Saturday, June 30, 2018

Book Review: Ghost Gifts  (A Ghost Gifts Novel  #1) by Laura Spinella

Ghost Gifts
(A Ghost Gifts Novel #1)
by Laura Spinella

All Aubrey Ellis wants is a normal life, one that doesn’t include desperate pleas from the dead. Her remarkable gift may help others rest in peace, but it also made for an unsettling childhood and destroyed her marriage. Finally content as the real estate writer for a local newspaper, Aubrey keeps her extraordinary ability hidden—until she is unexpectedly assigned the story of a decades-old murder.

Rocked by the discovery of a young woman’s skeletal remains, the New England town of Surrey wants answers. Hard-nosed investigative reporter Levi St John is determined to get them. Aubrey has no choice but to get involved, even at the terrifying risk of stirring spirits connected to a dead woman’s demise and piquing her new reporting partner’s suspicions.

As Aubrey and Levi delve further into the mystery, secrets are revealed and passion ignites. It seems that Aubrey’s ghost gifts are poised to deliver everything but a normal life.

 My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

She’d given up on calling it prayer years ago. Prayers were meant to be answered. So far, Missy’s had not been.

In five years he’d exhibited all the spontaneity of a wet match.

He’d watched his mother paint her whole face, kind of like a human paint-by-numbers. She could even do it with a cigarette in her hand, though she repeatedly insisted it was her last one.

He wore metal through so many pieces of flesh that Levi imagined unhooking them would cause the punk rocker to fall apart.

My Review:

I immediately tumbled into this captivating and consuming tale during page one and practically loathed reaching the last page, as I didn’t want to leave the story behind. Thankfully I have the next two books to hopefully sate my appetite for this talented mastermind’s cunning word voodoo. Her clever storylines and skillfully adroit writing style were ingeniously crafted, lushly detailed, and highly evocative. It was sublime.

Empress DJ

About Laura Spinella

Laura Spinella is the author of the Ghost Gifts trilogy—including Echo Moon, Foretold, and the #1 Kindle bestseller Ghost Gifts—as well as the highly acclaimed Unstrung and the award-winning novel Beautiful Disaster. She is a two-time RITA finalist who consistently receives reader and industry praise for her multifaceted characters, emotional complexity, and intriguing storylines.

Spinella lives with her family near Boston, where she can always be found writing her next novel. She enjoys hearing from readers and chatting with book clubs. Visit her at

Connect with Laura

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Book Review, Giveaway: Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne

Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay

by Bella Osborne

Amazon / KOBO / B&N

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Here was a prime example why people should leave home and explore the world, thought Daisy. Staying here had turned Tamsyn into Ottercombe Bay’s answer to Phoebe Buffay from Friends, blurring the line between adorable and certifiable.

Bloody hell, the grapevine here spreads faster than a Kim Kardashian selfie.

I have neither the patience nor the crayons to explain this to you.

‘I’ve been possessed by a demon.’ ‘Drink plenty of water, it’s just a hangover.’
  ‘I suspected someone might have a voodoo doll of me and now I know it’s true… Even my hair hurts.’

You are different but in a good way. Like a limited edition.’

She’s a raisin away from being a total fruitcake.

… she couldn’t think of a time she’d been happier with the possible exception of when her parents had bought her bunk beds so her imaginary friend had somewhere to sleep.

My Review:

I adored, smirked, and speed my way through all four parts to this cleverly amusing and engaging series featuring a small quirky coastal village and an initially unwilling new inhabitant. The premise was entertaining and the storylines were active, well paced, laced with levity, and easy to fall into. I adored Ms. Osborne’s crisp writing style and breezy humor. I enjoyed each quirky and well-drawn character and reveled in the goat race with participants wittily named Hairy Potter, Billy the Kid, Barb. E. Cue, Hot to Trot, and Vincent Van Goat. What fun! The last two installments were busy and fast-paced with several twists and turns all the way through to the satisfying conclusion. I learned two new phrases to add to my Brit list with “load of witpot,” and “I’d fill my boots if I were you.”
Empress DJ

Author Bio – 

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full-length novel. She’s now written four romantic comedies and been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year.

Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you.

She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s dog. When not writing she’s usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at or follow her on Twitter - @osborne_bella

Social Media Links – 

Twitter - @osborne_bella

Facebook -

Giveaway – 
Win signed copies of It Started At Sunset Cottage and A Family Holiday
 (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for the fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Book Review: The Garden of Blue Roses by Michael Barsa

The Garden of Blue Roses

by Michael Barsa

Paperback: 248 pages

Publisher: Underland Press (April 17, 2018)

“Ominous, fantastic, and wonderfully malevolent…. I felt the spirits of Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Albert Camus’ Meursault, whispering to join the fun.”– ALICE SEBOLD, #1 best-selling and award-winning author of The Lovely Bones

A car lies at the bottom of an icy ravine. Slumped over the steering wheel, dead, is the most critically acclaimed horror writer of his time. Was it an accident? His son Milo doesn’t care. For the first time in his life, he’s free. No more nightmarish readings, spooky animal rites, or moonlit visions of his father in the woods with a notebook and vampire makeup.

Or so he thinks.

Milo settles into a quiet routine–constructing model Greek warships and at last building a relationship with his sister Klara, who’s home after a failed marriage and brief career as an English teacher. Then Klara hires a gardener to breathe new life into their overgrown estate. There’s something odd about him–something eerily reminiscent of their father’s most violent villain. Or is Milo imagining things? He’s not sure. That all changes the day the gardener discovers something startling in the woods. Suddenly Milo is fighting for his life, forced to confront the power of fictional identity as he uncovers the shocking truth about his own dysfunctional family–and the supposed accident that claimed his parents’ lives.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Mother drove us to the wedding in the Volvo… She dabbed her eyes and distractedly jerked between lanes at fantastic speed. She must have imagined she was on the Autobahn. Even the notorious Boston drivers seemed terrified. She squealed into the parking garage and nearly ran over a man in a wheelchair. “He’s got to learn to share the road,” she muttered as he flapped his arms like a bird.

She’d occasionally dressed this way after her divorce. She called it “retro” but really it was like Emily Dickinson in her Sunday best. It was as if she rejected not just her ex-husband, but the entire era in which he lived.

I knew right away what it was. Why are unmarked cars so obvious? The police ought to use beaten -up little Fiats.

My Review:

This was undoubtedly one of the most frustrating, grueling, and confusing books I have ever read, while at the same time, I was unable or unwilling to walk away in defeat. This book held some type of evil voodoo that kept me in place, although it also made me itch. Yet I could not and would not let it get the best of me! In trying to make sense of the disjointed ramblings I read slowly but will confess to becoming utterly lost several times within the incoherent and disturbing narrative. And it was quite distressing at times as the highly intelligent main character possessed a wild and vivid imagination and was prone to hallucination, delusions, paranoia, and lost time. Some of the issues I struggled with the most were: figuring out which events were real and which were merely delusional; and which one of this bizarre clan was the most impaired. No spoilers - but it turns out, they all were more than a bit off the charts with a vile and severely warped family dynamic. The plot was elaborate and the writing was gripping, intriguing, maddening, and frequently hard to follow. While on one hand, I’d like to give him a good pinch or ten, I also have to give this confounding and fiendishly twisted wordsmith his props as I couldn’t leave it alone, his clever tale continued to beckon until I saw those two most highly desired words of the day – The End.

Empress DJ

About Michael Barsa

Michael Barsa grew up in a German-speaking household in New Jersey and spoke no English until he went to school. So began an epic struggle to master the American “R” and a lifelong fascination with language. He’s lived on three continents and spent many summers in southern Germany and southern Vermont.

He’s worked as an award-winning grant writer, an English teacher, and an environmental lawyer. He now teaches environmental and natural resources law. His scholarly articles have appeared in several major law reviews, and his writing on environmental policy has appeared in The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times. His short fiction has appeared in Sequoia.

The Garden of Blue Roses is his first novel.

Connect with Michael

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Book Review: A Cornish Secret by Emma Burstall

A Cornish Secret 

(Tremarnock #4)

by Emma Burstall

Be careful what you kiss for...

Esme Posorsky is an enigma. For as long as people can remember, she has been part of community life in the quaint Cornish fishing village of Tremarnock, but does anyone really know her? She is usually to be found working in her pottery studio or at home with her beloved cat, Rasputin. But when an old school friend turns up with a secret from the past, nothing will ever be the same again.

Meanwhile, teenager, Rosie, is excited to find a bottle washed up on Tremarnock beach with a message from a former German prisoner of war. While the rest of the village is up in arms about a new housing development, she sets out to find him. Little does she know, however, that her discovery will unleash a shocking chain of events that threatens to blow her family apart. Tremarnock may look like a cozy backwater, but some of its residents are about to come face-to-face with tough decisions and cold reality…

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

He wasn’t bad-looking, with short black hair, shaved at the sides and longer on top and a sprinkling of designer stubble, but his unusually large ears made him look rather as if he might take off in flight at any moment.

It looked as if Barbara might have got to him with her foot pump, for his short body seemed to be filled with air and his two chins waggled self-importantly.
She glanced up and her smile lit the room, taking Esme’s breath away. It was the sun breaking through clouds, it was Monday made Friday, it was a tidal wave that swallowed up a thousand doubts… and most of all, a curve that made the whole world spin and also set it straight.
He then came up with the idea of having special T-shirts printed with Tremarnock Resists on the front, and the conversation was side-tracked while they discussed colour schemes and matching beanie hats, so they would look as if they meant business.
I can assure you I have many, many faults. Sometimes I even pick my nose.

The older woman’s shoulders drooped and despite her tall, broad stature she looked fragile and shrunken, as if someone had come along, pulled her apart and done a poor job of putting her together again.

My Review:

I am feeling rather indecisive and unsure of how to rate this one. I was new to the author and series and for some reason, I went into this book expecting a romantic comedy, which it wasn’t. There were comedic elements with numerous cleverly amusing descriptions and witty observations and underpinnings, however, the overall tone of the book felt rather melancholy as the majority of the characters were struggling with either personal, vocational, social, or community issues.

Despite the dizzying number of unique and fully fleshed out characters, the writing was easy to follow, effusively descriptive, lusciously detailed, and conjured strong visuals. I enjoyed Ms. Burstall’s smooth and engaging writing style as well as her relevant, thoughtful, and socially diverse storylines. My conflict is with the ending, there wasn’t one; it just stopped with open threads left unknotted… but thankfully, no heinous cliffhanger in sight.   I just didn’t expect this was to be an on-going tale. Hence my dilemma.

I do have a few new additions to my Brit Vocabulary list with Rootle (to root or delve), pushchair (a child’s stroller), chocky bickies (chocolate cookies), and I couldn’t help but notice that their use or purpose for an “outhouse” is significantly different from ours in the USA ~ smirk.

Empress DJ

About the author

Twitter: @EmmaBurstall
Facebook: @emmaburstallauthor

Emma Burstall was a newspaper journalist in Devon and Cornwall before becoming a full-time author. Tremarnock, the first novel in her series set in a delightful Cornish village, was published in 2015 and became a top-10 bestseller.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Book Review, Giveaway: Digging A Hole by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff


Digging A Hole

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff





From New York Times Bestseller, Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, comes a new Romantic Comedy. 

He’s the meanest boss ever. 

She’s the sweet shy intern. 

They’re about to wreck each other crazy. 

My name is Sydney Lucas. I am smart, deathly shy, and one hundred percent determined to make my own way in the world. Which is why I jumped at the chance to intern for Mr. Nick Brooks despite his reputation. After ten failed interviews at other companies, he was the only one offering. Plus, everyone says he knows his stuff, and surely a man as stunningly handsome as him can’t be “the devil incarnate,” right? Wrong. 

Oh…that man. That freakin’ man has got to go! I’ve been on the job one week, and he’s insulted my mother, wardrobe shamed me, and managed to make me cry. Twice. Underneath that stone-cold, beautiful face is the evilest human being ever. 

But I’m not going to quit. Oh no. For once in my life, I’ve got to make a stand. Only, every time I open my mouth, I can’t quite seem to muster the courage. Perhaps my revenge needs to come in another form: destroying him quietly. 

Because I’ve got a secret. I’m not really just an intern, and Sydney Lucas isn’t my real name.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

… we both know if we were a herd of elk roaming the tundra, I’d be the limping doe trailing a mile behind the rest with a giant “eat me” sign on my ass.

I am a warrior squirrel… We move silently like the wind. We sneak to get what we want. But most of all, we crack nuts.

When I look in the mirror, one of my fake eyelashes is stuck to my chin. Nice. You’re a born princess.

My father flashes a sinister smile that touches his eyes, and I’m suddenly ashamed of every one of my body parts that looks like him, right down to my green irises.

My Review:

This was my second time reading Mimi Jean Pamfiloff and I enjoy her clever humor and amusing wit.  Her smooth and engaging writing style has a breezy flow and is easy to fall into.  Although it took me a good while to fully warm up to the main character of Sydney as her mousy meekness and deathly fatal timidity annoyed me, she seemed too spineless to sit erect and did not speak up but ran sobbing to the bathroom even when boiling over with anger over blatant mistreatment.  It took me half the book to appreciate her intellect and fully comprehend the cost of her efforts to move past her paralyzing anxiety and tendency to freeze, or as described herself, “a girl who locks up like a bad pair of brakes when anything remotely overwhelming happens.”  The storylines were smartly paced, well-crafted, and had a little sizzle and snap.  

Empress DJ


 About the Author

MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling romance author with over a million books sold worldwide. Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance closet and follow your dream. Mimi lives with her Latin Lover hubby, two pirates-in-training (their boys), and the rat terrier duo, Snowflake and Mini Me, in Arizona. She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men.

Sign up for Mimi’s mailing list for giveaways and new release news!


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Book Review: Herons Landing - A Small-Town Romance (Honeymoon Harbor Series) by JoAnn Ross

Herons Landing: A Small-Town Romance

Honeymoon Harbor Series

by JoAnn Ross

Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages

Publisher: HQN (May 22, 2018)

There’s no place to fall in love like the place you left your heart

Welcome to Honeymoon Harbor, the brand-new, long-awaited series by beloved New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross, where unforgettable characters come face-to-face with the kind of love that grabs your heart and never lets go.

Working as a Las Vegas concierge, Brianna Mannion is an expert at making other people’s wishes come true. It’s satisfying work, but a visit home to scenic Honeymoon Harbor turns into a permanent stay when she’s reminded of everything she’s missing: the idyllic small-town charm; the old Victorian house she’d always coveted; and Seth Harper, her best friend’s widower and the neighborhood boy she once crushed on—hard. After years spent serving others, maybe Brianna’s finally ready to chase dreams of her own.

Since losing his wife, Seth has kept busy running the Harper family’s renovation business and flying way under the social radar. But when Brianna hires him to convert her aging dream home into a romantic B and B, working together presents a heart-stopping temptation Seth never saw coming. With guilt and grief his only companions for so long, he’ll have to step out of the past long enough to recognize the beautiful life Brianna and he could build together.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

“On our first date, she cited all this damn research claiming vegans lived nine years longer than meat eaters.” Jarle’s teeth flashed in a grin in his flaming red beard. “After a week of grazing, I decided that her statistics might be true, but that extra time would be nine horrible baconless years.”

Dottie’s going to love dressing you. I swear to the Goddess that woman’s goal in life is to get every Northwesterner looking like a unicorn vomited out rainbows.

Jarle tends to fall in love with every good-looking single woman who comes into the pub. I think it’s the Viking in him. So far he hasn’t carried any off, and doesn’t harass them, just admires from afar, so I figure putting all that emotion into his cooking helps improve business.

You make him work for it, sweetheart. A woman’s gotta let her man know from the beginning that he’s going to have to do his share in a marriage. We women shouldn’t have to do all the heavy lifting.

My Review:

I was a bit conflicted on how to rate this slowly developing and character-driven small-town tale of second chances.  Being the first in a series there were lots of characters to introduce and considerable background and history to cover about the quaint little community and a long-standing feud between two of the early families that continued to inhabit both ends of the social ladder.  The premise was relevant and interesting, and the storylines were meticulously detailed with the tones alternating between amusing, heartbreaking, and realistic with a few hot licks of sizzling sensuality to take some of the edge off the over-serve of sorrow and angst.  The characters were likable, endearing, and admirable, but the story tended to stall on occasion due to the rather repetitive and tiresome retreading the young widower’s grief and inability to move on.  Despite my personal pet peeve toward angst, I look forward to returning to the characters living in this unique little enclave while hoping for a lighter beat in the next installment.

Empress DJ

About JoAnn Ross

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author JoAnn Ross has been published in twenty-seven countries. A member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll of bestselling authors, JoAnn lives with her husband and three rescued dogs — who pretty much rule the house — in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her on the web at

Friday, June 22, 2018

Book Review: One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1) by Jenny Holiday

One and Only 

(Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1)

by Jenny Holiday 

Miss Responsibility meets Mr. Reckless

With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape - even if it means babysitting the groom's troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the "cake" is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he'll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he's had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

She was talking fast and ending declarative statements with question marks— sure signs she was stressed. Elise always sounded like an auctioneer on uppers when she was upset.

The words job list practically gave Jane hives. Elise had turned into a total bridezilla… But, oh, the job list. The job list was like the Hydra, a serpentine monster you could never get on top of. You crossed off a job, and two more sprouted to take its place.

He was having trouble imagining Jane as a girl. She seemed like the kind of person who had been born thirty years old.

Gia was gorgeous. Jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Jane was used to it— it was like she’d had exposure therapy or something— but when you were meeting Gia for the first time? Well, just hope you weren’t simultaneously operating any heavy machinery.

Gia started humming the wedding march but morphed it into the theme from Jaws as Elise approached the bar.

My Review:

I greatly enjoyed this humorous and sexy tale but it wasn’t all cotton candy and marshmallow fluff as the author skillfully wove in some insightful and thoughtful observations about the military, family drama, the cruelty of gossip, self-concept, anxiety, addictions, and PTSD.  I adored her complicated and quirky characters with my favorite being the geeky yet staid and responsible Jane who was a devotee of cosplay, Comicon, and all things Xena.  The storylines were adroitly paced, consistently engaging, pleasantly entertaining, and cleverly amusing with sizzling hot licks of sensuality between the two main characters.  This was my first Jenny Holiday read, an experience I plan to habituate.  

Empress DJ

About the Author: 

Jenny Holiday is a cunning Slytherin who is constantly being told she's unduly optimistic. This year, after realizing she had accidentally put "hero makes late-night grilled cheese sandwiches for heroine/other hero" in three books, she started doing it on purpose. When she's not writing, she's probably having porch wine with her neighbors and enjoying having gardened. Follow her @JennyHoli on Twitter, @holymolyjennyholi on Instagram, and find other fun stuff at

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Book Review: The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane (Part 1 - New Beginnings) by Emily Harvale

The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane

Part 1 - New Beginnings

by Emily Harvale



Amazon US / UK

Mia Ward is amazed to be told she has inherited her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda.

She’s even more astonished to discover she’ll only inherit the place if she actually lives there for one year. Mia’s a city girl at heart, not to mention she’s afraid of water, so the fact the cottage backs on to a sandy beach, is not, in her opinion, a bonus.

But Mia’s struggling to pay her rent since being fired for inappropriate behavior at the office party, and her boyfriend’s also dumped her. When her best friend, Ella and Ella’s brother, Garrick offer to help her move and settle in, Mia decides to see this as a new beginning.

It may also be the start of an exciting adventure because now Mia wants to know just who, exactly, was great-aunt Matilda. And she’s determined to find out. But it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to make sure Mia doesn’t stay in Little Pondale….

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

She felt about as welcome to the south coast of England as the German Luftwaffe had been in the Second World War.

They're all so twee I half expect a beautiful princess, together with seven vertically challenged men, singing songs and carrying pickaxes, to march down the York stone paths.

The closest you've ever been to a tree is sitting on a wooden chair.

Oh deary me. I'm talking ten chickens at a time, aren't I?

Justin Lake? He's the local baker and his buns are the best for miles around. And I don't just mean the buns he bakes… He's in one of those male stripper dance groups in his spare time.

We're all fairly certain the grandmas of those three young bucks spent the night under the same blanket, if you get my drift.


My Review:

New Beginnings was a fun, light, and engaging start to a new series.  I flew right through this first installment and am eager to delve into Part 2, Summer Secrets, next.  The characters are highly likable and people I would enjoy spending time with.  The storylines are well-written, amusing, and pleasantly entertaining with a bit of a mystery as to exactly who Mia’s long-lost Auntie and sudden benefactor really was.  I’m enjoying their discoveries as well as the transitions the city girls are facing by moving into a well-appointed thatched cottage in a rural seaside village with Llamas, no cell reception, and a gossipy housekeeper who spins superstitious tales of witchcraft and has a pet white rat named Prince Gustav.  What fun!  

Empress DJ

Now get ready for Part Two:

Amazon US / UK


Escape to the seaside village of Little Pondale with Part Two of this heart-warming and romantic, four-part serial.

Mia Ward was amazed to inherit her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda. She was even more astonished to discover she’d only inherit the place if she lives there for a year.

Now Mia and her friends, Ella and Garrick are embracing village life. Garrick’s also embracing someone in The Frog and Lily, so Mia turns her attention to one or two of her sexy, single neighbors. But great-aunt Matilda remains an enigma and Mia’s still determined to discover who she was.

When Mia’s mum, Lori arrives, she’s eager to see what the summer has to offer. There’s the Kite Festival, the FĂȘte, the Frog Hill Run, but what really appeals to Lori, much to Mia’s horror, is the Midsummer Night’s naked bathing in the pond at Frog’s Hollow.

As sweltering days surrender to sultry nights, love is definitely in the air. And when an incident means Mia has to face her greatest fear, help arrives from a surprising source. But one thing is clear... someone is trying to make sure Mia doesn’t stay in Little Pondale...

Author Bio – 

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her hometown of Hastings where she now spends her days writing... and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She's an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.
Emily says, "I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings." When she isn't writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies - and will do anything to avoid both.

Social Media Links –

Book Review, Giveaway: RAINY DAY FRIENDS (Wildstone #2) by Jill Shalvis

Starting over was her plan. Getting derailed by secrets wasn’t...

A Wildstone Novel
Jill Shalvis
William Morrow/Harper Collins

Following the USA Today bestselling author of Lost and Found Sisters comes Jill Shalvis' moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship

Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife.

Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person? Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan.

Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Brown changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

I’m giving up on getting a bikini body, so pass the butter, please. Grandma says the good Lord put alcohol and carbs on this planet for a reason and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Him down.

But after Kyle had passed away, some things had come to light. Such as the fact that he’d hidden an addiction from her. A wife addiction. It’d gone a long way toward getting her over the hump of the grieving process.

Most of my wrinkles are from laughter, except for these right between my eyebrows… These are my ‘WTF’ lines and those suckers are deep, all given to me by our family dinners.

I’ve moved on to pizza delivery guys because at least I know they have a job, a car, and pizza… Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. One hundred percent of pizza deliveries end in happiness.

But the important thing here is to remember to practice self-care in times of stress. Take a walk, paint a picture, murder someone, burn the body, and clean up the crime scene.

Despised is a little strong. It implies that I’d unplug your life support to charge my iPhone, so I save that word for things like chia seeds, infomercials, and slow walkers in the aisles of the grocery store.

My Review:

I giggle-snorted my way through this delightful and crisply written tale.  The writing was top-notch and the storylines were well-crafted, cleverly amusing, and totally engaging.  I adored every single quirky character who were each provided with unique issues and peculiar traits.  Ms. Shalvis’s keen wit and sharply honed levity were smoothly woven into the narrative with a stunning level of skill and agility.  I have come to cherish Jill Shalvis and her adorable characters.  

Empress DJ




New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis writes warm, funny, sexy contemporary romances and women’s fiction. An Amazon, BN & iBooks bestseller, she’s also a two-time RITA winner and has more than 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.

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