MURDER in the PIAZZA by by Jennifer Collins Moore – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY CLOSED *

In Jennifer Collins Moore’s debut novel, MURDER in the Piazza(LevelBestBooks), Maggie White, a downsized American executive stuck in Rome on her husband’s expat assignment, is finding the dolce vita isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She’s taken a job offering painting instruction to well-heeled travelers and her boss-a rather unpleasant English lord-has turned up dead in his penthouse. Maggie’s left with a palazzo full of suspicious guests, a valuable painting her boss might have stolen, and a police who’s decided she’s the prime suspect. Now Maggie must keep the tour up and running while she tracks the killer and works to clear her name.

Moore’s debut and the first installment of A MAGGIE WHITE MYSTERY will have you hooked at the first page. You’ll identify with the protagonist, Maggie, her persistence and there are clever twist and turns. You’ll also go on a tour of Rome!

I’m already excited for the 2nd book.


Jen Collins Moore is the author of the Maggie White Mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mystery Weekly, and she is the editor of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest newsletter. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, as well an established marketer and entrepreneur. A transplanted New Englander, she lives in Chicago with her husband and two boys.

http://www.jennifercollinsmoore.com

Thanks TLC Book Tours we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us the latest cozy murder you’ve read. We’ll choose a winner soon. Good luck!

http://www.tlcbooktours.com http://www.jennifercollins moore.com #cozymurder #murder #MaggieWhiteMystery #mystery #MaggieWhite

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

UNLOCKING by Nancy L. Pressly – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY CLOSED *

UNLOCKING

Reading UNLOCKED: A MEMOIR OF FAMILY and ART (SheWritesPress) was quite enjoyable. I haven’t read any memoirs lately, just fiction, so it was pleasant to change genres. Author, Nancy Pressly is diagnosed with pancreatic-related cancer and it’s a seminal moment for her to look back at her life, but also ahead.

It’s a very personal memoir that examines her determination to fully understand her family’s history. Once diagnosed she goes up to the family attic and there she discovers a treasure full of history and love stories about her family, which she never knew before. The book is divided into three parts which examine her childhood, college years, marriage, having a baby, career which faces challenges and so more. Finally its about Nancy coming to terms with the future assisted by a higher power.

I appreciated her research and ability to really learn intimate information about her family. I yearn to do the same thing about mine (without the cancer), because I don’t know much.

There were times when I confused because I was bombarded by information. She could have broken up the book with more chapters and I believe her editor could have cut some out to make the story tighter. Maybe I experienced that because I’ve been reading fiction.

UNLOCKING made me miss my grandparents terribly and also want to read more memoirs. I also like the cover design. It would be a perfect book for book-clubs.

I have been fortunate to have enjoyed a varied career in the art museum world: as a curator and scholar; as assistant director of the Museum Program at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., where I held a high profile administrator position helping to set policy; and as President of Nancy L. Pressly & Associates, a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in strategic planning for art museums. My clients included some of the nation’s most important art museums. I was fortunate to be able to travel extensively, gaining an invaluable overview of museums nation-wide.

Married to an art historian, my husband and I have lived abroad and traveled to Europe frequently for our work, learning early in our careers that is was essential not only see original works of art but also the context in which they were created. Travel has continued to be one of my great pleasures, and in the past ten years we have taken some of the best trips of our lives, mainly to Europe, but also to places like Morocco, where we had never been. These trips, no longer respites from work, took on a whole new meaning for me and became essential nourishment to my intellectual life and inner self. Art has always been profoundly important to me. In recent years there has been a new intensity to the way I absorbed what I see, not only works of art but also cityscapes and archaeological sites which are my great passion.  Occasionally I have what I call aha moments, where something I have seen before suddenly comes into more brilliant focus or emotionally resonates in a new way. I retain the experience long afterwards. Some of these experiences inspired passages in Unlocking.

In retirement, I continue to write and travel and, for relaxation, I am an avid cook and passionate gardener and now, living in Georgia, even grow peach trees. Recently I took up ceramics and discovered the joy and challenge of making objects. I cherish my time with my husband and helping our son care for his two wonderful children.

Thanks TLC Book Tours we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us the most interesting book you’ve read about art. We’ll chose a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

#TLCBookTours #Unlocking #NancyLPressly #Giveaway #SheWritesPress

WHAT’S NOT SAID by Valerie Taylor – SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY CLOSED *

All Cassie O’Callaghan wants to do is leave her abusive husband, Mike and be with her lover, Chris whom she met five years ago on vacation. But her plans are crushed when she learns Mike has been suffering for years from kidney disease. They’ve been living like roommates in the same house and she has always taken care of Mike and put his needs ahead of hers. This isn’t going to change. In fact, he gets more demanding. But I think you’ll be surprised how this is resolved. Or is it?
Debut author, Valerie Taylor’s novel, WHAT’S NOT SAID (SheWritesPress) is a well thought out story that flows with characters that are pretty unlikable. None of them are flawless. You feel invested once you start reading. WHAT’S NOT SAID hooks you at page one and doesn’t let go until the very end.
Marriage and infidelity – In many ways these are stories we I also like the charming cover design.  know or have heard about, but there are twists and turns in this novel that you don’t see coming. WHAT’S NOT SAID is perfect for book-clubs. All Cassie O’Callaghan wants to do is leave her abusive husband, Mike and be with her lover, Chris whom she met five years ago on vacation. But her plans are crushed when she learns Mike has been suffering for years from kidney disease. They’ve been living like roommates in the same house and she has always taken care of Mike and put his needs ahead of hers. This isn’t going to change. In fact, he gets more demanding. But I think you’ll be surprised how this is resolved. Or is it?
Debut author, Valerie Taylor’s novel, WHAT’S NOT SAID (SheWritesPress) is a well thought out story that flows with characters that are pretty unlikable. None of them are flawless. You feel invested  once you start reading. WHAT’S NOT SAID hooks you at page one and doesn’t let go until the very end.
Marriage and infidelity – In many ways these are stories we all know or have heard about, but there are twists and turns in this novel that you don’t see coming. WHAT’S NOT SAID is perfect for book-clubs. I also appreciate the charming cover

We got the opportunity to ask Valerie about writing WHAT’S NOT SAID.

How difficult was it to write about domestic violence?

That’s a really tough question. I hadn’t considered domestic violence a significant theme in What’s Not Said, but on reflection, I get it.

Both Kassie and Mike aren’t angels. Did you purposely balance them this way?

Funny you should ask. An editor who’d read an early draft remarked that Mike was too much the villain and recommended I give him some redeeming qualities. I tried to be kind to him occasionally, but I didn’t want to let him off the hook.

On the flipside, I showed both sides of Kassie early on—she wasn’t totally innocent.

If you consider Kassie’s character arc, she took care of Mike until she didn’t, and then she did again. And Mike was a scoundrel, but he didn’t really want to lose her, until he was forced to accept that he had to let her go.

So balance? Certainly. I believe in the yin and yang of life.

What’s our obsession as readers with secrets? WE JUST LOVE THEM in a story. Why?

There are secrets, and there are lies. As readers, I think we love solving the secrets and figuring out if and how the lies will matter in the lives of the characters.

Solving secrets gives us power. Did we solve the puzzle before the reader next door, up the street, or in our book club?

Sometimes secrets surprise us, especially if we didn’t follow the breadcrumbs the author has sprinkled along the plot’s path. How many times do we say, “I didn’t see that coming!”?

In real life, secrets can be fun. Secrets often involve whispering and promises. From the time we are children, secrets excite us and spur our imagination, and often make us feel special.

Authors love weaving secrets into stories as a way to infuse intrigue and to motivate the reader to keep turning the pages when they should be turning out the lights.

How do you write? With an outline? What is your technique?

After retiring, I enrolled in a pricey online writing course. I discovered I’m neither a plotter or pantser—I’m a hybrid. In creating What’s Not Said, I wrote a few scenes and then scribbled a couple of key words or bullet points on a notepad. Before ending a session, I wrote the first line of the next scene. I still do this. When I get stuck on a scene, I repeat these words, “Just say it.”

When I completed the first draft, I created a story grid both in longhand and on my laptop. I tracked the purpose, setting, character, action, climax of each scene, enabling me to easily move, delete, or create new scenes.

I revise, edit, and proofread the heck out of my manuscripts. It’s amazing the mistakes I find.

My process for writing the sequel, What’s Not True (She Writes Press, August 24, 2021), was slightly different. Because I hadn’t planned a series until I was encouraged to do so, I sketched out a high level outline which, in retrospect, made writing it easier than the first.

So, you’d think I would’ve learned, eh? Seems I’m back to my original hybrid process as I write the third book in the series. As I approach the middle, the story screams for structure. Where’s that notepad?

Please contact me at: www.valerietaylorauthor.com

Or follow me:

Facebook.com/valerietaylorauthor

Twitter: @ValerieEMTaylor

Instagram ValerieETaylor

Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She graduated twice from Sacred Heart University in CT with a B.S. Business Administration and an MBA. She climbed the proverbial ladder in her early years at Xerox and then helped launch Executive Development Associates, a start-up executive education and coaching firm. There she dabbled in writing business communications and newsletters.

Her writing career took off when she joined Optima Group, and then later Clarion Brand Communications, where she focused on branding and crafting dozens of retirement planning programs for banks, mutual fund companies, and insurance companies. Because of her reputation in this niche, Russell Investments recruited her to join the firm in Washington State. During her ten-year tenure there, Valerie led the firm’s defined contribution marketing efforts for both pre- and post-retirement investment programs.

After a Rick Steves’ tour to Venice, Florence, and Rome, Valerie retired and returned home to CT in 2016 where her children have grown up and settled. When she’s not writing, reading, practicing tai chi or cheering for the Boston Red Sox or the New England Patriots, she’s sharing her wisdom and values with her granddaughter, who’s growing up way too fast.


Professional affiliations:
The Authors’ Guild, Independent Book Publishers Association, CT Authors and Publishers Association, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association

Thanks to I-READ Book Tours we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us the best book you’ve ever read about marriage. We’ll choose soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please 

#newrelease #chicklit #womensfiction #romance #giveaway

HOME FOR BABY’S SAKE by Christine Rimmer ** SPOTLIGHT ** EXCERPT

He’d do anything for his son…

…Including returning to the town he left behind.
Valentine Bay’s the perfect place for real estate developer Roman Marek to raise his infant son. But when he snaps up the charming local theater, he doesn’t bargain for tempestuous director Hailey Bravo. Hailey won’t let Roman wreck the thing she holds most dear—and she’s certainly gotten under Roman’s notoriously thick skin. As the duo spar and sparks fly, Roman’s surprised to find that Hailey’s the perfect missing piece for his family. But how can he convince her that this partnership’s for keeps?

Excerpt, HOME FOR THE BABY’S SAKE by Christine Rimmer

When she arrived at the fish place on Ocean Road, Roman was waiting outside for her, lean­ing against a sleek black sports car—the famous one made in Italy, with doors that opened upward, like wings.

“This car,” she said, shaking her head, trailing a finger along the gleaming hood. “You’d better write the arts council a check, Roman Marek.”

He put his hand to his broad, hard chest, right over his heart. “You have my solemn word on that.”

They went inside. The food was excellent, as always, and being with Roman was easy and fun. Even the silences were comfortable. He said he’d moved back to town from Las Vegas and bought a house on Treasure Cove Circle. Hailey knew the house. It was a mansion nestled in its own private oceanfront reserve, surrounded by beautiful old-growth forest, overlooking a secluded stretch of beach.

“I want to see you again,” he said as he walked her back out to her car. She gave him her number and when he gathered her close, she didn’t resist.

The kiss was just right, a tender, sweet getting-to-know-you kind of kiss. His lips felt so good brushing against her own, and excitement sizzled through her. They both pulled back slowly and just stood there at the driver’s door of her Kia Sportage, grinning at each other for a long string of lovely seconds.

“See you soon,” he said as he pulled open the driver’s door for her.

She climbed in and he shut the door. Then he stood there, the afternoon sun gleaming on his dark brown hair, as she backed from the parking space and drove away.

For the rest of the day, Hailey felt like the liv­ing, breathing representation of some old roman­tic song. She walked on air and danced on clouds. She’d met a guy she wanted to see again. That hadn’t happened since Nathan.

She couldn’t stop smiling as she sat at the kitchen table in the family cottage she shared with Harper and worked on her plans for the Christmas show—which desperately needed an actual name. Later in the afternoon, she was back at the theater, greeting the parents as they dropped off their chil­dren for Fall Revue rehearsals.

It was the usual circus, corralling all the kids, giving them instructions that they immediately forgot. There was some pushing and one of the little girls cried. Hailey consoled and coaxed and loved every minute of it—she always did. But somehow, more so today.

Because she kind of had butterflies over Roman Marek, and for three long years she’d honestly be­lieved that all her butterflies had shriveled up and died.

A NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY  bestselling author, Christine Rimmer has written more than one hundred contemporary romances for Harlequin Books.  She consistently writes emotional, humorous, sensual stories that keep her readers coming back for more.  Christine has won Romantic Times BOOKreview’s Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Silhouette Special Edition.  She has been nominated six times for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award and also five times for Romantic TimesSeries Storyteller of the Year.

A California native who first longed to be an actress, Christine earned her theater degree from California State, Sacramento and then went to New York to study acting.  Later, she moved to Southern California, where she began her writing career with short stories, plays, and poems. Her poems and short stories were published in a number of small literary journals. Her plays were produced at The Back Alley and Group Theaters in Southern California and have been published by Dramatists Play Service and West Coast Plays.

Christine lives in Oregon with her family.

http://www.christinerimmer.com

THE UNSPOKEN by Ian K. Smith – Review & Giveaway CLOSED *

In this new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ian K. Smith, an ex-cop turned private investigator seeks justice on the vibrant, dangerous streets of Chicago.

In THE UNSPOKEN (Thomas&Mercer), former Chicago detective Ashe Cayne is desperate for redemption. Unwilling to cross the blue shield of silence and participate in a police department cover-up involving the death of a young black man, Cayne is pushed out of the force. But he doesn’t plan on sitting on the sidelines. He believes there’s too much injustice out there and he’s the man to take it on as Private Investigator, Ashe Cayne.

When a young woman, Tinsley Gerrigan, goes missing, her wealthy parents from the North Shore hire Cayne to find her. As Cayne looks into her life and past, he uncovers secrets Tinsleys been hiding from her family and he fears he may never find Tinsley alive.

His worries spike when Tinsley’s boyfriend is found murdered on the tough Chicago streets. Cayne must navigate his complicated relationships within the Chicago PD, leveraging his contacts and police skills to find the missing young woman, see justice done, and earn his redemption.

THE UNSPOKEN had me madly flipping pages. I couldn’t find out what happened next fast enough. I like that Smith has created a sophisticated, complex and multi layered character in Ashe which should provide material for many more books. I can’t wait to read the next book in Chicago PI Ashe Cayne’s adventures.

Ian K. Smith, M.D. is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE CLEAN 20, SHRED, SUPER SHRED, THE 4 DAY DIET, THE FAT SMASH DIET and EXTREME FAT SMASH DIET among 10 other books including, SHRED Power Cleanse, SHRED Diet Cookbook, EAT, HAPPY, THE SHRED POWER CLEANSE, THE ANCIENT NINE, and THE BLACKBIRD PAPERS. He just published The Official Clean & Lean Recipe Book that is now available and will be the official companion to his new book , CLEAN & LEAN, a 30-day plan where you can lose up to 15 pounds in 30 days. CLEAN & LEAN will be published in April 2019.

He is a former co-host of Emmy-winning “The Doctors” TV show, and a medical contributor to “The Rachael Ray Show.”

He is the former medical correspondent for NBC News network and for NewsChannel 4 where he filed reports for NBC’s “Nightly News” and the “Today” show as well as WNBC’s various news broadcasts. He has appeared extensively on various broadcasts including “The Oprah Show,” “Good Morning America” “CBS This Morning” “The View,” “The Talk,” “Dr. Oz,” “Dr. Phil,” “Anderson Cooper 360″ and “Showbiz Tonight.”

He has written for various publications including Time, Newsweek, Men’s Health, and the New York Daily News, and has been featured in several other publications including, Publisher’s Weekly, Red Book, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, People, Essence, Ebony, University of Chicago Medicine on the Midway, Cosmopolitan, Women’s World, and Black Enterprise.

Dr. Smith is the founder of two major national health initiatives–the 50 Million Pound Challenge and the Makeover Mile–that have helped millions of people lose weight and improve their health.

A graduate of Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Smith was appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition in 2010 and is serving a second term.

Thanks to Megan Beatie Communications we have two copies to giveaway. Just tell us the latest cop of private eye book you’ve read recently. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

THIS SECRET THING by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen – Review & Giveaway CLOSED *

I always love it when a new novel by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is published. In her book, THIS SECRET THING (LakeUnionPublishing) readers are once again voyeurs looking behind and inside the doors and windows of a neighborhood. THIS SECRET THING is once again filled with secrets and lies between friends and neighbors.

Norah Ramsey is a single mother and arrested and accused of being a suburban Madam. She’s the talk of town, heck the country, but as neighbors begin sharing gossip about the case, they started revealing their own secret tales and scandals.

Norah’s 15-year old daughter, Violet has no one to take care of her, until her once secret grandmother, Polly comes into town bringing her own baggage. Norah’s once BFF down the street, Bess starts trying to hide some of her own clandestine activities while her daughter returns from college tramatized. There are secret stories unraveling all across the neighborhood. Each person hast determine if their secret has the power to hurt or heal.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Marybeth. She has a uncanny talent of finding the dirt in the most inane stories. Her characters are compelling and well developed. Her many plot lines are well created and come together at the end seamlessly.

THIS SECRET THING will have you looking up and down your block wondering what’s really going on. THIS SECRET THING is published today.

Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of Only Ever HerWhen We Were WorthyThe Things We Wish Were True, and five previous novels. She enjoys speaking to women’s groups around the US, sharing how the power of story informs our own lives. Marybeth and her husband, Curt, have been married for a very long time and are the parents of six children, ranging from elementary age to young adult. Marybeth divides her time between the shores of Sunset Beach and the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina. She is always at work on her next novel. 

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing we have one copy to giveaway. Just share with us the most salacious event in your neighborhood. We’ll choose a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

CONFESSIONS on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger – SPOTLIGHT/INTERVIEW

Be careful to whom you tell your darkest secrets…

In Lisa Unger’s latest novel, CONFESSIONS on the 7:45 (ParkRow), Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.

I found the various plot lines difficult to follow at times. The main characters often changed names so that was a bit of a challenge. There were plenty of twists and turns and hidden pasts written into the novel. My overall feeling was the novel was over plotted, but a suspenseful novel all the same. Then again, it may have just been me. Give CONFESSION on the 7:45 a shot.

We got to ask Lisa Unger some questions:


Q: Please give the elevator pitch for Confessions on the 7:45

A: Selena Murphy is a young mother who is having a terrible day. When she gets on her commuter train home, it stalls, dying on the tracks. The beautiful stranger sitting next to her strikes up a conversation with a confession. Maybe it’s her awful day, or the drink she shouldn’t have had, or the dark of the train, but, whatever the reason, Selena shares a secret of her own. When the train comes back to life and Selena is finally headed home, she’s embarrassed. What would lead her to confess her darkest secret to a complete stranger? She hopes she’ll never see the mysterious woman from the train, ever again. But, of course, she will. 

Q: How do the ideas come to you for these bestsellers?

A: Every novel begins with a germ. A little zap of interest that starts me on an obsession for a particular topic. It could be a news story I read, or a sentence I hear or just an image that inspires me. One time it was even a piece of junk mail! Then, if that obsession connects to something larger that’s going on with me, I start to hear a voice or voices.I follow those voices, and they carry me through the narrative. 

Q: Can you explain the popularity of the psychological thriller genre?

A: People have a deep and abiding desire, a need even, to understand themselves and those around them. This includes having some insight into the darkest aspects of human nature. Crime fiction is the perfect place to explore some of the big questions people have about what makes people who they are. Also, in difficult times, crime fiction provides a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end where some type of justice is delivered. Not so with the real world. So I think there is some comfort to be found even in the darkest and most suspenseful novels.

Q: There are so many twists in the story.  Did you know the ending before you plotted all of the surprises?

A: When I sit down to write, I have no idea what’s going to happen, who’s going to show up or what they’re going to do day to day.  And I certainly have no idea how things will end.  It’s kind of a crazy way to write a book, but I’ve never done it any other way.  I write for the same reason that I read, because I want to know what’s going to happen.

Q:  What would you like to do if you were not an author?

A: I don’t know! I’ve never wanted to be anything other than an author. Psychology has always fascinated me, so maybe being a psychiatrist or counselor.

Q:  If Confessions on the 7:45 were made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the lead roles?

A: I would cast Scarlett Johansson as Selena and Gal Gadot as Martha. The supporting cast would be important, too, and Anne Hathaway would be perfect as Geneva and I’d love to see Bradley Cooper as Graham.

Q:  Which of your books would you like to see televised or produced by Hollywood as a movie?

A: Any of them! Currently, THE RED HUNTER and UNDER MY SKIN are under options. So fingers crossed there! If I had to choose some others, I’d pick FRAGILE or INK AND BONE. I’d love to see my fictional town The Hollows come to life on the big or small screen.

Q: Which came first: the characters or the plot line? 

A: The characters, always. My stories always begin for me with a voice, someone with a story to tell.

Q: Why do you love Selena and why should readers root for her?

A: As most of my characters are, Selena is imperfect. The pressures she experiences from the world around her are matched by those she places on herself. She is struggling, but she also knows she has reserves of strength from which to draw to overcome the obstacles she faces, some of which are catastrophic. I think we’re all stronger and braver than we believe ourselves to be, so when we’re rooting for Selena, we’re really rooting for the warrior within us all.

Q: How do you come up with your stories? Is anything based on or influenced by real life? 

A: Everything in fiction is autobiographical — and nothing is! If we’re writing from a deep and authentic place, then all of our experiences, our observations, the people we meet, the situations we observe, the conversations we have and overhear, inform our fiction. Sometimes inspiration comes from the news, from travel, from questions I have about people and the world. My fiction is always influenced by my real life but in really layered and mysterious ways. 

Q: What was your last 5-star read? 

A: I’ve read so many fantastic books recently! GOOD GIRLS LIE by JT Ellison, IF IT BLEEDS by Stephen King, and LITTLE SECRETS by Jennifer Hillier are some of my favorite recent reads.

Q: What is one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

A: I worked for a publisher before I became an author, so I was lucky to have a lot of insight into the business of publishing. So I suppose I’d like to share what I knew going in that a lot of writers don’t.  I knew that the book contract was not the end of the journey, but the beginning of the writing life. And that no matter where you are in your career — an aspiring writer, or a published writer just starting out, or a mega bestseller, it never stops being about the writing. What you do on the page is always the most important element of your career, so never stop trying to get better.

http://www.lisaunger.com

Lisa Unger is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of eighteen novels. With millions of readers worldwide and novels published in twenty-six languages, she is widely regarded as a master of suspense.

ALASKAN CHRISTMAS REDEMPTION by Belle Calhoune ** SPOTLIGHT **

Some secrets are meant to be shared.

Before he gives his heart…

he’ll have to forgive himself.

Returning to Owl Creek after years away, Braden North’s determined to help his best friend, Piper Miller, save her failing diner. But as they work to revitalize her business, Braden’s convinced he must hide the truth about a tragedy from their past…or risk losing Piper for good. If he can find the courage, might telling her everything make this Christmas a time for healing and forgiveness?

Excerpt, ALASKAN CHRISTMAS REDEMPTION by Belle Calhoune

Braden watched as Piper’s eyes widened with sur­prise. The shock on her face made him want to laugh out loud, but he knew the situation was far from hu­morous. The Snowy Owl Diner was at stake, and although he’d agreed to provide his assistance, he wasn’t sure if Piper even believed it could be saved. From this point forward, she would have to tell him everything about her situation. He would have to look over the books with a fine-tooth comb. If he was truly going to help her, he needed to under­stand exactly what she was facing. The good, the bad and the ugly.

“A-are you serious?” she asked, sputtering.

“Completely,” he said, a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth. “Whatever you need is what I’ll do.”

She pressed a hand to her chest. “You will? Re­ally? You were so decisive last night. What made you change your mind?”

Braden paused before answering. “Because I owe you, Piper.”

“For what?” she asked, confusion radiating from her eyes.

Telling her the truth wasn’t an option. She wouldn’t want to know why he would forever be in­debted to her. “For a million different things. You’ve always being in my corner. How could I say no to you when you’ve always said yes to me? No matter what trouble I got into or the problems I laid at your feet, you always jumped in to help me. There’s no way I could do any less for you.”

Tears slid down Piper’s face, and she made no at­tempt to wipe them away. She bowed her head, and he could see her lips moving. When she raised her head back up, Braden saw pure happiness emanat­ing from her eyes.

“Thank you, Braden. I’m so grateful that you changed your mind. I know it’s complicated, but in my heart I truly feel that I was meant to carry on Daddy’s legacy. I just can’t imagine my life without this place in it. I’m willing to do just about anything to save it.”

Braden couldn’t envision Piper losing ownership of the restaurant either. It would be agonizing for her. Not to mention Trudy and Hank. They were all invested in it. The townsfolk would be both sad­dened and upset. Piper would be the subject of end­less gossip about the circumstances of her losing ownership of the Snowy Owl. She wouldn’t be able to bear it if the townsfolk discovered that the diner had been struggling since before her father’s death.

He knew Jack’s reputation was important to Piper. People would sympathize with her as well, but he knew she would be inconsolable. If there was even a small chance of them reversing things, he wanted to give it his all. It would be his penance for shav­ing years off Jack’s life. If it hadn’t been for him, Jack might be here today, doing everything he could to boost the restaurant and spreading his effortless charm throughout the establishment.

“We should meet up so you can give me an oppor­tunity to look over the books and all of your monthly bills along with revenue. That’ll at least give me a snapshot of what’s been going on.”

Piper made a sad face. “Sure thing. I hope you see something in there that I missed, but I crunched the numbers over and over again. It’s not looking good.”

“We have to look at all your options. You might need a lawyer or a consultant.”

She shook her head. “I don’t have money for an at­torney. It’s a lack of money that’s gotten me into this sit­uation in the first place.” Piper let out a frustrated groan.

“Why don’t we meet this evening to try and sort some of this out?” he suggested. From what he’d ini­tially gathered, they had only a short window of time to get things dealt with before everything imploded. That needed to be prevented at all costs.

“That sounds good. Come by after I close up,” she told him. “I have to get back out there, but I’m so thrilled you changed your mind about helping me.” She flashed him a smile. “In case you didn’t realize it, I’m super grateful.”

Belle Calhoune is a Publisher’s Weekly Best-Selling author of Heartwarming, inspirational romance. A member of the RWA Honor Roll, Belle is the author of over thirty-five books. A lifelong New Englander, Belle now resides in Connecticut with her husband, two daughters and two very spoiled dogs, a toy poodle named Copper and a black Lab named Beau. Her book, An Alaskan Christmas, is now a television movie, “Love, Alaska” and aired on the UPTV channel.

http://www.bellecalhoune.com

SHOW ME THE WAY by Ashley Farley – Review & Giveaway CLOSED *

Ashley Farley offers the second installment in the Hope Springs Series with SHOW ME THE WAY. The book includes the characters we grew to love in the first book, and adds a couple more, to make it just that much more fun. When two lost souls meet by chance, their worlds collide in an explosive tale of romance and suspense. And we readers find a story filled with love, family and generosity. I love Ashley Farley’s way of gently bringing readers into her world and sharing the pleasant experience. I can’t wait for book three.

****

Presley Ingram has often wondered about her birth parents. Yet her 23andMe test kit remains unopened in her bedside table drawer. When she finds an address on a torn envelope in her adoption file upon her adoptive mother’s death, she makes an impulsive decision to travel to the mountains of Virginia in search of answers. In the charming town of Hope Springs, she discovers her dream job as event planner at the prestigious Inn at Hope Springs Farms and the potential for romance with a ruggedly handsome bartender. Presley has an uncanny knack for reading people. While she suspects Everett has a genuine heart, she’s convinced he’s hiding something from his previous life.

Everett Baldwin is on the run from his past. He’s hiding out under an assumed name and working as a bartender while his dreams of becoming a country music star slip away. When opportunity knocks, Everett is forced to face his demons in order to move on with his life. Secrets are revealed and chaos ensues. Will Everett be able to salvage his relationship with the woman of his dreams?

Ashley Farley is an Indie author and amateur photographer who writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters and wives that deal with real life issues. Her first novel, Saving Ben, was released in January 2013 as a tribute to her late brother Neal who passed away from an accidental overdose in 1999. It deals with mental illness and substance abuse and how they can destroy families. Her second book, Her Sister’s Shoes’s, was released in June 2015 and was written shortly after her yonger son went off to college. Her writing continues to be an outlet for her feelings and she goes through these challenging times in her life.

Thanks to Kate Rock Stars for providing a copy of SHOW ME THE WAY to giveaway. Just tell us what you’re looking forward to reading this fall. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

THE LAST AGENT by Robert Dugoni – Review * Giveaway CLOSED *

Sit down, buckle up, you’re about to go on a thrilling ride in Robert Dugoni’s THE LAST AGENT (Thomas&Mercer).

An American operative in Russia is on the run for his life in a thriller of heart-stopping betrayal and international intrigue by the New York Times bestselling author of The Eighth Sister.

Betrayed by his own country and tried for treason, former spy Charles Jenkins survived an undercover Russian operation gone wrong. Exonerated, bitter, and safe, the retired family man is through with duplicitous spy games. Then he learns of a woman isolated in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo Prison.

If it’s Paulina Ponomayova, the agent who sacrificed her life to save his, Jenkins can’t leave her behind. But there’s no guarantee it’s her. Or proof Paulina is still alive. To find out, Jenkins must return to Russia. Next move: blackmail Viktor Federov, a former Russian officer with his own ax to grind, into helping him infiltrate Lefortovo. The enemy who once pursued Jenkins across three continents is now the only man Jenkins can trust.

Every step of the way—from Moscow to Scandinavia to the open ocean—they’re hunted by a brutal Russian agent on a killer quest of his own. Out of loyalty to Paulina—dead or alive—Jenkins is putting everyone’s life on the line for a new mission that could be his last.

Robert Dugoni

Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and #1 Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite police series set in Seattle, which has sold more than 6 million books worldwide. He is also the author of The Charles Jenkins espionage series, and the David Sloane legal thriller series. He is also the author of several stand-alone novels including The 7th Canon, Damage Control, and the literary novel, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell – Suspense Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year, for which Dugoni’s narration won an AudioFile Earphones Award; as well as the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Several of his novels have been optioned for movies and television series. 

Dugoni is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Award for Fiction and a two-time winner of the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel set in the Pacific Northwest. He is also a two- time finalist for the International Thriller Award, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the Silver Falchion Award for mystery, and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award.

Robert Dugoni’s books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than two dozen languages.