Wednesday, October 28, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Where Butterflies Go



Where Butterflies Go by Debra Doxer

Publication Date: October 7, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 270 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


DESCRIPTION:

Meira Sokolow had the misfortune of being born to Jewish parents in Warsaw, Poland, in 1912. Before she took her first breath, her fate had been sealed.

Residing in the Jewish Quarter of the city, Meira’s early life was typical. She fell in love with a local boy, got married, and had a daughter. Then the German army marched into Warsaw and everything changed. Forced into the ghetto with her family, she found survival to be a daily struggle. Hunger, disease, and unimaginable cruelty were her stark realities. When the ghetto was purged and she was sent to a concentration camp, Meira still had her family, and that was all that mattered. Then the camp was liquidated, and only a handful of survivors remained out of thousands. Meira Sokolow was one of them.

No longer a wife or mother, Meira emigrated to New York City. After World War II, the world wanted to move on and start a new chapter, but Meira couldn’t turn the page so easily. She walked through her days alone, like a ghost with nothing to tether her to the earth. Then she met Max, a handsome American, who first mistook her for one of the boring socialites he encountered every day. He soon learned she was unlike anyone he had met before, seeing her strength and resilience, even when she couldn’t. Max knew he could breathe life into her again, if only she would let him.

Tragic and heartfelt, Where Butterflies Go is based on the harrowing true story of one woman’s survival during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and her struggle to find meaning in the aftermath.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble


MY THOUGHTS:


Title:   Where Butterflies Go 
Author:  Debra Doxer
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   272
Date of Publication:   October 7, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

In this incredibly touching story by Debra Doxer we meet Meira Sokolow, a Jewish woman born in Poland in 1912. She married young to a man her parents wanted for her older sister. Then after the German army invaded Warsaw, everything Meira had was lost. Along with her husband and daughter, she survived in the ghetto for years. Things were horrid during those years. They suffered from hunger and disease, with things ending very badly for everyone Meira loved.

A rare survivor, she was able to emigrate to New York City, and had hopes of starting over, and at the very least, with her sister who fortunately got out of Poland before things changed so drastically there. Although Meira is now safe, she is hardly the woman she used to be, and is more like a shadow passing through time. While she struggled to make her way she met a man named Max, who was enamored with her from the very start.

The seriousness of this book did not let up, especially as Meira went through the various phases of her life, to the moments of levity when hope began to shine through. I loved the tie in with the butterflies as the story progressed, all the way through to the heartwarming ending.

While reading this book I felt for Meira more than words could express. To see her go through the motions every day of her life, with challenge after challenge facing her was so very hard. But to see her life take a turn for the better, especially when love began to slowly enter into the picture was quite remarkable. This incredible story is one that I will not forget any time soon. 

Many thanks to Debra Doxer and HF Virtual Book Tours for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.



Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 12

Tuesday, October 13

Wednesday, October 14
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Monday, October 19
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Tuesday, October 20

Thursday, October 22

Saturday, October 24

Monday, October 26

Wednesday, October 28

Friday, October 30
Interview at Novels Alive

Sunday, November 1
Review at YA, it's Lit

Wednesday, November 4
Interview at Books & Benches

Thursday, November 5
Review at Girl Who Reads

Friday, November 6
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Monday, November 9

Tuesday, November 10

Thursday, November 12
Review at Novels Alive

Friday, November 13
Review at Bookramblings

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away three $25 Amazon Gift Cards! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on November 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.


About the Author

Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When not writing, she's walking her Havanese puppy and forcing her daughter to listen to new wave 80s music."

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Rescue You

 
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DESCRIPTION:

She needs a fresh start. He’s got scars that haven’t healed. With the help of some rescue dogs, they’ll discover that everyone deserves a chance at happiness.

After a year of heartbreak and loss, the only thing keeping Constance afloat is the dog rescue she works at with her sister, Sunny. Desperate for a change, Constance impulsively joins a new gym, even though it seems impossibly hard, and despite the gym’s prickly owner.

Rhett Santos keeps his gym as a refuge for his former-military brothers and to sweat out his own issues. He’s ready to let the funny redhead join, but unprepared for the way she wiggles past his hard-won defenses.

When their dog rescue is threatened, the sisters fight to protect it. And they need all the help they can get. As Rhett and Constance slowly open up to each other, they’ll find that no one is past rescuing; what they need is the right person—or dog—to save them.


BUY LINKS:
MY THOUGHTS:

Title
:   Rescue You
Author:  Elysia Whisler
Publisher:  MIRA
Genre:   Romance; Women's Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   384
Date of Publication:   October 27, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

Constance Morrigan and her sister Sunny are very busy when it comes to rescuing dogs from puppy mills, even if it means taking illegal actions when they deem it necessary. Meanwhile, Constance has joined a new gym, and this brings her into contact with the owner, Rhett Santos. The two soon find that they have a lot in common, despite Rhett's reticence to become involved.

Keeping the dog rescue afloat is Constance's ultimate goal, even it involves risk and danger. This book most certainly touches on the serious subject of puppy mills. The sisters have no trouble stepping over any lines when it comes to barging in and dealing with the owners of these despicable mills, focusing on one woman named Janice Matteri in particular. Constance and Sunny work together quite well, and all the while romance begins to bloom for for Constance.

This story by Elysia Whisler deals with issues both serious and light. Readers get to see the efforts behind rescuing and training dogs, while romance is developing behind the scenes. It was not easy to read of the cruelty behind puppy mills, so the romance that was forming was a nice distraction when it came to this story. I liked the fact that the romance was secondary in this book and that the focus of the dogs took the main part of the story. This excellent story is one that I enjoyed throughout and was more than pleased as the ending proved delightful for both the dogs and the people involved.

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

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
One Constance slammed on her brakes. Steam rose from the street as rain gurgled through the ditches. She killed the engine, stepped into the pattering droplets and scanned the shoulder of the road. Nothing there but the remains of a goose carcass. “Where are you, boy?” Constance gave a low whistle.

It hadn’t been her imagination. The picked-over goose only made her more certain she’d seen a dog, weaving through the foggy afternoon air like a phantom. A lost dog, with his head bent against the rain as he loped along the muddy ditch.

Constance whistled again. Silence, but for the sound of rain hitting the trees that lined the road. “Maybe I’m just tired.” She’d done a lot of massages today, which made her feel wrung out. Constance almost ducked back into the van, but halted.

There he was: a white face with brown patches, peeking at her from behind a bush. “Hey, boy.” Constance squatted down, making herself smaller, less threatening. The dog watched, motionless. Constance drew a biscuit from her coat, briefly recalling the cashier’s amusement at the grocery store today when she’d emptied her pockets on the counter, searching for her keys. Five dog biscuits had been in the pile with her phone, a used tissue and the grocery list.

“Dog mom, huh?” the elderly cashier had said.

“Something like that.” More like dog aunt, to all of the rescues at Pittie Place. Her sister, Sunny, had quite the brood.

Constance laid the biscuit near her foot and waited. A moment later, the bush rustled and the dog approached. He had short hair and big shoulders. He got only as close as he needed to, then stretched his neck out for the prize. As he gingerly took the biscuit, Constance noted a droopy abdomen and swollen nipples, like a miniature cow.

So. He was a she. Constance inched toward her. The dog held on to the biscuit, but reared back. Constance extended her fist, slowly, so the mom could smell her. “You got puppies somewhere?”

The dog whimpered, but crunched up the biscuit.

“Where are your puppies?”

The dog whimpered again. Her legs shook. Her fur was muddy, feet caked with dirt. She had blood on her muzzle— probably from the dead goose. By her size and coloring, Constance decided she was a pit bull.

Constance rose up, patted her thigh and headed toward her van. She slid open the side door, grabbed a blanket and spread it out, but when she turned around, the dog was several yards away. Her brown-and-white head was low as she wandered beneath a streetlamp, the embodiment of despair in the drizzle that danced through the light.

Constance followed, slipping on the leaves that clogged the drainage ditch. The dog glanced once over her shoulder, but her pace didn’t quicken. Constance decided her calm demeanor was working, keeping the dog from fleeing. And let’s be honest: the biscuit hadn’t hurt. Chances were, the dog would be happy to have more as soon as she got wherever she was going. “Let’s see where you’re headed, then. Show me if you’ve got a home.”

Constance followed her across the road, around the curve and down the narrow lane. Frogs popped like happy corn all over the slick street, but the chill of the oncoming winter slithered through Constance’s blood.

She followed the dog for a good quarter mile. Even before she hooked a left down the unpaved road hidden behind the trees, Constance had figured out that the mama was headed to one of the handful of empty places that sat decomposing on the hundred or so acres the Matteri family owned. Constance paused only long enough to squelch the sizzle of anger that bubbled up inside before she pressed on, determined to know if the dog was a stray or a neglected mother from Janice Matteri’s puppy mill.

Constance took the same turn and watched as the dog neared the abandoned house up ahead. Nobody had lived there in years. It was only a matter of time before it became condemned. The dog bypassed the crumbling porch of the old colonial and went around back. Constance knew little daylight was left, and she hadn’t brought a flashlight. She broke into a trot, clutched her coat tighter around her and didn’t slow until the dog came back into view. Constance followed her, her heart thumping harder with each step.

The dog passed the rusted chain-link fence and disappeared over a rise in the property, near an old shed so overgrown with trees it was only recognizable by a pale red door. Just as she reached the hill, Constance heard a squeak. The sort of high-pitched noise that echoes from everywhere and nowhere all at once. Another squeak came. And another. She crested the hill and saw the dog slink inside the shed door. Constance got to the shed and pushed inside. The dog had reached her destination: a battered old mattress, three shades of brown, lying a few feet inside. The mewls, now loud and hungry, came from a shredded section of the mattress.

Constance narrowed her eyes. At first, she counted only two bobbing, brown heads, but as she drew closer there was a third. Then a fourth. The last one didn’t move nearly as much, just sort of waded on his stomach. The puppies had cocoa-colored fur and black muzzles. Eyes open. The ones that moved didn’t really walk, just stumbled into each other, like drunks. Mama dog curled around them and they all wiggled toward her abdomen.

Constance knelt down next to the mattress and watched the suckling puppies. She decided they were about two weeks old. The air in the shed smelled of sour milk, poop and urine. She dug out another biscuit and reached, slowly, her hand in a fist to protect her fingers, her gaze on the mama for any sign she was upset, such as pinned ears, bared teeth or a raised ridge of fur down the back. The energy around the mom and her pups was calm, to the point of exhausted. Constance had certainly helped with enough of Sunny’s dogs over the years to know. She offered the biscuit and the mom took it. With her mouth busy, Constance carefully touched the smallest puppy, who shook so hard the tremble came from deep inside, beneath his skin and fur, straight from his bones.

Constance rose slowly and did a quick search of the vicinity for more puppies, which turned up nothing but trash, vermin and an old orange crate, which she brought over to the mattress. Now to see if Mom was going to accept help.

Though daylight was precious, Constance waited until the pups were done suckling before she offered a third treat. “Let’s go back to my place,” Constance said as Mom accepted the biscuit. “My sister has a rescue for critters, just like you. And I help her all the time. You’ll be safe there. Does that sound okay?”

While Mama crunched, Constance reached for the two pups closest to her and, keeping an eye on Mom the whole time, she lifted them and settled them in the crate. Mom’s chewing quickened, so Constance acted fast, lifting the last two pups swiftly but carefully. She rose to her feet, crate in her arms. The mother dog was on her feet almost ahead of her, pointing her muzzle at the crate and whining.

Constance knew the mom would follow her anywhere she took those pups, but she also lacked any signs of aggression, almost as though she knew that this was their only chance. Or as Pete, owner of Canine Warriors and Constance’s longtime childhood friend, would put it, “You just got something about you, Cici. Everybody trusts you. People. Dogs. The damn Devil himself.”

Constance headed back to her van, chasing the sunset. As expected, the mother followed. Once to the vehicle, Constance opened the van and set the crate full of pups next to the blanket she’d spread out earlier. The mama dog leaped in after them.

Constance slid the door closed, settled behind the steering wheel and let out a great sigh. Mission accomplished. She edged down the long, lonely road. The rain pattered on the windshield and the scent of dirty puppies hit her nose. She’d take them home tonight and get them settled in, see how they reacted to a new environment, then text Sunny in the morning. Constance had worked with enough dogs, and people, to know that introducing another new person this evening was bad news. Let Mama get used to Constance first, and get some good food and rest, before she was moved to Pittie Place.

Tonight, at least, this girl and her babies belonged with Constance.

Excerpted from Rescue You by Elysia Whisler Copyright © Elysia Whisler. Published by MIRA Books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elysia Whisler was raised in Texas, Italy, Alaska, Mississippi, Nebraska, Hawai'i and Virginia, in true military fashion. Her nomadic life has made storytelling a compulsion from a young age. 

She doubles as a mother, a massage therapist and a CrossFit trainer and is dedicated to portraying strong women, both in life and in her works. She lives in Virginia with her family, including her large brood of cat and dog rescues, who vastly outnumber the humans.

SOCIAL:
Facebook: @ElysiaWhisler

Review - The Amish Christmas Gift

Title:  The Amish Christmas Gift
Author:   Laura V. Hilton
Series:   Hidden Springs #2
Publisher:   Forever
Genre:   Inspirational Romance
Format:   Kindle ARC
No. of pages:   320
Date of Publication:  October 27, 2020
Rating:  4 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Past relationships and close quarters stir up old emotions, making Christmas the perfect time for a magical connection in this heartwarming second chance Amish romance.

Elsie Miller has witnessed -- and experienced -- Levi Wyse's forgetfulness too many times to count. But even after they broke things off, Elsie never forgot the handsome Amish toymaker or her love for him. So when Levi's sister asks her to help keep him organized for the busy Christmas season, Elsie agrees. But she didn't expect working alongside Levi to reignite those old feelings.


Secretly, Levi's heart will always belong to Elsie. But she deserves a better man, one who isn't so absentminded . . . or responsible for a terrible tragedy. Now, she's at his workshop every day and as Christmas draws near, his reasons for staying away become harder and harder to remember. Will the spirit of Christmas heal past hurts and give Elsie and Levi the greatest gift of all: a future together?


MY THOUGHTS:

Elsie Miller and Levi Wyse are clearly in love and have been for years. However, they broke up according to a misunderstanding a couple of years ago. Previously, Levi's sister Abigail had been hurt, and needs some assistance. Elsie is the best person for the job, even if this creates a form of torture between her and Levi. He had done a fine job of avoiding her for quite some time, but now that they will be seeing more than a lot of each other, feelings, and even desire, are bound to get in the way.

It is the Christmas season and Levi is gifted at making toys. Can he continue to work, see Elsie everyday and put past hurts and guilt behind him enough to grasp ahold of the love and joy that she still feels for him?

What a touching story of love, guilt, family and faith! I do wish that communication would have been more at play in this story, but at the same time I could understand Levi's reticence. The Amish Christmas Gift is the second book in the Hidden Springs series. Although I hadn't read the first book, this story did not have anything at all missing, making it easy to follow along. I do wish to follow further books in this series because I do enjoy Laura V. Hilton's writing. The next book in the series is The Amish Secret Wish, is set for release April, 2021.

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Birdhouse. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series. Laura is contracted for another three book Amish series set in the Jamesport area, with the first book, The Amish Firefighter, planned for April 2016.

She has self-published a Christmas novella, Christmas Mittens.

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer and blogs for Putting on the New and Seriously Write.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Dead Perfect



DESCRIPTION:

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer. The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else. Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger. Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls?

Can Maggie find the depraved killer? Or will Kate become his next living doll?

Title:  Dead Perfect

Author:  Noelle Holten
Series:  DC Maggie Jamieson #3
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:  Harper Impulse Killer Reads
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   350 Pages
Date of Publication:  October 16, 2020
My Rating:  5 Stars

MY THOUGHTS:

DC Maggie Jamieson is frantic when approaching a crime scene. As she tries to get a hold of herself, Maggie tries to prepare for the fact that the body might be someone she really cares about, her close friend Dr. Kate Moloney. Is the body Kate's? What of the stalker Kate has had for awhile now? Maggie thinks that the stalker has finally made his mark.

Instead, as the body is turned over from her back, Maggie is more than relieved but a bit confused when she discovers that the body is not Kate's. Why does she resemble her? When Maggie does reach Kate, she tries not to scare her, but tells her that the stalker is almost definitely a murder. It certainly cannot be coincidence that the staged body resembles Kate.

Living dolls. That is how the police - and the killer - are referring to the victims. And, yes, I say victims in plural because more dead bodies abound, and Maggie does her darnedest to stop the killer  and to keep Kate safe. Meanwhile, Maggie must contend for her growing feeling for Kate.

Well! 5 Stars go to this fantastic book by Noelle Holten!! Just read it in one sitting. The tension level is incredibly high as Maggie and her team race against time to find the killer. Meanwhile, Maggie has some issues she is facing, and that does well to help to understand her as a character. Since I read the first two books in the series, and will be reading all future books, I love being able to feel for a character. 

A note to readers of this book and series. While this book could be read as a standalone novel, it begins exactly where the previous book, Dead Wrongleft off, which continued where the first book in the series, Dead Inside, left off. Thus, this book, Dead Perfect, leaving readers with a hanging scene, will no doubt leave readers for the fourth book in the series. Well done!

Many thanks to Harper Impulse and Killer Reads and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Subscribe to Newsletter: http://ow.ly/cgww50BkB
Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/
Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/
Instagram: @author_noelleholten
Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk
Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB 

 

Friday, October 23, 2020

BLOG TOUR - The Girl She Wanted

DESCRIPTION:

What if my sister is unstable and everyone can see it but me? What was she really doing standing over Florence’s cot in the middle of the night?

Alexa has always looked up to her older sister Carrie. Carrie lives in Alexa’s family home, and adores her one-year-old niece Florence. Alexa doesn’t know how they would cope without her. So when Carrie is suspended from her job as a senior nurse, accused of the most terrible crime, Alexa reels in disbelief. Alexa knows how caring Carrie is, and as she watches Florence gurgling and cooing whenever Carrie is around, she knows her little girl is in safe hands.

Alexa’s husband doesn’t trust Carrie. He wants her out of the house, unable to ignore what people are saying about her. But when he suggests that Carrie could be a danger to their daughter, Alexa shuts him out. Nobody will ever come between her and her sister.

Then Florence is hurt while in Carrie’s care and Alexa at last starts to wonder. Alexa has always wanted to protect Carrie from the past they have hidden. But does Alexa know what Carrie wants? And will the secret that has kept the sisters together now destroy her little girl?

A completely gripping rollercoaster of a read about the darkness families hide behind closed doors. Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will be hooked on The Girl She Wanted.


BUY LINKS:


MY THOUGHTS:

Title
:   The Girl She Wanted
Author:  K. L. Slater
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   319
Date of Publication:   October 22, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

Alexa and her husband Perry are having some problems and it seems that their primary difficulties is that Alexa are due to the fact that Alexa is supporting her troubled older sister Carrie above all else. If Perry had his way he would insist that Carrie leave their home. Instead, after Carrie's marriage ended, Alexa invited Carrie to stay with them and their toddler daughter Florence. Alexa loves the bond that Carrie and Florence shares. Furthermore, Perry works away from home for weeks at a time on an oil rig, so Alexa enjoys having extra help with the baby.

However, one day the police arrive and they take Carrie away for questioning. Alexa is quite concerned, but so relieved that Perry is currently away. She knows that if he knew Carrie had any issues that concerned the police, she would have no choice but to ask Carrie to leave. Alexa is utterly shocked when she learns that Carrie might have been involved in the death of two patients. Carrie is a senior nurse at a nearby hospital and the deaths proved to be unusual. Carrie is not charged, but she is suspended from her job. Alexa is very concerned as to how to tell Perry, all while trying to figure out a way to get information and to help Carrie.

When Florence is hurt under Carrie's care, Alexa begins to wonder, and she knows she must inform Perry as to what is going on. Could Carrie have indeed been responsible for the deaths at the hospital? Could the fact that Florence was hurt be due to Carrie's actions? Then there is the fact that there is a hidden secret between Alexa and Carrie, and if the truth came out, so much could be lost, and at the very least, the safety of Florence.

I love the way that this book was written. I wanted to believe Carrie guilty of wrongdoing from the very start, so I love the winding trail that this book took to get my feelings so involved. I was captivated from beginning to end, even to the point that Perry began to raise doubts with me. When an author can keep me on my toes and invested in the characters, then I count it as a win for me. Actually, every book I have read by K. L. Slater has managed to evoke strong feelings in me while reading, and this book is right up there with the ones I've read previously by her. 

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.


Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

https://www.facebook.com/KimLSlaterAuthor/
https://twitter.com/KimLSlater

Thursday, October 22, 2020


 Saving Grace

A Psychological Thriller

by D.M. Barr

on Tour October 12 - November 13, 2020


Synopsis:

Grace Pierrepoint Rendell, the only child of an ailing billionaire, has been treated for paranoia since childhood. When she secretly quits her meds, she begins to suspect that once her father passes, her husband will murder her for her inheritance. Realizing that no one will believe the ravings of a supposed psychotic, she devises a creative way to save herself – she will write herself out of danger, authoring a novel with the heroine in exactly the same circumstances, thus subtly exposing her husband's scheme to the world. She hires acclaimed author Lynn Andrews to help edit her literary insurance policy, but when Lynn is murdered, Grace is discovered standing over the bloody remains. The clock is ticking: can she write and publish her manuscript before she is strapped into a straitjacket, accused of homicide, or lowered six feet under?

With a cast of secondary characters whose challenges mirror Grace's own, Saving Grace is, at it's core, an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms.

"A psychological thriller with more than enough twists, turns, and misdirection to keep even the most jaded reader turning pages all night long."

–Lori Robbins, author of the Silver Falchion Award-winning novel, Lesson Plan for Murder

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Domestic Suspense
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Publication Date: October 15th 2020
Number of Pages: 255
ISBN: 978-1684335565

My rating: 4 Stars

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BlackRose Writing | Goodreads

My thoughts:


From when she was a child, Grace Pierrepoint Rendell was deemed mentally unfit. Her diagnoses included paranoia and psychosis. This was by her father and this action was continued by her husband. Grace managed to break away from her father as a young adult when she went away to collage. However, it did not take her very long to meet the man who would soon become her husband. Although Grace managed to develop a career, becoming the mother of two boys sidelined her more than she would have liked. Throughout her life, however, one thing did not change, and that was her lifelong psychological treatment and a host of medications.

At some point, Grace decided to take her destiny into her own hands. She managed to fool her psychiatrist and husband. When visiting her ailing father, her deception did not come as easy. While reading this book - whether it was Grace's father, or her husband - I kept getting vibes of the classic movie Gaslight. Grace often questioned her own sanity, even during moments of obvious clarity. That is how good the ploys used against her were.

Once Grace's father's health became extremely serious, Grace knew that the likelihood of her becoming beneficiary of his multi-million dollar estate might not happen for her. In fact, she began to wonder if indeed her husband would "get rid of her" in order to collect said millions. So, Grace develops a scheme that will save her very life as well as her future. This plan included penning a fictional yet literal account that, if published, would inform any and all of the plans being made against her. 

Despite her industriousness regarding writing her manuscript, things began happening that began to spiral out of her control, thus bringing her ever closer to danger. In this thrilling book there is a race against time that Grace has to manage. Fortunately she finds friends who are willing to stand by her. Will the manuscript be written in time to save her? With the connection I felt to Grace, some of the supporting characters, and the aforementioned movie, I found this book to be quite an entertaining read. 

Many thanks to Black Rose Writing for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Read an excerpt:

One felony was all it took to convince Andrea Lin she was better suited to committing crime on paper than in person. As renowned mystery author Lynn Andrews, she understood conflict equaled good drama. Like her readers, she should have expected the hiccups, even relished them. What she hadn’t counted on was the accompanying agita, especially while sitting in her Bergen County kitchen, far from the action at the Bitcoin Teller Machine.

Her one job had been to place a single phone call when the money hit and tell the hacker to lift the encryption on Grace’s computer. Trouble was, her dozen calls remained unanswered until a few minutes ago, throwing their meticulous plan off schedule.

Andrea stroked the blue-gray Nebulung purring on her lap and tried to ignore the churning in her stomach. “Denver, the next time I consider helping a sibling with some crazy scheme, you have my permission to use my leg as a scratching post until I come to my senses. Agreed?”

Denver looked up, his green eyes filled with innocence, and answered with a single meow before leaping onto the table toward her plate of shortbread cookies.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” She sipped her tea, willing the sugar to sweeten the acrid taste in her mouth. The phone interrupted her meditation. No doubt a check-in from her brother, the extorter-in-chief.

“I figured you’d have called by now. Everything on track?” Joe’s strained voice conveyed his own jangled nerves. They’d agreed to be vague when communicating. In these days of Siri and Alexa, anyone could be listening.

“Finally. Took forever to get through to our friend, but she said she’d take care of ‘our project’ as soon as her meetings wrapped up. From here on out though, I’m sticking to fiction. Real-life intrigue is too stressful.”

Andrea missed Joe’s response, instead perplexed by her cats’ sudden change of behavior. Denver had tilted his head and leapt from the table; Vail and Aspen sat frozen, ears perked, staring toward the foyer. Then she heard it too, the sound of papers shuffling in the living room. She leaned forward, muscles taut, hackles raised, ready to pounce. “Joe, hold on a sec. I think someone’s in the house. I’ll call you back later.”

***

“Wait, what? Andrea??” Silence. The connection was dead.

After twenty minutes of weaving in and out of rush-hour traffic to travel one mile, Joe “Hack” Hackford pulled up outside his sister’s Ridgewood home. Adrenaline pumping on overdrive, he jumped from his car and sprinted toward the house. Door wide open—not an encouraging sign. He steeled his nerves and hastened inside. The living room looked like a hurricane’s aftermath, with furniture overturned and papers littering the carpets and floor.

“Andrea? Are you here?” He rushed into the kitchen, which lacked any signs of their celebratory dinner—no spaghetti boiling on the stove, no cake rising in the oven. Only the door to the backyard ajar and a shriek emanating from the next room, piercing the eerie silence. Hair stiffening at the back of his neck, he raced into the dining room where a redheaded woman stood frozen, staring across the room.

“Who the hell are you?” he growled.

The stranger remained wide-eyed and unresponsive. He followed her gaze to the floor, where he witnessed the unthinkable. His beloved sister lay in the corner, surrounded by a pool of blood, a kitchen knife stuck in her chest. Her eyes remained fixed on the ceiling. A trio of feline guards circled her lifeless body.

Hack’s knees turned to jelly, and he grabbed onto a chair for support, forcing back the remains of the snack he’d consumed only minutes earlier. Once the initial shock waned, he reverted his attention back to the intruder. At second glance, she did look somewhat familiar, though the woman he’d met a few weeks back—the missing heiress whose computer they’d just hacked—was brunette. Had she uncovered their con? With a bolt of fury, he reached forward and pulled the wig from her head. A thousand questions zigzagged in his brain, but only one forced its way past his lips:

“Oh my God. Grace. Oh my God. What the hell have you done?”

***

Excerpt from Saving Grace by D.M. Barr. Copyright 2020 by D.M. Barr. Reproduced with permission from D.M. Barr. All rights reserved.

 

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 Author Bio:


By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they're off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won't friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I've never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic. And I haven't run away from home in fear that my husband was planning to off me.

But that's not to say that I haven't wanted to…

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

BLOG TOUR - The Light at Wyndcliff



The Light at Wyndcliff by Sarah E. Ladd

Publication Date: October 13, 2020
Thomas Nelson
Paperback & eBook; 352 Pages

Series: The Cornwall Novels, Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency/Christian


Set in 1820s Cornwall, this Regency romance evokes the captivating worlds and delicious dramas of Jane Austen, Daphne DuMaurier, and Winston Graham.

Raised on the sprawling and rugged Wyndcliff Estate near the dangerous coast of South Cornwall, Evelyn Bray lives with her grandfather, a once-wealthy man reduced to the post of steward. Evelyn is still grieving her father’s death and her mother’s abandonment when a passing ship is dashed against the rocks. The only survivors, a little girl and her injured mother, are rescued and brought to Wyndcliff Hall.

Liam Twethewey is just twenty-two when he inherits Wyndcliff Estate from his great uncle. His optimistic plans to open a china clay pit to employ the estate’s tenants meets unexpected resistance, and the rumors of smuggling and illegal activity challenge his new-found authority. Though wise beyond his years, young Liam quickly finds himself out of his depth in this land where long-held secrets and high-stakes agendas make no room for newcomers.

Brought together by troubling questions surrounding the shipwreck, Evelyn and Liam uncover even darker mysteries shrouding the estate. But as they untangle truths from deceptions, their loyalties separate them—and their budding love might not be strong enough to overcome the distance.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


MY THOUGHTS:

Title
:   The Light at Wyndcliff
Author:  Sarah E. Ladd
Series:  Cornwall #3
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   320
Date of Publication:   October 13, 2020
My Rating:    4 Stars

Liam Twethewey has taken on the unenviable task as the inheritor of Wyndcliff Hall in Corwall. While he is struggling to honor his great-uncle's dream of restoring the Hall, he runs into problems at the estate, but also from another source involving a current shipwreck.

Evelyn Bray lives there at the Hall, having lived there with her grandfather after he lost everything, which played into her mother leaving. Now steward, his attitude toward the new owner and Evelyn are ripe with issues. Meanwhile a shipwreck leaves a woman and her young daughter without hope, thus keeping Evelyn quite busy. The shipwreck seems to be only the tip of the iceberg for the reality of what is actually going on.

Protecting the estate - and the two survivors - brings Liam and Evelyn together. Not only must the pair cope with growing feelings, problems on a grand scale are beginning to be revealed. 

As I hadn't read the first two books in the series, I was concerned that I would not be able to gel with this story. However, this story fully held up well, allowing me to feel connected to the characters, the plot and the resulting drama as it was unfolding. The regency time period is one I enjoy, and the further drama of pirates, thievery, lies and secrets all kept me riveted to the story, capturing my attention throughout. 

Not only was the drama between Liam and Evelyn of great interest, her connection to her grandfather and to her mother was of great interest to me. It was both a wonderful and beautiful story, with enough excitement to be more than interesting, and with a conclusion that tied things together nicely. I love that this book was a blend between historical fiction and romance, and that the romance was different than many I read in the genre. Sarah E. Ladd is is a new author to me, but I am glad that I read this book and look forward to reading more by her. 

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


Blog Tour Schedule


Tuesday, October 13
Review at Hallie Reads
Feature at Momfluenster

Wednesday, October 14
Review at McCombs on Main
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Review at Probably at the Library

Thursday, October 15
Review at Jessica Belmont

Friday, October 16
Review at Bitch Bookshelf
Review & Excerpt at Bookworlder
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Sunday, October 18
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Monday, October 19
Review at Book Bustle

Tuesday, October 20
Review at Books and Zebras
Review at Robin Loves Reading
Review at Into the Hall of Books

Wednesday, October 21
Review at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, October 22
Review at Faery Tales Are Real
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, October 23
Review at Lu Reviews Books

Saturday, October 24
Review & Excerpt at Nursebookie

Monday, October 26
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Tuesday, October 27
Review at Captivated Reading

Wednesday, October 28
Review at Heidi Reads

Thursday, October 29
Review at YA, it's Lit

Friday, October 30
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Read Review Rejoice

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 copies of The Light at Wyndcliff! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Light at Wyndcliff 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance. Ladd also has more than ten years of marketing experience. She holds degrees in public relations and marketing and lives in Indiana with her family and spunky Golden Retriever.