Release Blitz: The Matchmaker Bride by Ginny Baird

Today we have the release day blitz for The Matchmaker Bride by Ginny Baird! Check it out and be sure to get  your copy of this sexy new romcom today!

Title: The Matchmaker Bride
Published date: 27 July 2021
Published by: Entangled: Amara
Author: Ginny Baird
Type: standalone, series
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Small Town Romance, Rural Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Get your copy Today: Amazon  | B&N | Apple | Kobo

Synopsis:

 A delightful romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Ginny Baird…

Successful Boston matchmaker and television personality Meredith Galanes’s reputation is on the line. During a guest appearance on a morning talk show, she’s broadsided by questions about her own romantic attachments, just as she’s trying to secure a syndication deal. Afraid to admit her love life is a total disaster, Meredith blurts out that she’s seriously involved with a very special man—a boatbuilder in Maine. She never expects that small slip to get spun into a story about her supposed engagement.

Or that the paparazzi will track the guy down…

Derrick Albright is laid-back about many things. Being hounded by the press about some imaginary engagement to a woman he’s only met once—and couldn’t stand—isn’t one of them. Then Meredith actually shows up at his cabin in Blue Hill, Maine, with an apology, a pot roast, and a proposal—play along until she secures her TV deal, and she’ll help him win back his ex.

It’s a simple plan, but if they have any chance of pulling it off, they’ll have to survive each other first…

Each book in the Blue Hill Brides series is STANDALONE:

* The Duplicate Bride : Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo
* The Matchmaker Bride

Exclusive Excerpt:

Derrick had just finished making coffee when he heard a car door pop open.

He set his mug down on the counter and scowled. Another reporter? Really?

It had only been a couple hours since the last round had come through, though he’d been smart enough not to answer the door and eventually they left. Instead of fielding questions he had no answers to, he’d been busy googling Meredith, trying to track down her phone number.

As soon as he got rid of whoever the straggler was, he’d give in and call Brent. Maybe his wife, Hope, would be able to get him Meredith’s number. He intended to call and demand some answers. What had the infuriating woman said? Or maybe it hadn’t been her at all? Maybe one of her unhinged fans had started this rumor. But how did he get roped into it? He yanked open his front door, prepared to do battle with the paparazzi.

Then he froze at the sight of that cobalt blue convertible.

Meredith Galanes stepped out onto his gravel drive and his heart lurched. He’d had to put up with the woman for an entire week during Brent’s wedding last summer, and had hoped to never see her again. Yet, here she was, up close and personal, teetering in his direction in towering sandals and a flouncy dress, with her long dark curls bouncing behind her.

She held a large Crock-Pot in her hands, which she grasped with oven mitts. For an instant, it was hard to believe he was really seeing her and this wasn’t some kind of weird dream.

About Meredith? Not a chance.

“I can explain!” she said, traipsing toward his cabin.

This he had to hear. “Can’t wait.”

She approached his covered stoop, her spindly heels clack-clack-clacking against the flagstones hedged by flowering bushes. This was no dream. It was her, all right. In the flesh. And smelling like honeysuckle at the height of summer. Despite himself, he’d never forgotten her perfume, or, well… pretty much anything about her.

“Want to tell me what’s going on?”

She stared up at him with big, dark brown eyes and Derrick’s heart slammed against his chest.

“It was a simple mistake.”

“Simple? Your publicity posse was here not more than an hour ago.”

“Ah, um…yeah. About that.” She peered over his shoulder and into his empty living room. “Can we talk inside?”

“What are you even doing in Blue Hill?” he asked, not budging.

She smiled and shot him a flirty grin. “I came here to surprise you.”

Consider him surprised. And more than a little ticked off. What kind of nerve the woman had. “You’re not the first one today.”

She winced. “I heard.”

“And?”

She shoved her Crock-Pot under his nose in a peace offering. A delectable aroma wafted toward him. For the love of all things edible, it smelled just like a pot roast. A very delicious pot roast. Derrick hadn’t enjoyed a homecooked meal in months.

She pressed forward into his cabin and he inched back. “Hungry?”

“No.” Derrick’s stomach betrayed him with a rumble.

“Uh-huh. I brought this for dinner.”

Dinner? What?

“No, no, no…” he said. “You are no way—no how—staying—”

But, before he could finish, she used one of her shoes as a lever and kicked the door shut.

About the Author:

 NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Ginny Baird writes sweet contemporary romance with a dash of humor and a whole lot of heart. She is the author of the Blue Hill Brides Series: The Duplicate Bride (2020) and The Matchmaker Bride (2021) from Entangled Publishing and current and upcoming works from Hallmark Publishing: An Unforgettable Christmas (2019) and On Christmas Avenue (2021), as well as several independent titles including her newest multi-author novella collection: Beach Brides Message in a Bottle Boxed Set (2021).

Connect with Ginny:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Amazon

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Disclosure: All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 02 March 2017
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Type: series, trilogy
Genre: Teen & Young Adult, Dark Fantasy, Wizards & Witches Fantasy, Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
Author: Rin Chupeco
Read: 24 July 2021
Shelved: 27 July 2021
Rating: 5/ 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

A story of scorned witches, sinister curses, and resurrection, The Bone Witch is the start of a dark fantasy trilogy, perfect for fans of Serpent & Dove and The Cruel Prince.

Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha—one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

If the book cover doesn’t get you, maybe the trailer will. It’s got me all excited to my “bones”!

Check out the amazing drawings for each of the characters of the book here and a few extras.

The Bone Witch Trilogy:
The Bone Witch (Book 1) | The Heart Forger (Book 2) | The Shadowglass (Book 3)


Review


Keywords that came into mind about The Bone Witch:-
  • ominous, mysterious, gripping suspense
  • fascinating, enchanting, engaging, mesmerizing characters
  • wanderlust escapism to lands anew 
  • consuming angst and drama
  • vivid imagery

The Bone Witch is a spellbinding journey into the mystical and forbidden through the eyes of an apprentice witch named Tea – the long road to self-enlightenment and control to power that the Eight Kingdom has not seen for years. 

Plucked out of her home by a mysterious yet powerful Asha named Lady Mykaela, Tea travels across the lands with her new teacher as she discovers her powers and learns how to control them. It is only later that Tea realized how vast and immense her powers are and the lessons taught are very different from what real-world shows – beyond the books offered. Thrown into a world of magic, demons, and the undead, Tea soon finds out that sometimes, the monsters are not as who we assumed them to be. 

The story is a feast to fantasy buffs and urban legend fanatics, but even if you aren’t – this book will pull you in with stunning revelations on each page. It portrays the complex life of people in this fantasy world, The Eight Kingdoms, wherein there is a set order of law, hierarchy, and power. The human aspects of love, joy, pride, jealousy, lust, deceit, etc., amplify the already with people wielding magical powers that use it for good or bad. It is a growing-up tale relatable to anyone – young or old, with many lessons and teachings that are applicable, witch or not. 

The events happening in Tea’s story are exciting yet dangerous at the same time. There are too many questions running through Tea’s head as she finds her path as an Asha while wanting to help the kingdoms by getting rid of the monsters riddling the kingdom. How can she speed up her learnings and stop the deaths going on around here, etc.? Ironically, she doesn’t realize that others are working behind the scenes that are out to get her also. It did not help that simply being a Dark Asha / Bone Witch causes loathe, limiting Tea’s journey. 

The ending is E-P-I-C! There is a great scene that is beyond the magic. Although the book answered my many questions at the end, more come popping out even after the book did. For every question answered, two or three more questions will pop up like the mythical monster, Hydra. Within the story’s recounting, serious things are happening beyond the first impression. By the time the reader realizes this, it would be too late but to face it head-on – acceptingly or not. There is no denying that a war is brewing, and the author bridges this message nicely into the trilogy’s second book.

Readers can enjoy storytelling at its finest with flashbacks between past and present. The writing technique is primarily transparent, with some ambiguous ones when a lesson is to happen. 

Fair warning that this book is a trilogy and tells a very complex story – a long path of endless learnings, raw and new emotions – wherein everything is uncertain for Tea. Expect the unexpected, and somehow, the ending comes full circle to realize how special Tea is as a human being and as a mystical witch.

My best advice is to approach the book with an open mind, open heart, and enjoy the fantastic ride!

About the Author

Rin Chupeco wrote obscure manuals for
complicated computer programs, talked
people out of their money at event shows, and
did many other terrible things. They now write
about ghosts and fairy tales but is still
sometimes mistaken as a revenant. They were
born and raised in the Philippines and, or so
the legend goes, still haunts that place to this
very day. Their pronouns are she/they.

For updates, events, and new releases, sign up for their newsletter at here.

Connect with Rin
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon | BookBub


All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed by A.E. Valdez

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 23 July 2021
Type: HEA, standalone
Genre: Adult Contemporary, Black & African American Romance, Multicultural Romance
Author: A.E. Valdez
Read: 15 July 2021
Shelved: 17 July 2021
Rating: 4/ 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Goodreads

Synopsis

Harlow Shaw feels naïve for believing in happily ever afters but she craves a love that lights her up.

She thought she had it all with her boyfriend. Until his promising baseball career overshadows their relationship and he asks her a life changing question. It causes her to wonder if what they have is all she ever truly wanted.

Harlow is yearning for more than the curated life she is living.

A trip to Bali, a move to Seattle, and a “burned” cup of coffee lead her to a friendship she didn’t know she needed and a love so deep she can feel it in her bones. 


Review

Harlow Shaw is a young woman full of life and potential but feels trapped in her current situation as a girlfriend of a famous baseball star expected to be by his side 24/7. She knows she wants more to life than feeling “stuck.” First, she made the brave choice of turning down her girlfriend status, and what comes next would be a series of harder-to-turn-down opportunities.

“We all get to a point where we want more, don’t we? Even if we’re seemingly happy and content. I know there is more out there for me, and I want to find out what it is”

All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed, A.E. Valdez

5 Things I love about All I’ve Wanted, All I’ve Needed

1.) Out-of-the-Box, Surprising Start

The starting chapter will catch readers with an unexpected proposal, but the shocker is what follows after. What Harlow decided and did may make sense to her, but from an outsider’s point of view, things might not be as evident yet until readers read further. As the story progressed, there will be a better understanding of why Harlow decided to start fresh and single! I will advise readers to keep reading and give the book a few more chapters because the what and why will be explained quite clearly after the shock. I know it did the job for me.

2.) Empowerment and Self-Discovery in the book’s forefront

“When you start being yourself, you attract people who you naturally vibe with.”

All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed, A.E. Valdez

Harlow is a brave woman, and I love love love her! Harlow took the risk of coming out of a comfortable situation to find better meaning in her life.
Once Harlow steps outside the role of a sports star’s girlfriend, she realizes how much more she can do without having to compromise her identity. She is hardworking, caring, and has a lot of hidden talent as she takes a leap of faith and moving from Texas to Seattle!

3.) Friends to Lovers theme

“With time, you start realizing people who were once your would matter a little less to you each day.”

All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed, A.E. Valdez

I love the energy between Acyn DeConto and Harlow. They seem to be physically attracted to each other at a first impression; then later, the banter that comes out of their mouths was epic! Harlow held her own and witty comebacks to Acyn’s snide remarks. After all the back-and-forths, they start giving their friendship a good chance. What happens between them is the evolution of a deeper connection and unique friendship that will later morph into something bigger than both of them will be able to deny. I love how they both started to “blur the lines” between friendship and more.

4.) Supportive and loving casts

The girl power support in the book through Ava, Quinn, Marisa, Celeste, and Sevyn was essential in shaping Harlow’s bright future. They all served as Harlow’s protectors while at the same time pushing her towards new opportunities. They are also responsible for getting Harlow and Acyn together and made their connection stronger than Harlow realized.

5.) The ending encapsulates new beginnings and family.

Just when readers are about to put this book in the sweet romance category, the author brings in the suspense or climax to shock readers one more time. There is more than one family member that gets the surprise of their life at the end. I love how the author wrapped up the book – it drives home the importance of family and love. 

In conclusion, All I’ve Wanted, All I’ve Needed is a refreshing and empowering read about a woman who was unwilling to settle due to conformity and convenience. Characters grow and develop naturally because of each other, which is what I love. The author shows readers two essential lessons:

(1) the importance of loving oneself first before finding happiness outside, and

(2) having supportive friends and family are critical. This book is a beautiful first offering from a new author, and I cannot wait to see what other books will come after this.

At the end of the day, all we have are ourselves.

All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed, A.E. Valdez

About the Author

A.E. Valdez discovered her passion for writing when she was given a journal by her 5th grade teacher and has been creating poetry, works of fiction, and gaming narratives ever since. As a child, she wanted to read more stories with people that looked like her.

She loves all things romance, from heartbreak to happily ever afters. She pours her own heart and soul into the stories she brings to life. Causing readers to fall in, and sometimes out, of love alongside her characters.

Amanda currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two sons. Most days you can find her sipping on an iced latte while she writes or enjoying time with her family.

Connect with A.E.
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


** GIVEAWAY ALERT **

In celebration of the release of All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed, a giveaway is being run!
Up for grabs is a $20 Amazon gift card!

This giveaway is open internationally BUT ends July 29, 2021 , so start with the link below!

Join now ➟➟➟ Head-on to Rafflecopter here.

Good luck!

Virtual Launch / Excerpt Reveal : The Story of Christina and I by Christina S. Sledge and Edward L. Sledge

Today we have the virtual launch of The Story of Christina & I by Christina and Edward Sledge! Check out the memoir and be sure to pick up your copy today!

Title : The Story of Christina & I
Author : Christina S. Sledge and Edward L. Sledge
Genre : Memoir
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published
Published Date : March 30, 2021

Get Your Copy Today!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble  | Books-a-Million | Apple Books | Target | Indiebound | Hudson News and Booksellers

Synopsis:

 Lead by destiny, here is the true love story of two Brooklyn high school sweethearts as they navigate life and love.

 One was encircled by poverty, crime, sex, drugs and alcohol. The other was raised by a tight knit family, filled with joy and supportive mentors.

Eddie, from Flatbush and Canarsie, tries to survive in his drug and crime ridden neighborhood, while Christina is from Crown Heights, destined for higher education and success, though she struggles to stay focused on her plan to achieve her dreams.

Eddie & Christina continually to unknowingly cross paths and finally begin their enduring love story. Their love is so powerful that they are able to conquer every obstacle they encounter and turn it into success.

A real-life urban fairy tale that compels you to find out how they finally get to their happily ever after…

Exclusive Excerpt:

We were destined to marry each other.

Our love story is a testimony to follow your hearts and listen to God’s plan for your life.

We trust and support each other to achieve goals.

We have also had disappointments and more than a handful of heated and hurtful arguments.

We had our share of issues, such as having narcolepsy, high blood pressure, gaining and losing weight, sinus infections, allergies, injuries, surgeries, and a mini stroke.

We use social media mainly for business purposes, and our family business stays in our home.

We embrace the moments we share, and we continue to seek peace and patience.

We know and embrace who we are, and we are comfortable with it.

We understand our roles, what we need to take care of, and take the necessary steps to move forward.

We know the most important parts in our marriage are trust, love, communication, and patience.

About Christina & Edward Sledge:

Christina and Edward live in Maryland with their two daughters. They have been happily married for more than 21 years.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Christina received an undergraduate degree from Temple University and a graduate degree from The George Washington University. Edward received an undergraduate degree from Georgia Southern University and a graduate degree from Towson University. They started Sledge House Publishing and Media in 2021. Both are planning to write more books together in the future.

Connect with the authors: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | TikTok | Newsletter

Re-Release Blitz: Operation Amethyst by Leesa Wright

Today we have the release blitz for Leesa Wright’s Operation Amethyst.

Check it out and be sure to grab your copy of this gorgeous historical romance today!

Title: Operation Amethyst

Author: Leesa Wright

Published date: May 15, 2020

Genre: Historical Romance, Action and Adventure, Women’s Fiction

Get Your Copy Today!

Synopsis:

Operation Amethyst takes the reader on an immersive historical journey with chilling twists and turns through war-torn Vietnam at the height of the War.

A trail of secrets, in a faraway land could shatter the fiery American Prima Ballerina’s glamorous lifestyle.

Captain Elijah Corrington’s mission: To keep the American prima ballerina, Elyse Booker, safe from North Vietnamese Army and the auction block.

He quickly learns she’s not going to make this the easiest mission he’s ever faced.

A family’s legacy of serving in the Marines Corp. The war-hardened marine, Elijah, is used to having his orders followed without question. She is fiercely independent and, at times, mischievous. Elyse, oblivious to the danger she’s facing is not about to take orders from some arrogant, handsome, stubborn marine.

Three tours of duty could not prepare the Captain for the toughest battle of his life.

Or for the Promise of Passion and Love. . .

For the lovers of Ellen Marie Wiseman’s, The Orphan Collector, Leesa Wright has brought her love of history to life in this new 20th Century Historical Fiction Romance.

OPERATION AMETHYST is available now. Come and be swept up in this romantic saga set in the midst of the Vietnam War.


Exclusive Excerpt:

Elyse woke with the arm of the Captain around her waist, his hand resting on the curve of her hip. Her head laid on his chest. She made a sound that was more of a kitten’s mew.

Elijah looked down into her face. “Good morning, brat.”

Elyse’s sleep-fogged brain couldn’t comprehend his sarcasm, so she snuggled closer to his chest and sighed her contentment. Elyse’s eyes flew open when she realized her head lay on his chest and her proximity to him. She sat up, her hands splayed on the ground, and she stared into his gorgeous brown eyes. My breath. Her hand flew up to cover her mouth.

“I think I need a toothbrush,” she said.

~*~*~

He was stunned into silence as his eyes roamed her face, her tousled hair, loosened from her bun as she had slept, fell in soft waves to curl around the curves of her breast and hips. The cleavage she unknowingly displayed, and that delightful tiny mole on the top of her left breast. Her eyes, Purple? No, amethyst. Porcelain skin and pink pouty lips. He had never seen a more beautiful woman, and he shook his head to clear his thoughts. Focus man, focus.

He leaned over and grabbed his rucksack. Opening a side pouch, he pulled out a spare toothbrush still wrapped in clear plastic and handed it to her.

“I guess I came prepared.” He handed her his canteen. “It’s Kool-aid.” “You brush your teeth with Kool-aid?” she asked incredulously.

He gave a wry grin. “Not just any Kool-aid, grape Kool-aid. Fresh water when we can find it can be nasty. This covers the taste of the iodine pills we use to sanitize the water.”

He picked her bobby pins off his chest and the ground next to him and handed them to her. “You have ten minutes then we move out.”

“Seven men were ready within ten minutes. You took twice as long.” The Captain stated as she moved to pass him on the path.

“Girl. I had to brush my teeth, wash my face. Thank God Mountain had water. I had to fix my hair and eat another nasty C-ration. I thought I did pretty well.”

He grunted, rolling his eyes in response.


About the Author:

Leesa Wright makes her home in the Twin Cities metro area with her husband and her two dogs Rosie and Jax.

When she isn’t writing she enjoys gardening, painting, and reading romance novels. She and her husband also enjoy movies, traveling, and entertaining their two grown children along with several beautiful grandchildren.

Leesa’s favorite romance authors are Kathleen Woodwiss, Christine Feehan, and Johanna Lindsey.

The book’s inspiration came one night from a dream about the characters, a song, and the story around them.

Connect with Leesa: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Email | Twitter

Cover Reveal: Bly by Kelsey Ketch

Today is the cover reveal for Bly by Kelsey Ketch. Bly is a standalone contemporary fantasy book with mystery and horror elements that releases on 22 September 2021.

The cover is designed by Under Cover Designs. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.


Bly by Kelsey Ketch
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy / Ghost Story
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: 22 September 2021

Add Bly to your Goodreads TBR list!

Synopsis

I left the United States to find inner peace. Instead, I find myself confronting a malicious ghost.

Astyr Salt is a spiritual and emotional empath who moved to England with the intent to forget about a traumatic, supernatural event that occurred during her freshman year of college. However, when she takes a spiritual cleansing assignment in a haunted country home in Essex, she is isolated with all her own pent-up emotions.

These emotions energize the ghosts inhabiting the country home, helping them draw their own tragedies to the surface. Searching for the truth, Astyr is forced to relive the past. And the deeper she dives into the country home’s horrific history, the more the intertwined memories place her in the path of an evil and demented predator.

A blend of contemporary fantasy, horror, and mystery, Bly is inspired by Henry James’s classic novella, The Turn of the Screw.


Excerpt

Turning onto a long, gravel driveway, a four storey, stone mansion appears framed in the minicab’s windshield. The style resembles a castle rather than a country home. At least, any country home that I’ve ever seen. Then again, I’m in England, not the southeastern region of the United States. The car pulls in front of the massive oak door, from which I’m half expecting the cast of Downtown Abbey to emerge, and comes to a full stop. Without a word, the driver slides out of his seat to open the trunk and fetch my luggage. My nerves on edge, I gently touch the pentacle bracelet Nolyn gave me to feel his calming energy radiate from the tourmaline. Then, pulling Litten’s backpack carrier with me, I step out of the car. My eyes are unable to steer themselves away from the various gray stones and the muntins of the immense windows. Despite being a bright and sunny day, there is a dark shroud over the house. An ominous aura that is pulsing with both anger and sorrow. It’s obvious this home has witnessed a lot of tragedy.

I pause as everything grows still. The birds overhead stop singing. The soft breeze comes to an abrupt halt. I don’t even hear the driver shuffling my travel bags behind me. Yet, my other senses pick up an unearthly presence as the temperature drops to the point my fingertips grow numb. I turn my head to look up at the parapet surrounding the third-level balcony, focusing near the turret. There is nothing but thin air to the naked eye. However, by the icy goose bumps unraveling across my skin and the raised hairs along my lower arms and neck, I can tell I’m being watched. I can’t determine if it’s the energy of a spirit or something else. All I know is that I have caught its undivided attention.


About the Author

Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist and Data Analyst. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.

Get the latest updates and releases by subscribing to her newsletter.

Connect with Kelsey
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon | Bookbub

** GIVEAWAY ALERT **

In celebration of the cover reveal of Bly, a giveaway is being run!
Five (5) winners will win an e-ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of Bly, distributed through Bookfunnel. This giveaway is open internationally.

Join now ➟➟➟ Head-on to Rafflecopter here.

Good luck!

Bar Fights and Blue Birds by Grace Risata

DisclosureI received a complimentary copy of this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

Published on: 12 July 2020
Type: standalone, no cliffhanger , HEA
Genre: Satire, Satire Fiction, Action
AuthorGrace Risata
Read: 20 July 2021
Shelved: 22 July 2021
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Get it here: Amazon |  Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

Let’s just say, hypothetically, that you found out you were living a lie. The father you thought had died before you were born… well, he’s alive and ready for a meet and greet.

What would you do?

If you were me, you’d go on an epic cross-country road trip in order to learn the truth.

Along the way, new friendships are formed with unlikely allies, a few enemies are made, and there’s definitely more than a little romance… but that’s to be expected, right?

They do say that getting there is half the fun…

Take a look inside and join our heroine as she deals with a mysterious stranger who goes undercover in a vest and bow tie, psychotic motorcycle gangs, flirty rock stars, and rowdy arm-wrestling contests.

Author’s Note: This full length novel has no cheating, no cliffhanger, and plenty of action to keep you on the edge of your seat!


Review

Bar Fights and Blue Birds is told from multi-characters POVs – Bluebird “Birdie” Johnson and Razor…and a surprised one in the end. Birdie is a ‘quiet, good girl’ from Wisconsin who “bumps” into a past-criminal biker dude, Razor, in a bar and is prepositioned to adventure to meet her supposedly, no-longer-dead father. Interesting plot enough but add on the ‘crazy stuff’ that the author has in mind? Wild things and nothing is off-the-table with this book. The writing is easy, fun, and engaging, with no censorship on what can happen. There are so many points to love this book, and it goes to show also how I miss this author’s works.

In the true style of the author, readers can expect the following:-

1) Hilarious, witty, and sometimes “out-there” tangent banter

One could not expect a more incompatible combination between Birdie and Razor. They are water and oil, but maybe with the possibility of a road trip, they could turn into olive oil and balsamic vinegar – a good mix. 

2) Complex plot twists and backstories

This book is NOT your typical road trip. Let’s say that it is a mash-up between Transporter and The Hangover. Readers will get the taste of random meetings with people in curious yet sometimes too funny situations like brawns and barfights, rock stars and music videos, etc. That’s only the tip of the iceberg since when Birdie and Razor do get to their intended destination, they both would not believe what awaits them.

3) Developing, growing characters

With a unique name such as “Bluebird,” you can expect nothing but the cool here on out for the story. There is a lot of mental talk within Birdie’s head that is sometimes appropriate/beneficial, while most of the time comes out too analytical and funny at the same time. All her doubt or insecurities is what make her a loveable character. She’s thoughtful and cool without her realizing it. I love how the author infused current trends into Birdie’s vocabulary that makes her even more relatable, like Netflix and shows specific give some of the same readers an affinity to her.

On the other hand, Razor is also a man with a few bad luck and decisions in his belt. A lot of focus was on Birdie, but there was a hint (here and there) about Razor’s past. It is a bit of a doozy, I am sure. I was invested in Birdie and everything that was happening on this crazy road trip.

Although this book is a fun book and not something readers should overanalyze, there is a lot of self-reflection and internal realization for the main characters. The humor injected by these characters becomes a coping mechanism for them to keep going and avoid being sucked into the black hole of pity. This coping strategy helps them grow and mature throughout the story. 

The whole trip was enlightening between both main characters and will show them what each one is missing by giving them odd predicaments that will later open their eyes to “more possibilities” in life for them.

4) An odd yet weirdly satisfying family reunion

Birdie’s background comes full circle when Razor “delivers” her to her father for a meeting of opposite proportions. The set-up in my head is 180-degrees from what happened. I had the same thoughts as Birdie with too much “Hollywood fantasy” versus the grit and reality of it all. The worst part was how much a let-down of a father Birdie had, and it showed more how this particular father treated people around him. The purpose of having Birdie meet him was a pathetic attempt to manipulate people around her. It was sad when the realization came about, but that is what this author’s forte is about – surprising readers at every turn.

5) An ending that will surprise yet make readers smile.

No two families are the same, but in this case, one dysfunctional family is another equally dysfunctional on their own. Juxtaposing Birdie’s father’s and mother’s families – no one could have imagined an unlikely pair to have similar children. It was sad to see but note that everything turned out better than expected as Birdie learns a lot about herself, her family, and what she is willing to fight for in the end.

In summary, Bar Fights and Blue Birds is a lengthy yet fun and worthy read for readers who love funny yet flawed characters. This book can also be geared towards second chance tropes with Birdie’s chance to meet her biological father while Razor finds a way out of his predicament. Readers will be won over by Birdie and Razor’s endearing personalities, humor, and best intentions. The family dynamics portrayed in the book are twisted as they come, but family and love prevail in the end. I am fortunate to have read Birdie and Razor’s story.


About the Author

Grace Risata is happiest when reading, eating Portillos hot dogs, and patiently waiting for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Check out my website, you never know what you might find there: https://gracerisata.wordpress.com/

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Totally Folked (Good Folk: Modern Folktales #1) by Penny Reid

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 20 July 2021
Published by: Cipher-Naught
Type: HEA, series, standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Penny Reid
Read: 18 July 2021
Shelved: 19 July 2021
Rating: 5/ 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon US | UK | CA | AU
Apple Books | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Bookbub | Smashwords | Goodreads

Synopsis

One unforgettable night leads to an unlikely shared connection, and unlikely connections never go unnoticed by the good folks in Green Valley, Tennessee. . .

Jackson James follows the rules. He has to. He’s a sheriff’s deputy in a super small town with a super big personality. However, strict adherence to the law during the day has been enjoyably balanced by rakish rules at night. Jackson, typically happy to protect and serve (and serve, and serve), starts questioning the value of wayward evenings when getting laid starts to feel more like being waylaid. Could it be that Green Valley’s most eligible—and notorious—bachelor longs for something (and someone) real?

Mega movie star Raquel Ezra follows only one rule: always leave them wanting more. Studio execs, reporters, audiences, fans, lovers—no one can get enough of the smart, savvy, and sexy bombshell. But when “generous offers” begin to feel more like excessive demands, years of always leaving has the elusive starlet longing for something (and perhaps someone) lasting.

When Raquel abruptly returns to the quirky Tennessee hamlet, her path crosses with the delectable deputy with whom she spent one unforgettable night. Unfortunately, scandal and intrigue soon follow. Raquel and Jackson must decide which is more important: following their rules? Or, at long last, finding something real.

TOTALLY FOLKED is a standalone, contemporary romantic comedy novel and book #1 in the Good Folk: Modern Folktales series.


Review

Available here

Note: Before reading this book, I would suggest readers get the prequel, Just Folking Around, which will help set up the book’s storyline with a huge backstory.

Just Folking Around is a pure laugh-trip! Both main characters – Raquel “Rae” Ezra and Jackson James, give serious outside vibes but inside, the same comedic vibes are ready to bust out!

The prequel provides an excellent start to the series – introducing Jackson, Deputy Assistant of Green Valley, and Rae, a rising star from Los Angeles. After winning a bet (the prize being a VIP tour Green Valley), Jackson and Rae went through a series of firsts and ended up with memorable impressions for each other. Too bad things had to end after twelve hours because Rae has to go back to L.A. This prequel is told from Rae’s POV but gives readers a steamy and mysterious enough taste of another Green Valley special man.


Totally Folked is my first read for the author. This author has been on my “must-read” author’s list for so long now, but I never got the opportunity until now. I have to be honest to say that I am beyond excited, and although the book’s blurb piqued my interest, the whole book got to me – in the most fascinating and can-not-put-the-book-down momentum as early as Chapter 1!  

This book starts five or so years after Jackson and Rae’s first meeting at Just Folking Around. It shows how much “nothing” came about that one supposedly eventful night between Rae and Jackson, or so we thought? What happens next is a series of “lessons” that turned the quiet town of Green Valley, Tennessee, into the next TMZ hotspot!

The story is told from Rae and Jackson’s POV. The writing is balanced: witty, clever on one end while serious, thought-provoking on another. The author did a fantastic job of imparting emotions and giving readers insight into each dilemma faced by both characters to “make things work.”

The chemistry between Rae and Jackson transcends beyond physical attraction. They complement each other with Jackson’s cool and calm introvert while Rae’s the “sunshine and rainbows” extrovert. They have a connection that is the foundation of forever. When Rae and Jackson started comparing their past relationships, readers can expect that they are looking for something “more” at that moment in time. 

Word of warning: Everything about Rae and Jackson is too H-O-T, not only once but several times! I will never look at ice cream the same again! It is rare for me to get caught up in all the emotions, but this book – each banter, pun, retort, etc. was a looked-forward event. I did not sleep a wink until I finished the book! (Yes, I currently sport “eye-bugs” and am proud of it!)

I would mention that I found it very frustrating is that Rae’s upbringing – how lost she is in her personal life. I didn’t find it amusing and was surprised that Rae would listen to a particular family member who was single and married only to her profession. This particular person chose work over relationships, so why did Rae take everything this person said so heavily that it ruled her subconsciousness. I wanted to shake Rae vigorously and tell her that she needs to find another role model. Yes, I agree that this family member wanted to protect her, but telling her to stay away from relationships and lump relationships as “bad” is not the way to do it. Some people may be okay with this philosophy. Still, Rae’s experience with Green Valley and her current Hollywood situation – calls for a different type of support versus assistants, bodyguards, employees, and publicists. 

Totally Folked is a highly recommended and “finish immediately” kind of book. It is a brilliant start to the series! I love the intimacy that both main characters build on from years of “lessons.” Rae and Jackson’s connection is what historical love stories are made of and, in this case, told from a current and relevant perspective – learning from mishaps and mistakes. I appreciate the author juxtaposing two different people with two very different backgrounds yet come together and complete each other’s missing parts. Although there are many characters whose stories have already happened (Winston Brothers series), this book is an excellent introduction to the author’s works – smart romances!


About the Author

Penny Reid is the New York TimesWall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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YOU SPIN ME by Karen Grey is on AUDIO!!!

YOU SPIN ME is now on AUDIO!!!

This nostalgic romantic comed, part of the BOSTON CLASSICS #3, is narrated by Vanessa Edwin and Eric Michael Summerer!!

Pre-Order today!

Audio Link | Universal Link

Synopsis

Some scars go further than skin deep…

1988 doesn’t end well for Jessica Abraham. In just one week she turns thirty, loses her day job, and loses the role of Ophelia to a younger actress. Rallying, she goes after a part at a theater outside of the city, but the director’s plan to hide her beauty behind hair, makeup and wardrobe from Cosmo’s “Don’t” column shakes her confidence to the core.

For the first time in her acting career, she won’t be able to rely on her carefully managed physical charms. Only her craft will count. 

On a snowy night early  in January 1989, a woman calls into DJ Callihan Alonso’s alt-rock radio show at the end of her commute. He asks her to call back the next night, and the next, just so he’ll know she’s home safe. There’s something about her voice that has him wanting more, but the longer they talk, the closer she gets. Compromising each and every wall he’s built around his heart. 

If two lonely people fall in love over late-night phone calls, will meeting face-to-face make them, or break them?

In this heart-rending but happy-ending retro romcom, it may be the end of a decade, but it’s the beginning of a love story.

Add it on your Goodreads or Bookbub Want to Read list (and review it there, too!). 
Listen to the playlist on Spotify.
Content guidance can be found at here
TAG Karen Grey on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

I want to point out that that I did read the book and it was amazing!!! Check out my book review here.

Audio Excerpt

About the Narrators

Vanessa Edwin has narrated romance books for several major publishers, including Hachette Audio, Tantor Audio and Brilliance Audio, among others. She has received multiple awards like AudioFile Earphones Award and SOVAS Award winning audiobook narrator.

Vanessa loves nothing more than a good love story. A classically trained actor, she hails from Seattle, where the long rainy days were made for nurturing her love of reading, drinking hot cups of tea, and dreaming of her next getaway. Summers spent on her family’s farm in Texas gave her a taste for Southern charm. She enjoys a long run, red wine, and spending time with her handsome husband.

Dialects include: Southern American, French, British, and Russian, among others.

Connect with Vanessa
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Eric Michael Summerer is a voice actor and producer whose voice has been heard in countless commercials and instructional recordings.  A graduate of Syracuse University, studying both TV/Radio/Film and Theater, Eric has served as narrator for over three hundred audiobooks, including Elaine Cunningham’s Forgotten Realms: Songs and Swords series, Stephen W. Bennett’s Koban series and Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.  He is an Audie award finalist (for Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End) and an AudioFile Earphones Award winner (for Robert V.S. Redick’s Master Assassins and William Gibson’s Burning Chrome).  Interactive media credits include One Night Ultimate Werewolf, the Dead of Winter Companion App, King of Fighters 2006, and Metal Slug 3D.In addition, Eric serves as co-host for the top-rated boardgaming podcast The Dice Tower, and is the imaging voice for KLIP, “Classic Hits LA-105” in Monroe, LA.  He also authored The Primary Source Library of Famous Composers, a series of books for children about Classical music.  In his spare time, he loves playing designer board games and attempting the sport of curling.

Eric lives in Simsbury, CT with his wife, and two sons.

Connect with Eric
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Meet the Book’s Author

Karen Grey (also known as Karen White and K.E. White) has had several essays published, in Salt Magazine and the Nevertheless We Persisted collections (one an Audies Finalist and the other a SOVAs finalist), and a short story in the collection Vintage Love Stories. Her first romance novel was a winner of the NJ Romance Writers’ Put Your Heart in a Book contest and Hearts Through History’s Romance Through the Ages contest in the Modern History category and won second place in the GA Romance Writers’ Maggie Award. The first book in her 1980’s era romance series Boston Classics, What I’m Looking For releases June 23, 2020.

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Stay up-to-date with Karen by joining her mailing list today!

Pre-order blitz : ROCK ME! by MJ Roberts

Today we have the pre-order blitz for MJ Roberts Rock Me!
Check it out and be sure to pre-order today!

Title: Rock Me
Author: MJ Roberts
Genre: Rockstar Romance
Release Date: August 3rd


Synopsis

Betrayed by his family after serving time for a crime he didn’t commit, Spider’s angry at the world. The only solace he finds is playing his guitar. He’s fine, he’s good, and if anyone dares suggest otherwise, he’ll pull his knife on you, just to prove a point.

Maria’s devoted to her family and her dream. But when she’s forced to hide from some bad guys intent on torturing her for information she doesn’t possess, she’s forced to run — straight into Spider’s arms.

They’re on the road with the tour that will make or break Spider’s career — and his heart.


Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

Catch Up on the Series:
Rock Hard: Chord Brothers, Book 1
Rock Harder: Chord Brothers, Book 2
Rock Hard: Chord Brothers, Book 3
Rock Solid: Chord Brothers, Book 4

Rock Hard: Chord Brothers – Audio


Excerpt

SPIDER

Maria’s cooking again. She’s wearing a tan tank top that fits her like a second skin. She’s kneading dough. She’s not putting any muscle into it though.

“At that rate, it’s going to take you all afternoon.” I push off the side of my bunk and stand close behind her. “First of all, you need more flour on your hands.”

I rub more flour on her palms and her breath catches.

“You’re going to teach me how to cook?”

“This? Yes.”

I place my hands on top of hers. Like every time we’re close, sexual tension springs up between us.

“First,” I say, “you start from the side farthest away.” My head was to the right of hers, but I move it to the other side and place my lips a hair’s breadth from the shell of her ear. “Then you bring that closer and closer to you.” I take our joined hands and push hard into the center of the dough. “Heel of the palm. Don’t be afraid to be rough. Put some force behind it.”

I don’t think she realizes it, but her rib cage lifts slightly, like she’s offering her breasts up to me.

“That’s it,” I say. “Out and back.”

“Mmnn,” she says.

I let my lips touch the back of her ear. “You have to use your whole body weight. Lean into it. Yeah. Just like that.” My voice sounds like sandpaper and whiskey. I barely recognize it, but it doesn’t surpise me. Maria does that to me.

Maria presses her ass back against my crotch and I bite back a moan.

“You have to work it until it’s soft. Pliant.”

We knead the bread together, and the rhythmic push reminds me of exactly what I want to do to her. Maria feels it, too, if the way her head lolls back against me is any indication.

“You like that, querida?”

She shakes her head.

“Your body says otherwise.”

I want to sweep everything off the counter and lift Maria up onto it.

“I think I got it now,” she says.

“Huh?” I’m too much in a fog to understand what she’s saying. I picture releasing her hands and holding her around her waist, sliding my hands up to cup her breasts.

“I got it, Spider. You can let go now.”

I blink. Maria elbows me gently in the side of my waist. I step back. Maria gives the dough a few vicious pounds with the side of her fist and then molds it into a disposable bread pan.

“This will be delicious,” she says.

It will.


About the Author

M. J. Roberts has written nineteen novels, six novellas, an anthology, two movie screenplays, a T.V. pilot, thirty-five short stories, and a collection of poems. With more than three million copies of her stories viewed on Literotica alone, Roberts has gained worldwide recognition.

Roberts is known for witty dialogue, stunning metaphors, exciting plot twists, fast-paced action, heart-stinging transformational moments, and scenes that sizzle.

Roberts is a multiple award-winning author, including Literary Titans Gold Medal winner 2018 for Rock Hard: Chord Brothers, Book 1, and first place winner in the prestigious Summer Lovin’ Romance Literary Contest 2015 for the novel Risk Your Heart.

Roberts creates characters who feel like your most cherished friends.

M. J. spends the majority of her days bringing complex characters to life, but she’s also a professor of creative writing, an editor, and an audiobook narrator.

M. J. is a self-proclaimed nap expert with constant cravings for hot musicians and cool superheroes. She’s married to a professional drummer (A.K.A. The Rock and Roll God). After a long career primarily as a romance novelist, she is pivoting and focusing on work for film and T.V.

Roberts is from New York but lives in the South for endless comic material.

Connect with MJ
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