. Deal made they both expect nothing more to come of it, except the more time they spend in each other's company, the more they realize how good they are together. Unfortunately for Faircliffe Chloe is not a suitable future duchess and she has no dowry and he has to walk away from her.

I love Ms. Ridley's stories although it took me a bit to get into this story. I understand things would have been clearer if I had read the prequel which tells the story of how how the Wynchesters came together. Chloe was such an interesting character and poor Faircliffe never stood a chance. Once he dropped his icy ducal facade, he loved being in her company. I really enjoyed the family with all their quirkiness and can't wait to read each siblings future story.

I voluntarily read this advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.

 


 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

#Review: THE DUKE OF RENOWN by Alexa Aston

 

  3 of 5 stars

Phoebe Smythe, Countess of Borwick, has suffered greatly in her young life not only losing her husband and son in a carriage accident, but also miscarrying her unborn child at the shocking news. Grief stricken she rents a small seaside cottage in Cornwall to heal her soul. When she discovers a wounded stranger on the beach, she nurses him back to health while losing her heart to the handsome man. Who was he? She is called away to help nurse her pregnant sister before he can tell her and she knows that she'll never love again.

This was a sweet story, but I feel like I read almost the whole book just by the blurb. There was too much information about the plot and could definitely be tightened up to keep the reader guessing if Phoebe and Andrew ever find each other again. I really felt such sorrow for Phoebe. The book opens with a heart wrenching chapter that pulls the reader in. Andrew was a dashing hero who realizes that he'd found his future duchess and then loses her without ever knowing her name. I felt the middle of the book dragged a bit and there wasn't a twist in the love story until near the end. I had already figured out what was about to happen early on in the book so it was not a surprise when it finally happened. I've read and enjoyed other Ms. Aston's books and look forward to reading about the other duke's stories.

I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.


 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

#Excerpt: PROTECTING PRINCE by Jessica Frances

Protecting Prince
Jessica Frances
(In Midsummer, #6)
Publication date: February 5th 2021
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance

One movie star. One bodyguard. One seductive attraction. One deadly obsession. One chance to have it all. One shot to lose it all.

Henry:
Falling for your bodyguard is so cliché. I cringe at myself sometimes, but then I just have to look at him to understand. How can you not fall for a man like that? Heroic, smart, stubborn, funny, sexy … how could I ever have resisted?

Bryan:
Falling for your movie star client is incredibly cliché. I have heard of people in my position doing just that and used to scoff at them … but then I got placed as Henry Prince’s bodyguard. Unfortunately, his irresistible charm and undeniably sexy self has claimed me, heart and soul. I have no chance of getting out of this unscathed.

Then just as things begin to get red hot, a stalker from the past escapes with the intent to destroy us both. I won’t let anything bad happen to Henry, but what am I supposed to do when potential danger lurks behind every corner, behind every stranger?

Will our cliché beginning blossom into something more? Or are we destined for the typical Hollywood crash and burn?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“So, you expect me to run away scared? You expect me to live my life dictated by the crazy people who are obsessed and want to hurt me?

“You get that this guy is just the latest in a line that has gone on for a while and won’t ever stop. If I give in now, then I might as well forfeit whatever life I want outside the four walls I call home.”

Bryan’s eyes soften, and his hand twitches at his side. Is he going to touch me? Maybe offer me comfort? Maybe he will run his fingers through my hair and promise to make this go away. That would be totally hot, right?

Instead, he glances back out at the crowd, his keen eyes taking in everyone but me. “Your next group of fans is here.”

I inwardly groan but force myself to my feet with my plastered, fake smile fixed on properly.

Half an hour later, with Bryan speaking hurriedly into his phone, making me think our jig is up and Sheriff Green has found out about what we have set up, my world crumbles as I manage to glimpse Samuel Allen as he steps around a rowdy group of adults and holds a gun up, aiming it at me.

My breath catches in my throat, I manage a silent scream and, for a moment, my life flashes before my eyes. But I don’t see the life I have lived. No, I see a life I have missed out on. The chance to experience the many years I should still have left. The future projects that give me passion to keep going. Every fantasy and hope flashes through me in the blink of an eye, and I’m angry to have this taken from me. I’m furious that one sick bastard has stolen my future. The possibility of something more with Bryan ripped from me.

Then, all I feel is the world tilting as I’m roughly shoved aside. My head cracks on the icy-cold ground, and my shoulder takes most of the brunt of my bodyweight, but all pain flies out of my mind when I hear the crack of gunfire.

I sit up, my heart punching painfully in my chest, while people around us scream, run, and sob.

It’s complete chaos, but my eyes only see Bryan, on the ground, next to me, blood soaking his white shirt. All I hear is the rattling, sharp breaths he takes. All I feel is complete dread as I watch the man who I’m completely in love with bleeding out in front of me, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.


Author Bio:

Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram


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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

#Review: SWEET ROGUE OF MINE by Shana Galen

 

5 of 5 stars

Nash Pope was the best sharpshooter in the war until a sniper bullet robbed him of his sight. Now back in England, Nash is angry, depressed and doesn't care a whit for this new sightless life. He is isolated and refuses to see any of his fellow war brothers-in-arms and even goes so far as to shoot one of them when he tries to help Nash. He's ready to end his life when he hears a young lady singing a bawdy song. It's his first introduction to Miss Prudence Howard, a missionary's daughter. Prudence has been abandoned by her parents and left in the care of the local vicar. She's odd and doesn't fit in, but somehow she and Nash form a tenuous friendship. Can she bring this scarred soldier back to life and open his heart to love?

I've enjoyed each of the Survivor series books, but this one has to be my favorites most especially because of Pru. She's a refreshing character who is not the usual beautiful young lady, but she sees something in Nash that pulls on her heart strings. The more reluctant he is to see her, the more she perseveres. She can help him read and write again and she won't let him hide away in a crumbling estate. Nash is the reluctant hero believing without his sight, he is of little use to anyone. Ms. Galen does a fantastic job of conveying the horror of the war and his PTSD. I also liked that Nash wasn't miraculously healed at the end of the book, but the author left him with hope and love for a better future. The title however doesn't really ring true in my opinion especially since Nash is hardly a rogue, but that is a minor criticism. One note of caution-there are graphic sex scenes in this book.

I voluntarily read this advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.


 

Friday, February 5, 2021

Interview with Kathryn S Rose, BEAUTIFUL FACADE

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?

Beautiful Façade is about a young woman who strives to overcome a painful event by creating the perception of a perfect life. However, when she reconnects with the boy, now man, who helped her endure her past, everything she has built for herself comes under threat. This book is a raw and emotive love story, combining current social issues with young Australian culture and lifestyle.

 

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?

Creative control. I love that I had a say in every aspect of this book, right down to the paper's colour.

 

I was in two minds about whether to try my hand at being traditionally published or to self-publish. Then COVID hit. With everyone stuck at home, I decided I wanted to get my book out faster. It turns out that there is a lot to learn about self-publishing, so it didn’t come together as fast as I imagined!

 

If you used a graphic designer/publisher's designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?

I used 99 designs and ran a competition for my cover. I gave the designers a brief to follow and provided feedback; I had over a hundred designs to consider. Eventually, Bia Andrade won the contest, and we continued to tweak the cover until I was happy. Shout out to Bia, who was very patient with me.

 

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?

I wake up very early in the morning before the rest of my family. I need silence and coffee. 

 

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?

I do both. I jot down ideas and a basic storyline. However, once I get into the writing flow, the story starts to write itself.

 

What have you've learned during your self-publishing journey?

I've learned that creating a print book in Australia is a lot of work. However, I'm glad that I still have two versions of Beautiful Façade to offer people. I'm absolutely in love with how the print book turned out—the quality and presentation far out way my expectations.

 

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?

The eBook is only available through Amazon at present, but my print book is everywhere, including;

 

www.kathrynsrose.com

Beautiful Facade: Rose, Kathryn S: Amazon.com.au: Books

Beautiful Facade by Kathryn S Rose, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Beautiful Facade by Kathryn S Rose | 9780648951308 | Booktopia

 

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?

Very difficult. I only get an hour or two each day to work on my book, and lately, all that time has gone into prepping for the release of Beautiful Façade. I'm hoping that this year, with my son starting school five days a week and my daughter having an extensive day nap, that I might be able to divide my time better.

 

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?

I have so many passions. I love playing with my kids and going on family adventures. I love going to the gym, walking, swimming, and hiking. I enjoy reading and learning new things; I usually have a short course on the go. I love food, wine, beer, and coffee – and going to festivals that embrace these things. I also love music and watching live music. 

 

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?

Dogs all the way. Chocolate. COFFEE… I'm not sure how people function without it? Text, who has time to spend time talking on the phone?? I prefer to speak to my people in the flesh. I'm a day person unless you count getting up so early that it's still dark.

 


Beautiful Facade
Kathryn S Rose
Publication date: February 2nd 2021
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

On the day that 16-year-old Winter Starling had her life and dreams shattered by a sexual assault, she meets Kai, a boy from her high school obsessed with music. They develop a deep friendship, which comes to an abrupt end when Kai unexpectedly has to leave. Winter has no idea why he went or any way to contact him.

Ten years pass, and Winter has constructed a new reality for herself. Now living in Melbourne, she has a successful career in advertising and is engaged to Liam King, a star player in Australian Rules Football. Winter has a perfect life.

During a night out, Winter runs into Kai, now the lead singer of ‘The Stonevilles.’ Winter and Kai rekindle their friendship, and to everyone around them, their attraction is evident. With Kai back in her life, Winter’s past threatens to ruin her relationship with Liam and everything she has worked to achieve. But can she risk losing Kai a second time?

Emotional and edgy, Beautiful Facade is about love, loss, healing, self-discovery, and the messy battle between one’s head and one’s heart.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

Kathryn S Rose is a mum, wife, reader, writer, traveller, and food enthusiast. Writing a book was always on her bucket list, and finally, with Beautiful Facade, it has come into fruition.

Kathryn is interested in the study of human behaviour and obtained a Bachelor of Social Science, with a focus on Community studies and Welfare Work.

Since completing her studies, she has worked in several jobs, which have enhanced her understanding of social issues, human development, relationships, and lifestyle. Some of these insights are reflected in her writing and give her inspiration.

Besides books, Kathryn has many other loves. She enjoys listening to live music, relaxing at the beach, embarking on random hiking adventures, and indulging in too much food and wine with family and friends.

When Kathryn and her family aren’t traipsing around the world, they can be found residing in Perth, Western Australia.

Website / Instagram


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