As we finish recognizing BLACK HISTORY MONTH, I want to recognize an important book that has been published. It’s called THE BLOOD of EMMETT HILL by Timothy B. Tyson (Simon&Schuster).

In 1955, fourteen year-old, Emmett Till, was kidnapped from his uncle’s home in Mississippi, where he was visiting from Chicago, and lynched, after a white woman lied claiming he flirted and grabbed her. Now, more than sixty-years later, that white woman, for the first time, has admitted, on record, that there was no such assault. She lied.

His lynching was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional. The national coalition organized to protest the Till lynching became the foundation of the modern civil rights movement. Only weeks later, Rosa Parks thought about young Emmett as she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, the Emmett Till generation, forever marked by the vicious lynching of a boy their own age, launched sit-in campaigns that turned the struggle into a mass movement. A movement alive and well today, which shows no sign of slowing down.

In 2014, protesters thronged the fence in front of the White House, chanting, “How many black kids will you kill? Michael Brown, Emmett Till!”

But what actually happened to Emmett Till, not the icon of injustice but the flesh-and-blood boy?  Part investigative reporter, part political history, Timothy Tyson’s, THE BLOOD OF EMMETT TILL draws on new evidence, including the only interview ever given by Carolyn Bryant, the white woman in whose name Till was killed. Tyson’s gripping narrative changes what many of us thought we knew about this story that still haunts not enough of America’s collective conscience.

The book is THE BLOOD of EMMETT TILL by author Timothy B. Tyson.



“Do you think, inside, every one of us is a killer?”

This is the question that haunts the people of Salem, Massachusetts, in Brunonia Barry’s new thriller, THE FIFTH PETAL (Crown). It’s a spellbinding story of supernatural powers and ancient and current myths colliding in a gruesome triple murder. Definitely not for your everyday chick-lit reader.

I was first introduced to Barry’s, THE FIFTH PETAL, the follow-up to her huge sensational debut, THE LACE READER, at BookExpo, in Chicago this past May. The publishing world was buzzing that this novel would be even more brilliant! Since I hadn’t read THE LACE READER, I was going in as a novice and wow, I was blown away!

My grandparents lived near Salem, Massachusetts, and growing up as a child  I’d often visit in the summers and learn about the rich history of the witch trials. But I’d never read any fictional account that incorporated the past prejudices and witchcraft with the historical accuracy of what occurred creating a story including such compelling, quirky characters, twists and turns. I guess you could say, Barry delivers a delicious devious dessert served on a platter of gruesome gore in THE FIFTH PETAL Yum …

A teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, and Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader, Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, “The Goddess Murders.”  In 1989, three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night and the killer or killers have never been found. Now Rafferty must uncover who, or what, is killing the descendants of Salem’s accused witches, while keeping the town’s paranoia from resurrecting to the hysteria that led to the infamous witch trials.

Brunonia Barry paints a spooky portrait of a modern New England town living in the past, grounded in Salem’s true, dark history. THE FIFTH PETAL uses magical realism to bring the world of Salem to life with suspenseful, sinister, and masterfully composed prose. You’ll be gripped by the throat at page one through the end … and after.

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Brunonia Barry is the New York Times and international best-selling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She was the first American author to win the International Women’s Fiction Festival’s Baccante Award and was a past recipient of Ragdale Artists’ Colony’s Strand Fellowship as well as the winner of New England Book Festival’s award for Best Fiction and Amazon’s Best of the Month. Her reviews and articles on writing have appeared in The London Times and The Washington Post. Brunonia co-chairs the Salem Athenaeum’s Writers’ Committee. She lives in Salem with her husband Gary Ward and their dog, Angel.

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Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Crown Publishing, we have one copy of THE FIFTH PETAL to giveaway. Just tell us about the scariest witch story you’ve ever read about or heard. We’ll announce a winner Monday.



(Summary provided by Lake Union Publishing)

In Judy Fogarty’s, BREAKING AND HOLDING (Lake Union Publishing), the year of 1978 is significant for the main character at the start of the novel and throughout. Patricia Curren, makes a devastating discovery that changes the course of her marriage. She finds an unfamiliar black pearl button in the bed she shares with her controlling husband, Jack. It gives her the courage to tell her husband she wishes to spend the summer alone at their beach house on beautiful Kiawah Island. But when she meets Terry Sloan, a hot tennis player trying to go pro, their attraction grows into an obsession.

Once Patricia and Terry begin sharing closely guarded secrets from their pasts, they want more than a summer together. But they soon realize their love can’t sustain when a sponsor comes between them taking an intense interest in Terry, on and off the court. And when that single, career-driven Lynn Hewitt arrives, other secrets surface, including ones Patricia has been keeping from him all summer long.

(My Take)

I enjoyed reading BREAKING AND HOLDING for the love story. It was intense, romantic and compelling, but I found myself more interested in the time frame it took place. From a women’s perspective, the 1970s were a very tumultuous time, a time of introspection and growth.

I was very young then, but I remember it was an era when women were actively entering the work force. No longer content to just stay at home with children or be housewives, women sought more fulfilling accomplishments. And in the case of the character in BREAKING AND HOLDING, Patricia  feels the need to continue her education at NYU and complete her aborted PhD dissertation. Her husband had always told her there was no need for that, but she could no longer be untrue to herself.

That was the case with my own mother, who left her marriage and our family. Perhaps I’m entering TMI territory, but that’s what happens when you read fiction. There are times you connect, and this time I did quite closely.

Some might read BREAKING AND HOLDING and take away a love story, or a tennis story or a … whatever story. I took away a story of a young woman breaking free, finding her unique spirit and ultimately her truth. We should all be so blessed.

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About Judy Fogarty

Judy Fogarty lives, writes, reads, and runs on the historic Isle of Hope, in her native Savannah, Georgia. She holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois and has served as Director of Marketing for private golf and tennis communities in the Savannah/Hilton Head area, including The Landings on Skidaway Island, Berkeley Hall, and Callawassie Island. She is a devoted (even rowdy) tennis fan as anyone who has ever had the pleasure (or displeasure) of watching a match with her will attest. BREAKING AND HOLDING is her debut novel. She is happily at work on her second, and as always, enjoys the invaluable support of her husband, Mike, and children, Colin and Sara Jane.

Connect with Judy

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Lake Union Publishing, we have one copy of Judy Fogarty’s novel, BREAKING AND HOLDING to giveaway. Just tell us what you’re currently reading and something you like about the book. We’ll announce the winner Monday.






Sally S. wins Lori Foster’s, UNDER PRESSURE


SUSAN D. wins Cecelia Galante’s, THE ODDS of YOU and ME





We have many more novel giveaways coming up this month – FEBRUARY – the month of love – and we love giving them out, so keep coming back to read more reviews and check out more chances to win. Have a great week!  xxx






A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE by Kelley Armstrong


“I have that darkness inside. Absolute darkness. Yet it’s not a caged lion, waiting for the gate to be left unlatched. It’s just there in case I need it.”Detective Casey Duncan

Readers were introduced to the secret town of Rockton, in the Canadian Yukon, a safe haven for people with enough money to runaway from their past lives in Kelley Armstrong’s novel, CITY OF THE LOST (St. Martin’s) last month, the first in her Detective Casey Duncan series. This month, Armstrong’s out with the second installment in the series, A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE. It really doesn’t matter which order you read them, you’re going to be tearing through the pages to follow the compelling creepy plot, either way.

In Rockton, Armstrong has created a stand alone character in itself. The town is completely off-the-grid, really cold, has minimal sunlight and is prone to blizzards. There’s very little electricity, no phones or Internet, no mail or way of getting in or out-of-town without the unseen-shadow town council’s approval. The rule of law is “innocent until proven suspicious.” And residents definitely don’t want to wander into the forest that surrounds Rockton. That’s a huge no-no – that could possibly get you killed.

In A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE, Casey and fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy, Will go into the forest looking for a missing resident. They get caught in a blizzard and seek shelter in a cave. Inside the cave, they discover a different resident, a woman who has been held captive in a deep hole for over a year. Then they discover two more women’s bodies. They must find the killer  … and learn if he or she is a resident, outsider or something worse.

If you want to be thrilled, prepare to be thrilled and chilled. Kelley Armstrong delivers the goods from page one until the end in A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE.


Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. She spins tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She’s the author of the NYT-bestselling  WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD – paranormal suspense series and DARK POWERS – young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

For more information about Kelley,  check out her  website


Thanks at NetGalley for providing a copy for an honest review.



We have two fabulous blog followers to tell you about who have won novels this week.


Gina G.wins Sarah Jio’s ALWAYS


Kelly M. wins our second giveaway of Amy Poeppel’s, SMALL ADMISSIONS!

We have THREE GIVEAWAYS still outstanding this week, which we’ll announce Monday, so be sure to sign up! Go down to the Harlequin’s romance, THE ODDS OF YOU AND ME and Katheen Kole’s two novels, HOME IS WHERE THE HEARTBURN IS … and TEACUPS AND TEQUILA stories. Good luck and have a fantastic weekend!





We’re excited to feature our friend and author, Kathleen Kole’s two romantic comedy novels, HOME IS WHERE THE HEARTBURN IS … and TEAPOTS AND TEQUILA SHOTS… Plus a sneak peak at the cover of her upcoming novel, ROMANCE and OTHER NONSENSE and of course, giveaways!

Have you ever had, “one of those days”?  Of course you have. Well, in HOME WHERE THE HEARTBURN IS … Paula Dempsey can totally relate except for the small detail that she’s having one of those months. The prospect of buying their first house has both Paula and hubby, Declan excited. Her plans are to turn their house into a home, including filling it with light, lots of laughter and little ones – that is if they can ever get inside.

What began as a project to update the awful kitchen with something fabulous and user-friendly is behind schedule – way, way behind schedule. And because that’s behind, the Dempsey’s plan to move into the house has turned into a major headache and been pushed back – way, way back.

That wouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact, they’ve given up the lease to their apartment and they have absolutely nowhere to live. Well, they have one option – moving in with Paula’s parents and into the bedroom she grew up in. That’s the absolute last place Paula and Declan want to spend any amount of time, beyond a few hours.

Talk about opposites. Paula is a neat freak, but her mom thrives living in a mess and all Paula can remember is playing clean-up crew growing up. Not only that, her younger sister still lives at home, and her father is pleasantly drifting along. All of that is fine from a distance, but Paula can’t imagine moving back into that disaster with her hubby and her marriage surviving. Will they be able to form a united front until they can move into their new home. Paula and Declan may just want to forget about shacking up with her parents, pitch a tent, hunker down and wait for the all clear.

If sixty is the new fifty and fifty the new forty, it explains why Ginny Hughes’ life has gone from predictable to freewheeling. In TEAPOTS AND TEQUILA SHOTS, instead of just playing it safe with gardening and grandchildren, she’s daring to slip on her LBD, sling-backs and discover what life still has to offer. In other words, “sowing her oats.” Ginny’s ready to move out of her comfort zone – way out! “Honey, I’m older, but not dead.”

Grab a teacup, or a shot glass, fill it up with whatever strikes your fancy, and join Ginny as she pushes past the notions of what it means to be a woman “of a certain age.”


Kathleen’s novels are all about girls having fun and finding the humor in the everyday! Once you start reading you can’t resist becoming BFFs with her heroines.

Kathleen Kole started telling stories in grade school. She’s the author of five novels, including  TEAPOTS AND TEQUILA SHOTS and HOME IS WHERE THE HEARTBURN IS …

When not writing, she spends time in her backyard with her beloved husband, adored son and silly dog. You can connect with Kathleen on Facebook, her website and on twitter @kathleenkole.

Thanks to Kathleen we have a copy of both TEAPOTS AND TEQUILA SHOTS and HOME IS WHERE THE HEARTBURN IS … Just tell us about “one of your days.” We’ll announce TWO winners Monday.

Here’s the cover of Kathleen’s new novel, ROMANCE and OTHER NONSENSE, which is coming out later this year.