Friday, May 29, 2020

Spotlight: TIMBERLINE by Skye McNeil

Collegiate Peaks Book 1 
by Skye McNeil 
Genre: Contemporary Romance, RomCom 

Best-selling romance novels are Jessamine Davis’s life. Well, editing them at least. Her own love life is far from a fairytale. Just when she thinks nothing could put her New York City lifestyle on hold, she receives an unexpected wedding invitation.

Asher Whitaker is a swoon-worthy romance author, but his writing stalls, so he takes a part-time job at a local coffee shop. When a gorgeous woman asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend for a wedding in Colorado, his writer’s block suddenly dissipates.

Wedding shenanigans and trying to pass off a faux relationship lead Jessamine and Asher to discover a stronger connection than either expected.

Can love under false pretenses stand a chance? 

Skye McNeil began writing at the age of seventeen and has been lost in a love affair ever since. During the day, she moonlights as a paralegal at a law firm favoring criminal law. 

Skye enjoys writing romantic comedies and romantic suspense novels that leave readers wanting more and falling in love over and over. She writes contemporary and historical novels ranging from sweet and sassy to steamy and sultry. 

Her constant writing companions are two cats and two dogs. When she's not writing, Skye enjoys spending time with family, photography, volleyball, traveling, and curling up with a cup of coffee and reading. 

Two $5 Amazon Gift cards 

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

#Review: NOTHING COMPARES TO A DUKE by Christy Carlyle

4 of 5 stars
Rhys Forester, the new Duke of Claremont, cares only for pleasure as he hosts more and more decadent parties. He doesn't want to think about ducal responsibilities and he especially doesn't want to think about his great regret: hurting Miss Arabella Prescott on her eighteenth birthday. He will never forget the hurt on her face and wishes there was a way to undo his bad behavior. Arabella Prescott is a whiz at puzzles and has spent the last 5 years toward creating enough of them for publication. If she's busy enough, there are a few moments a day when she doesn't think about Rhys. Will her shattered heart ever heal?

This was such an enjoyable read! I loved that Arabella was clever and wasn't afraid who knew it. And who doesn't love a reformed rake. I'm glad Arabella didn't immediately forgive Rhys when he apologized, although I thought her trust issues were drawn out a bit too much. They mystery of who was stealing Claremont money added a good twist to the overall story, but didn't take anything away from Rhys and Arabella's love story.

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

#Review: ROYAL KISS & TELL by Julia London

  3 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the series and I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book. Lady Caroline was hard to like with her loud and obnoxious behavior especially her self-conceit. She certainly has a high opinion of herself and is not afraid to tell everyone. Leo wasn't that much better - a spare heir to a small principality who's been living in London cavorting and drinking away his time. That is, until he stumbles upon a sex slavery scandal that reaches to the peers of England. He's made it his mission to save the 5 women who have recently been sold and against his better judgment enlists Caroline's help. I wish the slavery plot point had been explored a little more instead of focussing on Caroline's foray into dressmaking. 

While this is not my favorite book, I do enjoy Ms. London's books and will be anxiously waiting her next release. I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

#Review: WHEN YOU WISH UPON A ROGUE by Anna Bennett

3.5 of 5 stars

Henry Reese, Earl of Warshire, was never supposed to inherit the title. Except life doesn't always happen the way you expect them too and when Reese's older brother tragically dies in a hunting accident, Reese must give up the army and return to take up the title and responsibilities. When Reese learns that his army troop was attacked the night after he left and many good men die, the nightmares and guilt begin and the sleepless nights are relentless. He flees to his abandoned property in London where he meets the bold and beautiful Sophie Kendall. When he asks her to stay and talk with him a while, she agrees and it's the first night in weeks, he's able to fall asleep. Now all he wants is to make Sophie is own, but she's got her own secrets and guilt to deal with.

I enjoyed this story though I don't understand why "Rogue" is in the title. Reese isn't anything of the kind. He's a war hero called back to England when his brother dies. So I started reading the book expecting something totally different in the plot. I liked Sophie-she's smart, bold and falls for Reese's sweet and romantic ways as he restores his long neglected garden. I didn't like her family at all. They expected her to be the sacrificial lamb saving the family from ruin and she loved her family and wanted to do whatever she could to help them. I had figured out the twist long before the end of the book so it was no surprise when I got there.

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


  4 of 5 stars

This was another enjoyable story from Ms. Kelly although I did think there was a little too much going on with the plot. Graeme Kendrick works unofficially as a spy and is supposed to be very good at his job, however, throughout this book various villains get the jump on him. His number one distraction, Lady Sabrina Bell, keeps invading his thoughts at crucial points in various investigations.

I liked Sabrina. She started out as a typical Regency young woman. She ran her father's household--was organized, and always the dutiful daughter. However, after Graeme rescues her from the Serpentine, her personality seems to be take a 180 degree turn and she could have been a modern heroine. Although her father depends on her, Sabrina has no qualms about leaving him when she accompanies the king on a trip to Scotland. There is plenty of lively banter between Graeme and Sabrina and the Kendrick family, all seemingly at Graeme's expense. The plot moves along at a good pace, but I shaking my head at Graeme's ineptitude as he tries to ferret out clues in a smuggling ring.

All in all, I enjoyed the book, but I do think it could have done without all obstacles thrown in Sabrina' and Graeme's path. These two do nothing but argue throughout the book until they confess their love and get their HEA.

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

#Excerpt: ANGELBOUND ZINNIA by Christina Bauer

Christina Bauer
(Angelbound Offspring #3)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: July 30th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

As the last dragon shifter, I live alone, hiding in one of Earth’s sacred deserts. My human handlers tell me that I have no parents, no name, and no purpose other than to train for battle and one day become a vessel for the reincarnation of Chimera, the greatest dragon shifter of all. Sadly, Chimera’s rebirth will mean my own death. But my handlers say this sacrifice is a noble fate that will rebuild the dragon shifter world.
I shall die on my seventeenth birthday. That’s five days from now.
Then I hear music thumping across the desert. I take my mortal form, follow the sound, and find humans dancing in what they call a rave. There is a stage and a rock band. One thing quickly becomes clear: Unlike the audience, the musicians are dragon shifters, just like me. And one of them, the guitar player Rhodes, makes my knees turn watery. The lead singer, Kaps, has something strangely familiar about her.
It all adds up to one conclusion: My handlers lied to me. I’m not the last of my kind. Memories reappear. I had parents once. Portia and Tempest. I even had a name. Zinnia. Perhaps I have a reason to live as well. I step past the dancing humans to confront the players.
I will find out the full truth, no matter what.
Zinnia – Age Nine
Chapter One
Tucking my unicorn comforter under my chin, I come to a big decision.
Naptime is for losers.
I may only be nine—well, almost ten—but I know one thing: there are way too many rules for dragon princesses like me. For starters, we’re supposed to take naps every bleeding afternoon. No way. Napping is for babies. That’s why I’m sneaking out today to see my best friend, LT.
Twisting under my covers, I check out my bedroom. There are pink curtains, white furniture, and the royal crest of Furonium over the door. My parents rule all the dragon shifters, so that crest-thingy hangs everywhere. My sisters, Kaps and Huntress, lie in their bunk beds across the room. So you know, my family stays in human form most of the time. No dragon caves for us, thank you very much. Those places have bats.
Squinting, I look at my sisters more closely. Are they really out of it? Can I sneak away? Like always, Kaps lays half-off the top bunk. Wisps of brown hair hang over her mouth, blowing in and out with her snores. I shake my head.
Even asleep, my twin is noisy.
Meanwhile, Huntress rests curled up on her side. Her shoulders rise and fall silently. Huntress never lets out a sound, even when she’s snoozing.
That settles it.
Both my sisters are totally zonked.
Time to go.

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020


  3 of 5 stars

I’m a fan of Ms. Miller’s books and this one was a pleasant read. The first two books in the series were outstanding and this one was a little bland compared to those. Lord Elliot Haverford, Baron Ralston needs to marry a heiress to save his crumbling estates. His only choice is to marry this Season and he has set his sights on Lady Nina Trent whom he has admired for some time. Lady Nina is being pressured by her strict and cranky grandmother that it is her duty to marry well and make her brother proud. When Elliot comes up with a plan to help her catch the eye of the duke, she reluctantly agrees to his plan, but much to her dismay, she is beginning to think of Elliot and less about the duke. Can she tame this notorious rake and win his heart?

While there was some witty banter especially from Elliot, the plot moved along more slowly than I usually enjoy. Of course, there is a villain in the story and it turns out to be a nice twist, but not enough to win this book a higher rating than 3 stars.

I’m looking forward to Elliot’s sister’s story and hoping it’s the next one in the series. I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.


  5 of 5 stars

Lord Adrian Torrington is a wealthy land owner by day and a spy by night. Out on a mission, he believes he's robbed the wrong carriage and sent it crashing down the ravine. Inside he finds Elizabeth and her infant son. When he hears another coach approaching, he must protect his identity as a spy and proposes marriage to Elizabeth. Elizabeth is trying to support her young son after being abandoned by the child's father. When Adrian proposes a marriage of convenience, she sees no better alternative and agrees. His only stipulation is that she must pretend to be madly in love with him. Can she fool everyone by pretending or will she truly fall for the handsome lord?

This was the first book I've read by Ms. Wilson and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The murder mystery was top notch and I didn't see the final piece of the puzzle coming together until it was actually revealed. The author was masterful in how she teased out details of both Elizabeth's past as well as Adrian's first marriage. His daughters, Julianna and Phoebe added much to the story.

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

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

This year thus far has been full of frustration, fears and untold sadness as Covid-19 has swept through the US killing 100,000 Americans. There has been unimaginable pain and suffering for so many, but I would also like to remember the meaning of Memorial Day. 

Soldiers risk their lives every day for our freedom, a freedom that sometimes we might take for granted. Nothing in life is free and I for one am thankful that we have such brave men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our freedom.  

Dear Solider: Thank you for your Service. Thank you for your Sacrifice. Thank you for your Courage. I Salute YOU. This day honors all of you. 

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formally known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.

The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.

Whatever you decide to do on this holiday weekend as our country struggles to reopen, say a prayer and a "thank you" for all of the US military personnel who are serving around the world to keep us all safe. 

My thanks go out to Dave, Tim, Gary, and Brenda for your current and past service. Be safe out there.

#Guest Post: Laurel A Rockefeller, MARGARET OF WESSEX

Picts, Scots, and Vikings: an Introduction to the Peoples of Medieval “Scotland.”

The people of Scotland are a proud people. From vibrant clan tartans to the frequent protest marches that routinely fill every major city and town, it’s hard to miss the love felt by Scotland’s residents for their country, culture, and unique way of life.  Whether your passion is for the rugged highlands, the romance of its historical rebels like Robert the Bruce, or for the world class poets, painters, and writers that call Glasgow and Edinburgh home, there is something for everyone in Scotland. 
Scotland seems like a homogenous country, an ancient land where people can count their ancestry back for thousands of years. And while this is partially true, the picture is a bit more complex and nuanced than people believe. Let’s take a look at the three major nationalities from whom most modern Scots count as their ancient and medieval ancestors:

By far the largest ethnic group in terms of both land and population numbers, the Picts were comprised of over a dozen clans spread across the entire region we call “Scotland” today. These are the Brythonic, native peoples who first arrived over three thousand years ago and formed the first settlements. They were builders of the great monoliths whose ruins can be found in nearly every corner of Scotland. Archaeology has recently traced large numbers of the Stonehenge builders to Picts from Orkney. The name “Pict” is Roman in origin and references the Pictish (and generally Brythonic) habit of painting their bodies blue before going into battle.
The Picts spoke a Celtic language that they did not write down. Instead, like other Brythonic peoples in modern day England and Wales, we know about them primarily from archaeology and from written accounts of outsiders like the Romans. It is very highly likely they originally practiced some form of druidism common across other nationalities in the British islands.
As defenders of their lands, the Picts were unbeatable, even by the mighty Roman legions who completely demolished the Celtic societies in England and partially demolished some of the Welsh kingdoms. Hadrian’s Wall was built to contain the Picts and keep them up north. 

Scotti (Scots)
The Scotti or Scots (Latin for “pirates”) were immigrants from Ireland who arrived around the year 498 CE from eastern Ireland.  Though we call the country “Scotland” in reference to them, the Scotti lived primarily in the county of Argyll on the southwestern coast of Scotland – a very small territory relative to those held by the many Pictish clans.  From roughly 500 CE to 840 CE they existed as the kingdom of Dalriada. Their language was Gaelic, a Celtic language similar to, but decidedly different from the language of the Picts.
As a rule, Scotti population numbers were very small, especially compared to their Pict neighbours to the north and east.
In 810 CE, King Ailpín of Dalriada’s Pictish princess wife gave birth to their son, Cináed mac Ailpín, better known as King Kenneth I MacAlpin. In Kenneth MacAlpin, the crowns of the Picts and Scots merged into a single person. Kenneth’s coronation in 840 in Scone in Perthshire (approximately 30 miles north of House Dunkeld’s capital in Dunfermline) as “king of the Picts” marks the official formation of the new, blended kingdom of ALBA. “House of Alpin” is considered the first of three Scottish dynasties:  House of Alpin, House of Dunkeld, and House of Stewart (Stuart).
Within weeks of Kenneth’s coronation, 143 Viking warships arrived in Dalriada. Almost immediately King Kenneth evacuated Dalriada’s capital of Dun Monaidh. Specifically, he transferred all government documents, religious objects and relics, government workers, and so forth to Scone—including the famous “stone of destiny.” Essentially, King Kenneth abandoned Dalriada to the Vikings in favour of the safety of the much more defensible Perthshire. Without resistance, the Vikings overthrew Dalriada, destroying the kingdom completely.

Vikings (Norwegians)
The Viking story as it relates to modern day Scotland is a Norwegian story. Though the term “Viking” can refer to anyone of Scandinavian origin, the Vikings who specifically invaded Pictish-held lands all came from Norway.
During the 780s, Norwegian war ships arrived in the Orkney Islands. Whether all the Pictish men of Orkney were slaughtered, fled for the Scottish mainland, or a mix of both, we will never know because the Picts left no written records.  What we do know from DNA testing is that there are no Pictish markers among any men from Orkney today. Only among the women of Orkney do we see any trace of Orkney’s ancient Pictish heritage.
In 892 CE, the Jarldom (or Earldom – though there are some differences between an Earl and a Jarl) of Orkney was formalized by the Norwegian crown. Orkney stayed under Norwegian control through all three of Alba’s dynasties, completely independent from mainland Scottish control until 1468 when Orkney was given to King James III Stewart as part of the dowry for Princess Mary, daughter of Norway’s King Christian I.
For nearly 700 years, the kings of Norway controlled Orkney. Nowhere else in the British islands did a king of a far-flung land retain such sovereignty.
Over the centuries, the Picts, Scots, and Norwegians became a single “Scottish” people. The languages of the Picts and the Scots, though probably originally as different as Spanish and Portuguese, merged into a single language we call “Scots-Gaelic” to differentiate it from the Gaelic still spoken in Ireland. Under House Dunkeld another language evolved that merged both Pictish and Gaelic with the English brought to Alba by Queen Margaret of Wessex and of course some local loan words.  “Auld Scots” is that particular language we think of as Scottish today. Though treated as a dialect of English, Auld Scots is much more complex, a reflection of centuries of blending together the different peoples that call Scotland home.
As for why we call this nation “Scotland” despite the minority of actual Scots from Dalriada, the answer ultimately comes from English conquest and imperialism. It was the English who called the kingdom “Scotland” instead of Alba and the English who called the Celtic language(s) of Alba “Scot-Gaelic” when, in truth, most of the language so labelled is probably Pictish in origin.
Using the name “Scotland” instead of Alba is, therefore, part of the legacy of centuries of war between Alba in the north and England in the south. It is one of many open wounds that continue to divide Alba’s peoples from those who wish to be part of the United Kingdom and those who pray for the day Scotland will be called Alba once more, independent from English rule and truly free.

Margaret of Wessex 
The Legendary Women of World History Book 10 
by Laurel A. Rockefeller 
Genre: Historical Fiction 

The 11th century was a dangerous time to be of the line unbroken of King Æthelred II Unread and his first queen, Æfgifu of York. Born in Hungary after King Canute III's failed attempt to murder her father, Edward the Exile, Margaret found her life turned upside down by King Edward the Confessor's discovery of her father's survival -- and the resulting recall of her family to England.

Now a political hostage only kept alive for as long as it served powerful men's interests, Margaret and her family found King Máel Coluim mac Donnchadh Ceann Mhor (Malcolm III Canmore)'s invitation to his court in Dunfermline in Alba the long-awaited answer to her prayers.

Scotland would never be the same again.

Includes two family tree charts, an expansive timeline covering over three thousand years of Pictish and medieval history, plus Roman Catholic prayers, and a bibliography so you can keep learning. 

**Special Promo!** 

There are now TEXTBOOK versions of most of the Legendary Women of History series On sale for 99 cents versus $2.99 for the regular editions. The textbook versions add study questions to each chapter of the biographies. 

You can find all the textbook editions at

or on my website at

Sale ends June 30th!

Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska USA Laurel A. Rockefeller is author of over twenty-five books published and self-published since August, 2012 with editions spanning across ten languages and counting. A dedicated scholar and biographical historian, Ms. Rockefeller is passionate about education and improving history literacy worldwide.

With her lyrical writing style, Laurel's books are as beautiful to read as they are informative.

In her spare time, Laurel enjoys spending time with her cockatiels, travelling to historic places, and watching classic motion pictures and classic television series. Favorites: Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Babylon 5.

Laurel proudly supports Health in Harmony, The Arbor Day Foundation, and other charities working to protect and re-plant forests globally. 

1 $15 Amazon Gift Card 
1 signed paperback copy of Margaret of Wessex 
1 audiobook: choice of Hypatia of Alexandria (English) or Catalina de Valois (Spanish) 

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Friday, May 22, 2020

#Spotlight: SAILOR TAKE WARNING by MK Scott

Sailor Take Warning
The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries Book 11
by M K Scott
Genre: Cozy Mystery

The commissioner banned citizen interference in police investigations, but that’s never stopped Donna before and won’t stop her now.

A race yacht has capsized. A millionaire has gone missing. If that and the involvement of a would-be psychic aren’t reason enough to worry, adding Donna’s meddling mother to the mix will jeopardize Legacy’s reputation even further.

Can Donna rein in the chaos before it spells disaster for everyone involved?

**Only .99 cents!!**

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**Books 1-4 are on Kindle Unlimited! **
**Killer Review is FREE from May 1st – 5th!**
**Christmas Calamity is FREE May 17th – 20th!!**

About the Author
M. K. Scott is the husband and wife writing team behind The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Morgan K Wyatt is the general wordsmith, while her husband, Scott, is the grammar hammer and physics specialist. He uses his engineering skills to explain how fast a body falls when pushed over a cliff and various other felonious activities. The Internet and experts in the field provide forensic information, while the recipes and B and B details require a more hands on approach. 

Morgan's daughter, who manages a hotel, provides guest horror stories to fuel the plot lines. The couple's dog, Chance, is the inspiration behind Jasper, Donna's dog. Murder Mansion is the first book in The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Overall, it is a fun series to create and read. Drop Dead Handsome is the second book in the series.

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