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November 26, 2016

Book Spotlight: Masquerading Our Love by Audrey Rich (@goaudreyrich)

Junior year has been tough on Thalía Reynari.

A new high school, trying to fit in with new friends, schoolwork, family commitments. With everything going on in her life, Thalía could use a break, an adventure.

So when Thalía meets Christopher, the most gorgeous guy in town, her life should change for the better, right?

Don’t bet on it.

Thalía’s conservative parents insist she’s too young to date. Plus, Thalía and Christopher find themselves caught in the middle of a simmering feud that’s kept the two families apart for a decade. And no one is sure if young love will be enough to bridge this divide.

As they hide their relationship behind masks they must decide if this new love is worth losing their parents’ approval.

First-time novelist Audrey Rich imbues Masquerading Our Love with the joy and pain of how teens live life today as they wrestle with love, friendship, and faith. Thalía, Christopher, and Rich’s entire cast of characters is so vibrant, so alive, that they’re sure to leap off the page—and into your heart.

Buy this stand alone novel and lose yourself in a clean, wholesome story about young love determined to stay together...no matter what.
~Goodreads.com


Start Reading:


Buy Masquerading Our Love at Amazon


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November 25, 2016

10 Books to Buy the Book Lover in Your Life

by Donna Huber

This is one of my favorite posts of the year, even though it is also one of the hardest. I love looking back over all the books I've read during the year, some will bring a smile to my face as I see a favorite series or a satisfied sigh as I remember a particularly poignant read. The difficulty comes when I have to narrow the 58 books I've read down to 10 reads I would most recommend purchasing as a gift for the book lover on your list (even if that book lover is you!).

For young readers

cover Millicent Marie Just My Opinion
Millie's Story Continues!

Twelve-year-old Millicent Marie Harris thought her advice giving days were over. After all, her blog had been an epic disaster. But when her former crush convinces her it's time to take her skills to the big league, aka the school newspaper, she decides it might be worth giving it another try. It seems life might finally be getting back to normal for this sixth-grader.

However, there are other big problems brewing at Springside Elementary. Mr. Stiles, the school's long-standing and beloved principal leaves abruptly—replaced by Dr. Feather Foster, a newcomer with a harsh rule list a mile long. To make matters worse, there is trouble with the school play and suspicions that Millie's brother is still sneaking around her diary. Enlisting the help of her friends, Millie sets out to find the truth, in hopes of restoring peace to Springside Elementary before the school year is over and any more disasters occur.

This is a great middle grades story. While it can be read as a stand alone, I would highly recommend picking up book one Millicent Marie Is Not My Name if you have a child on your list that hasn't read it. Read my full review.

Buy Millicent Marie: Just My Opinion at Amazon

Science Fiction & Fantasy

cover Criminal
Following the horrors she discovered in the basement of Sanctuary and her miraculous rescue at the end of Breeder, there is no longer any doubt in Pria’s mind that the Unified World Order and their goals for humanity are wicked. But convincing the rest of the world will be another story. When it’s revealed that the files she’d stolen from Sanctuary are worthless to the rebel cause, Pria and the other Free Patriots must scramble to come up with another way to convince the rest of the criminals to rise up in open revolution before the UWO’s monsters hunt down and destroy them all. But Pria still knows so little about liberty and self-determination, and her tenuous grasp of human nature complicates her role in the rebellion as she finds herself torn between Pax, her ever-present protector, and Henri, her good-natured friend. As she works through figuring out her feelings, she becomes increasingly anxious for Pax, who displays symptoms of a disturbing ailment, even as he withdraws from Pria.

Free Patriots from outside Asylum bring with them a new plan to infiltrate the seemingly impregnable UWO machine, and Pria is once again at the center of the plan. This time, though, she must be willing to erase her identity, just as she’s beginning to figure out who she is. It’s a sacrifice she thinks she’s ready to make to take down the UWO and save the world, but she has no idea just how difficult it will be.

Criminal is the second book in K. B. Hoyle's dystopian series Breeder Cycle. In this case, you do need to have read Breeder. It will be enjoyed by young adults as well as adults that enjoy a well-written story of an alternate reality. It is not as dark as some popular dystopian novels I would compare it more to The Giver. Read my full review.

Buy Criminal at Amazon


cover Firestorm
"Why did I possibly think I could do anything to end this war? I was a fool, and now I have one week to get the twins out of here, or I may never see them again."

The seven tribal nations are at war, and as a taporo Kit can finally do something to save her people. But Kit can’t shake the feeling she’s playing a game she doesn’t understand, and if she agrees to fight, she’ll lose the ones she loves the most.

The long-awaited final book in the Windstorm series is excellent and a must read. You will want to read the entire series. I love that it also features native people groups and the supernatural elements are woven so tightly into the story that it feels like it truly is how the world works. Again, this book is a great option for young adults and adults. Read my full review.

Buy Firestorm at Amazon

Humorous Mysteries

cover The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line
The first book in an original mystery series featuring twenty-eight-year-old Veronica Mars, back in action after the events of Veronica Mars: The Movie. With the help of old friends—Logan Echolls, Mac Mackenzie, Wallace Fennel, and even Dick Casablancas—Veronica is ready to take on Neptune’s darkest cases with her trademark sass and smarts.

If you, I mean, the book lover on your list was a fan of the television show Veronica Mars, then this is a must have book. A bonus - the audio book is read by Kristen Bell. Everything I loved about the show is included in the book - fun characters and witty writing.  Read my full review.

Buy The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line at Amazon



cover Hitwoman Under Pressure
Maggie Lee's dedication to her family knows no limits.

Even though her life is in chaos, she'll take any chance to repair her fractured family.

All she has do is:
Get out of the loony bin
Eliminate the killer who’s hunting her sister
Make sure her family doesn’t go off the rails (yup, this one’s the toughest)

Thankfully she’s got the help of an ex-lover, a conman, and a sexy sailor, along with her psychic friend, her loyal, but bickering, pets, and her favorite mob boss.

If only she could rely on them to help her stop the man who wants her sister dead. With two hitmen already killed for going after him, Maggie could use all the help she can get.

Maggie’s skills (and sanity) are put to the test and the stakes have never been higher.

All the Hitwoman books are excellent and JB Lynn has published several this year including one just last week - The Hitwoman Plays Chaperone (it's on my Christmas book buying list). They can be read as stand alones, so if you have a book lover that loves a good laugh then choosing one (or all) in the is series is a winning bet. Read my full review.

Buy The Hitwoman Under Pressure at Amazon


cover Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death
Meet Agatha Raisin, high-flying public relations boss turned village sleuth. After her many years of bullying and cajoling others, her early retirement to a picture-perfect village in the Cotswolds is a dream come true.

This book was a new discovery for me this year. It was a fun story. Agatha Raisin reminded me of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. It was an excellent audio book and I'll be on the look out for more in this series.

Buy Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death at Amazon






Thrillers and Suspense

cover The Feathered Bone
In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter’s sixth grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter’s best friend, Sarah, disappears amid the magic and revelry—gone, without a trace.

Unable to cope with her guilt, Amanda’s daughter sinks in depression. And Amanda’s husband turns destructive as he watches his family succumb to grief. Before long, Amanda’s whole world has collapsed.

Amanda knows she has to save herself before it’s too late. As she continues to search for Sarah, she embarks on a personal journey, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of so much tragedy and loss.

Set amidst the murky parishes of rural Louisiana and told through the eyes of two women who confront the darkest corners of humanity with quiet and unbreakable faith, The Feathered Bone is Julie Cantrell’s master portrait of love in a fallen world.

This was such a gut wrenching story. I needed several tissues. but it was so worth it. it is beautifully written and you will be thinking about long after you turn the last page. Read my full review.

Buy The Feathered Bone at Amazon


cover All the Missing Girls
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.

If you (or the book lover on your list) love to be kept guessing, then All the Missing Girls is the book to choose. The unique storytelling of moving one day backward with each chapter and the unreliable narrators will keep you turning the pages until you know what happened. Read my full review.

Buy All the Missing Girls at Amazon


cover The Letterbox
What if you had the chance to uncover tangible evidence of the divine? How far would you go, what dangers would you brave, in pursuit of the greatest mystery of all?

Four companions of varying beliefs, on a journey to the forgotten corners of Europe, are about to find out.

On a desolate English moor, a team of scientists unearths a two-thousand-year-old wooden box, preserved in silver and inlaid with a map of patterned gemstones. A set of runes inscribed on the box claims the map is a pathway to God.

In an attempt to decipher the map, a wealthy New Orleans collector assembles an unlikely team: a specialist in cultural antiquities who dabbles in the occult; a jaded attorney searching for meaning; a brilliant linguist who loathes organized religion; and a Catholic historian with a reputation for acquiring pieces no one else can or will.

Shackled by secrets and hidden motives, pursued by a sinister religious order, driven by an insatiable desire for answers, the four companions trek across Europe as they search for a connection among the ancient sites revealed by the map. As the hunt for truth takes them deeper into the unknown, their lives and perhaps their souls in peril, they must determine whether the letterbox is part of an elaborate, centuries-old deception—or the answer to mankind’s ultimate questions.

From critically acclaimed and bestselling author Layton Green, The Letterbox is a thrilling new mystery that weaves danger, exotic locales, breathless suspense, romance, and ancient secrets into the tapestry of an unforgettable novel.

I love Layton Green's Dominic Grey series, but I'm never sure if it is the author I enjoy or that I just the characters. Well, now having read his new book, The Letterbox, I know that I'm a fan of Layton Green. An intricate plot filled with wonderful details and well-developed characters are hallmarks of Green;s writing. Read my full review.

Buy The Letterbox at Amazon

Heart-felt Women's Fiction

cover Last One Home
Debbie Macomber, author of the Blossom Street and Cedar Cove series, delivers an inspiring new stand-alone novel about the enduring bond between sisters, the power of forgiveness, and a second chance at love.

Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close—until one fateful event drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship and breaking her parents’ hearts. To make matters worse, Cassie had always been their father’s favorite—a sentiment that weighed heavily on her sisters and made Cassie’s actions even harder to bear.

Now thirty-one, Cassie is back in Washington, living in Seattle with her daughter and hoping to leave her past behind. After ending a difficult marriage, Cassie is back on her own two feet, the pieces of her life slowly but surely coming together. Despite the strides Cassie’s made, she hasn’t been able to make peace with her sisters. Karen, the oldest, is a busy wife and mother, balancing her career with raising her two children. And Nichole, the youngest, is a stay-at-home mom whose husband indulges her every whim. Then one day, Cassie receives a letter from Karen, offering what Cassie thinks may be a chance to reconcile. And as Cassie opens herself up to new possibilities—making amends with her sisters, finding love once more—she realizes the power of compassion, and the promise of a fresh start.

A wonderful novel of perseverance and trust, and an exciting journey through life’s challenges and joys, Last One Home is Debbie Macomber at the height of her talents.

I first discovered Debbie Macomber last Christmas when I listened to her Dashing Through the Snow, which I absolutely loved. Since I have listened to her Cedar Cove series and love them. I'm not the only Debbie Macomber fan here at Girl Who Reads and I don't think you could go wrong with any of her books. I'm hoping to pick up a copy of her new Christmas novel this season.

Buy Last One Home at Amazon

Bonus

cover Unlocking Worlds
If you are still uncertain what to pick up for the book lover on your list or perhaps you have a friend who can never decide what to read next, then I recommend picking up a copy of Unlocking Worlds.

Award-winning writer and teacher Sally Allen knows that good books don’t just draw us in; they talk to us, shape us, and transport us to times, places, and minds different from our own. In Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers, Allen deftly weaves personal stories with fifteen thematized, annotated, and illustrated reading lists for what to read next. By sharing some of the treasures in her library and the secret lives they reveal, she gives us permission to embrace the shameless book lover inside each of us. Unlocking Worlds is a testament to how reading passionately—and compassionately—can unlock the world beyond our back yard. Celebrating books and those who read them, Allen shows how the solitary act of reading can be a powerful thread that creates community and connection. Thought-provoking and eloquent, Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers is a must-have for anyone who can’t leave the house without a book in hand.

Buy Unlocking Worlds at Amazon


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November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from Girl Who Reads


To all our U.S. readers: may your day be filled with family, friends, food and fiction!

We do not need a designated holiday to give thanks and be grateful for the many blessings we have in our lives. There has been a growing focus on the negative, so we encourage you today to take a few minutes to focus on the positive and invite you to leave a comment with someone or something you are thankful for.



For those wanting to do some good today, please consider donating books or a monetary gift to our Books for Keeps Book and Fund Drive.




Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

November 23, 2016

Poppa Had a Brand New Bag.....The Godfather of Soul

by Kathleen Barker

As a teen of the 1960's, one of my more memorable evenings was a trip to Dixie Ballroom in Gwynn Oak Park, located in Baltimore Maryland.  A large number of my friends were excited to get inside for an evening of dancing with abandon to the music of James Brown and The Famous Flames.  We weren't just listening to recorded music.  The Godfather of Soul and his band were actually playing on the stage.  We moved, sang and celebrated his unique talents.  Yet we were young and ignorant of the struggles and discrimination that black artists faced every day.


Years later, we read of Brown's impoverished, hardscrabble youth.  He had boxed, sang gospel, went to a juvenile detention center after a robbery conviction, and worked as a janitor.  The gospel group he had originally joined while in prison also sang R&B, eventually performing at college campuses, until Brown contacted his idol, Little Richard.  Richard's manager auditioned Brown and his Flames and quickly agreed to act as their manager.  From there, he wrote and recorded his first hit song, "Please, Please Please".  Brown's dynamic dance moves and vocals were unequaled throughout his career.  His personal life was tumultuous:  multiple marriages, prison time, multiple instances of domestic violence, and drug use.


Anyone can lay down a Wikipedia-style stairstep history of an artist's life, and that's what I was expecting from author James McBride's Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul.  That's not what I found in this book.  McBride offers lovely fruit of exhaustive research on Brown's background and complicated life.  His wit and passion reveal the cultural landscape of the U.S. from the Fifties until his death in 2006.  Brown had wished to leave a large amount of money to benefit the poor children of Georgia and South Carolina, but a legal battle has raged for over ten years among his numerous wives and children, consuming millions, while the Godfather's body lay in a gilded coffin in his daughter's backyard for much of that time.


Buy Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul at Amazon

Kathleen Barker was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. A graduate of Blessed Sacrament, the Institute of Notre Dame and Towson University, she spent twenty years as the much-traveled wife of a Navy pilot and has three children. While working for a Fortune 500 insurance company in New Orleans, she wrote feature and human interest articles for their magazine and received the Field Reporter of the Year award. After Hurricane Katrina, she returned to her beloved state of Maryland where she started work on "The Charm City Chronicles". All four volumes, "Ednor Scardens", "The Body War", "The Hurting Year", and "On Gabriel's Wings" are available in Amazon's Kindle store.

Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

November 22, 2016

Review: Love is a Four-Legged Word by Michele Gorman

by Donna Huber


Scarlett barely had time to register the furry flash of red before it rugby-tackled her in the park. One second she was talking to the dog owners and the next she was staring up at the grey March sky through the bare branches of the horse chestnuts.



My Review

I love Michele Gorman's books. She knows how to have fun with her characters while also dealing with real issues of relationships. It can be a difficult balance to find, but Gorman seems to do it with ease.

Scarlett and Rufus are struggling to have a baby and it is causing a strain on their relationship. Their best friend Shannon is trying to work up the courage to talk to "Mr. Darcy", but will she become the wedge that breaks Scarlett and Rufus apart?

As you can tell, the main characters are dealing with some heavy issues, but the secondary characters add levity to the story. Scarlett and Shannon co-own a dog walking and training business. Shannon does the dog walking as she finishes up art school and is where she encounters "Mr. Darcy" (it is the name she came up with since she hasn't been able to ask him his name). Scarlett trains dogs and we really get to know 3 of her clients - Charlie with his vacuum cleaner dog Barkley, Max and his humping dog Murphy, and Margaret who needs to show her dog Biscuit who is in charge (actually she needs to do that with her whole family). Whenever dogs are involved, you know there are going to be moments of hilarity.

I hate that it took me so long to read through Love is a Four-Legged Word, but life got in the way. Thankfully, Gorman made it easy to slip right back into the story with relatable characters and engaging writing. Each time, it felt like I was getting together with old friends and catching up on what they had been doing in the intervening time. I know the holidays can be crazy, but this would be a great book to pick up whenever you found yourself with a few minutes to spare.

Buy Love is a Four-Legged Word at Amazon


Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour



Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

November 21, 2016

November Reading List #MondayBlogs

by Donna Huber

Another new month and a few new books on my reading list. I'm feeling the push to meet my Goodreads reading challenge goal for the year of 75 books. I've read 58 so far - this doesn't count the Harry Potter series I re-read. I typically set my goal without counting books that I might re-read during the year, and hopefull I will make it there by December 31.

Finished:

I finished up all the books from my October Reading list including the addition of Some Like It Perfect (read my review). My review of Love is a Four-legged Word will post tomorrow. This month I've already listened to a couple of audio books:

cover The Crown
I have listened to all the books in The Selection series in audio and The Crown was no except. I have loved the narrator. I thought The Crown was a bit boring, like there really wasn't much story there. I think this series has run it course, though maybe a few novella could still come out.

Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series has captured the hearts of readers from its very first page. Now the end of the journey is here. Prepare to be swept off your feet by The Crown—the eagerly awaited, wonderfully romantic fifth and final book in the Selection series.

In The Heir, a new era dawned in the world of The Selection. Twenty years have passed since America Singer and Prince Maxon fell in love, and their daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own.

Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected.

Buy The Crown at Amazon


cover Halfway to the Grave
I've seen this series at the digital library, but I din't really think it would be something I would enjoy. Halfway to the Grave is one of the Prime exclusives at Audible so I gave it a try. It was okay, but I probably won't be picking the rest of the books.

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unlikely partnership.

In exchange for help finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner…are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon, Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side...and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Buy Halfway to the Grave at Amazon


cover Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
As you know I've been re-reading Harry Potter. I was hoping to get through the series before my hold came up on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I didn't make it by a few weeks. I tried to read the new "book", but I couldn't get through it. I haven't heard much about what people thought of it. Have you read it? She I give it another try? I did finish up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I know the Rowling said in an interview that Neville and Luna ended up together, but during my re-reading I think it more likely that Dean did. There was just a line when they were at Shell Cottage that made the lightbulb go off in my head.

It's no longer safe for Harry at Hogwarts, so he and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are on the run. Professor Dumbledore has given them clues about what they need to do to defeat the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, once and for all, but it's up to them to figure out what these hints and suggestions really mean.

Their cross-country odyssey has them searching desperately for the answers, while evading capture or death at every turn. At the same time, their friendship, fortitude, and sense of right and wrong are tested in ways they never could have imagined.

The ultimate battle between good and evil that closes out this final chapter of the epic series takes place where Harry's Wizarding life began: at Hogwarts. The satisfying conclusion offers shocking last-minute twists, incredible acts of courage, powerful new forms of magic, and the resolution of many mysteries.

Above all, this intense, cathartic book serves as a clear statement of the message at the heart of the Harry Potter series: that choice matters much more than destiny, and that love will always triumph over death.

Buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Amazon


Currently Reading:

A generation has passed since the pandemic known only as the Infection ended the world as we know it. In a little town in the Appalachian Mountains, Taylor has known only a harsh and brutal struggle for survival in a land littered with the rusted-out remnants of a lost world. By day, she labors in a coal mine. In the evenings, she tends a secret collection of beehives, and uses the honey to pay for lessons in survival skills, such as hunting, fishing, and collecting herbs. Her home is a single room in a crumbling old motel, and her only companion is a pet box tortoise named Go she’s had since she was a child.

When her town is destroyed by a vicious gang of raiders known as the Nine, Taylor escapes with Dylan, the son of the mayor. Their only plan is to head south and escape the Nine’s vast territory, avoiding areas contaminated by meltdowns and industrial pollution where mysterious illnesses plague the residents.

Dylan has never known hunger or hardship and struggles to learn survival skills. He’s never known a woman like Taylor, either. He tries to pay her back by teaching her to read, and telling her the stories passed down from the world of Before.

They certainly didn’t plan on falling in love. Taylor fights it every step of the way, because in her world, any emotional attachment is dangerous. She’s been taught since childhood that love slows you down, makes you weak. But the feelings growing between them cannot be denied.
Taylor finds herself slowly breaking every one of her hard-learned rules of survival. She discovers that perhaps some of those things she’s always fought to avoid are the very things that make life worth living.

Buy Dominion at Amazon



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November 20, 2016

Book Spotlight: Winter Lites ~ A Collection of Seasoned Tales

Winter Lites Cover.jpg
Winter Lites: A Collection of Seasoned Tales
Presented by Lavish Publishing
By Samantha Jacobey, Annie Rose Welch, R.A. Carter-Squire, Desiree L. Scott, M.L. Steinbrunn, A.J. Nicky Hjort, L.A. Remenicky, Anita Cox

This fall and winter season, Lavish Publishing is proud to bring together five of our new and established authors along with a few of their friends to present Winter Lites: A Collection of Seasoned Tales.

Inside this boxed set of novellas, eight special journeys await – all clean reads, ranging from love stories to paranormal thrillers. Each is told in the authors' unique voice, all are professionally edited and proofed, and only available in this special bundle for the 2016 holiday season.

Buy Links:


This set includes:

The Binding ~ Samantha Jacobey

Winter Lites Teaser 1.jpg

One cursed diary will change two strangers forever...

Merideth Monroe was born to a wealthy politician; luxury was her middle name. The happiest childhood, the finest schools, and landing her dream career; her future couldn’t have been brighter. She didn’t care that her mother wanted a different path for her; but when her mother is murdered and she appears to be next, nothing in her flawless life will matter.

Rider Bradshaw lived a carefree existence. Ex-military, he only wanted out of his family’s shaded history and chose to leave the sins of their past behind. However, when a girl he’s never heard of is placed in his charge by his father, protecting her becomes his obsession and keeping her safe his only reality.

Can Meri and Rider use her mother’s old book to figure out why someone is after them? Or will the guilty party succeed, ripping the tome away before killing them and then slithering back into the darkness…

The Binding Cover.jpg

About the Author:

Anyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never met a stranger and take up conversations anywhere at any time. I work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the middle of the night.

I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well.

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of course, there will be many more stories to come.

Hazel Darling: Sweetest Sister ~ Annie Rose Welch

Winter Lites Teaser 2.jpg

A pinch of a sordid past.
A dash of vices.
A heaping handful of sisters.
A bit of faith.
And a lot of baking.
Stir it all together somewhere new, somewhere like Carmel, California.

Hazel Little Darling is hoping this is a recipe for a new start. Hazel is banking on a life full of flour, sugar, butter, and fairytales to make all her dreams come true. A life far removed from the one she had been living—a life of secrets with her infamous gang of sisters. She swears off excess food, drinks, pills, and, boys, all in hopes of living the “good life.”

California brings the mysterious Tobias Jameson, who seems to materialize in the still of the night. Their fated rendezvous under the stars is a short one, leaving Hazel to draw her own conclusions about what exactly transpired between two passing souls. After their meeting, Hazel’s sure that she’ll never again see the handsome man who seemed to understand her without truly knowing her. Tobias has other plans, though, and he fights for a place in Hazel’s life— something Hazel has never experienced before and that makes her trust him even less. So when Hazel’s history is brought to light, she’s not sure whether her past will steal her happily ever after, or become the foundation of her life’s greatest recipe.

Her sweetest remedy, or nothing but a bitter goodbye.

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About the Author:

Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California).

Her passion for writing began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightening bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream come true for her, she hasn't stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soulmates, and things that are generally out of the norm.

When she's not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. Deciding on a whim to hitch up those same wagons, Annie currently resides in Texas (where everything is bigger) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).

For lagniappe (a little extra), a virtual cup of café au lait and beignets, please visit Annie's website: www.annierosewelch.com. She can also be found on Facebook & Twitter.


Dirty Old Man ~ R.A.Carter-Squire

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Roy Corwin, a simple man, widower, retired. A long life lived with a purpose, but don’t ever call him a Dirty Old Man.

Roy loved Halloween. He treated it as the most special night of the year, next to Christmas Eve. Decorations, spooky stories, kids dressed as ghosts and goblins running from house to house collecting enough candy to satisfy any sweet tooth for a year. That’s what he thought until this year.

Roy, a decorated Vietnam veteran, lives alone in his childhood home in a neighborhood where the only other occupied house belongs to a drug lord.

Two foes united by differing memories of Halloween, a visit from a lost friend. Years, of savagery in the jungles of a foreign country, struggling with the loss of his wife, and living with the stigma of a slanderous dark story from his past, have pushed him to the brink on this All Hallows Eve. Roy is taking back his self-respect.

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About the Author:

Mr. Carter-Squire likes to write what he enjoys reading... thriller, mystery, horror. He's had the pleasure of reading most authors in these genres, from Doyle to Grisham, from Poe to King and everyone in between. The story is what compels him to read and continue reading. That's his plan when he writes and continues to develop his abilities to give you the reader, the best possible story to entertain you. Mr. Carter-Squire has achieved a top ten placement in the Horror Fans Fiction Appreciation competition. Competed in the World's Best Fiction competition and received a top 200 placing. Rick's work is supported by his amazing wife and family, because they are his first audience.

Please be kind and leave a review for any books you read. They help an author improve and gives them a sense of accomplishment. We write for our readers.

Stranded on Vail Mountain ~ Desiree L. Scott

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Stranded on Vail Mountain
It was supposed to be a vacation, a time to save her marriage, but what Joan Clayton hadn’t counted on was Murphy’s Law of Vail Mountain and the secrets that had damaged her marriage beyond repair. It was over. Depressed and angry, she decided to venture directly into an oncoming snowstorm, one that would be known as the blizzard of the century.

Stephen Brockheart received the call concerning a missing tourist after working 26 hours straight. A park ranger for the mountain resort, he set out on the routine mission, knowing he was running out of time as the blizzard hit with visibility zero. What he hadn’t counted on was saving a beautiful woman and falling for her, a city girl who knew nothing about the dangers of the mountain. He had been there before and vowed never to return.

As Mother Nature raged, Joan was soon overcome by the feelings a complete stranger evoked in her, causing her to reevaluate her own life. Through the blizzard and stranded at the resort, death was imminent for any who would try to leave. Despite loss and secrets, can two people find love and happiness again?

Can they be given a second chance to make it real and lasting, or will that chance die with them?

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About the Author:

Desiree L. Scott has been writing since she was sixteen years old. There have been many influences within her life that has set her on the path that she cannot help but walk. A few of those influences consist of Karen Rose, Lisa Gardener, Nora Roberts, Cynthia Eden, Catherine Anderson, Laura Griffin, Andrea Kane, and Lisa Jackson, just to name a few. This list by no means defines my own writing but they have indeed influenced her desire to live outside of her own world and to create the thrill of her dreams.

Desiree lives on 40 + acres in the SHOW ME state with her ten-year old daughter, with the wonderful addition of four dogs. The weather is unpredictable, but the surrounding beauty of the country helps her creativity as she sits on her top deck with her laptop and coffee close by. There is one incident that will always remain with her that really affected her determination on writing and she would love to share it with her readers......

***

When I was eighteen years old, I had written ten VERY well-known authors, a few being Julie Garwood and Nora Roberts, just to name a few. Now keep in mind, I wrote a very long letter, asking for advice on writing and so forth. My letter was more gushing than anything else but still, ONE author wrote me back! By hand no less.

Her name was Andrea Kane, a suspense writer who crafts the most amazing stories and plots. But because of that one small act of kindness, she not only has my respect as an author but as a wonderful person who took the time to let me know about a few organizations and to wish me luck in my goals and ambitions through life. It meant the world to an eighteen year old girl and still does, as I have gotten older and continued my dream.

I hope that I make one small impact in the world at large and to readers, even if it's small. I have so many reasons to be blessed in life and hope that I never take those for granted. The support has been amazing and for that, I will never forget where I have come from, the struggles I have endured, and the blessings that I have been gifted with. Thank you all so very much!!

Revelations: A Redemption Series Novella ~ M.L. Steinbrunn

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I’m the princess of spin, an up-and-coming star on my way to becoming the best in the advertising business. I can make your company, your product, you, irresistible. The suits bend to my will; I sip their insecurities with my morning latte.

But then one serendipitous moment, one perfect stranger, turned my world upside down.

Nash Phillips waltzed into my office and managed to twist me into a knotted mess. The job was all I needed, now he's all I crave. But having him isn't that simple.

The truth is supposed to be easy, pure, even refreshing. However, in our business of half-truths and twisted realities, will our attraction survive the revelations of our true reality?

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About the Author:

My name is M.L. Steinbrunn and I am a young adult and contemporary romance author. My work includes the popular Redemption Series and a young adult series, which includes my new release, A Beholden Heart.

In addition to writing, I work full-time as a high school educator and coach in rural Colorado where my husband and I are raising our four young children. Through education I have enjoyed guiding others on their paths and helping students build their own stories. After countless evenings of discussing story ideas, it was my husband who encouraged me to follow my own path of self-publishing.

I want to send a huge thank you to those who have been overwhelmingly supportive of this journey.

Where Tyndra Turns To Ardnyt ~ A. Nicky Hjort

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In the center of a magical world there grows a beautiful and terrible chasm of climbing plants. On one side of the Ivy Wall we find the hell-of-Tyndra, on the other, the heaven-of-Ardnyt. But legend has it that in the middle…lives a preternatural beast that imprisons and tortures the children from both sides.

When the war against time begins, Azza will have to cross over the Ivy Wall, something that has never been done before by a living being. But if she does make it through, she just might discover who she really is and how she became trapped in this alternate reality.

A fairytale at heart, this is the first chapter in the epic saga of the youngest and most fickle of the four Norn Sisters. The same feisty immortal creature who must escape her inherent inner darkness to learn the meaning of love.

A veritable palindrome from start to finish, the narrative of Where Tyndra Turns to Ardnyt journeys through duality to discover what shocking truths emerge when up becomes down, life becomes death, suffering becomes release, and the most unexpected endings become the most surprising beginnings.

Welcome to a place where forwards and backwards are exactly the same direction. Here Where Tyndra Turns to Ardnyt.

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About the Author:

A. Nicky Hjort is originally from Arlington, Texas- the second of five siblings, all of whom have strong creative talents. She currently lives in coastal central California where she practices medicine as an Ob/GYN. In between being a lovingly devoted mother and delivering babies, she writes stories that cross multiple genre lines- from Sci Fi to high fantasy, but all of her stories have thriller and strong romantic components. And for her clever reader, all of her manuscripts are subtly connected to each other, with their purpose to explore all facets of Love and Light. She likes to say that her stories write themselves, and in the process, often write her, or at least the next version of her hoping to emerge. A lover of all the arts, A. Nicky Hjort hopes her stories might inspire you to find your inner creative genius.

Connect with her on FB at https://m.facebook.com/Author.A.N.Hjort, Twitter at @A_NickyHjort, or Goodreads under A.Nicky Hjort

Her website is www.ANickyHjortBooks.com

She thanks you for your attention to her work.


Love On The Double ~ Loving Jessie's Girl ~ L.A. Remenicky

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Until AJ Monroe left Indiana after college he had always lived in his identical twin brother’s shadow. He had made a life for himself in Denver, Colorado, away from Jessie, away from Indiana. But when AJ feared for his brother's safety, he left everything behind to step back into the shadow he thought he had outgrown. Finding his brother was AJ's only concern...until he met Jessie's girl.

Fiercely independent, Rina Abbot hid her true situation from everyone, including her best friend, Jessie. Out of money and unable to care for her rescue dogs she had no choice but to accept the help of the handsome stranger with a familiar face. Afraid to trust him, she tried to ignore the feelings he stirred within her as they searched for his missing brother.

But secrets never stay secrets for long. Finally open about their feelings for each other, Rina’s secrets began to wreak havoc on their lives. Would Rina’s secrets force AJ to give up his dream of loving Jessie’s girl?

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About the Author:

L.A. Remenicky ~ Love Stories With A Twist

L.A. Remenicky is a forty-something wife and mother of three fur kids. A payroll professional by day, she writes out the stories in her head by night.

An avid reader all her life, she finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) during NaNoWriMo in 2012 and has never looked back. When she’s not typing away on her latest story with music playing in the background, she can usually be found spending time with her family and friends.

Unexpected Gift ~ Anita Cox

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Jake Baker, Alpha of the new Special Forces unit of the Federation of Supernatural Entities, spends his time tracking down members of a diabolical group known as the Separatists. These members will stop at nothing to keep the species divided and embattled.

He finds himself constantly missing a human, Susan Sweeny. Knowing a relationship with her would be bad for the both of them, he tries to shake his feelings for her but finds he spends an inordinate amount of time staring at her photos on his laptop.

A call from the Lycan Queen brings him home for the holidays where he’s hit with the shocker of his life. The human is pregnant with his child. But what is he to do now?

Can he overcome his bias toward the humans and do what’s right by human and their half-breed child? Will she accept him as a mate, even though they cannot bond? Or will love and fate come together to give Jake what he’s yearned for ever since he could recall?


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About the Author:

Anita Cox is a bestselling author of a growing number of novels. For over ten years, she's written contemporary, erotic, and paranormal, romances via traditional, independent, and audio publishers.

An only child born and raised in the Midwest, Anita enjoyed reading novels as a way to occupy herself and set her imagination free. That propensity blossomed into creations of her own as she began crafting novels of her own. As she matured, she began writing more adult tales and donned the pen name Anita Cox.

Anita resides in Indiana with the last teenager in her herd, a fluffy-not-fat cat named Tommy Chong, Titan the English Mastiff and the husband that helped create her creative pen name. In her free time, Anita enjoys fishing, gardening, and devouring equal portions of strong coffee and heart-stopping novels.

Find out how to get specials and behind the scenes info by visiting her website at www.authoranitacox.com


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