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Review – Beauty of the Fall by Rich Marcello

Review – Beauty of the Fall by Rich MarcelloThe Beauty of the Fall by Rich Marcello
Published by Langdon Street Press on October 25th 2016
Genres: Literary Fiction
Pages: 358
Source: Sprk It
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Amazon

A TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVE CHARTS A HIGH-RISK,UNCONVENTIONAL PATH WHILE GRIEVING THE LOSS OF HIS SON.
Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan’s longtime friend and boss, Olivia Whitmore, fires Dan from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, he crashes and isolates himself.
Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. When Dan returns home with a fully formed vision, he recruits the help of three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change.
Guided by Dan’s generative leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed by his grief?

Dan Underlight is a divorced dad that is in deep mourning for his deceased son. Dan medicated the wound with throwing himself into work. He loses his beloved job and it sends him into a tailspin. His friend Willow becomes something more and becoming a beacon of hope and encouragement. After a sort of pilgrimage across the united states, Dan starts his own tech company. Dan is put through the test time and again in his relationship and work life. Will Dan find a balance between his profession and his private life or will he lose it all again?

In an Oyster Shell – This was an emotionally raw, well-poised, literary fiction that was  unique with a fullness that is richly fulfilling.

The Pearls –The narrative was raw, poignant and provocative. This was a primarily character-driven story. With well-developed characters, that worked in favor to the story.

The main character was  flawed and compromised a lot in the story. Yet, he had a moral backbone that exceeded every questionable choice he made. The author put the character through some detrimental circumstances that were intense. The character understandably broke but always rebounded with a resiliency that kept the reader turning page after page.

Realistic contemporary components with pop culture references were interlaced with well-composed believable fiction. It gives the reader a wide point of reference that makes the prose pleasingly palatable.

The Sand –There were a couple of scenes that were incohesive to the story.

In the end, the book was a pleasant intellectual stimulation that deserves to be read by many.

4.5 Pearls

4.5 Stars

About Rich Marcello

Rich is a poet, an accomplished songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and the forthcoming, The Beauty of the Fall, due out in 2016. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.” The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.” The Beauty of the Fall will be published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet.

For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

Rich lives in Massachusetts on a lake with his family and two Newfoundlands, Ani and Shaman. He is currently working on his fourth novel, The Latecomers.

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Blog Tour with Review and Giveaway – Christmas at the Castle by Melissa McloneChristmas at the Castle (The Ever After series Book 3) by Melissa McClone
Published by Tule Publishing Group on October 18th 2016
Pages: 326
Source: Hello Chick Lit
Goodreads
Amazon

A royal wedding. A meddlesome mother. An unexpected union.
A European getaway during the Christmas holiday is exactly what veterinarian Katrina “Kat” Parsons needs. She can’t wait to be a bridesmaid in her childhood friend’s royal wedding, but she hopes to steer clear of the bride’s arrogant older brother.
Crown Prince Guillaume wants his younger sister’s wedding day to be perfect, but he’s suspicious of Kat. He and his mother on are on high alert, afraid Kat is not just there for the wedding, but also to find a prince of her own.
But when Kat’s kindness and generosity prove them wrong, the prince realizes there’s more to her than he ever imagined. Can he trust his heart or will he lose the one woman he can’t live without?

Kat a hardworking veterinarian is taking a European vacation to attend her friend’s wedding. Her friend happens to be a princess her brother a prince. Prince Guillaume is suspicious that Kat has ulterior motives in coming to the wedding. He thinks she is there to snag a prince. Kat’s kind demeanor and caring nature has him second guessing himself.

In an Oyster Shell-  This was a heart-warming romance that will keep you cozy this holiday season.

The Pearls – This was a really cute romance. It was clean and well-written. It has a beautiful cover.

The concept of this book was well thought out and well executed. The idea of a prince being paranoid that someone is there to marry him is a good premise. Kat proving him wrong made for a very satisfying read.

The romance was sweet and fulfilling. It was nice to see how the Prince hearts turns towards being more open to Kat. There are some really great scenes that fortify this romance even further. It was very romantic and a bonus because it’s clean!

The Sand – It was a very simple read, not too challenging. Which serves it’s purpose for a light hearted read.

3.5 Pearls!

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December 4th

Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt 1
4TeenReaders – Author Guest Post

December 5th

Blog on the Run – Book Review
Quartzfeather – Book Review
Judging More Than Just The Cover – Author Guest Post
Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Author Q&A
Ali’s Book Nook – Book Review

December 6th

Steamy Book Momma – Book Review
Hello…Chick Lit – Book Excerpt 2/Author Guest Post

December 7th

Lady with a Quill – Book Review
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review
Writing Pearls – Book Review

December 8th

Reading To Unwind – Book Review
Rachel Brimble Romance – Author Q&A

December 9th

HEA Romances With A Little Kick – Book Promo Post
Authors & Readers Book Corner  – Book Excerpt 3

December 10th

Reading Is My SuperPower – Book Review
Til The Last page Book Blog – Book Review

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About Melissa McClone

Melissa McClone’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University led her to a job with a major airline where she travelled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over twenty-five romance novels with Harlequin and been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim and soccer practices, 4-H meetings and dog shows. She also supports deployed service members through Soldiers’ Angels and fosters cats through a local non-kill rescue shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house.

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ARC Review – Love Alice by Barbara Davis

ARC Review – Love Alice by Barbara DavisLove, Alice by Barbara Davis
Published by Berkley on December 6th 2016
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 432
Source: Netgalley

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Goodreads
Amazon

From the author of Summer at Hideaway Key comes a sweeping new Southern women’s fiction novel about forgiving the past one letter at a time...
The truth lies between the lines...
A year ago, Dovie Larkin’s life was shattered when her fiancé committed suicide just weeks before their wedding. Now, plagued by guilt, she has become a fixture at the cemetery where William is buried, visiting his grave daily, waiting for answers she knows will never come.
Then one day, she sees an old woman whose grief mirrors her own. Fascinated, she watches the woman leave a letter on a nearby grave. Dovie ignores her conscience and reads the letter—a mother’s plea for forgiveness to her dead daughter—and immediately needs to know the rest of the story.
As she delves deeper, a collection of letters from the cemetery’s lost and found begins to unravel a decades-old mystery involving one of Charleston’s wealthiest families. But even as Dovie seeks to answer questions about another woman’s past—questions filled with deception, betrayal, and heartbreaking loss—she starts to discover the keys to love, forgiveness, and finally embracing the future…

In an Oyster Shell – It was a provocative story that enlightened the journey of grief and forgiveness.

The Pearls – The theme of grief and loss was poignant. This story takes us on a journey of Dovie’s loss of her fiance. Her journey of loss brings her on a path of Alice’s mother who is dealing with her own loss. The two end up together helping each other.

The story concept was really good. It was about Dovie who lost her fiance and takes guard at his grave looking for answers to why he killed himself weeks before the wedding. While at the grave she finds a letter that leads her on to an old mystery of a woman who was looking for her child. That women’s mother is looking for answers to what happened and Dovie is able to help.

The writing was clean and concise. There was great character arcs and development.

The Sand – It was a great book.

5 Pearls!

5 Stars

About Barbara Davis

Author of The Secrets She Carried (Penguin/NAL) The Wishing Tide, (Penguin NAL) Summer at Hideaway Key (Penguin.NAL) Love, Alice. (Penguin/Berkley) December, 2016. And com in in October 2017, When Never Comes (Lake Union)

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Review – The Duchess Inheritance by C.K. Brooke

Review – The Duchess Inheritance by C.K. BrookeThe Duchess Inheritance (Jordinia #2) by C.K. Brooke
Series: Jordinia #2
Published by 48fourteen on April 11th 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 482
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Goodreads
Amazon

Her inheritance awaits...but is it what she expects? Dainy Ducelle possesses only one clue to her hidden inheritance. Accompanied by her loyal companions - Mac, Jon and Bos - the young woman embarks upon another riveting quest, braving pirates, desert thieves and mountain gales through the exotic nations of the Great Continent to seek her royal fortune. But when her unusual treasure is finally uncovered, the former duchess gains the sudden potential to become a future empress. Thus ensues the battle to reclaim Jordinia in C.K. Brooke's gripping sequel to The Duchess Quest (Jordinia: Book 1). Wrought with harrowing adventure and deepening romance, war is waged while love is lost and found in this epic conclusion to the tale of Jordinia.

In an Oyster Shell – An imaginative well-written fantasy.

The Pearls – This book was a great sequel  to The Duchess Quest. It was a great completion to the series.

The concept was good a lost Duchess who is seeking her inheritance to help the people of Jordinia. The current Jordinia government, of course, is not keen on her being alive. They fear she will come to claim her right to the throne. It makes for great conflict.

The characters really made this story. There was a lot of growth that happens over the two books. Where the characters end up was surprising but satisfying.

The world was well developed. The lands that the characters visit were believable.

The Sand –  It was a really good book.

4.5 Pearls

4.5 Stars

About C.K. Brooke

C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son.

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Sunday Post – December 4, 2016

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at the  Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Happy December Everyone! I took a month break from doing the Sunday Post. At first, I was sick, and then after that, I just felt a little burnt out. I kept reviews going but any extra post I forewent. So now I am back and ready to share with you what has been going on.

Reviews – 

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On Tour – 

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No discussion this week.

Coming up – 

Reviews – 

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On Tour – 

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Question of the Week – What is your favorite holiday treat? Mine is holiday drinks at the coffee shop. My favorite is a frosted mint mocha.

Have a great week!

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Books that need more attention Giveaway

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Thank you to Valerie at Stuck in Books for hosting.

I’m really glad for this giveaway because there are lots of books that need more attention. I chose to highlight the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series they are great cozy mysteries. Click image to go to the review.

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Hi everybody! It’s been a few weeks since I posted a discussion post. I decided to take a few weeks break. It was nice and now I will come back with even more content for us to discuss.

Today I had a frosted mint mocha. Tis the season for holiday drinks and this mocha is my go to.

I struggled with taking a break or not, I felt guilty. I have been keeping this discussion post going for over a year and a half. I think it’s important to connect with the readers. So taking a break from reviews to have a discussion was hard but necessary.

It’s challenging to come up with a new topic every week. I am proud of my accomplishment to come up with new discussions every week. I hit a little bit of a creative slump so it was a good time to take a break.

Taking a break in the holiday season is good because most people are really busy. I took a break this time last year.  The difference is I didn’t even post reviews. This year I posted reviews but I wrote them weeks ahead of time. I was able to take a break while still producing fresh content. Blogging ahead is really helpful.

So with all that said. I am back and will be glad to bring in the holiday season with more discussions.

Do you ever take a break from blogging or reading?

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Christmas Advent Calendar by Beck Valley Books

I’m excited to share with you all Beck Valley Book’s unique interactive Christmas Advent for booklovers!!  If your looking for gifts or treating yourself, dive right into the Advent Calendar full of fabulous books from so many amazing authors for Christmas Gifts or for you to enjoy, special offers too!


Here we go….
Hover over the dates and they will become alive with so many wonderful book choices and some offers!  Click on the blog post link in each date to be taken to the author’s own Christmas advent page where you will find out much more plus what makes Christmas special for them this year.

Hover over the advent calendar dates to find out which book is hidden behind…

Merry Christmas from all the Beck Valley Books reviewing team xx
Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team – Apply Here x
Current book tours open for sign ups HERE
 
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Blog Tour with Review – Caught on Camera by Madelle MorganCaught on Camera by Madelle Morgan
Published by Mcbride Publishing Group on September 28, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Pages: 226
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Goodreads
Amazon

Caught on Camera is a New Adult romantic comedy with a playlist!
To achieve her dream of working on Hollywood film sets, star struck chambermaid Rachel Lehmann needs $35,000 for film school tuition by the end of the summer. When she’s asked to fill in for a missing bridesmaid at a movie star’s wedding and pretend to be the bride's cousin, it’s her big chance to secretly take photos of celebrities and sell them to the entertainment media! Then Mickey, one of the groomsmen, sweeps her off her feet.
Mickey McNichol, talent agent to the stars, believes everyone in show business is out for what they can get. When he falls hard for the bride’s "cousin", he thinks he’s finally met a beautiful woman he can trust. But if Rachel betrays the wedding party, Mickey will ensure she never works in Hollywood.

Caught on Camera
Madelle Morgan
(Hollywood in Muskoka, #1)
Publication date: September 9th 2016
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

To achieve her dream of working on Hollywood film sets, star struck chambermaid Rachel Lehmann needs $35,000 for film school tuition by the end of the summer. When she’s asked to fill in for a missing bridesmaid at a movie star’s wedding, it’s her big chance to take candid photos of celebrities and sell them to the entertainment media. Then groomsman Mickey McNichol, agent to the stars, sweeps her off her feet.

Mickey’s bitter experience is that everyone in show business fakes emotions. When he falls for the stand-in bridesmaid, he thinks he’s finally met a beautiful woman he can trust. But if Rachel betrays his friends’ privacy, Mickey will ensure she never works in Hollywood.

Goodreads / Amazon

In an Oyster Shell – A toe-curling romance that will have you swooning.

The Pearls –The concept was unique. Getting a hotel maid to act as your bridesmaid. It’s a rags to riches stories. Though the character doesn’t necessarily get riches though she gets to pretend at least for a weekend. It was a cute concept that was well executed.

The romance was slow burning but sizzling hot. The relationship between the two main characters was palpable. There were some really sweet moments between the couple. The tension was intense throughout the story.

The side stories made for a more enriching tale. There was lots of little sub-plots that filled out the story nicely. The characters played their roles nicely.

The Sand –There was some erotic language  that took away from the sweetness of the romance.

Author Bio:

Madelle completed four novels before Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc. contracted to publish her debut romantic suspense, Diamond Lust—republished as Diamond Hunter—and a sexy, short free read, The Next Big Thing, in 2010.

When Madelle realized her author voice is more suited to light, humorous contemporary romance, she went waaaay back to her teen years for the Hollywood in Muskoka series setting. Madelle, her sisters, and assorted pets enjoyed idyllic summers at a lake in the District of Muskoka, Ontario, Canada, named by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of their top 20 Best of the World Must-see Places.

The Muskoka lakes’ forested shorelines are dotted with palatial properties owned by wealthy families and Hollywood celebrities. At sixteen, being neither rich nor famous, Madelle worked briefly as a chambermaid at the now-closed Delawana Inn, a local resort.

Madelle is retired from an engineering career in the federal public service and lives in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, with her husband. She tries to keep fit with cycling, Pilates, and yoga, and dreams of owning a waterfront cottage. Or at least a pool.

She tweets and posts on Facebook and Goodreads about Hollywood, filmmaking, Muskoka, and, of course, writing. She blogs the second Tuesday of the month at romancingthegenres.blogspot.com and occasionally on her own website.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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3.5 Stars
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ARC Review of Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly Macrae

ARC Review of Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacraePlaid and Plagiarism (Highland Bookshop Mystery #1) by Molly MacRae
Published by Pegasus Books on December 6th 2016
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 288
Source: Netgalley

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Goodreads
Amazon

A murder in a garden turns the four new owners of Yon Bonnie Books into amateur detectives, in a captivating new cozy mystery novel from Molly MacRae.
Set in the weeks before the annual Inversgail Literature Festival in Scotland, Plaid and Plagiarism begins on a morning shortly after the four women take possession of their bookshop in the Highlands. Unfortunately, the move to Inversgail hasn’t gone as smoothly as they’d planned.
First, Janet Marsh is told she’ll have to wait before moving into her new home. Then she finds out the house has been vandalized. Again. The chief suspect? Una Graham, an advice columnist for the local paper—who’s trying to make a name for herself as an investigative reporter. When Janet and her business partners go looking for clues at the house, they find a body—it’s Una, in the garden shed, with a sickle in her neck. Janet never did like that garden shed.
Who wanted Una dead? After discovering a cache of nasty letters, Janet and her friends are beginning to wonder who didn’t, including Janet’s ex-husband. Surrounded by a cast of characters with whom readers will fall in love, the new owners of Yon Bonnie Books set out to solve Una’s murder so they can get back to business.
A delightful and deadly new novel about recognizing one’s strengths and weakness—while also trying to open a new book shop—Plaid and Plagiarism is the start of an entertaining new Scottish mystery series.

In an Oyster Shell – It was a slow going low action mystery.

The Pearls – The fact that this was a cozy mystery set in Scotland was a selling point for me. It was a nice portrayal of a small town in Scotland.

The characters were very prominent. They helped moved the story along. The fact that they were business owners trying to make it while a murder was being investigated, added to the intrigue.

The Sand – The action was very low and the pacing was extremely slow.

3 Pearls!

3 Stars

About Molly MacRae

Molly MacRae spent twenty years in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Upper East Tennessee, where she managed The Book Place, an independent bookstore; may it rest in peace.

Before the lure of books hooked her, she was curator of the history museum in Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town.

MacRae lives with her family in Champaign, Illinois, where she connects children with books at the public library.

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