Monday, January 31, 2022

✱✱Book Review✱✱ DREAMER Harlequin Series Winter Blog Tour for NEW YEAR KISS WITH HIS CINDERELLA by Annie O'Neil

 

NEW YEAR KISS WITH HIS CINDERELLA

by Annie O'Neil

Harlequin Medical Romance

From a midnight kiss…to a reunion in the ER! When Dr. Carter shares a New Year's kiss with a captivating stranger, he doesn't expect a reunion. Then he walks into Saint Dolores’s ER the very next day…and discovers she’s his new colleague! Awkwardly, their smoking-hot attraction hasn’t gone away! But for Carter, life has meant staying mobile, and he can’t simply lay down roots. Yet there’s something about Nurse Avery and Nashville that’s starting to really feel like home.



Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Year-Kiss-Cinderella-Nashville-Book-ebook/dp/B09715F19Q/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=NEW+YEAR+KISS+WITH+HIS+CINDERELLA+by+Annie+O%27Neil&qid=1637072953&sr=8-1 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-year-kiss-with-his-cinderella-annie-oneil/1139663410?ean=9780369712417 

Harlequin:  https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335408990_new-year-kiss-with-his-cinderella.html 



Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐
New Year Kiss with His Cinderella is a quick read, but what it lacks in pages, it more than makes up for in emotion. Annie O'Neil tackles some big stuff in this medical romance, and as Carter and Avery work through their issues, I fell more and more in love with them as a couple. By the last part of the book, I was completely invested in this couple getting their happy ever after. The story is a great combination of fun and feels, and it's completely engaging from start to finish. A great way to spend a cold winter's night. 


“You’re that confident, are you?” she asked, her tongue dipping out for a quick swipe along her lips.

She was warming to him. Good.

The guy who’d climbed on the bull after her had been thrown off and someone else was climbing on. Carter would glue himself to the bull if that’s what it took to stay on the longest. But it wouldn’t take that. Back in Texas, he’d called his riding paying the bills. His sister had called it sheer stupidity. They’d both been right.

“Never met a bull who didn’t take to my winning personality.” He tipped the brim of his hat to her.

Her eyes didn’t leave his. “If you win my money, I’m not taking it.”

“And I’m not letting you walk away empty-handed.”

She frowned. “I guess you’d better come up with something else, then. I don’t steal prizes that aren’t mine.”

He held his hands out, then ran them alongside his body. “Apart from my guitar, this is the only other thing I’ve got on offer.”

He wasn’t actually broke. He wasn’t a thief, either. That role in the family was already taken.

A loud roar from the crowd filled the air as another contender climbed aboard the longhorn.

She tilted her head to the side, and he took the few moments she was assessing him to do the same. Skin that looked so soft there probably wasn’t a thread count high enough for it. A body that rocked the hell out of her double-denim getup. A pair of cowboy boots that definitely weren’t just for show. Goddamn she was sexy.

“Well, then,” she said. “I guess you’d better get on up there and show me what you got.” When she met his gaze, he was pretty sure he wasn’t only seeing neon lights flaring in her eyes.

She put out her mittened hand. They were going to shake on it, apparently.

Carter smiled. Progress. She liked him, too. Enough to want to see him show his stuff atop a mechanical bull anyway. Maybe she merely wanted a good laugh. Either way, he could work with that. Not that he’d be seeing her again, but…it was New Year’s Eve. The bit of him that believed in destiny, that hoped that fate wasn’t something only poets spoke of, wanted her appearance in his life to signify something more than a chance meeting. Yet another moment in time that would slip through his fingers when reality reared its head and cut things short. Again.

It surprised him how much he wanted her to be a sign of good things to come. Needed it, even. Perhaps if he won that kiss…

He put his thumb and index finger on the tip of her thumb. “May I?”

She didn’t say anything, but she didn’t refuse. Just watched, mesmerized, as he tugged off her mitten, slowly, so that when their hands finally met, it would be flesh on flesh.

The atmosphere changed. The sounds of the crowd dulled and somehow, the way the world can sometimes, everything stilled so that it seemed like it was just the two of them out here in the middle of Nashville with nothing but a few flakes of snow between them.




Annie spent most of her childhood with a leg draped over the family rocking chair and a book in her hand. Novels, baking and writing too much teenage angst poetry ate up most of her youth. Now, Annie splits her time between corralling her husband into helping her with their cows, listening to audio books whilst weeding and spending some very happy hours at her computer writing.  




YA GOTTA LAUGH Excerpt Tour

Ya Gotta Laugh

by Barbara Alldritt  


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GENRE: Short Stories, Contemporary


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BLURB:


In "YA GOTTA LAUGH", Barbara Alldritt presents a series of short stories based on her own experiences, and those of others, about living life with joy & happiness, in spite of life's challenges.


While pursuing an academic career, Barbara was hit hard by a debilitating disease. She quickly determined she needed a new direction in life. Always interested in writing, she turned to creating stories about this new path.


These are stories that show that even in trying circumstances, there are still ways to find humour.


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EXCERPT (Exclusive Excerpt):


A therapist in a television interview I saw recently said that poor self-esteem usually creates workaholism. As a former workaholic, I relate to this. I graduated as the top student at my university, not because of my IQ, but because of a talent for writing and my habit of working harder and longer than others I knew. Why did I do it? I didn’t ask myself this question at the time. I just did what I felt I had to do, and what got me respect and good grades from my professors.


The workaholic habits eventually took their toll on my health, however. I was diagnosed with the chronic illness called multiple sclerosis (MS) while I was at university. I was finishing a master’s thesis while working on the research I expected to use for a doctoral degree. Within two years I found myself at the bottom of the social status ladder, a sick woman in a wheelchair. But it was almost as though physical illness brought a magic therapy that had eluded me for years. Soon after my diagnosis, the psychological issues that had plagued me for most of my adult life just melted away.


Accepting my new reality included a decision that there was much I could learn about myself through illness. I also started to see the qualities I had once exhibited all around me, including in places that surprised me. I saw the body language of poor self-esteem in several smart, well-educated men I know, including a PhD psychologist friend and a doctor with more certificates of achievement on his wall than anyone I’ve ever worked with.


Reflecting on my new health circumstances, I realized there are many different kinds of ability. The physical abilities I’d lost are the ones most of us take for granted while we have them. Getting up two stairs was never something I had to plan for before. Now, recovering my lost physical abilities consumes my time in ways I hope are positive. Losing something often highlights what is left, and I found new reserves of patience and humour. Housework and cooking became tasks for which I planned and managed other people’s time rather than doing them myself. I have to admit I don’t miss washing the kitchen floor. Another change I appreciate is having time for creative rather than just academic writing. It helped me accept I could now only walk in water.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Author Barbara Alldritt was born and raised on a farm in Saskatchewan and although there was always work around the farm she preferred hiding behind the couch reading a book rather than be out in the fields hoeing potatoes or washing dishes in the kitchen. After High school she travelled extensively in Western Canada and then set out on a 2-year adventure around the world and met her husband on that trip in Western Samoa. They returned to Canada settling in Calgary. Barbara then returned to higher education at the University of Calgary and completed her Honours Degree in 1988, and was awarded the Faculty of General Studies Gold Medal and the Lieutenant Governor’s Gold Medal for that year.


They then moved to Vancouver, BC, and Barbara entered a master’s program at UBC. In the throes of completing her MA and preparing to start her PhD, MS hit her hard and put a stop to her academic work.


Needing a new direction and given her interest in both research and writing she looked into many options for maintaining her health from taking up aqua-fitness to nutrition and what she should and should not eat.She also became active in the MS Society and produced their newsletter, in which she wrote stories that looked at the humorous side of living with a disability. 

Many who read her stories were inspired to contact her to tell their own tales and adventures. She interviewed them and added them to the newsletter, resulting in this compendium of stories.


CONNECT WITH BARBARA ALLDRITT


WEBSITE - https://barbaraalldritt.com/ 


GOODREADS - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21918420.Barbara_Alldritt 



PURCHASE LINKS YA GOTTA LAUGH


AMAZON.COM - https://amazon.com/dp/0228854482 


AMAZON.CA - https://amazon.ca/dp/0228854482 


AMAZON KINDLE - https://amazon.com/dp/B09HKPLHG2 


INDIGO CHAPTERS - https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/ya-gotta-laugh/9780228854500-item.html 


BARNES & NOBLE - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ya-gotta-laugh-barbara-alldritt/1140284315 


BOOK DEPOSITORY - https://www.bookdepository.com/Ya-Gotta-Laugh-Barbara-Alldritt/9780228854487 


SMASHWORDS - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1107091


APPLE IBOOKS - https://books.apple.com/us/book/ya-gotta-laugh/id1588808339 



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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE


Barbara Alldritt will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Sunday, January 30, 2022

✱✱Audio Book Review✱✱ My Husband's Fiancée by Wendy Owens

 

My Husband's Fiancée
A Suspenseful Psychological Thriller Novel
By: Wendy Owens
Narrated by: Whitney Dykhouse

When my husband’s mistress was found brutally murdered, I was the one imprisoned for the crime.

I was willing to do whatever it took to prove my innocence. When Dr. Evelyn Powell showed up on visiting day, I was shocked to learn she was my husband’s new fiancé. I befriended her in hopes of finding answers to my questions.

Was my husband behind the brutal slaying? If I wanted to regain my freedom, I had to figure out a way to convince Evelyn to betray the man she loved and search for the evidence that would prove my innocence. After all, if I was right about my husband, she could be his next victim.

A psychological thriller with a twist you’ll have to listen to, to believe.

Momma Says: 5 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

WHAT??? First, let me say that I did not know this book had a second part coming when I started listening. So, when I heard the last line of this one, I was at first shocked. Then, I thought about it and decided it was brilliant. Brilliant, yes, but that didn't mean I wasn't dying for more. So, now that I know there's another book coming, I'm excited to see what's next for Liz.
Whether it's the story, the narration, or a combination, the book has an almost haunting tone, and the storyline is absolutely gripping. It's told from Liz's point of view, and she makes for a terrific unreliable narrator - but it's kind of a mixed bag with her. There were times when I believed every word she was saying and others when I thought "Wow, this woman is unhinged." Ah, but that's the beauty of it, and far be it for me to ruin the fun and tell you which way it is.
Whitney Dykhouse gives voice to Liz, and between her performance and Wendy Owens's writing, this book was thoroughly compelling and impossible to put down or hit pause as the case may be. I listened straight through and loved the twists and surprises that came along. The story is wonderfully plotted and well-written, and now I'm dying to find out what's next for these characters. 

The Aesop Series Tour and Giveaway

 


Aesop

The Aesop Series Book 1

by Michele Packard

Genre: Conspiracy Thriller

Private contractor Matti Baker's personal quest is to keep America safe. With unwavering loyalty, she was trained to assist government and outside agencies in identifying, locating, and eliminating individuals and nations that pose as threats to the United States. Baker navigates through assignments, that on surface, appear to have no connection. Ultimately Baker finds out that they are all intertwined and will trigger global destruction if not stopped. While sacrificing to keep her family hidden and safe; Baker enlists the help of her best friend and closest colleagues to eradicate double agents.

Whether in Texas, California, the Middle East, or even the foothills of Montana, Baker finds herself in the center of world domination. She keeps her wits about her and those that are lucky enough to be in her inside circle.


Goodreads * Amazon




Fable

The Aesop Series Book 2

From the author of AESOP comes another psychological thriller in this series featuring Matti Baker as she navigates through the twisted world of deception and evil.

Matti Baker is a trained counter terrorism contract operative who maneuvers stealthily with secret identities as wife and mother. Matti is repeatedly tested by her domestic and international assignments in her quest to keep America safe.

With relentless action, Matti dives deeper into the world of artificial intelligence and the consequences of opening Pandora’s box to humanity while simultaneously identifying the players who are targeting world genocide and New World Order. A story of espionage, intrigue and adventure captivates you as Matti and her team engage in the rigorous and often deadly encounters that come with security.


Goodreads * Amazon



Teller

The Aesop Series Book 3

Counterterrorism operative Matti Baker is in a deadly game of cat and mouse with internal government agencies and external countries attempting to modify natural selection to create a New World Order. Traveling between Italy, Russia, China, Afghanistan, and the United States, Baker must do whatever it takes to stop the conspiracy, not knowing that she actually is the genesis of it all. Baker is more exposed and vulnerable than ever before, but is also more determined.

TELLER brings to conclusion the award-winning AESOP series with raw emotion and relentless action you will devour in one sitting. Inspired and interwoven with historical events and conspiracies, it will leave the reader wondering: could this be fact versus fiction?


Goodreads * Amazon



CounterIntelligence

A Matti Baker Thriller

Award-winning author Michele Packard delivers again in her most intense thriller yet.
Matti Baker returns as the marque attraction of an ensemble cast in this espionage thriller series, intertwining current and historical events.

Baker and her team must navigate a corrupt world where politicians are compromised by Big Tech and Big Pharma industries. A deadly virus is released into the world, with every country pointing fingers at each other. What if it wasn’t someone else? Did the US conspire to release this virus killing millions worldwide? Baker and her team must get to the bottom, to stop a pandemic that is causing havoc to everyone.


Goodreads * Amazon


Award-winning author, Michele Packard, comes from a military family and worked tirelessly as a cable tv executive before staying at home to raise her three children. She has written in both the fiction and non-fiction genres, utilizing her experiences and sharp wit to share stories with others. When not writing, she is a frequent traveler with her husband and is the primary caretaker of the family's beloved labs.


Website * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads


**Want to win a $50 Amazon gift card?**

Simply post a review of any of the Aesop books by 2/14 and send a screenshot through Instagram or Michele's website to be entered to win!!

Website * Instagram


Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon


a Rafflecopter giveaway

✱✱Book Review✱✱ DREAMER Harlequin Series Winter Blog Tour for FALLING FOR THE BALDASSERI PRINCE by Rebecca Winters

FALLING FOR THE BALDASSERI PRINCE

by Rebecca Winters

Harlequin Romance



Two feuding families…one redeeming love. Vet Francesca has started a new life in the Baldasseri’s kingdom. But she’s hiding a sensational secret—she’s really a Visconti princess! And the Viscontis have been feuding with the Baldasseris for generations… When handsome Prince Vincenzo Baldasseri brings his dog in for treatment, there is a powerful connection between them from the get-go! Dare Francesca reveal the truth? And is their love strong enough to overcome all their obstacles?

Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐
Falling For the Baldasseri Prince is an engaging clean romance with a couple you genuinely want to root for. Of course, Francesca and Vincenzo have some hurdles to jump, including a feud between their families. The story feels a bit like a Hallmark movie that leaves you with a smile. It may not be totally believable, and maybe it's even a little predictable, but it is well-written, entertaining, and it's perfect for a weekend getaway, especially after a long, stressful week.  

Much as he’d wanted to take her to a restaurant, he didn’t want to create publicity until the news of his broken engagement had circulated and died down. For now, this kind of excursion would have to do. Despite saying goodbye to Karl, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this relaxed and happy. She’d made all the difference.

Once he’d driven her to the apartment complex, he shut off the engine and turned to her. “I want to thank you for helping me get through this day.”

“To be honest, it helped me too,” came her unexpected response without looking at him. “I find I’m attached to all my patients, especially ones that look like my last dog. Karl headed the list. Daniel says I need to toughen up, but I have a feeling there’s no cure for it.”

Every word out of her mouth enchanted him. He had to see her again. “Since you told me Daniel asked you to watch some videos on the Biosphere Reserve, I thought you might  be interested in meeting the biologist who used to work with Dr. Zenger. The conservation board is meeting Tuesday evening at the information center here in Zernez. The chief ranger of the park will be speaking.”

“I would absolutely love it!” she exclaimed without hesitation. “I was envious when Daniel told me Dr. Zenger helped take care of some of the animals up there. What time does this meeting start and I’ll drive over.”

“Seven o’clock. The information center consists of three buildings. The meeting will take place in the Planta-Wildenberg castle. I’ll look for you there.”

“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity, and for the dinner.” She started to get out of the car.

“It was my pleasure. See you there.”

He waited until he could see she was safely inside her apartment, then he left for home with a new excitement. Only three more days before he saw her again.




About REBECCA WINTERS: Rebecca Winters lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. With canyons and high alpine meadows full of wildflowers, she never runs out of places to explore. They, plus her favourite vacation spots in Europe, often end up as backgrounds for her romance novels because writing is her passion, along with her family and church. Rebecca loves to hear from readers. If you wish to e-mail her, please visit her website at: www.cleanromances.net.

        






Saturday, January 29, 2022

✱✱Book Review✱✱ Blog Tour for Heather Gudenkauf’s THE OVERNIGHT GUEST

 

THE OVERNIGHT GUEST Author: Heather Gudenkauf Publisher: Park Row Books

In a snowstorm, the safest place is home. Or is it?


True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn’t mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect, if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace.


As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls—haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. How long had the child been there? Where did he come from? Bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn’t as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.


Buy Links: 

BookShop.org

Harlequin 

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s 


Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐
Heather Gudenkauf gives us three timelines and lots of characters and perspectives in The Overnight Guest. It is a lot to keep track of, at least at first, and I had more trouble keeping up with all the characters. I'm not usually a fan of so many timelines, but it is effective for this book. Expect to be shocked at times, and parts of the story are hard to get through, so I'd suggest knowing your limits beforehand as this one ventures into abuse, including sexual. The story is certainly chilling, and it keeps the adrenaline flowing. I really liked the snowbound atmosphere, and the pacing kept the pages turning. 


Three



“Maybe we can go outside and play?” the girl said as she peeked around the edge of the heavy curtain that covered the window. The sky was gray and soft drops of rain tapped at the glass.

“Not today,” her mother said. “It’s raining and we’d melt.”

The girl gave a little laugh and then hopped off the chair she had dragged beneath the window. She knew her mother was teasing. They wouldn’t actually melt if they went out in the rain, but still, it made her shiver thinking about it—stepping outside and feeling the plop of water on your skin and watching it melt away like an ice cube.

Instead, the girl and her mother spent the morning at the card table cutting pink, purple, and green egg shapes from construction paper and embellishing them with polka dots and stripes.

On one oval, her mother drew eyes and a pointy little orange beak. Her mother laid the girl’s hands on a piece of yellow paper and traced around them using a pencil. “Watch,” she said as she cut out the handprints and then glued them to the back of one of the ovals.

“It’s a bird,” the girl said with delight.

“An Easter chick,” her mother said. “I made these when I was your age.”

Together, they carefully taped the eggs and chicks and bunny rab-bits they created to the cement walls, giving the dim room a festive, springy look. “There, now we’re ready for the Easter Bunny,” her mother said with triumph.

That night, when the girl climbed into bed, the butterflies in her stomach kept chasing sleep away. “Stay still,” her mother kept re-minding her. “You’ll fall asleep faster.”

The girl didn’t think that was true, but then she opened her eyes, a sliver of bright sunshine was peeking around the shade, and the girl knew that morning had finally arrived.

She leaped from bed to find her mother already at the tiny round table where they ate their meals. “Did he come?” the girl asked, tucking her long brown hair behind her ears.

“Of course he did,” her mother said, holding out a basket woven together from strips of colored paper. It was small, fitting into the palm of the girl’s hand, but sweet. Inside were little bits of green paper that were cut to look like grass. On top of this was a pack of cinnamon gum and two watermelon Jolly Ranchers.

The girl smiled though disappointment surged through her. She’d been hoping for a chocolate bunny or one of those candy eggs that oozed yellow when you broke it open.

“Thank you,” she said.

“Thank the Easter Bunny,” her mother said.

“Thank you, Easter Bunny,” the girl crowed like the child on the candy commercials that she’d seen on television. They both laughed.

They each unwrapped a piece of gum and spent the morning making up stories about the paper chicks and bunnies they made.

When the girl’s gum lost its flavor, and she had slowly licked one of the Jolly Ranchers into a sharp flat disc, the door at the top of the steps opened, and her father came down the stairs toward them. He was carrying a plastic bag and a six-pack of beer. Her mother gave the girl a look. The one that said, go on now, mom and dad need some alone time. Obediently, the girl, taking her Easter basket, went to her spot beneath the window and sat in the narrow beam of warm light that fell across the floor. Facing the wall, she unwrapped another piece of gum and poked it into her mouth and tried to ignore the squeak of the bed and her father’s sighs and grunts.

“You can turn around now,” her mother finally said. The girl sprang up from her spot on the floor.

The girl heard the water running in the bathroom, and her father poked his head out of the door. “Happy Easter,” he said with a grin. “The Easter Bunny wanted me to give you a little something.”

The girl looked at the kitchen table where the plastic bag sat. Then she slid her eyes to her mother, who was sitting on the edge of the bed, rubbing her wrist, eyes red and wet. Her mother nodded.

“Thank you,” she murmured.

Later, after her father climbed the steps and locked the door behind him, the girl went to the table and looked inside the plastic bag. In-side was a chocolate bunny with staring blue eyes. He was holding a carrot and wore a yellow bowtie.

“Go ahead,” her mother told the girl as she held an ice pack to her wrist. “When I was little, I always started with the ears.”

“I don’t think I’m very hungry,” the girl said, returning the box to the table.

“It’s okay,” her mother said gently. “You can eat it. It’s from the Easter Bunny, not your dad.”

The girl considered this. She took a little nibble from the bunny’s ear and sweet chocolate flooded her mouth. She took another bite and then another. She held out the rabbit to her mother and she bit off the remaining ear in one big bite. They laughed and took turns eating until all that was left was the bunny’s chocolate tail.

“Close your eyes and open your mouth,” her mother said. The girl complied and felt her mother place the remaining bit on her tongue and then kiss her on the nose. “Happy Easter,” her mother whispered.



Excerpted from The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf, Copyright © 2022 by Heather Gudenkauf. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.



Heather Gudenkauf 
is the critically acclaimed author of several novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Weight of Silence. She lives in Iowa with her husband and children.


Social Links:

Author Website

Instagram: @heathergudenkauf

Twitter: @hgudenkauf

Facebook: @HeatherGudenkaufAuthor

Goodreads



 




The Quick Guide to Classroom Management Blitz

  45 Secrets That All High School Teachers Need to Know Non-Fiction, Education Published: January 31, 2021 (3rd Edition)   ...