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What are you watching? book blitz

Death Watch by
(Soul Reader #2)
Annie Anderson
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: April 27th 2021

A prison break, a secret admirer, and a boatload of lies. Just about everything Sloane Cabot knows about her past is a big old pile of malarkey. Couple that with the blank spot of how her family died, and she needs answers, like, yesterday. But when a man shows up dead on her family’s grave, she knows it somehow has to be tied to that fateful night a year ago. Too bad you can’t question the dead… or can you?

image 11 - What are you watching? book blitz

Death Watch Excerpts

Excerpt 1

A pair of guards opened the giant doors, bowing at Thomas as he guided me through. It was an actual struggle not to freeze at the entrance and stare. But man, did I want to. This place—while definitely what I would consider on-brand for a vamp nest—was one of the most magnificent buildings I’d ever been in. I wasn’t particularly interested in other churches, but this cathedral was just a beauty. A gallery of pews sat to the left and right of a wide aisle that led to a raised dais. Vampires filled the seats, dressed similarly to Thomas and me, their voices a low buzz of conversation. More people were sitting in the upper gallery, their opulent gowns and sharp tuxedos a happy reminder that Thomas had my back. Had I walked in here with leather pants and a whip on my hip, I had a feeling I would have been just a touch out of place.

Thomas continued his leading, guiding me down the aisle toward a stunningly severe woman sitting on what appeared to be a throne. Skin paler than death, eyes vamped out in a way that seemed permanent, and painted lips the color of blood, she was the most beautiful and yet most frightening woman I’d ever seen. Dark hair was piled on her head in purposefully haphazard curls, a few tendrils snaking out of the complicated up-do to artfully caress her neck. She wore a brilliant green gown that was so simple, and yet so achingly complex, it had to have cost a fortune.

We reached the end of the aisle, and Thomas bowed his head slightly. I copied him, wishing I would have received an etiquette lesson on the hour-long drive here. All I’d gotten was Thomas’ clenched jaw and silence.

“You have some nerve,” a woman growled, drawing my gaze from what had to be the queen of this nest to her right.

I quickly realized that the voice did not belong to a woman at all but a child. Pale-blonde hair and blue eyes were set in an elfin face of a vampire who had likely been no more than ten when she was turned. And that had to have been centuries ago. This little whisp of a “girl”—and I use that word lightly—had the look of a being older than dirt. Dressed in a black lace confection appropriate for a child beauty queen, she stood from her chair.

She then launched herself at Thomas.

I couldn’t exactly say why I did it. I mean, she had me by centuries, and Thomas could take care of himself. But as soon as her feet left the dais, I had the knife Clem had given me yanked from its sheath and was in front of the man in an instant.

Thomas owed me, not the other way around, but he’d been kind to me when I’d needed it, and I wouldn’t let him get attacked. No way, no how.

It was as if everyone froze. Conversations halted, guards stood stock-still, and even this slip of a thing stood arrested at the end of my blade, which was poised at her throat.

To this tiny—but by no means less deadly—vampire at the point of my knife, I said, “Settle down there, Blondie, or we’re going to have a problem.”

I had a feeling we probably already had one.

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Excerpt 2

“Haunting rooftops again, I see,” Bastian called from behind me, startling me out of my intense stare-down of an inanimate object, namely, a door.

The only thing special about this door was that behind it lay a raging arcane club. The music radiated up from the ground, through the building, rattling my bones even from across the street, but that door was nothing more than a metal barrier to the world beyond. I’d always wondered what went on in clubs like those. Would it be sex and alcohol and dancing bodies—which wasn’t much different from a human club in that scenario—or would it be darker? Blood and death and all the dark things about the arcane world that I hated? I was smart enough to know that the human world had its darkness, too, but it seemed the more I lived in this world, the more I realized that what I thought was evil didn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

“It’s a hobby,” I muttered, shaking my head to clear the dark thoughts as I stretched from my crouch, my joints protesting loudly. One thing about this life that was the same were the aches and pains. I’d sat in one spot too long, staring at that stupid metal door to that stupid arcane club that wouldn’t provide any more answers than the last one had.

My search so far had given me one dead end after the other, and after two straight months of nothing, I was starting to get annoyed. It was bad enough that I had the habit of haunting rooftops before the man who’d killed my parents left a note on my pillow.

Now, it was an obsession.

In the last two months—in between bounties and training—I’d been scouring every nook and cranny of Ascension. And my questioning methods hadn’t exactly been in line with what I would call pleasant.

Bloody would be a better descriptor.

Hopping off the ledge, I knocked the dark hood from my white hair, letting the spring air cool me down. Sweltering under my lightweight jacket, I yanked it off, trying not to rip the fabric. Clem would be pissed if I ripped another one, and as the house’s weapons keeper and person in charge of my solid food intake, pissing her off would not be a smart move on my part. Plus, if Bastian found me, there would be no more sleuthing tonight, and the need to hide my beacon of a hair color was no longer necessary.

I’d need to pick harder to find locations if I wanted him off my ass. Well… I kind of wanted him on my ass, just not while I was in the middle of my special project. I stared down at the skull don’t-find-me ring I’d conned Simon into making for me. Leave it to Bastian to find a way to work around Simon’s magic.

Bastian stood in the darkness, the faint light barely kissing the high points of his face and leaving the rest in shadow. To everyone else, he was a bruiser with his heavy dark brow and bulking frame. To me, he seemed akin to a big teddy bear—a giant, angry teddy bear, but one, nonetheless.

Even if he was spoiling my stakeout.

“Some hobby,” he groused, snagging my hand and reeling me in. “You know, instead of skulking around, you could actually go inside one of those clubs. Take a night off from your ‘creature of the dark’ persona and actually have fun.”

Fun. It was a struggle not to audibly scoff and even harder not to show the derision on my face. I hadn’t had fun in ages. Hell, I didn’t even know what that word meant anymore. And I couldn’t remember the last time I’d taken a night off—definitely pre-orphanhood, for sure.

“‘Creature of the dark?’ What am I, a Batman villain? Do I get a cool costume? Is there a car in this deal?”

Bastian’s smile gave me legit butterflies, the wide, white pull of his full lips making me all giddy.

Ugh, hormones. Why must you betray me like this?

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57228952-death-watch

Purchase:

Amazon: https://geni.us/dw-amazon

Bookbub: https://geni.us/deathwatch-bb

AUTHOR BIO:

image 13 - What are you watching? book blitz

Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life… interesting.

Author links:

https://www.annieande.com/

https://www.instagram.com/annieande/

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnieAnderson

https://www.pinterest.ca/AnnieAnde/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6108766.Annie_Anderson

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Is it a curse? Blitz

LisaWells ItsACurseThing  - Is it a curse? Blitz It’s a Curse Thing
(Singles Town, #2)
Lisa Wells
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Paranormal, Romance
Publication date: April 27th 2021
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It’s not forever. It’s not freaking forever.

What’s a witch to do when her magic’s been hacked and her tongue wickedly cursed! No matter how hard Eloise Redd concentrates on keeping her thoughts to herself, she blurts them. The only option is to lie low and wait for the hacker’s ransom note —and hope the demands aren’t too steep. In the meantime, she hides out in a haunted town as a palm reader. What could possibly go wrong reading palms?

Jeffrey Bales, Chief Operating Officer of Think Tank Innovations, is excellent at peopling. What he’s not good at is fending off a multitude of women convinced he’s their souls’ missing puzzle piece. This thanks to the town’s magical palm reader. A woman whose mouth should come with a hazard warning. He has no choice but to turn his charms on her to silence those wayward words. Just a tiny, fake relationship should work…

Unless it takes place under the roof of a bewitched house. One determined to bind them together eternally. That ransom demand can’t arrive soon enough.

What if this is forever?

EXCERPT ONE:

“Welcome to Hand Picked.” Eloise struck a pose at the top of her stairs and spoke to the gentleman who stood in her doorway, looking very much like a shabby prince with his stiff stance and sexy-as-hell five o’clock shadow. Was he her three o’clock?

If so, she now wished she’d reapplied her Rouge Louboutin Velvet Matte lipstick after her cup of tea. Perhaps living in Knotty would be more than bores and snores after all. A little hot weekend sex would make the months go by faster.

“Thank you,” he said.

About to take a step forward, she paused, left foot dangling above the stair. Hmmm. What do we have here? His voice sounded familiar. She tilted her head to the left and tried to get a look at his profile. Nope. His face, what she could see of it in the shadows, didn’t ring any bells. Perhaps she’d overheard him talking while she’d explored the town last weekend. “Have you come to have your palm read?”

Not waiting for his response, she lifted her floral, floor-length, multi-ruffled skirt and glided down the stairs, aiming to appear like a royal subject entering a magical ball being held in her honor. Not to impress the man. Not much anyway. But mostly because presentation mattered when one read palms for a living. With her skirt, she wore a black long sleeve bodysuit and a headscarf that had beads that dangled over her forehead.

She’d been just as meticulous regarding her appearance when she had practiced law. Only then, instead of every aspect of her projecting flamboyant exuberance, she’d projected the appropriate image of strength and intelligence and the ability to cut your throat in a courtroom without leaving any traces of blood on her Louboutin heels.

At the bottom of the stairs, she got her first shadow-free view of her latest customer. A view that caused her world to tumble and land ass up. Balls. Balls. Balls.

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EXCEPT TWO:

Eloise stood outside Jeff’s house and waited for the lovely old Victorian to welcome her and her cat inside. Charm, the moodiest cat ever, had been MIA ever since she’d been forced to move to Knotty with Eloise.

“Who are you?” the house barked in a voice gruff with age. Not even a hint of the English accent Eloise had expected.

“Eloise Redd, of the Salem Redds. And you are?” Eloise stood straight and unafraid. This was not her first conversation with a house.

“Gwinifer. You may call me Ms. Gwinifer. And the feline?”

Eloise held her cage out in front of her so Gwinifer could get a good look. “Charm. Of the Salem Charms.”

“I’m not particularly fond of cats,” Gwinifer said.

Charm’s back arched. “Hiiiiissssss.”

“Neither am I.” Eloise gave Charm a behave-yourself look and sat the cage on the ground. “But I’m a witch. They’re required. Along with a cauldron, but I left that in the trunk of the car.”

A nose appeared on the front of the house and it sniffed the air around Eloise. “I can’t say I’m fond of witches either.”

“Neither am I. But, as they say, one doesn’t get to pick their birth family.” Was Jeff inside watching her talk to his house? If so, why hadn’t he come outside and made proper introductions, instead of forcing Eloise to announce herself like a commoner? Surely, if the house was talking to her, it had also spoken to Jeff on his move-in day. Who was she kidding? If the guy was skeptical about palm readers, there’s no way he had ever admitted to himself he heard a house talking. He had probably blamed whatever he had heard from Gwinifer on the wind whistling through tree branches and playing tricks on his ears. 

She glanced away from the nose and admired the house. She didn’t want Gwinifer to feel rushed into making a decision. A house that felt forced into welcoming a guest could be quite abusive to said guest. Cold showers. Creaking floorboards. Drafty rooms. Dead mouse smells.

On the outside, Gwinifer was a sassy lady. Her colorful eclecticism and intricate excess so fit the town itself. Her facade had an elaborately decorated gable and off to one side, a round tower. Her steeply pitched and complex roof perched like a jaunty hat, giving her further style. It was in the window of her dormer that Eloise got a nod of approval. A wink.

“You’ll do,” Gwinifer said in a haughty tone.

Eloise could practically here the house’s eyes rolling. She smiled and gave a curtsy. “Thank you.”

“Don’t make me regret allowing a witch inside my sanctuary,” Gwinifer snapped. “I have a temper. The last time I got mad at a witch, a tornado took out the town.”

AUTHOR BIO:

Lisa Wells writes romantic comedy with enough steam to fog your eyeglasses, your brain, and sometimes your Kindle screen. On the other hands, her eighty-year-old mother-in-law has read Lisa’s steamiest book and lived to offer her commentary. Which went something like this: You used words I’ve never heard of…

She lives in Missouri with her husband and slightly-chunky rescue dog. Lisa loves dark chocolate, red wine, and those rare mornings when her skinny jeans fit. Which isn’t often, considering the first two entries on her love-it list.

Author links:

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https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lisa-wells

https://www.facebook.com/lisa.wells.737

https://www.instagram.com/lisawellsauthor/

http://lisawellsauthor.com/contact.html

http://www.lisawellsauthor.com/

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Bears are secure: book review

Bear Claw Security
– box series
Terry Bolryder
fantasy, paranormal, investigation, security, shifters
four star - Bears are secure: book review

When you hire a bodyguard at Bear Claw Security, you might just get a little more than you asked for....

Five sexy, action-packed books! Big, brawny bear shifters are here to protect and please while finding their curvy mates in the process! If you like tough bear shifters and steamy romance, this series is for you!

Bear to the Bone: Cage McCann is heading back to his hometown to win over, and save, the love of his life, childhood friend Carrie. But can one bear fight back an entire town of corrupt bikers while protecting and wooing his mate?

Bear-ly a Hero: Grumpy computer expert Limes is great at programming, great at fighting, bad at dealing with people. Especially gentle human females. But when a potential client mistakes him for a criminal and brains him with an umbrella, he realizes that not only has he found his mate, but also, that for the right person he might just be able to be a hero.

Bear to the Rescue: Big, tough Bronson is used to running the crew at Bear Claw and keeping unruly bears in order. But can he stay profession when he falls for (and has to protect) his new employee?

Bear-ly Human: Hercules is an ex special forces soldier and the newest employee at Bear Claw Security. When a woman from his past comes striding into his work, needing someone to act as a fake fiancée, Hercules knows he's the only man for the job. Even if he'd rather be her real fiancée instead.

Bear to the End: Mark Bronson is the newest addition at Bear Claw Security. Despite his fancy clothes and his former position as head of a highly successful company, he's now ready to use his big, muscular body for crunching bad guys instead of crunching numbers.

This was a freebie from KU and was ideal to while away the time during COVID shielding lockdown.

For its genre it was beautifully written. The books follow the bear shifters who work at the security firm as they find and woo their mates.

Of course, the wooing isn’t straight forward, and the males have to learn that their mates are feisty, strong-willed and physically strong females too. Not to mention crafty as well as highly intelligent.

As you may guess, the males are large men. Often 6 foot 6 and above and ‘built’ – muscly. Several served in the armed forces especially the special sections and have serious military backgrounds which make working as bodyguards an easy option.

There were a few grammatical errors – but then 95% of all the books I read have them and I only really complain when they impeded the story continuity or comprehension, but overall negligible for the length – 11,347 pages.

bear - Bears are secure: book review

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A Woman and a Van

van - A Woman and a Van Go: One Woman. One Van. A New Beginning.
by Stacy Fisher
Nonfiction (Adult) | Travel
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 5 Dec 2020
four star - A Woman and a Van

Have you ever faced a life-changing decision?

You won’t always know you’re ready until you’re ready, but when you’re ready, you’ll go.

When it became clear that my marriage was ending, I felt paralyzed and overwhelmed. In an attempt to simplify my life, I bought a Sprinter van, pared down my possessions to only what would fit inside it, and set out on a spontaneous drive across the country to explore new possibilities for my life.

Travel is good medicine.

During my cross-country trip, I grieved. I wrestled with forgiveness. And I slowly reclaimed my sense of personal sovereignty.

LivingUpp is a participant in affiliate programs, which means we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases on affiliate links to Amazon.

In Go: One Woman. One Van. A New Beginning*, I share some of my greatest lessons from the road, and how I transitioned from living in survival mode to becoming the designer of my life.

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This is a true story told by the author about her drive and stay in a van to find where she would go next after her divorce – her 2nd as it happens.

Initially, she just had the bare van – with nothing in it but some furniture for a sink – with 2 bottles of water – fresh and grey in the cupboard under it and a camping mattress and boxes of her belongings.

She was lucky in that as she travelled from Washington State to Florida in this van, she had friends she could call into to have a night on a real bed and a proper shower rather than any that she could find in a campsite. She did have plenty of experience of camping and van type travelling luckily, even though her van was not tricked out properly. By the end of her journey her van looked more like the one pictured above as she had some building work done and also she and her Dad did some work on it.

What surprised me, being in the UK, was that she had lots of doctor visits before she set off as travelling from state to state on her journey she had no health care insurance if anything happened to her. I am so thankful for our health service and the arrangements we have in Europe too…

One thing I found very interesting, and that made me realise that I needed, was her daily habit of journaling. Gratitude journaling. I had heard about it before but as someone who has survived what could have been an extremely serious illness and is now still unwell and will need to take a lot of care for the rest of my life, I need to work more on gratitude and less on negativity as to what has been taken away from me. Her 8 dimensions of self-care are also interesting as I been told to take more time on my self-care by several health professionals, so it was interesting to see what she means by it.

Stacy lives and talks about her self-care and has a website that she plugs but overall I was disappointed that her van journey was short and whilst she ‘explored’ on her journey, the places she visited were really obvious tourist sites.

This could have been a better book in my opinion as Stacy really uses it to plug her business and I wonder about her motivation in writing it and whether she had decided to do this before she started the journey. But still the style was good and easy to read.

STACY FISHER is a registered dietitian, lifestyle coach, health & travel writer, and speaker with more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. As the founder of LivingUpp, she teaches women how to build a solid self-care foundation using a unique framework and planning system that she developed. Her methodology empowers women to simplify their lifestyles, so they can experience more ease and better health. Stacy has been featured in The Costco Connection and is the author of three other books, including The Lifestyle Design Planner.

7nn5H2GAQWmvH1xHxha0 grand canyon 400x400 - A Woman and a Van

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Dog Wars: Book Blitz

Text in Show
(An Accidentally in Love Story, #4)
by Melanie Summers, Whitney Dineen
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: June 10th 2021

It’s a dog text dog world…

Autumn Jones is at a crossroads. With no job offers in sight, she can either return to Koshkonong, Wisconsin to work at her dad’s feed store or she can move to New York and help her older sister Helen coordinate the Manhattan Kennel Club Show. She and Helen may fight like cats and dogs, but Autumn would rather live with a thousand Helens than go home after seven years of college.

Jack Campbell is the veterinarian to Manhattan’s elite. Despite their adoration, he does not love them back. In fact, he’s vowed never to date anyone who walks through the front door of his clinic. He spends his days caring for pampered poodles sporting diamond encrusted collars and placating their high maintenance owners. When he meets Autumn, he assumes she’s going to be another client with more money than brains.

Autumn is thrown into a bizarre world of highly competitive rich women who will do anything to win the coveted title of Best in Show at Manhattan’s most exclusive competition. With her haughty sister breathing down her neck, and a high-strung poodle following her everywhere she goes, she doesn’t have time for love, even if she does find herself face-to-face with America’s hottest vet every day.

Will Autumn run back to Wisconsin with her tail between her legs? Will Jack find out that appearances can be deceiving? Will Helen’s dog Fifi win Best in Show? Find out in the hysterical fourth edition of the Accidentally in Love Series, Text in Show.

TextInShowBlitzBanner - Dog Wars: Book Blitz

It’s a dog text dog world…⁣

Will Autumn run back to Wisconsin with her tail between her legs? Will Jack find out that appearances can be deceiving? Will Helen’s dog Fifi win Best in Show? Find out in the hysterical fourth edition of the Accidentally in Love Series, Text in Show by @whitneydineenauthor and @mj_summers_author

EXCERPT

The bell over the door chimes and a young woman walks in with a freshly groomed silver standard poodle, full-on with painted nails and a diamond collar that probably isn’t fake. I look from the dog to her owner, relieved that I don’t know either of them. My gut reaction is to despise her. Anyone who paints their dog’s nails is on my not happening list, even if she is really pretty—which she is. She’s totally got that trophy wife air about her, except there’s no giant rock on her finger, so she must be a wannabe trophy wife. Her dark blonde hair is up in a ponytail. She’s dressed in yoga pants and a fitted long-sleeved T-shirt for that cute girl-next-door look. She probably paid an extra hundred for that tiny hole near the bottom of her shirt, you know, to make it look like she’s not trying.

Aldo points to the door and yells, “NO DOGS!”

The chances that a woman like her will take no for an answer are about as good as me painting my own nails. In other words, it’s not happening.

She gives him a pathetic look, complete with puppy dog eyes. “I’m just here to pick up my order and I’m worried about leaving her outside.”

There it is. She’s clearly not used to hearing no and she’s about to put up a big fuss. I bet she’ll threaten to skewer them on Yelp before she leaves.

“No dogs. OUT!” Aldo shouts.

“Can you bring me the pizza then? It’s under the name Autumn.”

Autumn. That figures. These Upper East Side women always have chichi froufrou names.

The man in line turns to glare at her. “Would you mind waiting your turn?”

“Sorry, yeah,” she says, looking more flustered than I’m used to seeing in this neighborhood full of privilege.

Also, she just apologized and is now leaving without yelling, threatening, or telling him he just made the biggest mistake of his life. She must be very new at being filthy rich, but she’ll learn.

Autumn turns around to open the door, only to get caught up in the leash. I watch as she loses her balance, then flails her arms which, unfortunately for her, is the universal sign for “let’s wrestle” in the dog world. The poodle leaps up, wags her tail, and bounces as though agreeing to the terms of play. The owner’s weak words of “Celine, no!” mean nothing. In fact, the volume and panicked tone only excite the poodle more. Before I can get up to help her, the woman tips sideways and lands in a huge potted plant with the dog pinning her to the dirt and licking her face. “Celine Dion Josephine Bonaparte, get down girl,” she says, uselessly.

“That’s it, now you’ve upset my plant.” Aldo hollers. “Go!”

“I’m trying!” she calls back.

Oh, for … I get up and firmly take Celine Dion Josephine Bonaparte (what kind of name is that?) by the collar, lift her off Autumn, and firmly tell the canine, “Stay.”

Then I pluck the leash out of the woman’s hands and unravel her legs from it. Wow, she smells amazing. Or is that the poodle? Dear God, I hope it’s not the poodle because if so, I’ve got some very expensive years of therapy ahead of me.

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AUTHOR BIO:

Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order.

Whitey - Dog Wars: Book Blitz

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to. 

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.

Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017
Author Links:

https://whitneydineen.com/

https://twitter.com/whitneydineen

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8145525.Whitney_Dineen

https://www.instagram.com/whitneydineenauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/Whitney-Dineen-Author-11687019412/


Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

Melanie - Dog Wars: Book Blitz

Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.

In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally – then she’ll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for ‘K’ Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn’t require makeup and/or nylons).

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she’s not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something–more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International. 
Author links: https://mjsummersbooks.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/mjsummersbookshttps:

//www.instagram.com/mj_summers_author/

https://www.facebook.com/MJSummersAuthorPage

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17105602.Melanie_Summers

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Shall we go to China? On a sail boat?

content?id=v9QIzgEACAAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs api - Shall we go to China? On a sail boat? The Duke's Privateer
Devilish Dukes
Amy Jarecki
Fiction, Historical, Regency
Oliver-Heber Books
January 5, 2021
294
four star - Shall we go to China? On a sail boat?

When it comes to women, the Duke of Danby is an audacious rake... but when it comes to ridding the kingdom of smugglers, he's leading the charge. The Prince Regent has bankrupted the country more than once, and Danby isn't about to go down with a sinking ship. The Honorable Eleanor Kent hides behind the image of a self-proclaimed spinster... though in truth she's one of England's most sought-after privateers. When their paths cross at a royal dinner... Danby suspects the stunning redheaded woman is more than she seems. He engages her to consult on a chinoiserie remodel and Eleanor gladly accepts. Indeed, she'd rather keep her enemy close where she can watch his every move. Though neither duke nor lady has a clue of how tangled the web they're spinning will become. As the heat ratchets up, so does their unbidden attraction. Will they get burned before it's too late to run?

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Oh a woman who is not doing as Society expects – but has to do it in private because women can’t run businesses – of course. And then the business that she runs just happens to have an illegal side to it. Smuggling!

Well Society likes its fine linens, silk, alcohol and so on, but wants it a really ‘good’ price. And there are, as always, taxes to pay on imports.

So if you can be a profitable importer, it pays to add a cargo without taxes!

Eleanor has managed to buy a ship – The King’s Jewel – which is fast and travels into exotic locations like Japan and China and brings back artifacts from these countries for Prinny – the Prince Regent. Who likes exotica and has furnished his palace in Brighton with a marvel of artifacts that did not come in through the usual ports… If you supply the Prince, it would be difficult to accuse you of smuggling as that would implicate the Prince. But if you need income for the Crown to pay for wars etc then there is are in a dilemma.

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image - Shall we go to China? On a sail boat?

The Brighton Pavilion still stands mostly how Prinny furbished it and is really wonderful to go and visit.

This is a nice story, well written, with some solid economic and political points.

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Islands in the snow: book review

island - Islands in the snow: book review Christmas Island by Natalie Normann HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter You Like Them One More Chapter Romance Pub Date 30 Nov 2020

In the bleak midwinter… A really frosty wind is making Holly’s life absolutely miserable After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined. Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine. Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak.

We could be in one of the far flung Scottish islands – but we are not, we are in Norway – on one of their far flung islands where there is a very small community, everyone knows everyone else’s business, there is nothing to do, and it is very cold, very wet and very dark most of the year. Yes, the correct type of place to hide away in total isolation and be a hermit. it is also rather windy as next stop is America and the wind comes across a cold ocean. [No point having a balcony when you go across by boat we found out after having paid extra for one!]

As with many of these remote islands, the animals, usually sheep, are of a rare breed who have learnt to survive on a very particular diet which only exists on one island. Like the Soay sheep or the Boreray sheep or the Orkney sheep which live on seaweed. Many of these are now feral or are in rare breed farms. So our heroine’s brother has a flock of his rare breed sheep – Norway has a few too – in fact there are more rare breed sheep than any other type of animal as man has spent of his energy on cross breeding them for his particular environment. the funniest looking is this one – serious coats here!

Leicester Long wool Sheep - Islands in the snow: book review
Leicester Long Wool
220px North ron sheep - Islands in the snow: book review
Orkney
220px Boreray Ram - Islands in the snow: book review
Boreray
220px Soay ewe - Islands in the snow: book review
Soay

We also have a lovely cat belonging to our hermit – a Norwegian Forest cat – this is a large breed of nicely mannered cat but they are smaller than the Maine Coons but just as friendly – we now have 2 Maine Coons and this is our male:

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Note the creamy coloured tail – like fair ground spun sugar! He is a ‘Red’ and very amiable and talkative- he calls for the next door cat to go on patrol! Oh and 16 pounds in weight and over 3 foot in length.

I did think that our hermit had seriously got the Covid and the whole island had the zoom etiquette down pat.

In many ways a quite traditional romance story – beauty and the beast trope – with a nice twist with the island, winter, xmas, and cat.

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