Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Review: When You're Gone by Brooke Harris

1958
In a small town like Athenry, people talk. Everyone’s noticed that the injury which stopped Annie Fagan’s father from working doesn’t prevent him from hitting his wife. But a man’s home is his castle, and no one is going to intervene.

Until Annie runs into Arthur ‘Sketch’ Talbot. Sketch is determined to help Annie, and the two soon fall in love. But Annie’s father won’t give his daughter up lightly, and Sketch’s attempts to save her will have devastating consequences…

Now
Holly’s world is falling apart. Her unborn baby is seriously ill, her relationship is fracturing before her eyes, and her Nana is dying. But Nana has one final wish before she leaves: to read, one last time, the handwritten story of her first – and last – love, Albert ‘Sketch’ Talbot.

As Holly reads to Nana, could it help her find the strength to face her own future? Could fulfilling her grandmother’s final wish really be a gift for Holly?

Compelling, heart-breaking, and emotionally vivid, When You’re Gone will break your heart and fix it anew. A gripping and emotional novel about family, love and sacrifice, for fans of Diane Chamberlain, Susan Lewis and Kathryn Hughes’ The Letter.

Previously published as When It Rains. This edition contains significant editorial revisions


Expected publication: March 14th 2019
Genre: Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Bookouture via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

When You're Gone (previously published as When It Rains) is highly rated on Goodreads so I was excited to dive into it. I don't often look at other ratings but sometimes when I'm looking to discover "new to me" authors it is a good starting point. Unfortunately this can sometimes leave me with high expectations that aren't always met.

When You're Gone told the story of Holly at the end of her Grandmother's life (now) and Annie's love story (then) with a man named Sketch. I thoroughly enjoyed Annie's story and her developing relationship with Sketch. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I craved more of it than I got. The book stayed in the present and dealt with a lot of grief more than it went to Annie's story in the past. The tidbits from the past were too brief and far between for my liking. It left me wanting more.

I found the present day story surrounding Holly very depressing. She was dealing with a dying Grandmother a struggling relationship and a very sick unborn child. The interactions between family members was sometimes juvenile and annoying. I also struggled with some of Holly's decisions and actions. Having just lost my own mother this past year I thought that I would be able to empathise way more than I did with the situation. There was a little disconnect that I can't quite explain. Perhaps this story came a little too soon for me to fully appreciate. Perhaps it was a little too neat, tidy and predictable to be believable. I'm not sure. Perhaps it was simply the fact that I was enjoying Annie and Sketch so much that I was anxious to get back to them.

Overall When You're Gone was a good book but a sad book. You really need to be in the right frame of mind to read it. It was about death and dying but had some beautiful moments and messages mixed in with all of the sadness. It is definitely worth reading when you are in the right frame of mind. I think readers will love Annie and Sketch.





Monday, 18 February 2019

Review: Forgiveness Road by Mandy Mikulencak



n this powerful and ultimately uplifting new novel set in 1970s Mississippi, the acclaimed author of The Last Suppers tells of three generations of women whose lives are thrown into upheaval when a dark secret is brutally exposed . . .

On a hot, humid July morning, sixteen-year-old Cissy Pickering calmly and deliberately shoots her father in the back.

To their Mississippi community, the death of well-regarded attorney Richard Pickering is a fascinating scandal. To Cissy's distraught mother, Caroline, it's an unforgivable crime. But in Cissy's troubled mind, killing her father was the only way she knew to save the two people she loves most in the world. For years, Cissy has endured a devil's bargain with her father, hoping that he would leave her younger sisters alone if she kept his abuse to herself. When that thin trust shattered, she saw no other choice.

Janelle Clayton, the family's matriarch, has kept her distance from her daughter, Caroline--a fact she now regrets--yet she hopes to do right by her granddaughter. Cissy has always been an unusual girl, given to compulsive counting and list-making, but Janelle believes her implicitly. When Cissy is remanded to the Greater Mississippi State Hospital, a caring psychiatrist tries to help, yet new revelations drive Cissy to retreat even further from reality. It will fall to Janelle, despite her own failing health, to become Cissy's advocate and rescuer. And over the course of an unlikely road trip, Janelle and Cissy will confront the truths they've hidden from the world and themselves, finding courage, deep-rooted resilience, and a bond tender and tough enough to transform them both.
 

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 26th 2019 by John Scognamiglio Book

Terri's Thoughts

** I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you**

This story covers some pretty serious topics ranging from sexual abuse, mental health and racial boundaries in the 1970's.  Naturally I had to read it.

I went through several emotions while reading this, disgust, pity, and sadness being some of the predominant ones.  I felt disgust for what happened to Cissy and for the way her mother treated her when the truth came out.  Pity for Cissy who suffered in silence and for her journey in a mental health facility.  Sadness for Janelle for well, pretty much everything.

This is not a story that will give you the warm and fuzzies.  It deals with serious subject matters and while well written, is a heavy read due to the subject matter.  My only item for contemplation was the way Cissy was portrayed.  I couldn't decide if she really did have mental health issues and was written that way, or if her oddities were just coping mechanisms as she read as someone much younger than she really was.  I guess the two are closely linked so it doesn't really matter much.

While not a lot of good is written about in this book, I do have to say that I absolutely loved the ending.  The whole time I was reading this I was wondering how there would be a clean way to conclude the story.  I can say that Mikulencak nailed it!



About the Author


Mandy Mikulencak has been a writer her entire working life. First, as a journalist, then as an editor and PR specialist for two national nonprofits and a United Nations agency. Today she lives in the mountains of Southwest Colorado with her husband. Her historical novel, THE LAST SUPPERS, was released by Kensington Publishing in late 2017. Her next book, FORGIVENESS ROAD, comes out in March 2019. 



Sunday, 17 February 2019

Review: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?


Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Expected publication: February 19th 2019 by The Dial Press
Genre: Womans Fiction/Chic Lit

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I've read a ton of Sophie Kinsella books. I have loved almost all of them. She has a way of bringing quirky and unique characters to life on the page. Most of them are dysfunctional but grow and learn as the story progresses. This is what her books are known for.

Fixie Farr definitely fit into the quirky and unique category with her need to fix things and her unusual relationship with her family. For some reason though, I had a harder time getting behind her than characters in past books. I found myself completely frustrated with her unhealthy and self deprecating obsession with her brother's best friend Ryan. Her level of self worth and confidence and her total ignorance of all the warning signs made me feel sad when I know some of the events in the book were meant to be funny. It was hard for me to look past all of her issues to enjoy the plot or the direction it was heading. I just wanted to call a therapist!

If you were to take Ryan out of the picture (or to the degree he was) the story improved. I enjoyed most of the parts involving Fixie and Sebastian but I felt that story line took too much of a backseat in the beginning. Their story didn't really pick up until the book was half finished.

There were moments of what I have come to love in a Sophie Kinsella book hidden in the pages but not as many as I would have liked. I wouldn't say that I disliked this book but it definitely wasn't as great as the ones I've read in the past.





About the Author

Sophie Kinsella has sold over 40 million copies of her books in more than 60 countries, and she has been translated into over 40 languages.

Sophie Kinsella first hit the UK bestseller lists in September 2000 with her first novel in the Shopaholic series – The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (also published as Confessions of a Shopaholic). The book’s heroine, Becky Bloomwood – a fun and feisty financial journalist who loves shopping but is hopeless with money – captured the hearts of readers worldwide. Becky has since featured in seven further bestselling books, Shopaholic Abroad (also published as Shopaholic Takes Manhattan), Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic & Sister, Shopaholic & Baby, Mini Shopaholic, Shopaholic to the Stars and Shopaholic to the Rescue. Becky Bloomwood came to the big screen in 2009 with the hit Disney movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, starring Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy.

Sophie has also written seven standalone novels which have all been bestsellers in the UK, USA and other countries around the world: Can You Keep A Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, Wedding Night, and My Not So Perfect Life, which was a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for Best Fiction in 2017.

In 2014 she published a Young Adult novel Finding Audrey about a teenage girl with social anxiety and her madcap family, and in January 2018, Sophie published her first illustrated book for young readers about the charming adventures of a mother-daughter fairy duo, Mummy Fairy and Me (also published as Fairy Mom and Me).

Sophie’s latest novel, Surprise Me, published in February 2018, presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.

Sophie wrote her first novel under her real name, Madeleine Wickham, at the tender age of 24, whilst she was working as a financial journalist. The Tennis Party was immediately hailed as a success by critics and the public alike and became a top ten bestseller. She went on to publish six more novels as Madeleine Wickham: A Desirable Residence, Swimming Pool Sunday, The Gatecrasher, The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements.

Sophie was born in London. She studied music at New College, Oxford, but after a year switched to Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She now lives in London, UK, with her husband and family.


Connect with Sophie

 

Friday, 15 February 2019

Series Blitz: The Unborn Series by Amber Lynn Natusch


From UNBORN, the first installment in the series…
 
BORN INTO MYSTERY.  SHACKLED TO DARKNESS.
Khara has spent centuries discovering everything about the Underworld―except her place in it. But when she’s ripped from her home, solving the riddle of her origins becomes more important than ever. With evil stalking her through the dark alleys of Detroit, she finds salvation from an unlikely source: a group of immortal warriors sworn to protect the city. Khara needs their help to unravel the tangled secrets of who and what she is—secrets many seem willing to kill for. But time is running out, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer necessity binds her to an arrogant fallen angel.
Can their shaky alliance withstand that which threatens her, or will her soul fall victim to the unholy forces that hunt her―those that seek the Unborn?


 

About the Book

The Unborn Series
by Amber Lynn Natusch
Genre
Adult
Urban Fantasy
Paranormal Romance
Publisher
47North
Purchase Your Copies Today for Just $0.99 Each!The Unborn Series on Amazon
Also Available On



UNSPOKEN, Unborn Book Three, Coming Soon!




About Amber Lynn Natusch


AMBER LYNN NATUSCH is the author of the bestselling Caged series for adults. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, and is still deeply attached to her Canadian roots. She loves to dance and practice Muay Thai―but spends most of her time running a chiropractic practice with her husband, raising two young children, and attempting to write when she can lock herself in the bathroom for ten minutes of peace. Dare You to Lie is her debut YA novel with Tor Teen.
Newsletter  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon






Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Release Week Bltz & Giveaway: Seductive A Romance Anthology


 
EIGHT STEAMY ROMANCE READS.
ONE ANTHOLOGY YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS.
Pure Textuality PR is proud to present SEDUCTIVE, an anthology which speaks directly to the romance lover in all of us. Featuring eight of today’s best romantic storytellers, this anthology promises to deliver the love stories you crave.

FEATURED AUTHORSBrea Viragh, Donna Mercer, Jade C. Jamison, Krista Ames, M.C. Cerny, Marlow Kelly, Michelle De Leon, RaeAnne Hadley



 

 

 

About the Book

SEDUCTIVE Anthology
by Various Authors
Series
n/a; anthology
Genre
Adult
Contemporary Romance
Publisher
Pure Textuality PR
Publication Date
February 12, 2019
Purchase Your Copy Today For Just $0.99!
Amazon
Also Available On



Blitz Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of the SEDUCTIVE anthology, we’re giving away one $100 Amazon gift card and five paperback copies of the anthology!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. Five winners will each be chosen to win a paperback copy of the anthology. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR.  Giveaway ends 3/31/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. By entering, you agree to sign up for the newsletters of the eight participating authors and Pure Textuality PR’s reader newsletter.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!


About the Authors

Brea Viragh

SEDUCTIVE Story: Hold My Heart
BREA VIRAGH is a contemporary and paranormal romance writer based in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is a proud Gryffindor, a graduate of Brakebills, and a member of Fairy Tail. When she isn’t writing and daydreaming about her newest project, her hobbies include binge-watching HGTV, scouring thrift shops for goodies, and maintaining her alpha status among her puppy and three cats.



Donna Mercer

SEDUCTIVE Story: Watermelon SpiceEditor’s Note: This story is not featured in the paperback version of the anthology.
DONNA R. MERCER writes romances that she doesn’t like to label but contains bold characters that are not afraid to push the boundaries. She brings her own unique outlook on life to her writing which she shares with her readers. It’s cheaper than therapy. Join her on a journey into the unknown wonders of her mind. Seatbelts are optional.



Jade C. Jamison

SEDUCTIVE Story: My Boyfriend’s Dad
“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” While you’re more likely to see JADE C. JAMISON headbanging than Dirty Dancing, she—like Baby—won’t be put in a corner…or a box. So even though you can’t really stick her books in one genre, you could say she mostly writes steamy Contemporary Romance—and, while you’re at it, you’ll notice in her stories that Jade freaking loves Colorado, hard music, coffee, bad words, and CHOCOLATE!!! And so do her characters.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

New Release Blitz: Bad Breed by Amanda Heartley


 
Bad Breed. There’s no name more appropriate.
Flynn
Violence has dogged me all my life.
An asshat father, a cruel foster home.
Seems I’m following the same path.
Only worse.
I lost someone, and it hurt me bad.
Drugs and street crime were all I knew.
But that all ended the day I got patched.
We owned Hardale, CA. It was our town.
Until that firefight with the Cobras.
Now, we’re laying low…or supposed to be.
But a cute waitress soon changes all that.
She’s beautiful, though I can’t get involved.
Risking my brothers is the last thing I want.
Our lives are poles apart.
But I want her in my bed.
And I’ll fight again to get her.
If you love dirty-talking, bike-riding, gun-toting hotties, Bad Breed is a full-length, standalone MC romance with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a happy-ever-after!


About the Book

Bad Breed
by Amanda Heartley
Series
n/a; standalone
Genre
Adult
Contemporary Romance
Biker Romance
Publisher
Cheeky Books Ltd.
Publication Date
February 2, 2019
Purchase Your Copy Today for Just $0.99!
Amazon  |  Amazon Paperback  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks  |  Google Play


About Amanda Heartley



USA Today bestselling author, AMANDA HEARTLEY, writes heart-warming steamy romance, featuring strong, sexy bad boys and feisty, sensual women.
Her stories take you on an emotional ride of enduring love and steamy sex that always end with a happy-ever-after, and her evocative characters will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.
You can join in the fun in Amanda’s reader group to talk about love, life, books, and share a little man-candy.

Newsletter  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Facebook Reader Group  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Amazon









Sunday, 10 February 2019

Review: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

15 hrs and 1 min
Alaska, 1974. Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.

For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America's last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents' passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights' lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt's fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in 18 hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: They are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska - a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night audiobook about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.



Audible Audio, Unabridged, 16 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Macmillan Audio 
Genre: Fiction/Historical Fiction/Adult Fiction
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Kristine's Thoughts:

Kristin Hannah did it again. She penned another novel that completely captivated me and threw me right in the middle of the story. I listened to this book and thank goodness it had an amazing narrator. I have listened to a couple of other books that Julia Whelan has narrated and she is fabulous. The narrator can truly make or break the book.

This book has been out for some time so I won't go into too much detail. There are literally thousands of reviews that do that. What I will do is tell you what it was that I loved so much about this book besides the general plot. This book took you to Alaska in the 1970's literally. With the descriptions and attention to detail it made the reader feel like they were there. You could almost feel the cold and isolation. A very vivid picture of the location was painted. Not only was it easy to visualise but it was fascinating. Alaska was just as much a character as the people in the book.

As far as the characters went, I ached for Leni and Cora. I went through many emotions while listening to their story unfold. There was anger, frustration, fear, sadness and hope. The resilience of these two was more than I could possibly put in words. Their story was not easy. Their lives were not easy.

I can't recommend this book enough. It was truly a wonderful and captivating story that I won't forget any time soon.



About the Author
Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People's Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and The Week.

Kristin's highly anticipated new release, The Great Alone, will be published on February 6, 2018 (St. Martin's Press). The novel, an epic love story and intimate family drama set in Alaska in the turbulent 1970's is a daring, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival and the wildness that lives in both nature and man. It has been listed as one of the most anticipated novels of the year by The Seattle Times, Bustle.com, PopSugar, Working Mother, Southern Living, and Goodreads.

The Nightingale is currently in production at Tri Star, with award-winning director Michelle MacLaren set to direct. Home Front was optioned for film by 1492 Films (produced the Oscar-nominated The Help) with Chris Columbus attached to write, produce, and direct. Movie news on The Great Alone is coming soon.


Connect with Kristin