Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Sweeney Sisters

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  An accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.

Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.
But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister. 
When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.
Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?
By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I so enjoyed The Sweeney Sisters! Three completely different sisters and yet they have each others back, no matter what.  Even when "no matter  what" equals a half sister that they discover after their father passed away.  Each sister, including the newest, Serena, all have their own internal battles they are fighting.  What no one expected is that the death of their father would bring them all closer than they ever before.  

I really enjoyed each of the 4 sisters journey and how we were able to look into their own lives as well as see how they all fit together to make something whole, a family.  I think Tricia was my favorite sister, just because I could relate to her kind of thinking and approach to life.  

I would to have loved to have a place like Willow Lane and throw the big 4th of July party on the water.  Great read any time of the year!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Yes, I would.  I have read her other two books, Helen of Pasadena and Elizabeth the First Wife, and really enjoyed them.  Elizabeth the First Wife was a bookclub selection - everyone loved it! I also have read her articles in both Working Mother Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Lian Dolan is a writer and talker. She’s the author of two Los Angeles Times best-selling novels, Helen of Pasadena and Elizabeth the First Wife published by Prospect Park Books. She’s a regular humor columnist for Pasadena Magazine and has previously written monthly columns for O, The Oprah Magazine and Working Mother Magazine. She’s also written for TV, radio and websites.

Lian is the producer and host of Satellite Sisters, the award-winning talk show she created with her four real sisters. On Satellite Sisters, she’s interviewed everyone from Nora Ephron to Madeleine Albright to Big Bird. Satellite Sisters began life as a syndicated radio show and is now a top-rated podcast for women. The recent book by the Satellite Sisters, You’re the Best: A Celebration of Friendship, is popular with book clubs.

A popular speaker who combines humor and heart, Lian has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Today Show and many local TV stations. She’s been a featured speaker at the LA Times Festival of Books, the Santa Barbara Celebrity Authors Lunch, the Literary Guild of Orange County Festival of Women Authors and dozens of other events at libraries, book stores, schools and women’s organizations across the country. In 2020, she’ll be on the faculty of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Meant To Be Yours

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  In Happily Inc, love means never having to say “I do”…

Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.

After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.

Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Really enjoyed it! Quick read with great characters and great storyline! I really liked Jasper and his friends.  Renee, who works at the local wedding planner business believes in love for everyone but her.  However, Jasper is suffering from PTSD from his deployment days and believes he is unlovable and not capable of loving.  Sparks fly (happy and mad) when Jasper and Renee meet.  There are a few steamy scenes too!  I also really like Renee's friends, which I am assuming we can read about their stories in the other books in the Happily Inc series.  Happily Inc = Happy Ending = Happy Reader!

There was also a novella included at the end of Meant To Be Yours, A Very Merry Princess. Loved it it too!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Absolutely - I MUST get my hands on the rest of the Happily Inc series for sure!  There are 4 books before Meant To Be Yours and a 6th one! 
So many of her books I want to read. Sisters By Choice (Blackberry Island book 4 - I need to get 1- 3) is on my kindle!  I have read The Summer of Sunshine and Margot.   I would like to read the Mischief Bay series too. Oh heck, I just want to read all her books.

#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives―family, friendship, romance. She's known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Closer You Get

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  They had the perfect plan to start a new life together...before it all went horribly wrong.

A new twisting novel of psychological suspense from the acclaimed author of The Girl I Used to Be.

Coworkers Ruby and Harry are in love—but they’re married to other people. They decide to tell their spouses that their marriages are over and to start a new life together. Ruby has wanted to leave her controlling husband for a while, so she tells him she’s leaving and waits at the hotel where she and Harry are to meet. But Harry never shows up.

Suddenly, Ruby has lost everything. Harry won’t answer her calls, and she’s fired from her job. She finds a cheap apartment in a run-down part of town, all the while wondering what happened to Harry.

Just as Ruby thinks she’s hit rock bottom, strange and menacing things start to happen—someone is sneaking into her apartment, and someone is following her home late at night—and she is going to have to fight for her survival.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Wow!  I just read this over the weekend. One would think that I would do anything else than be inside, however, it was cold and rainy here.  The Closer You Get was a perfect books for the weekend.  Quick read, that you won't to put down.  Crazy, crazy twists that you will love.  I actually thought Emma (Harry's wife) was just a crazy as Tom (Ruby's husband), but I actually grew to like her.  Oh, so many twists that you will not see coming.  Oh my gosh, so good!

You can read an excerpt on Amazon!  

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  The real question is why haven't I read her other books.  I just had to added Gone Without a Trace and The Girl I Used to Be to my must read list.

Mary Torjussen is the acclaimed author of Gone Without a Trace and The Girl I Used to Be. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University and worked for several years as a teacher.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Big Finish

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  
Meet Duffy, an old curmudgeon who lives in an assisted living home.
Meet Josie, a desperate young woman who climbs through his window.
Together, they’re going to learn it’s never too late—or too early—to change your ways.

For Duffy Sinclair, life boils down to one simple thing: maintaining his residence at the idyllic Centennial Assisted Living. Without it, he’s destined for the roach-infested nursing home down the road—and after wasting the first eighty-eight years of his life, he refuses to waste away for the rest. So, he keeps his shenanigans to the bare minimum with the help of his straight-laced best friend and roommate, Carl Upton.

But when Carl’s granddaughter Josie climbs through their bedroom window with booze on her breath and a black eye, Duffy’s faced with trouble that’s sticking around and hard to hide—from Centennial’s management and Josie’s toxic boyfriend. Before he knows it, he’s running a covert operation that includes hitchhiking and barhopping.

He might as well write himself a one-way ticket to the nursing home…or the morgue. Yet Duffy’s all in. Because thanks to an unlikely friendship that becomes fast family—his life doesn’t boil down the same anymore. Not when he finally has a chance to leave a legacy.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  The relationships the residents and workers have at the Centennial Assisted Living makes my heart happy! Okay the evil owner needs some work!  To think that people can bond so quickly even though they didn't know each other earlier in life is so beautiful.  Their caregivers have huge hearts and only want the best for all the residents. They all get a surprise when Carl's granddaughter drops in - literally falls in from the open window.  Even though everyone thought Carl had no family, they all take to Josie, except Duffy.  He thinks she come with a lot of baggage and is going to send him to his grave.  All the residents come together and help mend her and get her back on her feet again.  Along the way, so pretty cool things happen to Duffy.  He realizes it is never too late to learn another life lesson or two.  

Warning: Kleenex is needed near the end!

Brooke Fossey was once an aerospace engineer with a secret clearance before she traded it all in for motherhood and writing. She's a past president and an honorary lifetime member of DFW Writers Workshop. Her work can be found in numerous publications, including Ruminate Magazine and SmokeLong Quarterly. When she's not writing, you can find her in Dallas, Texas with her husband, four kids, and their dog Rufus. She still occasionally does math.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Final Deception - Excerpt

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  Witness the thrilling conclusion to the beloved New York Confidential series, in THE FINAL DECEPTION (MIRA Books; March 31, 2020; $26.99). Kieran and Craig are about to take on their most chilling case yet as they hunt for a deranged serial killer who has escaped from prison to satisfy his need to kill again.

When criminal psychologist Kieran Finnegan was released from her responsibility of counseling the brutal serial killer known as The Fireman, once he was incarcerated, she was relieved to escape the tendrils of his twisted inner world. The chill she received from her sessions with him has stayed with her despite trying to leave him in the past. However, some demons refuse to remain behind bars. When her FBI agent boyfriend Craig is called to a gruesome crime scene that matches The Fireman’s MO, news begins to spread that he’s escaped from prison.

And he remembers Kieran...
Amid a citywide manhunt, Kieran and Craig need to untangle a web of deceit, privilege, and greed. They suspect that those closest to the killer have been drawn into his evil, or else someone is using another man’s madness and cruelty to disguise their crimes. When their investigation brings the danger right to the doorstep to the once safe haven of Finnegan’s Pub, Kieran and Craig will have to be smarter and bolder than ever before, because this time it’s personal, and they have everything to lose.


CRAIG FRASIER BREATHED IT IN BEFORE HE COULD STOP himself; the bloodcurdling scent of burning flesh.
Human flesh.
Flames still skittered over the body—an accelerant had been used. As he stood there in the small dark alley, he heard others rushing in: Mike Dalton, his partner, and patrol officers. He heard the sirens; the fire department was coming.
But there was no saving this victim.
Craig was already tamping the fire out; an extinguisher would make the work of the medical examiner more difficult.
But he knew what the medical examiner would find.
The victim had been strangled, then the tongue had been cut out. And then the eyes had been gouged out. Death had occurred, mercifully, before the fire had been set.
The corpses haunted his dreams. Burned shells, some flesh and soft tissue remaining, charred and clinging to the bones, mummy-like. The mouth in the blackened skull was agape, and those empty, soulless eye sockets seemed to be staring up, as if they could still see, as if they stared at him in reproach…
Why hadn’t they caught the killer sooner?
He heard a rustling sound. Looking across the alley, Craig saw a shadow moving. Leaving the corpse to others, he took off like a bullet. He pursued the moving shadow at a run…running and running for blocks. The city was a blur around him.
He reached apartments on Madison, with a coffee shop and a dress store on the first floor, just as the gate at the street entry to the residential units above was closing. He caught the gate, and he reached the elevator in time to see what floor it stopped on. He followed.
And again, as he arrived, a door was just closing; he didn’t let it close.
And there he was: the Fireman, still smelling faintly of gasoline, ready to sit down to a lovely dinner with his family. About to say a prayer before the meal…just a husband and a father, and a man who looked at Craig and calmly said, “So, my work is over. But I have obeyed the commandments given me, and I will go with you.”
Why did you take so long? The corpse again! In Craig’s dreams, the corpse was back, animated, flying at him like a ghostly banshee, issuing a silent scream.
Craig opened his eyes.
He didn’t awake screaming or startled—he didn’t jerk up. It was almost as if he always knew it was a dream, reliving the day the Fireman had gone down.
He’d had the dream several times before. But, now, it seemed as though it had been a long time. Weeks. He’d thought he’d ceased experiencing it altogether. He’d been doing all the right things: quietly seeing a Bureau shrink a few times, following their advice. He hadn’t told Kieran Finnegan, his fiancĂ©e, about his recurring nightmare, and while she was a criminal psychologist working with two of the city’s finest criminal psychiatrists, he’d made a point of not telling her or her bosses.
He’d thought he’d settled it on his own. It was a little strange and sometimes intimidating being in love with someone who studied the human psyche, and he hadn’t wanted Kieran worried about him or trying to analyze him.
Why the hell had the dream come back?
He felt Kieran shift against him. He pulled her into his arms and she rolled, crystal eyes opening wide when she realized that he was awake.
And aroused. Kieran’s tangle of auburn hair was a wild mass around her face, emphasizing her eyes and the quick smile that came to her lips.
“Ah!” she murmured, feeling his arousal against her.
“Your fault,” he accused.
“Well, thankfully. What time is it?” she asked with a soft whisper.
He laughed. “Quickie time, or time for a quickie,” he said.
Her smile deepened, and there was something so sensual about it that it never failed to increase whatever he had begun to feel.
In her arms, in the liquid burn of kisses here and there strategically placed, in the swift—and intense—blaze of arching and writhing and thrusting, all else faded.
After, Craig headed for the shower. He was an FBI agent in the Criminal Division of New York City’s branch of the FBI. He could be satisfied in having brought down several killers. But there would be more; a sad fact of the world and humanity. He was blessed to have his job, his vocation, and it was time to go to work.
He shoved the dream into the back of his mind.
Whatever his day held, he’d already seen the worst that this world could offer.
Little did he know.

Heather Graham is The New York Times and USA Today best-selling author sold her first book, When Next We Love, in 1982 and since then, she has written over two hundred novels and novellas with about 60 million books in print in categories of romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. Graham earned high praise for her New York Confidential series, including a starred review from Library Journal which called it, “Intricate, fast-paced, and intense, this riveting thriller blends romance and suspense in perfect combination and keeps readers guessing and the tension taut until the very end.” For more information, visit her at TheOriginalHeatherGraham.com.

Social Links:

Twitter: @HeatherGraham

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Friday, April 10, 2020

To Have and To Hoax

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Named a Best Romance of April by GoodreadsPopsugarBustle, and more!

In this fresh and hilarious historical rom-com, an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention—and maybe just win each other back in the process.

Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.

Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.

Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?

With charm, wit, and heart in spades, To Have and to Hoax is a fresh and eminently entertaining romantic comedy—perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Julia Quinn.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: First let me say it has been a month since I posted and I am sorry.  I noticed my last post was March 9th and March 10th things got crazy.  I work for a college and we had been watching, preparing  and anticipating the COVID-19 pandemic since January.  Our campus closed the evening of the 10th for 2 weeks to convert classes.  We are now all working remotely, except for essential employees.  I work at the office 2 days a week and I am so thankful for many things, but mostly my family's health and that I am still employed.  My heart breaks at what has and is happening to everyone and so many of my friends. I pray this over very soon and our lives go back to some sort of normalcy.  I hope that you and your family are healthy and safe.

To Have and To Hoax was a story about Violet and James fast whirlwind of a courtship and after about a year they had a fight to end all fights.  Four years later Violet has a scary and believes James is on his deathbed.  The two dance around each other and soon realize that they want each other and want to go back to the way things were before the fight. James soon realizes how his father manipulated the situation and works quickly to reconcile not only with Violet, but her bother too. True love finds its way through a long stand off fight of four years.  I enjoyed To Have and To Hoax but the time period (early 1800's) are usually not my cup of tea.  It was a quick read and I thought very well written.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I sure would.

Martha Waters was born and raised in sunny South Florida, and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She works as a children’s librarian in North Carolina, and spends much of her free time traveling. To Have and To Hoax is her first novel.