The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey Blog Tour

Thank you so much to St. Martins Press for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour!

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Book Summary:

An unforgettable historical about true love found and lost and the secrets we keep from one another from an award-winning author.

Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by the press and staying on just the right side of scandal, all while running from the life her parents would choose for her.

Lawrence Weston is a penniless painter who stumbles into Selina’s orbit one night and can never let her go even while knowing someone of her stature could never end up with someone of his. Except Selina falls hard for Lawrence, envisioning a life of true happiness. But when tragedy strikes, Selina finds herself choosing what’s safe over what’s right.

Spanning two decades and a seismic shift in British history as World War II approaches, Iona Grey’s The Glittering Hour is an epic novel of passion, heartache and loss.

Buy Links:
About the author:
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IONA GREY is the author of the award winning Letters to the Lost. She has a degree in English Literature and Language from Manchester University, an obsession with history and an enduring fascination with the lives of women in the twentieth century. She lives in rural Cheshire with her husband and three daughters.

The Last Affair by Margot Hunt Blog Tour

Thank you so much to Harper Collins and Mira Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour! I have loved Margot Hunt’s books for awhile and I’m so excited for her new book!

THE LAST AFFIAR

Author: Margot Hunt

ISBN: 9780778309222

Publication Date: November 26, 2019

Publisher: MIRA BOOKS

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Book Summary:

Gwen Landon—poster woman for perfect wife, mother, and suburban bliss—is found brutally bludgeoned to death behind her Floridian McMansion. Beautiful and beloved by her community, Gwen makes an unlikely victim. But just a scratch below the surface of her perfectly curated world reveals one far more sinister. When looking back over the six months leading up to her death, the question of, “who would do this?” quickly shifts to, “who wouldn’t?” 

 

Commercially successful food blogger and mother of three, Nora Holliday never imagined she would have the nerve, let alone time, to get involved an affair. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she does whatever it takes to keep it all together. But when Nora runs into Gwen Landon’s husband at a hotel in Orlando, his easy kindness and warmth proves too tempting to resist. As their affair spirals dangerously out of control, it seems things can’t get more complicated—until Gwen turns up dead.

Excerpt:

Prologue

Other than the woman’s blood-covered body splayed facedown in the grass, it could have been any typical upscale Floridian backyard.

There was the ubiquitous pool with a water fountain feature, a patio furnished with both a dining set and outdoor sectional couch, and an enormous gas grill capable of cooking hamburgers by the dozen. A large pergola with a tropical vine trained over it covered part of the patio. The dining area was shaded by a black-and-white-striped awning. It was the very picture of suburban domestic bliss. It could have been the set for a commercial advertising anything from laundry detergent to allergy medicine.

Again, except for the dead body.

The area had already been taped off. The first officers on the scene appeared with an ambulance in response to a frantic 911 call placed by the woman’s daughter. The paramedics had assessed the situation, and quickly determined that the woman was dead. The fact that the back of her head had been bashed in with what looked like a paving stone, conveniently dropped next to her prone body, made it immediately clear that it had not been a natural death. The responding officers called the sheriff, who responded by sending in a full investigative team. The medical examiner was now doing a preliminary examination of the body, while police officers combed the area for additional evidence. Two detectives, Mike Monroe and Gavin Reddick—separated by twenty years and sixty pounds—were overseeing the operation, standing at the edge of the patio under the shade of the pergola. It was the third week in April, but this was South Florida and the temperature had already climbed into the low nineties.

“The paving stone came from the stack out in the front yard. They were delivered last week by the company who’s installing the driveway,” Detective Reddick said. He was the younger of the two men and had a wiry frame and angular face.

“Weapon of convenience. Suggests it wasn’t premeditated,” Detective Monroe said. He had a ruddy complexion and a full head of thick dark hair, swept back off his face. A strand never moved out of place, even in a strong wind.

“Plus he dropped the weapon, rather than taking it with him. Probably panicked.”

“Could be a she,” Monroe said mildly.

Reddick shrugged. “Blunt force trauma to the back of the head? You know the stats. Overwhelming likelihood that it’s a man, and probably someone the victim was intimately involved with. Husband, maybe a boyfriend.”

“The husband was with the daughter when she called it in.”

“Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, and then had her place the call.”

“No, it doesn’t.”

The family had been sequestered indoors, both to keep them out of the way, and so that the officers waiting in the house with them could observe anything they did or said. Other than the husband, there was a daughter in her early twenties and a teenage son. The daughter was reportedly distraught, while the husband and son had both been eerily quiet. It was possible they were in shock.

“Do we have an ID on the victim?” Reddick asked.

“It’s her house,” Monroe grunted.

“Yeah, but I like doing things the official way, you know? I’s dotted, t’s crossed, all of that. Building a case, basic detective work.”

Despite the chilling scene in front of them—the woman’s body still sprawled on the grass, the back of her head a pulpy, bloody mess—the corner of Monroe’s mouth quirked up in a half smile. “Sure, kid, tell me all about basic detective work. I’ve only been doing this for, what…thirty-two years now? The husband ID’d her. Victim is Gwen Landon, age forty-nine. Married, mother of two. Husband said she hasn’t had any recent conflict with anyone.”

“Other than the person who caved in the back of her head with a paving stone,” Reddick pointed out.

“Wouldn’t be the first time a husband didn’t know his wife as well as he thought he did.”

“Possible. But there’s another possibility, too.”

“What’s that?”

Reddick turned to look at his partner. His eyes were small and dark, and he had a habit of squinting when he concentrated intently on something.

“The husband is a liar,” Reddick said.

 

Buy Links:

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

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Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

About the author:

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Margot Hunt is a critically acclaimed author of psychological suspense. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.

TWITTER: @HuntAuthor

FB: @AuthorMargotHunt

Insta:@margot_hunt

Goodreads

 

Day Zero by Kelly deVos Blog Tour

Thank you so much to Harper Collins and Inkyard Press for allowing me to participate in the blog tour for this book!

DAY ZERO

Author: Kelly deVos

ISBN:  978-1335008480 

Publication Date: 11/12/19

Publisher: Inkyard Press

 

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Google

iBooks

Kobo

 

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Book Summary:

Don’t miss the exhilarating new novel from the author of Fat Girl on a Plane, featuring a fierce, bold heroine who will fight for her family and do whatever it takes to survive. Fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It series and Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave series will cheer for this fast-paced, near-future thrill ride.

If you’re going through hell…keep going.

Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Toby.

But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, MacKenna, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.

In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Toby and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for?


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Author Bio:

KELLY DEVOS is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart husband, amazing teen daughter and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection. Her debut novel, Fat Girl on a Plane, named one of the “50 Best Summer Reads of All Time” by Reader’s Digest magazine, is available now from HarperCollins.

Kelly’s work has been featured in the New York Times as well as on Salon, Vulture and Bustle.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @kdevosauthor

Facebook: @kellydevosbooks

Instagram: @kellydevos

Goodreads

EXCERPT FROM BOOK:

Dr. Doomsday’s Guide to Ultimate Survival

Rule One: Always be prepared.

I exhale in relief when MacKenna pulls the car into the Halliwell’s Market parking lot. Because of the Sugar Sales Permit waiting list, old stores like these are the only places that carry Extra Jolt soda. I have to buy it myself, because Mom won’t keep any in the house.

She thinks too much caffeine rots your brain or something. Halliwell’s is a squat brown building that sits across the street from the mall and is next door to the town’s only skyscraper.

The First Federal Building was supposed to be the first piece of a suburban business district designed to rival the hip boroughs of New York. The mayor announced the construction of a movie theater, an apartment complex and an indoor aquarium. But the New Depression hit, and the other buildings never materialized.

The First Federal Building alone soars toward the clouds, an ugly glass rectangle visible from every neighborhood, surrounded by the old town shops that have been there forever. Most of the stores are empty.

We park in front of the market.

Our car nestles in the long shadow of the giant bank building.

Charles gets out and stands on the sidewalk in front of the car.

MacKenna opens her door. She hesitates again. “Listen, I know you might not want to hear this or believe it. But my book report wasn’t about hurting you or getting revenge. I’m trying to get you to see what’s really happening here. That Carver’s election is the start of something bad. We could use you at the rally. You’re one of the few people who understands Dr. Doomsday’s work. You could explain what he did. How he helped Carver cheat to win.”

“I’ve been planning this raid for months,” I say. My stomach churns, sending uncomfortable flutters through my insides. I don’t know what it would mean to talk about my father’s work. What I really want to do is pretend it doesn’t exist. Pretend the world is normal and whole.

I reassure myself with the reminder that there’s no way MacKenna is going to the rally either.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Charles give us a small wave. Before MacKenna can say anything else, I get out and grab my backpack.

Inside Halliwell’s, I pick up a blue basket from the stack near the door. The small market is busy and full of other people shopping after school or work. The smell of pine cleaner hits me as we pass the checkout stations. They are super serious about germs and always cleaning between customers.

I leave MacKenna and Charles at the Click N’Grow rack near the door to check out the seed packets that my brother collects. Dad got Charles hooked on this computerized gardening that uses an e-tablet and a series of tiny indoor lights to create the ideal indoor planter box. Each week, they release a new set of exclusive seeds. Their genetic modifications are controversial.

All the soda is in large coolers that line one of the walls of the market. They keep the strange stuff in the corner. Expensive root beers. Ramune imported from Japan. And! Extra! Jolt! I put a few bottles of strawberry in my basket. I snag some grape too. For a second, I consider buying a couple of bottles of doughnut flavor. But that sounds like too much, even for me. The chips are in the next aisle. I load up on cheese puffs and spicy nacho crisps.

MacKenna and Charles are still at the rack near the door, and I try to squeeze by them without attracting any notice. I usually don’t buy unhealthy snacks when I’m with my brother. I smuggle them in my backpack and have a special hiding space in my desk.

My brother has type 1 diabetes, and he’s supposed to check his blood sugar after meals. He can have starchy or sugary snacks only when his glucose level is good or on special occasions.

MacKenna grimaces at a packet of seeds in her hands. “I still don’t like this one. It’s pretty. But still. It’s…carnivorous.”

I have to hand it to her. She really does have a look. She’s pale and white, like me, but she manages to seem like she’s doing it on purpose and not because she’s some kind of vampire- movie reject. Her glossy black hair always rests in perfect waves, and if the journalism thing doesn’t work out, she could definitely have a career in fashion design.

Charles smiles at her. “It’s a new kind of pitcher plant. Like the Cobra Lily.” He points to the picture on the front of the seed packet. “Look at the blue flowers. That’s new.”

 “It eats other plants,” MacKenna says.

“You eat plants.”

“But I don’t eat people,” MacKenna says. “There’s got to be some kind of natural law that says you shouldn’t eat your own kind.”

Charles giggles.

So far so good. Until.

My brother trots up behind me and dumps a few packs of seeds in my basket. His gaze lands on my selection of soda and chips. “Can I get some snacks too?”

Crap.

 I freeze. “What’s your number?”

Charles pretends he can’t hear me. That’s not a good sign.

“Charles, what’s your number?”

He still doesn’t look at me. “I forgot my monitor today.”

“Well, I have mine.” I kneel down and dig around for the spare glucometer I keep in the front pocket of my backpack. By the time I get it out, MacKenna has already pulled Charles out of his blazer and rolled up the sleeve of his blue dress shirt. I wave the device over the small white sensor disk attached to my brother’s upper arm.

After a few seconds, the glucometer beeps and a number displays on the screen.

221

Crap. Crap. Crap.

“Charles! What did you eat today?”

My brother’s face turns red. “They were having breakfast-for-lunch day at school. Everyone else was having pancakes. Why can’t I have pancakes?”

I sigh. Something about his puckered up little face keeps me from reminding him that if he eats too much sugar he could die. “You know what Mom said. If you eat something you’re not supposed to, you have to get a pass and go to the nurse for your meds.”

My brother’s shoulders slump. “I couldn’t go to the nurse. Hummingbirds were visiting the Chuparosa and…”

Charles is on the verge of tears and frowns even more deeply at the sight of my basket full of junk food.

“Look,” I say. “There are plenty of healthy snacks we can eat. I’ll put this stuff back.”

“That’s right,” MacKenna says, giving Charles’s hand a squeeze. “We can get some popcorn. Yogurt. Um, I saw some really delicious-looking fresh pears back there.”

“And they have the cheese cubes you like,” I add.

We go around the store replacing the cheese puffs and soda with healthy stuff. I hesitate when I have to put back the Extra Jolt, but I really don’t want to make my brother feel bad because I can drink sugary stuff and he can’t.

We pay for the healthy snacks and the seed packets.

 I grab the bags and move toward the market’s sliding doors.

I end up ahead of them, waiting outside by the car and facing the store. The shopping center behind Halliwell’s is mostly empty. The shoe store went out of business last year. Strauss Stationers, where everyone used to buy their fancy wedding invitations, closed two years before that. The fish ’n’ chips drive-through is doing okay and has a little crowd in front of the take-out window. Way off in the distance, Saba’s is still open, because in Arizona, cowboy boots and hats aren’t considered optional.

I watch MacKenna and Charles step out of the double doors and into the parking lot. Two little dimples appear on MacKenna’s cheeks when she smiles. Charles has a looseness to his walk. His arms dangle.

There’s a low rumble, like thunder from a storm that couldn’t possibly exist on this perfectly sunny day.

Something’s wrong 

In the reflection of the market’s high, shiny windows, I see something happening in the bank building next door. Some kind of fire burning in the lower levels. A pain builds in my chest and I force air into my lungs. My vision blurs at the edges. It’s panic, and there isn’t much time before it overtakes me.

The muscles in my legs tense and I take off at a sprint, grabbing MacKenna and Charles as I pass. I haul them along with me twenty feet or so into the store. We clear the door and run past a man and a woman frozen at the sight of what’s going on across the street.

I desperately want to look back.

But I don’t.

A scream.

A low, loud boom.

My ears ring.

The lights in the store go off.

I’ve got MacKenna by the strap of her maxidress and Charles by the neck. We feel our way in the dim light. The three of us crouch and huddle together behind a cash counter. A few feet in front of us, the cashier who checked us out two minutes ago is sitting on the floor hugging her knees.

We’re going to die.

Charles’s mouth is wide-open. His lips move. He pulls at the sleeve of my T-shirt.

I can’t hear anything.

It takes everything I’ve got to force myself to move.

Slowly 

Slowly 

Leaning forward. Pressing my face into the plywood of the store counter, I peek around the corner using one eye to see out the glass door. My eyelashes brush against the rough wood, and I grip the edge to steady myself. I take in the smell of wood glue with each breath.

Hail falls in the parking lot. I realize it’s glass.

My stomach twists into a hard knot.

It’s raining glass.

That’s the last thing I see before a wave of dust rolls over the building.

Leaving us in darkness.

 

Excerpted from Day Zero by Kelly deVos, Copyright © 2019 by Kelly deVos. Published by Inkyard Press.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog tour and hopefully have a new book added to your TBR list! 

Wickerlight by Mary Watson Review

3 STARS

Thank you so much to Bloomsbury YA for sending me a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

After devouring and loving Mary Watson’s first book The Wren Hunt, I was very excited that it got a sequel.  I felt that the first book left on a small cliffhanger and I was ready to find out what happened next, mainly with the main character from the first book, Wren.

I was slightly disappointed that Wren didn’t play a huge role in the second book.  She was mentioned maybe a total of 5 times throughout the whole book and as I thought the first book left a lot up in the air regarding her, I was left still wondering what really happened with her.  

The writing style was just as good in the second book as it was the first and I enjoyed that the chapters alternated between the characters of Zara and David.  I just didn’t feel like I enjoyed the second book as much as I did the first.  I’m not sure if that’s because it focused on different characters or if it was the story itself but I was not as intrigued by this one.  I missed the romance between Wren and Tarc and wished there would have been more about them.

This book did have one of my favorite troupes (dislike to lovers) which I did enjoy and I’m really hoping there’s another book after this one as this one also felt like it ended on a small cliffhanger.  

Mary Watson’s writing style is definitely fantastical and whimsical and once you get a hang of pronouncing everything (thank you to the glossary in the back) I think everyone would enjoy this story.  It’s written to where you think it’s set in the late 1800s to early 1900s but it’s actually set in modern day which is one of the main reasons I enjoy her books so much.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky Review

4 STARS

Thank you so much to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for my review.

This is one of those books that I am in complete awe of the author for creating such an amazing and fantastical world.  How Stephen Chbosky came up with the plot, characters, and events in this story is beyond my comprehension and I loved it.

I’m going to go ahead and admit that I am one of the slim few that have never read The Perks of Being A Wildflower and I’m a little ashamed to say it.  I had no clue what to expect going into this novel and I was definitely not prepared for what I experienced.

Don’t let the size of this book and the small print intimidate you, this story is amazing and twisty and dark but oh so good.  I loved the character of Christopher and how kind-hearted and what a protector he was.  He is such a sweet kid trying to help out his mom and also overcome all of the problems they’ve had in their life.  I know a lot of people were saying this book was way too long but honestly, I thought it was too short (I know, you would think over 700 pages is enough) but I didn’t want this story to end.  I wanted to read more about Christopher and his friends and family and find out about their lives after all the craziness went on.

All of the characters and events that went on in this book were executed perfectly and I honestly found myself gasping more than a few times with some of the crazy things that happened.  If you like almost paranormal, religious, fantasy I would say you would really enjoy this book.  It definitely is unlike anything I’ve ever read before and I feel this was perfect as his big comeback novel.

Coral by Sara Ella Review

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was very excited going into this book because I love the original story of The Little Mermaid and love fairytale re-tellings so this sounded like a great story.  The cover immediately drew me in and the synopsis sounded great.

Let me first start off by saying my pros for this book.  I loved all of the characters for their own individual reasons, they were all well developed and I loved how each chapter was told from a different character’s perspective.  

I also loved the storyline of this book, it immediately intrigued me and the author has a whimsical, lyrical way of writing that I really enjoyed.  It is a little harder to read but I found by slowing down my reading speed I was able to fully understand everything and appreciate the story more.

Now we get to my cons; I didn’t really understand this story.  Quite a few times while reading this book I had to second guess myself and almost had to reread large chunks of it due to how confused I was.  What you originally think is three main characters in this book is actually only two but if you’re not paying close attention to what’s going on, you really don’t understand how two of the characters are the same.  

Another problem I had was how much this story jumped ahead without really giving you any warning.  All of a sudden we’re months ahead in the story without finding out the details or why it skipped ahead so far.  That was another thing that really threw me off when reading and I thought I had missed something.

I know the author tried to make it all a big plot twist at the end but I feel it fell a little short.  I might just be too used to reading thriller novels but it was a very anticlimactic plot twist for me.  

The only other con about this book for me was I felt like it could have been shorter.  There was a lot of information thrown in that I didn’t feel was entirely necessary.  

This still was a pretty good book overall and I commend the author for writing about the touchy subjects she did and bringing light to so many illnesses but this just wasn’t a great book for me.  The cover is very deceiving as it doesn’t deal much with underwater sea life so I feel like that will throw a lot of readers off.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker Review

Thank you so much to Lion Forge and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This was my first graphic novel I’ve ever read and I loved it so much that I’m now hooked on them. The illustrations were amazing and the storyline was so good. It was the perfect amount of witchy and whimsical and I read it in one sitting. The characters were amazing, the plot was crazy, and I honestly couldn’t get enough of this book. This is definitely one I will reread over and over again.