Genre: Women's Fiction

#BookReview
Finding Hope at Hillside Farm by Rachael Lucas
@karamina @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Finding Hope at Hillside Farm by Rachael Lucas @karamina @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: Finding Hope at Hillside Farm

Author: Rachael Lucas

Published by: Pan Macmillan on March 26, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 428

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Finding Hope at Hillside Farm is a heartwarming tale of loss, love and new beginnings by Rachael Lucas.

Hillside Farm, nestled in the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside, is a safe haven for Ella. Working with her aunt Bron, she runs her own business, sharing her love of horses to help those in emotional need. Living on the remote farm, and with just the horses and her aunt for company, Ella thinks she has finally found a place where she can forget her own past and find peace.

But the arrival of a small girl called Hope and her father Harry changes everything. As Ella helps the pair come to terms with their loss, she realizes she too deserves happiness. But is it too late to find it?


Review:

Warm, poignant, and delightfully entertaining!

Finding Hope at Hillside Farm is a sweet, charming story about accepting the things you cannot change, letting go of the past, forgiving one’s self, and embracing the future.

The writing is well turned and fluid. The characters are flawed, lovable, and genuine. And the plot is a heartfelt, alluring tale of heartache, loss, grief, guilt, hope, friendship, family, forgiveness, courage, community, second-chance romance, and the healing power of animals.

Overall, Finding Hope at Hillside Farm is more than I ever expected. It’s an effortless, uplifting, beautiful tale by Lucas that reminds us that life is truly precious and should always be lived to the fullest.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                   

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rachael Lucas

Rachael Lucas juggles working as an author, coach, and freelance writer with the aid of quite a lot of tea. She and her partner (also a writer) live by the seaside in the North West of England with their six children.
She is the author of Finding Hope at Bramble Farm, My Box-Shaped Heart, Wildflower Bay, Coming Up Roses, and Sealed With a Kiss.

#BookReview
Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard
by Jamie Raintree @jamieraintree @GraydonHouse @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard by Jamie Raintree @jamieraintree @GraydonHouse @HarlequinBooksTitle: Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard

Author: Jamie Raintree

Published by: Graydon House on March 26, 2019

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The follow-up to Raintree’s sparkling debut Perfectly Undone, MIDNIGHT AT THE WANDERING VINEYARD brilliantly meshes the provocative relationship fiction of Jennifer Weiner with the nuanced family dynamics of Karen White in this story of a young woman who reconnects with her estranged best friend to complete their teenage bucket list, but the man who came between them years ago reappears to challenge their bond once again.

A young woman at a crossroads in her life returns home to her family’s vineyard in California when tragedy strikes and reconnects with her estranged childhood best friend. They decide to complete the bucket list they created the summer they were 18, the summer that saw their friendship torn apart. But when the man who came between them all those years ago reappears, it challenges their fragile new bond and pushes each woman to confront past hurts and buried truths.


Review:

Evocative, affecting, and heartfelt!

Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard is a heartwarming, touching story that immerses you in a tale about confronting the past, taking risks, being true to one’s self, following your heart, and the importance of never losing sight of your own wants, needs, and dreams.

The writing is vivid and impassioned. The characters are flawed, genuine, and endearing, And the plot is an exceptionally absorbing tale about life, loss, heartbreak, forgiveness, friendship, family, community, courage, happiness, and unconditional love.

Overall, Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard is an uplifting, emotive, alluring story by Raintree that reminds us that everyone that enters our lives, no matter the length of time, shapes and defines us. It is beautifully written, lushly depicted and like a good wine should definitely be savoured.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jamie Raintree

Jamie Raintree is voracious student of life, which is why she became a writer, where she could put all that acquired information to good use. She is a mother of two, a wife, a businesswoman, a nature-lover, and a wannabe yogi. She also teaches writers about business and productivity. Since the setting is always an important part of her books, she is happy to call the Rocky Mountains of Northern Colorado her home and inspiration.

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl
@KathMcGurl @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl @KathMcGurl @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl @KathMcGurl @rararesources @HQDigitalUKTitle: The Forgotten Secret

Author: Kathleen McGurl

Published by: HQ Digital on March 1, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 285

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley, Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A country at war

It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.

And a long-buried secret

A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.

For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.


Review:

Pensive, interesting, and insightful!

The Forgotten Secret is an intriguing tale predominantly set in County Meath during the summer of 1919, as well as present day, and is told from two perspectives, Clare, a middle-aged woman who stumbles across long-hidden family secrets after moving to Clonamurty Farm to rediscover herself and start afresh, and Ellen, a young girl in love who finds herself unexpectedly caught up in her country’s fight for self-identity and independence against Anglo rule.

The writing is fluid and thoughtful. The characters are strong, kindhearted, and courageous. And the engaging and fascinating plot is written in a past/present style that sweeps you back and forth through all the highs and lows of both Clare and Ellen’s life.

Overall, I would have to say that The Forgotten Secret is a warm, compelling, absorbing novel that does a lovely job of highlighting and reminding us of a time, where for years, Ireland endured rebellion, oppression, political upheaval, and economic instability.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

    

 

 

Thank you to Kathleen McGurl, HQ Digital, and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kathleen McGurl

KATHLEEN MCGURL lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

 

#BookReview
I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
@KinsellaSophie @randomhouse

#BookReview I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella @KinsellaSophie @randomhouseTitle: I Owe You One

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Published by: Dial Press on February 5, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Random House, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?


Review:

Sweet, comical, and delightfully uplifting!

I Owe You One is a charming, heartwarming read that takes us into the life of the thoughtful Fixie Farr as she struggles to keep her family’s home goods shop thriving while juggling an on-again/off-again relationship with her high school crush, two overbearing, older siblings, and a back-and-forth IOU with a handsome businessman.

The prose is well turned and light. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are unique, amusing and reliable. And the plot is a smart, engaging tale full of quirky mishaps, tricky moments, awkward situations, delicious chemistry, romantic drama, self-reflection, and the intricacies of familial relationships.

Overall, I Owe You One is another light, refreshing, entertaining read by Kinsella that’s perfect for fans of insightful, witty, contemporary romance novels.

 

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella is a writer and former financial journalist. She is the number one bestselling author of Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number and Wedding Night, the hugely popular Shopaholic novels and the Young Adult novel Finding Audrey. She lives in London with her husband and family. She is also the author of several bestselling novels under the name of Madeleine Wickham.

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Good Friend by Jo Baldwin
@jokbaldwin @RedDoorBooks #TheGoodFriend

#BlogTour #BookReview The Good Friend by Jo Baldwin @jokbaldwin @RedDoorBooks #TheGoodFriendTitle: The Good Friend

Author: Jo Baldwin

Published by: RedDoor Publishing on February 21, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: RedDoor Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Heavenly Creatures meets The Hand That Rocks the Cradle in this exciting debut novel about friendship, love and jealousy.

Once upon a time they were best friends. They were all friends. So when Jenny moved to Australia to focus on her swimming career, she not only lost Kath, but her soul-mate Tom. It was for the best. Or so they said. Now, eight years later, Jenny seeks out her childhood friend and heads to rural France where Kath has settled. At first the women fall back into a close relationship, but before long strange and malicious behaviour leads Jenny to realise the truth: that Kath has played a clever game all along to manipulate and control those around her. And Jenny is her biggest victim.

Set against the glorious backdrop of the Languedoc lavender fields, The Good Friend is a beautifully written psychological drama about love, lies and a dangerous obsession. Because once the truth is revealed, there’s no going back…


Review:

Ominous, slick, and unnerving!

The Good Friend is a slow-burning, character-driven thriller that delves into just how much our relationships and friendships can define us and highlights just how parasitic and manipulative some of them can truly be.

The prose is edgy and tense. The characters are complex, deceptive, and vulnerable. And the plot builds steadily creating tension, suspicion, and unease as it unravels a sinister tale of friendship, love, secrets, lies, deception, jealousy, violence, and revenge.

Overall, I would have to say that The Good Friend is a brooding, malicious, atmospheric tale that kept me riveted from start to finish and had an ending that left me, in a good way, completely unsettled.

 

This book is available on February 21, 2019.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

 

Thank you to RedDoor Publishing and Jo Baldwin for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jo Baldwin

Since completing a degree in French, Jo Baldwin has spent a large proportion of her life in France, first in Paris where she worked in magazine publishing, and later in the Languedoc where she has a holiday home. Jo now lives in Oxford with her husband and three children and works in educational publishing.

 

 

 

For more information on Red Door Publishing visit them at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway
Summer on the Italian Lakes
by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanAuth
@aria_fiction @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanAuth @aria_fiction @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanAuth @aria_fiction @rararesourcesTitle: Summer on the Italian Lakes

Author: Lucy Coleman

Published by: Aria on February 5, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?

Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…

Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.


Review:

Winsome, engaging, and lush!

Summer on the Italian Lakes is the uplifting, humorous story of Brie, a young romance writer who heads to Lake Garda to help out at a writing retreat even though her own heart, focus, and self-confidence are in tatters after a recent, public breakup.

The writing is beautiful and vivid. The characters are endearing, intriguing, and authentic. And the plot is a wonderful mix of life, love, family, friendship, light drama, self-discovery, romance, and all the ins and outs of writing a novel.

Overall, Summer on the Italian Lakes is another sophisticated, tender, intriguing tale by Coleman that once again highlights her phenomenal ability to sweep you away to another place through her passion and knowledge for its food, landscape, and culture.

 

This book is available now.  

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

 

About Lucy Coleman

From interior designer to author, Linn - who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman - says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

 

Thank you to Lucy Coleman and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

Giveaway:

Win a Chocolate dipping set (UK only)

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Terms and Conditions – UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

#BookReview
Secrets Under the Sun by Nadia Marks
@Nadia_Marks @panmacmillan @PGCBooks

#BookReview Secrets Under the Sun by Nadia Marks @Nadia_Marks @panmacmillan @PGCBooksTitle: Secrets Under the Sun

Author: Nadia Marks

Published by: Pan Macmillan on February 12, 2019

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The truth will surprise you…

On the island of Cyprus, in the small seaside town of Larnaka, three childhood friends have reunited for the funeral of Katerina, the much-loved old woman who had a profound effect on their lives.

Eleni, Marianna and Adonis grew up together, as close as siblings. Although from humble beginnings – a housemaid from the age of thirteen – Katerina’s love, wisdom and guidance helped shape them all.

Her loss leaves the friends bereft, but the funeral is not just a time to mourn and remember. Adonis’s mother decides that with Katerina’s death comes the time to share the family’s secrets and answer the riddles of their childhood. A story of deception, forbidden love and undying loyalty unravels. What she reveals will change everything . . .


Review:

Sincere, enchanting, and expressive!

Secrets Under the Sun is set on the picturesque island of Cyprus and delves into the lives of several generations of the Linser family and all the secrets, tears, smiles, strength, and compassion they shared over the years.

The writing is heartwarming and vivid. The characters are complex, multi-faceted, and reliable. And the plot, alternating between the past and present, sweeps you away in a tale full of love, life, loss, friendship, heartbreak, deception, generosity, support, forgiveness, and the true meaning of family.

Overall, Secrets Under the Sun is a tender, alluring, beautifully depicted tale that highlights the enduring bonds of women and the power and everlasting effects of unconditional love and friendship.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                              

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nadia Marks

Nadia Marks (ne Kitromilides,) was born in Cyprus, but grew up in London. An ex creative director and associate editor on a number of leading British women’s magazines, she is now a novelist and works as a freelance writer for several national and international publications. She has written for the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Express, the Independent, the Royal Photographic Society Journal, Psychologies, In Style magazine and others. For Europe and abroad she has contributed to Italian Vanity Fair, Brazilian Vogue, Greek and Australian Marie Claire, to the biggest Greek Sunday newspaper Vima, and the glossy Greek Cypriot lifestyle magazines Omikron and Must.

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway
The Secret to Falling in Love
by Victoria Cooke @victoriacooke10
@HQDigitalUK @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke @victoriacooke10 @HQDigitalUK @rararesources

#BookReview #BlogTour #Giveaway The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke @victoriacooke10 @HQDigitalUK @rararesourcesTitle: The Secret to Falling in Love

Author: Victoria Cooke

Published by: HQ Digital on February 9, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 198

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.

That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!

Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.

If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…


Review:

Sweet, warm, and romantic!

The Secret to Falling in Love is the humorous, heartwarming story of Melissa, an independent, single, thirty-five-year-old whose ready to settle down and have a family, but after online dating proves fruitless and inspiration comes in the form of The Matrix she decides to go entirely unplugged for thirty days to see if love might actually find her offline.

The writing is effortless and light. The characters are intriguing, supportive, and genuine. And the plot is an enchanting mix of friendship, family, light drama, awkward moments, tricky situations, swoon-worthy romance, and the endless ups and downs of dating.

Overall, The Secret to Falling in Love is a fresh, uplifting, timely tale by Cooke with some beautiful imagery and a storyline that will definitely leave you smiling.

 

This book is available now.  

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

 

About Victoria Cooke

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, 'The Secret to Falling in Love,' in 2016.

 

Thank you to Victoria Cooke and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

Giveaway:

Win an ARC of The Secret to Falling in Love and a box of Belgian Truffles (UK Only)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Terms and Conditions – UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt
The Military Wife by Laura Trentham
@LauraTrentham @StMartinsPress

#BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt The Military Wife by Laura Trentham @LauraTrentham @StMartinsPressTitle: The Military Wife

Author: Laura Trentham

Series: A Heart of a Hero #1

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on February 5, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction, General Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

An emotionally layered novel about family, loss and what it means to be a military wife.

Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband, Noah Wilcox’s death, nearly five years earlier. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind.

Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL that served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children under foot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end.

In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country.

In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend and SEAL brother. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. As her business grows so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their pasts?


Review:

Absorbing, moving, and incredibly uplifting!

The Military Wife is a tender, heartfelt story that delves not only into the emotional and psychological struggles and hardships of being part of the military and the effects they have on both the enlisted themselves and their loved ones, but also the patience, understanding, support, and trust required to maintain a relationship and individuality under those conditions.

The prose is effortless and well turned. The characters are scarred, genuine, and endearing. And the story is a mesmerizing tale about life, loss, love, forgiveness, grief, familial drama, friendship, community, courage, resilience, and moving on.

Overall, The Military Wife is a beautifully written tale with a lovely mix of hope, grit, emotion, and romance that exceeded my expectations. It’s an impressive start to the “A Heart of a Hero” series and I can’t wait for the publication of book #2.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1

Present Day

Winters in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, were temperamental. The sunshine and a temperate southerly breeze that started a day could turn into biting, salt-tinged snow flurries by afternoon. But one thing Harper Lee Wilcox could count on was that winter along the Outer Banks was quiet.

The bustle and hum and weekly rotation of tourists that marked the summer months settled into a winter melancholy that Harper enjoyed. Well, perhaps not enjoyed in the traditional sense . . . more like she enjoyed surrendering to the melancholy. In fact, her mother may have accused her of wallowing in it once or twice or a hundred times.

In the winter, she didn’t have to smile and pretend her life was great. Not that it was bad. Lots of people had it worse. Much worse. In fact, parts of her life were fabulous. Almost five, her son was happy and healthy and smart. Her mother’s strength and support were unwavering and had bolstered her through the worst time of her life. Her friends were amazing.

That was the real issue. In the craziness of the summer season, she forgot to be sad. Her husband, Noah, had been gone five years; the same amount of time they’d been married. Soon the years separating them would outnumber the years they’d been together. The thought was sobering and only intensified the need to keep a sacred place in her heart waiting and empty. Her secret memorial.

She parked the sensible sedan Noah had bought her soon after they married under her childhood home. Even though they were inland, the stilts were a common architectural feature up and down the Outer Banks.

Juggling her laptop and purse, Harper pushed open the front door and stacked her things to the side. “I’m home!”

A little body careened down the steps and crashed into her legs. She returned the ferocious hug. Her pregnancy was the only thing that had kept her going those first weeks after she’d opened her front door to the Navy chaplain.

“How was preschool? Did you like the pasta salad I packed for your lunch?”

“It made me toot and everyone laughed, even the girls. Can you pack it for me again tomorrow?”

“Ben! You shouldn’t wantto toot.” Laughter ruined the admonishing tone she was going for.

As Harper’s mom said time and again, the kid was a hoot and a half. He might have Harper’s brown wavy hair, but he had Noah’s spirit and mannerisms and humor. Ben approached everything with an optimism Harper had lost or perhaps had never been gifted with from the start. He was a blessing Harper sometimes wondered if she deserved.

“Where’s Yaya?” She ruffled his unruly hair.

Of course, her mom had picked an unconventional name. “Grandmother” was too old-fashioned and pedestrian. Since she’d retired from the library, she had cast off any semblance of normalcy and embraced an inner spirit that was a throwback to 1960s bra burners and Woodstock.

“Upstairs painting.” Ben slipped his hand into Harper’s and tugged her toward the kitchen. Bright red and orange and blue paint smeared the back of his hand and arm like a rainbow. At least, her mom had put him in old clothes. “Yaya gave me my own canvas and let me paint whatever I wanted.”

“And what did you paint?” Harper prayed it wasn’t a nude study, which was the homework assignment from her mom’s community college class.

“I drew Daddy in heaven. I used allthe colors.” The matter-of-factness of his tone clawed at her heart.

No child should have to grow up only knowing their father through pictures and stories. Her own father had been absent because of divorce and disinterest. He’d sent his court-ordered child support payments regularly until she turned eighteen but rarely visited or shown any curiosity about her. It had hurt until teenaged resentment scarred over the wound.

Noah would have made a great dad. The best. That he never got the chance piled more regrets and what-ifs onto her winter inspired melancholy.

“I’m sure he would have loved your painting.” Luckily, Ben didn’t notice her choked-up reply.

He went to the cabinet, pulled out white bread and crunchy peanut butter, and proceeded to make two sandwiches. It was their afternoon routine. Someday he would outgrow it. Outgrow her and become a man like his daddy.

She poured him a glass of milk, and they ate their sandwiches, talking about how the rest of his day went—outside of his epic toots. His world was small and safe and she wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Her mom breezed into the kitchen, her still-thick but graying brown hair twisted into a messy bun, a thin paintbrush holding it in place. Slim and attractive, she wore paint-splattered jeans and a long-sleeve T-shirt that read: I make AARP look good. Harper pinched her lips together to stifle a grin.

“How’s your assignment coming along?” Harper asked.

“I’m having a hard time with proportions. It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure my man’s you-know-what shouldn’t hang down to his kneecaps.”

Harper shot a glance toward Ben, who had moved to the floor of the den to play with LEGOs. As crazy as her mom drove her, she was and would always be Harper’s rock. The irony wasn’t lost on her. As hard as she’d worked to get out of Kitty Hawk and out of her mother’s reach when she was young, she’d never regretted coming home.

“It’s been a while for me, too, but that’s not how I remember them, either.”

“A pity for us both.” Her mother pulled a jar of olives out of the fridge and proceeded to make martinis—shaken, not stirred. She raised her eyebrows, and Harper answered the unspoken question with a nod. Her mom poured and plopped an extra olive in Harper’s. “How was work?”

Harper handled bookkeeping and taxes for a number of local businesses, but a good number closed up shop in the winter. “Routine. Quiet.”

“Exactly like your life.”

Harper sputtered on her first sip. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I hate seeing you mope around all winter.” Her mom poked at the olive in her drink with a toothpick and looked toward Ben, dropping her voice. “He’s been gone five years, sweetheart, and you haven’t gone on so much as a date.”

“That’s not true. I went to lunch with Whit a few weeks ago.”

“He was trying to sell you life insurance. Doesn’t count.”

Harper huffed and covered her discomfort by taking another sip. “What about you? You never date.”

 “True, but your father ruined me on relationships. I have trust issues. You and Noah, on the other hand, seemed to get along fine. Or am I wrong?”

“You’re not.” Another sip of the martini grew the tingly warmth in her stomach. Their marriage hadn’t been completely without conflict, but what relationship was? As she looked back on their fights, they seemed juvenile and unimportant. It was easier to remember the good times. And there were so many to choose from.

She touched the empty finger on her left hand. The ring occupied her jewelry box and had for three years. But, occasionally, her finger would ache with phantom pains as if it were missing a vital organ.

“You’re young. Find another good man. Or forget the man, just find something you’re passionate about.”

“I’m happy right where I am.” Harper hammered up her defenses as if preparing for a hurricane.

“Don’t mistake comfort for happiness. You’re comfortable here. Too comfortable. But you’re not happy.”

 “God, Mom, why are you Dr. Phil–ing me all of sudden? Are you wanting me and Ben to move out or something?” Her voice sailed high and Ben looked over at them, his eyes wide, clutching his LEGO robot so tightly its head fell off.

“You and Ben are welcome to stay and take care of me in my old age.” Her mom shifted toward the den. “You hear that, honey? I want you to stay forever.”

Ben gave them an eye-crinkling smile that reminded her so much of Noah her insides squirmed, and she killed the rest of her drink. She was so careful not to show how lonely she sometimes felt in front of Ben.

“Harper.” Her mom’s chiding tone reminded her so much of her own childhood, she glanced up instinctively. Her mom took her hand, and her hazel eyes matched the ones that stared back at Harper in the mirror. “You’re marking time in Kitty Hawk. Find something that excites you again. Don’t let Ben—or Noah— be your excuse.”

Harper looked to her son. His chubby fingers fit the small LEGO pieces together turning the robot into a house. She had built her life brick by brick adding pieces and colors, expanding, taking pride, until one horrible day she’d stopped. Maybe her mom was right. Was it time to build something new?

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Laura Trentham

LAURA TRENTHAM is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She is a member of RWA, and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

#BlogTour #GuestPost #Giveaway
The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J. Scott
@ElizaJScott1 @rararesources

#BlogTour #GuestPost #Giveaway The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J. Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources

#BlogTour #GuestPost #Giveaway The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J. Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesourcesTitle: The Talisman - Molly's Story

Author: Eliza J. Scott

Series: Life on the Moors #2

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 325

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Molly’s dream of taking over her childhood home at Withrin Hill Farm with husband Pip and their three children has finally come true. And, as they settle into the stunning Georgian farmhouse, with their plans to diversify into glamping nicely taking shape, the family couldn’t be happier.
But tragedy suddenly strikes, and Molly’s world is turned upside down.

Heartbroken and devastated, she struggles to face each day. True to form, her fiercely loyal best friends, Kitty and Violet, rally round offering love and support, but Molly doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to smile again. Until the day a tall, dark stranger with twinkly eyes arrives…

Follow Molly’s story in book 2 of the Life on the Moors Series set in Lytell Stangdale, a picture-perfect village in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors, where life is anything but quiet.

A heart-warming story of love, friendship and hope.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

 

And now Eliza J. Scott with:

 

What I’ve Learnt Since Publishing My First Book

Hi there, What’s Better Than Books, it’s great to be on your wonderful blog and thank you for taking part in the Blog Tour for The Talisman – Molly’s Story. I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt since I published my first book – The Letter – Kitty’s Story – in June last year, so here goes:

One of the first things I realised after all of the publication day excitement had settled down, and I was ready to work on the outline I had for The Talisman, was that I would have to be more disciplined with myself in how I organised my time – something I regularly find myself rather short of. Unless my husband can help out, I have to take my daughter to school which is a 1½ hour round-trip, sometimes twice a day, so this can take a huge chunk out of my writing window.

Of course, it’s not just writing I have to squeeze into these precious hours, but I also have to manage my social media platforms, occasionally prepare blog posts and also market my book. Though, I have to say, I’ve met so many wonderful people on Twitter, and being a natural chatter-box, I find I can spend a considerable chunk of my time on there! Not that I’m complaining, the book community is so friendly, supportive and inclusive, and I’ve got to know lots of great people through it.

Since my time has become so precious, I’ve realised that I work better if I set myself targets, which I put into lists, so I can tick things off as I do them; it gives a sense of achievement and makes me feel much more organised. It seems to take the feeling of pressure off, too.

Marketing is something that I’ve learnt such a lot about since last June – and continue to do so. At first, I thought that being an indie-author was just about writing a book, publishing it and then sitting back, waiting for sales. Duh! How wrong was I? It didn’t take me long to realise that indie authors need to be constantly proactive in finding successful ways of advertising their books to potential readers, and then keep up with the changes that take place along the way. It certainly keeps you on your toes!

While I was preparing to publish the paperback of The Letter – Kitty’s Story, my old laptop was becoming so slow and lethargic. Everything seemed to take forever to get done on it – even the simple task of starting it up, took forever, which was incredibly frustrating. After just about tearing my hair out, I decided to take the plunge and treat myself to an Apple MacBook Air, and I can honestly say, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. This change also meant that I could download Vellum, the book formatting programme (0nly available for Macs), which, oh my goodness, is such a joy to use and has saved me heaps of precious time. And, here’s a little fact for you: I discovered that it was actually developed by two colleagues (both called Brad) who used to work for Pixar. With their skills, it explains why it’s so awesome!

So, there you are, I really feel I’ve learnt a lot since The Letter – Kitty’s Story hit the virtual shelves on Amazon last year, and can only imagine what I’ll learn after The Talisman – Molly’s Story is published.

Eliza Jxxx

 

About Eliza J. Scott

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heart-warming stories with happy endings.

 

Thank you to Eliza J. Scott for being featured on my blog today!

 

Giveaway:

Win The Letter – Kitty’s Story, chocolate and a clutch bag (Open Internationally)

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

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