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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

#REVIEW: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber

Title: The Evaopration of Sofi Snow
Author: Mary Weber
Series: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published Date: June 6, 2017
ISBN: 9780718080907
Pages: 352
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis: Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.


My Rating: 3 1/2 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book took a really long time for me to get into it, or understand what was going on. And even then, there were parts where it felt very unclear. I liked the basic storyline, I liked Sofi. I could feel the sibling relationship. I even liked Miguel's Spanish words he would interject. But that was it. Details seemed to be very murky for me, I couldn't seem to visualize the scenes. 
I get the whole post-apocalyptic society and the introduction of aliens. That in itself kept me reading, I needed to see where the author went with this, and it was a twisty road. The end though seemed too vague for a cliffhanger.
I may continue this series just to see where it goes.

Monday, June 12, 2017

#REVIEW: Quilts, Barns and Buggies: Amish Quilts and Proverbs Coloring Book

Title: Quilts, Barns and Buggies: Amish Quilts and Proverbs Coloring Book
Illustrator: Julianne St. Clair
Series: Coloring Faith
ISBN: 978-0310087595
Pages: 96
Publisher: Zondervan
Published Date: June 6, 2017
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis:
Take Time Away from Your Busy Day
to Reflect on the Simpler Life
Take a walk through the fields and feel the warm breeze as you color your way through an Amish lifestyle. With intricate patterned quilts, beautiful scenery, and a focus on the simpler things in life, Quilts, Barns & Buggies will encourage you to relax on even the most hectic days. Sprinkled throughout the pages are wise Amish sayings and biblical proverbs that will inspire you.

Special Features
• 90 beautiful coloring designs of Amish quilts and scenery
• More than 40 Amish sayings and biblical proverbs
• Perforated pages on heavy stock

Look for more inspirational coloring books at Coloring Faith, www.coloringfaith.com.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoy coloring books, I find the simplicity and single-mindedness of coloring to be relaxing when I get stressed out and super anxious. Since I started sewing recently as a hobby, I find this book to be a wonderful mash-up of quilt top ideas, Scripture, and inspirational quotes. If you are a fan of the Amish lifestyle, you will enjoy the farm scenes, barns, animals, and Amish quilt tops.
Each page has a quote on one side, and a regular coloring side for the other. The drawings can sometimes be complex and intricate, but I enjoy truly focusing on the minute details. This book promises hours of single-minded, enjoyable coloring time.

Friday, June 2, 2017

#REVIEW: Written in the Ashes by K Hollan Van Zandt


Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt

Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt






Publisher: Harper Collins (Nov. 29, 2016)
Category: Historical Fiction
Tour Dates: May-June, 2017
ISBN: 978-0062673688
ASIN: B01CY3A8X4
Available in: Print & ebook,  554Pages
 Written In the Ashes  

"Written in the Ashes is one of those rare novels that sets 'history' afire, to bathe readers in the glow of a greater, hotter truth. Fans of The Mists of Avalon will find this romantic/alchemical/feminist/spiritual epic equally captivating."—Tom Robbins, bestselling author of Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. and Villa Incognito  

In the bloody clash between Christians and pagans in fifth-century Alexandria, a servant girl becomes the last hope for preserving peace in this evocative and thrilling tale—a blend of history, adventure, religion, romance, and mysticism reminiscent of The Mists of Avalon.   After she is abducted from her home in the mountains of Sinai, Hannah is enslaved and taken to Alexandria, where she becomes the property of Alizar, an alchemist and pagan secretly working to preserve his culture. Revered for her beautiful singing voice, the young slave is invited to perform at the city's Great Library, where she becomes friends with the revered mathematician and philosopher, Hypatia, as well as other pagans who curate its magnificent collections. Determined to help them uphold pagan culture and traditions, Hannah embarks on a dangerous quest to unite the fractured pieces of the Emerald Tablet—the last hope to save the pagans and create peace.   On this odyssey that leads her to the lost oracles of Delfi and Amun-Ra and to rediscovered ancient cities and rituals, Hannah will experience forbidden loves, painful betrayals, and poignant reunions. But her efforts may be in vain. Returning to Alexandria, Hannah finds a city engulfed in violence, even as her own romantic entanglements come to a head. Now, it's not only her future, but the fate of all Alexandria that is at stake.

My Rating: 5 stars
My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Once in a very long while, there comes along a book that you wonder how you ever lived without it before. One that you have read, and your mind wanders back to on occasion. There are a few books like that for me.....The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. The Firebrand inspired my love for all things in Greek mythology, and A Wrinkle In Time is actually the book that inspired by first major in college, physics.
Then this book, Written in the Ashes comes along. I hate comparing any book to the great classics, like A Wrinkle in Time or Firebrand, but it wouldn't be fair if I didn't. It's really just that good. The book is really long, 500+ pages, but it goes into such detail and the action is so well drawn out you don't feel those pages.
There are minor things I didn't like about the book. I feel like the time of Hannah's before slavery time was far too short. I would have loved to see more about the Jewish culture in there. There was the constant writing of the word "so" in the book. Maybe it broke the book down, and it was supposed to make it seem more like a very long oral story, but it didn't work for me.

Praise for Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt

“In her captivating debut novel, Written in the Ashes, K. Hollan Van Zandt brings to life a fascinating and forgotten woman of history: Hypatia of Alexandria, who may have been one of the greatest female minds of all time. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to walk the streets of long ago Egypt, then look no further. You will be enthralled!”– Michelle Moran, international bestselling author of Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter
“Van Zandt’s vivid description of the Great Library instantly transported me to a lush fifth century Alexandria. Her lyrical writing style and breakneck storytelling kept me riveted to the very last page.”– Robin Maxwell bestselling author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn and Signora da Vinci.  
"Going back so far in time leaves an author with little written record to rely on for fact. The burning of the Great Library at Alexandria was a monumental loss to humanity. The facts of the matter aside, this novel was truly arresting and I had a hard time putting it down to get anything done. Ancient history fascinates me. Religion fascinates me. This book manages to tie both together in a story that resonates through time. The book was fascinating. The characters were well developed and I really didn't want to leave this world of ancient Alexandria. The imaginary, magical priests and the beautiful goddesses created by Ms. Van Zandt lent themselves to a mystical world that was quite believable within its context. As the story unfolded I was rooting for Hannah to fulfill her destiny and find peace with her past. I am looking forward to the next chapters in these characters lives."-Patty Woodland, Broken Teepee

About K. Hollan Van Zandt

Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van ZandtKaia Van Zandt is a celebrated author and teacher whose novel, Written in the Ashes, chronicles the events that led up to the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria, Egypt. Kaia’s spiritual journey began at age 14 when she founded the youth division of the Humane Society of the United States. Then as a junior in high school, she traveled to the Earth Summit in Brazil, where she taught meditation, and was given the opportunity to work with world leaders on the challenges facing humanity and the planet today, an experience that profoundly influenced her work.   She’s a graduate of Antioch University, where she focused on the intersection between the ancient Goddess traditions and modern culture. Her fascination with healing-both personally and collectively – led her to yoga. During her career she’s worked with thought leaders like Marci Shimoff and Deepak Chopra, actors like Ashley Judd, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Garry Shandling, as well as Sony ImageWorks, UCLA Medical, and the San Francisco 49ers. Her beloved writing mentor is bestselling novelist/humorist, Tom Robbins.

Website: www.kaiavanzandt.com

Facebook: https://business.facebook.com/Kaia-H-Van-Zandt-62326196268/?business_id=1527166044253916
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaiaVanZandt
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaiavanzandt/?hl=en
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbpNRBX9k7z1bJndQ2a4Rgg

Buy Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt

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Follow Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 19 Interview & Giveaway  
Celticlady's Reviews May 22 Excerpt  
Room without Books is Empty May 30 Review                                 
Passages to the Past May 31 Review & Giveaway  
Books, Dreams,Life June 1 Review & Excerpt  
Second Book to the Right June 2 Review
Rainy Day Reviews June 7 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway  
History from Woman's Perspective June 8 Review & Guest Post  
Between the Beats June 16 Review  
Secret Pearl Reviews June 23 Review  
Lisa's Writopia June 26 Guest Post  
Linda Amazon Reviewer June 27 Review
Caty Amazon Reviewer June 28 Review  

Written In the Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt    

Thursday, June 1, 2017

#REVIEW: Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman

Title: Questioning Evangelism
Series: none
Author: Randy Newman
Publisher: Kregel Publishers
Published Date: 2nd edition April 25, 2017
ISBN: 978-0825444289
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis:You don't need to memorize evangelical formulas or answers. You just have to be willing to ask.
There was something different about the way Jesus communicated with the lost: He didn't force answers upon people, He asked questions. So why don't we?

Following Christ's lead, Randy Newman has been using a questioning style of evangelism for decades. In this provocative book, he provides practical insights to help Christians engage others in meaningful spiritual conversations. He challenges us to examine how we think about people, their questions, and our crucial message.

This second edition includes a new preface reflecting on the popularity of this perennial best seller and what its success has taught Newman about the effectiveness of this extraordinary method.


My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As a previous non-Christian, the word evangelism gives me goosebumps and not in a good way. The evangelism I experienced is more of the "knock 'em over the head with a Bible and drag 'em back to the cave" type thing, which is probably the type of evangelism most people have experienced. That isn't a very welcoming way of evangelizing that people are receptive to.
As I read this book, I realized it wasn't what I thought it would be about: questioning the actual evangelism. Instead it explains a whole new form of evangelism, one that I think people may be more open to. One that I find more personable and meets the people where they are, letting them work through their questions, instead of answering with non-answers, evasions, or memorized scripts.
Personally, I am more open to the "show, not tell" method....show them Jesus with your actions, not preach memorized lines to them. I don't think I would go out evangelizing any time soon, but....you never know.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

#REVIEW: Too Deep For Words by Andrea Boeshaar

Title: Too Deep For Words
Series: #2 in the Shenandoah Valley Saga
Author: Andrea Boeshaar
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published Date: April 25, 2017
ISBN: 978-0825444197
Buy It Link: Amazon


Synopsis:
North meets South in the second installment of this popular Civil War series
Carrie Ann Collier has been a newlywed for nineteen blissful days--as blissful as life can be in the midst of war, that is. Soon that war will take a toll she never expected. When her new husband, Peyton, goes missing during battle, she refuses to believe he is dead, and must find a way to move forward with everyday life in the face of fear.
As Carrie struggles with how to welcome her estranged sister, Margaret, back into her life, another new arrival appears on her doorstep--her husband's best friend, and rebel officer, Eli. Wounded and bitter, Eli is nonetheless committed to keeping his promise to Peyton: take care of the Collier women, no matter what. But to Carrie, he's a painful reminder of her lost love.
Then unexpected news makes Carrie wonder if miracles do happen. If Carrie infiltrates the enemy once again, she might find out what really happened to the love of her life. Will Eli be able to keep his promise to keep her safe? Can they forgive each other if promises are broken?
As fans of Boeshaar's books have come to expect, Too Deep for Words is a meticulously researched novel. Readers are taken directly into the heart of the realities of the Civil War and reminded how, even in the darkest circumstances, faith in Christ offers hope.


My Rating: 4 stars


My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book took my breath away. It is the story of Carrie Ann and Peyton during the Civil War. If you like historical novels set during this time period, you will love reading this book. Though Carrie Ann and Peyton have only been married a handful of days, her love for him is deep. When the war takes a toll her heart cannot accept....that's when the story really takes off.
The author has such an amazing way with words and being able to paint pictures in your mind, making you see the scenes as if you were right there next to Carrie Ann. The amount of research and effort the author has put forth in writing this novel is evident in every chapter, and is one of the most well-written fictional books I have read this year.
I haven't read the first in the series, however, reading this one has made me go back and buy the first in the series. I can't wait to start reading the series from the very beginning.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

#RELEASE DAY: Locke and Key by Cristin Harber

LOCKE AND KEY by Cristin Harber is available now! We're so excited for you to get your hands on this next book in her bestselling Titan series - and for you to get to know Locke Oliver! Find out more about LOCKE AND KEY below, and grab your copy now!

   
CristinHarber_LockeAndKey_2500px

ABOUT LOCKE AND KEY

THE STOIC SPECIAL FORCES OPERATOR
There’s only one person to blame for darkening the last years of Locke Oliver’s military career: Cassidy Noble. And damn if he doesn’t have to save her from the side of a frozen mountain.
Even after the job is done, he can’t shake the woman from his thoughts. He blames her for the deaths in his Army unit so many years ago, and he’s not ready to let that go. It’s driving him to the point of distraction, and now his Titan Group boss says to get his act together or get out.
THE FEISTY, FALLEN REPORTER
Cassidy is a disgraced journalist, once accused of treason—Or she’s an American hero. It depends on who you ask. She’s on a mission to rebuild her name and started with a simple question but discovered a complex web of spies and possible human trafficking.
Titan Group believes in her.
Locke does not. Until he can’t deny the truth any longer about the past or what she’s uncovered in her investigation.
BECOME AN INSEPARABLE TEAM
Cassidy volunteers to go undercover. Locke would do anything to stay by her side as she slips into the network and is sold to the highest bidder. All is going right until everything goes wrong. Nothing is as they expect including falling in love with the woman he thought he hated.
Get your hands on LOCKE AND KEY now:


READ A SNEAK PEEK

  Locke ducked close to her ear, purposefully rasping a five o’clock shadow against her neck, and again asked, “Do we know anything new?” She whimpered. He had to have heard the quiet groan, and he swayed them together and— damn, she felt him. Cassidy’s eyes went wide as he held her backside against his crotch. Was Locke turned-on? Locke was turned-on. And he wanted her to know. The realization was as potent as a narcotic. It hit her blood, and she was high. But he’d asked about work. What was she supposed to do? She tried to recover. Shaking and stupidly pretending this wasn’t a thing, she turned. Eye to eye, she couldn’t read him! He didn’t move. Didn’t touch her. Was the ball in her park? He’d asked about Alex, twice. But he had a hard-on! Cassidy was so confused and turned on that she couldn’t trust her instincts. She needed to do what she did best— work. Focus on the job. “He’s in there.” Cassidy, failing to regain her composure, was still breathless. Locke smiled. “Good to know.” She’d made the right choice in focusing on work. She was there for Alex. If Locke wanted to… pursue something, he could do it when she wasn’t busy. He had her number. “Cass…” His eyebrows challenged her to admit their tension escalating. There was Cass again. She hated nicknames— until they flowed from his mouth. They needed space, but she didn’t trust her legs. They were weak as her mind was wild. She tried to swallow, shifting away— “Don’t go.” He was holding her, hugging her. Locke cupped her cheek and let his fingers slide along her jaw. She was drowning in him as Locke’s hand moved down her neck, letting the thump of her pulse jump against his fingertips. “I—” “Excuse me,” a woman snapped as she bustled in, grabbing her shawl, and she sneered on the way out. “Oh, God.” Cassidy jumped, her cheeks hot and her embarrassment swallowing her alive. She choked on the knot in her throat and covered her face, backing away from him. “I’m so sorry.” “Cassidy.” Locke reached for her. “So, so sorry.” She tilted to face him, and they stood in the dark shadows. She was the reporter; he was the protector. His voice rumbled, not judgmental or embarrassed. “You have nothing to say sorry about. To anyone.” “We might disagree on that.” She’d staked the rebound of her career on Alex, but when Locke came around, she always seemed to forget. “I don’t try to upset you.” The pregnant pause hung heavy. “Not on purpose anyway— maybe for fun, playing around, but I won’t do that again.” “Okay…” He was playing down their moment of intimacy. Maybe for him it had been nothing but an erection and a tease, while for her it was the stuff of nightly fantasies. How foolish was she? Embarrassment made her stomach drop. But still. Again, they were almost stomach to stomach. Too close. Too intimate. Too… much. “I’m not upset.” But that wasn’t true. “You’re something,” he said. “Something,” she agreed. “True.” Something she’d never, ever admit to. Tugging her bottom lip between her teeth, she couldn’t map out his intentions— “Don’t do that.” “Do what?” Cassidy froze, wondering what she’d done wrong. His gaze lasered on her lips. “That.” Finally, she saw the same desperate hunger on his face. The authority in his command made her shiver. Unquenched lust boiled in his eyes, and Cassidy didn’t know how to handle this Locke— the uncontrolled and unscripted one. “Oh… um. I…” In a tailspin, she couldn’t decide whether to fight for what she could finally read on his face or pull her act together and act like they were working together. She did neither, standing there, still unsure. “You keep biting that lip, Cass.” Locke lifted an eyebrow and scorched her panties. “Don’t do that.” “Okay.” The devil on her shoulder whispered, Bite your lip again. Or bite his. Maybe they could kiss and work. Locke lifted his chin, his gaze falling past her. “Alex is leaving.” Wait— what? Damn it.  

 

ABOUT CRISTIN HARBER

Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Team Titan Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Monday, April 24, 2017

#EXCERPT: Play For Me by Céline Keating

Play For Me by Céline KeatingPlay For Me by Céline Keating

Publisher: She Writes Press (April 21, 2015)
Category: Contemporary Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Psychological
Tour date: Apr/May, 2017
ISBN: 978-1631529726 Available in Print & ebook, 217 pages
Play For Me


From the Award Winning Author: It happens without warning: At a folk-rock show at her son’s college, Lily becomes transfixed by the guitarist’s unassuming onstage presence and beautiful playing―and with his final note, something within her breaks loose. After the concert, Lily returns to her comfortable life―an Upper West Side apartment, a job as a videographer, and a kind if distracted husband―but she can’t stop thinking about the music, or about the duo’s guitarist, JJ. Unable to resist the pull of either one, she rashly offers to make a film about the band in order to gain a place with them on tour. But when Lily dares to step out from behind her camera, she falls deep into JJ’s world―upsetting the tenuous balance between him and his bandmate, and filling a chasm of need she didn’t know she had. Captivating and provocative, Play for Me captures the thrill and heartbreak of deciding to leave behind what you love to follow what you desire.


EXCERPT:



You can read the first part of this excerpt at http://house-of-books.com/
Chapter One: Excerpt Two
MKT’s office was on Fifty-fourth Street between Broadway and Eighth in a building that housed a music school, an actors’ studio, a costume shop, and, on the second floor, a gym. Gorgeous young people were always applying a moistened finger to their eyebrows or flexing their muscles at the security mirror inside the elevator. Lily was convinced it was the slowest elevator in all of Manhattan—when it was in service at all.
    Upstairs, she tossed her purse in a desk drawer. It pleased her that MKT was a small operation in a small building in the old Manhattan, the Manhattan of the garment district and seedy Times Square, before everything got glossy and sleek. The transparent partitions separating the workstations were so scarred and covered with pictures, they might as well have been cement, for all the visibility they allowed.
    The office filled quickly, and against the familiar chatter of voices and ringing phones she updated the status of the videos she had in various stages of production and slid the finished ones into their slots in the temperature-controlled storeroom: HMOs for You and Me; A Day in the Life of a Longshoreman in Brooklyn, 1955. Her latest was a short on the founder of a biscuit company, commissioned by his adoring wife. Lily popped it into her computer: shots of the factory, archival footage of the original 1934 building. Yawn. The wife would love it.
    Close to lunchtime, an artificial chrysanthemum slowly rose over the partition between Lily’s cubicle and the next and did a little jig. Diana, her closest friend at the company, peeked around the partition.
    “Two minutes.”
    They stopped in the bathroom before heading out, their faces registering identical grimaces as they faced the mirror. Diana slashed at her mouth with a lurid red lipstick. Lily ran her brush through her wavy mousy brown-gray hair, but it sprang right back out.
They headed down the street to their favorite pub-restaurant. Lily walked on Diana’s right because Diana drifted left and they’d be banging elbows otherwise.
    “I spent all weekend doing homework with Maggie.” Diana dumped her oversize leather bag on the seat between them. “I couldn’t wait to come in to work.”
    “Oh, that makes me nostalgic,” Lily opened her menu.
    “What, no romantic interlude after you dropped Colby off?”
    Diana’s round blue eyes lifted to hers. Lily hesitated. Should she unburden herself? Trouble her friend with her depression? Be a total bore?
    “It was awful.” She stirred her coffee madly. “I didn’t expect to feel so—”
    “Bereft?”
    “Dead.”
    Diana recovered first. “You poor thing. I can’t wait until Maggie finishes high school. But of course you feel sad. Everyone does.”
    Lily shook her head. “This is worse. This is deeper.”
    Diana furrowed her brow. Lily knew she was trying to signal concern while she pondered how to be of comfort. Around them diners were settling in, rustling chairs, clinking silver against glasses, opening menus. Someone sneezed; a waiter dropped a spoon. A small pitcher of water jiggling with lemon slices arrived at their table.
    “You need something to distract you. A trip! Let’s plan something!”
    Too late, Lily recalled why she tried not to complain to Diana. Diana loved to take problems in hand and shake them loose, like dust from a mop. Diana loved to travel, and Lily liked to stay put. When Diana brought brochures and travel books to tempt her, Lily saw beyond the beautiful vistas and mouthwatering food to the dirty bed linens and the missed trains and the sense of being totally lost and needing a policeman to help her find her mommy. Why hadn’t she kept her mouth shut?
    “Maybe you’re right.” She’d think of a way out later.
    “Yes, definitely I’m right. We’ll plan something.”
    Upon the arrival of their salads, Lily changed the topic. “What project are you working on?” She vigorously distributed the blue cheese, apples, and pecans into the chopped lettuce. She loved loved loved this salad. How pathetic my life is, she thought, forking a load into her mouth. The salty pecans exploded against the apples’ tartness.
    “Training seminar on sexual harassment.”
    Lily dug her fork deep into her bowl. The company would call a meeting and they’d brainstorm about the video. There were only so many possibilities, given their limited budgets and the boundaries the clients set. She lifted her fork and stopped. Was this true of her life? Had she sealed herself into just a teensy-tiny existence in which to maneuver? Her elbow knocked her glass; water sloshed over her salad.
    A soggy salad was not to be borne. Giving it up was unthinkable. Painstakingly, she began soaking up the water with her napkin, blotting lettuce leaves.
* * *
 A soggy soul wasn’t to be borne either, but sopping that up proved more difficult. Lily even found herself tearing up at Hallmark-card commercials.
    Maybe it was only that her forty-ninth birthday was upon her. Stephen left a big box in the living room wrapped in shiny blue paper. Espresso machine? Juicer? Had she mouthed off something stupid about wanting to go on a liquid diet?
    “Go on, open it.”
    The thick paper resisted her effort; she dug her nails in and ripped. A cardboard box with a picture of a camera was revealed. She sat back, mystified.
This excerpt continues on Apr 28 at http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot.ca/



Praise Play For Me by Céline Keating

“The author’s writing is exquisite and she was able to put together the story of a woman’s search for self and purpose, one with depth and complexity.”- Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous Blog
“With a background as a music reviewer, Keating combines the soul-searching of Eat, Pray, Love with the rock ’n’ roll fable of Almost Famous to create a novel of midlife crisis with music at its core.”-Booklist
“Play for Me: “A best story of love, lust, and forgiveness.”- The Culturalist
“Play for Me is a serious, moving, and utterly delightful portrait of a woman wavering between the bonds of fidelity and the pull of desire. Céline Keating knows as much about the world of folk/rock music as she does about the workings of the heart.”- Hilma Wolitzer, author Summer Reading and An Available Man

About Céline Keating

Play For Me by Céline Keating Céline Keating is the author of novels Layla (2011) and Play for Me (2015), which was a finalist in the International Book Awards, the Indie Excellence Awards, and the USA Book Awards. Céline is also the co-editor of On Montauk: A Literary Celebration (2016). Her short fiction has been published in many literary magazines, including Appearances, Echoes, Emry’s Journal, Mount Hope, The North Stone Review, Prairie Schooner, and the Santa Clara Review. Céline's short story "Home" received the first-place 2014 Hackney Award for Short Fiction. Céline is also a music journalist whose work has appeared in Minor7th.com, Guitar World, and Acoustic Guitar magazines.

Buy Play For Me by Céline Keating

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Apr 7 Kickoff & Giveaway
Infinite House of Books Apr 10 Interview & Excerpt
Second Book to the Right Apr 24 Excerpt
Jersey Girl Book Reviews Apr 28 Review & Excerpt
Totally Addicted to Reading May 5 Review & Guest Post Urban Book Reviews May 8 Review & Interview
Jean Amazon Reviewer May 10 Review
Nanja Amazon Reviewer May 11 Review
Turning The Pages May 15 Review & Giveaway
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 16 Review
Precisely Mine May 18 Review
Celticlady's Reviews May 23 Excerpt & Giveaway
Lisa Amazon Reviewer May 31 Review Play For Me by Céline Keating  

Monday, March 20, 2017

#REVIEW: The Countess Refuses by Katy Walters

Thecountessrefuses


countessrefusesKaty Walters is a USA TODAY Best-Selling Author selling thousands of books and pages read, of her work. Her two Regency Romances series, The Lords of Rhonan and the Lords of Sussex proved hugely popular. She also enjoys writing across the genres, Time Travel, Sci Fi and the paranormal.

After her parents' fatal carriage accident, Miss Cassandra Whitney is left to raise her siblings alone. As there was no will and very little funds, the small family are thrown into abject  poverty. To Cassandra's horror, their odious landlord, Baron Scudder, threatens to evict them from the Manse, unless her younger sister Belle moves to the Manor House as his mistress.
As the quarrel rages, Cassandra inherits a title, a castle albeit a ruin and a derelict estate. To her joy, she also inherits a generous allowance of £6,000 per annum. The family are now safe, and Belle is free from the lustful demands of the baron. Enter a wily dowager duchess who is desperate for her son the renowned rakehell Maximillian,6th Duke of Taunton to wed a suitable heiress. On hearing of Cassandra's inheritance of a fortune and a castle, she schemes by fair means or foul to manipulate Cassandra into marrying her son, and hence gain complete control of the castle.
Max has no plan to wed, being well satisfied with his single status and his mistresses.  However, on their first meeting, Max, mesmerised with Cassandra's beauty and character, plans to seduce her, making her his favorite mistress. Cassandra at first rejects the Duke's ardent advances, but is soon fighting an overwhelming passion for him. The more she resists him, the more her desire rises for this devil-may-care rogue.
Max's ardour flares into love, as he wishes to own not only her body but her heart. However, marriage is not an option.
Meanwhile, Belle meets an enthralling Marquess who is enchanted with her loveliness and sweet nature.   But, she harbours a secret; one which if revealed could ruin their budding relationship.The lovers are unaware of the vicious plans of the licentious baron who dogs their path.
Can Cassandra outwit the wily dowager? Will she succumb to Max's passion? Will Belle fall into the baron's foul clutches?

My Rating: 3 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I found this book to be easy to read, and fun. It is a very light read, nothing too heavy, and the story line went quickly. On the other hand, I'm not sure it was well done overall. On the surface, the storyline is about a young woman, raising her sisters and brother, and coming into an enormous fortune. She meets the duke, who of course is expected to find a wife, marry and produce the heir and the spare. Romance ensues, and the storyline goes on with the typical HEA.
Digging a little deeper though, and there are things that don't quite add up in the details. The Regency timeline doesn't feel quite authentic. The idea that a young woman would be brought into this massive fortune but that they live hand to mouth in a castle that is falling down around them with lands that haven't been taken care of for years, it just makes any of the story kind of tangle in on itself.
The best part of the entire book though was a side plot line that happened with the main character's sister. That ended up well, though I'm not quite sure how believable it is historically.
As long as you don't look into the details, the story is a great, quick enjoyable read.

Buy on Amazon or read for free with Kindle Unlimited

About the author:

katy My main loves are writing, painting and singing. I began work as a PA but to my joy was spotted by an agent in London and had an exciting career as a singer, meeting and singing with some wonderful people. Singing meant a lot of travelling both in the UK and abroad. At one time, I toured Germany and Turkey singing for the American troops, which was a fantastic experience. But then, my husband and I wanted a family, so I said good-bye to the singing career, although I did the occasional gig. Having children is such a precious time, and I would say to anyone, treasure it, it goes so quickly and before you know it, you’re waving them off to Uni or pursuing their own dreams and their own homes. I have always had a deep interest in psychology for various reasons, and especially the area of neurosis arising from abuse. Later, I was to study how we could use our body, mind and spirit to relieve pain and overcome some life-threatening diseases. One important thing here is, I always told my patients to continue with medical treatment along with the complementary and spiritual methods, for I believe medical research and medication is also a gift from God, Spirit or the Universe, as each of us wishes to name it. I have loved writing from a child and during the years of study, research and treating some wonderful people, whom I called my friends, I would write at night, mainly short stories, and reams of poetry. I wanted to learn how to write self-help books for my clients, so I took creative writing courses at university, which led to writing a novel. So self-help novels turned to fiction but even so, I hope the novels help the reader through their own challenges, as the characters experience love, loss, passion, jealousy, illness, joy and conflict, even the threat of death.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

#REVIEW and #GIVEAWAY: Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L Demeter

Beauty of the Beast

by Rachel L. Demeter Fairy Tale Retellings, #1 Publication Date: March 15, 2017 Genres: Historical Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling, Gothic Romance, Adult

🌹 Special $2.99 sale price through March 19th 🌹





🌹 Book Blurb 🌹

Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist. A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago. A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more… Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice. Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist. Disclaimer: This is an edgy retelling of the classic fairy tale. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

My Rating: 4 1/2 stars
My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I came into this book not knowing really what to expect. I have never heard of the author, and Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite Disney movie (yes I even loved the Broadway version with Susan Egan). This can go either way with me, it can go either really bad if this author screws up the story, or really good if she gets it right. No pressure at all, Rachel Demeter.
I was pleasantly surprised when it went really well. With a gothic, historic feel to it, the story had a dark, realistic edginess you would find in a Grimm Brothers' tale. At the same time, the author stuck pretty close to the storyline we are all familiar with (except for the dancing enchanted silverware of course).
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this new retelling of a very well-known story.

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🎬 Book Trailer 🎬







🌹 Excerpt 🌹

~ Isabelle bravely takes her papa’s place ~

Quite a while later, as Isabelle relaxed and soaked in the hearth’s warmth, she found herself nodding off to sleep. Her mind detached from the stress of the past few days and receded to another time and place. She recalled her journeys with Papa when she’d been little more than a girl. All the villages they’d passed through; all the faces they’d seen. She thought of reading fairy tales beneath a bejeweled sky, of leaning against a mountain of crates as Papa pointed out the constellations and their eternal stories— Rattling seized her attention and ruptured her thoughts. She peered at Papa, who was carefully examining his teacup. Not with his sightless eyes, of course—but with wandering fingertips. The same impressive coat of arms engraved the fine proclaim; Papa ran his weathered fingers over its surface, clearly in awe of the raised gold decorations and studded gems. The thing must have cost a small fortune. Indeed, she’d never beheld such finery. Even the wares Papa had once sold paled in comparison. The faded brim of his top hat hung low and covered his glassy eyes. Then her mouth went dry as he slipped the teacup inside his coat. Has he gone mad—or simply grown that desperate? It was completely unlike Papa to steal. How could he—and after being shown hospitality? Her outcry startled him. He half leapt from the chair—and Isabelle watched in horror as the teacup tumbled out from the coat. It rattled and rolled onto the stone ground, shattering into a million pieces. A gloved hand broke through the darkness, quicker than a lightning strike. The hooded figure emerged from the shadows and seized Papa by his cravat. His other hand clasped a branch of flickering candles. The illumination flashed across the dark folds of his cloak, soaking him in a pool of light. “Stealing from me, are you? Breaking my family’s keepsakes?” A sharp jerk forced Papa to his feet. The rough movement sent the top hat tumbling from his head and onto the stone floor. Papa’s waxen features melted into an expression of horror and confusion. Her heart pounding, Isabelle lunged forward and frantically cried out, “Let him alone! It was an accident. Don’t you see that you’re frightening him?” “Good.” The simple declaration threw Isabelle into stunned silence. Papa called out for her as the man strode from the sitting room, his solid legs eating up the ground in swift, decisive strides. Mon Dieu, he was physically dragging Papa through the castle. This isn’t happening. It cannot be… “Stop it! Stop it now—you monster!” Isabelle picked up her skirts and frantically chased after them. Parts of the castle were dark and unkempt, causing her to trip several times over wayward pieces of furniture. Her heart violently pounded in her ears. The man moved impressively fast; between his agile stride and sweeping cloak, he almost appeared to float through the corridors. Plopping onto the stone floor, his dog gave up trying to keep pace. Dust motes rose and fell in midair like ashes, obscuring her vision. She followed the branch’s illumination, watching as the candlelight threw prisms along the walls and floor. “Please, monsieur. Have mercy, I beg you! He didn’t know any better. He's not in his right mind. He would never—” “No one steals from me.” His low voice echoed in the darkness, steady as a war drum. Isabelle felt herself descending. She ducked as she crossed a low archway, where she was met with a steep flight of stairs. A mouth into Hell. The ceiling lurked unusually low and was strung with cobwebs. Isabelle hiked up her skirts, which were now a filthy mess, and raced down the decayed steps. The hooded figure kept a swift pace while she desperately pursued Papa’s frightened cries. Plagued by the darkness, Isabelle tripped and crashed down the stone steps. Pain cascaded through her body, knocking the breath from her lungs. Her skinned knees and elbows throbbed, her heart pounded, her head burned. She spared a moment to catch her breath as she struggled to her feet and resumed her vain quest. Papa’s muffled pleas and the sound of slamming bars ripped at her very soul. The dank dungeon was nearly black. She slowed her pace, moving toward a beam of light at the far end. Rats the size of kittens scurried across the stone floor and filled the darkness with their terrible squeaking. Her heart thudding, Isabelle rushed through the maze of cells, following Papa’s voice and that flickering light. Chains and crude-looking objects littered the ground—torture devices from a past age, she realized with a shudder. She found them. Papa was grasping the rusted bars; disoriented and frightened, he was murmuring incoherent pleas. Tears fell from his sightless eyes, though Isabelle knew he fought to restrain them. The branch of candles sat in front of the cell, its wavering light illuminating his terrified expression. “Forgive me. I have wronged you when you showed my daughter and me hospitality and mercy. Please, monsieur!” The man towered before him, silent and still. His long arms remaining crossed, he stood with his lean torso straighter than a broadsword. His hood was drawn back, though Isabelle couldn’t see his face from her angle. “Papa, I’m here,” she said beneath the weight of a strained breath. “I-Isabelle?” Not sparing a moment, she dashed over to the cell—and the man slowly rotated into sight. Except he resembled more of a beast than any man she’d ever seen. Isabelle clamped both hands over her mouth and forced her eyes away. The sight burned—and the inferno in his gaze only kindled that fire. Half of his face looked monstrously twisted; charred mounds of puckered flesh distorted the features beyond any recognition, draining him of all traces of humanity. Those heaps of burned, leather-like skin gleamed and glistened in the candlelight. His hairline receded on the left side of his face and slanted high above a shriveled ear. Under the severe scarring, his age was more or less indistinguishable—though Isabelle guessed he wasn’t a day under thirty-five. But his eyes were breathtaking. Two brilliant sapphires. There was also a great sadness and anger in those eyes, as if he’d suffered more than his share of original sin. Alas, as she gazed into his eyes, all she saw was blue ice—an endless, arctic landscape of cold desolation. The man turned away, appearing greatly affected by her stare, and hastily rearranged the hood. His scarred hands trembled as he smoothed down the cloak’s thick folds. “Release him,” she demanded. “He didn’t mean any harm. I—” “No one meddles with my family’s possessions. He can rot down here as my prisoner. He ought to count himself fortunate that I haven’t taken his hand.” “Your prisoner? This... this is a mistake! You must believe me. He’d never—” A deep, husky chuckle cut through her plea. “Even so.” “Please. Just let him out.” “It’s too late for that.” Those words seemed to speak volumes. He exhaled a long breath, and Isabelle watched as it unfurled against the darkness in a cloud. Silence. “Why... why are you so angry? Why must you be so hateful? So cruel?” “If I let him go,” he said at length, “what can you offer in return?” Isabelle couldn’t find her tongue. She wandered directly in front of the cell, almost in a lucid trance, and clasped the cold bars. Papa was huddled in the corner now, coughing and shivering. Guilt, unlike anything she’d known before, pulsated through her. I’m to blame for this. And if Papa stays here, he’ll die well within a fortnight, likely much sooner… “Get out of my sight.” The man’s voice jarred Isabelle from her inward stupor. She turned to him and stepped forward, raising her chin at a defiant angle. I am not so easily broken or frightened. I am a survivor. She scanned her empty, dank surroundings: the cold stone walls, sweeping cobwebs, and blazing branch of candles. Despair encased her. Stark emptiness. She dared to step closer while a faint trace of pity bloomed inside her heart. They stood centimeters apart. Heat radiated from the man’s body, surrounding her, immersing her. Isabelle vainly searched for softness him, but only a dark, embittered spirit reached her. She stared up at his towering frame and gestured for him to bow forward. He hesitated, then did as she commanded. Her hands shook, damn her, as she peeled back his hood and met that piercing gaze again. Half of his face was handsome—devastatingly so. In her twenty-two years of life, she’d never beheld such haunting beauty. Jet‑black waves, rich and flowing, framed the chiseled lines of his startling features. Stubble peppered the strong curve of his jawline and shadowed a smooth, sculpted cheekbone. The right side of his face was striking, beautiful—a stark contrast to its wrecked counterpart. And within those patrician angles and intense eyes, she encountered his humanity. His was a face of inconsistencies. Complex. Damaged. Predatory. And more than a bit intriguing. “I will stay with you,” she heard herself whisper. “In my father’s place.” “Isabelle—no! I forbid it!” The man folded long, strong arms across his broad chest. His gaze crawled down her face and settled on the rise of her breasts—planting directly on her silver cross. “I demand he’s seen by the finest of physicians.” “Isabelle! Listen to me! I’m an old man. I’m dying. I—” The man’s dark, strangely erotic voice cut through the cellar, and his eyes whipped back to her own with a startling force. “As my mistress.” “What?” “You must stay here as my mistress. For as long as I demand. Perhaps forever.” Forever. The word rang with a note of finality. “Please, Isabelle! I beg you. Don’t do this!” How could I endure it? “Do as I say and your father shall safely return home.” He waved his cloaked arms with a magician’s delicate grace. “Your father—whatever family you may have—shall want for nothing. A house, clothing, anything they require. You only need to say the word. Your father will be under my protection—under the care of nurses and physicians—until his last breath.” Isabelle briefly recalled what—and who—was waiting for her back in Ruillé. This fate wouldn’t be much worse. This desolate castle could serve as the perfect hideout. Papa would live in France, free from Raphael’s clutches and in the hands of the world’s greatest physicians… “How... how can I trust you?” And does he even have the wealth to uphold such a promise? “You cannot.” She had faith Papa would send help once his health recovered. Or she’d find a way out, means of escape. In the interim, she would survive this grim castle and whatever horrors it concealed. Papa would not. The castle would crush him beneath its dark heel in a matter of days. Isabelle glanced at Papa again, then stared into the man’s brilliant eyes. There, lurking within those expressive depths, she found the softness she’d pursued minutes before.   She sucked in her breath and nodded her agreement. “It is done.” The man swept backward. “He’s to remain down here till first light. Then our agreement shall be carried out. In the meantime, I will bring blankets and food—” “But it’s so cold! He—” “Stole from me while he was a guest in my castle.” He would not compromise. That much was certain. “I demand to stay with him.” “As you please.” He unlocked the cell. “Beyond the dungeon lies a labyrinth. Try to escape, and you’ll be lost forever.” He tapped the wall with his booted heel. It swiveled, spun, and rotated, sweeping her captor to the other side...

🌹 Excerpt 🌹

~ Adam gives Isabelle his library ~

“Close your eyes, ma belle.” Strong hands cupped either side of her face. She felt as Adam’s thumbs tentatively brushed back and forth, stroking her cheeks in reverent caresses. Isabelle shut her eyes and slipped beneath his spell... leaned closer in the darkness until they stood heartbeat to heartbeat. The warmth of his breaths teased her hairline, bringing with them a minty scent. His thumbs descended to just below her chin. She lowered her face... felt a featherlight kiss land on her brow. It happened so subtly and gently—Isabelle wasn’t sure whether she’d imagined it. She was allowing herself to feel too much. A stab of guilt penetrated her chest as her thoughts crept inward. Yet instincts told her to trust in her gut—to allow her heart to speak over her tumultuous thoughts. So she shoved away her guilt and allowed herself to simply feel. Pounding footfalls echoed in the room, attesting to its sheer size. Isabelle waited in anticipation under the veil of darkness, her small hands knotted in Stranger’s wiry coat. The steady beat of Adam’s boots floated away from her. A loud whipping noise and a burst of light illuminated the room as he tugged a heavy damask curtain aside. “Open your eyes, Isabelle.” She did as he commanded. Shafts of sunlight tore inside, dancing across the marble floor in blaring prisms—though the darkness still obstructed the room’s contents. Isabelle’s imagination soared as she fantasized about what lay in those clotted shadows. Pale light fringed Adam’s formidable shape, contrasting his silhouette against the dim atmosphere. He paused in front of the opened window and folded both arms behind his ramrod-straight back. Isabelle gazed at the line of his body, unable to tear her eyes away. Indeed, light from the window set him aglow, shrouding him in a cloak of gold. He wore black trousers and a white silk shirt, which fluttered lightly when he moved. Over the past several days, he’d made a habit of abandoning the cloak and hood. Isabelle had become accustomed to the mismatched sides of his face; where she once felt horror and revulsion, she now tingled with curiosity and budding admiration. Alas, the only true revulsion that remained was the memory of that night… Adam was an undeniably prideful man, and she knew he’d only scorn her pity. Even his stance exuded a sense of importance and authority. Strange, how he was so often shy and almost childlike; then, as if by a flip of a coin, he’d turn regal, confident. It was as though he was battling two separate halves... as if an intricate part of himself kept fighting to emerge. Not unlike the two contrasting sides of his face, Isabelle mused. For a suspended moment, he stood in front of the conservatory window, his scarred hands planted on his lean hips as he surveyed the distant gardens. Then he crossed the room, his footfalls amplified by the medallion flooring, and thrust open another curtain. Whoosh. Light flooded the space and chased away the shadows, and the room’s contents were ushered into view. Isabelle nearly lost her breath at the sight. It was a beautiful library—the most stunning sight she’d ever beheld. Ornate, intricately carved shelves towered against the painted walls and reached for a gilded ceiling. A baroque chandelier hung in the heart of the room; its crystals sparkled like diamonds as they drank in morning’s light. Isabelle fought to temper her racing heart as she gaped at the sweeping shelves. An intimate reading nook lined a curved window; lush pillows decorated the chaise, and a brass candelabra towered beside it. In all her life, she’d never seen so many books. There were far too many to count. Too many books to read in one lifetime. Isabelle couldn’t help but think of the little storekeeper from Ruillé’s bookshop; she imagined his astonishment, how his bushy white brows would rise at the sight of Adam’s vast library. He’d run his wrinkled fingertips over the bindings and spines, reverently caressing each one. Her heart twisted with nostalgia at the thought of her former home. Once Raphael had entered her life, however, Ruillé had transformed into a prison. This castle should have been just that. A jail cell. Yet she’d never felt more free than in that moment. The library was larger than her whole cottage; several book-filled rooms connected to it, each one built with floor-to-ceiling shelves. Three sliding ladders were nestled against the circular walls, soaring to the very top of the domed ceiling. She spun on her heels, twirling in place—watching as the immense collection flurried by in a fantastic mosaic of colorful spines and intricate woodwork. Her eyes planted on Adam, who stood in front of the large row of glowing, arched windows. His arms were still folded behind his body, his sleek back straighter than an arrow. She couldn’t find her voice, couldn’t move forward, although she ached to reach out and embrace his solid body. How would it feel to be enveloped inside that commanding strength? A devastating smile spread across his misshapen features and cut her thought short. He ran a shaky hand through his hair, which was highlighted by the sun’s rays, and then hesitantly strode toward her. His boots rapped against the floor, and the sound swelled through the library. Stranger barked as he approached, the loud noise echoing in the room and jarring Isabelle from her trance. “Do... do you like it?” Finally he stood before her, silent and still. Isabelle inhaled a long breath, then laid her palm on the left side of his face. Her fingertips danced over the raised ridges and welts, the reddish scars and shriveled ear. His eyes shuttered closed, and she felt a shudder rake through his tense body. “Yes. I love it.” And I'm starting to fall in love with you, too...

 

🌹 Meet the Author 🌹

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of fourteen years. She enjoys writing poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love. Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul. Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words. Don’t be a stranger! Rachel loves to connect and interact with her readers:

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