THE SECRET OF YOU AND ME by Melissa Lenhardt – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

TSOYAM tour graphic

THE SECRET OF YOU AND ME

by

MELISSA LENHARDT

Genre: Women’s Fiction / Romance
Publisher:  Graydon House (Harlequin)
Date of Publication: August 4, 2020
Number of Pages: 352

 

Scroll down for the giveaway!

 

Synopsis

TSOYAM book cover

True love never fades—and old secrets never die . . . 

Nora hasn’t looked back. Not since she fled Texas to start a new life. Away from her father’s volatile temper and the ever-watchful gaze of her claustrophobically conservative small town, Nora has freed herself. She can live—and love—however she wants. The only problem is that she also left behind the one woman she can’t forget. Now tragedy calls her back home to confront her past—and reconcile her future.

Sophie seems to have everything—a wonderful daughter, a successful husband, and a rewarding career. Yet underneath that perfection lies an explosive secret. She still yearns for Nora—her best friend and first love—despite all the years between them. Keeping her true self hidden hasn’t been easy, but it’s been necessary. So when Sophie finds out that Nora has returned, she hopes Nora’s stay is short. The life she has built depends on it.

But they both find that first love doesn’t fade easily. Memories come to light, passion ignites, and old feelings resurface. As the forces of family and intolerance that once tore them apart begin to reemerge, they realize some things may never change—unless they demand it.

PRAISE FOR THE SECRET OF YOU AND ME:

“Lenhardt convinces in her portrayal of the conflict between desire and control.” —Publishers Weekly

“A compelling story of second chances and being true to yourself.”
Harper Bliss, bestselling author of Seasons of Love

“At turns sweet, sexy, and always respectful of these characters and their journeys to their most authentic selves, Lenhardt’s wonderful book is highly recommended for all fiction collections.” —Booklist

 

CLICK TO PURCHASE

Interabang Books
(Personalized/signed copies available through Interabang)

Amazon || IndieBound || Bookshop

A portion of royalties are going to the It Gets Better Project.
(Click for more details.)

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There was a question in one of my Facebook groups about which book I’d want to see made into a movie and I responded with a favorite title. Now, I have an additional candidate — The Secret of You and Me. The story of Nora and Sophie’s passionate second-chance journey to their happy-ever-after despite small town prejudices and past hurts lends itself highly adaptable to film. All the elements are there: fully fleshed-out characters, complicated relationships, well-described small town setting, timely subjects, and involving storytelling.

I loved how Ms. Lenhardt developed the characters of Nora and Sophie. Both are imperfect, broken people who, through the course of the story, have to learn things about themselves that they needed to address separately in order to forge a future together.

While Nora was able to live her truth elsewhere, Sophie has a more difficult time accepting her real identity within the narrow confines of her conservative town. A bigoted mother, a husband with political ambitions, and a teenage daughter she doesn’t want to lose if she came out all contribute to Sophie’s  quandary in making a choice. Similarly, Nora has her own internal conflicts to resolve with a family responsibility, a sick aunt, and a life in DC that’s hard for her to walk away from.

I also appreciate the balance of both opposing and supportive characters. For Nora’s always-complaining sister Mary there’s a mothering Emmadean. For Sophie’s heinous mother Brenda there’s her stalwart sponsor Todd.

Some serious topics are discussed in this book. Homosexuality, bisexuality, homophobia, PTSD, and alcoholism being the most prominent ones. For the most part, they’re treated with sensitivity and provide a positive representation of the LGBTQ community.

My main gripe is the overabundance of cheating. Sophie and Nora picking up where they left off eighteen years ago is an essential plot point but puts a tawdry element to their affair that can’t be erased by their true love for one another. Fidelity is an important issue (for me) in romance and the lack of it here gives me a little pause in an otherwise engaging story.

Overall, an entertaining read that highlights the message that love is universal.

4 out of 5 stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

TSOYAM Author photo

Melissa Lenhardt is a women’s fiction, mystery, and historical fiction author. Her debut mystery, Stillwater, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest, and Sawbones, her historical-fiction debut, was hailed as a “thoroughly original, smart and satisfying hybrid, perhaps a new sub-genre: the feminist Western” by Lone Star Literary Life. The New York Times called her sixth novel, Heresy, “An all-out women-driven, queer, transgender, multiracial takeover of the Old West”. The Secret of You and Me, her seventh novel and her first contemporary women’s fiction novel, was published on August 4, 2020.

 When Melissa isn’t writing, she’s thinking, “I really should be writing,” and eating Nutella or peanut butter straight out of the jar. A lifelong Texan, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband, two sons, and two Golden Retrievers.

Facebook  Instagram ║ Website
Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ BookBub ║ Twitter

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

TWO WINNERS each get a signed hardcover copy of the book and their choice of
either a FaceTime call or virtual book-club visit with the author.
August 11-21, 2020
(U.S. Only)

TSOYAM giveaway

Click on the photo to enter.

A Rafflecopter giveaway

 

CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY.

Or, visit the blogs directly:

8/11/20 Author Interview All the Ups and Downs
8/11/20 Review Tangled in Text
8/12/20 Review Momma on the Rocks
8/12/20 BONUS Post Hall Ways Blog
8/13/20 Review Carpe Diem Chronicles
8/14/20 Top Six List Texas Book Lover
8/14/20 Review Bibliotica
8/15/20 Excerpt StoreyBook Reviews
8/16/20 Guest Post The Page Unbound
8/17/20 Review Missus Gonzo
8/17/20 Review Rainy Days with Amanda
8/18/20 Audio Spotlight Book Bustle
8/19/20 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
8/19/20 Review Reading by Moonlight
8/20/20 Review It’s Not All Gravy
8/20/20 Review That’s What She’s Reading

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MAN DOWN by Kate Meader – Book Blitz and Giveaway

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MAN DOWN

by

Kate Meader

 

mm blurb headerManDown

Gunnar Bond is broken.

Three years ago, he lived through the car crash that took his wife and twins away from him—though “lived” barely describes his current state. Giving up professional hockey, going off grid, and drinking himself into oblivion are his coping mechanisms. Another is texting his dead wife about his days without her. Therapeutic? Doubtful. Crazy?
Definitely. But those messages into the ether are virtually the only thing stopping him from spiraling to even darker places.

Until someone texts back . . .

Sadie Yates is losing it.

Suddenly guardian to a little sister she doesn’t know and a misbehaving hound she’d rather not know at all, she’s had to upend her (sort of) glamorous life in LA and move back to Chicago. The nanny has quit, the money’s running out, and her job is on the line. The last thing she needs is her sister’s hockey camp counselor, a judgmental Viking type, telling her she sucks at this parenting lark. Thank the goddess for her sweet, sensitive, and—fingers crossed—sexy text buddy who always knows the right thing to say. In the same city at last, they can finally see if their online chemistry is mirrored in real life. She just needs to set up a meeting …

A ruined man who claims to have used up all his love is surely a bad bet, but Sadie’s never been afraid of a challenge … even one that might shatter her heart into a million pieces.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon          Barnes & Noble          Kobo          iBooks          Google Play

 

mm about the author header

Kate-Meader-e1434416954712

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

 

Author links:

Website     Facebook     Instagram     Twitter     Goodreads     BookBub     Amazon

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Kate is giving away $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Open internationally. Ends today August 2. Click on photo to enter.


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A Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz provided by:

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THE HUNGRY READERS GAMES 2020

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I’m participating in The Hungry Readers Games 2020 organized by Mary Smith of @chicklitshop. It’s a reading contest Hunger Games-style from June 1st to August 31st and I intend to be the Champion! 🏹🏆

the hungry readers games rules

🏹🏆 Two Challenges and Two Ways to Win

Competition 1 – Power Reader Challenge:

1 pt. will be awarded for novels (200+ pages!) 📚📚
0.5 pts. for novellas (199 pages or less!) 📚

Competition 2: Bonus Points Challenge – #HungerGames style! 😱🙈😱

✔️ Read an ARC a week (up to 3 max per week) = Accept 1 Bonus Point or Go to GamesMistress @LauraHeffernanBooks & Dice Roll for 0 – 5 Bonus Points! 😮
✔️ Write a Review a Week = 5 Bonus Points 😍
✔️ Write a Blog or IG Book Post a week = 3 Bonus Points. Keep them, or Go to the GamesMistress & Roll for Double or Nothing! 🤔
✔️ Gain Lifelines –> Every 15 new Followers = 5 Bonus Points 🤩
✔️ Gain Sponsors –> Every 5 Sponsors = 1 Bonus Points

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Week 1 (June 1-7) Report:

A Dark and Stormy Knight by Kerrigan Byrne – 2 points

  • Novel (eBook) finished on June 1 – 1 point
  • ARC – 1 bonus point
  • Review posted on Goodreads, BookBub, and Amazon on June 4
  • Bookstagram on June 3
  • Sponsor #1 – Kerrigan Byrne

The Outlaw’s Daughter by Margaret Brownley – 10 points

  • Novel (paperback) read between June 1-2 – 1 point
  • Advance reading copy – 1 bonus point
  • Review posted on Goodreads, BookBub, NetGalley, Amazon, and B&N – 5 bonus points
  • Blog and Instagram post- 3 bonus points
  • Sponsor #2 – Margaret Brownley via NetGalley

The Scoundrel’s New Con by Catherine Stein – 2 points

How to Seduce a Spy by Catherine Stein – 1 point

  • Novel (audiobook) finished on June 5 – 1 point
  • Review posted on Audible and Goodreads

Alpha Night by Nalini Singh – 1 point

  • Novel (eBook) read between June 5-7 – 1 point
  • ARC
  • Review posted on Goodreads, BookBub, Edelweiss, and Amazon
  • Bookstagram
  • Sponsor #4 – Nalini Singh via Edelweiss

Week 1 = 18 points (including bonus roll)


Week 2 (June 8-14) Report

Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho – 20 points

  • Novel (eBook) read between June 8 to 12 – 1 point
  • ARC – 1 bonus point
  • Challenge #1 – 10 bonus points
  • Review posted on Goodreads, BookBub, Amazon, Litsy, Edelweiss – 5 bonus points
  • Bookstagram – 3 bonus points
  • Sponsor #5 – Lauren Ho via Edelweiss

Seeds of Desire by Jessie Scott – 1 point

  • Novel (eBook) finished on June 13 – 1 point
  • Review posted on Goodreads
  • Sponsor #6 – Jessie Scott

Dance Away With Me by Susan Elizabeth Phillips – 2 points

  • Novel (eBook) read between June 13 and14 – 1 point
  • ARC – 1 bonus point
  • Review posted on Goodreads, BookBub, Edelweiss
  • Sponsor #7 – SEP via Edelweiss

The AI Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole – 0.5 points

  • Novella (audiobook) read between June 7 to 14 – 0.5 point
  • Review posted on Audible and Goodreads

Week 2 Total – 23.5 points

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Week 3 (June 15-21) Report

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Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras25 points

  • Novel (eBook) finished on June 19 – 1 point
  • ARC – 1 bonus point
  • Review posted on Goodreads, BookBub, NetGalley, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Litsy – 5 bonus points
  • Bookstagram – 3 bonus points
  • Challenge 2 (OwnVoices Dinner Book Challenge) – 15 points
  • Sponsor #8 – Priscilla Oliveras via NetGalley

Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh – 2 points

  • Novel (eBook) re-read on June 20 – 1 point
  • ARC – 1 bonus point
  • Review posted on Goodreads
  • Sponsor – Nalini Singh via NetGalley

The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles – 1 point

  • Novel (audiobook and eBook combo) read between June 19-21 – 1 point
  • Review posted on Goodreads

Additional bonus points – 2 points

  • ARC of Seeds of Desire – 1 bonus point
  • 5 sponsors – 1 bonus point

Total Week 3 – 27 points (after -3 for Double or Nothing)

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Week 4 (June 22-28) Report

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Once More Upon a Time by Roshani Chokshi – 0.5 points

  • Novella (audiobook) read between June 22-23 – 0.5 points
  • Review posted on Goodreads and Audible

Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata – 1 point

  • Novel (audiobook) read between June 24-27 – 1 point
  • Review posted on Goodreads and Audible

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert – 10 points

  • Novel (eBook) finished on June 27 – 1 point
  • ARC – 1 bonus point
  • Review posted on Goodreads, Edelweiss, BookBub, Litsy – 5 bonus points
  • Bookstagram – 3 bonus points
  • Sponsor #9 – Talia Hibbert via Edelweiss

Simmer Down by Sarah Smith – 32 points

  • Novel (eBook) read between June 27-28 – 1 point
  • ARC – 1 bonus point
  • Review posted on Goodreads, NetGalley, BookBub, Litsy
  • Bookstagram 
  • Challenge #3 Chef & A Dream Book Challenge – 20 bonus points + 10 bonus points for Own Voices
  • Sponsor #10 – Sarah Smith via NetGalley

Additional points – 3 points

  • 5 sponsors – 1 bonus point
  • 2 turns of the dice – 2 bonus points

Total Week 4 – 46.5 points 

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Rest of June Report

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Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley – 6 points

  • Novel (audiobook) read from June 29 to 30 – 1 point
  • Review posted on Goodreads and Audible – 5 bonus points

Additional Points – 10 points

  • 15 new Facebook Likes – 5 bonus points
  • 15 new Instagram Followers – 5 bonus points

Deductions

  • Skipping Challenge #4 – -20 points

Total “Week 5” – 4 points

TOTAL JUNE POINTS – 111

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FOR SPACIOUS SKIES By Nancy Churnin: Book Blog Tour – Review and Giveaway

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FOR SPACIOUS SKIES

KATHARINE LEE BATES AND THE INSPIRATION FOR “AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL”

by

Nancy Churnin

illustrated by Olga Baumert

Picture Book Biography / Women’s Suffrage / Woman Poet
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Date of Publication: April 1, 2020
Number of Pages: 32

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Synopsis

FSS book coverAs a little girl growing up during the Civil War, Katharine Lee Bates grew up to become a poet, professor, and social activist. She not only wrote “America the Beautiful” but gave this anthem to America as a gift. A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and a suffragist who stood up for a woman’s right to vote and lived to cast her ballot in presidential elections, Katharine believed in the power of words to make a difference. In “America the Beautiful,” her vision of the nation as a great family, united from sea to shining sea, continues to uplift and inspire us all.

 

PRAISE for For Spacious Skies: 

“Churnin tells that story in a spare and lively text beautifully complemented by double-page spreads highlighting Baumert’s gorgeous panoramic illustrations . . . A handsome volume befitting its subject.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The story ends on a high note in 1920, with Bates casting her ballot after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted voting rights to women . . . The richly colored, nicely composed artwork will help children visualize the period setting while enjoying the portrayals of Bates and beautiful landscapes. A picture-book biography of a notable American.”—Booklist

“Nancy Churnin has written a delightful book that helps children understand the many dimensions of my great-aunt Katharine Lee Bates. This book does an excellent job conveying her ardent passion for equal rights and for her country. She was a poet, a professor, and a world traveler, but she was first and foremost a citizen who loved America, in all its beauty and diversity.”—Katharine Lee Holland

CLICK TO ORDER ON:

  Amazon    Barnes & Noble 
 Interabang Books    Bookshop.org  

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FSS bookstagram 1

Exquisitely illustrated, inspiring, and educational, For Spacious Skies is a gem of a picture biography I would strongly recommend elementary school librarians, Reading teachers, and parents of school-age kids purchase right away.

Growing up in the Philippines, I’ve heard of the song “America the Beautiful” but haven’t known anything about the writer who penned the tribute to this country’s wonders from coast to coast until now. Along with my fifth-grader son, I learned of Katharine Lee Bates’s feminism and her drive to make a difference through her words. We felt an affinity with her when she beheld the marvelous sights from the top of Pikes Peak, a place we’ve visited and lived close by.

FSS bookstagram 2Touching on major events that happened during the lifetime of Miss Bates, from the Civil War to Lincoln Assassination to women’s suffrage, this book teaches history to children in a way that appeals as well as informs. My son was particularly shocked upon learning that there was a time when women didn’t have the right to vote. His reaction made me think that girls would be inspired by Miss Bates even more and all kids who read this would seek to follow in her footsteps in speaking up for women and the poor, and advocating for peace in the US and the world.

With its artful cover and instructive content, For Spacious Skies is a worthy addition to any library.

4 Four-half-stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

ChurninNancy Churnin is the award-winning author of eight picture book biographies with a ninth due in 2021.

Beautiful Shades of Brown, The Art of Laura Wheeler Waring is A Mighty Girl pick that will be featured at the 2020 Ruby Bridges Reading Festival at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee in May. The William Hoy Story, a Texas 2X2 pick, has been on multiple state reading lists. Manjhi Moves a Mountain is the winner of the 2018 South Asia Book Award and a Junior Library Guild selection. Martin & Anne, the Kindred Spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank is on the 2020 Notable Book for a Global Society list from the International Literacy Association. Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing is a 2019 Sydney Taylor and National Council for the Social Studies Notable.

Nancy graduated cum laude from Harvard, has a master’s from Columbia, and lives in Plano, Texas, with her husband, Dallas Morning News arts writer Michael Granberry, their dog named Dog, and two cantankerous cats.

Website ║ Blog ║ Facebook ║ Twitter ║ Instagram
Goodreads ║ Amazon Author Page ║ BookBub

 

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

THREE WINNERS
ONE WINNER receives signed copies of both
For Spacious Skies and Beautiful Shades of Brown 
TWO WINNERS each receive a signed copy of For Spacious Skies
April 16-26, 2020
(US only for signed copies; international winners via Book Depository)

 

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

4/16/20

Notable Quotable Book Fidelity
4/16/20 Review Carpe Diem Chronicles
4/17/20 Book Trailer KayBee’s Book Shelf
4/18/20 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
4/18/20 Sneak Peek Hall Ways Blog
4/19/20 Author Interview StoreyBook Reviews
4/20/20 Review Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
4/21/20 Playlist Texas Book Lover
4/21/20 Review That’s What She’s Reading
4/22/20 Author Interview Tangled in Text
4/23/20 Guest Post Max Knight
4/23/20 Review All the Ups and Downs
4/24/20 Deleted Scene Reading by Moonlight
4/25/20 Review Forgotten Winds
4/25/20 Review Jennifer Silverwood

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ROUGHED IN by Eva Moore – Release Day Review and Giveaway

Roughed In 3d mock upBlurb:

Roughed In coverFrankie’s Punch-Out List:
1. Finalize plans to takeover Valenti Brothers Construction.
2. Nail this vineyard renovation in spite of it being cursed.
3. Prove to the world that I’m more than the comic relief.
4. Make out with my director on top of a bar.

Wait, how’d that last one get on there? But, as long as it’s on the list…

Frankie Valenti has always dreamed of taking over the family construction business. But as the baby of the family, and a girl to boot, she’s constantly having to prove her ability. Now everything she’s worked for hinges on one project, a made-for-TV vineyard renovation. She’s got to nail this, and not her infuriating but smoking hot director if she’s going to win her father’s trust. If life would just follow her damn blueprints, everything would be fine. But we all know how often that happens…

Jake Ryland will do whatever it takes to move his reputation from child actor burnout to celebrated director, up to and including manipulating “reality” to make the best shows possible. He’s never felt bad about it before, but there’s something about Frankie that makes him want to lift her up, instead of tearing her down. And if he happens to pin her to the wall while lifting her up, well, then everybody wins. Except for his execs who want to see her fail and owe them $100,000. Crap. He’s so screwed.

Rough and tumble hookups are one thing, but can they turn into a stable foundation for a relationship? Or will the whole structure crumble under the weight of pride and ambition?

Find out in this satisfying conclusion to the Exposed Dreams series.

Buy Links:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082KJD15P
iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/book/roughed-in/id1490982360
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/roughed-in
Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/roughed-in-eva-moore/1135472540?ean=2940163412310
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/994808
My Reading List – https://books2read.com/rl/EvaMooreReadingList

Review: 

An emotionally satisfactory, (literally) fiery, and fanning-myself sexy ending to a wonderful series.

When the Exposed Dreams books started, I knew nothing about home improvement or make-up tutorial shows. After book 3, I still don’t know much but Eva’s incredible talent and immersive storytelling style had me entertained and educated at the same time. Competence porn for the win!

I love functional family storylines in books, whether found or by blood. Roughed In has both with the Valentis and Jake’s TV show family. What’s great is that the numerous secondary characters rightfully supported the two leads and nobody came out as distracting or overpowering. The focus remained on the main couple and I really like that.

I also really like the character development for both Frankie and Jake. The shift in their thinking from the beginning to the end flowed naturally, realistically. I like that they didn’t change who they are, just grew in the acquisition of a wider perspective that included them both.  I appreciate them better when I know their strengths and vulnerabilities.

The book shines best when Frankie and Jake are in the scenes together, striking sparks off each other.  It’s when they are apart that the book falters slightly with too much introspection. I don’t mind the quick resolution, I just wish there are more explanations and future planning because I care what happens to them. Eva made me care as if these people are real. That’s talent, I tell you.

I eagerly await Eva’s future works. For sure they’re going to be fantastic. Her writing keeps getting better and better with each book. She has become an auto-buy for me.

4 out of 5 stars

Review Spots:

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48985780-roughed-in
BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/roughed-in-exposed-dreams-book-3-by-eva-moore

 

Teasers:

Roughed In teaser 1Roughed In teaser 3

 

 

Giveaway:

I’m giving away a Kindle eBook copy of Roughed In to one lucky winner. To enter, all you have to do is Like and Comment with your favorite reality show. I will draw the winner on Tuesday, February 4 at 12nn Central. Check back here to see if you won.

Roughed In teaser 2

 

Author Bio:

20200105_190721911_iOSEva Moore writes sweet and sexy contemporary romances featuring compelling characters finding love in the modern world. Pulling up her Chicagoland roots, she has chased adventures around the globe, with stints in France and Singapore. Eva now lives in California (at the wine end, not the movie end) with her college sweetheart, three gorgeous kiddos, and a Shih Tzu who thinks he’s a cat. She loves hearing from the outside world while she’s hiding in her writing cave/closet. Please visit her at www.4evamoore.com.

Social Media Links:

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/4evamooreauthor
Facebook Friend Page: www.facebook.com/4evamoore
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/FriendsForEvaMoore/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/AuthorEvaMoore
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/authorevamoore
Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorevamoore

 

 

MY TOP 19 READS OF 2019

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I read 190 books in 2019, seventy more than in 2018. Audiobooks made all the difference in my reading habits this year. They contributed to eighty of the books I experienced in 2019, seven of which are in my Top 19.

Here they are in the order I read them. In the interest of full disclosure, I want to inform you that some of the links in this post are affiliate links to Indie Bound store and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman – Probably the best audio I listened to all year. I loved the all-star cast.
  2. New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb – my favorite re-read of the year. One of my Top 5 J.D. Robb books.
  3. How to Seduce a Spy by Catherine Stein – a great debut by a fantastic indie author. I featured her Eden’s Voice here.
  4. Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas – possibly my favorite of the Ravenels. Gorgeous cover as well.
  5. Death’s Dancer by Jasmine Silvera – great world-building. Now, I want to go to Prague because of this book.
  6. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – one of the rare times when I like the second book better than the first.
  7. Unlaced by the Highland Duke by Lara Temple – Lara is a new-to-me author this year whose writing really impressed me.
  8. The Emotion Thesaurus – this book is incredibly useful for writers who want to improve their craft.
  9. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang – I rarely say I can relate to the heroine in a romance not written by a Filipina. I did with this book.
  10. Kulti by Mariana Zapata –  hilarious. I have both the eBook and audiobook editions but I prefer the latter because the narrator really brings the book to life.
  11. There Goes My Heart by Bella Andre – how can I not love a book that’s dedicated to me?
  12. Dragonfly by Leila Meacham – I seldom veer away from romance but I made an exception for this one. My full review is here.
  13. Things You Save In a Fire by Katherine Center – In a slew of books where the female main character works in a male-dominated environment, this stands out.
  14. Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan – highly evocative, I can’t believe it took me so long to read this one.
  15. The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas – the only Young Adult book I read all year. I’ll bet when I watch the live-action movie I’ll say, “The book was better.”
  16. Singapore Fling by me – I am incredibly proud of this book. It’s probably the most #ownvoice of my works.
  17. Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh – Kaleb Krychek is my new Book Boyfriend and the Psy/Changeling is my favorite paranormal series.
  18. Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr – the entire series is amazing but this one moved me the most, so it’s my favorite so far.
  19. The One For You by Roni Loren – a highly-satisfying ending to a wonderful series. All five-star reads for me.

See my reviews on  add to goodreads

2019-12-29 (1)

 

SINGAPORE FLING Lone Star Lit Book Blog Tour

BNR Singapore Fling

SINGAPORE FLING is on a book blog tour with Lone Star Literary Life from November 12 to 21. Get to know more about me and Singapore Fling through special features like Maddie’s Top Five List, an Author Interview, my thoughts about traveling through books, a favorite recipe, and a Scrapbook Page. There will also be book reviews and fantastic giveaways.

Here’s the schedule (Bold links are published posts):

11/12/19 	Top Five 		The Clueless Gent
11/12/19 	Bonus Post 		Hall Ways Blog
11/13/19 	Review 			Forgotten Winds
11/14/19 	Author Interview 	Chapter Break Book Blog
11/15/19 	Guest Post 		All the Ups and Downs
11/16/19 	Review 			Missus Gonzo
11/17/19 	Review 			Reading by Moonlight
11/18/19 	Scrapbook Page 		That's What She's Reading
11/19/19 	Review 			StoreyBook Reviews
11/20/19 	Guest Post 		The Page Unbound
11/21/19 	Review 			The Book Review

Check out these giveaways!

1ST PRIZE (US only)
Kindle Fire 7 + Signed Copy of Singapore Fling
2ND PRIZE (US only)
Signed copies of Boracay Vows and Singapore Fling + charm bracelet
3RD PRIZE (US only)
A signed copy of Singapore Fling + spice paste packets (Hainanese Chicken Rice and Laksa)
4TH PRIZE (international)
eBooks of all three books in the Carpe Diem Chronicles series

NOVEMBER 12-22, 2019

Giveaway Singapore Fling LARGE

 

blog tour services provided by:LSBBT pairing

GOOD GUY by Kate Meader – Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

GoodGuyBlitzBanner

GOOD GUY

by

Kate Meader

 

SYNOPSIS

GG

He’s a Special Forces veteran making his pro hockey debut. She’s a dogged sports reporter determined to get a scoop. She’s also his best friend’s widow . . .

Fans can’t get enough of Levi Hunt, the Special Forces veteran who put his NHL career on hold to serve his country and fight the bad guys. So when his new Chicago Rebels bosses tell him to cooperate with the press on a profile, he’s ready to do his duty. Until he finds out who he has to work with: flame-haired, freckle-splashed, impossibly perky Jordan Cooke.

Also known as the woman he should not have kissed the night she buried her husband, Levi’s best friend in the service.

Hockey-stick-up-his-butt-serious Levi Hunt might despise Jordan for reasons she can’t fathom—okay, it’s to do with kissing—but her future in the cutthroat world of sports reporting hangs on delivering the goods on the league’s hottest, grumpiest rookie. So what if he’s not interested in having his life plated up for public consumption. Too bad. Jordan will have to play dirty to get her scoop and even dirtier to get her man. Only in winning the story, she might just lose her heart . . .

In this standalone romance set in the Chicago Rebels world, a new generation of players take to the ice and learn that all’s fair in love and hockey.

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Purchase:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RF6XC4P
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/good-guy-kate-meader/1131474287
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/good-guy-a-rookie-rebels-novel
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/good-guy/id1462534782
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=NcefDwAAQBAJ

 

ABOUT KATE

Kate-Meader-e1434416954712

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

 

Author links:
https://www.katemeader.com/
https://www.facebook.com/authorkatemeader
https://www.instagram.com/katemeader/
https://twitter.com/kittymeader
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551743.Kate_Meader
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kate-meader
https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Meader/e/B00AQLO4EG

 

REVIEW

I adore Kate Meader’s Chicago Rebels series so much I cried when it ended with Hooked On You. I thought I’d never see those beloved characters again and so when Kate announced this spin-off with the Rookie Rebels, I jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of Good Guy.

It did not disappoint. This was zing-y, quip-py, and full of heart and social relevance like the original series. Everyone’s back. Remy and Harper, Vadim and Isobel, Dante and Cade, Bren and Violet, plus cameos by Kinsey and Luke from another fantastic KM series – Hot in Chicago. More importantly, I already love the “rookies” who are introduced here and I’m looking forward to their books, especially Theo’s and, dare I hope, Elle’s.

Good Guy is Levi Hunt’s story and what a great story it is. Grumpy, close-mouthed, big-hearted, incredibly humble, super sexy (of course), and slightly insecure. He kept mentioning impostor syndrome and, oh boy, I could relate. His pining for Jordan, his care for Elle and Theo, and concern for Joe, his integrity, his drive to improve his skills made me love him. If this review is all about Levi, Good Guy will receive five stars.

But, it also includes Jordan Cooke – ambitious sports reporter, irresponsible journalist, undeserving object of Levi’s affection, and cause of lower rating. Kate may have tried to do too much with her as a symbol of gender inequality and sexual harassment in the (sports and media) workplace and it created an imbalance in her personality versus Levi’s more heroic characterization. I didn’t take too well to her and placing her beside Harper didn’t do Jordan any justice. As a military spouse who had to make adjustments in terms of career choices, I can relate somehow. But, the way she accomplished her goals could have been done differently, in my opinion.

Kate’s writing is superb and I trust her to tell great stories. Even though there were aspects of Good Guy that didn’t satisfy, I’m still very excited about this new series. Can’t wait for the next book!

Three-half-stars

 

GIVEAWAY

Kate is giving away $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Open internationally. Ends on August 8.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233175/

 

FIERCE, FUNNY, AND FEMALE by Marti MacGibbon – Book Blog Tour: Review/Giveaway

FIERCE, FUNNY, AND FEMALE

A Journey Through Middle America,

the Texas Oil Field, and Standup Comedy

by

MARTI MacGIBBON

Genre: Memoir / Drama / Humor
Publisher: Stay Strong Publishing
Publication Date: March 20, 2017
Number of Pages: 412 pages

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

This book is the celebrated prequel to the critically acclaimed, nationally award-winning and bestselling memoir, Never Give in to Fear. In her raw, vivid, and unabashed style, author Marti MacGibbon delivers a sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious, always engaging account of her passage through trauma, betrayal, and loss in adolescence and young adulthood to discover her inner badass self. As one of the first women to work as a laborer in the Texas oil field, she set off explosives and staked oil wells before realizing her childhood dream of becoming a successful standup comic. Marti introduces readers to a wide range of characters in her life: from sleazy authority figures, wannabe Sixties musicians and crazed Corn Belt cult leaders, to Texas oil billionaires and wildcatters, to wild-eyed redneck coworkers who robbed banks on their lunch hour―in the company truck. The book includes scenes with iconic comedians, Hollywood entertainment industry moguls, and a legendary bluesman, and offers insights into resiliency, courage, and self-empowerment.

WINNER, 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in Humor
WINNER, 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in Women’s Studies 
WINNER, 2017 National Indie Excellence Awards in Women’s Health
WINNER, 2017 Beverly Hills Book Awards in Women’s Issues 
WINNER, 2018 Independent Press Award in Humor
WINNER, 2018 Independent Press Award in Women’s Studies 
WINNER, 2018 New York City Book Award, Women’s Studies
FINALIST, 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Memoir (Overcoming Adversity)

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PURCHASE THE BOOK
AmazonBaker and Taylor

Review_preview

I don’t normally read non-fiction unless it’s a craft book on writing or a cookbook and I hardly ever read memoirs, but there’s something about this book that called to me. The catchy title alone had me anticipating a good read and I wasn’t disappointed. Far from it.

The first third was quite harrowing, with Marti’s tales of abuse, drug addiction, sexual assault, hospitalization, brainwashing, and the most heart-breaking of all, her separation from her daughter. But the telling was quite fascinating in that through everything she had suffered, there was always her determination to do everything she could to get out of the bad situation. To rise and recover. To hope for a better tomorrow. 

Quotes like this had me tearing up:

“… there’s more than one way to fight. You fight by living, and working, and showing your kid how much you care, in any way possible. And you wait, and watch, and when your time comes, you’re ready.”

Marti’s storytelling is absolutely fantastic. The scenes leap out of the pages, they come alive so vividly. I especially enjoyed her adventures all over Texas, laughed at some of the  incredibly weird situations she got involved in and the colorful characters she met along the way.

She dealt with every discriminatory, sexist thing thrown at her with humor, positivity, and self-belief, proving the title of the book perfectly fitting. 

I bookmarked several pages of this book, particularly the last few chapters where Marti was receiving advice from successful humorists and the final one where she imparted some of her own. Although not a comedian, I can definitely apply some of the wisdom she shared in my writing, in my living. 

I love this advice best of all: 

“Be yourself. You are enough, right now, as you are, and if you continue the brave work, you will continue to become more, and greater, exponentially. Trust in that, build your tenacity, and continue on your path, no matter the challenges.” 

To end, I say to readers: buy this book. Read it and learn from Marti’s experiences. Be inspired. Be strong. Be Fierce, Funny, and Female. That’s what I hope to become, in my own way.

FFF bookstagram

 

PRAISE FOR FIERCE, FUNNY, AND FEMALE:

“Being funny is a survival skill. Fierce, Funny, and Female is not only a survivor’s tale but an inspirational story of overcoming the unthinkable, again and again…Her courage and comedy make Fierce, Funny, and Female a winner.” — Foreword Clarion Reviews

“An effervescently witty…chronicle of perseverance and the power to overcome the darkest of days…Perhaps the most rewarding chapter in this chatty, affecting book is the concluding one, where MacGibbon lists the tried-and-true pearls of wisdom that continue to sustain her…” — Kirkus Reviews

Fierce, Funny, and Female is a thoroughly engaging memoir packed with witty observations, high adventure, and a glimpse of behind-the-scenes Hollywood. Highly recommended!” — Midwest Book Review

“MacGibbon is a natural storyteller, and her life story is a most interesting one. The characters she has run across during her life journey are well-drawn and absolutely fascinating, particularly the good ol’ boys in the Texas oilfields.” — San Francisco Book Review

FFF quote

AboutTheAuthor

Marti MacGibbonA compelling speaker and storyteller, Marti MacGibbon delivers high-energy presentations and writes books on overcoming adversity, addiction and recovery, and inspiration, with humor and a genuine, down-to-earth style. She’s experienced critical situations that no human being should have to face. In the past, she hit rock bottom in every possible way as a hard-core drug addict, was homeless, and was trafficked to Tokyo and held prisoner by Japanese organized crime. Her story of triumph is testimony to the power of the human spirit. Marti lives her message. She reveals simple, effective strategies that anyone can use to get back on track, build resiliency, reduce stress, and cultivate a sense of humor.
Marti is a bestselling author, inspirational speaker, certified addiction treatment professional, Gorski certified relapse-prevention specialist, and member of the National Speakers Association. She’s been interviewed in Entrepreneur, Investor’s Business Daily, on ABC-TV, CBS-TV, and numerous radio shows. And she’s funny: Marti traveled all over the U.S. as a professional standup comic and performed at the Hollywood Improv and Comedy Store. She is founder, producer and host of Laff-aholics Comedy Benefit for Recovery, an annual charity fundraiser in Indianapolis featuring nationally headlining comedians. She also serves on the outreach committee of IPATH, Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans Task Force. 

║ Website ║ Facebook ║ Twitter ║ Instagram ║ 

 ║ Goodreads ║ Amazon Author Page ║ YouTube ║

============================

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

Each of Three Winners Gets a Signed Copy of the Book PLUS:

FIRST PRIZE:
 

$100 Spa Finder gift card + $25 Starbucks gift card + Moroccan oil sample collection
SECOND PRIZE:
Estee Lauder Limited Edition Gift Set + $25 Starbucks gift card
THIRD PRIZE:
$25 Starbucks gift card.
DECEMBER 12-21, 2018
(U.S. Only)FFF giveaway

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

12/12/18ExcerptChapter Break Book Blog
12/12/18Author InterviewStory Schmoozing Book Reviews
12/13/18ReviewCarpe Diem Chronicles
12/14/18PlaylistAll the Ups and Downs
12/14/18Guest PostMax Knight
12/15/18ReviewStoreyBook Reviews
12/15/18ExcerptThe Clueless Gent
12/16/18ReviewThe Book Review
12/17/18Guest PostThat’s What She’s Reading
12/17/18Scrapbook PageKelly Well Read
12/18/18ReviewNerd Narration
12/19/18ExcerptForgotten Winds
12/19/18Guest PostMomma on the Rocks
12/20/18ReviewReading by Moonlight
12/21/18ReviewMissus Gonzo

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Boracay Vows by Maida Malby

My heart is full from this wonderful praise. Thank you, Liana. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read, review, and blog about Boracay Vows. I hope you also enjoy New York Engagement.

LianaReads

If you like contemporary romance,interracial couples and a dream holiday place, this is your book.

The heroine is Krista, in her late twenties she wants to leave her life behind for a week, to give in her desire after being an obedient daughter,responsible older sister, diligently student,steady worker and supportive friend.

The hero ,Blake,is the perfection copy of a Jersey man that many of us love and swooned whenever he makes an appearance, Henry Cavill.

We are taken to a journey full of flavours, from specific Philippine dishes, amazing landscapes and vibrant views to the language dialect that are so different in every isle.

Like every character, each has their insecurities and think if they are good enough for the other and are going through the first moments of falling in love in a relationship and there is always a happy ending .

I liked the writing style and can…

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