Ragis – Book 4 Blog Tour

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RAGIS by Donna Migliaccio

Excerpt from chapter one

Were they gaining? He leaned into the wind, as if by sheer will he could make the ship go even faster, although he did not know what would happen if they did catch up to the Northmen. They shot past a cluster of small islands fringed with trees. By the Stone, they were gaining. They were close enough he could see the Northmen laboring at their oars as well as their sails, close enough to make out Sigurd at the helm of the warship.

“We steal their wind!” Astéria shouted from her oar. Indeed, the Northern sails were sagging slightly as the centaur vessel came between it and the brisk westerly wind. The centaurs at the oars cheered, and Torrin let out a roar of triumph that made Kristan jump.

And just as suddenly, they lost speed. Torrin’s jubilant cry spiraled into a groan as the sails fluttered and drooped. Kristan looked astern, where a second Norwinn warship had swung from behind the islands, diverting the wind into their own sails. The centaurs bellowed their fury as they lost way. Ahead, the Northmen’s flotilla fled toward the horizon.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Torrin shouted, as the Norwinn warship heaved to near them.

“What do you think you’re doing?” someone on board yelled back.

I know that voice, Kristan thought.

A moment later, his suspicions were confirmed as a rangy, red-haired man pushed his way past the staring seamen lining the rail. Sir Nigel Demitt, First Advisor of Norwinn, squinted at the centaur ship and suddenly grinned. “Well, you’re a long way from home, Torrin,” he called. “And in pursuit of our Northern friends as well. Surely they weren’t poaching on O Tópos too.”

Torrin flicked a glance at Kristan, then cupped his hands around his mouth. “No,” he shouted back. “Bring your ship closer, so we can talk.”

“But they’re getting away!” Chári wailed. The other centaurs raised their voices in outraged agreement.

“They won’t go far,” Kristan said, so sharply that everyone turned to look at him.

Nigel’s mouth dropped open. “Kristan, what are you – ”

“Look,” Kristan went on, ignoring him. He pointed toward the Northern ships. “Why do you think they waited for us last night? Why do you think they’re waiting for us now? They want us to follow them, right around the southeastern shoreline, then north into Stratheden waters.”

“What for?” Nigel asked. “What’s going on?”

“I might ask you the same, First Advisor.”

Nigel drew himself upright, his easy grin hardening into tight-lipped sullenness. “I’m following your Reach’s orders, my lord.”

“Is that so? Are you aware that my Reach abandoned her post in Norwinn to find you?”

He was not prepared for the sudden, joyous light that brightened Nigel’s face. “She did? Where is she now?”

Silently, Kristan pointed toward the Northern ships. To his annoyance, Nigel gaped again. “She’s with Olaf? But how – ”

“I’m in no mood for explanations now, First Advisor. This Kentávron ship isn’t suited for a sea voyage. I want yours.”

To See Book info and buy links click link Below:

https://wordpress.com/post/turnthepageofbooks.com/104

 

 

Review of: Sanctuary

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Author: T.M Brown

Genre: Suspense, Mystery

Note: I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis: Theo is a retired publisher, and together with his wife Liddy, the couple decides to leave their fast pace life in Atlanta and move to the quiet small town of Shiloh.  This is a new beginning for the retired couple.

The couple are newbies in this small town, they do not know anyone when they first arrive, however their presence soon changes the course of many of the locals in Shiloh.  Some of the townsfolk think it is due to providence.  Is it God’s work at hand that brings Theo and Liddy to this new town or simply coincidence?

When Theo ends up taking up a part time writing job at the local paper he begins to unravel a story that has been laid to reset for year now.   Theo soon discovers that an innocent man’s life might be involved, and so he works even harder at winning over the town and discovering the truth that underlies what he originally set out to write about.

Some of the locals are happy to have the truth revealed while others, work against Theo and his attempt at what could be more than just a magnificent story.

Review: I liked the book.  The plot for the story was well thought out.  This book is heavily based on characters, and the author did a great job with character development and interaction with one another.  At the beginning I was worried as there were a lot of characters introduced quickly, but as I read on, and got to know them, it was easy to keep them all straight, this was due to the development progression that was done well.  The book deals with themes of: community, and friendship.

There were two key aspects about this book that I really liked and related to well.  The small town feel of Shiloh reminded me very much of my own small town.  This is in part due to the small church, the sense of community, the overall small town feeling and acceptance of the neighbours.  When Theo and his wife first move out to Shiloh, I found their experience to be somewhat similar to my own.  At times I felt like that the author was writing about my small home town and this familiarity was nice while reading this book.

There was also the connection I made to Theo himself, and this is in part because Theo is a writer, and he sets out to write a certain story about the town.  He then begins to interview Marie and everyone else in the town in hopes to gain enough material for a story to materialize.  The character mentions taking his pen and notepad along with him.  I connected to this immediately as I too am writing a story of my Grandmother’s life and I know all too well what it is like to interview individuals for a story you hope that will some take fruition.  I could really see myself in Theo’s shoes while he interviewed all his new neighbours, eagerly getting the stories he needed to help him with his own story.

My favourite character other than Theo of course, as we did form a connection immediately was Megan. I liked her story, and how it evolved.  I feel that Megan is representative of someone who is not perfect but can still be a wonderful human being.  Megan has made mistakes in the past, but then has lived years with the guilt and trying to do right by her past.  She handles everything that she has endured with grace.

I did however find the story itself to be a bit long considering the plot line. I feel like it could have wrapped up sooner than it had.  There were many chapters that I felt were added that were not necessary as they provided no additional input into the story or plot. Nor did these chapters/passages help to solve any of the problems.  This added some repetitiveness throughout specifically in some of the dialogue.

There were moments of the story that I felt the book was preaching a bit too much.  I do understand that the faith, religion and church setting is a vital part of the community in Shiloh, and that it was necessary to paint a certain picture of what the town is like, however I just feel that at times it was overdone.

Closing Thoughts: In summary, I enjoyed the book overall, I give it a 3-star rating out of 5 starts.  I am looking forward to reading the next installment, Testament.

Release of: The South Winds

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The South Winds

by Allison Mullinax

Contemporary Romance

Fiery Seas Everlasting

August 7, 2018

Cassie Ray, manager of her family’s successful oyster house, has never asked for much out of life. The sun, surf, and sand are her companions. The regulars and tourists that flock to The Slippery Oyster are her livelihood. But when the Atlantic kicks up a hurricane, sending waves of black water threatening the coast, Cassie quickly learns that the south winds have blown in a lot more than debris and saltwater.

​Dean Alexander left Turquoise Isle eight years ago and never looked back. With his sister’s wedding approaching, and a hurricane churning in the Gulf, Dean returns home, where he’s welcomed with a riptide of memories determined to pull him under.

Will Cassie and Dean make it through the crashing waves of the past? Will they get a second chance before it’s too late or will the storm ahead be too much for them to handle?

 BUY LINKS:

Fiery Seas Pub Bookstore: https://www.fieryseaspublishing.com/product-page/the-south-winds

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/South-Winds-Turquoise-Isle-Book-ebook/dp/B07F6X6V18/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-south-winds-allison-mullinax/1129081625?ean=2940162142232

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gr/en/ebook/the-south-winds

Author

About the Author:

North Alabama native, Allison Mullinax, grew up in the small lake town of Guntersville, AL. She discovered the escapism and addiction of writing at an early age. Today she remains a lover of reading, all things outdoors, and spending time with her husband and three daughters.

Social Media: 

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THE SOUTH WINDS by ALLISON MULLINAX

EXCERPT #1 – CHAPTER ONE

The baritone blast of a semi-truck horn jerks me out of a daydream. Cutting my eyes to the driver of the eighteen-wheeler hell bent on keeping me in the right lane, I’m greeted with his middle finger and scowling face. He’ll just have to be pissed off. We’re stranded together in a sea of red brake lights stretching an entire mile. I’m not getting bumper to bumper in my Audi.

I blink back a memory better left alone, the recollection of freckles along Cassie’s collarbone fading. Don’t do it, man. Don’t let your mind run away with you. It’s just one weekend.

Of all the places I want to be battling five o’clock traffic to get to, Turquoise Isle isn’t one of them. I’ve managed to avoid my hometown for eight years, but leave it to my sister to find a way to drag me back to the coast.

“…and Hurricane Diana is approaching the Caribbean, expecting to make landfall in the gulf as a Category Two…”

I’m unsure if the piercing, nasal tone of the meteorologist on the radio is worth the weather update, but I guess it’d be a good idea to see what kind of shit-storm I’m driving into. As I inch forward a few feet in traffic, keeping a safe distance from the beat-up, soccer-mom van in front of me, I turn up the volume.

“…with total rainfall predictions of ten to fifteen inches and sustained winds of up to one hundred miles per hour…”

Curling my upper lip, I peek out my car window at the sun rays bearing down on the Alabama highway.

“…capable of major roof and structural damage, along with uprooted trees and power outages that can last anywhere from a few days to weeks…”

Blah blah blah. All I know is they’ve never met Cassie Ray, or seen the devastation she left in her path. My hand instinctively rubs at the center of my chest, and I reach for the foil pack of Tums sitting in my cup holder.

It’s just one weekend.

The buzz of my cell phone vibrates the unused pennies resting on the center console. I pop a fruit-punch flavored antacid in my mouth, and smile at the picture of me and my sister Julia lighting up my screen. She’s in her college graduation gown, draped in crimson from head to toe. Her black curls are smooshed neatly under her cap, while mine flipped at the nape of my neck, drenched in sweat. Her wide grin stretches across her face, and my arm is slung lazily over her shoulder. God, it had been hot that day. I remember sitting with Mom, my white linen shirt sticking to my back, catching the momentary breeze from the makeshift fan she’d made with the graduation pamphlet. I remember the way her eyes had welled up as Jules had made her way across the stage. Mostly, I remember wanting to get back home and out of Dodge before Mom started begging me to visit more often.

Leaning forward, I hit the accept button on my dash. “Hey, Jules,” I say, looking over my right shoulder, still waiting for my turn to get in the fast lane. The driver of the semi-truck smirks and shakes his head, determined to put me, with my nice car, in my place.

Click below to read my review:

https://turnthepageofbooks.com/2018/07/09/review-of-the-south-winds/

 

 

Review Of: Coin Toss

coin tossBook: Coin Toss

Author: Brian Amado

Genre: Contemporary

Note:  I received a review copy of this book from the author.

My Synopsis: Jeremy is more than just an athlete, he is slowing proving to be the best of the best.  Wanted by a very reputable coach to play quarter back for a prestigious rivalry high school, Jeremy must search deep within to find what is most important to him.   After being offered a position, Jeremy must decide if status and fame means more to him than friendship.

Meantime Ricky, Jeremy’s best friend, must deal with a drunken father who is never there for him, and this is after losing his mother to the horrific accident that lead his father down this dreary path. For Ricky the decision to join St. Michael high school’s football team is much easier than Jeremy’s decision is.

It is the two different home situations that impacts each of the boy’s decisions so differently.

My Review: I really liked this book!  This is a series, and this is book one in the series.  Firstly, I must start off saying that while the story is heavily centered around football, it is much more than just a sports novel.   You do not need to love football, or even know anything about the sport to enjoy this book.  I myself know nothing of the sport, and I did truly enjoy it.  You too will enjoy this book, even if you are not a sports fan.

This book is deeply centred around friendship, family and relationships. The book deals with decisions around the importance of true friends in one’s life.  It also deals with themes of Death, and Values.

The book was extremely well written, the plot was interesting, and kept me intrigued the entire time.  I read the book in two sittings.

I loved the characters in this book.  Each one had something unique to contribute to the story.

I loved Jeremey’s character for the simple fact that although he is one of the best in his field, and he knows it, he at no point in time ever lets that get to his head. He is humble, caring and holds his groups of friends close to his heart.  His kindness is proven in the story that Lauren shares with her little brother.  If I did not already love Jeremy at this point, that passage solidified my feelings for him.

I love the group of friends in general.  Having a teenage son myself, only one year older than Jeremy, I could really relate to so much of the teenage boy language, and interactions.  The boys reminded me of my own son and his group of friends.  I like the familiarity here.

I loved how Jeremy’s parents were portrayed as real people with faults.  At first, they are all about pushing Jeremy to attend St. Michael but when they are given opportunities that they otherwise would never have, all of a sudden their decision and influence over Jeremy’s decision alters. This shows they are not perfect, even though they appear to be the perfect loving family, they too have faults and are easily influenced.

I loved Jeremy’s mother’s character specifically because I connected to her, and I felt like I could relate to her.

My heart went out to Ricky throughout the entire book.  He has already endured so much heartache in his short 15 years of life, and yet remains on the right path due to the help of Jeremy and his parents being there for him day in and day out, filling the parental role.

Closing Thoughts: Overall, this was a fantastic read that captured my attention throughout.   I give this book a 4-star rating out of 5 stars.  A well written book with wonderful characters that make you to get to know each of them even more.  I am looking forward to seeing what the next book in the series brings.

Book Review of: The Vines We Planed

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Book Title: The Vines We Planed

Author: Joanell Serra

Genre: Contemporary Drama/Fiction

Note:  I received a free review from the author.

My Synopsis: This book follows the lives of 3 main families.  These families are intertwined and connected to one another in more ways than one.

We follow Amanda’s family, through her adoption, and her parent’s unconventional marriage.  We follow Jim, Amanda’s father through his fight for his health.

We follow Yuri and his heartbreak at losing Amanda once, the love of his life when she walked out on him.  Yuri then later also loses his wife after only being married for a short nine months.  Yuri loses his wife to a car accident.

We also follow Gloria and her family struggles with being a single mother due to a husband who is often absent in their son’s life.

My Review: There are many different themes introduced and covered in this book.  The story deals with some very heavy issues:  family, divorce, adoption, bisexuality, betrayal, forgiveness, depression leading to suicide attempts, and even immigration. This book is jam packed with so much family drama, it will totally fill your emotions, and pull at your heart strings.

If I had to choose one word, and one word only to describe this book, then that one word would be BEAUTIFUL.

EVERYTHING about this book was beautiful!  The characters are beautifully written. The premises are beautifully described. The plot was beautifully constructed. The writing style flowed beautifully as each character is given his or her opportunity to describe the details of their lives to the reader.

I also love the deep passion that was written throughout this book.  The passion for what Amanda does for a living, and the passion she has for her adoptive parents.  I love the passion Yuri has for his line of work, tending horses, and his passion for working in the family vineyards.  I also loved the passion in the family’s relationships in general.

The book was so FRESH. Often making many references of meals being made from fresh picked vegetables, and I especially loved the reference to the Portuguese cooking, oh the Caldo Verde a popular Portuguese soup reference made my mouth water.  This made me want to head straight to the market to buy fresh items to prepare a home cooked meal for my own family. This is that type of book!

Along side the daily struggles there was always that one fresh crisp cold glass of wine to help soothe the troubles of the day away. I could almost smell the aroma from the grapes seeping through the pages.   The book however in no way exploited wine drinking or offered it as a solution to the problems covered in this book, and I found this fascinating.

As I try to think about my favourite characters I realize that I cannot choose just one. I think this is a first for me.  I don’t ever recall reading a book before where I loved ALL the characters so equally.   Every character was captivating, relatable, believable.   To choose just one would be an injustice to the other wonderfully written characters.

My heart cried for Jim, living his life in a lie and feeling like he had to live this lie to sacrifice his own happiness for his family’s happiness.

My heart broke for Amanda constantly throughout, with all that she endures and discovers about her family.

My heart shattered for Elena, for her depression and choices she makes.

My heart ached for Yuri, at discovering his own truths, but as painful as these truths are, they only made him stronger.

Every character in this book had a wonderfully well written part and story to tell the reader.

Closing Thoughts: This book is most definitely a FIVE STAR!  I enjoyed this book very much, so much so that I LOVED it.  I was captured and pulled in, right away.

If you are looking for a book that will hook you, and destroy your emotions, but in a good way, you MUST read this book now.  Happy Reading, for I know that you WILL love it.

Congratulations Joanell on a GREAT debut novel!

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Jinx

The Jinx Blog Tour banner

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The Jinx

By: Ernest Lancaster

Series: Memphis M.O. Book 1

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

Publication Date: July 24, 2018

Genre: Suspense / Action

Synopsis: Disaster strikes and innocents die as police sniper Rick Munro is plagued by a first-call jinx. As his career takes off, he must overcome his rookie mistakes, and keep his team members safe.

When Munro returns to TACT as a newly promoted lieutenant, the jinx torments him still. He must contend with team members’ rival agendas around every turn. Munro finds himself in a battle he can’t escape as corruption and death unfold around him.

Who can he trust? Will Munro break the streak or will it destroy everything he believes in?

My Review: I liked this book.   This book is part of a series and this is book one in the series.

The plot evolves rapidly, and its action packed with lots going on to keep the reading wanting to know what happens next.  The book is well written.  It is heavily based on dialogue and for this type of plot, the heavy dialogue worked well in moving the story along, and keeping things heated and interesting.

My favourite characters are Rick Munro and Loretta. I liked these two best as I connected with them the most.    I especially liked Loretta’s story.  She has a darker past, but throughout the book, you see that she is trying to change her life around, despite still ending up in situations that implicate her.

I think that Loretta’s story teaches a good lesson, in that it is important to give others second changes, and to not judge others by their pasts.

I also really liked Jan’s character, and I kept rooting for her to make it to the TACT team to be the first women on that team!  Go Jan!

While the book is action packed, and there is a lot going on with the plot, I did feel that the character development was lacking for some of the secondary characters.  I did not connect with any other character as a result.  I wish I had, as I do place a lot of importance on characters and their development throughout the story.   I am hoping that in book 2, more of a connection to the secondary characters are made.

Closing Thoughts: Overall, I enjoyed the book.  I give it a 3.5 star rating out of 5 stars.  The plot was interesting, and well constructed, its fast paced, and despite the lack of connection to some characters, I enjoyed the read.

I recommend this book and think you will love this book if you enjoy reading books about police officers, and the daily struggles they go through, and of course, the good cop versus bad cop concept!

I am looking forward to seeing where the next book takes its reader.

BUY LINKS:

Fiery Seas Pub Bookstore

Amazon

ernestAbout the Author:

Ernest Lancaster retired from the Memphis Police Department as a captain after serving as a cop for thirty-three years.

In the early seventies Lancaster spent two years walking a night beat in downtown Memphis, when The Peabody and Beale Street lay boarded up and crumbling and the center city became a dystopian ghost town after dark. He patrolled in ward cars, trooped for three days through a sea of pilgrims to Elvis’s funeral, edited the Memphis Police Association’s newspaper and acted as the association’s vice-president. For twenty-six years he held positions on the TACT Squad.

Lancaster now resides with his wife and Yorkie in the Smoky Mountains, where they love to hike and camp.

Social Media:

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/ernest.lancaster.98

Twitter   https://twitter.com/ErnestLancast

Website  https://ernestlancaster.com/  

COVER REVEAL: Ragis

Ragis by: Donna Migliaccio

ragis

 

 

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

The Gemeta Stone Book 4

Publisher: Fiery

 Seas Publishing, LLC

 

Kristan Gemeta is teetering on the brink of madness.

His sister Melissa has defied him. His friend Olaf has betrayed him. The Wichelord Daazna’s ghostly laughter mocks him when he’s awake and robs him of his sleep at night. Even the protective powers of his legendary Stone are turning against him.

And now his companions, his ship and its precious cargo have been taken hostage. Kristan must give chase, in an unseaworthy vessel manned by an angry centaur crew. Ahead lie unfriendly waters, an ominous destination and a confrontation Kristan dreads.

In his despair, Kristan longs for the one person he has always trusted: his beloved Heather. But she’s far away, about to step into a trap that will endanger not just her command, but Kristan’s life.

Buy Links:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1129174486?ean=2940161556092

https://www.kobo.com/gr/en/ebook/ragis

Rafflecopter Giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/345512d51/

(A necklace like the one on the cover)                                                     

donna mAbout the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.

She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.

Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.

Social Media: 

 

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

 

In The Assassins Arms – Blog Tour and Review

In The Assassin's Arms Blog Tour Banner

 

pic1In the Assassin’s Arms

Author:  Katherine Hastings

Series: Dagger of Desire

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Fiery Seas Everlasting

Release Date: July 10, 2018

 

John Douglas may be a well-trained political assassin, but he has met his match in the woman he once called a friend. When his childhood playmate reenters his life, she’s not looking to rekindle their friendship… she’s out for blood.

With a vendetta to settle, Charlotte Cornewalle isn’t stopping until she finds the man who killed her father. All signs point to Robert Douglas, the leader of the opposing faction of assassins… and John’s father. To get her revenge, no one will stand in her way… not even the boy she once adored.

Fate forces them together as they fight to prove their innocence and right the wrongs they have suffered. Sparks fly from more than just their swords, but will they be able to put the past behind them? Will they be able to find the truth before it destroys them both?

My Review:

I really liked the book.  This is an entertaining, well written, very fast, and easy read that I got through quickly!

The idea for the story is an interesting one.  It encompasses history, assassinations, romance, family duels, and treachery.  The story does however not go into any great detail on any one of these subjects.  It really is a light read.

The story starts off when the main characters are young, around the age of 10, and then forwards to the present day, when both John and Charlotte are young adults.  This is the timeline for the remainder, and majority of the book.

I liked John’s character best, he is one of the main characters in the story. His loyalty to his father shines through many times, even though that loyalty is tested, and when all fingers are pointed towards his father, John remains loyal, and protective of him, right through to the end.

I liked that the romance between the two main characters, John and Charlotte was not spontaneous, and an instant attraction, but rather this romance, and attraction to one another, stemmed from their childhood friendship, and crushes on each other, from earlier on.

I liked the ending of the book, and it leaves the reader wanting more, so I am happy this is part of a series as I want to continue the adventure with John and Charlotte in book 2.

My only issue with the book was that I would like to have had more back story on Charlotte’s up-bringing after the death of her father. This would have allowed for more of a connection to her, and provided her character with a bit more depth.

Closing Thoughts: Overall, I enjoyed this book!  The book is categorized as a historical romance, so its intended to be more of a light read, and in this category, it delivered!

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.   I recommend this book if you are looking for a FAST and EASY read. This is a perfect book for the summer time,   It does not require a lot of investment, and still brings you an interesting story that hooks the reader immediately.

BUY LINK:

 

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Arms-Dagger-Desire-Book-ebook/dp/B07F3KBMWW/

 

GIVEAWAY LINK:

https://www.katherinehastings.com/news-and-events

(Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card)

 

pic2About the Author:

Katherine Hastings loves love. It’s why she writes romance novels. Getting lost writing a romantic adventure is one of her favorite pastimes. When she’s not on an adventure in her mind with her characters, she can be found at her home in Wisconsin snuggling her husband, two Boston Terriers, and the world’s naughtiest cat. Two things make Katherine want to leave her happy home these days… going for rides on her dressage pony or floating at the beach in her big inflatable raft. Writing her novels while floating in the lake is one of her ultimate pleasures… that and Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds, of course.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Website: http://www.katherinehastings.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katherinehastingsauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/khastingsauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katherinehastingsauthor/

 

 

Review of: The South Winds

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Author:  Allison Mullinax

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: Aug 7th, 2018

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

Note: I received an ARC from the Author in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Sometimes you must let love go, to find it again.  This is Dean’s and Cassie’s story.  Only, can they really find love again, after loving each other?

The two were once very much in love, making plans together, but fast forward now eight years later, they go through great lengths to avoid one another.  It makes it easier that Dean has moved away, further North, and Cassie remained down in the south, creating physical distance between the two.  But does this distance truly help each of them heal from the relationship that was so abruptly torn apart, all those year ago?

For eight years, Dean avoids coming home, so that he does not have to encounter Cassie, but when his sister’s weeding weekend arrives, Dean is forced to return back to his beach homeland, where all the memories of Cassie are still very much prevalent today, as they were eight years ago.

My Review: I  really liked this book.  The fact that I read this entire book in one sitting, tells you that I could not put it down, as I was hooked immediately.  I have read a few books already this summer that I considered to be the perfect summertime read, and this one is most  definitely the top of the ‘must read’ for summer time.  Everything about this book screams summer: The romance, the setting, the wedding planning, the outdoor beach restaurant, even the storm!  I was literally floating on my pool lounger while reading this entire book, and I was taken away by the books setting to the beach the entire time, fully engaged in the lives of Dean and Cassie.

I fell in love with Dean and Cassie right away, and I was so investigated in their relationship, I think even more so than they were at first.  There is some suspense written into the story, as to why the relationship ended, and this just made me want to keep reading, as I needed to find out why this couple who was so in love, so committed to one another ended up with such a sad outcome.  There are little clues and hits mentioned throughout the book, but it is not until the very end that it all comes to light, and the truth is revealed.

The book was not at all predictable, and threw me for a loop in the end.

Closing thoughts:  I give this book 4 stars out of 5! This is a fast read, you will get through it in a day most likely!    I recommend this book If you like romance, and if you do, then you will be hooked right away as well.  This truly is the perfect summertime read that belongs in EVERY beach bag!

Review of: The Girl They Left Behind

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: November 13, 2018

Author: Roxanne Veletzos

Note: I received an ARC for review from the publisher via Netgalley.

Synopsis: This book is based on true events.  Set during the war in 1941 in Bucharest, and the Soviet Union occupation.

A young loving Jewish couple, along with their little girl are on the run for their lives.  Out of true love, and certainly not neglect, the couple make the ultimate sacrifice and leave their 3 year old daughter on the door steps of an apartment building on a cold January night in 1941.  They must do this to give her a chance at survival; otherwise the three of them would all die, if they remained together.

Natalia, as she is later named, is eventually adopted by a loving, wealthy family.  The three of them form a bond so strong that not even war can come between them.   But even the war takes its tolls on the wealthy, and Natalie and her adoptive parents go through many hardships, but at least they are together during these hard times.  The family survive several bombings, starvation, and even escape death by a mere few hours from a deadly infection.  With everything this family has endured, one thing has remained constant, and that is their love for their daughter and each other.   With the truth tightly hidden away and not spoken about, can this ever so close family of three survive facing the truth of Natalia’s true parentage?

It is Natalia in the end that is faced with a life changing sacrifice to pursue a life she can only dream of but in order to do so, she must leave behind all she knows to be the comfort, and security she has known most of her life.

My Review:  I really liked this book!  I cried a lot as it is very emotional.

Not only was World Word 2 such a devastating, and tragic time in history, but this story also deals with heartbreaking family issues such as giving up a loved one, and adoption.

The love between a parent to a child and vice versa is really explored in this book.

I grieved for Natalia’s birth parents when they had to make that difficult decision that one cold January night in 1941, and I also grieved for them throughout the book as well.  But as much as I felt for the birth parents, I also feared for the adoptive parents. I felt torn between the two sets of parents constantly asking myself, who deserves her in the end?   This book is a true testament that true family does not always have to be blood related.

I loved so many of the characters. I fell in love with Natalia as a young girl in the Orphanage, and then again later as a young, respectful, adult.  I loved the way her story was told.  The writer did a wonderful job of creating not just one well-loved character but many!  Natalia’s mother was another favourite of mine.   Her courage and strength through some of the difficult times is noteworthy.

The story was well paced, and delivered in a very seamless way.  I loved the voice that told the story.  There was a good amount  of back story to allow the reader to connect with the characters, as well as a good overall portrayal of what life was like during this war-ridden time.

I was a little disappointed in the ending but that is only because I had my own hopes and ideas of how things should have turned out.   I wanted to know more about Natalia’s life, and I suppose I just was not ready to have the book come to an end when it did.  Putting my own hopes ad ideas aside, the ending was actually perfect!

Closing Thoughts: I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, drama, and historical fiction.

The fact that a lot of the events in this book as well as a lot of the characters are based off of real events and people made this book all the more interesting to read. Overall I gave this book four stars on my Goodreads rating.  A well written, family love story about war, love, and hardships.