Blog Tour and Book Review: The Child I Never Had #Adoption #Family

BOOK DESCRIPTION

If you had to make an impossible choice to save your long-lost daughter, you would… wouldn’t you?

It’s a warm early summer’s evening when Mia’s doorbell rings. She opens the door to see a teenage girl standing in the shadow beyond the porch light—and in an instant she knows who it is. Daisy, the daughter she gave up as a baby. Daisy steps forward, as she says tearfully “I’m sorry I didn’t call first. But something happened. And I really needed… you.”

Seventeen years before, knowing she couldn’t possibly give her beautiful little girl Daisy the future she deserved, Mia made the hardest decision of her life—to give her up. And Suzanne seemed the perfect adoptive mother: calm, stable, and full of love for the daughter she’d always dreamed of having.

The two mothers promised to keep communication open, so Daisy could have Mia’s love and support along with Suzanne’s. But as the years passed, Mia moved away, and their visits happened less. Now Daisy is almost a stranger to Mia—angry, closed and broken—nothing like the tiny girl she once couldn’t bear to say goodbye to.

But now Daisy has arrived on Mia’s doorstep, and she says she has a terrible secret. One she can never tell Suzanne. And she believes the only person who can help her is Mia. Her birth mother.

Mia, however, has secrets of her own. Ones she is afraid to let Daisy or anyone else know. And while Suzanne desperately seeks a way to bring her child home, can Mia overcome her past to help the girl they both call their daughter in her darkest hour before it’s too late?

BOOK REVIEW

This is a really comprehensive look at open adoption through the eyes of the child, Daisy, the adoptive mother, Suzanne, and the birth mother Mia. Different events in their lives are seen from the point of view of each of them. Suzanne holds nagging fear that her daughter will leave her. Mia feels guilt over not staying in touch with Daisy as much as she should. And Daisy is angry at everyone. When Daisy abruptly leaves and goes to find Mia, everything comes to a head.

The story is compelling and keeps you turning the page. The characters are well developed and interesting, and the plot is complex, with a surprise at the end. There were many flashbacks, which I felt were overdone. Other than that, this was a captivating read.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives. 

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Blog Tour and Book Review: A Secret at Tansy Falls #Bookouture #BookTour

BOOK DESCRIPTION

The old farmhouse at Tansy Falls. A little patch of paradise in the hills of Vermont. Home to happy couple Connie and Nate. And a long-buried secret that will ignite a devastating spark…

As the summer sun sets over the sleepy Vermont town of Tansy Falls, Connie is reminded of how lucky she is. Every day, when she leaves the job she loves, managing the Covered Bridge Inn with her best friend Piper, she looks forward to returning to the farmhouse she shares with her husband Nate. At home, her flowerbeds overflow with day lilies and the weathered brick walls of her beautiful house glow in the evening light. The air is filled with the scent of the puffed apple pancakes she prepared that morning.

But one night, when Nate returns home, he is distant. He and Connie have been married for a long time, and while the laughter and lingering kisses have dwindled, Connie believed they would be together forever. So when a stranger arrives on their doorstep with a shocking secret about Nate, Connie’s life changes beyond all recognition.

Connie never thought she’d need to start over and live a life without Nate by her side. But as her heart breaks, Piper and the team at the inn are ready to help stitch it back together, with thoughtful advice washed down with warm spiced cider. As Connie begins to feel whole again, distraction arrives in the form of olive-skinned, broad-shouldered newcomer James. Nate has taught Connie that she doesn’t need a man, but James’s arrival helps her discover that she can follow her own dreams too. But as more secrets come to the surface, Connie wonders if she’ll ever truly be able to leave behind her past for good…

If you love gripping, heartbreaking romantic stories by Elin Hildebrand and Robyn Carr, you will be hooked by A Secret at Tansy Falls. A completely compelling read about secrets and betrayal that will have you reaching for the tissues.

BOOK REVIEW

We are back in Tansy Falls, where the manager of the Covered Bridge Inn, Connie, has a lot of challenges going on. The biggest of those is that her once-solid marriage seems to be on shaky ground as her husband struggles with unemployment. On top of that, her father is dating someone young enough to be his granddaughter, and her son seems to be in serious trouble at college. How does she handle all of this, on top of turning 49 and trying to manage a major event at the Inn? Follow Connie and the other residents of Tansy Falls on another enjoyable and enlightening adventure, and find out. This second book in the Tansy Falls series can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the first book to really meet the town and its residents.

I really enjoy this town and these characters, and Cate Woods keeps things interesting by introducing new people and new situations. The Inn is delightful, and we get to see old friends we met in book one, The Inn at Tansy Falls, which I also read and reviewed. I liked that the main focus of this story is on an almost-50-year old woman and some of the challenges we face in our 50s. Tansy Falls is a place I would definitely want to visit, and the town residents are a cast of characters the reader will enjoy getting to know. This book is hard to put down, and checking into the Covered Bridge Inn again is a fun way to spend a day. Fans of small-town fiction and family stories will love this heartwarming novel.

4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 on sites without a half-star option.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cate Woods

Cate Woods made the most of her university degree in Anglo-Saxon Literature by embarking on a career making tea on programs, including The Big Breakfast, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and French & Saunders. After narrowly missing out on the chance to become a Channel 5 weather girl, she moved into the world of magazine journalism, then ghostwriting and now writes novels under her own name. She has written two best-selling romantic comedies – Just Haven’t Met You Yet and More Than a Feeling – and a festive novel, The Christmas Guest, under the name Daisy Bell. Cate lives in London with her husband and two children.

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Blog Tour and Book Review: The German Wife

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Germany, 1939:Annaliese is trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband Hans has become cold and secretive since starting a new job as a doctor at Dachau. Every morning she watches from her kitchen window as he leaves in his car. The sight of him in the dark uniform of the SS sends shivers of fear down her spine and she longs to escape…

When a tall, handsome Russian prisoner named Alexander is sent from Dachau to work in their garden, lonely Annaliese finds herself drawn to him as they tend to the plants together. In snatched moments and broken whispers, Alexander tells her the shocking truth about the camp. Horrified, Annaliese vows to do everything she can to save him.

But as they grow closer, their feelings for each other put their lives at risk. And Annaliese finds herself in grave danger when she dares to fight for love and freedom…

America, 1989: Turning the pages of the newspaper, Annaliese gasps when she recognizes the face of a man she thought she’d never see again. It makes her heart skip a beat as a rush of wartime memories come flooding back to her. As she reads on, she realizes the past is catching up with her. And she must confront a decades-old secret – or risk losing her only son…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Rix has written seven novels, the latest of which is The German Wife. As an ex-journalist, historical accuracy is key, and she strives to weave her stories around real life events. ‘The research process is vital,’ she says. ‘I work on the principle that if I find something fascinating, then so too will my readers.’

Her novels have been published in several languages – including Italian and Czech and her 5th novel ‘The Secret Letter’ will soon come out in Russia.

Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy and that country is the setting for 5 of her 7 novels. When not traveling she lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, children, chickens and four cats. She began her career with the BBC – initially as the newsreader on Breakfast Time, thereafter appearing as a presenter and reporter on a variety of factual and light entertainment television series. She had a spell as an Agony Aunt and has also written about gardens and gardening – one of her private passions.

BOOK REVIEW

This is an interesting but disturbing German perspective on World War II, both before, during, and after the war. Annaliese goes from a young woman in love with her husband, Hans, to someone married to a monster, a doctor at Dachau concentration camp. When she meets Alexander, a prisoner sent to work in her garden, she learns the horrific truth about Dachau and her husband’s role there.

This is a heartbreaking story of a woman thrust into a situation she never would have chosen and how she responds to it. The character development of Anna and Alex is good, and disconcerting at times, as Anna cannot seem to completely grasp what Alex has been through. There is also a shocking situation between them that Anna doesn’t fully seem to understand. The often cold and calculating, but sometimes conflicted Hans is well written. He is the epitome of someone who gave up humanity for personal gain. Some other German characters in the novel, including Anna at times, seem to want to ignore the past and forget their roles in it. Although this seems cold, it is possibly close to a true portrayal of how Germans were feeling at the time. This is a heartrending novel about an evil regime, the people they used and slaughtered, and the country they tore apart. It is also a look at that time in history through the eyes of a German woman who was left to rebuild her life in the aftermath.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

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Blog Tour and Book Review: The Cranberry Inn #Family #CountryInns #Bookouture #Christmasbooks

BOOK DESCRIPTION

A feel-good Christmas romance about fresh starts, the importance of family and learning how to follow your heart. Perfect for fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Rachel Hanna and Carolyn Brown.

As twinkling lights go up and snowflakes begin to fall, Laurel Hanover and her eight-year-old son are going home to the Cranberry Inn in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Laurel can’t wait to leave New York behind to help her father run the family business, and make snow angels with her son, even if it’s just for Christmas. But when she walks through the door, she’s shocked to find the inn in disrepair, and a letter saying her father will be gone until Christmas Eve…

No one in town knows where Laurel’s father is, and she doesn’t know whether to be worried or angry – but she won’t let the inn go under, and nothing will get in the way of the perfect Christmas for her son. Seeing the worn-out wooden bannisters, bare of festive lights, she immediately recruits her childhood friend, brooding local carpenter Joel Hutcherson. They might disagree on whether any walls actually need to come down, but each rip in the carpet makes Laurel more concerned for her father, and Joel is a welcome distraction. And when he admits that Laurel was his first crush, she realises she’s falling for him.

But then Laurel uncovers a card with beautiful, ornate writing amongst her father’s things and learns the real reason he disappeared. And it changes everything. Worse still, she thinks Joel knew the truth all along.

Laurel thought this was going to be the perfect Christmas – that maybe she had found her happy. But now there’s nothing to stop her from running back to New York the moment the baubles come down… is there?

BOOK REVIEW

This is a sweet Christmas story about family, memories, and moving forward. The characters are endearing and the story is heartwarming. The reader is transported to the Christmas season in a lovely mountain town where Laurel is trying to get the Inn ready for an unexpected guest, since her father has gone away on a mysterious trip. Memories of lost loved ones and coming back home again are major themes in this story. It is also about learning what you really want in life and having the courage to start over again. This is a book to enjoy with a good cup of coffee on a chilly day, while looking forward to your own holiday celebration. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good Christmas read.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning journalist and novelist who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels center around second chances, family relationships and, of course, romance. She is the author of the Lake Summers series set in the fictional town of Lake Summers, nestled in the Adirondacks Mountains, which includes the books The Lilac House and The Bluebell Girls. Before joining with Bookouture, she published The Last Dreamer, a women’s-fiction novel from Lake Union Publishing, along with hundreds of articles and essays in major and regional publications about family, home and relationships. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo!


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Blog Tour and Book Review: #TheWidow #Bookouture

BOOK DESCRIPTION

My husband was not a monster. No matter what they say…

The day my husband, Michael, stepped in front of a lorry after being questioned by the police, my world fell apart. He was devoted to me and our six-year-old daughter. But they’d connected him to the disappearance of a young mother from our tiny village.

Now I stand at Michael’s funeral, clutching my little girl’s hand, with tears in my eyes as I insist to all our friends that he died an innocent man. Yet the questions have started, and nothing I say will stop them digging for the truth.

But none of them can read the secrets in my heart, or know about the phone I found hidden in his toolbox…

I’m determined that my daughter will not remember her father as a monster. I will erase any hint of wrongdoing in this house whatever the cost.

Because to keep my daughter safe, the last thing I need is for people to start looking at me…

A completely gripping psychological thriller from the author of the number one bestseller The Marriage. If you like Gone GirlThe Girl on The Train and The Wife Between Us then you will love The Widow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

K.L. Slater

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

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BOOK REVIEW

The Widow is a compelling psychological thriller that will keep you guessing and turning the page. The characters are well written, and the mystery is complex, with many twists and turns. The heartbreak of a young widow trying to protect her daughter and possibly clear her late husband is so real. The children, Tansy and Aleks, are captivating, and such a big part of the story. The author does a great job with character development and world building. The points of view change seamlessly between the various characters and the police department, and it does not disrupt the story. The reader will find themselves rooting for the widow as she tries to solve the mystery her husband left her. The final revelations in this multifaceted tale left me praising the author for a job well done. Fans of thrillers will be completely captivated by this enthralling mystery.

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#Book Review and #Blog Tour: America’s Wife

*Review in the Middle of the Page

BOOK DESCRIPTION

1776. Addie’s world has changed beyond recognition. From her privileged position amongst Boston’s elite, she has embraced a dangerous new life with the American Revolutionary Army. While childhood sweetheart Silas risks all on the front lines, Addie waits anxiously for news. And when Silas does not return from the Battle of Monmouth, her worst fears come true.

Without thinking, Addie takes a horse and scours the now-calm battlefield for Silas, until word arrives that he has been captured by the British. And worse, by the troop of Scottish Highlanders led by the brooding general John Traverne. Addie hasn’t seen the powerfully built Loyalist soldier since she chose the Revolutionary cause over her own heart, and hearing his name sends butterflies to her stomach, even as she is filled with worry for Silas.

Disregarding her own safety, Addie leaves Washington’s camp and travels deep into enemy territory, determined to bring Silas home. But when she comes face to face with John Traverne once more, the feelings she has tried so hard to bury resurface and she must choose between the man she has pledged her life to, and the man whose dark eyes haunt her dreams. When Addie finally returns to her own camp, she carries a secret that could cost her everything she has fought for…

The second part of the spellbinding, emotional trilogy about enduring love and heartbreaking secrets amidst the birth of America. Readers who adored My Dear Hamilton and Flight of the Sparrow will love America’s Wife.

BOOK REVIEW: Bonnie Reads and Writes

This is a gripping, spellbinding and endearing historical romance that transports you to George Washington’s headquarters and then into enemy territory during the American Revolution. The people, the conflict, and the landscapes are so well described. The romances in this book are complex and heartbreaking. This story will grab your attention and it won’t let go. This is the second book in the America’s Daughter trilogy and the second one I’ve read by De Blasis, who was taken from us too soon in 2001.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Celeste De Blasis

Author Bio:
Millions of readers have fallen under the spell of the lush, enthralling and bestselling novels by Celeste De Blasis. Tales of adventure and romance set against the sweep of history—all are storytelling at its finest. After graduating from Pomona College, Celeste devoted her life to impeccable research and spellbinding writing. A native Californian, Celeste grew up on the historic Kemper Campbell Ranch in the Mojave Desert, where she lived until her death in 2001.

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#Blog Tour and #Book Review: The Inn At Tansy Falls

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Dearest Nell, if you’re reading this letter, I’m already gone. You’re my best friend in the world, and as my last request I’m asking you to lay me to rest hundreds of miles away, in my crazy gorgeous, totally one-of-a-kind hometown of Tansy Falls. I know you’re a born-and-bred city girl, but hear me out. After first losing Adrian, and then me… I know your heart is hurting, Nell. I think you’ll find that you need Tansy Falls as much as I do.

So, I’ve got it all planned out. For two weeks, you’ll be staying at the sweet, local inn and every day you’ll be trying something new. And if you follow my instructions to the letter, you may discover there’s more to my story than you think. A surprise something… or someone at the end of it? Only you can find out!

Some last advice before you set off, Nell. Don’t forget your sturdy boots and make sure to give Boomer, the inn’s resident dog, a belly rub from me. Stay well away from former quarterback Brody Knott (boy, do I have some stories about him!). And finally, let the future bring what it brings. While Tansy Falls may look small, I know better than anyone that new beginnings can be found in all kinds of places. That little Vermont town you’d never heard of? Well, it might suddenly begin to feel just like coming home…

If you love feel-good love stories by ReaAnne Thayne, Debbie Macomber and Robyn Carr, you’ll adore this gorgeous, heart-warming novel about starting over.

BOOK REVIEW

     Nell's life is filled with grief and turmoil.  A long-term relationship is over and her best friend Megan has just passed away due to cancer.  Megan leaves Nell a letter requesting that Nell scatter her ashes in the town of Tansy Falls, Vermont, where she spent time as a child.  Nell, a London accountant, travels to Tansy Falls to fulfill Meg's wishes.  Meg's request is accompanied by a two-week itinerary of things she wants Nell to do while she is here.  Some tasks are more difficult than others, but Nell begins a journey that will introduce her to new people and new experiences.

    This is a beautiful book about love,  friendship,  and starting over.  Megan's letter and the tasks she has prepared for Nell take her on a journey in the midst of her grief.  Even as Meg's life is ending, she sends her beloved friend on an adventure to help her learn to live again.   This is a heartwarming book that I would recommend to all.

     The Inn At Tansy Falls is only 99 cents on Kindle right now at the link below!  That's a great buy.

     I received a free copy of this Book from Bookouture via Netgalley.  My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cate Woods made the most of her university degree in Anglo-Saxon Literature by embarking on a career making tea on programmes including The Big Breakfast, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and French & Saunders. After narrowly missing out on the chance to become a Channel 5 weather girl, she moved into the world of magazine journalism, then ghostwriting and now writes novels under her own name. She has written two best-selling romantic comedies – Just Haven’t Met You Yet and More Than a Feeling – and a festive novel, The Christmas Guest, under the name Daisy Bell. Cate lives in London with her husband and two children.

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#Book Review: The Far Away Girl

This was probably my favorite read for the May issue of Historical Novels Review., the magazine of The Historical Novel Society. They also made it an “Editor’s Choice.”

In 1976, five-year-old Rita is ripped away from the only family she has ever known and is taken to Georgetown, Guyana, to live with her father, Jitty Miraj. A wild child, she surrounds herself with animals and   books,   and   shares   everything   with   her   diary,   a   gift   from   her   father.   Her    father becomes    her world,    and   she     forgets   her     past.      When     Doomsday     comes,     and     she    meets Jitty’s   new   wife Chandra,   Rita    is    told   that   she is not good   enough.    Chandra   is   embarrassed   of Rita’s African and Amerindian roots, her curly hair, and the fact that her parents weren’t married. Rita is quickly set off to the side.   Then a chance to visit her mother’s family presents itself.    Will Rita finally learn the truth her father will never tell? How did her mother die? This is the coming of age story of Rita Miraj, from five years old to adulthood.

This is an absolutely gorgeous, soul-touching book that I could not put down. We are immediately drawn into Rita’s life and grow up with her as she learns to cope with a weak but manipulative father and his empty promises. Words are her gift, and we are gifted with her poems and diary entries. Music, movies, and   political/historical   events   of   the   1970s   and    1980s    are relayed    through Rita,    Jitty,    and flashbacks   to   Rita’s   mother   Cassie.   The   lush   beauty, diverse wildlife,   and   rich   history    of the Pomeroon River area   are   described    in   vivid   detail.    Rita    has    a    deeply    moving     and     soul- changing moment on Shell   Beach   watching   a   turtle   lay   her   eggs,   and   I was drawn in to her overwhelming wonder and joy. The evolution of Rita’s heart, mind, and goals as she grows and learns is so well captured here. This book was an unforgettable, magical joy to read.  Highly recommend.

I received a free copy from Bookouture for Historical Novels Review. I also purchased a copy to support this amazing book. My opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon Maas was born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1951, and a sense of adventure has followed her around the world. In 1971 she spent a year backpacking around South America, followed by a few months with pioneering friends in the Guyana rainforest, followed by an overland trip to India, followed by a year in a Hindu Ashram.

She settled in Germany where she married, studied, worked, and raised children. 

Officially retired, she continues to write from her new home in Ireland.

Her first novel was published by HarperCollins in 1999, followed by two more in 2001 and 2002. At present she has 10 published works with the digital publisher Bookouture.

She has one self-published work, a retelling of the magnificent Indian epic Mahabharata: a project of love which took her over 30 years to “get right”, written under the pen name S. Aruna.

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#Book Review: America’s Daughter

BOOK DESCRIPTION

With Washington’s army, she joined America’s fight for independence…

1773. The night that Addie Valencourt sneaks out to witness the Boston Tea Party, she knows that her world is about to change forever. Soon, the love and security of her tight-knit family is torn apart by the fight for American independence.

When the British lay siege to Boston, Addie’s English-born father welcomes them into his home, while her childhood sweetheart Silas leaves to join General Washington. Addie is determined to follow him when she meets Scottish Highlander John Traverne. The frowning, dark-haired soldier is unlike anyone she has ever known, and he interests her more than he should. But any future with a man on the opposite side of this fight is impossible…

As the bitter war continues, Addie’s life becomes increasingly bound with the fate of America. When Silas is captured by the British, she risks all to search for him, but venturing into enemy territory brings her face to face with her Highlander again. Now Addie must make an impossible choice between what her heart is telling her, and protecting the secrets—and even the very lives—of the Patriots on the dangerous front line…

The first part of an epic, emotional and heartbreaking trilogy about a woman caught in the struggle for a new America. Readers who love My Dear Hamilton and Flight of the Sparrow will be swept away by America’s Daughter.

BOOK REVIEW

This is the beautiful, gripping story of a family torn apart by differing political beliefs and allegiances during the American Revolution. Addie’s brothers support the Revolution while her father welcomes the British into their home. Her sweetheart, Silas, goes to fight for General Washington, but then Addie meets Scottish Highlander John Traverne, to whom she is attracted, but he is on the opposite side of the fight.

Addie’s struggle to deal with the conflicting allegiances of her family versus her own beliefs is beautifully written. The captivating writing of Celeste De Blasis draws you into the story immediately, and it is hard to put down. The conflict in Addie’s heart between two very different men with different ideas is intriguing. This is a gripping look at a very real issue during the American Revolution, as families were often divided by conflicting beliefs. America’s Daughter is the first book in the America’s Daughter Trilogy. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the American Revolution or historical romance. This is an absolute steal at 99 cents on Amazon right now.

I received a free copy of this book via the publisher, Bookouture. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Celeste De Blasis

Millions of readers have fallen under the spell of the lush, enthralling and bestselling novels by Celeste De Blasis. Tales of adventure and romance set against the sweep of history—all are storytelling at its finest. After graduating from Pomona College, Celeste devoted her life to impeccable research and spellbinding writing. A native Californian, Celeste grew up on the historic Kemper Campbell Ranch in the Mojave Desert, where she lived until her death in 2001. Her trilogy, America’s Daughter, is now available in ebook for the first time.

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