Blitz + Giveaway: The Broken One

The Broken One
Christine H. Bailey
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

What becomes of the girl left behind after the tragic death of her best friend?

Sixteen-year-old Farris Sloan is picking up the pieces after the untimely death of her best friend Kelsey. But even one year later, Farris can’t seem to find “normal” again—not until Lane Evans pops back into her life and pushes her to face reality. When he offers her the chance to find out the truth about Kelsey’s death, Farris fears what will surface. Is it too much too soon or just what she needs to move forward? The Broken One explores a teen’s struggle to overcome loss and her hope to rediscover what it truly means to live and love.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Flashes of the silver car I’d been in a million times flew by in my mind, spliced in with another image—of the body I’d just seen at the bottom of the ravine. I kept seeing it over and over like a trailer for the latest horror movie. But it wasn’t some actress in a film. It was my best friend’s lifeless body at the bottom of that rocky cliff. The stark image taunted me: large, jagged boulders breaking out from a coating of pure white snow forever marked with her blood—her body, splayed across them, crooked and broken.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Christine H. Bailey teaches creative writing and written composition at a private university in west Tennessee. Before teaching English, Christine worked as a journalist, a marketing/public relations writer, and a freelance editor. To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website at http://www.cibailey.com.

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Review: A Love That Never Tires

7Title: A Love That Never Tires
Author: Allyson Jeleyne
Publisher: Fifty Forty Productions
Release Date: November 2014
Length: 367 pages
Series?: Linley & Patrick #1
Genre: Historical Romance

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

Linley Talbot-Martin is a girl who likes to get her hands dirty. As the daughter of a famous archaeologist, she’s been everywhere and seen everything—except London. When the Talbot-Martin team travels there for her father’s investiture, Linley finally gets her wish. But when the time comes to trade her jodhpurs and work boots for silk gowns and kid gloves, she may be in over her head.

Even though she can out-ride, out-shoot, and outsmart any girl in London society, Linley is destined to be the failure of the season. No one she meets cares about ancient pottery or lost Buddhist texts, and fundraising efforts for future expeditions keep coming up short. If the Talbot-Martin team doesn’t find money soon, they will be out of a job, and Linley will lose everything she holds dear.

Patrick Wolford, Marquess of Kyre (pronounced ‘Keer’), is a man who knows his place. Well-connected and respected, he is everything everyone expects him to be, but beneath his façade, he is as neglected and crumbling as the family estate. Now the strain of keeping up appearances is taking its toll. The smart thing would be to marry the heiress nipping at his heels and be done with it, but when he meets Linley Talbot-Martin, who dares to shake up his seemingly proper world, he must choose between the life he’s always known and one he never dared to dream of.

 

my review

The Skinny

Set in the early 1900s, Linley Talbot-Martin follows in her father’s footsteps and travels the world and assisting on his expeditions, the only thing she’s ever known. Now that she is grown, the expedition is traveling back to London on a refinancing mission and to receive recognition from the Queen. While there, Linley wants to explore the cultural aspects of London, like the British Museum. Her father, however, has other plans.

For the first time in her life, Linley is having trouble fitting in. She does not meet the textbook socialite answer for a young woman. She is struggling to do as she has always done her whole life. Going where she wishes and speaking her mind are ostracizing her while her aunt is wholeheartedly trying to make the most of her stay (i.e. put her on the marriage mart and take her off successfully).

When Linley met Patrick in Africa, she didn’t know who he was. He was just another individual that seemed very forward-thinking, when in all reality he is a traditionalist. When they meet again in London, Patrick befriends Linley while needing to find a rich heiress to help keep his expansive lands financially sound. Instead, he does something that drastically changes his financial situation and decides to go on the next Talbot-Martin expedition.

The Players

Linely Talbot-Martin –

Bedford Talbot-Martin – Linley’s father and a renowned and famous archaeologist

Archie Gwynne – another archaeologist on the Talbot-Martin expedition, close friend to Linley

Reginald – a member of the Talbot-Martin expedition

Schoville – a member of the Talbot-Martin expedition

Patrick Wolford – Marquess of Kyre, the face of everything expected by society, but not able to keep up with the financial demands. He is quietly flailing in life and latches on to the Talbot-Martin expedition after meeting Linley

Berenice Hastings – Bedford’s cousin in London, she is a very proper woman

The Quote

 Real love wasn’t about happy endings. It was about the moments spent together, and what you made of them.

The Highs and Lows

  • Inconsistencies. For the time period, there were many things that did not fit well throughout the story. The behavior and remarks of Linley and Patrick at the British Museum were the start of these ill-fitting things. In a time when propriety was still an important aspect of social situations, that seems to be abandoned. This wasn’t an isolated incident, as the behaviors continue and seemed contradictory. Most of the time this was on Linley’s behalf, making everything seem outlandish.
  • Explicit Sex Scenes. While I have nothing against explicit sex scenes, these were not old-fashioned to fit the time period. While Patrick expects his wife to be a virgin, Linley acts like a sex-craved modern-day woman.
  • Flat Characters. In general, the characters seemed flat. Patrick showed a minuscule amount of growth, but overall I expected more out of the ending.
  • Beautiful Descriptive Scenes. I found a lot of fault that kept me from fully investing in the story, but the descriptive scenes were very well written.

The Take-Away

I’m still not sure where the author was going with this one.

Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip? 

Skip it.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

9162394Allyson Jeleyne is an author of Edwardian Era & 1920s adventure/romance novels. She earned an interdisciplinary studies degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from a small, southern liberal arts university while also studying British history & literature in her spare time. When not writing, she enjoys traveling, dancing, and checking things off her bucket list.

She makes her home in the South Carolina lowcountry with her beloved dog, Dollie Madison.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blitz + Giveaway: Where the Sun Hides

Where the Sun Hides
Bethany-Kris & London Miller
(Seasons of Betrayal #1)
Publication date: May 31st 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

In places where the sun can hide, the darkest betrayals are made.

Violet Gallucci and Kazimir Markovic have grown up in the same city, but on opposite sides of the game they call life—Violet, an Italian principessa della mafia, and Kaz, a Russian Bratva heir. Lines have been drawn, and they know not to cross them.

Their paths crossed once, a long time ago, but when they meet again, the territory and rules set out by their families that have kept them separated seem to bleed away.

She’s more than her last name …

He’s more than a Russian …

But secrets from the past—and the people determined to keep them hidden—have other plans for Violet and Kaz.

Rival families.

One city.

Star-crossed lovers.

They should be enemies.

It could mean war.

This is just the beginning …

From authors Bethany-Kris (The Chicago War) and London Miller (Volkov Bratva) comes a thrilling, sexy new series—Seasons of Betrayal. Where the Russians and Italians clash in culture, mafia … and love.

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Blitz + Giveaway: Stage Left

Stage Left
Ali Parker
(Bright Lights Billionaire #1)
Publication date: March 20th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

From Best Selling Author, Ali Parker comes a new Billionaire Series filled with sexiness, humor and intense attraction…

Ethan Lewis has been in the bright lights for as long as he can remember. He’s just turned the cusp of celebrating his twenty-fourth birthday, and yet he feels more like eighty. Living the life of a celebrity isn’t all it is chalked up to be, and dealing with the unruly number of women who are more interested in his billions than who he is as a person is getting old. He has resigned himself to giving up on love and focusing on the only thing that truly gives back – his career.

Riley Phillips has always dreamed of being on a big stage with the warmth of the spotlight baring down on her, but she just couldn’t seem to catch the right agent’s attention. After giving a quick commencement speech as Valedictorian of her graduating class at Billmore High, she’s offered something she can’t refuse… The chance to work in Hollywood. It’s not all it’s chalked up to be, but she works hard and finally gets her big break four years down the line. There is a new movie that her agent wants her to audition for, and her co-star? The dreamy Ethan Lewis.

She scores the part, but soon regrets it due to his callous, overbearing persona. He’s nothing like the public touts, and she for one isn’t impressed.

Funny enough, he is – immensely.

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Blitz + Giveaway: The Art of Blissful Parenting

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for The Art of Blissful Parenting by Sharon Ballantine. The blast will run October 24 – October 26, 2016. collages14


About the Book

artofblissfulparenting Title: The Art of Blissful Parenting | Author: Sharon Ballantine | Genre: Parenting Number of Pages: 190 | Publisher: Balboa Press | Publication Date: November 24, 2015 |

What if you had the ideal relationship with your children? This book is for every parent that wants to have a powerful bond with their kids. Parents have the opportunity for newfound freedom and joy when they teach their children about their Internal Guidance System. Tools and guidance are offered in this book for exacting the art of blissful parenting by practicing alignment. It’s fun and easy to work with the Universe and a short lesson in the Law of Attraction is part of this script. Parents-live and also teach your children how to manifest what they want by thinking in a more positive way and deliberately creating their lives.

Amazon | Balboa Press | Barnes & Noble

What others are saying… “This book is filled with amazing tools for any adult who wants to sharpen the innate gifts of the children in their lives and support them in developing and following their internal guidance. Beautifully and thoughtfully written with clear practical exercises to allow you to put into practice what you have read.” – Debbie (Amazon Reviewer)
“The Art of Blissful Parenting offers readers a refreshing, out-of-the-box approach to raising happy children. Sharon offers practical tools and tips for teaching kids how to thrive by using the law of attraction and following their internal guidance system.” – (Amazon Reviewer) “This is a fascinating book for anyone who wants to raise confident, independent children. The author presents her unique ideas in a thoughtful and insightful way” – Cheryl (Amazon Reviewer)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

1475380012 Sharon Ballantine is a Parenting Coach and certified Law of Attraction Life Coach. She has successfully raised three children and is the author a new book “The Art of Blissful Parenting.” Sharon is the founder of “The Ballantine Parenting Institute,” her online parenting program. Ballantine is a sought after speaker, and was host to her own Internet TV Show with Conscious Evolution Media Network from 2013-2014. The platform of The Sharon Ballantine TV Show featured a conversation with passionate spiritually minded guests. Sharon also had her own column with Beliefnet.com “Parenting on Purpose.” Sharon was interviewed on TV, February 15, 2016 for her new book release, “The Art of Blissful Parenting” on KING 5 New Day Northwest, a live daytime talk show in Seattle. Ballantine has been interviewed on several radio shows including Blog Talk Radio in Los Angeles, Chat with Women radio show in Seattle and Conscious Evolution Media Internet TV in Denver. Her interview with Hay House Radio will air by summer ’16. Sharon’s website is SharonBallantine.com which features weekly teaching blogs, podcasts and slideshows. You can see her educational videos on her YouTube channel, Sharon Ballantine. Sharon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Jay.

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Review: Regarding Anna

Title: Regarding Anna
Author: Florence Osmund
Release Date: February 2015
Length: 3273 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Mystery

ABOUT THE BOOK

25059492Things that happen to you in the past can mold you into someone you’re not.

Grace discovers a box in her parents’ attic that contains enough suspicious items to cause her to believe that the people she had called Mom and Dad her whole life may not have been her real parents.
After recovering from the shock of her parents’ deaths, Grace Lindroth is tormented by the uncertainty of her identity and begins an arduous search for answers. When certain clues draw her to a boardinghouse once owned by Anna Vargas, she becomes convinced that Anna was her real mother. She believes the boardinghouse walls have been harboring vital secrets for years, but when she meets up with the cantankerous old woman who had bought the place after Anna’s death, she questions whether she’ll ever be able to peel back all the layers surrounding her parentage.
The lies and deceit that Grace unearths in her pursuit to validate her identity are shocking, complicated, and not all buried in the past. Does this force Grace to back down, or just heighten her determination uncover the whole truth?

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

The Skinny

When seventeen-year-old Grace finds her adoptive parents dead in her childhood home it sets in motion a series of events she questions and uncovers years later. But the wheels had already been set in motion nearly twenty years earlier in a boarding house across town.

After finding over 100 items including photos, receipts, business cards from Mexico, and a piece of old wallpaper from her parents’ house that Grace dubs her Attic Finds case, she sets off to piece together the oddities left behind that connect the two households of her adoptive parents and that of the woman she believes to be her birth mother. Add to the mix the Mexican oil industry, beautiful and expensive stolen artwork, the Irish sweepstakes, several unsavory characters, and many unanswered questions.

Along the way she uncovers a few friends who help further her cause and discover the truth.

The Players

Grace – 22 year-old plain-Jane PI, runs NSU Investigative Services

Elmer – the attorney Grace is renting office space and an apartment from

Minnie – the new owner of Anna’s house, Grace befriends over a winterberry bush, helps Grace investigate

Flora – a friend who works at the County Clerk’s Office and does many favors for Grace

Tymon – Anna’s handyman who ends up aiding Minnie and Grace

Naomi – the new girl hired for Elmer’s office, she befriends Grace and also comes to her aid in a number of ways

 

From the Boarding House – 1943:

Anna Vargas – young single mother murdered in her home

Al – the mysterious married boarder with a staircase to Anna’s bedroom, rumored to be having an affair with her

Henry Sikes – pale-faced busybody in everybody’s business (aka Mouse-face)

Mark Smith – a recluse who paid his rent early, died in the boarding house

Dorian Ross – a cross-dresser who lived in the boarding house

The Quote

And if my parents hadn’t died in March of 1960, I wouldn’t have found what I did in their attic leading me to believe a woman named Anna Thalia Vargas was my real mother – and that she was murdered, and I was kidnapped, when I was seven months old.

The Highs and Lows

  • Grace. She is young…and a little dumb. While she has gone to school for her PI services, she isn’t very experienced and doesn’t always seem to think things through before she runs off. She could land herself in some very sticky situations on the wrong side of Chicago, but she never really thinks about that before she runs off on the No. 54 bus.
  • The Characters in the Woodwork. There were a handful of characters that emerge from the woodwork who all have a hand in Anna’s past. I was very interested in Tymon and Minnie’s characters and how they have nothing to gain from assisting Grace, yet they are wholeheartedly supporting her efforts.
  • Complexity. There are so many layers to this book it can be mind boggling. It starts out simple: a young girl looking for her real mother. And then things get complicated quickly. The more information Grace unearths, the harder it is to see how it all fits together for the longest. At the very end when all the pieces are revealed, I was mind-blown.
  • Grace’s Dad. In the beginning when Grace is recalling her parents and her childhood, she made several comments about her dad being overbearing and controlling with her mother. It didn’t click right away and it still didn’t click at the end of the book when it should have. Instead, when I was going back and looking through my notes I had a lightbulb moment and things fit together even better.
  • Minnie and Tymon. They are incredible friends who rally around Grace after hearing her story. Tymon is from the days before. He knows the house and he knew Anna and he is now there for Grace trying to help in any way he can. Minnie is a Scotch-drinking, tough old lady that allows Grace into her heart and is dead set on helping her uncover the mysteries of the boarding house.
  • The Ransacking. There is something that someone thinks is in the boarding house that Minnie now owns – and they want it back. Perhaps it is what Anna died for but was never found. After Grace is kicked out of her living and work space, someone has made it clear they are still looking for whatever was left behind.

The Take-Away

This is a fascinating read with more than one mystery woven into Grace’s story.

Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip? 

Definitely buy or borrow! I highly recommend reading!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

5831857After more than three decades of working in corporate America, Florence Osmund retired to write novels. Her notable website is dedicated primarily to helping new authors—offering advice she wishes she had received before starting her first novel. All of Osmund’s novels have earned the BRAG Medallion, an honor awarded to less than 15% of books submitted. She currently resides in Chicago where she is working on her next novel.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads