THE WINTER SISTERS by Tim Westover is a book that will stay with you long after the final page

Title: THE WINTER SISTERS

Author: TIM WESTOVER

Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION

Length: 322 PAGES

Publisher: QW PUBLISHERS

The Winter Sisters: A Novel

Received From: NETGALLEY
https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/172559

Release Date: AUGUST 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9849748-9-4

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Folklore, medicine, witches, and superstition in the Georgia mountains.

Dr. Waycross knows bleeding and blistering, the best scientific medicine of 1822. He arrives in the Georgia mountains to bring his modern methods to the superstitious masses. But the local healers, the Winter sisters, claim to treat yellow fever, consumption, and the hell-roarin’ trots just as well as he can. Some folks call the sisters “Herb Women;” some call them “Witches.” Waycross calls them “Quacks.”

But when the threat of rabies—incurable and fatal—comes to town, Dr. Waycross and the Winter sisters must combine their science and superstition in a desperate search for a remedy.

Can they find a miracle cure, or has the age of miracles passed?

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ALL AUTHOR PROCEEDS FROM THIS NOVEL ARE BEING DONATED TO CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA – CHILD LIFE DEPARTMENT
Over $10,000 donated since August 9, 2019!
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MY REVIEW:

1811 in the mountains of northern Georgia, three sisters stand upon a bare mountain plateau. These women are the Winter sisters. They are using wax to try to determine their futures.

Ten years later, the Winter sisters are no longer living in the village. The new Preacher has succeeded in turning some of the townspeople against them, successfully running them out of town.

The Winter sisters are sometimes called healers and sometimes called witches, it depends on the person who is speaking, and also who might be listening.

Art by SUSAN FARRELL

The sisters might be young, but they know herbal remedies for most ailments and have ministered to the residents of their small frontier town for years.

Art by Susan Farrell

When the town recruits a doctor from the city, he arrives ready to educate these backwater hicks as to how science and the latest techniques of medicine will cure all their ills.

However, when he arrives and keeps hearing about the Winter sisters and their supposed cures, he sets out to discredit them.

What happens next surprises the doctor, the Winter sisters and everyone reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that you are unable to predict what will happen at any given moment in this story. It kept me guessing, which is rare.

National Park Service Photo

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THE WINTER SISTERS is a fabulous book with terrific characters and a story that will stay with you long after the final page.

The descriptions both of people’s lives and of the sceney and setting are so vivid that readers can picture tem so clearly it is almost as if you create a movie in your head as to how everything and everyone looks.

Photo by John Rice Irwin, Sept. 1979

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I rate this book as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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***Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***
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QUOTE:

“I never treat hopeless cases. The age of miracles is past.”
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TO ORDER SIGNED COPIES OF THIS TERRIFIC BOOK, CLICK HERE.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tim Westover, a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Georgia, lives in suburban Atlanta. Born in the north, educated in England, and frequent visitor to Russia, he found his home in the North Georgia mountains.

Russell Farm Historic Site –
Mountain Rest, SC

The foundations of a nameless old house on the backstreets of Lawrenceville

In addition to writing, Westover enjoys programming, playing the clawhammer banjo, and raising his three-year-old daughter to be a modern American eccentric.

Tim playing the PANjo

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
https://www.timwestover.com/

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THE QUEST by Lara Kellett-Smith is Young Adult Fantasy Fiction at it’s Very Best

Title: THE QUEST

Series: FIRST SNOW – BOOK ONE

Author: LARA KELLETT-SMITH

Genre: FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FICTION, FANTASY FICTION, SOCIAL THEMES

Length: 392 PAGES

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: DECEMBER 30, 2018

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Hashtag tricked.

Hashtag coerced.

Hashtag there are no hashtags here…wherever here is.

Seventeen-year-old Jemma Alder is easy prey for her classmate. Tricked into crossing to another world and coerced into going on a dangerous Quest, Jemma must quickly learn how to survive in an 18th-century-like land against an unknown enemy. By her side is Aaron Norling…but tribal laws, ancient prejudices, and family secrets soon threaten their fragile love.

Suitable for ages 13+

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MY REVIEW:

THE QUEST is a FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC young adult novel and the beginning of what promises to be an awesome new series.

The official description of this book just does not do it justice. Although the beginning takes place in the real world, it is a small part of the overall tale.

With exquisite prose, an epic journey, adventure, a battle between good and evil, a budding romance, magic, shapeshifters, and a beautifully described new world, this book is not to be missed.

What reader hasn’t dreamed of being swept up, away from their everyday lives and into the adventure of a lifetime? One of the reasons the fantasy genre is so popular is our desire to live vicariously through the characters in a book. THE QUEST embodies this desire perfectly.

QUEST begins in present day Yorkshire, England, but soon moves to a parallel world with almost nothing in common with the modern world. At Jemma’s “home” in England, it is winter, however, when she arrives in the strange, new land of Terran, she realizes the seasons have changed in an instant. It is now spring (or maybe summer – at first she is unsure.) The landscape is completely different as well. Gone are the fields of Yorkshire. In their place, is a lush valley with mountains in the distance.

Jemma is a character that most teens (as well as most adults) can relate to.

Jemma somehow fits in beautifully with Aaron Norling’s family, and they take her into their home, and eventually, into their hearts. The clan of which Aaron and his family are part of are the Loukyn Clan – shapeshifters who turn into wolves. Jemma does not discover their magic for some time, but once she is finally able to wrap her mind around the fact that shapeshifters are real, and that they are a reality in Terran, she learns more and more about her adoptive land and it’s inhabitants.

She discovers that there are many different clans and that each clan shapeshifts into a unique animal. There is a Bear clan, an Eagle clan, a horse clan, etc. Jemma soon learns that racism and classism are rampant in Terran and that exile is the punishment for falling in love and mating with a member of a different clan. This bothers her immensely and rightly so.

However, trying to change their culture is secondary to the fact that she is to take part in a dangerous quest to retrieve a special plant from high up on a glacier.

THE QUEST is the story of their travels and all the obstacles that the six Questers must overcome. To make their journey even more difficult, it seems that someone, or something, is doing its best to ensure the failure of their task even if that means they all must die.

The story moves at a pulse-pounding rate and readers cannot stop themselves from becoming engrossed in the story. In fact, this book is UN-PUT-DOWNABLE!!!

Add in the fact that Jemma and Aaron are drawn to each other by an inescapable attraction and a mutual respect that causes their feelings of friendship and admiration to turn into so much more. But, this budding romance faces challenges at every turn, some of which might be impossible to overcome.

I hope I have intrigued potential readers to pick up a copy of this Indie authored Young Adult Fantasy novel. It will not disappoint you. This author has a true gift for characterization, world building as well as an intuitive sense for pacing.

I rate THE QUEST as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I am eagerly awaiting the second and third books in this series and I now a dedicated Lara Kellett-Smith fan.
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****Thank you very much to Author Lara Kellett-Smith for providing me with a free copy of this amazing, new, Young Adult Fiction novel.****

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hi, I’m Lara…teacher, avid reader, and author of books for children and young adults. My stories have an adventurous element, and I’m a huge romantic so you’ll find plenty of this in my YA work.

I’m from the island of Guernsey, Channel Islands (Uh, huh…as in ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society’ by Shaffer and Barrows), but also spent my childhood on the tiny Scottish island of Tanera Mhor (no roads or shops, and we had to go to school by boat), and the Scottish Highlands of Glencoe (the region where they filmed Harry Potter…and Braveheart, Rob Roy, The Highlander, and The Loch series, to name a few. Popular scenery!).

It was an adventurous upbringing with lots of freedom, spent at the beach, on boats, and in the forests and mountains (with my dog, Heidi). My love of outdoor swimming and skiing were developed from an early age; I learned to swim in a rockpool, and to ski on the rugged slopes of White Corries, Glencoe. I confess, though, that having lived in a Swiss ski resort for twenty years, I’m a bit spoilt now for long, wide pristine slopes and lots of cafes!

I spent three months of my gap year in remote parts of northern Australia, with Operation Raleigh and continued my travels with a year’s university exchange to SUNY Plattsburgh, USA – then taught in primary/elementary school in Aviemore, Scotland, and Prague, Czech Republic. I’ve been settled, as a teacher, in Switzerland for twenty years.

Fun fact: My home base for twenty-five years was Glencoe and I now live in the Swiss canton of Vaud. The father of Ian Fleming’s character, James Bond, was from Glencoe, and Bond’s mother was from the Swiss Canton of Vaud!

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
http://www.larakellettsmith.com

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

PICTOSEE

AMAZON

HYPEHUB

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HOW IT ALL BEGAN:

This entire series stemmed from a single quote by J.B. Priestley, that I spotted in a magazine…however, I’m still awaiting updated permission to use it, so you’ll have to try and figure it out for yourself!

But here’s a clue: I’m a huge fan of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and always wanted to write a two-world fantasy story. This quote sparked an idea, then another, then another, until I had characters and countries, and worlds.

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CAST OF CHARACTERS:

THE EARTHENS:

Jemma Alder-Norling: (17) Orphaned at thirteen and raised by her stepfather.

Lord Robert Clayworth: Jemma’s stepfather.

Captain James Cook: An earthen, who sailed as a cabin boy with Captain James Cook.

Grace: Jemma’s feisty best friend, currently dating Ben. Her mum is a paramedic.

Ben: Jemma’s friend and recently Grace’s boyfriend.

Yash: Jemma, Grace and Ben’s friend.

Octavia: Part of Veronika’s ‘Elite’ clique.

Miranda: Part of Veronika’s ‘Elite’ clique.

Florence: Part of Veronika’s ‘Elite’ clique.

Charles: Captain of the football (soccer) team. Veronika’s boyfriend.

Henry: Friend of Charles.

THE LOST VALLEY LOUKYN CLAN:

Isaac Norling (father): Missing, presumed captured by slavers.

Amos Isaac Norling: (21) betrothed to childhood sweetheart, Bronwen Allan.

Aaron Finlay Norling: (17) First met Jemma on Earth at Gunnar High. Leader of the questers.

Olaf Reistad (father): Missing, presumed captured by slavers.

Mary Reistad (mother): Known for her gentle demeanour and homemaking skills.

Yari Reistad: (17) Twin brother to Rose. One of the six questers.

Rose Reistad: (17) Twin sister to Yari. Whereabouts unknown.

Poppy Reistad: (13) Feisty, adventurous identical twin sister to Daisy.

Daisy Reistad: (13) Creative, thoughtful identical twin sister to Poppy.

Bryn Allan (father): Missing, presumed captured by slavers.

Clara Killin-Allan (mother): A ‘tough cookie’ responsible for the farm animals.

Bronwen Allan: (20) Betrothed to Amos Norling.

Bree Allan: (17) One of the six questers. Skilled with a bow and arrow.

Bess Allan: (10) Adores dressing in frilly, girly clothes.

Shaun Allan: (2 ½ )

Edwyn Killin: Clara Allan’s father.

Nora Killin: Clara Allan’s mother.

Elgan Killin: Edwyn’s brother. Shared his cabin with James Cook.

Anders Killin: Cousin to Edwyn and Elgan. Married to Dena.

Dena Killin: Wife to Anders.

(The Killins are guardians of the warning beacon at Killin’s Post)

Hendrik Karloff (father): Loukyn Clan Chief and voted as next Righnar of Alligand.

Gwyn Karloff (mother)

Landon Karloff: (19)

Veronika Karloff: (17) Studying on Earth, she tricked Jemma into using the ring and crossing to Terran in her stead.

Felix Jensen: (father) Missing, presumed captured by slavers.

Oskar Jensen: (17) One of the six questers. Engaged to Wanda. Has younger triplet brothers.

Doctor Falk: Local doctor.

Wanda Falk: (17) One of the six questers. Engaged to Oskar.

Aldora Judd: Like a grandmother to Aaron and true mate/girlfriend of Captain James Cook.

Konselor Enid: Clan elder / member of the Loukyn Konsul.

Konselor Kaisa: Clan elder / member of the Loukyn Konsul.

Konselor Jonah: Clan elder / member of the Loukyn Konsul.

Joseph: Farmer and neighbour to the Reistads/Allans.

Carrig: (18) Landon’s friend. Demi-kyn whose wolf is dominant. Mother is Merkyn.

Garth: (19) Landon’s friend.

Rhys Evans (father): An excomunicated loukyn from the Fern Valley Clan. Lives in the Ukyent.

Alice Evans (mother / wife): A domaren from Novitalia

Reanna Evans: (16)

Deri Evans: (15) Demi-kyn, wolf shifter.

Idelle Evans: (14)

THE AIKYN TRIBE:

Kirill Orel: (father) Elder in the Aikyn Tribe.

Darina Orel: (mother)

Yerik Orel: (18) Befriended Aaron when he lived up north during his ‘Finding’.

Kristina Alexeev: (18)

THE WHYTIE TRIBE

THE EQUOSKYN TRIBE

Nikolas Duke: A horse shifter, lawyer and friend to the Yenti chieftains.

THE YENTI:

Prifar Vandar : Ourskyn – Chieftain of the Yenti Tribe. Twin brother to Bard, chief of an Ourskyn clan. Exiled from his clan when he married Emmeline.

Primor Emmeline: (Omnishifter) Chieftain of the Yenti Tribe.

Liv: (24) ourskyn – daughter of the chieftains.

Fergal: (19) omnishifter – son of the chieftains. Bonded to Aaron.

Valda: (18) lynxkyn – daughter of the chieftains.

Halvard: ourskyn – Chief of the Yenti guard.

Hadwin (Serpentine): Member of the guard. Penelope’s father.

Helga (Demi-kyn, wolf/skallert parents): Penelope’s mother.

Penelope (Demi-kyn, skallert): Daughter of Helga and Hadwin

Only two days until the release of THE GRACE YEAR by KIM LIGGETT – One of the best books of 2019 and one you do not want to miss

Title: THE GRACE YEAR

Author: KIM LIGGETT

Genre: FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FICTION, SPECULATIVE FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION, FEMINIST FICTION

Length: 416 PAGES

Publisher: ST. MARTIN’S PRESSWEDNESDAY BOOKS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: OCTOBER 8, 2019

ISBN: 9781250145444

Price: $16.99 USD

Rating: 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

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ELIZABETH BANKS TO DIRECT AND PRODUCE THE GRACE YEAR FOR UNIVERSAL PICTURES.

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MY REVIEW:

I just finished reading Kim Liggett’s upcoming novel THE GRACE YEAR which releases in only two days and it has quickly become one of my favorite books of all time.

A mixture of several styles of books including Dystopian fiction, horror, speculative fiction, literary fiction, mysteries, thrillers, dramas and feminist fiction, this book is all-around phenomenal. Reminiscent of a mixture of The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale, Lord of the Flies and Gathering Blue.

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READ THE KIRKUS REVIEW OF THE GRACE YEAR BY CLICKING HERE!!!
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Magic, lies, deception, discrimination, madness, despair and the tiniest flutterings of rebellion abound in this exceptional work of Speculative fiction perfect for our current generation of young women.

Set in a future world where women are the possessions of men. At birth, their feet are branded with the sigil of their fathers. They remain in his possession until the day when a man gives them a veil, signifying the transfer of ownership from father to their betrothed and eventual husband. The women have no choice. They cannot say no. If there are more women than men, the extra women are sent to work in the necessary and difficult menial labor of ensuring the survival of the entire colony.

Sounds horrific already, right? Well, as usually occurs in life, it gets worse. This is due to the ritual of The Grace Year. Every year, the girls who turn sixteen years old are sent out into the wild for a full year. Not all of those who leave the colony will return. The dangers are numerous and since speaking of The Grace Year is forbidden, the girls know almost nothing of the situations they are about to encounter.

Sixteen year old Tierney James is not like the rest of the girls her age who titter and smile coyly at the village’s young men in hopes of receiving a veil from one of them. Tierney has zero desire to be a wife. As she sees it, “There’s no freedom in comfort. They’re padded shackles, to be sure, but shackles nonetheless.”

Tierney dreams of a better life. A better world. One in which the women are free to speak their minds. She hopes for the women to come together and to work together to make everyone’s lives better. Unfortunately, this is exceedingly unlikely.

What the girls experience during their Grace Year changes each and every one of them in different ways, and author Kim Liggett has done a fabulous job of getting into the minds of her characters. I literally could not put this book down. At 416 pages, it should have taken at least a few days to read, but I couldn’t wait that long and finished the book within eighteen hours. Eighteen hours where I chose to forgo sleep and I do not regret a single second. My only complaint is that I wish the next book in the series was available already. If so, I would willingly give up sleep once more just to discover what happens next.

I believe this book will be on everyone’s reading list and that Bestseller status will be bestowed upon it very quickly. Books are rated on a scale of one to five stars, with five being the best. However, this book is deserving of more than just five stars. In fact, I am bestowing upon it my highest, most coveted rating: I rate THE GRACE YEAR as 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

***Thank you very much to #NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

At sixteen, Kim Liggett left her rural midwestern town for New York City to pursue a career in music. Along with lending her voice to hundreds of studio recordings, she was a backup singer for some of the biggest rock bands in the 80’s.

Kim spends her free time studying the tarot and scouring Manhattan for vials of rare perfume and the perfect egg white cocktail.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
http://www.kimliggett.com

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FACEBOOK – AUTHOR

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INSTAGRAM – PUBLISHER – ST. MARTIN’S PRESS

INSTAGRAM – WEDNESDAY BOOKS

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TWITTER – PUBLISHER – WEDNESDAY BOOKS

TWITTER – MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS

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THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE by KRISTIN HARMEL is Historic Fiction at it’s very Best

Title: THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE

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Author: KRISTIN HARMEL
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Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION

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Length: 400 PAGES

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Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER
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Received From: SIMON AND SCHUSTER

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Release Date: AUGUST 13, 2019

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ISBN: 978-1-9821-1229-5

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Price: $28.00 USD / $37.00 CDN

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Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

At the dawn of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the House of Chauveau, a small champagne winery nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. Marrying into a storied champagne empire was supposed to be a dream come true, but Inès feels increasingly isolated, purposely left out of the business by her husband; his chef de cave, Theo; and Theo’s wife, Sarah.

But these disappointments pale in comparison to the increasing danger from German forces pouring across the border. At first, it’s merely the Nazi weinführer coming to demand the choicest champagne for Hitler’s cronies, but soon, there are rumors of Jewish townspeople being rounded up and sent east to an unspeakable fate. The war is on their doorstep, and no one in Inès’s life is safe—least of all Sarah, whose father is Jewish, or Michel, who has recklessly begun hiding munitions for the Résistance in the champagne caves. Inès realizes she has to do something to help.

Sarah feels as lost as Inès does, but she doesn’t have much else in common with Michel’s young wife. Inès seems to have it made, not least of all because as a Catholic, she’s “safe.” Sarah, on the other hand, is terrified about the fate of her parents—and about her own future as the Germans begin to rid the Champagne region of Jews. When Sarah makes a dangerous decision to follow her heart in a desperate bid to find some meaning in the ruin, it endangers the lives of all those she cares about—and the champagne house they’ve all worked so hard to save.

In the present, Liv Kent has just lost her job—and her marriage. Her wealthy but aloof Grandma Edith, sensing that Liv needs a change of scenery before she hits rock bottom, insists that Liv accompany her on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive—and some difficult but important information to share with her granddaughter. As Liv begins to uncover long-buried family secrets, she finds herself slowly coming back to life. When past and present intertwine at last, she may finally find a way forward, along a difficult road that leads straight to the winding caves beneath the House of Chauveau.

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MY REVIEW:

THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE is a work of historical fiction. Set in Italy during World War II, the author has done extensive research into the history of World War II in the wine and champagne making regions.

Until receiving an ARC (Advance Review Copy) of this book, I had never thought about how WWII impacted the winemaking economies and how the greedy German army looted and pillaged from the great winemaking houses.

Although this book is fictitious, the historic facts are highly researched and based on true historic data.

The characters are relatable and the fear they experience in the story equals that of what was faced by those who lived through those terrible and terrifying years of war and deprivation.

This book is both a dramatic tale of life during war as well as a beautiful love story. There is romance, drama, action and adventure. In fact, there is something for every reader to enjoy while reading this tale.

For anyone who enjoys historic fiction, this book will be a welcome addition to their collection.

The story follows two timelines; one in the past and one in the present and how the lives of those in each timeline are inextricably linked together.

This is a fascinating read with in depth looks at how the past has influenced the present and how events and decisions made by one’s ancestors can (and does) have far-reaching consequences.

I rate THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

***Thank you to the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book.***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photograph by Phil Art Studio,
Reims, France

Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amélie and The Sweetness of Forgetting, and several other novels.

Her work has been featured in People, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, and Ladies’ Home Journal, among many other media outlets.

She lives in Orlando, Florida.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
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GOODREADS
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FACEBOOK
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INSTAGRAM
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TWITTER
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AMAZON
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CHAPTERS
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PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

MAE’S CAFÉ BOOK BLITZ and GIVEAWAY TO WIN AN AMAZON GIFT CARD

Title: Mae’s Cafe
Author: Elsa Kurt
Series: Welcome To Chance, #1)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: June 4th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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DESCRIPTION:

In Chance, Connecticut, it’s about living the small-town life. Here everyone knows everybody’s business. Gossip and drama spreads like wildfire in this town.

But I’m happy here, content with my little café where locals come together. Even the rich wives-club have their own corner where they can sit around and swap gossip stories. Luckily, I’ve managed to stay off their radar…until a handsome writer arrives in town.

William is older, wiser, and nothing like any other man I’ve met. The attraction between us is instant, and totally unexpected.

While I try to ignore the connection we share, the entire town starts to notice. Suddenly my personal life has become the new topic of conversation.

A twenty-six-year-old falling for an older man is exactly the kind of gossip that can stir a lot of drama in Chance.

Question is, will our newfound love survive being the talk of the town?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Miles pulled into his parking space, the nose of the black Mercedes nearly touching the signpost that read: Reserved for Miles Hannaford, Broker. He loved that sign almost as much as the one that hung above the door of his building. Hannaford Realty in gold-colored script—Lucinda Calligraphy, he chose it himself—below that, “Where Dreams Become A Realty.” He often had to point out his little play on words, most people were so unobservant.

Brianna was already there, leaning impatiently against the passenger door of her custom color—‘It’s called cashmere,’ she told anyone who’d listen—Limited Edition Jeep Grand Cherokee. Her hair and nails were salon perfect, her outfit—cream-colored, wide leg linen pants and breast hugging, robin’s egg blue blouse—like something off a Saks 5th Avenue mannequin.

“Hey gorgeous, waiting long?” His eyes were on her breasts.

“Eyes up here, asshole. Yes, I’ve been waiting long, long enough to notice that you spelled ‘Reality’ wrong. Look, you forgot the ‘i.’ Nice job,” she scoffed.

“No, it’s supposed to—never mind. Here,” he tossed her the keys which she caught awkwardly, “let yourself in. I got some stuff in the trunk I gotta bring in.”

He didn’t really need to bring in the signs in the trunk, he was stalling. The thing was, Brianna was hot, no question about it. Hell, she was even hotter now than she was in high school. But Ricky was a good guy. And he was built like a house. Not that Miles lacked in any physical capacity. Shit, he was a God damn specimen. Twelve percent body fat. He ran a seven-minute mile, benched two-forty, and was half an inch shy of six feet. Not to mention his full head of thick, wavy, sandy-blond hair. Yes, Miles Hannaford was a fucking specimen, all right. There was a long line of satisfied ladies to attest to that. Including Brianna, who’d come back for more. Which was the problem.

Author Bio:

Elsa Kurt is a multi-genre, indie & traditionally published author to eight contemporary women’s fiction novels, and several romance novellas. She has also penned several children’s books (written as Melanie Cherniack), and a book of empowerment & inspirations based on her life experiences. She is a lifelong New England resident and married mother of two grown children. Visit her website, elsakurt.com, and join her in ‘Finding Beauty in the Imperfections of Life’. Follow Elsa on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram: @authorelsakurt.

Elsa is also on Goodreads, AllAuthor, and YouTube as well.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

GIVEAWAY!

WIN A $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD.

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HE’S A BRUTE – BOOK BLITZ and GIVEAWAY – ENTER TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD – Open Internationally

Title: He’s a Brute

Author: Chloe Liese

Series: Tough Love, #1

Publication date: May 6th 2019

Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

DESCRIPTION:

One dark and handsome control-freak sports star meets one smarty pants bioengineer with hair to match her fiery temper. It’s an experiment straight out of sexual thermodynamics.

Every good scientist knows the second law of thermodynamics: the universe’s disorder, entropy, is always increasing. Professionally and personally speaking, Nairne’s familiar with the principle. After a streak of costly fame, now she’s set on saving the world, microscope in hand, and there’s no time for romance. Problem is, when a rude, despicably sexy Adonis shows up to run their board meeting, chemistry and its ensuing chaos become more than a formula—now they’re a burning hot reality.

Mafia prince. Professional footballer. Bad boy demeanor and a reputation for being as talented between the sheets as he is on the pitch. Rumors are the man’s an absolute brute. And he turns out to be just as demanding, controlling and vicious in person as he is on paper. The Law of Attraction’s proven true, as Nairne finds herself accepting Zed’s proposal: rough, wild stress release, more orgasms than she can count, and most importantly—no falling in love.

Agreement in place. End date secured.

No attachments. No forever.

What could possibly go wrong?

Book One in the Tough Love Series—an enemies to lovers, suspenseful romance, full of sexy Italians, bedroom negotiations, feisty heroines, and an ending that’ll both satisfy you and leave you ready for more!”

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I took a few careful steps toward her because something about her made me uneasy. From the other end of the table, she’d been lovely. A pretty face with a pouty frown. By the time I was one third the way down the conference table toward her, she was devastating. I stopped because she was affecting me plenty from twelve feet away. Long and glossy dark auburn hair. Ivory skin. Fine bones, a smattering of freckles, and a warm glow to her cheeks. Her eyes were the real showstopper, though. They were an unfairly high chroma green, like blades of grass darkened after rain. They glittered with defiance and not a little contempt for me as she spoke.

“Understood, Mr. Salvatore. I look forward to showing you how misplaced your concern is. Until then, I’ll remember not to take such stingy optimism personally.”

No one spoke to me like that. I was Zedekiah Lazaro Salvatore, Deirdre O’Shea and Brando Salvatore’s firstborn. Boston fucking royalty, king of the soccer field, and prince of the city’s Italian criminal underworld. People kissed my ass and rolled out the red carpet. They bowed their heads and averted their eyes. Nobody gave me shit. Except Nairne MacGregor, apparently.

I dropped my grip on my jacket to hide the boner her sharp mouth gave me and feigned a smile. “You’ll excuse me.”

Waiting for her polite acknowledgment was out of the question. If I stuck around, she’d know exactly what her sass did to my body. I stormed out, knocked shoulders with someone and muttered an apology, then barreled toward the exit. I wasn’t normally clumsy—both of my professions were predicated on exceptional coordination and hyper-awareness—but I chalked it up to ninety-five percent of my blood gathering in my dick rather than my brain. Finally, I landed outside where I sucked in a breath and oriented myself.

Observing her during the meeting had been torture. Elbow on the table, jotting things down then setting her pen exactly parallel to the paper’s edge. Precise. Perfectionist. She’d listened while her wide green eyes darted between people as they spoke. Nairne was neurotically observant, cunning even. Watching her gears turning had turned me on. Big time.

She hadn’t spoken much, but when she had, I’d noted her vowels were off. She had an accent, and it wasn’t Southie. I couldn’t place it, and just like her hair that wouldn’t make up its mind between mahogany and rich red, her speech was another wrinkle in my morning. I’d never been this simultaneously annoyed and aroused.

Author Bio:

Chloe’s always been a sucker for a suspenseful steamy romance, ever since she managed to find the one saucy mystery series hiding in her high school’s prim little library. Nothing drives her crazier than a story that cranks up the heat, then closes the door on the reader’s face, so don’t read her books if you don’t want to know what actually happens when the lights fade to black…

When she’s not writing, Chloe’s busy reading books of all genres, rereading Harry Potter (which she can’t help but make her characters similarly obsessed over), and playing catch-up with her bad@$$ little girls. She’s also been known to scramble around the pitch for a pick-up soccer match and run along the river while dreaming up her next book.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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BREAKING THE RULES BOOK BLITZ and GIVEAWAY – Win an Amazon Gift Card plus a Bookish prize package – Giveaway Open Internationally

Title: Breaking the Rules

Author: Tinthia Clemant

Publication date: April 15th 2019

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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DESCRIPTION:

Love isn’t supposed to hurt.

Hedge witch Shannon Baldos isn’t looking for love. She isn’t even looking for sex. She’s looking for the courage to finally leave her gaslighting husband’s ass. So the last thing she needs is a distraction, like the town’s land-grabbing yet oh so sexy property developer, Adam St. John.

Then again, maybe a little distraction is exactly what she does need.

Growing up under the domineering thumb of her maternal grandmother, and then married to a misogynistic husband, thirty-nine-year-old Shannon Baldos has learned that love hurts. For almost seven years she’s lived under the thumb of her abusive husband, all with the guise of wanting to give her son a stable home. The truth? She’s stayed because she’s a coward. Still is. But maybe, with heart fluttering, groin throbbing, Adam St. John by her side, or on top of her, under works too, she might discover some hidden courage and finally take her son and escape. As for falling for St. John and his pirate grin, not a chance. Rule #1: Don’t fall in love.

Referred to as an emotional train wreck, Wexford’s successful developer, Adam St. John, has rules. A lot of them. Created to keep him well-insulated from further pain and disappointment with regards to life, and love. At forty-nine, he’s quite happy with his life of solitude. With three divorces under his belt, he’s in no hurry to add a fourth. Besides, there are more than enough women willing to keep him warm at night. But when he meets the town’s green-eyed witch with the freckles splattered across the bridge of her nose, and the hips that sway under her flowing skirts, one night of passion leaves him craving more. Maybe it’s time to break a few rules.

In her newest novel, Breaking the Rules, Tinthia Clemant has woven a story about one brave woman’s determination to take back her life as she learns that love doesn’t always hurt.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Prologue

September 2005

Shannon fiddled with the buttons of her dress as she and Justin waited for their coffees. Outside, rain fell on people rushing by the window of the coffee shop. She moved her attention from the scene outside to her two-month-old son in the carrier next to her. He was the most beautiful baby she’d ever seen, and it still amazed her that he’d formed inside her body.

“Are you listening to me?”

She looked up at her husband of one year sitting on the opposite side of the booth and nodded. A sense of hopelessness washed over her. She’d tried to do everything right—paid for the train tickets with cash and not her credit card, hadn’t used her real name, all the little tricks she’d picked up from watching movies over the years. She’d even cut her hair. Yet Justin had found her after only two days. She wouldn’t make a very good spy.

“Say something,” Justin demanded, loud enough that the people across from the booth glanced over.

Shannon rubbed at her forehead. “I’m sorry, my head is pounding.” Hopefully, the lie would keep his anger at bay.

“Do you have anything you can take?”

“Yes.”

He reached across the table and grabbed the diaper bag. After rifling the contents, he removed a pocket-sized tube of Advil, along with her cell phone.

She watched her phone slide into his coat pocket. “What are you doing?”

“I’ll hold on to your phone. Now that I’ve found the two of you, you won’t be needing it.” He poured four pills into his palm and held them out. “So, what do you think?”

“I need my phone.”

“Why?”

“I…I’m expecting a call.”

“From who?”

She struggled to come up with a name that wouldn’t set him off. “Maureen,” she lied a second time, hoping he didn’t know she hadn’t spoken to her coworker since quitting the ad agency.

“If she calls, I’ll give it to you. Now, back to what I said. What do you think?”

“What do I think about what?”

She received a severe frown as a response before he said, “You’re doing it again.”

“Doing what?”

“Not listening to me. How about thinking about me for once and not always yourself?”

“I…I’m sorry?”

“Yeah, you’re always sorry after you do something.”

She glanced at the baby. Satisfied he was still sleeping, she adjusted his blanket and returned her attention to the table, where she stared at her coffee.

Justin’s tone softened. “You make me do and say things. If you acted better, I wouldn’t be so hard on you.” He reached across the table again, this time offering his hand.

Shannon bit into her lower lip in the exact spot she’d recently opened with her right canine. Blood meandered through her teeth, and she slowly placed her hand in his.

“That’s my girl. What I said was, if you and Chad come back home where you belong, I’ll go to couples counseling like you asked. I can change.”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know what?”

“I don’t know what to do.”

He lifted her hand and kissed her knuckles but then squeezed her fingers, driving her wedding band into the side of her pinkie. “I’m not the bad guy, Shannon. Most of the time I’m only joking around, but you take things much too serious. You know what your problem is? You’re too sensitive. You need to lighten up.”

The baby squirmed and drew her attention. Chad scrunched his face, coloring the round cheeks so that he resembled an angry plum. “I have to clean him.” She moved from the booth and looped the strap of the diaper bag over her shoulder. “I’ll be right back.”

Justin pushed his chair back from the table and walked with her to the bathroom. “I’ll wait right here,” he said, positioning himself against the wall. She pulled on the door, but he blocked it. “I’m taking you back, Shannon. You need me—you’re too weak to raise a kid on your own.”

He released the door, and she entered the bathroom.

While changing Chad’s diaper, distant voices filled her ears, voices that belonged to ghosts who wouldn’t stay vanquished. In her mind she was a child of six and hiding under her grandmother’s heavy, wooden desk.

‘Don’t you walk away from me, young lady.’

The memory of the voice was like a cold wind, the kind that could get under her coat and raise goosebumps up her back.

She knew her mother would speak next; the memory was always the same—never changing because the dead wouldn’t allow it.

‘For Christ’s sake, Mother, I just buried my husband.’

‘Keep your voice down, Katherine. Do you want everyone to think you’re hysterical?’

‘I don’t care what people think. This is not the time to have this conversation.’

‘This is the perfect time. What are you planning on doing? Raising the child on your own? You know you’re not equipped for that.’

‘I’m perfectly capable of taking care of my daughter.’

‘No, you’re not; you’re too weak. You need me.’

In the restaurant bathroom, Shannon squeezed her eyes closed, recalling the spider that had crawled up her young shin and how she’d placed her hand in its path and lowered it back to the floor. It had scurried out from under the desk, and her grandmother’s thick-soled shoe had turned it into a black splotch. That was how she felt now, like a spider with a dark shadow hanging over her head, ready to drop and crush both her and Chad.

“Shannon.” The doorknob rattled. “Hurry up.”

“I’ll be right out.” She unbuckled Chad from the changing table, returned him to his carrier, and paused to stroke his dark brown hair. In exchange for her tender touch, he cooed. She kissed his cheek and whispered, “I’m sorry munchkin. I tried.”

Author Bio:

Tinthia Clemant was born in Medford, Massachusetts, over sixty years ago. Her childhood was a happy one. She lived in a loving home with her three siblings, mother and father. Her imagination soared as she passed the days enacting the scenes from the stories that spun through her mind.

Tinthia always wrote. From the time she first picked up a pencil, or perhaps it was a crayon, she wrote. Stories about searching for secrets. Stories about joy and sadness; friendship and betrayal; and, of course, stories about true love.

She self-published her first book by stapling six pages together. Her marketing plan was simple–give the book to her mother for Mother’s Day. Marketing her indie-published books has gotten a whole lot harder but she pushes on, knowing the worlds she creates will take each reader on a magical journey.

A romantic women’s fiction author, Tinthia fell in love with romance when she witnessed, at the impressionable age of five, the power of true love. On the silver screen of the Meadow Glen drive-in, she watched Prince Phillip defeat Maleficent’s tangled web of thorns and the fire-breathing dragon so he could save his lady love. As Phillip pressed his lips against Sleeping Beauty’s, she understood the power of true love’s first kiss.

As a hopeful romantic, Tinthia has searched far and wide for that special someone who will take her breath away. Unfortunately, she has yet to find love’s magical kiss. However, she learned a lot about herself along the way and uses these lessons to weave her stories and the strong (and older) heroines she brings to life.

Tinthia lives on the banks of the Concord River and spends her time teaching science at a local community college, gardening, painting, tending her flock of Mallards (follow her natural history blog at: concordriverlady.com), reading, and, of course, writing about journeys, disappointment, joy, and true love. Her two favorite men are Ben and Jerry and she wishes they would bring back the summer flavor, Blueberry Cheesecake.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / YouTube / Blog

GIVEAWAY!

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • $10 Amazon gift card, a candle, and a necklace

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“I SPY THE BOY NEXT DOOR” BOOK BLITZ AND GIVEAWAY – ENTER TO WIN AN AMAZON GIFT CARD – Open Internationally

Title: I Spy the Boy Next Door
Author: Samantha Armstrong
Publication date: May 25th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

DESCRIPTION:

Four p.m. spy sessions are the highlight of Mallory Taylor’s day. Observing the boy next door—one with a body and an attitude to match—has her perched beside her window so often it can’t be healthy.

When she finally convinces her mom to let her go to public school, Mallory comes face to face with her neighbor, Troy Parker. And he makes it clear he wants nothing to do with her. His rejection awakens a newfound tenacity and maybe even a touch of recklessness. But when Troy starts to show up when she needs him the most, Mallory can’t help but wonder if there’s more to him than he’s let on.

Taking chances, breaking rules, and following her heart is all new to Mallory. And no one warned her just how fickle hearts can be. When she discovers that Troy isn’t at all the guy she imagined him to be, secrets rise to the surface that will change her life forever.

**This is a standalone mature YA/new adult contemporary romance.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

We’re about ten minutes into the lesson when everything around me stops and spins. I don’t know which because all I can see is him.

“Mr. Parker, nice of you to join us,” Mr. Brown says.

I stalked him a few years ago on Facebook to see if we were in the same grade, but I wasn’t expecting to be in the same class.

My day just got a hell of a lot better.

I press my palm to my chest, feeling the familiar beat. I press harder, hoping the pressure will soften the racket inside of me.

He slides a note onto Mr. Brown’s desk, barely acknowledging him before returning his attention to his phone. His fingers fly across the screen as he walks down the aisle.

Please look at me. Please look at me. Please look at me, I silently chant, but when he turns and heads directly for me, my prayers abruptly change. Don’t look at me. Don’t look at me. Don’t look at me.

My heart’s thumping so hard against my ribcage, I’m losing air.

This is the moment.

I don’t know what to do. I’ve been envisioning it for so long, and now that it’s about to happen, everything I’ve ever planned I would do or say has gone out the window. I start clicking my pen, then tapping my foot. I should be focusing on the lesson at the front of the room, but I can’t take my eyes off him. He’s wearing a hood, but I can see his hair slipping out from under it. Dark jeans hang low on his hips, and a bag sits snug on his back.

He’s only a few steps away. I swallow.

He’s in front of me. He looks up.

My breath catches in my throat.

His eyes widen, then narrow. All these years later, he still doesn’t smile at me.

And I realize, I sat in an already claimed seat.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Bio:

Samantha Armstrong’s novels incorporate all of the feels–from swoon-worthy heroes to sweet-but-mostly-sassy heroines, quirk and laughter to emotional grit and panty melting-heat. She has written in multiple genres, but never strays far from romance.

Born and raised in New Zealand, Samantha Armstrong prefers to be tucked away writing whenever she can — or, rather, whenever her adorable yet demanding baby boy allows.

A normal day for her includes diapers–lots of them–walks with both babies (i.e. human baby and dog baby), writing between naps, and staying up late to write even more. Then somehow fitting all the other stuff in between.

To sign up for information on upcoming releases, giveaways and more:

https://www.samantharmstrong.com/subscribe

To learn more about this author visit the following links:
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“IN OTHER WORDS” by Jennifer Woodhull BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card – Open Internationally

Title: In Other Words
Author: Jennifer Woodhull
Publication date: April 30th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

DESCRIPTION:

Dexter

We became close friends in college. When Sinclair returns home to Dallas after two years in New York, I introduce her to my best friend Cole. The good-looking playboy ballplayer is the perfect kind of guy for the woman I’m sure would never be interested in me…even if seeing them together breaks my heart.

Sinclair.

He was the nerdy PhD candidate. I was the cheerleader. We made unlikely friends. Moving back home after two years away, he looks hotter than ever. When I start dating his ballplayer best friend, things get complicated. He doesn’t see me as girlfriend material…but I can’t get him, or my feelings for him, out of my head.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

There are not enough words. I don’t mean that in a dramatic way as if there are not enough words to express something with which I’m momentarily frustrated. I mean there are often times when the optimum word for something simply does not exist.

Fernweh is a German word that describes a feeling of homesickness for a place you’ve never visited before. The Swedish word, lagom, describes taking not too much nor too little, but just the right amount of something. To wear or use something for the very first time is expressed in Spanish by the word estrenar.

I love words more than anything. I love hearing someone intelligent use the absolutely perfect, most fitting word at exactly the right moment. I love anagrams, crossword puzzles, and riddles. I love how they make me think about language and how people use it. Perhaps most of all though, I love awful puns—even dad-level terrible ones. I only know one person who loves language as much as I do, and he also happens to be the very person I can hardly wait to see.

The Portuguese have a word for the sensation of nostalgia and longing for someone who is far away. Saudade. That’s what I’ve been experiencing since I moved to New York. I have saudade for Dexter Flynn, but that’s about to come to an end.

***

I walk into The Tipsy Alchemist, an upscale hipster place Dexter chose to start our reunion evening. I visually scour the space, and am disappointed when I don’t see him. I walk the length of the bar and just as I’m about to turn and head back toward the front, a man leans in close behind me and says, “Excuse me, miss, but might I buy your first libation of the evening?”

I turn, ready to tell the guy to get lost so I can call the person I want most in the world to see. When I turn around, though, I’m met with a pair of sweet, soulful brown eyes hiding behind tortoiseshell frames. My heart darts around my chest. I throw my arms around him so hard, I nearly send us both tumbling to the floor.

“Dex!” I squeal, squeezing his neck. His arms wrap around me, and they’re far stronger than I remember.

“It’s about time you came back,” he whispers into the side of my neck as he squeezes me tightly. “I’ve missed you, Clair.”

I feel an instant wash of relief, being here in his arms. The feel of his cheek against mine and the smell of his aftershave trigger an eruption of happy memories. My brain floods with late night talks and board game marathons. My circuits overload with shared stories and supporting each other through tough times—with gushing over books and documentaries at the independent theatre. He has been such a huge part of my life for so long, and now, with him, I finally feel like I’m really home.

When we finally break from our embrace, we both realize we’re standing in the highest traffic area of the bar, and the place is so packed we might be physically in danger from rowdy patrons clamoring for beer.

“Come on,” he says, grabbing my hand. “I reserved us a booth.”

He leads me through the trendy, dark-paneled space to the back where tiny, high-walled booths, are situated. This area of the bar is quieter than the rest, and the high walls of our booth offer some much-appreciated privacy.

The booth to our immediate right houses what I can only assume is a bachelorette party judging by the volume and frequency of the word woo, coming from their direction.

When the server arrives, I order a cocktail, and Dex orders a beer. “Miss, can I ask, the group of ladies in the booth next to us…is one of them a bachelorette, by chance?” He smirks in my direction.

“Actually, yeah. Are they being too rowdy?”

“Not at all. I was just curious,” he replies. I snicker and he winks in response.

“It’s a cool story, actually,” the server pauses to tell us more detail. “She just got out of the military. She met her fiancé while they were stationed together. He was injured, and she’s a nurse.” She puts her hand to her chest. “They fell in love while he recovered in her hospital.”

Dex and I look at each other, and each make the universal face that any red-blooded human with feelings makes when seeing a baby, or a puppy, or hearing a sweet love story. “Aww,” we say in unison, laughing.

“Would you please take them a bottle of Dom Perignon and put it on my tab? Anonymous, though, please…with thanks for her service, and her fiancé’s,” Dex adds.

“Wow, that’s really nice of you! Absolutely, I’ll take care of it,” the server replies.

When she walks out of Dexter’s line of sight, she catches my eye and mouths the words, “Lucky you,” with a wink. It makes me smile unreasonably wide.

Lucky me that such a kind, thoughtful, generous man is in my life and cares so much for me. Lucky me that he’s my friend. Unlucky me that he’s not more than just a friend.

“That was very generous of you,” I tell him.

“I had the good luck to meet an inventor whose work I really admire once at a party. Knowing I was new to success, he told me, “I always say, if you’ve got it, spread it around. Nobody likes a successful, stingy asshole.” I’ve always tried to remember that,” he says with a shrug. We toast to successful good guys.

“You look amazing, Sinclair.” Dex is grinning at me, his brown eyes sparkling.

I reach across the table and take both his hands in mine, giving them a squeeze. “You look amazing too. By the way,” I say, stifling a giggle. “I didn’t know I’d need tickets.”

“Tickets? For…what, exactly?” He cocks an eyebrow up in question.

“The gun show,” I reply, pointing to what I can see is a pronounced bicep on each arm.

His cheeks flush with crimson as he looks down and away. The expression belongs to the shy, gangly guy I met in school, not the hunky, successful entrepreneur sitting across from me.

“So, have you been hitting the gym, or did you invent some magical neurotransmitter that passively enhances muscle tissue?” I tease. “Because if you have, please sign me up as a test subject. Pilates is torture, but I like to eat far too much to ever give it up without some sort of alternative.”

He chuckles. “I like to think of the fitness thing as my transformation to Dexter two-dot-oh. I have to say, I don’t hate that my efforts are producing noticeable results. I told you about my business partner Cole, right?” He asks sheepishly.

“Your friend Cole, yes,” I reply, rolling my eyes.

I think he still has a little trouble wrapping the high school part of his brain around being friends with a jock.

“Yeah. Anyway, since he pitches for the Frontiersmen he knows all the best personal trainers. He convinced me to start working out with one he recommended. I go to the gym almost every day now. Turns out I’m not as unathletic as I thought I was.” He grins wide, pride evident on his face.

“You certainly seem like you’re feeling pretty good,” I reply. I stand up enough to reach across and squeeze his bicep. “Yep, feeling pretty darn good to me.”

He smiles, then he shakes his head and chuckles. “I really do feel good…and even better now.” Something flashes briefly in his chocolate-brown eyes, then he smirks. “I’m just so happy you’re back, Clair.”

Clair. No one but him calls me that. The way he says it is familiar and makes me feel special that he has a nickname just for me. It’s the same way I call him Dex. Those terms of endearment are just for us, like they’re special words all our own.

By the time we finish the drinks the server brings over my stomach is growling, so we head down the street to a Mexican place that has always been one of my favorites.

As we walk the four or five blocks to the restaurant, a group of girls walking the opposite direction toward us are all checking Dex out as they pass. I turn to look over my shoulder and see them all looking back, whispering and giggling. When I look over at him, he seems oblivious.

And this is why he has trouble finding the right girl. He has no clue when a woman is into him.

I bump his shoulder with mine.

“They were checking you out,” I say with a smirk.

“Who?”

“That group of girls that walked by. They were cute, too.”

He rolls his eyes.

“So, not seeing anyone?” I ask.

“Not at the moment.” He lets out a sigh. “Maybe I’m too picky.”

“Maybe you are,” I agree.

And that’s the other reason he can’t find the right girl. He has never fully explained the criteria with me, but he seems never to have found a girl that checks all the boxes on the list of Dex requirements for the perfect girl.

Someone as genuine and kind, as smart and as funny as Dex deserves someone wonderful, though—someone who can see him for everything he is. I have tried to resign myself to the fact that I’m not that girl in his eyes. I only hope that one day he finds her, and she deserves him.

That brings me to another word that should exist, but doesn’t. There should be a word for enjoying something you have, but still wishing it was much, much more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Bio:

Jennifer Woodhull is based in the Southern United States, spending time in her second home of England, and traveling as often as she can. Her love of travel permeates her work, and her characters often find themselves exploring new and foreign surroundings.

A keen observer of human behavior, Jennifer often draws inspiration from something as simple as a fleeting connection, or the glimpse of a unique trait or characteristic. Her favorite place to write is on airplanes.

“The drone of the engine, the scores of people, all traveling to something or from something, and being disconnected from digital distractions are a combination that provide the perfect place to write,” she says. “If you see a woman in seat 9F who is balancing her Macbook on her lap because it’s time to close your tray table, please have patience. I’m just trying to finish one more sentence.”

To learn more about this author visit the following links:
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LEAD THE WAY BOOK BLITZ – PLUS Enter to Win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card (Open Internationally)

Title: Lead The Way

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Author: Brittany Carter

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Published by: Swoon Romance

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Publication date: April 22nd 2019

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Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

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DESCRIPTION:

Fresh off the high of college graduation, Melody James is back in her Podunk town. She needs a job, but first, she’ll spend a lazy summer with no agenda at all.

But life’s got other plans for Melody, ones she’d sooner ignore. When the next-door neighbor passes away, his son returns home to take care of his affairs. Thane Cohen hasn’t been home in ten years. The last time he was, someone accused him of murdering Melody’s parents. Now, after major efforts to recover his self-worth and start a construction company, Thane wonders if enough time has passed for him to clear his once good name.

At the time of the murders, Melody was the only person who didn’t believe Thane was responsible. But how could she even suggest otherwise when just about everyone in town was convinced of Thane’s guilt? Her brothers would never allow it. With nothing to lose before, Thane packed up and left, leaving the town and Melody behind. Now that he’s back, rekindling an old flame in Melody and proving his innocence are critical.

When several car windshields get broken and fires start unexpectedly, the world inside their little town is tossed upside down. With Melody’s brother against her, and Thane fighting every attempt she makes at breaking down his walls, Melody’s push for answers leads her to a frightening conclusion. Thane may actually know more about her parents’ death than she was lead to believe. Can she trust him, or has everyone else been right about him all along? Only time will tell if she can let love lead the way.

*Author previously wrote under the name, Alla Kar

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EXCERPT:

One side of his mouth curled for a nanosecond. “You need to leave. Your brothers are gonna catch you.”

She placed the carrots in her hand on the table behind him. “You’re not scared of my brothers.”

“I’m not. But they’ll tan your hide if you get caught over here.”

She shrugged. “I’m not scared of my brothers either.”

His gaze dropped to her lips, and her heart began to patter. Thoughts drifted from her head, taking away her ability to speak. She leaned forward; one palm rested against his wide chest. Suddenly, he shifted, grabbed her waist, and placed her on the table behind them. With one hand on either side of her hips, he leaned forward. He smelled woodsy, like rain, earth, and man. It intoxicated her brain, filling her body with raging feelings. Feelings she’d never had before. Not once had Lucas ever made her feel so alive without touching her.

Her mouth watered as he neared, his lips only a hairbreadth away from her own, the minty smell of his mouth had her head gone. His unruly hair was messy from the rain, and she reached up with her other hand to run her fingers through it.

He caught her wrist; his thumb ran three slow circles around her pulse. Kiss me … please. She had no idea why her body betrayed her so easily. The tip of his tongue ran across his bottom lip. Melody couldn’t look away from it, even when he took his other thumb and ran it across her bottom lip. The tension weighed heavily down on her chest, begging for a release.

Just one kiss would cure her, right?

A deep grunt left his throat, and she just knew he’d kiss her. She knew he would lean down and put her out of her misery. Only one more inch and …

“Go home,” he whispered against her mouth.

Her heart sank with embarrassment. Rejection clogged her throat. She wanted to crawl into the dirt and die. Turning her head, she looked down at the shed floor. She was stupid for going over.

Melody jumped down from the table, stopping at the door. “I know you didn’t do it,” she whispered. Thane leaned over the table again, palms flat against the wood, his eyes fixated on her. “You don’t know anything, Melody.”

.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Bio:

Brittany Booker Carter previously writing as Alla Kar. I’m a Christian, lover or romance, a wife and mother to a wild-child!

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