Unscripted by Davis Bunn Review

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Synopsis

Young line producer Danny Byrd is well-known in Hollywood for being someone who gets things done on time and under budget. But when his reputation takes a beating after his partner–and former best friend–makes off with their investors’ money, Danny has but one chance to redeem himself and restore his ruined career.

LA lawyer Megan Pierce has sacrificed years of her life proving herself to her impossible bosses only to find herself disgusted at their snobbery and their specious business practices. When an opportunity to actually make a difference comes her way, she knows she has to grab it–even though she’s not entirely clear what “it” is.

Danny and Megan are each other’s best hope for redemption. What they never could have imagined was that they might also be each other’s best hope for love.

Bestselling and award-winning author Davis Bunn takes you into the beating heart of Hollywood with two characters determined to thrive in a cutthroat business.

My Thoughts

I was intrigued by the synopsis of this story as I’m curious how movies are made. Unfortunately, this one missed the mark for me. The plot is a bit muddy and convoluted and the scenes that deal with “movie making” were less than exciting.

The characters were pretty basic and I didn’t find anything about them that made them stand out or be memorable. I did enjoy the setting of the story.

Overall, this book was not very interesting to me and I found it kind of boring. Not one that I would revisit.

My Rating

2 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fragments of Fear by Carrie Stuart Parks Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: Fragments of Fear

Author: Carrie Stuart Parks

Genre: Suspense

Release date: July 23, 2019

Fragments of FearFrom award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks comes a new novel with danger that reaches from a New Mexico Anasazi archaeological dig to micro- and nano-chip technology.

Evelyn Yvonne McTavish-Tavish to her friends-had her almost perfect world in Albuquerque, New Mexico, come to a crashing end with the suicide of her fiancé. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she’s given the news that her dog is about to be destroyed at the dog pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine-with her name and address-makes it hers.

Tavish recognizes the dog as one owned by an archaeologist named Pat Caron because she did a commissioned drawing of the two of them months earlier. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner, but she arrives only to discover Caron’s murdered body.

After meeting undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price the mystery deepens as more people start disappearing and Tavish becomes a target as well. Her only solution is to find the links between microchip technology, an Anasazi site in the desert, her fiancé’s death, a late-night radio show, and the dog. And the clock is ticking.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

I have read one other book by Carrie Stuart Parks and I enjoyed it so I was looking forward to reading this one as well.

I enjoyed many things about this story. Tavish, the main character was enjoyable to read about and I adored her relationship with Marley, the dog in the book. The setting of the story was also great and unique to me…it takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico and there are several scenes in the deserts and canyons that were described very well.

There was no shortage of action in this book. The plot moves very briskly and there were no moments when I felt that the story lagged or was slow. The content was very clean and appropriate and the faith message was presented well.

The plot was a bit complicated and full of many characters that I found difficult to keep track of at times. I also found that romance was definitely an instalove situation.

Overall, the mystery was interesting and kept me guessing and there were a few twists that I didn’t see coming. I highly recommend this one to fans of suspense and action.

I received this book from the author/publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Parks Carrie StuartCarrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol Award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law-enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

 

More from Carrie

Using Art to Solve Crime: Techniques Used by Forensic Artists

 

Since 1981, I’ve been a forensic artist—an amazing feat since I’m only . . .um. . . well, younger than that. In those years, I’ve seen some shifts and trends, but some things have never changed. Despite the overwhelming prevalence of computers in almost every other field, they have never been able to replace a trained forensic artist. Artists have an amazing toolbox of techniques we use to gather the information we need to help solve crime.

  1. The pencil. Any forensic artist worth her weight in graphite knows the power of the lowly pencil and a sketchpad. Law enforcement would love a photographic image of the suspect, but all we have to work with is memory…and memory is faulty. The more the image looks perfect, the more imperfect it is for helping to identify a suspect. We want the drawing to just suggest a likeness and eliminate those not similar.
  2. Now that we brought up the subject of memory, a forensic artist needs to understand how memory works. The average witness will remember between four and five facial features. When they describe the person they saw, they will do so from their strongest memory to their weakest memory, from most important to least important. We listen carefully to the order of facial features.
  3. Whole vs Parts. We don’t look at faces as individual parts, although a particularly outstanding nose or Marty Feldman eyes might catch our attention. We will remember the face as a whole, with the proportions of the face an unacknowledged part of that. Forensic artist prefer to use reference photographs where the whole face is viewed.

Want more? Check out the rest of my article at The Strand Magazine

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 23

All-of-a-kind Mom, July 23

Blogging With Carol, July 23

A Reader’s Brain, July 23

A Baker’s Perspective, July 24

The Avid Reader, July 24

CarpeDiem, July 24

Fiction Aficionado, July 25

Christian Bookaholic, July 25

Godly Book Reviews, July 25

Through the Fire Blogs, July 26

Livin’ Lit, July 26

The Becca Files, July 26

Inklings and notions , July 26

Real World Bible Study, July 27

Cathe Swanson, July 27

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, July 27

For Him and My Family, July 28

Lights in a Dark World, July 28

Retrospective Spines, July 28

Bigreadersite, July 29

Simple Harvest Reads, July 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, July 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Acdemy, July 30

Blossoms and Blessings, July 30

EmpowerMoms, July 30

Aryn The Libraryan, July 31

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, July 31

For the Love of Literature, July 31

Inspired by fiction, August 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 1

By The Book, August 1

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 2

Remembrancy, August 2

amandainpa, August 2

Pause for Tales, August 3

For the Love of Books, August 3

Just Your Average reviews, August 3

Hallie Reads, August 4

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, August 4

Daysong Reflections, August 4

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, August 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5

Texas Book-aholic, August 5

janicesbookreviews, August 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a grand prize of her book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/e592/fragments-of-fear-celebration-tour-giveaway

Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations by V. Joy Palmer Review

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Synopsis

Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.

But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon she’s forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.

Chance knows a few dozen things about family loyalty, which is why he begrudgingly agrees to Apryl’s insane plan. While Apryl claims they’re archenemies, the girl Chance only glimpsed in their teens starts to emerge, stealing what remains of his heart.

But expectations are a powerful thing. Amidst the glamorous weddings and swaying willows, can those old expectations be revised into something new?

My Thoughts

Every once in a while I like to take a break from my usual reading diet of dark, mysterious thrillers and cleanse my palette with a cutesy fun contemporary. This story was the perfect break from my usual morbid fare.

The story follows Apryl, who has always struggled with her self esteem, as her twin sister Courtney is well loved “shines at everything”. Apryl hides her pain with a lot of sarcasm and forced humor and although I found it funny at first, there were times when I felt like it was too much and made Apryl less likable.

The business that Apryl and her sister make from their grandmother’s antique store was very creative and I loved reading about all the wedding stuff.

I enjoyed the romance, it was sweet without being too quick. The faith content was also very strong with a great message.

Overall, this was an enjoyable story that I would recommend.

I received this book from the author to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Summer By the Tides by Denise Hunter Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: Summer by The Tides

Author: Denise Hunter

Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 21, 2019

Summer by the TidesFrom the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a heartfelt story of family secrets, forgiveness, and unexpected romance.

Following a painful betrayal, Maddy Monroe’s love life is a wreck, and her restaurant career is in shambles. When her grandmother goes missing, she and her estranged sisters converge at the family beach house in Sea Haven, North Carolina. Being with uptight Nora and free-spirited Emma at the place where their family broke apart is a struggle, and undercurrents of jealousy and resentment threaten to pull the sisters under. In the midst of the storm, sparks begin to fly between Maddy and Gram’s maddening neighbor, Connor Murphy.

As the sisters pack up the family belongings, memories of idyllic, slow-paced summers are resurrected. But long-buried secrets also come to light as Maddy discovers that all was not as it appeared that last summer in Sea Haven—nor today in the seemingly perfect lives of her sisters.

As family tensions rise and Connor causes tumult in Maddy’s heart, the sisters must find a way to accept each other for the women they’ve become before the bitterness of the past destroys their hope for a future.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

This was the perfect beach read. The story has a very summery setting…the town of Seahaven is a place that I would love to visit.

For the first 100 pages of the book, I was interested but thought that I would be able to predict everything that would happen. I was wrong…there were definitely a few things that I didn’t see coming.

The characters in the story were flawed and scarred and very real. I appreciate when characters aren’t “perfect”. The romance was a slow burn and very sweet to observe. I also loved watching the relationships between the sisters. There were many lessons to be learned by characters along the way and it was enjoyable to read.

Although the story is set at the beach, there are some darker moments that occur. The story had a lot of substance. Overall I found this to be a quick read that had a great setting.

I received this book to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

About the Author

Hunter DeniseDenise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website DeniseHunterBooks.com; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.

 

Read an Excerpt from Summer by the Tides

MADDY MONROE WAS COWERING behind a ficus tree near the hostess station when her cell phone rang. Her hands shook as she silenced the phone before it drew the attention of the staff.

She jabbed the elevator button for the third time. “Come on, come on.” A star could be born in interstellar space, a polar valley carved by a glacier in the time it took the elevator to reach this floor. Stairs were not an option, as she was on the twentieth floor of the Waterford building and sporting heels.

She sniffled. Drat. She seemed to be crying. She swiped a hand under her eyes, heedless of her makeup.

She heard voices, Nick’s boisterous laugh. Maddy shrank deeper into the ficus and finally, finally, the elevator dinged its arrival.

“Maddy?” Noelle’s concerned voice tunneled down the hall. “Maddy, wait.”

“Oh, come on,” she muttered, tapping her fingers against her leg until the gold doors crept open. As soon as she could fit, she squeezed inside and punched the ground-floor button.

She didn’t draw a breath until the doors sealed and the elevator began to drop. She placed a palm over a heart that was threatening to beat its way out of her chest. Her white blouse clung to her back, and her skin prickled beneath her arms.

She closed her eyes, the scene that had just transpired playing out in fast-forward in her mind. And then, as if that montage weren’t painful enough, the image of Nick’s face appeared. The look on his face just before he’d kissed her good-bye last night.

Nick. She clamped her teeth together until her jaw ached.

There had been signs. Many of them, really, she was realizing now. They ranged from whisper-subtle to neon-sign obvious. But like so many other walking clichés before her, she was only seeing them in retrospect.

Maddy opened her eyes to the buttery sunlight streaming through her blinds. She scrambled for her iPhone to check the time. But as she did so, the events of yesterday washed over her like a tsunami. She didn’t have to get up at all, because she didn’t have a job anymore.

Her cell buzzed with an incoming call, and she squinted bleary-eyed at the unfamiliar number on the screen before declining it.

She drooped against her pillow, only now aware of how fat and swollen her eyes felt. Of the persistent achy lump pushing at the back of her throat. Her heartbeat made the bed quake. Her eyes burned with tears. Yesterday’s anger had faded, and something worse had filled its spot.

Yesterday she’d come home, changed into yoga pants, and worked in her little garden until she was too exhausted to do anything but flop on the sofa. She hadn’t fallen asleep until after three o’clock in the morning.

She didn’t want to talk to anyone, didn’t want to see anyone. She didn’t even want to be awake today. She pulled the covers over her head and prayed for oblivion.

 

Required text: Taken from “Summer by the Tides” by Denise Hunter. Copyright © 2019 by Denise Hunter. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 4

The Power of Words, June 4

Back Porch Reads, June 4

The Morning Chapter, June 5

A Baker’s Perspective, June 5

Worthy2Read, June 5

Carla Loves To Read, June 6

Genesis 5020, June 6

Through the Fire Blogs, June 6

Among the Reads, June 7

Quiet Quilter, June 7

For Him and My Family, June 7

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 8

cultivating us, June 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 8

Girls Living For God’s Glory, June 9

Moments, June 9

Inklings and notions, June 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 10

Coast and anchor, June 10

amandainpa, June 10

Lighthouse Academy, June 11

EmpowerMoms, June 11

Pause for Tales, June 11

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 12

For The Love of Books, June 12

Just the Write Escape, June 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 13

Texas Book-aholic, June 13

Hallie Reads, June 13

2014 and Beyond, June 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 14

Simple Harvest Reads, June 14

Living Life Free In Christ, June 15

janicesbookreviews, June 15

Vicky Sluiter, June 15

Have A Wonderful Day, June 16

A Reader’s Brain, June 16

To Everything A Season, June 16

Lukewarm Tea, June 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 17

Daysong Reflections, June 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Denise is giving away a finished copy of Summer by the Tides!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e541/summer-by-the-tides-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: The Printed Letter Bookshop

Author: Katherine Reay

Genre: Women’s fiction, romance

Release Date: May 14, 2019

The Printed Letter Bookshop CoverAmid literature and lattes, three women come together and find that sharing one’s journey with best friends makes life richer.

When attorney Madeline Carter inherits her aunt’s bookstore in a small town north of Chicago, she plans to sell it and add the proceeds to her nonexistent “investment portfolio.” But plans change when Madeline discovers the store isn’t making money and she gets passed over for promotion at her firm. She quits in protest, takes the train north, and decides to work at the store to prep it for sale. Madeline soon finds herself at odds with employees Jessica and Courtney; when she also finds herself attracted to an affianced man, it only confuses the entire situation.

After blowing up her marriage two years earlier, Jessica has found solace working at the bookstore and a kindred spirit within its owner, Maddie Cullen. But when Maddie dies and her niece, Madeline, barges in like a bulldozer, Jessica pushes at the new owner in every way-until she trips over common ground. Soon the women are delving into online dating and fashion makeovers, and Jessica feels the pull to rediscover her art, a love she thought long behind her.

After a night of bad decisions leaves the store in peril, Courtney arrives and tries to save the day. While she, too, found sanctuary in the little bookstore, she knows it’s under-insured, in the red, and will never survive. When she discovers her teenage daughter has played a part in vandalizing the store, Courtney taps into strength she didn’t know existed-or had long forgotten. The quietest of the three, she steps up and finds a way to save her family, the store, and the precious friendships that have grown within it.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is the story of friends who find each other-and themselves-in a place none of them ever expected.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

My Thoughts

I, like most book lovers, gravitate towards “books about books” so this was definitely a story that I wanted to pick up. The story follows 3 women, all dealing with different things in their personal (and sometimes professional) lives and how they work together (figuratively and literally) to save their beloved bookstore.

The characters in the story were very real, none of them were perfect, they all had many flaws and their growth was very natural and beautiful to witness. The setting of this book was simply delightful…I wish The Printed Letter Bookshop was a real store that I could visit in real life because visiting it in my mind was so much fun.

I related a lot to some of the struggles that the characters faced, there are many issues addressed in the book…parenting teenagers, forgiveness, pride, infidelity, grudges.

Some of the scenes in this book brought tears to my eyes. The author truly made the characters come to life.

My only issue with the book was that the book was told from 3 perspectives (of the 3 main characters)…for 2 of the characters, the story is written in first person, but for the third character, it’s written in third person. It was always a bit jarring and confusing when the narrative changed in that way.

I highly recommend this story to anyone who loves books. It was such a fun and fulfilling read!

I received this book from the publisher/ author to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Reay KatherineKatherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy and Jane, The Brontë Plot, A Portrait of Emily Price, The Austen Escape, and The Printed Letter Bookshop. All Katherine’s novels are contemporary stories with a bit of classical flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and isa wife, mother, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine now happily resides outside Chicago, IL. You can meet her at www.katherinereay.com; Facebook: KatherineReayBooks; Twitter: @katherine_reay; or Instagram: @katherinereay.

 

More from Katherine

Don’t you love bookshops?

Every time I walk into a bookstore, it feels like a rainbow cracked open and rained a kaleidoscope of light, life and possibilities before me. I find worlds within the world and a call to adventure.

Each bookshop tells a different story. It tells of its loyal beloved customer base. It reflects the personality of its owner and staff. It carries the aura of the stories it offers to us.

And it was the perfect place to dig into lives, hearts and book loves of Janet, Claire and Madeline. These three women, at different stages in life, meet at the Printed Letter Bookshop, with all the romance and wonder it holds, and learn to work through their challenges together. They become the friends that each didn’t know she was missing.

There is also a fourth woman I loved spending time with in the Printed Letter Bookshop — its original owner, Maddie Carter. Maddie doesn’t step onto the stage even once, but her presence, her love and her guiding hand are apparent from page one as Janet, Claire, and Madeline grow in friendship and in faith.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a love letter to books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship. I hope you savor your time with these three women — And, book lovers rejoice, there is a list of all the books they allude to in the back of the book!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, May 14

Godly Book Reviews, May 14

The Power of Words, May 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 15

Carla Loves To Read, May 15

Pause for Tales, May 15

Maureen’s Musings, May 16

Bigreadersite, May 16

By The Book, May 16

Inspirationally Ever After, May 17

Reading Themes, May 17

For The Love of Books, May 17

Lis Loves Reading, May 18

Emily Yager, May 18

Living Life Free in Christ, May 18

For HIm and My Family, May 19

Retrospective Spines, May 19

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 19

Girls Living For God’s Glory, May 20

As He Leads is Joy, May 20

To Everything A Season, May 20

All-Of-a-kind Mom, May 21

Through the Fire Blogs, May 21

Creating Romance, May 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 22

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 22

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 23

Wishful Endings, May 23

Texas Book-aholic, May 23

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 24

Just the Write Escape, May 24

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 25

Lighthouse Academy, May 25

janicesbookreviews, May 25

Inspired by Fiction, May 26

Simple Harvest Reads, May 26 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Inklings and notion, May 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 27

amandainpa, May 27

A Reader’s Brain, May 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Katherine is giving away a paperback copy of The Printed Letter Bookshop to one lucky winner!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e4f1/the-printed-letter-bookshop-celebration-tour-giveaway

Spotlight on Moments We Forget by Beth K. Vogt!

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This is my stop during the bookstagram blitz for Moments We Forget by Beth K. Vogt. This bookstagram blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. This bookstagram blitz runs from 7 till 13 May. See the tour schedule here.

Moments We ForgetMoments We Forget (The Thatcher Sisters #2)
By Beth K. Vogt
Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Christian Fiction
Age category: Adult
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Release Date: May7, 2019

Blurb:
Jillian Thatcher has spent most of her life playing the family peacemaker, caught in the middle between her driven, talented older sister and her younger, spotlight-stealing twin sisters. Then on the night of her engagement party, a cancer diagnosis threatens to once again steal her chance to shine.

Now, Jillian’s on the road to recovery after finally finishing chemo and radiation, but residual effects of the treatment keep her from reclaiming her life as she’d hoped. And just when her dreams might be falling into place, a life-altering revelation from her husband sends her reeling again.

Will Jillian ever achieve her own dreams, or will she always be “just Jillian,” the less-than Thatcher sister? Can she count on her sisters as she tries to step into a stronger place, or are they stuck in their childhood roles forever?

You can find Moments We Forget on Goodreads

You can buy Moments We Forget here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Tyndale House Publishers
Books-A-Million
IndieBound
Get It Local Now
Christian Book Distributors
Walmart

Excerpt:
I had half an hour, no more than that, to get my life in order so my sisters would never suspect how unprepared I was for this morning.
I kicked the back door shut, dumping the plastic grocery bags onto the kitchen counter, easing the ache in my arms. If Johanna were hosting this morning, she’d have something homemade baking in her oven, the appealing aroma filling her immaculate kitchen.
Well, one thing was for certain—I was not Johanna.
Winston’s frantic barks sounded from upstairs. Seconds later, he was scampering around my feet, his sudden appearance meaning I’d forgotten to lock him in his kennel. Again.
“Bad dog.” A halfhearted reprimand. “You’re not supposed to be down here.”
I pulled items from the plastic bags. Please don’t let me have forgotten anything during my mad dash through the grocery store.
Cream for Johanna’s and my coffee—although she was going to have to make do with my Keurig coffeemaker, not French press.
A small box of sugar so Payton could enjoy her coffee with the preferred three heaping spoonfuls per cup.
A premade fruit salad.
Blueberry muffins.
Keurig pods.
Nothing fancy. But at least I wouldn’t look like a complete failure.
I suppose to a casual observer, Johanna, Payton, and I—the three remaining Thatcher sisters—appeared successful. And yet, while we might claim certain professional and romantic achievements, we still struggled to find our way as sisters.
At times Pepper’s words—the ones Payton had shared with Johanna and me several months ago—seemed more of a taunt than an encouragement.
“Sometimes you just have to forget all the other stuff and remember we’re sisters.”
Shouldn’t a role you acquired at birth be simple? Something you learned to do, along with walking and talking and navigating adolescence?
But then Pepper’s death at sixteen splintered our already-precarious bonds.
I selected three mugs from a kitchen cupboard. This was no time to try to unravel the complicated dynamics between me, Johanna, and Payton—not when they’d be here any minute. And not with so much riding on this morning.
It’s funny how much hope people put into a cup of coffee.
Social media—Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Pinterest and even millions of people’s text messages around the world—overflow daily with memes and GIFs lauding the miracle qualities of coffee.
Coffee is the gasoline of life.
All I need is coffee and mascara.
Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.
I drink coffee for your protection.
Drink coffee and do good.

And now . . . now coffee would be the glue that bonded the three of us together.

Check out the first book in this series!
Things I Never Told You (The Thatcher Sisters #1)
Things I Never Told You
As old wounds reopen and possible tragedy awaits, the Thatcher sisters must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.

Links for Things I Never Told You:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Tyndale House Publishers
Books-A-Million
IndieBound
Get It Local Now
Christian Book Distributors
Walmart

Beth K. VogtAbout the Author:
Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind doors marked Never. Beth’s first novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, released in May 2018. Moments We Forget, book two in the Thatcher Sisters series, releases May 2019. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.

You can find and contact Beth K. Vogt here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon
Bookbub
Instagram


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Gone Too Soon by Melody Carlson Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: Gone Too Soon

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: November 15, 2018

Gone Too SoonAn icy road. A car crash.
A family changed forever.

Hannah Josephson had always been the “perfect” daughter. Kiera couldn’t live up to her before, and she certainly can’t now that her older sister has died in a car accident. But the image she carried resentfully of Hannah is challenged when she finds her dead sister’s diary and begins to read. Apparently Hannah’s final year wasn’t as perfect as everyone thought.

Caught in a pattern of blaming each other, the Josephson family is falling apart. Their father has left, their mother is mixing opiates and alcohol, little sister Maddie has been shipped off to spend the whole summer with their grandmother, and Kiera feels utterly alone with her grief and anger. A summer job helping at a park in a poor section of town provides a friend and a purpose.

But it’s Hannah’s diary that fills her thoughts. For the first time in years, she feels close to the sister she’s lost. But can the knowledge she gleans about her possibly help her patch back together the family that seems determined to implode?

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My Thoughts

This was a very gritty and sad story about a family that is falling apart after the death of one of the teenage daughters.

The story follows Kiera, the sister of Hannah, who passed away in a car accident. Kiera just discovered Hannah’s diary and begins reading it to learn more about what Hannah was going through up to the accident. The chapters following Kiera are told in first person. I enjoyed reading about Kiera, she was very honest and her development throughout the story was great.

The reader also follows Kiera’s mother Moira (in third person), who is struggling with many addictions while trying to cope with the loss of her daughter. The relationship between Moira and Kiera was very difficult to read and sad.

The message of faith in the story was good and the ending was almost a bit chilling. I appreciated the story but I found it very sad to read.

Overall, this would be a good story for older teens who enjoy contemporary stories.

I received this book from the publisher/author to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Melody CarlsonMelody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

I think I’ve written about a hundred or more teen novels, but Gone Too Soon, a rather serious story, is a bit different. There’s no denying I’ve covered a bunch of gritty issues—everything from self-harm to suicide to murder—but I’ve never written a novel quite like this one. For starters, I wrote it from two viewpoints. Both the teenage daughter and her mother express themselves in this story. And because the premise involves an untimely death, the family is torn apart. As a result, there’s a lot of guilt and blame and confusion going around. They’re all in pain.

I’ve been asked several times what “inspired” this story. And I’m sad to say that it’s simply a case of “art imitating life.” I live in a small community where too many young people have died “too soon.” These untimely deaths—for a variety of random and unexplainable reasons—are devastating. I know more than a dozen families (some very close friends) who have tragically lost a child. So I’ve seen up close how it can tear a family apart. It’s truly heartbreaking, often leaving friends and family without words of comfort or explanation.

But that’s not the only reason I wrote this story. My hope is that teens (who often feel invincible) will be reminded that they are mortal and that this earthly life is temporary. Hard as it sounds, death is inevitable. And it’s not that I want everyone to be obsessed about dying, but we do live in a culture that practices denial about the end of a life. No one really wants to talk about it. My hope is that readers will take a hard, honest look, peel back some layers, and face death for what it is—a part of earthly life. And I hope readers will close the book with a little more understanding . . . and hope.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, April 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 25

Emily Yager, April 26

The Power of Words, April 26

Moments, April 26

Christian Bookaholic, April 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 27

Hallie Reads, April 27

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, April 28

Mary Hake, April 28

janicesbookreviews, April 28

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, April 29

SusanLovesBooks, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 29

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 30

Just the Write Escape, April 30

Carla Loves toRead, May 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 2

Blogging With Carol, May 2

Ashley’s Bookshelf, May 2

Through the Fire Blogs, May 3

Reading Themes, May 3

For The Love of Books, May 3

the Midnight Bookaholic, May 4

amandainpa, May 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 4

Bigreadersite, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 5

The Becca Files, May 6

Remembrancy, May 6

Inklings and notions, May 7

this chattanooga mommy saves, May 7

A Reader’s Brain, May 8

For Him and My Family, May 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize of paperback copy of Gone Too Soon and a matching journal!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dfa9/gone-too-soon-celebration-tour-giveaway