Blog Tour and Book Review: Wilson Indeed

*Book Review near the bottom of the page

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Book Blurb :- In The Market Square, the fantastical setting for all his dream activities, Wilson Armitage is able to take night classes on any subject and absorb a wealth of knowledge from just a few hours of sleep.  As though logging into a wifi of dreams to download information.  As his childhood passes, both wary of and reticent to acknowledge his extraordinary ability, Wilson attempts to lead a normal life and stay beneath the radar of family and friends.At the age of seventeen however, his cover is blown by Daisy Meadowcroft.  During a chance encounter in The Market Square, they agree to meet the next day and are propelled from a dream world into the reality of a coffee shop in the centre of Manchester.  Enthralled by their shared gift, they strike up a close friendship and encourage each other to seek a rational, scientific explanation for their unique talents.

Butterfly Assassins, the second book in the trilogy, is available on Amazon.

In a recent survey, 85% of people said yes to the question: “Do you believe there are things out there that science can’t explain?”

If you’re one of those 85%, you’ll love The WiFi of Dreams series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve Walsh

For twenty years Steve Walsh honed his skills in prose as an advertising copywriter; the ‘ideas’ man in a Manchester based marketing agency that carried his name.

In the late 1990’s he stumbled into the world of the dotcom entrepreneur and his claim to fame is as the creator of the hotel booking service, laterooms.com and the first car insurance comparison site, easycover.com. So, the birth of Meerkats, a Welsh opera singer, and being confused.com might be considered as down to him, for which he apologizes. 

He now uses his vivid imagination and gentle Mancunian wit to write visionary fantasy novels with bold concepts. Wilson indeed, the first book in his trilogy The WiFi of Dreams takes the reader on a richly imagined, fact meets fiction adventure story to which we can relate and feel we can touch. A whimsical interrogation of the inexplicable and fundamental tenets of our lives – the role and meaning of dreams, the nature of the hereafter, hard and soft science, a love story – what more can you want? 

BOOK REVIEW

I was captivated by this imaginative novel that immediately throws you straight into the action on the first page. At first, this book seems to be going a certain direction, but suddenly you realize you are reading something extraordinary and going on an amazing adventure with the intriguing young Wilson. Going to school in his dreams, Wilson can speak several languages, restore classic vehicles, perform life-saving medical procedures, and more, and he is still a kid.

When he meets Daisy in the dream state and they decide to meet in the real world, that’s when the fun really begins, and when danger starts to lurk ever closer. From the dream world to the real world, Wilson’s abilities soon become known to the “powers that be.” When Wilson and Daisy investigate the disappearance of Vanessa, the mother of Wilson’s best friend, they truly begin to shake things up.

Wilson Indeed is a captivating mix of fantasy, science and mystery that will take you on a fascinating ride into the world of dreams. Through Wilson and Daisy, we can explore the possibilities of what can happen when the fantastical world we visit when we sleep crosses into real life. This is the first book in the Wifi of Dreams series. I highly recommend this to fans of Fantasy, Young Adult, Mystery, and Science Fiction, as well as those who love genre mashups.

Thank you to Zooloo’s Book Tours for a copy of this book. I also purchased one on Amazon. My opinions are voluntary and are my own.

This is a 5-star read for me. I will note, however, that the book needs a better cover. The cover should be as fantastical and imaginative as the story.

BUY LINKS

BUY WILSON INDEED (BOOK ONE)

BUY BUTTERFLY ASSASSINS (BOOK TWO)

Book Review: Murder at Wakehurst

After the death of her uncle, Cornelius Vanderbilt, in 1899, Emma Cross is in mourning and has no desire to accompany her cousin Neily (Cornelius Vanderbilt III) to a decadent and rousing party. The party will be held in Newport, Rhode Island, at the home of a member of one of America’s richest and most powerful families. But Neily had been estranged from his late father, and his wife Grace implores Emma to attend to help keep him out of trouble. Then, during an elaborate jousting ceremony, a distinguished judge is murdered, and Emma finds the body. Police detective Jesse Whyte does not seem to be on the case as usual. There is a new detective, and he wants no help from Emma. Emma, a reporter, continues to investigate the crime anyway, with the help of Derrick Andrews, heir to a Providence newspaper fortune. This is the ninth book in the Gilded Newport series.

This fantastic series continues with another installment, and plenty of twists, turns, and red herrings. The life of opulence lived by the Gilded Age’s privileged families is richly described. As a Vanderbilt cousin, Emma has access to elegant parties and mansions, but she is also looked down upon by some as a poor relation who has to work for a living. While sometimes hanging with the high-flyers, Emma keeps her feet firmly on the ground. Her position as an outsider with connections is an intriguing one, as she can hold her own amongst the elite, but is also accepted in the staff kitchens. This is another gripping and clever mystery about a sleuth who inhabits two worlds at once, and it will transport you to a time of luxury, greed, and the quest for power. Highly recommended.

I received a free copy of this book from Kensington Books for Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own. 

Murder at Wakehurst will be released on August 31, 2021. Books 1 – 8 in the Gilded Newport Mysteries are available now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alyssa Maxwell

Alyssa Maxwell knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles drew her to the mystery genre. She is the author of The Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She and her husband reside in Florida, where she is a member of the Mystery Writers of America-Florida Chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the Florida Romance Writers. 

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#Audiobook Review: Once There Were Wolves

This review is of the audiobook, provided to me by MacMillan Audio. 

Once There Were Wolves is the tale of two sisters, one of whom works with endangered wolves. Inti Flynn comes to Scotland, along with a team of wildlife biologists, to reintroduce gray wolves into the Scottish Highlands. She brings her twin sister Aggie, who has suffered horrible abuse, with her. Inti is met with anger and fear from the neighboring farmers who are afraid the wolves are going to attack their sheep. When a farmer is found dead, suspicion falls upon the wolves, and maybe Inti herself.

This is a beautiful book that gives us a peek into the lives of gray wolves, and the difficulties of introducing them back to their native habitats. Inti has a special and fascinating gift or curse, which allows her to understand the wolves and her fellow humans on a very intimate level. She has mirror touch synesthesia, which causes her to physically feel the pain and sensations of others, including animals. Aggie’s withdrawal into herself and Inti’s ability to communicate with her twin is touching and real. The murder mystery is intricate and nuanced, with many twists and turns. 

The audiobook narrator, Saskia Maareveld, did a wonderful job with all the characters, taking on different roles and accents with ease.

My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Once There Were Wolves will be released August 3, 2021.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charlotte McConaghy

​Charlotte McConaghy is an Australian author living in Sydney. She has a Masters Degree in Screenwriting from the Australian Film Television and Radio School, and a number of published SFF works in Australia. 

Her novel MIGRATIONS is her first foray into adult literary fiction, published in North America by Flatiron Books, and by Penguin Random House in Australia and the UK. It is being translated into over 20 languages, and adapted to film. 

Fuelled by her love of nature and her interest in stories of fierce women, McConaghy’s newest novel, ONCE THERE WERE WOLVES, is about a biologist charged with reintroducing wolves to the Scottish Highlands in order to rewild the landscape and bring a forest back to life. It will be released in August 2021.

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MY INSTAGRAM POST

I recently started spending some time on my previously neglected Instagram account, and I’d love to get some more followers and “likes” over there, so there is a link to my Instagram post for “Once There Were Wolves” in the photo above, and if you have an Instagram account, please follow and I will follow back.

#Blog Tour: The Spinster’s Fortune

THE SPINSTER’S FORTUNE BY MARY KENDALL

*Book Review at the bottom of the page

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Darkstroke Books
Paperback & eBook; 227 pages

Genre: Historical Mystery

Moonlit alleys, shadowy tunnels, and buried secrets…

Summer of 1929.

Of supposed unsound mind without a penny to her name, Blanche Magruder lies alone in a home for the aged and infirm.

Meanwhile, her house, a crumbled ruin in the heart of Georgetown, Washington, D.C., is pillaged nightly by thieves looking for treasure rumored to be hidden there.

A distant niece, Margaret O’Keefe, is tapped as executor and soon becomes embroiled in the hunt for recovering monies, taking it on as a welcome escape from her financial and marital woes.

As Margaret discovers caches in unlikely spots throughout the house, family mysteries begin to unravel. She questions whether Aunt Blanche is an insane fool or a daring genius, yet Margaret must also wrangle with her own hidden truths.

Pressed towards a convergence of their pasts and presents, the two women must ultimately face down a fateful discovery in order to rectify their lives.

Shrouded in gothic undertones and dark artifice, THE SPINSTER’S FORTUNE is a tale that takes the reader on a strange journey through tangled webs of family deceit. But where does it end?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Kendall

Mary Kendall lived in old (and haunted) houses growing up which sparked a life-long interest in history and story-telling. She earned degrees in history related fields and worked as an historian for many years. Her fiction writing is heavily influenced by the past which she believes is never really dead and buried.

Fueled by black coffee and a possible sprinkling of Celtic fairy dust, she tends to find inspiration in odd places and sometimes while kneading bread dough.

The author currently resides in Maryland with her family (husband, three kids, barn cat and the occasional backyard hen) who put up with her mad scribbling at inconvenient hours.

THE SPINSTER’S FORTUNE , a mystery set in Georgetown, Washington DC, is her debut novel and is a twisty, tangled dive into a web of family deception murky with gothic undertone

#BOOK REVIEW

This is an intriguing historical mystery set in 1929 in Washington D.C. It is loosely based on the story of the real Blanche Magruder, who actually hid treasure in her house for her relatives to find. Although it is set in 1929, through Blanche we are transported to the Civil War era and other events during her life. Each character is fascinating in his or her own way, but none more so than the spinster sisters, Emily and Blanche. Margaret’s story, including the treasure hunt, her shaky marriage, and her growth as a person, is in itself a captivating tale. The attempts of others to benefit off of the carefully hidden treasure is interesting to watch. This story has it all–a hidden treasure, well written characters, intrigue, lies, and a shocking surprise. This book is so well done that I was surprised it is Mary Kendall’s debut novel. I can’t wait to read her next one. I received a free copy of this book through Hall of Fame Virtual Book Tours. My opinions are my own.

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#Book Review: The Thin Place

This was another book I reviewed for the May issue of Historical Novels Review, and it was also an Editor’s Choice.

Scotland, present day. Reporter Ava is working on a story about Overtoun Bridge, outside Overtoun House in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Over the years, at least fifty dogs have jumped to their deaths from the bridge. Legends describe Overtoun Bridge as a “thin place,” where the boundary between Heaven and Earth is very thin. The locals will not cooperate, so Ava, pregnant with her first child, begins to investigate. Ava is also trying to get medical history from her mother, who was adopted, but she is uncooperative.

In 1929 England, Marion meets Hamish at a tea dance at the Savoy Hotel. She is swept quickly into marriage and is soon living in the huge and mostly unused Overtoun House in Scotland, sometimes visited by a very absent husband who has little love to share with her.

In 1949 in Scotland, Constance is confined to her room by her mother because she is very ill. Her mother and the doctor are the only people she sees, and she longs for contact with the outside world. When her mother brings her a puppy, some joy comes into her life.

This is a captivating but chilling historical mystery which combines the very real Overtoun house with fictional characters to create an intriguing story. The reports of dogs jumping to their deaths from Overtoun Bridge are heartbreaking but true facts that are spun into this fascinating mystery. The characters are well developed, and their connections begin to come alive. Overtoun House itself becomes a character, alternating between telling secrets and refusing to give them up. The bridge seems to live and breathe, hoping to lure captors to their deaths. This is a spellbinding novel that I highly recommend to those who enjoy historical mysteries with a touch of the paranormal.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Historical Novels Review. My review is voluntary.

NOTE: The mystery of dogs jumping off of the Overtoun Bridge is very real. At least 300, if not more, dogs have inexplicably jumped off the bridge. At least 50 of them have died. If you would like to read more about this mystery, check out this link.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C.D. Major

C.D.Major is the pen name of Cesca Major – a novelist and screenwriter. 

Cesca has always been fascinated by mysteries from the recent past. 

Her book THE OTHER GIRL was a number 1 Amazon Bestseller and longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award in 2021. It’s a historical thriller perfect for members of a book club. Set in an asylum in 1940s New Zealand it is inspired by the strange phenomenon of children claiming to have past life memories. Her latest book, set in the present day, THE THIN PLACE is based around the sinister happenings at Overtoun Bridge in Scotland – a place where dogs have been known to leap to their deaths. 

Cesca has presented shows for ITV West and Sky Channels in the past. She enjoys hosting or speaking on festival panels and films vlogs about the writing process. She runs writing retreats twice a year in the West Country and teaches creative writing courses for the Henley School of Art. She writes uplifting books under her own name and the pseudonym Rosie Blake, and currently has an original TV series in development. Cesca lives in Berkshire with her husband, son and twin girls.

She loves to hear from readers so please feel free to send her a message over at Twitter or Instagram.

Website

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#Book Review and #Blog Tour: Time Ripper

*Book Review at the bottom of the page.

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TimeRipper

Welcome to the book tour for time-travelling, sci-fi, TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey! Read on for more details and a chance to win an amazing giveaway– A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card! 

516jOXX7aqLTimeRipper

Publication Date: February 25th, 2021

Genre: Time Travel/ Thriller/ Historical Fiction/ Sci-Fi

Publisher: Dammaged Productions

It is the year 2288, and Earth is reeling from the most horrific terrorist attack it has ever endured.The Quest, a pseudo-religious splinter group, have taken a stance against the Earth Alliance’s authority of the planet.It is down to Youssef Haseem, now the highest-ranking official left in the EA, to build a team to face the threat of total inhalation if he doesn’t stand down and bow to The Quest’s demands. Then the leaders of The Quest disappear, and a legend emerges in the year 1888. But just who is the mysterious stranger stalking and viciously killing women on the streets of Whitechapel, London?A mission is launched! A battle of wits against time itself. A fight to be played out in the present and the past, with the fate of humanity at stake.Legends can happen anytime…

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About the Author

Author Photo

My name is David McCluskey, I am an author from Liverpool in the UK. I have written seven novels so far. TimeRipper is my latest. I started writing about 15 years ago, beginning with short horror stories for children that were written in rhyme. I enlisted the services of an artist and created my very first comic from them. Interesting Tymes is a great seller at comic conventions around the UK, as it offered something that a lot of comics these days don’t, something for the children to get their teeth into (so to speak).

I then began to create more comics, some for children, some for adults, before creating my own graphic novels. Doppelgänger is a dark psychological horror, Olf is a children’s graphic novel about Father Christmas and his reindeer, A Christmas Carol is a rewriting of the original tale, but in rhyme, and DeathDay Presents is an adult comedy based in Hell.

From there I moved on to writing novels. My debut novel The Twelve is still my best seller on Amazon.

I write under the name of D E McCluskey for my adult fiction, and I will be launching a children’s range of novels this year under the name Dave McCluskey (I don’t want children buying some of the other horror based stuff by accident).

I still live in Liverpool with my partner, Lauren, and our children, Grace and Sian. We have a sausage dog called Ted, who likes to leave little sausages around the house, just to remind us why he is a sausage dog.

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BOOK REVIEW

This is a time traveling thriller that fans of science fiction will enjoy. Time travel novels are near and dear to my heart, and I’ve read a lot of them. The means of travel is very important in time travel fiction and to me as a reader. This book leans heavily on the scientific rather than fantasy approach to time travel, and the author makes it work. The Higgs Boson particle plays a big part. The timeline splits between 2288 and 1888 in Whitechapel, East London, as Jack the Ripper make an appearance. There is a completely new theory as to who Jack might be, but that is just part of the story, as there is a battle for the future of Earth between the Earth Alliance in 2288 and a strange movement called The Quest, who are in Whitechapel 1888 trying to change the future.

Fans of science fiction, murder mysteries, and thrillers should check out this gripping, time-traveling mashup.

I received a free copy of this book via R&R Book Tours. My review is voluntary.

Borrowed Treasure

UPDATED TO ADD REVIEW–SEE BELOW

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Congratulations to author, Jessica Tastet on the release of her latest novel, Borrowed Treasure! Read on for more info and a chance to win a digital copy of the book!

Borrowed Treasure CoverBorrowed Treasure

Publication Date: April 13th, 2021

Genre: Womens Fiction/ Clean Romance

Publisher: Dandelion Wish Publishing

Sissy Ames has been driven to succeed her entire life. On her own, she’s turned her Bittersweet Café into a success, and she’s rebuilt a friendship with her cousin Harper after years of going it alone, but her past bad judgement in trusting Hunter Wells during their relationship continues to cast shadows on the future she’s trying to build for herself.

Hunter Wells has been coasting through life, working at the family business and creating the life that his family expects for him. He’d once hoped for a different existence, but he’d been forced to move on and make do after Sissy Ames had ended their three-year relationship without an explanation.

Even in their small town, the two have managed to avoid each other, but then Hunter’s fiancée, Sissy’s nemesis, disappears after a suspicious confrontation, leaving them both looking like likely suspects. The only hope they have of clearing their names and figuring out what led to the disappearance is to find the one item that drove them apart two years ago.

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Excerpt

Sissy

              Sissy Ames ducked behind the ostentatious flower arrangement with its oversized lilies and Hyacinthian sprays shooting out at unnatural angles. The thickness hid the center of the room but exposed her to the tableclothed tables lining either side where the overdressed elite of Thibodaux and its surrounding areas sat. Tonight represented everything she typically avoided, mainly so that she could stay out of the proximity of the woman commanding the center floor. Why her arch nemesis must flit around the ballroom gloating about her latest accomplishment was beyond Sissy. That woman’s pretentious fake smile and sickly-sweet voice had followed Sissy wherever she went in the large ballroom until her hands had begun to shake and her jaw to ache from the clenching.

              Harper, her cousin, approached from the buffet table near the rear of the room.  “The lobster bisque’s edible.” Holding out a tiny plastic bowl towards Sissy, Harper shrugged bare shoulders in defeat. Although the food lacked appeal, Harper certainly stunned in the black skintight number Sissy had sent over for her to wear tonight. Sissy had been right to prod the usually casual attired woman into vintage satin as it hugged her hips and showed off the curvy body that Sissy unfortunately did not possess. Sissy had inherited her mother’s straight form among other genetics she wished she could trade in. 

              Accepting the ecru soup, Sissy’s eyes scanned the crowd, looking for Cecelia Domangue, the bane of her existence since they were fifteen years old and fighting over president of student council. Currently, the petite blonde in a fuchsia Valentino stood chatting with a town councilman and the sheriff, her fake laugh chiming her existence from twenty feet away.

              Sissy ran a clear plastic spoon through the watery consistency of the bisque. In her head she mentally critiqued the recipe’s minimal usage of cream.  “Anything has to be better than that beef dish.”

              Narrowing her emerald eyes, Harper twisted her lips and flashed Sissy a familiar look. Sissy’s cheeks warmed. Her resentment must be showing.

Sissy had submitted a bid to cater the fundraiser tonight in an attempt at a business expansion, but her bid had been accepted under condition. As the serving contract had been awarded to Cecelia’s restaurant Twilight Fare, Sissy would have to submit her recipes to Cecelia for approval and preparation. As if Sissy would ever turn over her recipes to the woman who’d opened a restaurant blocks over in her continuing effort to encroach on every aspect of Sissy’s life. Even if Sissy’s own Bittersweet Café catered to a different crowd than Cecelia’s Twilight Fare, that woman had branched right into catering which Sissy had cautiously tested the waters only a month before Cecelia had gone full blown into advertising her own services.

              Harper glanced away to scan the room, and Sissy returned to the soup, which she knew she could have done better.  “How long do we have to stay?”

              Discarding the bowl, Sissy picked up her champagne glass from the table instead. At least they’d bought the good stuff.  “We need to be sure the right people see our faces, but besides from that, the committee already has our hundred bucks a head, so I don’t think they care if we are here an hour or close the place down.”

              Tonight’s fundraiser for the Downtown Revitalization committee had the special purpose of raising money to spruce up the downtown area with seasonal decorations to help promote the Christmas festival. The event had filled the local university ballroom with the social society of the small-town area and all its neighboring towns to be sure. As part of the committee, Sissy had aided in promoting the event, even though Cecelia’s recent addition to the committee had managed to sway votes and shut her out of the menu selections.

              Harper picked up her own glass from the table and sipped. “I see a few local lawyers from Emmett’s last mixer. I’ll go over and say hello. If I’m lucky, I may get home early enough to speak to Emmett before the different time zones mean he’s sleeping.”

              Sissy had Cecelia in her crosshairs, and she waited for her to prance to another unsuspecting guest, so she could emerge from behind the flowers that Sissy had voted against. Currently, Cecelia stood near Rudy Klingman, councilman for her district, who dropped in every Wednesday for a number six special, and she’d promised to propose streetlamps to him on behalf of the committee. Distracted, she asked Harper. “Any indication when he’s going to return from New York?”

              Harper shrugged. “He says the case should wrap up in a day or two. I believe he’s enjoying it way too much.”

              Sissy waved Harper’s doubt away with her champagned hand. “Pish, Emmett will be home soon, and you two will be making me sick with your sweetness.”

              Harper smiled, her olive complexion flushing. “Okay, no arguing with my date tonight, especially since you drove. Let’s make our rounds and be out of here in thirty minutes.”

              Sissy nodded and raised her flute in the air as if to toast. “That’s a plan I can drink to.”

              Harper clinked her glass against Sissy’s, and then they departed into the mingling crowd.

              Avoiding Cecelia’s group, Sissy slunk over to Suzy Rhodes, greeting a few of the lawyers and two judges that frequented her business for lunch during the week. In her two-piece blue suit, Suzy stood removed from the invitees, her eyes watching everyone. Her stance hadn’t changed since high school although she’d updated her attire to pant suits and cut her hair into a short bob she tucked behind her ears. Back then, she’d taken photos for the yearbook and everyone had wanted her attention to get within the pages. Today, she wrote a monthly column in the local entertainment magazine, specifically a review of local eateries. Sissy had attempted getting the café featured for months now, even sending a personalized gift certificate two months ago. The woman had never responded to the invitation nor shown up as even a patron, but Cecelia’s Twilight Fare had been prominently featured, not only as a food review but as a front-page feature on up and coming restaurant owners.

              Suzy Rhodes smiled, her cheeks dimpling as Sissy approached. “Why, Sissy Ames, I’m surprised to see you at a swanky function like this. Not your usual soiree, huh?”

              Plastering a smile on her face, Sissy drew upon her southern manners she knew lay beyond her desire to give the woman a good tongue lashing. “Since my café is located in the center of downtown, I have a vested interest in its revitalization efforts.”

              Laughing airily, Suzy’s eyes wandered the room as if bored with the conversation. “Right, that’s true, your little café is down there. I never remember it’s there.”

              Sissy raised an eyebrow, holding her glass closer to her lips. “I know. I’ve invited you several times as part of that little column of yours, but you have yet to accept my invitation.”

              A short, fierce laugh escaped as Suzy’s eyes met Sissy’s. She returned to her survey of the room just as quickly though. “My lord Sissy, I can’t accept every invitation I receive.”

              “Hmm.” Sissy scanned the room, her eyes naturally falling upon Cecelia, who stood facing Chef Homme from Le Homme, the elegant downtown restaurant. The two’s expressions revealed deep, serious conversation—too serious for a social mixer. “Is that why your material has been repetitive?”

              Suzy’s stance shifted. “Excuse me?”

              Sissy smiled, tilting her head. “Oh, I thought you were just so busy that you recycled material from the same four restaurants. Everyone has been talking.”

              Sissy continued smiling as Suzy’s eyes lit with anger. The dark haired, flat nosed woman bit her tongue though. They’d all been raised too southern to truly speak their minds at events such as these.

              “Well, it was nice running into you,” Sissy said, bowing her head in exit. “But I see a city council member I need to have a word with about lamp posts.”          

              Sissy pivoted, feeling a surge of confidence from the conversation. Moments ago, she’d hid behind hideous flowers to avoid her high school tormentor, but they had grown up, even though some didn’t behave as if they had. Cecelia and even Suzy hid behind country club houses and designer labels still, making others feel as if they didn’t measure up in the circles they all moved in. She had to remind herself in their vicinity that she was proud of her downtown renovated apartment and scavenged consignment finds.

              Spotting Cecelia ahead on her path though, she pivoted and turned the other way to avoid her. She told herself that with her new found attitude, she would probably lose her southern manners and regret it later.

              Her attention lingered too long over Cecelia, and when she turned, she hit a wall of black cashmere and white softened woven cotton. Reaching her hand out, she pushed herself away, inhaling the masculine smell of sandalwood and musk. From his chest hugging shirt, her eyes followed the Italian silk woven tie in its beautiful pastel green and yellow swirl pattern. The feminine color selection had been a brave choice for a function such as this where the men showcased their masculinity and their pocketbooks. So, he either didn’t know better or his power came with his name.

              She continued on up to his tie’s perfectly anchored knot and landed on the chiseled jawline and soft brown, waiting eyes of Hunter Wells.

Her nose flared as she inhaled deeply, an awareness of their nearness. She took a step back.

“Excuse me.” Sissy felt her cheeks burn as the back of her neck flushed.

              A light flickered in his warm chocolate eyes.

              “Of course.” Hunter nodded, and his lip twitched. “How have you been?”

              Hearing her heart pound in her throat, Sissy straightened her spine, bracing herself for the old anger to return, but his nearness tempered any old residual anger.

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About the Author

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Born and raised in Raceland, Louisiana, near Bayou Lafourche, Jessica Tastet uses the places and people of her childhood to create the backdrop of her fictional South Louisiana town in her Raleigh Cheramie series as well as her Treasure Trilogy.

An avid reader, she began writing stories in the sixth grade. The result was a mystery story she promptly shared with all her family and whoever she could convince to read it. She learned the first of many valuable writing lessons with this endeavor: don’t draw your characters too close to real-life people. Since then. she has earned her editing certification from the University of California and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University in California. Presently, she resides in her hometown with her husband and five teenagers where she works with Curriculum for the local school district.

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BOOK REVIEW – BONNIE READS AND WRITES

This is a pleasant romance with a slight mystery and themes of lost love, lack of communication, and rebuilding trust. The “villain” is quite over the top and a stereotypical selfish relationship wrecker. I wish she had been more unique. I enjoyed the setting in the cafe/restaurant business. I’m always up for reading about food. I found the problems between Hunter and Sissy were just not complicated enough and could have been solved with one conversation. The mystery was pretty easy to figure out and the ending of the book fairly predictable, but overall this was a fun read.

Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers

Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is the second  book  in  the  “A  Woman  of  World  War  II”  mystery series by Tessa Arlen. Although it is the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone. It is 1942 and Poppy, employed by the London Crown Film Unit as  a scriptwriter during the war, is sent to work on location at an airfield.   The film she is working on is about       the  Air   Transport Auxiliary   pilots,   or   “Attagirls.”   This   amazing   group   of   female   pilots    flew  many   different types   of   planes   and   transported   them    to    airfields    all over Britain during    World War II. Sometimes  these  transports  occurred  during  severe  weather  conditions.  Poppy begins to work on the film and starts to get to know this intriguing group of talented and professional female pilots. When two “Attagirls”  are  killed  in  accidents  during  seemingly  routine  flights,  Poppy  and  her boyfriend Griff begin to investigate.

This was such an interesting read, especially since I had never heard of the “Attagirls.” The history of these brave  women  is  fascinating, and the author provides more facts about them in a historical note at the  end of the book.  The  murder  mystery  is  well  done,  with  many  twists,  turns,  and  red herrings.  The  villain is not easy to figure out, so the reader is surprised at the end. The characters are compelling and well developed. Our heroine, Poppy, proves to be a witty and clever sleuth. Her relationship with her boyfriend Griff is complicated at times, but that just makes it more interesting. This is a great combination of World War II historical fiction and cozy mystery. I would recommend this book to fans of both genres.

The first book in the series is Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders.

I received a free copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via Netgalley for Historical Novels Review. My review is voluntary.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tessa Arlen is the author of the critically acclaimed Lady Montfort mystery series—Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman was a finalist for the 2016 Agatha Award Best First Novel. She is also the author of Poppy Redfern: A Woman of World War II mystery series. And the author of the historical fiction: In Royal Service to the Queen.

Tessa lives in the Southwest with her family and two corgis where she gardens in summer and writes in winter.

Lottie’s Locket

It’s Lottie’s 11th birthday, but her parents have to go out of town to help her much older sister, who is having a crisis. Lottie is not thrilled about going to stay in her Aunt’s cold house on her birthday while her parents are gone, but is slightly cheered by the birthday present her mother has left behind. Inside the package is a locket, which takes Lottie on an amazing adventure to another world, Orovand. But Orovand, like Earth, has problems too, and soon Lottie’s locket is missing, a man is dead, and her chance to return home is in jeopardy.

This was a good middle grade fantasy with a murder mystery thrown in. I think the mystery was engaging and there were some twists and turns. The world-building was not interesting enough in my opinion. It appeared to be a very colorful world set up like an ancient kingdom, where the King rules all. Although I feel it was an interesting story, I was not drawn in enough to want to return to Orovand for any further adventures. There are some intriguing aspects of Orovand, but I won’t reveal them as to avoid spoilers. 

I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited at the request of the author. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own. Fans of middle grade fantasy and mystery novels may enjoy this one.

Link to Lottie’s Locket on Amazon

Link to Maria Johnson’s Amazon Page

Link to My Goodreads Review

Books This Week

Before I post my Netgalley reads, I wanted to let you know I have been busily reading books and doing reviews for The Historical Novel Society’s magazine, Historical Novels Review (HNR). However, I cannot post those reviews until after the magazine is published in February 2021, so my reviews were kind of scarce last week. I reviewed a whopping 20 books for them over the last three months! I will share these with you as soon as I am able to do so. I am finishing up those reviews today and the rest of the week will be devoted to my Netgalley reads and some Indie books I am reading for some great authors.

Below are three Netgalley ARC reads I am working on, unrelated to HNR. These reviews will come this week.

Sisters Nora and Delia are traveling on the Titanic from their poor Irish farm life to new jobs in America. When tragedy strikes, lives are altered and secrets are kept. Will they be revealed?

My review will be coming this week. This book will be released January 26, 2021

A group of women from Smith College risk their lives in France at the height of World War I.

My review will be coming this week. This book will be released on March 2, 2021.

Two friends are forced to face a dark secret that ended their childhood bond.

My review will be done this week. This book will be released January 12, 2021.

I also have some great indie reviews coming this week and next week so stay tuned!