Book Spotlight: Midnight Temptations

Congratulations to Shari Nichols on the release of her latest Ravens Hollow Coven novel, Midnight Temptation! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

MT DIGITAL COVER2Midnight Temptations (Ravens Hollow Coven)

Publication Date: June 30th, 2020

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: City Owl Press

What are the stakes for falling in love?

When tarot card reader Gillian Howe hosts a supernatural speed dating event, she ponders the stakes of falling in love. Making the perfect match is her passion, too bad she can’t find one for herself. After a chance encounter with a wealthy vampire, she finds herself plunged into a secret society of trancing, blood bonds and human escort rings. But when Garrett Mulroney shows up at the scene, the vampire detective is the last person she wants…even if he is scorching hot.

Garrett has been down this brutal road before and it didn’t end well. His sire tried to force him into a life of debauchery, but he chose to uphold the law instead. Now the one woman he can’t seem to get out of his mind or out of his lust-filled dreams is at the center of his investigation. It’s a good thing she hates his guts, because it helps douse his growing desire for her and focus on the case. But when Gillian’s cousin is kidnapped into the Du Sang Brotherhood, she becomes the prime witness. Now they’re forced to put their differences aside by pretending to be a couple. The more time Garrett spends with Gillian, the more he wants her in his life—and in his bed. Dark forces from his past threaten to resurface…even her love might not be enough to save him from the Brotherhood.

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Excerpt

Suddenly, all the hairs on the back of Gillian’s neck stood on end. Her whole body tensed. The chatter and music became muffled. Her eyes flickered across the lobby in search of who, or what, had caught her attention.

Then she saw him.

Six-feet-three inches of tall, dark, and brooding stood at the front desk. Detective Garrett Mulroney? What the hell was he doing here? Seeing him again after all these months sent a jolt of shock rippling through her.

His gaze locked with hers, and for a moment, she forgot to breathe. They both stood there, staring at each other. It was as though he could see beneath her armor, the kind she wore under the little black dress.

The word handsome didn’t even begin to describe him. Mythological titans like Adonis and Poseidon came to mind, males so stunning, they couldn’t possibly be real. But then she thought of other words too, like arrogant, brash…controlling…she could go on.

Mulroney crossed the lobby with a confidant gait, his long legs eating up the distance between them in a few easy strides. Her heart hammered in her chest with every step.

Every female head turned to catch a glimpse of the vampire. The closer he got, the more her body became hyperaware of his presence. He kept his thick head of dark hair short on the sides and longer in the front. The cut showed off the angles and hard lines of his face. Sexy stubble darkened a square jaw, and he looked every bit as dangerous as she remembered. Long, and lean, Gillian could make out the ripple of sinewy muscle beneath the jacket of his grey suit. In the past, she’d always been attracted to the artistic types. So, there was no good reason why she was drawn to this rough-hewn alpha.

But Goddess help her, he was magnificent.

Laughter drifted from the bar, and that’s when she realized she was still standing on a chair, gawking at him like some lovesick schoolgirl. She went to step down and her foot slipped out from one of her strappy sandals. Before she could fall sideways onto the marble, two strong arms wrapped around her waist and caught her in midair.

When she looked up and into Mulroney’s ice-blue eyes, her heart gave a little flutter. Apparently, the legends about vampires having preternatural speed and strength were real. But then, as his gaze filled with a kind of raw, primal desire, she had no doubt the steamy ones about them possessing a certain sexual allure also rang true.

            “You’re lucky you didn’t break your neck,” Mulroney whispered close to her ear and set her on her feet. “What are you doing here tonight, Miss Howe?” The deep rumble of his voice did funny things to her insides.

“I could ask you the same question.” Gillian grabbed the scissors and scotch tape off the table, then shoved them in her black beaded bag. “If you must know, I’m working,” Gillian snapped. Ever since the prickly detective had been assigned to investigate the robbery of one of her clients, a local antique dealer, their paths had collided on more than one occasion.

Mulroney’s eyes did a slow sweep of her from the tips of her three-inch heels to the top of her head. Goosebumps instantly spread across her flesh. Gillian wanted to squirm from the flagrant perusal, but remained still, refusing to give him the satisfaction. Why would she? After all, he had tried to ruin her life. “Interesting work attire,” he murmured.

Her hands clenched at her sides, fighting the urge to tug on her dress again. “I’m sure you didn’t walk over here to comment on my choice of clothing. To what do I owe the unexpected pleasure?” she asked with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

“Trust me, this wasn’t planned,” he said in a gruff voice, refusing to look her in the eye.

Gillian couldn’t help remembering the day he and his partner had showed up at the coven. Peppering her with questions and unwarranted accusations, they’d invaded her safe space, conjuring that too familiar lash of shame, and reminding her of the days when the neighbors used to call the cops to keep her parents from an all-out war.

He kept his hands stuffed in his pockets, his stance casual, but he wasn’t fooling anyone. There was no mistaking the predatory way he kept checking out the people strolling by as only a cop would. She followed his gaze as it took in every detail, restless with intensity, before finally landing on their banner. “Is this a private fundraiser?”

She nodded, not in the mood to elaborate. “Are you here in an official capacity? What’s the matter, no real criminals on the streets tonight?” Or maybe this was personal and he was meeting someone. He’d worked with Alex on several cases, and according to Willow, he was a confirmed bachelor, not that she had inquired or anything.

 “A quick word, please, Miss Howe. We need to talk.” The object of her unhealthy obsession ignored her questions and reached for her elbow, pulling her off to the side. His touch seared through the thin material of her dress, leaving a hot flush along her skin. At five-foot-seven, she wasn’t exactly short, but even in her heels, he towered over her.

“Hold on. I’m kind of busy right now. What’s this about?” Gillian demanded, catching a whiff of his masculine scent, a blend of sandalwood and clean laundry. She fought the urge to sigh and glared at him instead.

“You shouldn’t be here.” Mulroney glanced over at the couple’s tables scattered with rose petals, floating candles, bowls of heart-shaped chocolates, and the Lawrence Charity placards. He turned back to face her and scowled. “I want you to leave. Now.”

“Excuse me?” His words knocked Gillian off-center and before she could process them, an attractive female vampire with dark hair pulled in a tight ponytail walked up to Mulroney and placed a hand on his arm.

 “It’s time. We need to go.” A surge of irrational jealousy coursed through Gillian’s veins like battery acid.

For a split second he hesitated, his gaze still fixed on Gillian, and she sensed some kind of inner battle raging inside him. Then he gave her a curt nod and walked away. Her heart sank.

Brooke approached and crossed her arms over her chest. “What was that all about?”

Not sure what to make of their twisted interaction, or of Mulroney’s ominous words for that matter, Gillian sucked in a quivering breath and let it out. “No idea.”

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About the Author

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Shari Nichols grew up in a small town in Connecticut where haunted houses, ghosts and Ouija boards were common place, spurring her fascination with all things paranormal. Ever since she read her first Barbara Cartland novel, her life-long dream has been to write sexy, romantic stories. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, going to the gym, or hanging out with family and friends.

Shari’s a member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, Liberty States Fiction Writers and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers. Shari’s new series,  Ravens’ Hollow Coven, is an urban fantasy with City Owl Press.

Awards:  Beverley Award, Golden Leaf Finalist, Best Book Finalist by a New Jersey Author, HOLT Medallion Finalist, Literary Titan Silver Medal Winner

Shari Nichols | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

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This month, I am trying to narrow down my ebook TBR pile! I will be reading a bunch of different genres and exciting books! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Men Of The Year

Welcome to the blog tour for Men of the Year by Colleen McMillan! Read on for an exclusive excerpt from Colleen’s debut novel!

MofY digital cover.jpgMen of the Year

Publication Date: October 8, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Willow River Press

Cassie doesn’t want your pity. She doesn’t want your sympathy. And she certainly doesn’t want to date you.

When perpetually single Cassie McTiernan agrees to her friends’ online dating scheme, she thinks she’ll go on maybe two dates then bail before things get uncomfortable. She’s turning 30; might as well give it a shot, right? Little does she know that they’ve devised a contract, binding her to date one man per month for one year. Sure, if she finds Mr. Right she doesn’t have to complete their challenge. How hard could dating be?

Jumping through an increasingly long list of hoops, Cassie realizes that she might have to endure the entire torturous year with twelve strange men beside her. What could go wrong? Why does her first date need two cellphones? And is the man who broke her heart years before lurking behind that shadowy bush?

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Excerpt

“We have a proposition for you,” says Alicia, suddenly in let’s-make-a-deal mode. Her tone fits a power suit more than her jeans and sequined top.

“More of a bet, you guys said it was a bet,” says Keeley in a much more anxious voice than Alicia. There better not be a male stripper waiting at my apartment building when I get home. Hopefully they didn’t shave my cat like last Fourth of July.

“You’re such an ass Keel,” says Lindsey, in no way helpful. “She won’t win anything if she does it.”

“Oh, she’ll do it. She’s curious already.” Alicia’s grinning now too, but I feel my smile fading. It’s like I’m in front of a court-marshal hearing.

“What did you do?”

“It’s really awesome! I think it’s a really good idea! Lindsey and Alicia thought of it.”

“Great, so what is it?” The bar music changes to the Dropkick Murphys’ thudding beats, and I notice how many people are in the bar. A public place. Somewhere I can’t lose it and scream at them. “What is it?”

They all talk at once, cutting each other off.

“Don’t be mad—”

“Who cares if she’s mad, she’s doing it—”

“It was a good idea, right?”

“Enough you guys!” I pound the table with my mug, sloshing beer. It spills on my hand and I reach for some napkins. “Did you get me something stupid like a pony?”

“You wish,” says Alicia.

“It’s better than a fucking pony.”

“It’s a boyfriend!” Keeley’s exclamation startles me. She covers her lips with her fingers. “Sort of…”

“Not very easy to wrap,” I say and cross my arms over my chest. Please not a blow-up doll, please not a blow-up doll, not in front of all these people.

“It’s not the sort of thing Macy’s gift-wraps for you with a sprig of mint or whatever,” says Alicia as she waves her cocktail straw back and forth in a motion that suggests scolding one of her children. “We got you something thoughtful this year. Something you actually need.”

“I need a new loofa,” I mumble. And maybe some nice bath soaps. Is it too much to ask for nice bath soaps? Maybe honeysuckle-scented?

“Stop bitching and listen,” says Lindsey. “Alicia, Keeley, and I got together and really thought this through. Step one: you need to stop moping about dating and just get on with it, or ‘get it on with it’ if you will, you’re not getting any younger or thinner.”

“Thanks a lot.”

She ignores me and goes on, “Step two: stop whining about your job and get a better one.”

“She means start writing again,” whispers Keeley, trying to sound supportive.

“So basically, what you got me is an inspirational rant from a divorcee whose sole purpose in life is to sleep with as many men as she can before her vagina falls off.”

“Ha ha. Listen. We signed you up for an online dating service.”

“You did what?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

colleen

Colleen may be a writer, but she’s also a dater. Many of the events in this novel happened to her or someone she knows, both male and female. Who hasn’t felt the harsh slap of an unanswered email on Match.Harmony.Fishing.com? Who hasn’t narrowly avoided an oncoming mouth with its tongue sticking out and drool tendrils forming in the corners? She wrote this novel because her fellow online daters needed a voice, or at least a fun read to get them through the day after their online crush quit the website because he “found someone else.” She has been published in Iconoclast literary magazine as well as in her college literary journal, Prologue. She lives in Minnesota with her faithful cat, Duncan.

REASON FOR WRITING THIS PARTICULAR NOVEL

My love life is disastrous, mainly because it’s nonexistent. What dates I did go on in my twenties went well enough, or so I thought. After a long string of first dates with men who weren’t too keen on my opinions once we actually met in person, I wondered if my other friends were having the same issues. Hint: they were. This was before rampant “dick pics” emerged, and most online dating sites were pay only. I signed up for Plenty of Fish, a free matchmaker site my friend recommended, which was an even bigger school of sharks masquerading as tropical fish. I had a terrible relationship stemming from that site, which prompted me to finish the little novel I’d been working on for years.

-Colleen McMillan

Between the Lines Publishing


MenoftheYear

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 7th

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

Al-Alhambra Book Reviews (Review) https://alalhambrabookreviews.home.blog

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

January 8th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

The Middle Years Journey (Review) https://themiddleyearsjourney.com/

I’m Into Books (Review) https://imintobooks.com

January 9th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight)http://www.crossroadreviews.com/

January 10th

On the Shelf Reviews (Review) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

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It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋

Book Spotlight: Last To Love

Today we’re celebrating the upcoming release of Last to Love by Alexa Whitewolf! Read on for an exclusive sneak peek, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Book Cover.jpg

Last to Love (Moonlight Rogues #4)

Expected Publication Date: December 31st, 2019

Genre: Paranormal/ Shapeshifter Romance

He’s the last one standing… So they sent the best one to break him.

Lucas

Love is for fools. I left all that wuss shit behind, and no fairy-like, smiling godmother will change my mind. I’ve got enough on my mind with a beta pushing my buttons and a town to keep safe. Never mind these urges inside me surfacing again, when I thought I’d buried them for good.

My wolves are falling in amore like bowling pins, and no amount of reasoning will make them stop. Now the third one’s gone over the moon, and they all expect me to be the last to love.

Only, they’ve got another thing coming. ‘Cause the only way I’m falling in love? Is over my dead body.

Monica

One more job, they said. One tiny thing I have to do, to bring the prodigal son back home in the warm arms of his beloved family. They said it would be easy. They gave me all the tools. But the minute I’m facing Lucas, I know all those plans have just failed. Burned, thrown out the window, type of failed. And I fully expect he’ll throw me out on my ass. So why is it he’s suddenly more interested in getting me in bed, rather than exiled? And what happens when I fall for it, but it’s too late to stop the events I’ve set into motion?

*Book IV in a paranormal shifter series filled with werewolves of all kinds, feisty females who stand up to them, and enough suspense to make it interesting. Can be read as a standalone for the romance, but for a better experience it’s suggested you read the full series first.*

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Excerpt

Monica

Damn it, but they could have warned me what to expect!

Luciano Conti is nothing like I pictured. He’s gorgeous, and fine as hell, sure. But he’s also cold, and unsettling. And in control. I didn’t miss the way his wolf responded, that flash of interest quickly squashed as soon as he realized who I am – nor did I miss the pack outside of here. Clearly, I’ve walked in the middle of a warzone.

The question is, how much more chaos can I cause before Luciano – or Lucas, as he calls himself now – throws me out of here? I bite my lower lip, noticing his gaze drop to it. My instructions were clear. Ruin the life he built here, and force him to come back home. If I do, I’d be free, and Alessandro Conti would ensure it.

Only problem is, as I’m standing opposite Luciano, it takes all my will to ignore the hum of electricity between us. I’ve always been the one in control – always. And yet his dark gaze does something to my insides that makes me feel almost…shy.

Basta! Don’t be a fool.

In an effort to distract myself, I look around. “You’ve done well for yourself, Luciano. Your parents will be proud.”

A noise escapes him, and I meet his unnerving gaze just in time to catch a glimpse of amusement. Then he schools his expression once more. I’ve known men who are good at that, but he makes it into an art. He is a piece of art.

Focus…

“What was so funny?” He clearly doesn’t like my question. But it’s his words that unsettle me more.

“What’s funny, cara, is you keep mentioning parents as if I have two of them. My mother died years ago. Matter of fact, she committed suicide after my brother died in a failed deal – all thanks to my father. But surely Alessandro Conti told you all this, before sending you into the wolf’s den?”

His grin is nothing short of predatory. And that dangerous glint in his onyx eyes causes a low tremor to start in me.

Merda! I’ve been had, that’s for sure. Only question is, how the heck do I get out of this now?

Will be available on Amazon December 31st!

The Moonlight Rogue Series

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*Note for bloggers/ and or book reviewers: The entire series is available for review. Contact the author for details!

About the Author

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Alexa Whitewolf is a fiction writer, newspaper columnist of daily issues and author of the critically acclaimed Moonlight Rogues shifter series.

Alexa has been a lifelong writer and first began creating other worlds and characters at the ripe age of 12. Growing up in the Transylvania region surrounded by epic mountains and a never ending stream of legends and stories was bound to create an overactive imagination. This shines through Ms. Whitewolf’s writing by creating worlds filled with unique folklore, life wisdom and plenty of furry creatures.

An avid traveler, Alexa writes under a penname and spends her days between an office job and writing, in Canada’s capital when she’s not flying somewhere with lush landscapes and plenty of hiking trails.

Her series focus on strong heroines, kind yet sexy men, fights of good and evil and the never-ending learning curve of humanity’s strong – and weak – points. Romanian folklore is intertwined with her writing, more notably in her shifter romance series, the Moonlight Rogues. Her other series draw on world mythology, such as the Avalon myth and Arthurian legend (the Avalon Chronicles) and Ancient Egypt (The Sage’s Legacy).

You can follow her blog at http://www.alexawhitewolf.com/blog or on social media. Her column in Observatorul also tackles various issues, including health, technology, and a writer’s life.

If you want up to date releases, make sure you sign up for her newsletter www.alexawhitewolf.com/contact

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads

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Blitz Schedule

December 16th

Reads & Reels – http://readsandreels.com

Breakeven Books – https://breakevenbooks.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds – http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Crossroad Reviews – http://www.crossroadreviews.com

December 17th

I Smell Sheep – http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Turning the Pages – https://turningthepagesonline.wordpress.com

The Genre Minx Book Reviews – http://www.thegenreminx.com/

December 18th

Banshee Irish Horror Blog – www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

I Love Books and Stuff – https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Bibliophile Ramblings – http://lego–ergo–sum.blogspot.com/

Books, Teacup & Reviews – https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

December 19th

Book Dragon Girl – https://bookdragongirl.com

Literary Dust – https://literarydust.wordpress.com/

Rambling Mads – http://ramblingmads.com

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December is here and the year is almost over. Check out all the books I got as a last haul of 2019!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann (, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

EIS - Book Cover (Small)

Book Spotlight: Love Potions and Other Calamities

Welcome to the long awaited blog tour for Love Potions and Other Calamities by Charlie Laidlaw! Follow along for tour details, exclusive content, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Love potions FRONT DRAFT

Love Potions and Other Calamities

Expected Publication Date: November 7th, 2019

Genre: Comedy/ Mystery

Publisher: Headline

Welcome to the strange world of Rosie McLeod, an amateur detective with a big difference. Her deductive powers are based solely on the careful preparation and use of plants and herbs.

Love Potions and Other Calamities is pure comedy, with a bit of drama thrown in, as Rosie sets out to discover whether her husband is having an affair and, as the story unfolds, to solve a murder – before she becomes the next victim.

Rosie McLeod, pub proprietor and a gifted herbalist of some renown, is thirty-nine and holding, but only just. The talons of her fortieth birthday are in her back and her bloody, bloody husband hasn’t laid a lustful hand on her for months.

She has the fortune, or misfortune, to live in one of Scotland’s most famous places – the East Lothian village of Holy Cross, which takes its name from the legendary Glastonbury Cross that was spirited away – and subsequently lost – when Henry VIII purged the English monasteries. The cross of pale Welsh gold, reputedly buried within the village, had at its centre a fragment of emerald from the Holy Grail. The story is, of course, complete baloney.

But the association with the Holy Grail and the later witch persecutions of James VI mean that the village is as well known around the world as Edinburgh Castle, haggis or Loch Ness. It has been described as “the heartbeat of Scotland” and is a major tourist destination – many of whom visit the village with metal detectors, hoping to discover the elusive cross.

However, a sighting of a large, black cat by the local Church of Scotland minister sets off a chain of events that lead back twenty years and, although the villagers are blissfully unaware of it, to a woman’s murder. The black cat had last been sighted near the village some two decades before, and the minister’s predecessor was sure that it had triggered something evil. The villagers, of course, think otherwise.

Nothing ever happens in Holy Cross.

For fans of Mel Brooks and Monty Python!

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Excerpt

Coincidentally, Rosie had once owned a black cat, although it was very small, and was eaten by an eagle on the Christmas morning she was given it. That was also the Christmas she stopped believing in Santa Claus. One minute, the kitten was on a scrubby patch of grass in their Sussex back garden, a round ball of black fluff, peering fretfully at her new world; the next, she wasn’t anywhere to be seen until, looking up, Rosie saw large and predatory wings disappear over the farmhouse roof.

She was at an age when she knew that bad things happened, but still believed that Christmas Day was somehow exempt: guns fell silent, everyone had enough to eat, and pestilence was postponed until Boxing Day. Her parents tried to console her by saying that eagles weren’t native to Sussex, searching fruitlessly in flowerbeds and, then, in the surrounding fields. In a way, that day had become a metaphor for her life: that in unexpected ways good things can be randomly snatched away. It felt like that now: sagging boobs, carpet slippers, a dreaded birthday – and the revelation of a precise delusion.

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon!



About the Author

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I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook | Twitter

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For your chance to win a signed copy of Love Potions and Other Calamities, click the link below!

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December is here and now it is time for the moment we have all been waiting for….THE REINDEER READATHON! Coming at you with my TBR for this intense month of reading!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann (, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

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Book Review: The Forbidden Warriors

I read another book in this world and this one was by far the most developed! It was The Forbidden Warriors by Moud Adel.

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Synopsis: Mastoperia: A hidden continent with four factions divided and suspicious of each other, with a history of unresolved wars, each grounding themselves in their own unique culture, and magical power.

The Forbidden Warriors: The only force powerful enough to keep the factions from destroying one another. The secret to their power is a mystery, but the only way to hold on to it is by passing the power to a new generation every two and a half centuries.

As that time has arrived, each faction must offer a candidate to become the next generation of the Forbidden Warriors, but only one can be the leader. In a race for that leadership position, four candidates and their teams travel across a world mysterious to them, to hunt artifacts they know nothing about. The mission is not easy, their goals are not aligned, and the truth is far bigger than they could have imagined. A challenge none were ready for.

Will they choose their own interests, their factions’ or defy all that they know for the sake of their world.

I really liked where this first installment of the series took us! It was easy for me to jump into the world because I had read the 2 prequel novels. Even if I hadn’t, the author described it fairly well giving you an understanding of the environment and the multiple magic systems involved.

I liked the team based quest aspect to the storyline. It reminded me of the Hunger Games in the sense that they are all competing (and can’t stop even if there is a loss of life) to be the first team to collect the most artifacts. There was danger involved and the artifacts were not that easy to get which made it very interesting.

The team dynamic was well done as well. One thing I would note is that I did get a bit confused at times due to there being 16 different perspectives that you are following and trying to learn about. I think it would have been better if it focused on say 6 of them at the most so it would be easier to remember who is who. They also have names that start with the first same letter so that added an extra layer of confusion to it.

The romantic part of it felt like it spurred out of know where a little bit. I think that the relationships between existing faction members were more genuine and I think that it was a start to what could be a relationship but more work needed to be put into the dialogue between the two of them and I think it needed a little more build-up than just umping right into it.

Overall, it was a great first installment to this series and I am definitely invested reading all of them. The ending of this one was quite the cliffhanger so I need to know what happens next and will be waiting with anticipation for that next book to come out!

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.


December is fast approaching and I wanted to make it an extra special month by creating a readathon and have all you bookworms participate! It’s called the Reindeer Readathon and it will be taking place from December 1st to the 31st! It is a team-based readathon and all the prompts you complete will count as points towards your team! The winning team will have one random person win a prize! Full details in the video below!

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Book Spotlight: Veiled By Desire

Congratulations to Candace Robinson on the release of this beauty! Veiled by Desire is the second installment of the Laith series and will be available on November 19th!

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, AND a digital copy of book #1, Clouded by Envy!

Veiled By Desire Cover

Veiled by Desire: A Laith Novel

Publication Date: November 19, 2019

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: The Parliament House Press

In Laith, when the moons are high, Tavarra is allowed to walk the land as a human for one day, losing her seahorse-like tail. But should she remain out of the water, a curse will overtake her, turning her into a beast with sharp fangs and long claws. A beast that, on some nights, takes the shape of a rampaging, uncontrollable monster.

Rhona, along with her village, are under a sinister leader’s control. Their leader has taken Rhona from the boy she loves, stripped away her abilities and, under the threat of killing everyone she loves, forces her on a dangerous task to retrieve a dark prism that will increase his already massive powers.

When Tavarra and Rhona cross paths, they discover they need each other. Rhona knows how to help the cursed sea creature, while Tavarra knows where to find the dark prism. They embark on a mission that could help them break Tavarra’s spell and save Rhona’s family and village. But with an untamable beast inside Tavarra, nothing is certain..,

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Excerpt

Seven years of this. Tavarra closed her eyes and gripped the chains around the tree that bound her wrists together. She howled with urgency, screamed, and bared her fangs. As she stared up at the twin moons in the darkening sky, she knew her fate was coming. A fire spread throughout her entire body with a wicked touch, and she shook violently.

“The chains will hold this time,” her friend Eza said, landing on Tavarra’s shoulder. If Tavarra killed the pesky bat, there would be nothing, no one, and she had grown to love Eza after all these years.

“Get out of here, Eza! Now!” Tavarra screamed.

“I’ll be right here,” the bat murmured and flew up into the tree above. Eza looked incredibly similar to a fairy except for the thin blackened wings, fangs, and sharper-pointed ears. She was a little taller than the size of Tavarra’s hand from wrist to the tip of the claw on her middle finger.

Tavarra was trying to fight the change. She would win this time. As she breathed in the scents of Laith, Tavarra knew it was a lie, and indeed, she knew she’d failed when her skin began to stretch. She could feel her face taking on a new shape, and that was when the terror came because the night would be unknown to her. That was what haunted her the most. Tavarra held back the tears, unwilling to break, unwilling to bend and show weakness.

All that remained in her soul, heart, and existence, was hunger. She yearned and thirsted for blood, meat, and bones.

Amazon | B & N | Kobo | iBooks

Clouded by Envy (Laith #1)

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Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.

Goodreads

Giveaway: Click the link below to enter for a chance to win a digital copy of book #1, Clouded by Envy, and a $10 Amazon gift card (North America Only)!

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About the Author

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Candace Robinson spends her days consumed by words and hoping to one day find her own DeLorean time machine. Her life consists of avoiding migraines, admiring Bonsai trees, watching classic movies, and living with her husband and daughter in Texas—where it can be forty degrees one day and eighty the next.

Candace Robinson | Literary Dust | Twitter

Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

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December is fast approaching and I wanted to make it an extra special month by creating a readathon and have all you bookworms participate! It’s called the Reindeer Readathon and it will be taking place from December 1st to the 31st! It is a team-based readathon and all the prompts you complete will count as points towards your team! The winning team will have one random person win a prize! Full details in the video below!

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Book Highlight: Love, Look Away

Congratulations to Lisette Brodey, on her October release of Love, Look Away!

REVISED _Love, Look Away COVER

Love, Look Away

Publication Date: October 10, 2019

Genre: Romantic Comedy/ Women’s Fiction

Twenty-nine-year-old Sage Gordon has had it with love. When she’s not busy running her metaphysical gift shop in the old-money town of Swansea, New York, she’s content with the company of her dog and two cats.

Years ago, the boy she thought she’d marry someday disappeared in the middle of the night and was never heard from again. Haunted by the loss of Jimmy, she remains wary about love, until she is set up with a gorgeous NYC marketing executive. Love moves quickly, and she finds herself engaged — but if only he had betrayed her before she sent out the save-the-date cards.

Sage reverts to her former mindset: love, look away. Forever. Despite her best efforts, though, two completely different yet wonderful men enter her life. Still haunted by the past, can she let romance back into her life?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Love, Look Away is set in the same fictional town (Swansea, NY) as my first romantic comedy, Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! This book is not, however, a sequel or a series. Love, Look Away is a stand-alone novel. Some readers will recognize several characters from Molly, including Molly herself, playing supporting roles.

And to readers who have never read Molly, but who may wish to do so, rest assured this novel does not give away the ending.

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Excerpt

Sage hurried back into the store, to see a gorgeous man with a huge head of tousled brown hair and a sexy two-day growth on his face. He was wearing a button-down blue-and-white checked cotton shirt, with three buttons undone and a pair of sunglasses hanging from the V neckline it created. His sleeves were rolled up to reveal three leather bracelets on his left wrist and a watch on the right. He wore khaki chino pants and ankle-high brown moccasins. And he had the biggest smile Sage had ever seen.

“G’day!” he said before she could greet him. He turned to see Godiva. “And g’day to you too.”

“You must be Freddie’s houseguest,” Godiva said. “From Australia.”

“Benton Bradley,” he said, taking care to make eye contact with both women before Rufus greeted him with enthusiasm. “G’day, fluffy mate. I reckon you and my Kelpie Matilda might enjoy a good pash.”

“Is that short for ‘passionate?’” Sage asked as she walked around the counter to greet him, her eyes bright and curious. “Hi, I’m Sage Gordon.”

As Rufus finally settled on his mat by the meditation cushion, Benton took both of her hands in his. “Indeed it is, Sage. You’re beautiful as.”

Unnerved, but not put off by the intimacy of the exchange, Sage delicately pulled away. “Benton, you said, right?”

“I did.” He winked. “You can call me Bent, but please, don’t call me crooked.”

Sage laughed, finding herself unable to avert her gaze.

He looked at Godiva. “You must be Freddie’s lady, Godiva Jones.”

“I am,” Godiva said as she walked over to shake his hand. “Or I will be,” she mumbled under her breath. “It’s lovely to meet you, Benton.” She winked at Sage. “I’m going into the office to finish those website updates we talked about.”

Sage’s eyes widened in surprise, then narrowed as if to playfully chastise Godiva. “Yeah, by all means, update my website. Seems like we’ve been talking about that incessantly … and nothing else.”

“Don’t I know it? Well, you know where to find me if the bells clang too much,” Godiva said. She walked behind the curtains with a satisfied smile.

Sage looked at Benton while his eyes scanned the store with great interest. “Quite a place you have here. I like it.” He looked at the sign above the counter. “What’s that all about?”

“Oh, the Private Property sign. It’s just there for decoration.”

“I don’t suppose you’d like to sell it. I’ve got a small farm, and that would be a welcome addition to my front gate.”

“It’s not for sale,” Sage said. “Besides, you can’t bring wood into Australia. They’d confiscate it at customs.”

“No wood for me then,” Benton said, laughing to himself.

Sage felt oddly tantalized by the stranger’s words.

“That sign looks a good deal older than you.”

“It is, I think. Or maybe it just ages faster. Besides, I use moisturizer twice a day. I don’t think the sign cares about self-preservation.”

“It could use a good oil rubdown,” Benton said, grinning. “I’d be happy to do that for you.”

Purchase Here!



About the Author

LisetteHeadshot.jpg

Lisette Brodey is a multi-genre author who writes strong, character-driven novels/stories, infused with humor, centered on the lives of flawed human beings in both tragic and funny situations. She writes mostly women’s fiction and literary fiction, but has written a YA paranormal trilogy, and a 1970s coming-of-age novel.

She was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She spent ten years in New York City, and now resides in Los Angeles. In addition to writing, she occasionally works as a SAG background actor in movies and television. And she loves animals.

Lisette Brodey | Molly Hacker | Twitter | Facebook

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It’s already November! I am being pretty ambitious and will be trying to read 5 books this month. Check out what I will be reading!

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Book Highlight: Good Writing Is Like Good Sex

Welcome to the blog tour for Good Writing is Like Good Sex: Sort of Sexy Thoughts on Writing. This cheeky and handy writing guide is by C.S. Johnson, and if you read through to the end, you can try to win a copy of your very own!

Good Writing

Good Writing is Like Good Sex: Sort of Sexy Thoughts on Writing

Publication Date: March 31st, 2019

Genre: Non-Fiction/ Writing Guide

What makes a book sexy?

I’m not talking about erotica, per say, but what is the difference between a book you eagerly devour and a book you slum your way through?

While there are individual exceptions, the most objective difference between a good story and a downright terrible one is simple—it all comes down to the writing.

It’s either good writing, and we can forgive the technical flaws a little more easily, or it’s bad writing, and bad writing is just bad.

Good writing is more than just good writing.
Good writing is sexy.

If you’re a fiction writer looking to improve your writing skills, this is the perfect, provocative read to encourage you to get down to business and write your story.

Inside Good Writing is Like Good Sex, you will find:

• A titillating perspective on the writing process
• The secret to why your story is special, and how you can make it sexier
• Tips on romancing your readers
• How to write irresistible characters
• Basic writing and story concepts with advanced insights

… and all in a non-gratuitous fashion with a lot of innuendos.

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Available on Amazon!

Click the link below for your chance to win a print copy of the book (U.S. Only)

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About the Author

Author-CS-Johnson

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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I finally got around to doing the Mid Year Book Freakout tag and talk about the best and worst books I have read in the first half of 2019.

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Book Review: The Usurper King

Hey bookworms! I read my TBR jar pick from June (yes I know, its a little late) and this one has been on my shelf for quite a while. It was called The Usurper King by Zeb Haradon and was it ever an interesting one.

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Synopsis: The Usurper King takes place in an alternate universe where the serial killer Ted Bundy was never apprehended and is now running for president in 2016.

Jim, a sufferer of a hybrid computer-biological virus that causes premature aging, tries to pay for his treatments by winning money on the game show ‘Guts!’, which has contestants competitively predict the future by reading animal entrails.

As Jim begins to find omens in the entrails of Bundy’s victory, and details of Bundy’s murderous past are uncovered, Jim and another contestant take it upon themselves to stop his ascent to power before it’s too late.

So this book is kind of a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. I read some other reviews after reading this book and I completely agree with a bunch of them that state that they don’t really know what genre this book is because it has elements of sci-fi, thriller, and historical fiction but none so solidified that it fits just one of them.

I honestly was captured by the author’s writing style and quite enjoyed how he expressed his characters. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with all of the decisions that the characters made but they were each unique and had a way of giving you just enough knowledge about them that left you wanting to know more.

I never knew where this book was going next. It kept taking different turns which I wasn’t expecting and I loved that. The addition of Ted Bundy as a political figure made it even more interesting. To have a character of that vicious enamour in a position of power is a very scary thing and reminded me of Donald Trump. Thank god for being a Canadian 😛

Trigger warning: Animal Cruelty

There is quite a lot of animal sacrificing for the sake of reading their entrails in this book. I do believe that it went a little overboard with the disregard for the animals lives and killing them as if they were just objects that have no value. That being said, I didn’t let it hinder my experience of the novel that much.

I think this book would be good for someone that isn’t too squeamish and wants a book that doesn’t really have a category, it is just humorous and interesting.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Watch my Small Booktuber Tag video where I talk about what it is like to be a small booktuber and all the amazing people in the community!

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Book Highlight: Banged Up Heart

Banged Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss

Banged Up Heart Cover

Genre
Memoir / Non Fiction

Synopsis: Banged-Up Heart is an intimate and clear-eyed account of finding love late and losing it early—and of the strength it takes to fall deeply in love a second time, be forced to relinquish that love too soon, and yet choose to love again.

When her husband of thirty years dies suddenly, Shirley Melis is convinced she will never find another man like Joe. Then she meets John, a younger man who tells her during their first conversation that he has lived for many years with a rare but manageable cancer. She is swept off her feet in a whirlwind courtship, and within months, made brave by the early death of a friend’s husband, she asks him to marry her! What follows is a year-long odyssey of travel and a growing erotic and creative partnership— until a mysterious bump on John’s forehead proves to be one of several tumors in his brain and spine.

The nine months that follow are filled with a life-threatening infection, three brain surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy. Two years and one week after their wedding, John dies at the age of fifty-nine. More than just a love story or a memoir of mourning, Banged-Up Heartcomes down solidly on the side of life. It takes you deep inside an ordinary woman, her deeply felt grief butting up against her desire for more than companionship: passion, sexual fulfillment, and self-realization. It bears eloquent witness to the wild trust it takes to fall madly in love and risk profound loss—a second time. Ultimately, it shows that it is possible to dance with a banged-up heart.

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/Banged-Up-Heart-Dancing-Love-Loss/dp/193828870X /?tag=wowwomenonwri-20

Goodreads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32145012-banged-up-heart?

Audible Link:
https://www.audible.com/pd/Banged-Up-Heart-Audiobook/B07P1ZMBS4?qid=1556277182&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=MN84GWS17HRECS89TKR8

About The Author

Shirley Melis Head Shot

Shirley Melis is a longtime business writer, travel writer, and newspaper columnist who traveled the world interviewing everyone from busboys to heads of international organizations before launching a career in public relations in Washington, D.C. With Banged-Up Heart, she now takes her writing in a new direction, delving deeply into her own personal story of finding love late, losing it early, and discovering the strength to choose to love again. It is a fascinating odyssey, a journey both creative and erotic as Shirley and John work lovingly together to blend their dreams—until a mysterious bump on his forehead starts them on a tragic struggle against the dark hand of fate.

A graduate of Vassar, Shirley Melis has created an intimate memoir bearing eloquent witness to the kind of wild trust that can grow in the heart of an ordinary woman thrust into circumstances that few others must face. Now retired, she lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.


Blog Tour Schedule

July 8 (today) @ The Muffin
Interview and giveaway.
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

July 9 @ Book Santa Fe Crystal Otto
Crystal J. Casavant-Otto shares her review after listening to the touching and inspiring memoir Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://www.booksantafe.info/

July 10 @ Lisa Buske
Lisa Buske reviews the Audible version of Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss by Shirley Melis.
https://www.lisambuske.com/

July 11 @ Bring on Lemons with Tara Forst
Wisconsin mother and business woman Tara Forst shares her thoughts after listening to the inspirational audible version of Banged-Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 12th @ BreakEven Books
Today’s Author Spotlight at BreakEven Books is on Shirley Melis and her memoir Banged-Up Heart – now available on Audible!
https://breakevenbooks.com/

July 13 @ Bring on Lemons with Angela Williams
Angela Williams reviews Shirley Melis’s Banged Up Heart.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 14 @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Educator and Entrepreneur Cathy Hansen reads and reviews Banged Up Heart by Shirley Melis. You’ll want to stop by Bring On Lemons today for your chance to learn more about this touching and encouraging memoir (now available on Audible).
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 15 @ Lisa Haselton
Shirley Melis is being interviewed today by Lisa Haselton. Stop at Lisa’s blog to learn more about Banged Up Heart, a non-fiction, memoir (now available on Audible), about finding the courage and strength to love again.
http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

July 16 @ Bring on Lemons with Madeline Sharples
Fellow memoir writer Madeline Sharples interviews Shirley Melis about her book Banged Up Heart. (now available on Audible) Don’t miss this heart felt interview about courage and love.
http://madelinesharples.com/

July 17 @ Jerry Waxler
Coach and Author Jerry Waxler shares his thoughts after reading Shirley Melis’s memoir Banged Up Heart.
www.memorywritersnetwork.com/blog

July 18 @ Deb Blanchard
Teacher Deb Blanchard gives insight into “Banged Up Heart” the touching memoir by Shirley Melis (now available on Audible).
https://www.facebook.com/Reviews-by-Deb-1737715249887520/

July 19 @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Don’t miss today’s interview between memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro and Shirley Melis. Find out more about Melis and her memoir Banged Up Heart (now available on Audible).
http://applemanshapiro.com/

July 20 @ Bring on Lemons with Penny Harrison
Wisconsin business owner and avid reader Penny Harrison shares her thoughts and feelings about Shirley Melis’s memoir Banged Up Heart (now available on Audible).
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 22 @ Memoir Writers Journey with Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler shares her thoughts with readers of Memoir Writer’s Journey – find out what Pooler has to say about reading Shirley Melis’s memoir Banged Up Heart.
http://krpooler.com/

July 23 @ Bring on Lemons with Pang Papathopolus
Wisconsin professional caregiver and health care worker Pang gives her review of the Audible version of Banged-Up Heart by Shirley Melis.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

July 24 @ The Constant Story with David W. Berner
Author and radio personality David W Berner reviews Shirley Melis’s book Banged Up Heart and shares his thoughts with readers at The Constant Story.
http://davidwberner.blogspot.com/

July 25@ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles shares her review of Banged-Up Heart on Audible – hear what she has to say about this memoir in it’s audio form!
https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

July 26 @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Michelle DelPonte shares her review of the Audible version of Shirley Melis’s Banged Up Heart today at Bring on Lemons. Don’t miss this exciting blog stop and book giveaway.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/


If you get a chance, check out my July TBR video where I talk about the books I will be reading in July and the giveaway that I am hosting on my Youtube channel!

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