Saturday, March 11, 2017

Entertaining Historical Western Romance from author Mary Connealy--humor, heartfelt romance, inspiring faith...

Someone Will Stop at Nothing to Claim the Boden Homestead!

The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they uncovered the real plot to take their 1880s New Mexico ranch? Justin Boden is a top rancher and a rugged man, and yet with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn't help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on.

With her and the doc's timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend. Now Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the threats facing them. It's clear now that everything that's occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they pull together all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the risk of losing the ranch even greater than any of them could imagine?
MY REVIEW:  Author Mary Connealy continues her Cimarron Legacy series with Book Two, "Long Time Gone". The Boden family has faced a series of threats to their home, health, and happiness. Patriarch Chance Boden almost lost his life in an avalanche which was no accident. While he is away receiving medical care, his directive for his three grown children is for them to work together and live on their family ranch for one full year. As the siblings struggle to survive and hold on to the ranch, daughter Sadie meets her match in ranch hand Heath Kincaid, whom Chance had left in charge as overseer. Now, brothers Justin and Cole Boden are battling a life-and-death emergency as Cole is seriously wounded at the hands of an outlaw. The doctor working to save Cole's life has a beautiful young assistant, Angie DuPree. As smart as she is pretty, Angie can't help but notice the rugged charm of Justin Boden. Both Justin and Angie had given up on finding real love--thinking their time for true romance was a "long time gone". The dangers they all face bring the two of them closer together--could it be that this is the love of a lifetime for them both? Will the Bodens solve the mystery of the ongoing attacks that may cost them their home and their very lives? Mary Connealy always entertains with her inspiring western tales which are woven together with love and laughter.
Book Copy Gratis Bethany House Books

No Way Up (Cimarron Legacy, #1)

No Way Up (The Cimarron Legacy)

New Western Romance Series from Bestselling Author Mary Connealy

When Cimarron ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Badly injured, Chance demands that his will be read and its conditions be enforced immediately.

Without anyone else to serve as a witness, Heath is pressed into reading the will. If Justin, Sadie, and Cole Boden don't live and work at home for the entire year, the ranch will go to their low-down cousin Mike.

Then Heath discovers the avalanche was a murder attempt, and more danger might follow. Deeply involved with the family, Heath's desire to protect Sadie goes far beyond friendship. The danger keeps them close together, and their feelings grow until being apart is the last thing on their minds.

MY REVIEW:  A new book from author Mary Connealy is always a treat, and when it's the start of a new series, then that's even better. The "Cimarron Legacy" series begins with Book One, "No Way Up".  A near-death experience in an avalanche and the possibility of losing a leg makes ranch patriarch Chance Boden determined to bring his three adult children together as a family. He wants them united in heart and mind, for their own sake, as well as for the future of the ranch. As Chance departs to receive medical treatment for his leg, he leaves ranch hand Heath Kincaid in charge of the siblings, and he orders them all to follow the directives he has laid out in his will. The three grown children, Sadie, Justin, and Cole, will live and work at the ranch for one year. If not, the ranch and all of the Boden legacy will be left to a distant relative. Heath had noticed how pretty Sadie was from the very beginning, but he doubted she'd ever noticed him. Now, with him having to enforce her father's wishes, he felt sure he would never find her favor. When he discovers that the avalanche was no accident, Heath vows to protect Sadie and her family at all costs--but will it cost him his heart? Sadie has definitely noticed Heath, and she knows that he is a good, strong man, and also an attractive man. Can she put asides her doubts and let her heart lead the way? Will all of them find a way to work together and keep their faith and their home intact? I look forward to future entries in the "Cimarron Ranch" series from wonderful storyteller Mary Connealy. 

Book Copy Gratis Bethany House Books 


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy...with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader's Choice finalist. She is the author of bestselling Kincaid Brides Series: Out of Control, In Too Deep, Over the Edge. The Trouble in Texas Series; Swept Away, Fired Up, Stuck Together. The Wild at Heart Series; Tried and True, Now and Forever, Fire and Ice. Her work also includes Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy and Sophie's Daughters Trilogy. And Novella collections; A Bride for All Seasons, Four Weddings and a Kiss, A Match Made in Texas, Hope for the Holidays Contemporary Collection, Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection, With this Kiss Contemporary Collection, With this Kiss Historical Collection and many more books. Under the pen name Mary Nealy, she also wrote Ten Plagues--a romantic thriller, and The Historical Society Murders--three cozy mysteries. Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters and a small bevy of spectacular grandchildren.

With This Ring?: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry

by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jegears

MY REVIEW:  Four of the top talents in Historical Western Inspirational Romance combine their considerable storytelling skills for the delightful anthology "With This Ring?: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry". In "The Husband Maneuver", from author Karen Witemeyer, Marietta Hawkins must act fast to keep from losing the love of her life, ranch foreman Daniel Barrett. Daniel is even more of a hero to her than the star of her beloved dime novels, but can she make the real man realize how much she cares? Author Regina Jennings puts her pair of prospective sweethearts in quite a predicament in "Her Dearly Unintended". Can the relationship they pretend to have in order save face turn into a love to last a lifetime? When author Mary Connealy's "Runaway Bride" Carrie Halsey finds Texas Ranger "Big John" Conroy sent by her sister to help her evade an unwanted suitor, the lawman begins to see the situation as appealingly arresting. He promises to keep Carrie safe from harm, but can he keep himself safe from the sparks of an unexpected attraction? Tomboy Charlie Andrews has been the lifelong rival of Harrison Gray in author Melissa Jagears' "Engaging the Competition". When grown-up Charlotte must help Harrison in a time of need, will rivalry turn to romance? Wonderful writers with a talent for engaging storytelling make this anthology a reader's treat.

Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books

Sometimes Love is Found in the Most Unexpected Places!

Love isn't always a fairy tale, and it doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes the best stories, though, are the ones that are the most unexpected. Join Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears for novellas that celebrate the power of love to triumph . . . even when circumstances go awry!

The Husband Maneuver

When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.

Her Dearly Unintended

Josiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they'll save their reputations--but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing?

Runaway Bride

Hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he's promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises.

Engaging the Competition
Harrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they'll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison's glasses--without which he's nearly blind--she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.

"This quartet of authors consistently write with hilarity, warmth and toe-curling romance. Their individual contributions to this entertaining collection hold true to form. Connealy tips her hat to long-time fans with a grin-inducing reunion and clever word-smithing. Witemeyer's ingenious story-within-a story adds even more humor and drama to her contribution. Jennings and Jagears perfectly complete the ensemble with witty tales of friendship and breathless kisses."--RT Book Reviews Top Pick

About the Authors

Karen Witemeyer is a winner of the Carol Award and has been a finalist for the RITA Award and National Readers' Choice Award. She lives with her husband and three children in Abilene, Texas.

Mary Connealy is well-known for her award-winning, bestselling historical romantic comedies. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband and has four grown daughters.

Regina Jennings is the author of five acclaimed historical romances. She lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.

Melissa Jagears
, author of the Unexpected Brides series, is a homeschooling mother of three little ones on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. Her first novella, Love by the Letter, won the 2014 Carol Award for Best Novella.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

"ONE PAN & DONE" and "SHEET PAN SUPPERS"--two terrific cookbooks from talented Chef Molly Gilbert--fantastic, fuss-free food for family & friends!

The author of the runaway hit Sheet Pan Suppers expands her repertoire with easy and delicious recipes for Dutch ovens, skillets, casserole baking dishes, and more.

In One Pan & Done, Molly Gilbert shows you how to use your oven to your advantage, letting it do most of the work to turn out juicy, crispy roasts, succulent vegetables, rich stews, flaky fish, and, of course, sweet treats. Think of it as fast slow-cooking, but with the benefits of baking, roasting, and broiling for concentrated, intense flavor every time. The best part is that with Molly's simple, hands-off recipes, you'll have time to savor your meal and enjoy your company. Whether you're an over-scheduled parent, a busy young professional, or even an accomplished cook, you deserve food that's big on flavor, but simple on steps. With Molly's recipes, you get in the kitchen, and you get out. Kick the oven door shut as you walk away--your meal is One Pan & Done.

MY REVIEW:  For me, a cookbook is a hit when it makes me hungry—when it makes me read the recipes and text, view the food photos, and say “I want that right now”. On that basis,  One Pan & Done: Hassle-Free Meals from the Oven to Your Table” is an unqualified success. Written in a warm, personable style by Chef Molly Gilbert, this is a book to go to time and time again for food that is “about comfort, nourishment, family, and community”. Molly had me from “Bacon Biscuit Bread”, and things just got better and better from there. The format of this book is very user-friendly. The size is easy-to-hold, and the layout is clean, uncluttered, and easy-to-read. Since this is a book about one-pan meals, various types of pots and pans are given their due, and the recipes are each marked with a symbol for the pot or pan called for to make the dish. Pantry staples are also covered, with the author explaining why each item is always to be found in her well-stocked kitchen. The recipe sections include: “Breakfast and Brunch”; “Starters, Snacks & Sides’; “Veggie Mains”; “Poultry”; “Fish”; “Meat”; and “Sweets”. Here is a sampler of the recipes which have me ready to “get out in that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans”: “Herby Egg & Blue Cheese Souffl├ęs (made in muffin tins, these can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheated in the microwave—perfect “on-the-go” breakfast bites); “Warm Buttermilk Doughnut Muffins”; “Linguine Primavera”; “Thai Turkey with Carrot Noodles”; “Quick Chicken Pot Pie”; “French Chicken Stew”; “Roasted Shrimp & Chickpea Salad”; “Garlic-Broiled Scallops with Cherry Tomatoes & Pancetta”; “Sweet & Salty Pork Chops with Snow Peas”; “Maple-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Fries”; “Shepherd’s Pot Pie”; “Gramma’s Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting”, and “Chocolate Molten Caramel Mini Cakes”. Hungry yet?

Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books

"Sheet Pan Suppers: 120 Recipes for Simple, Surprising, Hands-Off Meals Straight from the Oven"  by Molly Gilbert 


It’s the one-pot meal reinvented, and what is sure to become every busy cook’s new favorite way of getting dinner on the table. It’s Sheet Pan Suppers—a breakthrough full-color cookbook with more than 120 recipes for complete meals, snacks, brunch, and even dessert, that require nothing more than a sheet pan, your oven, and Molly Gilbert’s inspired approach.

The virtue of cooking on a sheet pan is two-fold. First there’s the convenience of cooking everything together and having just one pan to clean up. Then there’s the cooking method—roasting, baking, or broiling—three techniques that intensify flavors; in other words, food tastes better when cooked on a sheet pan (move over, slow cooker). But the real genius here is Molly Gilbert’s fresh, sophisticated approach. There are easy dinners for weeknight meals—Chicken Legs with Fennel and Orange; Soy-Mustard Salmon and Broccoli; Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Squash, Apples, and Onions. Special occasion meals—Rack of Lamb with Herby Bread Crumbs and Buttered Carrots; Asparagus and Black Cod in Parchment. Meatless meals—Israeli Couscous-Stuffed Peppers. Plus surprise extras, including in-a-snap party snacks—Baked Brie and Strawberries, Corn and Crab Cakes with Yogurt Aioli; quick brunch dishes like Greens and Eggs and Ham, and Baked Apricot French Toast; and, of course, dessert—Stone Fruit Slab Pie, Halloween Candy S’mores.

Maximum ease, minimal cleanup, and mouthwatering recipes. In other words, a revelation that will change the way we cook.

Molly Gilbert, a graduate of Amherst College and the French Culinary Institute, is an author, podcast host (, food blogger (, former cooking instructor, private chef, and recipe tester in the kitchen of Saveur Magazine. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Ben.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

"WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE"--Author Dandi Daley Mackall's poignant fictional retelling of her own parents' real-life WWII romance

With Love, Wherever You Are  by Dandi Daley Mackall


Everyone knows that war romances never last . . .

After a whirlwind romance and wedding, Helen Eberhart Daley, an army nurse, and Lieutenant Frank Daley, M.D. are sent to the front lines of Europe with only letters to connect them for months at a time.

Surrounded by danger and desperately wounded patients, they soon find that only the war seems real―and their marriage more and more like a distant dream. If they make it through the war, will their marriage survive?

Based on the incredible true love story, With Love, Wherever You Are is an adult novel from beloved children’s author Dandi Daley.

MY REVIEW:  “With Love, Wherever You Are”, from author Dandi Daley Mackall, rings true with a poignant resonance. The fictionalized account of her own parents’ real-life WWII romance and marriage, the story is based on facts gleaned from hundreds of letters, cards, and mementos, as well as the author’s personal insights. Helen Eberhart was a registered nurse, and Frank Daley was a medical doctor. They both served in WWII, and after they met, their hearts and lives were forever joined. Their courtship was quick, and after their wedding, they were each sent to different assignments in war-torn Europe, and letters--many, many letters—communicated their love during the deadliest of times. A love worth keeping is a love worth fighting for, and that is what you will find, along with so much more, in the story of Helen and Frank.

Book Copy Gratis Tyndale House Publishers

 A professional writer for over 20 years, Dandi Daley Mackall has written dozens of articles for popular magazines and published around 500 books for children and adults alike, with sales of over 4 million.

A frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, she lives in rural Ohio with her husband, three children, horses, dogs, & cats. Awards include the Edgar Award for Best YA Mystery, the Helen Keating Ott Award for Contributions to Children's Literature; Distinguished Alumni Award from Mizzou; ALA Best Book; Christian Children's Book of the Year, Amelia Bloom, Mom's Choice Awards. Her YA novel, My Boyfriends' Dogs, is now a Hallmark movie.


Sunday, February 19, 2017


The entertaining storytelling style of author Regina Jennings is in full force in "For the Record", Book Three in her "Ozark Mountain Romance" series. Betsy Huckabee, intrepid journalist, writes articles for her uncle's small-town newspaper in rural Pine Gap, Missouri. Her imagination leads her to create a serial of stories featuring a brave lawman sworn to protect his territory and bring down those live on the wrong side of the law. Deputy Joel Puckett, newly arrived from Texas, is the embodiment of Betsy's fictional hero, and she can't help but follow his heels to gather material for the stories she sends to big-time newspapers outside the area. Deputy Joel came to Pine Gap with his own set of troubles, and he has his hands full with trying to rid the community of masked marauders while being hounded by a persistent female reporter. An undeniable attraction grows between Betsy and Joel, but each of them must resolve issues from their past with hopes for their future. The promise of a lasting love, along with a leap of faith, just might lead them to the reward of a bright future filled with happiness.

Book Copy Gratis Bethany House Books

“An Uncommon Courtship”, from author Kristi Ann Hunter, is a treat for lovers of Regency Romance. Book Three in the “Hawthorne House” series tells of an unconventional relationship where the courtship comes after the marriage. Lord Trent Hawthorne is the younger son, happy to be free of the obligations inherited by his older brother, Griffith. His plans for the future include marrying a wife of his own choosing and enjoying a life of his own making. He did not envision a turn of fate that would have him proposing to a virtual stranger after an unfortunate incident lead to a night spent together under circumstances which would be deemed compromising by the merciless tongues of society. Lady Adelaide Bell was happy to dwell in her older sister’s shadow if it meant dodging the glare of her mother’s disappointment in her second daughter. A forced marriage to escape societal censure is the last thing she expected. Trent and Adelaide must grow as individuals before they grow into a loving couple, and a strong measure of faith, along with respect and appreciation, could just lead to a lifetime of joy and fulfillment.

Book Copy Gratis Bethany House Books

"Still Life" is the chillingly-apt title for Book Two in author Dani Pettrey's "Chesapeake Valor" series. After controversy had forced photographer Avery Tate to take a different path in her career, she worked for a time assisting crime-scene analyst Parker Mitchell with his investigations. Her feelings for Parker progressed beyond friendship and coworker, but she knew that he still deeply grieved for his lost love, the victim of a murder. Leaving his employment was the difficult choice she felt she had to make. Now, returning to the world that once rejected her, Avery is attending a gallery exhibit where one of the featured images will be that of her friend, Skylar. The eerie theme of the showing is beautiful women posed as if dead, but something about Skylar's photo is all too deathly-real--and Skylar is nowhere to be found. To make matters even more frightening, the photographer claims that the image of Skylar is not his work--someone replaced the photo that he created. Reuniting with Parker to solve the crime is emotional and intense, and it will take all of their faith and special skills to overcome the deadly threat they face to their future happiness and their very lives.

Book Copy Gratis Bethany House Books

“The Artisan’s Wife” is Book 3 in author Judith Miller’s “Refined by Love Series”. Set in the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia, these books blend history and skilled craftsmanship with abiding faith and sweetly poignant romance. In “The Artisan’s Wife”, Ainslee McKay must pick up the responsibility of managing the family tile work business after her twin sister’s surprise elopement and departure. Always somewhat in her sister’s shadow, Ainslee must make decisions which will affect the futures of many people. Even with her brother along for assistance, Ainslee is still set on selling the business. The arrival of talented designer Levi Judson is a boon to the success of the tile works, but both he and Ainslee are keeping secrets of their own. They work together as friends, and soon their hearts are also involved. When both of their inner truths are revealed, will their relationship grow stronger, or will they grow apart? Can they merge their own hopes and plans and find happiness as well as prosperity for all? Judith Miller is an excellent writer of inspirational historical romance, and I highly recommend reading the first two books in the series, “The Brickmaker’s Bride” and “The Potter’s Lady”.

Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books

"A LOVE REFORMED" by Tracie Peterson

“A Love Transformed” is the third and final book in author Tracie Peterson’s “Sapphire Brides Series”. Clara Vesper is a talented jewelry designer, making the stunning sapphire creations sold by her husband Adolph’s company. Their arranged marriage was a business relationship which had appeared profitable, but upon Adolph’s sudden death, Clara learns that she is a widow without means. She and her two small children must leave New York and return to the home of her relatives in Montana. She had once known happiness at the ranch of her aunt and uncle, and there she had also met the love of her life, Curtis Billingham. Much has changed since she left so long ago. Curtis is recovering from serious injuries he received in a mining accident. His spirit seems as broken as his body. Clara is followed to Montana by her late husband’s brother, Otto, and he intends to force Clara to bring her design skills back to the company in New York. Otto is not the only threat to Clara and her children—secrets from her husband’s hidden life are a looming danger. Clara must reconcile the disappointments of her past with new hope for the future—abiding faith must fill her heart and give her the strength she needs to keep her family safe. Will there be a new and happy life for them all, one filled with love and promise? Author Tracie Peterson’s love of history and in-depth research once again blend with her personal faith and admirable storytelling skills as she brings this series to a close.

Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books


Author Michael Phillips continues his enthralling “Secrets of the Shetlands Series” with Book 2, “The Cottage”. When Loni Ford learns of her unexpected inheritance of property in the Shetland Islands of Scotland, her first thought is to settle a sale of the estate and return to America as soon as possible. However, the more time she spends in the rustically beautiful countryside, the more muddled her thoughts become. The land and its people weave a spell of their own, and then there is David Tulloch, the man the locals had long presumed to be the rightful heir to “The Cottage” and all it entails. Complex and compelling, David is much more than Loni expected. Adding menace to the mix is David’s cousin, Hardy, whose dangerous ties to oil investors are propelling his own forceful claim to the inheritance. Author Michael Phillips’ estimable storytelling skills combine with the magic of the Scottish Isles for an involving romantic suspense read.

Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books

Sunday, January 15, 2017

“THE VISCOUNTESS BEQUEST” (THE FRENCH ADVENTURE)—a delightful Regency Romance from author Sophy Hester

















The Viscountess Bequest: A Regency Romance (The French Adventure) by Sophy Hester

England and France, 1817: Henry Wenton, 6th Earl of Brentford, is the black sheep of the family and deplored by good society as a bon vivant and wastrel. Neither the censure of polite society, nor the entreaties of his buttoned-up mother, nor the attention of the daughters of aristocrats can rein in the wayward Earl. Yet when a distant French uncle bequeaths Henry the lavish Maligny coastal estate on the condition that he wed his daughter, the orphaned 18-year-old Florence, a marriage of convenience suddenly has appeal for the incorrigible bon vivant. However, when the young Earl travels with his brother Stacy to become acquainted with his would-be bride, he finds not a helpless youth consumed by sorrow but a quick-witted, spirited belle. Instead of a helpless young woman in mourning, he finds an independent-minded, radiant beauty. The 18-year-old fascinates him. She is sensuous and innocent at the same time. Florence also feels herself drawn to the Earl. However, his domineering manner and his experience with women frighten her – and yet awaken in her a desire for love. Henry’s authoritative bravado and Florence’s innocent but sensuous charm make for a heady mixture, at once combustible and compatible, but will their mutual stubbornness stifle love before it can bloom? An entertaining Regency novel full of wit, charm and romantic tension with two enchanting main characters and personable secondary characters. Amusing commotions and entanglements offer genuine reading enjoyment for aficionados of historical romances.

MY REVIEW: With a fresh voice, and a great love of subject, author Sophy Hester spins a delightful Regency Romance in “The Viscountess Bequest” (The French Adventure). Henry Wenton, the 6th Earl of Brentford, has long been the despair of his family and polite society. A bequest from a distant French relative proves to be a challenge and an adventure for Henry, who travels to France with his brother, Stacy. With the inheritance of the estate comes an unexpectedly appealing condition: Henry must marry Florence, daughter of his benefactor, in order to inherit the estate known as Maligny. Although young and aware of Henry’s experience and autocratic manner, Florence has a mind and spirit of her own. Sparks and words fly between Henry and Florence, but can these two fiery hearts find the sweet compromise of love for a future of lasting happiness?

Book Copy Gratis via Author


Sophy Hester studied musicology and Russian at university and works as a copywriter and editor. For love she moved from a city of millions to a village. She has been married since 2004 and has three children. She loves to play the piano, to read romantic novels and to write - classic, contemporary Regency Romances. Since her youth, Sophy Hester has been an avid reader of Regency novels. Georgette Heyer is her favorite author.

“THE TASTE OF AIR”—Compelling contemporary women’s fiction from author Gail Cleare—to know your family is to know yourself…or is it?

A simple phone call disrupts Nell Williams’s well-ordered life. Her mother, Mary, is in a hospital in Vermont. But her mother is supposed to be safely tucked away in an assisted-living facility in Massachusetts, so Nell can’t fathom why she would be so far from home.

After notifying her sister, Bridget, Nell hops on a plane and rushes to her mother’s side. There, she discovers that her mother has been living a second life. Mary has another home and a set of complex relationships with people her daughters have never met.

When Nell and Bridget delve deeper into their mother’s lakeside hideaway, they uncover a vault of family secrets and the gateway to change for all three women.

MY REVIEW:  I was captivated by author Gail Cleare’s storytelling in “The Taste of Air”, and much of it resonated strongly with me as a reader. While I lived with my own mother for almost fifty years, and I knew her better than anyone else possibly could, there was still much about her life that I will never know. We often forget that our parents are people, that they are human and make human mistakes, and none of us are perfect. “The Taste of Air” is a compelling reminder that none of us know how we would react when faced with some the choices our parents had to make. The comfort of Nell Williams’s neatly-organized life is left behind when a phone call changes her reality forever. Not only is her mother, Mary, not in a care facility in Massachusetts as expected, she is hospitalized in Hartland, Vermont, a town unknown to Nell and her sister, Bridget. Upon their arrival in Vermont, they discover their mother’s “other life”, complete with a cottage home and a set of local friends. As more and more secrets about their mother and family are revealed, the sisters are forced to examine their own lives. While nothing will ever be the same, will long-held hopes and dreams find a way to come true? Author Gail Cleare has created a compelling portrait of three memorable women and the unique bond that exists between mothers and daughters—and the varied emotions in the relationships of sisters with each other.

Book Copy Received Gratis Via Author—Opinions Are Strictly My Own Observances

Gail Cleare lives on an 18th century farm in Massachusetts with her family and dogs, cats, chickens, black bears, blue herons, rushing streams and wide, windy skies. In addition to writing fiction and poetry, she's into organic gardening and nature photography, and can often be found stalking wild creatures with a 300 mm lens.

"In The Taste of Air, Cleare deftly explores the consequence of our choices, even those made with the best of intentions. A family saga bridging decades and filled with shocking revelations, hope and love, you won't be able put this book down."
~Kate Moretti, author of NYT Bestseller Thought I Knew You

"What begins to unfold from page one is a captivating story filled with mystery, suspense, love, longing and family...a poignant tale not to be missed."
~Samantha March for Readers' Favorite (5 STARS)

"When Nell and Bridget start pulling at the thread of their mother's deceptions, their own worlds unravel."  
~Katie O'Rourke, Amazon bestselling author of Finding Charlie

"This is a book to choose as a companion for curling up on a sofa on a dark winter day or for laying on the beach in the summer...character-driven fiction at its best." 

~Ann Warner, author of The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club series

"Gail Cleare's mesmerizing new novel...will make you see your own life with new eyes and leave you transformed."
~Jamie Cat Callan, author of Bonjour, Happiness!

"My first thought after finishing The Taste of Air was that this was an incredibly satisfying novel. "


"Cleare's voice and plotting style reminded me a lot of Danielle Steele's."
~Chick Lit Central

"The characters all felt real and the setting was perfect for the reminded me of novels by Barbara Delinsky."
~Secret Library

"A truly original read...the author explores emotional topics with compassion and sensitivity."
~Keep Calm and Novel On

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Unequaled Valor and Unending Devotion--SERVICE DOGS--in fact and fiction

The Kill Switch (Tucker Wayne, #1) 

THE KILL SWITCH  by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood 

Who does the U.S. government call upon when a mission requires perfect stealth, execution, and discretion? 

From the two bestselling masters of action and political intrigue, James Rollins and Grant Blackwood, comes the first in a groundbreaking new series, featuring Captain Tucker Wayne and his stalwart military dog, Kane, both ripped from the pages of Sigma Force for their first solo adventure. It will take this uniquely talented pairing of man and beast to discover the earth-shattering truth behind . . .

The Kill Switch  

The mission seems simple enough: extract a pharmaceutical magnate from Russian soil, a volatile man who holds the secret to a deadly bio-weapon. But nothing is as it appears to be. A desperate call from Painter Crowe, director of Sigma Force, thrusts Tucker and Kane into a frantic race to rescue the brilliant-but-deluded Abram Bukolov from a cadre of skilled assassins, a deadly team backed by a shadowy Russian general, a figure bent on revenge and power.

Hunted and betrayed at every turn, Tucker and Kane must discover the truth behind a biological threat, a horror out of the ancient past that can be weaponized to terrorize the modern world. The journey of discovery will take the pair across the frozen steppes of Russia to the sun-blasted savannahs of South Africa, from the war-torn mountains of Namibia to the snowy Great Lakes of the United States.

As time rapidly runs out, the deep and intimate bond between dog and soldier will be tested to the extreme. It will take all of their skill, talent, and, most of all, trust in each other to piece together a mystery going back to the origins of life on Earth, to discover the key to an ancient peril that can destroy the heartland of America, and, with it, the world.

Tracker (Sigma Force, #7.5)    

TRACKER  by James Rollins         

From New York Times bestselling author James Rollins comes a stirring story of a soldier and his military war dog who are drawn into a dark mystery tracing back to World War II and a lost treasure tied to the bones of the dead.

Off the blustery streets in the medieval heart of Budapest, Captain Tucker Wayne and his war dog, Kane, rescue a mysterious woman fleeing three armed men. The secret she holds will unlock a terrible treasure, one steeped in blood and treachery, tied to a crime going back to the fall of Nazi Germany and a heritage of suffering and pain that reaches out from the past to wreak havoc today. In a final showdown in the depths of a lost cemetery, truths will be unearthed, treasures exposed, and the fate of all will rest upon the shoulders of one man and a dog whose courage is beyond measure.

Included within this thrilling story is a sneak peek at the opening chapters of Bloodline, in which the further exploits of Tucker and Kane will be revealed.


A Man of His Own    

 MAN OF HIS OWN by Susan Wilson     

Rick Stanton was a promising professional baseball player with dreams of playing in the major leagues and starting a family with his young wife, Francesca, when World War II changed everything.  Rick returns from the war with his body broken and his dreams shattered.  But it was not just body and spirit he sacrificed for the war. He and Francesca volunteered their beloved dog, Pax, for the Army’s K-9 Corp, not knowing if they’d ever see him again.

Keller Nicholson is the soldier who fought the war with Pax by his side, and the two have the kind of profound bond that can only be forged in war. Pax is the closest Keller has to a sense of family, and he can’t bear the thought of returning him to the Stantons. But Rick and Francesca refuse to give him up. Instead, an arrangement is made: Keller will work as Rick’s live-in aide. And thus an unlikely family is formed, with steadfast Pax at the center. As they try to build a new life out of the ashes, Keller and Francesca struggle to ignore their growing attraction to each other, and Rick, believing that he can no longer give Francesca what she needs and wants, quietly plans a way out.

All three of them need healing. All three of them are lost. Pax, with his unconditional love and unwavering loyalty, may be the only one who can guide them home.

The Chase  

THE CHASE  by DiAnn Mills  

To the FBI it's a cold case. To Kariss Walker it's a hot idea that could either reshape or ruin her writing career. And it's a burning mission to revisit an event she can never forget. Five years ago, an unidentified little girl was found starved to death in the woods behind a Houston apartment complex. A TV news anchor at the time, Kariss reported on the terrifying case. Today, as a New York Times bestselling author, Kariss intends to turn the unsolved mystery into a suspense novel. Enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, Kariss succeeds in getting the case reopened. But the search for the dead girl's missing mother yields a discovery that plunges the partners into a witch's brew of danger. The old crime lives on in more ways than either of them could ever imagine. Will Kariss's pursuit of her dream as a writer carry a deadly price tag? Drawing from a real-life cold case, bestselling novelist DiAnn Mills presents a taut collage of suspense, faith, and romance in The Chase.

The Survivor 

THE SURVIVOR  by DiAnn Mills  

Kariss meets Dr. Amy Garrett, who survived a brutal childhood attack in which the assailant was never found. Now Dr. Garrett wants her story written in a novel. Kariss wishes she could seek the advice of Special Agent Tigo Harris, but she broke off the relationship a few months prior and seeing him again would be too painful. She interviews Amy and conducts her own research, stepping unaware into a viper’s pit of danger.

Tigo misses Kariss and wants her back, but he understands why she broke off their relationship. Instead, he concentrates on solving a car bombing and bringing the killer to justice. As Kariss’s new story attracts an onslaught of danger that she never expected, can Tigo save the woman he loves and find who wants her dead for writing about an unsolved cold-case?


DUKE  by Kirby Larson    

A poignant World War II story about a boy and his dog and his dad, and the many meanings of bravery, from Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson.

With World War II raging and his father fighting overseas in Europe, eleven-year-old Hobie Hanson is determined to do his part to help his family and his country, even if it means giving up his beloved German shepherd, Duke. Hoping to help end the war and bring his dad home faster, Hobie decides to donate Duke to Dogs for Defense, an organization that urges Americans to "loan" their pets to the military to act as sentries, mine sniffers, and patrol dogs. Hobie immediately regrets his decision and tries everything he can to get Duke back, even jeopardizing his friendship with the new boy at school. But when his father is taken prisoner by the Germans, Hobie realizes he must let Duke go and reach deep within himself to be brave. Will Hobie ever see Duke, or his father, again?

With powerful storytelling and gripping emotion, critically acclaimed author Kirby Larson explores the many ways bravery and love help us to weather the most difficult times.


Critical Pursuit (Critical Pursuit, #1) 

CRITICAL PURSUIT  by Janice Cantore         

Officer Brinna Caruso has built a reputation at the precinct as the cop to call when a child goes missing. For Brinna, it's personal because she was once one of them. Brinna and her K-9 search and rescue dog, Hero, will stop at nothing to find a missing child, no matter the stakes.
Detective Jack O'Reilly isn't ready to return to his homicide duties after losing his wife to a drunk driver. He's on the downside of his career, and bent on revenge, when he's assigned as Brinna's partner. While on patrol, Jack struggles between his quest for personal justice and his responsibility to those around him, especially his partner.

Skeptical of Jack's motives, Brinna isn't sure she can rely on her new partner, whose reckless abandon endangers the safety of those around him. But when a man surfaces with an MO similar to the criminal who abducted Brinna twenty years earlier, Brinna and Jack must cast aside previous judgments and combine efforts to catch the kidnapper and finally allow Brinna the peace stolen from her as a child


 The Incredible True Story of a WWII Airman and the Four-Legged Hero Who Flew At His Side

THE DOG WHO COULD FLY  by Damien Lewis         

An instant hit in the UK, this is the true account of a German shepherd who was adopted by the Royal Air Force during World War II, joined in flight missions, and survived everything from crash-landings to parachute bailouts—ultimately saving the life of his owner and dearest friend.

In the winter of 1939 in the cold snow of no-man’s-land, two loners met and began an extraordinary journey that would turn them into lifelong friends. One was an orphaned puppy, abandoned by his owners as they fled Nazi forces. The other was a different kind of lost soul—a Czech airman bound for the Royal Air Force and the country that he would come to call home.

Airman Robert Bozdech stumbled across the tiny German shepherd—whom he named Ant—after being shot down on a daring mission over enemy lines. Unable to desert his charge, Robert hid Ant inside his jacket as he escaped. In the months that followed the pair would save each other’s lives countless times as they flew together with Bomber Command. And though Ant was eventually grounded due to injury, he refused to abandon his duty, waiting patiently beside the runway for his master’s return from every sortie, and refusing food and sleep until they were reunited. By the end of the war Robert and Ant had become British war heroes, and Ant was justly awarded the Dickin Medal, the “Animal VC.”

With beautiful vintage black-and-white photos of Robert and Ant, The Dog Who Could Fly is a deeply moving story of loyalty in the face of adversity and the unshakable bond between a man and his best friend.



SUSPECT  by Robert Crais      

The explosive masterpiece of suspense from the #1 New York Times' bestselling author.
LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty...until he meets his new partner.

Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler to an IED, her PTSD is as bad as Scott's.

They are each other's last chance. Shunned and shunted to the side, they set out to investigate the one case that no one wants them to touch: the identity of the men who murdered Stephanie. What they begin to find is nothing like what Scott has been told, and the journey will take them both through the darkest moments of their own personal hells. Whether they will make it out again, no one can say.