Sunday, July 3, 2022

Cover Reveal for Peaches and Cream by S. London

 

Peaches and Cream
S. London
Publication date: August 3rd 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Gabriel Abruzzo
Soft.
Ripe.
Juicy.
Her name is Empress. I asked, she didn’t tell. The new masseuse at The Governor is quiet and delicate. Delicate things get broken in the underworld, but Empress is on edge, those dark eyes harboring a thousand nightmares. Edgy gets my attention. And drawing my attention means trouble is coming. I should send her packing, but she clings to me, a man without a soul. One touch and all I think about is the taste of sweet nectar on my tongue. I know she has secrets but I’ll protect my little peach from bruises…at all costs.

Empress Reign
Dark.
Lethal.
Haunted.
I ran from a dangerous man. Now, I’m attracted to one with a darkness that frightens even my demons. Distractions, in the form of my new client, Gabriel could prove deadly. Touching him, stroking my fingers over all his sinewy muscle makes my mouth water for a taste. Getting involved would mean trusting him with my secret. Gabriel’s no angel, yet being close to him transforms my living hell into heaven. Maybe I’m biting off more than I can swallow, or am I?

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order


Author Bio:

Siera write heroines you know, heroes you love, and romance you feel.

A USA Today Bestselling & Award-winning author, Siera London pens contemporary and paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and crime fiction.She crafts stories of diverse characters navigating their journey with intelligence, wit, emotion, and love.

When away from the literary world, Siera lives on the east coast with Mr. Awesome and a color patch tabby named Frie. She can be found online at www.sieralondonauthor.com or on www.facebook.com/authorsieralondon.

Repped by Latoya Smith / ArtHouse Literary Services

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Friday, July 1, 2022

Book Blitz for Unconditional: A Love Story by Shon with a GIVEAWAY

 

Unconditional: A Love Story
Shon
Publication date: May 10th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Charli is everything Damian ever wanted.

Captivated from the moment they met, he allowed her to set the tone for their summer fling.

But when the summer was over and he wanted more, he soon found out that maybe his feelings were one-sided.

That was two years ago and he’s still stuck on Charli. He needs to move on.

A lot has changed since they last saw each other, but Damian can’t shake the what-ifs. And the moment they cross paths again he knows his heart still belongs to the elusive woman who stole it the first time he laid eyes on her.

Who’s to say they won’t get it right this time around?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

prologue.
summer2019

“We need to talk.”

Well, shit. That’s not good, Charli thought to herself as she continued pulling on her shorts.

She couldn’t decide if it was worse to hear those four fateful words from a boyfriend or a fuck buddy.

I guess I’m about to find out, was her wry thought as she finished zipping up the distressed jean shorts that barely covered her ass. With her eyes darting around the room to avoid eye contact with the man who claimed they needed to talk, she located one of her gold hoops on the rug.

Following her avoidant eyes, the other occupant of the room bent to pick it up before she had the chance.

“Thanks,” Charli spoke lowly as their fingers brushed during the exchange.

The warmth of his fingers led to a sharp inhale that she couldn’t even hide.

“Did you hear me?” the beautiful man in front of her wanted to know. “I said we need to talk,” he reiterated. Just in case.

But she’d heard him loud and clear the first time.

Sighing, Charli took a step back and shoved the earring into her pocket instead of trying to put it on right now.

“I heard you,” she said, trying to veil the worry in her voice.

What could Damian possibly want to talk about? And why couldn’t his timing be better? They’d just finished…making each other very happy. His scent still surrounded her and captivated her senses.

But now, the knots in her stomach quickly pushed her to forget the pleasure she’d just experienced.

“What do we need to talk about?” she finally asked meeting his green eyes. They were usually enchanting and full of lust when they were together, but now he looked…panicked?

No, it couldn’t be. Not cool, calm Damian.

Unless…

Had he found a girlfriend? Was he about to end their arrangement and politely tell her to get on with her life?

The thought wasn’t a pleasant one, but Charli couldn’t really blame him.

As an Ivy League dropout and ex-socialite, she didn’t really feel like she had much to offer aside from a good time.

She winced inwardly and vowed to deal with the origins of that problematic thought later. Much later. Not now when she was standing face to face with the man she’d been trading orgasms with all summer.

Damian regarded her from his towering height of six-two and even though she was five-eight she felt miniscule under his unwavering gaze.

“It’s about us,” he revealed, “I need to talk to you about what we’re doing.”

Charli gulped but didn’t break eye contact. She could do this. She could have a civilized, adult conversation with someone she shared every inch of her body with on an almost daily basis at this point.

“What about us? I like what we’re doing.” Charli pushed her hair away from her face. She hated the sensation of stray strands tickling her cheeks.

Damian exhaled sharply and gave a faint nod. “Yea, I did too. Until recently.”

Ouch.

Charli straightened her shoulders and prepared for the next words, somehow knowing they would pack a devastating blow.

But nothing could have prepared her for what he said next.

Author Bio:

Shon is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She used her degree in English Literature for eight years to teach English all around the world. She has recently returned home to the States and now she spends all her time reading or writing down her wildest daydreams.


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Book Review for The Brighter the Light by Mary Ellen Taylor

 The Brighter the Light by Mary Ellen Taylor 

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit

Paperback Edition, 360 pages

Expected publication: July 1st 2022 by Montlake 

 


Taken from Goodreads:
  From the bestselling author of Honeysuckle Season comes an evocative dual-timeline novel detailing one woman’s journey to discover the hidden stories of her family’s seaside resort.

When a shipwreck surfaces, old secrets are sure to follow.

Or so goes the lore in Ivy Neale’s hometown of Nags Head, North Carolina. When Ivy inherits her family’s beachfront cottage upon her grandmother’s death, she knows returning to Nags Head means facing the best friend and the boyfriend who betrayed her years ago.

But then a winter gale uncovers the shipwreck of local legend—and Ivy soon begins to stumble across more skeletons in the closet than just her own. Amid the cottage’s clutter are clues from her grandmother’s past at the enchanting seaside resort her family once owned. One fateful summer in 1950, the arrival of a dazzling singer shook the staff and guests alike—and not everyone made it to fall.

As Ivy contends with broken relationships and a burgeoning romance in the present, the past threatens to sweep her away. But as she uncovers the strength of her grandmother and the women who came before her, she realizes she is like the legendary shipwreck: the sands may shift around her, but she has found her home here by the sea.

My Thoughts:   A story full of family secrets.  Ivy comes back to her grandmother’s home and finds that everything has been left to her, including a house full of items from the resort she ran.  As Ivy goes through these items she finds clues, mysteries of the past, and the history of her family.  I love learning more about Ruth and her life. 

The characters in this book as so amazing.   They have histories full of secrets, lives full of drama, and family full of love. The southern charm and history are rich in this book, and I could picture myself right there with Ivy as she learns about her family.   The storyline pulled me entirely into the story, putting me at Nags Head, seeing the resort, meeting the characters, and loving it all.  

The dual timelines were perfect.   Each timeline leads the other into the next part of the story.  I love reading them and figuring out where each storyline was headed next.  

Mary Ellen Taylor did an amazing job writing this book, it is the first of hers I have read and I will definitely be looking for more. 

Add to your MUST-READ list on Goodreads

Purchase your own copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Book Blitz for Buck Up, Buttercup by Anna Alkire with a GIVEAWAY

 

Buck Up, Buttercup
Anna Alkire
Publication date: June 30th 2022
Genres: Comedy, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

All’s fair in love and war.
With Randi and Buck, it’s hard to tell the two apart…

An uptight, self-contained college girl, Randi Becker just needed one thing: a room. Somewhere she could study, and keep away from the things that most confuse and frighten her: people.

Unfortunately, the “nice quiet place” she reserved turns out to be a room in the campus’ most raucous house. A place seemingly designed to make studying impossible, made even worse by the other girls’ non-stop drama.

But then Buck, a fun-loving cowboy whom all the ladies love, shows up…and everything gets much worse.

Buck seems to have it all: friends, fun, and a never-ending line of admirers. But what he most desires is a break. So when Buck spots Randi, he figures she’s a perfect decoy: he can play up a “crush” on her that will take him off the market; buy him some breathing room. And if he can tease her a bit, and get under the skin of the uptight busybody? Well, that’s just gravy.

But Buck is about to find more than he bargained for. Randi’s strong-willed, opinionated, difficult—and maybe just what he needs. And Buck isn’t alone. Soon Randi wonders as well…if the world she wanted is really the world she needs. If her future is nothing more than a diploma on the wall. And if the most important thing in her world isn’t a grade, but the cowboy who’s planted his boots firmly in her heart.

Fans of Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game will delight at this mix of romantic comedy, contemporary romance, and cultures colliding in a campus town with a western flair. Grab your copy today, and fall in love with Buck Up, Buttercup!

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

An old pickup, with new shiny green paint, slowed down beside her until it crawled along at her pace. A quick glance sideways revealed black-hat-cowboy-guy grinning down at her.

A jolt of awareness cleared some of the fog from her head. He was more good-looking than she’d remembered, and also incredibly large above her in the truck.

“Good morning, darlin’,” he called down.

“Drive on,” she called out.

“Headed into town? We’ve got room.”

“I’m going to walk.” She wouldn’t get into a car with a single person from that party. She walked forward, not looking at him.

“Hold up, you dropped something,” he said, stopping the truck.

Randi whirled around, scanning the empty ground behind her. Her fingers lost their grip and her bags crashed down, things spilling out onto the gravel road. Her eyes burned.

Buck turned off the truck engine and leaned out the window.

“That’s a lot of gear to haul all the way into town,” he said, cheerfully.

“That was a dirty trick.”

“I just want to talk to you for a minute.”

“Leave me alone please!”

“Listen. Hugh, in the passenger seat, and I are headed in for some breakfast. If you ride with me, this gas guzzler will have a full cab. Darlin’, that’s a load off my conscience.”

Randi’s belly shuddered and her lips quivered. The dam burst. Her hands flew up to cover her eyes and a hiccupped sob exploded out.

“I can’t jump in some stranger’s pickup,” she mumbled through her fingers.

“Hey now,” he said, the amused condescension in his voice aking her glare up at him. “You hold on to that pepper spray if it makes you feel better. Land’s sake, girl, we hauled around passed-out-Sarah last night. You’re practically part of the family. And Hugh here has about twenty sisters, so he’s well-trained.”

The door of the truck opened. She took a step back, pulling up the inside collar of her dress to dab at her face.

Buck’s eyes crinkled at her, a lopsided half-grin on his face. It was probably the way he looked at cows right before he lassoed a rope around their necks, or whatever. But he had helped Sarah. And her.

Her shoulders slumped. Defeated, she was beyond resistance. If they murdered her, at least she might be sitting down.

“All right?” he asked.

She exhaled. “All right, I’ll take a ride to the closest bus stop. Thanks.”

Buck picked up her bags and put them in the back of the truck. She hauled her heavy backpack off her aching shoulders and turned to sling it up, but Buck was already gripping the top and lifting it out of her hands.

“Hi,” said a burly man sitting on the passenger side of the bench seat, a gentle smile on his face. Like she was a crazy person. Which she was. With a deep breath, she hoisted herself up into the cab next to him.

“Sorry about Buck,” the big guy said, glaring at the culprit with one eye squinted. “He’s devious about getting what he wants.”

Buck landed on the seat beside her. “Hugh keeps the standards up. Probably why he’s so grumpy all the time.”

Hugh crossed his arms, leaning into the passenger door. His buzzed blond head and muscular frame brought to mind a late-twenties version of Mr. Clean, minus the jewelry.

“I ain’t grumpy. Just tired of your ugly face.”

Buck chuckled. Randi caught herself staring at him. She wouldn’t call his face ugly, not even anything related to unattractive. More like relentlessly cheerful. And way too confident that he could boss everyone around. She sniffed, annoyed with him enough to stop crying.

The truck rolled forward, bumping on the gravel road. They sat on an old-fashioned bucket-style bench, comfortable for two people, and a squeeze for three. The middle seat offered no belt. A death trap. Because that was the logical conclusion to her week from hell. She braced a hand on the dash to keep from bouncing into the bodies next to her.

Not touching either man, holding her body tense and straight, made her neck ache. And still she knocked knees with Hugh and almost leaned on Buck’s shoulder. Buck’s hand on the manual gear shifter was an inch from her thigh, his fingers brushing the edge of her skirt when he shifted. Short of sitting on Hugh’s lap, there was nowhere for her to go to keep from touching him.

She felt shaky, barely keeping herself together. Every time Buck changed position she noticed it, his muscular arms flexing as he drove. It was like sitting next to a tiger: electrifying, an experience you never forgot, and total madness.

“So,” said Buck, flashing a grin at her. “What’s your rush this morning? You just moved in last night.”

Randi dug a tissue out of her bag. “I can’t live in a party house,” she said, dabbing at her running nose.

“A Waffle House?” said Hugh.

“She said party house, Einstein.” Buck glanced at her. “How’d you end up with a room out there?”

“I was teaching in Argentina and found it online. Paid everything…” She paused, choking up, not sure why she was telling them. “They lied to me.” And she dissolved again, covering her face with the tissue.

What was wrong with her? It was beyond humiliating to be crying like a child in front of these strangers. At least she’d never have to see them again.

“Huh,” said Buck, tapping the steering wheel. “Well, I know Trish isn’t happy about the parties.”

“They got an ugly ticket last June,” said Hugh. “She’s on probation.”

Randi sat up straighter, taking in this information. She managed to stop crying, and dabbed her cheeks clean with the tissue.

Buck rubbed the side of his face. “Is that right?”

“I can’t believe you didn’t know that, Buck. Jesus.”

“I just look like I know everything.”

“Yeah, well, one more ticket and they’re facing jail time. And, of course, there were minors everywhere last night. I turned my back and they slurped down my keg.”

Randi pushed up her glasses. No wonder Trish hadn’t been there during the party. It revealed, even more, how shamelessly Trish had lied to her in the emails they’d exchanged about the house.

The farmland was transforming into residential housing when Buck turned onto a major road.

“That bus stop coming up will be fine,” said Randi, her voice annoyingly shaky.

“No way, darlin’,” said Buck. “You cry in my truck, and I buy you a coffee. Then, I drop you off wherever you want.”

“No, really—”

“Hey,” he said, “I put up with all the tears. So now we’re going to go to this coffee drive-through and get sugary drinks to make ourselves feel better. Otherwise, Hugh over there might start his period.”

“You’re such a jackass,” Hugh said, shaking his head.


Author Bio:

Anna Alkire has been a long-term college student, a business owner, and a world traveler. Now “settled”—with a sigh and a cup of decaf—Anna lives in Washington state, where she splits her time between a husband who thinks the North Pole would be a great place to live, chasing her hurricane of a son, learning new handicrafts, and creating worlds full of the kind of romance and fun she most wants to read. Find more about her (and grab a freebie or two) at her website, annaalkire.com.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Interview with Author Catherine Bybee

 


Interview with Catherine Bybee

For anyone wondering the plot of your newest release, you give a great sneak peek with the title—When it Falls Apart. What is “falling apart” in this novel?

All the threads that hold my heroine, Brooke, together are crumbling down around her. When it Falls Apart begins with Brooke’s romantic relationship crashing and burning. At the same time, in a different state, her father is circling the drain in the ICU. And for the cherry on the top of her “falling apart life”, Brooke has found herself demoted at work. In short, everything in Brooke’s life is dissolving around her.

Like all of your books, When it Falls Apart has a beautiful romance, however, there is a rawness about Brooke’s story. How was writing this novel different from your others?

If you read my notes both in the front and the back of this novel, you’ll soon realize that the story was very personal to me. Rawness comes from experience. The relationship Brooke has with her father is hauntingly familiar to me and my dad. The emotions that the heroine experienced when taking care of him were easy for me to grasp onto and write about. Sadly, the love story with Luca was completely made up and I didn’t have the support of a strong Italian family to help deal with the struggles, but I digress. 

Relationships with a parent who wasn’t there for you growing up are messy. When that parent ages and needs their child, sometimes that help comes with a bucketload of resentment, even if the child wishes they could stop those ugly feelings from creeping up on them. And THAT is the rawness you speak of.

 

Books, TV shows, and movies oftentimes glamorize what it means to care for a loved one. However, in When it Falls Apart you don’t sugar-coat anything about caregiving and the toll it takes on a person. How do you think readers who have been in similar situations will be affected by this story?

 Justified. Validated. Accepted.

It’s a hard job taking care of an elderly family member. And if there aren’t other siblings to help, or won’t help, it’s made even more difficult. It’s difficult, gritty, dirty work that only has a bad ending…eventually. What I do hope my readers take away is that they’re not alone. That the struggle is very real and that if they don’t find balance (which is almost impossible at times) they will burn out completely and not be fit to help at all. I hope my readers are empowered to set boundaries and balance, so they come out on the other side of caring for an elderly loved one whole themselves.

 

Brooke gets virtually no support from her significant other, which has her reevaluating their relationship. She realizes she has settled and has to make some hard decisions. Do you think this happens too many times to women in real life?

 100% Yes! There is a song by Taylor Swift with a line that says, and I’m paraphrasing here, I can be what you want for the weekend. But often that weekend ends up being a relationship that women hold on to or are convinced they can’t live without. Often it takes a huge shake-up to remove yourself from that situation. But once you’re away from the day to day dysfunctional relationship, the easier it is to see the dysfunction.

 

After her breakup and move, Brooke is not looking for a relationship. In fact, she tells her best friend: “I haven’t wiped off my smeared mascara from Marshall yet, the last thing I want is to jump into anything else.” Her crying over a man lasts all about two minutes when she meets Luca. Tell us about him.

 Hmmm, Luca… he is the kind of man who doesn’t want a place on Brooke’s dance card…he wants to rip it up.

Luca is wired to help the people in his life. Brooke becomes a part of his inner circle simply by moving into the family building where he sees her every day.

Now, if Luca had flat out asked Brooke on a date, she would have run the other way…so no, he doesn’t go about it that way. He simply shows up and does not leave. Not when things get tough, or messy…or when his own past peeks its head in. Luca is a man who is right there at Brooke’s side without question or censor on why she does the things she does. His support and validation of her feelings is the part she was missing. Add in the hunky Italian single father and “Mamma Mia!”

 

At first, Luca is not thrilled that Brooke is renting a room in his family’s building. What changes his mind about her?

 Her strength and vulnerability. I know that sounds contradicting, but some of the strongest women I know have a big vulnerable spot in their life that if you know them well enough, you see. The biggest smiles often hide the deepest pain. Luca sees her struggle and dedication to helping her elderly father and since family is first on Luca’s list, she passes his unconscious test.

 

Luca’s family, the D’Angelo’s, are incredibly close and share everything from ownership of the family restaurant to helping care for Luca’s daughter Franny. How is this different from Brooke’s relationship with her family?

Brooke doesn’t have that family. She has a father who abandoned her as a little girl that she carved out a relationship as an adult, and now she’s charged with caring for. Even her previous romantic relationship didn’t support her unconditionally the way the D’Angelo’s do for each other. She’s rather dumbfounded when they start treating her like family. It’s a wonderful thing to watch happen.

 

San Diego’s Little Italy plays a huge part in the story. The community, language, and food are in full display. Tell us about your own experiences in your adopted city. 

I love Little Italy, the food, the pace... the people. There are many places in San Diego that are overrun with the college scene, San Diego is a college town. But Little Italy is more family friendly. Very touristy, but there isn’t a day you don’t see locals hanging out. I go to the farmer’s market often. Pick up authentic Italian ingredients for my own home cooking. I try new restaurants and take all my friends there when they are visiting from out of town. Not to mention it was the closest thing to the “real Italy” that I could go during the travel restrictions. So why not write about it and tell the world of this small island within San Diego that shouldn’t be missed?

 

There are two more siblings in the D’Angelo family. Where will you be taking readers next with the series?

Chloe is a yogi. Think Bali!

And Giovanni loves wine… think Tuscany, Italy.

I cannot wait to show you what I have in store for these two!

***


About the Title

 

Title: When It Falls Apart

Author: Catherine Bybee

Release Date: June 21, 2022

Publisher: Montlake 

 


Summary

Brooke Turner has always had a complicated relationship with her father. But when his health takes a turn for the worse, she drops everything to care for him. He’s her dad, after all, and he needs her. What Brooke doesn’t anticipate is the unraveling of her long-term relationship and a cross-country move to San Diego’s Little Italy.

Luca D’Angelo is the oldest of three children and a single father to a young daughter. When his mother rents the top floor of their house to Brooke, he’s angry. Who is this beautiful stranger with no ties to the neighborhood? Can she be trusted in such close proximity to his family?

 As Luca learns of Brooke’s difficult journey with her ailing father, his heart softens. And Brooke, who witnesses Luca’s struggle as a single parent, develops feelings for him, too. But when it all falls apart, will love heal their wounded hearts?


Excerpt

“Oh my God, Carmen. He was standing at his car first thing this morning. Like ‘hop in, bella, let’s get stuff done today.’ Who does that?” 

Brooke had picked up the phone as soon as Luca was off in search of a dump guy

“We’re talking about the single, hot, Italian dad, right?” 

Brooke rolled her eyes. “Yes. Luca.” 

“Oy, oy, oy.” 

“Stop it. I need advice. And I need it before he gets back.”

Carmen stopped teasing. “You don’t need advice. You need to relax. He sounds like one of the good ones. Let it happen.” 

Let it happen,” she mocked. “I don’t ‘let’ things happen. It happens to me and it’s never good.” 

“You didn’t used to be such a pessimist.” 

“Once upon a time the glass was half full. Not these days.” 

“Okay, Debbie Downer. You want my advice . . . here it is. Keep doing whatever it is you’re doing.” 

“I’m not doing anything. Zero effort.” 

“Really?” Carmen didn’t sound convinced. “Makeup . . . a nice dress?” 

Brooke hesitated. “Maybe . . . a little last night, but that was it.” 

Carmen chuckled. 

“Carmen!”

“Sorry. Okay . . . any red flags?” 

Brooke thought about that. “He loved his ex-wife.” 

“That’s a red flag?” 

“I guess not."

“Is he good to his mom?” 

Brooke looked back on the dinner the night before. “To the whole family. He takes being the oldest brother quite seriously.” 

“And his daughter?” 

All Brooke could do was smile. “Great dad. We should all be so lucky.” 

“He’s Italian, does he smoke?” 

“No.” 

“A lot of Italians smoke,” Carmen pointed out. 

“In Italy. The San Diego variety are less in that wheelhouse.” 

“That’s good.” Carmen sighed. “I don’t know what to tell you, Brooke. How does he kiss?” 

“He hasn’t kissed me,” Brooke nearly yelled. 

“Now then . . . we have a problem.” 

“There hasn’t been . . . I don’t even know if—” 

“Stop right there. He did not drive your sorry ass all the way to Upland to do grunt work all day if he wasn’t interested in kissing you, bellllaaa. More than that, you want him to.” 

Brooke closed her eyes, and even in her own head she couldn’t convince herself that Carmen was wrong. 

“Let it happen. You deserve some happiness, Brooke.” 

The van with the air conditioning repair guy pulled into the driveway. 

“I gotta go.” 

“I want a kissing update the next time we talk,” Carmen teased. 

“Love you,” Brooke said with a laugh.

“Back at ya, boo.” 

She hung up. 

Her best friend was such a dork.

***

 

About the Author

 


New York Times
, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee has written twenty-eight books that have collectively sold more than five million copies and have been translated into more than eighteen languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite Series, the Weekday Brides Series, the Most Likely To Series, and the First Wives Series.

 

Social Media Links

 

Website: http://www.catherinebybee.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCatherineBybee 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/catherinebybee 

Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@catherinebybee1 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2905789.Catherine_Bybee  

New Release from Jessica Martin, Author of For the Love of the Bard

 For the Love of the Bard by Jessica Martin

Genre:  Chick Lit, Books About Books, Romance

Paperback, 352 pages

Publication: June 28th 2022 by Berkley Books



Taken from Goodreads:  To go for it or not to go for it? That is the question when two former high school flames return to their Shakespeare-obsessed hometown for a summer of theater and unexpected romance, in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author Jessica Martin.


Literary agent and writer Miranda Barnes rolls into her hometown of Bard's Rest with one goal in mind: to spend the summer finally finishing her YA novel, the next installment in her bestselling fantasy series. Yet Miranda's mother, deep in the planning stages for the centennial of the town's beloved annual Shakespeare festival, has other ideas.

Before you can say "all's fair in love and war," Miranda is cornered into directing Twelfth Night--while simultaneously scrambling to finish her book, navigating a family health scare, and doing her best to avoid the guy who broke her heart on prom night.

When it comes to Adam, the veterinarian with a talent for set design and an infuriating knack for winning over Miranda's dog, the lady doth protest too much. As any Shakespeare lovers knows, the course of true love never did run smooth, and soon Miranda realizes she'll have to decide whether to trust Adam with her heart again.

Add to your MUST-READ list on Goodreads

Purchase your own copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Book Spotlight for The Precious Jules by Shawn Nocher

 


After nearly 200 years of housing retardants, as they were once known, the Rosewood Institute is closing the doors on its dark history, and the complicated task of reassigning residents has begun. An adult Ella Jules, having arrived decades earlier at the tender age of seven, must rely on the state to decide her future. Ella’s aging parents have requested she be returned to her childhood home, much to the distress of Ella’s siblings, but more so to Lynetta, her beloved caretaker who has been by her side for decades. The five adult Jules children haunted by the earliest memories of their sister, each dealing with the trauma of her banishment in their own flawed way, are converging on the family home, secrets in tow, arriving from the far corners of the country to talk some sense into their aging parents and get to the root of this inexplicable change of heart.

 

The Precious Jules examines the thin line between selfishness and what passes for love. This family story asks what is best for one child in light of what is perceived as the greater good, and just what is the collective legacy of deep family secrets, shame, and helplessness. The Precious Jules is a deeply felt family narrative that will make you fall in love with these flawed and imperfect characters standing on the threshold of an awakening they never expected.

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Meet Shawn

I was raised on forty acres of land in the northern part of Baltimore County, Maryland. It was lovely and idyllic and could be easily romanticized, but it was also a bit lonely. I had horses, dogs, cats, pet rabbits, mice, and snakes as well as siblings and probably preferred them in that order, but I also had books and a mother who loved them. Seems a small thing, but she gave me access to her extensive library and nourished my soul with Willa Cather, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, O. Henry and more. She read voraciously and wasn’t too good for a romp with a Jackie Collins novel. If it was in print, she would read it, and likewise so did I. She was especially proud of the fact that she had smuggled an unabridged copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover from Europe in the late 50s. 

I was lucky enough to learn to read by way of an experimental phonetic alphabet and so, by the age of six, I was able to “write” anything that popped in my head without much of a struggle. And thus, the storytelling began. 

 

I earned my bachelor’s degree at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and my Master of Arts in Writing at Johns Hopkins University. In between the two degrees there were amusing stints as a freelance copywriter, a bookstore clerk, and a florist. I raised a family, adopted a menagerie of stray animals, and gave wings to two children. But always, I was writing. 

 

My short stories have appeared in a number of literary publications and I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to the tireless efforts of generous staff readers and editors who often volunteer their time to gather the best works from around the world and then present them, beautifully formatted and often free to the larger world. Their gift is my blessing. 

 

I live with my husband and an assortment of sassy rescue animals in Baltimore City where I write novels and short stories in a room of my own. These are stories I am compelled to tell, my way of examining the ways in which our hearts are tethered to one another.