Until We Meet Again

Until We Meet AgainUntil We Meet Again by Renee Collins

They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time

Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it’s his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence’s life—into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history…or risk losing Lawrence forever.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**This author owes me a full box of Kleenex.**

At least.

This book is crazy, delightful, impossible, improbable, joyful, hopeful, terrifying, sweet, charming and bittersweet all at the same time. Truly–You would have to read it to understand the wide range of emotions it will cause in you as a reader.

This is the kind of love story that you want to root for, but are afraid to, for fear of what may happen to the characters that you have quickly grown to love.

I really enjoyed the concept of this book, and thought the author did a good job of fulfilling the promises the description made. The characters were likable right away, and the promise of something happening between them was there early on, keeping me intrigued.

The end of this book made me bawl like a baby, which, doesn’t happen often for this reader. I found the dialogue to be really well written, especially in the ending scenes and loved the way the author chose to go when wrapping up the book–even though it HUUUUURRRRRT.

You’ve been warned. This book is addictive.

Get it.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

A guest spot with the lovely Mia Thompson (Character Description)

Ever find an author’s work so engaging that you can’t wait to find out more about the author and their writing habits? I feel that way about Mia Thompson every time I read one of her books. If you are a reader or a fellow author–this guest blog will be insightful and entertaining. Mia is a truly talented writer and has kindly agreed to share some wisdom with us! Please take a moment to read her post here and check out her books below!

Her latest book:

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sentencing sapphire COVER

Sapphire Dubois is back in the follow-up to the international bestsellers STALKING SAPPHIRE and SILENCING SAPPHIRE, fighting her most grueling serial killer yet.

A summer has passed since the catastrophe at the country club. Heiress and vigilante Sapphire Dubois has escaped to Paris, where she has shed her rich persona and lives as the infamous Serial Catcher. When the handsome Detective Aston Ridder tracks her down, Sapphire returns home to find Beverly Hills in chaos. A new vigilante has taken over Sapphire’s old job, and will stop at nothing to get her predecessor out of the way.

Meanwhile, a man with dark intentions and a deceiving smile has nestled his way into the rich community and is killing off heiresses. It doesn’t take long before Sapphire finds that this man, the next killer she has to catch, is none other than her estranged father. Already plagued by sickening memories, Sapphire is pushed to the limit when her father initiates a deranged game that threatens both her sanity and the lives of everyone around her.

While Aston struggles to keep the woman he loves from drowning in her father’s madness, Sapphire battles to outwit her merciless opponents before time runs out and more innocent blood is spilled.

Guest Blog:

The Oh That Changed My View on Character Description

As an author, it is easy to picture your main character as a version of yourself, or a version of someone around you. Ask most writers and they’ll tell you that they see some of their own features in their MC’s.

I never thought much about this. The only thing on my mind as I wrote was how I, personally, saw the character, whether his/her specific features pertained to the story or not.

However, if you ask most readers how they view an MC, pre-description, they are likely to give you a version of themselves as well—an adaptation of a face they can meld with their own as they relate to the character.

In 2013, my publishing house, Diversion Books, and I, decided to put up my first novel on Wattpad—an international site for readers and writers—as a book club in promotion for the second book in the series. Soon, my fan base jumped from the US to worldwide and I was getting messages from readers all over the globe.

My first thought: Yay!

Then I got a message from a girl from the UAE, if I recall correctly. She told me how much she loved the book, then asked me what Sapphire (my MC) looked like?

Without thinking, I wrote back and gave her the image of my version of Sapphire. Her reply? Oh.

That Oh said it all and I immediately regretted what I’d done. I’d taken away her image of the main character and ruined the way she related to Sapphire.

Clearly, not everyone in the world is an heiress/spy/astronaut/district 12 resident, but what we do as readers, and what makes stories so great, is that we find ways, despite location, time period, and social status, to put our own features on the character so we can pretend to be them as we go on their adventure. Not every reader does this—I know some are more comfortable with being handed the image—but many find it the easiest way to connect with the character.

Due to this Oh, I was faced with multiple questions. How many books had I read where the character’s facial shape, hair color, eye color, and height didn’t pertain to the story? How many times had I mind-deleted the author’s character description because it didn’t match the image I’d already created?
The most important question of all: Why the hell was I doing the same thing to my readers?

This has nothing to do with being politically correct. It’s about questioning who the characters truly belong to: the person who created them, or the person absorbing them?

Before I answered the message I should have realized that there’s plenty of character description in my novel, and that she, just like I have so many times, had mind-deleted it because it didn’t fit with her image. I should have replied: “Whatever you want her to look like.”

Because of that Oh—that may or may not have meant what I thought it did—I hereby vow to neutralize the descriptions of my future main characters, leaving them as blank canvasses, and stop imposing my personal image on defenseless readers. Unless, of course, it comes down to Writer’s Rule No 1: POPP. Plot Over Personal Preference. (There’s a good chance I just made up that acronym, but it’s still true.)

From here on out, I will do my darndest (grandma-term alert) to make sure that every person, of every hair/skin/eye color, of every length and size, everywhere can see themselves in my main characters. Because once that book is in your hand, dear reader, the characters are not mine; they are yours.

You can find Mia’s other books as well as info on her from her Amazon Author page by clicking

Here: Amazon Central Author Page for Mia Thompson

Introducing the Second John Cannon Thriller – His Revenge

ionia martin:

A talented author with a new offering you don’t want to miss.

Originally posted on Fiction Favorites:

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The second John J Cannon story continues John’s wish to bring the terrorist Matt Jacobs to justice. In the first book, My GRL John was able to thwart the plot to destroy the Annapolis midshipmen on their summer cruise. Of course, terrorists being what they are not content with just one try to embarrass America. In His Revenge, Matt Jacobs takes his hatred for America and John Cannon to another level. The action moves from a barrier Island off the coast of Texas to Washington DC, then to Northern California, and finally to Ecuador. John is on the receiving end of an offer he cannot, refuse. His avowed enemy Matt Jacobs now wants John to help him shake the reputation of the US in the world political arena. If John refuses, Matt…

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A terrific giveaway! Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams


Want to Win an absolutely beautiful hard cover book? I kid you not–these are some of the prettiest hardcovers I have ever seen, and a great story too. If you are not familiar with Beatriz Williams yet, or if you are, and are just hungering for her new book–you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got two giveaway copies Courtesy of Penguin Random House. US entries only, please.

Here’s what you gotta do:

Reblog or share this post with your favourite social media site and drop a comment by to let me know you did. Two random winners will be chosen on Wednesday of next week (November 4th) and notified of their win.

Keep reading to find out more about this fabulous book.
Along the Infinite SeaAlong the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams

Each of the three Schuyler sisters has her own world-class problems, but in the autumn of 1966, Pepper Schuyler’s problems are in a class of their own. When Pepper fixes up a beautiful and rare vintage Mercedes and sells it at auction, she thinks she’s finally found a way to take care of herself and the baby she carries, the result of an affair with a married, legendary politician.

But the car’s new owner turns out to have secrets of her own, and as the glamorous and mysterious Annabelle Dommerich takes pregnant Pepper under her wing, the startling provenance of this car comes to light: a Nazi husband, a Jewish lover, a flight from Europe, and a love so profound it transcends decades. As the many threads of Annabelle’s life from World War II stretch out to entangle Pepper in 1960s America, and the father of her unborn baby tracks her down to a remote town in coastal Georgia, the two women must come together to face down the shadows of their complicated pasts.

Indomitable heroines, a dazzling world of secrets, champagne at the Paris Ritz, and a sweeping love story for the ages, in New York Times bestselling author Beatriz William’s final book about the Schuyler sisters.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, Pepper. It is not just a spice.

Beatriz Williams is back with another stunning and time-spanning novel, sure to wow those who love her unique chick-lit-drama-women’s-fiction style.

This book begins in a similar way to “Tiny Little Thing,” in the regard that it jumps right in, setting up the story for the back story that is to come. I enjoyed the curious nature of this novel, switching between time periods and past/current events. I was particularly taken with the main love story in the book, and loved the way the author used dialogue to support the growing feelings between her characters.

If you enjoy books with some depth, and multiple facets to the main characters and their relationships, this will be a perfect read for you. I loved the tenderness between the two main female characters. There is a special bond between them that only strengthens as the book progresses. Beatriz Williams has a talent for creating memorable characters that mature and change throughout her stories.

“Along the Infinite Sea” is a book about growing up, accepting change and sacrificing for the good of the ones you love. It is a brilliant example of an author finding her niche and writing it wonderfully. You will be missing out if you do not pick up a copy.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Buffalo Bill, Boozers, Brothels, and Bare-Knuckle Brawlers: An Englishman’s Journal of Adventure in America

Buffalo Bill, Boozers, Brothels, and Bare-Knuckle Brawlers: An Englishman’s Journal of Adventure in America by Kellen Cutsforth

The travel journal of the wealthy young Englishman, Evelyn Booth, weaves a factual, enthralling, and entertaining narrative that follows his escapades throughout the United States of the late nineteenth century. Transcribed and edited (with relevant commentary for contemporary audiences) by Kellen Cutsforth, Booth s journal reveals his career as a young care-free frat boy with unlimited funds, gives first-hand accounts that involve drunken nights, fist fights, illicit sex with prostitutes, sporting events, and full-blown adventures with the most well-known celebrities of the day, including encounters with famous scout and showman William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody and the Wild West Cowboys; bare knuckled world champions John L. Sullivan and Jack Nonpareil Dempsey; Fred Archer, the most famous horse jockey of the day, and prostitutes, gamblers, and infamous houses.”
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! How amazing that a surviving journal from so long ago could tell us so much about the adventures of its owners as well as about a famous historical figure.

I really enjoyed this book. Kellen Cutsforth did a great job retaining the original feel of the journal’s text, yet making it a bit clearer for all who read it whom the author of each section was and replacing any names that had been shortened.

This was a really fascinating look at what life was like during the Days of Buffalo Bill. I think anyone who has an interest in the Wild West would get a big kick out of this.

I love journals and writings from days gone by, and am always amazed at those that have been preserved well enough as to be legible today. This book is a treasure and is worth a recommendation.

One of the incredible things about reading something like this, is that you know these were the real thoughts and opinions of an actual person, showing you a world that existed before you. I thank the author for sharing this with the rest of us.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

The Last Midwife by Sandra Dallas

The Last MidwifeThe Last Midwife by Sandra Dallas

It is 1880 and Gracy Brookens is the only midwife in a small Colorado mining town where she has delivered hundreds, maybe thousands, of babies in her lifetime. The women of Swandyke trust and depend on Gracy, and most couldn’t imagine getting through pregnancy and labor without her by their sides.

But everything changes when a baby is found dead…and the evidence points to Gracy as the murderer.

She didn’t commit the crime, but clearing her name isn’t so easy when her innocence is not quite as simple, either. She knows things, and that’s dangerous. Invited into her neighbors’ homes during their most intimate and vulnerable times, she can’t help what she sees and hears. A woman sometimes says things in the birthing bed, when life and death seem suspended within the same moment. Gracy has always tucked those revelations away, even the confessions that have cast shadows on her heart.

With her friends taking sides and a trial looming, Gracy must decide whether it’s worth risking everything to prove her innocence. And she knows that her years of discretion may simply demand too high a price now…especially since she’s been keeping more than a few dark secrets of her own.

With Sandra Dallas’s incomparable gift for creating a sense of time and place and characters that capture your heart, The Last Midwife tells the story of family, community, and the secrets that can destroy and unite them.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a powerful, emotionally charged novel that will keep you turning pages even when you should have been in bed hours before.

“I guess I know more than she does, because the baby don’t come out of your foot.”

I dare you to read this book and not fall completely in love with Gracy. She is the kind of character that works her way into your heart and refuses to leave. I find that I am still thinking of her, long after the last page has been read.

Really, I can’t say enough good things about this novel, or the author’s writing. I’m struggling to find words that will do it justice.

What I loved: Gracy’s life in the various terrains and her midwifery skills, including the struggles she faced with weather and other folks in the community were wonderfully descriptive. I really felt like I was there with her, travelling the bumpy roads and helping these women through their birthing trials.

What I loved even more: Gracy is forgiving, kind and understanding, but she can also be as tough as nails, as one would expect a woman living at the time and doing the duties she performs would have had to be.

This story doesn’t waste time delaying the events that shape the story, and by the time the important stuff happens, it feels like a natural progression. This author has an excellent handle on language and her writing is smooth and flows easily. I was particularly impressed with the dialogue.

There are a lot of books out there, but few that I can find no fault in–this is one. Read it, you won’t be sorry.

This review is based on a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

Countdown to Death by Iain McChesney

Countdown to DeathCountdown to Death by Iain McChesney

Ten strangers are lured to a remote Scottish island at the invitation of a reclusive industrialist.

Stranded on Lord Black’s wondrous estate, the disparate guests have more in common than they first realize.

Accused in a mysterious letter of having committed crimes in their past, one by one they are hunted down. But who is the killer? Will any of them live to find out?

***A modern retelling of the Agatha Christie classic–with a surprising twist.***
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And then there were none…kind of. I really liked this book. I became hooked on this author’s writing with his first novel, so I was definitely curious to see what he would do next. I’m excited to say that he surprised me in a pleasant way.

This book is a modern retelling of a classic work, and although they are different enough that they can’t be directly compared–I have to say, that for once, I liked this story better than the original.

One of my favourite things about McChesney’s writing, is the way he blends dark humour into an ordinary scene, making it fun. I like the ironic things that happen to his characters and the way he gets an already quick plot moving even faster with unexpected events.

I couldn’t figure this one out until the very end, and I laughed when I realised that the clues were there all along–but I was so involved with the writing and the characters that I didn’t see what was right in front of me.

I truly like this author, and recommend his work to anyone looking for a great read.

So much fun!

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and was provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

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Science of the Magical by Matt Kaplan

Science of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to SuperpowersScience of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Superpowers by Matt Kaplan

From the author of The Science of Monsters, this engaging scientific inquiry provides a definitive look into the elements of mystical places and magical objects—from the philosopher’s stone, to love potions to the oracles—from ancient history, mythology, and contemporary culture.

Can migrations of birds foretell our future? Do phases of the moon hold sway over our lives? Are there sacred springs that cure the ill? What is the best way to brew a love potion? How do we create mutant humans who regenerate like Wolverine?

In Science of the Magical, noted science journalist Matt Kaplan plumbs the rich, lively, and surprising history of the magical objects, places, and rituals that infuse ancient and contemporary myth. Like Ken Jennings and Mary Roach, Kaplan serves as a friendly armchair guide to the world of the supernatural. From the strengthening powers of Viking mead, to the super soldiers in movies like Captain America, Kaplan ranges across cultures and time periods to point out that there is often much more to these enduring magical narratives than mere fantasy. Informative and entertaining, Science of the Magical explores our world through the compelling scope of natural and human history and cutting-edge science.–Goodreads

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Need a bit of personality with your nonfiction? Enter Matt Kaplan. If you are on a quest to expand your brain and find magic, mythology, ancient lore and religion all to be interesting topics but can’t handle one more dry, unemotional observation, you should really consider giving this book a go.

I can’t honestly say that I have ever read a nonfiction book where the footnotes were funny, until this one. Matt Kaplan approaches science through a different perspective. Clearly he is intelligent and interested in many facets of the world around us and that comes through in his writing, but he approaches things in a way that makes the reader feel involved and keeps you wondering what he is going to conquer next. Through his recounting of personal experiences interwoven with scientific fact, he gives us a broader view of the topics at hand.

You’ll feel smarter after you read his work, but you won’t feel that usual brain burn that tends to follow reading a serious text. This would be a great book for older students, as it won’t put them to sleep. The author included a variety of different topics and made each one of them interesting and easy to understand.

Honestly, this is the most fun I’ve had with a nonfic in a long time, possibly ever. Highly recommended. Looking forward to checking out the author’s other work now.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

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The Lost Journals of Sylvia Plath by Kimberly Knutsen

The Lost Journals of Sylvia Plath: A NovelThe Lost Journals of Sylvia Plath: A Novel by Kimberly Knutsen

Set in the frozen wasteland of Midwestern academia, The Lost Journals of Sylvia Plath introduces Wilson A. Lavender, father of three, instructor of women’s studies, and self-proclaimed genius who is beginning to think he knows nothing about women. He spends much of his time in his office not working on his dissertation, a creative piece titled “The Lost Journals of Sylvia Plath.” A sober alcoholic, he also spends much of his time not drinking, until he hooks up with his office mate, Alice Cherry, an undercover stripper who introduces him to “the buffer”—the chemical solution to his woes.

Wilson’s wife, Katie, is an anxious hippie, genuine earth mother, and recent PhD with no plans other than to read People magazine, eat chocolate, and seduce her young neighbor—a community college student who has built a bar in his garage. Intelligent and funny, Katie is haunted by a violent childhood. Her husband’s “tortured genius” both exhausts and amuses her.

The Lavenders’ stagnant world is roiled when Katie’s pregnant sister, January, moves in. Obsessed with her lost love, ’80s rocker Stevie Flame, January is on a quest to reconnect with her glittery, big-haired past. A free spirit to the point of using other people’s toothbrushes without asking, she drives Wilson crazy.

Exploring the landscape of family life, troubled relationships, dreams of the future, and nightmares of the past, Knutsen has conjured a literary gem filled with humor and sorrow, Aqua Net and Scooby-Doo, diapers and benzodiazepines—all the detritus and horror and beauty of modern life.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This can be a difficult book to read at times, since you know from the beginning that everything is not going to come up roses, but it is also unique, moving, funny and heartfelt.

I love books that can mirror real life so accurately that you feel like the author really poured their heart and soul into them. You definitely feel that when you read “The Lost Journals of Sylvia Plath.”

Kimberly Knutsen writes with a passion and it is felt through each of her carefully worded passages. I enjoyed reading this and found myself nodding my head in agreement with many of the characters thoughts and much of the dialogue. This author is able to put into words what many people must think but not be able to voice.

The characters are strong and believable and the emotional link between them is apparent from the beginning. These are not one-dimensional characters and it is obvious that the author put a lot of work into each of them.

If you enjoy realistic dramas, and books that can make you forget about your own worries and become involved with the characters, this one is likely something you will enjoy.

This review is based on a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

Masters of the field by John L. Herberich

Masters of the Field: The Fourth United States Cavalry in the Civil War by John L Herberich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Just wow. I have got a massive collection of Civil War related books, but this is truly the first one I have seen that deals with an individual regiment in such depth.

This book took some serious research and it is obvious whilst reading it that the author really cared about using the actual words of the people involved to tell the story of these important historical events.

Although the author admits to a family history based bias, I didn’t see that he was particularly opinionated one way or the other in most cases, and felt he made an honest effort to tell the truth based on the variety of documents he researched and provided.

This is an exciting book, with a lot of value for anyone interested in this period of history and I cannot recommend it strongly enough. I will definitely be adding this to my personal collection.


This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.