A Beautiful Mess (Review)

A Beautiful Mess (Review)

by Brenda S. Anderson

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Publication Date: November 6, 2019
Publisher: Vivant Press
Hardcover: 230 Pages


Can she love the child who broke up her marriage?

Nearly four years ago, Erin Belden’s happy life became a shattered mess. After her husband admitted to an affair and that a child had been conceived, he left her and their young daughter for his new family. Now, she’s finally ready to put the pieces of her life together. She’s set to launch her own business and even thinks her heart might be open to romance—should the right man come along.

But just when everything seems to be lining up, she receives a devastating call: her ex-husband and his wife have been killed in a car accident, and Erin is listed in their will as their daughter’s legal guardian.

How can she be a mother to the child—let alone love the child—who broke up her marriage? Does she have the courage to start over yet again and turn this mess into a mosaic of beauty?

A single mother’s journey from bitterness to forgiveness

***

Emotional and uplifting, A Beautiful Mess is a delightful novel about a woman, a mother, taking all the life challenges and learning to face them with the power of love and faith.

This book title perfectly defines the plot. Because no matter how tough the situation appears, the characters penned by Brenda S. Anderson are motivated by good feelings, always looking for the good out of situations that at first might seem unbearable.

From the very first pages, you can see Erin as a protective mother and a determined woman who is going to find the right balance between her work and her new family of two instead of three. Yet she’s far from being flawless. Inside she’s very vulnerable, and the scars from her past are still there, ready to menace her serenity again.

When her ex-husband and his new wife die in a car accident, Erin becomes the legal guardian of the couple’s daughter, Clara, who’s also the reason why her husband left her and their daughter Mik, years before.

Even if she accepts this temporary situation, to also protect Mik and Clara’s relationship, she’s not ready for all the emotions quickly returning like a boomerang. She has to deal with all the memories, the pain, the rage, and start opening her heart to trust again and forgive the friend who abandoned her without any apparent reason when she needed him the most.

Reading this book was such a pleasure, and with its characters and storyline, it has put at my heartstrings.

I’m very thankful to the author for a copy in exchange for my honest opinion, and I’m surely looking forward to her other books in the future.

Amazon | Book Depository



The Sleuth’s Conundrum – Blog Blitz & Giveaway

The Sleuth’s Conundrum – Blog Blitz & Giveaway

The Sleuth's Conundrum JustRead Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz and Giveaway for The Sleuth’s Conundrum by Kimberly Rose Johnson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Sleuth's Conundrum

Title: The Sleuth’s Conundrum
Series: The Librarian Sleuth #3
Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: November 1, 2019

Adam and Tara are sucked into a police investigation that might get Tara killed. Can Adam keep her safe or will he lose her forever?

Tara James, the local librarian assistant, is afraid her past will catch up to her when an infant is abandoned outside the Tipton County Library. Will news of the abandoned baby stir up publicity and force her to go on the run again?

Librarian Nancy Daley’s world has become complicated. Carter is pushing to set a wedding date, a woman was left for dead on the side of the road, and Tara, her assistant, is acting strange. Nancy is working every angle she can think of, but the case goes from bad to bizarre. Can she find the baby’s mother, help Tara, and plan her wedding without upsetting her life’s delicate balance?

Slow news days become a thing of the past for local reporter Adam Stacy when a dead body is discovered on the side of the road. Was the woman murdered or was it an accident? Adam’s feelings are growing for Tara, but she appears to have secrets she’s hiding. Is she somehow connected to the abandoned infant? Continue reading “The Sleuth’s Conundrum – Blog Blitz & Giveaway”

Distant Signs – Blog Tour

Distant Signs – Blog Tour

by Anne Richter

Publication Date: November 7, 2019
Neem Tree Press
Hardcover; 240 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Saga


Distant Signs is an intimate portrait of two families spanning three generations amidst turbulent political change, behind and beyond the Berlin Wall. In 1960s East Germany, Margret, a professor’s daughter from the city, meets and marries Hans, from a small village in Thuringia. The couple struggle to contend with their different backgrounds, and the emotional scars they bear from childhood in the aftermath of war. As East German history gradually unravels, with collision of the personal and political, their two families’ hidden truths are quietly revealed. An exquisitely written novel with strongly etched characters that stay with you long after the book is finished and an authentic portrayal of family life behind the iron curtain based on personal experience of the author who is East German and was 16 years old at the fall of the Berlin Wall Continue reading “Distant Signs – Blog Tour”

Room To Breathe by Liz Talley – Guest Post & Giveaway

Room To Breathe by Liz Talley – Guest Post & Giveaway

Starting and Starting Over in Room To Breathe by Liz Talley

Room to Breathe is a story of two southern women at very different stages in their lives who are experiencing the same sense of “starting over.” Daphne Witt is weeks from turning forty, in a career that she never expected, and ready to start dating after a divorce. Her daughter Ellery is essentially untested in the world. Young, beautiful, accustomed to everything going her way, Ellery finds herself with a less than dazzling job, a distracted fiancé and, for the first time ever, doubts about who she is and where she’s going. When the novel begins, we find Daphne dealing with an awakened libido she thought long dead, and Ellery struggling to accept working for her mother and living with a fiancé who has little time for her. Both women redirect their dissatisfaction toward secret desires – Daphne for a much younger contractor, and Ellery for a secret email pal who thinks she’s her mother. Like the vines of a vineyard, things get tangled quickly by decisions that not only threaten the fragile mother-daughter relationship, but each woman’s future.

One thing I really like about Daphne is her self-awareness. She’s been content to stand in the wings while everyone else in her life commandeered the spotlight, but now she’s ready to take her turn on the stage. She’s bumbled into a dream she never knew existed as a children’s author, and she’s really good at what she does and becomes an overnight success. But her family, even her ex-husband, can’t seem to let go of the woman she once was. They want the old Daphne, the one who put everyone else before herself. I intentionally gave Daphne a secret crush on a younger man and had her pay attention to her sexuality. Women of a certain age are often set aside, as if their “ sexiness” has a shelf life. I wanted Daphne awakened to the fact that as a woman entering her forties, she still needed intimacy and affection. I wanted her to struggle with the guilt, be tempted, and have a little fun with someone…young enough to date her daughter.

Ellery is the girl I once was. I remember being invincible, tossing my curls over my shoulder as a flounced around in my cheerleading skirt. The world was about me and what I wanted, what I thought I deserved. I wasn’t a bad person, but I do remember my brother once bringing my requested shoes on a throw pillow, bowing, and saying “your slippers, my lady.” I led a charmed life…until life punched me in the face. It has a tendency to do that in your mid-twenties when you find out (gasp!) the world doesn’t revolve around you. So I wanted to take a princess, toss her in the mud, and see what happened. Ellery isn’t always likable, but she’s authentic. And by the end of the book, she sees her mother as a person and not just her mother. Both Ellery and Daphne have a big growth arc in this book. Continue reading “Room To Breathe by Liz Talley – Guest Post & Giveaway”

The Forever Sky – Cover Reveal & Giveaway

The Forever Sky – Cover Reveal & Giveaway

The Forever Sky JustRead Cover RevealWelcome to the Cover Reveal for The Forever Sky, the fourth book of the Montana Gold series by Janalyn Voigt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE FOREVER SKY

Series: Montana Gold, Book 4
Author: Janalyn Voigt
Release Date: December 1, 2019
Genre: Western/Historical Romance

Can a young widow with no faith in love, hope for a future with the man who broke her heart?

Maisey isn’t about to give Rob another chance to reject her love. Why should she believe that the man who left town without a backward glance three years ago cares about her? Life had taught her all about broken dreams, and she didn’t want to hope again. If only her young daughter would stop adopting Rob as a father, ignoring him—and her own emotions–would be a whole lot easier.

Thoughts of the woman he’d left behind haunted Rob for three long years. It wouldn’t have been fair to ask Maisey to wait while he mined a gold claim. After making his fortune, he’d returned to his family in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. Rob was ready to settle down, and he’d rather do so with Maisey. But after their first encounter, it was clear that he’d lost her forever.

Circumstances force Maisey and Rob into one another’s company. They learn, through hardship and loss, that the only way to one another is to surrender first to God’s love. Continue reading “The Forever Sky – Cover Reveal & Giveaway”

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae (Review)

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae (Review)

by Stephanie Butland

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback: 416 Pages


For fans of Josie Silver’s One Day in December, The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae is a wholly original, charismatic, and uplifting novel that no reader will soon forget.

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live. She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that—just in time—saved her life. Now, finally, she can be a normal twenty-eight-year-old. She can climb a mountain. Dance. Wait in line all day for tickets to Wimbledon.

But first, she has to put one foot in front of the other. So far, things are as bloody complicated as ever. Her relationship with her mother is at a breaking point and she wants to find her father. Then there’s Lennox, whom Ailsa loved and lost. Will she ever find love again?

Her new heart is a bold heart. She just needs to learn to listen to it. From the hospital to her childhood home, on social media and IRL, Ailsa will embark on a journey about what it means to be, and feel, alive. How do we learn to be brave, to accept defeat, to dare to dream?

From Stephanie Butland, author of The Lost for Words BookshopThe Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae will warm you from the inside out.

***

Stephanie Butland’s novel is one of those books that left me better than I was before reading it.

Her new novel is such a heartwarming and sweet story. I hadn’t read any book about a woman who got a heart transplant until Ailsa’s story and, throughout the narration, it was nice to observe how Ailsa faces her new life and its possibilities and challenges. Continue reading “The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae (Review)”