Featured New Release Of The Week: No More Words by Kerry Lonsdale

This week we’re looking at a remarkably strong series opener from a great storyteller who is breaking out of her shell. This week we’re looking at No More Words by Kerry Lonsdale.

As always, the Goodreads review:

Excellent Series Opener. This is one of those books that sucks you in so completely you don’t even remember it is a series opener… until certain plot threads are left dangling at the end. And yet those very threads are clearly worthy of at least one more book, and possibly a book each… which is clearly exactly the point. ๐Ÿ™‚ Lonsdale has always been a remarkably strong storyteller, and here she really begins to break away from everything that could have previously been seen as getting awfully close to “typecasting” – while still maintaining a strong and rare/ possibly unique voice of her own. A great story that hooks you in from chapter one and leaves you desperately begging for Book 2 at the end, this is one book you certainly won’t want to miss. Very much recommended.

Featured New Release Of The Week: Lady Sunshine by Amy Mason Doan

This week we’re doing only our second ever FNR post that also happens to be a Blog Tour post, featuring a remarkably cinematic coming of age tale. This week we’re looking at Lady Sunshine by Amy Mason Doan.

First, here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

Cinematic. This is one of those books that is very easy to imagine on a screen somewhere, with the younger more idyllic scenes in bright yellow tones and the older, more mature scenes in blue tones. While it didn’t hit me as hard as Doan’s prior works, it was still a strong coming of age tale of secrets, revelations, finding oneself, and forgiveness. Both timelines were extremely vivid and visceral, and both worked well to show where our main character was at each point in her life. Truly an excellent read, particularly in the summer (and perfectly timed, releasing the week before a traditional major vacation week in the US). Very much recommended.

Below the jump, an excerpt and the publisher details, including a description of the book and buy links!
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Featured New Release Of The Week: What’s Done In Darkness by Laura McHugh

This week we’re looking at a book whose greatest strength is just how eerily plausible its story really is. This week we’re looking at What’s Done In Darkness by Laura McHugh.

As always, the Goodreads review:

All Too Real. This is one of those books that apparently I can speak to in a way no other reviewer on Goodreads has so far – from the conservative evangelical American Christian side. Growing up on the exurbs of Atlanta, I knew lands not dissimilar from what McHugh describes in this text in the Ozarks. Very rural lands where even by car the nearest single stop sign town can be an hour away. Farmlands with houses tucked into the trees or far out in the fields. And while I never exactly imagined these kinds of events taking place in them, I’m also familiar enough with the very strains of extremely conservative evangelical Christian culture that McHugh plays off of here. And yes, a lot of the attitudes McHugh describes are all too real – and fairly common, within those circles. Even the ultimate actions here are close enough to things I’ve personally seen as to be plausible, including the actual endgame and reasoning – which would be a spoiler to even discuss glancingly. An excellent creepy thrill ride, this is one of those books that could damn near be a news article. Which would make it a perfect candidate for a screen near you. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Very much recommended.

#BlogTour: The Summer Of No Attachments by Lori Foster

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a light hearted Southern romance that has a remarkable number of attachments for a book titled “The Summer of No Attachments”. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Summer of No Attachments by Lori Foster.

First, here’s what I had to say about the book on Goodreads:

Record Scratch. There’s… a remarkable amount of attachments here for a book titled “The Summer of No Attachments”. #ijs ๐Ÿ˜€

But seriously, this is one of those feel good, not even quite Hallmarkie (since it doesn’t really even have any even pushover “big threat”) Southern romance tales. Yes, there are a lot of heavy elements here – mom abandons son, drug use (off screen), abuse (also mostly off screen), #MeToo moments (also off screen), etc – but there is also quite a bit of lighthearted banter and romance. And puppies! And an old cat! This is apparently book 2 of a series, but it totally works as a standalone, as the people from Book 1 barely show up at all – making this one of those barely connected tangential “series” that share the same world and even town, but don’t heavily feature in each others’ tales.

Overall truly a light and refreshing read, despite its occasional heft, and great for a relaxing summer read, or a relaxing read at any point in the year really. Very much recommended.

Below the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the publisher’s information, including a description, author bio, and various links!
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Featured New Release Of The Week: Far Gone by Danielle Girard

This week we’re looking at a compelling mystery that keeps things refreshingly realistic – if completely twisted. This week we’re looking at Far Gone by Danielle Girard.

Compelling Mystery. This is one of those mysteries that has so much going on that it could feel disjointed in a lesser storyteller’s hands, but Girard manages to make it work quite well. We get the story primarily through three perspectives – Hannah, who witnesses a murder in her opening scene, Lily, a nurse who is a former kidnapping victim who is now working to rebuild her life, and Kylie, the detective who helped Lily in the first book and who here is investigating the murder. Girard manages to keep the pace of the reveals driving through the narrative, all while maintaining plausibly realistic scenarios. Indeed, even the ending is surprisingly refreshing in its realism on all fronts – despite what some activists would have liked. Truly a great story told very well. Very much recommended.

Featured New Release Of The Week: The Appalachian Trail by Philip D’Anieri

This week we’re looking at an intriguing way of looking at the history of the Appalachian Trail. This week we’re looking at The Appalachian Trail by Philip D’Anieri

Unfortunately my string of being plagued by writer’s block continues, but here is the Goodreads review:

Biography – By Way Of Biographies. This was a very interesting read, if primarily for the narrative structure D’Anieri chose in writing it. Here, the author doesn’t set out to provide a “definitive history” of the Trail or the technical details of how it came to be. Instead, he profiles key players in the development of the Trail as it has come to exist now and shows how their lives and thoughts and actions proved pivotal in how the Trail got to where it is. Overall a fascinating book about a wide range of people and attitudes about the boundary of civilization and wilderness, written in a very approachable style – much like much of the Trail itself. Very much recommended.

#BlogTour: The Falling Woman by Richard Farrell

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a solid debut featuring tough choices in the aftermath of a disaster. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Falling Woman by Richard Farrell.

First, here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

Tough Choices. Great Debut. This is a solidly written, compelling story that is a tremendous debut book. Farrell manages to use a miracle during a disaster to show that miracles… are not always that… while also showing just how complicated and messy real life is in oh so many ways. The mystery is solid enough to keep the reader invested, and then the action kicks into high gear a bit as things begin to unravel. Finally, a choice is made in an instant that will affect numerous lives – and Farrell shows all of this with remarkable reality. The overall style and tone won’t necessarily be exactly to everyone’s liking, but stick around – the book really is very, very good. Very much recommended.

After the jump, the publisher’s press release about the book followed by some praise for it from a variety of sources:
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Featured New Release Of The Week: These Tangled Vines by Julianne Maclean

This week we’re looking at a remarkable tale of love and family. This week we’re looking at These Tangled Vines by Julianne Maclean.

What A Tangled Web We Weave. This was a strong story of finding yourself, even if that happens a bit later than some would like and creates a bit of a mess. And it was a strong story of ever lasting love, treachery, and forgiveness. All set (mostly) in the idyllic Tuscan countryside. The pacing was solid, the dual timeline worked well – even if a sense of foreboding hung over one of the timelines its entire duration. (We learn early in the book – Chapter 1, IIRC – how that timeline ultimately turns out, so getting there is wonderful, yet also like watching a replay of a momentous event… that you know turns out in disaster.) Overall, the writing here really speaks to the strength of Maclean’s storytelling abilities and shows them to be quite strong indeed. Very much recommended.

#BlogTour: One Week To Claim It All by Adriana Herrera

For this final stop of the Slide Into Summer Romance Blog Tour Series, we’re looking at a great short romance perfect for your July 4th plans, no matter what they may be. For this stop, we’re looking at One Week To Claim It All by Adriana Herrera.

Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

Solid Short Scintillating Summer Story. This is one of those great vacation reads because of its brevity- at around 150 pages, you’re not committing to too much, so you can enjoy whatever you’re doing on vacation itself and still have a solid escape during downtimes. As to actual trope classification, some might call it enemies to lovers – the couple does in fact start out this book in that form – but others might classify it as second chance – they start out as enemies because of a failed romance years before the events of this tale. Either way, solid mashup of boardroom / entertainment drama as our leads clash over who will take over a multimedia powerhouse, and with our leading lady just as capable as our leading man of taking on any challenge presented. Also features a wider array of Spanish speaking ethnicities and nations than is usually presented in US media, so there is that as well. ๐Ÿ˜€ Very much recommended.

Below the jump, the publisher information, including an excerpt!
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#BlogTour: Second Chance Love Song by Jessica Lemmon

For this penultimate stop on our Slide Into Summer Romance Blog Tour Series, we’re looking at a solid second chance Harlequin romance. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Second Chance Love Song by Jessica Lemmon.

Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

Solid Harlequin Romance. This is a Harlequin romance of the classic type, though they’re trying to get away from the somewhat infamous cover set apparently. ๐Ÿ˜€

For those that love that style – and there is a very clear business reason why the publisher puts out so many books of exactly the same style – know that you’re getting exactly what you’re after here. Solid romance, a couple of sex scenes, a Hallmarkie type plot and conflict resolution (with a fair amount of angst to boot), etc. This book is perfectly within your comfort zone, and it is a solid, fun, and short-ish book to boot. So go ahead and hand over the money you know you’re going to anyway, and have fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

For those that are more hesitant, perhaps *because* of the infamy, know that if you’re open to the romance genre at all, this one is going to be pretty well exactly what you expect (see above). It is truly enjoyable, but also very much within the conventional bounds of the genre. Some heartstrings pulled, and a fun (if foreseeable due to genre rules, but still interesting in exact manner) resolution that plays on a bit of a darker moment from earlier in the book.

There really isn’t much more to say here. Again, if you’re open to the genre at all, you’re going to have fun with this book. If you’re not, you probably aren’t even reading this review. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt and the publisher details. ๐Ÿ™‚
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