Book Spotlight: The Giving Heart

Welcome to the blog tour for The Giving Heart by bestselling author, Toni Blake! Read on for exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a copy of the book!

The Giving Heart by Toni Blake

The Giving Heart

Expected Publication Date: October 29th, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Small Town Romance

Publisher: HQN Books

Spend a white Christmas on Summer Island, where the fires are warm and the romance is hotter

Lila Sloan wonders why she ever thought house-sitting for her sister Meg on the remote Summer Island was a good idea. And to make matters worse, local real estate developer Beck Grainger is trying to cut down the beautiful trees that line the property. Lila can’t let this happen; Meg will never forgive her.

Beck can understand Lila’s anger—sort of. The trees are actually on the neighboring property, and the land was zoned for development months ago, so his plans were no secret. But he dislikes being at odds with his friend’s sister, especially because Lila is appealing in every way: loyal, quick-witted and completely stunning.

Lila hates that she’s so attracted to Beck, who seems like a genuinely good man, despite his tree-murdering tendencies. And their chemistry is off the charts. She just wishes he’d let this development go. As Summer Island counts down to a snowy Christmas, Lila and Beck will have to strike a compromise that seems impossible for them both—or risk losing the best thing either of them has ever had.

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Excerpt

Five long, cold minutes later a tall, broad-shouldered man wearing a winter coat with blue jeans and some weird, worn, leathery sort of cowboy hat on his head came walking down from the direction of West Bluff. Despite herself, and for the first time ever in her life, she found herself envying work boots like the ones he had on because they appeared so sturdy and dry. She braced herself for a fight.

When she looked up at him, two things struck her simultaneously. First, he was ridiculously handsome—with dark hair peeking out from beneath that dumb hat, and dark stubble on his chiseled jaw to match. And second, his warm brown eyes wore that same confused, cautious look as the man on the bulldozer’s as he said, “I’m Beck Grainger. And…there seems to be some sort of problem here?”

Lila drew back. This was Beck Grainger? Who Meg had spoken of so fondly? And even Suzanne, too, during their short visit yesterday, had mentioned him as a friend. Meg had told her he’d been interested in dating Suzanne and she’d declined, but they both still thought he was a great guy.

“Well, I’m Lila Sloan,” she said. “And yes, there’s a problem. I’m not letting you destroy Meg’s property value like this.”

Beck Grainger’s dark eyebrows shot up beneath his leathery brim. “You’re Meg’s sister?”

She gave a terse, crisp nod.

The handsome man sighed, shifting his weight from one work boot to the other. “Look, no one is trying to destroy anyone’s property value. And I assumed Meg knew about this. It’s not a secret. It was brought publicly before the town council and zoned for residential use back in the spring.”

Ugh. None of this was good news. But Lila was certain Meg didn’t know. Her sister had been dealing with a lot this past year and perhaps hadn’t been paying attention to island business. They’d actually discussed these very woods over the Thanksgiving table last week, recalling how they’d played here as children when their grandmother was still alive and running the place. Meg said that a couple of years ago she’d crossed the stream to plant some shade-loving trillium and blue cranesbill among the trees, and that the small blooms had added color visible from the patio each of the last two summers. Meg loved and valued these trees. And Lila brimmed with anger that no one had made Meg aware of this—but that was neither here nor there. “I can assure you she doesn’t know.”

The handsome man’s brow narrowed skeptically. “Well, if it’s a problem for her, why didn’t she just pick up the phone and call me?”

“Because she’s away right now—traveling. And even if she were here, she wouldn’t have known you were the person to call. And maybe she would have done something sensible—because Meg is definitely sensible—like contact someone on the town council. But I, being less sensible and more rash, took a more direct approach. Meg left me in charge of the inn while she’s away—and I can’t let you do this. I just can’t.”

The tilt of Beck Grainger’s handsome head told her he was going to try reasoning with her. “You know, it’s not gonna be that bad. Luxury homes. With big yards. They’ll fit into the landscape.” He even ended the sentence with a wink. Was he serious? Given what Lila had been through recently, he was definitely barking up the wrong tree with an elitist suggestion that rich people made better neighbors.

“I don’t care what you’re building—you’re doing it at the expense of my sister’s inn. People stay here because of the ambiance and atmosphere. They stay here to listen to crickets in the trees and see fireflies blinking in the woods. We played in these trees as kids. They’ve been growing here since…well, since before Summer Island was even Summer Island. I can’t let you tear them down.”

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About the Author

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USA Today bestselling author Toni Blake’s love of writing began when she won an essay contest in the fifth grade. Since then, she has written over twenty contemporary romance novels. Her books have received the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, her work has been excerpted in Cosmopolitan, and she has been nominated for a RITA Award. Toni lives with her husband in Northern Kentucky.

Toni Blake | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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You can win a paperback copy of The Giving Heart (U.S. Only) or a digital copy (International), just click the link below to enter!

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Blog Tour Schedule

October 21st

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

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

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

October 22nd

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

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

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

October 23rd

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

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

October 24th

Romantic Reads & Such (Spotlight) http://romanticreadsandsuch.wordpress.com

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

October 25th

The Bookish Mrs. Harding (Review) http://thebookishmrsharding.home.blog

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

October 28th

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Ruby Red Romance Review (Review) https://rubyredromancereview.com/

October 29th

Books, Teacup, and Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Eclectic Reviews (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

Jane Hunt Writes (Review) https://www.jolliffe01.com/blog

October 30th

Alys in Bookland (Spotlight) https://alysinbookland.wordpress.com/

Past Midnight (Review) http://pastmidnight.home.blog

November 1st

Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Cover Reveal: Ten Tales Of A Dark Tomorrow

How cool is this cover?! It’s perfect for a collection of spine-tingling stories inspired by none other than The Twighlight Zone!

Ten Tales of a Dark Tomorrow

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Expected Publication Date: October 21, 2019

Genre: Speculative Fiction/ Sci-Fi

Ten speculative fiction stories inspired by the original Twilight Zone series, including cautionary tales, horror, science fiction, and more.

In the spirit of that iconic, timeless show, these mysterious and gripping narratives explore parallel worlds, faraway planets, dystopian societies, and unsettling reality.

• A toddler shifts through parallel worlds, changing into different versions of herself. What would a mother do for her daughter?
• A chef finds an alternate food source on a remote world. When the new chef arrives, will he be forced to reveal a horrific secret?
• A twelve-year-old Earth girl is randomly chosen to rule the galaxy. Why are galactic administrators so desperate to stop her?
• Humanity is on trial, annihilation at stake. Can an underdog alien lawyer save us?
• Time seems to stand still as a young boy bikes with his troubled friend. Is the friend causing this phenomenon—and what if he doesn’t stop it?

Explore space and time—and confront humanity’s deepest fears—with Ten Tales of a Dark Tomorrow.

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*Sneak Peek*

She says nothing, content to burrow into my chest. I look at the top of her head: thick blond hair, a line of pink scalp at her part. She’s wicked smart for her age, and I’m still trying to get used to that. The doctors have used words like gifted, genius, and prodigy. She plays piano pieces that most couldn’t master at any age. She can multiply three-digit numbers in her head instantly. She reads voraciously and beat me in chess the first time we played. People say she is a gift. I smile, but only I know what she is. She’s my child, but she isn’t—she’s a version, a duplicate.

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About the Author

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Kevin A. Kuhn is a proud member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. His first novel, Do You Realize?, won five independent literary awards and spent time as a number one Amazon best seller in four countries. He is also a retired technology executive who currently teaches at a major business school. Kevin lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, with his wife, Melinda, and their five kids—three human children and two schnoodles.

Kevin A. Kuhn | Twitter | Facebook

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Book Review: Curses Of Scale

I read this book as my TBR jar pick of September and I will say that it was pretty good. It was called Curses Of Scale by S. D. Reeves.

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Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Niena wants nothing more than to attend an elite bardic college, but when the dragon that shattered the empire awakens again she finds herself on the run, through the fey realm of Fairhome, to the city where she was born. On her trail are her army veteran grandfather, thrown into a commander’s role he doesn’t want, the lord of the fairies, trying to steer her to his own ends, and the husband she won’t meet for fifteen years. If she kills the dragon, she’ll save everyone she holds dear. But if she kills the dragon, she’s cursed instead to become it.

I never know what I am going to get when I take a pick out of the TBR jar but when I picked this one, I was intrigued. It deals with a girl who is trying to stop a dragon from terrorizing her village. But the dragon passes on a curse that when you kill it, you become it.

The characters were very well developed and I feel like they were differentiated enough to have a good cast. However, the plot was a little all over the place and hard to follow. It also became too descriptive at times where I was drawn out because of the number of adjectives I was reading.

That being said, it is a good standalone book with a not too complicated magic system and some fun ties to fey folklore. I am giving it a right in the middle rating because that is how I felt about it. I believe that the author can create more work like this and I would be excited to see where he goes with his imagination in his future books.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads!

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


If you want to see the rest of the books on my shelves, check out this bookshelf tour! This is part 2. Part one can be found on my youtube channel! Let me know if we have any of the same books!

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Book Review: Sons of Ares

For all of you that know me, Red Rising is my all-time favorite book. The graphic novel came out a while ago and I never got around to purchasing it. Lucky for me, Markus got it for me as a present for my birthday! It is a prequel graphic novel to the series called Red Rising: Sons of Ares by Pierce Brown.

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Synopsis: In the future, when mankind has spread across the stars, the hierarchy of man is dictated by the color of one’s caste. The Golds rule all, but what will happen when one falls for a lowly Red? See how a forbidden love will set the course of events for the future and lead to the formation of the formidable Sons of Ares!

It was really good. I enjoyed the prequel in how it was written and how it explained certain things that were not revealed in the book series. It gave just enough backstory to show you how some characters came to be and it was done in a visually pleasing way.

I will say the art style was not my favorite. I feel like this could have been much more intense if it was drawn by different artists. Nothing against the art style done here, I just feel like it could have been conveyed better if it was drawn by some other artists I prefer that draw for Marvel and DC. This is purely my personal preference.

Learning about Ares was fun because he is a pivotal character and his actions will set a pace for the rest of the series. Plus it answers questions that I have been asking since I finished the main trilogy.

Overall, it was a great prequel graphic novel and I would read more graphic novels about the Red Rising series because I just can’t get enough of this amazing world created by Pierce Brown.

Book Rating: 4/5

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

Disclaimer: This book was purchased for me as a gift and I read it because I wanted to. I was in no way compensated for my honest review.


It is finally September and I completed my NEWTS TBR but until I make that video, here is my September TBR where I talk about the books I will be reading this month and announce my giveaway winner!

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Book Review: The Warded Man

I decided to pick up this book because one of the prompts for the NEWTS Magical Readathon was to “read a friend’s favorite book”. In this case, I chose Markus and his favorite book is The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett.

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Synopsis: As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.

This was one of the first epic fantasy books that I have read and I really enjoyed it! The world building was great and the way it instilled fear in the reader for the characters and there lives that were at stake was phenomenal.

It was such a cool concept to have demons rise every night when the sun goes down. The people are only able to protect themselves with magic wards. The book definitely gets very dark in some areas and I thought that this added to its great storytelling ability because not everything is always rainbows and butterflies. People will live or die based upon the intense decisions they make each day and that is the feeling you get for the 3 main characters of the book.

I also quite enjoyed this it was split into 3 story arcs and unveiled little bits of each character as it kept switching perspectives each chapter. It gives you more insight into the different areas of this massive world the author has created while staying relevant to the plot.

The demons described in the book sound very cool (and very terrifying). I would not want to be up close and personal with any of them because they would probably be the last thing I see.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone that wants to start a great epic fantasy series (there are 5 in total). I know I will be picking up the next one soon!

Book Rating: 4.5/5

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

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book in physical format to read and give an honest review.


I finally finished unpacking and getting settled and decided to do a massive unhaul of the books I have already read and probably won’t pick up again. Plus there is a GIVEAWAY at the end of the video so check it out!

Also for all you fantasy lovers out there, my friend Moud Adel (author of the War Remnants which I reviewed in July) has created this new game called Majority Rules where you get to decide what happens in his fantasy story. You will read the story and then vote in a poll for what you want the next scene to be. YOU take control and YOU make the decisions. Every Thursday, there will be new scene options so it is a continuous game! Check it out by clicking on the image below!

Join the game:

https://mastoperia.com/majority-rules/

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Book Review: The Grey Sisters

Welcome back bookworms! July has been quite the reading month and this was the 5th book I had finished which is pretty good for me. This one was called The Grey Sisters by Jo Treggiari. Jo was kind enough to send me physical copies of both of her books because I read her first book called Blood Will Out, loved it, and have been a huge supporter of her since. So now I am starting a Jo Treggiari section on my bookshelf 🙂 which means that you better write more books Jo!

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Book Synopsis: D and Spider have always been close friends, and they are further united in their shared heartbreak: they both lost siblings in a horrific plane crash two years earlier. A chance sighting of a beloved cuddly toy in a photograph of the only survivor spurs D to finally seek closure. She and Spider and their friend, Min, set off on a road trip to the mountainside site of that terrible crash.

Ariel has lived on the mountain all her life. She and her extended family are looked down upon by neighboring townsfolk and she has learned to live by her wits, trusting few people outside of her isolated, survivalist community. A terrifying attack sends her down the mountain for help; on her way, she comes upon the three girls — a chance encounter that will have far-reaching consequences for them all.

Jo’s books always start out with such gripping chapters and this one did not disappoint! The book starts immediately in an intense scene and the sense of urgency pulls you right in.

She is very good at telling a story from multiple perspectives. Her first book was like this too, bouncing back and forth between two perspectives and this one continued with that feeling but it was bumped up to about 4 or 5 different perspectives and the way that they all tied together was magnificently told.

The book had the perfect amount of “creepy” factor for me. I love books that can make me feel like I am being watched or that there is a hidden figure in the room. It adds so much suspense to the book and just gets me in that creeped out mood that I get when watching a well put together scary/thriller movie. This book was a success on this front. Some of the situations that the characters were put in would make me feel really scared and I absolutely loved that the book could make me feel these things.

There are definitely some twists and turns that you won’t be expecting. I sort of figured it out when I was about halfway through but that is because I have a feel for Jo’s writing style now and I look for certain cues. But that is all a part of the fun for me. If I can figure out a story before it is revealed then I feel like a badass.

This book is a great read for someone that wants a YA fiction with a little bit of thriller in it. And if you get the chance to check out her other book, Blood Will Out, then I strongly suggest it because you will be thinking about it well after you have finished.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon or Penguin Random House Canada and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: I was sent this book in physical format by the author as a gift. I decided to read and give it an honest review because I wanted to.


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Book Review: Jamie James And The Curse Of The Ancestors

I have been reading a lot lately and managed to get another book on my July TBR completed! This one was called Jamie James And The Curse Of The Ancestors by Roy Aronson.

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Synopsis: Jamie wants to become a veterinarian. He travels to Nelspruit near the Kruger National Park in order to gain work experience with a wildlife vet. He has a secret mission that is, in fact, his primary mission. Two hundred years ago an ancestor of his whipped a black slave to death. The slave’s mother placed a curse on the family whereby all the male descendants will die violently before their fiftieth birthday.

Jamie endeavors to try and have his family released from the curse. In the process, he meets Samantha, the love interest in the story, and Shadrak, who becomes his friend and who is also the son of a Sangoma.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book because ….*intense build up*…. I judged this book on its cover *audience gasping*. I had an earlier version of the book and the cover is not what the current one is now. All covers aside, the book was really good! I really enjoyed the adventures that Jamie James embarks on in Africa and all the relationships he creates with the people around his father’s Vet office.

I believe that this book would be an amazing read for the middle grade level. It is not quite advanced enough for YA or Adults but would be great for ages 9 to 14. It reminded me of these books I used to read as a kid (don’t’ remember the names now but they were about a Vet’s daughter and her rescuing a bunch of animals). With proper marketing, I think this book could be great and I think it should be read by more people.

It is very vanilla (and by that, I mean there is no swearing in it). Another great thing about it is that it has a diverse range of characters. And I learned a little about the geography of Africa.

I do believe that the name Jamie James was a little odd. This may just be my personal preference but for some reason, when I hear this name, I picture a white rapper. Yep, this is definitely just a “me” thing.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would pass this on to my little cousins to read because I believe that they would enjoy it.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository or find it on Goodreads.

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


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Book Review: Blood Red Dust

We are just pumping out book reviews this week! It must be all the time we have to read with the nice hot weather out there! Our external reviewer Sara completed another book. This one was called Blood Red Dust by Stuart Aken.

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Synopsis: As people struggle to survive in an increasingly hostile climate on Earth, plans are afoot for the preservation of the human race. Mars, already occupied by commercial mining interests, is the only viable option. The Chosen are sent to colonize the new world and germinate the seeds of their new Utopia. But dark forces not only want to halt the plan, but they also want to see the end of all human life, everywhere. If mankind survives the divinely inspired crusade of death from dogma-driven martyrs, will The Chosen’s new Utopia be the real route to salvation?

This novel is about the first settled colony on Mars, which is designed to repopulate the human race on Mars. They soon find out that their colony may be under attack by extremists from Earth, determined to exterminate all life. Earth has become uninhabitable, and the only hope for humanity lies with a few colonies among the stars. The story is told in a report-style format, from a variety of points of view.

One of the unfortunate things about this formatting is that we don’t get very much descriptive text. We don’t get to know very much about our characters or our setting, which is really too bad, as they are specially trained, enhanced humans living in a successful Mars colony. I wish that the book had taken more time to discuss some of these more interesting science fiction aspects than it did.

Unfortunately, I didn’t much enjoy this book. Although the idea is really interesting, I would have loved it if it was more of a science fiction adventure novel than whatever genre this actually turned into. There was also a lot of awkward attempts to include “what had gone wrong with the earth” from the characters’ point of view included in their reports, which felt forced and way too obvious. Apparently, this author really doesn’t like capitalism, as that’s all he could talk about for half the book.

I wish that this idea had been fleshed out with more research and details, to make it feel more like actual reports from a future Mars colony. I feel like I just wanted MORE of everything from this book, and I didn’t get it. Too bad!

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

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


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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: Walking With Ghosts On Ward’s Pond

Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s PondWard's Pond front

Genre: Mystery

Expected Publication Date: July

A hundred-year-old unsolved mystery resurfaces when journalist Charlie Baxter becomes consumed with finding out the truth. After discovering his bloodline includes a potential murderer, Charlie sets out to clear his family’s name—only to find that everyone has an opinion, but does anyone have answers?

In 1906, Chester Gillette took Grace Brown on a secret trip in the Adirondacks, but only he returned. Grace and her unborn child drowned in the lake, and Chester was convicted of murder. Now, his distant relative Charlie Baxter is retracing the steps of that fateful trip in hopes of laying it to rest once and for all.

However, a mysterious guest at the bed and breakfast on Ward’s Pond is drawn into the cold case—not by Charlie, but by the ghost of Grace Brown. When Charlie learns that the guest’s name is Katherine Grace Brown, he can’t deny the connection. Despite running from her own past, Katherine agrees to help Charlie in his quest for the truth.

The true tale of the Gillette-Brown murder has been the subject of many a story, and it continues to intrigue. What really happened at that lake? Was Chester Gillette truly guilty of murder, or was he sent to the electric chair innocent? Perhaps with the help of their ghosts, Charlie and Katherine can find out.

Available at B & N and on Amazon!

Excerpt

A WOMAN’S SCREAM RIPPED CHARLIE from sleep as dramatically as if he’d been doused in ice water. Heart hammering in his chest, he sprang from his bed and raced to the door as another scream pierced straight through him, coming from the room across the hall. He didn’t know the occupant—the only other guest currently in the bed and breakfast at Ward’s Pond—but the compulsion to help…to do something was too great to be ignored.

“Miss? Miss, are you all right? Can I help you?” He pressed his ear to the wall, hearing nothing more than a muffled sobbing. “I only want to help you and make sure that you’re all right. I’m coming in.”

When no response came, Charlie gathered up his courage and grabbed hold of the knob, taking a quick glance at his clothes. Thankfully, he wore modest pajama bottoms and a T-shirt, nothing that would scandalize anyone. After one hard swallow, he gave the door a try, surprised to find it unlocked. He glanced across the room to see a woman sitting up in bed. The moon cast her in white, making her look ghostly. Her long, dark hair was a wild tangle, the tracks of her tears glistening in the light streaming through the window. She was trembling.

Unwilling to seem too familiar or forward, Charlie pulled up a chair—rather than sitting on the end of the bed. He leaned toward her and propped his elbows on his knees, striving to offer her a calm, reassuring presence when all the while his insides were churning from that terrible screaming.

“Is everything all right? What happened?”

The stranger took a shaky breath and drew the covers up to her chest, her knuckles bulging with the strength of her grip. “I…it was just a nightmare. Foolish, really. I can’t even remember it now…I can only recall waking up feeling absolutely terrified.”

He nodded and then gave her a smile. “I know what that’s like. My name is Charlie Baxter and I’m right across the hall. If you need anything—anything at all—don’t hesitate to give a knock. I sleep light.”

He stood as she extended her hand—which he accepted, giving it a squeeze. His skin practically sizzled at her touch, but he held on. “Thank you, Mr. Baxter. I’m sorry I woke you.”

“Nonsense. Like I said, I sleep light! I would’ve been up sooner or later anyway, and please, call me Charlie. My father is Mr. Baxter. I’ll see you at breakfast in the morning. Our hostess, Eva, is an amazing cook.” Charlie crossed the room, taking pause at the door to look over his shoulder. “By the way, what’s your name?”

She smiled, and it was like the sun coming out after a storm. “Katherine. Katherine Grace Brown.”

The name, particularly the middle and last, gave him a start, but he covered it well. “Well, Miss Katherine Grace Brown, may the rest of your night hold nothing but sweet dreams.”

As he crossed the hall, the turning of the lock broke the silence. Charlie didn’t think she was locking him out. Katherine was locking herself—and her mysterious nightmares—in.

Unable to sleep, since his mind was already unsettled from his research, Charlie opened the window and took a deep gulp of the refreshing night air. Late May in upstate New York heralded warmer days and the approach of summer, but the nights were still chilly. He left the window open, flicked on his desk lamp, and riffled through his stacks of papers, his hand landing on the picture of Grace Brown. He stared at the image that was already imprinted on his brain. She looks nothing like that girl across the hall. Her name is just a coincidence.

He started taking notes, but still a voice nagged at him at the back of his mind. Is there really any such thing as a coincidence?


author headshot 2
About the Author

Heidi Sprouse, author of Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond is a resident of historic Johnstown in upstate NY and went to college at St. Rose in Albany.

Heidi started her journey to becoming an author when she was just a child. She would practice creative writing with her friends and continued to write on through college. It wasn’t until her early thirties, after her father passed away, that she began seriously penning words with the intent to write books. As an author, Heidi opens a window into her worlds of sweet romances, historical fiction, and suspense thrillers. She’s always in search of the finding the extraordinary within the ordinary; writing about strong men with old-fashioned values and the women who pick them up when they fall.

When she isn’t writing, she adores spending time with her husband Jim, her son Patrick and her furry canine kids. She also has a rewarding career as a Pre-K teacher.

Heidi has a long list of titles credited to her name. We hope that this month you’ll check out her latest endeavor, Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond available for preorder or for direct purchase on July 2nd.

Heidi Sprouse | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

July 1st

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

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

Kim Knight (Interview) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

The Legal Alien (Review) https://thelegalalien.com/

Devouring Books (Review) https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.com/

July 2nd

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

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

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

July 3rd

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

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Triquetra Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com

July 4th

Cup of Toast (Interview) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

Reading Nook (Spotlight) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

July 5th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

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R&R Book Tours


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