A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tracks of Her Tears by Melinda Leigh and Dead in Her Tracks by Kendra Elliot- A Book Review

In the first thrilling Rogue Winter Novella, sleepy little Solitude, Oregon, wakes up to another deadly threat.

County investigator Seth Harding intends to spend the holidays with his newly reconciled family, but a few days before Christmas, a homicide thwarts his plan. Seth arrives at the scene and makes a painful discovery: the victim is his brother-in-law’s girlfriend. Her apartment has been ransacked and her toddler left motherless. To make matters worse, Seth’s brother-in-law, Bruce, is missing. With Solitude locked in a rare, deadly deep freeze and the temperature plummeting, the residents launch a desperate search.

Seth calls his wife, social worker Carly Taylor, to take the case so the little girl doesn’t get lost in the foster care system. With the holidays near, Carly brings the child home with them to celebrate Christmas. But when the Taylor farm is also trashed, Seth and Carly must race against time—and against a paralyzing winter storm—to find Bruce and catch a killer in the first pulse-pounding sequel to the Rogue River Novellas


Tracks of Her Tears (Rogue Winter Novella Book 1)Tracks of Her Tears by Melinda Leigh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tracks of her Tears by Melinda Leigh – A Rogue Winter Novella is a 2015 Montlake publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It is the holiday season in Solitude, Oregon, but it's anything but merry and bright. When Carly's brother, Bruce goes missing and his girlfriend is found murdered, it's up to Seth, to solve the case and keep his family safe.

It seems like it's been a long time since I have touched base with this series, so I was happy to see a pair of novellas coming out this month- this one from Melinda Leigh and “Dead in Her Tracks” By Kendra Elliot.

This story reunites us with Seth and Carly, who are back together and making their marriage the top priority is their lives now. But, when Bruce's girlfriend is found murdered, they find it hard to find balance in their personal lives, especially when a young child is left without parents.

This is one action packed story, though, a little gritty, and pretty realistic as the author showcases just how dumb criminals can be and the horrible consequences of their actions.

I was happy to touch base with Seth and Carly, and am thankful that this couple are working things out, and that for once, Seth didn't get on my last nerve. He is really coming along, and showed that he can stick to his guns when it comes to trusting his wife and letting her do her job, just like he has to do his. The pair actually worked together on this one and make a pretty darned good team, if you ask me.

While the circumstances are sad for many concerned, there is a bright ray of light that we see shining through in the end and it looks like Carly, Seth and Brianna will have a very Merry Christmas!



Tracks of Her Tears (Rogue Winter Novella Book 1)

Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. A life-long lover of books, she started writing as a way to preserve her sanity while raising her kids. Over the next few years, she learned a few things about writing a book and decided the process was way more fun than analyzing financial statements. Melinda's debut novel, SHE CAN RUN, was nominated for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers. Her bestselling books have twice been nominated for the Daphne du Maurier Award.

Melinda holds a 2nd degree belt in Kenpo Karate. She's dabbled in Arnis stick fighting, studied Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and taught women's self-defense. She lives in a messy house in the suburbs with her husband, two kids, a couple of shelter dogs and two rescue cats who clearly run the show. With such a pleasant life, she has no explanation for the sometimes dark and disturbing nature of her imagination. Find out more about Melinda by visiting melindaleighauthor.com
This wasn’t how Police Chief Zane Duncan expected to spend his first Christmas with fellow officer and girlfriend Stevie Taylor. But when a local motel calls in the discovery of a dead body, the couple’s holiday takes a grim turn. This is the second murder in Solitude within the week, despite the fact that their primary suspect is already in custody. Together, Zane and Stevie must face a disturbing truth—their small town may be harboring two killers.
As their investigation digs deep into the backgrounds of newcomers and longtime residents alike, Zane and Stevie also struggle to adjust to life under the same roof. Even if the stress of homicides and cohabitation don’t bring an end to the couple, the murderer lying in wait just might.
Dead in Her Tracks (Rogue Winter Novella #2)Dead in Her Tracks by Kendra Elliot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dead in her Tracks by Kendra Elliot is a 2015 Montlake Publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second book in the Rogue Winter novella arc. The first book is “Track of Her Tears” by Melinda Leigh and I highly recommend reading it first, if possible, since the two stories tie in together. However, this one can be read a stand alone too.

Zane and Stevie have their hands full on Christmas day when the body of a young girl is found in a seedy motel room and the prime suspect is already sitting in jail. When a shocking and unexpected hitch in the case occurs, Zane and Stevie must start all over at square one to determine who is killing young women in Solitude.

On the personal side of things Zane is finally getting Stevie to consider taking the next step in their relationship, especially now that Stevie sees her mother's predictions seem to be accurate after all.

This is another well written, fast paced thriller by Kendra Elliot, and for such a short story, this one packs a solid punch. This is certainly not your typical holiday reading, that's for sure.

But, never fear, there are a few lighter moments and some really sweet romantic gestures too, which will put all the lurid crime elements into perspective in the end.

I really love this series and hope to see a lengthier novel- or two- in the near future.



Dead in Her Tracks (Rogue Winter Novella #2)

Kendra Elliot grew up in the lush Pacific Northwest and still lives there with her husband, three daughters, two cats, and a Pomeranian. She's fascinated with forensics, refuses to eat anything green, and loves a strong Mai Tai on the beach on Kauai.


The CALLAHAN & McLANE novels are a spin-off of the Bone Secrets books. VANISHED, BRIDGED, SPIRALED, and a fourth coming Summer 2016.

BURIED was a 2014 International Thriller Writers finalist, a 2014 Daphne Du Maurier winner, and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice finalist.

Merry Blissmas- A Last Riders Holiday Novella by Jamie Begley- Cover Reveal + Giveaway

We Wish You A
Merry Blissmas...

A Last Riders Holiday Novella
Jamie Begley
Releasing Dec 11th, 2015
Young Ink Press


What can I say? I’m not a nice person. When I walk by, people call me a slut, and I’m okay with that. I believe in calling a spade a spade. I am a slut.
With the holidays approaching, I miss belonging to The Last Riders. Drake’s keeping me warm, but he wants more than I can give. He wants me to trust him, to believe he can protect me. Doesn’t he know Santa put me on the Naughty List long ago?


What can I say? I’m a nice guy and have always done the responsible thing.
Bliss is everything I shouldn’t want, but it’s hard to resist a woman who stopped believing in miracles. She wants to be back with The Last Riders, whom she considers her true family. Doesn’t she know it’s Christmas, and miracles do happen?

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"I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.
Taking after my mother, I've always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.
For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.
Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.
All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Lady Gloriana by Sylvia Halliday- Release Blast + Giveaway


Enter to Win a 

Sylvia Halliday 
Releasing Nov 24th, 2015

In this twist on the Pygmalion story, a duke makes a wager that he can bed the uncouth Lady Gloriana. But the bet takes on a life of its own...

The year is 1725. Lady Gloriana Baniard is a beautiful fish out of water. Brought up on the mean streets of London, she is a brash, blunt, obscene force of nature. But thanks to a brief marriage to a disgraced aristocrat, she is forced to live with his noble family and endure the humiliating process of learning to be a lady. Rebelling, she runs away to Yorkshire, where she intends to be a blacksmith, a skill at which she excels. She knows she’ll need a manservant to front for her. When John Thorne appears, she hires him, stirred as much by his irresistible attraction as by his strength.

John Haviland, Duke of Thorneleigh, is an arrogant, indolent gambler and womanizer. Having seen Gloriana just once, he yearns to make her his own. When he learns she has run away from her family, he makes a wild bet with his wastrel companions―he will find the lady and bed her. Disguised as a humble servant, he becomes her assistant, learning the blacksmith trade. The clash of wills between these two proud people creates more sparks than a blacksmith’s anvil, as Gloriana learns to be a lady, Thorne learns humility―and desire deepens to love.

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Award-winning author Sylvia Halliday’s first historical novel, written as Ena Halliday, was chosen by Pocket Books to launch their Tapestry line. She subsequently wrote for Popular Library/Warner and Harlequin Historicals under the pen name of Louisa Rawlings, the name of her maternal great-grandmother. She has written for Kensington/Zebra under the pseudonym of Sylvia Halliday. She has published 14 historical romances. Her FOREVER WILD earned 5 stars from RT Book Reviews and Affaire de Coeur, and was a RITA finalist for the Romance Writers of America. Her latest offerings, published by Diversion Books, are MARIELLE (The French Maiden Series, #1), LYSETTE (The French Maiden Series, #2), DELPHINE (The French Maiden Series, #3), DREAMS SO FLEETING, GOLD AS THE MORNING SUN, THE RING, and SUMMER DARKNESS, WINTER LIGHT. FOREVER WILD, STOLEN SPRING, and PROMISE OF SUMMER, written by her as Louisa Rawlings, are available from Samhain Publishing.

Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole- Character Names and Glossary

Immortals After Dark Character Descriptions

Glossary of Beings

The Valkyrie

Myst the Coveted

Nicknamed Mysty the Vampire Layer. Considered the most beautiful Valkyrie, green-eyed Myst is part fierce warrior, part beguiling seductress who can “make you want her even as she’s killing you.” She has devoted her life to protecting an ancient, powerful talisman, and to fighting the Horde.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, and Deep Kiss of Winter.

Daniela the Ice Maiden

Born of an Ice Fey mother, beautiful, elven Danii has freezing skin that can only be touched by one of her kind. Yet because her mother attempted to assassinate their king, Danii is hunted by them. She has been untouched for centuries.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, and Deep Kiss of Winter.

Kaderin the Cold Hearted

A delicate, vulnerable, yet chilling assassin, Kaderin is the most prolific vampire killer the Valkyrie have ever known. Because of Kaderin’s mercy to a vampire a millennium ago, both of her full-blood sisters (born with her as triplets) were murdered. She begged for oblivion from the sorrow and guilt, and some mysterious entity deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Once known as Kaderin the Kind Hearted, she now represents the Valkyrie and the Furies in the Talisman’s Hie.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, and Deep Kiss of Winter.

Emmaline Troy

AKA: Emma the Lamb or Emma the Timid

Half-vampire, half-Valkyrie, she is exceedingly young at seventy years old and has been overprotected by her Valkyrie aunts and sheltered from the world. She fears developing blood lust like Horde vampires and has never drunk from another being.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night

Nïx the Ever-Knowing

AKA: Nucking Futs Nïx

The first born Valkyrie, or proto-Valkyrie as she deemed herself, raven-haired Nïx is rarely lucid and has a diabolical sense of humor. She is a soothsayer (she prefers predeterminationally-abled) who sees the future more clearly than the present, and is thought by many to be attempting to steer the outcome of the Accession.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, Dark Desires After Dusk, Kiss of a Demon King, Deep Kiss of Winter,Pleasure of a Dark Prince, Demon from the Dark, Dreams of a Dark Warrior, Lothaire, MacRieve, Dark Skye.

Lucia the Huntress

Never far from her bow, Lucia is as mysterious as her background. Cursed to feel indescribable pain whenever she misses a shot, she has become the world’s most skilled archer. She is best friends with Regin the Radiant. Garreth, brother to the werewolf king, desires her from afar, trailing her and protecting her.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, and Pleasure of a Dark Prince

Regin the Radiant

Her mother’s people, The Radiant Ones, were exterminated by vampires, and Regin lives for retribution. Despite this, she has evolved into a wit and prankster, quick to laugh and striving to be the world’s most immature immortal. Her kisses are as drugging and addictive as the most powerful mystical narcotics. It’s rumored that centuries ago, she kissed Aidan the Fierce, a human berserker, and he’s since been reincarnated at least four times, unknowingly defying death to seek her again and again. Yet always when he unconsciously returns for her, history repeats itself, and just when Aidan remembers who he was and what Regin meant to him, he is killed trying to win her.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, Dark Desires After Dusk, Pleasure of a Dark Prince, Dreams of a Dark Warrior.

Cara the Fair

Twin sister to Furie, who along with her is part Fury. Her purpose in life is to secretly protect a noble line of humans, watching over them as a guardian angel. One problem–the oldest son of the new generation is a thrill seeker and extreme sports enthusiast who runs Cara ragged as she races around the globe to keep him safe. She has begun to suspect he knows about her, and is trying to draw her out.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, and Dark Desires After Dusk


Fifty years ago, Furie, the violent Valkyrie queen, disappeared after seeking to kill the vampire Horde king. Now she is rumored to be trapped at the bottom of the ocean for the last fifty years. Her existence is to drown, only to have her immortality revive her. If the rumor is true, then she has died over four million times. If she rises, no vampire will be safe from her wrath.
Found in:Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, Dark Skye.

Holly the Bright

AKA Holly Ashwin, PhD candidate in computational cryptography. A half-human daughter of a Valkyrie, she was struck by lightning to become a full-fledged Valkyrie. She suffers from obsessive compulsive tendencies and is the Vessel for this Accession.
Found in: Dark Desires After Dusk, and Kiss of a Demon King

The Lykae Clan

Lachlain MacRieve

The king and ruthless leader of the Lykae. He was imprisoned by the Horde for nearly two centuries in a pit of fire that could never quite kill him.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night

Bowen MacRieve

Cousin to Lachlain and Garreth, Bowe lost his fey mate over one hundred and eighty years ago and has done nothing since then but search for a way to bring her back to him. He enters the Talismans Hie seeking a prize that could allow him to prevent her death–he will do anything to win.
Found in: A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, and Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night

Garreth MacRieve

Loyal brother to Lachlain, Garreth is the prince of the Lykae, and held Lachlain’s throne for over a century. Desires Lucia, but can never tell her.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, and Pleasure of a Dark Prince

Uilleam and Munro

Twin Lykae warriors, AKA: Hot and Hotter. Ages ago, a clan seer predicted Munro’s mate would be a harridan. Loyal soldiers to King Lachlain.
Found in: A Hunger Like No Other, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, Kiss of a Demon King, MacRieve.

The Vampires

Nikolai Wroth

AKA: the Overlord

A brutal Estonian warlord who died three hundred years ago in the Great Northern War. He was turned into a vampire by King Kristoff to head his Forbearer army.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, and Deep Kiss of Winter.

Sebastian Wroth

A master strategist and harsh commanding officer who fought alongside his three brothers in the Great Northern War. Sebastian was turned into a vampire against his will by Nikolai and Murdoch.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, No Rest for the Wicked, Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, and Deep Kiss of Winter.

Murdoch Wroth

Second eldest of the Wroth brothers, Murdoch has been a merciless warrior since he was old enough to go to battle. As a human, he was also a renowned rake. His motto that he’d never met a woman he couldn’t seduce is about to be proved false.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, No Rest for the Wicked, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, and Deep Kiss of Winter.

Conrad Wroth

Youngest of the four Wroth brothers, Conrad is a Fallen vampire and master assassin who clings to the last of his sanity.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, No Rest for the Wicked, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, and Deep Kiss of Winter.

King Kristoff

AKA: The Gravewalker

The leader of the Forbearer army and rightful king of vampires. After his crown was stolen, Kristoff stalked the battlefields of antiquity seeking the strongest, most valiant human warriors as they died, earning him the name of Gravewalker. He offered eternal life in exchange for eternal fealty to him and his growing army and plans to reclaim his kingdom.
Found in: Playing Easy to Get, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, and Deep Kiss of Winter.

Lothaire the Enemy of Old

A cunning and opportunistic Horde vampire, whose motives are as mysterious as his background.
Found in: A Hunger Like No Other, Kiss of a Demon King, Pleasure of a Dark Prince, Demon from the Dark, Dreams of a Dark Warrior, Lothaire.

The Demons

Rydstrom Woede

AKA: King Rydstrom III

Deposed ruler of Rothkalina, the kingdom of the rage demons. The rare rage demon who worships logic, and rarely loses his temper or his control.
Found in: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, Dark Desires After Dusk, and Kiss of a Demon King

Cadeon Woede

AKA: Cadeon the Kingmaker

A brutal mercenary who specializes in usurping thrones, but can never reclaim his brother’s. Cade acts as a self-appointed guard for Rydstrom. The two brothers rarely separate and are collectively called The Woede.
Found in:Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, Dark Desires After Dusk, and Kiss of a Demon King

The House of Witches

Mariketa the Awaited

Daughter of a fey druidess and a warlock of questionable repute, she is a young mystical mercenary. Even before her birth, she was predicted to be the Awaited One, the most powerful born to the House of Witches in centuries—but four years ago, it was also predicted that a male from the Lore would recognize her as his own and claim her. He would lock her away, guarding her with a ferocity that no magicks could defeat, thus robbing the House of her powers.
Ever since the prediction, she’s been forced to cloak and disguise herself every time she sets foot outside of her home.
Found in: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, No Rest for the Wicked, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge


AKA: Carrow the Incarcerated

Best friend to Mariketa the Awaited, Carrow hails from the warrior class of witches and is skilled in love spells.
Found in: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, Kiss of a Demon King

Other Notables

Sabine the Queen of Illusions

Born of the Sorceri. Can cast illusions that are indistinguishable from reality, manipulating anything that can be seen, heard, or imagined.
Half sister to Omort the Deathless, a sadistic sorcerer who wrested control of Rothkalina from Rydstrom. Sabine is fated to wed Rydstrom and bear him an heir.
Found in: Kiss of a Demon King

Melanthe the potential Queen of Persuasions

Sister to Sabine. Born with the ability to push people to do her bidding, forcing them to obey any command she utters. But her power was depleted by keeping Sabine alive as her sister continually protected her from those who would destroy any member of the Sorceri.
Found in: Kiss of a Demon King

Néomi Laress

(b. approx. 1901—d. August 24, 1927) A prima ballerina–and former femme fatale and burlesque dancer–who was murdered and became a ghostly being, invisible to others. She haunts Elancourt, her empty estate.
Found in: Dark Needs at Night’s Edge and Deep Kiss of Winter.

Lucindeya the Siren

AKA: Cindey

A merciless competitor who represents the Sirenae in the Talisman’s Hie.
Found in: No Rest for the Wicked

Aidan the Fierce/Declan Chase

A berserker who died over a thousand years ago, trying to win Regin the Radiant. He reincarnates again and again, forever seeking to be with her.
Found in: Demon from the Dark, Dreams of a Dark Warrior





I'll Be There- Montgomery Brother's #6- by Samantha Chase- Teaser Tuesday!

Montgomery Brother's #6
Samantha Chase
Releasing Dec 1st, 2015
Sourcebooks Casablanca

Book #6 in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase's popular Montgomery series

This Montgomery Has a Head for Business

Working for Zach Montgomery is challenging on many levels-coming from a wealthy and powerful family, he lives by his own rules and doesn't answer to anyone. But Gabriella Martine has no intention of backing down. She's used to handling stubborn men, and it doesn't hurt that Zach is smart, charismatic...and gorgeous.

And a Heart for Adventure

Zach's perfect world is turned upside down when a climbing accident leaves him broken, angry, and maddeningly dependent. In his slow quest for recovery, Gabriella is always there to help...but as Zach comes to see his beautiful assistant in a new light, he is forced to re-evaluate what it really means to be a man worthy of Gabriella's love.

Pre-Order Today

Reaching across the table, Zach took one of Gabriella’s hands in his and just marveled at how soft it was. He always wondered what her skin felt like and now that he knew, he wanted to feel more. “Don’t leave me. Please.”

Her blue eyes filled with tears and she used her free hand to quickly wipe them away before they fell and then studied their hands on the table. “Zach,” she said softly, “we’ve been over this.”

“I know, I know,” he replied just as softly. “I need another chance, Gabriella. I need a chance to make things right.” He looked up, his gaze meeting hers. “I need you.”

Deciding to be bold, he turned her hand over and twined their fingers together and gently squeezed. He was surprised she didn’t pull away and thought maybe—just maybe—they were making progress. “I know I can’t erase the things I’ve said and done, but if you’ll give me one more chance, Gabs, I promise not to screw up. If I do anything to upset you, you can walk away. Hell, you can slap me in the face, kick me in the shin or throw something heavy at me and I’ll take it. I just…I can’t do this without you.”

Her eyes never left their joined hands.

“I don’t want to do this without you,” he said quietly.

“I’m afraid to…believe you.” He barely heard her words, they were uttered so softly.

Everything inside of him clenched with pain. His always confident, ever-efficient assistant was now distrusting and uncertain—because of him. “I don’t know what to say to make you believe me. Tell me. Tell me what I need to do. Anything. Anything you need from me to gain your confidence, and I’ll do it.”

She looked up at him. “It’s not that easy. Every day I walked into the office, I gave you another chance. Every time you berated me or made me feel like I screwed up and I came back, I gave you another chance. From my standpoint, you’ve had two years’ worth of second chances. I think I’ve been more than generous.”

His other hand reached out to cup her hand in both of his. “I know you have and you have no idea how much I appreciated it.” She looked at him with disbelief. “It’s true! I know I never said it but every morning you were there, I was thankful. Every time you walked into my office, I was thankful. Please. I’m begging here, Gabs.”

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40's to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
When she's not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

Haven't Started the Series?
are now available in a duo!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Thread That Binds by Alice Hayes.- Blog Tour + Giveaway

Sherice is a new mother, a sonographer, quilter, and wife; an overworked young woman whose elderly mother is slipping away from her.

Sylvie is a newlywed and recent immigrant, unemployed and virtually penniless. Her husband’s paycheck can’t even cover prenatal care, let alone a baby, and her due date is only drawing nearer…

Joanne’s unconventional pregnancy turns her world upside down, redefining her career and relationships, and even bringing to the surface long-buried demons from her past.

Payton is seventeen, pregnant, and on the run. She flees to her uncle in Georgia with the hope of making a fresh start, but discovers making it on her own is harder than she could ever have imagined.

Gloria is trapped in an unhappy marriage; in love with someone else. Her life is falling apart. With a baby on the way, would it be selfish to flee?

Five women, once strangers, form bonds. Set in modern day Georgia, this is the story of friendship that blossoms in the land of country music, sweet tea, and secrets kept locked tight behind closed doors. Moving, funny, and at times heartbreaking, The Thread That Binds is a lesson in empathy, strength, and the beauty of love.
The Thread That BindsThe Thread That Binds by Alice Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Threads that Bind by Alice Hayes is a 2015 Fastpencil publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Threads that Bind is a unique story of friendship that centers around five women, four of whom are expecting their first child.

Although each woman has a chance to tell her personal side of the story and give her perspective on how things are developing in their lives, it's Sherice who is really our main character. Sherice works in an OB clinic, which is how she meets Sylvia, which leads to a friendship with Payton, Joanne, and Gloria.

One small act of kindness will bring these ladies together and forge a bond that will see them through many of life's trials and ultimately give them the strength to make hard choices and to find peace for themselves.

I will admit, I had no idea what to expect when I started this book, and at my age, talk of pregnancy, and babies, and all that entails, is not something I identify with all that much anymore. So, I wasn't sure, in the beginning, if this book was a good fit for me. However, it didn't take long before I found myself invested in the lives of these women, caring about their situations and cheering them on as they met unexpected challenges and came out on the other side of it with solid friendships and a better life than when the story started.

There were a few minor issues for me. I felt the story could have been tightened up a little, and could have been trimmed down some. The new characters showing up at weird times and having their story integrated in with those of the other characters was unique in a way, but kind of confusing and jarring in others. However, in the end, it came together cohesively, which is what matters in the long run.

Each woman has an emotional back story and a difficult life. Sherice is dealing with her aging parents, Sylvia with financial difficulties and a broken down health system, Joanne is dealing with her unstable mom, her intentional decision to enter into parenthood without marriage, Payton with an unplanned teen pregnancy, and Gloria is dealing with a failed marriage and a broken heart.

Against the backdrop of Atlanta, Georgia, with sweet tea and grits, these women, who come from all over the world, set an example for everyone, sometimes by just being there for each other, sometimes by listening, sometimes by stepping up and taking care of someone when they are in a bind. In a world where we run a hundred miles an hour, dealing with our own internal battles, we sometimes lose sight of what other people are going through. We've lost that sense of community that supports one another, even when we have so much to deal with ourselves.

I can't say I approve of all the choices these women made, but I did love seeing each one rise to the occasion and take back their dignity, replenish their faith in humanity, learn to let go and learn to trust. Each character grew to possess a determination which made them stronger and released in them a new confidence, but they also learned to lean on those who love and care for them and to give that gift back in return.

Overall, this is feel good story about friendship and kindness, about love and life, peace and contentment, and standing up for what is right.

I ended up enjoying this story, although I was skeptical at first. I would highly recommend it to those who enjoy contemporary fiction or women's fiction or to anyone who likes uplifting and inspirational stories.

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Buy the book:  Amazon  

Author's Bio:

Originally from Winchester, England, Alice’s plans to read law at a British university were disrupted when she fell deeply in love with Georgia, USA, while studying abroad. After moving all over Georgia, Alice has finally settled in Athens and has no plans to go anywhere else.

She is a single mother to a three-year-old girl and a 65 lb hound dog. She likes coffee, wine, and anything edible with the words ‘salted caramel’ in its description.

At the time of publication, Alice is a 24-year-old history student working full time in a law office, and writing fiction at every stolen moment. She hasn’t slept in approximately two years. Her first published novel, The Thread That Binds won third place in World's Best Story contest.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   

Link to Alice’s interview on World’s Best Story:  



Saturday, November 21, 2015

Choosy Bookworm Holiday Extravaganza- Featuring A.J. Lape, Julie Frayn, and Effrosyni Moschoudi- Book Deals + HUGE Giveaway! Last day- So don't miss it

Choosy Bookworm has partnered with eNovel Authors at Work to bring you a month long celebration with great books, great book deals, and let's not forget the great giveaways! 

Check out today's featured authors and books, then head on over to the event page and enter to win one of two $250 Amazon Gift Cards or Paypal Cash!

Be sure to check out the featured books and the awesome author sponsored giveaway below!

Grade A Stupid
by A.J. Lape
Series: Darcy Walker, #1
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller/Humor

Fifteen years ago Darcy Walker’s parents thought it was a good idea to give her a unique name: Darcy, meaning “dark walker.” Whether that was a stroke of genius or stroke of stupid, they nailed the irony. She lacks direction, her grades stink despite a high IQ, she’s boringly average--although admirers claim otherwise--and heaven help her she’s infatuated with a bad-boy.

With her life spiraling out of control, things change when she finds a dead body. It jumpstarts her inner-verb, and she gets caught up in a situation she can’t let go.

Trouble is, will she live to see sixteen?

Meet A.J. Lape

A. J. Lape is the Amazon bestselling author of the Darcy Walker Series. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two daughters, an ADD dog, a spoiled hamster, and an unapologetic and unrepentant addiction to Coca-Cola--and a lifelong love affair with bacon she has no plans to sever. If the FBI ever checks her computer, she'll be wearing prison orange due to the various ""wiki"" articles she looks up…all in the name of career research, of course.

Mazie Baby
by Julie Frayn
Genre: Psychological Suspense

When Mazie Reynolds was a young girl, she believed monsters lived under her bed. Now a grown, married woman, she discovers one sleeps in her bed.

Mazie schemes to save herself and her daughter. Her plan will work, if she can out-maneuver the monster who is a master of manipulation and control. She’s got one thing going for her, the one thing she truly owns. Mazie has moxie to the bone. But will it be enough?

Goodreads ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
November 18 - 22

Meet Julie Frayn

Julie Frayn is a Canadian multi-award-winning author of novels and short stories that pack a punch. And a few stabs. Her books include Goody One Shoe, Romeo Is Homeless, It Isn't Cheating If He's Dead, and Mazie Baby, the 2015 Kindle Book Award winner for horror/suspense, among other awards. 

The Necklace of Goddess Athena
by Effrosyni Moschoudi
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Supernatural

Phevos and his sister Daphne are time travelers from ancient Greece. Their enigmatic father sends them to modern-day Athens without telling them the reason. Teaming up with two orphaned siblings, the four set out to discover their terrible family secrets. When they find a cave in the Acropolis foothills, a precious finding helps them to realize they’ve been caught up in a conflict between two Gods; one is a protector, the other, their worst nemesis. Who will prevail when the rival Gods meet again and will the mortal bystanders survive to tell the tale?

Goodreads ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
November 19 - 22

Meet Effrosyni Moschoudi

Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she often sat alone in her granny's garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix.

Head on over to the
Choosy Bookworm
Holiday Extravaganza
event page to learn more and enter to win one of two $250 Amazon Gift Cards or Paypal Cash!