Review: Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser
Published: March 28, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 5/5

 Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.

So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.

Caitlin and Finn have been best friends since way back when, but when Finn shows up on Caitlin’s doorstep with the son he’s wanted for kidnapping, demands that she hide them from the authorities, and threatens to reveal a secret that could destroy her own family if she doesn’t, Caitlin faces an impossible choice.

Told through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, Almost Missed You is a powerful story of a mother’s love, a husband’s betrayal, connections that maybe should have been missed, secrets that perhaps shouldn’t have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been.

My Thoughts
In Almost Missed You the age old question of…do you really ever know someone is brought to light. We meet Violet and Finn whom we think are soulmates and we see their love story come to life but soon we realize their story doesn’t have a fairytale ending.

Finn kidnaps their son while on vacation and we learn through alternating chapters how this all came about and we meet Caitlin, Finn’s oldest and dearest friend and her secrets and how she is dragged into this saga. You feel for Violet who loves her son more than life itself. However her life is destroyed more and more each time she realizes that the man she loves isn’t the person she thought he was. Can you imagine finding out your significant other was even possible to do such things?

I fully enjoyed this story it made me weep for Violet and I was angry at Finn for his actions when really he should’ve been a man and just expressed his feelings to his wife. I didn’t think what he was going through was something that he had to drag his son into. It was a quick read with lots of secrets and twist and turns that had me wanting more. This is one read that I wasn’t able to put down!

Blog Tour: Playing House by Laura Chapman

About Playing House...
She's a work in progress . . .

Bailey Meredith has had it. As an assistant at a prestigious interior design firm, she’s tired of making coffee and filing invoices. She’ll do just about anything to get out from under the paperwork and into the field for real experience. Then she sees an ad for a job that seems too good to be true.

He's a fixer upper . . .

Wilder Aldrich knew she would be perfect for the crew the moment he saw her. His hit home improvement show only hired the best, and Bailey had potential written all over her. It isn’t just her imaginative creativity and unmatched work ethic that grabs his attention. There’s just something about her.

With chemistry on screen, it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly behind the scenes as well. But with Bailey’s jaded views on romance and a big secret that could destroy Wilder and everyone he cares about are either of them willing to risk it all for love?

Now Available! Find it on:

Excerpt from Playing House

“What should I do?” 

“Be yourself.” Renee squeezed her shoulder. “Just be your pithy self and you’ll be great.” 

What was that even supposed to mean? Bailey would have asked, but Renee had already turned to chase after Waverly. She probably wanted to keep Waverly’s call to ten minutes if possible. 

Well, fine. Bailey could figure out what she meant by “pithy” on her own. She’d start by googling “pithy.” She was so absorbed in reading the definition—“concise and forcefully expressive,” which so wasn’t her—she almost didn’t notice Wilder staring at her. 



Is the Pope Catholic? Does the sun rise in the east and set in the west? Is Ryan Gosling the hottest thing to ever come out of Canada? Or maybe it’s Ryan Reynolds. It’s definitely one of the Ryans, though. (Sorry, not sorry, Waverly.) 

Rather than give an outright answer and admit she was terrified, she gave a half shrug. 

Pithy. She probably needed to come up with some clever, but not show-stealing, lines to say on camera. She could still feel his eyes on her, even though she tried ignoring him. It was easier not looking into the camera lens than it was to pretend she didn’t notice how well he looked with a tool belt slung around his hips. 

It was particularly difficult with him standing there with his thumbs hooked into his distressed jean pockets. 

“Want to run through a couple of potential lines?” 

Her eyes flew to his. “Really?” 

“Sure. It’ll be fun. What do you have worked out already?”  

“Well . . .” She took a deep, calming breath through her nose and pulled her shoulders back far enough to do her mama proud. “This fireplace actually has a lot of potential.” She ran her free hand over the mantle the same way Wilder had moments earlier. “All it needs is some sprucing up.” 
Wilder nodded encouragingly. “But isn’t it an ugly-as-sin monstrosity that should be gutted along with the kitchen?” 
“Structurally, it’s in great shape.” Kneeling, she motioned for him to follow her lead. “It just needs a good sweeping. Wait till you see what we found behind this gross facade.” 

She pulled off one of the pieces to reveal an original late nineteenth-century hearth.  

Wilder let out an appropriate whistle. “Hot damn.” And impressively, he sounded legitimately thrilled and tickled considering he and Felix were the ones who’d discovered the hidden treasure during their preliminary walk-through. 

“We can definitely work with this. We’ll build a new mantle.” 

“Maybe a solid piece of native cedar. We could put some chunky candlesticks on it.” Her heart fluttered imagining how good that would actually look. “Create an even cozier setting.” 

He nodded. “Good, good. I like that. And we’ll clean up the original brick.” 

The more they painted the picture, the more she wanted to bring it to life. “It’ll be like stepping into good old Texas—stunning.” 

“Definitely stunning.” His eyes lifted to hers, and her breath caught. He winked, and she was pretty sure she’d never breathe again. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?” 

She blinked and cleared the lump out of her throat. “That was it?” 

“Yep.” Rising, he offered his hand. Pulling her up, he gave a gentle squeeze before releasing it. “You did great.” 

“I did?” She couldn’t seem capable of more than parroting small phrases.

“You were light and breezy—definitely pithy.”

About the Author
Laura Chapman is the author of First & Goal, Going for Two, Three & Out, and The Marrying Type. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. She loves talking to readers. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also get the latest news from her website, blog, and monthly newsletter.

This month, during the Playing House blog tour, you can enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of 1 free Audible copy each of The Marrying Type, First & Goal,  Going for Two or 1 $20 Amazon gift card.

Click HERE to Enter

Connect with Laura


Cora Carmack Announcement


From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack, comes the highly anticipated fourth standalone title in her Rusk University Series, ALL CLOSED OFF! A passionate story and journey, get ready to be mesmerized with Stella’s story! ALL CLOSED OFF is coming your way May 1, 2017!

Cover Design and Photography by Kelsey Kukal-Keeton at K. Keeton Designs   

ABOUT ALL CLOSED OFF (Releasing May 1, 2017):

Stella Santos is fine.

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.
But none of that matters because she’s just fine.
For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.
When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.
    ALL CLOSED OFF - full cover wrap  

Add it to your Goodreads

    ALL CLOSED OFF - Announcement Teaser  

Don’t Miss All of Cora’s Standalone Rusk University Series Titles!


Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes


Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes


  Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes

Cora Carmack - author pic About Cora Carmack: Cora Carmack is a twentysomething New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twentysomething characters. Raised in a small Texas town, she now lives in New York City and spends her time writing, traveling, and marathoning various TV shows on Netflix. She lives by one rule: embrace whatever the world throws at you and run with it (just not with scissors).          

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Cora Carmack Goodreads

    InkSlinger-Blogger banner-New


Virtual Tour: Back to Your Love by Kianna Alexander

I:\Fall 2016\Back to Your Love\9781492646983-PR.jpgTitle: Back to Your Love
Author: Kianna Alexander
Series: Brothers of TDT, #1
ISBN: 9781492646983
Pub Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Contemporary

Xavier Whitted, CPA and city council candidate is excited to get away to the Crystal Coast for his best friend’s wedding. He is shocked when he runs into his high school sweetheart there, the only woman he ever truly loved.

Dr. Imani Grant is just about ready to open her own dermatology practice when a serious wrench is put in her plans—in the form of Xavier Whitted. Old feelings resurface along with old secrets from the past. Imani isn’t willing to go there, until Xavier starts a new campaign: win Imani back—no matter what it takes.

Social Networking Links

Twitter: @KiannaWrites

To Buy:

About Kianna

Like any good Southern belle, Kianna Alexander wears many hats: loving wife, doting mama, advice-dispensing sister, and gabbing girlfriend. She's a voracious reader, history nerd and craft fanatic. Kianna lives in North Carolina with her husband, two kids, and a collection of well-loved vintage 80's Barbie dolls.

At first, it had seemed that Georgia was simply staring off into the distance. Now, Imani realized that she and the other women were all looking in the same direction. Confusion and curiosity knitting her brow, Imani turned to see what had captured everyone’s attention.
That was when she saw Xavier Whitted striding across the room. There was no way she could have missed him—his six-foot-three-inch height made him tower over most of the people in attendance. Her heart began pounding so loud she was sure everyone in the room could hear it. What in the hell is he doing here?
She tore her eyes away from the handsome man from her past and looked at Georgia with a questioning gaze. At first, Georgia didn’t seem to notice, but their gazes met after Imani loudly cleared her throat.
Georgia responded this time but still watched Xavier with appreciative eyes. “Isn’t he fine? He’s Tyrone’s best man, one of his TDT brothers. His name is—”
Imani interrupted her. “I know his name. Xavier Whitted.”
All the female eyes at that end of the table turned on her. The question hung in the air for a long second before Julia all but shouted, “Where do you know him from?”
“He was my high school boyfriend.” Imani stood as she answered the question, because it now seemed Xavier had spotted her and was approaching fast.
“Small world.” Gail winked.
Georgia made a sound of discovery. “Oh! So that explains why he was so eager to take you out. He must still be carrying a torch for you.”
Imani walked over and stood behind Georgia’s chair and placed a hand on each of her shoulders. “Georgia, please tell me you didn’t.”
“What?” The bride-to-be feigned innocence. “Georgia, did you set me up with him?” She uttered those words in a rushed whisper, because Xavier’s long legs were bringing him closer at an alarming speed.
“I might have.”
The noncommittal response was all Imani needed to know that her proverbial goose was cooked. She squeezed Georgia’s shoulder. “I gave you a really nice wedding gift. I think I want it back.”
It was all she had time to say before Xavier appeared next to her.
He smiled, showing off teeth so straight and white, they were almost too perfect. “Imani. It’s so good to see you.” He reached for her hand, capturing it in his much larger one.
It was the first touch she’d had from him in a decade, yet the shivers still danced across her skin. Aware of the four sets of nosy female eyes trained on them, she smiled, hoping to mask her nervousness. “It’s good to see you again, too, Xavier.”
He watched her for a few silent seconds, as if trying to read her. Then, he dipped his head and placed a soft kiss against her cheek. “I have to go sit with the boys at the other end of the table, but we’ll chat later, okay?” He gave her hand a squeeze, then slipped away.
She’d been totally unprepared for the kiss, and while brief and chaste, it reminded her of other encounters they’d had, which were much  the  opposite.  Tingles ran through her entire body, careening and colliding like a jar full of angry hornets. Recovering her senses  as quickly as she could, she retook her seat and found everyone staring at her.
Glancing around at her friends, she fished around in her purse for her cell phone. “What? Why is everyone looking at me like that?”
Finally, Gail asked pointedly, “Did you bring a shawl or a jacket?”
Embarrassment heated her cheeks when she realized what Gail was referring to. She didn’t have to look down to know that her nipples were standing like two pebbles inside the confines of her dress. Folding her arms over her chest, she cursed to herself. Apparently, even after a decade apart, Xavier Whitted still held the same magical power over her body.



Virtual Tour: Forever Alabama by Susan Sands

Ben Laroux is a gorgeous and sexy complication she can’t afford, 
but also can't resist.

Alabama #3
Susan Sands
Releasing March 20th, 2017
Tule Publishing

Everybody loves local attorney and favorite son, Ben Laroux.  Well, at least everybody of the female persuasion–until he meets Sabine O'Connor. She loathes him and makes no secret of her feelings, even when he pours on his famous charm hoping to thank her for helping his family. Ben has never been told no, and if there's one thing he's never walked away from, it's a challenge.

Sabine hopes she’s finally found peace and safety in the small town of Ministry. She’s changed her name to escape her painful past and her shameful family secrets. Ben Laroux is a gorgeous and sexy complication she can’t afford, but also can't resist. However, when her past threatens to derail her present and future, Ben might be the only man she can trust.

Start the Alabama Series for FREE

She fought the urge like mad to scoot closer to her potential client and find out what lay beneath those blue plaid boxers. Her good sense and professionalism warred with her very long-ignored womanly needs.
“Are you having sexy thoughts about me?” Ben asked, breaking into her sexy thoughts. Because his sexy had returned.
“Huh? Of course—not.” Her eyes were unfocused.
“You are. You want to sit on my lap again,” he accused.
“That—wouldn’t be wise.” But God, it would feel so good.
“Stop it! I’m asking for help, here, and you want to climb the tower of Ben.”
“Okay, this isn’t headed anywhere good,” Sabine said.
“Make you a deal.” He appeared deadly serious.
“I’m listening.”
“You stay here tonight—” He held up a hand to stop her shocked protest. “Listen. I’m suggesting I sleep off my beers, make a call to my buddy to have your car cleaned, and we discuss plans for my therapy. And I’ll make eggs in the morning. If you still look at me like that after I’ve sobered up, then, I’ll have no choice but to kiss you again.”
She couldn’t really see a flaw in his plan. Certainly, there were many, but right now, she was seriously charmed by a stinky, post-vomitous guy with a great house. “Um. I’m not sure that’s wise.”
“Because I’m a little distracted by your sitting there in your underwear.”
His eyes changed, the atmosphere between them became charged. “I knew it.”
“Go take a shower and brush your teeth.”
Both laughed at that. Sabine had no idea where this might lead, but either way, she was certain it was a bad idea. Bad.

Susan Sands began writing on her fortieth birthday. Better than a hot young boyfriend or a red convertible as mid-life crises go. Her first Southern women’s fiction title, Again, Alabama, was published a mere eight years later, with the second, Love, Alabama, and her latest, Forever, Alabama, following closely behind. Growing up in a small town in Louisiana, Susan's passion for reading sparked her interest in writing. She now creates stories about the quirky characters and fascinating relationships that are uniquely Southern.

Susan holds a degree in elementary education, and has lived in the Johns Creek/Alpharetta suburb of Atlanta with her husband and three children for over twenty years.