Blog Tour: The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery

Release date: March 15, 2022

Publisher: HQN

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


One woman discovers the beauty in chaos in this poignant and heartwarming story about the threads that hold family together from #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery.

With her divorce settlement about to run out and a mortgage she can’t afford, Robyn Caldwell needs a plan for her future. She nurtured her family and neglected herself. But how’s she supposed to think when her daughter has become the most demanding bride ever, her son won’t even consider college, her best friend is on the brink of marital disaster and her ex is making a monumentally bad decision that could bring everything crashing down on Robyn’s head? So when her great-aunt Lillian invites her to Santa Barbara for the summer, Robyn hops on the first plane.

But it’s hard to run away when you’re the heart of the family. One by one, everyone she left behind follows her across the country. Somehow, their baggage doesn’t feel as heavy in the sun-drenched, mishmash mansion. The more time Robyn spends with free-spirited Lillian, the more she sees the appeal in taking chances—on dreams, on love, on family. Life is meant to be lived on purpose. All she has to do is muster the courage to take a chance on herself.

Good morning! I’m so happy to participate in the blog tour for The Summer Getaway today! Check out the excerpt below.


He reached out, inviting her close. When she’d moved next to him, he laced his fingers with hers.

“I don’t want to fight,” he said. “It’s just Austin has so much potential. It’s hard to see it wasted.”

She knew what he meant, but somehow his words made her feel defensive. Or like a bad mother.

“I’m giving it some time. I’m hoping working for his dad isn’t the thrill he’s expecting. Austin can get stubborn, and I don’t want him making decisions because he feels trapped.”

“I get that.” He leaned back against the sofa. “Have you decided what to do about the house?”

“I’m still leaning toward selling. It’s too big and expensive. I haven’t talked to Harlow or Austin yet. I might start looking for something first. If I find a suitable replacement, then the idea of me moving will be less upsetting to them.”

Jase looked at her quizzically. “They’re adults with their own lives. Why do they get a say?”

“They don’t get a say, exactly. But Austin will be living with me for a while longer, and—”

Jase shifted away from her. “I thought he was moving out.”

“It’s just for the summer.”

“Since when?”

Since he’d told her yesterday, but she didn’t say that. “He’s not ready to be on his own permanently. He’ll be back in the fall.”

“You’re letting him move in and out? So, when he’s forty, he can move back? You’re letting him run your life?”

She put down her drink and told herself to stay calm. “He’s not running my life. He’s my kid, and I love him. If he wants to stay for a couple more years, that’s fine. He’s eighteen, not forty.”

“You’re making a mistake, letting him think you’ll always be his fallback plan.”

“Why do you have so much energy on the topic? It shouldn’t matter to you if Austin lives with me or not.”

“What does that mean?”

The sharp question surprised her. “I have my own place. Why do you care if my kids live with me? It doesn’t affect you.”

“I’m not ready for us to live together.”

Blog Tour: The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery


Release date: May 25, 2021

Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


Once upon a time, when her dad married Sage’s mom, Daisy was thrilled to get a bright and shiny new sister. But Sage was beautiful and popular, everything Daisy was not, and she made sure Daisy knew it.

Sage didn’t have Daisy’s smarts—she had to go back a grade to enroll in the fancy rich-kid school. So she used her popularity as a weapon, putting Daisy down to elevate herself. After the divorce, the stepsisters’ rivalry continued until the final, improbable straw: Daisy married Sage’s first love, and Sage fled California.

Eighteen years, two kids and one troubled marriage later, Daisy never expects—or wants—to see Sage again. But when the little sister they have in common needs them both, they put aside their differences to care for Cassidy. As long-buried truths are revealed, no one is more surprised than they when friendship blossoms.

Their fragile truce is threatened by one careless act that could have devastating consequences. They could turn their backs on each other again…or they could learn to forgive once and for all and finally become true sisters of the heart.

Hey everyone! I’m super excited to be sharing an excerpt from The Stepsisters today. If you wanna follow along with the tour click here I also listened to the audio version so read on for my thoughts on that as well!


Daisy walked into the locker room, stretching her neck and trying to release the kinks in her back. The surgery had gone long, with her seven-year-old kidney patient requiring unexpected repair work on her large intestine.

Daisy had worried about the extended time under anesthesia, given her patient’s weak condition. But little Molly had come through like a champ. Daisy had stayed with her in recovery until her patient had woken up. Once she’d confirmed Molly was breathing comfortably and not in too much pain, she’d left her in the capable hands of the recovery room team.

She opened her locker, pulled out her cell phone and saw she’d missed a call from her father. She pushed the button to call him back and took a seat on the bench.

“Hey, Dad,” she said. “I was in surgery.”

“I figured. Everything go all right?”

She smiled. “My patient did great. So, what’s up?”

As she asked the question, she found herself tensing. Her father had retired and moved to Hawaii a couple of years ago. He’d quickly realized that he wasn’t ready to not work and had joined a small general medicine practice in Maui. He worked a few days a week and frequently came back to LA to visit.

Not now, she thought desperately, knowing that there was no way to keep the situation with Jordan a secret if her father came to town. While he often chose to stay at the Bel Air Hotel, he would still be close enough to figure out there was a problem. As she had no idea what was happening with her husband, she doubted she could explain the situation to her father.

“I’m calling about Cassidy,” her father said. “There’s been an accident.”

“What? When?”

Daisy tried to remember if she knew where her half sister was these days. Cassidy was a travel writer. While her home base was in Miami, she was frequently off visiting exotic places. Although hadn’t Sage mentioned something about Patagonia?

Given they were sisters, one would assume Daisy and Cassidy would stay in touch, but that never happened. Despite sharing a father, they weren’t exactly close. Eight years younger, Cassidy had initially been tight with Daisy, but after the divorce, everything had changed. Sage had become the beloved, fun sister, while Daisy was merely to be tolerated.

“A couple of days ago,” her father said, drawing her back into the conversation. “She fell while hiking in Patagonia. She has some broken bones and maybe a concussion. It’s hard to tell exactly, because her doctor didn’t speak much English and my Spanish is terrible. Desean was there, so he told me what had happened. He’s going to stay with her until she’s on the plane back home.”

“Who’s Desean?”

“Her boyfriend.” Wallace sounded surprised she didn’t know. “I’m not sure that’s how she’d refer to him, but they’ve been seeing each other on and off for a while now. I met him the last time I visited Cassidy. He’s a good man. I like him. He said he would get her onto the plane I’m chartering.”

“To fly her back to Miami?”

“No, to Los Angeles. She’s going to need round-the-clock care and somewhere to stay. I’m assuming I can have her brought to the house.”

Daisy held in a groan. There was only one house in their family and she was living in it.

While her father knew in his head that she and Cassidy hadn’t gotten along in years, he’d always wanted them to be closer. They were “his girls,” as he still called them. Even after the divorce, he’d stayed in touch with Sage and had visited her a couple of times in Europe.

“Dad, no,” she began, then stopped. There was no way to refuse. The house was big enough and Cassidy was family. Wallace wanted to take care of his daughter—end of story.

Dozens of thoughts flashed through her head. Things like wondering how long she could keep the separation a secret and what she was going to tell the kids and how mean Cassidy was going to be, but she ignored them. Instead she told herself to suck it up and said, “When is she arriving?”

“In two days. I’ll email you the particulars, including some ideas about nursing care. I can’t get away for a couple of weeks. I have too many patients scheduled. But I’ll get there as soon as I can.”

“There’s no need to rush, Dad. We’ll be fine.” A lie, but the last thing she needed was her father showing up, as well.

“Thank you for doing this, Daisy. I’m going to let Joanne know. If you’d tell Sage, I’d appreciate it. Do you have her number?”

“I don’t think so.”

“I’ll text it to you, along with the flight information when I get it. I’m not happy Cassidy was hurt, but I’m glad you three girls will have a chance to hang out together. It’s been a long time since that last happened.”

It had never happened, she thought grimly. Daisy and Cassidy had been close and then Cassidy and Sage had bonded.

An uncomfortable thought occurred to her. What if Cassidy and Sage were still tight? That would mean if Cassidy came to stay, Sage would follow. Unless she’d already gone back to Italy, andwouldn’t that be nice.

Audiobook Review:

I’m a longtime fan of the author and have completely enjoyed reading her books in print, but a few months ago I decided to try the audio version of another book of hers and absolutely loved the narrator, Tanya Eby. When I got the chance to have an early listen of The Stepsisters it was a no brainer, Tanya is an incredible narrator and really brings the characters Susan creates to life. She has such an engaging quality in her voice, if you’re an audiobook listener this was fantastic!

I loved the premise here, the messiness of these women’s complex family dynamics appealed to me so much. You have Daisy who is dealing with a troubled marriage, her ex stepsister Sage, who has more issues than I can get into here, and then their half sister, Cassidy who had an accident and needs their help. The idea of dealing with ex family members who you have a troubled past relationship with sounds like a nightmare but wow did it make for some pretty amusing reading! I didn’t grow up with step siblings but I can’t imagine reuniting as adults who aren’t even really related anymore and then trying to unpack old issues and problems, just sounds awful but I liked witnessing these characters work through things. No one writes complex family dramas like the author and if you like messy families as much as I do check this one out. This felt a little sharper and more edgy than the authors previous books and I am here for it. Give me some catty women, drama and people behaving badly as a summer read and I’m all in.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Book Tour: Before Summer Ends by Susan Mallery


Release date: April 27, 2021

Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition

Genre: Contemporary Romance


A long, hot summer with her secret crush…

What could possibly go wrong?

Nissa Lang knows Desmond Stilling is out of her league. He’s a CEO, she’s a teacher. He’s gorgeous, she’s…not. So when her house-sitting gig falls through and Desmond offers her a place to stay for the summer, she vows not to reveal how she’s felt about him since their first—and only—kiss.

Desmond should’ve known better than to bring temptation into his house. He decided long ago that his best friend’s sister was too sweet, too good, for him. She deserves a guy who can give his heart. For her sake, he’s stayed away. But as her laughter breathes life into his lonely mansion, he’s not sure how long he’ll be able to resist.

I’m so excited to be participating in an excerpt tour for Susan Mallery’s latest today! If you want to follow along, here’s the schedule.


Shane glanced around at the bare side tables and nearly empty floating shelves.

“You were robbed.”

She sipped her coffee before smiling at him. “You know how I am. I have stuff everywhere. No one wants to live with that. So I put it all away. It’s very clean looking, don’t you think?”

“I don’t know. It makes me feel as if you’ve been taken over by aliens.” He nodded at the small hutch in the dining alcove. “We’re just wrapping up the china?”

She nodded. “It’s a full set for twelve. I don’t want anything to get broken. I made space in my storage unit, so we can take the boxes down there.”

“Sounds like a plan. You’re moving in with Desmond after that?”

“This afternoon.” She wanted to protest that she wasn’t moving in with him—not in the traditional sense. But saying that would cause her brother to start asking questions and there was no way she wanted to explain about her crush-slash-fluttery stomach.

“So what’s with the new girlfriend?” she asked, hoping to distract him. “Who is she and what makes her ‘the one’?” She made air quotes with her free hand.

“Her name is Coreen and she’s an ER pediatrician.”

“A doctor,” she teased. “Mom and Dad will be so proud.”

He grinned. “I know. I’m the favorite for a reason, kid.”

“Oh, please. They so love me more.”

The joking was familiar. Shane might be more brilliant but she was no less adored by her parents. They hadn’t had a lot of money for fancy things when she’d been growing up but there had been plenty of attention and affection.

“You didn’t answer my question,” she pointed out as she picked up her breakfast sandwich. “Why is she special?”

“I don’t know. She’s smart and pretty and I like her a lot.” He took a bite of his sandwich. “There’s something about her. We’ll see how it goes. I’m optimistic and I don’t want to mess up anything.”

Blog Tour: Her Dark Lies by J. T. Ellison


Release date: March 9, 2021

Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Fast-paced and brilliantly unpredictable, J.T. Ellison’s breathtaking new novel invites you to a wedding none will forget—and some won’t survive.

Jutting from sparkling turquoise waters off the Italian coast, Isle Isola is an idyllic setting for a wedding. In the majestic cliff-top villa owned by the wealthy Compton family, up-and-coming artist Claire Hunter will marry handsome, charming Jack Compton, surrounded by close family, intimate friends…and a host of dark secrets.

From the moment Claire sets foot on the island, something seems amiss. Skeletal remains have just been found. There are other, newer disturbances, too. Menacing texts. A ruined wedding dress. And one troubling shadow hanging over Claire’s otherwise blissful relationship—the strange mystery surrounding Jack’s first wife.

Then a raging storm descends, the power goes out—and the real terror begins…

Good morning y’all! I’m so excited to be sharing an excerpt of Her Darkest Lies today!



Dead Wives

I didn’t know, when I met Jack, the details of his life before me. I didn’t press him, and he didn’t offer. Maybe I was naive. Maybe I was just a girl in love. We existed that first month of our courtship in a kind of bubble, with eyes only for one another. And when he finally shared his story, I wasn’t deterred.

A month into our courtship, Jack took me to his brother Elliot’s wedding, where I met his family for the first time. They were as intriguing, smart, and lovely as he was. I guess my own prejudices about wealth and privilege made me assume the worst, but I found the Comptons as intensely fascinating and philanthropic as their son. Brice hadn’t exactly started Compton Computers in his garage—his money was inherited—but he’d grown it into a rival to Microsoft and Apple. Ana was editor emeritus of Endless Journey, the travel magazine started by Jack’s grandmother. Elliot worked with Brice on the day-to-day running of the business. Jack, of course, was in charge of the Foundation, and the youngest, Tyler, was a doctor. The family’s most recent project of note was working with Bill Gates on getting universal sanitation to some of the poorer African nations, for heaven’s sake.

The Comptons were doing real work to make the world a better, safer place. They were warm, funny, and kind.

I was enchanted.

It didn’t hurt that Jack’s elegant mother, Ana, talked nonstop about my painting, the one Jack bought the night we met. She was having it hung in the lobby of their Manhattan office, where everyone would see it. She admired my talent. She wondered if I would be willing to discuss a series of pieces for their private collection.


After Elliot’s wedding, I started getting commissions. Magazine features. I was painting like crazy, and people liked my work. It was surreal. I think anytime an artist has a modicum of success, you distrust it, as do the people around you. Too good to be true. What did you do to get it? Who did you blow?

In my case… I was blowing Jack Compton, and my career was on fire.

I had love. Success. And yes, for the first time, money. These are the elements of many dreams come true.

When he asked me to marry him, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough.

Jack completed me in ways no one had ever before. Not family. Not lovers. Not friends. He was the other half of my heart. He drove away all of my insecurities with his love.

There was only one thing, one tiny, bothersome issue that cast a shadow on my happiness.

Excerpt: When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica @MaryKubica


Release date: September 4, 2018

Publisher: Park Row



A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

I have a special treat for you guys today, I have an excerpt from Mary Kubica’s upcoming book! If you would like to follow along with the tour and read the excerpts in order, check out TLC Book Tours for the full schedule.


July 1, 1996

Egg Harbor

The boxes are plentiful.  There is no end to the number of cardboard boxes the movers carry through the front door, delivering them to their marked rooms: living room, bedroom, master bath, stomping across our home in dusty work boots.  Sixteen hundred square feet of space needing to be filled as Aaron and I divvied up our gender-appropriate tasks, he directing the movers with couches and beds while I unpacked and washed the dishes by hand and placed them in the cabinets.  I watched the many laps they took, each man’s head beginning to glimmer with sweat.  Aaron’s too, though he hardly carried a thing, and yet the authority in his voice, the obvious clout as grown men trailed him through our home, heeding his every word, was enough to catch my eye.  I watched him round the home time and again, wondering how I was so lucky to have him all to my own.

It wasn’t like me to be lucky in love.  Not until I met Aaron.  The men who came before him were deadbeats and drifters, bottom-feeders.  But not Aaron.  We dated for a year before he proposed.  Tomorrow we celebrate two years.  Soon there will be kids, a whole gaggle of little ones spinning circles at our feet.  As soon as we’re settled, Aaron always said, and now, as my eyes assess the new home, the sprawling landscape, the sixteen hundred square feet of space, three bedrooms – two vacant and left to fill – I realize the time has come and like clockwork, something inside me starts to tick.

When the movers’ backs were turned, Aaron kissed me in the kitchen, pinning me against the cabinets, hands gripping my hips.  It was unasked-for and yet very much wanted as he kissed with his eyes closed, whispering that all of our dreams were finally coming true.  Aaron isn’t one to be sentimental or romantic, and yet it was true: the cottage, his job, leaving the city.  We’d both wanted to get away from Green Bay since the day we were married, his hometown and my hometown, so that two sets of parents showed up at our door on any given day, unsolicited, waging a secret battle as to which in-law could occupy the most of our time.  We hadn’t gone far, sixty-seven miles to be precise, but enough that visits would be preempted with a simple phone call.

Tonight we made love on the living room floor to the glow of candlelight.  The electricity had yet to be turned on and so, other than the dance of candlelight on the white washed walls, the house was dark.

Aaron was the first to suggest it, discontinuing my birth control pill, as if he knew what I was thinking, as if he could read my mind.  It was as we laid together on the wide wooden floorboards staring out the open windows at the stars, Aaron’s prowling hand moving across my thigh, contemplating a second go.  That’s when he said it.  I told him yes! that I am ready for a family.  That we are ready.  Aaron is twenty-nine.  I am twenty-eight.  His paycheck isn’t extravagant, and yet it’s enough.  We aren’t spendthrifts; we’ve been saving for years.

And even though I knew it wasn’t possible yet, the pill in my system nipped any possibility of pregnancy in the bud, I still imagined a creature no bigger than a speck starting to take form as Aaron again let himself inside me.

July 9, 1996

Egg Harbor

Our days begin with coffee on the dock, bare feet dangling over the edge, downward toward the bay.  The water is cold, and our feet don’t reach anyway.  But as promised, there are sailboats.  Aaron and I spend hours watching them pass by, as well as sandpipers and other shorebirds that come to call, their long legs wading through the shallow water for a meal.  We stare at the birds and the sailboats, watching the sun rise higher into the sky, warming our skin, burning off the early morning fog.  Heaven on earth, Aaron says.

As we sit on the dock, Aaron tells me about his nights at the chophouse that steals him from me for ten hours at a time.  About the heat of the kitchen, and the persistent noise.  The rumble of voices calling out orders in sync.  The sputter of boneless ribeye on the grill, the dicing and hashing of vegetables.

His voice is placid.  He doesn’t complain because Aaron, ever easy-going Aaron, isn’t one to complain.  Rather he tells me about it, describing it for me so that I can see in my mind’s eye what he’s doing when he’s away from me for half the day.  He wears a white chef jacket and black chef pants and a cap, something along the lines of a beanie that is also white.  Aaron’s been assigned role of saucier or sauce chef, one that’s new to him, but no doubt comes with ease.  Because this is the way it is with Aaron.  No matter what he tries his hand at, things always come with ease.

About the Author:

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL and PRETTY BABY.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.



Connect with Mary

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Extract: Hattie’s Home by Mary Gibson @HoZ_books


Release date: November 2, 2017

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Genre: Historical Fiction


Three very different women struggle against incredible hardship in post-war South London.

Hattie, a rising star in the ATS, finds herself relegated to the factory floor on her return from the war. Her work mates are unforgiving at Hattie’s attempt to raise herself up and she is soon ostracised. After journeying across the world to Australia to marry her husband, Clara is betrayed and returns penniless, homeless and trying to raise a child in the face of prejudice. Lou, a war widow, has lost more than most in the war. Her daughter and parents are dead, killed in a bomb blast on an air raid shelter. By day, she works at the factory, by night she roams the bombsites half mad with grief.

These women will forge a bond that will ultimately allow each of them to overcome crippling grief, harsh prejudice and post-war deprivation to find hope in a better tomorrow for themselves and their children.


The Wasteland

January 1947

Life was moving on for Hattie Wright, but it seemed the number forty-seven bus to Bermondsey was not. Too much snow and too little skill on the part of the driver had brought the bus to a halt in Tooley Street. A resigned groan from her fellow passengers rippled along the bus. Hattie stood up. Hefting her well-worn army kitbag down from the overhead rack, she hopped off the running board into the deep bank of snow piled against the kerb. Still wearing her stout army shoes and ats greatcoat, at least she’d be warm. They were calling this the worst winter in living memory, but she’d been hardened up by three biting winters in Belgium.

The journey by rail from Southampton had been predictably slow. Everything in the country seemed broken. Trains, rails, ticket machines, buffet cars, signals and even the people, hustling along platforms, huddling in smoke-filled, freezing carriages, seemed worn out beyond repair. There was a national stoop she’d noticed – which surely hadn’t been there last time she was home – a universal taut-faced, clenched-fist bowing to the bitter Arctic wind sweeping across the country. She marched along Tooley Street, glimpsing herself in an office window. Had she developed the stoop? Not yet. Her tall figure was slim and strong. Perhaps staying on in the army had saved her. Her shoulders were square beneath the kitbag’s weight and, in spite of the hampering snow, her stride purposeful. At twenty-seven, her pale ivory skin was still good, her pointed chin taut and her red-gold hair still abundant. The war hadn’t worn her out; it had honed her.

Hattie hadn’t been back to Bermondsey since 1942; five long years and it hadn’t been long enough. She certainly didn’t want to be here now. But what choice did she have? Eight years as an ats sergeant fighting the war hadn’t prepared her at all for the peace. The sort of roles she felt ready for were being reserved for returning servicemen. Besides, her mother had made a rare plea for her to come home. She was, she’d said, finding it hard to cope these days and was nearly blind. Sometimes her mother was prone to exaggeration, but the spidery, blotted handwriting of her letter spoke more persuasively than her words.

The devastation along the riverside was plainly visible from Tooley Street. It wasn’t so much what was still there, as what was now gone that struck her. Here, the Thames had always been obscured by slab-faced offices and docks, but now through jagged gaps she could see the river riding high, a dull afternoon sun raddling its ice-black surface. The destruction in this area was exactly what she’d expected. The docks had always been the target, of course.

Hattie cut down Bermondsey Street – a whole tract of which had disappeared in a tumbled wreckage. Burned, eyeless windows stared from shells of buildings and she passed one tall house, still inhabited by the looks of it, which stood exposed on three sides. Wallpaper and fireplaces patterned its outside walls as it stood in isolation amongst the piles of rubble. She wondered who would have wanted to stay living there, and yet where else would they go? She wasn’t the only one facing a life of limited choices.

But as she came to the end of Bermondsey Street shock hit her like a bomb blast. She was about to cut across one of the many small side streets leading into Abbey Street, but she couldn’t find one of them. Where was Larnaca Street? Stanworth Street? There was nothing left. Instead she was forced to cross a moraine of tumbled bricks, stone boulders and splintered timber. Where rows of terraced houses ought to have been, was instead a wide tract of wasteland, littered with rubble, heaped with pyramids of charred beams, punctuated by twisted metal. In one street, only the back wall of a row of houses was left standing – a patchwork mural of water- and fire-damaged wallpapers.

She pushed on, astonished that in the twenty months since the war’s end so few areas had been cleared. But in those that had, no sign was left of their former occupants or usage, all trace of the life that had gone on in that place had been eradicated. The cleared sites looked somehow more forlorn than the jumble of walls and collapsed roofs. At least they remained a memorial to the life that had been lived before the war.

About the Author:

Mary Gibson was brought up in Bermondsey, London – the setting for her novels, Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts, Jam & Roses, and Gunner Girls and Fighter Boys. Find out more at

Blog Tour: The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry @AvonBooksUK

Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: September 7, 2017

Publisher: Avon

Genre: Women’s Fiction 


**Take a trip to the Yorkshire village of Burley Bridge, where a new arrival is going to shake things up…**
Growing up in a quiet Yorkshire village, Roxanne couldn’t wait to escape and find her place in the world in London. As a high-powered fashion editor she lives a glamorous life of perennial singlehood – or so it seems to her sister Della. But when Roxanne gets her heart broken by a fashion photographer, she runs away, back to Della’s welcoming home above her bookshop in Burley Bridge.

But Burley Bridge, Roxanne discovers, is even quieter than she remembered. There’s nothing to do, so Roxanne agrees to walk Della’s dog Stanley. It’s on these walks that Roxanne makes a startling discovery: the people who live in Burley Bridge are, well, just people – different from the fashion set she’s used to, but kind and even interesting. Michael, a widower trying to make a go of a small bakery, particularly so. Little by little, cupcake by cupcake, Roxanne and Michael fall into a comforting friendship.

Could there be a life for Roxanne after all, in the place she’s spent 46 years trying to escape?

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane! I have an excerpt to share today. 


She peered at him squiffily, wondering if there had been a trace of sarcasm in his voice. No, she was just being paranoid, and no wonder – it had been a terrible day, so of course she’d drunk too much and was feeling sensitive. But what the hell? She was tottering off now and dancing, still on her own, feeling happy and light and not caring that Sean had just thrown her a concerned look, and was shaking his head and muttering into someone’s ear, or that she was one of the oldest women in the room.

Sean waggled his hand to beckon her over but Roxanne just laughed and turned away. How boring he was, never venturing onto the dance floor. Age didn’t matter one bit! Britt was beside her now; skinny, sexy Britt, who Sean reckoned to be around forty, although no one was sure and she refused to divulge her age.

Roxanne glanced back at Sean and cried, ‘C’mon, it’s your party! Come and dance!’ He just gave her an inscrutable look and disappeared back into the crowd.

Now more people had joined Roxanne and Britt on the dance floor: Johnny, Serena, Kate, Louie and a couple of new girls from Roxanne’s preferred model agency. They were all dancing and whooping, hair flying, and nothing mattered to Roxanne anymore. Not until she glimpsed a new arrival who was looking around expectantly. Marsha! What was she doing there? Sean didn’t even know her. Roxanne stopped dancing and stared, realising now that Marsha hadn’t come alone, and that Tina Court was hovering at her side. Tina, who’d been hired as the new fashion-director-in-chief! Roxanne had seen her at enough events to recognise her, even in dim light. She was a tiny woman, bird-like with pointy features and brows plucked to the point of near-invisibility. Her long, straight black hair hung in a glossy sheet, and her wincingly tight outfit comprised a shimmery cobalt blue dress with a silver belt and towering nude heels. Marsha was still wearing the same cream shirt and dark skirt she had had on all day. Now the two women were laughing together as if enjoying a particularly hilarious joke.

Roxanne glanced around wildly for Sean, seized by an urge to demand to know why they were here. Okay, so Britt had probably pulled together the guest list, but Sean must have been involved at some point. He’d have been happy to delegate responsibility for the bar staff, the DJ and drinks – but not who was coming. Maybe Britt had insisted Sean invited Marsha, with her being an editor of a glossy magazine now? Roxanne supposed that made sense. But why Tina – the one Roxanne was apparently being so brave and stoical about? Her blood seemed to pulse at her temples as she watched them accept drinks from a waiter and gaze around as if they were utterly entitled to be there.

‘Okay, Rox?’ That was Serena, gently touching her arm.

Roxanne flinched. ‘Yes, I’m fine . . .’ She tried to carry on dancing, realising how terribly drunk she was now, and aware of several glances in her direction. She needed water or more of that puffed rice. It was too hot in here, that was the trouble; lately, her internal thermostat seemed to have gone haywire. She tottered away and stepped outside, onto the red metal fire escape where she inhaled the evening air. From here, she took in the view of London; it was unusually warm, even for late May, verging on stuffy. Perhaps a storm was brewing.

Blog Tour: Excerpt from If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer Armentrout

I’m thrilled to welcome you to my first of two stops on the blog tour for If There’s No Tomorrow. Today I have an excerpt to share but next month I’ll be back with a review as well. Make sure to check out TLC Book Tours for the rest of the tour schedule where you can find a mix of other excerpts and reviews! 

Goodreads|Amazon|Barnes and Noble

Release date: September 5, 2017

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: YA


Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications, and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when she and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?


Chapter 9: Middle to End

My face caught aflame as I balled my hands into fists.

“Yeah, neither of you have a clue,” Abbi shot back.

Keith’s dark brows flew up. “Oh baby, I would get down on my knees right here and now if you’d let me prove to you just how good I am at getting girls—”

“That’s all I need to hear to know you have no idea what you’re doing.” Abbi raised her hand, silencing him. “If you did, you wouldn’t have to announce it.”

“She has a point,” Sebastian commented.

Keith laughed as he reached out, yanking on Abbi’s pigtail. “I can totally prove you wrong. Give me five minutes.”

“Five minutes?” She snorted.

Snatching the towel out of Sebastian’s hands, I shoved past him and walked over to where the patio led to the pool house and the horseshoe pit to avoid doing something like, say, punching him in the throat.

“That was kind of stupid, wasn’t it?”

I twisted around and saw Cody standing there, a bottle in his hand. Why couldn’t I just hide in my corner and marinate in my foolishness alone? Was that too much to ask?

“Yeah,” I muttered.

“You look pretty pissed over it,” he commented.

I took a deep breath and lifted my gaze. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re very observant?”

He laughed softly, raising the bottle. “Hey, I’m not the one who threw you into the pool like a basketball.”

Wrapping the towel around my shoulders, I mentally counted to ten. Cody hadn’t done anything wrong. “So, what are you up to?”

“Nothing really.” He took a swig from the bottle. “Trying to decide if I feel up to staying here or heading elsewhere.”

While I wasn’t in the mood for conversation, I wasn’t doing anything else. Abbi was still arguing with Keith, and Sebastian was with Phillip and Megan, by the lounge chairs. “What else do you have planned?”

“No idea. Just not really feeling it today, you know?” Crossing his legs at the ankles, he leaned against the side of the pool house, looking out toward the pool. “You’re missing a friend, aren’t you?”

I nodded. “Dary. She’s doing the family thing in D.C.”

“Sounds like fun.” He didn’t sound like he believed that. “How late are you planning to be here?”

Dusk was settling so I knew it had to be past eight. I’d already stayed later than I anticipated. “Not much longer.” I pretty much just wanted to go home and eat the Pop Tarts Mom had picked up.

“You’re obviously not feeling it either.” He shifted his body toward mine. “We could steal Sebastian’s keys and go for a ride.”

I swallowed my snort. “Yeah, I don’t think that would be wise.”

“What?” A playful grin tugged at his lips. “It would fun.”

“Uh-huh.” I kicked off my flip flops, hoping the stone walkway was baked with enough heat they’d dry. “First off, pretty sure you’re not going to be able to steal the keys that are currently in the pocket of his shorts.”

“You have such little faith in me,” he replied. “I have sneaky fingers.”

“I’m sure you do, but since I’ve heard you’re back with Jessica, I seriously doubt she will be happy to hear that we stole Sebastian’s car together,” I told him. “And I really don’t want that kind of drama.”

“Damn, news travels fast, huh?” Cody shook his head. “Jessica can be… feisty.”

“That is a really tame description of Jessica,” I said, laughing a little. “Not trying to be mean or anything.”

“Nah, I get you.” He nudged my arm slightly. “We’re about to get company.”

I didn’t get a chance to look behind me.

“Hey.” Sebastian said from behind me. “Am I interrupting something?”

Tensing, I refused to let myself turn around and look at him. “Cody and I are talking.”

“I can see that.” Sebastian moved to stand beside me, so close I could feel the warmth radiating off his body. “About what?”

“We were plotting nefarious things,” Cody answered.

Sebastian snickered. “Do you even know what nefarious means?”

“Damn, Seb.” Cody coughed out a laugh. Stepping to the side, he tipped his bottle at me. “Have fun with all of that.” He then pointed at Sebastian with the mouth of the bottle. He grinned. “Good to hear you got extra practice tomorrow with the coach. You’ve been gone all month. Don’t want to be holding the team back.”

“You don’t have to worry about me holding anyone back,” Sebastian replied.

“Sure, sure,” Cody said as he pivoted and walked away.

I glanced at Sebastian. “That was kind of rude, don’t you think?”

“Not really. Figured I’d come over here and save you from being stuck in a conversation with him.”

“I don’t recall sending up an SOS signal.”

“Wow.” He stepped in front of me just as the twinkling lights strung along the trees turned on. His brows were furrowed together. “That was a little—”

“I’d proceed with caution with what you’re about to say,” I warned, staring up at him. “Choose your words wisely.”

He opened his mouth and then snapped it shut. Turning sideways, he whipped off his baseball cap and thrust his fingers through his hair before he pulled the hat back on. “Are you ticked off because I interrupted you guys?”

Oh. Yeah. That was the reason. I could feel my cheeks heating up, and I was grateful that the outdoor lights weren’t that bright. Frustration swept over my skin like an army of fire ants. “Whatever.”

“Wait.” He laughed, but that sound was hoarse. “Are you, like, interested in Cody?”


“Are you into Cody?” he repeated.

I tugged the towel closer. I could not have heard him correctly. I’d just kissed him and he was asking me this? “Why would it matter if I was?”

He looked like I admitted to dropping out of school to pursue a career as a professional street performer. “Cody is a player, Lena. He’s been with half the school. He’s back with—”

“I know what he is, but what I don’t know is why you care,” I shot back, struggling to keep my voice low.

Sebastian stared down at me, disbelief etched into his face. “You’ve never been interested in him. Ever. And now you are?”

Okay, so I wasn’t interested in Cody whatsoever, but this conversation was ridiculous. “Why are we talking about this? Weren’t you hanging all over Skylar last night?”

Sebastian’s chin jerked to the side. “What does that have to do with the conversation we’re having?”

The breath I took scorched a hole into my chest, and I could taste the metallic bitterness and rancid jealousy, feelings that had existed beneath the surface for far too long. Feelings I’d hidden and pretended didn’t exist for years. But now it was like I was stripped bare, my skin flayed open, and there was just no more hiding.

He rubbed his palm across his chest, right above his heart. “I actually cannot believe we’re having this conversation.”

I jolted. “You can’t believe we’re having this conversation? You started it and, you know what, I don’t want to talk to you right now. I’m mad at you.”

“Mad at me?” His brows flew up. “About what?”

Dropping the towel, I looked down at myself pointedly. A small puddle of water had formed under me. I knew in the back of my head, that being pissed at him for throwing me into the pool had nothing to do with the actual act. Hell, he’d done that before. I’d actually pushed him into Keith’s pool a few times. But I wanted to be mad, because being mad was better than embarrassed and hurt and disappointed.

“You’re seriously mad at me for that?” He stepped back. “What the hell? Are you—?”

“I kissed you!” The moment I said those words, a knot formed in the back of my throat.

His jaw tightened as he lowered his head toward mine. “What?”

“I kissed you on Tuesday, and I… I didn’t mean to. It happened and before—before I could say anything, you practically ran away. And I thought you were going to kiss me when you threw me in the pool,” I said, breathing heavy and feeling a little sick. “That’s what I thought you were doing.”

In the failing light, his eyes looked like the ocean at night, a dark and deep endless blue. “Lena, I thought—”


He jerked back at the sound of Skylar’s voice and then he looked over his shoulder, chest rising and falling deeply.

Oh for crap’s sake…

She was coming down the walkway, clad in a strapless dress that skimmed the top of her thighs. She was walking so fast her hair lifted off her shoulders. It looked like she was prowling down a runway. “There you are. I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

Pressing my lips together, I fought the urge to point out that we weren’t exactly hidden and not hard to find, so she seriously didn’t need to look everywhere.

Skylar had that Miss America smile on her face as she walked up to us. She placed her hand on Sebastian’s arm, and I focused on the ground. “Can we talk for a second?” she asked.

I briefly squeezed my eyes shut, knowing he was going to say yes, and it was time for me to end this conversation before any more serious damage was done. I shoved my feet into my flip flops. “I’ve got to go over… there.”

Sebastian turned to me. “Lena—”

“See you in a bit,” I cut in, forcing a smile at Skylar.

She smiled back, and I think she said something, but I didn’t hear her over the roaring in my ears as I hurried back toward the pool, immediately tracking down Abbi.

“You okay?” She was sitting on the edge of a lounge chair. Keith was leaning back in it, and at some point he must’ve decided the speedos had to go, since he was now wearing shorts and a tee shirt. It was a definite improvement.

“Yeah.” I cleared my throat. “Totally fine.”

She looked doubtful as she glanced back toward the pool house. She opened her mouth, but I cut her off. “We’ll talk tomorrow.”

“Okay.” She patted the space next to her. “Sit with me.”

I sat on the edge of the chair, with my back to the pool house, and I didn’t look over my shoulder. Not once. And as I sat there, listening to Keith and Abbi attempt to out-snark each other, I told myself that everything that happened with Sebastian wouldn’t matter. Tonight sucked. But tomorrow would be a better day.

Tomorrow had to be.

About the Author:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in West Virginia.

When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. She shares her home with her husband, his K-9 partner named Diesel and her hyper Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent her time writing short stories, therefore explaining her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes Young Adult Contemporary, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal and Romance. She writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J.Lynn.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press) the Lux Series (Entangled Teen) and the upcoming YA Don’t Look Back (2014) and untitled YA (Fall 2014) from Disney/Hyperion. She is also published with Harlequin Teen and HarperCollins.


Blog Tour: Lie to Me by J. T. Ellison @thrillerchick

Release date: September 5, 2017

Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Psychological Thriller 


Domestic noir at its best. Readers will devour this stunning page-turner about the disintegration of a marriage as grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the facade of the perfect literary couple. New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison takes her exceptional writing to a new level with this breakout novel. 

They built a life on lies 

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

I’m so excited to be kicking off the excerpt tour for Lie to Me! This tour will have excerpts in consecutive order, the entire schedule will be at the end of the post if you want to follow along. 


Something’s Missing

Franklin, Tennessee


Ethan found the note ten minutes after he rolled out of bed that Tuesday, the Tuesday that would change everything. He came downstairs yawning, scratching his chest, to…nothing. Empty space, devoid of wife.

Sutton always began her morning at the table with a bowl of cereal, a piece of fruit, and a cup of tea and read the paper, scoffing at the innumerable typos—the paper was going under, paying for decent copyediting was the least of their worries. A bowl full of cereal, a glass of milk and a spoon would be laid out for him, the sports page folded neatly by his seat. Always. Always.

But this morning, there was no evidence Sutton had been in the kitchen. No newspaper, no bowl. No wife.

He called for her. There was no answer. He searched through the house. Her bag was in her office, her cellphone, her laptop. Her license was stashed in her small wallet, all her credit cards present and accounted for, a twenty folded in half shoved behind them.

She must have gone for a run.

He felt a spark of pleasure at the thought. Sutton, once, had been a health nut. She’d run or walked or done yoga every day, something physical, something to keep her body moving and in shape. And what a shape—the woman was a knockout, willowy and lithe, strong legs and delicate ankles, tendons tight and gleaming like a thoroughbred. A body she sculpted to match his own, to fit with him.

Ethan Montclair couldn’t have a dog for a wife, no. He needed someone he could trot out at cocktail parties who looked smashing in a little black dress. And not only looked good, but sounded good. He needed a partner on all levels—physical and intellectual. Maybe it was shallow of him, but he was a good looking man, drew a lot of attention, and not only did he want his wife to be stunning, he wanted her to be smart, too. And Sutton fit the bill.

He knew they made a powerful, attractive couple. Looks and brains and success, so much success. That was their thing.

After Dashiell, she’d bounced back into shape like the champion racehorse she was, though later, when their world collapsed, she’d become tired and bloated and swollen with medications and depression, and she no longer took any interest in being beautiful and fit.

That she’d decided to start running again gave him hope. So much hope.

Spirits lifted, he went back to the sunny, happy kitchen and got his own bowl, his own milk. Made a pot of tea, whistling. Went for the stevia—no sugar for the health-conscious Montclairs, no, never.

That was when he saw it. Small. White. Lined. Torn from a spiral bound notebook, a Clairefontaine, Sutton’s favorite for the smooth, lovely paper.

This…thing…was incongruous with the rest of their spotless kitchen. Sutton was above all things a pathological neatnik. She’d never just leave something lying about.

All the happiness fled. He knew. He just knew. He’d been all wrong. She hadn’t gone running.

He picked up the note.


Dear Ethan,

I’m sorry to do this to you, but I need some time away. I’ve been unhappy, you know that. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Forgive me for being a coward. Forgive me, for so many things.

Don’t look for me.



She was gone.

He felt something squeezing in his chest, a pain of sorts, and realized that his heart had just broken. He’d always thought that a stupid, silly term, but now he knew. It could happen, it was happening. He was being torn in two, torn to shreds. No wonder there were rites warning against this—What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

God was ripping him apart in punishment, and he deserved it. He deserved it all.

He didn’t cry. There were no tears left for either of them to shed.

He put the note down carefully, as if it were a bomb that might go off with the wrong touch. Went to their bedroom. Nothing seemed out of place. Her brush, her makeup case, her toothbrush, all lined up carefully on the marble. Her suitcase was in the closet.

He went back downstairs to her office, at the back of the house. Doubled checked.

Her laptop was on her desk.

Her cellphone was in the charger.

Her purse was on the floor next to her chair.

Her wallet inside, the smiling DMV photo that made her look like a model.

Like a zombie, he moved back to the kitchen. He opened the refrigerator and got out the milk. Poured cereal in the bowl. Dropped the stevia into his tea. Sat at the empty table, stared at the spot where his wife’s head should have been.

What was he supposed to do now? Where could she be? He ran through the possibilities, the places she loved, discarding one after another. Surely he was wrong in his thinking. Surely she’d simply run away, to one of her friends. That’s where she’d gone. Should he call Ivy and see if Sutton was camped in her kitchen, instead of his? Should he give her some time, and space, like she asked?

She left without her things, Ethan. Sutton’s lifelines are her laptop and phone. It’s her office, her world.

A dawning realization. Sutton hadn’t shaken the depression, not completely. She was still prone to fits of melancholy. She might have done something stupid, crazy. She’d tried once before, after…Oh, God. Her words. Perhaps she was telling him exactly what she’d done.

I’m a coward. Forgive me. Don’t look for me.

He threw the bowl of cereal across the room.

“Bloody fucking hell. You selfish, heartless bitch.”

Ahh doesn’t that pique your interest?! I’ll have a review when it’s my turn on that portion of the tour in a few weeks. 

About the Author: 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI” with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the Emmy Award-winning show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband.

Here’s the excerpt schedule: 

Monday, August 21st: Novel Gossip

Tuesday, August 22nd: Jathan and Heather

Wednesday, August 23rd: The Book Diva’s Reads

Thursday, August 24th: Broken Teepee

Friday, August 25th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Monday, August 28th: Books and Spoons

Tuesday, August 29th: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Wednesday, August 30th: Bewitched Bookworms

Thursday, August 31st: Books a la Mode

Friday, September 1st: Moonlight Rendezvous

Thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for having me!