Wednesday, September 23, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Their Silent Graves



DESCRIPTION

Dressed in garish Halloween costumes, two teenage girls run through a patch of dense woodland towards the outskirts of town. But before they can reach the safety of the streets beyond, they make a shocking discovery.

Following a piece of old rope, the girls find a large mound of freshly laid earth, undisturbed in the darkness of the trees. Clawing at the ground beneath them, they make contact with something solid. When they realise what they’ve discovered, the silence is broken by their piercing screams as they stare down at the shallow grave.

Without looking back, they run as fast as they can, failing to spot the person nearby watching their every move…

And when another grave is found just days later, it’s clear a serial killer is praying on the small town. But who is the killer watching now? And when will another grave be filled?

If you like Angela Marsons, Cara Hunter and Clare Mackintosh, you’ll love this heart-racing thriller from bestselling author, Carla Kovach. With gripping suspense and a twist you won’t see coming, Their Silent Graves will have you hooked from page one.


BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B08B1LJ5YSSocial
Apple: http://ow.ly/YMmO50A5OCV
Kobo: http://ow.ly/gd7350A5Ozx
Google: http://ow.ly/Xe5850A5OFC


MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   Their Silent Graves
Author:  Carla Kovach
Series:  Detective Gina Harte #7
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   360
Date of Publication:  September 17, 2020
My Rating:  5 Stars

Two girls excited about being dressed up for Halloween are running through the woods, and discover a shallow grave. Then before long, another similar grave is discovered. Detective Gina Harte easily sees that a serial killer is in action. As always, Gina hits the ground running with this case. However, things take a sharp turn, as the killer has made her the target.

This story is told in an interesting way. By far the story is told in third person point of view as Gina works to solve the murders, but then the killer's voice is in first person. How chilling! Readers begin to see why Gina was targeted. What this did was to raise the tension in this book the deeper I got while reading it. I simply could not put this thrilling book down.

Their Silent Graves is the 7th book in the Detective Gina Harte series. I picked up this series with Her Pretty Bones and have read each book since.. What is happening in this book really goes into the past Gina had and not only helps us to see how troubled she is, but eventually how and why she is tied to the case at hand. Therefore, I think reading the books in order is pivotal to truly appreciate the depth of Gina's angst.

Gina had a horrendous past with her now deceased husband. What happened to him and how her marriage has made her the woman she is really comes through the pages of each book in the series. The fact that this current case has delved into Gina's past to make her life a living hell makes knowing Gina through the pages of this series come full circle.

Carla Kovach has hit it out the park with this newest book in the series. She was able to pull a lot of emotions out of me while I was reading this book, and that included shock, compassion and even grief. Now I cannot wait to see Gina continue to fight her way past her demons and perhaps find a bit of joy in her life. So, I definitely need the next book in this series soonest.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carla Kovach was born in Birmingham, UK and now resides in Redditch, Worcestershire. Author of supernatural drama 'Flame,' psychological thriller 'To Let,' crime thriller 'Whispers Beneath the Pines,' and holiday comedy, 'Meet Me at Marmaris Castle.' Carla also writes stage and screenplays, some of which have been produced in the Worcestershire area. Her feature film 'Penny for the Guy' is being made and is set for release in 2019.

Her latest book, Her Dark Heart, has been published by Bookouture. It is the fifth book in the DI Gina Harte crime series.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CKovachAuthor
Website: https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

PROMO - Steam Scene Podcast

We couldn't be more excited about today's announcement and launch! Contemporary romance author Elle Greco is thrilled to be announcing STEAM SCENES, her brand new podcast all about the naughty bits of romance novels. In each episode, Elle will be joined by a fellow romance writer to talk about all things steamy scenes–what makes a good one, what it's like to write one, where to find inspiration, and even their favorite ones in literature. Get ready to look at your favorite steamy scenes in a whole new way!


Check out the podcast! 

Website | Apple | Stitcher | Spotify

 

  

About ELLE GRECO


I write fiction about badass women (and the people they love). Urban Fantasy lovers will know me as Karen Greco, author of the best-selling Hell’s Belle series. My Contemporary Romance books are written under Elle Greco. While the genres are worlds apart, strong female characters are the chain that links all my worlds. These women are magical. They wield wicked weapons. They play a mean drum solo. They fall in love. They rule the boardroom and the bedroom. Whatever they do, they do it with swagger. My storytelling career began when I forced everyone play “make believe” with me when I was a kid. That eventually morphed into banging out short stories on my mom’s old manual typewriter. 

As I got older, I graduated to penning bad poetry, then not terrible plays as a teenager. I studied playwright in college but my career took a detour and I ended up working in journalism and then entertainment publicity, which kept me busy for 20 or so years. My “day job” has taken me from gritty rock clubs in The Bowery to glam red carpets during movie premieres and awards shows. My background working with talent (and the suits) in the industry has served me well with the LA Rock Star Romance series. 

 A few years ago, I decided to pursue my original passion and a few full-length novels later, here we are. I love anything spooky and impossible to explain. If you love hanging out in cemeteries, the older the better, I’d totally go on a road trip with you. I have two rescue dogs, a patient husband, and an awesome kid. 

Review - Golden in Death

Title:  Golden in Death
Author:  J. D. Robb
Series:  In Death #50
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Genre:  Mystery/Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
Date of Publication:  February 4, 2020
No. of Pages:  387
My rating:  5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

In the latest thriller in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, homicide detective Eve Dallas investigates a murder with a mysterious motive―and a terrifying weapon.

Pediatrician Kent Abner received the package on a beautiful April morning. Inside was a cheap trinket, a golden egg that could be opened into two halves. When he pried it apart, highly toxic airborne fumes entered his body―and killed him.

After Eve Dallas calls the hazmat team―and undergoes testing to reassure both her and her husband that she hasn’t been exposed―it’s time to look into Dr. Abner’s past and relationships. Not every victim Eve encounters is an angel, but it seems that Abner came pretty close―though he did ruffle some feathers over the years by taking stands for the weak and defenseless. While the lab tries to identify the deadly toxin, Eve hunts for the sender. But when someone else dies in the same grisly manner, it becomes clear that she’s dealing with either a madman―or someone who has a hidden and elusive connection to both victims.

MY THOUGHTS:

When detective Eve Dallas approaches a body at a murder scene, her partner Peabody becomes concerned when it is evident that the cause of death was something toxic and if so, whether or not Eve could possibly meet the fate of the victim. Instead, Eve is well garbed and protected, so she approaches the body. As the hazmat team steps in, Eve does indeed undergo testing to assure her team, but especially her husband Roarke that she is indeed fine.

Maybe now Eve can get to the matter of solving this most recent murder. Quite naturally the victim's life is examined while Eve looks for a motive in the man's murder. As things turned out the victim was very well-liked so the suspect pool is small. As Eve and her team learn the method the killer is using, they begin to see the pattern that has been set and work feverishly hard at stopping the killer before any more bodies pile up.

This well-written book shows Eve at her best. There are a couple of things that really drew me to this series, and one of them is the fact that it is set in the future, so their are 'droids who serve as butlers and more, for example. Then there is Roarke, Eve's husband, one of the richest men on and off planet. Whether Roarke is buying a country or another planet, he displays a humble and loving nature, whether with Eve or during the times he helps her with cases. Last outstanding thing is the lighthearted moments in each of the stories. I love how they balance out the gruesome murders and related details as cases are being solved.

Although this is the 50th book in the In Death series, it is a fresh storyline that grabbed my interest from beginning to end. Even though each book has its own story, I truly think that this series should be read in order. Although that would be a huge investment in time, readers will be glad they did because each and every book is well worth it. 

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and to Edelweiss for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. After a school career that included some time in Catholic school and the discipline of nuns, she married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland.
She worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.
Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.
Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together
Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.
Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Review - Vendetta in Death

Title:  Vendetta in Death
Author:  J.D. Robb
Series:  In Death #49
Genre:  Detective Fiction
Publisher:  Berkley Publishing Group
Format:  Kindle ARC
Date of Publication:  September 3, 2o19
No. of pages:  356
My Rating:  5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

The predator becomes the prey in the newest thriller in the #1 New York Times bestselling series featuring homicide detective Eve Dallas.

She calls herself Lady Justice. And once she has chosen a man as her target, she turns herself into a tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead, makes herself as alluring and seductive as possible to them. Once they are in her grasp, they are powerless.

The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s human resources department has already paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims—but they don’t know that his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice knows. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price.

Now Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, are combing through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life. His compulsive need to record his misdeeds provides them with a wide range of suspects, but the true identity of Lady Justice remains elusive. It’s a challenging case, made even more difficult by McEnroy’s widow, who reacts to the investigation with fury, denial, and threats. Meanwhile, Lady Justice’s criminal crusade is escalating rapidly, and if Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled…

MY THOUGHTS:

A vicious serial killer calling herself Lady Justice is on the prowl. A master of disguise, this brutal killer has a vendetta against certain individuals and before you know it there the murder of Nigel McEnroy. As Lieutenant Eve Dallas begins her investigation, she queries into the victim's job to see if anyone there wanted him dead. However, due to the brutal nature of his murder, Eve soon finds that she has more questions than answers. 

With husband Roarke and her dedicated team, Eve plows into details of the victim'ms life in order to flush out the killer. Along the way a multitude of suspects are questioned, while whoever this Lady Justice proves to be, more bodies are falling.

This thrilling book in the In Death series follows the pattern of the previous books in this series by providing a well-written story, complex and interesting characters, twists and turns and a riveting conclusion. 

I was just asked whether this series should be read in order and I truly believe that it should. There is a progression of character development and situations that take place over the entirety of the series and if they are not read in order the reader will miss quite a bit. In part, Eve and Roarke. Their pasts. They can only be truly understood if all the books are read as they were published. Another example is Peabody and how she became Eve's partner, as well as her relationship with cop geek McNab. There are other pivotal characters in this series that have come a long way as well.

As soon as I completed this excellent book in this fabulous series, I moved right on to book #50, Golden in Death.

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and to Edelweiss for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. After a school career that included some time in Catholic school and the discipline of nuns, she married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland.
She worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.
Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.
Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together
Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.
Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

BLOG TOUR - A Witness to Murder


DESCRIPTION:

A medieval house, a dead body and some rather suspicious chocolate fudge? Call for Lady Swift!

Autumn, 1920. Lady Eleanor Swift, accidental amateur detective and retired explorer, is determined to take a break from investigating murders. So when a local politician dies suddenly at an elegant dinner party at Farrington Manor, she tries her hardest not to listen to the raft of rumours around the village that he might have been poisoned by the fudge. It’s the anniversary of the disappearance of her beloved parents and she’s promised herself not to get mixed up with any more mysteries. She isn’t sure they’d have approved.

But when she arrives home to discover that Mrs Pitkin, the kindly cook from Farrington Manor, has been dismissed without wage or reference because the police consider her a suspect, Eleanor knows she needs to act. If there was a murder, then she needs to track down the culprit and clear Mrs Pitkin’s name.

Accompanied by her faithful partner in crime, Gladstone the bulldog, who has the best nose for sniffing out bones in the country, Eleanor sets out to find the killer. And when another body turns up and she finds poisoned fudge in the victim’s house, Eleanor knows she’s on the right track. But can she sort the truth from the lies before she becomes a witness to another murder – this time rather closer to home?

An utterly charming cozy mystery! Warm and witty, fans of Agatha Christie, TE Kinsey and LB Hathaway will be totally hooked.  

BUY LINK:
https://bit.ly/32ZHGxy


MY THOUGHTS:

Title
:   A Witness to Murder
Author:  Verity Bright
Series:  A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery #3
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   289
Date of Publication:   September 14, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

Lady Eleanor (Elle Swift has proved herself quite adept when playing the role of an amateur detective. She gets that opportunity yet again when a local politician dies. Elle is an interesting character, to say the least. She is a former explorer, and now the lady of a manor. She eschews that role whenever possible. For example, it was proper to have a card when paying a call. She found that rather pretentious. Or, when it came to certain household duties, or dealing with some of the staff, she went against convention. The fact that she is now prone to find herself solving murders just makes her all that more intriguing.

When she is at a dinner party and the man dies due to an apparent allergic reaction, Elle has a strong sense that his death was no accident. Meanwhile, she cannot stop thinking about her parents, who one day simply disappeared. No, Elle wants to settle into her new life with as little fanfare as possible, but that certainly will not happens. Things become very worrisome for her when a cook is dismissed after being considered a suspect. Elle wants to clear her name, and if it indeed was murder, catch the individual responsible.

At the same time, the issue of politics comes up, and before you know it, Elle is defying convention yet again. At that time, women barely had the vote, never mind running for office, which is exactly what she decides to do. As in the first two books of the series, A Very English Murder and Death at the Danceshe is often accompanied by her dog Gladstone and her butler, Clifford. I love both of them in this series. 

Of course, trying to discover the killer places Elle in precarious situations more than once, and this makes this cozy mystery all that more enjoyable. One other thing I liked about this book is that Elle has a bit of a romantic interest, and I would like to see where that goes in this series. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s. 

Twitter: @brightverity



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

BLOG TOUR - The Mistress


DESCRIPTION:

It wasn’t until that night that I found out he had been cheating. I never would have guessed it of Ralph – I was still head over heels in love with him then. I would have done anything for my husband… that is, until I found out what he was really hiding.

The night it happened, I was late home from a parent-teacher conference. Things hadn’t been the same between us recently and I was hoping we could start over – make things right over a bottle of wine and an early night like the old days. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I sometimes think I never really knew Ralph at all. Because I never thought he’d be capable of doing what he did. It wasn’t only dangerous, it was very, very wrong. And I’m not talking about the affair with Laura.

As I said, I came home that night hoping to finally fix things with the man I love. The very last thing I expected was to find my husband murdered.


No marriage is ever what it seems from the outside. A compulsively unputdownable domestic thriller from a USA Today bestselling author. Perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and The Silent Wife.

BUY LINKS:
Amazon: https://bit.ly/3bxrLul
Apple: https://apple.co/3d1tYNv
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2YIHmku
Google: https://bit.ly/3e72k2V


MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   The Mistress
Author:  Jill Childs
Genre:   Women's Fiction
Publisher:   Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  293
Date of Publication:  September 14, 2020
My Rating:  4 Stars

Laura found herself drawn into an affair. Rather plain, not very popular, but this schoolteacher found herself drawn to another teacher, Ralph. So, they have an affair, and everything goes wrong. Dangerous even. Ralph was a husband and a father, and in the blink of an eye, tragedy happens. How is it that Ralph asks Laura to go to is home, with his daughter Anna sleeping upstairs, and things could go so terribly wrong?

Well, this may seem like a spoiler, but what happens is very, very early in the book, so I am going to go ahead and say it. Ralph dies and next thing you know both Laura and Ralph's wife Helen are covering it up. This begs the question: why? How did Ralph die and why did the two women - who should be enemies - choose to cover it up?

If you go and read the blurb you might scratch your head as I did. But then, as I read the book it became very clear when it comes to assuming Ralph's character. There were things about him that will come up in the story, because even though he does not have a point of view in this story, it soon becomes easy to see what type of man he was.

As the story develops, it is told in first person by Laura. How the affair began and how the investigation into his death is relayed. All this is done in quite a dramatic fashion, proving that this book is an excellent domestic thriller with secrets and lies on more than one level.

Jill Childs has done a fabulous job with this book. I loved being misled by the blurb as well as the instant shock of Ralph's death early on. This gave me the opportunity to delve into it so that I could see the man behind the man when it came to Ralph, but also while learning about Laura. What is more is that whatever was going on inside of Ralph's home and family was explored. What is very interesting is that the point of view changes partway into the book, so that raised my interest in this book that much more. 

For an excellent read, one that I certainly could not put down, even for a minute, I highly recommend The Mistress. This book showcases the excellent writing skills as well as character development by Childs. I love that the reveal happened early, while the book still had elements to keep me guessing. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Jill always loved writing – real and imaginary – and spent thirty years travelling the world as a journalist, living overseas and reporting wherever the news took her. She's now made her home in south-west London with her husband and twin girls who love stories as much as she does. Although she's covered everything from earthquakes and floods, wars and riots, she's decided some of the most extraordinary stories are right here at home - in the secrets and lies she imagines behind closed doors on ordinary streets just like yours.

https://twitter.com/author_jill
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17843718.Jill_Childs
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jill-Childs/e/B07BL52SYB/ref=dp_




Monday, September 14, 2020

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW - To Sleep In a Sea Of Stars

Author:  Christopher Paolini
Narrator:  Jennifer Hale
Length:  32 Hours
Publisher:  Macmillian Audio
Genre:   Science Fiction
Format:  Audiobook
No. of Pages (Hardcover):   880 
Date of Publication:   September 15, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars
DESCRIPTION:

A brand new space opera on an epic scale from the New York Times bestselling author of a beloved YA fantasy series.

It was supposed to be a routine research mission on an uncolonized planet. But when xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic beneath the surface of the world, the outcome transforms her forever and will alter the course of human history.

Her journey to discover the truth about the alien civilization will thrust her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact, epic space battles for the fate of humankind, and the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

MY THOUGHTS:

Kira Navárez is a xenobiologist in the year 2257. Her job is to to visit and build new colonies. She is on the planet Adrasteia. At first she is torn between settling with her boyfriend Alan, then they notice something very strange. What happens is that she discovers an alien artifact that changes her in ways she could not imagine. Kira then becomes a host to this artifact, a dust that becomes part of her. This dust, referred to as a xeno starts a series of events and changes to Kira that lead to tragic circumstances. This situation potentially has an ultimate effect on the fate of the human race. This book is true space opera at its very best. 

It should be noted that I am not really a science fiction fan. I can just about count on one hand the number of sci fi books I have read in recent years. But I do know that for a book of this genre to work, there has to be a good mix of character and world-building. I feel that Christopher Paolini did an exceptional job with both. To add to this, the plot was excellent and captivating. 

The length of the book did not deter me. I must admit that I am very pleased that I was able to get this review copy as an audiobook, because the length as well as the content might have been difficult for me to read in a traditional format such as print. Granted, it is the longest book I have read this year, so I decided beforehand to break it up into several sections. I wanted to enjoy the story, but I also wanted time to ponder over it during the times I stepped away from it. However, that proved to be an impossible task. I began the book about midnight, slept, resumed at 6 a.m. and with only a couple of short breaks, I listened to this book straight through, at 1.75 speed. In some cases I do listen at a faster speed, but because of the meatiness of this book, I wanted the devour as well as absorb the entire story, and I was definitely able to do this. 

At the end of the audiobook, Christopher Paolini discusses his writing process for this book, and this was very intriguing, giving the reader a glimpse of the mind of a writer. He also interviewed the narrator, Jennifer Hale. I was shocked to discover that this is her first time ever performing an audiobook. How she did voices for dozens of characters was absolutely incredible! Whether human, alien or robot, her performance was spot on. Because I am a lover of audiobooks, a good narrator can make or break a book. What Jennifer Hale has done is to enhance an already well-written story. 

Whether watching Kira go through the many changes after taken over by the dust, meeting the multitude of other characters, including alien life forces, or the ship's robot, I was drawn into this story from beginning to end. The drama was excellent and the book quite exciting. I am more than pleased that I took a chance with this genre because I was treated to an excellent read.

Many thanks to Macmillan Audio and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Christopher Paolini was born in Southern California and has lived most of his life in Paradise Valley, Montana. He published his first novel, Eragon, in 2003 at the age of nineteen, and quickly became a publishing phenomenon. His Inheritance Cycle—Eragon and its three sequels—have sold nearly 40 million copies worldwide. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is his first adult novel.

Visit Paolini.net for the latest news about this project and connect with other fans at Shurtugal.com, his Facebook page and Twitter profile.


Friday, September 11, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Autumn Skies Over Ruby Falls


DESCRIPTION:

Get swept away to the sparkling Cornish coast with the stunning new novel from bestselling author Holly Martin. Autumn Skies Over Ruby Falls is the perfect romantic treat to snuggle up with this autumn.

Clover Philips is exactly where she’s meant to be – back home on Jewel Island teaching dance to the guests at the beautiful Sapphire Bay Hotel that she co-owns with her sisters Skye and Aria. Her life is complete, except for one thing…

When Clover left London she also left behind a devastating betrayal. She hasn’t been able to date anyone since, let alone allow herself to fall in love. What she needs is a casual fling to ease herself back into romance. And as luck would have it, the very handsome Angel Mazzeo is back in town.

The chemistry between Clover and Angel has been undeniable ever since Angel first arrived on Jewel Island six months ago. And though content to be her friend till now, Angel is more than willing to help Clover find her dating feet again.

It should be easy to keep things carefree when love is off the table, but when every moment is magical what started as casual soon becomes something much deeper. Will Clover and Angel find the courage to tell each other how they really feel? And is Clover ready to do the one thing she swore she’d never do again, fall in love?



Title
:   Autumn Skies Over Ruby Falls

Author:  Holly Martin
Series:  Jewel Island #2
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   241
Date of Publication:   September 10, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

MY THOUGHTS:

Clover Phillips has a very pleasant job teaching dance, especially as quite a few of her students are of the older generation. Also, she co-owns the Sapphire Bay Hotel with her sisters Skye and Aria. So, all in all, Clover's life is quite content. Having recently experienced a major betrayal in a previous relationship, she never thought she would want to date again. So, if anything was missing in Clover's life, it would be romance, and that is just fine with her.

However, someone from her past, Angel Mazzeo, is back in town and it doesn't take very long for sparks to develop between the two of them. However, Clover's reticence shines through time and again. Despite this, Angel is kind and patient, so just maybe Clover may give him a chance. As they eventually begin dating, Angel promises Clover no expectations, she soon feels comfortable with him. 


This touching story is one where Clover comes into her own after being devastatingly hurt before. Angel makes the perfect complement to her because of his giving nature, as his remarkable qualities prove that life does indeed offer second chances.


Meanwhile, this lovely story follows the first book in the series, Sunrise Over Sapphire Bay, where Clover's sister Aria fell in love with Noah. At the same time, however, Clover's twin Skye is not so lucky in love. The prospect is there for Skye, but not without difficulties. I love this continuity in the stories, and really hope hat Skye finds her happily ever after in a future book.


Holly Martin is a very enjoyable author. I have read a few of her books prior to this and always find the stories to be quite endearing. I especially love this story because it is one of second chances, and it is quite sensitive, especially as Clover learns to trust once again. With Clover's situation, someone like Angel was absolutely perfect for her and I love the way Ms. Martin wrote his character. As stated, I am eager for the next book in this series, as I cannot wait to see how Skye comes into her own.


Many thanks to Holly Martin for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I live in a little white cottage overlooking the sea. I studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by an even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of my colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when I knew I had to escape. I quit my job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, I emerged wide eyed and terrified that I now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. I taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave me a lot of time to plan out my stories and I now write full time, doing what I love.

I have been writing for 6 years. I was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance 2012. My short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology in 2013. I won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with my novel The Guestbook. I was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014.


Thursday, September 10, 2020

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW - The Secret Garden

Title:  The Secret Garden
Author:   Frances Hodgson Burnett
Publisher:   Children's Classic
Genre:   Middle Grade
Format:   Audiobook
Narrator:  Glenda Jackson
No. of pages:   331
Date of Publication:  1910
Rating:  5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

"One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children's literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was brought out in novel form in 1911.

The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to. When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he's away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle's vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven't heard, spiking Mary's curiosity.

The Secret Garden appeals to both young and old alike. It has wonderful elements of mystery, spirituality, charming characters and an authentic rendering of childhood emotions and experiences. Commonsense, truth and kindness, compassion and a belief in the essential goodness of human beings lie at the heart of this unforgettable story. It is the best known of Frances Hodgson Burnett's works, though most of us have definitely heard of, if not read, her other novel Little Lord Fauntleroy.

The book has been adapted extensively on stage, film and television and translated into all the world's major languages. In 1991, a Japanese anime version was launched for television in Japan. It remains a popular and beloved story of a child's journey into maturity, and a must-read for every child, parent, teacher and anyone who would enjoy this fascinating glimpse of childhood. One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children's literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was brought out in novel form in 1911."

MY THOUGHTS:

When this book, originally published in book form in 1911, came up for an audiobook review on NetGalley I jumped at it. This has been a story that I have always wanted to read, but just like a lot of classics, finding time to get to certain books is not always easy. This remarkable story celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011, and it truly has stood the test of time. Flawlessly narrated by Oscar winner Glenda Jackson, with music, along with animal and wind sounds, I was transported into the beautiful garden. 

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy this story in audio format, but I had a chance to learn about the book itself and how it transformed from a serial in a magazine then to book format. I find that to be very impressive as well as fortuitous because of the millions of people that have had the opportunity to read it over the years. Although this is the very first time I have read this, I am sure that this story has entered many a home in one format or another. Having the privilege to listen to it was truly a blessing.

The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary who lost both of her parents while in India and has returned to England. She was not a happy child by any means, and when she arrives at her uncle's home, her happiness only grows worse. What is more is that she is not a nice little girl. Selfish, angry and stubborn are just a few words to describe Mary. Things begin to change for her when she discovers a walled garden - and at this point in the audiobook there is pleasant music and birds singing - so I felt as if I were entering the garden with Mary. Simply put, magic happens. It takes place over time, but Mary begins to change.

I completely adored this story. Although it is around 300 pages, the audiobook flew by. I will definitely give this book another listen as the story was truly captivating. This audiobook would be a great bedtime story for children - maybe in three or so sessions. 

I have never seen any iteration of this book before now, but as the blurb states, it has been adapted in several formats, as well as translated into several languages. As I have always wanted to make time to read more classics, it is wonderful that I got the opportunity to listen to this book due to NetGalley's relatively new audiobook review program.


Many thanks to Harper Audio and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.