you do if you lost the one thing that matters the most?
Jackie Ashmore is struggling with the passing of her mother and angry over a
cross-country move to Minnesota when she receives an unexpected birthday
present that opens up a remarkable fantasy world where creatures from the past
and the present coexist. Aided by unlikely animal allies and an aging guardian
named Nimbus, Jackie embarks on a desperate rescue mission to save her little
brother Dustin who has been kidnapped by a hooded rider and stolen across the
clouds. Forced to grow up, Jackie must overcome her own fears and navigate a
strange land as she journeys towards a confrontation with a mysterious power
named Samuel Flood, who is using the boy for his own hidden purposes. With time
running out and unbearable losses mounting, Jackie faces ever tougher choices
that will determine not only the fate of her brother, but possibly the Earth
below as well.
Peter Bremer is a librarian at a small college in Minnesota
and the author of almost a dozen published professional articles, none of which
feature dragons or unicorns or impossibly tall trees. He lives with his wife
and furry dog in a very small town and believes that the world, on average, is
a far better place with more nature in it, not less.
Field of Dreams + This Is Spinal Tap =
No Way Back Today. Midlife demands some reckoning and Eric realizes he can wait
no longer. As Eric hurtles headlong toward the big 5-0, he realizes there is
unfinished business and is determined to find his childhood friends, convince
them to form their own rock and roll band, and to go on tour! He searches out
Todd, Laurel, and Lorelei so he can fulfill that dream. The story of four
Midwestern grown-ups and their childhood desires to create No Way Back Today in
the face of improbable odds and middle age will have you both laughing and
cheering as you recognize your own unfulfilled dreams. No Way Back Today is the
incredible story of the improbable journey of a reunion tour for a band that
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
No Way Back Today by Eric Shoars is a hilarious, bittersweet tale
of childhooddreams and middle-age. It isn’t just a novel, it’s about not
letting go of yourdreams, of taking second chances when you get them and of
never lettingyourself down. The friendships between the four main characters
were amazinglydeveloped, an inspiration to us all, and real people that we can
all relate toin some way. This story will make you laugh and it will give you
hope as itsteadily marches towards the end; you will be cheering them on, you
will beholding your breath but, most of all, you will be compelled to read to
the veryend and you will find yourself thinking back on your own dreams,
especially theones that you never realized. Anything is possible if you just
put your mind to it. A fun read!
Reviewed By Sherri Fulmer Moorer forReaders’ Favorite
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a compelling novel not only
about secondchances and pursuing your dreams but about friendship and
self-worth as youmove through different stages of life. I’m a bit younger than
the protagonistsbut so much of what they felt resonated with me as I found
myself wondering ifthere are any dreams from my youth that might be worth
pursuing as I entermid-life myself. The evolution of the relationships with
Eric, Todd, Laurel, andLorelei was amazing and inspiring and shows that
friendship can remain nomatter how much life changes. It also seemed to me that
they “bonded”and their relationships matured as they shared their
experiences and as newopportunities arose for each of them as a result of
pursuing this dream. No WayBack Today is an excellent novel of inspiring
redemption and shows thatmid-life doesn’t have to be a crisis at all – in fact,
it can rock! Great work,Eric Shoars! I loved this novel!
Eric Shoars is a serial
storyteller who considers the English language his playground and who never met
a pun he didn’t like. Eric is a modern day Walter Mitty with a serious twist.
His writing style is best described as “fly on the wall” putting the reader in
the shoes of the lead character experiencing what he does as he does. His
heart’s desire is to have a personal narrator for his daily life. It works in
comic books so why not in the real world?
No Way Back Today is Shoars’
first foray into fiction. His non-fiction works include Women Under Glass: The
Secret Nature of Glass Ceilings and The Steps to Overcome Them and Evil Does
Not Have The Last Word.
A standalone novel in the Mayfield Family series with an unusual premise and an uplifting ending.
Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man’s world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.
Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he’s a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an alley.
When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she’s so carefully built.
“Uplifting…Kilpack flips the typical Regency romance script, with the heroine rescuing the hero. Kilpack’s strong, upright heroine who finds a way to claim her power in Regency society sets this love story apart. This magnetic tale will appeal to fans of emotional romance.”—Publisher’s Weekly
“Kilpack takes traditional regency roles and challenges them. She shows how one person can make an impact in the world. I found the story and premise unique.”—Heather Gardner, Fire and Ice
“This is a story of redemption above all else…the ending was perfect.”— Lucinda Whitney, author of Rescuing the Prince
Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance and Proper Romance Historical series and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books, A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton’s Folly; were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children.
Another round started as Ward returned with another drink. Harry ignored this one, his stomach burning and his head pounding. The smoke in the room was thick enough to choke on.
“Can we call it a night, Stillman? It’s nearly three o’clock in the morning.”
Ward leaned in and lowered his voice. “Every round is a new risk. You’re further ahead than you’ve been in months.”
“Bad luck!” Harry turned to scowl at his friend. One never talked about losing when at the tables. It was almost as bad as having a woman stand on your left side. Thankfully, the group of light-skirts who ran pretty fingers down a man’s arm and laughed at jokes that were not funny had thinned out considerably after one o’clock in the morning. However, women had not served as a distraction for him for months now.
Harry ran a hand through his hair, which felt as grimy as his skin, willing his heart to slow. He began to swirl the cup—his main was nine this round, so he needed to swirl the cup eight times counterclockwise—eight was his universally lucky number—and nine times clockwise.
“. . . Stillman’s got a fortune waiting if he’d just find himself a wife.”
“Shut your mouth!” Harry yelled, snapping his head toward Ward, who sat backward in his chair, elbows propped on the table.
Ward raised his eyebrows. “I was just telling these blokes that I don’t know why you spend so much time here when you’ve a fortune just waiting to be—”
“Stop!” Harry barked as his heart sped up even more. It had been a mistake to tell Ward about Uncle Elliott’s gracious offer—an inheritance if Harry married a genteel bride—but Harry had been too drunk to be wise the night it had come out. Harry was too drunk to be wise most nights. He was not too drunk tonight, however, to keep Ward from revealing private information.
“Why should I not tell your friends?” Ward challenged, his eyes bleary with drink but also anger. He wanted to leave.
If only Harry could.
“Afraid the rest of us will be jealous of your opportunity?” Ward pressed. He was trying to pick a fight, likely thinking it would force Harry out of the hall, but he did not understand that Harry needed to stay. Ward was as much a gambler as Harry was, but he had better income and more understanding parents. Harry’s parents were dead, Uncle Elliott had cut him off more than a year ago, and he’d burned through his quarterly profits—such as they were—within weeks of the last payment.
“I shall ask you to keep my business private, Mr. Ward,” Harry said through his teeth.
Harry tried to focus his attention on the game, but his thoughts had been jumbled by Ward’s reminder of the world outside this club. There was no doubt in Harry’s mind that Uncle Elliott’s “bribe” that he settled upon his nieces and nephews when they made a good marriage had mostly been directed at Harry—Uncle Elliott had never liked Harry very much. Two of Harry’s cousins—Peter and Timothy—had already saddled themselves with wives, but Harry had no plans to do the same. Harry had inherited his father’s estate, which meant he could
make his own way. However, Uncle Elliott was no longer paying Harry’s debts now that he’d presented an opportunity that he believed would turn Harry into a respectable gentleman.
Harry had seen his uncle only once since his explanation and presentation of the “marriage inheritance” plan almost a year ago. Harry had lost nearly five hundred pounds the night before and had been in the depths of misery, so many of the details had been lost on him.
He’d been able to sell fifty acres of his land soon after meeting with Uncle Elliott, however, which paid off his debts and allowed him to live well through the fall and winter off the remaining profits and improved luck at the tables.
In January, he’d received his profits for the last quarter of the previous year and been surprised at the decreased revenue. The fields had not produced well, his solicitor had explained, and there were concerns about the old steward’s ability to manage. Two tenants had moved to a neighboring estate due to unfinished repairs Harry had neglected for three years. The solicitor had suggested Harry spend some time at the estate setting things right and improving profitability, but Harry had been sure that the faster way to make up for the lost profits was at the tables.
Chapter One Pages 12-14
Bestselling author Josi S. Kilpack tours the blogosphere May 4 through May 22, 2020 to share her third novel in the Mayfield Family series, Rakes and Roses. Forty popular book bloggers specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, exclusive excerpts, and book reviews of this acclaimed Regency romance.
rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have
earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive
for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new
identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of
Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.
Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole
the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of
deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to
bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she
realizes she must trust no one…
Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this
gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo is the
first novel in an epic YA fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas,
Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.
Revenge. It was a simple word when spoken out loud, but it was so much bigger, like the hidden city under the atoll. It was a word of fire and blood, of a knife’s whisper and the priming of a pistol.
It was a word that consumed her, filled her entire being until she knew that she could no longer be Silverfish. Silverfish’s will was to survive, to simply make it to the next day, and hopefully the day after that. But that was no longer her will.
Now it was revenge.
Captain Zharo. Kamon Mercado. Moray.
They would all pay.
Scavenge the Stars has a twisty plot with elements of Oceans 11 casino culture of organized crime as well as pirate elements. I’m not even sure how to process all the turns of events yet. The characters are worlds are multi-faceted. One seaside city, Moray with interest in high society and an undercurrent of mob like crime. A fever is spreading rapidly among the ranks. And another off shore floating prison where debts are paid on the backs of childrens who work at sea. Two opposite lifesyles collide when a stranger at sea is rescued, bringing trouble in his wake.
On land, when the glitter and pomp come off, we see glimpses of the true Amaya. Strong, resiliant and sleek. There is fantasy, mystery and a touch of romance. I found the tone overall to be gritty as characters are dealing with addictions to gambling and alcohol, a plan for the ultimate revenge. I hope to see them ultimately overcome the base workings of their inner demons and society in the future installment. This is certainly a page turner. Be prepared for a wild and unpredictable ride!
Parental Content: drugs, alcohol, child abuse, moderate violence, drugs, same sex couples, kissing, mild swearing and one “F” word.
Tara Sim is the author of SCAVENGE THE STARS
(Disney-Hyperion) and the TIMEKEEPER trilogy (Sky Pony Press) and writer of all
things magic. She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California.
When she’s not writing about mischievous boys
in clock towers, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and
occasionally singing opera. Despite her bio-luminescent skin, she is
half-Indian and eats way too many samosas.
Tara is represented by Victoria Marini at
Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
Andersen’s structured life is ruled by the Three S’s: Swim. Study. Succeed. But
all this routine and order leaves little time for what she really wants to do:
SING. Try telling that to her overbearing father, a former rock legend whose
personal demons keep Marina’s extraordinary musical talents behind closed
chance performance at school drops a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—and a
gorgeous young rocker—at Marina’s feet, she’ll have to decide what lengths
she’s willing to go to in pursuit of the one thing that reminds her heart to
navigating the rough seas of managing her father’s expectations and finding her
own voice, will Marina summon the courage to show her dad who she really is
inside before their family is dashed like a galleon in a storm?
you by the hugely popular YouTube series, The Girl Without A Phone, from the
Young Actors Project, in collaboration with YA novelist Jennifer Sommersby,
Fish Out of Water is a timeless, heartwarming tale inspired by the beloved
Little Mermaid. Join Marina—alongside friends Lily and Sierra—in this fresh new
adventure meant to inspire the reader to find their own song.
Review: I enjoyed Fish out of Water, reading it one sitting, start to finish. Marina has a great support network of friends, mentors and extended family to help her navigate her father’s perfectionistic and overbearing control. I love that the author addressed grief and unhealthy dynamics of unresolved issues. I wish we would have seen more in depth interactions between the two love interests. We know they love each other, but it seemed to be wrapped up in a short time frame, with little insight as to why. We had a great opportunity to get a look into their dynamic, but we heard too much about Marina’s swimming career. I would love a follow up or added content which explores a differing point of view and added conversation between the MC and the main love interest. I also sometimes had a hard time telling Marina’s two best friends apart, feeling like we didn’t have a good grip of their differences. I finished in four hours. I appreciated the clean content and the changes which were beginning to surface in Marina’s relationship with her father. It’s a great, safe teen read.
Content: sneaking out, child abuse triggers, kissing
I am a
writer, copy/line editor, bibliophile, and mom of four living in the Great
Represented by Victoria Doherty Munro at Writers House.
Fire and Ice Blog Tours is thrilled to be helping coordinate the official Blog Tour for Christmas Jars. A perfect movie for the Holidays!
Based on the beloved novel by Jason F. Wright, ‘Christmas Jars’ tells the story of reporter Hope Jensen, who uncovers the remarkable secret behind the glass jars filled with coins and bills anonymously left for people in need. ‘Christmas Jars’ is a phenomenon with a reach far beyond that of typical fiction, as it created a new tradition that has changed the lives of many people in their time of need all over the country.
Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.
Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.
When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.
This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever . . . or is it?
piece-by-piece romance doesn’t need its Christmas theme to sell, but it makes
it glitter all the more.”—Booklist
“In a funny
holiday romance that has Sophie dog-sitting in a hockey rink, watching porn at
a drive-in theater, and playing the Virgin Mary in a middle school Nativity,
Elston cleverly reflects the family members’ personalities through their
choices of dates for Sophie.”—Publishers Weekly
The cover is perfect. Festive, beautiful photography and design. I enjoyed 10 Blind Dates because of the bond Sophie has with her family. They are a large Italian bunch jammed into one home for Christmas, and taking bets on Sophie’s dating life. There were so many healthy dynamics illustrated, including post partum recovery, cousin love and close bonds with parents, grandparents and extended relatives.
Her neighbor Wes is kind, considerate, and takes good care of the main character as she braves a break up as well as a few sketchy blind date situations. A well rounded plot and endearing characters make this a heart warming, light read. I didn’t enjoy her evil cousins or their date activity. I wish the love interest hadn’t been all but settled until a little further into the book, to build suspense. My only two small complaints. Overall, a fun read!
Parental content: underage drinking, mention of pornography and nudity.
I received a copy from the publisher free as part of a blog tour.
Ashley Elston is the author of several
novels, including THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING (a finalist in the Best Young
Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Awards) and THIS IS OUR
STORY. She graduated with a Liberal Arts degree from Louisiana State University
in Shreveport. Ashley worked for many years as a wedding photographer before
turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Louisiana with her husband and
Ashley is represented by Sarah Davies at The
Greenhouse Literary Agency.
Can the fairy tale bring Charlotte the happiness she’s looking for, or was he always there to begin with?
A modern, reimagined Cinderella story.
When aspiring author Charlotte Kingsley finally gets published, she thinks all her dreams have come true. But the trouble begins when her publicity firm reinvents her quirky online presence into a perfectly curated dream life. Gone are the days of sweatpant posts and ice cream binges with her best friend, Anders, replaced instead with beautiful clothes, orchestrated selfies, and no boyfriend. Only, that carefully curated fairy tale life is ruining her self-esteem and making her feel like a fraud.
When a bestselling author takes Charlotte under her wing—almost like a fairy godmother—she helps Charlotte see the beautiful person she already is and the worth of being authentic. But is it too late to save her relationship with Anders? The clock is quickly ticking towards midnight, and Charlotte must decide between her fairy tale life and the man she loves, before he’s gone forever.
About the Author
Julie Wright is the author of more than twenty novels, including the Proper Romance® novels Lies Jane Austen Told Me and Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She is a Whitney Award winner and a Crown Heart recipient. She is represented by agent Sara Crowe. She loves reading and writing, playing on the beach or hiking with her husband and kids, and watching her husband make dinner.
“This sweet, heartfelt tale of authentic characters
facing intriguing challenges is at once very romantic and charmingly chaste.”
-Booklist, starred review
“Wright spins a modern-day and very meta Cinderella
tale. This fast-paced, lighthearted romance also carries a moral lesson about
falsehoods getting in the way of the quest for true happiness.”
“Aspiring author Charlotte ‘Lettie’ Kingsley writes
fairy tales and hopes to be published. When she gets one more rejection, her
feelings of pique lead her to an inspired idea: She’ll write a self-help book
called The Cinderella Fiction that will encourage readers to live their best
lives. Lettie’s agent has big plans for the book and has created a team to make
it a bestseller, including a PR firm that demands a complete makeover for
Lettie. From wardrobe to apartment to a new nickname, ‘Char,’ every detail is
changed to create an image that inspires admiration and a legion of followers.
However, it also means that her real-life relationships are affected, and the
new Char is so different from the old Lettie that she’ll have to sift through
what she wanted, and what she’s gained, so she can live her own best life,
authentically. Wright updates ‘Cinderella’ with a modern twist and smart,
This Christmas, Sadie Hoffmiller Cunningham is making a list and checking it twice. For the first time since she and Pete married five years ago, their combined families are gathering for the holidays in Fort Collins, Colorado, for a party that would make Santa and Mrs. Claus proud.
She just has to bake the famous Cunningham Candy Cane Cake, make sure the looming snowstorm doesn’t derail everyone’s travel plans, and oh, yes, solve one teensy-tiny mystery before the big day.
At ninety-four and nearly blind, Mary, Sadie’s friend and neighbor, knows this will be her last Christmas. When Sadie learns that someone has stolen antique Christmas ornaments from Mary’s tree, she vows to find the thief, no matter what. The ornaments had been appraised at more than $40,000, but they were worth even more to Mary, who had intended to bequeath them to her great-granddaughter, Joy, as a final gift.
With Pete in Arizona wrapping up a case of his own, it’s up to Sadie to question the residents of Nicholas House, where Mary lives, and deduce who had the means and the motive to steal heirloom ornaments during what should be the most wonderful time of the year.
When stories of other thefts surface, Sadie feels like she’s creating a “naughty” list that could rival Santa’s. Identifying the thief, recovering the ornaments, and restoring them to Mary’s tree in time will take a Christmas miracle—and maybe a few extra-special cookies.
We have read all of the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mysteries, and are always thrilled when Josi comes out with another one. Pull up some hot cocoa and cookies to join Sadie as she tries to uncover who has nabbed Mary’s antique heirloom ornaments off the tree in her care center room. With holiday names for each character–Joy, Carol, Ivy plus recipes at the end of each chapter, The Candy Cane Caper will put you in the Christmas mood.
Sadie is a bit meddling and unconventional in her methods, but she cares for each person she encounters. There are some tender moments with Mary as she prepares to wrap up a full life. A bit lighter than the other installments, it is a clean holiday mystery all can enjoy. It will warm your heart!
About the Author
Josi S. Kilpack is an accomplished and prolific author of nearly two dozen novels including the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. She has won multiple Whitney Awards for Mystery/Suspense, Romance, and Novel of the Year as well as the Utah Best of State Fiction Winner. She lives with her family in Utah.
Follow the author on Instagram @authorjosiskilpack
“A warmhearted mystery.” -Kirkus
“Sadie Hoffmiller dishes up a fresh serving of Christmas cheer. An inspirational cozy whose feel-good vibe will be perfect for fans of Julie Hyzy’s and Nancy J. Parra. Readers with a sweet tooth will be sure to enjoy Sadie’s family recipes, sprinked throughout the book.” -Booklist
“Kilpack represents a nice range of ages in this story, and the relationships feel both real and aspirational. The clues and solution are complex enough to keep readers guessing. Recipes are included, making this a fun choice for cookbook discussion groups as well as general readers. Twelve previous “Culinary Mystery” titles precede this entry, which can be read on its own.” -Library Journal
Simon considers himself fortunate after securing the final room at the inn in Bethlehem. While eating his supper, he sees a younger man and his pregnant wife denied lodging at the door of the inn. Simon momentarily considers giving up his space, but he is weary from his travels as a spice merchant and turns away from the thought.
Over the ensuing years, Simon traverses the popular trade routes, and each time he passes Bethlehem, he is reminded of that evening and plagued by guilt.
In time, the Savior begins his ministry, and Simon begins the life-changing process of trying to understand and believe the teachings and miracles of this man called Jesus—said to be the promised Messiah.
The Last Man at the Inn is the story of a journey of conversion we all take in one form or another, told through the eyes and heart of a common man. It is written to affirm the believer, to lovingly beckon to the undecided, and to call out to those who may not even know they are looking for something—only that there is a space in their soul that somehow needs to be filled.
About the Author:
R. William Bennett grew up on the Jersey
shore and in Connecticut. He is the author
of the best-selling Christmas novella Jacob T. Marley
and the award-winning book The Christmas Gift. He works as
a division president of Franklin Covey. He and his wife
are the parents of four children, and they live
in the Southwest.
“Bennett (Jacob T. Marley) recreates the life
of the cross-carrying Simon of Cyrene in this enchanting historical…Simon
struggles to accept this new faith—until he is visited by the words of the Holy
Spirit. Now preaching Jesus’s message, he follows his family toward Jerusalem.
Fans of Mesu Andrews will love this earnest exploration of Simon of Cyrene’s
struggle with faith.”
“Not just a Christmas
book, The Last Man at the Inn is the story
of a man who is experiencing a crisis of faith and his path to
conversion. Beautifully told with a surprise ending.”
-Jason F. Wright, New
York Times best-selling author of Christmas
“Both riveting and poignant, this book
gives the reader a glimpse into what it might have been like to
live as one of the first Christians and followers of Jesus
Christ. The story left me pondering the path of
discipleship and gave me a deeper desire to stand more firmly as a witness of
Christ in my own life.”
-Emily Belle Freeman, author of A Christ-
Centered Christmas and A
“The Last Man at the Inn is
a wonderful invitation to look at Christ’s birth, life, and death
through new eyes. I appreciate William Bennett’s timely reminder that true
disciples come to Christ and stay.”