Modern twist on The Hunchback

I try not to self-promote my own books very often here, but I haven’t given a shout-out to my own book that came out a few months ago. And it deserves a little love. So bear with me while I talk about it for a moment.

Teaser

There’s been a mistake.

She expected a raise—
Not a termination notice.

Gemma might be a bit unorthodox, but she never imagined her work ethic would be questioned. Her blunt nature, maybe. Her false identity, sure. But her excellence? How far will she go to save what’s rightly hers?

Lincoln never makes mistakes. . . until Gemma enters his life. Now, he can’t decide whether she will help him solve all his problems…or complicate them.

A promising meeting leads to a fake engagement, which sparks reluctant attraction.

Will ruse turn to romance?

It might not matter. . .
Because Gemma’s past is about to catch up to her.

Can their fragile love survive?

My thoughts

This story took me way longer than any other book to publish because I had the rough draft done and then somehow wiped it off my harddrive and couldn’t find a backup anywhere. Believe me. I tried for months to retrieve it. So…I had to start from scratch again…which was so demoralizing.

But yea! I slowly struggled to get it written again (and it is MUCH different than the original) and wa-lah! it is now ready for some reader love. This book delves into the sensitive subject of prejudice through the eyes of Saemira (Gemma), who is half-Roma (called a gypsy by those using derogative terms) and how she views those above her in life. I tried to show how easy it is for anybody (those on top and those on the bottom) to be prejudice against those that are different than them.

It’s a modern-day twist on the Hunchback of Notre Dame story, with a Quasimodo-type side character that will pull at your heart strings. Saemira (Gemma) is a strong, lovable heroine that I had a blast writing. She’s so cool! And Lincoln. Sigh. Be still my heart. He takes a minute to grow on you, but then when you see into his heart…it is a beautiful place you want to curl up next to and hibernate for the winter with him. Ha ha.

Anyway, take a chance on this book. I believe you won’t regret it.

Check out my book Pinterest board here.

Amazon Link (It’s only 99 cents until Oct 28! Super awesome deal!)

Happy reading!

Join the Amy Harmon Wagon

It is no secret that I love Amy Harmon. Her books always move me, and they are never formulaic. They are each unique, delving into new genres, new time periods, new characters…and I’m always blown away. So, maybe you should join the Amy Harmon wagon with me. Let me try to convince you with her latest book–a fantasy.

The Second Blind Son

This is the second book in the Chronicles of Saylock series, featuring Hod and Ghisla. Hod is a blind boy who has been raised in a cave by one of the temple Keepers. He has learned the power of the runes and his mentor, Arwin, wants him to return to Saylock someday to save it from wicked King Baanrud. But when Ghisla washes up on the beach by his cave, Hod nurses the poor girl back to health and comes to love her. When she sings, he can see. But his mentor says she blinds him to everything else, and sends her to the clan Leok to be given to the Temple as one of the clan’s daughters. She becomes Liis of Leok, but stays in contact with Hody through a soul rune. As time passes, it seems the fates are against them ever coming together. As their lives become entwined with Princess Alba and Bayr’s, the temple boy from book 1, life gets super interesting. And frightening.

As with all of Amy Harmon’s books, this one is an emotional ride. I experienced the hopelessness, and the spirit of not giving up, even when life is hard and miserable. I experienced heartache, longing, fear, and all the senses through blind Hody. It was a spectacular journey, with a soul-satisfying ending. Love this world, and loved these characters so much! 

Come on. Join the Amy Harmon wagon with me.

Amazon link

Happy reading!

Don’t Miss These Historicals

I have two great historicals that I wanted to spotlight today. One is set in the 50’s-60’s during the Cold War in Post WWII Berlin and the other is set in the rural outback of Kentucky in the early 1900s. Both kept me riveted from page one to the end.

The Slow March of Light by Heather B. Moore

This story followed the life of US Army soldier Bob Inama in the early 60’s. He’s stationed in Germany and tasked to be a spy against East Germany right before the Berlin wall becomes more permanent. It also follows a fictional character’s journey (based on real events), Luisa Voigt, as she and her father move to West Berlin and she starts working for the underground in her nurse position to help desperate people escape East Berlin, including her grandmother. It’s a crazy story, and very inspirational (especially the ending). Very informative about how the aftermath in Berlin worked almost 2 decades after WWII.

Amazon link

The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes

This was a beautiful tale set in the Kentucky backwoods in 1937. The federal government (through first lady Eleanore Roosevelt) starts a traveling library run by women around the country to get books to those who live in rural areas who don’t have access to schools or libraries. In the small town where this is set, Margery, a single, headstrong half-Cherokee woman, heads up a group of very different ladies to take books throughout the woods on treacherous horse paths each day. Alice is Margery’s opposite, a delicate Englishwoman who just came to America as Bennett Van Cleve’s new bride. But her monotonous, tense marriage (with her father-in-law living under the same roof) has left her feeling mutinous, so she volunteers to help the Packhorse Librarians to escape her tomb of a house. As she and the other women learn to navigate the wilds of Kentucky and make connections with the those living off the grid, they learn more about themselves and what they’re capable of as well.

I couldn’t put this book down. When I read the synopsis, I thought it sounded kind of boring. But there is nothing boring or tedious about this book. It was brilliantly written and had such complex, heart-achingly gorgeous character arcs and some cool twists that keep the story always pertinent and riveting, that it was super hard to stop reading to get normal duties accomplished. I loved each of the women featured. It shows them in their weakness and how they gain strength and unity as fellow sisters through their hardships and trials.

Amazon link

Happy reading!

It’s been a hot while!

Wow. I didn’t realize I hadn’t posted here for so long. Forgive me. May through September whizzed by faster than a jet plane and I’m still spinning in their dust. But…I haven’t stopped reading. And I have SO MANY awesome books to shout out about (how’s that for a nice rhyme?).

First, let me shout–or maybe scream and twirl around–about Jennifer Peel’s latest (which came out several months ago). This one is the finale of her Pine Falls series…which I have loved with all my heart. The character in these are to die for…in the best of ways.

This romance features Kinsley and Brant, and oh! what an emotional ride they took me on. There were highs and perilous lows, and it was a LONG roller-coaster as Kinsley learned how to love herself and come to realize she was enough. The theme of forgiveness was explored, and the characters learned that sometimes you have to lose (pride, ambition, judgment) to actually win.

I looked forward to this finale so much…and it didn’t disappoint. It was so fulfilling to wrap up this series of these three sisters–Ariana, Dani, and now Kinsley–as they taught me that life together is the greatest miracle of all, no matter what they had to give up to keep their love in tact.

And there is so much love in this book for the taking…so grab your copy today. You won’t regret it.

Amazon link (It’s 99 cents for the next 3 days. Wow!)

Happy reading!

The Seat Filler

This celebrity romance by Sariah Wilson was pretty fun. Some parts seemed implausible to me (like the misunderstanding that tears them apart at one point), but the author did a good job at the end making you semi-believe it could happen. It wasn’t my favorite Sariah Wilson book, but I still enjoyed it a lot. She always does a great job at immersing you into the Hollywood lifestyle.

Juliet Nolan, our heroine in this one, is helping out her best friend by being a seat-filler for a Hollywood award’s night (so the venue looks at full capacity on camera). She ends up being assigned to sit next to Noah Douglas, the heartthrob bigtime actor that she’s been in love with since junior high. But when he talks down to her, thinking she’s a stalker, she tells him she’s never heard of him before and tries to knock his ego down a peg or two. The two get further tangled up later when she ends up at his house to wash his dog (she’s a dog groomer).

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Love Unexpected

Don’t miss this new one by Jenny Proctor. Love Unexpected releases today and it was one of my favs. Here’s the blurb:

A famous boss. A secret identity. And a hilarious road trip to love. 

Yes. Yes, Rosie does have a crush on Isaac, her YouTube-famous boss.

Does she ever talk to him?

Absolutely not. Crippling social anxiety can do that.

But Rosie is nothing if not tenacious. Ignoring her friends’ advice to just talk to him already (Nope, that’s way too hard), she instead opts to pursue a virtual relationship with Isaac using a secret identity.

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Making the Marquess

Here’s another fun Scottish highlands romance by Nichole Van.

This story features Lady Charlotte and Dr. Alex Whitaker in a forbidden romance that will have your heart aching. Alex learns that he is next in line for the marquess-ship of Charlotte’s father’s estate who has died. But her sister’s husband, a second son of a duke, has received management of the estate until the title can be sorted out. He wants it for his son, which would mean he keeps managing it as his son is only three years old.

It’s a messy situation, to say the least. The house of lords demands that Alex—who doesn’t want anything to do with the title—come look at his holdings before he makes a final decision. He wants nothing more than to wash his hands of the whole ugly business for the three days he must be there and then get back to Scotland and his medical practice.

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Love the One You’re With

This cute book by Jennifer Peel had all the feels. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it (like all of her books). Here’s my 5-star review:

This is such an awesome, heart-tugging, fun story. Jake and Kasie are married and dropping their only child off to college. They married right after graduation senior year and Kasie has felt distance between her and her husband for a while now. She knows he regrets her roping him into a marriage he never wanted. He didn’t get to love the one he wanted, so he loved the one he’s with. She suggests they separate, since he doesn’t really love her anymore. He doesn’t argue, which breaks her heart even more.

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The Songbook of Benny Lament

Ah! I always love me an Amy Harmon book. And her latest, The Songbook of Benny Lament, touched and changed my heart in all the best ways. If you’ve never read one of her books before, you should. They are ridiculously amazing!

This book transported me into a different place and time. It’s set in the early 60s in a New York neighborhood run by the mob. Benny Lament (Benito Lomento) wants nothing to do with his family. Family means secrets. Family means being owned. Family means murder, corruption, and nothing good in his mind.

His life revolves around his music since he’s made a name for himself writing songs for big name artists. But when his father makes him come listen to a black girl named Esther Mine sing in a ghetto bar in another neighborhood, he is captivated against his will. But what he learns from his dad about Esther Mine’s birth parents makes him want to leave her alone. The woman can only bring trouble into his life. But Benny can’t get her voice out of his head, and though he runs from fate, it’s going to catch up to him.

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Fantasy by KM Shea

A reader recently told me she really enjoyed all of KM Shea’s fantasies, so I gave this author a try…and I have really liked her so far. I haven’t read a ton yet, so I’m no expert on all her books. But the Hall of Blood and Mercy series has been super fun and intriguing. Here’s the blurb for the first book–Magic Forged.

~~~

I’m one scrappy wizard. As someone with barely a flicker of magic, I’ve spent my life being mocked and surviving fights with bullies. But when my parents die in an accident, and I find myself responsible for our whole wizard house and family, I know my usual tactics aren’t going to cut it.

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