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Author: Shaylin Gandhi
Publisher: Briar Rose Publishing
Pages: 382
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction


 It's 1954, and twenty-two-year-old Lucia Lafleur has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. While sock hops and poodle skirts occupy her classmates, she dreams of bacteria and broken bones—and the day she’ll finally fix them.
After graduation, a letter arrives, and Lucia reads the words she’s labored a lifetime to earn—"we are pleased to offer you a position at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine." But in the midst of her triumph, her fiancé delivers a crushing ultimatum: forego medical school, or forego marriage.

With fractured hopes, she returns home to Louisiana, expecting nothing of the summer of '54 but sweet tea and gumbo while she agonizes over her impending choice. There, she unexpectedly befriends Nicholas, a dark-skinned poet whose dignity and intellect are a salve to her aching heart. Their bond, initially forged from a shared love of literature, soon blossoms into something as bewitching as it is forbidden.

Yet her predicament deepens when a trivial misunderstanding between a local white woman and a black man results in a brutal lynching, and the peril of love across the color lines becomes chillingly real. Now, fulfilling her lifelong dream means relinquishing her heart—and escaping Louisiana alive.

Praise for By the Light of Embers!

"Gandhi's passion and creativity spill forth onto every page of this book, creating a truly magnificent and brave narrative." -- Entrada Publishing

“I genuinely don't know any other way to describe this book than to say it's beautiful.” – Lacie, Amazon Reviewer

“There are also books that you want to keep reading no matter how painful or heartbreaking or just downright unfair the endings are…because life’s got those moments and Shaylin Gandhi brings them out so well in her characters that you cannot help but grab that box of tissues and still smile in between scenes.” – Dora, Amazon Reviewer

“Beautifully atmospheric, you’ll cry your heart out…” – Kay Smillie, Amazon Reviewer


ORDER YOUR COPY:Amazon

Book Excerpt:
Bellefontaine, Louisiana, 1945

It was the first dead body I’d ever seen. 
Thick July heat pressed in, sticking my dress to my skin, while steam rose from waters as dark as motor oil.  Cypresses held the sky aloft, and there—in my little haven in the bayou, where the marshy ground turned firm and the old fallen blackgum slowly fell to pieces—lay a man with skin like molasses.  Black eyes stared upward, fixed on eternity. 
He shouldn’t be here.  That was my first thought.  Nobody else knew the way into the secret heart of the swamp, through the sucking mud and tangled underbrush.  Yet here he was. 
Something squirmed in the shadows of his mouth, and I pressed my hands to my stomach.  If I threw up, Mother would be angry.  I already had mud on my dress, which was bad enough.
Lured by horrified fascination, I stepped closer.  What happened?  Was he murdered?  I couldn’t tell.  The dead man lay so still that he gave the impression of something missing, rather than something there, as if he were nothing but a yawning void or a cicada’s left-behind skin.  Empty.
I knelt.  Up close, his flesh was ruined, his body swollen, his right hand chewed to shreds.  Faint rustling drifted from his mouth—worms definitelywriggled inside.  I leaned in and studied the wreckage of his face.  Something familiar...
I jerked backward, sprawling to the ground.  More mud on my dress.  But it didn’t matter—no, because this dead man was no stranger.  This was Tom Fletcher.
And I hatedTom Fletcher. 
True fear fluttered in my belly.  I couldn’t be alone with him, not even if he was dead.  I had to get away, across town to the big house, and tell Etta.
Scrambling back like a spider, I made it halfway to the edge of the clearing before my panic subsided enough for me to think.  Tom was bad, yes.  But Etta was good, with her warm cookies and warmer words.  I didn’t want her to see his vacant face, those eyes full of nothing.
I straightened up, brushed myself off, and tried hard to be brave.  Even so, I stood there a long time.  Closing Tom’s eyes seemed impossible, but for Etta’s sake, I had to.  She shouldn’t remember her husband like this.
I forced my feet to move.
When I got close, Tom's cold obsidian skin stole the warmth from my fingers.  One eye had retreated into his skull and his lids didn’t fit together right, but when I finished, the blank stare was gone.  He looked more peaceful, somehow.
Then I wiped my hands on my dress, went to the water’s edge, and threw up in the bushes.
*          *          *
“Lucia, child, what’ve you gotten into?  The pigpen?”  Etta Fletcher put big hands on big hips and laughed, her teeth flashing white in her round, dark face.  “I’ll hear your mama cryin’ from here when she sees that dress.”  She clucked her tongue and turned away.
The plantation’s kitchen was the same as ever, with its crackling hearth and billows of sweet steam.  Etta stood at the stove, frying something in a dark iron pan.  Oil popped and sizzled.
“Cinnamon rolls,” she said.
My stomach soured.  For once, I didn’t want sweets.  I just wanted Etta to turn around and listen, and I wanted to be brave enough to tell her.  While I gathered my courage, the kitchen door opened, and Etta’s son strode in, setting a dirty, tool-filled bucket on the spotless floor. 
I shrank back.  Nicholas terrified me, just like his father.  He straightened, fixing me with creepy yellow eyes.  At nineteen, he was six years my senior, but might’ve been a hundred for his size.  He was as black as his papa and larger than any grown-up I’d ever seen. 
“Ma,” he said.  “What’s she doing here?”
Etta glanced over her shoulder.  “She’s come for a treat.  An’ since she’s mudded her dress, I might take pity and give her two.”
With a wink, she offered a fragrant roll.  It coiled in her hand like a snake, oozing vanilla cream.  From the doorway, Nicholas gave me a look like he’d found a cockroach in his gumbo.
Vomit still coated the back of my throat.  I stared at the pastry as a sticky glob of icing plopped to the floor.  “Tom’s dead,” I said.
Etta’s grin slowly died and her brows drew together.  “What?  My Tom?”
I nodded, wishing Nicholas would disappear instead of staring at me like that.  He made me want to crawl in a hole somewhere.  “I found him in the swamp.  He’s dead.”
Though Nicholas’s expression didn’t change, he quit looking, at least.  His terrible yellow eyes shifted toward his mother.  Etta’s cinnamon roll fell in slow motion, landing topside down and squirting cream across the weathered floorboards.
Silence.  Nicholas caught at his mother’s elbow, but she shook him off. 
I wondered why she didn’t cry.  My mother cried over nothing—stained dresses, rain flattening her hair.  But Etta stood straight and wiped her hands on her apron. 
“You show us, child,” she said.  “You gone show us.”



About the Author

SHAYLIN GANDHI secretly stole her mother’s copy of Clan of the Cave Bear at age ten, and fell madly in love with love stories. Now, as an author, she still can't get enough, and the tales she spins all center around affairs of the heart. To her, that's what makes a story truly worth telling.
Besides writing, she tries to stamp her passport at every opportunity. Traveling has been a lifelong passion, and she’s lucky to have done it a lot. Shaylin and her husband once spent an entire summer living in their van while touring the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and Alaska. Her most memorable trips often tie in with writing: her books are usually inspired by majestic places that stole her breath.

In addition, Shaylin practices medicine, scuba dives, plays the piano, and once rode her bicycle from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic. She now lives in Denver with her incredible husband, their identical twin daughters, and two adorable rescue dogs. They can usually be found in the mountains, either hiking up or skiing down.

You can find Shaylin online at www.shaylingandhi.comor on Twitter @shaylingandhi. Please get in touch—she would love to hear from you!
WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:
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Author: Samantha Chase
Publisher: Chasing Romance, Inc
Date of publication: June 2019

Sam Westbrook has always been the family hell-raiser, but as an adult he's enjoyed not being under the constant watchful eye of his family. That was until his great-grandfather passed away. Forced to move to the small coastal town of Magnolia Sound, Sam can't escape the reputation that has followed him since his teenage years. But he'll have to do it to get his inheritance. 

Shelby Abbott was always the good girl – it's what happens when you're the pastor's daughter in a small town. Now, she's ready to leave that image behind. For years she's heard about wild Sam Westbrook, but she never though she would be the one to catch his eye. And being the center of Sam's attention isn't something Shelby ever prepared for. 

Sam's time in Magnolia Sound has an expiration date and Shelby's not sure she's the kind of girl who can be just another one of his flings. But Sam's ready to make some changes. And a girl like her is just who he needs.


A Girl Like You is the second book in the Magnolia Sound series.  It follows Sam and Shelby.  Sam is Mallory's (from the first book) twin brother.  He has been given the landscaping business after his great-grandfather passed.  The catch is that he must work for a year before selling or he forfeits the business to his cousin.  That means staying in Magnolia Sound.   Shelby is the local librarian and daughter of the local pastor, who is bored with her life.

I did ultimately enjoy the book.  I didn't love it as much as the first book, however.  I felt like there was a little too much angst with both of the main characters. I kept waiting for Sam to get out of his pity party, but it seemed like it took forever for that to happen.  Shelby took a little less time to realize that Sam was into her.   I thought Shelby handled her parents exactly right and was glad she stood up to them.  They did have pretty good chemistry though. There was still a lot of humor in the book.  I found the mornng after scenes in the kitchen particularly hilarious.   

The next book is Mason's book.  I'm looking forward to him telling his parents where to go!  If you missed the series, I do recommend it.  


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Author: Dana Mele
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Date of publication: February 2018

Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she's reinvented herself entirely. Now she's a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl's body is found in the lake, Kay's carefully constructed life begins to topple. 

The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay's finally backed into a corner, she'll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make...not something that happened.


People Like Us takes place at a boarding school where seniors have a tradition of skinny dipping in the local lake After the Halloween dance, a group of friends find a dead classmate floating in the lake.  The next day, Kay gets an e-mail from the dead girl with a scavenger hunt.  If she doesn't participate, her deepest secret will be revealed to all.  I was looking forward to reading this one, but sadly it didn't live up to my expectations.  

The book just ended up being an OK read for me.  I felt like the characters were kind of cliche. None of them were very likable, including the main character.  Her "secret" didn't even end up being that bad and was easily explained.  I mean there was a little twist to it, but no one knew about that twist except Kay.  The "scavenger hunt" was very underwhelming.  I thought it would be more mysterious, but it really wasn't.  The killer was very easy to predict.  There was a little twist about the killer, but that wasn't even that exciting. 

I think YA mystery lovers will find something they like about the book.  It wasn't awful, it just wasn't as good as it could have been.


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Authoir: HelenKay Dimon
Series n/a; standalone
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date June 25, 2019

Is it the perfect escape?

Whitaker Island is more than a getaway. For Tessa Jenkins, the remote strip of land in Washington state is a sanctuary. Fleeing from a shattering scandal, she has a new name, a chance at a new beginning, and a breathtaking new view: Hansen Rye. It’s hard not to crush on Whitaker’s hottest handyman. At six-foot-three and all kinds of fine, he’s also intensely private—and the attraction between them soon simmers dangerously out of control.

…or a private trap for two lovers?

After a devastating family tragedy, Hansen finds the pebbled shores of the faraway island to be an ideal refuge. Letting down his guard for the sexy, impulsive Tessa is an unexpected pleasure. But there’s another newcomer to Whitaker. He’s no stranger to Hansen. And when he’s murdered, the crime casts a threatening shadow. As suspicion falls on Hansen, all his secrets are about to collide with Tessa’s. Now the pasts they were determined to outrun are catching up to them. So is a killer who’s putting their love—and their lives—on the line.

In Her Other Secret, both Tessa and Hansen find a dead body on their island.  Now, their secrets and time of solitude is about to be disrupted.  Everyone on Whitaker Island has a secret.  For some reason, I kept starting and stopping this book.  It's a shame it took me so long because once I finally got past the second chapter, I ended up finishing it in one sitting.

 Not only is this a great mystery, it's a really steamy romance.  I loved Tessa and Hansen.  Their banter was really fun.  Hansen was adorable with his awkward way of flirting.  Once they finally got together, things turned really hot. I also loved the friendship between Hansen and Sam, the sherrif on the island.   Aside from the fun romance, I did enjoy the mystery part.  One of the twists I did see coming.  But there was another one that I didn't call.  

This is the first book I have read by this author.  The next book in this series, The Secret She Keeps, comes out in December.  I'm looking forward to reading it.




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AUthor: Eileen Brady
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press 
Date of publication: May 2014

Making rounds to homes one wet spring morning, veterinarian Dr. Kate Turner rescues a family's hamster from a vacuum cleaner, then visits an estate whose owners breed champion Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Instead of sharing traditional tea with the couple, she confronts a bloody scene of bodies and twenty-seven blue-ribbon dogs running wild. Police initially suspect a murder-suicide, but when Dr. Kate proves the famous best-in-show champion is missing, a darker reality intrudes. She remembers her grandfather saying that there are two motives for murder-love and money. While treating local pets, Dr. Kate discovers suspects and motives everywhere in this charming town filled with people who wanted the couple dead. Was the couple murdered for money their champion could bring to another breeder? How is their daughter, anxious to rid herself of the pampered dogs, handling the wealth she inherits? Would the celebrity filmmaker living nearby kill to end a multi-million dollar lawsuit? Did long-buried personal secrets cause the deaths? And what's going on at the office behind her back? Is Dr. Kate now in danger?


I was in the mood for a cozy-type mystery and found Muzzled on my library's Overdrive site.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  The story follows Kate Turner who is filling on for a local Veterinarian for the next year while he travels the world.  Hoping to make a fresh start in a new town, she is sidelined when she stumbles on the dead bodies of a couple during a home visit. 

For the most part, I enjoyed the mystery.  I definitely did not figure out who the killer was as there were a lot suspects.  Kate, herself, was being framed.  The characters were engaging and fun. There were some very funny moments. I loved Kate.  She was a great lead who didn't take herself too seriously.  The fact that the author is a vet herself helped to lend an air of authenticity to Kate and the story.  If you  are in the mood for a fun cozy mystery to curl up with on a rainy day, I  do recommend this one.  I have Unleashed, the next book in the series on my iPod ready to listen to very soon.


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Make sure to come back on July 14 for a review of Her Other Secret!

Her Other Secret by HelenKay Dimon
Series n/a; standalone
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date June 25, 2019
Avon Romance http://bit.ly/2YMUJPc 
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2I2f2Br 
Google Play http://bit.ly/30OVuJn 

Is it the perfect escape?

Whitaker Island is more than a getaway. For Tessa Jenkins, the remote strip of land in Washington state is a sanctuary. Fleeing from a shattering scandal, she has a new name, a chance at a new beginning, and a breathtaking new view: Hansen Rye. It’s hard not to crush on Whitaker’s hottest handyman. At six-foot-three and all kinds of fine, he’s also intensely private—and the attraction between them soon simmers dangerously out of control.

…or a private trap for two lovers?

After a devastating family tragedy, Hansen finds the pebbled shores of the faraway island to be an ideal refuge. Letting down his guard for the sexy, impulsive Tessa is an unexpected pleasure. But there’s another newcomer to Whitaker. He’s no stranger to Hansen. And when he’s murdered, the crime casts a threatening shadow. As suspicion falls on Hansen, all his secrets are about to collide with Tessa’s. Now the pasts they were determined to outrun are catching up to them. So is a killer who’s putting their love—and their lives—on the line.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Just as Hansen was about to ask for more details, Tessa started talking. “The unknown guy was in a suit as if he jumped off a boat in full work attire, including a tie, then washed up on the beach and kept walking. He had to see us, or at least hear us, so why walk away? Why hide from Hansen in the woods?”
Ben made a humming sound. “I agree. It’s strange.”
That was about as ruffled as Ben got but Tessa didn’t seem to appreciate it. “Gee, you think?”
Rather than let them wrestle this out, Hansen stepped in. The sooner Tessa told the rest of her tale, the sooner he could get Ben alone and ask what the hell happened to set Tessa off. She was nice to everyone . . . except Ben right now.
 “Tessa also said the boat has been out there, no lights and no movement for more than twelve hours,” Hansen explained.
Tessa switched her gaze from the glare she had locked on Ben since they walked in, back to Hansen. “So, you were listening to me.”
He ignored that because the truth was he spent far too much time paying attention to her. She was impulsive and sexy, adorably cute and could talk on any subject forever. So, naturally, he wanted her. He couldn’t think straight some days because he wanted her so badly. But he wasn’t on the island to date . . . no matter how tempting she was.




TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY DETAILS
To celebrate the release of HER OTHER SECRET by HelenKay Dimon, we're giving away a paperback set of Her Other Secret and The Protector by HelenKay Dimon to one lucky winner!


GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of Her Other Secret and The Protector by HelenKay Dimon. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books.  Giveaway ends 7/15/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. 


ABOUT HELENKAY DIMON

Award-winning author HELEKAY DIMON spent twelve years in the most unromantic career ever - divorce lawyer. After dedicating all of that effort to helping people terminate relationships, she is thrilled to deal in happy endings and write romance novels for a living. Her books have been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine and E! Online. HelenKay loves hearing from readers, so stop by her website at www.helenkaydimon.com and say hello.

AUTHOR LINKS


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Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre
Series n/a; standalone
Genre Young Adult Romantic Thriller
Publisher Tor Teen
Publication Date July 8, 2019
Amazon https://amzn.to/2JdBNEm
Kobo  http://bit.ly/2JpULX1
Barnes & Noble  http://bit.ly/2xAbNw4
iBooks  https://apple.co/32b7yFC 


Heartwood Box is a dark, romantic YA suspense novel with an SF edge from New York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre…

In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found.

When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to stay with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right?

Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind.

To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried…

Enjoy this excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE


This is where hope goes to die.
That’s what I’m thinking as I step off the train onto the sparse platform. There’s absolutely nothing here, not even a ticket machine, let alone someone I can ask for directions. Few people were left on the LIRR when I got off here, though one woman did flash me a glance like she was asking if I was sure.
I’m really not.
The area gives off a strange vibe, rural but also industrial, with green fields interspersed with machinery and equipment. It’s a bit too far to walk to my great-aunt’s house where I’ll be staying for the next year, but I planned to get a cab when I arrived. I assured my parents I’d be fine—they could proceed to Venezuela without worrying about me—but now I’m having second thoughts.
It’s not late, just past four, but there’s nobody in sight. A shiver crawls over me, nerves and exhaustion. I’ve had a long-ass day, beginning with a tearful parting from my folks in front of an OXXO at Benito Juarez Airport in Mexico City, then a six-hour flight to JFK, immigration, customs, baggage claim, then two more hours on two different trains. I’m so tired, and the quiet here is eerie. I’m so not used to being alone.
As I walk along the platform, MISSING posters flutter in the breeze, drawing my eye. The way I understand it, this is a small town. Why are there so many flyers up? It’s not just children either. Grown men and women, teenagers, little kids as well. I stop to read one of them at random. Ronell Leon Salazar, age 11, last seen …
The chill doesn’t go away as the wind kicks up. I’ve been warned about international data usage, but I have to turn it on long enough to use a ride-sharing app. There’s a driver ten minutes away who can pick me up, and I wait on the platform without seeing another soul, just the flutter of those MISSING posters to keep me company.
It’s funny how technology has changed the caution our parents tried to instill in us as little kids. Don’t get in the car with strangers! But I’m doing that as my driver rolls up and I ID him based on data from the app. He doesn’t say much, only takes me past a lumberyard and a lot where police vehicles are repaired. By car, I’m only fifteen minutes from my great-aunt’s place, but it would’ve taken me forever to walk.
The town isn’t much to look at, and it gives off a strange, old-fashioned air, like time stopped here fifty years ago and they’d rather keep it that way. The driver lets me out in front of a ramshackle Victorian monster house that stares me down with its dirty windows. I gaze up at the peeling violet paint and the chipped stained-glass windows, the overgrown ivy digging into the walls.
This is the kind of neighborhood where I shouldn’t loiter. There’s not much space between these historic houses, and a curtain is fluttering next door, a sign I’m being watched. Soon, somebody will ask what my business is here. To avoid that on my first day, I gather my courage, hoist my belongings, and mount the four steps to the sagging porch.
Before I can knock, the door flies open, and an old woman stands staring at me. I never cared for Charles Dickens, but this woman could’ve stepped straight out of Great Expectations. I almost say, “Miss Havisham?” but there’s no reason to piss off my guardian first thing.
“Um, hi,” I start, but she cuts me off with a Venus flytrap of a hug, just all snap and here I am, against her bony bosom, breathing in talcum powder and lilac.
She’s a tall woman, thin and gristly, with papery skin and lipstick bleeding into the cracks around her mouth.
“No introductions are necessary,” she says, pushing me back to arm’s length for deeper scrutiny. “You can only be Araceli, dear Simone’s daughter. You’re quite like your mother in your features, but you’ve got your father’s coloring.”
None of that is wrong, but it sounds strange, and I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a compliment. Still, I say, “Thank you,” just in case it is.
“Did you have any trouble getting here?” she asks, ushering me into the house that time forgot.
I don’t mean it in a cruel way, but everything is just so faded and dated that it feels as if I’ve stepped back in time. Not even to the fifties like I thought about the rest of the town, more like 1917, when the Victorians gasped their last breaths and ladies cut off their hair and learned to smoke cigarettes. I take in the worn carpet and the peeling wallpaper in discreet glances, hoping she won’t realize how creeped out I already am.
This is such a tall, narrow house, and the old wood has a distinctive, musty smell. I’m not used to that. We always lived in small two-bedroom places, whatever we could find for rent closest to the town center. The walls were usually solid, cement or block, built to stand against earthquakes or bombardment. I can’t remember ever living in a freestanding house. There will be no rooftop garden parties here, no barbeques that draw out the neighbors so that we grill whatever’s on hand and I take beer from the cooler without anyone asking how old I am.
“No. I took the train from the airport.” More than one, but she probably knows that, if she’s ever visited NYC.
That’s the most appealing aspect of living here. This hamlet has less than six thousand people, most of them white, but after a couple hours on the train, I can be in New York City. There will probably be all kinds of fun things to do on weekends, if Great-Aunt Ottilie gives me some latitude.
Now she’s staring at my luggage like she wants to hug me again. “Oh dear. Is this all you have?”
I glance at my single suitcase and backpack. Moving once a year is a wonderful way to streamline your worldly goods. “Yeah, that’s it. Could you show me where I’ll be staying? And thanks for having me.”
“It’s truly my pleasure. I’m a bit set in my ways, after living alone for so long, but I hope we’ll get along well.”
I’m curious how long she’s been alone—and why. She starts up the stairs slowly, showing signs that she has a bad hip, and I immediately feel guilty. “It’s fine, you can just tell me, you don’t have to—”
“Nonsense. My room is downstairs, so once I get you settled, I won’t be traipsing up here to bother you often. Let’s attend to the formalities and then be good housemates, shall we?” Great-Aunt Ottilie flashes a smile over her shoulder.
Okay, maybe I can deal with her.

To celebrate the release of HEARTWOOD BOX by Ann Aguirrewe're giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Ann Aguirre. Giveaway ends 7/13/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. 
 ABOUT ANN AGUIRRE
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author ANN AGUIRRE has been a clown, a clerk, a savior of stray kittens, and a voice actress, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in Mexico with her husband and children. She writes all manner of genre fiction for adults and teens.
AUTHOR LINKS

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Publisher: Chasing Romance, Inc.
Publication Date: February 2019

Mallory Westbrook is ready to make her move on Jake Summerford, the boy—now man—she’s been crushing on for years. Coming back to Magnolia Sound to celebrate her great-grandfather’s birthday provides the perfect opportunity to show Jake that she’s no longer a child.

The last thing Jake expected to do at his mentor’s birthday party was to find himself kissing Mallory under the moonlight. Though he’s known her for years, the thought of kissing her never crossed his mind. But the shy tomboy he once knew is gone, and in her place is a woman he can’t resist.

They have one summer before they go their separate ways. Insecurity wars with the possibility of a future together, but it could all come to an end before it even has a chance to start.




Publisher: Chasing Romance, Inc.
Publication Date: March 2019

It’s been years since Mallory Westbrook set foot in Magnolia Sound, but the death of her great-grandfather forces her back. Two weeks to get his affairs in order then she would return to her life in New York. The perfect plan, if not for Jake Summerford—her first love who broke her heart.

Jake always regretted the way things ended with Mallory and now that she’s back in town, he’s hoping they can put the past behind them. As they reconnect, old feelings resurface and Jake realizes that friendship is only the beginning of he wants from Mallory.

With one foot out of the door, Mallory is looking for any excuse to leave Magnolia Sound behind. Forever. Will Jake’s plan to replace the old, painful memories help him finally show her their love deserves another chance?


My thoughts:

I'm combining my review for these two books because they directly relate to each other.  Sunkissed Days is a novella that is a prequel to Remind Me.  It tells the story of Mallory and Jake when they were younger and how they got together.  It was a cute story with a heartbreaking cliff hanger ending.  It did get me excited to read the next book to see if they could repair their relationship.  The best part about this novella was the relationship between Mallory and her grandfather as well as his relationship with Jake.  IT was so endearing and a joy to read.

Remind Me takes place years later.  Both Mallory and Jake are more mature and come to the relationship with a better and fresher perspective.  I loved them together and was rooting for them.  I was really rooting for Mallory to realize that she could give up her boring life in New York and move back to the place that is truly her home.  I loved the ending!  It was perfect!

The other characters in the book rounded out the story nicely.  I thought the Mallory's cousins were hilarious.  It looks like the next book features Mallory's brother,  Sam.  I already have it on my TBR.  I highly recommend this series.  


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Author: Debra Webb
Publisher: MIRA
Date of publication: April 2019

Nothing stays buried forever…

Doctor Rowan Dupont knows death. She grew up surrounded by it in her family’s Victorian funeral home, and it’s haunted her since the day her twin sister drowned years ago. Between her mother’s subsequent suicide and the recent murder of her father, coming home to run the funeral home feels fitting—even if it leaves her vulnerable to an obsessive serial killer.

Rowan refuses to let fear keep her from honoring her family. But the more time she spends back in Winchester, Tennessee, the more she finds herself questioning what really happened that fateful summer. Had her sister’s death truly been an accident? And what pushed their mother to take her own life? The dark lake surrounding Rowan’s hometown holds as many secrets as the bodies that float in its chilling depths. But Rowan is running out of time if she’s going to uncover the truth before somebody sinks her for good.

The Secrets We Bury was a good solid mystery and one I did enjoy.  Rowan is a psychiatrist who has returned to her home town to take over the family's funeral home business.   When old bones show up near the place her sister drowned years before, she finds herself pulled into a decades old mystery that could bring answers to what really happened to her sister.

As I said, I did enjoy the mystery as well as the characters.  I liked Rowan even though she had a couple of TSTL moments.  Thankfully, she didn't have many.  I also liked her friend, Billy, the Police Chief.  I'm not sure if they will eventually hook up as the series goes on, but I could see them together.  There was definitely some attraction, at least on Billy's side.  I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes.  There was a nice twist toward the end of the book that took me by surprise.  

My only gripe is that I wish I had known there was a novella that came before this one. I felt a bit lost at times when the serial killer who is stalking Rowan was brought up.  I didn't feel like there was enough background given to fill in the gaps that I was missing.  I'll have to go back and read The Undertaker's Daughter so I am all caught up.  I'm assuming this book probably spoils the novella, so you might want to read it before this one.   I'm looking forward to reading the next book, Lies We Tell when it comes out in September.


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Author: Anita Kushwaha
Publisher: Inanna Publications
Date of publication: November 2018

Kavita Gupta is a woman in transition. When her troubled older brother, Sunil, disappears, she does everything in her power to find him, convinced that she can save him. Ten days later, the police arrive at her door to inform her that Sunil’s body has been found. Her world is devastated. She finds herself in crisis mode, trying to keep the pieces of her life from falling apart even more. As she tries to cope with her loss, the support system around her begins to unravel. Her parents’ uneasy marriage seems more precarious. Her health is failing as her unprocessed trauma develops into more sinister conditions. Her marriage suffers as her husband is unable to relate to her loss. She bears her burden alone, but after hitting her lowest point, she knows she needs to find a better way of coping. Desperate for connection, she reaches out to a bereavement group, where she meets Hawthorn, a free-spirited young man with whom she discovers a deep connection through pain. After being blindsided by a devastating marital betrayal, she wonders if a fresh start is possible in the wake of tragedy. Will she escape her problems and start over? Or will she face the challenges of rebuilding the life she already has? Side by Side is a story about loss, growth and the search for meaning in the wake of tragedy, illuminated through one woman’s journey from harm to care.

 Side by Side is the story of one woman's journey through grief after losing her brother to suicide.  One thing I will say before you read this book is have some tissues ready.  I had a hard time sticking with this book at times. It's not a very happy read. Having said that, I did end up liking the book in the end.  It was an honest look at how personal grief can be and how it affects everyone differently.  Kavita isn't the only one who deals with  the loss of Sunil.  Each person directly affected has a different reaction.  I actually found her husband's admissions toward the end to be the one that hit me the hardest.  I loved how it ended because it was a reflection on real life.  Nothing was neatly tied up in a pretty box but there was a sense of healing and life moving on; as it always does.

The story is beautifully written, raw and honest.  There may be some triggers for suicide and mental health, so keep that in mind.  I do recommend checking it out.  I am looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.



Purchase Links

About Anita Kushwaha

Anita Kushwaha grew up in Aylmer, Quebec. Her road to publication included a fulfilling career in academia, where she studied human geography at Carleton University and earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. She is also a graduate of the Humber School for Writers creative writing program. Her first novel, Side by Side, won an Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver Medal for Multicultural Fiction in 2019. She is also the author of a novella, The Escape Artist. Her second novel, Caught in a Lie, will be published in January 2020 by HarperCollins Canada. She lives in Ottawa.

Find out more about Anita at her website, and connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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Thursday, July 11th: Tina Says…
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Monday, July 15th: What Is That Book About


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