AN EARL UNMASKED by Rachel Ann Smith – Featured New Release

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AN EARL UNMASKED

by

Rachel Ann Smith


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AEU cover

Lady Diana Malbury is known for her charm and intelligence, why else would she rather solve another one of the late Earl of Chestwick’s word puzzles than entertain potential suitors for the Season?
 
The old earl presents her with the highest-stake challenge yet…
 
If she remains unwed for the Season, she can return to his estate next summer and solve the latest puzzle by way of his extensive library, her favorite place in England…
 
But Randal Wilson, the new Earl of Chestwick, has returned from the war a decorated hero but also wounded and angry. His estate is off-limits to everyone. Why would the Beast of Chestwick allow the mindless fools of society to infiltrate his private world when he has greater things to worry about, like getting back to the war front.
 
But Diana doesn’t give up easily, and when she meets the earl after trespassing on his land—the two share a brief but soul-awakening kiss.
 
Suddenly Diana and Randal are forced to rethink their solitary ambitions…love is a riddle that only two hearts can solve together.
 
Kindle Unlimited subscribers read for free!
 
Ladies of Risk
An Earl Unmasked
The Duke of Aces
King Takes Queen
 
 
Retailer link:

 

Rachel Ann Smith writes steamy historical romances with a twist. Her debut series, Agents of the Home Office, features female protagonists that defy convention.

When Rachel isn’t writing, she loves to read and spend time with her family. She is frequently found with her Kindle by the pool during the summer, the soccer field in the spring and fall, or curled up on the couch during the winter months.

She currently lives in Texas with her extremely understanding husband and their two very supportive children.

Follow Rachel Ann here: 

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THE KRONIC by Kenya Goree-Bell–Featured New Release

I will always want to get lost in you. Always, Miracle.

THE KRONIC

Kenya Goree-Bell


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Kronic

What happens when the Biggest Star in the world falls for a carefree Autistic Girl? 
 
Miracle
🦄 Carefree
🦋 Neurodiverse
🦄Sensory Seeking
🦋Loves Green 
 
Kris
☄️Biggest Star in the world
🐺Alpha but not a A-hole
☄️DGAF
🐺Cuddle bear 
 
 
“I will always want to get lost in you. Always, Miracle. “
 
Kris, The Kronic Kyrikos has everything — but her, his best friend Miracle Howard. The Box Office Bully has his work set out for him when he finds himself wanting more from his bestie than movie nights, picnics and walks on the beach. 
 
Miracle Howard has always defied other people’s expectations. But now her bestie, Kris is expecting kisses. Kisses she very much wants to return. Dare she? He’s the biggest star in the world but he’s looking at her like she holds the universe. 
 
The Kronic is fourth story in the bestselling Mogul Series. Journey with Kris and Miracle as they discover what happens when walks on the beach and movie nights end with endless kisses and sleepovers where sheets and bodies end up tangled. 

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KGB

Kenya Goree-Bell lives in Alabama with her former warrior husband and three kids. She is the author of the Harem Diaries Series and the bestselling Mogul Series. When not writing she is a romance novel influencer, lifelong bibliophile and can be seen weekly on Instagram and Facebook Live interviewing other authors on her IGTV Channel; TheKGB– The K’s Grown and Sexy Book Club. She believes that Happy Ever After belongs to everyone and writes about worlds where everyone has a chance at love.  

Kenya@kenyagoreebell.com
www.Kenyagoreebell.com


Secret Kisses by Aurora Paige – Featured New Release

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SECRET KISSES

Midnight Kisses Series

Aurora Paige

 

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Secret Kisses

Stella
 
Did that just happen? Did Jaxson Mitchell really kiss me with his girlfriend in the other room?
 
I’d crushed hard on Jaxson for as long as I could remember. But my older brother had made it perfectly clear his best friend was off limits. 
 
Childhood crushes were just a phase…or so I thought until that New Year’s Eve kiss. Now all of those familiar feelings were back.
 
Jaxson
 
I knew Stella was untouchable, but I made my move all the same. 
 
It was risky, knowing friendships could be lost, and a family bond might be broken. Yet, kissing her was all I thought about from the minute I laid eyes on her at that party. 
 
So, when the clock struck midnight, I knew it was my chance. 
 
It was a new year, and I had a resolution I planned to keep. I just hoped Stella felt the same.
 
 
 
 
Midnight Kisses Series
 
This year, make the ultimate resolution to fall in love with the sexiest book boyfriends around. 
 
Midnight kisses, parties in the city, cozy cabins, and all the taboo sexiness you can handle. 
 
Strap on your slippers, and get cozy, cause these men are coming to you.
 
 

 


 

ABOUT AURORA

Aurora Paige
Aurora Paige is a healthcare professional by day and a Filipina-American writer of steamy contemporary romance with sassy heroines and sexy heroes at night. Each Aurora Paige story delivers a variety of Curvy Heroines, Multicultural relationships, Alpha Heroes, Steamy Heat, and a Guaranteed Happily Ever After.
 
 

THE YES DARE by Kathleen Y’Barbo – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

THE YES DARE

A Pies, Books
& Jesus Club Novel
by
KATHLEEN Y’BARBO
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: July 15, 2021
Number of Pages: 246 pages 
Scroll down for Giveaway!

Have you ever wished for a second chance to fix something you’ve messed up or for the courage to say yes to something that just may change your life? Sometimes saying yes to the last thing you want can mean saying yes to exactly what you need.

Ryan “The Rocket” Sutton’s winning streak is legendary makes him the undisputed best quarterback in the NFL. However, thanks to one dumb mistake, he’s a failure as a husband to Coco, the only woman he’s ever loved. When a judge’s mistake in divorce paperwork means Coco is still his wife, Ryan makes up his mind to fix what he ruined. Ryan’s game plan doesn’t count on an internationally famous movie director’s camera crew following him as he competes for Coco’s love.

After spending most of her adult life as a football wife and mother to twin sons, fashionista Coco Sutton is learning how to be single and fabulous. Emphasis on Fabulous. The sports trophies, memorabilia, and heavy masculine wood furniture in the home she used to share with Ryan have been banished to the attic, and her home is now a cozy haven of plush candle-scented comfort. She’s got big plans that include owning a boutique or maybe an art gallery, but she never planned to take on the biggest challenge of her life: staying single. Then her best friend gives her a copy of a book called The Yes Dare, and all her plans are turned upside down.

From a Hollywood movie to the local spring event formerly known as the Cow Chip Toss Festival and a country crooner with a crush on Coco, will Ryan dodge the obstacles to win back the only woman he ever loved?
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Stories like The Yes Dare are why I love to read Romance. Normally, I’d never touch a book if there’s even a slight hint of the kind of betrayal that broke up the main characters’ marriage in this story. Knowing the guarantee of a happy-ever-after ending in my favorite genre is what had me taking a chance on reviewing Ms. Y’Barbo’s latest title despite not having read any of her work before. I’m glad that trust was justified and the author delivered spectacularly on the resolution of the conflict that’s keeping Coco and Ryan apart.
You have no idea how many opportunities you’ve got to change your life until you start watching for them.”
Lighthearted and well-paced, The Yes Dare tells the entertaining story of Ryan’s campaign to win back Coco’s heart after finding out the invalidity of their divorce a year later. With the help of their sons, their friends, the people of their small town of Sugar Pine, Texas, the governor himself, and a book from which the story’s title came from, Rocket succeeds in getting Coco to say Yes to him once more.
I liked many things about this book. Now in my late-40’s, I prefer stories with protagonists close to my age so the fact that Coco and Ryan are almost forty made them more relatable to me. Ryan’s putting words into action and Coco’s competence in managing a large-scale event demonstrated their maturity in a way that’s very appealing. Also noteworthy is the subtle integration of faith in their words and deeds.
The sheer Texas-ness of Sugar Pine and its residents is really delightful. The members of Coco and Ryan’s community not only meddle, express their opinions loudly, but they also give their support wholeheartedly.
The low level of angst is something I highly appreciate. It’s obvious from the start that the estranged couple still loved each other and excessive push and pull would not have suited the story. I respect Ms. Y’Barbo for setting the right tone and flow that made this book an easy and enjoyable read.
Having said that, I’d have liked more setup for the climactic scene and perhaps an epilogue instead of the abrupt ending. I also would have appreciated more inclusiveness and wider representation to reflect the society we live in today.
Huge thanks to Lone Star Lit and the author for giving me the opportunity to review the book. I’ll be visiting Sugar Pine again in the future to get to know more about their residents, especially Sessa and Trey.
4 out of 5 stars

Publishers Weekly bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students, Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Sisters in Crime, Faith Hope and Love Christian Writers, and American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.
Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas, and are the parents, grandparents, and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and a trio of adorable Londoners.

THE SPINSTER’S SWINDLE by Catherine Stein – Featured New Release

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THE SPINSTER’S SWINDLE

Arcane Tales #2

Catherine Stein


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Revenge is in her future. But falling for her enemy’s son is one fate this spiritualist could never have envisioned.

Playwright Maxwell Millerson would rather spend his days dreaming up stories than cleaning up his father’s messes. But a trendy renovation has the family’s gaming club on the brink of ruin, and not even Max’s imagination can conjure a way out. Desperate, he turns to the multi-talented—and alluringly audacious—Madame Xyla to help him spin gold from straw.

Lydia Weaver, professionally known as spiritualist Madame Xyla, has long sought revenge on the man responsible for her cousin’s imprisonment. When her enemy’s son visits her seance room seeking advice, Lydia leaps at the opportunity for vengeance—until Max’s easy charm and poetic words threaten to turn her plans upside-down.

As their friendship grows and they give way to their mutual attraction, Lydia and Max must weigh family duty with their hearts’ desires. And only when they confront old wounds and new feelings can a happy ending be in the cards.

 

Buy Links:

Universal          Amazon          B&N          Kobo          Google Play           Apple          Indiebound

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REVIEW

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I’ve been reading Ms. Stein’s books since her debut and I love witnessing her tremendous growth as a storyteller. The world she created with her words is filled with multifaceted characters, tightly woven relationships, richly drawn backdrops, and beautiful prose.

At a time when I needed a diversion from my worries, escaping into the romance between Lydia and Max meant a great deal to me.

5 stars


ABOUT CATHERINE

Catherine Stein

Award-winning author Catherine Stein believes that everyone deserves love and that Happily Ever After has the power to help, to heal, and to comfort. She writes sassy, sexy romance set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Her books are full of action, adventure, magic, and fantastic technologies.

Catherine lives in Michigan with her husband and three rambunctious kids. She loves steampunk and Oxford commas, and can often be found dressed in Renaissance Festival clothing, drinking copious amounts of tea.

 

Connect with Catherine:

Website          Facebook          Twitter          Instagram          Bookbub          Amazon

SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE by Tari Faris – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

 

SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE
Restoring Heritage Series, #3
by
Tari Faris
 
Genre: Fiction / Christian / Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: September 7, 2021
Number of Pages: 336 pages
 
 
Scroll down for giveaway!
 

 
 
 

With her vision and his know-how, this thing just might work . . .

Leah Williams is back in the quaint town of Heritage, Michigan, and ready to try again to make her business a success. But blank slates are hard to come by, and a piece of her past is waiting for her there. Heir to the Heritage Fruits company, Jonathan Kensington is the guy who not only made Leah’s past difficult, but he also seems determined to complicate her present as well.

In order to avoid forcing a buyout of Leah’s building, Jon will have to strike a compromise. Can the two of them work together? Or will their troubled past set the tone for their future?

 
 
CLICK TO PURCHASE!
 
 

 
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With its uplifting theme of second chances–in love and in faith–Since You’ve Been Gone is one inspiring read. While tackling deep issues of childhood scars and fear of being hurt, grieving the loss of loved ones, and trying to succeed in business, Ms. Faris still managed to achieve a tone of lightness and hope that made reading this third book in her Restoring Heritage series easy and comforting.   
 
This is the first book by Tari Faris that I’ve read and I’m impressed with her ability to seamlessly weave two wonderfully sweet love stories in one novel. I especially appreciate the strong sense of family and community that shone throughout the book. All the charms of the small town setting were highlighted so well. The bit about Otis, the moving brass hippo, was particularly cute and heartwarming. I truly hope Heritage, Michigan exists because I want to go there for a visit. 
 
Love is letting someone in and trusting them even though they have the potential to break your heart.”
 
Leah and Jon’s rocky romance is both endearing and frustrating. It’s sweetened by swoon-worthy gestures yet soured by all the misunderstandings. Jon’s courtship of Leah, who he loved since high school, is complicated by his struggles with his sister, his conflict with his uncle regarding the running of the business, and his own insecurities about his readiness to lead the company his father built. Leah’s fear of getting hurt warred with her desire to be loved for who she is, quirks and all. Past familial drama did a number on her and caused her to be wary of love. Thankfully, supportive siblings and friends helped bring the two together for their much-deserved happily ever after. 
 
I love you and every broken piece about you and the fact you’re letting God heal that brokenness. And I hope you can grow to love every broken pieces about me.”
 
I liked Leah and Jon’s story but it was Madison and Colby’s romance that really captivated me. Of the two, the latter is more faith-centric. Damaged by abuse and finding affirmation in the wrong places, Madison took a self-destructive path in her youth. Her reluctant return to the town where she thought herself unwelcome and her rediscovery of her faith with the help of Colby and some unexpected new friends make a compelling story. The music she and Colby created was beautiful and profound. If it’s a real recorded song, I’ll buy it. 
 

Thanks to Revell, Tari Faris, and Lone Star Lit for providing me a copy of Since You’ve Been Gone for this review. I enjoyed this book, especially its earworm of a title, and will seek out the first two in the series. 

 
 
4 out of 5 stars
 

 
 
Tari Faris is the author of You Belong with Me and Until I Met You. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy, she is the projects manager for My Book Therapy, writes for learnhowtowriteanovel.com, and is a 2017 Genesis Award winner. She has an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary and lives in the Phoenix, Arizona, area with her husband and their three children. Although she lives in the Southwest now, she lived in a small town in Michigan for 25 years.
 
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—————————————
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
ONE WINNER:
A copy of the whole Restoring Heritage series,
a $10 Starbucks gift card,
and a bookish sticker pack!
(US only. Ends 10/22/21.)
 

AFTER PERFECT by Maan Gabriel – Featured New Release

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AFTER PERFECT

Maan Gabriel

 

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9781647422035_fcThirty-six-year-old Gabriella Stevens is living quietly and contently as a devoted housewife to Simon—just as her traditional Filipino mother has always told her to do—when, after sixteen years of marriage and twenty years together, he tells he wants a divorce.

With New York City as her backdrop, Gabby—single for the first time since she was a teenager—goes back to school, gets her first real job, and faces unfamiliar reality with determination. But when she unexpectedly falls in love with her mysterious but utterly beautiful creative writing professor, Colt, she learns he is battling demons of his own: a tragic past that may have made him incapable of love. Is Gabby destined for another heartbreak—or will her connection with Colt be what unbreaks her?

 

Buy Links:

Amazon          Barnes & Noble          One More Page

 

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Advance Praise:

  • “A heartfelt debut, After Perfect depicts a woman’s healing after divorce with grace and empathy. Maan Gabriel is an author to watch in contemporary women’s fiction.” ―Tif Marcelo, USA Today best-selling author of In a Book Club Far Away and The Key to Happily Ever After
  • “At once relatable and unexpected, AFTER PERFECT is the story of one woman’s quest to learn to live—and love—on her own terms after heartbreak. Maan Gabriel is a refreshing new voice in women’s fiction.” —Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around
  • “Maan Gabriel’s After Perfectis the story of a marriage and a divorce and the complexities of both. Gabriel explores how cultural expectations may not only inform decision-making but determine it. In clear prose and through vivid scenes, Maan Gabriel shows us this irony―often through relationships, we come to know ourselves.” ―Corie Adjmi, author of Life and Other Shortcomings

ABOUT MAAN

MaanMaan Gabriel is a mom, wife, dreamer, writer, and advocate for women’s stories in literature. She earned her BA in communications from St. Scholastica’s College in Manila and MPS in public relations and corporate communications from Georgetown University. She has lived in Manila, Brussels, Dakar, and Mexico City. During the day, she works in strategic communications. Gabriel, along with her husband and son, currently calls suburban Washington DC home. After Perfect is her first novel.

 

Learn more at www.maangabriel.com


REVIEW

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From its pain-filled opening scene to the sigh-worthy hopeful ending, After Perfect is one highly evocative read. Maan Gabriel’s wonderfully polished debut involves the reader in newly-divorced Gabby Stevens’ journey to self-discovery amidst heartbreak and uncertainties.

After being cosseted most of her life, Gabby resolves to start over, go back to school, get a job, move into a small place, open herself up to new experiences, and stand on her own. Along the way, she maintains the support of her parents and best friend while creating meaningful relationships with new people. 

I like how Ms. Gabriel made Gabby so real and relatable by giving her balance in both long-held insecurities and newfound strengths. I love how she made Gabby’s Filipino heritage integral to her identity. I admire the way she drew her characters with dimensions, with light and shade. Thomas is, of course, a favorite as well as Gabby’s parents and her best friend Felicity. They provide the humor necessary to counter the angst in the storyline. As for Simon and Colt, I can see the attraction and approve of the final choice. They’re both important but this book is all about Gabby.

Other things I love: 

  • The inclusiveness and diversity of the characters reflect the society we live in today.
  • The great sense of place in both New York City and Washington DC locations
  • Everything that has to do with books (Thomas’s bookshop!!!), the writing and reading of them 
  • All the food

Some of my favorite quotes:

The thing about writing … It defines who you are as a person. It evolves and revolves around you, around how you feel, or around how you perceive life.”

If I become light, then darkness cannot overpower me. You can’t extinguish the light from the sun.”

When you have a book, you have been everywhere.”

Love is nobody’s fault. Love is someone’s magic. And no one should feel guilty for loving.”

Content notes: adultery, on-page miscarriage, deaths (narrated), body image issues

4 Four-half-stars

 

A MATCH MADE IN SPAIN by Rochelle Merrill – Featured New Release

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A MATCH MADE IN SPAIN

by 

R.L. Merrill


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A small-town ASL teacher is reluctantly captivated by the Catalonian vintner determined to woo her across the Spanish countryside. Can a match made on a tour of Spain be a fairytale second chance for this grumpy/sunshine pair?

The ink on Cecilia’s divorce papers might be dry, but she’s in no hurry to connect with another traveling businessman, especially the spatially challenged one seated beside her on a crack-of-dawn flight from San Francisco to Madrid.

Felip should be on top of the world running his family’s cava empire, however life has left him feeling unfulfilled as of late. Good conversation and a hard-won smile from his seatmate—a grumpy but lovely American hearing-impaired teacher—have him wondering if maybe fairytales are possible—or if he’s lost his mind, especially when a series of mishaps lands him in the role of the substitute tour guide for her group.

Over the course of twelve days, Felip’s irresistible charm and lust for life break down Cecilia’s carefully constructed walls as he competes with needy teenagers and pulls off a daring rescue to show her they are a good match. Will Cecilia see that their worlds are closer together than she thinks, and that faith and compromise can give them a real happily ever after?

Perfect for fans of Shipped by Angie Hockman and People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry. And those who miss the excitement of exploring a new place with a special someone by your side will appreciate the journey.

Buy Links:

Amazon          Barnes and Noble          iBooks          Kobo           

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EXCERPT

“You were going to tell me about playing guitar,” she reminded him.

            “Sí, claro. I was a young boy, I do not remember how old, but my father played. I wanted to have special time with him, and since I was too small to be of much use to him in other ways, I thought if we could play together, we’d always have that. He agreed, and he began to teach me. It is quite a stereotypical Spanish thing to do, play guitar and sing.”

            “You sing, too?”

            He shrugged. “Sometimes.”

            “Sometimes,” she repeated. “I’d like to hear you,” she said, feeling brave. They were nearing the hotel, and she could see the kids entering the building ahead of her.

            “I’m happy to sing for you, cariño.” He pulled her closer and kissed the top of her hair. She couldn’t help how much she loved being this close to him, could she? Was it so wrong that she felt a bit like a princess, even though she didn’t believe in fairy tales?

            Cecilia felt her phone buzzing in the pocket of her dress. She stopped walking to pull it out. Greg. Awesome.

            “Do you need to answer that?”

            “No.”

            “No?”

            She exhaled and hit the accept button. “You know I’m in Spain, Greg.”

            “Uh, Cecilia? Is that you?”

            “Who else would be answering my phone?”

            Felip’s dramatic eyebrows raised and his eyes widened. She gave him the sign for ex-husband, but he probably didn’t know what that meant.  

            “I’m sorry. Is this a good time?”

            Cecilia smiled and wished she could say, “Yeah, I’m walking down a dark street in Madrid, one of the most beautiful places in the world, with a gorgeous man who just serenaded me in front of a whole roomful of people. No, it’s not a good time,” but years of practice attempting to be a good communicator kept her from shoving that in his face.

            “What do you want?”

            Felip gestured that he could walk away from her if she needed privacy, and she shook her head. She grabbed the front of his shirt so he would completely understand that she wanted him near. He looked down at her hand and chuckled, removing it from his shirt and pressing a kiss to her palm.

            “Well, we got an offer on the house.”

            The news startled Cecilia. She moved out of the middle of the sidewalk, dragging Felip with her. “That was fast,” she answered him finally.

            “It’s ten thousand over our asking price. I think it’s a good one.”

            They’d been unsure how quickly their house would sell. She’d done so much to fix it up over the years that the realtor had been pleasantly surprised by its condition and felt they could sell it as-is. But Grass Valley wasn’t exactly a booming real estate market, part of the reason Greg had left in the first place.

            “What does Nicki say?” Their realtor was an old friend of theirs from high school. It had been a bit awkward working with her since they were now a divorced couple, and everyone had assumed she and Greg would stay together forever.

            “She thinks it’s good. She said we might could get more, but seeing as we’re in a hurry—”

            “You mean you’re in a hurry. You and Carol.”

            Felip leaned closer, and she assumed he could hear both sides of the conversation since she wasn’t using the Bluetooth function on her hearing aide. She didn’t much care if he heard.

            “Well, yeah, honey. We talked about this. Carol and I need to find a place as soon as possible.”

            “And, honey, that isn’t really my problem. You could always move back in with your parents. That’s what I did.”

            Felip covered his mouth to smother a laugh. Cecilia winked at him. It was so nice to be free of Greg after two years of feeling like everything was her fault. She truly didn’t wish him any ill will, but his pushiness about this house business had bugged the shit out of her, especially because she knew it had more to do with Carol than with him.

            She heard Greg exhale on the other end. “Cecilia, I’ve waited a long time to make this move permanent. I’m ready to get on with my life.”

            His words chipped away at her buoyant mood but couldn’t demolish it. Having Felip beside her reminded her that she deserved better, and her brief stint with a therapist when they’d first agreed to get divorced had convinced her that she had every right to do what was best for her. She had gone just to make sure she wasn’t crazy for not feeling guilty or sad. It had been very much like dinner with a close girlfriend, and since her therapist happened to also know ASL, she’d been able to express herself in a way that had made those brief sessions a huge affirmation.

            “Greg, you did move on with your life, and that’s fine. We’ve been over this. I’m not trying to hold you back. I had no choice about taking this trip, you know that. The paperwork will need to wait until I get back so I can look at everything.”

            “I know,” Greg said, sounding defeated. “I’m sorry, honey. I didn’t mean to interfere with you having a good time. You deserve to have a good trip. Has it been good?”

            Cecilia’s cheeks hurt, she smiled so wide. She gazed up into Felip’s handsome face and wished they were alone somewhere so they could kiss each other silly again. Feeling brave, she slid her hand around his back and pressed up against him, his smile matching hers in intensity.

            “I’m having a wonderful time.” She ran the fingers of her other hand through the sliver of chest hair visible where his shirt was unbuttoned. “Spain is quite beautiful.” She smiled up at Felip, loving his lusty expression. His eyelids fluttered and he bent down to brush his lips against her forehead.

            He suddenly turned his head toward the hotel, and she looked to see Gabrielle gesturing for them to come inside.

            “I’ll see what she wants,” he said. “You take your time. I’ll be right back.”

            He kissed her hair before trotting up the street. Cecilia watched him run with appreciation. He moved like a soccer player, as though running was effortless. She’d never understood that ability. She felt like a total clod when she tried to run.

            “Are you still there? Who was that?”

            “Hmm? Oh that? That was Felip.”

            “Felip? Cecilia…?”

            “He’s our tour guide, sort of.”

            “Sort of? You sound funny. Are you alright?”

            “I’m great, actually. Sorry. Just distracted. We were at a flamenco show. It was amazing! The dancers, the singers… The club was really cool, too, and—”

            “A club? Didn’t the noise bother you?”

            “It did, a little, until they started performing. I couldn’t tear my eyes away. They were so passionate, so full of emotion when they danced.”

            Greg laughed, and she asked what was so funny.

            “Nothing, you just sound so, I don’t know… Different. Happy. I haven’t heard you sound like this in a long time.”

            “I haven’t felt like this in a long time.” She watched Gabrielle and Felip having a conversation outside the doors of the hotel and wasn’t even perturbed at the number of hair flicks Gabrielle made. They had no effect on Felip, and he likely didn’t notice them because he kept looking in her direction.

            “Cecilia…I’m—”

            “Greg, if you think the offer is a good one, I’m okay with it. I don’t want to hold you back.”

            He exhaled into the phone, sounding quite relieved. “Thank you, Cecilia. That means a lot. I’m sorry—”

            “It’s fine. You and Carol go start your life.” Maybe I’m about to do the same.

            “Thank you. I’ll have Nicki contact you by email for the official signature stuff if she needs it before you get back.”

            “Sure. When I get back. I’m not signing anything until I return.” Felip returned and gave her a look to see if she was okay. She signed to him that she was fine, and he shook his head. He tried to mime something to her, and it looked so ridiculous she held up a finger to him.

            “I gotta go, Greg. Take care.”

            He said something else but she was done with her past. Cecilia clicked the end button and slid the phone back into the pocket of her dress. She held out her hand and Felip took it, allowing her to pull him close.

            “You’re going to have to teach me sign language,” he said, slipping his arms around her waist.

            “Mmmm, you do fine without words.”

            She pushed up onto her toes, determined to take the lead this time, and the moment her lips touched his, he moaned softly and opened for her. His hands gripped her tightly, pulling her body flush with his, and the contact shut out the rest of the world. He whispered something against her lips she couldn’t quite make out, but then he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her so tight she forgot to breathe. All that mattered was this man standing before her, his kiss a promise of more passion and fun to come, if she simply took his hand.

He was right, she was silly to think they wouldn’t see each other. This wasn’t the dark ages. There were planes and FaceTime and Skype…

Oh, Lord she was in trouble. She’d scold herself, but then she knew it was too late. She was already involved.


ABOUT ROCHELLE 

roIf R.L. Merrill is your local hard rock/metal radio station, Rochelle is her Adult Contemporary alter ego. Spinning feel-good stories to make you laugh and swoon, Ro writes romance for grown-ups who use their words (mostly) and take care of business. She’s a mom and wife who’s on hiatus from a career in education while she explores the new terrain of mid-life adventures. You can catch her walking and gardening in her neighborhood by the Bay, spoiling her rescue pets, and dreaming of attending concerts and theaters again someday. Stay Tuned for more hits coming your way

Connect with Ro at rlmerrillauthor.comtwitter.com/rlmerrillauthor, instagram.com/rlmerrillauthor, or facebook.com/rowritesrocknromance. 

CREATRIX RISING by Stephanie Raffelock – Book Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

CREATRIX RISING: UNLOCKING THE POWER
OF MIDLIFE WOMEN
By Stephanie Raffelock
Categories: Nonfiction / Self Help Memoir
Publisher: She Writes Press
Pub Date: August 24, 2021
Pages:176 Pages
Scroll for the Giveaway!

From the author of the award-winning book A Delightful Little Book on Aging comes a new self-help memoir Creatrix Rising: Unlocking the Power of Midlife Women. In her new book, Stephanie Raffelock liberates mold-defying midlife women, tired of the oft-inaccurate characterization of the “old crone,” to amplify the resounding strength within.

Ever since Eve was banned from the garden, women have endured the oftentimes painful and inaccurate definitions foisted upon them by the patriarchy. Maiden, mother, and crone, representing the three stages assigned to a woman’s life cycle, have been the limiting categories of both ancient and modern (neo-pagan) mythology. And one label in particular rankles: crone. The word conjures a wizened hag—useless for the most part, marginalized by appearance and ability.

None of us has ever truly fit the old-crone image, and for today’s midlife women, a new archetype is being birthed: the Creatrix.

In Creatrix Rising, Raffelock lays out—through personal stories and essays—the highlights of the past fifty years, in which women have gone from a quiet strength to a resounding voice. She invites us along on her own transformational journey by providing probing questions for reflection so that we can flesh out and bring to life this new archetype within ourselves. If what the Dalai Lama has predicted—that women will save the world—proves true, then the Creatrix will for certain be out front, leading the pack.

PRAISE FOR CREATRIX RISING:

“The perfect topic at the perfect time, Stephanie Raffelock’s self-help memoir, Creatrix Rising, identifies a new archetype, the Creatrix, that transcends the old archetype of Crone. Her stories and insights about how far women have come is nothing short of inspirational. A must-read for any woman who wants to embrace the strength and creativity of midlife.” -Marci Shimoff, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Happy for No Reason and Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul

“Poetic and philosophical, Creatrix Rising will inspire readers to claim the courage and confidence that already lives inside of them. An intimate story of transformation, of journeying through life on your own terms without apology.”
Richard Blanco, 2013 Presidential Inaugural Poet and author of How to Love a Country

“The new archetype Stephanie Raffelock assigns to midlife women underscores the assets and wisdom older women bring to our culture and to the greater good. Creatrix Rising is an affirmation and celebration of the feminine story taking place in leadership and creativity throughout our country.”
Gabby Reese, volleyball legend, Nike’s first female spokeswoman, and New York Times best-selling author
Click To Purchase:
Amazon ~ Indiebound ~ Bookshop.org

Link To The Book Trailer On YouTube

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When you feel that a book is about you and written specially for you, it is impossible not to rave about it. Stephanie Raffelock’s beautifully-written, mindset-shifting Creatrix Rising is one such book and this is a glowing review of it. This early, I’m declaring it one of my Top 21 Reads of 2021.
I wholeheartedly embrace the move to redefine the archetype of midlife women from the dismal, joyless, and manmade Crone to the powerful, aspirational, and woman-made Creatrix. That’s not only my vanity talking but also my common sense. It’s obvious by their definitions which personification is preferable. At 49 with a pre-teen son, I still identify with the Mother archetype. It won’t be long though until middle age sets in and when that time comes, I’ll be ready to claim my title of Creatrix with the help of this book.
In laying out her own transformation, Ms. Raffelock shared deeply personal stories and meaningful relationships throughout her life. I found many of them incredibly affecting and inspiring, especially the ones about her grandmother Julia and her mother Cleo. She hinted at past pains but never delved too much in the mistakes and regrets. Rather, she celebrated the learnings she gleaned from them. While fiercely feminist and giving much of the spotlight on the incredible women who helped shape her, Stephanie was fair in acknowledging several men who have contributed in her journey of growth and self-awareness. I liked that. I also really liked the tone of positivity, of optimism in the book. Even when touching on divisive political topics, Ms. Raffelock kept her focus on opportunities and triumphs instead of dwelling on injustices and casting blames.
The sections on reflection, activity, and journaling are some of my favorite parts of the book. They’re interactive. They’re where the reader is invited to relate what they’d read to their own life, to think of people who made an impact, to remember experiences and interactions, and to tell their stories.
Creatrix Rising is easy to read. The language is profound but understandable, not clinical or highfalutin. Some parts are highly evocative, some are factual. Definitions are repeated for emphasis. The organization flows with purpose and intent. The book is immensely quotable. I am glad I have two copies because one (the eBook) is covered in highlighted passages. Some of my favorites are:
The way we envision older women needs to be altered to reflect the evolution of our continuing liberation and growing self-awareness, equality, and confidence.”
When I’m trying to uplevel my game, it helps to name what I hope to achieve and then claim that achievement. Name it and claim it.”
Women find a way. We all have a heroine who lives inside of us. We all have a story to tell. Telling our stories liberates us to love ourselves and command respect in the world.”
Embrace the beauty and grace of age and its gifts of wisdom. Make life on your own terms. You are never too old to dream, to participate, to engage. Uplift other women. Tell your story. You are at the front of the line now. Hold your light high, and be proud of who you are and who you are still becoming. Accept the mantle of Creatrix, and celebrate the goodness and grace that it holds.”
Huge thanks to Lone Star Lit, She Writes Press, and Stephanie Raffelock for including me in the blog tour and providing me with a copy to review.
5 stars

Stephanie Raffelock is the author of Creatrix Rising, Unlocking the Power of Midlife Women, (She Writes Press – August, 2021). She also penned the award winning book, A Delightful Little Book on Aging.

A graduate of Naropa University’s program in Writing and Poetics, Stephanie was a contributor to The Rogue Valley Messenger in Oregon. She has blogged for Nexus Magazine, Omaha Lifestyles, Care2.com, as well as SixtyandMe.com.

A former i-Heart Radio host, she is now a popular guest on podcasts, where she inspires women to embrace the strength and passion of their personal story. Stephanie continues to build her speaker’s resume by giving presentations for groups like The Ashland Literary Arts Festival, Breaking the Glass, WINS at Charles Schwab and Southern Oregon University, Friends of the Hannon Library. Her commitment to uplift women extends to teaching personal development classes for incarcerated women and non-profits, including Dress for Success, Austin.

A recent transplant to Austin, Texas Stephanie enjoys an active life with her husband, Dean, and their Labrador retriever, Mickey Mantel Raffelock.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn


GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
FOUR WINNERS!
Each receive signed copies of Creatrix Rising plus
a $25.00 Starbucks gift card.
(US Only; ends 9/11/21)

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway


FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY.
Or, visit the blogs directly:

9/1/21

Excerpt

Hall Ways Blog

9/1/21

Review

Missus Gonzo

9/2/21

Review

All the Ups and Downs

9/2/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

9/3/21

Review

The Plain-Spoken Pen

9/3/21

Review

Momma on the Rocks

9/4/21

Author Interview

The Clueless Gent

9/5/21

Author Interview

Book Bustle

9/6/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

9/6/21

Video Guest Post

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

9/7/21

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

9/8/21

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

9/8/21

Guest Post

The Page Unbound

9/9/21

Review

Jennie Reads

9/10/21

Review

Forgotten Winds

9/10/21

Review

Carpe Diem Chronicles

Book Touring Services Provided By:

A RETURN OF THE WICKED EARL by Sadie Bosque – Featured New Release

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A RETURN OF THE WICKED EARL

Sadie Bosque


BLURB

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A mistake she will regret for a lifetime…
Lady Annalise was a wide-eyed debutante when she fell in love and married Blake, the Earl of Payne. But their time together was ill-fated and brief. After being treated poorly by her new husband, soon Annalise’s love for Blake is shattered. When he disappears entirely, their marriage seems to have ended as soon as it began.

A terrible betrayal…
Blake, the Earl of Payne, had it all: a hefty inheritance, a respectable title, and a beautiful wife. But it all crumbles when he is abducted, tortured and almost killed three months after his wedding. Now that he’s back he is determined to win back his wife and take revenge on whoever is responsible for his abduction. Neither task is going as planned, especially since his wife has moved on and his abductors have a plan of their own.

A love that is stronger than hate…
As suspicions flare, dark secrets emerge, and old passions are rekindled, Blake and Annalise must decide if they can trust each other again… or let go of one another forever.

Buy Links:

Amazon          Barnes & Noble          Kobo          Apple


ABOUT SADIE

sadie-bosque-5Sadie Bosque is a steamy historical romance author. Surrounded by the enchantment of the historical setting, her love stories communicate to the modern reader through the experiences of her characters. The heroes and heroines of Sadie’s stories are flawed, imperfect creatures with big hearts. Sadie believes that a happily ever after has to be hard-earned. The trials and tribulations her characters go through make them stronger and make the HEA so much sweeter.
Social Media Links:
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