Coming Up… 

I’m reading two more Christmas novels before settling in with some suspense… Check Random Book Muses this weekend for reviews of Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses and Merry Mistletoe. 

 Buy Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses

  Buy Merry Mistletoe

Next week I’ll have reviews for the newest in Debbie Viguie’s Psalm 23 Mysteries, as well as Robert Galbraith’s third Cormoran Strike novel… both mysteries! 


Review: Christmas at Evergreen Inn by Donna Alward


What a well-written Christmas novella! I enjoyed this story even more than my last few Christmas reads, because the characters’ behaviors were consistent, the dialogue was realistic, and the tension was so real I felt my own shoulders tightening up. Alward impressed me with a tightly written plot and just the right balance of sweet versus strong. Most importantly, Evergreen Inn was Christmassy. The hot chocolate, tree ornaments, and snowstorms helped Todd heal Lainey’s broken heart, and certainly warmed mine. 



OBLIVION trailer!!!

Oblivion-Final-1600x2400SUPER excited for this!!! I read Jennifer’s Lux series last year and was immediately sucked in. This was by far one of my most favorite PNR series. And December will bring us Oblivion. I already have it on my calendar and am taking the day off to read. I can’t wait to get into Daemon’s mean head!!


Experience the epic love story of OBSIDIAN as told by its hero, Daemon Black…

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can’t stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won’t just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen…

Check out the trailer!!!

Be sure to preorder this!!

Don’t miss the first books in the Lux series!!

And don’t miss the first books in the Lux series!!
Lux: Beginnings (Obsidian & Onyx) (A Lux Novel)
Lux: Consequences (Opal & Origin) (A Lux Novel)
Opposition (A Lux Novel)

Review: Four Weddings and a White Christmas by Jenny Oliver

This book perfectly combines fashion and cooking around weddings and Christmas! Hannah the dressmaker designs wedding dresses, party dresses and theme dresses for herself and her friends — so fun to read the fabric descriptions and “see” the final product in my mind. Jenny Oliver did an outstanding job using precise detail to paint the picture – or sketch the designs, as the case may be. 

Hannah thinks she’s happy, until she feels chemistry with brooding, work-obsessed, famous chef Harry. Harry brings a new set of challenges to Hannah’s life, and frankly she doesn’t want to deal. 

Until Harry gets real… and real serious. 

The dresses, the food, the weddings, the travel, the winter walks in Manhattan… I loved it all! 



Review: Wish Upon a Christmas Cake by Darcie Boleyn

Katie is a baker who uses work commitments to avoid personal relationship commitment. When Sam comes back into the picture, Katie doesn’t know whether to give in to the pull of heartstrings, or to run back to the bakery ASAP. 

This is a cute, story that lightly explores family relationships, friendships, career choices and love. I adored Sam and his kids, enjoyed the friend-getting-married thread, and thought Katie a fool for not putting her past behind her! 

And I wished for more cakes, more pastries, and more sugar sprinkles. This reader cannot get enough Christmas baking! 



Musing: Christmas Novels 

Is it too early to read Christmas-themed books? I don’t think so. They’re a sweet, uplifting gesture in a world sometimes full of heartbreak, heartache, and tragedy. 

I’ve read a few Christmas novels already, and you can look forward to a handful of reviews this week! 

Some titles include: 

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses: A feel good Christmas romance novel

Christmas at Evergreen Inn (A Jewell Cove Novel)

Merry Mistletoe (Kindle Single)

Four Weddings And A White Christmas

Wish Upon A Christmas Cake

Review and Giveaway: Surviving Ice by K.A.Tucker

01 sur This is a story of two people who have lived their lives alone, never getting attached to anyone, and what happens when that life is out of your control and you have to make the decision to rely on someone else for a change.

Ivy, a talented tattoo artist who spent the early part of her twenties on the move, is finally looking for a place to call home. She thinks she might have found it in San Francisco, but all that changes when she witnesses a terrible crime. She’s ready to pack up her things yet again, when a random encounter with a stranger keeps her in the city, giving her reason to stay after all.

That is, until Ivy discovers that their encounter wasn’t random. Not at all…

I love Ivy. This tough as nails girl, who can never seem to stay in one place for very long, caught my attention quite a while ago. She always seemed like she didn’t need anyone, but being alone all the time, isn’t good for anyone. Therefore, making friends hasn’t been easy for her. But in the past 7 months she’s spent with her uncle, she is debating on putting down roots, for once in her life. But when she witnesses her uncle being killed, her life is turned upside down and now she questions whether or not she should. But when Sebastian walks in, something about him draws her to him and she thinks that maybe she could.

Sebastian has many secrets. The biggest one being the reason why he stumbled upon Ivy’s doorstep. But if all goes to plan, she’ll never know and he’ll be able to keep her. He had no idea what he was getting himself into, when he first got there, but once he laid eyes on her, his life was flipped upside down and he has to make one of the hardest decisions that will change his life drastically. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Sebastian, and I wondered if he was going to be able to live up to the other men in this series, but he held his own and that made me very happy. I loved to see the instant attraction between these two.

This was the final book in the Burying Water series. I’m sad to see it end, but it ends in the best way possible. From the very first chapter, you’ll be sucked right in. This wasn’t an angst filled story, but a romance with a nice amount of suspense. A bit calmer, I should say. I think it fit perfectly for Ivy. She’s had enough adventure in her life. It’s time for her to get settled and get her own happy ever after. This is an interconnected standalone. So you don’t need to read the first three books, but I highly recommend that you do. You’ll see pieces of Ivy all through them, so you’ll get to see what makes her the way she is.



It’s just a regular ringtone. For me, though, it’s the wail of a war siren, and I’m immediately alert. There is only one person who has this number, and I didn’t expect him to use it again so soon.
The tile is cool against my bare feet as I roll out of bed. I collect the phone from the nightstand with one fluid movement, unhindered by sheets or the morning sluggishness that an average person might face. Stepping through the propped-open patio doors and onto the balcony, I answer with a low, curt “Yeah.” The sky is just beginning to lighten over the quiet bay. Dozens of boats sit moored below, their passengers lulled into deep sleep by the ocean air and rhythmic waves. I’m high enough up that I’m not likely to offend anyone with my lack of clothing, especially at this hour. Not that I’m truly concerned by it.
The code name is a sharp contrast to the warm breeze skating across my bare skin. My adrenaline begins to spike, all the same. Hearing it means that I will be forced to leave this haven soon. Sooner than I had hoped.
“How is recovery going?”
I instinctively peer down at the angry red scar on the outside of my thigh, where a bullet drilled into my flesh and muscle just three weeks ago, outside of Kabul. I nearly bled out before I made it to the doc. He patched me up on a makeshift operating table, buried deep in a maze of rooms, and charged me a hefty price.
“Like new,” I lie.
“Good.” Bentley’s voice is rich and smooth, a welcome sound in a sea of strangers. “Where are you now?”
I peer out over the beautiful vista of crystal blue water and whitewashed stone buildings, the volcanic rock cliffs in the distance, reluctant to divulge my location. I sank a good chunk of my last payout on renting this one-bedroom villa for the month. It’s my private sanctuary, where I can revel in anonymity and peace for a while, before finding somewhere else to drift to.
Bentley has never asked before.
But he also has the technical capabilities to trace this call. If he really wants to find out, then he will. In fact, the second I picked up, he probably already had his answer. “Where do I need to be?” I say instead.
“San Francisco.”

Go HERE for the giveaway!!!

Buy Surviving Ice: A Novel (The Burying Water Series)

Start from the beginning:
Burying Water: A Novel (The Burying Water Series)
Becoming Rain: A Novel (The Burying Water Series)
Chasing River: A Novel (The Burying Water Series)

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Review: The Children’s Train: Escape on the Kindertransport by Jana Zinser

51Xzv+KHYsL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_If you asked me what my preferred genre is, I’d be hard pressed to narrow it down to just one. However, historical fiction ranks at the top of that list. I love a book that tells a great story while also teaching me a bit of something new. That’s why some of my favorite books of all time include The Book Thief and The Orphan Train. It’s for that very reason that this book by Jana Kinser caught my eye.

Nazi Germany was a terrifying place for all, but especially for young children. Their safe, secure world was turned upside down as they were targeted for nothing more than being Jewish. Homes and livelihoods were destroyed, families were separated, loved ones lost their lives. All because of something they had no control over. But there was hope for many of the children in the form of selfless volunteers who risked their lives to help these children escape and have a chance at a somewhat normal life.

For the most part, this story centers on young Peter. He and his family have a happy, secure life in their comfy little apartment above their butcher shop. That all comes crashing down when the Nazis invade their small town taking over everything. Suddenly, being Jewish is a crime, punishable by death even. Peter and his family find themselves without a home along with many others. When the chance to escape presents itself, Peter and his younger sister take it. On the Kindertransport they go, off to a better life. Their journey is not without risks, though, as the war rages on.

There are other characters, of course. And their stories are just as important. There’s young Eva, the apple of Peter’s eye. She has a ticket on the train to freedom but her older brother has a different idea. Stephen and Hans are sent on the train to safety by their respective families. And then there are the tragic stories of those left behind, children who didn’t get a seat on the train as well as adults not able to escape.

This was an incredibly engaging story for me because I had no idea such a thing existed. The Kindertransport was something new that I’m now highly motivated to learn more about. For that reason alone, it was a book I just couldn’t put down. The characters and storylines were good as well, although I did feel that many of the deaths were described too matter-of-factly. Still, a great story about an interesting subject!


Buy It Now: The Children’s Train: Escape on the Kindertransport

Review – Disturbing the Peace, by Richard Yates. 

Whether it is 1000 pages, or 275 pages, don’t you just love it when an author strings together a brilliant, honest, and raw story?  Well look no further than this book!

I know I’ve done a couple of past reviews on other books by Yates, so it is not really surprising that I love this one so much. However, and this is what is so brilliant about Yates, he continues to surprise me. Just when I think I may know what direction he will take, I am proven wrong. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t Yates being sensationalist (we can leave that to James Frey) – no, this is Yates showing us that he can throw a punch in the most subtle of ways.

One of the many elements of this novel that I love is the guessing game: what is real, what is exacerbated and ultimately what is fueled by a sense of denial, hopelessness and frustration.

A common theme with Yates is a realization that no matter your socioeconomic status, your relationship/family life or the comfort blanket of a standard middle class existence, your life can be upended in an instant. The scenarios , the demons, who or what is to “blame”, isn’t always apparent; we are human beings and how we cope with various situations, is never a standard, never the same each time. Life is fragile and yet it can survive a lot of beatings.

Do yourself a favor and experience this 275 pages of pure heart wrenching magic.



Disturbing the Peace

Review: One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot

I know it’s still October, but the cold New England weather has me thinking of snowflakes and hot cocoa. And Christmas stories! 

One Wish started out slow, which annoyed me. However, the author redeemed herself with lovable characters, a gala to die for, and a romance that ended the happily-est ever after, EVER!   

My favorite part of the book was watching Hayley plan the gala. She was in her element, she encouraged her daughter to help, and she showed such graciousness working with Cynthia. 

Mandy Baggot successfully wrote in characters that aren’t in most romances – and she gave them substantial roles: a brother, a daughter, a CEO who ISN’T a jerk, and the CEO’s mom who is just lovely. 

The story includes a heartwarming message about love and loss, and ways to move forward without leaving the memories behind. 

Uplifting for sure, and just Christmassy enough. 🙂


Buy ONE WISH IN MANHATTAN – just 99¢!!!