Review and Giveaway: Frowns and Gowns by Amanda M. Thrasher

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About the Book, Frowns and Gowns Frowns and Gowns

  • Series:  The Mischief Series, Book 5
  • Genre: Children’s Chapter Book / Fantasy / Fairies
  • Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
  • Page Count: 236
  • Publication Date: September 12, 2023
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Embark on a Magical Adventure with Lilly, Boris, and Jack!

Get ready to join Lilly, Boris, and Jack on an unforgettable journey filled with excitement, laughter, and a touch of mayhem. Brace yourself for a whirlwind of mishaps as these three fairies plan a magnificent magical ball, only to encounter an unforeseen disaster! Experience the magic of friendship with Lilly, the quick-witted and resourceful fairy, Boris, the mischievous fairy with a heart of gold, and Jack, the troublemaker with a curious, adventurous spirit on their latest adventure.

Throughout, Lilly, Boris, and Jack teach the true meaning of friendship and teamwork. Together with their friends, they’ll overcome challenges, learn valuable lessons, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss out on this enchanting tale!

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About the author, Amanda M. Thrasher Author Photo Thrasher

Award-winning author Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England and moved to Texas, where she lives with her family. She writes YA, general fiction, middle grade, early reader chapter, and picture books. She is the founder and CEO of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press.

Connect with Amanda:

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My Thoughts MelissaBartell - photo

I don’t read a lot of children’s literature anymore, but as my role as Book Aunt (every family has one) has evolved into Book Great-Aunt, there’s a whole new generation of kids for me to gift with books.

 

Frowns and Gowns by Amanda Thrasher will definitely be one of those books.

 

It’s a whimsical tale of young fairies (fairlings) who are tasked with putting on their prom. Lilly, Boris, and Jack are the principal players, but their circle is rounded out by Rosie, Ivy, and Pearle, the latter of whom uses a wheelchair – er – chariot when she must move around on the ground.

 

While the preparations depicted in the book move between silliness – stinky moss bomb fights included – the whimsical happenings also include choosing the right gowns and picking the perfect foods.

 

What I loved about this story was that it was all about inclusion, but organically so, woven through the entire book as a core tenet, never an afterthought. I also appreciated the mischief made by the girl and boy fairlings alike, and I laughed out loud several times. (I aww-ed out loud at least twice, though.)

 

Overall, this was a madcap romp through the lives of young fairies, with great characters, lovely explorations into friendship,  and fantastic worldbuilding.

 

Goes well with popcorn and cotton candy… obviously.


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Review and Giveaway: Reap the Wind, by Joel Burcat

BNR Reap the Wind

 

About the book, Reap the Wind

  • Genre: Action-Adventure / Suspense / Climate Change / EcoThriller
  • Publisher: Milford House Press, an imprint of Sunbury Books, Inc.
  • Date of Publication: February 6, 2024
  • Number of Pages: 215 pages
  • Scroll down for Giveaway

Cover Reap the WindTHE PERFECT STORM meets THE FIRM.

 

Reap the Wind is a thrilling action/adventure novel that follows three lawyers as they embark on a treacherous journey from Houston to Cincinnati during a catastrophic hurricane. Josh Goldberg is on a mission to be with his girlfriend for the birth of their child. Along the way, they’ll face terrifying obstacles like tornadoes, hailstorms, and driving rain. But the real danger may come from within as they struggle to survive each other’s company. His two travel companions—his best friend, a drug-addicted lawyer, and his conniving boss who has her own agenda.

 

Don’t miss out on this unforgettable odyssey that might just be a suicide trip.

Praise for this book:

Reap the Wind is a bold, bracing and blisteringly original take on the legal thriller form. Joel Burcat has fashioned a seminal tale focusing on the nightmare of all road trips in which a storm raging outside the car is matched only by the storm raging within. Burcat dares to tread on the hallowed ground of John Grisham and Scott Turow and ends up blazing a fresh, daring literary tale of his own. Not to be missed!” —Jon Land, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

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About the author, Joel Burcat Author Photo Burcat

Joel Burcat is an award-winning author of three environmental legal thrillers: Drink to Every Beast (illegal dumping of toxic waste), Amid Rage (a coal mine permit battle), and Strange Fire (a fracking dispute). His most recent book, Reap the Wind, is about three lawyers trying to drive from Houston to Cincinnati in a climate change-induced hurricane.

 

He has received a number of awards, including the Gold Medal for environmental fiction from Readers’ Favorite for Strange Fire, and as a Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Amid Rage.  He has written numerous short stories. Burcat imbues his novels with facts to educate his readers about critical environmental issues while they are being entertained by the story.

 

Burcat’s books are infused with realism developed over a forty plus year career as an environmental lawyer.

Connect with Joel:

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My Thoughts MelissaBartell - photo

Joel Burcat’s new novel Reap the Wind is described as “The Perfect Storm meets The Firm,” and that’s accurate to a point, but I feel like it’s more a mixture of those two stories with a soupçon of No Exit. At only 215 pages, it’s a fast read, but a meaty one with thrills, spills, and chills of various intensities.

 

Told from the perspective of two main characters, Josh and Keisha, and engaged couple who are about to have a baby, this story quickly splits into parallel plots when Josh is delayed in Houston after a business trip, and Keisha has a medical emergency on her flight to Philadelphia.

 

Keisha’s story then becomes a medical tale – she’s injured, about to have a baby, and stuck in a hospital in Cincinnati (she had a layover there) where she has to confront her past and make choices about her future. Meanwhile, Josh conscripts his friend Greg to join him on a mad dash from Houston to Cincinnati so he can be there for Keisha. When their colleague Diane insinuates herself into their trip, which they make in a second-hand limousine – it becomes the worst road trio ever. And did I mention that there’s a major hurricane disrupting weather in the entire eastern third of the United States?

 

Josh and Keisha are both written as sympathetic, if flawed, characters, and I found myself rooting for a romantic comedy ending, even though this novel is more of a thriller with a lot of emotional undertones.

 

Greg, Diane, and Abdul (the limo driver) are all interesting, though clearly created to serve the narrative. I wasn’t terribly invested in either of their stories and felt like their purpose was more to be obstacles in Josh’s path than fully realized human beings. Despite this, the novel is richer for their presence. Without them, you’d just have a lonely guy driving through a storm.

 

The storm, Hurricane Epsilon, is a character in its own right, and author Burcat did a fantastic job of making it the villain and the catalyst without ever actually personifying it.  Yes, it felt at times like the weather was taunting all of these characters, but it was just the well-crafted perception the author created. Climate change and the government and corporate responses to it is also part of the connective tissue of this novel. Perhaps, then, Climate Change is the villain, and the hurricane is its henchman.

 

Overall, I felt this was an interesting novel. It starts off slow but ends up careening through plot points like a car fishtailing on a storm-drenched highway. It kept my attention, and I would definitely read more of Burcat’s work.

 

I was slightly disappointed that the scenes with the Weather Service hurricane hunter that bookended the novel were there only to demonstrate the capriciousness of weather and the danger of not heeding warnings – I would love to read an entire book about that crew.

 

Goes well with: Hot roast beef sandwiches and steak fries.


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03/13/24 Rebecca R. Cahill, Author Author Interview
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Review & Giveaway: To Rescue a Witch by Lisa A Traugott

BNR To Rescue a Witch PUBH

 

About the book, To Rescue a Witch COVER Traugott_RescueWitch_Ebook

  • Genre: Historical Fiction / Action & Adventure / Witch Trials
  • Page Count: 398 pages
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2024
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It’s 1739. An abused girl accused of witchcraft must be defended by a man married to an actual witch.

William MacLeod, a fierce Scottish lawyer with a kind heart, takes on a daunting task—rescue young Annaliese from the clutches of her tormentors in the untamed wilds of Virginia colony and deliver her safely to her aristocratic father in London. But lurking in the shadows are enemies eager to expose MacLeod’s own wife, Fiona, as a witch with a dark secret.

Their perilous journey takes an unexpected turn when their ship wrecks, and Annaliese’s haunting nightmares and unexplained Devil Marks trigger suspicion among the crew. Tension peaks when MacLeod must become Annaliese’s unwavering protector in a witch trial, where Fiona’s clairvoyance and a murder are unveiled.

To Rescue a Witch navigates themes of betrayal and redemption, in a spellbinding narrative that blends history, magic, and the unyielding resilience of the human spirit.

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

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About the Author, Lisa A. Traugott author photo Traugott

Lisa A. Traugott is an award-winning author and World Championship public speaker semifinalist — who also spoke five lines on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She lives in Austin with her husband, two kids and English bulldog, Bruno.

Connect with Lisa:

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My Thoughts MissMeliss - 2023

Lisa A. Traugott’s new novel To Rescue a Witch is brilliant and powerful, telling the story of three different women (one is really a little girl) and one Scotsman in alternating points of view. It’s very much a portrait of the social strictures of the period – it’s set in 1739 – but it’s also, by turns, an action-adventure, a vigilante tale, a romance, a courtroom saga, and a redemption story. Add witchcraft, a shipwreck, and intense family drama to the mix, and this book has something for everyone.

At the center is William McLeod, a kindhearted lawyer who needs significant nudging from his wife, Fiona, in order to heed the better angels of his nature. Author Traugott has done a masterful job depicting him has a flawed human being who is sometimes too quick to act but is trying to curb his baser instincts.

Surrounding McLeod are three women, whose stories are told in alternating chapters. Fiona, McLeod’s wife is a devoted mother, a loving spouse, and an actual witch who makes protective charms and has portentous dreams. Lady Margaret is the epitome of a fairytale villainous queen translated to the real world of eighteenth century Scotland. And then there’s Annaliese. If McLeod is the central male figure of this novel, Fiery, feisty, nine-and-a-half-year-old Annaliese is the central female figure. Raised in filth and brutality by her stepfather, it’s really amazing that she’s alive at all, let alone serving as a protector to her younger half-brother. Like Fiona, she also has portentous dreams, but as a child doesn’t know how to filter what she shares.

While the novel has moments of lightness and humor, the opening chapters, especially, are brutal and visceral, with mentions of sexual abuse of children and violence toward children, women, and men.

Overall, To Rescue a Witch is a compelling story, with equal measures of explicit physical situations, poignant emotional scenes, and high-seas adventure, blended with a healthy dose of witch trials and the politics of the period. The characters are dimensional, each with their own failings and graces, and the dialogue is a rich blend of early American English, Scots English, and  British English.

It’s a worthy read, and one that is not soon forgotten.

Goes well with: baked salmon and mashed potatoes, followed by a healthy shot of whisky.

 


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Spotlight: The Last True Templar, by Boyd & Beth Morrison

The Last True Templar

I’m thrilled to be spotlighting this book, the second book in the Tales of the Lawless Land series. It sounds like a fantastic read.

About the book, The Last True Templar

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Head of Zeus — an Aries Book (February 27, 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 448 pages

The Last True Templar CoverThe thrilling new historical adventure from New York Times bestselling author Boyd Morrison and expert medievalist Beth Morrison. Fox and Willa find themselves on a dangerous quest for the treasure of the Templar Knights.

A Perilous Quest. A Deadly Legacy.

Italy, 1351. English companions, knight Gerard Fox and the resourceful Willa, have come through a death-defying journey across war-torn Europe. Now looking towards a future together, they must first find a way to reconcile with their difficult pasts.

In a small village between Florence and Siena, Fox and Willa are caught up in a deadly ambush. After rescuing Luciana, the target of the attack, they take refuge in her opulent villa and learn her heartbreaking story – a tale of loss, deception, and a burning desire for freedom.

Soon, Fox and Willa are involved in a perilous quest to save Luciana’s family legacy. To do so, they will have to solve a mystery that points the way to the fabled lost treasure of the Knights Templar.

Praise for this book

‘Complete with mysteries, secrets, and adventure, rich in detail, delivering exactly what a reader craves. This writing duo knows all the right chords to touch.’ Steve Berry, #1 New York Times bestselling author

‘A mesmerizing sequel to the hugely entertaining The Lawless Land…. There is action galore. What a ride!’ Elizabeth George, #1 New York Times bestselling author


‘Any lover of historical mysteries or great tales of adventure will find much delight in this novel!’ James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author


‘A triumphant follow-up to The Lawless Land, with a puzzle that will dazzle fans of The Da Vinci Code. There’s so much breathtaking excitement that the book should come with an oxygen tank.’ 
Lee Goldberg, #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

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About the authors, Boyd and Beth Morrison Morrison_Boyd and Beth bw (4)

Boyd Morrison is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twelve thrillers, including six with Clive Cussler. His first novel, The Ark, was an Indie Next Notable pick and was translated into over a dozen languages. He has a PhD in industrial engineering from Virginia Tech.

Beth Morrison is Senior Curator of Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She has curated major exhibitions including ‘Imagining the Past in France, 1250-1500’, and ‘Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World’. She has a PhD in the History of Art from Cornell University.

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The Last True Templar

Review: A French Adventure by Jennifer Bohnert

A French Adventure

 

About the book, A French Adventure A French Adventure cover

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Boldwood Books (February 20, 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages

When your old life ceases to exist, its time to build a new one…

It’s early summer on the French Riviera when Vivienne Wilson arrives for a one-woman writers’ retreat after learning that her philandering husband or 30 years, wants a divorce. There to collect the shell-shocked Vivienne is recently widowed Maxine Zonszain, who is struggling to come to terms with her empty life. To add insult to injury she receives another knockout punch with a letter from her very estranged first husband…. Florist extraordinaire, Olivia Murray, shares the Villa that Vivienne is renting. She’s content with life – but sad to add another failed relationship to her growing list and longs to meet ‘The One‘. Life under the summer sun in Antibes becomes a challenging time for all three women as secrets are shared, problems halved as they forge unexpected friendships and embark on new adventures. Sometimes life’s surprises turn out to be unwanted but just sometimes the ‘new normal’ makes for a happier life than the one lost.

Buy, read and discuss this book:

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About the author, Jennifer Bohnert Jennifer Bohnert

Jennifer Bohnet is the bestselling author of over 12 women’s fiction titles, including Villa of Sun and Secrets and A Riviera Retreat. She is originally from the West Country but now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany, France.

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My Thoughts Melissa A Bartell

In the middle of the February doldrums comes an effervescent read from Jennifer Bohnert. A French Adventure is a delightful novel. It’s a quick read, and a light one, but it’s not fluffy. Rather, it’s a positive, sometimes funny, always very real, look at female intergenerational friendship and creating a new lifestyle.

 

As a “mature” reader myself, I gravitated more toward Vivienne and Maxine, who are closer to my age, but as someone who retains her youthful energy, I also enjoyed the perspective the younger character of Olivia brought to the table. I loved that each of these women was independent and fully formed, but that their stories intertwined to form a strong support system for each other.

 

Opening with a shock for Vivienne, the story then follows a chain of events that leads all three women to a vacation on the French Riviera – who wouldn’t want to escape there after their life was upturned?

 

Author Bohnert handled the three points of view of these characters most ably, shifting focus to highlight each woman’s story while weaving them into a cohesive whole. I liked that while the friendship among the three was the central relationship, there was room for romance as well. The love story of Olivia and Thierry was particularly enjoyable, and I cannot say enough about Gilles, who helped Vivienne discern what she really wanted in her post-divorce life.

 

Overall, A French Adventure is a charming read, and one I highly recommend.

 

Goes well with: strawberries and champagne.


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Spotlight and Review: The Knotted Ring by Myra Hargrave McIlvain

BNR The Knotted Ring Blitz

 

I’m thrilled to be spotlighting this book today. It looks like a moving story rich in history and character.

About the book, The Knotted Ring Cover The Knotted Ring

  • Genre: Historical Fiction / Family Saga / Historical Romance
  • Publisher: Next Chapter
  • Page Count: 412
  • Publication Date: December 7, 2023
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Susannah Mobley, expecting a baby by her lover, a slave owned by her family, submits to an arranged marriage to Hezekiah James who is headed to Texas to claim a Spanish land grant. Caught in a series of lies about the origin of a beautiful ring woven from her red hair and the circumstances of her pregnancy, Susannah embarks on the harsh trip to Texas, grieving for her lost love and determined to control her destiny.

On the wagon train journey, Hezekiah is tested by his beliefs and strengths with his slaves and Native Americans, as well as a strange Mad Stone. His determination to build a plantation as fine as Susannah’s home place and to make the best decisions for Susannah fails. Susannah will have to decide if she can live with the consequences of her lies and open herself to this man who shows every form of contrition or if she will allow longing for what she cannot have to destroy her life.

The Knotted Ring is currently a semi-finalist in the Laramie Awards for Western and Americana Fiction.

Praise for this book:

“An often engrossing and well-handled story of the 19th century.” —Kirkus Reviews

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About the author, Myra Hargrave McIlvain Author Photo McIlvain

Myra Hargrave McIlvain, a sixth-generation Texan, is a storyteller who has written Texas historical markers (yes, real people write those things lining Texas highways), articles for newspapers and magazines such as Texas Highways, and six nonfiction books about famous and infamous Texas characters and places.

McIlvain found her real love when she wrote her first historical fiction. All her tales take place in Texas during major periods of its history. However, The Knotted Ring was inspired by an old family story, and in her search to understand what may have happened, she imagined their lives set in a time that she knew well––the establishment of the first Anglo colony.

McIlvain views history as the story of a people; the people she knows best have made Texas home.

Connect with Myra:

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My Thoughts MissMeliss - 2023

There are some books that you race through, and there are others that are better experienced as a slow simmer, taking time to truly savor the emotional truths and excellent research the author wrote into it. The Knotted Ring, by Myra Hargrave McIlvain is definitely one of the latter.

This story focuses on Susannah – her forbidden love, her struggle in the confines of a period in time where women didn’t have a lot of choice, and the trials and tribulations that come with life on the frontier. She’s a strong woman living in nearly impossible conditions, and I enjoyed meeting her, though I also felt for her situation.

This author is obviously highly skilled at her craft, because even though this novel abounds with lies and lawlessness and the hardship of a journey in less-than-ideal conditions, its heart is the often-strained, but still deep, relationship of a woman and man. The weaving in of Texas history felt organic and not overly expositional, and the plot moved at an acceptable pace.

Some novels are quick cups of soup – flavorful, but not necessarily sustaining. The Knotted Ring is a rich stew or Texas chili. Rich, hearty, and not without a little bit of bite in the form of social conventions and physical hardships. Ladle this novel into your reading bowl and immerse yourself in the storytelling. You won’t be sorry.

Goes well with: Chili made with brisket – no beans – and seasoned with “cowboy coffee.”


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Book Spotlight: Amethyst, The Shallows by Kellye Abernathy

BNR Amethyst, The Shallows Blitz

I’m so excited to be bringing you this spotlight for Amethyst, The Shallows, the companion novel to The Aquamarine Surfboard. I read the first book last summer, and fell in love with the writing, the imagery, and the characters, so I know this book will be just as charming and dynamic.

About the Book: Amethyst, the Shallows Cover Amethyst, The Shallows

(The Companion Novel to The Aquamarine Surfboard)

  • Genre: Young Adult / Magical Realism / Coming of Age
  • Published: Atmosphere Press, February 6, 2024
  • Pages: 296 pages

“This is a night for being brave.”

In the aftermath of a devastating sickness that shatters their close-knit beach town, six lonely kids are drawn together during the unpredictable autumn equinox. Among them are fourteen-year-old Lorelei, who yearns to be an oceanographer, and her peculiar younger brother, Tad, who possesses an otherworldly curiosity.

When Lorelei has a strange and almost deadly encounter in a sea cave, her loyal boyfriend, Casey, cannot reconcile her fantastical experience with the rational world. Condi, Lorelei’s best friend, understands ocean magic but isn’t free to share what she knows. Kait, a girl from Ireland, regrets her impulsive move to America-all because of an odd occurrence involving her deceased boyfriend’s lost surfboard. When tides turn and the moon shifts, Isaac, the new kid in town who despises the ocean, is forced to face the truth-a profound and powerful magic lives in the deep.

Guided by a wise surf master, mystical old women known as the Beachlings, and an open-hearted grandmother, six kids embark on transformative adventures that challenge their beliefs about possibilities and the intense nature of love.

Amethyst, The Shallows is the brand-new companion novel to The Aquamarine Surfboard.

Praise for this book:

Amethyst, The Shallows’ sensitive and potent prose stirs the reader, leaving a lasting impression. Although this novel is the second installment in a series, it stands strong independently, welcoming newcomers and returning readers alike.” Literary Titan

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About the Author, Kellye Abernathy author photo Abernathy

Kellye Abernathy’s passions are writing and serving trauma survivors as a yoga teacher and practical life skills advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Kansas. Her home is in land-locked Plano, Texas—where she’s dreaming of her next trip to the sea!

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Review: The Fixer-Upper by Phoebe MacLeod

The Fixer Upper

About the book, The Fixer-Upper The Fixer Upper cover

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Boldwood Books (February 3, 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages

Finding a man is like buying a house: sometimes you have to look beyond the exterior to see the potential underneath.

As an estate agent, Alex’s job is to create happy-ever-afters. It’s just a shame she can’t work the same magic on her own life. Her long-term boyfriend Thomas still lives with his mother, and her hopes of them taking the next step are dashed when he announces he’s spending all his savings (savings she’d quite hoped he’d want to put towards their future home) on an ‘artist retreat’ in San Francisco.

With Thomas thousands of miles away, getting a little too friendly with his fellow artistes, Alex strikes up a friendship with her new neighbour, Callum. Taciturn, grumpy and nerdy, Callum couldn’t be more different to Alex’s bubbly personality…. So why is he the one she wakes up wanting to talk to?

As they get to know each other, Alex starts to wonder if the answer to all her problems might be closer to home than she thinks…

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

Purchase Link | Goodreads


About the author, Phoebe MacLeod PhoebeAvatar

Phoebe MacLeod is the author of several popular laugh-out-loud romantic comedies. She mainly sets her books in her home county of Kent and her first new title for Boldwood will be published in November 2022. They will also be republishing her existing titles from August this year.

Connect with Phoebe:

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My Thoughts MissMeliss - 2023

How refreshing it was to fall into the pages of The Fixer-Upper, Phoebe MacLeod’s latest romantic comedy, where friendship remains a pillar and shocking events don’t drive the plot. Rather, it’s a novel that lets us meet the main characters, sit with them a while, and watch them develop new and healthy relationships without any back-stabbing or scandal.

Alex and Emma are best friends who buy a flat together, and in typical rom-com fashion, fall for the boys next door – well, really across the hall. What follows is a sweet and often hilarious story about how confident real estate agent Alex and less confident Emma find themselves in a quest to find true – or at least lasting – love.

I enjoyed the tease of the title that persisted through the opening chapters, for the “fixer-upper” isn’t the flat that Emma and Alex buy. It’s their next door neighbor Callum, and even he doesn’t really need fixing so much as he needs a style consultant and a confidence booster.

Watching Alex process her changing feelings for her long-term boyfriend Thomas, especially after he moves to San Francisco for an artists’ retreat, is much like watching my own self in my twenties as I learned what I wanted, what I didn’t, and what wants were really needs, and it’s that universality that really makes this book shine. We’ve all had to re-examine our choices at one time or another. We’ve all had the focus of of our relationships change – at times the most important person is our best friend, while at other times it’s our partner. Those shifts are a normal part of our evolution into stable adults, and author MacLeod captures them brilliantly.

While I loved the Alex and Callum thread in this novel, and enjoyed the Emma and Mark thread, the character I felt was a bit underserved in this story was the other best friend, Michelle, who is a tower of support for Alex, especially when Emma’s focus changes.

If you’re looking for accidental sleuths, scandal, or mayhem, this is not the book for you. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a relatable, feel-good romance with well-drawn characters who feel like the people you might meet in the local cafe, run to your nearest source of books, and get a copy of The Fixer-Upper. You won’t regret it.

Goes well with: coffee and anisette toast.


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Cover Reveal and Pre-Order Opportunity: To Rescue a Witch by Lisa A. Traugott

BNR Teaser To Rescue a Witch Blitz

I’m so excited to be introducing the cover to Lisa A. Traugott’s forthcoming book, To Rescue a Witch,
which will be released on March 1 2024. It sounds like an excellent read, so don’t miss your chance to PREORDER THIS BOOK.

About the book, To Rescue a Witch COVER Tease To Rescue a Witch

  • Genre: Historical Fiction / Action & Adventure / Fantasy
  • Published: Coming March 1, 2024
  • Scroll down for the cover reveal

It’s 1739. An abused girl accused of witchcraft must be defended by a man married to an actual witch.

William MacLeod, a fierce Scottish lawyer with a kind heart, takes on a daunting task—rescue young Annaliese from the clutches of her tormentors in the untamed wilds of Virginia colony and deliver her safely to her aristocratic father in London. But lurking in the shadows are enemies eager to expose MacLeod’s own wife, Fiona, as a witch with a dark secret.

Their perilous journey takes an unexpected turn when their ship wrecks, and Annaliese’s haunting nightmares and unexplained “Devil marks” trigger suspicion among the crew. Tension peaks when MacLeod must become Annaliese’s unwavering protector in a witch trial, where Fiona’s clairvoyance and a murder are unveiled.

To Rescue a Witch navigates themes of betrayal and redemption, in a spellbinding narrative that blends history, magic and the unyielding resilience of the human spirit.

Pre-Order this book:

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About the author, Lisa A. Traugott author photo Traugott

Lisa A. Traugott is an award-winning author and World Championship public speaker semifinalist — who also spoke five lines on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She lives in Austin with her husband, two kids and English bulldog, Bruno.

Connect with Lisa:

Website | Blog | Instagram | FacebookAmazon | BookBub

 


And Now, Here’s the Cover!

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Book Excerpt: Spanish House Secrets by Susan Gray

Spanish House Secrets

 

About the Book, Spanish House Secrets Spanish House Secrets Cover

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ UK Book Publishing (February 8, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 335 pages
  • Scroll down for an excerpt from this book!

In 2019 Grace’s memories from childhood are stirred by the sound of a melody. Her home in 1950’s England was a Spanish House. A house with secrets.

1920’s England…loveable, likeable Simon receives a letter on the eve of his twenty-first birthday. A letter that will change the course of his life.

Dainty, demure Olivia has so much to be thankful for: a doting husband, a beautiful house and a thriving business…but a nagging doubt. In the last years of the Roaring Twenties this doubt is compounded by the discovery of a discarded item.

Elise has known many harsh blows in her young life. Returning to her home in Madrid in 1922, she knows she must pick herself up and move on. Can she continue to live in this Spanish House? The arrival of a visitor creates a new dimension for her.

Spanish House Secrets is a story of love, life, loss, jealousy and forgiveness set in the twentieth century.

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Goodreads


About the Author, Susan Gray Spanish Sussan Gray

Susan Gray lives with her husband in northeast England. She has a son and daughter, both married, two granddaughters and a grand dog. After a career in primary teaching, she embraced retirement fulfilling her ambition to travel, attend Wimbledon and write a novel. She enjoys reading, walking, crafting, doing puzzles, catching up with friends over a coffee and being a gran. She has written several novels – Spanish House Secrets is the first to be published.

Connect with Susan:

Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram


Read an Excerpt from Spanish House Secrets

Spanish House Secrets Excerpt

SIMON’S DOUBLE LIFE

Simon returns to his hometown in England, from his six weeks visit to Spain in 1922, where he has learned of his unexpected inheritance. His former sheltered life is now a thing of the past – but how much of his newly acquired wealth should he convey to his family?

 

Simon was never sure when his double-sided life began. He never set out to be secretive, but he just knew on that beautiful day in May, when he returned to Newcastle station, the Spanish side of his life must remain largely secret. Before taking the train to Loftam he needed to make some arrangements. So, he made his way to the premises of Hodgson, Smith and White where he had first learned of his legacy last autumn. The events of those months were mind blowing. His intention was to make an appointment with Mr Hodgson, but the lady behind the desk informed him Mr Hodgson was no longer with them, having retired due to ill health. His clients were being handled by another solicitor, new to the firm called Mr Adams. This information suited Simon, as he had found Mr Hodgson rather imposing. He made a future appointment with Mr Adams then took the train home to Loftam.

In the bubble that was Simon Guilder’s world, he expected a welcoming homecoming – a celebration meal and Serena jumping around eager to hear all his news. Instead, he entered an almost empty house – no father, no Serena, no cosy fire in the drawing room – only Mildred, in the kitchen finishing off the cold buffet for tonight’s evening meal.

“Oh, Mr Simon, it’s so good to see you, sit down – you seem to have been away for ages. I’ll get you a cuppa,” she said.

“Where is everybody?” Simon asked, grabbing a biscuit.

“Serena’s at the store, busy with her new venture, but I’ll not steal her thunder – she’ll be wanting to tell you all about it. Serena and Olivia have been in ecstasy – they’ve been like two busy bees – she only went home today.”

Simon stopped munching his biscuit and asked, “Olivia?” sounding very puzzled.

Mildred replied, “Oh, you must remember her, Mr Simon – she stayed over after the funeral with her grandmother. She lives in York.”

Olivia…Olivia… thought Simon, trying to sift through the many, many, people he’d met in recent weeks, and then there she was in his mind’s eye…an attractive young lady, someone he thought was worth a second meeting, something about her eyes intrigued him, as he recalled.

“Well, that’s me done. I’ll be off now,” Mildred called, retrieving her coat and hat from the hall. Mildred’s words pulled Simon back from his faraway thoughts.

“Your bed is newly made up and I opened the window to let some air in this morning. Cheerio. Mr Simon…it’s so good to have you home,” she called, walking out the back door.

Simon climbed the stairs to his room. The sun was still shining, and the garden was bursting with life, as he looked out of the window.

Everything was normal for Loftam…but in the six weeks since he had gone off to Spain, Simon knew life would never be normal for him again. This is where I take off ‘Spanish Simon’ and put on ‘English Simon’, he thought. Then he went to take a bath and change for dinner.

That was how Simon’s secret Spanish life started. He was never deceitful – just careful with the truth.


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