Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Beginnings on Friday #7

Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.


I think I killed a girl who looked like this once.

-Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake


It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on. 

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Grand Finale Blitz- Love, Unexpected by Virginia McCullough

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Love, Unexpected
By Virginia McCullough

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

Dear Reader,

Welcome to this book tour for LOVE, UNEXPECTED. I hope you’re happy to be back for the third visit to Two Moon Bay, Wisconsin. Book 3 of my Two Moon Bay series finds us on the waterfront again. Back when I wrote GIRL IN THE SPOTLIGHT, I knew Andi Sterling, Miles Jenkins’ former wife and Brooke’s mom, needed her own story. She told me so many times. You may remember Zeke Donovan and his dad, Art. They own Donovan Marine Supply and they made a couple of appearances in Book 2, SOMETHING TO TREASURE. They’re now front and center is this story, and Zeke gets a chance to expand his world—and his heart...

Heidi Reads... - Drifting Dreams

Like Andi says in LOVE, UNEXPECTED, someone (they don’t yet know who) named the wooden motor yacht Drifting Dreamer for a reason. For me, the name brings to mind the old song “Moon River,” with “two drifters off to see the world.” As Zeke observed, in 1939 no one built a 50-foot yacht if they didn’t have some big dreams.

"There's a lot to like in this sweet romance by Virginia McCullough, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Andi and Zeke in Love, Unexpected...

I loved how everything comes together, making the story’s restoration theme not only about Drifting Dreamer, but Andi’s dreams as well."

He let Teddy take him to the woman, who was tall and slender, and wore jeans and a red T-shirt. When she saw him coming, she lifted her sunglasses and perched them on her head. In her other hand, she held a giant-size Bean Grinder to-go cup.

“Good morning,” she called out, smiling. “I suppose I’m trespassing.”

He was tongue-tied. By a pretty smile and long legs. He raised his hand in protest. “Probably so, but we won’t call the sheriff, at least not yet.”

“I see. I have to prove myself first.” She held up the cup. “I’m armed only with the Bean Grinder’s morning mix.”

“In that case, we’ll…” Zeke watched Teddy sniffing the woman’s sneakers. “I was going to say we’ll call off the dogs, but, too late.”

I Am A Reader - Does Zeke Keep his Promises?

Early readers have remarked that Zeke is a likeable guy. What’s not to like? He’s very attractive, friendly, a successful owner of a marine supply store, smart, and he even has a sense of humor. But he’s in his late thirties, and he’s never been married and doesn’t have kids. And it looks like he lives with dad. Really? Could be Zeke is a guy afraid to make a commitment. Here are the facts. You be the judge...

"Love, Unexpected by Virginia McCullough takes us back to two moon bay. I love this little town. I always enjoy each visit. In this visit we get to restore an old yacht as well as get to know the lovely Andi and Zeke. The are both very humbling and sweet. I enjoyed getting to know both of them."

Andi stretched her arm to get deep inside a hard-to-reach cubbyhole behind the navigation table to check for damaged wood. Her hand hit a divider with a finger grip, but the first tug didn’t budge it. The second and third tries didn’t move it, either. Determined now, she took a breath and gave it one more hard pull. Bam…she captured the graying piece of wood, but jerked backward with the force of the movement.

When she righted herself, she shined her flashlight inside to have a look inside the narrow space. The beam caught the corner of something that looked like paper.

“Well, well, what’s this all about?” she said to herself, curious and excited. Secret papers? That could be an overstatement, but these pages weren’t left out in the open. Someone had stashed them out of sight.

Colorimetry - Andi’s Tips for Single Moms

Andi laughed in my ear when I ask her about tips for single moms, but once I got her started, she didn’t hesitate to give me her list, starting with:

Luck out and have a good ex-husband...

Andi tilted her head and looked where he was pointing. “Stars. Imagine that. It’s been ages since I’ve seen more than a few of the brightest ones.”

Zeke exaggerated a sweeping gesture to take in the boat. “So happens we have a boat. I guess when we get her put back together some, she could take us far enough out to see some stars, huh? This fall, before it gets too cold.”

Andi responded with a quick slap of her palms. “See? You inherited a floating stargazer. She’s only slightly torn apart.”

Zeke laughed. Drifting Dreamer wasn’t exactly ready for even a short cruise. It wouldn’t be long, though. Andi was making progress.

"Love, Unexpected was a fun read. I recognized some of the characters, since I'd read the first book in the series, Girl in the Spotlight, last year. I definitely think this book stands on its own, but it was fun seeing how those characters lives have continued...

I definitely recommend this novel to all fans of contemporary romance. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author."

E-Romance News - Excerpt

“I’m probably speaking out of turn,” Joy said, grimacing, “but I had a peculiar kind of bond with Zeke because of his mother.”

“Oh?” Andi’s heart pounded as she waited for the information. She was impatient for it, whether she’d like what she learned or not.

“My mom was a teacher, too,” Joy said. “One afternoon I was waiting outside for her after school. Zeke was there, too. I remember how he was kicking a stone around the gravel schoolyard while he waited for his mom to pick him up.”

Call it intuition or simply picking up Joy’s somber tone, but Andi began to feel a little queasy. “This story ends badly, doesn’t it, Joy?”

“Yes.” Joy paused, but Andi didn’t fill the silence.

"Heartwarming is definitely the right category for this sweet romance. It's such a subtle one, which is a breath of fresh air in a market saturated by fast love and lust. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a lot of those books as well. But a story like this one feels so much more realistic to me and leaves me feeling a bit more peaceful and nostalgic.

...I have fallen in love with Two Moon Bay and its inhabitants. I hope more stories are yet to come from this beautiful place."

"I thought it was sweet, inspiring and heartwarming. Andi and Zeke had wonderful chemistry and their story were relateable to me. I love the beautiful setting of Two Moon Bay..."

Wishful Endings - What’s So Special about a Wooden Yacht?

Zeke and Andi have become attached to Drifting Dreamer. I understand why. I’ve been lucky enough to own a classic wooden sailboat, and later, a fiberglass boat with gorgeous wood trim. What was the difference between the two boats? Why do Zeke and Andi have such special feelings about the classic wooden motor yacht?...

Bri's Book Nook - Review

"I haven’t read a sweet romance novel in a while, and this was definitely a nice refreshing one. I read this book almost entirely in one sitting even though the book is almost 400 pages long, and was engaged for every single page."

underneath the covers - Restore? Or Accept “as is?”

When Zeke hires Andi to work on Drifting Dreamer, he has no doubt that the boat can be restored, meaning made wonderful and operational again while preserving the original beauty from its era. Zeke’s confident about this because at one time he was well known for restoring many local historical sites...

Zeke opened a cabinet where they stored things they almost never used and spotted a couple of vases on the top shelf. He pulled one down and arranged the flowers inside it before adding water.

Art let out a low whistle. “I haven’t seen you bring flowers to a woman in a long time.”

“It’s been a long time. That’s a fact,” Zeke said.

“Look, Zeke, you can tell me if you’re interested in Andi.”

“I know, Dad.”

He didn’t know how to respond. He was getting serious, but he didn’t know about Andi. With his back to his dad, he said, “I like her for lots of reasons, Dad. I think she likes me, too. That’s all I can say right now.”

"In this entertaining new novel by talented Author, Virginia McCullough, a woman and her 10 year-old-daughter move to a new, smaller town to be nearer the girl's father and his new wife...

This is a relaxing read with a few twists. However, it is mostly predictable but written with a flair and well-utilized literary skills. It keeps the reader's interest."

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Love, Unexpected
(Two Moon Bay #3)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
May 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Moving to a new place isn’t easy…

Until a neglected ship and its owner make her feel at home

After spying a boat in need of some TLC, single mom Andi Sterling strikes a deal with its owner, Zeke Donovan, who shares her passion for restoring old things. Uncovering the legendary ship’s secrets draws them closer. Is it too soon for Andi to open her heart to the chance to build new dreams?

Other Books in the Series

Girl in the Spotlight
(Two Moon Bay #1)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The daughter they never knew

When Miles Jenkins sees the graceful young figure skater on TV, he can't believe how much she resembles Lark McGee, the girl he dated briefly in college. Could this aspiring star be the child Lark gave up for adoption eighteen years ago? He has to find out.

Locating Lark ignites conflicting emotions in Miles—including regrets for what might have been and romantic feelings that take the two single parents by surprise. As they prepare to meet their daughter, this deeper connection between the two just might be the chance at love they never got.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequiniBooksKoboGooglePlay

Something to Treasure
(Two Moon Bay #2)
By Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
January 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

If anyone can save him, she’s the one

Jerrod Walters hopes relocating to the coastal town of Two Moon Bay can be the fresh start he and his young daughter need. But the single dad is caught off guard when a beautiful PR professional offers to promote his diving excursions to legendary shipwreck sites. There’s so much he admires about Dawn Larson, starting with the woman’s upbeat, can-do personality. Dawn’s boundless capacity for joy might be the only thing capable of bringing him back to life after his tragic loss…

About the Author

A writer all her adult life, Virginia McCullough has had the opportunity to write the stories of her heart in her novels, including Girl in the Spotlight, the first book in her Two Moon Bay series for Harlequin Heartwarming. (Book 2 is scheduled for release in January 2018). Her award-winning romance and women’s fiction titles include The Jacks of Her Heart, Amber Light, Greta’s Grace, The Chapels on the Hill, and Island Healing.

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card and the pictured Handfelted Wool Bowl and Gemstones (US only):

Description: A beautiful handfelted wool bowl filled with colorful gemstones to add a little beauty to your home. The bowl contains a small amethyst cluster from Uruguay which is generally used in rooms where people tend to congregate such as kitchens and family rooms. It is said to bring about peace and open communication. The bowl also includes a pink chunk of rose quartz from Brazil as a reminder of love and healing, a candle quartz crystal crystal from Madagascar said to make anyone who enters your home feel welcome, a pretty piece of blue lace agate from Southwest Africa to help create relaxing and accepting energy near your front door, a deep blue apatite heart from Sri Lanka to encourage the sharing of feelings and tangerine quartz from Brazil for information retention and perfect for your office, study or a student's room.

Ends May 16th

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #233

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spines, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

One Small Thing by Erin Watt
Publication Date: June 26th, 2018


Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.

I pretty much devour every single book Erin Watt writes so I'm very much looking forward to One Small Thing.
What are you waiting on? :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #71

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is: 







Which books made it to your list? Let me know in the comments below! Happy Tuesday, and happy reading, everyone! 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Review- Hot as Sin by Bella Andre



Only total desperation could reunite Dianna Kelley with Sam MacKenzie, the irresistible bad boy she walked out on ten years ago. But the fearless firefighter with the awesome wilderness skills is the only one who can take her where she needs to go. It’s a gamble—tracking down her endangered sister while keeping Sam and their undeniable attraction at arm’s length. Not easy when they’re trekking into a remote corner of the Rockies, where she’s got to trust her former lover with her life. 

Despite their past, Sam never could refuse a damsel in distress, especially one who has haunted his dreams for years. He’ll help find her sister and get Dianna out of his system once and for all. But soon it’s hard to tell whether the greatest threat is from the rushing rapids, the deadly enemy on their trail, or the passion that’s sending them straight into the line of fire….

Release date: October 27th, 2009
Published by: Dell
Page numbers: 335


I really enjoy reading second chance romances and that is the reason I decided to pick up Hot as Sin by Bella Andre. Hot as Sin was a good read and I liked reading it but there was nothing new in the romance. I felt like I've read similar stories before and I found the conflict between the hero and the heroine to be a bit weak with the suspense part as well. 

Let's start with Dianna. Dianna left Sam ten years ago. Now she's the host of a successful show on TV where she gets to meet several new people and try out different things. She thinks that she has moved on in her life but she hasn't allowed anyone close to her heart. I liked Dianna. In her head she was right and her reasons for leaving Sam were understandable. I liked how hard she fought for her sister.

Then we have Sam. Sam is a firefighter. After Dianna, he has nothing to lose and that is why he goes in the most dangerous of fires and tries to save people. It was easy to see that Sam has never been able to get over Dianna. Yes, he has his doubts about marriage and relationships but he wants it all with Dianna. I liked Sam and how protective he was of Dianna. He was a good man overall.

The romance between Sam and Dianna was nice. It was kinda like insta love when they first meet 10 years ago but I liked that we got to see the little glimpse of past. In the present, there are a lot of words unsaid between them. I found the misunderstanding between Sam and Dianna to be a little weak. Also, the accident in which Dianna is hurt was a little unbelievable.

Bella Andre always writes a sweet romance and Sam and Dianna definitely deserved their happy ending. Like I said before, the suspense part of the book was not very strong but I liked the romance bit. Hot as Sin didn't have anything exceptional in it but it was a good read.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Book Beginnings on Friday #6

Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Chapter One


I BEAR A DEEP RED stain that runs from my left shoulder down to my right hip, a trail left by the herbwitch's poison that my mother used to try to expel me from her womb. That I survived, according to the herbwitch, is no miracle but a sign I have been sired by the god of death himself.

-Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers


Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review- Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh


Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life. 

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she'll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…

Release date: June 3rd, 2015
Published by: Berkley
Page numbers: 431


I had been waiting for the release of Shield of Winter from a looong time. That may be due to the fact that I devoured the entire series in one go last year. But anyways, Vasic seemed to be standing on the edge so I was eager for his story. Shield of Winter certainly did not disappoint me. I loved it!

Before getting into the story, I'd like to say that it is of vital importance to read the previous books. Things are explained well but there are many story arcs and I think knowing the background makes for a better read. Vasic is an Arrow. Arrows are cold blooded soldiers and because of this Vasic thinks that the crimes he has committed are irrevocable. 

I loved Vasic. He has strong but he really felt that he was undeserving of anything good and pure. His story was frankly heartbreaking and I'm so glad he found Ivy. Ivy, is an empath. Her kind has been destroyed but now the psy need their help to survive. I also really liked Ivy. She was the warmth and sunshine which Vasic needed. She was a bit pushy at times but I think Vasic needed that to overcome his insecurities.

The romance between Vasic and Ivy wasn't as swoon worthy as some of the previous books. But I may feel that way because I have solid favorites, beyond compare in this series. They know they have a connection but they take their time acting on it. It was kinda a slow burn and things only progress a bit later in the book.

I also loved the fact that we got to see Luc and Hawke with their better halves. Kaleb and Sahara were a pleasure to watch and the conversation between Judd and Vasic was hilarious! The one person who captured my attention though was Aden. Aden and Vasic's bond was amazing and I really hope we get his book next. This book was full of details and changes happening in the psy-changeling world. Nalini Singh consistently writes awesome books and Shield of Winter was just that. Go read this series!