Tag Archives: Reading

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Spring Fling Kitty by Rachelle Ayala

~This series from Rachelle Ayala is going on my must-read list~

Heartbreaker Connor Hart, one of the youngest fire chiefs in the country, is planning on marrying Dr. Elaine Woo, a woman who pretended to cheat on him with his best friend many years ago. She bought him a Dalmatian puppy, he gave her a ring—and the women of San Francisco are about to lose their most eligible bachelor.

Artist and poet Nadine Woo is down on her luck. The cast-off half-sister of Dr. Elaine Woo, she doesn’t measure up, according to her strict and distant father. When Nadine and her mother are about to be evicted from their apartment, she gets an interesting offer from her sister. Seems she’s in need of a little help concerning her relationship with Fire Chief Connor Hart.

As soon as Nadine meets Connor, she knows she’s in for a rough ride. Connor is the fireman who rescued her and her little gray kitten, and she’s never forgotten how safe she felt in his arms.

When Nadine takes her sister’s place at a spring fling weekend with Connor, love ignites, and there’s no going back.

Can a spunky little kitty show Connor and Nadine that doing the wrong thing is sometimes right, especially when it comes to love?

Spring Fling Kitty is Book #3 of the Have A Hart Romance Series. It can be read standalone, although characters from the previous books appear here in supporting roles.

Have a Hart Romance Series 
Christmas Lovebirds, Book #1
Valentine Hound Dog, Book #2
Spring Fling Kitty, Book #3

Available to buy from…
Amazon   Barnes and Noble   Google Play   iBooks

“Beautiful romance with a touch of suspense, great combination!” – Amazon review

“A beautiful, heartfelt story. Love saw. Love came. Love conquered. I truly recommended everyone to read this book.”  – Amazon review

About heroine Nadine Woo – “A free spirit is a gift in my eyes. It’s what makes her beautiful. It’s what makes Connor love her. It’s what brings life to this story.” – Corissa Palfrey

About the author
Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book. Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, and A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award.

Sign up for her NEWSLETTER to get a FREE surprise book and her latest book news HERE!

Visit her Reader’s Guide HERE

Find the author on the following sites…
Website   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Google+   Goodreads  
Amazon Author Page

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NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY

Win $25 Gift Card or Autographed Paperback of Spring Fling Kitty
(winners choice)
Open Worldwide

Ending on Saturday 13th August at 11.59pm EST

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Book Review & Giveaway ~ AT Dawn by John W. Mefford

My Thoughts & Review

AT Dawn is the 4th installment in the Alex Troutt Thriller series. It can be read as a stand-alone book, but in my personal opinion, you’ll understand more of the background if you’ve read the previous books.

Like most women, Alex Troutt wears many hats. First and foremost, she is a single mom, as well as, an FBI agent and a woman who wouldn’t mind the affections of a wonderful man in her life. For her, and most women, life is hectic and can seem to be like a balancing act.

In this installment, Alex is focusing on her family life … not work. She takes her kids on a well-deserved and overdue vacation to the small town where she grew up on the gulf coast of Texas. She imagined enjoying fun, sun-filled days on the beach with her kids, re-connecting with her estranged father, and catching up with lifelong friends she grew up with. Sounds like the perfect trip … until her family is put in danger by a drive-by shooting involving a new drug cartel trying to take over the quiet beach town that attracts a lot of tourism.

So much for relaxing with her family … she goes into FBI mode and teams up with an old CIA colleague who is now working as a PI looking for a rich college kid who has disappeared. Are these cases somehow related? She follows all the leads and somehow, her father’s girlfriend seems to be involved. Is she involved with the cartel? Is she putting her father in danger … and her kids?

Like most women, Alex has to balance family life with work life … with one exception, her involves a lot of bullets!

This is a great book (and a great series) … 2 thumbs up!

New Release….
Alex Troutt Thriller, Book #4
AT Dawn

FBI Special Agent Alex Troutt returns in a twisting, heart-pounding thriller.

Three flashes of light illuminate a dark sky. An unspeakable evil devours its prey.

The shimmering view of the sun-drenched ocean can often be nothing more than a mirage. For Alex Troutt, a trip back home for a much-needed summer vacation proves only one thing: greed rules. But how it takes root could destroy her world.

Fueled by the lust of power and money, the shadow of death envelopes her seaside hometown, including those closest to Alex. But as disconnected investigations converge into one focal point, Alex will stop at nothing to blow the entire crime ring straight to hell—even if she has to make the ultimate sacrifice…her life.

Available to buy from…..
Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Barnes and Noble    iBooks   Kobo

“Alex Troutt is quickly becoming one of my favorite fictional characters. I love how she’s constantly having to balance her family life and her job, even though her job is continually threatening to take over.” – Sonya N

“I simply love every single one of John Mefford’s novels. They keep you on the edge of your seat reading late into the night.” – Michele B

“Intrigue and attempts at revenge for long held grudges – the twists and turns keeps your adrenalin pumping.” – Tracy C

above reviews from the Alex Trout Series

Also available in the series…
    

About the Author
A veteran of the corporate wars, former journalist, and true studier of human and social behavior, best-selling author John W. Mefford has been writing novels since he first entered the work force twenty-five years ago, although he never put words on paper until late 2009.

John writes novels full of intrigue, suspense, and thrills, but they also evoke an emotional connection with the characters.

When he’s not writing, he chases three kids around, slaves away in the yard, reads, takes in as many sports as time allows, watches all sorts of movies, and continues to make mental notes of people and societies across the land.

John lives in Frisco, Texas with his beautiful wife, three opinionated kids, and a feisty fat cat who rules the world.

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Once and Future Wife by David Burnett

Book Review from Tracy Helps You

Book Review from Tracy Helps You

~ My Thoughts and Review ~

Jennie has a good life … now, but not always. She leads a content life as a third grade teacher. She spends her free time with friends and her grown daughters. She has overcome many things over the last decade or so, including learning to manage her Bi-Polar Disorder diagnosis. Continue reading

Book Review & Giveaway ~ A Flair for Chardonnay by Deborah Garner

My Thoughts & Review

Spending time in the country, sipping wine and eating chocolate – it’s a rough job, but someone has to do it 🙂

Sadie Kramer is up for the task, and somehow, mysteries just seem to fall into her lap. Sadie runs a successful and busy boutique shop in San Francisco with her assistant, Amber. Sadie decided she needed / deserved a little getaway. Knowing Amber was more than capable of handling things in her absence, she decided to take a long weekend up the coast to wine country.

Since she has been worried about her friend and chocolatier business neighbor, Matteo, she decided she would visit his family’s winery, the Tremiato Winery in St. Vincent’s Hollow.

When she stops in the tasting room, she meets all of Matteo’s siblings and mother, without them knowing of her friendship with Matteo, who is apparently the black sheep of their family. She agrees to come back in the morning to enjoy their annual Harvest Festival.

She arrives refreshed the next day, after a pleasant nights stay at a local B&B (also owned by a Tremiato family member); to find the hubbub of a crime scene … someone had been murdered at the winery. And just like that, another mystery falls into Sadie’s lap.

Deborah Garner is gifted at bringing each character to life. She adds details seamlessly, making it seem like you know these people. She presents scenarios that have you thinking you know who did it, and then in the next sentence you are second guessing yourself. And that is to say, this is a great “who done it” … it gets 2 thumbs up from me 🙂

NEW RELEASE….

When flamboyant senior sleuth Sadie Kramer learns the owner of Cioccolato, her favorite chocolate shop, is in trouble, she heads for the California wine country with a tote-bagged Yorkie and a slew of questions. The fourth generation Tremiato Winery promises answers, but not before a dead body turns up at the vintners’ scheduled Harvest Festival.

All four Tremiato siblings have possible motives, as well as a few peripheral acquaintances, but only one could be the guilty party. As Sadie juggles truffles, tips and turmoil, she’ll need to sort the grapes from the wrath in order to find the identity of the killer.

Available to buy from….
Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk   

About the author
Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website   Facebook   Twitter   Google+   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY

Win a $25 Amazon.com Giftcard or Paypal Cash
(winners choice)
Open Worldwide

Ending on Sunday 5th June at 11.59pm EST

Enter Below and Good Luck !!

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Book Review & Giveaway ~ AT Once by John W. Mefford

~~~ My Thoughts & Review ~~~

AT Once is the third book in the Alex Troutt series. It can definitely be a standalone book, but I have read the first two, AT Bay & AT Large, because that is just my personal preference when I read series – it’s your call 🙂

FBI Special Agent Alex Troutt and her partner Nick, are assigned to investigate a bombing at a local catholic church – the second in as many weeks. Then there is a car bomb followed by another at the local post office garage. Are they related ? If so, how ? What do the victims have in common ?

Through routine questioning of the post office witnesses, it is discovered that the bomb missed it’s true target. It was meant for another  postal employee. He happened to take a different vehicle that day, because someone else took number 32 – the truck he always takes. Through a thorough interrogation, they learn of his past ties to Northern Ireland and the IRA.

On top of all that, Alex is also ordered to secretly investigate the possibility that her boss, her Irish boss, is somehow involved in the whole mess. Or is he being set up ? If so, by whom ?

John W. Mefford is talented at introducing new characters, while expanding the background of the current characters in the series. This thriller keeps you guessing – intrigue and attempts at revenge for long held grudges – the twists and turns keeps your adrenalin pumping.

2 thumbs up for AT Once … I can’t wait to read the 4th in this series !

New Release….
Alex Troutt Thriller, Book #3
AT Once

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

FBI Agent Alex Troutt has no intentions of falling for anything. Apparently, neither do the bad guys, as the Boston area is once again targeted by extremists. Boston Strong of just a few years ago is now Boston on Edge. And this time, the targets are men of the cloth—priests.

At least that’s how it looks at first.

As investigators struggle to make sense of the bombings, Alex is thrown for a loop when the FBI assistant director asks her to investigate one of their own—a colleague and friend who is suspected of having ties to a known terrorist. Torn between her values of friendship and the oath she gave when she accepted her FBI credentials, Alex must now lead two investigations simultaneously.

The bombings don’t stop, and panic sets in as the carnage spreads beyond the realm of the original targets.

Bloody Sunday. The IRA. The movement toward peace. Wounds of decades ago have reopened, bleeding all over Boston. As she pieces together the puzzle, Alex begins to wonder just how innocent her colleague really is. It’s almost too much for her to fathom.

Just how far will someone go to make a stand?

Available to buy from…..
Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Barnes and Noble    iBooks   Kobo   

Also available
AT Bay (An Alex Troutt Thriller, Book #1)
Alexandra Giordano never knew she had it so good. Until it was all gone in an instant.

As she begins her daunting quest to uncover the black spots on her memory, what she finds isn’t sweet or charming or even pleasant. And that’s when she begins to question everything, including herself.

Her work as a Special Agent for the FBI is only a distraction, serving as a mental metronome…anything to crank the gears of her feeble mind.

And then it happens—a bizarre, ritualistic murder. She loses herself in her work, fully immersed in the investigation. Unable to recall even her own kids, she’s somehow able to formulatecoherent theories on what type of person could pull off such a sickening act.

As her mind slowly plugs a few memory gaps, her emotions are scrambled by the reality of herworlds colliding. And the resulting explosion tears her in two.

Can she pick up all the incendiary fragments to solve the twisted crime while she clings to somesemblance of sanity?

One woman can only keep so much…AT Bay.

Available to buy from…..
Amazon Kindle    Amazon Paperback    Barnes and Noble    iBooks   Kobo   

AT Large (An Alex Troutt Thriller, Book #2)
The pursuit of the truth. The hunt for a life.

For the first time in months, FBI Special Agent Alex Troutt feels almost normal, hanging out at a local bar with friends after work. Not long into the evening she stumbles over one of the most disturbing images she has ever seen.

And that’s only the beginning.

A body is found in Lowell, the human damage, once again, inconceivable. Hours later, another strike. Pushing heartache aside, Alex immerses herself in the investigation. But with every new clue comes a new twist.

With the killing spree drawing the attention of every intelligence and law enforcement agency in a five-state radius, Alex is forced to partner with an egomaniac from the CIA. Yet, even with limitless resources, every step forward proves to be a step too late, the kill list seemingly endless.

Once the killer makes it personal, Alex is left with no other option—she must confront the person who destroyed her life to try to cease the vicious murders. And when she finally learns the killer’s end game, every second counts if she has any hope of stopping the brutal killings.

The hunt will end. Will Alex?

Available to buy from…..
Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Barnes and Noble    iBooks   Kobo   

About the Author
A veteran of the corporate wars, former journalist, and true studier of human and social behavior, best-selling author John W. Mefford has been writing novels since he first entered the work force twenty-five years ago, although he never put words on paper until late 2009.

John writes novels full of intrigue, suspense, and thrills, but they also evoke an emotional connection with the characters.

When he’s not writing, he chases three kids around, slaves away in the yard, reads, takes in as many sports as time allows, watches all sorts of movies, and continues to make mental notes of people and societies across the land.

John lives in Frisco, Texas with his beautiful wife, three opinionated kids, and a feisty fat cat who rules the world.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website   Facebook   Twitter   Google+  Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

OTHER BOOKS FROM JOHN W MEFFORD

9578899

Follow the book tour

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY

Win THREE Alex Troutt Thrillers by John W Mefford 
ebooks AT Bay, AT Large and AT Once
2 Winners!!
Ending on Friday 3rd June at 11.59pm CST

Open Worldwide 

Enter HERE

Good Luck !!

Book Review & Giveaway ~ AT Large by John W. Mefford

~ My Thoughts & Review ~

AT Large is the second book in the Alex Troutt series. It can definitely be a standalone book, but I chose to read the first one, AT Bay, because that is just my personal preference when I read series – it’s your call 🙂

In AT Large, we find FBI Special Agent Alex Troutt has now transferred into the Violent Crimes Unit and is again working with her old partner, Nick. On the case they are working, they discover many gruesome similarities to a previous case, including some facts that connect back to J. L. Cobb – the man in prison awaiting trial for murdering Alex’s unfaithful husband along with several other men who were cheating on the wives. Could he have had a partner ?

The latest murdering spree takes us up and down the eastern seaboard. The victims – both male and female – how are they connected ? Are they somehow connected to the Ring Murders ?

John Mefford introduces new characters and fleshes out his current characters seamlessly and weaves them into the fabric of the story.  This thriller has you on the edge of your seat – the twists and turns keeps your adrenaline pumping.

2 thumbs up for AT Bay & AT Large … I can’t wait to read the 3rd in this series !

New Release…

Alex Troutt Thriller Series #2
AT Large

The pursuit of the truth. The hunt for a life.

For the first time in months, FBI Special Agent Alex Troutt feels almost normal, hanging out at a local bar with friends after work. Not long into the evening she stumbles over one of the most disturbing images she has ever seen.

And that’s only the beginning.

A body is found in Lowell, the human damage, once again, inconceivable. Hours later, another strike. Pushing heartache aside, Alex immerses herself in the investigation. But with every new clue comes a new twist.

With the killing spree drawing the attention of every intelligence and law enforcement agency in a five-state radius, Alex is forced to partner with an egomaniac from the CIA. Yet, even with limitless resources, every step forward proves to be a step too late, the kill list seemingly endless.

Once the killer makes it personal, Alex is left with no other option—she must confront the person who destroyed her life to try to cease the vicious murders. And when she finally learns the killer’s end game, every second counts if she has any hope of stopping the brutal killings.

The hunt will end. Will Alex?

Available to buy from…..
Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Barnes and Noble iBooks Kobo

Also available

AT Bay (Alex Troutt Thriller series #1)
Alexandra Giordano never knew she had it so good. Until it was all gone in an instant.

As she begins her daunting quest to uncover the black spots on her memory, what she finds isn’t sweet or charming or even pleasant. And that’s when she begins to question everything, including herself.

Her work as a Special Agent for the FBI is only a distraction, serving as a mental metronome…anything to crank the gears of her feeble mind.

And then it happens—a bizarre, ritualistic murder. She loses herself in her work, fully immersed in the investigation. Unable to recall even her own kids, she’s somehow able to formulate coherent theories on what type of person could pull off such a sickening act.

As her mind slowly plugs a few memory gaps, her emotions are scrambled by the reality of her worlds colliding. And the resulting explosion tears her in two.

Can she pick up all the incendiary fragments to solve the twisted crime while she clings to some semblance of sanity?

One woman can only keep so much…AT Bay.

Available to buy from…..
Amazon Kindle Amazon Paperback Barnes and Noble iBooks Kobo

About the Author
A veteran of the corporate wars, former journalist, and true studier of human and social behavior, best-selling author John W. Mefford has been writing novels since he first entered the work force twenty-five years ago, although he never put words on paper until late 2009.

John writes novels full of intrigue, suspense, and thrills, but they also evoke an emotional connection with the characters.

When he’s not writing, he chases three kids around, slaves away in the yard, reads, takes in as many sports as time allows, watches all sorts of movies, and continues to make mental notes of people and societies across the land.

John lives in Frisco, Texas with his beautiful wife, three opinionated kids, and a feisty fat cat who rules the world.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website Facebook Twitter Google+ Goodreads Amazon Author Page

OTHER BOOKS FROM JOHN W MEFFORD
9578899

Follow the book tour

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY

Win both ebooks AT Bay and AT Large
2 Winners!!
Ending on Thursday 14th April at 11.59pm CST
Open Worldwide

Enter HERE

Good Luck !!

Book Review & Giveaway ~ A Pet for Christmas by Rachelle Ayala

NEW RELEASE…

Dedication:
To those who still suffer the wounds of war.

 >>><<<

Kelly Kennedy thought her life was finally on track. Engaged to the man of her dreams and with a baby on the way, she reassures her five-year-old daughter, Bree, that the father she picked for Christmas still loves her.

Unfortunately, war veteran Tyler Manning has been away most of the year. Recovering from PTSD isn’t easy. Rather than worry Kelly, Tyler spends his time traveling to Afghanistan to work at a children’s charity he founded.

Kelly decides to distract Bree with promises of a pet for Christmas. When Tyler is taken hostage by terrorists, she finds it hard to convince Bree that they will truly be a family in time for Christmas.

A Pet for Christmas is a sequel A Father for Christmas. While it can be read as a standalone, you’ll get more of the relationship aspect between Kelly, Tyler, and Bree by reading A Father for Christmas first.

~~~ My Thoughts & Review ~~~

A Pet for Christmas is the sequel that started with A Father for Christmas. I decided to read the first book as well, so I’ll give my thoughts on both books 🙂

~ In A Father for Christmas, we are introduced to the main characters – Bree, her mother, Kelly and Tyler, a war veteran struggling with PTSD. Tyler is also the gift (father) Bree requested from the mall Santa.

Kelly is fiercely independent, a supermom. She had Bree through artificial insemination, fully intending to be a single parent – she didn’t need a man. In preschool, Bree learns about families that have both a mommy & a daddy and sets her mind on getting herself a daddy. The rest of the story shares the rocky, romantic road that Kelly and Tyler travel together.

~ In A Pet for Christmas, the story picks up around the Holidays a year later. Kelly and Tyler are now engaged and expecting a baby. Tyler continues to struggle with flash backs from the war, as well as, survivor’s guilt. He has founded a charity to help children in war torn Afghanistan. He travels there to handle some charity business when there is a terrorist attack and Tyler has no way to communicate with his family back home.

Meanwhile, Kelly is very pregnant / hormonal. She is trying to deal with her own personal fears of abandonment and trust. Bree is showing signs of being jealous of her unborn baby brother and wants to know about her “real” daddy. They are all worried if Tyler is ok and if he will get home in time for Christmas. Getting a puppy seemed like a good idea … something to love and, hopefully provide a distraction from worrying.

Is Tyler ok? Will he get home for Christmas? Will this new little family survive? You’ll have to read the book to find out. What could be better than a nice Christmas-y romance ??

Available to buy from…

Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iBooks   GPlay

“Heartwarming story of hope and second chances.” – Ruth Davis on Book 1, A Father for Christmas

“Absolutely breathtaking love story.” – Amber McCallister on Book 1, A Father for Christmas

Also Available

A Father for Christmas (A Veteran’s Christmas Book 1)

Dedication
To all the veterans who gave so much.

 >>><<<

Single mother Kelly Kennedy can’t afford lavish gifts for her four-year-old daughter, Bree. Homeless veteran Tyler Manning doesn’t believe he deserves a Merry Christmas.

When Bree asks Santa for a father and picks Tyler, both Tyler and Kelly vow to keep Bree from being hurt while fighting their feelings for each other.

Tyler struggles with frightening flashbacks that scare Kelly. Meanwhile, Kelly’s criminal past threatens her chance for happiness. Tyler and Kelly must believe in the power of love to give Bree her best Christmas ever.

Available to buy from…

Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iBooks   GPlay

About the author

Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling Asian American author of dramatic romantic suspense and humorous, sexy contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes hot. She writes emotionally challenging stories but believes in the power of love and hope.

Rachelle is the founder of an online writing group, Romance in a Month, an active member of the California Writer’s Club, Fremont Chapter, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has won awards in multicultural and historical romance.

Find the author on the following pages….

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Google+   Goodreads  Amazon Author Page

Follow the tour

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own. NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY     Win $25 Amazon.com GC / Paypal Cash (winners choice)   Open Worldwide Ending on Sunday 18th October at 11.59pm EST   Enter Below and Good Luck !! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Return To Me by Carolyn Menke

New Release…

Eighteen-year-old Sadie Stark, raised by the governor of Pennsylvania, has the world on a string. She doesn’t need the mother who left her any more than she needs the fiance who promises to change. What she needs is to finish college, and keep her wits about her.

When war-bound James Pasko returns her stolen clutch, and shows her what’s missing in her life, she gains the courage to search for the truth about her past.

What Sadie uncovers rattles her to the core. But James’ steadfast love gives her hope for the future—for the first time—even as the war tears them apart.

When James disappears over enemy lines and Sadie makes a startling discovery, she must decide to follow in the footsteps of the mother who gave her away, or face a life of hardship like she’s never known.

Available to buy from….

Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo

~~~~  My Thoughts & Review  ~~~~

While I love reading many kinds of books, Historical Fiction is my favorite genre. I especially love stories during the WWII era. This wonderful story fit the bill perfectly. Carolyn Menke did a great job introducing & developing each character, it feels like you know them.
Return to Me is a love story set during the turbulent wartime years of the 1940’s. The author tells the story through the two main characters, Sadie & James. Every other chapter is told from each of their points of view. Their chance meeting ~ their whirlwind romance ~ their love letters … you will be drawn into their story (and be glad to know them).
I like learning how life was so different then as compared to now (especially for woman). They had to be so strong. I can’t imagine having to be separated from my spouse/loved one for so long. The not-knowing of his safety would have driven me crazy. They call them the Greatest Generation for a reason …
So, as in all good love stories, we don’t find out until near the end if James & Sadie’s relationship will survive the war torn years apart … and I’m not going to spoil it for you. I highly recommend you get this book … I loved it 🙂

~ I have been given this book from Beck Valley Book Tours in return for my honest review ~

“A sweeping, romantic debut that brings the war-time forties to vivid life in this Titanic meets Philomena tale—fast-paced, tender, and real.” —RITA Award-winning Author Gwyn Cready

“Menke’s writing is so lovely, you will want to wrap yourself in her words and savor each moment you spend in Sadie’s story. Return To Me will tug on your heart strings and take you on a journey back in time.” —Dana Faletti, Author of the Whisper Trilogy

 “A timeless tale of love, loss and sacrifice that will equally break and warm your heart, as you cheer for the beautifully complex characters until the very last page.” —Lori M. Jones, Author of Renaissance of the Heart

About the Author

Carolyn Menke is the author of “A Little Known Truth” and “The Survival Guide to Mommy-hood,” both published in “Beyond the Diaper Bag.” Her flash fiction piece “Full Circle” took first place in the Writer’s Type literary competition in July 2012. “Baba’s Bananas” also placed first at Writer’s Type in March 2011, and was later awarded first runner-up overall for the yearly competition in the same category.

A storyteller with an entrepreneurial spirit, she started a marketing communications business with clients ranging from local start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to that she worked as a marketing communications specialist for high-tech companies. She gained valuable public speaking experience while leading corporate and educational training workshops. Recently, she was a guest speaker at Wexford Elementary, and has been invited to share her latest novel, Return To Me, with area reading clubs.

The author earned a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree in marketing communications from Duquesne University. She is a member of Pennwriters and two writing critique groups.

Find the author on the following sites…

Website    Facebook    Twitter    Pinterest    Goodreads

Follow the book tour

Photobucket I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own. NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY     Win a $20 Amazon.com GC / Paypal (winners choice)   Open Worldwide Ending on Sunday 4th October at 11.59pm EST   Enter Below and Good Luck !! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review & Giveaway ~ The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop

NEW RELEASE….

Find your way home…

1891—Living separately for three years, fourteen-year-old twins, Katherine and Tommy Arthur, have done their best to make each boarding house feel like home. But unrest grows as they are driven to questionable actions just to survive. Meanwhile their desperate mother is confronted with breaking yet another promise to her children. Then a miracle descends. Hope rises on a cold, rainy night and changes everything. If Jeanie could just get word to Katherine and Tommy, she knows she can set their lives right again. Agitators, angels, and dangerous “saviors” illuminate the Arthurs’ unmatched determination and smarts.

1905—Though she tries to forget the awful years that hurt so much, the memories still haunt Katherine. Now, tearful mourners at her mother’s funeral force her to revisit a time in her life that both harmed and saved her in the most unexpected ways. Tommy grieves his mother’s passing as well. He too is thrust backward, compelled to rediscover the events in his life that shaped the man he has become. Will he commit to reconstructing his broken life? The Arthurs come to understand that forgiveness is the only way back to hope, the only way to find all that was good in the misfortune that transformed their lives forever.

My Thoughts:

The Road Home is the 2nd book in The Letter Series by Kathleen Shoop. Although it continues the story of the Arthur family we met in The Last Letter, it can easily be read as a standalone book as well.

I love reading historical fiction. Kathleen Shoop’s style of writing does a wonderful job of teaching her reader about the way things were during that time period while engaging us with a well told story. She does a great job bringing each character to life … you really feel like you know and care about them.

The story goes back and forth in time, from 1891 to 1905, and is told from each character’s viewpoint. The chapters from Katherine’s and Tommy’s point of view gave the background of all they endured while being boarded out. The chapters from Jeanie’s perspective tore at my “mother’s heart”. The chapters from 1905 began with Jeanie’s funeral and then went into the different ways that the family coped with the many pent up & pushed down feelings that each character dealt with.

Times were very hard on single mothers and their children back then … I’m so happy that conditions have improved (for the most part). Being a single parent is not easy, no matter what time period you are in.

5 STARS ~ I loved this book and can’t wait for the next one 🙂

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“Kathleen Shoop has woven a story that crosses over several years with events that define lives. Katherine and Tommy are two characters that will stand out in my mind for a long time. The way the story blends back and forth between the two time periods is seamless and enjoyable, slowly painting a whole picture for the reader to see. I have not read the first book in this series, but I honestly feel that this one stands alone beautifully. You will take a journey with these characters that will evoke emotions and entertain you. This is my favorite kind of historical fiction; emotional and fun at the same time. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves a great book.”
Reviewed By Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite- 5 stars!

“I loved this riveting tale of hope and redemption. The Road Home comes to life with gorgeous imagery and a setting that eased me seamlessly and beautifully back and forth in time. Each character stood out, coaxing me into her story, making me want more. With the turn of every page there’s a revelation, something hidden or something wonderful and unexpected. The Road Home is a must-read for any book lover and a perfect follow-up to The Last Letter.”
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melissa Foster

Letter Series Book 1 – The Last Letter

A Father’s Deceit
A Husband’s Betrayal
A Loved One’s Death
A Mother’s Choice
A Daughter’s Resentment
A Time to Forgive

For every daughter who thinks she knows her mother’s story…

Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the last letter…

Katherine Arthur’s dying mother arrives on her doorstep, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie’s husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty — a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.

Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine’s world apart. Now, seventeen years later, Katherine has found the truth — she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it’s too late?

Book available to buy from…

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About Kathleen Shoop

I have a PhD in Reading Education and have worked in schools for over twenty years. I work with teachers and their students in grades k-8 and am lucky to learn something new from them every time I walk through their doors. This experience was a huge help in writing LOVE AND OTHER SUBJECTS–a quirky, post-college coming of age story with a splash of fun romance.

My first novel, The Last Letter (2011 IPPY Gold Medal–Regional Fiction, Midwest, 2011 Indie Excellence Finalist Award for Historical Fiction and Regional Fiction, 2011 International Book Awards Finalist for Historical Fiction and Best New Fiction), was a fascinating trip through history, punctuated with fictional characters and events. The idea for the story grew from my great-great grandmother’s letters (see My Dear Frank for the complete set of letters!) written during the year of her engagement to Frank Arthur. The beautiful letters are the inspiration for the novel, the seed from which The Last Letter’s characters and their voices grew.

I’ve also written women’s fiction–LOVE AND OTHER SUBJECTS– and have written another historical fiction novel, AFTER THE FOG, set in 1948 in Donora, PA. AFTER THE FOG is also an award winning book–A finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, a silver IPPY and WINNER in the literary category of the National Indie Excellence Awards.

I adore writing historical fiction (The Letter series, After the Fog) but am having a blast writing romance like Home Again and Return to Love (Endless Love series) Thank you so much for the time you take to read.

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Photobucket I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

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Book Review & Giveaway ~ Three Silver Doves by Deborah Garner

My Thoughts:

I read and thoroughly enjoyed Three Silver Doves by Deborah Garner as a standalone book, even though it is actually part of the “A Paige Mackenzie Mystery” series. It was a fun and easy read; perfect for summer … I plan on reading the other two books as well 🙂
Paige Mackenzie is a reporter for a New York newspaper and is working on a series about the Old West. For her next assignment, her boss sends her to New Mexico to write an article about the healing powers of the natural mineral springs at the Aqua Encantada Resort in Tres Palomas. It sounds intriguing and relaxing, so she schedules some much deserved vacation time and extends the trip.
Paige has a reputation for her curiosity and her persistent nature sometimes gets her into trouble. Actually, she is naturally drawn to mysteries and has a talent for exposing the truth. She is friendly and easy going, and she quickly befriends the resort staff and owner.
The author does a great job in vividly describing the resort, town and surrounding landscape, she makes you feel like you are actually there. She also has a gift for making her characters come to life. I almost feel like if I were at the resort in New Mexico, I would recognize Miguel!
I recommend this book for good, clean fun … no foul language, no steamy sex scenes and no extreme violence. Just a fun and intriguing “who-done-it” with memorable characters 🙂

NEW BOOK RELEASE….

When New York reporter Paige MacKenzie heads to Tres Palomas, New Mexico, the resort of Agua Encantada seems a perfect destination to combine work with pleasure. A quick article on the healing mineral springs and a few leisurely soaking sessions in the resort’s soothing waters promises well-deserved rest and relaxation.

Paige is immediately intrigued with a local artist’s one-of-a-kind jewelry designs, as well as weekly gatherings to hear legends from an elderly storyteller. But when identical jewelry shows up on another guest and the storyteller goes missing, Paige’s R&R is soon redefined as restlessness and risk. Curious and persistent by nature, Paige is convinced there’s a connection. Enlisting the help of a flirtatious resort worker seems like a good idea until it begins to test her loyalty to her favorite cowboy, Jake Norris. Will an unexpected overnight trip to Tierra Roja Casino lead her to the answers she seeks, or are darker secrets lurking along the way?

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About the author
Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.
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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

 

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