Three Rules by [Marie Drake]

In Marie Drake’s, Three Rules, Hope is a young and capable adult who has finally gotten away from the one person who has tortured her for most of her life. With two loving parents who have done everything to make her life perfect, what could be so wrong? Luther, has done everything a loving stepfather could do to make sure Hope knows she is loved, especially making her mother happy after a bad break with Hope’s real father. But Luther has a brother, and Uncle Lucas is too loving, cornering Hope alone, manipulating her fear and using it against her to get just what he wants. His coin phrase, “A promise is a promise,” haunts her even after he is gone. After Uncle Lucas’s luxury boat is found with no sign of him on board, it is assumed he is dead, and a funeral ensues. Hope is finally released from the manipulation that tortures her, but memories of the past have engraved blueprints of inappropriate intimacy on her soul, something she can’t erase to share a normal loving relationship with her lifelong friend Joey. Two families who share a business and friendship are intertwined, but spikes of distrust, lies and secrets wedge between them, scattering their alliances and their lives. A pregnancy, a suicide, random attacks and a feeling that someone is watching Hope, keeps her nerves frazzled and her heart racing. After Lucas’s death, things were supposed to get better, but nothing is quite what it seems. A page turning thriller with a hint of romance. Don’t miss this twisty tale of a woman’s journey to leave a predator in the past and heal herself for a real chance at forgiveness and love.Run, Rose, Run: A Novel   Run Rose Run is a fast-paced novel with turn after twisty turn to keep the pace. I kept the audio on play almost non-stop until the end. After listening to Patterson’s memoire, James Patterson, I was intrigued to hear the book he co-wrote with Dolly Parton. I was not disappointed. Dolly is a great narrator along with the other great talent in this audio book. Ethan’s voice was as smooth and sultry as the book painted him. The story is a hopeful dream that keeps you rooting for Annie Lee Keys and Ethan until the very end. A Nashville rising star who has the talent to go all the way is haunted by a past that keeps dragging her back into her deepest nightmare. With the way to the top paved in gold and all the big breaks falling at her feet, can Annie finally escape her past and wake up to a bright reality? I love a great story about any aspiring young artist, and this story reminded me of my book, Chase the Moon. Ruth Anne makes a pretty fabulous guardian angel, and I enjoyed the warmth that her character brought to the story. The songs in Run Rose Run are catchy even if they are read and not sung. I was really hoping to hear Dolly sing, but nothing was disappointing about this novel! I will be reading more of James Patterson. If you haven’t read his autobiography, make sure you do, especially if you are a writer. His stories are entertaining and it’s a quick listen read by the man himself. Fast-paced, engaging and a feel good story with a thrilling edge, don’t miss Run Rose Run.The Sweet Goodbye (A Danny Barrett Novel Book 1) by [Ron Corbett] The Sweet Goodbye, is the first installment in the Danny Barrett Thriller Series, by Ron Corbett, and if this book is any indication of how the subsequent novels will read, I’m all in. I heard about this book through a mutual mystery lover, and I was intrigued by the cover. I liked the narrator’s voice (one of the best Narrators I’ve heard), so I decided to download the Audible version. The writer’s description of setting and character were poetic and engaging, and his weaving of intrigue and mystery read like I was sitting in the movie theater, watching the details of the story play out. Young Barrett plays the role of an undercover agent posing as a tree marker in a small Maine town. Travis Lee has all the makings of a Southern Comfort Good Ol’ Boy. Miss Fontaine is as hot as Jessica Rabbit, but sly as a fox. Money laundering, drugs, missing persons and homicide have all the makings of a good who done it, but the page-turning element for me was the why. This hardboiled thriller was methodical and highly entertaining. Readers who enjoy Jack Reacher and the Prime Series, Jack Ryan, will love Corbett’s, The Sweet Goodbye. A soulful story of a young girl, nicknamed Bone, that outlines the love and abuse she suffers from the early years of childhood to young adulthood. Absorbing the family stories told and watching her wild uncles and tired aunts, Bone learns what the role of adulthood means. At the tender age of six, waiting for her mother to bear a third child with her second husband, Bone experiences what life is like when thrust into the wrong hands. Wading through the fetid waters of growing up a Boatwright in Greenville, South Carolina, Bone morphs into a sassy twelve-year-old with nothing left to lose. Through pain, desperation and indignation, she tries to hide the shame she feels to keep the peace and to be normal. All she craves is the love of the one person she needs most, her momma. Southern born and poor, life isn’t easy, but with the love and heavy hand of her stepdaddy Glenn, she emerges angry, disillusioned and desperate for acceptance and freedom. Bone’s desire to find her true self becomes a farce as she looks around at the adults in her family, who keep making bad decisions. Dorothy Allison pens a compelling story that shines a light on the effects of sexual and physical abuse, and reflects the lifetime sentences of the young, innocent and powerless. In an attempt to show how children can never control the cruel intentions of inappropriate adult’s actions, Bastard Out of Carolina will make you feel sad, helpless and angry emotions, but it’s a wonderful and moving read. The hardest part to stomach is the Afterward at the end. Written to spread awareness, Bastard out of Carolina is still being censored and banned. I’ve met Bone-girls and Bone-boys who have grown into shattered or broken adults. Looking away will never help to stop the cycle of abuse. I hope many people will find this book and share its content in the hope that others can be saved from the lifetime of pain that Bone suffered.  

 

A friend of mine recommended this book. I don’t usually read memoirs, but it sounded interesting so I downloaded it. The recount of Denise O’Donnell Adams’s life reads like a fiction novel—not because I don’t believe it, but because the way she writes captures the attention of the reader and doesn’t let them go. She invites you behind the darkest screens of her life as she confronts the monsters from her early years. There were times when I laughed, covered my mouth in surprise, cringed and felt my stomach fall in sympathy and horror. The 1950-70s were a different time to raise kids, and raising ten had to be a challenge. In this modern era, where parents are held accountable for so much, it’s amazing that previous parent generations were held accountable for so little. I commend this author for telling her story and drawing awareness to topics such as neglect, alcoholism, sexual abuse, drug abuse, mental disorders and questionable love. My only complaint was how it wrapped up so quickly. I wanted to read more. Maybe another book in the future about surviving abuse and finding success will come next. Looking forward to reading more from this heartfelt author.

I first ran across this author on Instagram, and I was happy to see she wrote romances with mature characters for readers who have lived past their college sweetheart days. I love all romance tropes, and after reading past the fun college love, this one became complex. Ruby has lost a lot at an early age, but when she loses her college sweetheart, she leans on her yiayia and her sister to pull her through. Plagued by anxiety that’s complicated with agoraphobia, she’s too embarrassed to go to her first love, Vander, and tell him about her fears. The idea of getting on a plane is too much for Ruby, and the responsibilities she acquires when her Papou dies, is enough to seal their fate.

Everyone deserves a second chance, but a lot of things have changed since Ruby last saw Vander. He now has a son, and the love she’d hoped for seems just out of reach. Still battling her inner demons and not leaving her safe zone, things are too complicated to make a go of their relationship again, but will they get some sort of reprieve?

Broken Road, by Devin Sloane, is aptly named because of the zig-zag-life-zingers that Vander and Ruby navigate and the time it takes to see this love through to its happy ending. I liked that the characters battled real problems and life circumstances that weren’t always working in their favor. It’s a long-contemporary romance that shows Ruby’s journey to find stability in life while helping her family to succeed and stay together. Vander has his journey too, and sometimes making the right choices hurts more than the years apart can repair. A real heartwarming story, stitched with love, loss and the dedication to see things through.

I can think of a lot of fishing metaphors that apply to sexy romance or just everyday life, but this super original meet cute in a bait shop had me hook, line and sinker! Next in Line, by Amy Daws, is the second book in the, Wait With Me Series, but all the books can be read as stand alone. Book one is about Kate and Miles at the Tire Depot, but this story is about Miles’s little sister, Maggie, and his best friend, Sam, looking to tackle some adventure. Maggie is hiding out in Boulder, CO while trying to pick up the pieces of her heart. Sam is a confirmed bachelor, who knows better than to fall in love. When super-hot Maggie rolls into Marve’s Bait Shop, looking for bait, Sam decides to play the role of knight in shining armor and ice fishing guide. When young and inexperienced meets older and wiser, someone gets reeled in. Maggie thinks she knows exactly what she wants. She is on a mission to get it, and she does land the big one— but it might be more rod than she can handle, because Sam turns out to be her big brother’s best chum. Sam may be buying Tire Depot, which will make him Miles’s boss, but if Miles finds out that Sam is showing his little sis more than just a little outdoor adventure, Sam will be as good as the minnows Marve sells for bait. Don’t miss this super fun romance that will leave you wanting more, Wait With Me, stories to fulfill your romantic reads!

Don’t forget to put your detective hat on, and bring a note pad to keep track of the many zany characters, suspects, and dives. Sydney is a tall, smart, good looking detective with a keen sense of humor and a tag-along, top model cousin. Two women ahead of their time and on the verge of doing time, they leave nothing uncovered in this who-done-it.

A cab driver named Taco, a harlot jazz singer, Nora, and a slew of seedy characters that run between the liquor store, the horse track and the historic Menger hotel are all on the list of suspects. Corpses start stacking up while Sydney’s home life going down skid row. Undeterred by a few snags, she’s at it again, trying to solve a murder in another famous hotel while avoiding being locked up for the very crime she’s investigating. Bribes, fixed races, dirty money and unkempt places. Put your thinking cap on and see if you can solve this string of illicit deeds that trails from San Antonio to New Orleans and back again. Be it plane, train or automobile, Sydney will get to the bottom of this case in her own determined style. A mostly cozy mystery with lots of humor and a few creepy creatures that crawl, you will find yourself on an entertaining goose chase until the very end. 

In Saralyn Richard’s, Bad Blood Sisters, Quinn McFarland lives a mostly quiet life, in a small coastal town, where everyone knows everything about everybody… except they really don’t. At almost thirty, Quinn is happy to work in the family business, and she doesn’t worry too much about the stigma attached to preparing the dead. She’s got a handsome new doctor boyfriend, who seems to understand her and the help she provides to the community. When her old BFF, Anna, turns up at the funeral home to be put to rest, Quinn is forced to revisit the past. In high school, Anna was everything to Quinn. They were blood sisters, who swore eternal loyalty to one another. They vowed to keep all secrets, especially the one about seeing Anna’s neighbor murdered by a dark-haired man. When Anna steals Quinn’s boyfriend, their friendship falls apart, but Quin never forgets or reneges on her promise to keep their secret. Over a decade later, Anna and her husband share a different secret, and Quinn doesn’t have much of a clue what it is but knows it’s the reason Anna ends up dead. When Quinn’s home is invaded, and a threatening note is left for her, she realizes that her life is about to change— and not in a good way. When the police arrive on the scene, the last thing Quinn expects is to become a suspect, but with Anna dead, and a few other life changing events factoring into the equation, Quinn realizes she needs a good lawyer to protect her and her secret. Saralyn Richard is a master of twists and turns. Bad Blood Sisters is a titillating novel that delves into the dark side of a sleepy coastal town. A tale of sex trafficking, drugs, and secrets that are too sinister not to leave a string of murders. Bad Blood Sisters is a real page turner. Don’t miss this sticky web of vowed promises and decisions gone wrong that will make you wonder if Quinn is next on the murder list.

Million Dollar Momma (20th Century American History Mystery Series Book 3)

In Sherry Morris’s Million Dollar Momma, Donna Payne leads a normal life, filing insurance claims for a less than generous HMO. She is a responsible, hardworking, homeowner, with aspirations of becoming a published romantic mystery author. As a finalist in a writing competition, she heads to the writer’s convention that she knows will change her life, but on the way, there is a snag in the form of a big buck… and not the tall dark and handsome kind. That comes later. First, she totals her car, and is impaled on an antler that catapults her from the vehicle. After the accident, she is patched up in the hospital and sent home. There is a lot of clean up to do in her family life, so things run amuck in the typical Payne family way, this time ending in murder. Who’s to blame— her dear old mother, her fitness instructor sister, her judge and jury brother? The list goes on. Donna tries to do right by her family but finds herself on the short end of the stick at every turn. With her writing career in a slump and her parents’ house crumbling around her, it’s no wonder she takes a few cat naps to fuel her fortitude. This is where the story gets dreamy. Donna finds herself skipping through time with her “Soul Mate Through History”, Mr. Jones, and she sees the truth of her mother’s secret past. With a sexy host, leading her on multiple grand adventures, Donna makes some discoveries that will truly change her life. Don’t miss this romantic-comedy-mystery, an original story with a Janet Evanovich flair. The adventure will keep you reading to find out just who done it, what will happen next and where the mystery will end… plus, does Donna find her living breathing Mr. Right. I look forward to reading more by this author.
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Jun
2022

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Three Rules, by Marie Drake

In Marie Drake’s, Three Rules, Hope is a young and capable adult who has finally gotten away from the one person who has tortured her for most of her life. With two loving parents who have done everything to...

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