Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Beyond the Carousel by Bette Lee Crosby ~~ My Thoughts

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Beyond the Carousel

Beyond the Carousel by Bette Lee Crosby
Series: Wyattsville #5
Kindle Edition, 243 pages
Expected publication: January 10th 2017 by Bent Pine Publishing

A FAMILY TRAGEDY, A 25 YEAR OLD MURDER, AND A DETECTIVE DETERMINED TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT...

Laura Wilkes has everything a woman could want when she snaps the carousel picture. Her daughter, a happy little five-year-old, is holding the brass ring and smiling at a daddy who adores her. Each time the carousel circles around Laura snaps another picture, seven in all. This is a day of unforgettable happiness; one of the few Laura has left.

In the months following the stock market crash, Franklin Wilkes is killed; gunned down in senseless act of vengeance. The police know who did it, but the man has disappeared. It’s the height of the depression and there are hoards of nameless, faceless men living in freight train yards and back alleys. The murderer is never caught, but Laura and Emory, her father, never give up hope of finding him.

Now, twenty-five years later, Laura’s daughter has fallen in love with Jack Mahoney a policeman working crowd control with the strikers at the Telephone Company.

Right now Mahoney is a rookie, he has little or no power, but Emory is hopeful he is the one person who can ultimately find Franklin’s killer and deliver the justice the family has long awaited.

Readers of the other Wyattsville books will welcome the chance to get to know the kind-hearted Spare Change detective as a young man about to fall in love.


Preorder from Amazon 
right now for only $2.99!

My thoughts about Beyond the Carousel ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—'They say that every man has a story to tell, and I believe this to be true. My story is one of a terrible happening, something that will send you scurrying to give your children one last kiss before you sleep. It is a tale of murder and heartbreak. Only now, after it has come full circle, can I find the strength to give it voice.'

And so starts another wonderful story by the wise and talented storyteller, Bette Lee Crosby. I love her books and I especially love the Wyattsville series. One of my favorites characters in the earlier books in this series is Jack Mahoney. Jack shows up in this book as a young man and we learn his backstory and how he got to where he is today.

As always, Bette writes memorable characters that the reader just falls in love with. She weaves her characters and story-lines together with her wonderful words. Each sentence is so beautifully written and and her paragraphs contain so much wisdom. The words just flow off the page and into my heart every time.

You really need to take a trip to Wyattsville to meet all of these wonderful characters.

And... isn't this cover just amazing?

About the author 


"Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write."

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky characters who will steal

your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: The Royal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

Connect with Bette


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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reflected in Her Eyes by Deanna Lynn Sletten ~ FREE!!

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Reflected in Her Eyes

Reflected in Her Eyes: A Short Story Plus Chapter Sampler by Deanna Lynn Sletten 
Kindle Edition, 138 pages
Published November 16th 2016 by Deanna Lynn Sletten

Reflected in Her Eyes ~ A Short Story

Marissa loved her husband so much that she was willing to risk everything to give him the one thing they both wanted most: a child. Four years later, her past comes back to haunt her and now all she holds dear may be taken away from her.

My thoughts about Reflected in Her Eyes ~~ 

It's really hard to say much about a short story without giving too much away. What I can say is that another one of Deanna's works has touched my heart. This is a story with so much love and emotion in it. It brought tears to my eyes to witness such love. 

Deanna is one of my most favorite authors and she is definitely one of my must-read authors. I drop everything when I get my hands on one of her books! She is such a wonderful storyteller and she has recently published this wonderful short story along with samples of seven of her other novels.

You can get a taste of her work by checking out Reflected in Her Eyes and then you can move on through the first three chapters of some of her other stories. Trust me, you will not be disappointed! And did I mention? It's all for FREE!! 

Deanna Lynn Sletten ~ Chapter Sampler

This book also contains the first three chapters of the following novels by Deanna Lynn Sletten

Memories

Memories


Michael and Dani fell in love years before when Michael was still recovering from his tour of duty in the Vietnam War and was single-handedly raising his young daughter. Dani was only eighteen, but she was deeply in love. Then, without a word, Michael left Dani without a word of explanation. Her heartache was increased when she made a fateful decision that would alter her future and she blamed Michael for her loss. Years later, the two meet again. Michael believes they can find love together again, but Dani hates him and he doesn’t understand why. 

Dani and Michael share a journey of heartache, loss, and painful memories that threatens to keep them apart. Can they break free of the past and finally find love again?

Sara’s Promise

Sara's Promise


Do you believe in soul mates? William wife, Sara, promised him she would always be there for him and the children no matter what happened. She believed she was his soul mate and they'd be connected forever. Five years after Sara’s sudden death, William meets Annie, and is surprised by how much she reminds him of his deceased wife. Has Sara come back in the form of Annie to watch over him?

Destination Wedding

Destination Wedding


Claire Martin is excited to go on a tropical island vacation for her daughter's destination wedding except for one small detail—her ex, Jim, will be there, too. But Claire believes she can ignore Jim throughout the vacation, until a strange twist of fate thrusts them together for the entire week. Even worse, Claire soon finds she is still attracted to him. But forgiving and forgetting the past may be too difficult for Claire.

Summer of the Loon

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After the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Ali Jenson leaves California to live with the grandfather she has never met in the deep woods of Northern Minnesota. She tries and fails to connect with her grandfather, Ben, who clearly isn’t pleased about having the young teen in his home. The past and present collide as Ali tries to break through the old man’s cold exterior and find a way into his heart. Can Ben find it in his heart to accept Ali and leave the past behind?

Walking Sam

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Ryan is attracted to his new neighbor, Kristen, but she's dating someone. Kristen likes Ryan, but she thinks he’s the neighborhood playboy. Can Sam's furry charm bring these two together? A heartfelt story of two people who have to let go of the past in order to see what’s right in front of them.

Kiss a Cowboy (Book One)

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Andi is heading toward her future. Luke is hiding from his past. When the two collide, sparks fly. Can the city girl and the cowboy ignore their growing feelings for each other or are they destined to be together? A heartwarming romance.

Widow, Virgin, Whore: A Novel

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A heartwarming story of three very different women who are all at crossroads in their lives. They decide to share a home together along with their children. When one of them learns the devastating news that she is infected with HIV/AIDS, the household is turned upside down as they all learn to cope with this tragedy. It's a story about friendship, sisters, family, rebuilding broken relationships, and tolerance. 

for all of these fabulous books!


About the author

Deanna Lynn Sletten

Deanna Lynn Sletten grew up on the sunny coast of southern California before moving to northern Minnesota as a teenager. Her interest in writing novels was sparked in a college English class and she has been writing in some form or another ever since. In 2011, Deanna discovered the world of self-publishing and published three novels she'd written over the years. After that, she was hooked. Deanna has written ten novels and is currently working on her next novel due to be published by Lake Union Publishing in 2016.

Deanna enjoys writing heartwarming women's fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime. She believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, and happily ever after, and her novels reflect that.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.

Connect with Deanna

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

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Monday, November 28, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? November 28, 2016


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

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Thanksgiving is over. It was sort of a mad scramble for us to get there. The day before, my daughter who was going to host her first Thanksgiving (for 15 of us) decided to not host since they had been sick with this respiratory crap that is going around. They didn't want any of the little people to get it and I have a daughter-in-law who is due in 3 weeks. It would not be good for her to get sick right now either. So a lot of messages back and forth between all the other kids and we got plan B underway. As usual, we ate too much but we had a great time. And I threatened everyone with a smack upside the head if the conversation turned to politics. It worked! LOL

I have been seeing a lot of people with their Christmas trees and decorations up already. I tend to put all of mine up later. How about you, are you a now or later type of person? 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a great week. Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading/listening to

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A Thousand Acres
by Jane Smiley
This is our book club selection for later next week.

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Good Sam
by Dete Meserve
(audiobook)

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The You I've Never Known
by Ellen Hopkins

What I recently finished

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From Fire into Fire: The Beginning of the Story (Isaac's House Book 1)
by Normandie Fischer
I enjoyed this series and can't wait for more. Read my thoughts here and here.

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The Echoes of Love
by Hannah Fielding
You can read my thoughts here.

What I am going to read next

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Love, Alice
by Barbara Davis
I have heard so much about this book and I can't wait to start it.

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


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The Dream Lover: A Novel of George Sand by Elizabeth Berg


The Dream Lover:
A Novel of George Sand

The Dream Lover: A Novel of George Sand by Elizabeth Berg
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Random House

A passionate and powerful novel based on the scandalous life of the French novelist George Sand, her famous lovers, untraditional Parisian lifestyle, and bestselling novels in Paris during the 1830s and 40s. This major departure for bestseller Berg is for readers of Nancy Horan and Elizabeth Gilbert.

George Sand was a 19th century French novelist known not only for her novels but even more for her scandalous behavior. After leaving her estranged husband, Sand moved to Paris where she wrote, wore men’s clothing, smoked cigars, and had love affairs with famous men and an actress named Marie. In an era of incredible artistic talent, Sand was the most famous female writer of her time. Her lovers and friends included Frederic Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugene Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more.

In a major departure, Elizabeth Berg has created a gorgeous novel about the life of George Sand, written in luminous prose, with exquisite insight into the heart and mind of a woman who was considered the most passionate and gifted genius of her time.


My thoughts about The Dream Lover ~~

I love reading Elizabeth's stories and I have been reader of her books for years. She writes so eloquently that it is so easy to get wrapped up in her words and to be transported to another world. In The Dream Lover, the reader is swept away to 19th century Paris and the world of George Sand.

This was a very enlightening look at another time and place, and a person I knew very little about. The Dream Lover is quite different from Elizabeth's other books but her beautiful way of writing made the story very enjoyable.

About the author


Elizabeth Berg is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including We Are All Welcome Here, The Year of Pleasures, The Art of Mending, Say When, True to Form, Never Change, and Open House, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection in 2000. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, and Talk Before Sleep was short-listed for the ABBY Award in 1996. The winner of the 1997 New England Booksellers Award for her body of work, Elizabeth Berg is also the author of a nonfiction work, Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True. She lives in Chicago.

Connect with Elizabeth


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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Two from Isaac's House by Normandie Fischer ~ My Thoughts

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Two from Isaac's House

Two from Isaac's House: A Story of Promises by Normandie Fischer
Narrated by Brandon Potter
Audiobook
Published July 2016 by Sleepy Creek Press

From author Normandie Fischer comes a new romantic suspense that takes the reader from the hills of Italy to the Jordanian desert and from there to an Israel on the brink of war with Hamas.

Rina Lynne has never traveled far from Morehead City, North Carolina. So when she inherits her father’s secret stash, she’s ready to kick up her heels and go adventuring before she settles down to marry her long-time fiancĂ©. First stop, Italy.

Enter Tony (aka Anton), an engineering geek conned into helping his Israeli cousins as a sort-of spy. From the moment he meets Rina, he’s distracted, which is not a good idea when there’s already been murder and theft. And from the moment Rina meets Tony, she’s fascinated, which is also not a good idea. He’s an Arab-American, and she’s half-Jewish. And engaged. And then there are all those bodies dropping around them, each linked to the gathering storm in the Middle East.


My thoughts about Two from Isaac's House ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—'A moment in time and the rabbit hole opened, tumbling Rina Lynne smack dab in the middle of her own personal wonderland. The voice in her head cried, "Too much, too soon."'

I have read several of Normandie's books already and I have loved all of them. Two from Isaac's House is very different from the other stories of her's that I have read and I was a bit hesitant to try it. That whole 'Middle East, spy world adventure' is not something I usually read. But since I know for a fact that she is a wonderful storyteller, I knew I had to give this one a try. And I was not disappointed.

This is a great story with wonderful characters and lots of action, and I loved it all. There is intrigue, suspense, friendship, and love all wrapped up in this exciting and enjoyable story.

Rina and Tony have instant chemistry when they first meet in Italy but they also have a whole lot of secrets between the two of them. And there is that whole 'dead bodies' issue that keeps cropping up. There is never a dull moment when the two of them are together.

I also have to give a shout out to the narrator, Brandon Potter. He does an amazing job with all of the different accents, for all of the different characters. And he has such a wonderful voice that was so easy to listen to.

I like the direction that Normandie is taking her readers with this series and I look forward to reading more of the adventures of Rina and Tony. I also read the prequel to this story, From Fire into Fire, which gives us Tony's backstory. We learn what got him to where he is when he meets Rina. You can read my thoughts here.

From Fire into Fire:
The Beginning of the Story
(Isaac's House Book 1)

About the author


A life-long sailor, Normandie has been writing and editing professionally since the seventies. She studied sculpture for several years in Perugia, Italy, before returning stateside to complete her degree with special honors in English. When they’re not visiting grown children who have scattered elsewhere, Normandie and her husband divide their time between their waterfront home in NC (where she takes care of her mama) and their waterborne sailing home, Sea Venture, lately returned from Pacific Mexico.

She has three women's fiction books now: Becalmed, which was the first Carolina Coast novel; Sailing out of Darkness; and now the second Carolina Coast story, Heavy Weather.

Connect with Normandie


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From Fire into Fire by Normandie Fischer ~ My Thoughts

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From Fire into Fire

From Fire into Fire: The Beginning of the Story by Normandie Fischer
Series: Isaac's House Book 1
Kindle Edition, 148 pages
Published June 2nd 2016 by Sleepy Creek Press

From the author of Two from Isaac’s House comes the story behind the story.

Sixteen years after terrorists target Meira, she and her husband face their toughest task yet: telling their boy the truth.

Tony Rasad has spent most of his young life in Lebanon, the Arab-American son of a university professor. Beirut’s where he ought to be now, running around, playing on the beach with his best friend. Instead, he's stuck at this lake house in upstate New York, preparing to go to a prep school he’s certain to hate.

He's about to learn a secret that will change everything. His parents, the liars, have been living under a cover so deep they never even told their only son who he actually is.

Exposing their lies could cost them everything, including him.


My thoughts about From Fire into Fire ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First lines—'"Allabu Akbar!" The madman's cry flashed into memory, and Meira saw again the knife-wielder who proclaimed his god greater than all others. He'd pounced, his face so close to hers that his spittle had dripped down her cheek. But he'd missed his mark, and she, though scarred, had lived.'

I recently listened to Two from Isaac's House and I loved it. With this novella, we get a look at the story behind the story. From Fire into Fire explains what Tony's parents had to go through when he was a young boy and gives us a better understanding of how Tony ended up helping his cousin, doing spy business in the Middle East.

I like the direction that Normandie is taking her readers with this series and I look forward to reading more of the adventures of Rina and Tony. I also listened to Two from Isaac's House, which is the story that comes after From Fire into Fire. You can read my thoughts here.

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Two from Isaac's House:
A Story of Promises

About the author


A life-long sailor, Normandie has been writing and editing professionally since the seventies. She studied sculpture for several years in Perugia, Italy, before returning stateside to complete her degree with special honors in English. When they’re not visiting grown children who have scattered elsewhere, Normandie and her husband divide their time between their waterfront home in NC (where she takes care of her mama) and their waterborne sailing home, Sea Venture, lately returned from Pacific Mexico.

She has three women's fiction books now: Becalmed, which was the first Carolina Coast novel; Sailing out of Darkness; and now the second Carolina Coast story, Heavy Weather.

Connect with Normandie


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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Book Spotlight Giveaway! A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith


I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures. And sometimes, I find great books on Amazon that I just love to share with you.

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The book I have for the giveaway this week is one that I read several years ago for my book club and we had a great discussion. It's a classic that everyone should read. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Paperback, 489 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Harper Perennial

A profoundly moving novel, and an honest and true one. It cuts right to the heart of life ... If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you will deny yourself a rich experience ... It is a poignant and deeply understanding story of childhood and family relationships.

The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years.

By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness -- in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

   

About the author

Betty  Smith

Betty Smith (AKA Sophina Elisabeth Wehner): Born - December 15, 1896; Died - January 17, 1972. Born in Brooklyn, New York to German immigrants, she grew up poor in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. These experiences served as the framework to her first novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943).


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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Echoes of Love by Hannah Fielding ~ My Thoughts

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The Echoes of Love

The Echoes of Love by Hannah Fielding
Paperback, 360 pages
Published December 6th 2013 by London Wall Publishing 

Set against the breathtaking beauty of Italy, The Echoes of Love is a passionate, heart-breaking romance to ignite the senses and rekindle your belief in the power of love. Seduction, passion and secrets... Venetia Aston-Montagu has escaped to Venice to work in her godmother's architectural practice, putting a lost love behind her. 

For the past ten years she has built a fortress around her heart, only to find the walls tumbling down one night of the carnival when she is rescued from masked assailants by an enigmatic stranger, Paolo Barone. Drawn to the powerfully seductive Paolo, despite warnings of his Don Juan reputation and rumours that he keeps a mistress, Venetia can't help being caught up in the smouldering passion that ignites between them. 

When she finds herself assigned to a project at his magnificent home deep in the Tuscan countryside, Venetia not only faces a beautiful young rival but also a sinister count and dark forces in the shadows, determined to come between them. Can Venetia trust that love will triumph, even over her own demons? Or will Paolo's carefully guarded, devastating secret tear them apart forever?

  

My thoughts about The Echoes of Love ~~ 

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—'The clock struck midnight just as Venetia went past the grand eighteenth-century mirror hanging over the mantelpiece in the hall. Instinctively she gazed into it and her heart skipped a beat.'

I have always dreamed of going to Italy, and Venice in particular. It just seems like such a romantic, beautiful place to be. The Echoes of Love transported me there and it was a wonderful experience. I learned so much about the country, its customs, and its legends. 

Hannah Fielding writes such wonderful, descriptive passages that I immediately fell in love with Venice. I enjoyed the visuals that she created with her words, words that made me feel like I was a visitor of that great city and country. I actually listened to Italian music as I was reading the book, which made the experience just that more enjoyable. I felt like I was in that gondola, right along with Venetia and Paolo.

And speaking of Venetia and Paolo. I just have to say - wow, what a passionate love-hate relationship they had going on. There was definitely some strong chemistry going on between them, but everything was just so hard; so hard to move on, and so hard to believe that they could find happiness with each other. I really felt along that they should be together, if only they could just admit it to themselves and realize that it was meant to be.

The Echoes of Love is the first book of Hannah's that I have read and I am not sure why it took me this long to discover her books. Her beautiful prose and the fabulous setting in this book makes me want to read her other books so that I can once again be transported to an exotic location and to experience another beautiful love story. 


I received a copy of this book from JKS Commications 
and am voluntarily reviewing it.

About the Author


Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.

To date, Hannah has published four novels: Burning Embers, ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya, 1970; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’ set in turn-of-the-millennium Italy; and books 1 and 2 of the Andalucian Nights trilogy, set in sultry Spain, entitled Indiscretion and Masquerade.

Connect with Hannah

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Goodreads | Amazon | Indiebound


Thanks for stopping by! 

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Release Day: Seeing Evil by MC Domivitch

Happy Release Day!


Ciara Kelly returns in M.C. Domovitch's latest must-read thriller. When teenage girls start disappearing in one of Manhattan's most affluent neighborhood, Ciara cannot help but feel drawn to the case, especially that the details are so similar to those of her own kidnapping of a few years earlier. 

When Detective Nanos asks her to see the body of the latest victim and give her impressions, word gets out that Ciara is cooperating with the police. Suddenly, the killer's focus is on her.


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About the author


Monique Domovitch lives with her physician husband and their two dogs. They divide their time between their farm on the west coast, their home in Toronto and the Florida Keys. She started writing later in life, after retiring from her television career, “proving that one is never too late to follow one’s dreams,” as she points out.

When she is not writing or traveling, she is an avid redecorator. Which might explain why we move so much,” she says, laughing. “Once a house has been re and re-done, it’s time to move on.” Monique is working on her ninth book, a sequel to Scar Tissue, tentatively titled Seeing Evil.

Connect with Monique 


Purchase Seeing Evil


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