Check out an author interview... The Rubber Band by Christy Hoss (Interview & #Giveaway) #middlegradefiction #middlegradebooks @celebrate_lit

Welcome! Check out an interview with the author and enter the tour giveaway below...

The Rubber Band
By Christy Hoss
Middle Grade Fiction
Paperback & ebook, 181 Pages
July 29, 2020 by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.


THE RUBBER BAND What do Roadkill Rocky, Bossy Becca, and Pinhead Eddie have in common? Nothing. A rag-tag bunch of elementary school kids come together to form a rock and roll band and enter the Sun Valley talent contest. Will they be strong enough to overcome prejudice and see the dream of winning through, or will an unforeseen medical emergency break the bond of the band?

(Affiliate links included.)


What inspired you to write THE RUBBER BAND?

As a teacher, I watched a third-grade rock band perform “Born to be Wild” in a school talent show. I had so much fun enjoying their performance, I asked the Rubber Band to play at my 50th birthday party. I couldn’t shake the idea of what a great middle grade book this would make. Correcting papers one day, my eyes wandered to a forgotten rubber band on the floor. It was then I connected the dots to come up with the main premise for The Rubber Band of Eddie getting in trouble for shooting a rubber band at Becca, then sitting in the principal’s office and seeing the contest sign. I was an elementary school teacher for 12 years then quit to work as a substitute to support my writing career. I am unemployed now because of COVID. When I was working, I derived my characters and the outrageous situations from the many children I encountered over the years. It’s not hard to describe characters or choose them when I have yearbooks full of faces and stories, some of which actually happened to me.

Would you tell us a little more about the main characters?

Edison Taylor is the main character who narrates the book. He plays lead guitar in the band along with his fraternal twin Oliver who plays the keyboard. Together, they are in third grade with Bossy Becca Chang, a spoiled rich girl with a gold-buzzer voice and Emmanuel, Eddie’s best friend who plays the bass guitar. Eddie convinces the school bully, Roadkill Rocky Espinosa a fourth-grader who is never without drumsticks in his hands, to play the drums. They are a rag-tag bunch of culturally diverse children on a mission to win a talent contest despite their social differences.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

I relate to Eddie. We share a few things in common. He loves rock and roll music, strives to fulfill his dreams and lives with an incurable disease.

What one piece of advice/tip would you give?

Dare to dream big dreams and work hard to achieve them.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

The aspect I love the most about this story without giving spoilers is the fact that these kids are willing to get over their differences and challenges for a common cause. They don’t care about their diversity. They just want to win the contest. Every rehearsal brings new challenges, and they face them head-on, sometimes reluctantly, but all for the sake of fulfilling their dream. Challenges bring out wisdom beyond their years that adults should pay attention to.

What challenged you about writing THE RUBBER BAND?

My biggest challenge was the fact I based the book on a school I taught at for ten years. I wasn’t sure how the tight knit community would feel. But so far, they are excited and happy I have fulfilled my dream of authorship. I have gotten nothing but good thoughts and comments from them and this small country town paper did a feature article on me to prove their support.

What’s one of your hobbies or something we might not know about you?

I was diagnosed with diabetes 31 years ago and my son was diagnosed when he was Eddie’s age. I have a diabetic alert service dog, Aiden who is with me 24/7 and smells my blood sugar dropping, alerting me before it becomes an emergency. I am learning to play the accordion, something my grandmother did with great joy.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

I’ve dreamed of being an author since I was in second grade. It’s fun to write, but hard work being an author. People will instantly think you are making loads of money. NOT! Writing is a God-given gift and unless you happen to hit the NYTimes bestselling list overnight, (and most authors on that list have put in their time and worked hard) you have to be willing to do the grunt work. Attend conferences, learn the craft. Write and rewrite. Write and rewrite! I can’t say it enough. Even after publishing a piece, you’ll still want to change it There is always room for improvement. Don’t judge yourself on another’s success or you’ll be discouraged. This is your personal journey. Enjoy the adventure.

When you reach for a book to read, what genre do you grab and what are some of your favorites in that genre?

I love reading middle grade because I can finish a book quickly. It’s a great way to escape the world and relax. It keeps me young at heart. I love finding a good middle grade series like The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karin Yan Glaser. I absolutely loved the point of view voice in Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.

What are you working on next?

The Rubber Band Stretches-Rocky’s Story will be out in early 2021 and I am currently working on a summer camp adventure involving Becca taking the band to a rich-persons summer camp that happens to be across the lake from the diabetes camp Eddie is attending. Oh what mischief ensues!

About the Author

Christy caught the writing bug in second grade after winning a prize for a five-page story about her dog, Noodles. Mrs. Olson told her she was destined to be a writer and that dream never left her thoughts. After teaching elementary school for fifteen years, Christy fulfilled her childhood dream with her debut novel, The Rubber Band. She substitute teaches to support her writing career, deriving writing inspiration from the students and situations she encounters.

At age twenty-five, she was diagnosed with type-one diabetes but refuses to let it limit her. Her diabetic alert dog, Aiden, has saved her life uncountable times and will appear in future installments of The Rubber Band. Christy lives by this equation: Living + diabetes = LIVE-abetes.

Christy is a freelance editor and writes children’s Bible stories for Focus on the Family ClubHouse magazine and has written articles for Guideposts. She is a featured speaker for conferences, retreats and special events.

Christy lives in Northern California with Kevin, the love of her life. They have three grown children.

More from Christy

Noodles is the reason I am a writer. Noodles was my childhood dog’s name. I loved her oodles and oodles. She was a dachshund, not a poodle. I often drew her in my doodles. (Can you tell I’m an elementary school teacher?) A few short years ago, when I was in second grade, I entered a class writing contest. My story was five sentences long but won first place. The teacher told me I was destined to be a writer. That encouragement never left me. I grew up in the small town of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and always loved writing in school, especially fiction. I wrote stories for my friends and for myself to create situations I could only dream of. As an adult, I moved to California, determined to live for God. He led me back to college where I fell in love with writing again. I won a state-wide award for my feature article in the JC’s newspaper, confirming my heart’s desire. Fast forward through marriage, kids, and a teaching job—my friends begged me to write about a recurring night dream I had, which was like watching the ending of a suspense thriller movie. Through writing conferences, critique groups and late nights, I wrote Palms of Death by starting at the end and working my way backwards. After rewriting it several times, I self-published it in 2018. At my first major writers’ conference, the Lord undeniably called me to write. So, the real reason I write is not because of Noodles, but because I want to always be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and wholeheartedly follow His direction. That’s my story, just a bit of the whole kit and caboodle.

Tour Schedule

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 21 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, February 22
Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 24 (Author Interview)
Sara Jane Jacobs, February 25
Wishful Endings, February 27 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, March 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Christy is giving away the grand prize of $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

What did you like about the interview?

New Releases/#Free & Bargain Books for February 22nd - February 28th #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
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
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... Isoldesse by Kimberly Grymes (Interview & #Giveaway) #isoldesse #yafantasy #yalit @TBRBeyondTours

Welcome to my tour stop! I'm excited to share an interview with the author
of this exciting new YA SciFi! Check it out and enter the tour giveaway below...

(Aevo Compendium Series #1)
By Kimberly Grymes
YA SciFi, Fantasy
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 454 Pages
March 2, 2021 by Tractor Beam Publishing


Friendships are tested, new alliances are made, and the truth of one woman’s actions from over a millennia ago are revealed.

Kenna and Meegan are college students dealing with upcoming finals, needy parents, boy drama, and what to do with their lives after they graduate in a few weeks. What they weren’t expecting was for Kenna to receive a powerful crystal necklace that ultimately changes their plans for a relaxing summer.

Strange things begin to happen to Kenna, like being the only one who can see and talk to the mysterious old woman with a golden aura. Or how in her dreams, a man with vibrant orange eyes keeps appearing who may or may not be real. Though, not all of Kenna’s mysterious encounters are pleasant as she’s haunted by massive beings carrying long swords and wearing armor covered in black scales.

Besides solving the mystery of where the crystal necklace came from, Kenna, Meegan, and their friends are taken to another world for a routine evolutionary assessment. The assessment gets sabotaged and causes more chaos for Kenna and her friends, especially for Meegan who is forced to open up and reveal her true identity and the magic she hides.

There’s one name that Kenna, Meegan, the Sendarians, and the monsters who’ve been hunting Meegan and her family for over a century all have in common…

(Affiliate links included.)


What inspired you to write this story?

I wanted to write a story about a world that believed in a goddess that wasn’t really a goddess. The question of who she really was and how the truth would be revealed was what I started with. I needed to build a present-day story around something that happened over a millennia ago.

This story also started out as a science-fiction romance story following Kenna. I shifted and rewrote the story about two years into drafting. I had already finished the novel when I decided to go back and change everything, well mostly everything. After listening to a popular podcast, Writing Excuses, and hearing how the authors/writers on the show were interesting in reading more stories revolving around friendship, I rewrote the story to follow the connections and friendships rather than one girl’s journey.

Would you tell us more about the main characters from ISODLESSE?

Kenna and Meegan are the main lead characters, with Darci and Gemma close behind. I did bring in quite the cast for supporting characters, but everyone has a connection to someone. I promise. Everyone is relevant, one way or another.

Kenna is a hard worker with goals. She wants to graduate college and study/explore the stars. Her father has always filled her head with stories about space travel as he’s a science-fiction author, and she wants nothing more than to turn his fictional stories into real ones. When Kenna receives a mysterious yellow stone and a card with instructions to hold the stone and say the words written, that’s when the mystery and adventure begin.

Meegan is Kenna’s best friend. She’s a quiet girl with over-protective parents, but with good reason. Meegan’s not human. She’s an Anumen from a world called Anuminis, and she has a magic inside her that only Anumen women have. By casting amulas, or spell-like phrases, she can draw on the essence of the Eilimintachs, similar to the elements, to do as she wishes. But Meegan and her family are in hiding, refugees on Earth. So, using her power is only allowed around other Anumens.

Darci is fairly new to their friend group and brings a fresh bubbly personality. There’s much to learn about Darci, and she plays a big role in the events that unfold in Part I of Isoldesse.

Gemma was the easiest character to write and one of my favorites. Though Gemma also has a side to her she kept to herself. Thoughts and reflections that she rarely spoke aloud to her brother, Micah, or sister, Cahleen. There’s room for character growth with Gemma that I look forward to sharing in book 2.

There are many supporting characters that I absolutely loved as well. Cahleen being one of them. She brings an edge to the story. Bennach is another one of my favorites. His character was only briefly explored and will have more of a center stage appearance in book 2. Micah, Gemma and Cahleen’s brother was another favorite. He brought balance to the sibling trio. Breyah, Rian, and Holt helped bring in perspectives from the Sendarian research compound, including more background to what the Aevo Compendium project was. And last, the Athru leaders: Anora, Quaid, and Biryn. We’re not quite done with the Athru leaders and will see more from them in book 2.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

Kenna. My schedule is always full, and I’m always busy doing stuff to reach a goal of some sorts. And even though Kenna isn’t as worrisome as she normally is, because of the bond with the arcstone, I’m a worrier and overthink things all the time.

I think one reason Kenna’s personality is fairly normal. I wanted her to be relatable to most people. She’s kind and does things for her friends and even cleans Pru’s house without being asked. Character voice is the one writing technique I’m still working on, and because of this I focused on Kenna’s character being like mine. Busy, loyal, and a worrier.

What advice would you give your characters about navigating their world?

My advice would be to look towards those closest to you for advice. To work together and trust one another. It’s understandable to have secrets, but also know that keeping secrets puts an invisible weight on a person’s conscious. Meegan carried the secret of who she is for years. Kenna and Meegan need to learn all they can from Ulissa, and Kenna needs to figure out what’s going on between her and Liam, and her and Ben.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

I love how two stories are being told at once. How the present story of Kenna and Meegan trying to figure out the arcstone while the Sendarians are assessing Earth and the Athru are trying to sabotage the assessment is the main story being told while in the background another story is slowly being unfolded. The story about who Isoldesse is.

As for specific scenes, I have two three favorite scenes:
1. When Kenna learns the truth about Meegan. Emotions are high during their conversation, but it’s the dialogue at the end of the chapter that made me love this scene so much.

2. When Breyah, Rian, and Bennach are looking for the humans in one of the guest rooms after the humans have snuck out of the compound. I absolutely love reading this scene. It makes me laugh every time!

3. Wait! I forgot, I kind of love when Kenna meets Ben for the first time. That’s a good one too!

When you reach for a book to read, what genre do you grab and what are some of your favorites in that genre?

Normally, I tend to gravitate towards YA fantasy. I’m not a fan of fairies or fae, but more witches, vampires, and other supernatural beings. The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole is one of my all time favorites and so is The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. But it was Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux series that inspired me to write my own YA science-fiction fantasy story about aliens, magic, adventure, and of course a sprinkle of romance!

This year I’m looking to read more YA science-fiction stories. Though, I enjoy fantasy stories (substitute aliens instead of mystical beings) I want to read more books in my writing genre. That’s not to say the next series I write will be sci-fi. I may venture into dystopia or fantasy, or a mix just because I like keeping things interesting!

I recently read Beyond the Red by Ava Jae (Gabe Cole Novoa) and loved! I’m currently reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and loving every chapter! Looking forward to reading more YA sci-fi books this year.

When you’re not reading or writing, what do you enjoy doing?

I have a small book blog, Plum Report, that I devote much time to. I enjoy taking bookstagram pictures (when I have time) and interacting with others on IG. I also recently started a podcast that combines my book blog and author platform. Both are fun and keep me involved with people in the bookish community.

When I’m not blogging, bookstagramming, or writing, I enjoy crafting, baking, playing Stardew Valley on our Xbox, and hanging out with family and friends. My favorite part of the day is TV time with my husband. We love watching sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, dystopia shows and movies every night with our two miniature pinschers cuddled up between us.

What can we expect next from you, and are there any teasers you’d like to share?

Book 2 is titled: Fawness, and I’m aiming to release late spring of 2022. The Obard are coming in book 2, which I’m excited about! Also, another character that was only mentioned by name in book 1 and will appear in book two: Biryn. If anyone has ever seen the Underworld movies, that’s kind of where I got the idea to split my antagonists for each book. If you haven’t seen those movies, I highly recommend watching ;)

I’m hoping that for those who have read, they’ll understand why I titled book 2 Fawness. I don’t want to give away any spoilers about that.

I have an exciting announcement that I’ll be sharing with everyone on March 2 during Isoldesse’s launch event about a side-project that I’ve been working on that ties into the Isoldesse world. More info to come on that soon!

About the Author

When Kimberly Grymes is not writing, reading, or blogging, she’s usually hanging out with her husband and kids, baking treats, or keeping busy with crafts. As much as she enjoys reading books, she loves watching movies and TV, and is always on the lookout for the next great sci-fi or fantasy show to watch. Her favorite part of the day is TV time in the evening with her husband and two min-pins, Jubilee and Cori. She currently lives in Kansas, where her allergies are much better than they were in Connecticut.

Kimberly has a small book blog called the Plum Report in which she reads and reviews science-fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and or dystopian books. She also enjoys taking bookstagram pictures and sharing them with the book community on Instagram.

Tour Schedule

Follow the tour here.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Two readers will each win a giveaway package (US only) that includes:
- Print copy of Isoldesse
- One signed hardcover
- Two desktop wallpaper images
- Two customized bookmarks
- A full set of character prints (13 character prints total)
- A full set of character pins (13 pins)
- One Isoldesse title pin
- One Isoldesse title magnet (it's a pin but with a magnetic backing)
- Isoldesse inspired bookmarks from Mirkwood Scribes, an ETSY shop (collaboration)
- One Isoldesse bookmark (that I created and had printed)
- One Isoldesse 5x7 print image
- One "bookish" 5x7 print image
- One Isoldesse inspired keychain

Ends March 1, 2021

a Rafflecopter giveaway
What did you like about the interview? Is this one already on your list to read?

Read an excerpt from The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner @parkrowbooks @harlequinbooks #harlequinbooks #thelostapothecary #womensfiction #histfic

Welcome! Read an excerpt from this new mysterious women's fiction title below...

The Lost Apothecary
By Sarah Penner
Adult Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction, Fantasy
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 320 Pages
March 2, 2021 by Park Row


In this addictive and spectacularly imagined debut, a female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course. Pitched as Kate Morton meets The Miniaturist, The Lost Apothecary is a bold work of historical fiction with a rebellious twist that heralds the coming of an explosive new talent.

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.



February 3, 1791

She would come at daybreak—the woman whose letter I held in my hands, the woman whose name I did not yet know.

I knew neither her age nor where she lived. I did not know her rank in society nor the dark things of which she dreamed when night fell. She could be a victim or a transgressor. A new wife or a vengeful widow. A nursemaid or a courtesan.

But despite all that I did not know, I understood this: the woman knew exactly who she wanted dead.

I lifted the blush-colored paper, illuminated by the dying f lame of a single rush wick candle. I ran my fingers over the ink of her words, imagining what despair brought the woman to seek out someone like me. Not just an apothecary, but a murderer. A master of disguise.

Her request was simple and straightforward. For my mistress’s husband, with his breakfast. Daybreak, 4 Feb. At once, I drew to mind a middle-aged housemaid, called to do the bidding of her mistress. And with an instinct perfected over the last two decades, I knew immediately the remedy most suited to this request: a chicken egg laced with nux vomica.

The preparation would take mere minutes; the poison was within reach. But for a reason yet unknown to me, something about the letter left me unsettled. It was not the subtle, woodsy odor of the parchment or the way the lower left corner curled forward slightly, as though once damp with tears. Instead, the disquiet brewed inside of me. An intuitive understanding that something must be avoided.

But what unwritten warning could reside on a single sheet of parchment, shrouded beneath pen strokes? None at all, I assured myself; this letter was no omen. My troubling thoughts were merely the result of my fatigue—the hour was late—and the persistent discomfort in my joints.

I drew my attention to my calfskin register on the table in front of me. My precious register was a record of life and death; an inventory of the many women who sought potions from here, the darkest of apothecary shops.

In the front pages of my register, the ink was soft, written with a lighter hand, void of grief and resistance. These faded, worn entries belonged to my mother. This apothecary shop for women’s maladies, situated at 3 Back Alley, was hers long before it was mine.

On occasion I read her entries—23 Mar 1767, Mrs. R. Ranford, Yarrow Milfoil 15 dr. 3x—and the words evoked memories of her: the way her hair fell against the back of her neck as she ground the yarrow stem with the pestle, or the taut, papery skin of her hand as she plucked seeds from the flower’s head. But my mother had not disguised her shop behind a false wall, and she had not slipped her remedies into vessels of dark red wine. She’d had no need to hide. The tinctures she dispensed were meant only for good: soothing the raw, tender parts of a new mother, or bringing menses upon a barren wife. Thus, she filled her register pages with the most benign of herbal remedies. They would raise no suspicion.

On my register pages, I wrote things such as nettle and hyssop and amaranth, yes, but also remedies more sinister: nightshade and hellebore and arsenic. Beneath the ink strokes of my register hid betrayal, anguish…and dark secrets.

Secrets about the vigorous young man who suffered an ailing heart on the eve of his wedding, or how it came to pass that a healthy new father fell victim to a sudden fever. My register laid it all bare: these were not weak hearts and fevers at all, but thorn apple juice and nightshade slipped into wines and pies by cunning women whose names now stained my register.

Oh, but if only the register told my own secret, the truth about how this all began. For I had documented every victim in these pages, all but one: Frederick. The sharp, black lines of his name defaced only my sullen heart, my scarred womb.

I gently closed the register, for I had no use of it tonight, and returned my attention to the letter. What worried me so? The edge of the parchment continued to catch my eye, as though something crawled beneath it. And the longer I remained at my table, the more my belly ached and my fingers trembled. In the distance, beyond the walls of the shop, the bells on a carriage sounded frighteningly similar to the chains on a constable’s belt. But I assured myself that the bailiffs would not come tonight, just as they had not come for the last two decades. My shop, like my poisons, was too cleverly disguised. No man would find this place; it was buried deep behind a cupboard wall at the base of a twisted alleyway in the darkest depths of London.

I drew my eyes to the soot-stained wall that I had not the heart, nor the strength, to scrub clean. An empty bottle on a shelf caught my reflection. My eyes, once bright green like my mother’s, now held little life within them. My cheeks, too, once flushed with vitality, were sallow and sunken. I had the appearance of a ghost, much older than my forty-one years of age.

Tenderly, I began to rub the round bone in my left wrist, swollen with heat like a stone left in the fire and forgotten. The discomfort in my joints had crawled through my body for years; it had grown so severe, I lived not a waking hour without pain. Every poison I dispensed brought a new wave of it upon me; some evenings, my fingers were so distended and stiff, I felt sure the skin would split open and expose what lay underneath.

Killing and secret-keeping had done this to me. It had begun to rot me from the inside out, and something inside meant to tear me open.

At once, the air grew stagnant, and smoke began to curl into the low stone ceiling of my hidden room. The candle was nearly spent, and soon the laudanum drops would wrap me in their heavy warmth. Night had long ago fallen, and she would arrive in just a few hours: the woman whose name I would add to my register and whose mystery I would begin to unravel, no matter the unease it brewed inside of me.

Excerpted from The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, Copyright © 2021 by Sarah Penner. Published by Park Row Books.

About the Author

Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary, to be translated in eleven languages worldwide. She works full-time in finance and is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women's Fiction Writers Association. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit

What did you think of the excerpt? Will you be reading this one?

I Can't Wait for... A Proper Scoundrel by Esther Hatch (Can't-Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday) #CWW #WOW #histfic #historicalromance @covenant_comm

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 just finished this author's newest, Manor for Sale, Baron Included, and loved it! She seems to get better with each book. Her next book is my pick this week...

A Proper Scoundrel
By Esther Hatch
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
May 10, 2021 by Covenant Communications


His scandals were right on track until she derailed everything.

As the successful owner of multiple railroad lines, Diana Barton is all too accustomed to fending off suitors seeking to stake their claim on her wealth. In order to keep the wolves at bay, Diana has contrived the perfect plan: appeal to the most notorious rake in London, the Baron Lord Bryant, to ruin her reputation and scare off the worst of the time wasters. The ruse will be no hardship—she’s secretly been fascinated by the man for years.

Lord Bryant is well aware of his questionable reputation. Indeed, he has cultivated the image carefully, and the last thing he wants is a wife. When he’s approached by the younger sister of a business associate, he tells her in no uncertain terms that he cannot help. However, when he sees for himself what she is up against, Bryant grudgingly offers his assistance. Faced with his most complicated entanglement yet, Bryant is firm in his conditions—and Diana knows that to get romantically involved with Bryant would spell certain heartbreak. But as the counterfeit couple grows ever closer, the line between truth and lies becomes blurred, threatening both Lord Bryant’s well-laid plans and the future of Diana’s railroad business.

(Affiliate links included.)

Will you be reading this one?

A perfectly lovely romantic comedy... Manor for Sale, Baron Included by Esther Hatch (Review) #histfic #historicalfiction #regencyromance #fivestars

Manor for Sale, Baron Included
(A Romance of Rank #1)
By Esther Hatch
Adult Historical Romance
ebook, 247 Pages
February 25, 2021


She has everything Lord Farnsworth wants, including his manor.

Lord Farnsworth would rather rot in debtor’s prison than sell the one place that feels like home to him—his mother’s manor. That is, until he meets the woman who wants to buy it. Sally Duncan is beautiful, intelligent, and as rich as a baron—a rich baron, not a cash-strapped one like Lord Farnsworth. She’s the solution to every one of his financial problems and is bewitching to boot. All he needs to do is sell her his beloved manor and then charm her to the altar, and the manor will be his again. Simple, right?

But nothing is simple when Sally starts tearing apart his ancestral home and renovating it in a way no one would consider tasteful. She is wreaking havoc on everything, but he cannot give up on owning his mother’s estate again, nor can he imagine anyone but Sally as his wife.

And so he sticks with his plan.

What a horrible mistake.

(Affiliate link included.)
Also available on KindleUnlimited

My Review

MANOR FOR SALE, BARON INCLUDED is a story full of humor, family, friendship, love and heart. It's entertaining from start to finish and the perfect read for sweet historical romance fans!

This story was so much fun and I loved these characters! Sally is this fabulous mix of brilliant, beautiful and caring with a great sense of humor. John is a great mix of hard working and determination, with a big heart and also a great sense of humor. The banter and teasing between the two of them was just plain fantastic! I couldn't help smiling and laughing on multiple occasions. At the same time, there were also heartbreaking and sweet moments that made the story that much richer. I also loved different members of both households' staff as well as Sally's sister who was an absolute joy. The romance was sweet, with great dialogue, and plenty of chemistry. The plot was entertaining with never a dull moment all the way to the perfect end. I'm happily awaiting the next book in the series.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Readers who are looking for something sweet, full of heart and great characters that will make them laugh will fall in love with this story. It's perfectly delightful. Highly recommended!

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

I loved this book so much! If you're a fan of the author or the gene, definitely grab this one!

New Releases/#Free & Bargain Books for February 15th - February 21st #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
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
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 the start of this time travel twist romance... Sunder of Time by Kristin McTiernan #timetravel #romancebooks @prismbooktours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to my tour stop! Check out this exciting series and enter the tour giveaway below...

Sunder of Time
(The Mason Timeline #1)
By Kristin McTiernan
Adult Time Travel/Alternate History
Paperback & ebook, 380 Pages
May 12, 2015


Isabella Jaramillo is accustomed to getting what she wants.

Living a comfortable life as the daughter of the world’s sole time travel magnate, Isabella has never suffered the irritation of being told no.

Only now she has gone too far and her soon-to-be ex-husband tells her no in the most vengeful way possible—by sabotaging her trip to the past, sending her to a distant land where the locals do not speak her language and are far from impressed by her haughty demeanor.

Now a slave, Isabella makes some surprising allies and discovers the truth behind her father’s rise to power and the terrible price the entire world paid for it. Somehow, she must break free and find a way home, not only to save herself, but to restore history to its rightful direction.

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series

Fissure of Worlds
(The Mason Timeline #2)
By Kristin McTiernan
Adult Time Travel/Alternate History
Paperback & ebook, 323 Pages
October 9, 2017


Knowledge isn’t power. It’s dangerous.

At first, she thought they’d do the right thing. A new timeline created by a misbehaving time traveler, a whole society crushed under theocratic oppression. Surely, the council would see reason. Surely, they’d help her fix the timeline.

They didn’t.

Now jailed and under the constant, unblinking eye of her own personal guard, Shannan must fight not only for her freedom, but for her own sanity.

Her one ally is Paul Canaan, a member of the Council but not truly one of them. Living a life of secrets and lies, Paul works in the shadows to free Shannan, and himself, from the artificially created timeline oppressing them both.

Together, Shannan and Paul will have to escape their watchers—before they, and the world, are trapped in a history that should never have been.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Kristin McTiernan was born the daughter of a career military man and spent her childhood bouncing from one country to another. Her love of writing surfaced early, and upon discovering the double threat of comic books and Star Trek in middle school, Kristin spent the majority of her spare time creating new worlds and interesting people to populate them. Following in her parents' footsteps, Kristin enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 and, upon her discharge three years later, settled into a life pursuing her love of words. She achieved her bachelor's degree in English from Emporia State University in her home state of Kansas and works as an editor to support her writing addiction. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and dog.

Tour Schedule

Tour-Wide Giveaway

One winner will win a Kindle gifted copy (gifted directly through Amazon) of Kristin McTiernan's supernatural mystery trilogy: Black Magic Omnibus: Books 1 - 3 of the Siren Song Series (US only)

Ends February 24, 2021

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Do you like reading time travel stories? Will you be reading this one?

Read an excerpt from this new Women's Fiction release... The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery (Excerpt & #Giveaway) #womensfiction #harlequinbooks #harlequinromance @harlequinbooks

Welcome to my tour stop! Read an excerpt and my review below...

The Vineyard at Painted Moon
(Series #)
By Susan Mallery
Adult Contemporary Women's Fiction, Romance
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 400 Pages
February 9, 2021 by HQN


MacKenzie Dienes's life isn't perfect, but it's as close as she could ever hope to get. Her marriage to Rhys, her best friend's brother, is more friendship than true love. But passion is highly overrated, right? And she loves her job as the winemaker at Bel Apres, her in-laws' vineyard. So what if it's a family business and, even after decades of marriage and incredible professional success, she's still barred from the family business meetings? It's all enough...until one last night spent together leads to an incredibly honest—and painful—conversation. Rhys suggests that they divorce. They haven't had a marriage in a long time and, while he wants her to keep her job at Bel Apres, he doesn't think they should be married any longer. Shocked, MacKenzie reels at the prospect of losing the only family she's ever really known...even though she knows deep in her heart that Rhys is right.

But when MacKenzie discovers she's pregnant, walking away to begin a new life isn't so easy. She never could have anticipated the changes it would bring to the relationships she cherishes most: her relationship with Barbara, her mother-in-law and partner at Bel Apres, Stephanie, her sister-in-law and best friend, and Bel Apres, the company she's worked so hard to put on the map.

MacKenzie has always dreamed of creating a vineyard of her own, a chance to leave a legacy for her unborn child. So when the opportunity arises, she jumps at it and builds the Vineyard at Painted Moon. But following her dreams will come at a high price—one that MacKenzie isn't so sure she's willing to pay…


Chapter One

“Not that what you’re wearing isn’t great, but the party starts in an hour.” 

Mackenzie Dienes looked up from the grapevine she’d been studying, her mind still on the tight clusters of small, hard grapes that would, come late September, be ripe and sweet and ready for harvest. Between now and then, she would monitor their progress, willing them to greatness and protecting them from danger, be it mold, weather or hungry deer. 

She blinked at the man standing in front of her, tall and familiar, with an easy smile and broad, capable shoulders.

 “Party?” she asked, letting her thoughts of the vineyards go and remembering that, yes, indeed, it was the evening of the annual Solstice Party, hosted by the Barcellona family. As she was a Barcellona, by marriage if not by name, she would be expected to attend. 

Wanted to attend, she reminded herself. It was always a good time, and Stephanie, her sister-in-law, worked hard to make it a perfect night. 

“The party,” she repeated, her voice slightly more panicked this time, then glanced down at herself. “Crap. What time is it?”

 Rhys, her husband, shook his head. “You really don’t listen when I talk, do you? We have an hour. You’ll be fine.” 

She pulled off her gloves and shoved them into the left front pocket of her coveralls, then stepped behind Rhys and gave him a little push toward the flatbed truck he’d driven out to the west vineyards. 

“You say that because all you have to do is shower and get dressed. I have to do the girl thing.” 

“Which takes you maybe ten minutes.” He put his arm around her as they hurried toward the truck. “Happy with the grapes?”

 “I think so,” she said, glancing toward the healthy vines growing on either side of them. “We might have to do some thinning in a couple of weeks, but so far, so good.”

 As they slid onto the bench seat of the old truck, he glanced at her. She smiled, knowing there was a fifty-fifty chance he would call her out on her thinning statement. He was, after all, the vineyard manager. Technically all the decisions about the vineyard were made by him with her input, but not her instruction. As winemaker, she managed the grapes from the moment they were picked until the wine was bottled. 

But at Bel Après, areas of responsibility often overlapped. Theirs was a large, boisterous family in which everyone had opinions. Not that Mackenzie listened to a lot of other ideas when it came to her wines, although as Rhys often pointed out, she was very free offering hers when it came to his work.

He drove along the dirt path that circled the vineyard, stopping by her truck. She slid into the cab, then followed him back to the family compound. The main road leading into Walla Walla was thick with tourists who wanted to enjoy the longest day of the year. She merged into the slow-moving traffic, doing her best to keep from glancing at the clock on the truck’s dashboard as she inched along. 

Vineyards stretched out on either side of the road, flat on the left and rising toward the hills on the right. Bright green leaves topped sturdy trunks that had been carefully trained to grow exactly as she wanted them to. The rows were long and neat, and the spaces between them were filled with native grasses that held in moisture and protected the roots from the heat. 

Looking at her healthy crop kept her mind off the fact that she and Rhys were going to be desperately late.

 Twenty minutes later, she followed him off the highway onto a less crowded secondary road—a back way home. Five minutes after that, they parked the trucks by the processing buildings behind the big tasting room. Rhys had already claimed one of the golf carts the family used to get around. She slid in next to him and they took off toward the center of the property. 

Bel Après Winery and the surrounding land had been in the Barcellona family for nearly sixty years. Rhys and his siblings were third-generation. The original main house had been updated several times. When Rhys and Mackenzie had married, Barbara, Rhys’s mother, had suggested they build themselves a house close to hers, rather than commute from town. Eager to stay in the good graces of her new mother-in-law, Mackenzie had agreed.

 A large two-story home had been built. Barbara and Mackenzie had decorated every room, the act of choosing everything from light fixtures to doorknobs cementing their affection for each other.

 A few years later, Stephanie, the second of Barbara’s four children, had gotten a divorce and moved back home with her two kids, requiring another house to be constructed. When the youngest of the three girls had married, the last house had been added. Only Lori, the middle daughter, still lived in the original home. 

All four houses faced a huge central courtyard. Mexican pavers were shaded by vine-covered pergolas. The extended family used the space for big dinners and as a kids’ play area. If one of the women baked cookies, a cookie flag was hung out the front door, inviting anyone to stop by. At Christmas, a large tree was brought in from Wishing Tree, and for the annual Summer Solstice Party, dozens of long tables were brought in to seat the two hundred or so guests. 

Rhys swung the golf cart behind the large main house, circling counterclockwise. Normally he would cut across the courtyard, but with all the party preparations, he had to go the long way. He pulled up at the rear entrance to their house and they dashed inside. 

Mackenzie paused to unlace her boots and left them in the mudroom. Rhys did the same. They raced up the stairs together, separating at the landing to head to their individual en suite bedrooms. 

Once in her bathroom, she started the shower. Thankfully, she’d already picked out the dress she would wear. She raced through a shower. After she dried off, she wrapped her hair in a towel and dug out the scented body lotion Rhys had given her a couple of years ago. Why anyone would want to smell like coconut and vanilla was beyond her, but he liked it. 

She walked into the large closet and opened her underwear drawer. To the right were all the sensible bikini panties she usually wore—to the left were the fancier ones for special occasions. She chose a black pair and slipped them on, then went to the second drawer and looked for the matching push-up bra. When it and the pads were in place and doing the best they could with her modest curves, she pulled on a robe and returned to the bathroom. 

After plugging in her hot rollers, it took her only a few minutes to apply eyeliner and mascara. She was flushed from the day working outside, so she didn’t bother with any other makeup. 

Her hair took a lot longer. First she had to dry the dark red shoulder-length waves, then she had to curl them. While the rollers were in place, she searched for a pair of black high-heel sandals that wouldn’t leave her crippled by the end of the night.

 Those found, she opened her small jewelry box and pulled out her wedding set, sliding both the engagement ring and the wedding band into place on her left hand. Diamond stud earrings followed. She’d barely stepped into her sleeveless black dress when Rhys walked into the closet, fully dressed in black slacks and a dark gray shirt. 

She sighed when she saw him. “See. You have it so much easier than me.” 

“Yes, but in the end, you’re more beautiful. That should be worth something.”

 “I’d rather have the extra time.” 

She turned, presenting him with her back. He pulled up the zipper, then bent to collect her shoes. They retreated to her bathroom and together began removing the curlers. 

“We’re late,” Mackenzie said, catching sight of his watch. “Your mom is going to be all snippy.” 

“She’ll be too busy welcoming her guests.” The last of the curlers was flung onto the counter. Mackenzie fluffed her hair, then pointed to the bedroom. 

“Retreat,” she said, reaching for the can of hair spray. 

Rhys ducked to safety. She sprayed the curls into submission before running into the bedroom to escape the death cloud. Rhys was on the bench at the foot of the large bed. She sat next to him and quickly put on her shoes. 

“Done,” she said, pausing to reacquaint herself with the seldom-used skill of walking in heels. 

She grabbed her husband’s wrist. “Seven fifteen. Barbara’s going to kill us.” 

“She’s not. I’m her only son and you’re just plain her favorite.” 

“We weren’t ready exactly at seven. I can already hear the death-march music in my head. I want to be buried on Red Mountain.” 

Rhys chuckled as he led the way downstairs. “In the vineyard? I’m not sure your decaying body is going to be considered organic.” 

“Are you saying I’m toxic?” she asked with a laugh as they walked toward the front door. 

“I’m saying you’re wonderful and I’d like us to have a good night.” 

There was something in his tone, she thought, meeting his gaze. She’d known this man her entire adult life. They’d met over Christmas her freshman year of college. Her roommate, his sister Stephanie, had dragged Mackenzie home to meet the family. Grateful not to have to spend the holiday by herself, Mackenzie had gone willingly and had quickly found herself falling not only for her best friend’s hunky older brother but for the entire Barcellona family and the vineyards they owned. Barbara had been like a surrogate mother, and the vineyards, well, they had been just as magical as Rhys’s sexy kisses.

 Now she studied her husband’s expression, seeing the hint of sadness lurking behind his easy smile. She saw it because she hid the same emotion deep inside herself. The days of stealing away for sexy kisses were long gone. There were no lingering looks, no intimacy. They had a routine and a life, but she was less sure about them still having a marriage.

 “I’d like that, too,” she murmured, knowing he wasn’t asking them not to fight. They never did. Harsh words required a level of involvement they simply didn’t have anymore.

 “Then let’s make that happen,” he said lightly, taking her hand in his and opening the front door. 

My Review

THE VINEYARD AT PAINTED MOON is a story of family, both in a traditional sense and in those who find family outside of blood. It's about a woman whose world has been turned upside down, but finds the strength and bravery to push through and still reach for her dreams and her own happiness. Recommended to fans of the author and women's fiction with a touch of romance.

All these characters were great, even with a few being over-the-top (specifically Barbara and Catherine). MacKenzie was just one of those characters that is so easy to like and relate to. She's smart, hard-working, a caring friend, and loves her adopted family. She knows things are not right in her marriage, but doesn't necessarily want to let it go and also doesn't know how to fix it. Her husband, however, has other ideas and it really surprises MacKenzie how out of touch she was. What ensues is a roller-coaster, emotional journey as she and other characters face things they've let go for too long, and find the courage to make changes in their lives.

The story switches point of view between several different characters. MacKenzie, Stephanie and Barbara being the main ones. Stephanie was another character that was easy to relate to. I enjoyed seeing her make some tough choices and face some tough things for a better future. Barbara was one of those people who are overly polished and warm when they want to be or you're on their good side. She was definitely drama to the max and played quite a villainous role. Parts felt a bit unrealistic. Of course, MacKenzie's story was the best part. I loved her resilience and her ability to make her own happiness and family with those who cared about her. She had some pivotal moments where she saw things for what they were and was able to move forward from that, even though the journey was anything but easy. I loved Bruno and his calm, steady presence. I'd love to say more about the marriages and divorces, but it would be a bit of a spoiler, so I'll leave it there.

The ending was a bit abrupt, which surprised me. I think I would have liked a bit more development and fade to the epilogue than what was given. I also would have loved a cleaner read, although it did feel authentic to the characters and story.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed reading this. There were parts that I could relate to and some that inspired me to be a better mom and wife, to embrace the wonderful life I have. The story had great characters and an endearing story about this group of sisters and making your own happiness.

Content: Swearing (including some b and s-words), innuendo, crude language, a short and not overly detailed love scene as well as fade-to-black and closed-door love scenes.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the tour host/NetGalley, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives―family, friendship, romance. She's known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages. Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at

Photo Credit: Annie Brady

Are you a fan of this author? What do you think? Will you be reading this one?