#WaitingOnWednesday No.8 | An interview with a book blogger whose using #Kickstarter to self-publish “The Best of Little Red Reviewer”!

Posted Wednesday, 16 January, 2019 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

a word about ‘waiting on Wednesday’:

#WaitingOnWednesday badge created in Canva by Jorie using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

I have decided to start participating in this book blogsphere meme with a few small changes of how it’s regularly blogged about by my fellow book bloggers. I will either be introducing my current reads of upcoming releases as I am in the process of reading them and/or I might be releasing a book review about a forthcoming title by which I had been blessed to read ahead of publication. The main purpose behind the meme is to encourage readers and your fellow book bloggers to become aware of new books being released which caught your eye and which held your interest to read. Sometimes if your still in the process of reading the books, its the titles which encouraged your bookish heart. I look forward to spending the next seasons of the year, talking about the books I have on hand to read, the books I’ve been reading and the books I might not even have a copy to read but which are of wicked sweet interest to become a #nextread of mine.

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Promo banner for Little Red Reviewer Kickstarter Guest Post via jorielovesastory.com made by Jorie in Canva.

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A bit of a back-story on my connection to Andrea | Little Red Reviewer:

When Andrea first contacted me about her project emerging onto #Kickstarter in January, 2019 I was wicked OVERJOYED she thought of me to be part of her #streetteam to get the WORD out about this remarkable *idea!* she had to transform the words she’s etched into her online blog into a *tangible, touchable ‘book’* wherein you can take a more personal glimpse into the work she’s left behind in the book blogosphere.

She had such a valid point about our writings on our ‘book blogs’ – as a lot of people I am sure might want to readily ‘dismiss’ what we’re doing – they might not even understand the conceptional difference between ‘book bloggers & book reviewers’ as there is a bit of a difference between the two mediums of sharing our bookish ruminations; as book bloggers, we have the tendency to go a bit deeper, a bit further and explore a bit more of our emotional reactions as we’re reading than what a reviewer might consider to elude to in their (shorter) review as the reviews you’ll find on a book blogger’s blog are uniquely longer in length!

Our paths first crossed during the blogosphere (its reached pop iconic status now for those of us who are geeky on Sci Fi) even known affectionately as #RRSciFiMonth | Sci Fi November to those of us who’ve been round since it was first founded in [2013] by Rinn of Rinn Reads. Rinn has moved into other areas of interest outside of book blogging but her vision & her passion for Science Fiction lives on in her stead. The even is co-hosted by Lisa (@deargeekplace) and Imyril (@imyril) – who are my partners in crime when it comes to co-hosting @WyrdAndWonder as well as other events in the blogosphere or twitterverse such as our current RAL series for the Wayfarer series.

Andrea and I also share a passionate attachment to the writings of Julie E. Czerneda who gave us The Clan Chronicles (read through my archives of the ENTIRE 3x trilogy series as I read each novel in sequence of the world in which they reside). We shared some lovely moments in the latter trilogy’s blog tour(s) (see also this Post & this one too) leading into the final release which capstoned the series and gave us an emotional ‘ending’ to a beloved series.

She also hosts the annual January readthon #VintageSciFiMonth – an event I’ve never had the pleasure of joining until this coming January, 2019! With a bit of helpful suggestions being relayed to me via my fellow bookish geeks on LibraryThing as I pitched a Q about which Classic authors I ought to be reading if I wanted to seek out a certain variety of ‘Science Fiction’. I’m quite sure some of it will parlay into my readings for the 2019 #RRSciFiMonth as well!

Even though we’ve remained in touch over the years, sharing a love of Science Fiction & the Speculative Realms, I remain in awe of how being a book blogger has led to connections far outside the initial joys I envisioned I’d find in my life when I first started to take those tentative steps to find my blogging voice in [2013]. I love supporting my fellow book bloggers & in this case, it is a bold light on finding a route towards preserving the work we’ve left behind as each story in turn curated our ruminations & left us dearly affected for the journey we took into the STORIES.

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Previously you might remember I shared a Guest Post

The Best of Little Red Reviewer Kickstarter Campaign banner provided by Andrea and is used with permission.

wherein Andrea shared her Kickstarter plans!

Today, I am showcasing the conversation which was sparked out of a desire to better understand what was motivating Andrea to self-publish the “best of the best” of her book blogger reviews whilst re-highlighting her Kickstarter campaign during the mid-point of January wherein she has currently (as of this post’s release) raised the following amount of her overall goal:

1,413 of 5,000 | by 41 backers

JOIN her Kickstarter Campaign *today!*

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Posted Wednesday, 16 January, 2019 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Blogs I Regularly Read, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Indie Author, Waiting on Wednesday

#Harlequin Heartwarming Series Book Review | “The Rancher’s Fake Fiancee” (Book Four: Return of the Blackwell Brothers) by Amy Vastine [of a five book series!]

Posted Monday, 7 January, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this Summer to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for a five-book series from Harlequin Heartwarming entitled “Return of the Blackwell Brothers”. This differs as each of the reviewers and book bloggers who are committing to this review tour are posting at different intervals as each of the five novels release which is also co-dependent on the format we are signed on to review.

My reviews will be showcased from August 2018 through January 2019 beginning with the first novel by Carol Ross. Only the first and second novel will showcase the book synopsis, author photograph and her biography as the rest of the tour will only feature the serial information which is also seen on this post. Each of us had the flexibility to choose when we are posting our reviews which was another added bonus to this particular review tour. I elected to post mine on Saturdays, as for the past four years Saturdays have been happily focused on Romances (previously strictly by ChocLit) and I am going to continue to expand this featured part of the week encompassing more Romances by both ChocLit and different publishers. Except for when I needed to post during the week in lieu of Saturday due to health issues or life in general.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Rancher’s Fake Fiancée” direct from the author Amy Vastine in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I continue to feel attached & connected to the Blackwell Brothers:

My first impression of Ben Blackwell was about a close cousin to Rachel’s – he was brass, he was full of himself and he had only put miles in distance between his past and the present; he never had actually taken the time to heal emotionally from how he was wounded. That in of itself was a bit telling – as he had a boiling temper under his persona of a city lawyer who hadn’t the time nor the inclination to deal with a country lawyer such as Rachel. The fact the two were interlinked in their past was just another spur in his boot to be frank!

Rachel had her fair share of hard knocks – the fact she had a louse for an ex was only half the story, her dedication to her daughter Poppy is what shined out of her will not to lose her composure. For Rachel, you could tell she was trying to make the best choices she could – not to focus on the choices she had regrets over nor on the prospects of what a future could yield. Everything was a bit too far away for those kinds of considerations when you have a custody dispute where your wings are clipped and your options are running on empty. You feel for her because she’s a hard-working single Mum who has the unfair disadvantage of having her daughter’s father more concerned with legalities than the actual duties of being a father! Aye.

The vexations mounting on Rachel’s spirits were reaching new layers of angst – especially as you could definitely feel the energy in her unravelling. Here she was trying to hold everything together – carrying the weight of the family’s ranch on her shoulders, inking out an honest trade as a lawyer and juggling her ex in her life to boot! Something had to give and it felt like this old timer ranch hand Henry was past his date of retirement! There is nothing worse than someone who doesn’t see the urgency in what is needed to get done and that is what was vexing Rachel the most. Here she was trying to make do with what she had – work an honest day and still sort out the ranch which hadn’t been properly managed since her father’s death. You had to just give the girl credit for not wanting to take the easier route out and sell.

The more we get to see Rachel and Ben interacting with each other, the more complicated it all feels as these are two best friends who had become jaded in life. It wasn’t entirely their fault, even Ben is being placed in a bad spot by his grandfather Big E (who hasn’t?) and that was leading into a nightmare of a situation involving Rachel as she was trying to defend her own ranch against the rights his family has had all these years. If you looked at it from the outside – they were two individuals caught in the quicksand of bad choices others had made but were now the only people who could attempt to put things back to rights. And, there’s the rub – how do you remain angry at your former best friend?

-quoted from my review of The Rancher’s Redemption

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Return of the #BlackwellBrothers:

The Rancher’s Twins by Carol Ross → August 1st
The Rancher’s Rescue by Cari Lynn Webb → September 1st
The Rancher’s Redemption by Melinda Curtis → October 1st
The Rancher’s Fake Fiancée by Amy Vastine → November 1st
The Rancher’s Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart → December 1st

The Rancher's Fake Fiancee
Subtitle: Return of the Blackwell Brothers
by Amy Vastine
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335633859

Also in this series: Series Spotlight w/ Notes: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, The Rancher's Twins, The Rancher's Rescue, The Rancher's Redemption


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Heartland Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Fiction, Western Romance


Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 378

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

& #ReturnOfTheBlackwellBrothers

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About Amy Vastine

Be sure to visit the author online and find out what is she is releasing next!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 7 January, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance

#SaturdaysAreBookish | feat. @SatBookChat’s 12th January guest author Estella Mirai | Book Review of “The Stars May Rise and Fall” (a re-telling of “Phantom of the Opera” from an m/m romantic POV)

Posted Saturday, 12 January, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

After launching this lovely new feature of mine during [Autumn, 2018] it is a pleasure of joy to continue to bring #SaturdaysAreBookish as a compliment focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat. If you see the chat icon at the top of my blog (header bar) you can click over to visit with us. The complimentary showcases on my blog will reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of the chat are the stories I am reading which compliment the conversations.

#SaturdaysAreBookish throughout [2019] will be featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read across genre and point of interest. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – the stories I am reading might simply inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

I am excited about where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction. Here’s a lovely New Year full of new authors and their stories to celebrate!

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Acquired Book By: I’ve been blessed by meeting authors via #bookishTwitter for five years now. I love the #writingcommunity in the twitterverse as the writers who are publishing and/or of whom like me are still on their publishing journey are approachable, relatable and keenly conversational which is wicked brill. When my path crossed with this lovely author what truly humbled my heart and gave me such a lift of joy is the fact she was able to send me an ARC of her novel in printed form. She understood why I couldn’t read an ecopy of the novel and I am the proud owner of a spiral bound ARC!

I received a complimentary spiral bound ARC copy of “The Stars May Rise and Fall” direct from the author Estella Mirai in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was keenly excited about reading this re-telling of ‘Phantom of the Opera’:

You might remember, last year I read “The Phantom’s Apprentice” by Heather Webb which was her self-published re-telling of the same story. She was also who chose to self-publish her novel in lieu of seeking (or being able to seek) traditional publication for her story. It is rather unique I think, a year later I am celebrating the discovery of a second novel based on this Classical story which had to take an Indie route to reach reader’s hands!

I’ve truly have had a love affair with the music of ‘Phantom’ ever since I was a young girl – I grew up with an appreciation of the arts at a very young age. My parents encouraged me to seek out theatre, symphonies and listen to orchestrations via vinyl records at home. I also was actively engaged with programming on PBS as much as I loved the local arts community in my metropolis – not just limited to musical routes of enjoyment but also fine art and other exhibits or old world arts & crafts fairs/festivals. In essence, I was surrounded by the arts across mediums of influence whilst I was musically introduced to such a hearty variety of sounds & soundscapes, it turnt me into a lifelong appreciator of musical compositions.

I loved Classical compositions as much as Contemporary – however, I had a special place in my heart for sound for motion picture and the Broadway Musical scores and soundtracks. There was something rather intimate about Original Cast Recordings when it comes to a Musical – you can feel the intensity of the performance and you can paint the scenes alive in your mind as soon as you hear the music begin. Which is what I was trying to capture last year when I mentioned this ahead of sharing my review of “The Phantom’s Apprentice”:

The music of Phantom – irregardless of which incantation of performance and artistic vision are the songs which lift my soul. The sound of Phantom is individually distinctive and the story within it’s heart is one of gutting emotions surrounding the suspense of what is truly happening to Christine and of what motivates the Phantom himself to pursue her to such an extent of invested interest. It is also part cautionary tale about obsession and misguided love.

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I also went on to mention how long I’ve been connected to ‘Phantom’:

I’ve been a girl whose appreciated Broadway and Musicals since I was old enough to listen to original soundtracks on cassette tape. I used to go to sleep with a tape of Annie – not the stage play version but the original motion picture soundtrack. From there, I graduated into more familiar Musicals – including listening to the Michael Crawford soundtrack for Phantom until it etched itself into my blood.

I continued to follow Phantom – from watching the PBS broadcast of the anniversary production from London to celebrating the motion picture adaptation starring Emmy Rossum. Whilst I was writing my ruminative thoughts on behalf of this novel, I was playing the motion picture soundtrack channel for Phantom via Pandora Radio which showcased all versions of the play and musical.

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In effect, this is a story which is simply a ‘part of me’ and it was an honour to have the chance to see this story & its characters re-imagined into an m/m romantic arc set in Tokyo, Japan. For those who read and visit my blog regularly, you already know of my admiration on behalf of Susan Spann’s Hiro Hattori novels – though set in 16th Century Japan, the point here is the fact I love visiting the country in fiction. In the past, I had several friends who lived in different parts of Japan inasmuch of the fact one of my favourite Winter Olympics were the Nagano Games. My grandparents helped encourage my fascination & love of Japan as they themselves loves the country, through their art (sculpture) and musicians especially.

In essence, it feels like ‘coming home’ whenever I consider reading a story set in Japan – it is a beautifully lovely country full of Mystic roots, humbling traditions and a wonderful cultural heritage.

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#SaturdaysAreBookish | feat. @SatBookChat’s 12th January guest author Estella Mirai | Book Review of “The Stars May Rise and Fall” (a re-telling of “Phantom of the Opera” from an m/m romantic POV)The Stars May Rise and Fall
by Estella Mirai
Source: Direct from Author

Teru came to Tokyo with dreams of making it big in the glam-metal visual kei scene, but three years later, all he has to show for it is a head of hot pink hair and some skill with an eyeliner pencil. He may look the part, but he doesn’t sound it, and constant bickering among his bandmates has him worried about his future. When he finds a mysterious business card in his bag, he’s willing to take any help he can get.

Help comes in the form of Rei, a crippled, disfigured composer whose own career was ended by an accident before it had really begun. With Teru’s voice and looks, and Rei’s money and songwriting skills, both of their dreams seem about to come true – but a forbidden kiss and a late-night confession threaten to tear it all apart. Now Teru, who has spent most of his life denying his attraction to men, and Rei, who vowed long ago never to love again, must reconcile their feelings with their careers – and with their carefully constructed ideas of themselves.

THE STARS MAY RISE AND FALL is an M/M retelling of Phantom of the Opera, set in Tokyo at the turn of the millennium. It comes with a healthy dose of angst and a dollop of nostalgia, as well as an age-difference romance, a physically disabled love interest, and memorable characters who will stay with you long after the pages are closed.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781684547715

Genres: After Canons, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Japanese Fiction, LGBTQIA Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Romance Fiction


Setting: Toyko, Japan


Published by Self Published Author

on 11th December, 2018

Format: Spiral Bound ARC

Pages: 309

Self Published Author

This is a Digital First Release – other formats will be forthcoming such as print

Converse via: #PhantomOfTheOpera retell, #LGBTQ, #Contemporary Romance

About Estella Mirai

Estella Mirai lives just outside of Tokyo with her human family and a very spoiled lap cat. When she isn’t reading or writing, she works in editing and translation—which means that 99% percent of her day is usually words. In her minimal free time, she enjoys watching musicals, cooking (badly), and slaughtering power ballads at karaoke.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 12 January, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Composer, Creative Arts, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Horror-Lite, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Japan, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, PTSD, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction

Blog Book Tour | feat. #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novelist Sherri Shackelford’s “No Safe Place”

Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2019 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “No Safe Place” direct from the author Sherri Shackelford in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why Jorie loves INSPY Romantic Suspense & #LoveInspired:

Last year, in July I had a delightful time participating in my first readathon which not only ENCOURAGED you to read more INSPY novels but it was a bit of a competition as well. It was a lovely concept created by Singing Librarian Books and you can read a bit about why I loved joining the readaathon whilst I also posted a small recap of my adventures. This was building on the fact earlier in [2018] I had encouraged my Mum to start reading the Love Inspired Suspense novels as she needed some down-time from her 12 hour shifts. The stories were portable and just long enough to give her a wicked good read but without the worry of not being able to finish them. In July, you see, it was my turn to sink my teeth into the imprint’s offerings and I started to quickly find #mustread authors! Readathons are brilliant for that – their this concentrated period of time to read select stories of interest to the reader & they give you hours of #bookJOY afterwards!!

We have a shared passion for INSPY stories – short or long in length as we used to belong to the subscription service *Heartsong Presents*. Eventually we’d love to join the subscription service for these lovely novels as the beauty of reading them is having a high octane Suspense driven plot with realistic characters, back-stories & a jarring sense of Contemporary life – all caught inside the folds of an Inspirational (ie. Christian) vein of thought.

I read a wide variety of INSPY Lit, but my favourites are the ones which gently are layered with arcs of faith and the character’s spirituality as I love reading the stories where their faith is shown through their example, life’s choices and the personal growth they undertake through their character’s journey. I had a delightful time in July reading my first batch of #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novels and it is a joy for me to participate on a blog tour which celebrates this wicked sweet line of books my Mum & I love devouring!

It is a true pleasure to be on this blog tour – discovering a #newtomeauthor for this imprint but also, to have the chance to read a Contemporary Suspense whilst reminding myself I need to put more of these in my readerly path this year! Even without the readathon to encourage me forward – which gave me the chance to win some books along the way, I just love reading these kinds of stories! Sharing my love of this imprint & the stories they publish is a wonderful way to ring in the New Year!

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Blog Book Tour | feat. #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novelist Sherri Shackelford’s “No Safe Place”No Safe Place
Subtitle: Love Inspired Suspense : January 2019
by Sherri Shackelford
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

He lives by the law.

She’s running for her life.

After forensic accountant Beth Greenwood uncovers a money-laundering scheme tying her company to the organization that murdered her mentor, she knows she needs to go into hiding. With ruthless killers in pursuit, she’s forced to rely on homeland security agent Corbin Ross’s protection—even as his investigation suggests Beth is complicit in embezzlement. Can their uneasy alliance develop into something deeper—and keep them alive?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335231888

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Crime Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Suspense


Published by Love INSPIRED

on 31st December, 2018

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 218

Published by: Love Inspired (@LoveInspiredBks)
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks), a subsidiary of HarperCollins

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

This looks like the first release by Shackelford after the Love Inspired: Historical line was discontinued. I was quite upset they disbanded the imprint’s line as they were amongst the stories I loved reading most. It is my hope the Suspense line can carry-on for quite a long while into the future as I share this love of the stories with my Mum.

Converse via: #Contemporary #INSPY, #LoveINSPIRED #Suspense

#RomSusp and #ChrisFic

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About Sherri Shackelford

Sherri Shackelford

A former naval reservist with a top-secret security clearance, Sherri writes rapid-fire suspense featuring captivating characters and heart-pounding romance. She's authored more than a dozen novels for Harper Collins publishing, including both Historical and Contemporary Suspense.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 8 January, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Suspense