• Book Reviews

    Until We Are Lost: Blog Tour & Review

    Until We Are Lost by Leslie Archer

    Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (February 2, 2021)

    Paperback: 413 pages

    Genre: Psychological Thriller

    Synopsis

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl at the Border comes a haunting thriller about one woman’s journey into the painful truths threatening to destroy her.

    When Tara Peary’s twin sister Sophie goes missing, Tara dives into New York’s underbelly to find her. Sophie is the one person who’s ever truly understood her, and Tara knows her sister isn’t the only one who needs help.

    Tara is also on the run emotionally from her complicated childhood. Her memories are threatening to overwhelm her emotions and derail the hunt for Sophie. A psychotherapist keeps her afloat, but when Tara begins dating her therapist’s young tech-millionaire neighbor, she risks losing the only lifelines she has left.

    The more Tara uncovers about her sister’s disappearance and the dark side of the rich elite, the less certain of the truth she becomes. As Tara reaches the center of the mystery, spanning from her childhood home in Georgia to a Southern California beach, she has to decide whether the truth is a price she’s willing to pay.

    Review

    What’s your longest running favorite trope?

    I have loved books about twins since I was a kid and this book was no exception. The author did a great job of weaving the twin connection into the plot.

    Thrillers can be hit or miss with me and I really enjoyed this book. This was very much a psychological thriller with an emphasis on the psychological. Archer nailed all the small details and that’s what set this book apart from other thrillers that have fallen flat for me.

    The writing, character development, and plot lines kept me from wanting to put the book down. I lost track of the twists and I didn’t see several of them coming which made for a great read.

    One note, this book was both thrilling and DARK. It has pretty much any trigger warning you could imagine so please make sure you’re in a good mental space before reading.

    If you enjoyed And Then She Was Gone, one of my favorites from 2020, you will most likely enjoy this book. Available February 2nd from your favorite bookseller!

    Rating: ✂️✂️✂️✂️/5

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

    Connect with Leslie Archer

    Website 

    Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Lake Union Authors for the gifted copy in exchange for my honest review

     

  • ARC's,  Book Reviews

    Beauty Among Ruins: Review & Blog Tour

     

    Beauty Among Ruins

    Author: J’Nell Ciesielski

    Publisher: Thomas Nelson

    Genre: WWI Historical/Christian Romance

    Pages: 416

    In Ciesielski’s latest sweeping romance, an American heiress finds herself in Scotland amid the fallout of the Great War, and a wounded Scottish laird comes face-to-face with his past and a woman he never could have expected.

    Synopsis:

    American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.

    Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.

    Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?

    Review:

    This book is sure to captivate a reader as a historical romance with a dash of Beauty and The Beast. The characters are lively and well-developed with backstories that made them equally interesting and endearing.

    I found myself rooting from Lily and Alec from the start and found both of them likeable – something I struggle within the romance genre. No brooding and troubled characters here which was a refreshing change.

    The Scottish countryside and crumbling castle were the perfect backdrop for this story and the author did an excellent job of capturing both the time period and the mysterious atmosphere of the castle.

    If you are looking for an escape read with a satisfying ending, Beauty Among Ruins fits that bill perfectly.

    Make this your next read:

    Purchase Links:

    Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble Thomas Nelson

     

    With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the INSPY and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.

    Connect with J’nell

    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.
  • Book Reviews

    Confessions in B-Flat: Review & Giveaway

    Essence bestselling author Donna Hill brings us an emotional love story set against the powerful backdrop of the civil rights movement that gripped a nation–a story as timely as it is timeless…

    Synopsis:

    The year is 1963. In Harlem, the epicenter of Black culture, the fight for equality has never been stronger. The time is now. Enough is enough. Yet even within its ranks, a different kind of battle rages. Love thy neighbor? Or rise up against your oppressors?

    Jason Tanner has just arrived in New York to help spread the message of his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of passive resistance, while beat poet Anita Hopkins believes the teachings of Malcolm X with all her heart: that the way to true freedom is “by any means necessary.” When Jason sees Anita perform her poetry at the iconic B-Flat lounge, he’s transfixed. And Anita has never met anyone who can match her wit for wit like this…

    One movement, two warring ideologies–can love be enough to unite them?

    Confessions in B-Flat is a celebration of the hard-won victories of those who came before us, and a stark reminder of just how far we still have to go.

    My Review

    ✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️/5

    Writing Impressions: Beautifully written, the author captured the history, the tension, the fight for change and the relationship between two very complex characters during the Civil Rights Movement. The use of historical landmarks, media, and larger than life leaders made this book so much more than your typical historical romance.

    Characters: The relationship Jason and Anita was everything I had hoped for and then some. They were both well-developed and Jason was a representation of sorts for the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while Anita represented the beliefs of Malcolm X. This was a fascinating and educational way to show the contrast between the two and was genius to show it in the contest of a relationship. The addition of other leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, while fictional, made this book come to life.

    My thoughts: I enjoyed this book immensely. I would classify it as historical fiction with a very real romantic relationship at the center. This book is timely and while it shows how much has changed, the bigger impact for me personally was just how far we have to go.

    To enter the Instagram giveaway:

    Click here

    •Follow me, @bluntscissorsbookreviews and @brooklyngirl737

    •Tag a friend & share in your stories

    Sorry, U.S. entries only. This giveaway will end on 12/23 and the winner will be announced in my stories. This giveaway is not associated with Instagram.

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

    Entangled Publishing

    Connect with Donna

    Website | Facebook | Instagram

    Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Entangled Publishing for a gifted copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • Book Reviews

    Forever 51: blog tour & review

    About Forever 51

    • Paperback: 332 pages
    • Publisher: Fawkes Press, LLC (November 5, 2020)

    Immortality’s a bitch.

    Veronica is eternally fifty-one years old with a proclivity for problematic drinking. Like most hormonally challenged women negotiating the change of life, she is a hot mess. To retain her sanity, she attends weekly AA meetings and adheres to a strict diet of organic, locally-sourced, (mostly) cruelty-free human blood from the hospice facility where she works. Her life stopped being fun about a hundred years ago, right about the time her teenage daughter stole her soul and took off for California with a hot, older guy. These days, Veronica’s existence is just that – an existence, as flat and empty as her own non-reflection in the bathroom mirror.

    When her estranged daughter contacts her via Facebook, Veronica learns that she has one chance to escape her eternal personal summer: she must find and apologize to every one of the people she’s turned into vampires in the last century. That is, if they’re still out there. With raging hormones and a ticking clock, Veronica embarks on a last-ditch road trip to regain her mortality, reclaim her humanity, and ultimately, die on her own terms.

    Review:

    ✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️/5

    A menopausal, 12 stepping, road tripping vampire… what could be more fun? Seriously. This book was darkly funny and unique and has something for everyone!

    I nearly gave up on vampires a few years back because the genre had been so overdone. But not this book.

    The writing was sharp and the characters were realistic and well developed. I especially appreciated the depth and emotion the author put into the addiction and recovery storyline.

    You can’t help but root for these characters and you also might learn a thing or two about vampires that you’ve always wondered about.

    A ride or die road trip sounds hilarious for a story about a vampire but I don’t think there could be a more perfect, unexpected description.

    I was thrilled to learn that this author is local to me and now I’m crossing my fingers for a sequel because that ending.

    If you’re looking for a trope-busting, smart, and fun book for the vampire fan in your life – add this to your holiday season shopping list!

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org

    About Pamela Skjolsvik

    A curious thing happens when you have the audacity to call yourself the death writer; people want to talk to you about death. A lot. This is all well and good for those daring types of writers like Mary Roach or Jessica Mitford, but for me it was initially problematic. Prior to declaring my morbid writing intention of exploring death professions during my first semester of Goucher College’s MFA program in 2008, I had little experience with death or grief, not to mention very little social engagement with the living. It wasn’t until after I finished the two years of research for this book that I was officially diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder and went through four months of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy through a research study at Southern Methodist University.

    My writing life began in 2005 when I received a fellowship to the San Juan Writers’ Workshop. The instructor, Lee Gutkind, told me not to publish for the sake of publishing, but to publish well. He also informed me that I was a horrible public speaker. Admittedly that stung, but he did like an essay I’d written. It was published in Creative Nonfiction Issue 33 and in Silence Kills: Speaking Out and Saving Lives. In August 2010, I received my MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College and read five pages from my manuscript in front of a packed room without passing out.

    As part of my therapy, I was encouraged to join a writer’s group where I would have to read regularly in front of a group, as this was one of my main fears. I am happy to say that I am now an active member of the DFW Writers Workshop in Euless, TX. We meet every Wednesday and I make it a point to read out loud every week.

    Find out more about Pamela at her website, and connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Fawkes Press for the gifted copy of this fantastic book. My opinions and review are my ow.

  • Book Reviews

    Just Jones: Feature & Book Review

    Just Jones by Andy Andrews

    Publish Date: September 8th, 2020

    Publisher: Thomas Nelson

    Pages: 272

    Genre: Literature & Fiction, Magical Realism, Ethics & Philosophy

    Book #3 of The Noticer Series

    From New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews comes the return of one of our favorite characters: Jones, the Noticer. Jones’ wise stories have comforted and guided millions of readers. In JustJonesnavigate the hope that the impossible can come true.

    Synopsis:

    At 3:29 a.m. on May 22, a telephone rings in Orange Beach, Alabama. Breaking the sleepy silence inside the bedroom of New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews, a hastily whispered message heralds the news that Andy has been waiting on for seven years: Jones is back in town. Apparently, however, he is also in jail.

    The old man is tight-lipped about the circumstances surrounding his brief incarceration. After arriving to bail him out, Andy is shocked to discover that his trusted friend has already opened an unusual business in one of the resort town’s most high-profile shopping districts. Jones’s Five & Dime seems to always have exactly what visitors are looking for, even as their fate steadily becomes entwined with Jones’s.

    As the town moves from spring to summer, a practical joker is becoming bolder and more inventive with every prank that is pulled. Could Jones be behind some of it? Why? And what will happen if he is? What’s the truth about that four-hundred-pound table in his Five & Dime? What compels certain people to gather around it every morning? And why does it look as if every person Jones meets has a secret they will reveal only to him?

    With rare insight, Andy and Jones take us on a journey that proves the importance of perspective, the power of connection, and the ability we all have to make the impossible come true.

    Just Jones is lightning in a bottle–pure genius on paper. If you can imagine a hilarious mystery filled with useful wisdom that is fresh and new, you’ve just conjured up this book. Andy Andrews is our generation’s Mark Twain. Just Jones is the latest proof.’ –Dave Ramsey, national bestselling author

    Just Jones is a rare accomplishment–a mystery that is at times touching but often so funny that I laughed out loud. When one wraps an awesome story around wisdom with the power to change lives . . . well, how many great books can you name like that? Just Jones is a masterpiece.’ –Michael Hyatt, New York Times bestselling author

    Review:

    Andy Andrews is a longtime favorite author of mine. His writing is full of warmth & wisdom with a dash of wit. Just Jones continues in that same tradition.

    It is the third book of The Noticer series but Andrews does a fantastic job of looping the reader into the story and this can certainly be as a stand-alone.

    The characters are endearing, flaws and all, and the hint of mystery gave these characters an extra layer of depth.

    I am a huge fan of magical realism and having that element included made the book for me. That genre is not always to write and Andrews does a masterful job in this space.

    Without giving too much away, you will laugh, question your own perspective, consider the value of community, and read excellent, well-written book that will stick with you long after you’ve finished it.

    Even if this is your first book, you will quickly see why Andy Andrews is a favorite writer of mine. It’s available now at your favorite local bookseller.

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson

    Connect with Andy

    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    Thank you to TLC Book Tours, Thomas Nelson, and Andy Andrews for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

     

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