Friday, November 17, 2017

THE WIFE BETWEEN US Review




THE WIFE BETWEEN US

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies. (synopsis from Amazon)

Enjoy the teaser!  :)




Clever, ingenious, intricately plotted; all can be used to describe THE WIFE BETWEEN US, yet all fall woefully short of adequately capturing it. Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen adroitly leads readers down the primrose path and the hits keep coming right up to the last page. I didn’t know what I thought I knew and relished it.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US is sure to surprise, in some shape, form or fashion, even the most seasoned reader.

5 stars and I don’t give those lightly.

Meet the authors:


Sunday, November 12, 2017

PICINIC AT HANGING ROCK Review & Giveaway


PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK
by Joan Lindsay
Foreword by Maile Meloy



Mysterious and subtly erotic, PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (Penguin Classics; On-sale: October 3, 2017; $16.00; ISBN: 9780143132059) was first published 50 years ago and inspired the iconic 1975 film of the same name by Peter Weir—as well as a six-episode TV series starring Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer, scheduled to be released by Amazon next year. Widely considered one of the most important Australian novels of all time, it stands with Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides as a masterpiece of intrigue.

On a cloudless summer day in the year 1900, everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, three girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of the secluded volcanic outcropping. Farther, higher, until at last they disappeared…. They never returned.


My thoughts....


It’s not hard to see why PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK is a classic. The central mystery, what happened to the girls and the math teacher on the rock, is still a puzzle to this day. 

Even more interesting is the aftermath of their disappearance. The effect on those left behind, and the sole survivor, is an encapsulated study of human nature; and it's not always pretty or noble.

Disquieted best describes how I felt during and after reading PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK.

However, I would caution against reading the foreword in its entirety. When she recommends stopping, please do. A lot of my reading pleasure evaporated after reading the ending the author alludes to in several scenes. These incidents stand alone fine without the original ending, thank goodness.

3 stars

Penguin is offering a print copy giveaway to one lucky commenter who answers this question.
What are your thoughts on a bit of ambiguity sometimes?  Does knowing the original intent of the author sometimes ruin it for you?
Good Luck!

*All print giveaways are US only unless stated otherwise. Not responsible for 3rd party giveaways*



Sunday, October 29, 2017

DARK SIGNAL Review

Dark Signal by Shannon Baker is the second installment in the Kate Fox mystery series, called "A must read" by New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava, starring a female Longmire in the atmospheric Nebraska Sandhills.
Reeling from her recent divorce, Kate Fox has just been sworn in as Grand County, Nebraska Sheriff when tragedy strikes. A railroad accident has left engineer Chad Mills dead, his conductor Bobby Jenkins in shock. Kate soon realizes that the accident was likely murder.
Who would want to kill Chad Mills? Kate finds that he made a few enemies as president of the railroad workers union. Meanwhile his widow is behaving oddly. And why was his neighbor Josh Stevens at the Mills house on the night of the accident? 
While her loud and meddling family conspires to help Kate past her divorce, State Patrol Officer Trey closes in on Josh Stevens as the suspect. Kate doesn’t believe it. She may not have the experience, but she’s lived in the Sandhills her whole life, and knows the land and the people. Something doesn’t add up―and Kate must find the real killer before he can strike again. (synopsis from Amazon)

4.5 Stars

Kate Fox returns in the sequel to Stripped Bare. When last seen Kate was picking herself up in a bold, in your face way. DARK SIGNAL opens with Kate having accomplished her goal and being indoctrinated the hard way with a gruesome death.
Kate insists on investigating, for the most part, her way. Following her instincts and running into the occasional trouble. Being the new kid on the block, there’s some proving to be done. Kate’s knowledge of the residents, again, works in her favor. Things really heat up in the last quarter or so with enough action to satisfy those who like a mix of the plodding procedural and adrenaline-fueled action.
Par for the course family plays a major role in Kate’s life and decisions. Reader’s discover more about family members while the subplot with Kate’s niece continues to intrigue. Big doings are brewing with that situation you can feel it simmering.
In addition to the growth of current characters, interesting characters who could be significant to Kate are introduced.
Once again the Nebraska Sandhills loom large. The area, for me, is as much a character as Kate. It feels forbidding, isolated, and unforgiving. The people who choose to live there are a breed apart. The beauty is mentioned, and there are occasional glimpses/hints, but it’s a stark, cold beauty. These mysteries work for me, in large part, because of the area and the atmosphere it invokes.
DARK SIGNAL’s mystery is solid and grounded in both the location and way of life with numerous clues and red herrings scattered throughout. Readers attuned to nuances will be pleased to be able to figure out most, if not all.
I like where Kate appears to be going and how she’s growing. She has a lot of options before her, and I’m excited to see what choices she makes. Count me in for book 3.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Shana Galen's THRID SON'S A CHARM & Giveaway!


Ewan Mostyn thinks a job as a duke’s daughter’s bodyguard will be easy—but Lady Lorraine has a few tricks up her sleeve that spark an undeniable passion.

Fiercely loyal to his friends and comrades, Ewan Mostyn is the toughest in a group of younger sons of nobility who met as soldiers and are now trying desperately to settle back into peaceful Society. Ewan trusts his brawn more than his brains, but when he’s offered a job watching the Duke of Ridlington’s stubbornly independent daughter, he finds both are challenged.

Lady Lorraine wants none of her father’s high-handed ways, and she’ll do everything in her power to avoid her distressingly attractive bodyguard—until she lands herself in real trouble. Lorraine begins to see Ewan’s protectiveness in a new light, and she can only hope that her stoic guardian will do for her what he’s always done—fight for what he loves.


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Lady Lorraine manages to sneak off to meet Francis, her would-be-lover in the garden. Ewan Mostyn tracks them down and interrupts Lady Lorraine trying to convince Francis to kiss her.
_______________________________________________________________
“Kiss me,” she said, looking up at Francis with adoring eyes the bastard did not deserve in the least. “I could wait forever if you would but kiss me.”
It was perhaps the silliest speech Ewan had ever heard. It was the sort of thing he expected one of Beaumont’s women to say, and yet despite the melodrama of the sentiment, at that moment Ewan hated Francis more than he ever had when his cousin had been his daily tormentor.
His loathing was so strong and so incomprehensible that Ewan regained control of his body and stepped out from behind the topiary.
Francis saw him first, and he stiffened and stepped back, putting a respectable distance between himself and Lady Lorraine. His expression was wary and, to Ewan’s satisfaction, frightened. The lady spun around as well, but her face showed no fear, only annoyance. She gave a long sigh. “Mr. Mostyn, I believe you know your cousin, Mr. Mostyn.”
“Ewan.” Francis looked him up and down. “We seem to keep meeting. Run along now. Lady Lorraine and I were having a private word.”
Ewan held out his hand to Lady Lorraine. “Come.”
“I see your vocabulary remains much the same,” Francis remarked. “As I’m certain you will use your simple grunts and growls to inform His Grace about this meeting, be sure to mention that I did nothing improper.”
“More’s the pity,” Lady Lorraine muttered. “At least the lecture and scolding would have been worth it.”
Ewan had the urge to laugh. Instead, he beckoned her with his outstretched hand. She did not take it. “I am not a dog, Mr. Mostyn. You needn’t crook your finger at me.”
Francis bowed. “I see I am no longer needed. My lady, sleep well tonight. I will see you…soon.” With what Ewan perceived was to be a meaningful look, Francis marched in the direction of Carlton House.
Since the lady seemed to have such an objection to them, Ewan folded his arms across his chest. He waited for her to speak. He felt he should say something, but he was not certain what that something should be. He had supposed Francis to be taking advantage of the lady, while it appeared she was the one intent on ruination. Francis was no paragon of honor and virtue, and Ewan would have liked little more than to beat the man to a pulp. But he could not fault his cousin for the scene he’d witnessed tonight.
“You won’t tell my father, will you?” Lady Lorraine finally broke the silence.
Ewan let out a breath of surprised air—half laugh, half incredulity.
The lady grasped his forearm. “If you do, it will not only doom me, but it will reflect badly on you as well.”
Ewan inclined his head, acknowledging the point. He’d made mistakes before, and he always took his punishment like a man. He was not much of a gentleman, but he had retained enough of his upbringing to know that one did not lie or cheat to avoid trouble. One faced the consequences of his mistakes with head held high. “Then so be it.”
She gaped at him. “You do not even care? You will be dismissed.”
Ewan blew out a breath. He did care. He cared very much, much more than he wanted to admit to.
Her hand on his forearm tightened, and he looked down at her. The damned chit was shivering with cold. Ewan was impervious to all but the coldest temperatures, but she looked almost blue. “Very well. Tell him. Nothing happened anyway.”
“Not for your lack of trying. I should tell your father you don’t need a bodyguard. You need to be locked in a convent.”
Now her eyes narrowed, and she released his arm as though it were filth she could not bear to touch any longer. “So now I am to be censured by you?”
He frowned at her. “Why not me?”
“Are you married?”
The question took him off guard. Conversation with women generally had the effect of unsettling him. He could never predict where their maze-like minds might wander. Conversation with men began at point A and ended at point B. Women often meandered to C then R and back to L before coming to the point.
“It is a simple question, Mr. Mostyn. Are you married?”
He shook his head.
“I didn’t think so. Are you a virgin?”
Ewan gaped at her. The question was so wildly inappropriate that, in his opinion, she had abandoned the points of the alphabet all together.
She waved a hand. “Yes, I know I am not supposed to ask you that, but humor me. I am making a point. Just answer yes or no.”
He shook his head as he did not trust his voice at the moment.
“Of course you are not. And yet no one thinks anything of the fact that you have bedded a woman who is not your wife. If I had to guess, with those eyes and those shoulders and chest”—she looked him up and down, and he actually felt himself heat at her frank perusal—“I imagine you have bedded more than your share of women.”
Ewan’s head was spinning at the rapidity of her speech, but what he did understand was that she had just complimented him. She admired his body, and the thought of her eyes on him caused him to have to take a breath. His chest felt tight and he lifted his hand to loosen the goddamn cravat before he remembered where he was.
“Of course,” she went on, “it is seen as perfectly natural for a man to want to kiss a woman, touch her, undress her, take her to bed, and—”
Ewan cleared his throat, not only because the already inappropriate conversation had descended beyond the pale, but because her description of the intimacies between men and women made him think of doing those things with her. And now the woman had not only fired his blood but stirred his rod. If she continued in this vein, his state of growing arousal would be evident to both of them.
“My point,” she said—and thank God she was finally reaching it—“is that it is considered natural for men to want these things, but when a woman wants them, then we should be locked away.” She gestured wildly with her hand, losing hold of her wrap so it slid to the ground and trailed after her as she paced. “What is so wrong with wanting a man to kiss me?” She gave Ewan a direct look, challenging him to give her an answer.



Sunday, October 15, 2017

HRH's Review of THE ADVENTURES OF DOC HOLLIDAY HENNINGS & GIVEAWAY!


HRH and I had such an enjoyable time together reading about Doc and Jeffrey's adventures. THE ADVENTURES OF DOC HOLLIDAY HENNINGS reminds me of the stories we read or were read to us. There are some fairly serious issues brought up, but in a way that children should be able to relate to and handle.  HRH had some great questions, and she did enjoy Doc's "handling" of King. There's balance and the illustrations are lovely.  My rating is a 4.

HRH did "read" Doc Holliday to me from what she remembered and the pictures, but every time Papa tried to capture it she stopped. Wish we were able to share that too, but this was the most we could get. Who knew a camera could make Ms. Chatty so quiet.


So, for those who'd like to share Doc and his friends with their young readers, TK and Jennifer have graciously offered a copy for us to give away.  Please comment below (leave your email for contact purposes in case you win) with a favorite book from your childhood, whether read to you or one you read yourself.  Good luck y'all!

Friday, October 13, 2017

A chat with TK Bethea on THE ADVENTURES OF DOC HOLLIDAY HENNINGS



Be sure and check back for HRH Gwendolyn's video where she 
shares her thoughts on THE ADVENTURES OF DOC HOLLIDAY HENNGINGS. Her review will also feature a giveaway!

THE ADVENTURES OF DOC HOLLIDAY HENNGINGS was inspired by single father and author, TK Bethea and his search for a relatable story for his dauther aided by the lively illustrations of Corey Wolfe. Doc Holliday is an energetic pup in a cowboy hat runs away on a mission to find his biological canine family, with the aide of his surly squirrel friend. In the streets and further away from home than ever, they encounter a world of trouble as his human family attempt to reunite and bring him home. Based off experiences of TK’s own childhood dog, the story’s underlying themes include adoptive/blended families, mixed cultural upbringings, running away and bullying through fun stories, characters and situations.

TK Bethea is a songwriter and storyteller, he currently lives in Queens, New York.  THE ADVENTURES OF DOC HOLLIDAY HENNGINGS is a story that flows like an artitist painting on a canvas, written in the style of a nonconventional storyteller with a heavy background in music, and songwriting. Website: www.adventuresofdoc.com


1. How did the real Doc Holliday come into your life and who named him?

After years of begging, perfect grades and displays of responsibility my parents finally agreed to let me have a dog to help with the transition of my older brother going away to college - seeing how I cried when he got his own room. We went to an animal shelter in Long Island and perused the puppy section until I found eyes that I couldn't resist. Because he was so young at the time and was a rescue we didn't even know what breed he was, initially. Which actually plays a part in the story of the book.

Once we adopted him, I named him after Val Kilmer's Tombstone rendition of Doc Holliday. He was educated, well skilled at his craft and despite being in ill health, he would fight for his friends tooth and nail to protect them.

2.Parents often use pets to teach children about responsibility, and eventually, loss and death. From personal experience, pets teach so much more than that. What did Doc teach you as a child?

Doc taught me the importance of dependence. As a child you don't appreciate the things your parents or guardians do for you. You take for granted their hard work and sacrifices. Things as simple as feedings make you think twice before you turn your nose up at the carrots on your plate or snarl "spaghetti again" that someone cooked after a full day of work.

Not to mention, the co-dependency of making someone happy. You go from caring about yourself to concerning yourself with the happiness and well being of another and receiving what seems like an unconditional love in return.

3. Why did you choose Doc rather than another character?

Doc was always the driving force in my mind. The initial spark to the inferno that is my imagination. He was the realistic cornerstone of my experiences. As a child, I got to sit back and watch his interactions with a squirrel (or squirrels) and just enjoy running and jumping. In my mind, that was a playmate for him. Thus, the Penelope character.

However, the title could have just as easily become 'The Adventures of Jeffrey Hennings.' Jeffrey's relationships - whether with Doc or his father, Richard, are just important to the story and my concerns in life as well. Whether it was as a child or as a parent. I think Doc moved to the forefront because focusing on human characters forces a lot on outward appearances and narrows the mind.

4. How did you arrive at what you wanted to teach your daughter with Doc?

Necessity. That's the simplest way to put it. As changes came along in our life, they needed to be addressed. It's hard to think about having a "sit down" talk as a parent but if you could get the message through without the child knowing, its a win-win. I call it the Miyagi. Wax on, wax off!

5. The cover is precious and hints at what's inside. Who selected Corey Wolfe to illustrate?

Fate. I searched so many illustrators looking for a particular fluidity in style, then I came Corey Wolfe's work. Not only did his portfolio and resume to be praised but his own personal paintings and bio portrayed a depth I could associate with. When I contacted him, his communication and energy paralleled my own. He read the manuscript, we discussed the characters and scenes - we meshed.
6. Is Doc going to be a series or will you expand on another character in his book?

The website, www.adventuresofdoc.com, has a blog section that will feature a collective of short stories. It features the different characters in their own stories. Some are origin stories, others are side stories that connect to the book. As far as a full length, as you read the collective you'll see that there is potential to go in either directions. I guess, time will tell.

Appreciate your taking the time to visit. I'm looking forward to reading Doc with HRH, my granddaughter, and having her "read" his adventure back to me.


Thank you for having, me. I appreciate you reading the book the way it's meant to be, as a bonding experience. While I hope you BOTH enjoy the adventure, I take satisfaction in knowing it will forever be a memory and experience you share together. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SECRETS HIDDEN IN THE GLASS, Cate Beauman's first standalone with GIVEAWAY!

Bestselling author Cate Beauman is back with her 12th full length novel and her first stand-alone title: Secrets Hidden In the Glass.

Her multi award-winning Bodyguards of L.A. County series has over 500,000 copies sold and a 4.4 rating with 8000+ reviews.

Buy It Now!


 
Stained glass artist Callie Davis is in desperate need of a vacation. Burnt out and on the edge of a nervous breakdown, she’s fleeing the pressures of her career and is taking refuge on Massachusetts’ tiny Carter Island. Callie yearns for long, lazy days and pretty walks on the beach—blessed solitude and an escape from the complications of her life. Then she bumps into gorgeous Nate Carter and everything changes.

Sheriff Nathan Carter couldn’t be happier now that the height of the summer season has finally come and gone. After four endless months, tourists have packed their bags and headed for the mainland. The quiet days of autumn are about to befall the town—the way Nate and his fellow Sandersonians like it best. 

But nothing ends up quite the way Nate expects when he meets the beautiful blonde with the big blue eyes. Callie’s pretty smiles hide secrets—deep, dark mysteries that could cost them both their lives if they continue digging into the past and cross a killer’s path.


The Inspiration Behind Secrets Hidden In The Glass:
I always find the process of writing fascinating—imagining words and thoughts into subsistence that had once only existed in my head. Oftentimes, the undertaking is daunting. Months of research, careful plotting, planning, character development, and revising go into every page. There are many moments of doubt and worry. On occasion, there’s even a triumph or two. But finally, you type The End and you realize you’ve created a miracle of sorts—a story to share with your eager readers who are always waiting for what’s next. 
I had such fun telling Nate and Callie’s adventure. There was something extra enjoyable about bringing Sanderson, Massachusetts to life—the fictitious, tiny town on the equally made-up Carter Island. Imagine dreaming up a beachy setting that gets to be exactly what you want it to be. Add a group of intriguing (and on occasion quirky) characters. Throw plenty of steamy romance and several sprinkles of mystery and suspense into the mix and you’ve got yourself one heck of a good time. 
I hope you’ll enjoy Secrets Hidden In The Glass as much as I enjoyed telling it.

Read an excerpt from Secrets Hidden In The Glass:

They started walking again, and a wave rushed up, washing over their feet.
Callie gasped and stepped farther away. “Oh, my God, that’s cold.” 
Like ice water, but Nate shrugged. “It’s not so bad.”
She looked at him as if he were crazy. “It’s freezing.”
“It usually is for most mainlanders—blood’s too thin.”
She stopped in her tracks and pushed her sunglasses onto her head, rewarding him with a look at her big baby blues. “Are you suggesting that mainlanders are wimps?” 
“I’m not trying to hurt your feelings or anything…” He shrugged again, struggling not to smile. “But you’re the one who can’t get your feet wet.”
She splashed her foot in the surf as the next wave started receding. 
He chuckled, thrilled that Callie seemed willing to play. “That’s not showing me much.” 
She walked closer to the water, adding both feet this time. 
He came up next to her and took her hand, pulling her toward the actual Atlantic. “In up to your knees for three good waves.”
She hesitated. 
He sent her a wry smile. “See? Wimp.”
She grinned. “All right. Three good waves.”
“You’re on.” He walked out with her, clenching his jaw against the bone-numbing cold, fighting the urge to swear.
She gasped, then squealed as the first wave rushed past their calves. 
“We’ll count that as one,” he yelled over the pounding water, still walking farther out with her. “And here comes the next.” He braced himself, gripping her hand tighter as the current came in with a powerful rush and nailed them thigh-level. 
Callie screamed as she laughed and made a move to head to shore. 
He laughed too, pulling her back and bringing her closer to him. “Where do you think you’re going?” 
“It’s too cold,” she screeched. 
“I don’t think so, mainlander.” He hooked his arm around her midsection and held her in front of him as the next wave came in and sent a steamroll of water crashing into their waists. 
She screamed again, gripping his forearm as if her life depended on it, and threw her head back on a long peel of laughter.
He let loose his own deep belly laugh, loving the way she sounded—that he could smell her flowery shampoo as she rested her body against his. That they were having fun. 
“Nate,” she fought to say. “Let’s get out of here.”
He took her hand and they ran as best they could toward shore. 
She stumbled as they made their way to the ankle-deep water. “Cramp. My toes are cramping.”
He moved to take her weight and carried her more than walked with her to the loose, warm sand free from the surf. “Bend your foot forward until it passes,” he said, slightly out of breath.
She did as he told her. 
“Better?”
She nodded her head as her teeth chattered and goosebumps puckered her skin. 
“Works every time.” 
“Your toes cramp too?”
“Hell, yeah. That water’s like an ice bath. I never go in without a wetsuit.” 
Her eyes went huge as she gaped at him. “What are you talking about? What happened to your thick, native Sandersonian blood?”
He chuckled, enjoying the gorgeous woman who’d forgotten she was shy. “My blood’s probably right on par with yours. I just wanted to get you out there.”
She laughed and swatted at him. “That’s a dirty trick.”
“Maybe.”

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Did you enjoy the excerpt?  You can read the first chapter on my website, www.catebeauman.com, or you can finish the whole book with the links below! 


About the author:

 International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, Aspen Gold Award, Heart of Excellence Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2017 FINDING LYLA was chosen as the Booksellers Best Award Winner, the Maggie Award For Excellence, and received the Holt Medallion Award. REAGAN'S REDEMPTION and ANSWERS FOR JULIE were selected as rare co-winners of the Aspen Gold Award in 2016. JUSTICE FOR ABBY received the 2015 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medal, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack.



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