The Summer of New Beginnings (A Magnolia Grove Novel) by @betteleecrosby #ContemporaryFiction #NetGalley #FridayReads

Author: Bette Lee Crosby

Due for Publication on 27th March by Lake Union Publishing

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family, Romance, Book Review

Aspiring journalist Meghan Briggs has always been the responsible one in the family. So when her father passes away unexpectedly, leaving behind his at-risk business, she steps up to save his legacy—even if that means putting her own dreams on hold.

Tracy couldn’t be more different from her sister. She’s always been the rebellious type, without much direction in life. But in the wake of her latest romantic disaster, she finds herself moving back home as a single mother.

The Summer of New Beginnings is a sweet, touching story of the sometimes difficult situations that beset the Briggs family. Sisters Tracy and Meghan Briggs are totally different from each other. When their father dies suddenly Megan, the responsible and sensible sister, and gives up her dream of going to the Grady College at the University of Georgia, with a view to a career in journalism, to continue the little business George Briggs set up after his first heart attack. He resigned from his job as a stockbroker and bought a small local magazine, seeing it as a less stressful option to make a living. George couldn’t help himself, though, and the magazine was expanded to a point when he needed extra help. 

Grady was my dream, but seeing the Snip ’N’ Save flourish was Daddy’s, and I’m not going to let it die along with him. He’d want me to keep it alive, and that’s exactly what I’m go to do.

Meghan’s saviour and comfort is a little pup that she rescues from drowning, but it also brings back the heartbreaking memories of losing her childhood dog. Until she knows for certain whether or not she will be able to keep the pup, she lives in dread of someone coming forward to claim him.

Tracy is more of a wild child, and Lila, her mother, was never the disciplinarian. She loves her daughters but it was George that kept them in line. Tracy becomes increasingly independent and her decision to move away with her less than reliable boyfriend, Dominic, causes Lila and Meghan ongoing concern, which is realised when Tracy moves back home with her young son, Lucas. Now that Tracy is a mother herself, she appreciates her own mother only wanted the best for her. 

Even though they’re a family again, life doesn’t run smoothly for the Briggs ladies. But through all the highs and lows, the bond between Lila, Tracy and Meghan grows stronger as characters develop. Baby Lucas’ problems were dealt with sympathetically and thoughtfully. As always with Bette Lee Crosby’s books, the author manages to convey warmth and love with empathetic characters that highlight the things that are most important in life. I enjoy Ms Crosby’s approach of writing mostly in the third person with sections from the first person perspective of specific individuals, which gives a real insight into the characters. The Summer of New Beginnings hasn’t quite got the punch of the author’s earlier novels but is, nevertheless, a charming read.

I chose to read and review The Summer of New Beginnings based on an advance reader copy supplied by Liane Worthington and NetGalley. 

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win twenty awards for her work; these include: The Royal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal, Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Author links ~ WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Goodreads

#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Wild Inside ~ A Novel of Suspense by christine_carbo #policeprocedural #crime

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

Another audiobook this week, The Wild Inside by Christine Carbo. A debut novel, it was released in June 2015 by Blackstone Audio and narrated by R.C. Bray

Twenty years after teenager Ted Systead witnessed his father being dragged from their tent and killed by a grizzly bear while they were camping, he finds himself back in Glacier National Park investigating a similar crime. Ted is a Special Agent for the Homicide Division of the Department of the Interior living in Denver, and is assigned to the investigation with Monty, one of the park rangers. 

Ted was traumatized by his father’s death and it still weighs heavily on his mind. The difference with the present case is that the victim was a meth addict, bully, animal abuser and generally reprehensible. He was duct taped to a tree, shot and subsequently mauled by a grizzly bear. That a bear is involved brings back horrific memories for Ted.

I squeezed my eyes shut and pictured my ma and my sisters at home in their warm beds. I ached for my mom, for her arms around me. Then I heard the screaming again in my head. Right between my ears, expanding and pushing against my skull. I started to run, first stumbling, then full force. I ran and ran, faltering and tumbling over the hard, lumpy ground, over the edges of buried rocks and exposed roots on the well-maintained trail. I ran until it all went black.

I like Ted as a character, he’s complex and sometimes withdrawn, given to introspection. Because he identifies so much with the type of crime and the place it was committed, the emotional impact threatens to compromise his investigative process. Together with the suspicious, generally less than helpful community and the seemingly uncooperative park supervisor, Ted and Monty are finding it very difficult to close the case.

I very much enjoyed the beautiful and majestic setting of Glacier National Park and the information woven into the narrative on the wildlife and scenery. The genuine love of the Glacier National Park shines thorough, along with the intrinsic dangers, potential hazards and savagery of the natural world.

A really good debut novel, with a compelling storyline. Just one little niggle, it’s a little too wordy in parts for me, with some mundane details unnecessary to the storyline, which I think would have detracted more had I been reading it. There was a lot of the narrative spent with the protagonist’s thought processes too, but this is very much a character driven, procedural mystery, so in the main wasn’t out of place. The characters are distinct and fully developed and Ted’s pysche is explored, it seems to me, with accuracy and understanding. A completely unexpected perpetrator, I would never have guessed. Christine Carbo is definitely an author to watch out for.

RC Bray gives Ted’s ‘voice’ a very human and emotive quality, with a great narration as always, moving seamlessly between characters.

A haunting crime novel set in Glacier National Park about a man who finds himself at odds with the dark heart of the wild—and the even darker heart of human nature. It was a clear night in Glacier National Park. Fourteen-year-old Ted Systead and his father were camping beneath the rugged peaks and starlit skies when something unimaginable happened: a grizzly bear attacked Ted’s father and dragged him to his death.

Now, twenty years later, as Special Agent for the Department of the Interior, Ted gets called back to investigate a crime that mirrors the horror of that night. Except this time, the victim was tied to a tree before the mauling. Ted teams up with one of the park officers—a man named Monty, whose pleasant exterior masks an all-too-vivid knowledge of the hazardous terrain surrounding them. Residents of the area turn out to be suspicious of outsiders and less than forthcoming. Their intimate connection to the wild forces them to confront nature, and their fellow man, with equal measures of reverence and ruthlessness.

The Blackhouse (Lewis Trilogy #1) by Peter May ~ Murder/Mystery on the Isle of Lewis @authorpetermay #BookReview

Author: Peter May

Performed by Peter Forbes

Released on Audible: February 2018 by riverrun

Category: Murder, Mystery, Crime, Drama, Book Review

When a brutal murder on the Isle of Lewis bears the hallmarks of a similar slaying in Edinburgh, police detective Fin Macleod is dispatched north to investigate. But since he himself was raised on Lewis, the investigation also represents a journey home and into his past.

Set on the Isle of Lewis, the largest island in the Outer Hebridean archipelago off the north-western tip of Scotland, a remote and harsh world where the ancient traditions and way of life are still followed. Fin Macleod, a native Lewis man, now a detective living in Edinburgh, is sent back to the island when a murder is discovered in his own village of Crobost, with distinct similarities to the case he’s working on. The victim is Angel Macritchie, the bully from his schooldays.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge ~ Sunrise & Sunset #Photography

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week the topic is Sunset to Sunrise (including any nighttime photography)

Sunrise over the North Sea from the Northumberland coast

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#Giveaway & #GuestPost by Michael Phillip Cash #author of ‘A Haunting On Long Island’ #TuesdayBookBlog @ebookreviewgal

First of all, a little about the books

The Flip

Julie and Brad Evans are house flippers. They buy low, clean out the old occupants junk, and try to make a profit. Enter Hemmings House on Bedlam Street in scenic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Too good a deal to pass up, but with an ominous secret. The old Victorian Mansion has dwellers that do not want to be dispossessed. As the house reveals it’s past, will the couple’s marriage survive The Flip?

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#CoverReveal ~ The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen ~ A #YA SciFi/Fantasy #Thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

The Gemini Connection
by Teri Polen
Paperback Release Date: May 31, 2018
E-book Release Date: June 7, 2018
Young Adult > Sci-Fi/Fantasy > Thriller

Teen twin brothers Evan and Simon Resnik are fiercely loyal to each other and share an unusual bond—they experience each other’s emotions as their own and can sense where the other is.

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#GuestPost by @RachellAmphlett & #Excerpt from Call To Arms (Kay Hunter Book 5) #NewRelease

I’m delighted to welcome Rachel Amphlett with a guest post and extract from her new book, released yesterday. Call To Arms is the fifth book in the Detective Kay Hunter crime thriller series. So without further ado, it’s over to Rachel….

How a character changes through a series

I’m often asked by readers if it’s possible to read the Kay Hunter books as standalones, or whether it’s best to start at the beginning with book one, Scared to Death.

In truth, each of the stories can be read separately and any order because the main crime is always solved, but I think to get a real sense of how Kay Hunter’s character has developed over five books, it is better to start at the beginning.

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#Extract from The Deal & #Guest Post from #Author #SCCunningham8 ~ Book One of The Fallen Angels Series @rararesources

I’m delighted to welcome Siobhan Cunningham with her guest post

What do you write and why?  

My job is to entertain. I’ve had a crazy accidental life which offers lots of fodder to work from; fashion modelling, marrying a rock musician, working with musicians, film producers, footballers, golfers, tennis players, jockeys, oil moguls, royalty, charity workers, prison wardens, forensic teams, intel analysts, crown prosecutors, prisoners, victims and as a Police Crime Investigator. I’ve been married and divorced twice (got drunk and married in Vegas), brought up a wonderful (Contemporary Artist) daughter and am owned by three dogs. 

The end product of my journey thus far is that I write steamy Psychological Thrillers and gritty Paranormal Romance… and prefer dogs to humans, mostly (smile).

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