Month: April 2017

Book Excerpt: ANGEL LOST, ANGEL FOUND by Annalisa Russo

perf5.000x8.000.inddANGEL LOST, ANGEL FOUND by Annalisa Russo

Historical Romance / Released Nov 2015 by The Wild Rose Press

Charity strode over the weathered oak floor toward the front of the restaurant. A man stood hipshot on the other side of the front door. Tall, rangy, with a head of unruly light brown hair, sun streaked and too long for what current fashion dictated. Mussed now, she saw, from the ride on the Harley motorbike parked in front of her place, or perhaps from shoving his fingers through it impatiently, as he was doing now.

He was in his shirtsleeves— definitely not protocol. The leather jacket he’d worn for the ride was thrown over the bike’s seat, but he didn’t appear too worried about it. His shirt was casual but, to Charity’s trained eye, expensive, like the scuffed boots he wore. He pounded on the door again, and his brows slashed over eyes a cold ice blue. His pretty face and squared off jaw needed a shave.

“I’m not hiring,” Charity said through the door and started to pull down the roller shade mounted above the glass.

He glanced up when she spoke and gave her a quick and rude perusal. “I’m not looking for a job.” His drawl sounded like honey over gravel, and he didn’t appear too pleased by her response. “I’m here to see Charity O’Malley.”

“About what?” The man appeared irritated—with her.

“Look, lady, Big Mike sent me. Go get her, and I’ll explain.”

“Big Mike’s dead. He didn’t send you.”

 

Annalisa Russo is a Midwest girl who grew up in an overpopulated first-generation Italian family in the burbs of Chicago, the setting for her historical romance novels based in the 20th century. Her first series was completed with the release of Angel Boy, the fourth book of The Cavelli Angel Saga. The series chronicles the lives of Italian immigrants in the 1920’s and 30’s. Along with a passion for reading and writing, Annalisa enjoys gardening, cooking for company, and frequently invents reasons for traveling. The mother of two grown children, she inherited a narcissistic tabby named Buster who really runs the show.

New Release: CHARMED BY CHARLIE by Amanda Uhl

Charmed by Charlie1800x2700CHARMED BY CHARLIE by Amanda Uhl / Contemporary Romance / Released April 17, 2017 by Borough Publishing Group

Everybody loves marketing whiz Charlie Solanger…except the woman he really wants.

PAINT, PROMOTIONS & PERFECTION

Creative genius Charlie Solanger has it all: good looks, money, intelligence, charm. And when he swoops in to save Reynolds Paint Company with a brilliant marketing campaign, he has all the ladies in the office vying for his attention. Everyone except math whiz Valerie Wilson.

Val’s not happy Charlie stole her promotion. Worse, his brand of flirtatious charm is reminiscent of her cheating ex-fiancé. So, how come she can’t get him out of her head? The more she challenges him, the more interested—and interesting—he becomes. What secrets is Charlie hiding, and who or what is behind the sudden mysterious drain on their company’s funds? The only way to find out is to join forces. Then it will be a battle of wills…and a triumph of hearts.

Advance Readers Weigh In

Author Amanda Uhl lets us in on the romantic tension and intrigue from the very first page. All the reader has to do is hold on for the ride.”

“I really LOVE this book!!! It’s my genre, which probably helps, but I didn’t want to put it down. Just read it in one sitting. It’s easy to see the character development and their tendencies based on how they think and talk — not just for the main characters but everyone (I feel like I know families just like George’s family with the somewhat crazy mother figure with the strong personality, etc.). It’s great!”

 

IMG_0703AMANDA UHL has always had a fascination with the mystical. Having drawn her first breath in a century home rumored to be haunted, you might say she was “born” into it. After a brief stint in college as a paid psychic, Amanda graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in theatre and a master’s degree in marketing. Over the past twenty years, she has worked as an admissions representative and graphic designer, owned her own freelance writing company, and managed communications for several Fortune 500 companies, most recently specializing in cyber security. Amanda is an avid reader and writes fast-paced, paranormal romantic suspense and humorous contemporary romance from her home in Cleveland, Ohio. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find Amanda with her husband and three children, gathering beach glass on the Lake Erie shoreline or biking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Visit her online at http://www.amandauhl.com and follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amandauhlauthor or Twitter at @AuAuthor.

Review: MURDER AT THE MANSION by Janet Finsilver

515ogsanePL            From Wisconsin we go to California, for Murder at the Mansion, by Janet Finsilver (Kensington,2016,$15.00). Kelly Jackson has returned to take up her post as manger of a B&B at Redwood Cove, where the annual whale-watching festival has attracted a slew of tourists. Since the B&B isn’t quite finished, Kelly is asked to catalog the antiques left in the old Victorian mansion at Redwood Heights. It sounds like an easy job, but when one of the tourists is murdered, Kelly is among the suspects. To clear her name, she enlists the “Silver Sentinels”, a groups of senior citizens with a lot of savvy and a dogged sense of justice, to help clear her name and find the killer. Old sins have a long reach, and a local legend has roots in fact, as Kelly uncovers murderers in both past and present. Kelly’s love life gets more complicated as she untangles the threads of local history. We may expect more mayhem in this corner of Northern California.

 

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, became available on June 7, 2016. MURDER AT THE FORTUNE TELLER’S TABLE is scheduled to be out in March 2017

Book Excerpt: AN ANGEL HEALED by Annalisa Russo

perf5.000x8.000.inddAN ANGEL HEALED The Cavelli Angel Saga  by Annalisa Russo

Historical Romance / Released Oct 2014 by The Wild Rose Press

He hadn’t heard her voice in seven years, but it had the same effect on him as if it was yesterday.

   God help him.

Silk over honey, huge green eyes with smoky edges, a half dozen freckles sprinkled over a small, straight nose, riotous blonde curls with the scent of a spring morning—and the girl it all belonged to—the one he’d traveled half way across the world to forget.

“I have business here,” Hope insisted. Trying to yank her arm free from the burley man’s grasp was like trying to take a bone from a snarling dog. The bold blue uniform topped by a bright gold badge stretched over his girth. She glanced down at the wooden night stick tucked in the loop of his wide leather belt. It gave her the willies, but she had to hang onto her composure. He didn’t know anything about her, and she needed to keep it that way.

“I have an appointment with Miss Cavelli, Constable. You’ll make me late.” She tried for a nonchalant demeanor, but she couldn’t seem to make her queasy stomach follow her brain. The man was just doing his job, but if he didn’t let go soon she’d probably hurl on his spit-shined shoes.

“What’s wrong here, Flynn?”

Hope glanced over her shoulder and groaned. Another man. This one had worn, paint-splattered trousers on long legs. Honey-colored hair curled on his collar. His scarred boots matched the jagged scar on his face. Hip-shot now, with thumbs hooked in his belt loops, eyes, a warm shade of blue, a bit glazed over, stared at her. Probably St. Rose’s handyman.

So much for sneaking in and getting out unscathed.

 

ANNALISA RUSSO is a Midwest girl who grew up in an overpopulated first-generation Italian family in the burbs of Chicago, the setting for her historical romance novels based in the 20th century. Her first series was completed with the release of Angel Boy, the fourth book of The Cavelli Angel Saga. The series chronicles the lives of Italian immigrants in the 1920’s and 30’s. Along with a passion for reading and writing, Annalisa enjoys gardening, cooking for company, and frequently invents reasons for traveling. The mother of two grown children, she inherited a narcissistic tabby named Buster who really runs the show.

New Release: SOUL OF THE WOLF by Judith Sterling

perf5.000x8.000.inddSOUL OF THE WOLF / The Novels of Ravenwood, Book 2 / by Judith Sterling

Historical Romance / Released April 12, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

A Norman loyalist, Lady Jocelyn bristles when ordered to marry Wulfstan, a Saxon sorcerer.  She nurses a painful secret and would rather bathe in a cesspit than be pawed by such a man…until her lifelong dream of motherhood rears its head.

A man of magic and mystery, Wulfstan has no time for wedded bliss.  He fears that consummating their marriage will bind their souls and wrench his focus from the ancient riddle his dying mother begged him to solve.  He’s a lone wolf, salving old wounds with endless work.  But Jocelyn stirs him as no woman ever has.

Their attraction is undeniable.  Their fates are intertwined.  Together, they must face their demons and bring light to a troubled land.

26488_1376520703706_7734619_nJUDITH STERLING’S love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven and Soul of the Wolf are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books–My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories–have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.

Review: WHITE SANDS, BLUE SEA

5180-8M3tPLWHITE SAND, BLUE SEA:  A St. Barts Love Story by Anita Hughes

Contemporary Romance / Released April 11 by St. Martin’s Griffin

I fell into Anita Hughes’ story, “White Sand, Blue Sea” from the first paragraph, living and breathing the past and present with each character as this book took me through their individual and family dilemmas. Admittedly, I am a fan of literary and women’s fiction, and Anita Hughes has written this novel in such a style. However, I encourage those who feel hesitant to read such genres to pick up “White Sand, Blue Sea,” for some element of other more common genres – romance, suspense, or historical – will certainly be woven in.

Although this story takes place over only a few days, it spans years as Anita adeptly reveals past events which formed the bases of relationships pertinent to the book’s main theme. She also uses setting as a character, masterfully putting the reader into each character’s shoes as they come to grips with the current tumult in light of what happened years ago.

“White Sand, Blue Sea” is a title that insinuates happiness, and indeed the desire to be happy is a strong theme, even without the promise that this is how the characters’ situations will end. Anita has clashed and fitted at the same time a previously abandoning husband/father back into the lives of his ex-wife and daughter who are twenty years into their new family when he appears. It wasn’t a lack of love that caused Sebastian to walk out on Hadley and their daughter, Olivia, ages ago, and it wasn’t the end of that love which kept him away all those years. Nor did his abandonment destroy their love for him, thus creating outer upheaval as well as inner turmoil for the three of them – not to mention Hadley’s current husband and Olivia’s potential fiancé – when Sebastian unexpectedly shows up for Olivia’s twenty-fifth birthday. With the passion and eye of the true artist he is, Sebastian is not only a reminder of what was lost those past twenty years, but also a naked look at what might currently be missing in all of their lives, especially in Hadley’s and Olivia’s new family and relationships.

I give this book five stars, and intend to read more of Anita Hughes’ stories.

 

Review provided by Colleen L. Donnelly, Amazon #1 Bestselling Author of MINE TO TELL.

Review: A FATAL TWIST by Tracy Weber

518BN8p-zILA FATAL TWIST (A Downward Dog Mystery) by Tracy Weber / Released Jan 2017 by Midnight Ink

What is prevalent throughout this novel is a sense of responsibility. Led by the protagonist, Kate Davidson, who is a very honorable, upright person, those she holds near and dear either have a sense of responsibility or aspire to it. This theme is seen not only in their dealings with one another, but for those coming into the world. Natural childbirth is a large part of this book, as is responsibility toward animals. Murder and mayhem may ensue, but what needs to be done for those in our care comes first. The surrounding characters are interesting and multi-faceted. The story moves along, sometimes wrapping itself around the delivery of a child, or dealing with a challenged pet. But always hovering in the background is the whodunit, never far away. A really fun scene takes place in a fertility clinic. I think Ms. Weber’s fans will be quite pleased with her latest offering.

Reviewed provided by Heather Haven