Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Life in a Ride By Mark Bloom


When a longtime struggling actor has to move from his rent-controlled apartment to a higher-priced building, the financial burden becomes very stressful. Fortunately, he has a solution: He becomes an Uber driver. What begins merely as a side gig to help cover bills becomes a fascinating exploration of the human condition. Whether it’s the burnt-out rock n’ roll musician trying to find one last spark, the carefree spoken-word artist who oozes vitality and confidence, the threatening drunk on his way home from a night of carousing, or the wise sage who has the perfect advice at just the right time, each ride takes on a life of its own. All the while, the characters, conversations, connections, and conflicts that he’s exposed to help him navigate his own journey. A journey that includes looking after his ailing mom, riding the Tinseltown rollercoaster, and simply trying to better understand life itself.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Life-Ride-Stories-L-Driver/dp/1733490108/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1577597762&sr=8-1

Mark Bloom is a Los Angeles native who has appeared on over forty television shows and commercials over the years. He is also a part-time photographer, a sports junkie, and (for the time being) an occasional Uber Driver. 

This book is FREE on Kindleunlimited.  Return the gift and leave a quick review.  https://www.amazon.com/Life-Ride-Stories-L-Driver-ebook/dp/B07ZL629H5/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1577597762&sr=8-1

Monday, December 30, 2019

Bread bags & Bullies By Steven Manchester


It’s the winter of 1984. Twelve-year old Herbie and his two brothers—Wally and Cockroach—are enjoying the mayhem of winter break when a late Nor’easter blows through New England, trapping their quirky family in the house. The power goes out and playing Space Invaders to AC DC’s Back in Black album is suddenly silenced—forcing them to use their twisted imaginations in beating back the boredom. At a time when the brothers must overcome one fear after the next, they learn that courage is the one character trait that guarantees all others.

This hysterical coming-of-age tale is jam-packed with enough nostalgia to satisfy anyone who grew up in the ‘80s or at least had the good fortune to travel through them.

Pick Up Your Copy Here...
https://www.amazon.com/Bread-Bags-Bullies-Surviving-80s/dp/0984184287/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1577596929&sr=8-1

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin' Chair, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island; the national bestsellers, Ashes, The Changing Season and Three Shoeboxes; the multi-award winning novel, Goodnight Brian; and the beloved holiday podcast drama, The Thursday Night Club. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a multi-produced playwright, as well as the winner of the 2017 Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2018 New York Book Festival. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit: www.StevenManchester.com 

This book is free on KindleUnlimited right now. If you get a copy please leave a review.  https://www.amazon.com/Bread-Bags-Bullies-Surviving-80s-ebook/dp/B07YR894QP/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1577596929&sr=8-1

Friday, December 27, 2019

Strands of Truth By Colleen Coble

Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under? 
Harper Taylor is used to being alone—after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own. 
So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name? 
Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future. 
Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Strands-Truth-Colleen-Coble/dp/0718085884/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1577034499&sr=8-1

Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at http://colleencoble.com.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

State of Lies By Siri Mitchell

Someone wants Georgie Brennan dead. And the more she digs for the truth, the fewer people she can trust.
Months after her husband, Sean, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, physicist Georgie Brennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. A cryptic notebook, a missing computer, and strange noises under her house soon have her questioning everything she thought she knew.
With her job hanging by a thread, her son struggling to cope with his father’s death, and her four-star general father up for confirmation as the next secretary of defense, Georgie quickly finds herself tangled in a web of political intrigue that has no clear agenda and dozens of likely villains.
Only one thing is clear: someone wants her dead too. And the people closest to her might be the most dangerous of all.
Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/State-Lies-Siri-Mitchell/dp/0785228616/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1577034949&sr=8-1

When I'm listening to a speaker and I'm taking notes, chances are, I've just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If I'm nodding my head in response to a really profound statement, I'm probably thinking, 'Yes. Right. That's exactly what my character needs to hear.'

When I'm editing my manuscripts, I laugh at the funny parts. And I cry at the sad parts.

Sometimes I even talk to my characters. 'Okay, Joe. Talk to me. Tell me what you're thinking here.' And yes, the characters answer me. I actually hear them talking in my head.

Half the time, I think I'm an okay writer. The other half, I'm tempted to take a magnet to the hard drive.

The easy part is writing. The hardest part is editing. The worst part is wondering if the books are going to sell.

I have plenty of ideas for books; the thing I lack is the time to write them. I write by the word. Other writers write by the page. However you want to tally it, 90,000 words is a lot of pages.

In the world of writing I have done nothing right. I wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before I signed with a publisher. And then I had to write a fifth book so that they could publish it. In the process, I saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry's than I care to admit. I vowed never to write another word again. Ever. I went on writing strikes and I even stooped to threatening my manuscripts with the shredder.

However. Here I am, over a dozen books into the process. And if you haven't heard the news yet, I'm also writing under the pseudonym Iris Anthony!

Learn more about me on the web at http://sirimitchell.com Learn more about Iris Anthony at http://irisanthony.com

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Stressed In the U.S. By Meg Van Deusen

SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF AMERICANS are moderately stressed. Seventy-five percent are lonely. More than 33 percent of us sleep less than six hours a night. In addition, 81 percent own a smartphone, and 77 percent use social media daily. Why are these statistics important? Because loneliness, sleep-deprivation, social media use, tech use, and even gut-imbalance—which the Huffington Post refers to as “the modern plague”—are all causes and results of stress. Stress is the reason for at least 75 percent of today’s doctor’s visits, costing the US billions per year in employee absenteeism, accidents, and illnesses. 9/11, CLIMATE CHANGE, A HISTORIC ECONOMIC CRISIS, NUMEROUS MASS SHOOTINGS, AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF SCHOOL LOCKDOWNS, A FOREIGN ATTACK ON OUR ELECTION, A POLITICALLY DIVIDED COUNTRY, TECH-INDUCED ANXIETY AND ADDICTION, AND INFORMATION OVERLOAD: SINCE 2000, THESE UNIQUE-TO-OUR-TIME PHENOMENA HAVE CREATED A PETRI DISH OF STRESS IN THE US, CAUSING A HOST OF EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL AILMENTS. Here’s the problem: while the well-researched, psychological theory on attachment tells us that secure attachments to each other and to our nation create resilience to stress, our current American culture is creating barriers, not pathways, to human trust and closeness. “In STRESSED IN THE US: 12 TOOLS TO TACKLE ANXIETY, LONELINESS, TECH-ADDICTION, AND MORE, Dr. Van Deusen explains why and how our relationships are breaking down at a time when we need them the most. The good news? As a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and mindfulness practitioner, she offers insights and solutions to a complex, pervasive problem.About the Author:”About the Author: Meg Van Deusen received her BA in English from Santa Clara University and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. She lives in Seattle, Washington, where she enjoys the outdoors, music, cooking, and time with her husband, sons, and friends.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Stressed-U-S-Anxiety-Loneliness-Tech-Addiction-ebook/dp/B081X2VZWT/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1577035659&sr=8-1-fkmr0

It's FREE on Kindle Unlimited right now! Please leave a review on Amazon!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Bloody Mingo By Oakley Dean Baldwin

With the development of the coal rich territories and the large need for coal, progress was coming to Mingo County. Men of all nationalities and ethnic origins headed to the hills seeking the work opportunities the coal mines had to offer. It was a mixed bag of both employers and employees. You might say it was a collage of the good, the bad, and the ugly of humanity. The events leading up to the Matewan massacre caused the largest war on U.S. soil since the Civil War (1861-1865). It was known as the Blair Mountain War. You may not have heard much about this war, but “it actually happened.”

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Matewan-Effect-Bloody-Mingo/dp/1539334473/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1577035224&sr=8-1-fkmr0

It's FREE on Kindle Unlimited right now also.
https://www.amazon.com/Matewan-Effect-Bloody-Mingo-ebook/dp/B01M0JJW6P/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1577035224&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Oakley Dean Baldwin, married to Dr. Doris Barber Baldwin. I am an aspiring non-fiction and fiction story teller / writer telling the story's of my life and those that came before me in my family tree. Our eBooks and Paperback books are real Thrillers, True Crime, Paranormal, and Family Mysteries.

If you read the FREE copy please leave a review on Amazon! Thank you!

Friday, December 20, 2019

The Magic of Viral Energy By Penelope Hayes


Want to find “your person,” improve your wellbeing, and be successful at your passions?

The Magic of Viral Energy (MOVE) offers a fun and compelling narrative told through true short stories. Its message is for seekers—those intrepids who want to squeeze the lemons of life and discover their full potential.

While meditating in 2007, Penelope Jean Hayes experienced the contagious nature of energy and a phenomenon she calls “osmotic-energy-balancing.” Over the next decade, she intuited a system of creation involving seven levels of energy ascending from dense and heavy upward to enlightenment.

She shares that each of us has an energetic-presence that flows within one of these levels and that we only have access to the energies that reside there. Except that, we have the ability to move to higher strata, accessing the light energies that create more of what we truly want.

MOVE reveals provocative insights into the universe; our relationships; the energetic antidote to unhappiness and the common cold; and our need to move from power-through-force to empowerment-through-creation. The Magic of Viral Energy is eye-opening and exciting and it makes day-to-day life easier and our big dreams possible.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Viral-Energy-Happiness-Empowerment/dp/1642796085/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1575659885&sr=8-1

Want to find “your person,” improve your wellbeing, and be successful at your passions?

The Magic of Viral Energy (MOVE) offers a fun and compelling narrative told through true short stories. Its message is for seekers—those intrepids who want to squeeze the lemons of life and discover their full potential.

While meditating in 2007, Penelope Jean Hayes experienced the contagious nature of energy and a phenomenon she calls “osmotic-energy-balancing.” Over the next decade, she intuited a system of creation involving seven levels of energy ascending from dense and heavy upward to enlightenment.

She shares that each of us has an energetic-presence that flows within one of these levels and that we only have access to the energies that reside there. Except that, we have the ability to move to higher strata, accessing the light energies that create more of what we truly want.

MOVE reveals provocative insights into the universe; our relationships; the energetic antidote to unhappiness and the common cold; and our need to move from power-through-force to empowerment-through-creation. The Magic of Viral Energy is eye-opening and exciting and it makes day-to-day life easier and our big dreams possible.

My Thoughts...

This was an interesting read. I am not into energy and light energy. But there are some lessons in this book that were interesting to read about.
Read this one if you want to learn about positive energy and how to find the right everything for yourself.
I gave this book 3.5 stars. Give it a try.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Blood Creek By Kimberly Collins


"She always wanted more than she had. Would it ever be enough?"
In 1912 West Virginia, starving coal miners are arming themselves and threatening to strike. Wealthy coal operators have hired the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency to protect their fortunes and crush the rebellious miners by whatever means necessary--no matter how violent. Long-smoldering resentments are about to erupt into one of the largest armed insurrections in US history: The West Virginia Coal Mine Wars.
In the midst of this powder keg atmosphere, Ellie Cline arrives in Charleston on the arm of John Havers, a top lieutenant to Tom Felts himself. Ellie becomes the envy and talk of Charleston high society. Young, breathtaking, and, as the gossips whisper behind her back, a kept woman. Ellie doesn't mind the gossip. She adores being the center of attention. She loves the parties, the fine dresses, the jewelry. This is the life she always believed she deserved. Could it at last be enough?
But Ellie has a past--and secrets. A husband on the run for killing her lover. A baby daughter living with her cousin back in Matewan. A new lover she sneaks into her bed while Havers is away. And her biggest secret of all--Ellie is a spy.
Uniquely positioned to know the battle plans of both sides, Ellie straddles two worlds--the sparkling, high society life of Charleston and the family roots that still twine deep into the coal dust of Matewan. Now Ellie must choose between luxury and loyalty, between escape from drab small town poverty and love for her family.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Creek-Chronicles-Kimberly-Collins/dp/0990420825/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1576383429&sr=1-1


Kimberly grew up in Matewan, West Virginia. Home of the Hatfield & McCoy feud and the legendary Matewan Massacre that sparked right in the middle of downtown in 1920. It’s been many years since Kimberly lived in West Virginia, but she does go home as often as she can. She loves those mountains, the river, the people, the history—all of it. Kimberly currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Kimberly is currently working on The Massacre (Mingo Chronicles: Book Two). Mingo Chronicles is a fictional account of the historic southern West Virginia mine wars that took place in the early 1900s. The Mingo series follows the lives of several dynamic women bound by fierce loyalty, love, and death. It's complete with murder, love, betrayal, a brothel, and those beautiful mountains. Mingo Chronicles has a cast of characters that won’t soon be forgotten.

The rich history and spicy characters of Appalachia fueled Kimberly’s imagination from a young age and provided a lifetime of stories. She intends to be the go-to storyteller of some of Appalachia’s darkest secrets.

You can find Kimberly's website at BlueMingoPress.com or follow her on social media: Facebook: @KimberlyCollinsAuthor | Instagram: @kimberlycollins_author | Twitter: @Kimberly_Author 

My Thoughts...
This was a very well written and researched book. My family being from Mingo County I know the story well and Collins did a fantastic job with this book. I recommend this book. I can't for the next book to hit the shelves.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Soul Focus By Melanie Stevenson

If you've picked up Soul Focus, you may be facing significant trials of your own or are well-acquainted with the heartache they bring. It is my prayer that within these pages you'll find comfort and hope as you face your hardship or tackle the mourning process that comes after.

I began writing devotionals after being healed of nearly two years of intense physical pain. Soul Focus is the fruit of that pain. Through various trials, God proved himself faithful, and I discovered that joy and peace can be found during the darkest nights of the soul.


Soul Focus offers daily, life-giving encouragement to help remind you that you're not alone. Journaling pages are included throughout to record personal inspirations and reflections on the path to healing and hope.
Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Trials-Daily-Encouragements-Overcoming-Struggles/dp/1486615392/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1576384043&sr=8-1

Born in England, Melanie has never lost her love of British tea and gardens. She now lives in Southern Ontario surrounded by her husband and four children. She attended the University of Waterloo where she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts. An avid prayer journaler, she has been writing devotionals for over a decade. Paper, canvas, and dirt are her favourite blank pages. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

One More Tomorrow By Melanie Stevenson GIVEAWAY!


One woman finds herself bound to a past she cannot forget.

Another, driven by past choices she can neither change nor accept.



It's been over a year. That should be enough time to forget a first love. But aspiring artist Katie Banks is still waiting. Not even Justin Burke, her university classmate, has been able to erase the hurt Aiden Ford inflicted, or weaken Katie's resolve to never date a man who doesn't share her faith. When Katie accepts a scholarship to study in Paris, it places much-needed distance between her and Justin. But love still eludes her, until a stormy night and a tragic accident change everything. The possibility that she and Aiden might be able to find their forever love this time both excites and terrifies Katie. Can she forgive past hurts, or will the walls she's built to protect herself keep love a distant dream?

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/One-More-Tomorrow-Melanie-Stevenson/dp/1486615376/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1576380463&sr=8-1

Born in England, Melanie has never lost her love of British tea and gardens. Her family immigrated when she was five years old and settled in Southern Ontario. There she attended the University of Waterloo and obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Paper, canvas, and dirt are her favorite blank pages. 

My Thoughts...
Who's ready for a novel about overcoming life's challenges?
This book was a book I read in one sitting. I loved the whole time I was reading it Stevenson lets you know you are not alone.
It was a book that I hope many people read and learn a valuable lesson from. You are not alone. 
I gave this book 4 stars.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Network By L. C. Shaw

A shadowy group is manipulating society—and they’ve only just begun.

Late one night, investigative journalist Jack Logan receives a surprise visit from U.S. Senator Malcolm Phillips at his New York apartment. Disheveled and in a panic, the senator swears that he’s about to be murdered and pleads with Jack to protect his wife Taylor, who happens to be the only woman Jack has ever truly loved.
Days later, Phillips is found dead in a hotel room in Micronesia, the apparent victim of an allergy attack. While the nation mourns, Jack and Taylor race to find the one man who knows the truth. As they’re pursued by unknown assailants, their desperate hunt leads them to the Institute, an immense facility shrouded in mystery that has indoctrinated a generation of America’s political and media power players. Led by the enigmatic Damon Crosse, the Institute has its tentacles everywhere—but Taylor unknowingly holds the secret to the one thing that Crosse needs to carry out his plan.  
Taking readers on a thrill ride from the back halls of Congress to the high-rise offices of Madison Avenue and a remote Greek island, The Network is a provocative, pulse-pounding novel that dares to ask the question: who’s really in charge?
Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Network-Jack-Logan-Thriller/dp/0062950908/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1576379620&sr=8-1

L.C. Shaw is the pen name of internationally bestselling author Lynne Constantine who also writes psychological thrillers with her sister as Liv Constantine. Her family wonder if she is actually a spy, and never knows what to call her. She has explored coral reefs all over the world, sunken wrecks in the South Pacific, and fallen in love with angelfish in the Caribbean. Lynne is a former marketing executive and has a Master’s in Business from Johns Hopkins University. When editing her work, she loves to procrastinate by spending time on social media, and when stuck on a plot twist has been known to run ideas by her Silver Labrador and Golden Retriever who wish she would stop working and play ball with them. Her work has been translated into 28 languages. 

My Thoughts...
Book one in the Jack Logan series was action packed and just what this physiological thriller lover, loves to read. I love it when the action is from beginning to end.
I love to be kept guessing and this book did just that.
I can not wait for the next book in this series.
This is a 4.5 star book, and I HIGHLY recommend it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Simple Choices By Kimberly Collins

They were small, simple choices. Seemingly insignificant yes-or-no decisions. Each one leading her one small step further from where she was supposed to be, from where she truly wanted to be. Step by simple step. Piled together, the choices were one huge mountain of chaos and noise. But one at a time, who could tell any difference from the moment just before she made the choice, to the quiet moment just after? Simple choices. 

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Choices-Kimberly-Collins/dp/0990420809/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1575666003&sr=8-2

Kimberly grew up in Matewan, West Virginia. Home of the Hatfield & McCoy feud and the legendary Matewan Massacre that sparked right in the middle of downtown in 1920. It’s been many years since Kimberly lived in West Virginia, but she does go home as often as she can. She loves those mountains, the river, the people, the history—all of it. Kimberly currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Kimberly is currently working on The Massacre (Mingo Chronicles: Book Two). Mingo Chronicles is a fictional account of the historic southern West Virginia mine wars that took place in the early 1900s. The Mingo series follows the lives of several dynamic women bound by fierce loyalty, love, and death. It's complete with murder, love, betrayal, a brothel, and those beautiful mountains. Mingo Chronicles has a cast of characters that won’t soon be forgotten.

The rich history and spicy characters of Appalachia fueled Kimberly’s imagination from a young age and provided a lifetime of stories. She intends to be the go-to storyteller of some of Appalachia’s darkest secrets.

You can find Kimberly's website at BlueMingoPress.com or follow her on social media: Facebook: @KimberlyCollinsAuthor | Instagram: @kimberlycollins_author | Twitter: @Kimberly_Author 

My Thoughts...

My family being from West Virginia made this a must read for me. I had to see what Collins had to say about WV.
This book did not disappoint.
I read it in one night, I loved Collins writing it was on point.
I can't wait to read the next book in this series.
This is a strong 4 stars, if you are a friend of mine you are going to want to read this book.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

New Begingings at Promise Lodge By Charlotte Hubbard

Spring blossoms with new life and new beginnings for the flourishing Amish community of Promise Lodge. And as a just-opened bakery sweetens the air with fresh-baked goodness, residents will find that change can be a most joyous test . . .
 
Recently widowed after twenty years of marriage, Frances Lehman is only just tasting the freedom and opportunity that her Promise Lodge friends enjoy. So she’s not about to be pressured into marriage by her widowed brother-in-law, even if she and her daughter have no real means of support. Much more promising is her new friendship with Preacher Marlin Kurtz, though their respective families don’t see their relationship as proper . . .
 
When Frances suffers a serious injury, she’s determined to prove she can recover—and remain
independent—without burdening Marlin. Now, with his steadfast belief in real love tested, Marlin’s hope is that Promise Lodge’s irrepressible residents can help him restore Frances's joy—and that faith will show them a way to turn their fragile second chance into a blessed and abiding future together . . .

Pick Up your copy...
https://www.amazon.com/New-Beginnings-at-Promise-Lodge/dp/142014510X/ref=tmm_mmp_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1576121357&sr=8-1

Charlotte Hubbard sold her first historical romance in 1990, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. As she writes, her stories invariably take on a life of their own, different from the way she proposed them: unforeseen characters and plot twists come along, and they keep her guessing right along with her readers!

Charlotte has lived in the Midwest most of her life. When she’s not writing, she loves touring historic homes, trying new recipes, crocheting, and playing with her Border Collie, Ramona. She’s a Presbyterian deacon, sings in her church choir, and plays in the percussion ensemble. She’s married to a fine man who—bless him—has never once suggested she get a real job! 

My Thoughts...
I was so ready for book number four in the Promise Lodge series.
 Hubbard did not disappoint . Although this one was a little bit sad, I read it really fast. Sometimes Hubbard's books are to short for me. I want them to go on much longer. 
We get to spend time with our favorite characters from past books. And I loved spending time with them.
I gave this book 4 stars. I recommend it.
 The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Misercordias By Carson McKenna

Welcome to Kentucky, where bourbon is king and old rivalries die hard. The Foleys and the Walshes are famous foes whose bourbon distilleries sit next door to each other on the Kentucky Bourbon trail. Their feud dates back to the 1960s, when Wilkie Walsh sued Sullivan Foley in what was later deemed “the Trial of the Century.” Lines were drawn, bridges burned, and 12 FT high hedges were erected to separate the aristocratic Foleys from the wild Walshes. If any Walsh crosses the property line, Mr. Foley reserves the right to shoot him. This is how it’s been for 50 years. Blaise, the Foley heiress, has inherited more than aged bourbon and old money. By birthright, she despises the family next door—with all the passion and fire befitting her red hair. When Patrick Walsh ruins Blaise’s 21st birthday with a stunt that gets him shot by her Daddy, Blaise wonders why he won’t just leave her alone. As time goes on and Blaise slowly allows Pat beyond the hedges, she accepts that he couldn’t do that if he tried. And neither can she…Misercordias is a Romeo and Juliet story, if Romeo drank 110 proof bourbon instead of poison, and Juliet conspired to stab her father rather than herself. It’s the first book in a quadrilogy about the Foleys and Walshes, two dynastic Irish families whose histories are deeply interwoven—whether they like it or not. Though the flagship story is told in 2014, it pivots back in time to 1920 and 1930, describing how Black-Jack Walsh came to America during Prohibition to traffic the Foley’s bourbon. Jack became the era’s most notorious bootlegger, earning a massive treasure that’s been missing since his murder in 1948 (though his descendants, including Pat, never lose hope on finding it...). This story contains a landmine of secrets, a cemetary of skeletons, and a trove of buried treasure...and we’re only in Book 1.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Misercordias-Book-1-Carson-McKenna/dp/1090853998/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1575660806&sr=8-1

Carson McKenna began writing ‘Misercordias’ on her 28th birthday, though the story had been distilling for a long time. When she did the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 2015, she was inspired by the personal legends that each distillery held. This bourbon elixir had a rich, textured history that ran a curious parallel to American history. She began to imagine two rival distilleries who had the misfortune of being neighbors. Obviously, the question of how they became enemies was very quickly begged. The first thing Carson knew was that they were Irish (as is she). The next thing she knew was that they had once been friends. Their rich history and soured nostalgia would make for a wound that never properly scabbed. When she threw in a Romeo-Juliet story, things got really interesting!

Carson has known she was a writer since she was little, though at various points in her life it was an inconvenient truth. In her twenties, she tried a bunch of different jobs (chiefly in sales, though she did have a gig as an office assistant that resulted in her untimely firing). She has lived most of her life in New York, apart from her 24th year, which was spent in southeastern France. She retains a decent command of French (“near-native fluency” according to her LinkedIn), which is threaded throughout ‘Misercordias.’

When drafting the story, Carson did not always know where Jack’s famous treasure was buried. One day, it came to her as she sat at a cafĂ© drinking cold brew and worrying about the rent. She was so excited, she called her sister-in-law, Lila, who remains one of three people on Earth who knows where X marks the spot. Lila, ever the clever lass, encouraged her to make ‘Misercordias’ into a series, and to not give the entire treasure away up front. Very soon, the secondary plots began flowing in. Carson realized that each of the Foleys and Walshes had a storyline very much worth shining a light on. She conceptualized a quadrilogy with dovetailing and interwoven narratives, on a timeline of past and present. The series will follow Jack, Clara, Deirdre, Ulysses, Wilkie and Sully, though the predominant storylines will belong to their more youthful descendants. She fiercely adores her characters, because each of them has the soul of someone she loves. She imagines this series will be her magnum opus, and keep her busy for the next ten years.

“Everyone who has read it so far has asked when it’s going to be made into a movie!” she laughs, “Though I’m not sure which actress could embody Blaise’s fire and femininity. It needs to be just the right fit.” She adds that Blaise and Johnny aren’t as much in Book 2, Domini. “Domini will be her cousin Zabana and Aunt Kennedy’s story. And two Walshes will spring to the forefront.”

Carson is currently writing 'Domini' at her mother’s home in upstate New York. She takes semi-hourly breaks for coffee refills and Instagram scrolling, but endeavors to get it written in a year. 

My Thoughts...
Secrets, treasures and much more.  This is a book you may want to read.
At times it was hard for me to follow it, and at other times I flew through it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.