“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

In Lisa Engel’s, THE ROANOKE GIRLS (CROWN), 15-year old, Lane Roanoke’s mother kills herself forcing Lane to move from New York City to rural Kansas and live with relatives she doesn’t know and her mother only talked about when she drank too much wine. Her parting note: “I tried to wait.”

Lane arrives in the small rural town, Osage Flats to find a house “equal parts horrifying and mesmerizing.” She’s immediately struck by the heat, smells of grass, wheat, dust, the wind, grasshoppers and songs of the cicadas. She’s ready and prepared since she’s had “a lifetime with a mother who gave her lots of practice with unpredictability.”

In addition to grandparents, Lillian and Yates, she has a cousin, Allegra, six months younger, who is energetic and equally unpredictable. Allegra welcomes Lane with open arms and shows her around, including the “Roanoke Girls” wall, which features photographs of aunts, cousins and even her mom, Camilla. But she also tells her, all of the women in the photos are gone: “Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end they, we run or we die.”

It’s not long before Lane discovers an insidious secret on the farm and she runs away to Los Angeles. In La, she drinks and takes menial jobs to pay her bills. Eleven years later, granddad Yates calls saying she’s needed home, because Allegra is missing. Lane returns, mostly out of guilt because she left Allegra behind. She also may have a second chance with her boyfriend, Cooper, whom she just suddenly up and left behind. Of all the Roanoke girls who have left, she’s the first to return.

THE ROANOKE GIRLS is a gothic suspense novel that will creep you out. The pages ooze with murder, anger, guilt, shame, dark secrets, incest, and family bonds that are  not easily broken. These are imperfect characters in imperfect relationships. That makes really good fiction. You want to read THE ROANOKE GIRLS.


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Amy Engel is a native of Kansas, though she lived in Iran and Taiwan as a child. She previously worked as a criminal defense attorney. THE ROANOKE GIRLS, a darkly psychological suspense story is her first novel for adults. She lives in Kansas City,  Mo., with her husband and children.


Thanks to TLC Book Tours   and Crown Publishers, we have one copy of Lisa Engel’s novel, THE ROANOKE GIRLS to giveaway. Just tell us what you’re reading now. We’ll announce a winner Monday. Thanks and happy Wednesday.




Author, Susan Meissner’s historical fiction takes readers to places they never could visit and experience journeys bigger than they could ever imagine. I first fell in love with Susan’s writing in her novel, STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD.

My Review Stars Over Sunset

It tells a story of love and heartbreak around the iconic hat worn by Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With The Wind,” which is then found in a Hollywood boutique present day. Imagine my delight when I learned she has written a new historical novel, A BRIDGE ACROSS the OCEAN. It’s about the intriguing World War II, Ship, The RMS Queen Mary.


In A BRIDGE ACROSS the OCEAN (Berkley), it’s February 1946. World War II is over, but for many, the horrors continue. German ballerina, Annaliese Lange may have survived the war, but will she be able to move past memories of what she had to do to survive? Simone Devereaux had to pay a high price for her father’s position as a Resistance spy. Can she start a new life?

During WWII, The luxury ocean liner, the RMS Queen Mary is used to transport troops between the United States and Europe. It’s called “The Gray Ghost,” because it’s thought to be haunted. After the fighting ceases, war brides are brought from Europe to begin new lives in the US. Annaliese and Simone are just two of hundreds of European war brides aboard the Queen Mary crossing the Atlantic to be reunited with their American husbands. All have bright futures, but secrets and gossip tumble out in staterooms, during long stretches of boredom. Both Annaliese and Simone will not make it to New York Harbor, or will they? Did one of them jump? Or was she pushed? Is the other really a war bride or a sympathizer?

Today. An old friend asks Brette Caslake to visit the famously haunted Queen Mary and investigate an old family mystery. Finding herself at a crossroads of sorts, she accepts. What she discovers sets her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy and draws her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides. Ultimately, Brette has to reconsider what she’s willing to sacrifice to satisfy her own  needs and desires.

I enjoyed how the narrative switched between the various character’s points of view. I was intrigued by this time in history, which I knew nothing of. Because I’ve read so many WWII novels, I’m always thrilled when an author reveals a unique slice of that time in history. At first, I wasn’t sure about the paranormal element, but I found once I signed on, it allowed the story to have another dimension, which was enjoyable.


Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include A Fall of Marigolds, named to Booklist’s Top Ten Women’s Fiction titles for 2014, and The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the 100 Best Novels of 2008. A California native, she attended Point Loma Nazarene University. Susan is a pastor’s wife and a mother of four young adults. When she’s not working on a novel, Susan writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. Visit Susan at her website: on Twitter at @SusanMeissner or at Facebook.

Thanks to Susan, we have one copy of A BRIDGE OVER the OCEAN to giveaway. Just tell us which one of Susan’s novels is your favorite. Perhaps, if you’re the winner, this one will be yours. We’ll announce a winner Monday. Have a lovely week.



Author, Steena Holmes’ novel, ABBY’S JOURNEY (LakeUnionPublishing) is the sequel to SAVING ABBY, the story of parental love and a daughter’s connection to the mother she never knew. In SAVING ABBY, 20 year-old, Abigail Turner’s mother, Claire passes away shortly after giving birth to her daughter. Abby has only known her mother through letters, videos, postcards and journals, which she created while pregnant, knowing she would likely die.

Abby’s father, Josh has raised her alone but in many way has “smother-loved” her. Abby suffers from bronchopulmonary dysplasia, which means a case of sniffles can quickly turn into a case of life-threatening pneumonia.

After one year without sickness, her doctor gives the greenlight, and Abby’s maternal grandmother, Millie takes her away to Europe for a trip her mother had hoped to take with her. Abby’s mother and father were world travelers and now she gets to go on one of the trips she only learned about in photo albums and travel journals. Despite some of her father’s objections, Abby’s journey of discovery begins to uncover some secrets about her mother Abby never expected.

Much like SAVING ABBY, the takeaway after reading ABBY’S JOURNEY is just how fragile life is. I should be grateful and hold on to those I love and any feelings of happiness I’m blessed to experience. Life is a gift and could be taken away in a split second. I think all of us need to stop and take a moment to be grateful. Sometimes, things are better left unsaid and left alone. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Thank you Steena Holmes, for once again writing a beautiful and tender story.

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About Steena Holmes


After writing her first novel while working as a receptionist, Steena Holmes made her dream of being a full-time writer a reality. She won the National Indie Excellence Book Award in 2012 for her bestselling novel, FINDING EMMA. Now both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Steena continues to write stories that touch every parent’s heart in one way or another. To find out more about her books and her love for traveling, you can visit her website at or follow her journeys over on Instagram @steenaholmes.

Connect with Steena

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Lake Union Publishing, we are lucky to have copies of both Steena’s new novel, ABBY’S JOURNEY and SAVING ABBY to giveaway. Just tell us which one of Steena’s lovely novels is your favorite. We’ll announce winners next Monday.



Our friend and New York Times bestselling author, MARILYN BRANT joins us today with the latest of her many, many fabulous romance novels and novellas.


I first fell in love with Marilyn when I read ON ANY GIVEN SUNDAE. The way Marilyn described the hero eating a chocolate éclair – I swear, I was squirming and experiencing the worst chocolate cravings, at the same time! It was delicious and I still can’t get enough of her yummy writing!

one night

Could one sizzling night turn into a love that has a shot at lasting forever?

Her latest, ONE NIGHT LOVE AFFAIR  (TwelfthNightPublishing), is the fifth novella in The Mirabelle Harbor Series. The good thing is you don’t have to read the previous four to hop into bed with Sharlene and Declan. Their story stands alone.

After her first marriage ends in divorce leaving her heart in tiny shreds, Sharlene Michaelsen Boyd vows to keep her distance from men, at least emotionally. An occasional one-night stand isn’t out of the question, though, and with her closest friends hooking up with new loves, she finds herself in the mood for a little male company. Being the only sister with four brothers, not to mention the glue holding the Michaelsen family together after the death of their parents, Shar is used to being strong and in control. She’s teaches junior high English, she’s persuasive, personable, and knows just about everyone in the center of Mirabelle Harbor society, including her brother Blake’s super-sexy buddy, Declan Night.

As a former pro hockey player turned sportswriter and businessman, Dec has had his share of relationships, mostly meaningless, short-term flings. He’s always considered Blake’s little sister a hottie, but off limits—until one Friday night when the stars aligned and the opportunity to hook up presented itself. Shar’s intentions couldn’t have been clearer, but w it a one night stand? For the first time in his life, Dec wonders if, maybe, there isn’t something to be said for being a one woman man? Especially if that woman knows how to fulfill his every sensual fantasy.


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Marilyn Brant is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction, romantic comedy & mystery. Her debut novel won RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award (2007), and she was named the Author of the Year (2013) by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She loves all things Jane Austen, has a passion for Sherlock Holmes, is a travel addict and a music junkie, and lives on chocolate and gelato. 

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Thanks to Marilyn, we have one copy of ONE NIGHT LOVE AFFAIR to giveaway as an e-book or paperback. Just tell us which of Marilyn’s dozens of  novels is your favorite, or perhaps this will be your first and favorite! Make sure to tell us which format you’d prefer to receive, if you happen to be the winner.

We’ll announce a winner next FRIDAY! Good luck!




SWEET LAKE by Christine Nolfi & GIVEAWAY



We were thrilled to catch up with author, Christine Nolfi, Tuesday as part of Lake Union Publishing Author’s Twitter Party. Christine along with over 3 dozen Lake Union Authors were tweeting away about what’s up with their careers and we were able to get some dish. Well, actually, not too much. But, we were able to learn she’s hard at work on the third book in her new, “Sweet Lake” series being published by Lake Union. Here’s a peek at part one, SWEET LAKE which has recently been published.

Enduring female friendships. Small-town second chances.

Fair or not, everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio is counting on Linnie Wayfair to single-handedly turn the town around. They’re expecting Linnie to tap into her business know-how and make Sweet Lake once again, a must stop for tourists visiting Ohio. Of course, none of them seem to be worried about all the pressure that’s putting on her.

It doesn’t seem to matter that she’s already managed to keep the family’s Inn barely in the black for the past seven years, after her good for nothing brother, Freddie took off with the Wayfair largesse to make it in Hollywood! Well, now after falling flat on his face, Freddie’s back and mom and dad expect Linnie to forgive and forget, while giving the Inn and town the TLC it needs. Then of course, there are the loveable, busy-body Sweet Lake Sirens, who believe a lady can’t be all work and no play, so they’re pushing for Linnie to open not only the inn, but her heart. At the same time, her BFFs, Jada and Cat, who should be helping her deal with everything else are lobbying for her to reignite a romance with Daniel Kettering – a very sexy lawyer who wants nothing more than to swoop in and save Linnie by making her his Mrs., something he’s wanted for years. Well, her head is about to explode …

And that might just be a good thing, because something totally unexpected happens that opens old wounds pushing Linnie closer to the edge of sanity, but then again, it just might be a blessing in disguise. It’s something she’s really wanted all along and if she’d stopped long enough she may have realized sooner.

While reading SWEET LAKE I was reminded of THE YA YA SISTERHOOD … SWEET LAKE is a Midwest take on the southern bestseller. It’s a funny,  feel good-novel filled with quirky, eccentric women and delightful stories. You just can’t wait to read what happens next.



Christine’s the middle child of six kids raised in Cleveland, Ohio during the psychedelic 60s. Her late mother swore she taught herself to read at the age of two. While this claim stands unsubstantiated, she says she spent most of her childhood toting a book in one hand, and pen and paper in the other. She’s been writing ever since.

In 2004, she made the decision to start writing fiction full-time. The five books in the award-winning Liberty Series have all reached bestseller status, and are “highly recommended” by The Midwest Book Review. She’s also begun releasing the Heavenscribe series, and have several other works as well.

She believes all the years of hard work have paid off in the daily sweet notes, comments and reviews she receives from readers. You can connect with Christine on Facebook, her website   and twitter @christinenolfi


Thanks to @BookSparks and Lake Union Publishing we have TWO COPIES of SWEET LAKE to giveaway. Just tell us about what you love best to do with your girlfriends. We’ll announce winners Monday.

And we’ll be looking forward to book two in Christine’s, “Sweet Lake Series” coming up in July. Can’t wait to catch up with the girls!




WILDE LAKE by Laura Lippman & GIVEAWAY

“How we treat our dead is central to our humanity.” WILDE LAKE

In Laura Lippman’s new novel, WILDE LAKE (WilliamMorrowPaperbacks), Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected first female state’s attorney representing suburban Maryland—including the famous planned community of Columbia. Columbia was planned and built-in the 1960’s to be an example of utopia – racial and economic equality.

Lu finds herself, front and center, prosecuting a controversial case involving a disturbed African-American, drifter accused of beating a woman to death. The newly widowed, mother of twins is determined to avoid the traps that have befallen other highly competitive, successful women in her position. She’s fixated on winning and winning big, and then pursuing her political ambitions. Of course, the successful reputation of her father, who happens to be the previous state’s attorney representing that district looms overhead.

While preparing for the trial, Lu finds herself being bogged down by the painful memories of a similar crime. Her brother AJ saved his best friend at the cost of another’s life. AJ was only eighteen at the time, and cleared by a grand jury, but was justice done? Lu was only a child then, but  something doesn’t sit right. As she looks into the past, Lu discovers the truth is messy and sometimes you really don’t want to know it. But if you do end up learning the truth, you just may wish you hadn’t.

WILDE LAKE weaves the 60s, 70’s and 80’s into present day. With WILDE LAKE, Laura Lippman, regarded as one of the most prolific writers of literary crime fiction is once again on top of her game. I was aware of her work and reputation, but hadn’t read her previous novels. I plan on reading her entire backlist.

Purchase Links    HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Since Laura Lippman’s debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than 50 awards for crime fiction and won almost 20, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

Photo by Jan Cobb

Connect with Laura on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

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 Thanks to TLC Book Tours  and William Morrow paperbacks, we have one copy of WILDE LAKE to giveaway. Just tell us which of Laura Lippman’s novels is your favorite? Perhaps you’re like me and this will end up being your first and favorite. We’ll announce a winner Monday.




Amy Rivers loves writing stories about regular, sassy women getting into particular situations – more often that not, situations so funny, readers might just pee their panties. In her latest novel, BEST LAID PLANS & OTHER DISASTERS (BLP&OD) (Wooden Pants Publishing), Amy’s once again in fine form.

Amy’s previous novel, WALLFLOWER BLOOMING(WB), featured BFF, Val. She’s not only a PR Diva and cousin, to Gwen Marsh, the heroine in BLP&OD, but helps Gwen get elected mayor of a wealthy Colorado city. In BLP&OD, Cal’s  back. Let the fun begin!

A year into her position, type-a, perfectionist, Gwen is waking up to the fact that being the Mayor of Cambria may look good on paper, but it’s anything but easy. All eyes are watching and waiting for her to make a mistake. In fact, her colleague  Karen is trying to sabotage her.

Her boyfriend Jason wants her to move in and she’s not too sure, making things a little rocky between the two. Then he gets a new job and has to leave home for days at time, leaving Gwen with a chronic stomach-ache, which turns out, Gwen is preggers. She begins to wonder how becoming a mother and getting married will compliment her career plans to become the next Governor of Colorado?

Soon she learns Jason is cozying up to a new co-worker, Alex. A local schoolboy has a crush on Gwen. Val’s planning her own wedding, and steps in to help Gwen with her nerves about becoming a  mother. But Gwen and Jason continue to have relationship problems.

Amy River’s real talent is creating relatable, flawed loveable characters, that despite no matter what mess they find themselves in, readers hope for the best. One lesson that’s clear in BEST LAID PLANS & OTHER DISASTERS, is don’t lock yourself into any future plans, you might miss the unexpected surprises!

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Amy Rivers was born and raised in southern New Mexico and currently resides in Colorado with her husband, kids and cat. She has a Master’s degree with concentrations in Psychology and Politics, two topics she loves to incorporate into her personal essays and novels. Amy has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses, Novelty Bride Magazine, and Splice Today. Her first novel, WALLFLOWER BLOOMING, was published in August 2016. BEST LAID PLANS & OTHER DISASTERS is available now.

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Thanks to TLC Book Tours  and Wooden Pants Publishing, we have one copy of BEST LAID PLANS & OTHER DISASTERS to giveaway. Just tell us which character you’ve most related to in a novel – any novel. We’ll announce a winner Monday.

FYI: BEST LAID PLANS & OTHER DISASTERS has characters from WALLFLOWER BLOOMING, but you don’t have to read WB first. BEST LAID PLANS & OTHER DISASTERS works well as a stand-alone novel.