Monday, August 27, 2018


The Wedding from Hell
Part 3: Exclusive Excerpt of Consumed
by J. R. Ward
Available: August 28, 2018
Gallery Books | E-book Original
ISBN: 9781982105389 | Free

The Wedding from Hell, Part 3: Exclusive Excerpt of Consumed is the final part of J.R. Ward’s The Wedding From Hell ebook serialization. Don’t miss this exclusive teaser to her upcoming standalone romantic suspense, CONSUMED (available in October 2, 2018). See why “Consumed takes it to a whole new level” (Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author).


About the Book:

From the creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.           

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed... 

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.     

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse blaze changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again—until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the commonwealth, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

About the Author:
J.R. Ward is the author of more than thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There are more than fifteen million copies of her novels in print worldwide, and they have been published in twenty-six different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.

Video from J.R. Ward:


Harbor Street and Eighteenth Avenue
Old Downtown, New Brunswick, Massachusetts

Box alarm. One-niner-four-seven. Two engines and a ladder from the 499, responding.
Or, put another way, Anne Ashburn’s Friday night date had showed up on time and was taking her to a show. Granted, “on time” was the precise moment she had sat down for a meal at the stationhouse with her crew, and the “show” was a warehouse fire they were going to have to chorus-line for. But if you judged the health of a relationship on its constancy and whether it brought purpose and meaning to your life?
Then this firefighting gig was the best damn partner a woman could ask for.
As Engine Co. 17 turned the corner onto Harbor with siren and lights going, Anne glanced around the shallow seating area of the apparatus. There were four jump seats behind the cab, two forward- facing, two rear-, the pairs separated by an aisle of gear. Emilio “Amy” Chavez and Patrick “Duff” Duffy were on one side. She and Daniel “Dannyboy” Maguire were on the other. Up in front, Deshaun “Doc” Lewis, the engineer, was behind the wheel, and Captain Christopher “Chip” Baker, the incident commander, was shotgun.
Her nickname was “Sister.” Which was what happened when you were the sibling of the great Fire Chief Thomas Ashburn Jr., and the daughter of the revered—falsely as it turned out— Thomas Ashburn, Sr.
Not everybody called her that, though.
                She focused on Danny. He was staring out the open window, the cold November wind blowing his black hair back, his exhausted blue eyes focused on nothing. In their bulky turnouts, their knees brushed every time the engine bumped over sewer access panels, potholes, manholes, intersections.
                Okay, okay, she wanted to say to fate. I know he’s there. You don’t have to keep reminding me.
                The hardheaded bastard was a lot of things, most of which carried terms you couldn’t use around your grandmother, but he knew she hated the “Sister” thing, so to him, she was Ashburn.
                He’d also called her Anne—once. Late at night about three weeks ago.
                Yes, they had been naked at the time. Oh, God . . . had they finally done that?
                “I’m gonna beat you at pong,” he said without looking at her. “Soon as we get back.”
                “No chance.” She hated that he knew she’d been staring at him. “All talk, Dannyboy.”
                “Fine.” He turned to face her. “I’ll let you win, how about that?”
                His smile was slow, knowing, evil. And her temper answered the phone on the first ring.
                “The hell you will.” Anne leaned forward. “I won’t play with you if you cheat.”
“Even if it benefits you?”
“That’s not winning.”
“Huh. Well, you’ll have to explain to me the ins and outs of it when we’re back at the house. While I’m beating you.”
Anne shook her head and glared out the open window.
The first tap on her leg she ascribed to a bump in the road.
The second, third, and fourth were obviously—
She looked back at Danny. “Stop it.”
“Are you twelve?” As he started to smile, she knew exactly where his mind had gone. “Not inches. Age.”
“I’m pretty sure I peak more like at sixteen.” He lowered his voice. “What do you think?”
Between the sirens and the open windows, no one else could hear them—and Danny never pulled the double entendre if there was a risk of that. But yes, Anne now knew intimately all of his heavily muscled and tattooed anatomy. Granted, it had been only that once.
Then again, unforgettable only had to happen one time.
“I think you’re out of your mind,” she muttered.
And then they were at the scene. The old 1900s-era warehouse was a shell of its former useful self, sixty-five thousand square feet of broken glass panes, rotting beams, and blown-off roof panels. The outer walls were brick, but based on the age, the floors and any room dividers inside were going to be wood. The blaze was in the northeast corner on the second floor, billowing smoke wafting up into the forty-degree night air before being carried away by a southerly wind.
                As Anne’s boots hit the ground, she pulled the top half of her turnouts closed. Her ponytail was up high on the back of her head, and she stripped out the band, reorganized the shoulder length, and cranked things tight at her nape. The brown was still streaked with blond from the summer, but she needed to get it trimmed—so all that lightness was on the chopping block.
                Of course, if she were a woman “who took care of herself,” she’d get it highlighted through the winter months. Or so her mother liked to tell her. But who the hell had time for that?
                “Sister, you sweep the place with Amy for addicts,” Captain Baker commanded. “Stay away from that corner. Danny and Duff, run those lines!”
                As Captain Baker continued to bark orders out, she turned away. She had her assignment. Until she completed it, or there was an insurmountable obstacle or change of order, she was required to execute that directive and no other.
                “Be safe in there, Ashburn.”
                The words were soft and low, meant for her ears alone. And as she glanced over her shoulder, Danny’s Irish eyes were not smiling.
                A ripple of premonition made her rub the back of her neck. “Yeah, you, too, Maguire.”
                “Piece’a cake. We’ll be back at pong before ten.” They walked away from each other at the same time, Danny going around to the stacks of hoses in the back, her linking up with Chavez…

Saturday, August 25, 2018

0 Review: Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding
(Her Royal Spyness #12)
by Rhys Bowen 
304 pages | Published August 7th 2018 by Berkley


In this delightful new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service, Georgie is plotting a trip down the aisle but finds herself embroiled in a murder that hits a little too close to home...

Georgie is finally able to plan for her wedding in the summer. It is going to be a summer of weddings: her mother is marrying Max, her German beau; Georgie's grandfather is marrying his next door neighbor, Mrs. Huggins; and Darcy's father is getting up the courage to ask the princess to marry him. Georgie is staying at the princess's London house when she receives a letter from one of her mother's former husbands, Sir Hubert Anstruther. Georgie is now his sole heir, and he's offering her the use of his lovely country house. He suggests she move in right away to keep an eye on the place because all might not be well since his butler died.

Georgie talks this through with her husband-to-be, Darcy, who is off to Europe again, this time to Berlin. They decide that she will take Sir Hubert up on his offer. However, when Georgie arrives, it becomes clear that she is definitely not wanted in the house. Strange things are happening, including a lively ghost and a less than friendly reception from the new butler. When a body shows up, Georgie realizes that Sir Hubert's invitation may not have been entirely altruistic and begins to wonder if she'll even make it to her wedding day.

My Thoughts

Georgie is getting married!!! Or is she? The book that I've been waiting for has finally arrived, every other book in the series leading up to Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding. So the time has come when Georgie and Darcy will tie the knot. But her royal spyness will not get there without a few bumps in the road.

Darcy and Georgie's prayers get answered when Sir Hubert Anstruther offers to let them live at his house in the country. Darcy has to leave unexpectedly (again), so Georgie goes to the house to get everything ready before their nuptials take place. However, Georgie soon realizes that there is something strange happening--from a household staff that doesn't really know what to do, to a mysterious figure that may or may not be ghost. Once again, Georgie is thrust in the middle of a mystery that puts her life in danger. 

It's hard enough planning a wedding, but I can't imagine doing so while the groom is away, having multiple family problems, not to mention throwing a dead body in the mix of things. I won't give too much of the plot away, but I will tell you this book was everything I wanted it to be. Even after all these years, Bowman continues to lure me in with her well-written characters, plot, and humor, which is ever present in Her Royal Spyness series. I was so delighted to be back in the fold of these delightful characters. I find myself wishing people still used phrases like, "Oh, golly!" 

I hope Rhys Bowman continues to write more books in this series for many years to come. I absolutely recommend this book to mystery lovers. It's so charming. Don't worry if you're new to the series. You can jump in anywhere. Though, you'll want to read them all. In fact, clear your calendar. It's time to binge!

*I received this book for review via NetGalley. While I am grateful for the opportunity to read and review this book, it in no way influenced my opinion. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

0 Audiobook Review: Women of the Dunes

Women of the Dunes
by Sarah Maine
Narrated by: Ruth Urquhart
Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 24th 2018 by Atria Books


From the author of the acclaimed novels The House Between Tides and Beyond the Wild River, a rich, atmospheric tale set on the sea-lashed coast of west Scotland, in which the lives of a ninth-century Norsewoman, a nineteenth-century woman, and a twenty-first-century archeologist weave together after a body is discovered in the dunes.

Libby Snow has always felt the pull of Ullanessm a lush Scottish island enshrouded in myth and deeply important to her family. Her great-great-grandmother Ellen was obsessed with the strange legend of Ulla, a Viking maiden who washed up on shore with the nearly lifeless body of her husband—and who inspired countless epic poems and the island’s name.

Central to the mystery is an ornate chalice and Libby, an archaeologist, finally has permission to excavate the site where Ulla is believed to have lived. But what Libby finds in the ancient dunes is a body from the Victorian era, clearly murdered…and potentially connected to Ellen.

What unfolds is an epic story that spans centuries, with Libby mining Ellen and Ulla’s stories for clues about the body, and in doing so, discovering the darker threads that bind all three women together across history.

My Thoughts

Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine takes you by the hand and says, "Come with me. Come explore Ullaness and the mysteries and legends it holds. No passport required." I'm glad that I decided to listen to this on audiobook because Ruth Urquhart's narration put me in a Scotland frame of mind from the first sentence. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn't have been able to pronounce a few of the names correctly.

Libby Snow, the main character, has always felt pulled in the direction of Ullaness. In fact, her great-great grandmother Ellen was obsessed with the legend of Ulla, a viking woman who came to the shores trying to escape her husband. Libby comes to Ullaness to work on an excavation site where Ulla is said to be buried. However, instead of finding Ulla, Libby finds a body buried in the dunes from the Victorian era, a body that was murdered. 

Women of the Dunes holds three different time periods: Ulla in 800 A.D., Ellen in 1890s, and Libby in 2012. Each story different but parallel to the others. Three women generations apart, yet destined to repeat the same mistakes. It was incredibly fascinating to see how Sarah Maine wove the threads of this story together. The women have faith, courage, and perseverance. 

I don't dare say too much about the story line because half the fun was listening as it unfolded and connecting the dots. I loved going back and forth in time and learning about each woman and their unique challenges. Women of the Dunes is a beautiful story that will appeal to fans of historical fiction. This book will stay with you long after the story ends.

I recommend this book on audio. Ruth Urquhart's voice transports you away to another time and another place. And it's heavenly.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes only. This has in no way influenced my opinion. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

0 Review: Conan Doyle for the Defense

Conan Doyle for the Defense
by Margalit Fox 
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Random House


Arthur and George meets The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: how the creator of Sherlock Holmes overturned one of the great miscarriages of justice.

Just before Christmas 1908, Marion Gilchrist, a wealthy 82-year-old spinster, was found bludgeoned to death in her Glasgow home. A valuable diamond brooch was missing, and police soon fastened on a suspect - Oscar Slater, a Jewish immigrant who was rumoured to have a disreputable character. Slater had an alibi, but was nonetheless convicted and sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment in the notorious Peterhead Prison.

Seventeen years later, a convict called William Gordon was released from Peterhead. Concealed in a false tooth was a message, addressed to the only man Slater thought could help him - Arthur Conan Doyle. Always a champion of the downtrodden, Conan Doyle turned his formidable talents to freeing Slater, deploying a forensic mind worthy of Sherlock Holmes.

Drawing from original sources including Oscar Slater's prison letters, this is Margalit Fox's vivid and compelling account of one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in Scottish history.

My Thoughts

I was vaguely aware that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was, at times, consulted to solve crimes before I read Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margalit Fox. I watched the series Arthur & George (2015) a few years ago that introduced me to this aspect of Doyle, which I knew nothing about. So, when this book crossed my path, I was more than eager to read it. After all, it checked off several of my interest boxes: true crime, history, one of the greatest mystery writers of all time (according to my subjective opinion).

I was immediately blown away by the way that Margalit Fox laid out the story for the readers. Its narrative read as well as any good fiction book, only everything in the book really happened. If you're looking for a book strictly about Doyle, you will be disappointed. Though, I did walk away from this book with a better understanding of the author. This book is mainly about Oscar Slater, who was accused of a crime he didn't commit, jailed, and the author who pleaded for his case to be overturned.

In 1908, Marion Gilchrist, a wealthy old lady, was murdered in her Glasgow home. A diamond broach was found missing and the police had only one suspect in mind--Oscar Slater. Even though Slater had an alibi, he was still found guilty of the crime. His only 'crime' seemed to be that he was Jewish and had a disreputable character. 

After reading about the case, Doyle became obsessed by the great injustice done to this man. He used the methods made famous by Sherlock Holmes to help solve the mystery of what really happened so that Slater could go free. He spent his time talking to witnesses, looking over transcripts, noting the inconsistencies in the police statement (oh yes, you will find many wtf moments when you read it.), and more. It's amazing how the case affected so many aspects of the justice system as well as police procedure when investigating a crime. 

The injustice that was done to Oscar Slater is a story that should never be repeated, but sadly it is. The Edwardian anti-immigration, religious, and ethnic bias is still alive and well today. Slater spent many years in prison, hoping that Doyle would be able to help him win his freedom, which he did. And while this story has a happier ending than it could of had, it wasn't without cost. 

Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margalit Fox is a fascinating and informative read. I'm grateful for all the time Fox spent in the archives researching this book. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, like Sherlock Holmes, was an incredible detective. I absolutely recommend this book for your next read!

Sidebar: Arthur & George is really good as well. It's based on the book by the same name, which I haven't read, by Julian Barnes. But I've added it to my wishlist, so maybe one day I'll get to it. 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. This has in no way influenced my opinions. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

1 Nothing is Forgotten by Peter Golden Feature and Giveaway

Nothing is Forgotten by Peter Golden

Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Atria Books
Hardcover & eBook; 352 pages
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Jewish

From the beloved author of Comeback Love and Wherever There Is Light, comes a novel about the life-changing journey of a young man who travels from New Jersey to Khrushchev’s Russia and the beaches of Southern France as he finds love and discovers the long-hidden secrets about his heritage.

In 1950s New Jersey, Michael Daniels launches a radio show in the storage room of his Russian-Jewish grandmother’s candy store. Not only does the show become a local hit because of his running satires of USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev, but half a world away, it picks up listeners in a small Soviet city.

There, with rock and roll leaking in through bootlegged airwaves, Yulianna Kosoy—a war orphan in her mid-twenties—is sneaking American goods into the country with her boss, Der Schmuggler.

But just as Michael’s radio show is taking off, his grandmother is murdered in the candy store. Why anyone would commit such an atrocity against such a warm, affable woman is anyone’s guess. But she had always been secretive about her past and, as Michael discovers, guarded a shadowy ancestral history. In order to solve the mystery of who killed her, Michael sets out to Europe to learn where he—and his grandmother—really came from.

Featuring Peter Golden’s signature “vivid characters and strong storytelling” (The Washington Post), Nothing Is Forgotten changes our understanding of the impact of World War II on its survivors and their descendants, and will appeal to fans of novels by Anita Diamant and Kristin Hannah.


"Golden draws a vivid portrait of the Cold War era, but it is the complex and unexpected connection between Holocaust survivors and their descendants that turns this book into a page-turner.” (RT Book Reviews)

"Nothing Is Forgotten is a Russian nesting doll of plot twists across continents and decades. This cleverly constructed Cold War tale, based on gripping true events, keeps readers eagerly anticipating what lies at its heart." -Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker's Children

"Both heartbreaking and mesmerizing, Nothing Is Forgotten is the sort of book you won't soon forget. Peter Golden starkly juxtaposes the joys of coming of age and first love with the startling revelation of a dark family legacy. Cold War Europe, lingering Nazi secrets, and the tragic history faced by millions of families not only bring this tale to life, but will keep you turning the pages." -Lisa Wingate, New York Times Bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

"Nothing is Forgotten is historical fiction at its finest. A sweeping tale full of humor and heartbreak, Peter Golden takes us on a journey from 1960s America across Europe to explore how inherited histories can follow us through generations and redefine families." -Karin Tanabe, author of The Diplomat's Daughter

About the Author

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist, novelist, biographer, and historian. He lives outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son. He is the acclaimed author of the novels Comeback Love, Wherever There Is Light, and Nothing Is Forgotten.

For more information, please visit Peter Golden's website. You can also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 20

Tuesday, August 21

Thursday, August 23
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, August 27

Wednesday, August 29

Friday, August 31

Monday, September 3
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Thursday, September 6

Sunday, September 9

Monday, September 10
Review at A Book Geek

Tuesday, September 11


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 5 copies of Nothing is Forgotten! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Nothing is Forgotten

Thursday, August 16, 2018

1 THE GOLDEN CITY SERIES Book Blast #GoldenCitySeriesBookBlast #ABMichaels #Historical #Romance #Mystery

The Art of Love (Golden City, Book 1)
by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: May 4, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

A Notable Indie Book of 2014
Silver Ippy Award
New Apple Medalist
Editor’s Choice – Idaho Book Awards

At the end of the Gilded Age, the “Golden City” of San Francisco offers everything a man could want—except the answers August Wolff desperately needs to find.

After digging a fortune in gold from the frozen fields of the Klondike, Gus heads south, hoping to start over and put the baffling disappearance of his wife and daughter behind him. The turn of the century brings him even more success, but the distractions of a city some call the new Sodom and Gomorrah can’t fill the gaping hole in his life.

Amelia Starling is a wildly talented artist caught in the straightjacket of Old New York society. Making a heart-breaking decision, she moves to San Francisco to further her career, all the while living with the pain of a sacrifice no woman should ever have to make.

Brought together by the city’s flourishing art scene, Gus and Lia forge a rare connection. But the past, shrouded in mystery, prevents the two of them from moving forward as one. Unwilling to face society’s scorn, Lia leaves the city and vows to begin again in Europe.

Gus can’t bear to let her go, but unless he can set his ghosts to rest, he and Lia have no chance at all.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

The Depth of Beauty (Golden City, Book 2)
by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: January 6, 2016

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

A Notable Indie Book of 2016
2017 RITA Finalist – “Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance”
Bookstores without Borders Lyra Award for Historical Fiction
Chanticleer Book Reviews Goethe Award – First in Category: North American Turn of the Century

In 1903 San Francisco’s Chinatown, slavery, polygamy, and rampant prostitution are thriving— just blocks away from the city’s elite, progressive society.

Wealthy and well-connected, Will Firestone enters the mysterious enclave with an eye toward expanding his shipping business. What he finds there will astonish him. With the help of an exotic young widow and a gifted teenage orphan, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, where lust, love and tragedy will change his life forever.

A stand-alone novel, The Depth of Beauty is the latest addition to the dual genre series, “Sinner’s Grove,” which chronicles the family and friends of a world-famous artists’ retreat on the northern California coast. The stories follow both historical and contemporary tracks and can be read separately or together for greater depth. Other titles in the series include the award-winning The Art of Love, Sinner’s Grove and The Lair.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

The Promise (Golden City, Book 3)
by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: June 24, 2016

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

April 18, 1906. A massive earthquake has decimated much of the Golden City, leaving thousands without food, water or shelter. Patrolling the streets to help those in need, Army corporal Ben Tilson meets a young woman named Charlotte who touches his heart, making him think of a future with her in it. In the heat of the moment he makes a promise to her little sister that even he realizes will be almost impossible to keep.

Because on the heels of the earthquake, a much worse disaster looms: a fire that threatens to consume everything and everyone in its path. It will take everything Ben’s got to make it back to Charlotte and her family—and even that may not be enough.

The Promise, a stand-alone novella, is the third offering in A.B. Michaels’ award-winning historical saga, “The Golden City,” which takes place in and around San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century. Other books in the series include The Art of Love and The Depth of Beauty.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

The Price of Compassion (Golden City, Book 4)
by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: August 27, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

April 18, 1906. San Francisco has just been shattered by a massive earthquake and is in the throes of an even more deadly fire.

During the chaos, gifted surgeon Tom Justice makes a life-changing decision that wreaks havoc on his body, mind, and spirit.

Leaving the woman he loves, he embarks on a quest to regain his sanity and self-worth. Yet just when he finds some answers, he’s arrested for murder—a crime he may very well be guilty of. The facts of the case are troubling; they’ll have you asking the question: “Is he guilty?” Or even worse…”What would I have done?”

About the Author

A native of northern California, A.B. Michaels earned masters' degrees in history and broadcasting, and worked for many years in public relations and marketing. Now that she's an empty nester, she has time to write the kinds of stories she loves to read. Her historical series, "The Golden City," follows characters who make their way in turn of the twentieth century San Francisco. "I love creating flawed characters I can relate to, who have to make difficult choices, and who long for happiness like the rest of us. So much was happening in the early 1900's that help shape my novels. Once I tear myself away from the underlying research, they are fascinating stories to write."

Currently Ms. Michaels lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband and two furry creatures who are unclear on the concept that they are just dogs. In addition to writing, she loves to read and travel. A dabbler in fabric art, she also plays bocce in a summer league. Her latest stand-alone novel, "The Price of Compassion," is Book Four of the "Golden City" series. It's scheduled for release this summer and will be followed by Book Five, "Josephine's Daughter."

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, August 13

Tuesday, August 14

Wednesday, August 15

Thursday, August 16

Friday, August 17

Saturday, August 18

Sunday, August 19

Monday, August 20

Tuesday, August 21

Wednesday, August 22

Thursday, August 23

Friday, August 24

The Golden City Series is on Sale!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

1 Escapement - An Exquisite Tale of Love and Passion by Kristen Wolf Feature and Giveaway

Escapement - An Exquisite Tale of Love and Passion
by Kristen Wolf

Publication Date: August 1, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 481 Pages
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Women's

***WINNER of the 2018 IndieReader DISCOVERY AWARD***

From the bestselling Author of THE WAY, hailed by O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE as “A Title To Pick Up Now!”

Henri keeps many secrets. Some even from herself...

Prepare to be transported into a sensual world of possibility by this lush, heart-wrenching and gorgeously-written tale. Brimming with passion, intrigue, extraordinary characters and breathtaking surprises, ESCAPEMENT will arouse the senses and seduce readers of every persuasion.

“Wolf is a masterful storyteller who has created an enchanting novel… It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt passion.”

Cristofer's star is poised to rise. Everyone expects the dashing and gifted composer to soar to the heights of musical genius—an expectation that terrifies the young artist as much as it drives him.

Walking into the fire with Cristofer is his housekeeper, Henri, a passionate and handsome young woman who takes pleasure in dressing as a man. Tending to her employer’s domestic needs, Henri has crafted a carefree life of routine behind which she hides the truth of a tragic past. Possessed herself of an extraordinary talent, she covertly guides her employer through the trials of his artistic and romantic pursuits while carefully guarding his most closely-held secret.

But Henri’s deceptively simple life is ripped apart when a wealthy and ruthless patron grants Cristofer a spectacular commission, then unwittingly hires Henri—whom he believes to be male—to give piano lessons to his alluring wife.

The resulting entanglements rise to a dangerous pitch as Cristofer struggles to create music of epic proportions while Henri is ignited by a love more powerful than any she has ever known. But when the monstrously ambitious patron catches wind of a duplicity, he and his henchmen mobilize quickly to target the threat and soon the only hope for either friend’s survival depends on one publicly exposing the other’s hidden truth—an act that would defy the bonds of love and loyalty and bring all their lives crashing down.

Can Henri stop the oncoming tragedy and still hold onto her greatest love? Or must she lose everything?

"ESCAPEMENT is a symphony of words marked by lyrical phrases and exquisite rhythm... a testament to the artistic spirit... breathtaking."

“A passionate story.”
—Kirkus Reviews

Available in Paperback & eBook on Amazon

Thank you to Marcie and the To Read or Not to Read team for having me here to write a guest post!

It was hard to choose just one topic to explore, but I thought I'd answer the question I've been asked the most since ESCAPEMENT came out, and that is:

What served as the primary inspiration for ESCAPEMENT?

Well, the truth is, the idea actually occurred to me many, many years ago.

When I was a sophomore in college, I took a music history course that explored the great classical music repertoire. As a child, I’d never really listened to classical music and was completely overwhelmed by what I heard. I became enchanted and obsessed at the same time. I basically fell in love – hard – not only with the music but with the stories and lives of the famed composers and musicians themselves. In fact, I was so inspired that I decided to learn how to play piano. I found a teacher and took some basic lessons and then played for hours and hours and hours. Literally. Finally I could start to play some of the music that had so enchanted me and it was the most amazing experience. So it was then, when I was eighteen and obsessed, that the seeds of the story first took root.

The idea then sat in the back of my mind and grew little by little as time went by. Stealing a detail from here, a character trait from there. Until, years later, it formulated fully enough to be written.

None of my other works took so long to come to fruition. But I learned later that having big ideas build over long periods of time isn't all that unusual an occurrence. I love the work of Steven Johnson and in his book, WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM, he explained that large works and innovations that seem complex often start from very small details that are sticky. Sticky meaning they are interesting to the person who notices them. And as that individual grows and has new experiences and gains new knowledge and insights , bits and pieces get stuck to the original detail. And so it expands like a rolling snowball. That was very much my experience with ESCAPEMENT. In fact, there are details and features from so many different parts of my life, and different parts of myself, wrapped into the tale. So that by the time I sat down to write I felt as though I knew the characters and the storyline inside and out.

There was, however, one thing that really surprised me during the writing of the book. Normally, I’ve only been able to write when there is peace and quiet. It's been so ever since I can remember. But when I began ESCAPEMENT I quickly discovered that I could only write when I had music playing. In fact, I kept the Adagio from Brahms’ First Piano Concerto playing on a repetitive loop. The piece (the concerto's second movement) would play for twelve minutes or so and wind down to its ominous conclusion, then start right back up again, over and over. When I completed the first draft, I checked the little counter on iTunes and it said I’d listened to that piece over 2,500 times. I was completely shocked when I saw that!

For some reason, though, I had to have that music playing while I wrote. Maybe it brought on a sort of musical trance that helped to enter the composers’ state of mind, I don’t know. Naturally I thought I’d discovered a secret to my writing process that would make every book so much easier. But when I picked what I thought would be a conducive soundtrack for the writing of my next book, I was completely surprised to find that I couldn’t stand listening to music at all! I found it entirely distracting and uncomfortable! And so I realized that listening to music was just something special and essential for the experience of writing ESCAPEMENT, and not a practice that would carry over to other projects. When I think about it now, it probably shouldn’t be all that surprising, but it really was.

Many of the early reader comments and reviews have mentioned a lyrical quality to the writing – which I certainly strove for consciously – but which I think also arose from an entirely unconscious place, a sort of seamless poetic soundwave that the music itself had created while I was working.

I want to say, too, that I've been so appreciative of the positive reception ESCAPEMENT has received. It's certainly not a book for everyone but when it finds the right match, it seems to create a sort of enchantment. And I've gotten some incredibly beautiful emails from readers about their moving experiences while reading the book.

I guess I'll end here by mentioning that the audiobook version of ESCAPEMENT just became available on Audible and iTunes. Though I'd never made an audiobook before, I felt strongly that I had to record this book because the lush and evocative music of the Romantic era is so intrinsic to the story and I just wanted people to be able to hear it for themselves!

The audio version has me reading the part of the protagonist, Henri, as well as a full cast of incredibly talented actors playing all the other characters. And, as the shiny star on top, I had a professional concert pianist record the solo piano pieces on a historic instrument – an 1895 Érard grand piano! It sounds so, well, romantic and it was incredible to watch her perform the pieces.

For me, making the audiobook was a magical experience and I hope it will be for its listeners, too.

Thank you again for this opportunity to share with your readers. I really enjoyed it.

I hope everyone has a great rest of their summer and discovers lots of amazing books that they love!


About the Author

KRISTEN WOLF is an award-winning author, creative and wondernaut living in the Rocky Mountains. Her debut novel, THE WAY, was hailed by O, The OPRAH Magazine as “A Title to Pick Up Now!” Her second novel, ESCAPEMENT, is a *WINNER - 2018 IndieReader Discovery Award* and received this praise: “Wolf is a masterful storyteller who has created an enchanting novel... It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt passion.” —IndieReader

To learn more about Kristen's books and other creative projects, subscribe to her Newsletter at You can also find Kristen on Twitter, Book Bub, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 6

Tuesday, August 7

Friday, August 10
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Monday, August 13
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Tuesday, August 14

Wednesday, August 15

Friday, August 17
Guest Post at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, August 20

Friday, August 24

Wednesday, September 5

Sunday, September 9

Monday, September 10

Wednesday, September 12
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, September 13
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two signed copies of Escapement and two $5 iTunes Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US, UK, and Canada residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


Friday, August 10, 2018

0 Audiobook Review: What Should Be Wild

What Should Be Wild
by Julia Fine, Narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Rebecca Gibel
Published May 8th 2018 by HarperCollins
Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins


Cursed. Maisie Cothay has never known the feel of human flesh: born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch, she has spent her childhood sequestered in the family's manor at the edge of a mysterious forest. Maisie's father, an anthropologist who sees her as more experiment than daughter, has warned Maisie that local villagers talk of men disappearing inside this dark wood; when they return, their minds are addled, their stories strange. What he has not told her is that for centuries, her female ancestors have also vanished into the wood, never to emerge.But one day Maisie's father disappears and Maisie must venture beyond the walls of her carefully constructed life to find him. Away from her home and the woods for the very first time, she encounters a strange and terrifying world filled with love, excitement, and dark human forces. Yet the further she strays, the more the wood calls to her. For only there can Maisie finally reckon with her power and come to understand the wildest parts of herself.

My Thoughts

The first sentence in What Should Be Wild intrigued me. "They grew me inside of my mother," which was unusual, because she was dead. It was as if Julia Fine pulled up a chair next to me and said, "Let me tell you a story ..."

Maisie Cothay was cursed even before she was born. She has the power to kill or resurrect with just a small touch. She grows up in her family's old manor that is surrounded by a curious forest with an interesting past. Nobody, except a few people, know of Maisie's existence. She grows up never knowing the feel of human flesh, no hugs, no goodnight kisses. And despite the lengths her father goes to to make sure she's safe, I think he does more harm than good.

What Should Be Wild is a coming-of-age story about a girl who has to break the rules to learn how to live. The story is told from Maisie's perspective intermingled with some of her female ancestors, who in their own ways have been repressed. Maisie's isolation lends to her naïvety and some stupid decisions when her father goes missing, and she had to rely on a stranger, who may not be all that he seems.

This book is the quintessential dark fairy tale that explores the subjugation of women over the ages. What Should Be Wild truly is a fascinating tale that will have you glued to the pages or earbuds. I listened to this book on audio. It has two narrators: Cassandra Cambell and Rebecca Gibel. They both did a superb job of making this audiobook an adventure.

Julia Fine's debut novel is a unique story that will leave you waiting impatiently to see what she writes about next.

*My thanks to HarperCollins for the review copy. While I am extremely grateful to them for the opportunity to read and review this book, it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

0 Review: Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

by Rosie Walsh
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 24th 2018 by Pamela Dorman Books 


Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart.

When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it's mutual: It's as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn't call.

Sarah's friends tell her to forget about him, but she can't. She knows something's happened--there must be an explanation.

Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she's right. There is a reason for Eddie's disappearance, and it's the one thing they didn't share with each other: the truth.

My Thoughts

Sarah meets Eddie. They have seven perfect days together, and then without any warning he disappears from her life. Sarah is convinced something must have happened to him. After all, people get ghosted all the time. Her friends try to convince her that's what happened. I thought so too. I thought Sarah was losing her mind. I started to think this book was about an unhinged woman, but then Rosie Walsh throws her readers a curve ball, and the whole game changed.

I don't believe in love at first sight. How can you love somebody without knowing them? I do believe in attraction at first sight though. I also don't believe that love conquers all. It'a nice sentiment, but not realistic. Because there's always something, some sort of deal breaker that always hangs in the air, a line that shouldn't be crossed--ever. And that's sort of what this book is dealing with. 

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh starts out a bit slow, at least for me, as the story unfolds leaping from the past to the present. The author uses the combination of the two to tell Eddie and Sarah's story. Her friends and the events that surround her all giving subtle clues to what's really going on, but nothing really made sense until I was two-thirds of the way through. The story didn't really start to come alive for me until I was about halfway through. But I'm glad I stuck with it because the ending had me on the edge of my seat.

Ghosted is an intriguing mystery with romance at its heart that brings up some thought-provoking questions about love. After it was all said and done, I thought the story was done well. I thought I had it all figured out, and then there was a major twist full of emotional turmoil. For a book that started out slow, it definitely ended on a high note.

*I received a copy of Ghosted for review purposes by the publisher. This in no way influenced my opinions of the book. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

0 The Wedding from Hell, Part 2: The Reception is available now and it's FREE

The Wedding from Hell
Part 2: The Reception
by J. R. Ward
Available: August 7, 2018
Gallery Books | E-book Original
ISBN: 9781982105372 | Free

The Wedding from Hell, Part 2: The Rehearsal Dinner is the exciting second adventure in J.R. Ward’s three-part ebook serialization: The Wedding From Hell. This exclusive prequel to her upcoming standalone suspense, Consumed (available in Fall 2018) takes us back to the night steamy arson investigator Anne Ashburn and ‘bad boy’ firefighter Danny Maguire will never forget.

About the Book:
The Wedding From Hell, Part 2: The Reception: As the wedding from hell continues, Anne and Danny find themselves walking the delicate balance between professional distance and explosive attraction. Will the desire they feel last through the night and change their lives? Or are they doomed to part after one night of passion?

About the Author:
J.R. Ward is the author of more than thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There are more than fifteen million copies of her novels in print worldwide, and they have been published in twenty-six different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.


Saturday, October 31
T minus 2 hours ’til blastoff
St. Mary’s Cathedral, New Brunswick, Massachusetts

Anne Ashburn had never had veil envy, as they called it. As a young girl, she had never pictured herself walking down an aisle in a white dress, ready to be rescued by a knight-in-shining-armor groom who was going to take charge and take care of her for the rest of her life.
                Nope. Anne had wanted to fight fires like her father and then her brother. Even though she no longer respected the former, and had a strained relationship with the latter, she’d wanted to pull on turnouts and strap an air tank to her back and breathe canned air as she ran into open flames dragging hundreds of pounds of charged line with her. She’d wanted to rescue grandmothers, and children, and people who had succumbed to smoke inhalation. She’d been ready to cut open crumpled cars and drag broken bodies out of wreckage at the sides of highways. She’d been determined that the extremes of cold winter nights, hot summer days, physical exhaustion, and mental fatigue would never keep her from doing her job.
                So, yup, the old fashioned Mrs. degree had never held any fascination for her. There was no way in hell she was going to be like her mother, living a derivative, nineteen-fifties version of life, nothing but a pretty blow-up doll that was expected to cook, clean, and cut the yapping.
                On that note, as she pulled into St. Mary’s parking lot and looked up at the great cathedral’s stained glass windows and lofty spires, she decided it made sense that not only was she not the bride, she wasn’t even a bridesmaid.
                Like the rest of the crew down at the 499 firehouse, she was a groomsmen in the impending nuptials of Robert “Moose” Miller and Deandra—what the hell was her last name anyway? Cox. That was it.
                Anne was thinking groomsmen was a role she might as well get used to. Not that Duff, Emilio, Deshaun, or any of the other men she worked with were settling down anytime soon.
Especially not Dannyboy Maguire.
Right on cue, a Ford truck entered the parking lot, the late afternoon sun flashing across its windshield.
As Anne’s heart kicked in her chest, she was tempted to hustle in the side door of the church—but she had never been one to run from a challenge.
Danny was more than just a challenge, though.
And okay, fine. So maybe she had already run out of his way at least once: Last night, at the rehearsal dinner, she’d positively bolted after he’d made that speech of his.
                I never believed in love . . . I thought it was just a word, a title folks gave to daydreams and misconceptions about destiny, a lie folks told to themselves to make them feel solid in this imperfect, unreliable, and mean-ass world.
Now I know it can happen between two people. And it doesn’t have to make sense because it’s not about logic. And it doesn’t have to have good timing because forever is like infinity, without beginning or end. And it doesn’t have to be defined because truth is like faith—it just is.
So, let’s toast to love.
He’d looked at her while he’d spoken. He had been talking . . . to her . . . in that slow, deep voice.
Everybody else had toasted Moose and Deandra. But Anne had known it hadn’t been about them. Danny, ever the ladies man, king of the one-night stand, he who shalt never be tied down . . . seemed to be suggesting not just that he’d had a change of heart.
But that he might have given his own to Anne.
Unless she was misreading everything? Then again, they had kissed the night before that. In her living room. While riding an adrenaline high after they’d saved a life in an alleyway.
And lips-to-lips had been better than good, the rare circumstance when reality had improved on a fantasy. After two years of attraction and sizzle and unacknowledged heat, that which had been pushed under the rug was exposed now. And there was no going back.
Especially as she felt the same way.
So hell yeah she had bolted out of that restaurant. The second she had been able to get up from her chair, she had hit the exit and left Danny without a ride home.
He’d called two hours later. He’d been in a bar, probably
Timeout where the crew always went, the noise in the background loud and raucous.
She had not answered. He had left a short message, but not called again.
Anne just wasn’t sure what to do. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. There were plenty of things she wanted to do to him, with him, on him—all of which were naked and erotic and not necessarily only horizontal.
Refocusing, she watched Danny’s truck pass by. From behind the wheel, he looked over at her.
She waited for him to find a space and get out, and as he walked across to her, she tried—tried—not to go sixteen-year-old girl at the sight of him in a tuxedo.
He was very tall, over six feet five, and he was built hard and muscular, his shoulders so wide, his chest so broad, his waist the point of the inverted triangle of his torso. His jet-black hair was still damp, and what sunlight there was in the mostly cloudy sky flashed blue in its depths. He was freshly shaven—his cologne reaching her nose even before he stopped in front of her—and his eyes were that brilliant blue that had always arrested her. Irish eyes.
But they were not smiling.
For a man who was rarely serious, he looked positively grim, and she frowned.
“You okay?” Stupid question. “I mean—”
“Yeah, no. I’m fine.”
Standard answer for firefighters when they were in pain. And she wondered if it had to do with that speech of his, and what she could have sworn he had been telling her.
His eyes shifted off to the side and then his mouth got thinner.
“And here’s the blushing bride.”
A stretch limo entered the parking area and made a fat turn toward the back door of the cathedral. When it stopped, its driver got out and went to the rear door.
Seven all-in-pink, spray-tanned, body-glittered, and blond-streaked women got out one by one, a clown car of bridesmaids who were such carbon copies of each other, it was like they had been ordered out of a catalogue.
And then the white dress emerged.
Deandra, Moose’s intended, had her blond-streaked hair—natch—piled up on her head in an organized, sculpted waterfall of curls. Her veil was a gossamer fall over her tiny waist and her big skirt, and the shimmer of crystals across the bodice and down the front and sides of the gown made her look like a princess.
Provided you didn’t catch her expression.
She was sour as an old woman with gout and shingles. In spite of the fact that she was supposedly marrying her true love, she looked downright nasty as she snapped at the driver, glared at her maid of honor, and yanked her skirting up to march into the back of the church.
“Wow,” Anne muttered. “That’s a happy bride.”
“Whatever. They’re on their own with this dumbass idea.”
“Did you happen to talk to Moose last night?” she blurted.
“As in out of this? Or would that be considered tacky given it was less than twenty-four hours before the priest hit the altar with them.”
Danny rolled his eyes. “He’s bound and determined to ball-and-chain himself. Personally, I’d be running in the opposite direction.”
And then there was silence between them. Tension coiled up quick, and as Anne’s temples started to pound, she decided it was going to be a long night, just not for the reasons she’d assumed at the beginning of the weekend.


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