Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review: The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White


Hi all,

This was the first novel I’ve read by Karen White and I absolutely enjoyed it. Here is the book description and my thoughts on this story.

 

The Night the Lights Went Out

Karen White

 

Book Description:

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.

Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.

Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather's world.

In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women....

 
Buy now on:




 

My 5 Star Review:

Marilee Dunlap is reeling after her divorce and moves with her two children into a sweet cottage home that she is renting from the elderly Sugar Prescott, a well-to-do woman who doesn’t suffer fools. The two women strike up an unlikely friendship, and Sugar feels compelled to tell Marilee stories of her scandalous past. Meanwhile, Marilee is facing trouble as a local blogger is intent upon digging up her own secrets. Despite that, Marilee is soon accepted by the most popular mother in the school, Heather Blackford, and they become fast friends. Sugar warns Marilee about Heather, but Marilee doesn’t see her new friend the way Sugar paints her. It won’t be long before Marilee will wish she’d heeded Sugar’s warning.

This was such an entertaining novel with a touch of intrigue and mystery included. I adored the character, Sugar, despite her prim and proper ways. Her story of her youth is so interesting that it’s hard to believe this is fiction. And the relationship that grows between Marilee and the uptight Sugar is heartwarming. The plot is more than one or two stories—it is many stories and mysteries infused into one novel. It keeps the reader thinking throughout and is an enjoyable read. I highly recommend.

(I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)

 

About the Author:

I grew up being a voracious reader and it was a natural step to turn my interest to writing. I have published award-winning and bestselling novels including my latest release THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT published by Penguin Random House in April, 2017. This is the book I'm calling my "Steel Magnolias" meets "The Girl on the Train." Spanning from the Depression era to modern day, it's a story of three very different women, and the true meaning of friendship.

I write what others have termed "grit-lit"--southern women's fiction, as well as a contemporary paranormal mystery series (The House on Tradd Street is the 1st book in the series) set in Charleston, South Carolina. All of my books are set in the US South, and feature a female protagonist at a crossroads in her life.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Book Review: For The Brave (The Gentrys of Paradise, Book 2) by Holly Bush

Hi all,

Those of you who read my blog already know that I love books by author Holly Bush. I began reading her novels years ago starting with Train Station Bride, and have read every one ever since. So, when the opportunity arose to read her latest – For The Brave – I jumped at it. Was I ever in for a sweet surprise. I’m already a big fan and already believed that Holly was a talented writer, but For The Brave proved to me that she is much more than just talented. Her writing is vivid and compelling, making it difficult to put this book down. I’m in awe of how much she has grown as a writer, and I think we should look forward to big things happening for Holly Bush.

Here is more about the book and my 5-Star review.

 

For The Brave
(The Gentrys of Paradise, Book 2)

Holly Bush

 

Book Description:

1869 – Matthew Gentry joined the Confederate Army at eighteen years of age after an argument with his father, leaving Paradise, his Virginia home and famed horse breeding stables, for the fields of Gettysburg. Having survived the War Between the States, Gentry is haunted by the violence and inhumanity of the war. He continues to roam the country long after the conflict is over, finding solace in the arms of soiled doves and at the bottom of whiskey bottles. Finally traveling home after learning of a family tragedy, he nearly loses his life in a spring-flooded riverbed.

Annie Campbell, lone survivor of her family, lives at a remote farm near the North River, raising pigs and trying to grow enough to feed herself, and to stay out of the crosshairs of the Thurmans, violent men who run the town of Bridgewater. Annie’s secrets threaten her safety, even as she rescues and nurses Matthew Gentry.

Matthew knows he must return to Paradise, to grieve with his family. Will his heart lead him back to Bridgewater and Annie Campbell?

 

Buy Now:




 

My 5-Star Review:

For The Brave continues the story of The Gentrys of Paradise which began with the novella, Into The Evermore. Eleanor and Beau’s son, Matthew, leaves home at age eighteen to fight in the Civil War. After what he’s experienced at Gettysburg, as well as other battles, he’s found it easier to lose himself in a bottle and by traveling anywhere except home. Until one day when an beloved employee and good friend of his family finally finds him. Tragedy has struck his family, and it is time for Matthew to come home. However, on the way home, Matthew almost dies crossing a swollen river and is saved and cared for by the spunky Annie Campbell. After months of recuperating at Annie’s home, Matthew finds himself drawn to the strong, caring Annie. He is torn as he knows he must go home, but he doesn’t want to leave Annie behind.

For The Brave immediately pulls you back in history to a time and place when life was simpler but difficult. Matthew starts out in the story as a rough and tough, hard drinking and fun seeking man who is reigned in quickly after hearing he must go home. While recuperating at Annie’s, we see his softer side as he instinctively wants to protect her, despite her protests. Matthew is a fully fleshed out character with a past that we soon learn about that helps you to understand how he’d ended up so unhappy. In turn, Annie’s character is also well-written and fully rounded. I found myself wishing only the best for these two haunted characters who needed love to make them feel whole again.

Vivid, well-written, and compelling. This novel is definitely author Holly Bush’s greatest achievement so far, and I can’t wait to read the next one in this series.

(I received an advance copy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review.)

 

About the Author:

“. . . I intended to be fearless tonight, and found it was easier to face cannons in battle than show feelings that might not be returned. But you’re my brave warrior.” For the Brave

Holly Bush books are set during the turbulent and transformative years of the late 1800’s. The first two books in her newest series, The Gentrys of Paradise, will release in the spring of 2017, beginning with Into the Evermore where readers will meet Virginia horse breeders, Eleanor and Beauregard Gentry. The following books will feature their children, Adam, Matthew, and Olivia. For the Brave is Matthew’s story and is the first full length book of the series.

The Crawford Family Series following the fortunes of the three Boston born Crawford sisters and includes Train Station Bride, Contract to Wed, Her Safe Harbor, and companion novella, The Maid’s Quarters. Cross the Ocean and Charming the Duke are both British set Victorian romances. Fan favorites stand-alone historical romance novels include Romancing Olive and Reconstructing Jackson. Her books are described as ‘emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance.’

Holly makes her home with her husband, one happy Labrador Retriever, and two difficult cats in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

 

Connect with Holly:


Twitter @hollybushbooks,


 

 

Check out my other reviews of Holly Bush’s books:

Train Station Bride

 

Contract to Wed

 

The Maid’s Quarters

 

Her Safe Harbor

 

Charming the Duke

 

Cross the Ocean

 

Romancing Olive

 

Reconstructing Jackson

 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

One Wrong Turn Release Day!

 
It's here...
 
 
 
 
The day has finally come!
 
 
ONE WRONG TURN
 
 
Release day!
 
I just loved writing Jess and Clay's heartfelt story of love, loss, and redemption. I hope you'll love it too.
 
Be sure to grab your copy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
or you can order from your favorite bookstore.
 
Book Description:
 

“I’m her husband.”
 The words roll off Clay Connors’s tongue, but with his estranged wife lying in a coma—with no assurance that she’ll awaken—he knows that he is perilously close to losing everything. A singular, terrifying accident has left Jess Connors suspended between life and death. Now Clay is reunited with the family he hasn’t seen for two years, including the daughters he left behind.
Clay should have been there for his family. Never should have stayed away so long. The alcohol that took over his life destroyed everything but a shred of his self-preservation. Sober and haunted, Clay revisits the memory of love, marriage, and how his life unraveled. He hopes that by trying to reconnect with the daughter who blames him and the daughter who barely knew him, he can find a light of hope in this darkest hour. As his family faces its most grueling, emotional test yet, Clay must summon the courage to make right what was wrong—and find forgiveness from his harshest judge: himself.
 
 
 
What readers are saying about One Wrong Turn:


Reader's Favorite ~ "Poignant and heartfelt."  http://ow.ly/iZ9N30aQSDV
 
Book Review by Novel Deelights - "A truly beautifully written story." http://ow.ly/CFFu30cJllo

 

Books and Bindings Book Review Blog ~ "A poignant, thought-provoking, and engaging story." http://ow.ly/TKDp30cCSpv

 

Bibliotica Book Review Blog  ~ "Vivid settings and vibrant characters."  http://ow.ly/s6D530cDuak

 


Please leave a review after you've read it. Thank you.
 
Enjoy!
 
 


Saturday, May 20, 2017

One Wrong Turn Amazon Echo Giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who entered!
 
Congrats to the winners:
 
 
Rebecca B. - Amazon Echo
 
Brenda H. - $25 Amazon Gift Card
 
Kathleen K. - $25 Amazon Gift Card
 
 
Don't worry - I'll have more giveaways in the future. Sign up for my
Reader's List so you won't miss out!



 

We are only a month away from the release of my
 
new novel ~ One Wrong Turn ~ and it's time
 
to celebrate with a Giveaway!
 
 
 Grand Prize:
 
An Amazon Echo
(I have one and just love all the features!)
 
2nd and 3rd Prizes:
 
$25 Amazon Gift Card
 
 
Contest runs
May 20th - June 20th
 
Easy entry.
Enter using the Rafflecopter below.
 
Or, you can leave a comment below. Include your
Facebook or Twitter link in the comment so I can contact you
if you win.
 
 Good Luck!
 
 
Contest Terms
 
Contest is open to U.S. Residents Only.
(Sorry to all my international readers - I do appreciate you!
But shipping is crazy expensive to other countries.)
Winners will be contacted and given 3 days to respond. If there
is no response within that three days, a new
winner will be contacted. Only one Amazon Echo
and only two $25 Gift Cards will be awarded.
 
 
 
 
And don't forget to pre-order
 
One Wrong Turn
 
in Kindle or Paperback format.  
 
 
Enter Now!
 
 



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