New Releases/#Free & Bargain Books for November 23rd - November 29th #freebook #booksale #booklinkup #booklinky


Here are the New Releases / Free & Bargain Books, hosted by
Sharon over at Beck Valley Books, for this week! Check it all out below...

Authors please feel free to add your own books.
Readers please free to add your own finds.
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
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For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!


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Come back and check out the new selection every week!

Check out a Q&A with the author... Pretending by Holly Bourne #romcom #newbook #romancebooks #harlequinbooks @holly_bourneYA @HarlequinBooks @Bookclubbish


Welcome to my tour stop! Check out an interview with the author below...

Pretending: A Novel
By Holly Bourne
Adult Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 416 Pages
November 17, 2020 by MIRA

Summary

In this hilarious and heartbreaking debut novel perfect for fans of Fleabag, a woman struggling to move on after a traumatic relationship pretends to be “the perfect girl” in an act of vengeance that goes awry when she finds herself emotionally compromised.

He said he was looking for a 'partner in crime' which everyone knows is shorthand for 'a woman who isn't real'.

April is kind, pretty, and relatively normal - yet she can't seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she's found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry. Until she realizes that what men are really looking for is Gretel.

Gretel is perfect - beautiful but low maintenance, sweet but never clingy, sexy but not a slut. She's a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems.

When April starts pretending to be Gretel, dating becomes much more fun - especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua. Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?

(Affiliate links included.)

Q&A with Holly Bourne

Q: When did you first begin to craft your, Pretending

A: I wrote it during this endless London heatwave in the summer of 2018. It was the perfect writing weather for the story, as it reflected the stifled energy of April’s unprocessed trauma. Weirdly, the weather finally broke the day I typed ‘The End’ in August. 

Q: Where did you receive your inspiration to create Pretending?

A: My inspiration for Pretending came in the form of the opening line, which sets up the opening chapter and April’s conflicts. I was coming home from London late one evening, and got really aggressively sexually harassed by someone at a train platform. When I told him to leave me alone, the guy got even nastier, and followed me, shouting abuse until I fled to my train. Once I was safely onboard, I was shaking with rage, and the character of April came to me. I pulled my laptop out of my bag, and typed the words ‘I hate men’. The first chapter was finished by the time I got home. 

Q: Are you a pantser or a planner? Or somewhere in between?

A: I long to be a planner. I try so hard to be a planner, but my first drafts always take on a life of their own and refuse to follow my plot points. It makes redrafting much harder, but I’ve learned to just accept this is my process, and it does always work out in the end. 

Q: Describe the emotional journey for you, as a writer, when finishing your novel.

A: Absolutely terrified, and yet bursting with pride. I’m so happy with what I’ve achieved with Pretending, and how I hopefully managed to write a book that pulls readers into the head of someone with trauma. But, I’m also painfully aware of how much we still judge and blame victims, and feel fiercely protective of April and her story. So, having the book going out into the world is a mixture of very strange, and often conflicting emotions. 

Q: On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?

A: I try to write 2,000 words a day, five days a week. Some days, I’m done by ten am and feeling very smug about it. Other days, I’m still at my laptop, swearing profusely, at 11pm. 

Q: Who is in the cast of characters that readers will meet in Pretending

A: You have April - who is darling, but damaged. And then you meet her ulter-ego, Gretel, the perfect woman April pretends to be so she can finally feel some power.

Then there’s Gretel’s love interest, Joshua, who April starts falling for, even though he’s supposed to be a social experiment. 

I also love April’s wonderful housemate, Megan, and all April’s colleagues at the charity where she works. 

Q: Tell us, readers, what your main protagonist, April is like.

A: She’s hugely vulnerable, and she knows it, and hates that about herself, and wishes she could be stronger. But, once you learn more about her, her vulnerability makes total sense. What I love about April is, until her Gretel revenge plan kicks in, she’s never let her trauma negatively impact anyone else. She’s caring, and gives back, and is kind and glorious. It’s just such a shame she can’t realise how great she is, and that she makes the drastic decisions she does. 

Q: Was it difficult to create your character April and her double life? 

A: One of my biggest hurdles in the manuscript was making the ‘Gretel’ storyline seem plausible. Initially it felt so nuts - a woman pretending to be a totally different person on dates. Until I realised, to some extent, we all behave that way when we’re trying to find a romantic partner. We’re all pretending to be what we believe is romantically acceptable - hiding all the darker, more complex parts of us, under a rug and hoping our crush never finds out what we’re really like. Once I got there, the story got much easier to write. 

Q: What was the publishing journey like for your American debut?

A: I’ve actually had over ten books published in England, but this is my first American deal! So the journey has been a mixture of huge highs, and then general disappointments. The US market is a huge deal, and I’m delighted to have finally been published there. I think I owe a LOT of Fleabag. She has whetted US audience’s appetite for the slightly more cynical sharpness a lot of UK writers use. 

Q: Describe your writing style using three words. 

A: Confronting emotional honesty 

Q: What is your advice for aspiring writers?

A: You do you. There’s no point comparing yourself to other writers. You will never be able to write like them, because you’re not them. So embrace that only you can write how you write, and that’s special, and, if you believe in your voice and your story, one day someone will be comparing themselves to you!

Q: What future projects do you have coming out soon?

A: I actually have a Young Adult book coming out in the US in December called ‘It Only Happens In The Movies’ It’s about two teenagers who fall in love working in a small-town cinema, and how real love is never how it comes across in romantic films. 

Q: Where can readers find you and your work online?

A: I’m on Instagram at lot - hollybourneYA.

And Twitter less, because everyone needs to calm down! But @holly_bourneya

Q: Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.

A: I absolutely hate buttons. They make me feel queasy. And I can never wear any clothes with buttons on them.

About the Author


Holly Bourne is a bestselling UK-based YA and Adult Fiction author and is an Ambassador for Women’s Aid. In 2019, she was an Author of the Day at the London Book Fair, and was named by Elle Magazine’s weekly podcast as one of “Six Female Authors Changing the Conversation in 2019”. Pretending is her US debut.

Photo Credit to L. Bourne


Have you read any of this author's UK releases or will you be reading this one or her upcoming YA release?

She's no longer on her own against demons... For Better or Cursed by Kate M. Williams (Review & #Giveaway) #yalit @favouritepages


Welcome to my tour stop! Check out my review and enter the tour giveaway below...

For Better or Cursed
YA Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Hardcover & ebook, 384 Pages
September 15, 2020 by Delacorte Press

Summary

Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed sequel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Esme Pearl's life used to be all about bumming rides and babysitting. Sure, it wasn't glamorous, but it was predictable. All that changed when Cassandra Heaven came to town, and they discovered their complicated, and connected, legacy: Esme and Cassandra are Sitters, supernaturally-gifted teens armed with an ever-changing grimoire of Sitter witchcraft to help them protect the innocent and keep evil demons at bay. You know, the typical teenage stuff.

But just as Esme is starting to adjust to--and maybe even like--her new normal, life lobs another glitter bomb her way. The Synod--the Sitterhood's governing circle--has called a Summit, a once-in-a-generation gathering that promises training, education, and whole lot of ice-breakers.

Esme should be excited--a Summit might mean she can finally get the answers she desperately wants--but she can't shake a building sense of panic. Especially since Cassandra's not acting like herself; Esme's dad is MIA; Pig is out of dog food; Janis is scared to be alone; and there's a guy who seems too good to be true, again. Worst of all, it soon becomes clear, there's no one watching the kids. It's obvious the Summit is a haute mess, but will it be a deadly one, too?

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

FOR BETTER OR CURSED is a story of two girls, or "sitters," who are still new to protecting their world against demons. With great characters and a story full of snark, friendship, action, and a touch of romance, YA fans will find much to like about this story. Fans of book one will definitely enjoy continuing the series.

This book picks up about a month after the last book, which ended just after Halloween. Now December is approaching and the sitters, Esme and Cassandra, are dealing with regular life and continuing to protect their city from demons. They both have their own challenges with their parents, but are at least getting better at what they do as sitters. I definitely prefer Esme over Cassandra, so I was glad that this book is all from Esme's perspective. I thought the author did a good job of developing both characters and the overall plot of the series in this book. It doesn't feel like a filler book, but gives readers more answers along with setting up plenty for book three. I have some questions and there are a few loose ends that I'm looking forward to being tied up in the next book. I also like how the action ramps up towards the climatic ending and the hint of romance between a certain guy and girl that happily didn't take over the story. I'm not sure if that will go anywhere, but I like that there's friendship with the possibility of more. This book is also cleaner than the first, which I appreciate.

There are few things I didn't like as much. I didn't like the drug and drinking references that felt a bit blatant to me. I also wish Cassandra was a bit more open. She's such a locked box and sometimes a bit one dimensional, so I'm hoping for a bit more character development in the next book. I didn't like the situation with her brother. I'm not sure how that should be fixed, but it felt wrong to me. And of course, I'd like it cleaner since there are crude comments and references that just seem like they're thrown in for shock value or as crass humor.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This is an entertaining read. YA readers will find likable characters, an interesting storybook world, and an engaging plot. If you're into Buffy or similar stories, I'd recommend this series.

Content: Some crude references and language, violence, brief references to LGBT relationships.
Source: I received an ARC from NetGalley through Favourite Pages Book Club, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

The Babysitters Coven
(The Babysitters Coven #1)
By Kate Williams
YA Fantasy, Witches
Hardcover & ebook, 368 Pages
September 17th 2019 by Delacorte Press

Summary

Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed novel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it's kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she's good at it.

And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let's just say she owes some people a new tree.

Enter Cassandra Heaven. She's Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria food. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme's babysitters club?

The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra's mother left her: "Find the babysitters. Love, Mom."

Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they're about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

Read my review here.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author


I’m the author of the YA novel The Babysitters Coven.

I also write for magazines, including Cosmopolitan, NYLON, Elle, Women's Health, Shape, Time Out New York, Monster Children, Russh, Oyster, The Fader, NME, H&M, Smith Journal, Gather Journal, KnitWit, Popular, Style.com and more.

I have ghostwritten New York Times bestsellers, celebrity tell-alls, memoirs, how-tos, and beauty bibles (Shh…. I was never here, and you haven’t seen me.)

And, just ‘cause we’re still talking about me, I’ve also written windows, billboards, emails and captions, captions, captions for brands such as Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal, Vans, Calvin Klein, Nike, Lively, BAGGU and more.

I love to write about witches, teenagers, girls behaving badly, palm trees, and other forms of magic. Teenage girl witches behaving badly under the palm trees is my penultimate subject. 


Tour Schedule

Follow the tour here.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Win a physical copy of FOR BETTER OR CURSED by Kate Williams (open internationally)

Ends December 14, 2020

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan? Have you read the first book in this series and will you be reading this one?

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're spending time with family over Thanksgiving, but keeping it really small as we don't want to spread anything around. It's such a weird year with COVID. We all got tested this last week to be sure we were safe to be around others and have been very careful. It's a bit risky though either way. Are you keeping to yourself or with others today, and is it cold where you are? We're a gorgeous 73 at home, but where we are it's 54.

And because I think they're cute and only get to show them off once a year, here are my pilgrim owls:

If you live in the US, HAPPY TURKEY DAY!!! Watch some football, eat some great food, and no matter where you are, remember to take note of things to be thankful for and tells those close to you that you love them.

A fantastic start to this duology... Spellbreaker by Charlie N. Holmberg (Review & #Giveaway) #yalit #fantasybooks #cleanreads #mustread @jeanbooknerd @CNHolmberg @AmazonPub


Welcome to my tour stop! I have yet to be disappointed by one of this author's
books. Read my thoughts on her newest and enter the tour giveaway below...

Spellbreaker
(Spellbreaker #1)
By Charlie N. Holmberg
YA Historical Fantasy
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 300 Pages
November 1, 2020 by 47North

Summary

A world of enchanted injustice needs a disenchanting woman in the newest fantasy series by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician.

The orphaned Elsie Camden learned as a girl that there were two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those, like her, born with the ability to break them. But as an unlicensed magic user, her gift is a crime. Commissioned by an underground group known as the Cowls, Elsie uses her spellbreaking to push back against the aristocrats and help the common man. She always did love the tale of Robin Hood.

Elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey is one elusive spell away from his mastership when he catches Elsie breaking an enchantment. To protect her secret, Elsie strikes a bargain. She’ll help Bacchus fix unruly spells around his estate if he doesn’t turn her in. Working together, Elsie’s trust in—and fondness for—the handsome stranger grows. So does her trepidation about the rise in the murders of wizards and the theft of the spellbooks their bodies leave behind.

For a rogue spellbreaker like Elsie, there’s so much to learn about her powers, her family, the intriguing Bacchus, and the untold dangers shadowing every step of a journey she’s destined to complete. But will she uncover the mystery before it’s too late to save everything she loves? 

Praise for SPELLBREAKER

“…romantic and electrifying…the fast-paced plot and fully realized world will have readers eager for the next installment. Fans of Victorian-influenced fantasy won’t want to put this down.” —Publishers Weekly

“Those who enjoy gentle romance, cozy mysteries, or Victorian fantasy will love this first half of a duology. The cliffhanger ending will keep readers breathless waiting for the second half.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Powerful magic, indulgent Victoriana, and a slow-burn romance make this genre-bending romp utterly delightful.” —Kirkus Reviews

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

SPELLBREAKER is one of those historical fantasies that immediately draws you in to its creative world with a mix of grit and elegance, magical and nonmagical, fabulous characters, a steadily-building plot, and a touch of romance. This is one book not to be missed!

This book! It was so good!! I did not want it to end, or if it had to, I already wanted book two, SPELLMAKER, in my hands in order to continue the story. It's killing me that I have to wait three months! Thank goodness it's not a year. I loved this story so much that I could easily go re-read it again. Right now. Let's get down to the whys. . .

First, this book has a heroine who is easy to connect with and root for. Elsie is a complex, multi-layered character, as all the characters in this book are. She lives a simple life as an artist's assistant, but also secretly goes on missions for a group of vigilantes. She wants to find love and her happily-ever-after and yearns to be reunited with her family, but life has only ever given her disappointment and heartbreak. She goes on a bit of journey of self discovery, stretching herself and finding who she is and who her real friends are. She's also her own hero, which I loved.

Second, there's a dashing hero who is equally complex and multi-layered that is the perfect half to Elsie. Bacchus has been dealt a hard lot in life in many ways. He's not accepted very well in either of his homelands as his father was English and his mother was a native whom his father never married. Regardless, he has trained and fought for what he has and continued to fight for what was important to him in this story. He's big and imposing, as well as talented, loyal, and devilishly handsome. I loved the banter between Elsie and him and how their relationship grew to friendship and then attraction to something deeper.

Then there's this magical world and the ingenious plot! I figured some things out before the characters did, but I enjoyed going along with Elsie and Bacchus and experiencing this world with them. The author did such a fantastic job of not once info-dumping. I felt completely immersed in this world during the Victorian period in England, but as a bit different than we know it to be. I thought it was fascinating how there were four different magical branches for spellmakers and then the spellbreakers who were completely different. I loved the whole idea and how the author carried it out. I also really loved the romance. It had tension, wasn't instantaneous, didn't override the story, and was sweet. It was frankly a fun aspect of this story. I can see there's so much more coming and a more intricate plot than readers get from this first book. I'm so looking forward to watching it all unfold.

In the end, was it what I wished for? A resounding yes! I loved this story and would recommend it to fantasy fans, both YA and adult, for a dashingly enjoyable ride!

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy through JeanBookNerd Tours, which did not require a positive review, but also own my own copy. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

Spellmaker
(Spellbreaker #2)
By Charlie N. Holmberg
YA Historical Fantasy
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 302 Pages
March 9, 2021 by 47North

Summary

Dead wizards, stolen enchantments, and broken promises force a young spellbreaker out of the shadows in the next thrilling installment of the Spellbreaker series by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician.

England, 1895. An unsolved series of magician murders and opus thefts isn’t a puzzle to Elsie Camden. But to reveal a master spellcaster as the culprit means incriminating herself as an unregistered spellbreaker. When Elsie refuses to join forces with the charming assassin, her secret is exposed, she’s thrown in jail, and the murderer disappears. But Elsie’s hope hasn’t vanished.

Through a twist of luck, the elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey helps Elsie join the lawful, but with a caveat: they must marry to prove their cover story. Forced beneath a magical tutor while her bond with Bacchus grows, Elsie seeks to thwart the plans of England’s most devious criminal—if she can find them.

With hundreds of stolen spells at their disposal, the villain has a plan—and it involves seducing Elsie to the dark side. But even now that her secret is out, Elsie must be careful how she uses the new abilities she’s discovering, or she may play right into the criminal’s hands.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Charlie N. Holmberg is the award-winning author of the Numina series, The Fifth Doll, and many others. Her Wall Street Journal bestselling Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Charlie’s stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance. Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters, who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. She currently lives with her family in Utah. Visit her at www.charlienholmberg.com.

PHOTO CONTENT FROM CHARLIE N. HOLMBERG


Tour Schedule


Tour-Wide Giveaway


- 2 Winners will receive a Copy of SPELLBREAKER by Charlie N. Holmberg
- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends December 7, 2020

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a fan of this author? Will you be reading this duology?

Sprinkled with Sabotage by Allison Pearl (Tour Grand Finale & #Giveaway) #SSPrism #christlit #romanticsuspense @prismbooktours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Author Interview

What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read it?

I hope this story will make you think and yet still be an escape. Because, tbh, 2020 just sucks. And we all know it. We all need a bit of a break. A blip in the constant chaos. And I want to help my readers find that. And because my faith is the foundation of my character, it’s always between the lines and I hope it can be a comfort to the readers as well. Like it is to me.

Kimber Li - Excerpt

I trust him with my life. Just not with my heart.

Elizabeth Bennet remembered using those words to describe her relationship with Koby Knightly—if one could even call it that. But was that trust enough of a justification to dial her ex-boyfriend’s number? She looked back over her shoulder at the dark, snow- lined sidewalk. Seconds prior, she’d been certain she heard feet chasing her, but now, there was nothing. Only the sound of her high heels clicking on the uneven concrete as she hurried home from dinner. Why hadn’t she called a cab? Or even hopped on a bus?

Books & Benches - Interview

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It does both. And somehow it does it at the same time. There are times during a first draft, when everything is so new, that I’ll sit down and start typing and the next time I look up hours have passed. I feel like I could write forever and what’s more is that I want to. I want to push through until I can write ‘The End.’ But on the second through fifteenth drafts—not an exaggeration—it feels like I’m constantly running up hill. My body is tired. My brain is telling me to stop. I need a break. But I know that when I reach the top, I’ll be in love again and ready to do it all over.

Remembrancy - Excerpt

“Lizzy!”

She gasped and her whole body tensed. “Koby? What are you doing here?”

He stood in front of the glass doors to her apartment building. After pulling his hands out of the pockets of a pair of faded jeans, he started toward her, his eyes wide and his jaw hanging open. “What happened to you?”


"I really enjoyed reading Sprinkled with Sabotage by Allison Pearl. . . . If you are a fan of this genre, I really think that you will enjoy Sprinkled with Sabotage as much as I did. Not only will you be entertained, but you will also be uplifted. I definitely recommend this book to fans of Christian romantic suspense novels."

Heidi Reads... - Guest Post

Why I Love Jane.

“What are men to rocks and mountains?” Unless those men happen to be the likes of Misters Darcy and Knightley. I’m all for a good view, but I prefer a swoon and I think Jane Austen did too. If you’ve read any of the Love and Danger in St. Claire series, you’ll have seen more than one nod to the romance master herself. . . .


"Sprinkled with Sabotage keeps you on the edge of your reading chair – both from the suspense and from the romance. Layered characters and a well-plotted mystery combine with the cozy small town vibes (with a little of big city bustle thrown in) to deliver a read that hits the spot. Perfect to curl up on a chilly fall or winter day!"


When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

At first, I thought I wanted to be an actor. I was a child movie snob who loved the characters and adventures of film. Whatever magic was happening on the screen in front of me was something I wanted to create. I wanted to play every hero and villain. To walk out every storyline to its finish. But when I got old enough to realize that Luke Skywalker was in a desert on planet earth rather than a galaxy far way, I knew I didn’t want to be a part of the story. I wanted to be the author of it.

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"This was a great escape novel for me. My interest and imagination were captured from the first page. . . . I loved the blend between the genres. There was just enough romance and suspense to keep me turning the pages. This is the third book in a series but can be read as a stand-alone. I look forward to reading the first two books at a later date."


Was that static? The message sounded odd. After grabbing the red pouch from behind some dish detergent, Koby turned toward Lizzy and rested a hand on the counter. Another moment of the strange noise made it clearer. Not static. It was someone breathing. The exhales were loud and ominous. The message wasn’t a pocket dial filled with muffled background noise. Someone had left that message on purpose.

The breathing lasted another moment. “I know who you are. I know what you’ve done,” a distorted voice said.

BookHounds - Interview

What is on your nightstand?

Too many things, I promise you. I often joke that I need a night-desk instead of a nightstand. And that is just for the books. Like when I go to the grocery store hungry, my reading eyes are always way bigger than my stomach. There’s always a cornucopia of genres stacked by my alarm clock, lamp, and cup of pens and crochet needles. Right now, there’s a book about home-buying, Dostoevsky’s The Idiot and a Russian-English dictionary, my bible, the new Tana French, and my Kindle stocked with selections from Prime Reading.

Hallie Reads - Excerpt

His eyelids fell closed as he winced. Great. Now, she’d hurt his feelings. She was already bleeding, and now, she’d managed to wound him, too. “Koby...”

He held up a hand. “Don’t. It’s fine.”

I'm Into Books - Guest Post

Fav Fives: Romantic Suspense Movies:

Maybe I’m just too old, but I feel like the golden age of action-packed romance film has passed us by. It’s been decades since a movie’s come close to a spot on this list. But I’m hopeful that 2021 will bring with it some challenges to these Top Five Romantic Suspense Movies. #SPOILERALERT . . .


“But now what?” Her voice was soft, but he sensed an urgency in the tone. “Why did you stay?”

His heart pounded in his ears. If he could only kiss her one last time. “I think I stayed because a part of me always thought you’d come back, and if I was gone... i-if you changed your mind about us and came back... I didn’t want to miss my chance.”

Rockin' Book Reviews - Review & Guest Post

"Sprinkled With Sabotage is a great mystery with sweet romance and awesome faith and friendships. The mystery keeps you guessing the who, when and where and what's next. The characters are all well-developed . . . I highly recommend this story to everyone. There is something for every reader in this story."

Top Five Things to Know if You’re New to Love and Danger in St. Claire

1. Because dessert.
Like all small Pennsylvania towns, St. Claire never runs out of sugar. Stop at Apple’s Fritters or Poppy’s Pies and Tarts for the treat of your choice. . . .

Read Review Rejoice - Guest Post

Because sometimes, you just need a doughnut. Why you should read romantic suspense?

Maybe the better question would be why not read Romantic Suspense? Sure, you can read heavy war novels, self-helps, memoirs, historical non-fiction, tear-jerkers, and tragedies. And you should… on occasion. But don’t you sometimes want your heart to race for something other than, COVID, bills, politics, work, drama, and your family stress? . . .


“I just figured the paranoia was all in my head and that there had to be a logical reason for the other stuff. I mean, I have been a little off since everything happened in the sheriff’s department down home. What if I overreacted?”

Koby shook his head as he grabbed the towel off the counter and flicked the faucet handle to let the water cascade over the cloth. “You are a lot of things, sweetheart. Easily spooked ain’t one of them.”

Wishful Endings - Guest Post

Who's who? Love and Danger in St. Claire

Sprinkled with Sabotage may be part of a series, but readers can start anywhere. But while you may not need to rush out and get books 1 and 2, I think it will be fun to give you a breakdown of just who you will be meeting in the small Pennsylvania town of St. Claire. . . .


"This was a fast paced suspense sprinkled with not only sabotage but romance. I liked that I wasn’t able to guess who was after Lizzy. . . . The suspense was fast and the romance was sweet."


Her dad rose from his worn green leather armchair in front of the fireplace. “Lizzy Lu.”

How many evenings had she spent on the rug at the foot of that chair, playing with the dogs or reading a book so she could be just like him? She tossed Koby’s keys onto the thin table against the wall, and then, he pulled her into his arms.

“Hi, Daddy.” Pressing her head into his neck, she breathed in the familiar smell of sawdust and leather and then let him go. “You didn’t have to wait up.”

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

Sprinkled with Sabotage
(Love and Danger in St. Claire #3)
By Allison Pearl
Christian Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 164 Pages
October 27, 2020 by Anaiah Press

Lizzy Bennet loves life as a lawyer in the city. And not just because of the miles it puts between her and her ex. However, when she’s attacked on the street just hours after learning her identity was stolen, she tries to call home for help and ends up with the last person she expects: the very same high school boyfriend who broke her heart. He says he’s there to help, but she’s not so sure, and now, all the endless questions and regrets are clouding her judgment and preventing her from seeing the dangerous saboteur closing in.

Small-town auto mechanic, Koby Knightly, is looking forward to seeing a car show in the city. But when an unexpected call from his old girlfriend disconnects suddenly, he rushes to her aid. Throwing his plans out the window, Koby makes it his mission to protect her and discover the identity of the person trying to frame her. Will he also be able to figure out what went wrong between them back in high school or will a killer get to her first?

(Affiliate link included.)

Other Books in the Series

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About the Author


Allison Pearl is a small-town girl who’s lived just about everywhere. She loves books, tea, chocolate, and watching old movies with her husband, black lab, and orange tabby. To keep in touch and get updates on new releases follow her Facebook page ‘Books by Pearl’ at www.facebook.com/allisonnicolepearl/ or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonPearl5 and Instagram at @allisonnicolepearl.


Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)

Ends November 29, 2020

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I Can't Wait for... A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright (Can't-Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday) #CWW #WOW #cleanromance #regencyromance #properromance @ProperRomance


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

Tag me on your CWW posts on Twitter (@wishfulendings) and I'll like and retweet!

I've loved this author's other books and love this line of books from Shadow Mountain. I also love clean romance set during the Regency period and this one sound particularly diverting as the heroine must travel to India to hopefully find marriage with a family friend. There's currently a Goodreads giveaway that ends on the 24th, so go enter if you're interested. It's my pick this week...

A Captain for Caroline Gray
(A Proper Romance)
By Julie Wright
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 336 Pages
March 2, 2021 by Shadow Mountain

Summary

Regency London

Caroline Gray’s third season in London society ends as badly as her first two—no marriage proposal, no suitor, not even a glimmer of an interested prospect. She suspects it’s because she is far too quick to speak her mind to men who are put off by her forthright opinions, her eager intellect backed by a formal education, and her unconventional ideas about the future. She is far more daring than demure to suit the taste of her class. Besides, Caroline thinks there will always be next season to find a husband.

However, her family’s dwindling income leaves Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: a one-way ticket to sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend waits. If the match doesn’t work, Caroline cannot return home.

Captain Thomas Scott loves the thrill of the open sea, and as commander of one of the ships of the “Fishing Fleet,” he ferries scores of young English girls to the shores of India to find husbands. The voyages pay well, but he struggles to understand why families would allow young women to be matched with total strangers so far away.

The trips have always been routine and uneventful—until this trip’s first night’s dinner with one Miss Caroline Gray. She engages in a lively political conversation, presenting opposing viewpoints to the conventionally opinionated gentlemen at her table. Captain Scott is secretly amused and delighted at her boldness, not to mention quite drawn to her beauty.

The rest of the passengers are shocked by her behavior and Caroline finds herself an outcast, suffering harsh judgments from the other passengers. However, she finds an unlikely ally in Captain Scott which quickly draws them closer.

Both know an arranged marriage awaits Caroline at the end of their voyage, yet the attraction between them is undeniable. Caroline will have to decide if she will honor her mother’s wishes and marry a man in India whom she has never met—thus securing a future for her and her mother—or be brave enough to throw convention to the wind and commit to love a sea captain. He may be enchanted by her bold and unconventional ways, but will his love and admiration last?

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Will you be reading this one?

Read an excerpt from The Gentleman and the Thief by @SarahMEden from @ShadowMountn #TheGentlemanAndTheThief #HistoricalRomance #AudioBooks #BlogTour #cleanreads


Welcome! This series is such a delight! You can check out my
review from a few weeks ago here, and read an excerpt below...

The Gentleman and the Thief
(Proper Romance Victorian #2)
By Sarah M. Eden
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
November 3rd 2020 by Shadow Mountain

Summary

A standalone novel in The Dread Penny Society set in 1865 London brimming with secrets, scandal, suspense, and romance.

From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he's smitten. Even though he's from a wealthy, established family and she isn't, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.

Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father's successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the "Phantom Fox." She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.

When Hollis's brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.

When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?

Praise for the Book

"The real joy in Eden's follow-up to The Lady and the Highwayman (2019) is the furthering of the overarching crime story and the work of the Dread Penny Society as Hollis and Ana pursue a chaste romance. Eden excels at exploring the realities of Victorian life and class differences. Once again, chapters of penny dreadfuls written by the characters are interspersed throughout, with Hollis' story about a school for ghosts offering particular delight. Fans of Eden's smart series will be thrilled and impatient for the next installment."— Booklist, starred review

“Every time I thought my racing heart just couldn’t take the suspense anymore, I'd turn the page and smile.”— Bookconfessions 

“Eden writes it well, so thoroughly researched that you’re transported and in Victoria England. Great suspense and romance.”— Leslie, Books and Socks Rock

“Undeniably clever, suspenseful, well-researched, and deftly written…”— Katie Jackson, RegencyProofreading.com

"Charming, suggestive, and featuring rich historical details, The Gentleman and the Thief has the elements of a gritty, juicy penny dreadful."— Foreword Reviews

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Excerpt

Perhaps we should engage Mr. Walker’s help should fisticuffs be necessary. Miss Newport’s words from the evening before repeated in Hollis’s mind as he trudged down Garrick Street toward Covent Gardens. Boxing was not considered an ungentlemanly pursuit. Why, then, had Miss Newport assumed he would be inept at it? Fletcher was more obviously rough-and-tough, but Hollis could hold his own. Perhaps a round or two in the boxing salon at headquarters would put a bit of puff back in his pride. But first, he had a mission to undertake.
He spied Stone rounding the opposite corner. Hollis had bested Fletcher any number of times in the Dreadfuls’ boxing salon, but no one bested Stone.
Hollis and Stone came up even with one another.
“Fine day,” Hollis said.
“Care for a walk around the market?” Stone was not a man of many words. Speaking seven together at once was unusual for him.
“I’d fancy a stroll.” Hollis matched his stride.
This was not one of those missions which required the Dreadfuls to not be seen together. Stone had determined this particular task was best accomplished in as simple and direct a way as possible.
“After a late night, my legs could use a bit of a jaunt to finish waking up this morning,” Hollis said.
“Y’all shouldn’t stay out so late.”
“But if the evening is a fruitful one, the long hours are well worth it.”
They made an odd pair walking into the Covent Garden marketplace. London was not entirely without a diversity of appearances and accents, allowing Stone, despite his words heavily flavored with the sound of America’s South and his ancestry obvious at a glance, to not draw as much attention as he might have in a tiny hamlet tucked far from the roar of the metropolis. Yet, gentry coves—gentlemen of Hollis’s station—weren’t known for applauding that diversity.
“Was your evenin’ fruitful?” Stone asked.
“Not in the expected way,” Hollis said. “I’d hoped to see a couple of friends there, but they weren’t in attendance.”
The Dreadfuls were adept at discussing their secret activities without giving anything away. They could manage it even in a crowded marketplace.
“My friends’ absence seemed to strike most in attendance as odd,” Hollis added.
There was no verbal response; Hollis hadn’t expected one. Stone simply walked beside him, hands tucked in the pockets of his navy-blue tailcoat, eyes focused ahead, mouth drawn in a tight line.
“One was meant to attend with his wife, but she wasn’t there, either.”
Stone’s expression didn’t change even the tiniest bit, but Hollis knew he was listening.
“Our poor hostess was baffled,” Hollis said. “A few other people noted the absences as well.”
“Unfortunate for you,” Stone said.
From the other direction, Fletcher came walking toward them. The DPS generally avoided having three Dreadfuls out and about together, but fortunately, Hollis and Fletcher’s friendship was well-known, which would make their greeting one another unremarkable.
“Well met.” Hollis kept his tone light and unconcerned. Fletcher held up the small bouquet of slightly wilted flowers in his hand. “Thought I’d take this humble offering to my lady love. Bought it off a little one not far from here.”
Ah. One of Fletcher’s rescued children, no doubt. He’d dedicated himself to saving London’s urchins from the horrors he, himself, had lived through. In the process, he’d created a complex network of street children who kept their eyes open and their ears to the ground and told him anything he needed to know.
“Did you get your penny’s worth?” Hollis asked, nodding toward the flowers.
“Got myself a shilling’s worth.” Fletcher walked with them. “My flower girl spotted our good friend Alistair, who disappointed Mrs. Kennard last night.”
Hollis jumped in. “Another friend who was absent,” he told Stone in a low voice.
The term “friend” was, of course, code. Most patrons they sought were mere acquaintances. Alistair Headley fell more in the category of nuisance.
“Seems he’s been seen about with Four-Finger Mike again, still up to his neck in something rotten,” Fletcher continued. “That foozler has his fingers in a couple of rancid pies.”
“And I’d guess gambling is part of the putrid recipe,” Hollis said.
They’d discovered that gambling was not Headley’s only questionable activity. He fraternized with a known criminal, Four-Finger Mike, who added to his list of crimes on a daily basis and had escaped police custody repeatedly.
“Perhaps Headley missed the musicale because he was at one of Four-Finger’s gambling dens,” Hollis said.
“Or up to somethin’ worse.” Fletcher’s look was too pointed for the remark to have been offhand. “Monsieur Thorn-in-Our-Side is frequenting lower and lower places, but he ain’t making his jaunts all by his lonesome.”
“Who is he with?” Hollis asked.
“That’s the million-guinea question, ain’t it?”
Headley was connected to Four-Finger Mike, who was, in turn, connected to the notorious criminal mastermind, the Mastiff, a man even the police feared. Four-Finger’s associations made Headley a source of suspicion.
“Maybe we need to walk on the man’s heels a bit,” Hollis said.
Fletcher shook his head. “You keep an ear to the ground in your circles. Leave the tailing to us.”
“I think I’ve proven myself able to hold my own.” He was forever being relegated to the role of observer-at-a-distance. He knew he could be more, and it was time they let him.
“Headley frequents rungs on the Ladder of Importance above the rest of us,” Fletcher said. “You’re the only one with access.”
Yes, but that didn’t have to be the limit of his contribution. “In the meantime, though—”
“Flexing muscles don’t do us a lick of good if we cain’t follow through,” Fletcher said.
A frustrating answer. “Maybe I could make a suggestion to the Dread Master.”
Their organization was run behind-the-scenes by a man known only as the Dread Master. Fletcher alone knew his actual identity. He answered to the mysterious man—they all did—but he steadfastly refused to reveal who the Dread Master was. Hollis was Fletcher’s best friend in all the world, and even he’d not been let in on the secret.
“I’ll ask him,” Fletcher said. “Meanwhile, best snuggle up to the fine and fancy. See what you can learn.”

Excerpted from chapter 3, pages 26-30 from The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M Eden. Copyright © Sarah M. Eden. Published by Shadow Mountain.

Other Books in the Series

The Lady and the Highwayman
(Proper Romance Victorian #1)
By Sarah M. Eden
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 384 Pages
September 3, 2019 by Shadow Mountain

Summary

Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls school in 1865s Victorian London. She is also a well-respected author of silver-fork novels, stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories--the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Charles King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats, intelligent detectives solving grisly murders, and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks.

Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Charles King started taking all of his readers. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher s fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the social and political causes of their working-class readers. The group knows King could be an asset with his obvious monetary success, or he could be the group s undoing as King s readership continues to cut into their profits.

Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow-author, she is well-known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King s whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered. What neither author anticipated was the instant attraction, even though their social positions dictate the impossibility of a relationship.

For the first time Elizabeth experiences the thrill of a cat-and-mouse adventure reminiscent of one of her own novels as she tries to throw Fletcher off her scent. But the more time they spend together, the more she loses her heart. Its upper-class against working-class, author against author where readers, reputations, and romance are all on the line.

Read my 5-star review HERE.

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About the Author


Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2019’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, The Lady and the Highwayman, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library.

Sarah is represented by Pam Howell at D4EO Literary Agency.
Tour Schedule

Join the virtual online blog tour of THE GENTLEMAN AND THE THIEF, Sarah M. Eden’s highly acclaimed second novel in The Dread Penny Society Series, November 2 through November 29, 2020. Forty popular blogs specializing in historical mystery/suspense, historical romance, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of its release with exclusive excerpts, spotlights, or reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in London, England.

Nov 02 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
Nov 02 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)
Nov 03 Getting Your Read On (Review)
Nov 03 Literary Time Out (Review)
Nov 03 Storybook Reviews (Review)
Nov 04 Heidi Reads (Review)
Nov 04 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)
Nov 05 Library of Clean Reads (Review)
Nov 06 Relz Reviewz (Review)
Nov 07 Probably at the Library (Spotlight)
Nov 08 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)
Nov 09 So Little Time… (Spotlight)
Nov 09 Captivated Reading (Review)
Nov 10 Among the Reads (Review)
Nov 10 Bookworm Lisa (Review)
Nov 11 For Where Your Treasure Is (Spotlight)
Nov 11 Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review)
Nov 12 Books, Teacups & Reviews (Spotlight)
Nov 12 Fiction Aficionado (Review)
Nov 13 Randi Loves 2 Read (Spotlight)
Nov 14 The Book Diva's Reads (Spotlight)
Nov 15 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)
Nov 16 Gwendalyn's Books (Review)
Nov 17 Book Bustle (Review)
Nov 18 Jorie Loves a Story (Review)
Nov 18 An Historian About Town (Review)
Nov 19 Lu's Reviews (Review)
Nov 20 Reading with Emily (Review)
Nov 20 Books and Socks Rock (Review)
Nov 21 Bringing Up Books (Review)
Nov 21 Bookish Rantings (Review)
Nov 22 The Bibliophile Files (Review)
Nov 23 Impressions in Ink (Review)
Nov 23 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
Nov 24 Bookfoolery (Review)
Nov 24 Wishful Endings (Excerpt)
Nov 25 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Review)
Nov 25 Joy of Reading (Review)
Nov 26 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)
Nov 27 Fire and Ice (Review)
Nov 27 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
Nov 28 Impressions in Ink (Review)
Nov 28 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)
Nov 29 Laura's Reviews (Review)


Have you read this series yet? I highly recommend it if you like historical romance with a bit of suspense and creative plots!!