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Review: Scott Family Stories

Let’s Dance (Scott Family Short Stories, Book 1) She’s helping out a friend. His dad’s hip’s gone. Could a farcical mix-up lead to love? Ballroom dancing is the last thing Laura wants to try. But her best friend is desperate to meet a hip-swinging Adonis, so before she knows it, Laura is cha cha cha-ing in the back of the Dog and Duck with nerdy Ben. At least no one else need ever find out. No such luck. Her mother is armed with a social media page and dangerous. The shenanigans begin. What a pity Ben’s now looking rather dapper. Will he scarper? Or is Ben made of sterner stuff? If you like innocent, laugh-out-loud family mayhem, you’ll love Let’s Dance, the first Scott Family. Purchase L

Review: Drumbeats Trilogy

The love of a woman and the story of a country. It’s 1965 and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English background for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. Over the next three evocative novels, follow her journey as she encounters new cultures and loves in this stirring series. The Drumbeats Trilogy is a passionate saga of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. A feel-good up-lit story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity. Review I wasn’t immediately drawn in but by Chapter 2 I had sunk into a world I wasn’t ready to leave. Jessamy starts as a rebellious teenager eager to escape a puritanical home - a stereotyp

Review: The Ring of Gillywood

‘There he is,’ whispered Vixen. ‘It’s true then,’ said Buck Rabbit. ‘He’s just a small mole,’ said Doe Rabbit. ‘He’s not just a mole,’ said Vixen. A great queen loses a ring. Hundreds of years later a ring slips onto the paw of a young mole. The mole grows to be a wise and trusted leader of Gilly Wood and all the animals that live there. But a great threat is coming. Can one small mole save a whole valley? Mole sets out to do just that with friends he makes along the way and the strange thing on his paw… Review This was a delightful readaloud that enchanted my children during a long car ride. Ms. Banister writes with fluent ease using relatable characters (who are moles - no small feat). She

Review: Return to Hiroshima

1995, Japan struggles with a severe economic crisis. Fate brings a number of people together in Hiroshima in a confrontation with dramatic consequences. Xavier Douterloigne, the son of a Belgian diplomat, returns to the city, where he spent his youth, to come to terms with the death of his sister. Inspector Takeda finds a deformed baby lying dead at the foot of the Peace Monument, a reminder of Hiroshima’s war history. A Yakuza-lord, rumored to be the incarnation of the Japanese demon Rokurobei, mercilessly defends his criminal empire against his daughter Mitsuko, whom he considers insane. And the punk author Reizo, obsessed by the ultra-nationalistic ideals of his literary idol Mishima, rec

Funding our adoption

As many of you know, we have struggled with infertility since Trevon’s birth. We currently have a time-sensitive opportunity to add a child to our family IF we can come up with the deposit ASAP. Over the past year, we've diligently saved money, worked extra jobs, sold a car, rented portions of our house (and all of our house for a month), and peddled books all over the country. We have exhausted our options but still find ourselves $3500 short of our goal. My charming former student, Laurel, suggested an Usborne books party/fundraiser where I will take a large chunk of the profits. I’ve also come up with some other ways we could give back if you were to help. If each person gave $20, we cou

Review: Uncompromising Lord Flint

Imprisoned by her past- Set free by her enemy! Charged with high treason, Lady Jessamine Fane is under the watchful eye of icily calm Lord Peter Flint. It's a task this spy won’t be swayed from, no matter how alluring his prisoner! Only it’s not long before Flint realises that tenacious Jess hides a lifetime of pain. With so much at stake, can he afford to take a chance on their powerful attraction? Review Helooooo, Lord Flint. I read this book back in November. Loved it. Picked it up to review it before writing the blog...and read it again. Because Lord Flint can be uncompromising with me any day. But let's not forget Jessamine. She's the right kind of feisty. I get irritated by Regency rom

Review: The Perfect Match

Can you ever find true love online? Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys… After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man. Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a gu

Review: The Secret

Love, Lies, and Betrayal in Wartime Italy. Two girls growing up in Mussolini’s Italy share a secret that has devastating consequences. Against a backdrop of fear, poverty and confusion during the Second World War, friendship is tested, and loyalties are divided until a chance encounter changes everything. Their lives diverge when beautiful, daring Martina marries and moves into Villa Leonida, the most prestigious house in their Tuscan mountain village, while plain, studious Irena trains to be a teacher. But neither marriage nor life at Villa Leonida are as Martina imagined. And as other people's lives take on a new purpose, Irena finds herself left behind. Decades later, a tragedy at

Review: There's Something About a Cowboy

Rule #1: No Dating Cowboys. A fake fiancé doesn’t count, right? Oh boy . . . Amy Weaver is tired of her dad meddling in her love life. Fed up, she hires an actor to play the part of her fake cowboy fiancé when she goes home for her grandpa’s ninetieth birthday. Sure, Luke Jenkins has got looks, charm, and muscular legs, but this is business, pure and simple. Things are fine and dandy until she finds out he’s a real cowboy, not an actor. Now, she’s stuck between a rock and his chiseled jawline, falling faster than a sack of horseshoes. How the heck is Amy supposed to ignore the sparks between them and stick to her rule of not dating cowboys? All bets are off. Review There’s something about a

Now a Whitney Award Nominee!

I want to thank all of you for making this happen. The first step of the Whitney Award is by reader selection. The praise and interest in this book have absolutely taken me by storm. I want to give back. So, in honor of this moment in time, I'm making the Kindle version FREE for the weekend. So what's stopping you? Click the image below to pick up a copy for yourself or gift one to a friend. To see the full list of Whitney nominees, visit the website at: http://whitneyawards.com/2018-whitney-nominees/ #womensfiction

Best Reads of 2018

According to GoodReads, I read 79 books last year. I read from many genres, some by request and some by my own choosing. Of those 79 books, here are the standouts - the books I'm still thinking about months after they were read. I've linked them to the Goodreads information so that you can see if you'll love them as much as I did. So what books will make the list in 2018? Join me on Goodreads (and follow the blog) to find out. #books