Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Published: January 9, 2018
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Format: audiobook via Overdrive
Rating: 5/5

If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

My Thoughts
That one question in the synopsis: If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present, is what pulled me to this novel. In The Immortalists, we met the Gold siblings and through sections in the novel we see how each one’s lives play out over the years. I liked this style because we get their full life story in one sitting and see what becomes of each one. Each sibling always has the one day etched into their brains, that date that the psychic told them that they would meet their fate. So my question is did they truly live life to the fullest knowing what day they would die or did knowing the date cause them more harm than good?

Each of them knew when she claimed they would die but they never told one another. Did this cause them to live a more carefree life doing what they truly wanted or did this wreck their lives to the core? I connected with some of the siblings' stories more than the others and the ones that I did have truly stayed with me till this day, I won't say which ones so I won't spoil anything, but there are parts of this book that wrecked me.

As you can tell I truly loved and enjoyed this book, but what I loved most was that it makes you think and question life, it is beautifully written with a powerful message and I hope everyone gets the chance to explore this magical read.


Release Blitz: My Way Back to You by Claire Contreras

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The emotional conclusion of New York Times Bestselling Author Claire Contreras’s Second Chances Duet is NOW LIVE!


My Way Back to You by Claire Contreras 

Book 2, Second Chances Duet 

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Publication Date: March 15th, 2018

Love isn't always about timing. Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and roll with it. I admit I wasn't ready. I know you don't want to look at me, let alone talk to me, but please, let me explain. Let me tell you all the ways my heart broke when you walked away. Let me show you what our years apart have done to me. Give me a chance to find my way back to you . . .

Read Today!

FREE in Kindle Unlimited Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2FB2aUo 
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Ebsb7V

Start the Duet Today!

Then There Was You, Book 1 FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2BNsV5C

Meet Claire:

Claire Contreras is a New York Times Best Selling Author. Her books range from romantic suspense to contemporary romance and are currently translated in seven different languages. She lives in Miami, Fl with her husband, two adorable boys, three bulldogs, and two stray cats that she refuses to admit are hers (even though they live on her porch, she named them, and continues to feed them). When she's not writing, she's usually lost in a book. ClaireContreras (1)

Connect with Claire:

Website: http://www.clairecontrerasbooks.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CContrerasBooks/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Claricon/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ClaireContreras/ 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ccontrerasbooks/ 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2BgzLQ0


Review: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Published: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Format: audiobook via Overdrive
Rating: 5/5

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

My Thoughts
Wow is all I can say about this amazing book! In An American Marriage went Celestial and Roy who are newly married and are visiting Roy’s parents when something as simple as staying in a hotel changes their lives forever. Roy is accused and charged with rape and soon everything that they thought their future was is no longer. You see Roy’s innocence is never in question, we know he is innocent and was falsely accused from the start, but what the real story here is what his time behind bars does to him and Celestial.

Celestial stands by Roy and helps him but soon he has been in jail longer than they were married and as time goes by she realizes that they have both grown apart of sorts, he has grown up in prison and her life on the outside has changed her also. While she still loves and cares for him she can no longer just wait for him, she feels the need to move on and her longtime friend Andre is happy to help her. Now personally I could’ve done without the Andre factor but I get, there are some other storylines that are woven in that once are connected are powerful, but the real gems here for me, are always Roy and Celestial. I honestly felt for both of them. Roy was a good guy who got the ultimate bad rap. To be innocent and imprisoned harden him some and you see that later in the novel. His time there did change who he was. Celestial has always been there for him but who could blame her for wanting to move on? She loves him no doubt but I understood she wanted a real family, love, and affection and you can't have that with someone who isn’t physically there.

This novel shows us that love can't always concquer all things. That sometimes no matter how much you love someone sometimes the best thing you can do is to let them go. People change and sometimes we change in different directions no matter how hard we try to stick together. This read was a powerful one of love, family and our inner strength. Its about our ability to fight for what we want yet to know when its time to let go. Tayari Jones has written a beautiful tale that shows us that life is raw and unfair yet still gives us hope with the fact that we all deserve to be loved and care for. That we can take all these things that life throws at us and still survive, this is one read that will still with me forever, it is that amazing!


Review: Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser
Expected Publication: March 27, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Format: via publisher
Rating: 4/5

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.

My Thoughts
In Not That I Could Tell it is billed as a thriller of sorts. It's about a group of friends who one night are seated by the fire enjoying some friend time and wine and by the next day, one of them is gone. Kristin the friend in question has left with her twins and as take only what was important to her and has left without a trace. As soon as the police get involved we find out all these things about Kristin her marriage, children and her life behind her closed doors.

Little by little we get to know each of the neighbors and how if any they fit into what has happened with Kristin. But her closest friend and neighbor Clara is the one who seems to be under the microscope as far as the cops are concerned and we see why she is so close to this and how her past reflects the present.

While this read is about Kristin and why she left it is also about the friendships. That’s what I took from this the most, the friendships and to what length you go to, to protect them. Even though they realized they really didn’t know each other there was still a connection as friends and wanting to help one another. This was a good read with a good storyline and the characters were well written. While this wasn’t exactly the read I was expecting it was still a really great book one that’s good to the very end. 


Spotlight: The Secrets We Bury by Stacie Ramey

The Secrets We Bury by Stacie Ramey
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
 Seventeen-and-a-half year old Dylan Taggart is on the run. His family is trying to put him in a school for psychologically challenged students. Dylan realizes he’s had some anger issues and he's a complete loner, aside from the friendship of his cousin Emily, who he calls the other pea in his pod. But he knows the Believers Charter School is not the place for him. As the investigators his mother has hired close in on him, he decides the Appalachian Trail, a hike that takes approximately six months––the exact length of time he needs to stay off her radar until his eighteenth birthday––may be the perfect place to hide out until he can legally drop out of school.

Except Dylan needs people more than he'd like to admit.  And  the biggest surprise is a hiker named Sophie, whom the other hikers call “the ghost.”  Dylan finds a bond with Sophie he's never had before with anyone, and slowly they confide the secrets of what they're each running from.  Trusting someone is scary, but Dylan is about to find out that sometimes love is more important than keeping promises, and some promises are made to be broken. 


Praise for The Secrets We Bury

“A gripping novel that will tug on readers’ heartstrings until the very end.”–Booklist

“A sensitive, funny, and sometimes awkwardly romantic story of survival and self-awareness.”— Kirkus

Other Works by Stacie Ramey

The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

 Who holds your secrets?

Allie is devastated when her sister commits suicide—and it’s not just because she misses her. Allie feels betrayed. The two made a pact that they’d always be together, in life and in death, but Leah broke her promise and Allie needs to know why.

Her parents hover. Her friends try to support her. And Nick, sweet Nick, keeps calling and flirting. Their sympathy only intensifies her grief.

But the more she clings to Leah, the more secrets surface. Allie’s not sure which is more distressing: discovering the truth behind her sister’s death or facing her new reality without her.

Buy Links for The Sister Pact

The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey
ISBN: 9781492635888
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

They say you can never go home—and John’s about to find out just how true that is.

John’s mother kicked him out of the house when she couldn’t handle his anger, and John’s spent the last few years bouncing between relatives. But after his last scrape with the law, there’s nowhere for him to go but home.

Starting senior year at a new high school and fitting into the family that shut him out is a challenge. And it’s all that John can do to keep from turning back to bad habits. Lacrosse training helps him focus. As does Emily, the girl next door. She’s sweet and smart, and makes him think his heart may finally be healing. Maybe he’s ready to trust again. But tragedy has a way of finding John…and this time, it’s more than just his future on the line.

Buy Links for The Homecoming

About the Author
Stacie Ramey learned to read at a very early age to escape the endless tormenting from her older siblings. She attended the University of Florida where she majored in communication sciences and Penn State where she received a Master of Science degree in Speech Pathology. When she’s not writing, she engages in Netflix wars with her children or beats her husband in Scrabble. She lives in Wellington, Florida with her husband, three children, and two rescue dogs. Visit www.stacieramey.com.

Social Media Links

Excerpt from The Secrets We Bury:
Compulsively stirring my coffee in Nowhereville, New Jersey, I recognize I’m going to have to do a lot of explaining when Emily gets here. Well, assuming she’s figured out my code and picked the right coffee shop.
I look at my burner cell and check the time. 12:02. Not super late. Especially not for my cousin, who is less governed by rules than I am but still hates being tardy.Tardy is her word, not mine. Although I totally approve, because it feels specific to the situation of meeting with someone. I hate nondescript words.
Cell in hand, I’m hit with a new, burning desire. Text Mom. Tell her I’m okay. Tell her that I’m sorry I do these things that only make sense to me. Like that time we went to my great-aunt’s farm. The older cousins wanted to scare us younger ones, so they told us there was a big pit where the previous farm’s horses were buried. We were warned to stay away. So of course, that’s the first place we went. The place was nasty. It smelled. There were thorns everywhere, but that didn’t stop me from digging and going deeper into the pit. They had to call the fire department to have me removed from what was really a sinkhole used as a large animal grave. My brother, Brad, and Emily’s sister, Abby, got in huge trouble. Emily had burns on both hands from trying to pull me out by the rope I had tied around my waist. I was so freaked out about the bones I found, about the smell of death and all the animals buried, that they had to sedate me. Good times.
Man, I was a pain in the ass. Once I set my mind on doing something, I couldn’t veer from whatever stupid thing I’d decided to do. Mom never understood that I couldn’t control my obsessive behavior. But it wasn’t her fault. I am a lot to handle.
I start to type. Mom, I’m sorry. I was always sorry after I’d upset Mom. But for some things, like not following clear-cut rules, rules like Don’t dig where you shouldn’t or Don’t run away from home, saying sorry doesn’t help, so I delete the text.
Emily and I are more like brother and sister than cousins. From the time we were little, we were always together, only interested in what the other one was doing, never paying attention to anyone else. Ignoring the older siblings and cousins, especially.
“We would hang out with other people if anyone else was remotely interesting,” I always said. Emily agreed. Of course.
But this time, I’m not sure she’ll agree with what I’ve got planned, so I have to tell her the right way, which is never easy for me. Words come to me like pictures stored on a hard drive that cycle in front of me constantly. I can’t always control which ones I choose as they spew out of my mouth. They call that verbal impulsivity. It comes along with a slew of other labels doctors have given me over the years. Whatever you call it, for me, choosing the right words is an exquisite sort of pain.
“Be brief,” Dad used to tell me. “Let people catch up to your brain.”
He said that to make me feel better. Like none of my dysfunction was my fault.
The waitress approaches, lifting the coffeepot and her eyebrows.
I shake my head, drink my coffee, and think about how I can explain my plan to Emily in a way she’ll get behind Operation Wild Thing.
The taste of coffee paired with the drizzling rain sends my mind back to a time when our families were on the Cape and everyone was at the beach. Emily and I hung at the house, because I needed some away-from-the-rest-of-them time. A fly buzzed around my head, the sound making me insanely edgy. So edgy, apparently, I was sitting there with my hands over my ears. Maybe even rocking a little. Okay, rocking way too much.
Emily yanked me out of the house by my arm and into the fresh air. We stood on the dock behind Uncle Bill’s house. The sky was overcast, and the breeze kept the gnats and mosquitos away.
I rubbed my shoulder joint. “That used to be attached, you know!”
She punched me in the arm. “The fly is going after the crumbs, not you, Dylan, you big dork.”
“I knew that.” I did. It’s just that buzzing puts me in such a constant state of make-it-stop that I can’t do the simplest thing, like figure out I can walk away. But Emily does. And she gets me.
If I was the kind of person who blushed, I would have blushed then.
It started to drizzle. “Come on,” I said, going around the side of the house. “They’ll be home soon.” I tapped my leg. “Max, we’re going for a walk.”
The rottweiler Dad brought home for me when I was six jumped up from his spot on the grass to join me.
“Wait for me.” Emily ran inside and grabbed a rain jacket—yellow London Fog, because she wanted to be like her mom back then. “I can’t believe with all of the things you hate touching and the things you hate touching you, you don’t mind the rain.”
She was right. I didn’t mind the rain. Never had. It was like nature’s drumming. I was obsessed with drumming. Not actually playing the drums, but listening to them as loud as I possibly could. A therapist had explained I liked the sound because I could feel them before I could hear them. Whatever the reason, they calmed me, for sure. Just like the rain did that day.
Now, a good five years later, sitting in a coffee shop in a tiny town in New Jersey, I wonder if I’ll feel Emily’s presence before I hear her. I sent her an email the other day using the fake account I set up for us before I ran away from home and the alphabet code we used when we were kids.
I have something big to tell you. Huge. Meet me. Next letter. Tell me when and where. But do it soon.
Coffee. 12:00 3 on the list on TLD. You always scare me.
I stare at my coffee. My Dad used to drink his coffee black. “Like my heart,” he always said. The rest of my immediate family uses a dash of cream and definitely no sugar. I like my coffee light and sweet. Is it any wonder we don’t get along?
The waitress appears again. Alice, as her name tag says, refills my cup. I’m supposed to thank her, even though she doesn’t seem to mind our nonverbal exchange. But then she goes and ruins the silence. “You want anything else?”
I shake my head, pour in more cream, and wait for it to swirl around my cup like the thoughts that swirl around my mind. After coffee, that is. Without coffee, I am stuck in a fog of nothingness, like my brain knows it’s supposed to be processing information but just doesn’t feel like it.
Emily always said coffee was going to be my undoing. My Kryptonite or some bullshit. But it’s not like I’m at a loss for things that destroy me. The list is long. Starting with sounds. Like Brenda White’s shoes scraping against the floor of my kindergarten classroom over and over again. Scrape scrape scrape scrape. Pause. Scrape scrape scrrrapppe. Is it any wonder I flipped my shit and hid under the desk? Or Josh Mellon’s click click click of his pen during exams in physics. I could have told him flicking his pen wasn’t going to get him the right answers. Or…
The door opens. I look up. Not Emily.
The refrigerator at the front of the shop hums, and that makes me want to cover my ears, but the best way to deal with unwanted sounds is to tune them out by playing louder ones. I scroll through my playlist: Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin (best band ever). Dad and I agreed about that. I guess I get distracted by listening to the drum solo in “Moby Dick” for the zillionth time, because shoes appear in my field of vision next to my table and stop. Em’s shoes. Running shoes. Since I’m planning the biggest running-away-from-home plan ever, I find that ironic.
Emily puts her raincoat on the back of her chair, giving me a second to acclimate to her presence. Her coat is a navy-blue North Face, because Emily is all about being serious now. Serious as a heart attack, motherfucker. “Hey,” she says.
“Hey, yourself.” I wave. Stiff-handed (my usual).
She punches me in the arm. It’s a trick of hers. The punch floods my body with enough input that I can actually handle being hugged. She leans in. Emily smells like she has since she was five years old: cherry Life Savers, rain, Dial soap. It’s weird to know what soap your cousin uses, but I’m not being creepy. I can literally detect the scent of more than a dozen different brands of soap. It’s awesome to be me.
I wrap my hands around her shoulders and hold for five seconds. That’s the usual amount of time that people who are related to each other hug. I don’t hate it for the first one or two seconds, but by the fourth second, I’m like, Seriously, can we be done? But I let her hold it longer, because I know most human beings don’t mind physical contact for five full seconds. Some even allow seven. Sick bastards.
Emily grabs the biscotti off my plate, the extra one I’d ordered because I knew she’d take mine when she got here. She bites a hunk of it, oblivious to the crumbs she’s sent flying, and says, “You were counting, weren’t you?”
My eyes go to my coffee. “No comment.” I take a drink, slurp on purpose. She laughs. God, it’s great to hear that laugh.
“So, what’s the big emergency?” she asks as she motions for the waitress.
“I never said emergency.”
“You said, ‘Soon.’ That’s definitely heightened language for you.” She puts air quotes around the word heightened. The waitress approaches. Waits.
“You have mochaccino?” Emily asks.
The waitress rolls her eyes, taps her pen on her pad. “We don’t have crappuccinos here. Just real coffee. For people who like coffee.”
“Alice!” the woman in the front of the shop yells, clearly having overheard her.
Alice scowls. “Our frappé machine is down at the moment. May I get you something else?”
“Bring her a double espresso, whipped cream, lots of whipped cream.” My hand palms the sugar packet dispenser. “Don’t worry. We have enough of this to make it palatable.”
Emily nods. “Oh, and a menu.” Then to me. “You look skinny.” She pulls out a wad of cash. Yes, a wad. The bills are all crumpled, and change flies everywhere. “Babysitting money. It’s on me.”
When the waitress’s steps tell me she’s out of earshot, I reach for Emily’s hands, trying to grab the mess of bills sticking out everywhere, trying to contain her chaos. I need her to focus on what I’m saying, so my hands clamp over hers. “I’m going to hike the Appalachian Trail,” I say.
She drops the money on the table. “What?”
“I’ve decided. You can’t talk me out of it.”
The waitress returns, stands, pad perched. I read that as a little hostile, but I’ve no idea why. And like with most human interactions, I really don’t care.
Emily stares at me as if she’s suddenly gone mute, selectively mute, which is one of the other labels those doctors tried to stick on me. I close Emily’s menu, aim my voice at Alice the waitress. “She’s going to need a few minutes.”
Alice huffs and moves on. I point at her moody retreat. “Did she seem a little…?”
Emily stares at me like—I don’t know. Facial expressions? They’re fuzzy for me. Muscular patterns? Those I can read. Like how Emily’s gripping her closed menu like it’s the only stable thing in an insane world. Obviously, she’s angry. Her fingers are turning white because she’s exerting so much pressure with her grip on that innocent menu. I’m the only one who can piss off Emily that much. So she must be mad because of the Appalachian Trail. Got it. So of course I say, “What? It’s totally safe.”
She throws her head in her hands, then looks up. “Sure it is. Why not? Why don’t I just put my life on hold and join you?”
I stir my coffee, only it doesn’t need stirring because I’ve mixed my cream in completely and it’s a nice homogenous blond. “That’s ridiculous. You like your life.” I take a sip, which must really piss her off, because she reaches for my cup, a tactic Emily only resorts to when she’s about to go nuclear. I move my cup out of her reach. “Hold up, psycho.” Then I lean forward. Leaning forward makes you seem earnest. “I have to. It’s my only choice.”
“You could come home,” she says, but she knows I can’t.
The last school they sent me to had a special unit for “emotionally challenged” kids. I only agreed to go there because it was Emily’s school. The teachers and counselors had a big meeting, and they said if I didn’t do well, I’d have to go to a school that had a more “therapeutic environment.” And I guess forcing the faculty to have to evacuate the entire school from the auditorium after losing it during an assembly qualifies as “not doing well.” Yeah. But honestly, me sitting in class with a bunch of kids who are more messed up than I am? Not. Going. To. Happen. Not if it’s up to me. Which it will be in six months when I finally turn eighteen. Which is why I ran away from home to begin with.
I hold her hands again, this time because I need her to believe me. My hands over hers doesn’t make me feel as closed in as if she put hers on mine, but even this brief contact is only possible because it’s her, Emily. I soften my voice, which also indicates concern. “They’re getting closer.” I look into her eyes. “They almost caught me at a coffee shop in New York.”
She nods. She knows Mom’s detectives are pretty motivated. “I told you coffee was your Achilles’ heel.” A skinny tear drips down her cheek, and part of me considers what it means to cry thin tears versus big fat ones. Has anyone done a study on the size of tears in relation to the emotional load they bear? I look away, mostly to contain the smirk I’m sure is on my face since I’m depersonalizing the situation, as usual. She pulls her hands back. Uh-oh. She noticed.
“Damn it, Dylan. Stop playing me.” She sounds sad, and that makes me feel bad.
“I’m sorry,” I whisper.
She stares at me. She can count the number of times on one hand that I’ve said that two-word combination to anyone. Actually, I remember each and every time. Two before this. The last one when it was too late.
I lean back. “I’m not playing you. If I stay here, Mom’s guys will find me. In six months, I can make my own decisions. Do you know how long it takes to hike the Appalachian Trail? Six months. That means something.”
It’s hard for her to argue with Dylan logic. “Okay, that does seem coincidental, but you’ve never hiked before.”
I break out the book I bought about hiking the trail and slide it across the table. “First line, ‘So you’ve never hiked before? No problem.’”
She raises her eyebrows but can’t keep from smiling. “That’s a stupid first line.”
“I thought it was kind of catchy myself.”
“The wilderness isn’t some kid-invented adventure,” she says. “What if something happens to you?”
“It won’t,” I say. Because bad things can’t happen to you after the worst thing already has. “I just need time. And I always considered doing this anyway.”
True. That was a lie. This is the kind of thing Dad and my brother, Brad, and maybe my cousin, Christian, would do, planning for months, needling me because no way I would ever want to join them. “But I feel like it makes sense.”
“You could get lost.”
I almost choke on my biscotti. “It’s a trail.” I trace an imaginary straight line on the table. “I mean, point A to point B.”
“People get lost. They’ve gotten lost on the trail before. There’ve been people—”
“I know. I realize that, but, Em, the thing is, I’m trying to get lost, aren’t I?”
“Only for six months! Not for—”
“I’ll come back. I have to. We’ve got Max’s revenge. You know I wouldn’t miss that.”
Max hated Halloween with a passion. Barked his little head off. So, we’d have an anti-Halloween every November 1. We’d hang out on the floor with him all day, no matter what day of the week it was. Take off school. Cancel all plans and do what the dog liked best. Which was to lounge with us while we watched movies. Usually the Harry Potter ones, which never got old.
“Every November,” she says solemnly. “So, when are you going?”
“The normal time. When most people do.”
She looks at me like I’m confusing her. Or annoying her. Or—
Then she whacks me on the arm with her spoon. “When?”
“Next week. April 15.”
This time, fat tears fall down her face, and she swipes them away fast. Those are the kind of tears that sting. But she knows she can’t argue with me now. That detail was my wild card.
“You’re such a dick.”
“I know, but I’m a dick with a profound sense of irony.”

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Runs March 6 -March 31 (US & Canada only)


Teaser Blitz: Morning on Main by Jodi Thomas

    From the beloved and bestselling author of the Ransom Canyon and Harmony, Texas series comes a powerful, heartwarming story about generations of family and the ironclad bonds they forge. Jodi Thomas’s MORNINGS ON MAIN releases on April 10, 2018. Pre-order your copy today!
When Jillian James lands in the small town Texas community of Laurel Springs, she’s definitely not planning to stay—except to find a few clues about the father who abandoned her and destroyed her faith in family.

Connor Larady is a single dad, and the only one caring for his grandmother, Eugenia, who has Alzheimer’s. And now he has to close Eugenia’s quilt shop. When Connor meets down-on-her-luck Jillian, he’s out of options. Can he trust the newcomer to do right by his grandmother’s legacy?

Jillian is done with relationships. But as she grows closer to Connor and Eugenia, she must consider giving up her nomadic life for a future with those who need her.

An inspiring family saga that asks us to consider what love and chosen family really mean.

    Pre-order MORNINGS ON MAIN here!

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“Compelling and beautifully written.” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author on Ransom Canyon

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About Jodi Thomas
 New York Times and USA Today's bestselling author Jodi Thomas has published over 30 books in both the historical romance and contemporary genres, the majority of which are set in her home state of Texas. Publishers Weekly calls her novels "Distinctive...Memorable," and that in her stories "[tension] rides high, mixed with humor and kisses more passionate than most full-on love scenes." In 2006, Romance Writers of America (RITA) inducted Thomas into the RWA Hall of Fame for winning her third RITA for THE TEXAN'S REWARD. She also received the National Readers' Choice Award in 2009 for TWISTED CREEK (2008) and TALL, DARK, AND TEXAN (2008). While continuing to work as a novelist, Thomas also functions as Writer in Residence at the West Texas A&M University campus, where she inspires students and alumni in their own writing pursuits.    

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Book Blitz: Secrets Kept by Allie Everhart

Secrets Kept by Allie Everhart
Publication date: March 2nd, 2018
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

After finding her boyfriend cheating, Kate decides she’s had it with men. So the next night at her catering job she pretends not to be interested when Gavin, a hot guy with a great smile who attends the very exclusive Moorhurst College, asks her out. Unable to resist his charm, she agrees to have dinner with him.

On their first date, Kate’s convinced Gavin’s too good to be true. Funny, sweet, smart, and easy to talk to, he’s nothing like the losers she’s dated in the past. But maybe her luck has changed. Maybe Gavin’s the guy she’s been waiting for.

As their relationship grows, Gavin proves he really is the guy Kate’s always wanted but didn’t think existed. She’s even thinking about a future with him. But those plans come to an abrupt halt when Kate sees something she shouldn’t. Something dark and disturbing. Something that could get her killed if she ever told anyone.

Kate’s desperate to tell Gavin her secret but can’t. Even if she did, he’d never believe her. Still, she can’t keep something this big from Gavin, especially when he’s involved in it. Will she risk her life and tell him the truth? Or risk their relationship and keep this secret from the man she loves?

Suddenly, unexpectedly, I burst out crying, tears flowing like a dam broke loose. I set my phone on the lounger and cover my face with my hands, sobbing.
Last night, and all of today, I was able to hold back the tears, but now they’re breaking free, pouring down my cheeks, dripping onto my black apron.
If Carol catches me, I’ll be in so much trouble. She’ll probably fire me. But I can’t stop. The tears have started and show no signs of stopping.
“Hey,” a voice says from behind me. I turn and see a guy coming up next to me. He sits down on the other lounge chair, facing me. The chairs are close together so when he’s seated our legs are almost touching.
“Anything I can do to help?” he asks.
I shake my head, still crying, even more so now, because this guy, whoever he is, will probably go tell Carol I’m out here crying and then I’ll for sure be fired.
“Hey.” He puts his hand on mine. “It can’t be that bad, can it?” I glance up and see him looking at me. I must look like a mess. Nose red and swollen. Makeup running down my face.
Good thing it’s dark back here, although the lights around the pool are pretty bright. I’m sure he can see what a mess I am.
I can see him just fine. He’s hot. Thick dark hair that’s mussed up in a sexy, bed-head way. Deep set eyes that appear to be a shade of blue. Strong, square jaw, shadowed by a layer of stubble. And full lips that are now lifted into a smile, showing off a slight dimple in his cheek.
Of course I run into this guy now, when I’m a crying, sniffling mess. Not that he’d be interested in me, but still.

“I just need a minute.” I wipe my face and take a deep breath. “You can go inside.”
“And leave you out here crying? Sorry, but that’s not who I am. I see a girl crying, I have to at least try to help.” He’s wearing jeans and pulls something from his pocket. A cocktail napkin from the party. “Here.” He hands it to me. “It’s clean. I promise.”
I take it and dab my eyes, then unfold it enough to blow my nose. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” He’s still staring at me. “So what’s your name?”
“Kate. Kate Norris.”
“You work for the catering company?”
I nod, sniffling. “Are you going to tell my boss I’m out here?”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because this isn’t where I’m supposed to be.”
“What do I care if you’re out here?”
“I don’t know. I just…I don’t know.”
He looks over at the house, then back at me. “You want to talk about it? About why you’re out here crying?”
I swallow and shake my head. “No.”
“Why not?”
“Because it’s stupid. And embarrassing.”

“Stupid and embarrassing are my specialities.” He leans back on his hands. “Go ahead. Try me.”
“I’d rather not.” I dab my eyes but my napkin is soaked.
“Here.” He pulls another one from his pocket and hands it to me.
I feel a smile forming. “Do you always carry napkins around?”
“Yeah. Why?”
He’s so serious, it makes me laugh. “It just seems kind of odd.”
“Is it?” He shrugs. “Guess some might think it’s stupid. Or embarrassing.” He smiles. “See? Like I said. Stupid and embarrassing. My specialities.
So shoot. What’s making you cry?”

“I really don’t want to talk about it. I promised myself I wouldn’t.” I blot my face with the napkin.
“It has to do with a guy,” he says.
I look at him but don’t answer.
“Let me guess. Your boyfriend?”
I nod.
“You found him with some other girl?”
I nod again.
“How long did you date him?”
“Almost eight months.”
This time he’s the one who nods. “I’m guessing this happened recently? Him and this girl?”
“Yesterday. Our eight month anniversary.”
He cringes. “Ouch. You caught him on your anniversary? That’s tough. No wonder you’re crying. I can’t believe you showed up for work tonight.”
“I was hoping it’d take my mind off it. And it did, for a little while, but then…I guess I couldn’t hold it in any longer. This is the first time I’ve let myself cry about it.”
“Kate!” I hear Carol’s voice coming from the house. I’m definitely getting fired. She may be my mom’s friend but she’s also a businesswoman and she won’t stand for unprofessional behavior. And sitting out here, crying, is definitely unprofessional. “Kate, are you out here?”
I stand up. “Over here.”
The guy stands up too. I don’t even know his name.
I stay where I’m at as she comes over to us. I’d rather have her fire me out here than in front of the other staff.
The guy walks up to her, his hand extended. “Gavin Bishop. Nice to meet you.”
Bishop? As in the owners of this house? So he’s Niles’ son?
Oh, God, I am SO getting fired.

Author Bio:
Allie Everhart writes romance and romantic suspense and is the author of the popular Jade Series, Kensington Series, Wheeler Brothers, and several standalone titles. She’s also a freelance health writer and has worked on several New York Times bestselling books. Allie's always been a romantic, as evidenced by her early years as a wedding singer, her obsession with dating shows, and the fact that she still watches reruns of The Love Boat. When she’s not writing, she’s outside running, which is when she gets her best book ideas.