Monday, February 16, 2015

New Release: If Only by Norma Budden

Here is an exciting new release by author Norma Budden.


If Only

Norma Budden
 
 
Book Description:

While still in high school, Demi gave birth to a baby girl and, feeling she had no other options, put her up for adoption. Having moved on with her life – gotten married and having had two other children – 16 years later, Demi Glenn suddenly cannot get her firstborn daughter out of her mind.

After hiring two private detectives but getting no solid information to go on, Demi turns to the one man who will not come back empty-handed, who will not give up until he finds the answers – David Alexander, a married father of two daughters – the father of the baby she had given up so long ago who had no idea he had sired a child as a teen.

Together, will they be able to find their daughter without their families being torn apart or will fate intervene, upsetting their lives in a way they'd never dreamed in the pursuit of finding the daughter they can no longer live without? 

 

Excerpt:

David didn't leave his office as he had planned nor did he immediately call his wife to inform her he would be late getting home. Instead he sat down in his chair in a daze. Dem gave birth to my baby. We share a daughter.

He picked up the photo of his family, his wife and daughters smiling brilliantly beside him.

If Dem had told me, I would've married her; I loved her with every part of my being. We would've been happy together, too, even if we struggled in the early years trying to raise a baby. I always wondered why she broke things off, why she refused my calls – but, eventually, I met Krista and moved on.

Looking at the family photo, tracing his index finger over the smiling faces of the three beautiful women in his life, David inhaled deeply.

There's no way I can imagine not having Krista and our girls in my life. Decisions made in the past were meant to be. I could never give up, or ruin, the life Krista and I share, not even for Dem.

Setting the photo back on his desk, he closed his eyes and frowned. Where is my oldest daughter? What's her name? Does she have brown hair and green eyes like me or does she look like her mother, or both of us? Is she okay or do we have reason to be concerned?

Taking one more look at the family photo on his desk, he made a decision he hoped he would not regret.

I can't tell Krista about this, not yet. She'll have questions I can't answer. It would tear me up not being able to answer even the simplest questions about my own child, even if I had never known about her.

David rose from his chair and walked to the window, pinching the bridge of his nose. There was no question his soul was, now, tormented.

 

E-book price: $2.99

 
Buy If Only at these retailers:

Nook 




 
 
 
About the Author:

 
Norma Budden currently makes her home in Arctic Canada where she has lived for more than two decades. Administration Manager by day and writer/mother/grandmother by night, Norma knows what it's like to be busy and appreciates moments of solitude, perhaps, more than the average person.
Though Norma's first serious attempts at writing involved poetry and song, she later went on to write non-fiction titles. However, over recent years, her truest passion seems to be in writing stories to appeal to readers' emotions, with a touch of mystery and romance built into the stories.
Norma is the proud author of the Freedom in Love Series which, currently, has three titles published: An Affair to Remember, When Love Abides and Soul Confessions. Divided Loyalties and The Promise, the fourth and fifth titles of the series, will be released in 2015.
Norma has also written other novels and short stories and is in the process of promoting her newest release, If Only – a full-length stand-alone novel which readers claim can easily be turned into another series. However, at this time, Norma's intention is to write other stand-alone titles to draw in readers who rarely read books published as part of a series.
Back to If Only, this story is different because, though Norma has written inspirational fiction titles in the past, this was her first venture into the paranormal. If Only introduces us to Demi and David, both married to other people, each with two small children. However, Demi and David had a past – a past which involved the birth of a baby girl, whom David didn't know existed.
As the story progresses, David learns about his oldest daughter and the connection the two share is so powerful that it has been said the story wouldn't be the same without it. The story is affecting readers in ways the author never dreamed.
 
Connect with Norma:

 
Twitter    @NormaBudden     

Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Review: The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank


Hi all,

I was intrigued by the title The Last Original Wife when I saw it was on sale on Amazon. I just had to try it, and I am so glad I did. I really enjoyed this novel with its humor and drama. This is the first novel I've read by Dorothea Benton Frank, and I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. Here is more about the novel and my five star review.

 
The Last Original Wife

Dorothea Benton Frank

 

Book Description:

Leslie Anne Greene Carter is the last original wife among her husband's group of cronies. They've all traded in their first wives-the middle-aged women they long ago promised to love and cherish 'til death did them part-for riper peaches: younger . . . blonder . . . more enhanced models.

Leslie is proud of her status and the longevity of her marriage. Sure the spark isn't quite as bright and sometimes takes a little longer to flame. And it wouldn't be too much to ask if her husband paid just an itty bit more attention to her desires. But there's something to be said for a comfortable and deeply familiar relationship. Or at least she thinks until the day, out golfing with her husband and his friends, she slips into a manhole. And nobody realizes that she's gone.

That one misstep opens Leslie's eyes to the sham her perfect life has become. No longer will she be invisible. No longer will she accept being taken for granted. With the healing powers of South Carolina's lush white beaches, candy-colored sunsets, and feisty and funny residents, Leslie is going to transform herself and reclaim the strong, vibrant, sexy woman she was meant to be.

The Last Original Wife is classic Dorothea Benton Frank: an intoxicating tale of friendship and love that is as refreshing as a soothing breeze across a golden lowcountry marsh and as invigorating as a dip in cool, salty waters on a sizzling South Carolina summer day.


 
My 5 Star Review:

The first thing I have to say is that this is a novel – novels are meant to entertain – and that is what this story does. As I read other reviews of this book, picking the story to pieces, I wondered why these readers bought this book. Fiction is not always supposed to have some deeper meaning that will change your life. Sometimes – actually most of the time – fiction is just an escape from reality, no matter how much you can relate to the characters. That is what The Last Original Wife does – it entertains and lets you escape from your own life into the life of someone else. You delve into their problems, heartaches, and happiness for a while and forget your own.

I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the flowery prose, I enjoyed the over-the-top drama – I just loved it. Some of my favorite authors are southern women, and Dorothea has become one of my new favorites. Southern writers seem to have a flair with words that I find entertaining and a wicked sense of humor as well. From the very first sentence, you know this writer has her own unique style, and I found it intriguing and refreshing.

The Last Original Wife is not a novel for young women who still believe their marriages will last forever. It's for women who've been in the trenches of marriage and, even if you're still with your first husband, you can still sympathize with some or all of what Leslie feels. Wives and mothers, whether working outside the home or homemakers, ARE taken for granted many times by their spouses and children, and made to feel guilty if they don't always put their family first. The fact that Leslie could finally say "enough!" and walk away to figure her life out was wonderful. I loved Leslie's brother, Harlan, and his dog, her best friend, and all the other characters peppered throughout the story. Well, I wasn't really a fan of Wesley's, but then, that was the point. And although there are a few plot points that seem over-the-top – I didn't mind. Like I said earlier—this is fiction—so those plot points were fine with me.

If you enjoy a well-written page turner with wicked humor, you're sure to enjoy this novel.

 
I hope you'll give this novel a try.

Cheers,
Deanna

Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review: Contract to Wed by Holly Bush

Hi all,

The very first book I read by author Holly Bush was Train Station Bride, and I just loved it. Since then, I've read every one of her novels and have enjoyed them all. I just recently had the honor of reviewing her upcoming novel, Contract to Wed, and I have to say, it is her absolute best novel to date. It is the second book in the Crawford Family series, but it could also be a stand-alone book as well. Believe me when I say – if you love historical romance, you will love this novel. Here is more about the book and my review.

Contract to Wed

Holly Bush
 
Book Description:

1891 . . . Jolene Crawford Crenshaw, heiress and Boston socialite, went from her family home directly to Landonmore upon her marriage, the mansion she shared with her handsome and charismatic husband. She’d never in her life worried in the slightest over anything as crass as the dollars required to maintain that home or the lifestyle she’d been born to. Her extensive yearly wardrobe, the stables and the prime horseflesh within it, even the solid silver forks and knifes that graced her table, were expected and required to maintain the social standing that she’d cultivated over the years. But suddenly she was a widow with little money and just her pride and her secrets to keep her upright.

Max Shelby made his fortune in oil wells and cattle but lost the love of his life the day his wife died. Now, his happy, carefree daughter needs instruction and guidance as she grows into a young lady and his dream of becoming a Senator from his adopted state of Texas seems out of reach with few political or social connections. The right wife would solve both problems. As it happens, his sister knows of a woman, a recent widow, charming, beautiful and socially astute, but in reduced circumstances, who may want to begin again. Max signed the wedding contract sight unseen.

Will Jolene be able to shed her sorrows, anger and fears to begin anew away from the censure and hidden tragedy that marred her life? Is her new husband, confident, strong and capable Max Shelby, the man, the only man, to see past her masks to find the woman beneath?

 
This novel will be out February 5, 2015

Pre-Order on:


 
My 5 Star Review:

Boston socialite Jolene Crawford Crenshaw's life changed completely when her husband died and left his considerable wealth to Jolene's niece. Unable to maintain her current lifestyle, she decides to take Texan cattleman Max Shelby's offer of marriage in return for her to teach social skills to his daughter as well as help him run for state senator. The last thing Jolene expects is to fall under the spell of the handsome Max, but she finds it difficult to resist his charms. But Jolene holds secrets in her heart that keep her from being close with anyone, and falling in love is luxury that she can't allow herself to do.

Holly Bush has outdone herself with Contract to Wed.  This extremely well-written story was impossible to put down. The descriptions were vivid, the characters jumped off the page, and the storyline was fascinating and heartwarming. You can picture Jolene's stiff back and unsmiling expression. You can see Max's strong build and handsome face. He is so adorable; you actually fall in love with him. You find yourself cheering these two opposites on, hoping they will connect. It is a beautiful story of love, heartache, loss, and family. As far as I'm concerned, this is Holly's best novel to date! This is a must read for all lovers of historical romance. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.

 
Check out these other reviews of novels by Holly Bush:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I hope you will pick up a copy of Contract to Wed. You will not be disappointed.

Cheers,

Deanna

Friday, January 9, 2015

Book Review: Miramont's Ghost by Elizabeth Hall

Hi all,

I just finished this novel that I couldn't put down. I purchased it through Amazon's First Read's program (Prime Members can download two free first reads a month), and I'm so happy that I did. If you enjoy well-written historical novels with a dark side - this one is for you. Here is more about the novel and my review.

Miramont's Ghost
Elizabeth Hall


Book Description:

Miramont Castle, built in 1897 and mysteriously abandoned three years later, is home to many secrets. Only one person knows the truth: Adrienne Beauvier, granddaughter of the Comte de Challembelles and cousin to the man who built the castle.

Clairvoyant from the time she could talk, Adrienne’s visions show her the secrets of those around her. When her visions begin to reveal dark mysteries of her own aristocratic French family, Adrienne is confronted by her formidable Aunt Marie, who is determined to keep the young woman silent at any cost. Marie wrenches Adrienne from her home in France and takes her to America, to Miramont Castle, where she keeps the girl isolated and imprisoned. Surrounded by eerie premonitions, Adrienne is locked in a life-or-death struggle to learn the truth and escape her torment.

Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, this hauntingly atmospheric tale is inspired by historical research into the real-life Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs, Colorado

 
Buy Miramont's Ghost:



(This novel is currently in pre-order.)

My 4-Star Review:

I love a good ghost story, especially set in the early 1900s, so this novel attracted me right away. Castles, ghosts, and damsels in distress—what more could you want? But I found that this novel was much more than I'd originally expected.

Miramont's Ghost is based on a true story and is a mixture of truth and fiction. I love it when an author takes a story or myth and creates a novel around it. Author Elizabeth Hall is definitely a talented writer whose words flow across the page. I love how she wrote this story with an old-style flair—like you'd read in novels such as Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. There is plenty of flowery prose and description. While some today find that tiring, I actually enjoy it. She described the characters to perfection, so you could visualize them as if in a movie. She definitely hooked me in and kept me reading, even when the story began to turn darker and darker. I had to read to the end to see what happened.

Many reviewers have complained about the end of this novel, but I don't think they have taken into account that this is based on a true story—so it really did have to end the way it did. You can't conjure up a happily ever after if it isn't supposed to be that way. Therefore, even though I wasn't a fan on how the story progressed, I understood that it needed to conclude the way it did. And actually, I did like the ending. It was different—and sometimes different is much more interesting.

My only complaint about this novel is that there were too many point of views. Most novels are written in one, two, maybe three POVs. This one gave you the POV of practically every character, and often in the same paragraph. It is confusing to the reader because you have to keep track of who is talking or thinking. I believe this story could have been written entirely in the main character's, Adrienne's, POV. With a little creativity, we'd have still understood what the other characters were thinking by their reactions or conversations. Overall, though, I did enjoy this novel.
 
 
As of today, Miramont's Ghost is #1 on Amazon overall. I really enjoyed it - I hope you do, too.
 
Cheers,
Deanna

The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews