Friday, July 31, 2020

On Tour! The Friendship List by Susan Mallery ~ My Thoughts and an Excerpt #TheFriendshipList



The Friendship List : A Novel by Susan Mallery
On Sale Date: August 4, 2020
9781335136961, 1335136967
Hardcover, 384 pages
$26.99 USD, $33.50 CAD
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary

Already a worldwide success in mass market and trade paperback formats, Susan Mallery’s newest hardcover is an emotional, witty, and heartfelt story about two best friends who are determined to help one another shake things up and live life to the fullest...only to discover that possibilities are everywhere--especially in the most unexpected of places.

Ellen and Unity have been best friends basically since birth, but they couldn’t be more different. Unity married her childhood sweetheart just after high school and became an Army wife, moving from base to base…until her husband's shocking death in the line of duty leaves her a widow. Grief-stricken, it’s time for Unity to come back home to Ellen—the only person she can trust to help her rebuild her life. But Ellen has troubles of her own. Boys never seemed to notice Ellen…until one got her pregnant in high school and disappeared. Her son is now 17 and she’s wondering what to do with herself now that he’s heading off to college and he's literally her entire world.

But now that Ellen and Unity are reunited, they’re done with their stale lives. It’s time to shake things up and start living again, knowing that they'll always have one another to lean on. So they create a list of challenges they have to accomplish--everything from getting a tattoo to skydiving to staying out all night. And whoever completes the most challenges is the winner. But with new adventures and love just around the corner, there’s no such thing as losing…


Purchase The Friendship List


My thoughts about The Friendship List ~~

(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—"'I should have married money,' Ellen Fox said glumly. 'That would have solved all of my problems.'"

Oh my gosh! I loved this book so much. I can't believe that I haven't read Susan Mallery's books before now. If her other books are just as good, and I'm sure they are, then I have some catching up to do, for sure.

The Friendship List focuses on the interesting and fun characters, Ellen and Unity. Different as night and day, but best friends since forever. On the other hand, they are the same in the respect that they are both stuck in the ruts of their lives and don't know how to get out—or even if they want to.

Thus the lists are created, each of them thinking they are doing them to help the other one change. Working through the lists is where the fun comes in as the two women step outside their comfort zones to try to find their way to happiness.

I devoured this book and highly recommend it. I definitely will be checking out more of Susan's books. Seriously, how have I not read her books before now??

Read Chapter One below. I'm sure you'll love it too and will want more!

I received The Friendship List from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

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Excerpt

Chapter One

“I should have married money,” Ellen Fox said glumly. “That would have solved all my problems.”

Unity Leandre, her best friend, practically since birth, raised her eyebrows. “Because that was an option so many times and you kept saying no?”

“It could have been. Maybe. If I’d ever, you know, met a rich guy I liked and wanted to marry.”

“Wouldn’t having him want to marry you be an equally important part of the equation?”

Ellen groaned. “This is not a good time for logic. This is a good time for sympathy. Or giving me a winning lottery ticket. We’ve been friends for years and you’ve never once given me a winning lottery ticket.”

Unity picked up her coffee and smiled. “True, but I did give you my pony rides when we celebrated our eighth birthdays.”

A point she would have to concede, Ellen thought. With their birthdays so close together, they’d often had shared parties. The summer they’d turned eight, Unity’s mom had arranged for pony rides at a nearby farm. Unity had enjoyed herself, but Ellen had fallen in love with scruffy Mr. Peepers, the crabby old pony who carried them around the paddock. At Ellen’s declaration of affection for the pony, Unity had handed over the rest of her ride tickets, content to watch Ellen on Mr. Peepers’s wide back.

“You were wonderful about the pony rides,” Ellen said earnestly, “And I love that you were so generous. But right now I really need a small fortune. Nothing overwhelming. Just a tasteful million or so. In return, I’ll give back the rides on Mr. Peepers.”

Unity reached across the kitchen table and touched Ellen’s arm. “He really wants to go to UCLA?”

Ellen nodded, afraid if she spoke, she would whimper. After sucking in a breath, she managed to say, “He does. Even with a partial scholarship, the price is going to kill me.” She braced herself for the ugly reality. “Out-of-state costs, including room and board, are about sixty-four thousand dollars.” Ellen felt her heart skip a beat and not out of excitement. “A year. A year! I don’t even bring home that much after taxes. Who has that kind of money? It might as well be a million dollars.”

Unity nodded. “Okay, now marrying money makes sense.”

“I don’t have a lot of options.” Ellen pressed her hand to her chest and told herself she wasn’t having a heart attack. “You know I’d do anything for Coop and I’ll figure this out, but those numbers are terrifying. I have to start buying lottery scratchers and get a second job.” She looked at Unity. “How much do you think they make at Starbucks? I could work nights.”

Unity, five inches taller, with long straight blond hair, grabbed her hands. “Last month it was University of Oklahoma and the month before that, he wanted to go to Notre Dame. Cooper has changed his mind a dozen times. Wait until you go look at colleges this summer and he figures out what he really wants, then see who offers the best financial aid before you panic.” Her mouth curved up in a smile. “No offense, Ellen, but I’ve tasted your coffee. You shouldn’t be working anywhere near a Starbucks.”

“Very funny.” Ellen squeezed her hands. “You’re right. He’s barely seventeen. He won’t be a senior until September. I have time. And I’m saving money every month.”

It was how she’d been raised, she thought. To be practical, to take responsibility. If only her parents had thought to mention marrying for money.

“After our road trip, he may decide he wants to go to the University of Washington after all, and that would solve all my problems.”

Not just the money ones, but the loneliness ones, she thought wistfully. Because after eighteen years of them being a team, her nearly grown-up baby boy was going to leave her.

“Stop,” Unity said. “You’re getting sad. I can see it.”

“I hate that you know me so well.”

“No, you don’t.”

Ellen sighed. “No, I don’t, but you’re annoying.”

“You’re more annoying.”

They smiled at each other.

Unity stood, all five feet ten of her, and stretched. “I have to get going. You have young minds to mold and I have a backed-up kitchen sink to deal with, followed by a gate repair and something with a vacuum. The message wasn’t clear.” She looked at Ellen. “You going to be okay?”

Ellen nodded. “I’m fine. You’re right. Coop will change his mind fifteen more times. I’ll wait until it’s a sure thing, then have my breakdown.”

“See. You always have a plan.”

They walked to the front door. Ellen’s mind slid back to the ridiculous cost of college.

“Any of those old people you help have money?” she asked. “For the right price, I could be a trophy wife.”

Unity shook her head. “You’re thirty-four. The average resident of Silver Pines is in his seventies.”

“Marrying money would still solve all my problems.”

Unity hugged her, hanging on tight for an extra second. “You’re a freak.”

“I’m a momma bear with a cub.”

“Your cub is six foot three. It’s time to stop worrying.”

“That will never happen.”

“Which is why I love you. Talk later.”

Ellen smiled. “Have a good one. Avoid spiders.”

“Always.”

When Unity had driven away, Ellen returned to the kitchen where she quickly loaded the dishwasher, then packed her lunch. Cooper had left before six. He was doing some end-of-school-year fitness challenge. Something about running and Ellen wasn’t sure what. To be honest, when he went on about his workouts, it was really hard not to tune him out. Especially when she had things like tuition to worry about.

“Not anymore today,” she said out loud. She would worry again in the morning. Unity was right—Cooper was going to keep changing his mind. Their road trip to look at colleges was only a few weeks away. After that they would narrow the list and he would start to apply. Only then would she know the final number and have to figure out how to pay for it.

Until then she had plenty to keep her busy. She was giving pop quizzes in both fourth and sixth periods and she wanted to update her year-end tests for her two algebra classes. She needed to buy groceries and put gas in the car and go by the library to get all her summer reading on the reserve list.

As she finished her morning routine and drove to the high school where she taught, Ellen thought about Cooper and the college issue. While she was afraid she couldn’t afford the tuition, she had to admit it was a great problem to have. Seventeen years ago, she’d been a terrified teenager, about to be a single mom, with nothing between her and living on the streets except incredibly disappointed and angry parents who had been determined to make her see the error of her ways.

Through hard work and determination, she’d managed to pull herself together—raise Cooper, go to college, get a good job, buy a duplex and save money for her kid’s education. Yay her.

But it sure would have been a lot easier if she’d simply married someone with money.

*

“How is it possible to get a C- in Spanish?” Coach Keith Kinne asked, not bothering to keep his voice down. “Half the population in town speaks Spanish. Hell, your sister’s husband is Hispanic.” He glared at the strapping football player standing in front of him. “Luka, you’re an idiot.”

Luka hung his head. “Yes, Coach.”

“Don’t ‘yes, Coach’ me. You knew this was happening—you’ve known for weeks. And did you ask for help? Did you tell me?”

“No, Coach.”

Keith thought about strangling the kid but he wasn’t sure he could physically wrap his hands around the teen’s thick neck. He swore silently, knowing they were where they were and now he had to fix things—like he always did with his students.

“You know the rules,” he pointed out. “To play on any varsity team you have to get a C+ or better in every class. Did you think the rules didn’t apply to you?”

Luka, nearly six-five and two hundred and fifty pounds, slumped even more. “I thought I was doing okay.”

“Really? So you’d been getting better grades on your tests?”

“Not exactly.” He raised his head, his expression miserable. “I thought I could pull up my grade at the last minute.”

“How did that plan work out?”

“No bueno.”

Keith glared at him. “You think this is funny?”

“No, Coach.”

Keith shook his head. “You know there’s not a Spanish summer school class. That means we’re going to have to find an alternative.”

Despite his dark skin, Luka went pale. “Coach, don’t send me away.”

“No one gets sent away.” Sometimes athletes went to other districts that had a different summer curriculum. They stayed with families and focused on their studies.

“I need to stay with my family. My mom understands me.”

“It would be better for all of us if she understood Spanish.” Keith glared at the kid. “I’ll arrange for an online class. You’ll get a tutor. You will report to me twice a week, bringing me updates until you pass the class.” He sharpened his gaze. “With an A.”

Luka took a step back. “Coach, no! An A? I can’t.”

“Not with that attitude.”

“But, Coach.”

“You knew the rules and you broke them. You could have come to me for help early on. You know I’m always here for any of my students, but did you think about that or did you decide you were fine on your own?”

“I decided I was fine on my own,” Luka mumbled.

“Exactly. And deciding on your own is not how teams work. You go it alone and you fail.”

Tears filled Luka’s eyes. “Yes, Coach.”

Keith pointed to the door. Luka shuffled out. Keith sank into his chair. He’d been hard on the kid, but he needed to get the message across. Grades mattered. He was willing to help whenever he could, but he had to be told what was going on. He had a feeling Luka thought because he was a star athlete he was going to get special treatment. Maybe somewhere else, but not here. Forcing Luka to get an A sent a message to everyone who wanted to play varsity sports.

He’d barely turned to his computer when one of the freshman boys stuck his head in the office. “Coach Kinne! Coach Kinne! There’s a girl crying in the weight room.”

Keith silently groaned as he got up and jogged to the weight room, hoping he was about to deal with something simple like a broken arm or a concussion. He knew what to do for those kinds of things. Anything that was more emotional, honest to God, terrified him.

He walked into the weight room and found a group of guys huddled together. A petite, dark-haired girl he didn’t know sat on a bench at the far end, her hands covering her face, her sobs audible in the uneasy silence.

He looked at the guys. “She hurt?”

They shifted their weight and shook their heads. Damn. So it wasn’t physical. Why didn’t things ever go his way?

“Any of you responsible for whatever it is?” he asked.

More shaken heads with a couple of guys ducking out.

Keith pointed to the door so the rest of them left, then returned his attention to the crying girl. She was small and looked young. Maybe fifteen. Not one of his daughter’s friends or a school athlete—he knew all of them.

He approached the teen, trying to look friendly rather than menacing, then sat on a nearby bench.

“Hey,” he said softly. “I’m Coach Kinne.”

She sniffed. Her eyes were red, her skin pale. “I know who you are.”

“What’s going on?” Don’t be pregnant, don’t be pregnant, he chanted silently.

More tears spilled over. “I’m pregnant. The father is Dylan, only he says he’s not, and I can’t tell my m-mom because she’ll be so mad and he said he l-loved me.”

And just like that Keith watched his Monday fall directly into the crapper.

*

Keith left work exactly at three fifteen. He would be returning to his office to finish up paperwork, supervise a couple of workouts and review final grades for athletes hovering on the edge of academic problems. But first, he had pressing personal business.

He drove the two short miles to his house, walked inside and headed directly for his seventeen-year-old daughter’s room.

Lissa looked up from her laptop when he entered, her smile fading as she figured out he was in a mood. Despite the attitude, she was a beauty. Long dark hair, big brown eyes. Dammit all to hell—why couldn’t he have an ugly daughter who no guy would look at twice?

“Hi, Dad,” she said, sounding wary. “What’s up?”

“Spot check.”

She rolled her eyes. “Seriously? There is something wrong with you. I heard what happened at school today. I’m not dumb enough to date a guy like Dylan who would tell a tree stump he loved it if it would have sex with him. I’m not sleeping with anyone and I’m not pregnant. I told you—I’m not ready to have sex, as in I’m still a virgin. You’re obsessed. Would you feel better if I wore a chastity belt?”

“Yes, but you won’t. I’ve asked.”

“Da-ad. Why are you like this? Pregnancy isn’t the worst thing that could happen. I could be sick and dying. Wouldn’t that be terrible?”

“You can’t win this argument with logic. I’m irrational. I accept that. But I’m also the parent, so you have to deal with me being irrational.”

He pointed to her bathroom. She sighed the long-suffering sigh of those cursed with impossible fathers and got up. He followed her to the doorway and watched as she pulled the small plastic container out of the bathroom drawer and opened it.

Relief eased the tension in his body. Pills were missing. The right number of pills.

“You are a nightmare father,” his daughter said, shoving the pills back in the drawer. “I can’t wait until I’m eighteen and I can get the shot instead of having to take birth control pills. Then you’ll only bug me every few months.”

“I can’t wait, either.”

“It’s not like I even have a boyfriend.”

“You could be talking to someone online.”

Her annoyance faded as she smiled at him. “Dad, only one of us in this house does the online dating thing and it’s not me.”

“I don’t online date.”

“Fine. You pick up women online, then go off and have sex with them for the weekend. It’s gross. You should fall in love with someone you’re not embarrassed to bring home to meet me.”

“I’m not embarrassed. I just don’t want complications.”

“But you do want to have sex. It’s yucky.”

“Then why are we talking about it?” He pulled her close and hugged her, then kissed the top of her head. “Sorry, Lissa. I can’t help worrying about you.”

She looked up at him. “Dad, I’m taking my pills every day, not that it matters because I’m not having sex. I’m not. I’ve barely kissed a guy. Having you as my father makes it really difficult to date. Guys don’t want to mess with you and risk being beat up.”

“Good.”

She smiled even as she hit him in the arm. “You’re repressing my emotional growth.”

“Just don’t get pregnant.”

“You need to find a more positive message. How about ‘be your best self?’”

“That, too. Gotta go.”

“I’m having dinner with Jessie tonight. Remember?”

“No problem. Be home by ten.”

He got back in his truck but before starting the engine, he quickly texted Ellen. I need a couple of beers and a friendly ear. You around tonight?

The response came quickly. Only if you bring fried chicken. I have beer and ice cream.

You’re on. See you at six.

Excerpted from The Friendship List by Susan Mallery, Copyright © 2020 by Susan Mallery, Inc.. Published by HQN.

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About the author


Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship and romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations," and readers seem to agree—forty million copies of her books have been sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She's passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two Ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as Mom.

Connect with Susan


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Release Day! Summer at my Sister’s by Emily Harvale ~ an Excerpt


Congrats Emily
on the release today of
Summer at my Sister's!


Summer at my Sister’s by Emily Harvale
Print and e-book, 413 pages
Published July 31st 2020

Twin sisters. One scorching summer.

A bucketful of secrets.

Diana’s life is perfect. Her twin sister, Josie’s – not so much. 

Diana has a rich and successful husband, two talented youngsters and an adorable dog. She always looks as if she’s stepped from the cover of a magazine. Her immaculate second home by the sea, for idyllic summers with her perfect family, was actually featured in one.

Josie has a messy, compact flat, dates, but not relationships, and she can’t even keep a houseplant alive. She moves from job to job, goes clubbing with her friends and often looks as if she’s fallen through a hedge.

Although Josie loves Diana deeply, each year she declines the invitation to spend the summer with her sister. Or any other family holiday. Because Josie has a secret.

But is Diana’s life so perfect? Or is she also hiding something? When secrets are revealed this summer, everything will change. Josie could finally have the life she’s always wanted … if she’s brave enough to take a chance.


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Excerpt

Thank you so much for allowing me to share a little extract from my new book, Summer at my Sister’s.

This is from Chapter One and is part of a video call that Josie Parnell is having with her twin sister, Diana Dunn. Their mum has told Josie to go and visit Diana because, “something isn’t quite right”, so Josie is calling Diana in the hope of finding out what could possibly be wrong in her sister’s perfect life.

When she sees Diana’s face and hears that Diana’s husband, Alex isn’t driving the family down to Seahorse Harbour and won’t be joining them there for a while because he’s, “too busy”, Josie realises their mum was right. Perhaps Diana’s perfect life isn’t quite so perfect at the moment.

I hope you enjoy reading this.

‘Are you okay, Di?’ I asked, peering at her face. ‘I mean, are you ill? You said you haven’t been feeling well lately. Is it something to worry about?’

‘No, no.’ She shook her head. Almost violently. ‘It’s nothing like that. Honestly. I’d tell you if it was. I think I’m just … a little out of sorts. A bit run down maybe. Nothing a sea breeze won’t cure.’

‘Cocktails always make me feel better so I’m with you on that.’

Now she did laugh. ‘I meant the sea air, not the drink. You know I don’t drink … anymore.’

‘And I don’t drink any less.’ I sniggered. I love those old jokes. ‘So it’s just you and the kids then?’

She looked anxious. ‘Me and the kids?’

‘Going to Seahorse Harbour.’ This conversation was definitely weird.

‘Oh yes. For now. And Henry of course.’

‘Ah yes. Henry. Who could forget that lovable hound?’

‘You could. Obviously.’

‘Yeah well. Dogs aren’t my thing. You know I don’t do well with living beings. With living anything, really. Which reminds me. I’m really sorry but that gorgeous plant you bought me a few weeks ago seems to have … er … decided it didn’t like living in the City.’

‘Josie, no!’ She shook her head and laughed, although it wasn’t a particularly happy sound. ‘Please don’t tell me you’ve killed it already.’

‘Okay. I won’t tell you that.’

‘But you have?’

‘I think it took its own life. I didn’t do anything, honestly.’

‘But you watered it, didn’t you?’

‘Er. I think I did. Once or twice. Possibly not. I meant to.’

She sighed and shook her head again. ‘Oh, Josie. What am I going to do with you?’

Don’t ask me why I said it. I had no intention of doing so. None whatsoever. But I did.

‘You could ask me to come and stay with you for the summer. Or at least until Alex is free to come and join you.’

She blinked a few times and stared at the screen, her perfectly arched and shaped brows raised skywards.

‘In Seahorse Harbour?’

‘No. Mars. Of course in Seahorse Harbour. That’s where you’re spending the summer, isn’t it?’

‘It’s where we spend every summer,’ she said, somewhat wistfully I thought.

I gave a little cough and she smiled wanly.

‘Do I have to ask twice?’

‘What? Are you serious? Are … are you actually asking if you can come and stay? You never come and stay with us.’

‘Well, I’d rather stay with that sexy hunk who now owns The Seahorse Inn but as I don’t know him, I’ll have to stay with you until he asks me. What did you say his name was again?’

‘Mikkel. Mikkel Meloy.’ She lowered her gaze.

‘I still think that sounds more Irish than it does Norwegian. But he does look like a Viking and he could ravage me anytime he likes.’

‘You’ve only seen him once, Josie and that was via my webcam at Easter.’

‘Okay. Don’t get snippy. You sounded just like mum.’ I laughed. ‘You only have to see a man like that once for him to make an impression. Is he still single?’

She looked away into the distance. ‘As far as I know he is.’

‘Hi, Josie!’ My niece Becca appeared in the background, waving frantically. ‘You two talking about Mikkel? He’s sooooo gorgeous. Everyone’s in love with him you know. Even though he’s old.

‘Hey you! He’s only a couple of years older than me and your mum, you cheeky minx.’

Becca giggled. ‘Yeah. Old. But not as old as Orla’s dad. He used to be the heartthrob in Seahorse Harbour until Mikkel moved there. He’s still hot, although Orla hates it when I say her dad is sexy – but he is. Not quite as hot as Mikkel though. Orla’s crushing on him too. We’ve been reading Georgette Heyer books. One of the women in Mum’s book club loves them. Most of the heroines marry guys much older, so we’re sort of getting into the whole, older men thing, even though it still seems a bit gross. They’re sexy to look at sometimes but to have actual sex with them.’ She shivered dramatically. ‘Makes me want to heave just a bit.’

‘You’re not having sex with anyone, young lady. You’re only fifteen.’ I tried to sound stern but I think I failed because I was laughing.

I tried to picture Liam’s face. That’s Orla’s dad. He’d love to know that the thought of having sex with him made someone want to heave. Personally, when I was younger, I quite liked the thought of having sex with Liam Fulbright. Mainly because he was such a nerd, especially with his huge glasses, and I wondered if, like a super hero, he had a far, far sexier alter ego. I definitely got the impression there was something bubbling just beneath his lightly tanned skin and that long, lean body. But I hadn’t seen Liam for years. The last time I saw him was when he was nineteen. He was getting married to Una Cole – the most beautiful girl in the world.

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An exciting update from Emily Harvale

I apologise if you haven’t seen me on social media very much recently but I've been exceptionally busy working on lots of exciting stuff (technical term) πŸ˜‚πŸ€© for my new book, my website ... and a map for my new series of standalone stories set in the tiny village of Seahorse Harbour.

The map will 'go live' on July 31st, publication day for the first in the series, which is ... yep, you guessed it, Summer at my sister's. Let me explain a bit more

Summer at my sister's was originally a standalone, but then I had an idea for a Christmas book, so it became a two-book series, with Book 2 featuring a couple of new characters and most of the characters from Summer at my sister's (with me so far?) .....

Then .... I had an idea for another completely separate story set in the same village (which I'm writing at the mo.) This one has new characters.

So now, each story in this series will be a standalone with new characters ... but as each book is set in Seahorse Harbour, you'll be able to 'see' what's going on with the characters from the previous books, because you can't help but bump into people in a tiny village, can you?

I have to say, I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!πŸ˜πŸ€©πŸ’–πŸ₯° I've got so many story ideas, although I've only written 2 of the books so far, Summer at my sister's and the Christmas book, which is called .....

Wait for it......(no, that's not the title)

Christmas at Aunt Elsie's

This Christmas book will be available for pre-order from early August. πŸ’–πŸ€©πŸ₯°πŸ˜

Did I mention that I love this series? And yes - I'm just a little bit over-excited. I can't wait to share these fabulously feel-good stories with you. I hope you're a little bit excited too. πŸ€©πŸ’– xxx


About the author


Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn't always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers' group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies - and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

Connect with Emily

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Book Blitz! The Good Samaritan by Melynda Price ~ an Excerpt and a #Giveaway! #TheGoodSamaritan




The Good Samaritan by Melynda Price
Publication date: July 30th 2020
Genres: Adult, Thriller


“Only through death, can one truly experience life…” ~ The Good Samaritan

With dreams of becoming an Emergency physician, resident Dr. Emma Rhodes has struggled to overcome the tragedy of her past. She’s moving on with her life and reinventing herself despite the guilt that still haunts her. Emma’s goals are finally within her grasp, and the fresh start she’s worked so hard for is hers for the taking. Or is it?

Shot in the line of duty, Detective Sawyer Gerrard owes Dr. Rhodes his life. A budding friendship with the doctor quickly ignites into a complicated relationship when a series of murders leads him to believe she’s being targeted by a serial killer. When the Good Samaritan claims yet another victim, the investigation takes a dangerous turn. The killer knows Emma’s secret and he’s toying with Sawyer, pulling them into a deadly game of cat and mouse where there’s only one rule: nothing is as it seems…


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EXCERPT

“That’s one of the victims?”

Closing the file, he set it aside. “She was his first one. That we know of. I want to warn you that these interviews are going to get personal. But with any luck, we’ll find a thread that will help us catch this guy.”

A shadow of concern crossed her face, but it was gone so fast he almost missed it. Emma had secrets she wasn’t going to part with easily.

“Can you tell me about you past boyfriends? Men you’ve dated? I need first and last names. Phone numbers if you still have them.” He flipped the tablet to a clean page, set the pen on it, and pushed it across the table.

Something painful flashed in her verdant eyes, her expression locking down. “There isn’t anyone.” She slid the tablet back to him.

She’d told him she wasn’t dating right now, but never? Not possible. But why hide it? No way she had no one to put on that list.

“Everyone has someone in their past, Emma. You haven’t been living in a convent for the past twenty-six years. This is important—”

She exhaled a sigh, grabbed the tablet back, and scribbled a name on it before pushing it toward him. “This isn’t going to help you.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because he’s dead.”

Good thing Sawyer was experienced in masking his emotions because Emma just surprised the hell out of him. It explained a lot. Why she didn’t date, why she buried herself in her work. She was obviously still in love with the guy. He’d known there was more to it than simply being busy with her residency. And now her virgin status took on a whole new meaning. These were all questions he was dying to know the answer to, but in this context, he had no business asking. He felt like a prick for being jealous of a ghost and stuffed the emotion before it could take root. “All right, so no boyfriends. What about the hopefuls? Guys that have been interested in you?”

She shrugged.

Well, that was clear as mud. “What about Blake Weston?” he prodded.

Her gaze snapped up and locked on his. “Blake’s my boss.”

“I’m not sure how that excludes him from the list.”

“He knows how I feel about mixing my personal life with my professional one. I’ve been very clear with him. I don’t date the people I work with.”

Her tone was clipped, as if he’d offended her by even suggesting she’d mix business with pleasure. It still didn’t mean shit, though. Blake Weston had a thing for Emma. Anyone with eyes in their goddamn head could see that. He wrote Blake’s name down then met her eyes with a waiting stare. “Anyone else?”

She returned it, non-pulsed, and didn’t miss a beat when she replied, “Not unless you want to put yourself on that list.”

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About the author


Melynda Price is a bestselling and award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Against the Cage series has finaled in many awards such as the RONE, USA Today BBA, Golden Quill, National Readers’ Choice, and New England Readers’ Choice.

What Price enjoys most about writing is the chance to make her readers fall in love, over and over again. She cites the greatest challenge of writing is making the unbelievable believable, while taking her characters to the limit with stories full of passion and unique twists and turns. Salting stories with undertones of history whenever possible, Price adds immeasurable depth to her well-crafted books. 

She currently lives in Northern Minnesota with her husband and two children where she has plenty of snow-filled days to curl up in front of the fireplace with her Chihuahua and a hot cup of coffee to write.

Connect with Melynda
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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

On Tour! The Subway Girl by Lisa Becker ~ an Excerpt and a #Giveaway!



The Subway Girl 
The Subway Girl Series Book 1 
by Lisa Becker 
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy


CONTEMPORARY ROMANTIC COMEDY ABOUT FATE AND UNEXPECTED LOVE FROM AN AWARD-WINNING WRITER

"You don't find love, it finds you. It's got a little bit to do with
destiny, fate and what's written in the stars." Anais Nin

A hopeless romantic.
A cynical web show producer.
An unscrupulous cameraman.
A sleazy businessman.
An aspiring actress.
A womanizing best friend.
A scheming ex-girlfriend.
A commitment-phobic roommate.
An unlucky-in-love buddy.

These lives intersect when an average guy is awed by a gorgeous mystery woman on a New York subway and vows to meet her.

Goodreads | Amazon

I read The Subway Girl when it came out and loved it! 
You can read my thoughts HERE.

Excerpt

Prologue

Those catlike green eyes. That long, silky brown hair, flowing over her right shoulder from underneath a pink beanie. A radiant smile of straight, gleaming white teeth, lined up perfectly, sinking into a juicy magenta lip.

Ryan Carlson looked up after offering his seat to an elderly passenger and knew his life had changed forever. Leaning against a pole several feet in front of him on the crowded 1 train to Times Square stood the most exquisite woman he had ever seen. And, for just a brief beat, she was looking right at him, too.

In a moment, as quick and powerful as a strike of lightning, he knew he had to meet her. Yeah, right, approach a total stranger on the subway. He had no doubt he’d come off looking like a weirdo or a stalker, as there was certainly no shortage of those in New York City. He knew he was neither. Just a regular guy, a decent guy, looking for the right girl.

He took a moment to study her further. There was no engagement ring or wedding band on her finger, although she did wear a wide silver thumb ring. She was dressed in a pair of black workout pants, a gray sweater and that pink beanie.

She probably had a boyfriend. One look at her, and it was hard for him to imagine someone wasn’t already lucky enough to be with her. He’d been on the receiving end of betrayal and wouldn’t put someone else through that kind of hell. Men probably approached her all the time. But maybe she was single.

His mouth went dry as he tried to think of what he would say. He honestly didn’t know. It wasn’t like this situation had come up before. All he knew was he was determined to meet her. Maybe it was his fate to meet her. Yes. It’s fate. He was convinced of it.

His heart raced as he took a deep, calming breath. With sweaty palms, he grabbed the pole next to him and pushed forward while he considered his next move. As he got closer to the woman, he could hear her singing to herself under her breath, and her charming accent caused his stomach to clench in the most amazing way.

“Fifty-Ninth Street–Columbus Circle,” the conductor droned over the loudspeaker as the subway car rattled and whistled. The lights flickered, and when they came back on, the woman was no longer clinging to her pole. With rising panic, Ryan surveyed the car. She had managed to move toward the door just as the train pulled into the station. Ryan tried to keep an eye on the pink hat as passengers pushed to get off.

A large man with a bad comb over, dressed in a tattered brown suit and scuffed shoes, blocked Ryan’s way. Not wanting to be rude, Ryan gently shifted the shabby businessman aside. “Excuse me, getting off,” he muttered.

Ryan stepped off the train and stood on the subway platform, two exits before his intended stop, stretching onto his toes to look left and right, seeking out the pink beanie. He jumped up a few times, trying to see over the hordes of people exiting and entering the train.

“Watch it, asshole,” a woman carrying two reusable shopping bags said as she pushed her way past him.

“Pardon me, ma’am,” he responded. With each passing second, his mystery girl was getting farther and farther away. Knowing he had a fifty-fifty chance, Ryan turned left and traversed the packed underground tunnel, seeking her out. He walked back and forth, peering up and down staircases and escalators to no avail.

She was gone.

Book Trailer




Lisa Becker is an award-winning romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money - on books and margaritas. As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.”

Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

Connect with Lisa



Follow the tour HERE
for special content and a giveaway!





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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Release Day! The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell ~ My Thoughts #TheWifeWhoKnewTooMuch #NetGalley

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Congrats Michele
on the release today of
The Wife Who Knew Too Much!

The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell
Print & e-book, 352 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by St. Martin's Press

From Michele Campbell, the bestselling author of It's Always the Husband comes a new blockbuster thriller in The Wife Who Knew Too Much.

Tabitha Girard had her heart broken years ago by Connor Ford. He was preppy and handsome. She was a pool girl at his country club. Their affair should have been a summer fling. But it meant everything to Tabitha.

Years later, Connor comes back into Tabitha's life—older, richer, and desperately unhappy. He married for money, a wealthy, neurotic, controlling woman whom he never loved. He has always loved Tabitha.

When Connor’s wife Nina takes her own life, he’s free. He can finally be with Tabitha. Nina’s home, Windswept, can be theirs. It seems to be a perfect ending to a fairy tale romance that began so many years ago. But then, Tabitha finds a diary. "I’m writing this to raise an alarm in the event of my untimely death," it begins. “If I die unexpectedly, it was foul play, and Connor was behind it. Connor—and her.”

Who is Connor Ford? Why did he marry Nina? Is Tabitha his true love, or a convenient affair? As the police investigate Nina’s death, is she a convenient suspect?

As Tabitha is drawn deeper into the dark glamour of a life she is ill-prepared for, it becomes clear to her that what a wife knows can kill her.


My thoughts about The Wife Who Knew Too Much ~~ 

(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'm writing this to raise alarm in the event of my untimely death."

What an thrilling story! This story took me in all sorts of directions before the exciting, unexpected ending—just what I love, and have come to expect, in this kind of book.

The Wife Who Knew Too Much is full of fascinating characters—some you are going to love, and some you are going to hate. And you may not know how to feel about them until it's too late.

I've loved all of Michele's books and always carve out some quality reading time when I start one of her books because I know I'm going to want to devour it. And I sure did this one! The Wife Who Knew Too Much needs to be a must-read for all. 

I received The Wife Who Knew Too Much from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

About the author

Michele Campbell

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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Release Day! Cock & Bull by Laura Barnard ~ and a Giveaway!

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Congrats Laura
on the release today of
Cock & Bull!

Who knew that owning a pub would come with so many extras?

When Phoebe and Ella Bellerose left England behind to run the Irish pub they’d inherited, it sounded like a great adventure… until they saw for themselves what a wreck they’d been left.

With no experience, a severe lack of money, and a rival pub owner threatening to ruin them, the two girls aren’t convinced they can actually make this work.

Not until they meet Clooney Breen, who just so happens to be packed with charm, charisma, and barman skills that could help them all survive. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s the son of Cock & Bull’s biggest rival, and he’s desperate to help Ella and Phoebe teach his father a lesson.

But can mysterious Clooney, with his obvious secrets and desire to be their saviour, really be trusted? Or are they being played by this handsome lothario who seems too good to be true? Their problems only seem to grow and grow, until Phoebe discovers a ‘gift’ of her own that changes everything for all of them… 

Things you should know about this rom com:

Tortured Bad Boy Hero
Enemies to Lovers Tension
Small Town Vibes & Gossiping Tribes
Quirky Sisters & Family Secrets
Slow burn, ‘will they, won’t they?’ romance

  🀣    LAUGH OUT LOUD comedy.


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About the author

Laura Barnard

Amazon Best Seller Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes quirky British romantic comedy. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks on Pinterest.

She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She's a real fan of the power nap, loves setting her friends up together and of course READING!

She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

Connect with Laura



Head on over to Laura's accounts in Instagram and Facebook to be in with a chance of winning a signed paperback and £10 / $10 Amazon Gift card. 

She's also having a release party, with a host of author giveaways, in her Facebook group - Laura's Barn-Hards!

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