The Spark, by Sylvie Stewart

The Spark (The Carolina Connections #2)


When your back is against the wall, can you change the person life’s experiences have molded you to be?

Fiona Pierce is many things to many people. Dutiful daughter to her loving parents, fiercely loyal friend to her very tolerant bestie, half-assed employee to her laundry list of bosses, and dedicated fashion goddess and spreader of good cheer to the world at large. But Fiona is hiding something behind her irresistible smile – something she’s determined to keep to herself.

Mark Beckett doesn’t do complicated. Saddled with lingering baggage from his childhood, Mark sails through life one girl at a time – with frequent gym breaks in between. He likes his life just how it is and doesn’t see any need to change his work-hard/play-hard attitude.

When an unexpected blast from the past threatens to turn his family’s life upside down, Mark finds help in the unlikeliest of places – specifically the pint-sized princess who has a knack for pushing his buttons.

Can you overcome your fears and embrace the happiness you might just deserve? And, perhaps more importantly, can you really fall in love with someone who is so damn insufferable?  


My review:

** I volunteered to read an advance reviewer copy of this book. **

This is just shy of a five-star rating.  I laughed so hard, out loud, at Fiona’s thoughts my throat hurt.  With my first thought of Fiona being that she was an entitled rich girl I am surprised at how quickly I became enamored with her.  Her internal dialogue was so resplendent, I fell hard.  Originally I was over the moon excited at the prospect of Mark the man-whore.  Because, hello, man-whore!  So imagine my surprise when his thoughts and actions tightened my chest and its entire cavity was warmed on numerous occasions.  Plus I came very close to crying.  And I rarely emote.  Suffice to say, I fell hard for these two.  This is an easy read with colorful characters, both primary and secondary, and a storyline that evokes hope with every turn of the page.  Although this is a stand-alone novel, and the second in a series, there are carry-over characters from a prior release that I plan to read and I will also be on the lookout for future publications as well. 

My rating:  Midleton


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33160419-the-spark

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‘Tis the Sneezin’, by Ava Mallory

Tis The Sneezin': A Mercy Mares Cozy Mystery Novella (A Mercy Mares Cozy Mystery Series Book 7)


Traveling nurse Mercy Mares is up to her eyeballs in donations for the town’s annual holiday celebration. Every nook and cranny of her house and all of her friend’s and neighbor’s houses are overflowing with gifts for ill children in her local hospital. It’s all she can do to keep track of what is what and who is who.

On the night that she and her merry band of helpers are to deliver these gifts, everything, including gifts she bought for her loved ones, simply disappear without a trace.

Now, Mercy has to find the thief before those who appointed her this year’s Mrs. Claus find out that they’re missing and dozens of children are left disappointed.

Enlisting the help of her reluctant loved ones, Mercy has a humdinger of a mystery to solve in a flash in order to save Christmas.


My review:

I came across this book and author during a “Christmas in July” promotion.  I found this adorably fun and entertaining.  In fact, “cute” would be an accurate description.  The main character was snarky and sarcastic and I enjoyed every mocking comment that she spoke or thought.  Completely cheeky and engaging and I want to revisit these characters from the beginning.  (This is a stand-alone story but this release is number 7 of the series.)  The nicknames that “Mercy” assigned to her associations evolved within this book and kept me laughing throughout.  This may be Christmas/Holiday themed but it was a refreshing read in the middle of summer.

My rating:  Redbreast


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28170932-tis-the-sneezin?

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Jackie Weger

 

Jackie Weger is a traveler of the good earth by boat, train, plane and truck. But mostly she just gets as far as Walmart.

 

Donna Fasano

Donna Fasano is a USA Today Bestselling Author. Her books have won awards and have sold 4 million copes world wide.

 

Aurora Springer

Morphing from scientific research into fiction, Aurora Springer has achieved her life-long ambition to publish her creations. Her stories include science fiction and fantasy with romance, mystery and a sprinkle of humor. In real life, she works as a scientist and has a PhD in molecular biophysics. She was born in the UK and lives in Atlanta with her husband, a dog and two cats to sit on the laptop. Her hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

 

Lorena Angell

Lorena Angell lives in Washington where she enjoys gardening, hiking, bar-b-queing, and being with her family. She writes Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal. Her series, The Unaltered, is a #1 bestseller in eleven countries and is currently being optioned for film.

 

A.J. Lape

A. J. Lape lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two daughters, an ADD dog, a spoiled hamster, and an unapologetic and unrepentant addiction to Coca-Cola–plus a lifelong love affair with bacon she has no plans to sever. A graduate of Morehead State University with a Master’s degree in Communications, she’s a PI wannabe but daily stops crime and kills bad people through the fictional ADHD character of Darcy Walker. If the FBI ever checks her computer, she’ll be wearing prison-orange due to the graphic and disgusting “wiki” articles she looks up…all in the name of career research, of course.

 

Jerri Hines

Jerri Hines is an Amazon bestselling author of the Winds of the Betrayal and Winds of Change series and Southern Legacy serial that were inspired by her fascination with history. She is a Southern gal who has lived the last thirty years near Boston with her Yankee husband. She believes in love and the power it holds. It is the reason she writes romances. Her much anticipated conclusion to Winds of Betrayal, Set Fire To the Rain, will be released December, 2016. She is also an Amazon Bestselling author under her penname, Colleen Connally

 

Amy Vansant

Amy specializes in fun, comedic reads about accident prone, easily distracted women with questionable taste in men. So, autobiographies, mostly. She is a nerd and Labradoodle mommy who works at home with her goofy husband. She loves interacting with fans when the dog isn’t laying on top of her, so stop by her blog or Twitter and say hi!

 

Dan Petrosini

Dan teaches at local colleges, writes novels and plays the tenor saxophone in a couple of jazz bands. Married with two daughters and a needy Maltese, Dan splits his time between South West, Florida and New York City where he was born. Dan has his own view of the world and culture or lack thereof. He has an active blog at http://danpetrosini.com, has written four novels and is in the midst of the next one.

 

Roberta Kagan

Thank you so much for your interest in my work. My mother was Jewish and my father was Romany. From the time I was young, the dark memories of the holocaust were apart of my life.  Soon all the survivors will be gone, and the lessons of the holocaust must not be lost with them. I studied, researched,  and met with survivors, and each story of survival has one common thread, that even in the darkest hour there’s always a flicker of light. And that flicker of light is, love.

I send you many blessings. Roberta

 

Anne Kennison

With more than 30 years of lawyering under her belt, and now retired from the practice of law, Anne describes herself as a “”recovering attorney.”” Anne’s unique plot twists come from a fertile imagination honed by those years of experience.

When Anne’s not writing, she dabbles in photography, makes scrapbooks for her two granddaughters, makes jewelry, hangs out with the grandkids, and travels with her husband. Although they have traveled extensively from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, and from Asia to Europe, what they love most is adventure travel. Anne says, “”So much world to see, so little time!””

Anne lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband Dale and two Ragdoll cats, Grady and Elliott.

 

Kerry J. Donovan

#1 International Best-seller with On Lucky Shores, Kerry J Donovan was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in the heart of rural Brittany with his wonderful and patient wife, Jan. They have three children and four grandchildren (so far), all of whom live in England. An absentee granddad, Kerry is hugely thankful for the advent of video calling.

The cottage is a pet free zone (apart from the field mice, moles, and red squirrels).

Kerry earned a first class honours degree in Human Biology, and has a PhD in Sport and Exercise Sciences. A former scientific advisor to The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, he helped UK emergency first-responders prepare for chemical attacks in the wake of 9/11. This background adds a scientific edge to his writing. He is also a former furniture designer/maker.

 

Julie Frayn

Julie Frayn is a Canadian multi-award-winning author of novels and short stories that pack a punch. And a few stabs. Julie lives in Alberta, near the foot of the Rocky Mountains. When not working or writing, Julie spend as much time as possible with her babies. Well, they’re grown adults now, but they still think she’s cool. Right kids? Right? Hello?

 

R.P. Dahlke

Biography for A Dangerous Harbor

This book and its sequel, Hurricane Hole, are the result of my years sailing in Mexico with my husband aboard our cutter rigged Hylas 47 sailboat. Mexico is a culture that was, and still is, struggling to gain a foothold in the 21st Century. These romantic suspense books (no graphic sex, but lots of humor) are about Americans who’re here because they can’t seem to outrun the problems they so desperately want to leave behind.

 

David Wind

David Wind has published thirty-eight novels including Science Fiction, Mystery and suspense thrillers. He lives and writes in a small village about thirty miles upstate of NYC, and shares his house with his wife, Bonnie and dog Alfie, a sub-standard poodle (email him for an explanation).

 

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The Conch Shell of Doom, by Ryan Hill – Blog Tour

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The Conch Shell of Doom by Ryan Hill!

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Bailey didn’t mean to catch his parents plotting to unleash the sinister Trenton Maroney and his powerful oceanic army on the world. It was an honest mistake. Now, he’s got the horribly disfigured Mr. Lovell on his trail, which is doing wonders for Bailey’s anxiety.

His only ally is Franklin, a burn-out several decades past wishing his brother Trenton was destroyed for good. Franklin has battled his brother for two thousand years, and has nothing to show for it except his beloved Mustang.

To stop Mr. Lovell from awakening Trenton, Franklin and Bailey will have to get past his parents, a one-eyed stoner, crooked cops, giant Scotsmen, and Trenton’s army, which can only be summoned by one thing: the mysterious Conch Shell of Doom.

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The Conch Shell of Doom by Ryan Hill
Publication Date: May 24, 2016

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Growing up, Ryan Hill used to spend his time reading and writing instead of doing homework. This resulted in an obsession with becoming a writer, but also a gross incompetence in the fields of science and mathematics. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Ryan has been a film critic for over five years. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his dog/shadow Maggie. Ryan also feels strange about referring to himself in the third person.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

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The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride, by Kristen Painter

The Vampire's Mail Order Bride (Nocturne Falls, #1)


Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town where Halloween is celebrated 365 days a year. The tourists think it’s all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.

Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.

After seeing her maybe-mobster boss murder a guy, Delaney James assumes a new identity and pretends to be a mail order bride. She finds her groom-to-be living in a town that celebrates Halloween every day. Weird. But not as weird as what she doesn’t know. Her groom-to-be is a 400-year-old vampire.

Hugh Ellingham has only agreed to the arranged set up to make his overbearing grandmother happy. In thirty days, whatever bridezilla shows up at his door will be escorted right back out. His past means love is no longer an option. Not if the woman’s going to have a future. Except he never counted on Delaney and falling in love for real.

Too bad both of them are keeping some mighty big secrets…


My review:

What an entertaining tale!  It was kitschy, sharp, sweet, and quirky.  I laughed the whole way through.  And that’s not even taking into account my love of all things Halloween!  (Which, to be fair, had a likelihood of raising the level of enjoyment yet never came into play as the book was substantially sufficient on its own.)  There is a small suspense thread woven in this story that adds to the excitement of Halloween-esque “spook”.  To me, this was the book equivalent combination of the vintage television shows “The Munsters” and “The Addams Family”, with the color and visual indulgence of the “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” cartoon, and a touch of the magic of “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie” throw in.  The characters are beautifully swoon-worthy and relatable – outside the whole supernatural thingy – and so delightful that I want to move to Nocturne Falls!!  This was my first read by this author and am fully embracing this fabulous series with open arms and I cannot wait to pick up the next installment.

My rating:  Redbreast


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25610486-the-vampire-s-mail-order-bride

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