Tag Archives: Secrets

Review & Giveaway: A Borrowed Dream by Amanda Cabot

 
A BORROWED DREAM
The Cimarron Creek Trilogy, Book 2
by
Amanda Cabot
Genre: Historical Romance / Inspirational
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: March 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 352

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Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor’s excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.
Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.
With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

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PRAISE FOR A BORROWED DREAM:

“Cabot’s sweet love story will appeal to readers of gentle romances. . .Although this title stands on its own, readers of A Stolen Heart (2017), the first in Cabot’s place-based trilogy, will be happy to revisit the folks of Cimarron Creek.” — Booklist

“The second book in Cabot’s Cimarron Creek trilogy is even better than the first, with a dash of suspense, an intriguing bit of medical history and a host of enjoyable characters.” — RT Book Reviews

PRAISE FOR A STOLEN HEART, BOOK ONE IN THE CIMARRON CREEK TRILOGY: 
“Readers will enjoy the surprising ending as well as the romance always found in Cabot’s books.”Publishers Weekly

“Moments of humor provide a nice balance to the heartwarming scenes and the mild suspense thread.”RT Book Reviews

“Cabot’s nonpreachy inspirational romance features characters who genuinely try to live honorable lives, and their story has broad appeal for readers of gentle fiction and historical romance as well as for readers of Christian fiction.”Booklist 
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review
Catherine Whitfield endeared herself to me in the same way that Lydia Crawford (now Whitfield) did in book one of the series, A Stolen Heart. And that’s because Cabot creates such wholesome and believable leading ladies. Although Catherine is the jilted, secondary character in the first book, in A Borrowed Dream she steps up as a commanding school teacher who does everything in her power to protect her students and to help even strangers who are in need.
After falling in love with Travis Whitfield in book one, you might think that you don’t have room in your heart for another man in Cimarron. But Austin Goddard is a gentle, capable man of many talents. The loving way in which he attends to his motherless daughter, Hannah, is enough to make most women swoon, but a man with a secret is all the more alluring. Despite the lack of calluses on his hands, Austin proves to be a more than capable rancher and the mothers of Cimarron are lining up their single daughters trying to tie the man down. If word ever got out what his real profession was, I imagine they would have resorted to even kidnapping to nab the widower.
Austin’s expertise makes it plausible that a dangerous man will do anything to track him down. Every few chapters, Cabot takes us to a dark place where sinister men are becoming more and more irritated when they can’t find Austin and Hannah. While you hope that they won’t succeed, you are waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Like every good romance novel, the heroine never sets her cap for the dashing newcomer that all the other women in town have their eye on. Their love blooms slowly over tiny acts of kindness that grow into a deeper understanding of one another, overcoming circumstances that test a person’s trustworthiness, and the moment when you realize that your life cannot continue happily without the other person by your side.
Austin’s daughter, Hannah, might have been seen as a pawn or an obstacle by other women, but Catherine only saw a child that needed help. And when another child, Seth, so obviously needs her aid as well, it was heartwarming to watch Catherine and Austin spring into action as a team. Before long, their budding relationship becomes evident and adds an extra layer of complication as the danger continues to loom.
The arrival of yet another stranger to Cimarron sets us up for the final installment of the Cimarron Creek Trilogy. This subplot keeps the book from being too neat and tidy, but doesn’t distract from the main story. Also, it answers some questions left hanging in the previous book. As things wrap up nicely for our heroine in the end, we know that we will see more of her in the next book. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next in the series. I know I will love the next lead heroine as much as Catherine and Lydia. Not to mention, my shelf will look wonderful with such pretty book covers being displayed.



Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of A Stolen Heart, the first book of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming. 

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1ST: Copy of A Borrowed Dream, Novel Teas (25 count), Paddywax Library Collection Ralph Waldo Emerson Scented Soy Wax Candle, Cedar & Wild Fern (6.5oz) 

2ND: Copy of A Borrowed Dream + $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
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APRIL 12-21, 2018
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Excerpt 4 & Giveaway: Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath

BEYOND SCANDAL
AND DESIRE
Sins for All Seasons, Book 1
by
LORRAINE HEATH
  
Genre: Historical / Regency Romance
Publisher: Avon
Date of Publication: January 30, 2018
Number of Pages: 320

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At birth, Mick Trewlove, the illegitimate son of a duke, was handed over to a commoner. Despite his lowly upbringing, Mick has become a successful businessman, but all his wealth hasn’t satisfied his need for revenge against the man who still won’t acknowledge him. What else can Mick do but destroy the duke’s legitimate son—and woo the heir’s betrothed into his own unloving arms . . .

Orphaned and sheltered, Lady Aslyn Hastings longs for a bit of adventure. With her intended often preoccupied, Aslyn finds herself drawn to a darkly handsome entrepreneur who seems to understand her so well. Surely a lady of her station should avoid Mick Trewlove. If only he weren’t so irresistible . . . 

As secrets are about to be exposed, Mick must decide if his plan for vengeance is worth risking what his heart truly desires.

PRAISE FOR BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE:
“Heath builds a community of fascinating, intertwined characters that readers will be eager to get to know as they cheer for the driven hero and the spunky, smart heroine.” — Publishers Weekly
“RITA Award–winner Heath’s new Sins for All Seasons series is off to an impressive start with an unforgettable, emotionally charged love story that will dazzle and delight readers with its exquisitely crafted characters, deliciously sensual romance, and impeccably rendered historical setting.” — Booklist/ *STARRED* Review
“For the first book in the Sins for All Seasons series, Heath returns to the world of dark London — a world she understands as well as Dickens. Heath illuminates the city’s underbelly with a powerful romance of healing and redemption. Her talents for drawing readers into the era with her well-drawn, three dimensional characters and realistic dialogue sets her novels apart. The unexpected twists and turns of the plot guarantees it will be placed on your keeper shelf.” — RT Book Reviews/ “Top Pick” Review


Excerpt from Beyond Scandal and Desire

by Lorraine Heath

“Why would someone think I was worth robbing?”

 

“Because you’re dressed in finery like a lady who might be silly enough to walk around London with a thousand quid stuffed in her—” He waved his hand at her as though he thought she might have stashed it in an unmentionable area.

 

“My reticule.”

 

“Well, he’d have not stopped with the taking of it. He’d have given you a thorough search—”

 

She didn’t care to hear where he might have searched. “As I said, I did not walk. Well, except up your steps, and then there was your man to look out for me.”

 

The fury seemed to deflate out of him. “There are men around here who would kill for a thousand quid.”

 

“I suspect there are some who would cheat for it, as well. Did your bricklayer cheat while playing cards with Kipwick?”

 

“No. My people know I don’t tolerate cheating. I’d have let him go. A man who cheats at cards might cheat elsewhere, including in the work he gives me. Besides, my brothers were watching. The problem, Lady Aslyn, is that your fiancé bends his elbow as much as he holds the cards. Guzzling too much drink hampers a man’s judgment, his ability to calculate

the odds of winning.”

 

She feared drinking wasn’t the only problem Kip had. “Since he lost fair and square then, and you’ve offered to sell the items to me, tell me how much I owe you.”

 

“I told you. A pound.”

 

“I don’t believe you.”

 

He arched a dark brow over one of those beautiful blue eyes. “Are you calling me a liar?”

 

She angled up her chin. “Yes. I quite believe I am.”

 

His laughter, deep and masculine, circled around her, sent the calming butterflies back into flight. “No one has ever dared call me a liar—at least not to my face.”

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s prestigious RITA. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

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Review & Giveaway: Aransas Morning by Jeff Hampton

ARANSAS MORNING
by
JEFF HAMPTON
  Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Life
Date of Publication: September 22, 2017
Number of Pages: 304

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When Sam Barnes’ high-flying life in Dallas falls apart, he flees to the coastal town of Port Aransas, Texas and fades into the life of a reclusive beach bum. But things start to change when he meets Dave, a young widower working through his own loss; Shelly, owner of the Dream Bean coffee shop; Bo, a crusty old shrimper; and Allie, Bo’s free-spirited daughter. Together they are tested and forced to confront their own issues. In doing so they discover family and community.


PRAISE FOR ARANSAS MORNING:
“Engrossing characters that keep doing unexpected things. Strong sense of place along the Texas coast and deep knowledge of the culture. This book is about relationships and how ‘family’ and ‘community’ might be redefined.”

“In this heartwarming book, Jeff Hampton took me to a place I’ve never been and captured me with his delightful characters, seaside landscape, and deft use of words to portray a small group of people who came together to create and run the Dream Bean cafe. Great summer reading.”

“I loved the characters, with their flaws and their graces. It is an honest and heart-warming story of redemption coming through community. I’m really glad I read it.”

“Really nice character development, articulating in a very comfortable and readable style the messy, complex, joyous and hopeful ways we build, break and nurture ‘community.’”
“Very quickly in the story, the characters became like friends. The book is engaging and held my interest.”


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300b2-review
For me, characters carry a book. If I don’t care about the characters or find them impossible to believe, I can’t read more than a few chapters. Hampton’s characters pulled me in; hook, line, and sinker. And there was even a beautiful pace in which each new character came along and the narrative followed them a bit.
Sam Barnes is a beatdown man who just bums around the beach. He works the odd job so he can eat canned soup in his tin can of a trailer home. Locals know who he is, but nobody really knows him. In retrospect, Sam asking a man who is staring out at the water what he sees is a bit out of character. But it’s this interaction that changes everyone’s lives.
When Hampton follows a character, he seems to write in their voice yet maintains that third person perspective. The tone shifts are truly remarkable. When we’re with Sam, sentences are short and details are sparse. Shelly’s first chapter is descriptive and the language flows. Dave’s chapter talks about the present but constantly circles back to Debby, his wife who passed away a year prior. When Sam collides with Dave, which rolls them toward Shelly, everything is set into motion. As the book progresses, it feels like a single voice has taken over the narrative; either Hampton’s alone, or all of the characters as a collective.
I found it sad that Sam was sort of a wake up call for Shelly and Dave. Neither of them wanted to end up like him, destitute and miserable, so they made big decisions to leave their old lives behind to find new ones. But happily, they wanted to share their new lives with this man who was so much more than he seemed. “He dreamed of being a king but he’d always just been a jester.” (p. 4) was a line that grabbed me.
It was amazing to watch such strong characters with fierce opinions and habits to come together and achieve a common goal. Who could foresee that this strength and ferocity would transform into loyalty, trust, friendship, and love? And I think one of the big lessons of the book is that you have to forgive yourself once you’ve already been forgiven by others. Other gems I have taken away are the importance of living your best life, handling business matters with integrity and respect, and marching to the beat of your own drum.
My only critique is that I wish Hampton didn’t spell out situations so explicitly at times. He literally tells us about a jealousy that’s not romance based- it’s pretty obvious. When there is some friction between two of the main characters, he tells us why they’re acting cold to each other when we could already glean that from the previous scene.
I highly recommend this book to people who love a good redemption or personal transformation story. I am glad to hear that there will be an Aransas Evening coming soon. I look forward to reading it.

During a 35-year career in journalism and communications, Jeff Hampton has covered and written about topics ranging from business and finance to history and faith. His bylines have appeared in publications ranging from The Dallas Morning News to The New York Times.
He attended Baylor University where he majored in journalism and was editor of the Baylor Lariat campus newspaper. He began his professional career at the Waco Tribune-Herald and has written for newspapers, magazines, businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.
Hampton has based his life and career in Texas where his interest in observing the people around him has led him to write essays, short stories, and novels that explore relationships and communities in their many forms.
Aransas Morning is his fifth book, following Grandpa Jack, When the Light Returned to Main Street, Jonah Prophet and The Snowman Uprising on Hickory Lane.
Watch for Aransas Evening, a sequel to Aransas Morning, in 2018. 
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Review & Giveaway: Lady Jane Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

LADY JAYNE DISAPPEARS

by
JOANNA DAVIDSON POLITANO
  Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 416
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When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet house guest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance—and perhaps even her father’s death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano’s stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.

══════════║║║══════════

Praise for Lady Jayne Disappears:

“Emotional. Intriguing. Both haunting and romantic. . . In her historical fiction debut, Joanna Davidson Politano delivers a smart plot that navigates twists and turns with a mixture of wit, intelligent characters, and a refreshingly original voice. Reminiscent of Dickens’ classic storytelling, Lady Jayne Disappears is a debut to remember!”
Kristy Cambron, author of The Illusionist’s Apprentice

“Wonderfully unique, this compelling debut grabs you from the first intriguing line. The evocative English setting, textured characters, literary theme, and unusual romance make Lady Jayne Disappears a standout, the lovely cover offering a hint of the gem within. A must read!”
Laura Frantz, author of A Moonbow Night

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300b2-review
I am having trouble putting into words why this book grips me so. I think the cover, lovely like the cameo necklace my mother wore when I was a small child, beckoned me first. But then that opening chapter bound me in such a way that it tortured me to have to put this book down to get some sleep. I knew I should have started reading this over the weekend!
In retrospect, the first chapter reads different from the rest of the novel. Maybe it’s because of the terseness of the situation, but the tone doesn’t feel as Victorian as the chapters that follow. After allowing the characters to live in my mind these past few days, I also feel that the characterization of Aurelie is a little off. It is only in this first chapter that you will hear someone describe our heroine as “plain”. For the rest of the book, everyone describes her as ethereal and lovely like a wood nymph. There are even times that Aurelie looks in the mirror after a makeover and finds herself breathtaking.
I hope I’m not painting the girl as a narcissist, because she is anything but. Her talent for wordsmithing is the only thing that could tempt her to take pride in herself, and she’s easily deflated. For whatever reason, I can’t shake the idea that she reminds me of a Fannie Price, although she is much more resilient than that slip of an Austen girl. But just like Fannie, Aurelie struggles as she watches the man she loves fall for another woman (or does he?).
I don’t know if it’s because of the time period, but I felt a lot of Austen influence. Aurelie could be a cross between Fannie and Elizabeth Bennet. Juliette reminded me of an Emma mixed with Lydia Bennet. Jasper was a Wickham through and through but Silas was a hunky mix of Edmund, Mr. Darcy, and Colonel Brandon. I’m sure I would find more parallels if I put my mind to it, but I will stop there. I don’t know if the author had these characters in mind when she wrote Lady Jayne, but I do know that the mix of Austen characters I listed are polar opposites from each other. So no matter the similarities, Politano has achieved something truly special with her authentic characters.
I thought it was funny when Silas asks Aurelie about her reading preferences. Austen is mentioned but glossed over. The two prefer the less respectable form of serials, which reminded me of how the Northanger Abby characters were scandalously into gothic novels.
But enough Austen talk. The cast of characters in Lady Jane is, dare I say, perfect. No superfluous or unbelievable people are in this book. Nor do I feel like someone is missing from the line up. I’m pretty sure that this is one of the few books that have made me feel like that. I’m always quick to notice when someone says or does something out of turn. And I take wicked pleasure in pointing out when an author tosses in a token character that is hip at the moment. No one spoke a word or acted out of character, and yet I was anxious to see what would happen next. For a book where everything just felt right, Politano kept me guessing nonetheless.
I kept wondering if I could guess what was to come, and was delighted when the author proved me wrong over and over again. I adore this book and have added it to my rotation of books that are read several times a year.

Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her on her website.

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Excerpt and Giveaway: The Grave Tender by Eliza Maxwell


THE GRAVE TENDER
by
By Eliza Maxwell
  Genre: Women’s Fiction / Psychological Suspense
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of Publication: April 11, 2017
Number of Pages: 248
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A chilling psychological suspense novel, The Grave Tender explores the dark boundaries people cross to save loved ones, and the limits of family bonds tested by the deepest of betrayals.
Endless questions from a shadow-filled East Texas childhood haunt Hadley Dixon. People said her mother, Winnie, was never quite right, but with one single, irreparable act, life as Hadley knew it was shattered. The aftershocks of that moonlit night left her reeling, but the secrets and lies had started long before.
When a widowed and pregnant Hadley returns years later, it’s not the safe harbor she expects. The mysteries surrounding a local boy’s disappearance remain, and the townspeople still whisper about Hadley’s strange and reclusive Uncle Eli—whispers about a monster in their midst.
But Hadley’s father and grandmother, the cornerstones of everything safe in her world, avoid her questions. If Hadley stays here, will she be giving her children the family they need or putting their lives in danger?
The hunt for answers takes a determined Hadley deep into the pine forests, in search of sunlight that will break through the canopy of lies long enough to reveal the truth.
“The Grave Tender will grasp you in its hooks from the beginning as you try to figure out the truth behind each character, because no one is truly what they seem … Addicting, easy to read, and hard to put down.”Shelbi LeMeilleur, Insite Magazine
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4a231-excerpt

Most people, if asked, would tell you that Cooper Abbott had surely had some sort of accident.  Maybe he’d been bitten by a snake, or fallen into the river and hit his head on a rock.  There were as many rumors as people to spread them, and a thousand possibilities to choose from.

The one thing they all agreed on was that tropical storm Jolene had been a true misfortune, carrying off any clue to finding the boy.  Probably carrying off the boy himself, down the river toward the Gulf of Mexico.

No one suspected anything more sinister.

Not at first.

By Thursday night the skies had cleared.  On Friday, the clean-up began.

The Dixon’s power was still out, as it was in many places across town, but Hadley didn’t care.  She was happy to be outside, helping to haul downed branches into a pile and picking up dropped nails while Walker took the boards off the shutters.  Light slowly came back into the dim house.

It was just after lunch when the Sheriff’s car pulled slowly up the drive, gravel crunching under the tires all the way.

Ben Hammon was an old friend of Walker’s.  They’d gone to school together way back when, and still met up for poker night every other Friday.  But it wasn’t a social call that brought Sheriff Hammon out to the Dixon house that day.

The Sheriff wasn’t alone.  One of his deputies got out of the passenger side of the car.  The deputy looked forbidding in his brown uniform and hat, his eyes scanning the trees behind their home.  But he smiled and gave Hadley a wink when he caught her watching him.

“Hey, Ben.  Any news on the Abbott boy?” Walker asked.

The Sheriff shook his head.  “Nothing yet.  We’ve picked up the search again, but frankly Walker, I don’t expect to hear anything until we get a call from somewhere downriver.”

Walker cleared his throat and motioned in her direction.

“Hadley, you remember Sheriff Hammon, don’t you?”

She knew good and well the reminder was for the Sheriff, so he wouldn’t say anything else that meant something.  Cooper is my friend, Hadley thought, tired of being treated like a baby.

“Actually, Walker, we’d like to speak with Hadley, if you don’t mind.”

Walker’s eyebrows shot up.

“What’s this about, Ben?”

“Dan Abbott was in to see us soon as the weather let up,” the Sheriff said.  “He says the kids had a run in with your brother last weekend.”

The camp out.  An image of Eli looming over them in the doorway of the tent filled Hadley’s mind.

“Eli?” Walker asked, glancing down at Hadley, clearly confused.  She’d never told him what had happened last week, and so much had happened since.

“What’s Eli got to do with anything?”

The Sheriff tipped his hat back and scratched his head, not looking entirely comfortable in his own skin.

“Probably nothing, to tell you the truth.  But a boy is missing, Walker, and we have to do our jobs.”

All three men turned to Hadley then.  Her eyes went wide.

Walker squatted down next to her.

“Hadley, honey, you don’t have to be scared.  You’re not in any trouble.  Just tell the men here what happened.  Nobody can be hurt by telling the truth.”

Hadley knew that wasn’t true.  If it were, her father wouldn’t look so worried.  But she couldn’t see another option, so she did as he asked.  She told the truth.

 

Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with her ever patient husband, two impatient kids, a budgie named Sarah, and a bird dog who lives a tortured existence.  She’s an artist and writer, an introvert and a British cop drama addict.  A former bookseller with a lifelong love of the written word, she can often be found barefoot on the front porch lost in a good cup of coffee and a great book.
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Review: The Memory of Us by Camille DiMaio

THE MEMORY OF US
by 
Camille DiMaio

Genre: Historical Romantic Literary Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: May 31, 2016
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for Giveaway!
Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.
While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the Church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love.
But as war ripples through the world and the Blitz decimates England, a tragic accident forces Julianne to leave everything behind and forge a new life built on lies she’s told to protect the ones she loves. Now, after twenty years of hiding from her past, the truth finds her—will she be brave enough to face it?

ADVANCED REVIEWER PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
“Powerful, emotional, and amazing read.”
“A smashing debut!”
“Brilliantly told and executed.”

“Will make you cry in the best way possible.”
“This is a beautiful story of redemption, love, and honor.”
“I fell in love with the characters.”
“I’m not sure if I have ever had such a range of emotions with a book.”

“This is one of the best books that I have read!”
“Touching and funny and tragic and beautiful.”
“Packs a powerful, emotional punch.”

PURCHASE FROM
AMAZON      BARNES & NOBLE     BOOKS-A-MILLION
Review
With a title like “The Memory of Us,” you brace yourself for the most tragic love story ever. The bleak opening which features a scarred woman attempting suicide by pills lets you know that your hunch is probably right. But before she gives too much away, DiMaio cuts to the past where we meet the woman, still vibrant and young, with her whole life in front of her.
Julianne is the beautiful daughter of rich socialites. And before you get a chance to assume she’s a snob and start to hate her, you realize that she is working toward making her own way in the world. Instead of accepting the reins to the family’s lucrative business, she is set to attend nursing school in London. And with a world on the verge of war, nursing is not a romantic or pretty business to get into.
Just when you think you can’t like Julianne even more, you find out that she steals away to visit the twin brother she shouldn’t even know exists. It is there at the lush institution that Charles is hidden, that she encounters the love of her life. As if his Irish and lowly upbringing weren’t an obstacle enough, Kyle is a seminary student on his way to becoming a priest.
Trying their best to just be friends, Julianne and Kyle experience a whirlwind romance befitting a Nicholas Sparks novel. But DiMaio’s romance is not cheap and certainly not as predictable as Sparks. I went to bed around 4:30 a.m. one night because I could not put this book down. I planned to read until I found a good place to stop, but DiMaio kept urging me forward with chapters ending on the cusp of a new secret or development. I laid in bed for a long time trying to get the wonderful story out of my head so that I could sleep.
I think I should end my review here lest I should spoil anything. Be prepared for your heart to break. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! And comment below once you’ve read it. I would love to talk about this one!
Camille is an award-winning real estate agent in San Antonio who, along with her husband of 18 years, home schools their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes, and forever stays up late reading “just one more chapter”. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. “The Memory of Us” is Camille’s debut novel. Her second, “Before the Rain Falls” will be released in the spring of 2017.
—————————————
GIVEAWAYS! GIVEAWAYS! GIVEAWAYS! 
THREE WINNERS EACH GET
A SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK!
  June 21 – July 5, 2016
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6/21 Missus Gonzo  — Review
6/22 Books and Broomsticks– Promo
6/23 The Page Unbound  – Author Interview #1
6/24 Texas Book Lover  – Guest Post
6/25 The Librarian Talks – Review
6/26 Country Girl Bookaholic  – Excerpt
6/27 It’s a Jenn World – Author Interview #2
6/28 Byers Editing Reviews & Blog  — Review
6/29 Forgotten Winds – Book Trailer
6/30 Margie’s Must Reads – Review
7/1   Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books – Promo
7/2  The Crazy Booksellers – Author Interview #3
7/3   My Book Fix Blog — Review
7/4   StoreyBook Reviews  – Author Interview #4
7/5   Hall Ways Blog – Review

 

 
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Deceived: Soul Keeper Series by L. A. Starkey

 

LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE Blog Tours
presents
 
L.A. Starkey’s 
SOUL KEEPER SERIES
 
 
They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principle, the actuating cause of an individual life.
But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?
The soul mate principle states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.
But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?
What if your choices had eternal ramification?
Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what’s to come.
 
Praise for DECEIVED
“This book! Oh my word. To sum it up in one word: amazing! L.A. Starkey absolutely slayed me with Deceived.” – Kristen, Pretty Little Pages Blog
 
“I love how the Greek myths are woven into this story with detail yet its still a modern high school romance. Sam is just an ordinary girl, mostly. The writing is tight and I got lost in the characters.” – Loren Weaver, Author of The Victoria Novak: Paranormal Division Series
 
“I read this book in one day because it kept me so engaged with the story that I didn’t want to put it down. There’s lots going on in the story, but it all flows really well and I like books with the ancient Gods and mythology of any nation.” – Rosie, Roses are Amber
 
“Just found LA Starkey and I am so excited I did! I love her writing style and the Soul Keeper series! I purchased book one and then went straight into book 2!” – W.J. May, Author of the The Chronicles of Kerrigan & The Senseless Series
 
“All I can say is WOW I was not expecting this at all. Deceived, (Soul Keeper Series 1) is a wonderful book and will keep your interest until the very end and leave you wanting more.” – JC Brennan, Author of The Fine Line, The Beginning
 
“The first thing that wow’ed me was the beautiful storytelling by Starkey. Just beautiful. This book had me guessing from the get-go – a sure sign that I’m hooked.” – KK Allen, Author of The Summer Solstice
 
BUY LINKS
 
DECEIVED is FREE for download everywhere
 
BOX SET of entire SOUL KEEPER SERIES
 
Amazon  
 
 

Sam smiled. “I should get going, it’s gonna get dark soon and my car is still in the shop. Bikeville, population one, here I come.”

Julie got up from the bed and moved closer. “Alright, but don’t forget I can’t talk tomorrow night. Brent and I are leaving right after school to go visit his aunt in Massachusetts.”

“Yeah, I remembered. That seriously blows about having to spend the whole evening with Brent.” Sam couldn’t help but laugh at Julie’s plight. “Sneak a call to me tomorrow night when everyone goes to sleep and fill me in on Brent’s latest skank conquest abroad.”

Julie smiled and gave her a quick hug. Sam returned the sign of affection and hurried downstairs, jogging out the front door and almost making it to her bike when someone cleared their throat. She turned around to see none other than the player himself.

“Yes?” Sam asked, trying not to smile at him and failing miserably.

“Leaving so soon?” Brent asked with a little boy pout on his face. “We were just about to order pizza. We don’t have dessert, but maybe you’d be willing to volunteer?”

“Volunteer to get dessert, huh? Never heard of the guest having to provide for the hosts, but coming from you, this isn’t a surprise.” Sam smirked at him as she jumped on her bike.

“Not get dessert, Samantha, be dessert.” Brent smiled devilishly, teasing her like he always did.

“And then you woke up.” Sam laughed and started to pedal away.

“You’re not even going to blow me a kiss? Shame, Sam, shame.”

Sam resisted flipping him the bird over her shoulder as she rode away.

The very thought of the challenging fifteen mile bike ride that lay ahead of her caused her adrenaline to surge. Laughter spilled from her lips as she stood, pumping her legs hard and fast before sitting down into a steady rhythm that offered her peace.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and even though the breeze had picked up, embracing Sam like a good friend, the warmth of the sun was putting up a mighty fight. Being someone who thrived outdoors, she loved that New Hampshire had four seasons and took profound joy in having the ability to experience all the weather gods could throw her way. After the first few warm up miles, Sam stood back up on her peddles and pumped out the next few miles with a good bit of effort.

Man, it feels good to get my blood pumping.

Sam looked to her left as a quick movement of yellow jotted between the trees.

“No!” A loud masculine voice rang out.

She jerked forward in time to swerve, barely missing the yellow lump lying in the road and instead hitting the curb. She plummeted off the bike, flying through the air and landing in a crouch. Her chest heaved in effort to gain much needed oxygen as all of the blood in her body rushed to its aid.

Her eyes quickly surveyed her surroundings as she cautiously rose. No one was close enough to create the loud protest that was still reverbing in her head. Trying to regain her composure, she worked to make sense of what had happened. I could’ve sworn there was something yellow in the trees. And then it was in the road, right?

 

She searched the ground finding nothing to support her internal claim.

Review

A young adult novel that involves Greek mythology = the perfect recipe for a good read in my opinion. There’s nothing quite like the irrational rage of the gods and teenage angst. Although I’ve read many children’s and YA books that incorporate Greek mythology, I have never come across a retelling or reinterpretation of Zeus vs Prometheus (with 3 pregnant Fates on the side). I actually don’t remember the original tale, so I guess I should refer to the ol’ Edith Hamilton when I have some free time.
Interesting plot aside, I must say that Starkey is a great poet. It can be difficult to emulate the style of a prophecy without sounding completely ridiculous while maintaining a decent rhyme. What she could work on though is her teenage voice and interests. “As if?” These kids are not of the 90’s era. I guarantee you will not hear girls saying this. There was some other phrase that made my ear bleed but I can’t remember it at the moment. And as great as Linkin Park is, I doubt kids nowadays have “In the End” on their playlist. A bit dated. Even a Lady Gaga reference is a bit dated because she doesn’t release music that often. Go with Taylor Swift. That girl releases multiple albums every year.
Nitpicks aside, I am curious to see which brother will win this battle. To be honest, I don’t care for either of them, nor for the gods they proxy for. But I wouldn’t mind reading the next two books to see if any of the fellas have redeeming qualities that make Sam’s choice easier for her.
 
L.A. Starkey is the author of the Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series.
 
She is a fulltime writer, and loves spending time with her family and reading a good book. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn’t seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.
 
She also writes under the following pen name: Kate Thomas – NA/Adult Paranormal (http://amzn.to/1SKV9ey)
 
 
 

Never miss a new release! Join LA Starkey’s readers group and grab your free copy of The Beginning: The Prophecy for the Soul Keeper Series! http://eepurl.com/9Nrc1


 
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