Posted in reviews

Confessions From the Quilting Circle by Maisey Yates Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Three sisters are brought together by tragedy, and must learn to not only come together as a family but confront their pasts as well in author Maisey Yates’s “Confessions From The Quilting Circle”. 

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The Synopsis

The Ashwood women don’t have much in common…except their ability to keep secrets.

When Lark Ashwood’s beloved grandmother dies, she and her sisters discover an unfinished quilt. Finishing it could be the reason Lark’s been looking for to stop running from the past, but is she ever going to be brave enough to share her biggest secret with the people she ought to be closest to?

Hannah can’t believe she’s back in Bear Creek, the tiny town she sacrificed everything to escape from. The plan? Help her sisters renovate her grandmother’s house and leave as fast as humanly possible. Until she comes face-to-face with a man from her past. But getting close to him again might mean confessing what really drove her away…

Stay-at-home mom Avery has built a perfect life, but at a cost. She’ll need all her family around her, and all her strength, to decide if the price of perfection is one she can afford to keep paying.

This summer, the Ashwood women must lean on each other like never before, if they are to stitch their family back together, one truth at a time…

The Review

This was a powerful women’s fiction read. The author beautifully sets up a dramatic and emotional family dynamic between the three sisters and their mother in the face of losing their beloved grandmother. The rift between the sisters is felt early on, showing the complex balance of tension and emotion between them all. 

Character growth was essential in this read. The author not only does a great job of showcasing each sister’s individual struggles and how they feel in this tension-filled dynamic with the other two sisters, but the author also fills out the narrative with backstory as diary entries from two different women from different eras give insight into the family’s history as a whole. The author showcases a wide range of talent in this writing, as the author’s normal romance-style narratives shift easily into the women’s fiction genre, highlighting the strong bonds between family and in this instance, sisterhood. 

The Verdict

A memorable, emotional, and engaging read, author Maisey Yates’s “Confessions From the Quilting Circle” is a must-read women’s fiction narrative. The book flows smoothly and engages the reader on multiple levels. The gripping tale of these sisters will resonate with so many of us out there, and in a story about leaving things unfinished in our lives and feeling a piece of ourselves missing, the author found a wonderful way to explore the journey to making ourselves whole again. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

New York Times Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit. 

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An Excerpt From CONFESSIONS FROM THE QUILTING CIRCLE

1

March 4th, 1944

The dress is perfect. Candlelight satin and antique lace. I can’t wait for you to see it. I can’t wait to walk down the aisle toward you. If only we could set a date. If only we had some idea of when the war will be over.

Love, Dot

Present day—Lark

Unfinished.

The word whispered through the room like a ghost. Over the faded, floral wallpaper, down to the scarred wooden floor. And to the precariously stacked boxes and bins of fabrics, yarn skeins, canvases and other artistic miscellany.

Lark Ashwood had to wonder if her grandmother had left them this way on purpose. Unfinished business here on earth, in the form of quilts, sweaters and paintings, to keep her spirit hanging around after she was gone.

It would be like her. Adeline Dowell did everything with just a little extra.

From her glossy red hair—which stayed that color till the day she died—to her matching cherry glasses and lipstick. She always had an armful of bangles, a beer in her hand and an ashtray full of cigarettes. She never smelled like smoke. She smelled like spearmint gum, Aqua Net and Avon perfume.

She had taught Lark that it was okay to be a little bit of extra.

A smile curved Lark’s lips as she looked around the attic space again. “Oh, Gram…this is really a mess.”

She had the sense that was intentional too. In death, as in life, her grandmother wouldn’t simply fade away.

Neat attics, well-ordered affairs and pre-death estate sales designed to decrease the clutter a family would have to go through later were for other women. Quieter women who didn’t want to be a bother.

Adeline Dowell lived to be a bother. To expand to fill a space, not shrinking down to accommodate anyone.

Lark might not consistently achieve the level of excess Gram had, but she considered it a goal.

“Lark? Are you up there?”

She heard her mom’s voice carrying up the staircase. “Yes!” She shouted back down. “I’m…trying to make sense of this.”

She heard footsteps behind her and saw her mom standing there, gray hair neat, arms folded in. “You don’t have to. We can get someone to come in and sort it out.” 

“And what? Take it all to a thrift store?” Lark asked.

Her mom’s expression shifted slightly, just enough to convey about six emotions with no wasted effort. Emotional economy was Mary Ashwood’s forte. As contained and practical as Addie had been excessive. “Honey, I think most of this would be bound for the dump.”

“Mom, this is great stuff.”

“I don’t have room in my house for sentiment.”

“It’s not about sentiment. It’s usable stuff.”

“I’m not artsy, you know that. I don’t really…get all this.” The unspoken words in the air settled over Lark like a cloud.

Mary wasn’t artsy because her mother hadn’t been around to teach her to sew. To knit. To paint. To quilt.

Addie had taught her granddaughters. Not her own daughter.

She’d breezed on back into town in a candy apple Corvette when Lark’s oldest sister, Avery, was born, after spending Mary’s entire childhood off on some adventure or another, while Lark’s grandfather had done the raising of the kids.

Grandkids had settled her. And Mary had never withheld her children from Adeline. Whatever Mary thought about her mom was difficult to say. But then, Lark could never really read her mom’s emotions. When she’d been a kid, she hadn’t noticed that. Lark had gone around feeling whatever she did and assuming everyone was tracking right along with her because she’d been an innately self focused kid. Or maybe that was just kids.

Either way, back then badgering her mom into tea parties and talking her ear off without noticing Mary didn’t do much of her own talking had been easy.

It was only when she’d had big things to share with her mom that she’d realized…she couldn’t.

“It’s easy, Mom,” Lark said. “I’ll teach you. No one is asking you to make a living with art, art can be about enjoying the process.”

“I don’t enjoy doing things I’m bad at.”

“Well I don’t want Gram’s stuff going to a thrift store, okay?”

Another shift in Mary’s expression. A single crease on one side of her mouth conveying irritation, reluctance and exhaustion. But when she spoke she was measured. “If that’s what you want. This is as much yours as mine.”

It was a four-way split. The Dowell House and all its contents, and The Miner’s House, formerly her grandmother’s candy shop, to Mary Ashwood, and her three daughters. They’d discovered that at the will reading two months earlier.

It hadn’t caused any issues in the family. They just weren’t like that.

Lark’s uncle Bill had just shaken his head. “She feels guilty.”

And that had been the end of any discussion, before any had really started. They were all like their father that way. Quiet. Reserved. Opinionated and expert at conveying it without saying much.

Big loud shouting matches didn’t have a place in the Dowell family.

But Addie had been there for her boys. They were quite a bit older than Lark’s mother. She’d left when the oldest had been eighteen. The youngest boy sixteen.

Mary had been four.

Lark knew her mom felt more at home in the middle of a group of men than she did with women. She’d been raised in a house of men. With burned dinners and repressed emotions.

Lark had always felt like her mother had never really known what to make of the overwhelmingly female household she’d ended up with.

“It’s what I want. When is Hannah getting in tonight?” 

Hannah, the middle child, had moved to Boston right after college, getting a position in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She had the summer off of concerts and had decided to come to Bear Creek to finalize the plans for their inherited properties before going back home.

Once Hannah had found out when she could get time away from the symphony, Lark had set her own plans for moving into motion. She wanted to be here the whole time Hannah was here, since for Hannah, this wouldn’t be permanent.

But Lark wasn’t going back home. If her family agreed to her plan, she was staying here.

Which was not something she’d ever imagined she’d do.

Lark had gone to college across the country, in New York, at eighteen and had spent years living everywhere but here. Finding new versions of herself in new towns, new cities, whenever the urge took her.

Unfinished.

“Sometime around five-ish? She said she’d get a car out here from the airport. I reminded her that isn’t the easiest thing to do in this part of the world. She said something about it being in apps now. I didn’t laugh at her.”

Lark laughed, though. “She can rent a car.”

Lark hadn’t lived in Bear Creek since she was eighteen, but she hadn’t been under the impression there was a surplus of ride services around the small, rural community. If you were flying to get to Bear Creek, you had to fly into Medford, which was about eighteen miles from the smaller town. Even if you could find a car, she doubted the driver would want to haul anyone out of town.

But her sister wouldn’t be told anything. Hannah made her own way, something Lark could relate to. But while she imagined herself drifting along like a tumbleweed, she imagined Hannah slicing through the water like a shark. With intent, purpose, and no small amount of sharpness.

“Maybe I should arrange something.”

“Mom. She’s a professional symphony musician who’s been living on her own for fourteen years. I’m pretty sure she can cope.”

“Isn’t the point of coming home not having to cope for a while? Shouldn’t your mom handle things?” Mary was a doer. She had never been the one to sit and chat. She’d loved for Lark to come out to the garden with her and work alongside her in the flower beds, or bake together. “You’re not in New Mexico anymore. I can make you cookies without worrying they’ll get eaten by rats in the mail.”

Lark snorted. “I don’t think there are rats in the mail.”

“It doesn’t have to be real for me to worry about it.”

And there was something Lark had inherited directly from her mother. “That’s true.”

That and her love of chocolate chip cookies, which her mom made the very best. She could remember long afternoons at home with her mom when she’d been little, and her sisters had been in school. They’d made cookies and had iced tea, just the two of them.

Cooking had been a self-taught skill her mother had always been proud of. Her recipes were hers. And after growing up eating “chicken with blood” and beanie weenies cooked by her dad, she’d been pretty determined her kids would eat better than that.

Something Lark had been grateful for.

And Mom hadn’t minded if she’d turned the music up loud and danced in some “dress up clothes”—an oversized prom dress from the ’80s and a pair of high heels that were far too big, purchased from a thrift store. Which Hannah and Avery both declared “annoying” when they were home. 

Her mom hadn’t understood her, Lark knew that. But Lark had felt close to her back then in spite of it.

The sound of the door opening and closing came from downstairs. “Homework is done, dinner is in the Crock-Pot. I think even David can manage that.”

The sound of her oldest sister Avery’s voice was clear, even from a distance. Lark owed that to Avery’s years of motherhood, coupled with the fact that she—by choice—fulfilled the role of parent liaison at her kids’ exclusive private school, and often wrangled children in large groups. Again, by choice.

Lark looked around the room one last time and walked over to the stack of crafts. There was an old journal on top of several boxes that look like they might be overflowing with fabric, along with some old Christmas tree ornaments, and a sewing kit. She grabbed hold of them all before walking to the stairs, turning the ornaments over and letting the silver stars catch the light that filtered in through the stained glass window.

Her mother was already ahead of her, halfway down the stairs by the time Lark got to the top of them. She hadn’t seen Avery yet since she’d arrived. She loved her older sister. She loved her niece and nephew. She liked her brother-in-law, who did his best not to be dismissive of the fact that she made a living drawing pictures. Okay, he kind of annoyed her. But still, he was fine. Just… A doctor. A surgeon, in fact, and bearing all of the arrogance that stereotypically implied.

One of the saddest things about living away for as long as she had was that she’d missed her niece’s and nephew’s childhoods. She saw them at least once a year, but it never felt like enough. And now they were teenagers, and a lot less cute.

And then there was Avery, who had always been somewhat untouchable. Four years older than Lark, Avery was a classic oldest child. A people pleasing perfectionist. She was organized and she was always neat and orderly.  And even though the gap between thirty-four and thirty-eight was a lot narrower than twelve and sixteen, sometimes Lark still felt like the gawky adolescent to Avery’s sweet sixteen.

But maybe if they shared in a little bit of each other’s day-to-day it would close some of that gap she felt between them.

Excerpted from Confessions From the Quilting Circle by Maisey Yates, Copyright © 2021 by Maisey Yates. Published by HQN Books.

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The Path to Sunshine Cove (Cape Sanctuary #2) by RaeAnne Thayne Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Jessica Clayton must contend with a haunted childhood and the challenge of letting people get close to her as she attempts to get a better relationship with her sister and her family, along with her latest client and her client’s son, in author RaeAnne Thayne’s “The Path to Sunshine Cove”, the second book in the “Cape Sanctuary” series. 

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The Synopsis

She knows what’s best for everyone but herself…

With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She’s made a career out of helping others downsize—because she’s learned the hard way that the less “stuff,” the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home…and that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven’t made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents and changed everything between them.

While Jess couldn’t wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world—and her sister—to think she has a picture-perfect life. But with the demands of her youngest child’s disability, Rachel’s marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she’s learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn’t do family, and she shouldn’t count on her now.

Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached—to her sister and her family, even to her client’s interfering son, Nate—and it’s time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put and make room for the love and joy that come along with it?

The Review

This was a perfect read for those who enjoy feel-good, emotionally driven women’s fiction with a touch of romance. The relationship between Jess and Nate evolves at a great pace, and the progression of Jess’s relationship with her sister Rachel makes the character growth between these characters shine brightly.

The story itself has an air of relatability to it, speaking to the trauma children can endure throughout their childhood and how it can influence the behavior of us all as adults. The walls we put up in the aftermath of trauma can affect relationships, and Jess showcases the painful but rewarding journey to overcome those walls. 

The Verdict

A heartwarming, connective, and engaging read, author RaeAnne Thayne’s “The Path to Sunshine” is a must-read women’s fiction novel. The balance of family and romance within the narrative makes for a gripping tale, and readers won’t want to miss the emotional final chapters of this story. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

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Facebook: @AuthorRaeAnneThayne

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An Excerpt From “The Path to Sunshine Cove”

Chapter One 

If not for all of the emotional baggage cluttering up her Airstream, this wouldn’t be a bad place to park for a few days. 

As Jess Clayton drove through the quiet streets of Cape Sanctuary on a beautiful May afternoon, she couldn’t help being charmed anew by the Northern California beach town vibes. 

She had been here before, of course. Several times. Her sister lived just down that street there, in a large two-story cottage with gables, a bay window and a lush flower garden. Rachel loved it here. Every time Jess came to town, she was reminded why. What was not to love? Cape Sanctuary was a town defined by whimsical houses, overflowing gardens, wind chimes and Japanese fishing balls. 

And, of course, the gorgeous coastline, marked by redwoods, rock formations, cliffs.

 She drove past Juniper Way, her sister’s street, but didn’t turn down. Not yet. She would see Rachel, Cody and the kids soon, after she was settled.

 They were the whole reason she was here, after all. She didn’t see her nieces and nephew enough, only on the rare holidays and birthdays that she could arrange a visit. When a prospective client reached out from the same town as Rachel and her family, Jess saw it as a golden opportunity to spend more time with the kids. 

And her sister, of course.

 She sighed as she made her way to her destination, Sunshine Cove, still a mile away, according to her navigation system.

 Rachel was the reason for all that baggage she was towing along. Jess loved her younger sister dearly but their relationship was like a messy tangle of electric wires, some of them live and still sparking. 

She would be in Cape Sanctuary for two weeks on this job. Maybe she would finally have the chance to sort things out with Rachel and achieve some kind of peace. 

The road rose, climbing through a stand of redwoods and coastal pine, with houses tucked in here and there before the view to the ocean opened up again

. In five hundred feet, your destination is on the right: 2135 Seaview Road. 

She couldn’t argue with Siri on this one. That was a spectacular view. The Pacific glistened in the afternoon sunlight, with only a few feathery clouds above the horizon line. She turned at the orca-shaped mailbox Eleanor Whitaker had told her to seek. Through more coastal pine, she could see the house. She recognized it from the pictures her client had sent. One level, made of stone and cedar, the house looked as if it had grown out of the landscape fully formed. 

She knew the house was more than five thousand square feet, built at the turn of the century by a wealthy ranching and logging family in the area. It featured seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms, all of which she would come to know well over the next two weeks. 

From the picture Eleanor had sent, Jess knew Whitaker House was beautiful. Elegant. Comfortable. Warm.

 The kind of place where Jess had once dreamed of living, free of shouting, chaos, pain.

 She could see, tucked into the trees overlooking the ocean, a smaller house on the property that was almost a miniature of the big house, with the same cedar and stone exterior as well as windows that gleamed in the afternoon sun. 

A big dark blue pickup truck was parked there but she couldn’t see anyone around. 

Jess pulled her own rig over to the side of the driveway in case anyone needed to come in and out, then scouted around for a place she could unhitch.

 From their phone call earlier that morning as she was driving, she knew Eleanor wouldn’t be here, that she had taken her teenage granddaughter into a nearby town to an orthodontist appointment and then to catch a movie they had both been wanting to see. 

Make yourself at home and set up anywhere that works, Eleanor had said. 

As she cased the property, she instantly found the spot a hundred yards from the house that would give her a perfect view of the water, almost as if it had been created exactly for her twenty-four-foot 1993 Airstream, affectionately nicknamed Vera by Jess’s business partner. 

This job was meant to be. She had already bonded with Eleanor Whitaker over their weeks of email and phone correspondence. This view sealed the deal. 

When she was done working each day, she could go to sleep to the restful sound of the ocean. She climbed back in her pickup and backed the trailer with the ease of long practice. Some people struggled with trailering but Jess didn’t. The seven years she had spent as a driver in the military still served her well. 

When the Airstream was in a good spot, she hopped out and was reaching in the back of the pickup for the chocks when an angry male voice drifted across the manicured lawn to her. 

“Hey. This is private property. You can’t park that here!” 

She instinctively wrapped her hand around the chock. Angry male voices always brought out the warrior princess in her. She could blame both her childhood and those years in the army when she had to go toe to toe with people twice her weight and a foot taller. 

The chock was heavy and could do real damage in the right hands. 

Hers. 

“I have permission to be here,” she said, her voice cool but polite.

 He frowned. “Permission? That’s impossible.” 

“I assure you, it’s not.” 

“This is my mother’s property. She would have told me if she had given somebody permission to camp here.”

 Ah. This must be Nathaniel Whitaker, Eleanor’s son. Her client had mentioned that he lived in another house on the property and would probably be in and out as Jess went about her work.

 Hadn’t Eleanor told him Jess was coming? 

She relaxed her grip on the chock but didn’t release it. “You must be Nathaniel. Eleanor has told me about you.” 

Her words didn’t have an impact on his expression. If anything, his glower intensified, his frown now edged with confusion that she knew his name. 

Despite his sour expression, she couldn’t help noticing he was an extraordinarily good-looking man. Eleanor hadn’t mentioned that her son had dark hair, stormy blue eyes, a square jawline. Or that his green T-shirt with a logo over the right breast pocket that read Whitaker Construction clung to his muscles. 

Jess found it extremely inconvenient that Nathaniel Whitaker happened to hit every single one of her personal yum buttons.

 “Who are you?” he demanded. “And how do you know my mother?”

 Ah. This was tricky. Eleanor was her client. She must have had her own reasons for not telling her son Jess was showing up. Jess felt compelled to honor those reasons. Until she could talk to the woman, Jess didn’t feel right about giving more information to Nate than his own mother had

. “My name is Jess Clayton. Your mother knows I planned to arrive today. I have her permission to set up anywhere. I thought this would work well.”

 Beautifully, actually. The more time she looked around, the better she liked it. A twisting path down to the ocean started just a few yards away, leading down to what looked like a protected cove. 

“Set up for what? Why are you here?”

 “You really should ask your mother,” she said. It would be so much better if he could hear the explanation from Eleanor.

 “I just tried to call her when I saw you pulling in. She’s not answering.” 

“Probably in the middle of the movie. She told me she and Sophie were going to a matinee after the orthodontist.”

 If she thought this further knowledge about his family would set Nate’s mind at ease, she was sadly mistaken. His gaze narrowed further. “How the hell do you know my daughter had an orthodontist appointment?”

 “Your mom happened to mention it.”

 “Funny, the things my mother told you. I talk to her several times a day, every day, and she hasn’t said a word to me about a strange woman setting up a trailer in the side yard. Tell me again what you’re doing here?”

 She wanted to be finishing her trailer setup so she could unhitch and go into town for groceries. She would rather not be engaged in a confrontation with a strange man, no matter how hot, who didn’t need to know every detail of his mother’s life. 

Why hadn’t Eleanor told him already? It’s not as if the woman could keep their efforts a secret for long.

 Still, it was not up to Jess to spill the dirt. 

“I’m afraid that’s between me and your mother. You really need to get the answer to that question from her.”

 “Sorry, ma’am, but that’s not good enough. Right now, you’re trespassing. If you don’t move this out of here, I’m calling the police. The chief happens to be a good friend of mine.” 

“Yes, I know.” Done with this discussion, Jess reached down to wedge the chock behind the passenger-side wheel. “You play poker with him every other Friday night. Your mother told me.” 

“What else did she tell you?” He had moved beyond suspicion to outright hostility. She probably shouldn’t have said anything about the poker. She certainly wouldn’t want someone she didn’t know poking into her business. If he hadn’t been so blasted good-looking, she might have been able to handle this whole thing better. 

She forced a smile, trying to take a different tack. “I assure you, Eleanor knows I’m coming, as I said. She told me to settle in and make myself comfortable until she gets home. You can try calling her again.”

 Or you can accept that maybe I’m telling the truth and give me a break here. I’ve been driving for hours. I’m tired and hungry and I would really like to make a sandwich, which I can’t do with you standing there like a bouncer at a nightclub in a bad part of town. 

“I’ve tried multiple times. She’s not answering. You’re probably right, her phone is probably on silent.”

 “Look, when Eleanor and Sophie come back from the movie, she can tell you what’s going on. Until then, I would really like to finish setting up here.” 

“No matter what I say?”

 She didn’t want to challenge him but she was starving. 

“This is your mother’s house and she invited me here,” she said simply. “It will be easy enough to prove that once Eleanor returns. If I’m lying for some unknown reason and just happened to make an extraordinarily lucky guess about your mom and a daughter named Sophie who had an orthodontist appointment today, you and the entire Cape Sanctuary police force can boot me out.”

 He didn’t look at all appeased, his features still suspicious. She couldn’t really blame him. He was only trying to protect those he loved. She would probably do the same in his shoes.

 “Would you like a sandwich?” she said, trying another tack. “I make a mean PB and J.” 

For the first time, she saw a glimmer of surprise on his expression, as if he couldn’t quite believe she had the audacity to ask. “No, I wouldn’t like a sandwich.” 

“Suit yourself. I’ve had a long day already and I’m ready for some food. And I need to see how Vera survived the drive.” 

As she might have expected, his frown deepened. “Who is Vera?” 

She patted the skin on the Airstream. “It was, um, a pleasure to meet you, Nathaniel.”

 “Nate,” he muttered. “Nobody but my mother calls me Nathaniel.” 

“Nate, then.” 

She nodded and without waiting for him to argue, she slipped into the trailer and closed the door firmly behind her.

 The curtains were still closed from the drive and she didn’t want to open them yet to the afternoon sunlight. Not when Nate Whitaker might still be lurking outside.

 Instead, she sank onto the sofa that doubled as her office, dining room and guest space, astonished and dismayed to find her hands were shaking.

 What was that about? She had a familiar itchiness between her shoulder blades and could feel a little crash as her adrenaline subsided. 

Nate Whitaker wasn’t a threat to her. Yes, he might be angry right now but he wouldn’t hurt her. She already felt like his mother was an old and dear friend. Eleanor surely couldn’t have a son who was prone to random violence.

 Instinct told her he wouldn’t physically hurt her, yet Jess still had the strangest feeling that Nate posed some kind of danger to her. 

Ah well. She likely wouldn’t have much to do with the man. She was here to help Eleanor, not to fraternize with the woman’s gorgeous offspring. 

She only had to make sure she didn’t lose sight of her twin objectives here in Cape Sanctuary—spending time with her sister’s family and helping her client—and she would be fine. 

Excerpted from The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne Copyright © RaeAnne Thayne. Published by HQN Books.

Q&A with Author RaeAnne Thayner

Q:  I’m a fan. I love your novels, especially your holiday books. How are you able to write so many books?

 A: Thank you so much. I don’t feel like I’m a very fast writer, if you want the truth, I have just been around forever so have a big backlist! My first book came out in 1996 and I just finished my 68th book, so that works out to not quite 3 books a year. I try to write 10 pages a day, five-six days a week. I find consistency, sticking with it every day, is really the key when it comes to being productive.

Q: Are you a plot driven writer or character?

 A: Ooh. Both! I would say first, characters. All of my books start with the characters. I have to know their goals, motivations and conflicts before I can even start thinking about a plot. Once I have figured that out, I definitely spend a long time thinking about what journey they need to take to find their happy ending.

Q: Any special message you hope your readers get from The Path to Sunshine Cove?

 A: Life is hard and messy and imperfect but the relationships we nurture with those we love can help smooth away all the rough edges.

Q: Do you outline or just go for it?

 A: I have to plot extensively or I find myself wandering through the weeds trying to figure out where to go with the story. I spend a long time at the beginning of a book in the planning process, including writing each scene on an index card that contains the point-of-view character, the goal of the scene, the setting and important plot details of the scene. It helps me stay on track.

Q:  How did you start writing? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

A: I come from a family of voracious readers, thanks to our mother who loved to read. Because I loved to read, I learned to love words and writing but it was never my dream until high school when I took a journalism class and learned to love telling stories. I pursued a career in journalism and worked as a newspaper reporter and editor but still dreamed of writing a book. I started my first novel when I was on maternity leave with our oldest daughter, who is now 30. This year marks my 25th anniversary of being a published author!

Posted in reviews

Pretending by Holly Bourne Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

TRIGGER WARNING: PLOT INVOLVES MENTIONS AND PLOT LINES INVOLVING SEXUAL ASSAULT AND TRAUMA. 

A woman dealing with a traumatic past finds herself leading a somewhat double life after dealing with a series of bad relationships in author Holly Bourne’s “Pretending”. 

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The Synopsis

April is kind, pretty and relatively normal—yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry. Until she realizes that what men are really looking for is Gretel.

Gretel is perfect—beautiful but low maintenance, sweet but never clingy, sexy but not a slut. She’s your regular, everyday Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl-Next-Door with no problems.

When April starts pretending to be Gretel, dating becomes much more fun—especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua. Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?

The Review

This was a fantastic yet harrowing look into the modern world of dating, relationships and the boundaries that people cross every day. The story is also one of cycles, as cause and effect play a pivotal role in the theme of this narrative. 

The author dives emotionally into the sad yet true nature of a male-dominated society that makes things such as dating such a harrowing experience. Add on top of that the trauma of an experience where the protagonist found someone in her life crossing a line that should never be crossed, and in the process left her emotionally and mentally scarred by the event. The way the author showcases the impact this event has had on the protagonist’s psyche is really engaging to read, and how the character evolves over the course of the narrative keeps the reader invested throughout.

The Verdict

At times darkly comical, at others a shocking yet much-need narrative on the modern world of dating and holding those accountable for crossing horrific lines, the novel “Pretending” by Holly Bourne is a must-read story. The way the story plays out really highlights the need to not only help those who have suffered tragic events but to work to prevent them from happening by having more open and honest discussions in society is perfectly felt in this narrative, and the intimate inner dialogues the protagonist has with herself and her alter ego make the character growth throughout the novel feel much more impactful. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Holly started her writing career as a news journalist, where she was nominated for Best Print Journalist of the Year. She then spent six years working as an editor, a relationship advisor, and general ‘agony aunt’ for a youth charity – helping young people with their relationships and mental health.

Inspired by what she saw, she started writing teen fiction, including the best-selling, award-winning ‘Spinster Club’ series which helps educate teenagers about feminism. When she turned thirty, Holly wrote her first adult novel, ‘How Do You Like Me Now?’, examining the intensified pressures on women once they hit that landmark.

Alongside her writing, Holly has a keen interest in women’s rights and is an advocate for reducing the stigma of mental health problems. She’s helped create online apps that teach young people about sexual consent, works with Women’s Aid to spread awareness of abusive relationships, and runs Rethink’s mental health book club.

Posted in reviews

Across the Street by Laurie Lisa Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Twin sisters embark on an emotional journey as one becomes a surrogate for the other, and in the process both of their families undergo hardships, struggles and upheavals as secrets are revealed in author Laurie Lisa’s novel “Across the Street”.

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The Synopsis

Does love between sisters last forever? In a novel about the bond between twins, relationships are complicated by anger, resentment, and impossible choices.

Alex Carissa is thrilled when her identical twin sister, Sam, and her husband move into the neighborhood. For Sam, years of infertility, followed by an unthinkable tragedy, have left her despairing of ever having a child. Money is tight, and IVF is expensive. Sam’s only hope may be to ask her sister to be a surrogate. Alex will do anything for Sam, but when the sisters embark upon an unorthodox route to surrogacy, jealousy, guilt, and legal complications soon follow.

As the limits of sisterly devotion are tested, the family’s hidden wounds and secret addictions come to light, shaking the foundation of their marriages and their lives.

An emotional story of a woman’s struggle with infertility and a riveting book about the complexities of family, Across the Street makes an excellent selection for book clubs.

The Review

The author has crafted a truly engaging story here. The drama and emotional core of this story rest within the relationship not only between Sam and Alex but between their families as well as each member struggles with their own problems. The story is equally balanced with fully developed and evolving characters, who are relatable and realistically written in connection to the larger story being told. 

The author’s writing style was descriptive and entertaining and written in a way to feel almost visual in its use of imagery throughout the narrative, painting a picture in the reader’s mind of the scenes unfolding here. The way the author was able to showcase the point of view of so many characters and still make the story feel fresh and alive was a fantastic accomplishment, as I felt drawn into the narrative more and more as each chapter passed by.

The Verdict

A lengthy yet entertaining and emotional read, author Laurie Lisa’s “Across the Street” is a must-read drama novel. Full of suspense, shocking secrets, and twists and turns in the character’s arcs that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, this is a novel readers won’t be able to put down. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Laurie was born and raised in small towns in Southern Illinois. She obtained her B.S. in English Education from the University of Illinois, where she also met and then married her husband Steve. Laurie earned both a M.A. and a Ph.D. in English, 20th-century American Literature, from Arizona State University, where she also taught literature and composition. In addition to her eight novels, Laurie has published two academic books, several short stories and poems, and edited other’s works. After much time spent in Academia and raising her three children (Anthony, Michelle, and Caitlin), Laurie returned to her passion for writing fiction. She is a prolific writer and typically completes one novel each year. Laurie resides with her husband, Steve, in Paradise Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona.

https://laurielisa.com/

https://www.instagram.com/laurieolisa/

https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurielisa/

Posted in reviews

Here I Stand (Beneath the Clouds Book 2) by Jessica Leed Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A beautiful story of finding one’s place in the world, overcoming overwhelming odds and discovering yourself all take center stage in author Jessica Leed’s “Here I Stand”. 

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The Synopsis

A compelling tale about redemption, unlikely relationships and an unforeseen event that will stir your emotions and have you reflecting on what is most important in life.

Healing from the past is difficult. Especially when it has a way of following you everywhere you go.

New beginnings are often faced with challenges. But not in the way Sienna Henderson could have ever anticipated when she comes face to face with an unexpected truth that will change her life forever.

The Review

A fantastic sequel to her first novel, author Jessica Leed has crafted yet another brilliant novel that is both emotional and gripping all at once. Sienna is a complex and memorable protagonist who takes the readers on a journey through some of life’s toughest moments. 

The complex and interweaving storylines really did create an enriching narrative that instantly drew readers in, from the protagonist’s journey not only to let go of her past and the people in it, but to open herself up to new possibilities, but also the supporting characters who had an impact on Sienna and vice versa. The author has a way of writing that really paints a clear image in the reader’s minds, and each moment in the protagonist’s journey really tugged at the heartstrings as readers visualized the novel’s plot unfolding. 

The Verdict

Evenly paced, well-written, and keeping the reader emotionally invested, author Jessica Leed’s “Here I Stand” is a must-read contemporary women’s fiction read of 2020. Engaging, heartbreaking, and heartwarming all at once, readers won’t be able to get enough of Sienna’s journey and the author’s amazing ability to draw the reader into the narrative wholeheartedly. If you haven’t yet been sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jessica is a school teacher, former fitness professional and dancer. She is originally from Bendigo, Victoria.

NINE YEARS and HERE I STAND form the two-part series BENEATH THE CLOUDS.

Connect with Jess:

Name: Jessica Leed

Email address: jess@jessleed.com

Website: jessleed.com

Facebook: facebook.com/jessicaleedauthor

Instagram: @jessicaleedauthor

Posted in reviews

The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen by Ray Smith

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A woman tells her story of being a middle aged divorcee and discovering her true self in the midst of a passionate love story in author Ray Smith’s novel, “The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen”. 

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The Synopsis

“You’ve seen the woman in the photo. The woman screaming . . .”

So begins the story of Molly Valle, who at forty-eight thinks she knows all that life has to offer a single, middle-aged woman—namely, men’s dismissal and disrespect. But when handsome activist John Pressman arrives in her Mississippi hometown, he challenges her self-doubt along with nearly everything else in her world. Soon, Molly discovers a strength and beauty she never knew she had—and a love so powerful, it can overcome the most tragic of consequences.

The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen is a love story, an adventure novel, and a self-realization journey. It reignites the truth that many women—and men—have unconsciously extinguished: you are special and worthy of love, and it’s never too late to make your dreams come true.

The Review

This is a wonderfully written and relevant novel in today’s age, as readers are taken through a romance set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. The author has created a cast of characters that are memorable and worth investing in, and really captures the essence of that era. 

The author excels at two things in this novel. The first being their amazing writing skills in bringing descriptive imagery to life and making the novel feel alive on the page. The second would be the author’s ability to transcribe the atmosphere and culture around the civil rights era and the revelations it often left about those surrounding us at that time. 

The Verdict

A true page-turner, author Ray Smith has created a fast-paced read that will immediately grab the reader’s attention and creating a tension-filled atmosphere with this romance blooming before the reader’s eye caught in the center of it all. Heartwarming, heartbreaking, and everything in between, this is a must-read for anyone who enjoys drama, romance, and the backdrop of the civil rights movement. Be sure to get your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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www.themagnoliathatbloomedunseen.com

Posted in reviews

Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Two sisters separated by age difference and having never gotten to know one another find themselves forced to start life over again and must learn to find not only each other but themselves in author Robyn Carr’s “Sunrise on Half Moon Bay”. 

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The Synopsis

Sometimes the happiness we’re looking for has been there all along…

Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other.

When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.

Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.

Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for it.

Set in the stunning coastal town of Half Moon Bay, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr’s new novel examines the joys of sisterhood and the importance of embracing change.

The Review

A fantastic, emotional and engaging read, author Robyn Carr’s “Sunrise on Half Moon Bay” is a great story of family, relationships and finding your true self. The harsh circumstances these two sisters find themselves in are truly emotional and heartbreaking, but the journey they go on with one another leads to changes that many readers will be able to identify with as moments in their own journeys in life. 

This novel’s greatest strength is character development, as the protagonists, Justine and Addie take readers on two very different yet similar experiences of getting out of stagnant, debilitating situations and taking the dive to find the things that make them feel whole and complete again. Surrounding them are new romances, good friends, personal and professional rivals and at the heart of the story, family. The setting does a great job of tying the story into the character’s journey perfectly, really giving the readers a clear picture in their mind of the events unfolding. 

The Verdict

A wonderful read, author Robyn Carr’s “Sunrise on Half Moon Bay” is a must-read contemporary romance and women’s fiction read that readers are not soon to forget. An average length read this story keeps the readers engaged on a personal level throughout the entirety of the book, and will be the perfect read for anyone looking for that perfect escape. Be sure to grab your own copy of the book today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty novels, including highly praised women’s fiction such as Four Friends and The View From Alameda Island and the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan’s Crossing series. Virgin River is now a Netflix Original series. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit her website at www.RobynCarr.com.

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target 

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

Social Links:

Author Website: https://www.robyncarr.com/

Twitter: @RCarrWriter

Facebook: @RobynCarrWriter

Instagram: @RobynCarrWriter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/107767.Robyn_Carr?from_search=true

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EXCERPT

 “Has it ever occurred to Scott to get a serious job?” Adele asked. “I mean, forgive me, since I haven’t had a serious job in my life.” 

Justine smiled patiently. “Your jobs have all been serious, and without you we’d have been lost. If you hadn’t dedicated yourself to Mom’s care, it would have cost our whole family a fortune. We’re indebted to you. And I agree it would help if Scott worked more than part-time, but I think that ship sailed years ago. He’s only worked part-time since Amber and Olivia came along.” 

Adele adored her nieces, ages sixteen and seventeen. She was much closer to them than she was to Justine. 

“I’m sorry you’re going through this,” Adele said. “I wish there was something I could do.” 

“Well, the thing is, the future is looking very uncertain. I might need your help,” Justine said. 

“What could I do?” she asked. 

“Adele, I don’t like to push you, but you have to get it together. We have to make some decisions about what you’re going to do, what we’ll do with the house. I realize what I’ve given you for your hard work hasn’t been much, but I don’t know how long I can keep it up—paying for the maintenance on this house, the taxes, a modest income for you… I don’t want to panic prematurely,” Justine said. “Maybe I’ll be able to work everything out without too much hassle, but if I run into trouble… Money could get very tight, Addie. All those promises I made—that I’d help financially while you fix up the house, that I’d give you my half of the proceeds when and if you sold it… I might not be able to come through. I know, I know, I promised you it would be yours after all of your sacrifice, but you wouldn’t want me to ignore the girls’ tuition or not be able to make the mortgage…” 

“But Justine!” Adele said. “That’s all I have! And I was considering finishing school myself!” Though if she was honest, she had no plans of any kind. 

Justine reached out to her, squeezing her hand. “We’re a long way from me needing money. I just felt it was only fair to tell you what’s going on. If we’re in this together, we can both make it. I swear, I will make this all work out. I’ll make it right.” 

But as Adele knew, they had never really been “in it together” in the past, and they wouldn’t be for very long in the future. Addie’s dedication to their parents allowed Justine to devote herself to her career. For that matter, it should be Justine and Scott shoring each other up. At least until Justine had a better idea. But where was Scott today? Golfing? Biking? Bowling? 

Adele realized she had some difficult realities to face. When she dropped out of school to help her mother care for her father, she wasn’t being completely altruistic. She’d needed a place to run away to, hiding an unplanned pregnancy and covering her tattered heart. She’d never told her family that her married lover—her psychology professor—had broken down in tears when he explained he couldn’t leave his wife to marry Adele, that the college would probably fire him for having an affair with a student. For her, going home was the only option. 

At the time Justine and Scott had been riding the big wave and didn’t lust after the small, old house in Half Moon Bay. That house was chump change to them. So, they worked out a deal. Adele had become her mother’s guardian with a power of attorney. But the will had never been adjusted to ref lect just one beneficiary rather than two. In the case of the death of both parents, Adele and Justine would inherit equal equity in the eighty-year-old house and anything left of the life insurance. At the time, of course, neither Adele nor Justine had ever considered the idea that Adele would be needed for very long. But before Adele knew it, eight years had been gobbled up. She was thirty-two and had been caring for her parents since she was twenty-four. 

Adele, as guardian, could have escaped by turning over the house, pension, social security to a care facility for her mother and gone out on her own, finding herself a better job and her own place to live. She wasn’t sure if it was her conscience or just inertia that held her in place for so long. 

“I just wanted to make sure you understood the circumstances before anything more happens,” Justine said. “And since you don’t have any immediate plans, please don’t list the house for sale or anything. Give me a chance to figure out what’s next. I have children. I’ll do whatever I can to protect them and you. They’re your nieces! They love you so much. I’m sure you want them to get a good education as much as I do.” 

Does anyone want me to have a real chance to start over? Adele asked herself. This conversation sounded like Justine was pulling out of their deal. 

“I’ll think about this, but Scott has responsibilities, too,” she pointed out. 

“He’s been out of the full-time workforce for so long…” Justine said. 

“Just the same, we all have to live up to our adult commitments and responsibilities. And you’ve had a highfalutin job for a long time. You’ve made a lot of money. You can recover. I haven’t even begun.” 

“I need your help, Addie,” Justine said. “You need to come up with a plan, something we can put in motion. Make plans for your next step, put a little energy into this old house, make suggestions of what we should do with it, everything. Let’s figure out what to do before I find myself short and unable to help. I’m sorry, but we have to move forward.”

Excerpted from Sunrise on Half Moon Bay, Copyright © 2020 by Robyn Carr. Published by MIRA Books.

Posted in Blog Tours, reviews

The Disharmony of Silence by Linda Rosen Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A woman on the cusp of losing her mother discovers a family secret that will change her life forever in author Linda Rosen’s novel “The Disharmony of Silence”. 

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The Synopsis

In 1915, jealous, bitter Rebecca Roth cuts all ties with her life-long friends, the Pearls. Eight years later, Rebecca’s son and young Lena Pearl begin keeping company in secret. Rebecca agrees to a truce when the couple marries. But the truce is fragile. Rebecca’s resentments run deep.

In 2010, Carolyn Lee, fitness instructor and amateur photographer, must come to grips with the fact that her mother’s imminent death will leave her alone in the world. While preparing her childhood home for sale, she realizes for the first time that her mother’s antique brooch is identical to the one pinned to the lady’s dress in the painting hanging above the fireplace. Coincidence or connection? Carolyn is determined to find out. What she discovers has the potential to tear lives apart or to bring her the closeness and comfort she longs for. It all depends on how she handles her newfound knowledge.

The Review

A truly emotional and heartfelt story, author Linda Rosen does an amazing job of delving into the theme of family, how we define it and how family secrets can change the dynamic of future generations as a whole. Two families who once considered themselves one take diverging paths, and leave future generations in the dark, waiting to discover the truth of the bonds they never knew existed. 

Switching back and forth between the past and present is an honest and emotional journey the author takes the reader on. The book is a relatively even paced read and does an amazing job of not only creating a narrative that will take the reader down paths they never thought it would go but will do an amazing job of building up the characters of this novel and have readers identifying with them and gasping as the shocks keep rolling in. 

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The Verdict

A must-read book, author Linda Rosen’s “The Disharmony of Silence” is a wonderful read filled with heart, the challenge of friendship and the emotion of true family. A one of a kind story of how easily the bonds between one another come together and can just as easily fall apart, the story of connection plays prominently in this tale and will keep readers invested throughout. Be sure to grab your copy of this wonderful novel today! 

Rating: 10/10

The Disharmony of Silence is now available to purchase at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. 

Praise for The Disharmony of Silence

“Linda Rosen spins an intriguing tale of long-held family secrets, an emotional search for identity, and a painting that may just be the key to untangling the complicated past. The bittersweet mystery kept me reading rapidly until the last page!” —Kristin Harmel, bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife

Rosen paints a vivid picture of a family torn apart then shows us what true family means. – Pamela Taylor, author of the Second Son Chronicles

A wonderful novelist . . . Ms. Rosen’s writing is both tender and inspiring. The Disharmony of Silence unfolds with emotional and wise insights. – Bunny Shulman, author of After Aida

“A family torn apart by jealousy and reunited by love is devastated again when tragedy strikes. A poignant and moving debut novel about the fragility of life, the power of love, and the cost of keeping a secret.” Gina Sorell author of Mothers and Other Strangers

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About the Author, Linda Rosen

Linda Rosen, fitness professional turned writer, lives with her husband splitting their time between New Jersey and Florida. She was a contributor to Women in the Literary Landscape: A WNBA Centennial Publication for the Women’s National Book Association and has had stories published in Foliate Oak and Crack the Spine, both in their online magazine and print anthology. Follow her at www.linda-rosen.com

— Blog Tour Dates

March 2nd @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us as we celebrate the launch of Linda’s blog tour The Disharmony of Silence. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book too!

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

March 4th @ A Writer’s Life

How much does setting matter in a novel? Author Linda Rosen talks about this very subject over at Caroline’s blog today. You can also enter to win a copy of her book The Disharmony of Silence.

http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/

March 6th @ 12 Books

Make sure you visit Louise’s blog and read her review of Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence. You can also enter to win a copy of the book as well!

March 7th @ Lori Duff Writes

Be sure to stop by Lori’s blog today and you can read her review of Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence.

https://www.loriduffwrites.com/blog/

March 8th @ Bring on Lemons

Visit Crystal’s blog today and you can read a review written by her daughter Carmen about Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence. Don’t miss it!

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

March 10th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Make sure you visit Anthony’s blog today where you can read his interview with author Linda Rosen.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

March 11th @ A Storybook World

Blogger Deirdra Eden spotlights Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

March 13th @ Lori’s Reading Corner

Stop by Lori’s blog today and you can read a fitness inspiring post by author Linda Rosen! She shares some tips about strength training while reading audiobooks. You can also enter to win a copy of Linda’s book The Disharmony of Silence.

http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com/

March 14th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Stop by Linda’s blog today and you can read her interview with author Linda Rosen. Don’t miss it!

http://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

March 15th @ Choices

Make sure you stop by Madeline Sharples’ blog today and read Linda Rosen’s blog post about inspiring your creative self by getting outdoors. Don’t miss it!

http://madelinesharples.com/

March 16th @ Reviews and Interviews

Visit Lisa’s blog where she interviews author Linda Rosen about her book The Disharmony of Silence.

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

March 17th @ Coffee with Lacey

Grab some coffee and join Lacey over at her blog today. She reviews Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence.

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

March 18th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog again today and read his review of Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence. Don’t miss it!

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

March 19th @ AJ Sefton’s Blog

Make sure you visit author AJ Sefton’s blog today and read a review of Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence.

https://www.ajsefton.com/book-reviews

March 20th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Looking for a new book to add to your reading list? Make sure you visit Bev’s blog today and read her review of “The Disharmony of Silence.” You’ll want to add it to your list!

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

March 21st @ Bookworm Blog

Visit Anjanette’s blog today and you can read her review of Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence.

https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

March 22nd @ 12 Books

Are you part of a book club? Author Linda Rosen shares fun activities you can do for your book club. Don’t miss this fun, inspiring post!

March 23rd @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Make sure you visit Cassandra’s blog today and read her review of Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence.

https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

March 25th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

What do you do if you are writing about a made-up setting? Make sure you visit Bev’s blog today and you can read Linda Rosen’s guest post where she shares her advice.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

March 26th @ Lady in Read Writes

Stop by Vidya’s blog today and you can read her review of Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence.

https://ladyinreadwrites.com/

March 27th @ Jessica Belmont’s Blog

Over at Jessica’s blog today, you won’t want to miss her review of Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence. You can also enter to win a copy of the book as well!

https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

March 28th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s blog again today and you can read her interview with author Linda Rosen.

https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

March 30th @ It’s Alanna Jean

What does your writing space look like? Author Linda Rosen shares her tips for setting up your writing space over at Alanna Jean’s blog. 

http://itsalannajean.com/

April 3rd @ Joyful Antidotes

Make sure you stop by Joy’s blog today where she reviews Linda Rosen’s book The Disharmony of Silence.

https://joyfulantidotes.com/


April 5th @ Teatime and Books

How much do you love revising? Does it spark joy? Linda Rosen shares her thoughts on the joy of revising over at the blog Tea Time and Books. 

http://teatimeandbooks76.blogspot.com/

Posted in reviews

The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A small-town woman takes a chance and finds adventure and possibly herself in Paris in author Rebecca Raisin’s novel “The Little Bookshop on the Seine”. 

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The Synopsis

Le Vie En Rose

Bookshop owner Sarah Smith has been offered the opportunity to exchange bookshops with her new Parisian friend for 6 months! And saying yes is a no-brainer – after all, what kind of a romantic would turn down a trip to Paris? Even if it does mean leaving the irresistible Ridge Warner behind, Sarah’s sure she’s in for the holiday of a lifetime – complete with all the books she can read!

Picturing days wandering around Shakespeare & Co, munching on croissants, sipping café au laits and people-watching on the Champs-Elysees Sarah boards the plane. But will her dream of a Parisian Happily-Ever-After come true? Or will Sarah realise that the dream isn’t quite as rosy in reality…

The Review

A charming and inviting story for any book lover and reader out there, author Rebecca Raisin has created a beautiful story that immediately brings the reader deeper and deeper into the narrative. The characters are relatable and the author does a marvelous job of showcasing a steady evolution of the protagonist throughout the story as Sarah attempts to find her voice and who she truly is along the way. 

What really stands out however is the imagery used throughout the novel. The city of Paris has never felt more alive, from the iconic landmark of the Eifel Tower to the steps of Notre Dame and beyond. It is a well written and eloquently told story that readers will not be able to put down. 

The Verdict

A must read women’s fiction and holiday romance tale, author Rebecca Raisin’s “The Little Bookshop on the Seine” is a phenomenal read that is evenly paced and engaging throughout the entirety of the narrative. If you haven’t yet, grab your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Rebecca Raisin is the author of several novels, including the beloved Little Paris series and the Gingerbread Café trilogy, and her short stories have been published in various anthologies and fiction magazines. You can follow Rebecca on Facebook, and at www.rebeccaraisin.com

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

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Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target 

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @JaxandWillsMum

Facebook: @RebeccaRaisinAuthor

Instagram: @RebeccaRaisinWrites

Goodreads

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Q&A with Rebecca Raisin

Q: Have you ever been to Paris?  If so, what are some of your favorite Parisian things?

A: I’ve been lucky enough to go Paris four times and do a bit of exploring for the books. It’s my favourite city in the world and if I could up and move I’d do it! I love the bookshops of Paris, particularly the secondhand shops that are dusty and musty and disorderly. You never know what you’ll find and that makes it magical. If you’re in Paris find the Abbey Bookshop, it’s full to bursting with English books and it’s a treasure trove if you have time to hunt! I also love French food – who doesn’t?! My favourite place to eat is the Christian Constant bistros. He has one for every budget and they’re all glorious. If you splurge once, I highly recommend it’s there. 

The Ritz is also a must-see, from Bar Hemingway to Salon Proust, it’s an experience like no other walking in the footsteps of those literary greats. Buly 1803 is the most beautiful perfume shop in all the world, it’s like stepping back in time. My favourite is the rose oil… ooh la la. And holding a special place in my heart is Point Zero Paris, the exact centre of the city and a place where magic happens – you’ll have to read the book to find out more…

Q: What authors were/are a huge influence on you as you began writing?  Or Now?

A: I have always loved Maeve Binchy and Joanne Harris and the style in which they write. I love Maeve’s ability to write everyday relatable characters, and I love Joanne’s sense of whimsy. I love writing foodie books set in exotic locations and I think I probably fell in love with France through Joanne’s books, they managed to transport me fully and I must’ve reread them a hundred times by now. 

Q: What’s some of your favorite novels? What are you currently reading and what’s on your TBR (to be read) list?

A: I loved Me Before You. I cried ugly, ugly tears at that. I must be a sucker for punishment because my all time favourite is The Fault in Our Stars. And also Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance. Three books that you need to read in the privacy of your own home with some cucumber slices to apply after for puffy eyes! I’m currently reading the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley, so a nice change of pace from sobbing my heart out. I love how different each sister is and how you still find common ground with them. 

Q: What inspired you to write your The Little Bookshop on the Siene?

A: My love of Paris and its bookshops! And truthfully, I wangled the family there so I could do some ‘research’ which included eating my body weight in macarons and walking until I couldn’t feel my feet anymore and feeling that I was a little bit French on the inside if only the locals could see that! 

Q: What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

A: I hope you do something reckless, something that scares you, jump out of that comfort zone and do that thing you’ve always dreamed of! What’s stopping you – fear, money, work, life? You can make it happen if only you take the plunge! Open yourself to new experiences and people and don’t take the taxi, walk until your feet are numb and find those lost laneways and hidden alleys and see what you find! 

Q: What drew you into this particular genre?

A: I love love, but Little Bookshop is also about another kind of love, the love of a place, or a feeling…writing this genre leaves it open to interpretation and anything goes as long you tie it all up at the end in a satisfying way! 

Q: If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

A: I’d sit down with bookworm Sarah and ask her what she really thought of Luiz… I am still conflicted about that thread and what I could have done but didn’t!

Q: What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

A: They’ve all been good in different ways but I’d say Facebook is my favourite. I have a great group of people who follow me there and really interact. It’s a nice place to stop and chat and they’re all really lovely. Instagram is good too. I love how creative book bloggers are with their photos, they’re very inspiring to me. 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

A: I’ve said this before and it’s really this simple. Write every day. I think it was Stephen King who said writing is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets and it’s true! Carve out a time and stick to it. 

Q: What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

A: I’m currently editing Aria’s Travelling Bookshop, which is about a Van Lifer who sells her wares as she explores France! (Are you detecting a pattern here!?) It’s the follow up to Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop, which was released last March. Both books are about a different way of living, about having less but gaining more as you go. I’ve loved writing Rosie and Aria!