The Boy

The Boy
The Boy by Tami Hoag

The Potter's Daughter

The Potter's Daughter
The Potter's Daughter by Jackie Ladbury

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Boy by Tami Hoag- Feature and Review

                                                           ABOUT THE BOOK:

An unfathomable loss or an unthinkable crime? Number one New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag keeps you guessing in her most harrowing thriller yet.

A panic-stricken woman runs in the dead of night, battered and bloodied, desperate to find help. . . . 

When Detective Nick Fourcade enters the home of Genevieve Gauthier outside the sleepy town of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana, the bloody crime scene that awaits him is both the most brutal and the most confusing he's ever seen. Genevieve's seven-year-old son, P.J., has been murdered by an alleged intruder, yet Genevieve is alive and well, a witness inexplicably left behind to tell the tale. There is no evidence of forced entry, not a clue that points to a motive. Meanwhile, Nick's wife, Detective Annie Broussard, sits in the emergency room with the grieving Genevieve. A mother herself, Annie understands the emotional devastation this woman is going through, but as a detective she's troubled by a story that makes little sense. Who would murder a child and leave the only witness behind?

When the very next day P.J.'s sometimes babysitter, thirteen-year-old Nora Florette, is reported missing, the town is up in arms, fearing a maniac is preying on their children. With pressure mounting from a tough, no-nonsense new sheriff, the media, and the parents of Bayou Breaux, Nick and Annie dig deep into the dual mysteries. But sifting through Genevieve Gauthier's tangled web of lovers and sorting through a cast of local lowlifes brings more questions than answers. Is someone from Genevieve's past or present responsible for the death of her son? Is the missing teenager, Nora, a victim, or something worse? Then fingerprints at the scene change everything when they come back to a convicted criminal: Genevieve herself.

The spotlight falls heavily on the grieving mother who is both victim and accused. Could she have killed her own child to free herself of the burden of motherhood, or is the loss of her beloved boy pushing her to the edge of insanity? Could she have something to do with the disappearance of Nora Florette, or is the troubled teenager the key to the murder? How far will Nick and Annie have to go to uncover the dark truth of the boy?




The Boy (Broussard and Fourcade, #2)The Boy by Tami Hoag
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Boy by Tami Hoag is a 2018 Dutton publication.

Wow! This is one of Hoag’s best and I’ve read many of her books over the years!!

When a young single mother is the victim of a late night home invasion which leaves her hospitalized, and her young son dead, Broussard and Fourcade must tiptoe through the murky waters of law enforcement politics and worrisome circumstantial evidence to find the truth.

The hot and steamy Louisiana humidity is almost palpable as the restless tension between the married detectives, Annie Broussard and Nick Fourcade, ebbs and flows. But it is nothing like the tension between Nick and his new boss, who is keeping Nick on a tight leash, threatening to cut him loose at any moment.

However, it is this puzzling case that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats. The murder of a child sets the emotional tone right from the start. The child’s mother, Genevieve Gauthier, seems to have a sordid past, and has made a few questionable parenting decisions, including the selection of an unreliable teenage girl to babysit her son.

Seeking answers from the babysitter, the detectives become concerned when the girl hasn’t been seen in a few days. The investigation is also stymied by a lot of political wrangling and jockeying for position within the law enforcement arena. This combination of events kept me riveted to the pages, watching in horror as events spiraled completely out of control.

I love this detective team. Annie is more even tempered, but she’s also more emotional. However, her powers of observation are amazing. Nick, on the other hand, with his French vernacular and Cajun slang has a bit of a temper and he has a very hard time keeping it under control.

Although the couple is experiencing some tension in their relationship, they are a sexy couple, and I enjoy watching them interact. They also make a good detective team, even though they often clash and have a vastly different approach to their jobs.

There is another storyline in the book which is very heart wrenching, making this not only a great crime thriller, but also a very thought- provoking piece of fiction. The shades of gray, and the high pitch emotions had my heart up in my throat.

I’ve been a fan of this author for many years. Hoag writes very solid, atmospheric stories and really knows how to ramp up the suspense. She outdid herself with this one, I must say. I’d been waiting to read this one for a long time as the publication date kept getting pushed back and my review schedule prevented me from getting to it as quickly as I’d hoped. However, the wait was well worth it.

If you like tense, atmospheric thrillers, with complex characters and personalities, and mysteries that will keep you guessing to the bitter end, this one is for you. Plus, despite being ‘Team Annie’ for most of this story, that audacious, but very principled, Frenchman- Nick Fourcade, really grows on you.


Tami Hoag is the #1 internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books published in more than thirty languages worldwide, including her latest thrillers—BITTER SEASONCOLD COLD HEART and THE 9TH GIRL. Renowned for combining thrilling plots with character-driven suspense, Hoag first hit the New York Times Bestseller list with NIGHT SINS, and each of her books since has been a bestseller. 

She leads a double life in Palm Beach County, Florida, where she is also known as a top competitive equestrian in the Olympic discipline of dressage. Other interests include the study of psychology, and mixed martial arts fighting. 

Visit her at and on Twitter @TamiHoag

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Potter's Daughter by Jackie Ladbury- Feature and Review


When Daniel Davenport saves Maddie Lockett and her young brother Tom from drowning, an immediate bond is forged between them.

But Daniel is an aspiring doctor and son of a wealthy manufacturer, whilst Maddie is a potter’s daughter from a poverty-stricken area of the Potteries. Even a friendship between the two could be frowned upon, let alone anything more

But Maddie and Daniel want more, and as they grow closer gossip and prejudice look set to spoil their blossoming romance. Do the young couple stand a chance when there are those who would stop at nothing to keep them apart?




The Potter's DaughterThe Potter's Daughter by Jackie Ladbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Potter’s Daughter by Jackie Ladbury is a 2019 Ruby Fiction publication.

Daniel and Maddie meet under the most stressful of circumstances, but despite that, they feel an instant connection. However, they come from completely different backgrounds which will test their resolve to make a life together.

Maddie lives in a community where most people work in the potteries, and the work conditions are dangerous and the air poisonous. Daniel on the other hand, is born into an affluent family and has set his heart on becoming a doctor.

The class distinctions make their friendship inadvisable, but the couple has more than friendship on their minds. This is a situation, which, despite their determination, could be doomed right from the start. With all manner of unexpected developments and twists, the couple could find themselves torn apart forever like two ships passing in the night.

This story reminds me of a few of the old school sagas I used to read back in the eighties. The couple falls hard and fast, but fate seems to intervene at every turn to keep them apart. They must endure heartbreak and much adversity before finding each other again. Is their love strong enough to endure the challenges they will face?

I always liked those historical dramas and although this story is much too short to be considered epic or a true saga, it does have an expanded time frame, with many roadblocks, twists and turns, and ups and downs, making the reader squirm with frustration, wondering if Daniel and Maddie would ever find a way to make a life together.

The author captures the hopelessness and poor living conditions surrounding the potteries and builds a story around that atmosphere, which is a long way from being a fairytale romance. Daniel, his friends, and his family, save for his sister, could try my patience, but Maddie is a character I found myself rooting for.

This is an absorbing story with a heavy emphasis on drama. The romance is one that begins as youthful passion, but, deepens into a love that spans time and conquers the manipulations of others, class differences, and various moral dilemmas that threaten to keep them apart.

Overall, this is not your typical historical romance or fictional story. That may be part of why I enjoyed it. This author shows some early talent and is one I think could develop quite nicely.



Jackie Ladbury writes heart-warming contemporary and historical women’s fiction that is always guaranteed a happy ever after. From spending many years as an air-stewardess and seeing that it really is love that makes the world go around, she determined to put the same sparkle and emotion into her stories. Her life is no longer as exotic (or chaotic) as it was in those heady days of flying as she now lives a quiet life in Hertfordshire with her family and two cats, spending her days making up stories and finding excuses not to go to the gym.
To find out more about Jackie Ladbury, check out these pages:

Monday, February 18, 2019

MONDAY'S MUSICAL MOMENTS: Josephine Baker's Last Dance by Sherry Jones- Feature and Review


From the author of The Jewel of Medina, a moving and insightful novel based on the life of legendary performer and activist Josephine Baker, perfect for fans of The Paris Wife and Hidden Figures.

Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker—actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world—in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones brings to life Josephine's early years in servitude and poverty in America, her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page.

With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today.



Josephine Baker's Last DanceJosephine Baker's Last Dance by Sherry Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Josephine Baker's Last Dance by Sherry Jones is a 2018 Gallery Books publication.

I have walked into the palaces of kings and queens and into the houses of presidents. And much more. But I could not walk into a hotel in America and get a cup of coffee, and that made me mad. And when I get mad, you know that I open my big mouth. And then look out, 'cause when Josephine opens her mouth, they hear it all over the world ...

What a life!

I didn't know much about Josephine Baker. I remember watching a movie based on her life, many, many years ago, but I’d forgotten most of it, except for the children she had adopted. This book is a work of fiction, as well, but does offer the reader more than adequate insights into Josephine’s life, both professionally and personally.

It is hard not to feel impressed by Josephine’s bravery and fortitude. She survived things that would have broken the spirit of most people and kept right on living her life with gusto. Her childhood was horrific, but her adult life was utterly fascinating. She was bold, risqué, and multi-talented, and very funny.

This novel captures Josephine’s more interesting escapades in France and Germany and examines the culture-shock she experienced when she returned to the States where she struggled to adjust to the racial inequality in her own country. Her stage shows were racy, but nothing compared to her private life where she had numerous sexual partners and relationships of all stripes.

Josephine’s tenure as a spy for the French Resistance is quite intriguing. Her bravery is exceptional, as she faced fear head on, with aplomb, where, here again, I think many of us would have faltered. The brevity of this section, however, is a little disappointing. There are some sections that are rushed through and the book did end in an abrupt fashion, leaving out some key areas of Josephine’s later years. However, it is quite evident the author went all in on her research, and she does her best to capture the wild and undaunted spirit of the incomparable Josephine Baker.

Overall, this is an interesting look at an early trailblazer for black women in many different areas of life and entertainment. She is still an inspiration to so many people and performers even after all these years. I enjoyed looking some YouTube clips of Josephine while reading this book. She really could dance, but I think she really loved to sing more than anything else. Some of the clips are very grainy due to age, but still worth watching, and of course several clips captured her infamous eye crossings.

I recommend this book to everyone- especially fans of historical fiction and performance art.



Sherry Jones is an American journalist and internationally best selling author of the controversial "The Jewel of Medina" and other historical fiction novels about women's power. She is also a speaker on issues including women's rights, free speech, and Islamophobia.

Her forthcoming novel, JOSEPHINE BAKER'S LAST DANCE, features as its protagonist the 20th-century African-American entertainer Josephine Baker, who was born in the slums of St. Louis, made her fame on the Paris stage at 19, worked as a spy during WWII, and became an important civil rights activist in the United States. A comedian, nude dancer, chanteuse, opera diva, and film star, she was the highest-paid black performer in the world.

Friday, February 15, 2019

FLASHBACK FRIDAY- Moloka'i by Alan Brennert - Feature and Review


This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai'i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place---and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.

Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Here her life is supposed to end---but instead she discovers it is only just beginning.



Moloka'i (Moloka'i #1)Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert is a 2004 St. Martin’s Griffin publication. (I read the 2011 Kindle version.)

I know what you're thinking. ‘You haven’t read this book yet?’

Over the years, this book has been recommended to me on more than one occasion, but I just never felt an urgent pull towards it. So, here we are in 2019 and I am just now getting around to reading it.

Although, to be honest, it was the invitation to read the follow up to this book, that gave me the added incentive to work this one into my reading schedule. Now that I have read it, I understand the incredulity of my friends who couldn’t believe hadn't read it before now.

What an incredible story!

I must confess, I knew next to nothing about this period in history. Naturally, since it has a basis in fact, I had to do a little research on it. It is worth noting, that as far I know, there are still a handful of people living in Moloka'i, and will be free to remain there the rest of their lives if they wish, as they may not feel comfortable leaving for various reasons, including the disfiguring aspects of leprosy. Still the whole scenario boggles my mind.

Since so many people have read this book, I don’t suppose anyone needs me to give them a recap of the plot. However, my personal experience with this book was one of shock, sadness, and sympathy for those incarcerated after contracting leprosy.

At the same time, this is also a story of resilience, faith, and hope. Rachel is a character I will not forget anytime soon. Her strength and approach to her unrelenting series of disappointments and losses, is truly inspirational. She took the life she was handed and made the best of it.

Of course, the book also reminds us of how terrified the general public was of leprosy, something we tend to forget in modern times. Those afflicted were obviously stigmatized, feared, and cast out. The method of quarantine was humane, but still felt as though the victim was being punished, forcing an incarceration on them as though they had broken the law. Many years later, a combination of antibiotics effectively controlled the disease, allowing those diagnosed with it to live normal lives again. In more recent times, AIDS prompted the same sort of hysteria and reactions based on fear and bias. It was hard not to make those comparisons, while reading this book, which does help to put Rachel’s plight in context.

Although I did find the writing languid at times, requiring me to refocus a time or two, this story is beautiful, powerful, and has lingered with me for days now. I do regret waiting this long to read this lovely story, so I won’t make the same mistake with the follow up. I’m looking forward to reading Ruth’s story now more than ever.



Alan Brennert is the author of the historical novels Palisades ParkHonolulu (chosen one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post), and Moloka'i, which won the 2006 Bookies Award, sponsored by the Contra Costa Library, for the Book Club Book of the Year (and has sold over 600,000 copies since publication). It was also a 2012 One Book, One San Diego selection. He has won an Emmy Award and a People's Choice Award for his work as a writer-producer on the television series L.A. Law, and his short story "Ma Qui" was honored with a Nebula Award. His new novel, Daughter of Moloka'i, will be published by St. Martin's Press on February 19, 2019. Follow him on Facebook at

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Rebel At Pennington By Rachel Brimble - Feature and Review


One woman's journey to find herself and help secure the vote. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridgeand The Paradise.

1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington's Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women's progression and will do anything to help secure the vote.
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.
When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life's challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed.
With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists' determination to secure the vote.
Will Esther's rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?


A Rebel at Pennington'sA Rebel at Pennington's by Rachel Brimble
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Rebel at Pennington’s by Rachel Gamble is a 2019 Aria publication.

A compelling romance highlighting the adversity, and the hard choices women were often forced to endure while fighting for the right to vote. These sacrifices also meant making a choice between love and family and the cause they worked so passionately for.

Esther is forced out of her home and sent to live with her aunt after her father remarries and Esther’s women’s rights activism causes a rift. She dresses store windows for Pennington’s, an upscale shop, where she meets the wealthy and influential widower, Lawrence Culford. Lawrence is smitten by Esther and her spunky opinionated ways.

After a loveless marriage ends tragically, Lawrence is determined to marry for love, but a heavy family burden could prevent him from realizing his goal. At the same time, Esther is worried that marriage would prevent her full dedication to a cause that she feels she must fight for at all costs.
I really enjoyed this story, which lightly touches on many angles that activism can take, as well as creating realistic characters who face very real pressures and family dilemmas which are draining and painful.

There are characters we love to hate and characters we cheer for, which shows how great a job the author did with the characterizations. This makes the romance feel more authentic as well. It’s not just the sensuality and passion, but also true love which conquers all the obstacles in the way.

Overall, this is a terrific, well balanced story with a lovely happily ever after!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Amazon Author Page:


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Outlaw's Mail Order Bride by Linda Broday- Feature and Review + Giveaway

Mail Order Bride, #1
Genre: Historical Western Romance Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Number of Pages: 384 pages


When the West was wild, and man's law favored the few, extraordinary women could be the heart of an outlaw.
Outlaw Clay Colby is tired of living one step in front of the law and wants to see his dream of having a wife, a family, to give his life meaning. So far, he’s been rejected twice, and he won’t try again if this one doesn’t work out. But hope fills him that Tally Shannon will see his heart and help him finish this town where once stood an outlaw hideout. On the day when she’s supposed to arrive, a bitter enemy sets fire to the buildings he’d fought to erect and he’s back with nothing to show for his efforts. There's no woman in the world who'd stand by him now.
But Talley Shannon is no ordinary woman.
After escaping the living hell of the Creedmore Insane Asylum into which she was thrust to die, Tally only wants someone to protect her and the little girl under her care. She doesn't mind that Clay's home is dang near burned to the ground—not when he makes her feel so safe. So cherished. But it's only a matter of time before the ghosts of her past come calling, intent on stealing her happiness, her very life...and her loving cowboy must defend his new bride—and the family they forged—to his very last breath.

The Outlaw's Mail Order Bride (Outlaw Mail Order Brides, #1)The Outlaw's Mail Order Bride by Linda Broday
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride, by Linda Broday is a 2019 Sourcebooks Casablanca publication.

Fast-paced adventure with strong, well-drawn characters!

Clay Colby is a former outlaw trying to live his life on the up and up. He’s worked tirelessly to bring law and order to Devil’s Crossing. But just when his new bride is set to arrive, his homestead is set ablaze by a bitter enemy. Now, he’s sure his future wife will decide he’s not worth sticking around for.

Talley Shannon’s life has been very hard. She’s just made a daring escape from a psychiatric hospital, from which she was wrongfully detained, and is trying to build a new life for herself and the little girl she has taken charge of.

Despite the scene she observes upon her arrival, she feels safe with Clay and is determined to go through with the marriage. However, she and Clay both have demons from the past nipping at their heels, and despite the increasingly passionate feelings developing between them, those demons are bound to catch up to them sooner or later-

To be honest, this is the first western historical romance I’ve read in ages and ages. I read my fair share of them back in the eighties and nineties when the genre was super popular- albeit politically incorrect, a lot of the time. (They aren't now, of course!) The genre didn’t entirely disappear, but Regency period romances rose in popularity to the point of pulling off what basically amounted to a coup d'état on the entire genre. All other historical time periods fell from favor after that. Oh, sure, there are still authors out there who stayed with the genre, and newer authors who carved out a niche for themselves writing about the western frontier, but they aren’t nearly as plentiful as they used to be.

While I am a big fan of Sourcebooks Casablanca publishing, and their contemporary writers, by the time I realized they published a few western historical romance series, I was pretty burned out and frustrated with the entire historical romance genre in general- with a few notable exceptions for favorite authors.

But, when I was offered a chance to promote this book on my blog by the publisher and by Lone Star Book Blog Tours, I decided to take a leap of faith- and I am so glad I did!

I loved this story!! The characters are bold and brave, the pacing is brisk, with smoldering sensuality and lots of action and adventure. There is a plot I can sink my teeth into, but it is also a heartwarming and inspirational story.

This book was a very welcome change of pace for me and reminded me of how good these western romances can be, and how much I miss it reading them. I also loved the colorful and vibrant cover of this book which is in keeping with the sweet romantic dances the main characters enjoyed in the story.

Overall, the authenticity and the excellent storytelling, makes this one a five -star read!! I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series.

View all my reviews

PURCHASE THE BOOK iBooks │ Amazon │Barnes and Noble

"Broday’s earthy, no-nonsense characters fit the rugged setting perfectly, and it’s a pleasure to watch these two lonely, cynical souls forge a powerful, passionate partnership." – Book Page “Clay and Tally’s story will captivate the historical western lover in us all. Linda Broday has earned her way into the coveted title of “Queen of Texas Historical Romance.” -- Tonya, Goodreads reviewer “If love is your interest, do not miss this book. I could not put it down it was so compelling.” Cricket, Goodreads reviewer “Trying to put this book down at times was like trying to get off of a high-speed roller coaster -- the kind with twists, turns, and even loops; it's just impossible.” Glenda, Goodreads reviewer

I'm a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty historical western romance novels and short stories. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed, and at times if the breeze is just right, I can hear their voices whispering in the wind. Texas’ rich history is one reason I set all my stories here where cowboys are still caretakers of the land. I’m inspired every day by their immense dedication and love for the wide open spaces. When I’m not writing, I collect old coins and I’ve also been accused (quite unfairly I might add) of making a nuisance of myself at museums, libraries, and historical places. I’m also a movie buff and love sitting in a dark theater, watching the magic unfold on the screen. As long as I’m confessingchocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul.

FIRST PRIZE: Signed Copy of The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride +  $25 Amazon gift card
TWO WINNERS: Signed Copies of the book.
FEBRUARY 5-15, 2019

Bonus Post
Author Interview
Top Ten
Guest Post
   blog tour services provided by