August Reading Stats

I am feeling so accomplished right now!! We are just over half way through September and I have all my August stats and reviews Done!!! My month was pretty good overall, only 3 of my 13 books were under 4 stars. My Least favorite was My Not So Perfect Life and my favorite was Always Only You. Hope everyone is having a great month so far!!

I read 13 books in August

  • Physical Books – 7
  • E-Books – 5
  • Audio Books – 1
  • Library Books – 1
  • ARC’s – 3

Genres

  • Contemporary Romance – 6
  • Paranormal Romance – 2
  • Woman’s Fiction – 1
  • Graphic Novel – 0
  • YA – 0
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy – 2
  • Thriller/Mystery – 2

( I am only putting each book in what I think is the most prominent category )

Star Ratings

  • 1 Star – 0 books
  • 2 Stars – 0 books
  • 3 Stars – 2 books
  • 3.5 Stars – 1 book
  • 4 Stars – 6 books
  • 4.75 Stars – 1 book
  • 5 Stars – 3 books

3 Stars

The Jackal by J.R Ward – Library Book

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella – Book

3.5 Stars

Jar Of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier – Book

4 Stars

Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louise – E-ARC/Audio

Polaris Rising by Jesse Mihalik – Book

Forever Saved by Kathleen Brooks – E-Book

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria – Book

Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting – Book

Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh – Book

4.75 Stars

Hands Down by Mariana Zapata – E-Book

5 Stars

Always Only You by Chloe Liese – E-ARC

The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter – Book

A Dance With Fate by Juliet Marillier – E-ARC

Until Next Time, Happy Reading!

Round up: August 16-31

I read some really good books the last half of August. My favorite was either Polaris Rising or Kiss My Cupcake. Bothe were very good but very different. Kids also finally went back to school so that has freed up a little more of my time, however the first two weeks were remote learning. But they go back full time in person in early September. Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

Polaris Rising by Jesse Mihalik – 4 Stars I kept seeing this cover every where so when I saw it my local thrift store I had to pick it up. Of course it set on my shelf for months but when I finally sat down and read it, I loved it! This is romance space opera and we are following Ada who has recently been captured due to the bounty on her put there by her ex-fiance and Marcus Loch who is being held prisoner by the same bounty hunters. Together the two help each other escape and and the adventure that ensues was so much fun! I can’t wait to read the next book in the series that deals with Ada’s sister, Bianca.

Forever Saved by Kathleen Brooks – 4 Stars I love this series so much!! This book is #14 in the third series centered around Keeneston Kentucky. I absolutely love returning to the town of Keeneston and all the people who live there. In this book we follow Jace who is the third child of Pierce and Tammy, as he starts his new medical practice in Keeneston. Stella has recently moved to town to start a garden center and the two meet and have an instant connection. These books are always fast paced romance thriller/mysteries and I always look forward to the next one in the series.

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria – 4 Stars This was a fun book about two Telenovela stars that are working together on a new show for a netflix type company so we get scenes from both the real couple and the one they portray on screen. I really enjoyed this one it was fun and steamy! (Sorry for the short review! Its been so long since I read it I can’t remember a ton of details without giving spoilers. I really need to get better about writing my reviews quicker.)

The Jackal by J.R. Ward – 3 Stars I feel like her books are all starting to bleed together and I am finding it hard to separate this book from the other one I read at the same time. That being said I did find the book enjoyable but only in the sense that I already love the world and characters that J.R. Ward has built. I am not a huge fan of books that have a lot of memories in them and this one basically had a chapter of memories every other one. That was really one of the reasons this book got a 3 from me. Still will be picking up the next one in the series though.

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella – 3 Stars This book was a real struggle for me. After a very rough start with it and almost dnfing, I forced myself to power through and finished it in about 3 days. I only pushed through because I was buddy reading this with some friends and they all were loving it. We are following Katie who is pretending to love her job and life in London. She unexpectedly gets fired and has to move back home to help her dad run a glamping site on their farm. While on the farm she runs into her old boss who fired her and the two end up helping each other out. Overall it was an ok story but I struggled with the main character, I just didn’t really like her whole persona. Hopefully the next is better. (P.S. It was)

Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting – 4 Stars Yes please! I read this book and absolutely loved it!! I love a good enemies to lovers stories and when you throw in a lumberjack type man I am so in!! Blaire is opening a cupcake and craft cocktail place and it turns out that next door is an annoying bar that has ax throwing. Ronan has recently taken over his grandfather’s bar and is doing some renovations. One night while working on his ax throwing wall he disturbs his new neighbor who comes in and gives him what for! I loved Blaire and Ronan’s relationship so much, they way they went from antagonistic to helping each other out was great! Can’t wait for the next book by Helena Hunting!

Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh – 4 Stars It has been years since I have picked up this series but I have slowly been picking them up from thrift stores so I decided to get back into this series with Archangel’s Blade. I still read Nalini’s other series very regularly so I know I love her writing but I forgot how different this series is compared to her Psy-Changeling Series. This one has a more dark feel to it but I am ok with that. In this one we have Dmitri who is one of Raphael’s Elite Seven, he is a vampire and is known for his violence. Honor is a recent survivor of a brutal attack that has left her a shell of her former self. Together the two must work together to find a killer. I really enjoyed this one and can’t wait to get to the next book in the series.

Until Next Time, Happy Reading!

Book Blitz: Love is a Battlefield by Whitney Dineen

Love is a Battlefield
Whitney Dineen
(Seven Brides for Seven Mothers #1)
Publication date: September 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Who doesn’t want their mom to play Cupid?

Addison Cooper had planned on an all-expense paid vacation to the Cayman Islands to celebrate her most recent business success. Instead, she’s trekking to the outback of Oregon to help a friend of her mother’s.

Reclusive novelist Brogan Cavanaugh’s new thriller just hit the New York Times Best Seller list. To reward himself, he was planning to spend the summer at his family’s fishing cabin until his mom unexpectedly calls in a favor.

Even though moms Libby and Ruby have been best friends since they were college roommates, Addison and Brogan have barely spent time in each other’s company. And when they did, things didn’t go well.

How will they react when they start to suspect their interfering mothers are setting them up?

Find out in this deliciously funny rom-com about mothers who really do know best and the children who don’t know they need them. 

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Something is definitely up.

Brogan interrupts his mom, “Where are you thinking about setting up a glamping site?”

“We have those old cabins up near the fishing cabin. I thought that would be the ideal place,” she tells him.

He visibly jolts. “No one has stayed in those in years. At this point they’re probably more shack than cabin.”

“That’s why I want to do something with them now. I thought Addie could check them out and get a feel for what we’d need to do to make them worthy of the glamping title.”

She’s got to be kidding! Before I can express my shock, Brogan lets out a great big boisterous that’s-the-most-ridiculous- thing-I’ve-ever-heard-of laugh. He sounds borderline hysterical.

“What are you laughing at?” I demand.

‘I just can’t see you being interested in a project like this, that’s all.”

“I’ve decorated resorts that specialize in all kinds of different things.”

“Don’t be rude, Brogan,”  Ruby admonishes her son. “Addison is an accomplished young woman known the world over for her innovative designs.”

“I’m sure,” he says. “But she’s known for fancy five-star designs, not something like this.”

“Are you saying I can’t do it?” More than anything this gets my dander up. I am first and foremost a professional. “How about a little wager?” I ask him.

“I’m game if you are. I bet you can’t spend a week up there without running home to New York.”

I never said anything about staying up there. But instead of pointing that out, I knowingly and ill-advisedly declare, “I could do that in my sleep. In fact,” —and here’s where I totally lose my mind— “I raise your week to a month. What do you think about that?” 


Author Bio:

Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order.

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.

Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Book Blitz: The Betrayal Incident by Marla Holt

The Betrayal Incident
Marla Holt
(The Incident Series, #3)
Publication date: September 14th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Because of his betrayal, Phoenix walks away from the only man she’s ever wanted. Can Robin find the strength to fight for their love?

Phoenix Lambert doesn’t have time for men. She’s too busy running pop star Van Birch’s empire. But she can’t get a certain silver fox out of her head. One night together turns into two which turns into sneaking around to be together, because oh yeah, that silver fox is also her best friend’s dad.

Twice widowed Robin Birch isn’t in the market for a third wife. He has a busy law practice to run and a bid for Congress to win. But when Phoenix falls into his arms, he can’t make himself let her go–or confess to his daughter that he’s been sleeping with her best friend.

When Phoenix refuses to be his dirty little secret, Robin thinks it’s over. But their relationships with Van keep pushing them back together. Can proximity and the promise of love bring them back from the brink of betrayal?

The Betrayal Incident is the third and final installment in The Incident series. Read this steamy age gap, best friend’s father romance with a guaranteed happily ever after by Marla Holt today.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“This is a surprise,” he said, nuzzling his nose over her neck.

“I’ll say. A bid for Congress, who knew?” Phoenix said.  

“We only started putting the team together. Do you think it’s a bad idea?”

“No, I think you’d be brilliant at it. Just surprised. You haven’t mentioned it since that night.” She let the part about him being a complete asshole be implied. To his credit, he didn’t back down.

“I always meant to get into politics eventually.”

Robin raised his head to meet her eyes, she saw heat and desire, and just the barest hint of vulnerability. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him in for a light kiss on the lips. “It makes sense.” And it did, only Phoenix dreaded what it would mean when he was living on the East Coast and she was back to living in L.A. most of the time.

But maybe she was thinking too far ahead. The election wouldn’t be for another year. It was anybody’s guess what would happen between then and now. And Phoenix hadn’t even told him about the baby yet. She’d had half a mind to do it now, to ply him with roast beef and spicy pickles and tell him he was going to be a father and that despite all the bullshit they were wading through now, she was excited—ecstatic even. Their nursery theme was going to be gender neutral. Whales, she’d already decided, but she would let him suggest names if he wanted.

Instead, Robin pressed Phoenix into the door with his body as his lips brushed over her jaw. “Did you have urgent business or . . .?” he asked, and she could hear the plea in his voice that told her he just needed a break. Which was fine. They had plenty of time to talk about the baby.

“I missed you, but I can probably come up with something if you’d like to work.”

“I’d rather not,” Robin’s voice was gruff, hard.

“Good, because I’ve always wanted to go down on you in your office.” Then she pulled him in for a hard kiss.

Robin sighed against her lips, brushing his tongue out to meet hers as his hands landed on her hips and squeezed. Phoenix managed to shove him out of his jacket. Then, with a rub of her cheek over his bearded chin, she grasped his tie and pulled him around his desk and pushed him back into his leather desk chair.

He grinned as she leaned over him. “Are you feeling bossy today?”

“I’m feeling bossy every day, Birch.” She kissed him once more, then concentrated her attention on his fly. His suit was a light gray today, made out of a breathable fabric that was soft and cool beneath Phoenix’s fingertips as she traced the ridge behind his zipper.

Author Bio:

Marla Holt believes in second chances, romance, and the radical notion that everyone deserves a happily every after. She’s living her own fairy tale, writing contemporary romance novels in her Kansas farmhouse with her husband, three boys, three cats, and flock of imaginary sheep. Follow her at marlaholt.com or on Instagram as @marlaholtauthor

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August 1-15

Hello Book Friends! Hope you are all safe and healthy right now. Here are the 6 books I read in the first half of the month. My favorite of the month so far is a toss up between A Dance of Fate and The Silent Wife, they are very different but both were fantastic reads! And my least favorite so far is Jar of Hearts.

Always Only You by Chloe Liese – 5 Stars I live in a house that loves hockey but I am not a fan! That being said I love sports romances and especially hockey ones, not sure why 🤷🏼‍♀️. This book was so good, 5 ⭐️’s all the way!!! I loved the first one and I loved this one even more 💕 We have a main character on the spectrum and rheumatoid arthritis and she works for a hockey team that has a Bergman brother on it! This book is #ownvoices and @chloe_liese writing is fantastic and I can’t wait for Axel’s book!!! These boys are all so 🥰

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier – 3.5 Stars I had such conflicting thoughts about this one. We follow Geo who 14 years ago her best friend, Angela Wong disappeared and they now discovered her body. Turns out Angela was a victim of serial rapist and killer Calvin James, who was Geo’s ex-boyfriend. We also follow Geo and Angela’s other best friend Kaiser Brody who is now a detective looking into the murders done by Calvin. There were so many plot points in this book that I found at times were hard to follow. I also wasn’t a huge fan of either of the characters we follow, Geo or Kaiser. Overall the writing was very well done and I was surprised numerous times throughout the book but I just didn’t care for the characters.

Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis – 4 Stars Something happened to Emmie when she is 16 and she is ostracized because of it, feeling lonely she lets go of a red balloon with her email. Across the channel in France Luc finds the balloon and starts what becomes the most important friendship in Emmie’s life. This book at times had me sad, angry and happy. I struggled in the beginning because I found her character to be pretty mopey and the story was sad so I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like it. About half way thru the book I got hooked and had to finish it right away! I started listening on audio but switched to the book so I could finish ASAP. I love where this story went and the growth of Emmie. I absolutely loved the secondary characters of Fox and Rosie and their story was great! If you are looking for a sweet read I recommend this one just be warned that it is sad at times. Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for my advanced copies of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Hands Down by Marian Zapata – 4.75 Stars We first met Zac back in The Wall of Winnipeg and I loved him then, in this book we follow him as he is trying to get back on to a football team and feeling a little bit of self doubt. He is reintroduced to his best friends little sister, Bianca who he used to spend all his time with. I loved following their story and them working through their feelings and doubt and each other and life. One complaint of this book is the use of the word kiddo, I had a hard time with him using this word for his love interest.

The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter – 5 Stars I love Will Trent so much! I finished The Silent Wife last night and it was soooo good! It took me about two days to read it because I could not put it down. This is #10 in the Will Trent series and I still just adore him so much!! When we start out Will and Sarah are having some trouble in their relationship and they are having to deal with that while dealing with a serial rapist and murderer. Things get even worse from then when their current case merges with a past one that Sarah’s dead husband worked on. The book follow two time lines and we get Jeffery’s perspective on a case from 8 years before. I haven’t read the original series with him and Sara and I honestly don’t know if I will, I wasn’t a fan of him. I love how Karin Slaughter weaves her stories together and gives me my Will and Sara and Faith moments but also a fantastic mystery! If you haven’t read this series I highly recommend!!!! Also this one is pretty graphic so be forewarned.

A Dance With Fate by Juliet Marillier – 5 Stars This is the second book in the Warrior Bard book and we are still following Liobhan, Dau and Brocc, who are all warriors trained on the mysterious Swann Island. After being severely injured in a practice bout, Dau is forced to return to his childhood home that still causes him nightmares. Liobhan wanting to make sure that nothing befalls Dau travels back home with him, hoping she can protect him. At the same time we are following Brocc who has married one of the Fey folk and we follow his struggle to help those he can in both worlds. The bonds between these three warriors is great to see continuing to grow after the first book. Even though they are separated, Liobhan and Broccs familial bond is always there. Juliet Marillier has such a magical way of writing that she takes instantly takes you in and immerses you into her magical worlds. I have loved every book I have read from her and this one is no exception. I can’t wait to see what comes next for the warriors of Swann Island. If you haven’t read any of her books, I highly recommend this series but be sure to start with book 1. Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley for my advanced copy!

Book Blitz: Marrying My Billionaire Hookup by Nadia Lee

Marrying My Billionaire Hookup
Nadia Lee
Publication date: September 12th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

If any of my over-protective brothers ask, I’m pregnant via immaculate conception. Otherwise, the baby I’m carrying could be the death of one hot billionaire…

Jo

After a succession of relationships bad enough to set a Guinness World Record, running into a ruggedly handsome billionaire feels like a sign. Edgar is from out of town, mesmerizing, and his voice reminds me of Louisiana heat. Just listening to him makes my toes curl. So I throw aside all caution and spend the hottest night of my life in his bed, knowing we’ll never see each other again.

Until a positive pregnancy test brings him back into my life. And now he only wants to marry me to do right by the baby, but here’s the thing…

I’ll never settle. I want what my parents have: true love. Nothing — not even the electric chemistry that crackles every time Edgar and I are together — will deter me from that goal.

Edgar

Love is like alcohol. It destroys clarity and impairs judgment. I’ve seen my parents making one bad decision after another in the name of love, destroying our family.

But Jo wants love before she’ll marry me. So I’ll approximate it. Unlike my father, I’ll make sure my child knows she’s cherished (contrary to what Jo thinks, I know it’s a girl). I’m too sensible to fall in love and disrupt my already well-ordered life, even though every second I spend with her feels like skydiving without a parachute…

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

At the main door, I run into Yuna Hae, the party’s hostess. Her auburn hair is down, and she is in the cutest Chanel dress and shoes. I’ve never seen her look or dress badly—not that I’ve known her for long—and nothing hides her bubbly personality.

She hugs me. “Hey, you made it!”

“I wouldn’t miss this for the world!” I say, hugging her back. “Is Kim here yet?”

“Nope. She’s being fashionably late, no doubt. But that doesn’t mean we don’t get to hang out and have fun! Come on, let me introduce you to some people.” She gestures, pulling me toward the center of the foyer. “You have no idea how thrilled I am because all of my favorite people are here, even Edgar.”

“Edgar?”

“Edgar Blackwood. Tony’s older brother. He spends almost all his time running the family business in Louisiana, you know. But I bet he wanted the special treat I prepared!” She waggles her eyebrows.

“A special treat? Like…a cake or something?”

“Oh, you’ll be amazed. It’s awesome.” She taps the back of a tall, dark-haired man. He’s talking with someone, but he turns around, green eyes sharp with interest.

I recognize him instantly. Anthony Blackwood. He’s pretty famous—and infamous—and not only due to his family scandal. He owns some of the best and most popular clubs in the world, including Z here in L.A.

He doesn’t seem as cold as his reputation would suggest, although he’s just as well dressed as the pictures I’ve seen. He’s very handsome, his features finely carved. If it weren’t for the firm lines of his lips and jaw, he’d be pretty.

“Tony, say hello to my friend, Jo Martinez. Jo, Anthony Blackwood.”

He shakes my hand firmly. “Anthony. Pleasure to meet you.”

“The pleasure’s mine,” I say.

“Ivy’s talked about you. She always appreciates your help.”

My smile grows more genuine. “She’s so lovely.” It’s true. She’s one of the nicest people to work for.

“Have you met my brother?” He gestures at the man he was talking with, who comes half a step closer.

Anthony is certainly handsome enough, but his brother is…

Wow.

Normally I think clothes make the man, wielding the presence he needs if they have the right combination of color, material and cut. But in this case, clothes seem to be an afterthought. He’s tall, with magnificently broad shoulders that signal power and dominance. He stands with perfect posture, his back straight, his head angled just so to show the bold lines of his facial bones. His features aren’t as elegantly carved as Anthony’s, but there’s rawness to them that’s utterly masculine and hot. And his eyes… They’re green like Anthony’s, but different. Darker, deeper and completely controlled without being cold.

I wonder what they’d look like when they aren’t so controlled…

Suddenly, the place feels too hot.

My “no” to Anthony’s question comes out a near-breathless whisper. I clear my throat and add, “I don’t believe so,” then extend my hand. “Jo Martinez.”

“Edgar,” he says, with a hint of a Southern drawl. “Edgar Blackwood.” Dios mío, that voice that should be illegal. It brushes over me, as decadent as velvet, and I suppress a shiver as sensation seems to pool between my legs. How in the world is he making his name sound like my dirtiest fantasy? My grandmother would say he’s sold his soul to the devil.

He takes my hand in a soft fingers-only grip and gently pumps it twice. The contact sends a tingle up my arm, making my neck heat.

“Charmed,” he says.

“Ooh, how nice. Is that what Louisiana gentlemen say when they meet a lady?”

The green eyes crinkle slightly. “Depends on the lady.”

Oh my God. I bet tons of women sigh over him and make fools of themselves. I don’t want to be a cliché he won’t even remember two seconds from now.

But then I feel it… The soft, slow drag of his fingertips as though he loathes to let me go. And although he’s looking at me calmly enough, I can see a glimmer of heat in his eyes.

So this is a two-way street. And I can see that he knows it. We share a moment that Anthony and Yuna are not privy to, even though they’re standing right beside us.

Solemn and somber is not my type. Usually I date men who are easygoing and don’t take themselves or anyone else too seriously.

But maybe he just takes his responsibilities seriously. If I remember correctly, he’s the eldest Blackwood brother. Rafael acts like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders, so that makes sense. I wonder what Edgar’s like in bed. Is he still serious, even when he’s naked and hard? Does he direct all that serious attention to licking and stroking and fucking?

I try to tamp down a vivid mental movie of Edgar doing exactly that, but desire sparks anyway. I don’t get it. I’m not the type to mind-strip a man I just met and fantasize about him. I’ve had plenty of hot male clients, and none of them made my hormones spin out of control.

“Would you like to get a drink?” he says, holding my eyes.

If you ask me in that voice, the answer will always be…

“Yes.”


Author Bio:

NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Nadia Lee writes sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Born with a love for excellent food, travel and adventure, she has lived in four different countries, kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

Currently, she shares a condo overlooking a small river and sakura trees in Japan with her husband and son. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading books by her favorite authors or planning another trip.

Stay in touch with her via her website http://www.nadialee.net/ or her blog http://www.nadialee.net/blog/

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Book Blitz: Black Dog Rising by Kat Caulberg

Black Dog Rising
Kat Caulberg
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: July 1st 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Since arriving in England, nothing has made sense for Emma Aubrey. Forced to flee her ex-boyfriend and the vengeful ghost of his dead wife, she seeks refuge in Ninestone Downs, a sleepy country village where people still whisper of fairies and a hellish phantom canine prowls its streets.

Toby Deering has no more room in his life for the paranormal. He’s got secrets of his own, including a four-hundred-year-old curse and a past he can’t escape. The last thing he wants is a quirky American woman on his doorstep in desperate need of shelter, or the accidental touch that awakens a bond between them neither can ignore.

But ancient forces are stirring. When Emma finds herself the target of a shadowy stalker, will her bond with Toby be enough to withstand the evil Fae Court and the hellhound on her heels?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

The trill of a penny whistle tugged Emma to an avenue winding away from the heart of the village. The buildings grew smaller as she reached the stream marking the town’s boundary. It fed the river she and Toby crossed earlier, a medieval stone bridge bowed over its banks. Beyond lay the fen. The Nine Sisters stood at the edge of one of those watery coils where drier land took over, forever imprisoned.

She slowed.

With no lights on the fen to soften the darkness, there was no way to determine solid ground from the wet, marshy soil snaking for miles into the country. Wandering out into the fields would be dangerous, even deadly. She turned to leave.

A fiddle wept in the night. The sound came from the route toward the standing stones, binding Emma to her need to find it. The tune dipped low, pulling at the invisible link. Her feet moved, taking her with them, each soft step issuing a warning against going further. Something was wrong, she knew, but the music cajoled, it coaxed, and although she wrapped a hand around the pillar beside the bridge to stop herself, the music sweet-talked her into letting go.

She would follow and happily be lost.

The beast growled before she saw it. Slinking from a patch of darkness, a blocky figure materialized on the opposite side of the stream. Its shoulders reached as high as the sides of the bridge, making it taller than Emma’s hip. The stench of sulfur crawled over the water and scraped at her hindbrain.

Claws clicked on clunch stone, leading up to legs seemingly too spindly to sustain the weight of the beast’s shaggy body. A chain dangled from its neck. Doglike, it pinned its ears to its skull and sniffed the wind.

Suspended in blackness darker than the rest, two bright, red eyes burning with infernal light flicked open.

She clamped a hand to her mouth too late to stop her shriek. This was no shade, no outline, no trick of the night. The thing standing before her was real. A name circled her brain, seeking exit.

“Shuck,” she croaked.

The beast stretched its mouth and grinned.

Long, tapered needles glistened in crimson gums. Emma’s blood ran cold. It had heard her. It had understood. In a corner of her mind, a rational voice broke through her terror, whispering warnings. If she ran, it would follow. Not just follow, but chase, track, hunt, destroy.

She stretched her hands to show she held no weapons and was no threat to it, although what threat could she present to a creature crafted of midnight and hellfire? The thing was a demon.

A demon that saved a man from a flock of runaway sheep, a second inner voice piped up. One that might have just saved Shane. Maybe. Or maybe it’d been unsuccessful in its bid for an evening snack.

“Sit,” Emma whimpered. “Stay.”


Author Bio:

For as long as she can remember, Kat Caulberg has been obsessed with history and the paranormal. Somewhat to the dismay of her parents, her interests led her into both museums and graveyards as a child, a trend which has continued into her adulthood. This has influenced her reading tastes and her writing, whether it be a good ghost story, thrilling tales of time-travel, or devouring endless volumes of ancient warfare.

She signed a contract with Soul Mate Publishing in 2018 for her first novel, Three Star Island, a time-travel story set in 1721. She enjoys writing strong, quirky heroines, and has a weakness for cheeky heroes who have as much compassion as they have flaws.

Kat currently lives in North Carolina with her Englishman and a few cats.

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Book Blitz: Belle Vue by C.S. Alleyne

Belle Vue
C.S. Alleyne
Publication date: August 25th 2020
Genres: Adult, Horror

Jealousy. Betrayal. Murder. And a hunger for vengeance that spans the centuries…

History student Alex Palmer is thrilled when his girlfriend, Claire Ryan, buys an apartment in Belle Vue Manor, formerly a Victorian lunatic asylum.

But as Alex begins to discover the dark truth about the asylum’s past, he, Claire, and their friend Marianne find themselves on a nightmarish journey. Each will face the deadly consequences of the evil that began with the construction of the first Belle Vue Manor by an aristocratic French émigré in 1789, as well as the cruelty and satanic practices that continued when it became an asylum for the insane.

As the two strands—past and present—unfold, Alex uncovers a supernatural mystery where revenge is paramount and innocence irrelevant—without being aware of the price he, and those around him, will pay.

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Present Day

Claire and her friend Marianne are driving to see an apartment for sale at Belle Vue Manor, but Marianne has been negative about the property.

“It’s most likely nothing, but I want to tell you a few things about Belle Vue.”

Claire cast a quizzical eye in her direction.

“I’ve been there before,” she said.

“You never mentioned it.”

Marianne ignored the pout in her friend’s voice and continued. “I went there with Debs about eleven or twelve years ago, long before the developers ever got involved.”

As the memories flooded back, she stared unseeing out of the windscreen. “We’d just moved again and on our first day at school, Debs spotted a huge wreck of a building from the top of the bus. For some reason, it fascinated her. She kept bugging me about it and I gave in just to shut her up. I think Belle Vue closed in the fifties and by the time we got there, it was completely derelict.”  

Claire pulled up as the lights changed to red. “And?”

“We squeezed through a broken gate. Everything was overgrown, but we found a path that took us to the back of the main building, to a half-open door, its lock ripped off. Of course, Debs said it was as though someone was waiting for us.”

“Sounds like she was winding you up,” Claire said, grinning.  

Marianne scowled. “Anyway. We went inside. Two teenagers in an empty old asylum that looked like the set of a horror movie.”

Claire’s grin remained in place. “So, what happened?”

“Debs kept a running commentary like we were on one of those Murder Mystery tours. You know the type of thing, ‘The misery of the lunatics is trapped in these walls forevermore but, on a moonless night, their shadows…’ All the while, I felt like we were being watched. Debra must have felt the same since we stuck to each other like Siamese twins. The place was cold and silent except for our footsteps on the bare floorboards. Every now and then, we’d stop and hold our breaths, straining to catch any sound.

“Then we heard a door slam. Bang! You ought to have seen how high we jumped. We legged it out of there so fast, I got a stitch.”  

Pause. Marianne looked across at Claire. “But that wasn’t what bothered me,” she said in a low voice. “Once outside, we followed the path round the main building and saw this chapel. Of course, Debs wanted to go in and, by now, I didn’t. While we were arguing, a woman appeared at the door. The chapel was half-side-on to us, so I couldn’t see if she’d come from inside or walked around it. Talk about a shock. It sure shut us up quick.

“She stared at both of us. From one to the other, as though sizing us up. Then she smiled, which believe it or not, was worse.

“‘Now, who will I choose?’ she said, in this snide tone. ‘You. Or you.

“We stood there like two dummies, wondering what on earth she was up to.

“‘What’s your name?” she asked me, and when I told her, she laughed like it was some huge private joke.

“‘I choose you then,’ she said. ‘Your fate is now sealed, Mar-i-anne. Poor you, dying slowly is such hell.’”

Author Bio:

C S Alleyne grew up in Australia and originally trained as a hotel manager in the UK. After several postings in the Caribbean she changed tack and completed her MBA followed several years later by a PhD in Information Systems. She is a management consultant and also lectures in several universities.

With a lifelong love of reading, anything historical and a fascination with the supernatural and death, her vacations usually include visits to such places as the Pere La Chaise cemetery and the catacombs in Paris, the tombs in Egypt, the Popes’ crypts in the Vatican and any church yard with gravestones – you get the picture…

Cheryl was inspired to write Belle Vue by her daily journey past a block of luxury apartments that had been converted from an old asylum. Like her protagonist, Alex Palmer, she started to investigate its past and learnt that one of the inmates was murdered there in the late 19th century. The victim’s sister was hung for the crime. Cheryl was also thrilled to discover the asylum’s overgrown cemetery in her explorations of the area!

Belle Vue is her first, full length novel. Jonathan Myerson (Oscar nominated, Bafta and 4 Time Emmy winner) says he is ‘blown away’ by Belle Vue – ‘I am hugely impressed by this novel – it’s ambitious and daring and amazingly imaginative’.

Cheryl has a daughter and son-in-law who live nearby and a partner who, since reading Belle Vue, says he now sleeps with one eye open.

She is represented by Gandolfo Helin and Fountain Literary and Dramatic Rights Management.

Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter


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July Round Up

Today is September 1st and I am just now posting my July Round Up. It has now been so long I don’t even remember some of these books. I am hoping to get August’s up soon as well. Sorry that everything is so late on my end. I hope everyone is having a great summer!

All the books I read while on vacation

I read 12 books in July

Genres

( I am only putting each book in what I think is the most prominent category )

Star Ratings

3 Stars

The Darkest King by Gena Showalter – Library

The Sinner by J.R. Ward – Library

The Shadows by Alex North – Library

Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey – Library Audio

Grown Up Pose by Sonya Lalli – Physically Own

3.5 Stars

Last Chance Summer by Shannon Kale – E-ARC

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert – Audio

Coyote Tales by Thomas King – Library E-book

4 Stars

Batman: Year One by Frank Miller (Writer) – Library E-Book

Not Like The Movies by Kerry Winfrey – Physically Own

The Last Namsara by Kristen Circarelli – Physically Own

5 Stars

Engagement and Espionage by Penny Reid – E-ARC

Until Next Time, Happy Reading!

Book Blitz: Her Summer Prince by Freda Ann

Her Summer Prince
Freda Ann
Publication date: August 31st 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

This sweet/clean Hallmark style love story will make you laugh, cry, and give you goosebumps all the way to a happy ending! *

Prince of Shorewick and next in line to the throne, Harry has more than enough on his plate, between his royal duties and overbearing Queen mother. During one fateful summer in Bliss Cay, his life changes forever when he meets the girl of his dreams.

Celebrating her graduation on the island, Charlotte Warren is swept off her feet by her knight in shining armor, falling hard and fast for this dashing stranger.

When a horrible tragedy comes calling, Harry is forced to pack up and leave Bliss without a moment’s notice for the Kingdom of Shorewick. In the mad dash to get home, Harry realizes too late that he left without saying goodbye.

Ten years pass of lost contact, and only now has Charlotte’s heart begun to mend after the heartache Harry inflicted. Now a successful businesswoman and mother to her beautiful son Noah and furry companion Chloe, Charlotte finally takes the jump and decides to return to Bliss Cay for the first time since that fateful summer.

Returning to the island is a step towards conquering her past, but instead she finds herself face to face with the man who shattered her heart into a million pieces.

The last decade has changed them both. Harry has the responsibility of the monarchy looming over him, yet all he wants is to live his life with the woman he loves…a commoner in the eyes of the monarchy.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Hey—you! The lady said to leave her alone. I suggest you do it. Now!”

I scan the direction where the contemptuous voice came from, and a tall dark figure steps from the shadows full of grace and virility.

Good Lord, where did the Adonis come from? I swear my heart skips a beat. A sigh of relief escapes me as my eyes, acting of their own volition, are drawn to what I can see of his face.

Not stopping there, they examine his firm features and confident shoulders. Please tell me I’m not dreaming. This guy is a photographer’s dream. Whew!

My involuntary perusal of the individual in front of us seems to be amusing as a corner of his mouth curls up. He pulls his gaze away, eyeing the idiot who has me pinned against the railing of the dock, an arm on each side of me.

When I strutted to the end of the dock moments ago, my focus was on a sliver of the moon peeking out from the horizon, and while I was snapping photos I suppose I should’ve been more aware of my surroundings.

Barely able to stand, the man restricting my movement glares at the Adonis with glassy eyes, as if he was from another planet. “I saw—“

He hangs his head low, looking pale before finishing, “I—saw her f—first.”

“Huh. So you saw her last year…before I proposed to her on this beach?” I raise my brows as Adonis fans his hand through the air while easing closer.

The guy, reeking of alcohol, glances in the direction Mr. Perfect motioned to. His legs wobble when he attempts to turn back around.

While the guy struggles to stay upright, Adonis flicks his head at me for my attention. Duh…does he not realize he’s had it from the minute he showed up? I tip my chin up, watching to see what he’s going to do.

He uses dummy proof sign language, pointing to the inebriated man and motioning for me to move out of the way when he grabs him.

Bobbing my head, he wastes no time going into action and I take off running halfway down the dock to watch for the fallout.

As luck would have it, not a hair was harmed on his head or anywhere else on that hunky body. The weakened man didn’t even attempt to put up a fight.

Holding tightly onto him, they pass by me with a strong odor of alcohol in their wake. I trail behind flailing my hand in front of my face trying to breathe fresh air.

At the end of the dock, he mumbles something to the guy before pointing him to the left. He gives him a push off for good measure. I’m surprised he didn’t fall over.

He watches intently until the lanky frame fades into the night. As Mr. Perfect turns to face me, the light reveals his compelling blue eyes with a faint hint of humor bubbling beneath the surface.

Feeling more nervous than I was while being held against my will, I exhale and lock eyes with my savior. “Thank you, um…for that.” I point to the dead air feeling like a dumb blonde. “I was afraid I might have to resort to unladylike measures before you came along.” I snicker.

He grins looking devilishly handsome. The shadow of his well-groomed, closely shaven beard gives him an even manlier aura, if that’s even possible. Bearded men aren’t typically my type, but the guy totally rocks facial hair.

“I was happy to be of assistance.” He gives me a sideways nod. Well, that was different. Who nods like that?

The man has a very appealing British accent which compliments his tall, dark and handsome physique. Could Adonis get any more perfect?

Author Bio:

Freda was born in southern New Jersey but grew up in Florida. She has loved writing her entire life. After retiring from a career in law enforcement, she knew it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of being a published author.

She’s the author of The Hawaii Series, proudly named from her love of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. It’s a three-book series with all of them written as standalone books.

Freda loves her large family, horses, dogs, cat, and close friends. She hosts monthly family dinners at her home in the country, which she shares with her husband.

She loves baking (she owned and operated a cupcake business for years), cooking, yoga, crocheting, nature and traveling with the love of her life.

What helps her write? Music makes her happy! If music doesn’t give her the right motivation, she puts on a romantic movie, usually from the Hallmark Channel, which she can’t get enough of!

Freda speaks her mind and pushes perfection to its limit. She strives to be her best, most positive self she can be in life. With time, determination, and practice, she believes anything is possible.

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