Wednesday, September 30, 2020

BLOG TOUR - The Ex-Boyfriend


He promised to love her until her dying day…

When Becca’s first love shows up on her social media feed, she can’t help but smile fondly. Once upon a time Connor was the love of her life, and though it was over ten years ago, he’s always held a place in her heart.

Then he sends her a message. He sounds happy – still kind and funny, still living across the world in Australia. But he wants to know everything about her life now. How can Becca tell him the truth? About her workaholic husband, her stressful job, and the challenges of caring for her elderly father and her longed-for, adorable but exhausting three-year-old daughter Mia?

Becca hesitates, knowing she shouldn’t even reply. But Connor lives on the other side of the world. Just how dangerous can becoming friends again be?

It feels harmless. Until Mia gets sick – in a way that no one can explain. And it starts to become clear – someone will do absolutely anything to make sure Becca never escapes her past…

A completely unputdownable psychological thriller – perfect for fans of My Lovely Wife, The Girl on the Train, and The Woman at the Window.



:   The Ex-Boyfriend
Author:  Rona Halsall
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   261
Date of Publication:  September 30, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

Becca has become involved via email with her first love. He is across the world so she cannot imagine it would do any harm to her marriage. Meanwhile, her three-year-old daughter becomes quite ill from time to time, thus adding stress to Becca's already strained marriage to Dean.

Mia's symptoms are severe, yet they come and go, thus leading Becca to believe that Mia is being poisoned. But by whom, and why? Could this have anything to do with her ex suddenly showing up online? What about the people in her everyday life - her husband, sister, father, even the childminder? Could any of them have something to do with Mia's bouts of extreme illness? Who can Becca trust? 

Not only is Becca quite naturally concerned with what is going on with Mia, she begins to see that her past - one where there are indeed secrets - has a chance at being exposed. This mix of family, drama and secrets create a delicious combination that turned into quite a remarkable story. One thing that drew me to this story is that I was kept guessing throughout and managed to be completely shocked at the guilty party. I love it when an author keeps me on my toes and that is exactly what Rona Halsall has done with The Ex Boyfriend.

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


Rona lives on the Isle of Man with her husband, two dogs and three guinea pigs. She has been a bookworm since she was a child and now she's actually creating stories of her own, which still feels like a dream come true. 

She is an outdoorsy person and loves stomping up a mountain, walking the coastal paths and exploring the wonderful beaches on the Island while she's plotting how to kill off her next victim. She also makes sure she deletes her Google history on a regular basis, because... well, you can't be too careful when you spend your life researching new and ingenious ways for people to die.

She has three children and two step-children who are now grown up and leading varied and interesting lives, which provides plenty of ideas for new stories!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

RELEASE DAY BLITZ - Lethal Temptation

Today we are celebrating the release of a new, romantic suspense title from Kaylea Cross. LETHAL TEMPTATION is available now! Be sure to add the book to your TBR pile now and follow Kaylea for exclusive updates about the book and the Rifle Creek series.

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Lethal Temptation by Kaylea Cross

Available Now | Rifle Creek Series, #2

Amazon | Apple | Kobo | Nook

Book Blurb:

She’s got her guard up. Detective Avery Dahl finally has her life back on track after a painful divorce. She’s not going to risk her heart again, especially to a sexy veteran with heartbreak written all over him. Due to extenuating circumstances at an upcoming family wedding, she reluctantly agrees to bring him as her fake boyfriend—and soon realizes her mistake. Because Mason is as lethal with seduction as he is with a weapon, and keeps pushing her boundaries until her carefully constructed walls begin to crumble. Her instinct is to push him away, but when a mysterious enemy targets her, Avery has a choice to make. Face it alone, or take a risk and let him in. 

He’s determined to get past it. 

After a horrific accident ended his military career, Mason Gallant has struggled to fit into the civilian world. Now that he and his buddies are opening a business together in Rifle Creek, he’s finally found his footing again. But he never counted on meeting a woman like Avery. He can’t stop thinking about her, so when she needs help, he steps up. Except posing as her boyfriend makes things even worse—because he soon realizes he wants way more than just her body. Now that he’s seen the caring, sensual woman inside the tough cop, he wants to protect her from whoever is threatening her. As the attraction between them heats up, the danger escalates. Mason must prove to her that she can trust him with her heart as well as her life—or risk losing her to the bullet of a stone-cold killer.

Add the book to Goodreads


“Avery Dahl,” she said, handing over her ID to the clerk. “Checking out Sunday.”

“Welcome, Ms. Dahl, we’re glad to have you.” The clerk typed something into his computer. “Okay, we’ve got you in the Ponderosa cabin. It’s got an incredible view of the lake from the loft bedroom.”

Avery frowned. “Cabin? No, I’m in the main lodge with the rest of my family. We’re here for the wedding—”

“I upgraded us to a luxury cabin,” Mason said, aware of her relatives watching and listening nearby.

Avery snapped her head around to gape at him. “What? Why would you—”

He settled his hands on her hips and tugged her close, aware of the eyes on them. “Nothing but the best for my lady,” he said, loud enough for the others to hear him, then dropped a kiss on her lips, which were still parted in surprise.

She tensed and sucked in a breath but he was already lifting his head and curling an arm around her to pull her into his side. It was no hardship for him to play this role, and it felt eerily natural to claim her publicly. He liked it. Maybe too much.

“How many beds does it have?” she said to the clerk.

“A king-size.”

She frowned and lowered her voice, maybe hoping her relatives wouldn’t overhear. “Is there a pullout couch? He snores.”

Mason grinned and nuzzled the hair next to her temple, breathing in the clean vanilla scent of her. “You’re gonna find out whether I do or not soon enough,” he murmured, and choked back a laugh at the tiny jab of her sharp elbow in his ribs.



LETHAL EDGE is Available Now

Amazon | Apple | Kobo | Nook




New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.


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BLOG TOUR - What We Leave Behind


Imagine you get home one day… and waiting for you on your doorstep is a gift.

It is wrapped beautifully, and inside is a notebook, its pages empty. There is no message.

But its sender has a story to tell.

About a secret. About the little girl you once were. About everything you know about your family.

The gifts keep arriving. But when tragedy strikes – leaving your beloved only daughter fighting for her life – the person who has been sending the gifts will have no choice but to come forward. And to finally tell the truth…

A heartbreakingly beautiful novel about motherhood, loss and family secrets, for fans of Kerry Fisher, Susan Lewis and Jodi Picoult.




:   What We Leave Behind
Author:  Anna Mansell
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Literary Fiction; Women's Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   371
Date of Publication:   September 29, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

Lisa is a good mum to her five-year-old daughter Poppy. She is the only parent Poppy knows and things have gone well for her, despite the recent loss of her grandmother. Her father is a bit controlling, but she is assured of his love. One day Lisa gets a strange package in the mail. It starts of with a blank journal, but then other gifts begin to arrive. 

Tragedy strikes however, when Lisa is in a car accident and Poppy is seriously injured. Just prior to that Lisa had started dating, but had thought of Poppy's father from time to time, wondering if she should let Poppy have a relationship with him. Now that Poppy has become injured, her ex comes back into the picture, and this has an affect on Lisa's current relationship. Combine that stress with the fact Lisa still continues to get strange packages and Lisa is at sixes and sevens.

What We Leave Behind was an even mix of family drama as well as the mystery behind the gifts. The drama came in when it came to Poppy's recovery and regarding Lisa and her family situation, especially when it came to her father. Revelations as to the packages were revealed and I was kept guessing about that. 

This touching story comes full circle for Lisa, giving readers an insight with regard to her life and even the choices she is forced to make. This is only my second book by Anna Mansell and I enjoyed how she drew me into the characters and the story. I feel like she did a fine job of drawing out my emotions when it came to Lisa and her family in this engrossing read. I very much look forward to reading her next book.

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


Anna spent almost twenty years trying to shoehorn writing in to her career as a marketing manager for dance and theatre companies. Eventually, she did what you are not remotely supposed to do and walked away from an excellent job in order to try and become a published author. Three years, lots of tears and some slightly hairy bank balances later, she met Kirsty Greenwood and the rest, as they say, is history. Anna lives in Cornwall with her husband and two kids. She feels very fortunate!

SERIES REVIEW - Highland, Georgia Series, #1-3

In this blog post I will be reviewing the first three books in the Highland, Georgia series by Laura Trentham.

Title:  A Highlander Walks into a Bar
Author:   Laura Trentham
Series:   Highland Georgia #1
Publisher:   St. Martin's Press
Genre:   Romance
Format:   Kindle
No. of pages:   320
Date of Publication:  July 30, 2019
Rating:  4 Stars


The timeless romance, soaring passion—and gorgeous men—of Scotland comes to modern-day America. And the rules of love will never be the same…

Isabel Buchanan is fiery, funny, and never at a loss for words. But she is struck speechless when her mother returns from a trip to Scotland with a six-foot-tall, very handsome souvenir. Izzy’s mother is so infatuated by the fellow that Izzy has to plan their annual Highland Games all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. The Highlander’s strapping young nephew has come looking for his uncle…

Alasdair Blackmoor has never seen a place as friendly as this small Georgia town—or a girl as brilliant and beguiling as Izzy. Instead of saving his uncle, who seems to be having a lovely time, Alasdair decides he’d rather help Izzy with the Highland Games. Show her how to dance like a Highlander. Drink like a Highlander. And maybe, just maybe, fall in love with a Highlander. But when the games are over, where do they go from here?


Men in kilts. In modern-day America. In this fun book in a delightful new series by Laura Trentam we meet Isabel Buchanen after her mother comes home from visiting Scotland with a surprise, a gorgeous Scot in kilts, named Gareth Connors. It it time to plan their annual Highland Games but her mother is so distracted that Izzy has to do all of the work herself. 

Meanwhile, Gareth's nephew, Alasdair Blackmoor, is concerned that his uncle would just pick up and head across the pond that he ends up following him in order to straighten him up and to bring him back home. However, Alasdair's are unwarranted. But, he is there now, and when he learns about Izzy's endeavors, he decides to go ahead and help with the Highland Games. Soon it becomes more than apparent that Izzy's mother and Alasdair's uncle are not the only ones with sparks flying. Izzy and Alasdair begin flirting - and so much more.

What a fun read and a great start to a new series. I have the third book for review, A Highlander is Coming to Town, so I decided to read the first two books. I am so glad I did because I definitely was entertained.

- - - - -

Author:   Laura Trentham
Series:   Highland Georgia #2
Publisher:   St. Martin's Press
Genre:   Romance
Format:   Kindle
No. of pages:   320
Date of Publication:  February 25, 2020
Rating:  4 Stars


A Highlander in a Pickup is the second book in award-winning author Laura Trentham's romantic comedy Highland Georgia series, full of love, laughs...and highlanders!

When a gorgeous new man—in a kilt—comes to town, life in Highland, Georgia will never be the same…

Iain Connors is the poster boy for the strong and silent type. Growing up a loner at Cairndow Castle in Scotland with only the cliffs and moors for company, it’s understood Iain will assume the mantle of Cairndow groundskeeper when his father is ready to relinquish it. But his stint in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces has opened up a whole new world—and now, rather than settle down, he accepts an invitation to travel to the States to take charge of the Highland Games. After all, he’s led men into battle, how hard can planning a party be?

Anna Maitland is ready to step up for her best friend Isabel Blackmoor, who can’t run the Games in their hometown this year. Surely Anna, a dance instructor with boundless energy, spirit, and charm, is up for the challenge? What she doesn’t anticipate is a man in a kilt who turns up claiming he’s the one in charge. What’s worse about this Iain? He’s so infuriatingly handsome that she can’t help but fantasize about him whispering sweet-nothings in her ear in his rumbly, sexy brogue. . .

“Trentham never misses the mark when she takes aim at the heart.”—Night Owl Reviews


In this second book of an already enjoyable series, Iain Connors heads to Highland, Georgia, to take over the planning and running of the Highland Games. In the first book in this series, A Highlander Walks Into a Bar, we already met a gorgeous man in kilts and also the Games. No worries, however, because these books do work as standalones, but when I can, I will read them in order.

Anna Maitland is now in charge of the game, because best friend Izzy (from book #1 in the series), is now unable in Scotland and is actually about to have a baby. But Anna soon knocks head with a gorgeous Scot - in kilts mind you - showing up ready to grab the reins. Now what Anna had in mind, so the two knock heads. But, on the inside, Anna as swooning. Could a man be THAT gorgeous?!

I enjoyed this second book in this series, as the plot, characters and settings were a true delight. I only came across this book because I have the third book, A Highlander is Coming to Town, for review. That was definitely to my benefit, because I was able to devour the first two books. 

It is far more enjoyable for me to read books in order whenever possible. I felt like I was rewarded with a very good story, and was more than eager to read the next book.

- - - - -

Author:   Laura Trentham
Series:   Highland Georgia #3
Publisher:   St. Martin's Press
Genre:   Romance
Format:   Kindle
No. of pages:   304
Date of Publication:  September 29, 2020
Rating:  4 Stars


The third book in the Highland, Georgia romantic comedy series from Laura Trentham, A Highlander is Coming to Town, full of love, laughs...and highlanders!

You better watch out. . .

Holt Pierson is dreading Christmas. His parents absconded to Florida for the season and left him to handle the family farm which will be his one day―whether he wants it or not. Driven by duty, Holt has always followed the path expected of him. But lately, he’s been questioning what he wants and where he belongs. Will assuming the responsibility of the Pierson farm make him happy or is there something―or someone―else out in the wider world calling to him?

To Claire Smythe, the Scottish lead singer of a touring band, Highland, Georgia, is the perfect place to hide . . .until a very handsome and deeply curious Holt begins to ask all the questions Claire doesn’t want to answer. As Holt draws Claire out from under and into the fabric of small-town life, can Claire put the past behind her and embrace the unexpected gifts of the season―including the new and lasting love? 


Another romantic comedy hit my queue! I already read the first two books in this series, A Highlander Walks Into a Bar and A Highlander in a Pickup, so I knew I was in for a treat with this third book in the Highland, Georgia series. In this addition to the series, Holt Pierson is pretty much a Scrooge. Not happy about the holiday in the least, as well as taking on sudden responsibilities is not his idea of fun.

Meanwhile, Claire Smythe is taking a break from her singing career to hide out in Highland, Georgia. In the first two books, we had sexy Scottish men in kilts. In this book, we have a beautiful and vivacious singer who is about to turn the life of one of Georgia's own upside down, Holt Pierson.

Holt and Claire could not be more different. Claire starts off as shy and reserved, but she soon becomes brash and playful. Meanwhile, Holt is gruff and stern, although loving and caring for the people in his life. But, as the saying goes, opposites attract, and that couldn't be more true for these two. Sparks fly, ignite and turn into a full flame.

All the while, Claire and Holt do indeed make the perfect couple, and I enjoyed how this book was written so that we, as readers, could see the groundwork of a happily ever after come to these wonderful and deserving people.

Before I read the three books in this series, Laura Trentham was a new name for me. I loved reading her books and enjoyed her writing style, the characters, conflicts and conclusions of each book. I do hope there is more in this series. If not, I look forward to perusing her backlist so that I can continue to be entertained by her.

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


I was born and raised in a small town in Northwest Tennessee. Although, I loved English and reading in high school, I was convinced an English degree equated to starvation! So, I chose the next most logical major - Chemical Engineering- and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years. Now I live in South Carolina with my husband and two children. In between school and homework and soccer practices, I love to get lost in another world, whether it's Regency England or small town Alabama.

My first two Falcon Football books received TOP PICKS from RT Book Reviews and a STARRED review from Library Journal. KISS ME THAT WAY, Cottonbloom Book 1, won the Stiletto Contest and was a finalist for the National Readers Choice Award. THEN HE KISSED ME, Cottonbloom Book 2, was named an Amazon Best Romance of 2016 and was a finalist of the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. TILL I KISSED YOU Book 3, is a finalist for the Maggie Award. And, LEAVE THE NIGHT ON Book 4, was named an iBooks Best Book of August and was featured on NPR! ​WHEN THE STARS COME OUT was named a Best Romance of February by Amazon!

It's almost August and what a crazy few months we've had. We're trying to figure school out for my kids. I hope by 2021, we'll be on the road to normalcy. On the plus side for me, I'm basically a writing hermit anyway:)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Review - All Scot and Bothered

Author:  Kerrigan Byrne
Series:  Devil You Know #2
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:  St. Martin's Paperbacks
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   416
Date of Publication:  September 29, 2020
My Rating:  4 Stars


They are a dangerous duke, a fierce lord, and an infamous earl—dark, bold, brave men who know exactly what they want. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees...

He is first and foremost—at everything. A man who's made his own way in the world through ruthless cunning and sheer force of will. A strong and imposing Scot who can turn on the charm but does not suffer fools. His title: Lord Chief Justice of the High Court. His name: Cassius Gerard Ramsay. His mission: To investigate the goings-on at London's most notorious gaming hell, owned and operated by one of the most intriguing and desirable women he's ever met.


Cecelia Teague was an orphan facing a rather dire future—until a secret benefactor from her mother's scandalous past swept into her life. Sent to prestigious boarding school and later to university, Cecelia believed high society was at her fingertips...Then, from out of nowhere, she became the inheritor of a gambling establishment. Now Cecelia must live two lives: one as a proper lady who finds herself undeniably drawn to Lord Ramsay and the other as a savvy gaming hell owner trying to save her business from the very same man. He has no idea she is both women...and Cecelia would like to keep it that way. But what happens when consuming passion and escalating danger threaten to reveal the truth?


In the first book of this series, How to Love a Duke in Ten Days, Piers, Duke of Redmayne, had his story. Now, Cassius Gerard Ramsay, Lord Chief Justice of the High Court, gets his. He is as strict as can be. Currently, Ramsay is on a mission. He is determined to find out the ins and outs of a notorious gaming hell in London, and is more than shocked when he discovers that it is being run by a woman, Cecelia Teague.

Cecelia had an unfortunate upbringing, but due to a secret benefactor, she not only was able to go to a fantastic boarding school, but also to attend university. Her advantages grew from there, she also inherited a gambling establishment. So, proper English lady by day, and no-nonsense business owner at night. When she discovers that Lord Ramsay is trying to destroy her business. That is bad enough in itself. Considering how drawn Cecelia is to Ramsay opens another can of worms.

What is not to love in this book!? Ramsay is the full package - and truthfully, in historical romances, Scottish men are my absolute favorite. Then we have a strong-willed heroine. I think Kerrigan Byrne excels when it comes to writing her characters, because Cecelia was all but perfect for me. Bring in intrigue and passion, and the result is a wonderful, well-written story that leaves me waiting for more. The fabulous trilogy closes with The Devil in Her Bed, scheduled for release in March 2021.

Many thanks to Kensington Publishing and to NetGalley, as well as Edelweiss, for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Kerrigan has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to belly dance instructor. Now she’s finally able to have the career she’d decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to “grow up to be a romance novelist.” Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story.

She lives in a little Victorian coast town on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State with her wonderful husband. When she’s not writing you can find her sailing, beach combing, kayaking, visiting wineries, breweries, and restaurants with friends, and hiking…okay…wandering aimlessly clenching bear spray in the mountains. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Christmas Witness Conspiracy

Title:   Christmas Witness Conspiracy
AuthorMaggie K. Black
Series:  Protected Identities #4
PublisherLove Inspired Suspense
Genre:   Romantic Suspense
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   368
Date of Publication:   October 13, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars


Reunited in peril…

The family he never knew is under siege.

Detective Liam Bearsmith’s life is turned upside down at Christmastime when the hacker he’s tracking turns out to be the witness he fell for twenty years ago. But Kelly Marshall insists she’s being framed, and he wants to believe her…especially after criminals attack them. Can he clear her name, even as he shields Kelly—and the family he never knew existed? 



Detective Liam Bearsmith is hot on the trail to a tracker. He is beside himself when he discovers that she is none other than the only woman who ever claimed his heart. Now he has to arrest her, but first he has to keep her alive, as there are bad guys at every turn trying to kill her. Her name is Kelly Marshall and they haven't seen each other in over two decades.

Not only are Liam and Kelly connected due to a crime that has taken place, they have a family connection that Liam was previously unaware of. She claims innocence, so just maybe Liam can save Kelly's life, and clear her name at the same time.

What an excellent story! As a Christian fiction romance, faith is part of the story, and that always a plus for me. However, there is a lot of suspense, especially when it comes to trying to stop a group of hackers before major damage is done in Canada. Then, the second chance romance between Liam and Kelly. As far as the suspense is concerned, the book is chock full. The intensity never lets up for one moment in this book, all while Liam and Kelly work together to repair the chasm that is between them.

Christmas Witness Conspiracy is the thrilling fourth book in the Protected Identities series. I hadn't read the previous books, and this book did quite well as a standalone. I did see several characters mentioned who were no doubt part of previous stories, so for those who enjoy the continuity they will enjoy those appearances.

Many thanks to Love Inspired Suspense and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy the following excerpt:


He turned and walked toward the restaurant, so quickly and firmly she couldn’t have grabbed his hand again if she’d wanted to. She followed him up the stairs and across the deck—the empty deck with its picnic tables inches deep in snow. He reached for the door, found it unlocked and pushed it open. They stepped into the restaurant. It was empty and dark. Chairs were stacked upside down on empty tables.

As the door clicked shut behind them, a young man in a thick beard stepped out from behind it and pressed the barrel of a gun to the side of Liam’s head.

“Down on your knees.” The voice was low and mean. His face was lost in shadows and the click of the gun was unmistakable. “You’re about to learn what happens to someone who tries to lie to Bill Leckie, and it ain’t going to be pretty.”

“You tell Bill, I didn’t cross him,” Liam said calmly, raising his hands, “and I await his apology when he figures that out. Now, tell me, what exactly does Bill think I’ve done?”

Then, before the man could even formulate an answer, Liam struck, apparently more interested in distracting his attacker long enough to get the upper hand than hearing what he had to say. Kelly watched as Liam spun toward the gun-wielding man, grabbing the weapon before he could even fire and slamming him into the wall. She felt a gust of wind and heard the door slam and click shut again. She blinked. Liam had disarmed his attacker, thrown him out and locked the door behind him, without even breaking a sweat. Then she felt Liam’s strong hand on her shoulder, guiding her and the still-sleeping baby underneath a table, sheltering them with his body.

“Stay here,” Liam whispered, his voice urgent. His face was just inches from hers. Worry flooded his eyes. “It’s an ambush. That guy won’t be alone and just because I was able to catch him off guard doesn’t mean the others won’t put up more of a fight.” Not to mention the guy he just locked outside would be trying to get back in, no doubt. “There are other doors to this place, but we’d have to go through the kitchen or down the hallway, both of which are risky. This is an easier place to defend. Whatever Bill thinks I’ve done, he won’t want his goons hurting you or the baby. He’s got way too much honor than to allow a woman or child to get hurt on his watch, and has probably already told his attack dogs to leave you alone. I’m the one they’re after. I’ll get you out of here. Just promise me, if you get a clear path to escape, just take Pip and go, okay? Don’t wait for me and don’t look back.”

Before she could answer, his hand slid to the side of her face. His lips brushed over her forehead. Then he rolled back out into the room and leaped to his feet, knocking a table in front of Kelly and Pip’s hiding space as he did so, further shielding and protecting them.

“Like I told Bill, I have a woman and baby with me!” he shouted to the seemingly empty room. He tucked the gun he’d lifted into his belt. “If you’re Bill’s men you’ll know full well that hurting innocent women and children is against his code. Whatever his problem is, it’s with me, not them. And no weapon fire, please. The kid’s asleep and Bill won’t want you making things loud and scaring her awake.”

He sounded so calm and in control, as if he was the only person there who really understood what was going on. Kelly slid Pip’s car seat into the corner against the wall, sheltering it with her body and praying God get back in, no doubt. “There are other doors to this place, but we’d have to go through the kitchen or down the hallway, both of which are risky. This is an easier place to defend. Whatever Bill thinks I’ve done, he won’t want his goons hurting you or the baby. He’s got way too much honor than to allow a woman or child to get hurt on his watch, and has probably already told his attack dogs to leave you alone. I’m the one they’re after. I’ll get you out of here. Just promise me, if you get a clear path to escape, just take Pip and go, okay? Don’t wait for me and don’t look back.”

Before she could answer, his hand slid to the side of her face. His lips brushed over her forehead. Then he rolled back out into the room and leaped to his feet, knocking a table in front of Kelly and Pip’s hiding space as he did so, further shielding and protecting them.

“Like I told Bill, I have a woman and baby with me!” he shouted to the seemingly empty room. He tucked the gun he’d lifted into his belt. “If you’re Bill’s men you’ll know full well that hurting innocent women and children is against his code. Whatever his problem is, it’s with me, not them. And no weapon fire, please. The kid’s asleep and Bill won’t want you making things loud and scaring her awake.”

He sounded so calm and in control, as if he was the only person there who really understood what was going on. Kelly slid Pip’s car seat into the corner against the wall, sheltering it with her body and praying God would protect Pip from realizing they were in danger. Then Kelly crouched up onto the balls of her feet and looked out through gaps in the chairs and fallen table that barricaded her from view. As she watched, two more men, of varying heights, wearing plaid jackets and with full-length beards, stepped out of the shadows. Liam had been so convinced that Bill would protect them and he’d been wrong.

Lord, please keep us safe.

She watched as Liam raised his badge high.

“I’m Liam Bearsmith!” he shouted at the approaching men. “RCMP. Stand down! Now! Or I’ll arrest you for assaulting an officer.”


Maggie K. Black is an award-winning journalist and self-defense instructor. She's lived in the United States, Europe and Middle East, and left a piece of her heart in each. She now makes her home in Canada where she writes stories that make her heart race.

Review - Thursday's Bride

Title:   Thursday's Bride
Author:  Patricia Johns
Genre:   Inspirational Romance 
Publisher:   Zebra Books
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  336
Date of Publication:  March 31, 2020
My Rating:  4 Stars

For a proper young Amish widow struggling to begin again, encountering her reckless first love will test her forgiveness, resolve--and heart . . .

Overwhelmed by grief and tending twin baby daughters, Rosmanda Lapp is without options. She still blames her brother-in-law, Levi, for her husband's accidental death--but she and her aging in-laws need him to keep their farm going. Yet as Levi takes on his responsibilities with a new determination and steadiness, she can't help but regret that she chose his serious-minded brother over him. For Levi is still very much the passionate man she loved--and Rosmanda now has even more reasons to keep him at arm's length . . .

Levi can't blame Rosmanda for staying clear of him. He has mistakes to make up for and must finally do right by his parents. Still, he never got over his brother stealing Rosmanda away. And he can't deny the feelings that even now tempt them back to each other. And when a mistake from her past threatens her reputation, Levi will do whatever it takes to help her--and trust that faith and courage will at last help them claim a future together . . . 


Rosmanda Lapp is still dealing with grief over the loss of her husband, while also trying to be a good mother to twin infant daughters. Currently living with her in-laws, Rosmanda knows that she must soon marry lest she continue being a burden to her deceased husband's family. When her brother-in-law Levi comes back home to help with his father's farm, Rosmanda finds herself confused and distracted. Her feelings are mixed towards Levi, as she blames him for her husband's death, yet she finds that old feelings she had towards Levi are resurfacing.

As Levi and Rosmanda tread uncertain waters, they are forced to consider their pasts and why Rosmanda chose Levi's brother to marry when she clearly loved Levi. What is more is that Rosmanda is forced to examine her own heart - and this does affect her faith. With her efforts of striving to be responsible, Rosmanda does her best to push strong feelings for Levi aside. 

As things turn out Rosmanda is not the only one fighting feelings. Levi recognizes the draw as well. Yes, she married his brother, but he still has very strong feelings for her, but he is wracked with guilt over his brother's death. How will he and Rosmanda get past these barriers? Will the pair use their faith to guide them to make the right decisions?

This touching second chance romance has a nice balance of character development and a wide range of emotions. The conflicts were real in this well-written story, with forgiveness and hope finding a path to Rosmanda and Levi's hearts. This sweet story by Patricia Johns will be with me for a long while. 

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


I am a Harlequin author who writes for the Love Inspired, Western/American Romance and Heartwarming lines. I have recently signed a book deal with Kensington Books for Amish romance, so in 2019, you’ll find me being published by both Harlequin and Kensington. You can find my books in any place that books are sold. I am represented by Rachel Beck of Holloway Literary.

I have my Hon. BA in English Literature from University of Toronto, and I live in Northern Canada where the weather dominates our small talk. Mr. Johns has the distinct challenge of being married to a writer, and our young son has yet to be impressed by seeing his mother’s books on a store shelf. 😉 It’s the perfect life for me.

Click on over to see my books, or check out my blog where I talk about writing, books, marriage, kids, and everything else that distracts me from my work. And leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Under Violent Skies




Detective Sara Hirst has moved to Norfolk Police's Serious Crimes Unit, leaving behind her mother in London. Her mother won't tell Sara the truth about her father. Sara has come to Norfolk to find out why he abandoned her.

Her first call-out is a decomposing body discovered in a ditch on a local farm. How does the murder relate to a recent spate of farm thefts and who wanted the man dead?


Perfect for fans of Joy Ellis, JM Dalgiesh or Angela Marsons, this explosive debut will have you turning the pages till the stunning end.


Author:  Judi Daykin
Publisher:  Joffe Books
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   281
Date of Publication:   September 24, 2020
My Rating:  3 Stars

DS Sara Hirst has just begun a new job as a black woman in a mostly white environment. From the very start she is met with racism and sexism, even hazing from some at the police station from those who didn't think she deserved the job, so jealousy was also a factor. As Sara starts to work on her first case at the police station, she finds out that racism is behind the murder she is investigating. 

The murder took place in a farming community and as things begin to unfold something is certainly not right. As a matter of fact, it is quite tragic. In a different narration, there are two women, one who is being held against her will and is continually being assaulted. Then there is an elderly woman whose land is at stake. Someone wants to buy it and will not take no for an answer. 

But there is something more. Sara took that new job in Norwich because previously she found some information about the father she never knew. Her mother would not talk about her father but she found something that could be clues as to who he was. 

This story does indeed have a lot going on. How do all these things tie together and to what extent do they affect Sara? This book pulls all these stories together in a way that begs the reader's attention. It was difficult to follow at times but it does all come together.

Under a Violent Skies is a promising debut novel by Judi Daykin. Not sure if this will eventually become part of a series, but if it does, Sara is someone easily able to relate to and it would be nice to see whether or not she manages to thrive in her work environment all while successfully managing difficult cases.

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


Yorkshire born, Judi has lived, worked and made theatre in Norfolk for the last forty years. She completed her MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and her debut novel was shortlisted for the Little, Brown UEA writer's prize in 2019.

'I love the beautiful, vast skies and watery landscapes of Norfolk. Our home in a village on the north coast can feel wonderfully remote, even though the nearest town is only a few miles away. I can't imagine living anywhere better than this.'

Judi is also a working actor, and has been known to twiddle the knobs on the sound desk for the variety shows at Cromer Pier. She runs her own theatre company, Broad Horizons, specialising in commissioning new plays recovering and retelling women's stories.