Saturday, December 9, 2023

This OR That #Giveaway № 131 ~ The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley OR Little Girl Gone by Drusilla Campbell #ThePromiseOfStardust #LittleGirlGone


I have sooooo many books!

The This or That Giveaway! feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to cull my collection and to share some of the many books I have. I get to clear off some of my shelves to make room for more books and give someone else the chance to enjoy these treasures.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


The Promise of Stardust
by Priscille Sibley
Paperback ~ Published February 2013

Filled with grace, sensitivity and compassion, The Promise of Stardust is an emotionally resonant and thought-provoking tale that raises profound questions about life and death, faith and medicine, and illuminates the power of love to divide and heal a family in the wake of unexpected tragedy

Matt Beaulieu was two years old the first time he held Elle McClure in his arms, seventeen when he first kissed her under a sky filled with shooting stars, and thirty-three when he convinced her to marry him. Now in their late 30s, the deeply devoted couple has everything-except the baby they've always wanted.

When an accident leaves Elle brain dead, Matt is devastated. Though he cannot bear the thought of life without her, he knows Elle was afraid of only one thing-a slow death. And so, Matt resolves to take her off life support.

But Matt changes his mind when they discover Elle's pregnant. While there are no certainties, the baby might survive if Elle remains on life support. Matt's mother, Linney, disagrees with his decision. She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive on machines. Linney is prepared to fight her son in court-armed with Elle's living will.

Divided by the love they share, Matt and Linney will be pitted against each other, fighting for what they believe is right, and what they think Elle would have wanted resulting in a controversial legal battle that will ultimately go beyond one family . . . and one single life.


Little Girl Gone
by Drusilla Campbell
Paperback ~ Published January 2012

Madora was seventeen, headed for trouble with drugs and men, when Willis rescued her. Fearful of the world and alienated from family and friends, she ran away with him and for five years they have lived alone, in near isolation. But after Willis kidnaps a pregnant teenager and imprisons her in a trailer behind the house, Madora is torn between her love for him and her sense of right and wrong. When a pit bull puppy named Foo brings into Madora's world another unexpected person--Django Jones, a brilliant but troubled twelve-year-old boy--she's forced to face the truth of what her life has become.

An intensely emotional and provocative story, Little Girl Gone explores the secret hopes and fears that drive good people to do dangerous things . . and the courage it takes to make things right.


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Friday, December 8, 2023

The Intern by Michele Campbell ~ My Thoughts #TheIntern @MicheleCampbellBooks @StMartinsPress

The Intern by Michele Campbell
Mystery Thriller, 384 pages
Published October 3, 2023 by St. Martin's Press

A young Harvard law student falls under the spell of a charismatic judge in this timely and thrilling novel about class, ambition, family and murder.

Madison Rivera lands the internship of a lifetime working for Judge Kathryn Conroy. But Madison has a secret that could destroy her career. Her troubled younger brother Danny has been arrested, and Conroy is the judge on his case.

When Danny goes missing after accusing the judge of corruption, Madison’s quest for answers brings her deep into the judge’s glamorous world. Is Kathryn Conroy a mentor, a victim, or a criminal? Is she trying to help Madison or use her as a pawn? And why is somebody trying to kill her?

As the two women circle each other in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game, will they save each other, or will betrayal leave one of them dead?

My thoughts about The Intern ~~

(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—"November, Cambridge Massachusetts - She loved the way her professor moved."

Michele Campbell is one of my must-read authors when I'm in the mood for a gripping thriller read. She's hit another one out of the park with this one. The Intern takes the reader on a behind-the-scenes look at the legal system when Madison gets an internship with her much revered professor and respected lawyer. 

The problem is Madison has secrets she's keeping from her mentor. Will that jeopardize everything she's worked so hard for? But wait, is the judge keeping secrets as well? So much drama and suspense. And I loved every minute of it. 

I thoroughly enjoyed The Intern and was kept enthralled to the very end. And now I wait for Ms. Campbell's next book. So hard to wait. Sigh. 

I received an eARC of The Intern via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.


About the author

Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.

A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in It's Always the Husband. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels.

She's had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Michele


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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Book Blitz! Rome’s Last Noble Palace by Kimberly Sullivan ~ Excerpt & #Giveaway #RomesLastNoblePalace @KimberlyinRome @XpressoTours


Rome’s Last Noble Palace by Kimberly Sullivan
Publication date: December 6th 2023
Genres: Adult, Historical, Paranormal, Women’s Fiction

Two women. Two different centuries. One attic room

American Isabelle Field has been shipped off to Rome to live with her aunt, Princess Elizabeth Brancaccio. Isabelle’s aunt and mother share a common goal – replicating Elizabeth’s success by marrying Isabelle off to a European nobleman.

But Rome in 1896 is on the cusp of a new century and Isabelle longs for more than a titled husband. She secretly designs costumes for Rome’s burgeoning theatre environment and dreams of opening a fashion atelier. Can she gather the courage to forge a life for herself, even if it means going against expectations?

Over a century later, doctoral candidate Sophie Nouri can’t believe her good fortune when she is selected to intern in Rome’s Near Eastern Art Museum. Even better, the position includes an attic apartment in the spectacular museum property, the Palazzo Brancaccio.

Overseeing a major exhibition is stressful, but tension alone can’t explain the disturbing nighttime presence in the deserted hallways of the grand palace – especially one no one else can sense. Almost as if a spectral being is trying to communicate with Sophie directly. Or warn her.

Goodreads | Amazon



Rome, 2018

Sunlight streamed through the high windows, coaxing Sophie from her dreams. She cracked one eye open, groaning at the early hour on the travel alarm clock. How had she forgotten to close the shutters last night? Blame it on the jet lag of someone no longer used to international travel.

She turned her head to observe Matt’s sleeping form. His chest rose and fell in a calm, steady rhythm. A little sunlight seeping through the windows would never wake him this early. He was made of stronger stuff.

She turned back to the window, struck again by golden Roman light she’d forgotten after so many years away. Not at all like the diffused light back home. Sparrows swooped in graceful arcs across the cloudless, cerulean sky. As the sleepiness seeped from her eyes and her gaze sharpened, the bright, white blocks began to take shape. Her heart beat faster. The familiar but long-dormant sense of fear coursed through her body. She hadn’t been expecting to feel it so deeply after all these years away.

Closing her eyes, she took a calming breath and formed images of waking in her bedroom at home. The branch of the oak tree scraping the bedroom window, the twittering of the birds, the bold squirrel that peeked in her window most mornings, the creaks and groans of the old, converted farmhouse. Gradually, her heartbeat slowed, the fear seeped away. She inhaled deeply, counted to ten and exhaled.

She could do this.

She fixed a determined gaze on the grand palazzo, glittering white in the strong Mediterranean sunlight. Some of its brown shutters were open, others closed like sleepy eyes reluctant to yield to the morning light. She remembered all those useless afternoon battles against the Roman sunlight filtering heat and blinding rays into those great rooms.

At the palazzo’s upper edge, lithe young angels kneeled in rows, their flowing curls cascading down to their shoulders. Their pointed wings punctuated the cornice above, curving vines sprouted from their bodies in a riot of intricate swirls. The young angels were separated from one another by lush greenery, unrolling in a seemingly endless, elegant row. She’d always known the carving was there, but she’d never observed the details from this angle. Everything had been different from within. Despite the warmth of the early morning sun, she shivered.

Ignoring a mounting sense of dread, Sophie pushed herself up gently, careful not to rouse Matt. Sliding bare feet into beckoning slippers, she padded softly to the door, her back decisively turned to the noble home.


About the author

Kimberly grew up in the suburbs of Boston and in Saratoga Springs, New York, although she now calls the Harlem neighborhood of New York City home when she’s back in the US. She studied political science and history at Cornell University and earned her MBA, with a concentration in strategy and marketing, from Bocconi University in Milan.

Afflicted with a severe case of Wanderlust, she worked in journalism and government in the US, Czech Republic and Austria, before settling down in Rome, where she works in international development, and writes fiction any chance she gets.

She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) and The Historical Novel Society and has published several short stories and three novels: Three Coins, Dark Blue Waves and In The Shadow of The Apennines.

After years spent living in Italy with her Italian husband and sons, she’s fluent in speaking with her hands, and she loves setting her stories in her beautiful, adoptive country.

Connect with Kimberly

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Bookbub | Instagram


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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Book Blitz! When All is Said and Done by Christy Hayes ~ Excerpt & #Giveaway #WhenAllSaidAndDone @SeaHayes @XpressoTours


When All is Said and Done by Christy Hayes
Publication date: December 5th 2023
Genres: Women’s Fiction

A heartbreaking novel about the sacrifices we make for love.

After an unstable childhood, marriage isn’t just a promise to Dustin Carver, it’s his lifeline. He and Tegan grew up together, fell in love, and planned their perfect life. When the future they imagined gets derailed by her demanding law career, their marriage slowly slides off the rails.

Tegan can’t believe her husband took her threat of a separation seriously and walked away without a backward glance. Heartbroken and embarrassed, she covers for his absence with lies. Lies she tells herself about her career. Lies she tells her family about her marriage. And lies she’s yet to confess to her husband about a secret she kept while he was away. When Dustin finally returns, she’s running on fumes and her lies are about to be exposed.

Seven weeks in Key West licking his wounds and watching his best friend fall in love is enough to convince Dustin to come home and fight for his marriage. Saving their relationship means returning to therapy and facing a bitter truth neither wants to address. What if their childhood romance doesn’t have a happy-ever-after ending?

This emotional read told with brutal honesty begs the ultimate question for marriages far and wide. At the end of the day-at the end of our lives-what is worth fighting for, and when, if ever, should we walk away?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

iBooks | Kobo



Dustin’s POV

He heard a noise from the kitchen, and his pulse picked up the beat. Was that the side door closing or the echoed rumble from his rebellious stomach? He stilled the strings with his palm and recognized the familiar sound of Tegan hanging her keys on the hook and shucking her shoes by the door. His heart lurched into his throat.

Dustin cursed himself for getting lost in the music and not preparing for her return. He should have been rehearsing speeches in his head or making dinner instead of mowing the lawn, adding a couple of towels to her burgeoning laundry pile, and playing around on the guitar. He propped the instrument against the couch and stood on unsteady legs.

A surging swell of love, swift and savage, swept over him as he looked at her, sent his heart thrashing against his chest. There she is—my center, my orbit—in living, breathing color. Tegan had her back turned and was flipping through the mail on the counter. Her hair was longer than normal, a dark curtain falling well past her sagging shoulders.


She gasped and spun, clutching her chest with both hands, her eyes blinking furiously. Frozen in that position like a still photograph captured on film, she looked thin—too thin—and fragile as blown glass. “Dusty.”

His name from her lips, soft and scratchy, scorched his eviscerated heart. “Sorry to startle you. I … I figured you’d see my car.”

She seemed confused, shaking her head, squinting her eyes. “Your car?”

“In the garage …” He tried and failed to keep the exasperation out of his voice. He’d been gone for weeks, and she hadn’t moved a muscle in his direction. Hadn’t flashed a smile or inclined her head or opened her arms to make him feel welcome. And after everything they had to say to one another, they were talking about his car?

“I parked in the driveway,” she said.

Her guilty tone and the way she tucked her chin to her chest were another lash to his pride. How many times had he begged her to park her car in the garage? They lived in a nice neighborhood, but why invite crime by leaving her car parked out in the open and alert everyone to her patterns of coming and going?

She read the look on his face and offered a muttered, “I was tired, and the garage door has been giving me fits. I think it needs grease or something.”

Stop talking about the stupid garage! He wanted to scream at her, grab her arms and shake her, invade the personal space she protected with her arms crossed tightly against her chest. He wanted to do something, anything, to get a rise out of her and stop the inane garage discussion.

The way she looked—the way she looked at him like a racoon caught pillaging the trash—kept his voice even and his feet rooted firmly in place. Even in the muted light, she appeared ready to drop. He longed to go to her, wrap her in his arms, let her lean on him the way she always had when life kicked her in the tail. But he couldn’t. Not now. Not with everything at stake.


About the author

Christy Hayes writes romance and romantic women's fiction. She is the proud mother of two grown children and lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and rescue dogs.

Connect with Christy



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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Release Day! Emerald Heart by Grace Greene ~ My Thoughts #EmeraldHeart @Grace_Greene @KerseyCreekBks

Happy Release Day!

Congratulations Grace
 on the release today of
Emerald Heart!

Emerald Hear
t: An Emerald Isle, NC Single Title Novel by Grace Greene
Women's Fiction, 328 pages
Published December 5, 2023 by Kersey Creek Books

Welcome to The Emerald Heart Hotel – The sign on the big gate is faded, and the gate is usually locked because the hotel closed two years ago when Mignon King lost her husband. His death, on top of the loss of their daughter many years before, has Mignon mired in grief. But it’s more than grief that has her trapped. Before she can move on, she must decide what to do with the hotel she and her husband owned and managed for more than two decades. She lives there alone with her dog, Galahad, though even Mignon would hardly call it living. She wants to be happy again, to find a new way forward, but she’s stuck.

Her longtime friend, Dominick, a real estate agent, wants her to sell the hotel property. Old hotel aside, the acreage alone in the town of Emerald Isle and fronting on Bogue Sound, is valuable and will bring many offers, but that’s also part of the problem. Mignon loves the Emerald Heart property and feels responsible for it and wants to protect her husband’s memory. What might new owners do with the property? What might they destroy?

On a strange day in early September, a man shows up unexpectedly on her dock. He’s charming. And he’s interested in the Emerald Heart property. On that same day, her long-estranged sister-in-law, Jeanette, returns, and Mignon’s troubles magnify as Jeannette’s arrival stirs up old anger and creates a volatile, emotional mix. Disquieting things begin to happen around the property, worrying Mignon. She knows she must make a decision, but she doesn’t know how to break with the past and move forward.

Dominick, Blake, Jeanette—who stands to gain if Mignon decides to sell? Who can she trust?

And the past . . . its hold on her is so strong that she’s not even sure she can trust herself.

My thoughts about Emerald Heart ~~

(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—"I am lost. It is only now, as I wake alone in my bed to face another day, that I realize how long I've been absent from my lifeand how much I've missed."

What an amazingly beautiful, heartbreaking, while also heartwarming story! Mignon has had more than her share of loss and sadness in her life. First she loses her daughter at such a young age and then just a few years ago, her husband dies. She is the lonely widow living on the hill in a huge place that is getting more run down every day. 

Of course, there are swarms of people wanting to purchase her property but Mignon is not sure she is ready to move on with her life. Maybe she's content to live in this old, closed down hotel that is full of her memories and love. She does have her faithful dog to keep her company, so there is that. 

The stranger on the beach, her estranged sister-in-law who suddenly appears back in her life, and her long time realtor friend all seem to want something different from her but she doesn't even know what she wants for herself. 

Grace Greene always writes very descriptive, beautiful stories that make me want to escape to the world she has created. I want to be a part of her characters' lives and be their friend. I devoured Emerald Heart and as Ms. Greene has written sequels for some of her previous books, I'm really hoping I'll get to visit the Emerald Heart again. I just feel like there are more stories there. I highly recommend Emerald Heart!

Thank you to Grace Greene for the ARC of Emerald Heart. This is my honest opinion of the book. 

About the author

Grace Greene writes fiction with romance, suspense and inspiration ~ The Emerald Isle, NC Stories Series includes Beach Rental, Beach Winds, Beach Wedding, along with the Christmas novellas, Beach Christmas and Beach Walk. Her Virginia books are Women's Fiction with romance, suspense and mystery. Most are set in rural Cub Creek and include her bestselling The Memory of Butterflies and The Happiness In Between which were released in 2017. Two new Cub Creek books will be released in 2019. The first, Wildflower Heart, will be followed by a sequel later in 2019.

Grace is also an artist and photographer and these interests show up on the pages of the stories. She lives in central Virginia. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Grace


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