Thursday, June 24, 2021

Blogtour: Her Small Town Secret by Brenda Minton


Please welcome Brenda Minton with

Her Small Town Secret


Revealing the truth


could change everything…


Just as things start to come together for single mom Avery Hammons, her carefully ordered world is flipped upside down by the unexpected arrival of Grayson Stone, a man from her past.


Now Grayson wants to be part of her and her daughter’s lives, even as he plans to return to California. But can Avery trust the man who once abandoned her with her little girl’s heart…and her own?





Excerpt:

The door to room 204 in the Pleasant Residential Care center squeaked open. Avery Hammons glanced that way but didn’t greet the visitor. She finished taking the vitals of her patient, then gave the redhead at the door a questioning look.

“There’s an incredibly gorgeous cowboy waiting for you at the front lobby. He might be all hat and no cattle, but I’d take him if I wasn’t happily engaged.” Assistant to the administrator of Pleasant Residential Care, Laura Anderson, winked.

“Gorgeous cowboy type?” Avery asked after settling her patient’s arm back on her bed. She smiled down at the woman, hoping to reassure her. “Margie, your pulse is strong and your blood pressure is better than that of most twenty-year-olds. In another month you’ll be back to walking Dudley in the park.”

Margie Duncan drooped a little, her mouth pulling down in a slight frown. That look had become one of her few signs of discontentment. She’d been a model patient in the four weeks she’d been at the facility, recovering from a fractured hip. “I’m so sorry for making a fuss. I just felt a little funny when I got up a bit ago. You’re probably right about being anxious. And I can’t wait to get home to that silly dog.”

The same silly dog who had wrapped a leash around Margie and tripped her as she went down the front steps of her house a month ago. Avery smiled past the worry she felt for her patient. As a supervising RN, worry was a big part of her job.

“You don’t have to apologize, Margie. That’s what I’m here for. Also, you could have your daughter bring Dudley in for a visit. I won’t tell.”

“Could I really?” Margie’s face lit up at the mention of her poodle.

“I don’t see why not.”

From the door, Laura cleared her throat. “About the visitor…”

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Blogtour: Rocky Mountain Baby by Patricia Johns


Please welcome Patricia Johns with 

Rocky Mountain Baby


A baby on the way…


Will turn their lives upside down!


Taryn Cook is pregnant with her own miracle baby, and she’s perfectly happy to be a single mom. Then she’s reunited with the baby’s father, Noah Brooks, at her new job in Mountain Springs.


Noah never planned on being a dad, but he’s determined to be there for his son…and Taryn—even if that means being just a friend to the woman he’s falling for.





Excerpt:

The door opened and a tall man stepped inside. He was broad shouldered, lean and looked to be in his early forties with just a touch of gray at his temples. A pair of glasses set off his slate blue eyes. He wore a pair of gray dress pants and a crisp, white button-up shirt without a tie. His belt looked expensive. He hesitated when he saw her, and his gaze dropped down to her belly.

“This is our general manager, Noah Brooks,” Angelina said. “I asked him to come by and meet you. You’ll be working quite closely with him for the next couple of weeks, and he’s a fount of knowledge for everything from operations to food and beverage.”

“Of course,” Taryn said, and she rose to her feet and shook his hand. “I’m Taryn Cook with Cook Marketing.”

He didn’t answer at first, meeting her gaze questioningly. “Right. Taryn. Just call me Noah.”

Noah released her hand and gave her a nod. That seemed to be a common name these days. She’d met another Noah not too long ago…

“Let me show you your office, then,” Angelina said, also rising. “I hope you’ll be comfortable there. If you want any food or drinks delivered to your office while you’re working, just give Janelle a call down at the switchboard, and she’ll get you anything you need. It’s all complimentary, of course.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Blogtour: Lady Sunshine by Amy Mason Doan


Please say hello to Amy Mason Doan with 

Lady Sunshine

ONE ICONIC FAMILY. ONE SUMMER OF SECRETS.
THE DAZZLING SPIRIT OF 1970S CALIFORNIA.


For Jackie Pierce, everything changed the summer of 1979, when she spent three months of infinite freedom at her bohemian uncle’s sprawling estate on the California coast. As musicians, artists, and free spirits gathered at The Sandcastle for the season in pursuit of inspiration and communal living, Jackie and her cousin Willa fell into a fast friendship, testing their limits along the rocky beach and in the wild woods... until the summer abruptly ended in tragedy, and Willa silently slipped away into the night.

Twenty years later, Jackie unexpectedly inherits The Sandcastle and returns to the iconic estate for a short visit to ready it for sale. But she reluctantly extends her stay when she learns that, before her death, her estranged aunt had promised an up-and-coming producer he could record a tribute album to her late uncle at the property’s studio. As her musical guests bring the place to life again with their sun-drenched beach days and late-night bonfires, Jackie begins to notice startling parallels to that summer long ago.


And when a piece of the past resurfaces and sparks new questions about Willa’s disappearance, Jackie must discover if the dark secret she’s kept ever since is even the truth at all.


Excerpt:

1

A Girl, Her Cousin, and a Waterfall

1999

I rattle the padlock on the gate, strum my fingers along the cold chain-link fence.

I own this place.

Maybe if I repeat it often enough I’ll believe it.

All along the base of the fence are tributes: shells, notes, sketches, bunches of flowers. Some still fresh, some so old the petals are crisp as parchment. I follow the fence uphill, along the coast side, and stop at a wooden, waist-high sign marking the path up to the waterfall. It wasn’t here the summer I visited.

The sign is covered in words and drawings, so tattooed-over by fan messages that you can barely read the official one. I run my fingertips over the engravings: initials, peace symbols, Thank you’s, I Love You’s. Fragments of favorite lyrics. After coming so far to visit the legendary estate, people need to do something, leave their mark, if only with a rock on fog-softened wood.

Song titles from my uncle’s final album, Three, are carved everywhere. “Heart, Home, Hope.”

“Leaf, Shell, Raindrop.”

“Angel, Lion, Willow.” Someone has etched that last one in symbols instead of words. The angel refers to Angela, my aunt. The lion is my uncle Graham.

And the willow tree. Willa, my cousin.

I have a pointy metal travel nail file in my suitcase; I could add my message to the rest, my own tribute to this place, to the Kingstons. To try to explain what happened the summer I spent here. I could tell it like one of the campfire tales I used to spin for Willa.

This is the story of a girl, her cousin, and a waterfall…

But there’s no time for that, not with only seven days to clear the house for sale. Back at the gate, where Toby’s asleep in his cat carrier in the shade, I dig in my overnight bag for the keys. They came in a FedEx with a fat stack of documents I must’ve read on the plane from Boston a dozen times—thousands of words, all dressed up in legal jargon. When it’s so simple, really. Everything inside that fence is mine now, whether I want it or not.

I unlock the gate, lift the metal shackle, and walk uphill to the highest point, where the gravel widens into a parking lot, then fades away into grass. The field opens out below me just like I remember. We called it “the bowl,” because of the way the edges curve up all around it. A golden bowl scooped into the hills, rimmed on three sides by dark green woods. The house, a quarter mile ahead of me at the top of the far slope, is a pale smudge in the fir trees.

I stop to take it in, this piece of land I now own. The Sandcastle, everyone called it.

Without the neighbors’ goats and Graham’s guests to keep the grass down, the field has grown wild, many of the yellow weeds high as my belly button.

Willa stood here with me once and showed me how from this angle the estate resembled a sun. The kind a child would draw, with a happy face inside. Once I saw it, it was impossible to un-see:

Monday, June 21, 2021

ARC Review: Broken by Jenny Lawson


From the blurb:

As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way.

With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor―the Ricky to Jenny’s Lucille Ball―is present throughout.

A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.

Heather's rating: 




Broken by Jenny Lawson oscillates between a real heart-wrenching picture of what it's like to live with depression and anxiety and an uproariously funny collection of observational and awkward humor. I loved both parts of the book equally, though the writing style and some of the chapters felt repetitive towards the end of the book.

I enjoyed Broken much more than Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, which I read years ago and considered too one-note. Broken had some of those elements and sections that felt draggy, and I'll admit that I even skimmed a few parts. However, the bright spots of the story overshadowed the less interesting sections.
 
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