Tuesday, November 27, 2018

ARC Review: A Duke Changes Everything by Christy Carlyle

Christy Carlyle has been on my to-read list for a very long time. When “A Duke Changes Everything” became available to read I jumped at the chance to not only become introduced to her as a writer but also see the kick-off of the series Duke’s Den.

In this series we are introduced to, I believe, three friends. One of them Nicholas Lyon. Nicholas runs a gambling hall, “Lyon’s Gentleman Club.”. He is an outcast in society. Nick is the father of a Duke but he was disowned. He is seen as illegitimate in the eyes of the ton. Nick could care less. He is wealthy off the gambling of the highest members of the ton and their gambling addictions. Nick is partners with two other members and they run the gambling house in different ways through investments. Nick wants nothing to do with the ton, other than their vowels and loses, and mostly nothing to do with his family. When he gets news that he is now the new Duke Tremayne is he is shocked and determined to get rid of all that is a part of his childhood past, even the family home in Enderley estate. Enderley is where Thomasina Thorne has lived all her life. Since her fathers passing she has served as the estates steward. When Nick returns to a place that holds terrible childhood memories he is shocked to discover that his steward is a woman. Soon they are at odds when Nick is determined to sell off the estate and Mina is determined to protect it.

Mina and Nick were at the Enderley estate when they were children but Nick was quickly taken away and he never returned. Nick has many terrible memories of his father, his brother and Enderley. The only joy or excitement that Nick finds is in Mina. He finds her interesting and confusing at the same time. Although Mina loves her home she soon discovers that Nick suffered there and much of his childhood still haunts him. Mina soon sees that there are many layers to Nick and becomes intrigued with the new Duke of Enderley.

Overall, this was a good story. I liked both Nick and Mina but felt that there were many parts where the story dragged. I also felt that there were many parts where I could just skim because it felt unnecessary and also boring to read. I liked both Mina and Nick just didn’t find their romance captivating. I will however continue to read Carlyle and am looking forward to Iverson’s story which is the next one in the series.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Darkest Corners by Sydney Jamesson


The Darkest Corners by Sydney Jamesson

Publication Date: November 20, 2018
SJ Publishing
eBook; 332 Pages
Genre: Psychological Suspense

This standalone novel is not a romance. It is psychological suspense with a complex love story woven through it. Expect lots of angst, emotional scenes and edge of your seat suspense as a single father and a troubled young woman confront their deepest, darkest fears together.
After surviving a life changing event, celebrated artist Maxwell Grant has not touched a paintbrush or a woman in four years. During that time, he has tormented himself over an unspeakable act he dare not admit to, even to himself.
His one chance at redemption comes through a journal left behind by Harriet Harper, a mysterious woman in his night school class.
Shocked by what he reads about her tortured existence, he becomes obsessed by her and falls headfirst into a dangerous game of he said, she said, not knowing who to believe—who to trust.
When a dangerous character from Harriet’s past appears, events take a turn for the worse and he must say and do whatever necessary to save his sanity and, more importantly, his four year old daughter, Poppy.
Some secrets never get to see the light of day; others are just waiting to be uncovered … with shocking consequences.

Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JT_9G9JK4s]

Excerpt

Max
I PLACED THE JOURNAL on the pillow to my right, deep in thought, disbelieving that unassuming young woman I had met just over twenty-four hours ago could have lived such a life. It occurred to me that her life experiences had shaped her into an uncompromising, plain-spoken woman. No wonder she took it upon herself to speak up; to say what needed to be said to an arrogant, insensitive sod like me.
In my mind’s eye, I pictured her sitting nervously on that ten thirty-six train to Brighton, venturing into the unknown, starting over—alone—having experienced … who knows what?
At least I had a home to come back to; one Hope and I had designed together with an architect, shaping our ideas into something tangible and practical, reflecting both our personalities: my need for privacy and light, Hope’s need for satin cushions, storage and space for us to grow as a family. We had created our own piece of heaven, blissfully unaware that fate would see to it that she did not get to experience it for more than a couple of months.
And there was Harriet, courageously moving on, which is more than I had done.
As bad as it appeared—stealing a look into Harriet’s world, her private thoughts, her fears and aspirations—I could not help myself. Sure, her world was alien to me; the landscape was foreign, unrecognisable, but her emotions and sense of displacement were not. We had both loved passionately, and been forced to inhabit an unfamiliar world, forever altered.
I trotted back into the lounge, topped up my drink and threw in a couple of ice cubes, allowing them to chill the golden liquid before tasting it. Glass in hand I headed to bed, stopping to check in on Poppy first.
She was sleeping; gentle wisps of air escaped her lips as she dreamed of more precious trinkets, shopping trips, and colouring books awash with fluorescent shades that reflected a world filled with laughter and love—exactly where she belonged.
I could not sleep
Two brief encounters, and there I was allowing a young woman I barely knew to invade my psyche. Without even trying, Harriet had caused a chain reaction: what started out as annoyance and mild curiosity had morphed into something inexplicably provocative.
My skin was warm and prickly, as if it had been scrubbed clean. After my four-year hiatus, my entire body was throbbing. I turned on the bedside lamp, knocking my glasses to the floor, still trembling from what I assumed was a panic attack, or was it arousal? It had been so long since I’d felt something so visceral and unexpected, it was hard to tell. Whatever it was, there was no way I was going back to sleep.
I put Harriet’s journal to one side, deciding to ration out the entries. The last thing I needed was to become obsessed by it—by her. In hindsight, if I’d known how reading about her life was going to affect me and my life, I might have thought twice about opening what was turning into Pandora’s Box.
Then again, I wonder what would have become of me if I had not opened it and turned the pages, devouring her words like a starving man.
At least I was lucid enough to notice that the glass of Scotch I had poured myself was still there by the lamp, its contents luminescent in the light cast from beneath the shade. If nothing else, my liver was grateful for her disclosures.
Mildly anesthetized by the alcohol in my veins, I longed for sleep but it came in waves, angry tidal waves that stirred my soul and stole my breath. Like so many nights before, I began to feel ensnared, sandwiched between those browbeating buddies, Loneliness and Guilt. They were at their most potent in the hours between dusk and dawn, terrorising me with images from my past that I was still in no shape to confront. From the bottom of a glass they stared back at me, insistent and unforgiving.
My nightmare was always the same; it involved a bloodied hand reaching out to me. No matter how I fought I could not escape it. I could not see whose hand it was, but I knew the name of the phantom who haunted all my dreams. I just could not bring myself to say it out loud.
I woke, disorientated, drowning in perspiration.
Biting back frustration, I swallowed what was left of the elixir, inviting it to numb my senses, needing the deadening effect that it alone could produce in my body, in my mind.
I did not want to think.
I did not want to feel.
I wanted to forget. Not only my past but Harriet‘s too, for a couple of hours, at least.
All I had wanted to do was to step out of my shoes and into those of a free-spirited human being for a day or two, without dragging my heels or stumbling over obstacles only I could see.
In my desperation, I assumed Harriet was that person. I had her all mapped out.
She was at least six years younger than me. Her life was filled with parties, dates with twenty-something bartenders with a penchant for homemade wine and staying up all night watching boxed sets of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.
With every new entry I was being drawn in deeper. I bent down to pick up her journal, snatching my glasses from beneath the bed where they had landed. I decided I should do no more than flick through the pages to the very last entry, like a teenage boy about to fail a maths assignment; going straight to the answers without even trying to solve the problem.
But … that would be cheating.
Harriet was clearly a woman of many parts, an enigma with hidden depths and a past that I could either descend into, at my peril, or walk away from. She had fallen in love, experienced the joy of devotion, and yet, she’d ended up alone—like me.
So, taking a deep breath, I dived in…

About the Author


Sydney Jamesson is an English teacher by day and a USA Today bestselling author of romance, suspense by night. She is nocturnal by nature and loves nothing more than staying up late, listening to music and being inspired to write. She has always scribbled things down; in her home is one enormous waste paper basket full of discarded phrases, opening lines and pieces of dialogue that have hit her like lightning in the middle of the night or whilst parked up at a set of traffic lights. Her bestselling trilogy, The Story of Us is available worldwide, and she has been thrilled to continue Ayden Stone and Beth Parker's epic love story in The Story of Us Series: Into the Blue, comprising: Blue Genes, Blue Hearts, Blue Moon. More recently, Sydney has focused on psychological suspense.
THE DARKEST CORNERS is a complex love story filled with lots of angst, emotional scenes and edge of your seat suspense as a single father and a troubled young woman confront their deepest, darkest fears together.

Connect With Sydney Jamesson


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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Elizabeth's War by D.L. Rogers


Elizabeth's War by D.L. Rogers

Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Paperback, AudioBook, & eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction

Read the complete first chapter here.


In a time when raiders, bushwhackers, and Redlegs rode the Cass County, Missouri, countryside bringing fear and destruction with them, Elizabeth Miers and her family barely survived into the next day. When the enemy, in the form of Elizabeth’s neighbors, comes a-calling more than once with mischief on their minds, Elizabeth fights back to keep her children safe against men she once called friends.

On August 25, 1863, following the issuance of General Order No. 11 by Union General Thomas Ewing, thousands of women, children, and the elderly were forced to vacate their homes in the brutal summer heat within fifteen days. With determination and a plan, Elizabeth sets out on a sixty-mile trek toward St. Clair County. Carrying enough prepared food and water on a rickety built sled to reach her aunt and uncle’s farm, she prays her kin are there to welcome them, not knowing whether they lived through the burning of Osceola two years prior—or not.

Facing more than just the lack of food and shelter and the unbearable heat, they’re set upon by raiders and foraging soldiers who try to take more than just their meager provisions. Much more. Left with little after their supplies are stolen and their property destroyed, Elizabeth and her fellow travelers continue south, facing more indignities before their journey is done.

Through Elizabeth and the thousands of other refugees that traveled ahead of and behind her, feel what they felt in the wake of General Order No. 11, an order that took everything and left them destitute and afraid they wouldn’t live to see one more day.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound


Crossfire in the Street by D.L. Rogers

Publication Date: June 7, 2018
Paperback & eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction

Read the first two chapters here.


The Civil War yielded many bloody battles and the Battle at Lone Jack was among the worst. Fought across a sixty-foot strip of dusty road, brothers fought brothers, neighbors fought neighbors, cousins fought cousins, and the blood of horses and men ran together in the street under the blistering August sun.

The Green family tried to keep from being caught up in the war headed for their doorstep, but their efforts were lost—even before the Yankees came to town.

In their youthful exuberance and ignorance, sixteen and fifteen year old Hank and Jesse sneak into town to watch the battle—and find more trouble than they bargained for. Pete, the oldest brother, joins the Rebels and fights to save his life—and that of his brothers. Cora, the oldest daughter on the cusp of becoming a woman, loves a boy who runs off to fight with the Federals—and breaks her heart.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Although born in New Jersey of parents from New Jersey and Tennessee, it was just a matter of time before Diane's "southern" blood revealed itself. And reveal itself it did, in a passion for all things western and related to the Civil War. Having learned a great deal in her research since her historical journey began, especially in the midwest, Diane has attempted to portray both the west and the war from numerous points-of-view, which is not always the same history as what has been previously portrayed--or taught.

As a kid, Diane played Cowboys and Indians more than she did Barbie, and as she got older, she and her cousin (whose parents were reversed) gave themselves the moniker of "Yebels." The question of what it would have been like during the Civil War years, when friends and family fought on opposite sides of the war, festered inside Diane until she answered her own question in the form of the novels she writes of the west and Civil War, where everyday people, regardless of what "side" they were on, when faced with difficult situations, rose to the challenge, and survived.

Now living south of Kansas City, Missouri, on fourteen acres of property, when Diane's not writing or marketing, she enjoys sitting on her front porch, reading when she can or just watching her horses in the pasture and multitude of cats in the yard. When she does venture into town, it's to work at a lawfirm on the Plaza, or visit her two children and five grandchildren.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 5
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Elizabeth's War)

Tuesday, November 6
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 7
Excerpt at T's Stuff
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads (Crossfire in the Street)

Thursday, November 8
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books (Elizabeth's War)

Friday, November 9
Review at Bri's Book Nook (Elizabeth's War)

Monday, November 12
Review at The Reading Woman (Elizabeth's War)

Tuesday, November 13
Feature at Book Nerd

Wednesday, November 14
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 15
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Review at The Book Junkie Reads (Elizabeth's War)

Friday, November 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Crossfire in the Street)

Monday, November 19
Review at Bri's Book Nook (Crossfire in the Street)

Tuesday, November 20
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books (Crossfire in the Street)

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

D.L. Rogers


Friday, November 9, 2018

The Price of Compassion by A.B. Michaels

The Price of Compassion
by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: August 27, 2018
Red Trumpet Press
eBook; 296 Pages

Series: Golden City, Book #4
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery







READ AN EXCERPT.

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

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

Leaving the woman he loves, he embarks on a quest to regain his sanity and self-worth. Yet just when he finds some answers, he’s arrested for murder—a crime he may very well be guilty of. The facts of the case are troubling; they’ll have you asking the question: “Is he guilty?” Or even worse…”What would I have done?”
"[The Price of Compassion] is chock-full of details about California in the earliest part of the 20th century, and it showcases the rampant prejudice against Chinese immigrants that pervaded the West Coast during the period. In accessible and absorbing prose, the author also describes the arcane medical practices of the era [with] a sufficient number of high stakes moments to keep the tale suspenseful and engaging throughout. [It's] a well-thought-out legal drama, full of intrigue and duplicity." -Kirkus Reviews

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

About the Author

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

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

Four Stars
Copy received from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
I was drawn to this book because of the historical time that the story covered. I've traveled many times to San Francisco and there is much history about the big earthquake. I personally love when authors  take one historical event and show how it has impacted the lives of the characters. The time period is fascinating, the development of the early 1900's in San Francisco, the Chinese immigrants... there was a wealth of historical perspectives in this story.  Michaels shows us an everyday human- Tom. Tom is studying to be a doctor when he is called to help those impacted by the earthquake.  A series of choices that he makes haunt him and impact his life and his loved ones.  This was definitely and interesting read, aside from the wealth of the time period the development of the characters were very raw, real and personable.  I highly recommend and enjoyed this story. 


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 23
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, October 24
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, October 29
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, October 30
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, November 1
Review at A Darn Good Read

Friday, November 2
Guest Post & Excerpt at Jathan & Heather

Monday, November 5
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 8
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, November 9
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, November 12
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Price of Compassion