Discovering Delilah by @Melissa_Foster @BrookCottageBks #NA #Romance Harborside Nights series

Discovering Delilah (Harborside Nights, #2)Discovering Delilah by Melissa Foster

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Discovering Delilah is book 2 in the Harborside Nights series for New Adults and beyond. Delilah and her twin brother are still reeling from the sudden death of their parents in a tragic road accident on the night after their graduation. They’ve had to grow up fast, take responsibilities and trying to work through their grief.

Unable to stay at the Connecticut family home because it was too full of memories, they moved to the family seaside holiday home at Harborside. Here they take on running the Taproom a bar business owned by their parents. They are surrounded by their friends who support them with all they need to deal with.

Delilah struggles to be strong, she is laden with guilt over her parents death. She had just revealed her sexual orientation was towards girls and their shock and disapproval made her wish they were dead, then just days later they were killed in a drunk driving accident and Delilah blames herself.

In a generation of friends who accept gays, lesbians and bi-sexual relationships Delilah slowly takes baby steps towards her future. Grief counselling offers alternative ideas and a friend, Janessa, gives Delilah the confidence to approach new best friend Ashley with her feelings.

The book is written in alternative points of view from Delilah and then Ashley. Melissa writes with great sensitivity and thought as the book deeply explores same sex relationships and young people “coming out”, as well as showing the changing world of acceptance to many differing sexual relations. The romance is the main focus of the book and the stories of other characters will continue in the next books in the series.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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HARBORSIDE NIGHTS is a sexy, hot, and evocatively real New Adult Romance series that follows a group of friends who have known one another for years as “summer” friends, and now come together after college to build their lives. They’re tough, edgy, and accepting—most of the time. This series is written in the same loving, raw, and emotional voice readers have come to love by New York Times & USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Melissa Foster.

In DISCOVERING DELILAH…

After the death of her parents on the day of her college graduation, Delilah Armstrong thought she could finally follow her heart and come out to her closest friends, but the guilt of going against her parents’ beliefs haunts her. The feelings she has for her best friend, Ashley, are stronger than anything she’s felt before, but Delilah has never even kissed a girl, and fear stops her at every turn.

Ashley Carver promised herself that she would never again date another girl who wasn’t out, but that was before she met intoxicatingly sweet and sexy Delilah.

When another girl offers to teach Delilah the ropes, it changes Delilah’s whole world and gives her the courage to go after the only girl she really wants. But coming out isn’t as easy as Delilah imagined, and moving past her parents’ death and the feelings of guilt she is left with is even harder. The intense passion between Ashley and Delilah is too strong to deny, but coming together means risking everything.

Discovering Delilah is an edgy, evocative, romantic story of friendship, family, and the courage to love.

Buy links

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON UK

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Kobo

Google Play

Smashwords

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Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

 

Visit Melissa on The Women’s NestFostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

 

Authors Links:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Goodreads

 

GIVEAWAY

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In Catching Cassidy…
Wyatt Armstrong never imagined that instead of celebrating his college graduation, he and his twin sister would be dealing with the death of their parents. Then again, Wyatt had never been one to think past tomorrow. He heads to their summer home in Harborside, Massachusetts, with his best friend Cassidy Lowell in tow, to spread his parents’ ashes and to try to figure out his next step.

Six foot two, infuriatingly handsome, and flirtatious, Wyatt Armstrong has always been there for Cassidy, helping her pass her classes and fend off unwanted advances, while driving her insane with his one-night stands–but that’s what best friends are for, isn’t it? Having each other’s backs. There was never any doubt that she would accompany him to his family’s summer home–even if her jealous boyfriend is giving her hell for it. But he doesn’t have anything to be jealous of…or does he?

It’s impossible to ignore the sizzling heat between them as Wyatt and Cassidy get even closer, but Cassidy knows Wyatt’s past, and she has a real job to begin in the fall. Wyatt may be a sure thing for the summer, but Cassidy needs more. For the first time in his life, Wyatt is forced to look toward the future if he doesn’t want to lose the one woman who’s shared his past and owns his heart.

The prize is the previous book in the series Catching Cassidy
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT The Cunning Woman’s Cup by Sue Hewitt @sue9631 #bookreview

Today’s team review comes from E.L. Lindley, she blogs at http://www.lindleyreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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E.L. chose to read and review The Cunning Woman’s Cup by Sue Hewitt

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The Cunning Woman’s Cup is such a rich and layered read, I hardly know where to start. In any other hands, the complex structure and stories within stories might have lacked cohesion but Sue Hewitt asserts herself from the onset as a writer who is in complete control of her craft. I was in her thrall from the very first page.

 

The story, on the surface, is a simple one – the tale of two elderly women, Alice and Margaret, who meet by chance and forge an enduring friendship. The story ripples out from the two women, however, and incorporates other stories of people whose lives interconnect with theirs. The story is set mainly in the village of Duddo in Northumberland, where a stone circle overlooks the village, lending a mysterious and spiritual atmosphere. The ‘cup’ of the title is unearthed which leads to the past impinging on the present and setting in motion dramatic changes.

 

Alice and Margaret are polar opposites. Alice has been widowed after a long and happy marriage and has spent her life caring for others. She is a traditional woman and fears ideas that challenge her Christian way of life. Margaret, by contrast, is an independent, spiky retired professor, who never married, choosing instead to travel extensively. One of the most enjoyable and life affirming aspects of the novel is the fact that Alice is in her late 60s and Margaret in her 80s but they still live full and exciting lives. There is not even a whiff of a stereotypical elderly person in this book, Hewitt’s senior citizens are all full of passion and zest for life.

 

The novel concerns itself with both spiritual and everyday issues. Alice’s traditional views are shaken by the arrival in the village of Avian, a psychic healer. Many people in Duddo, including Alice’s late husband hold pagan beliefs, celebrating the land and nature as represented by the stone circle. I found Hewitt’s exploration of grief and the afterlife to be particularly poignant.

 

At the same time, Hewitt highlights many modern dilemmas, not least the way in which elderly people can often be ignored and lonely. She also depicts the differences between rural and city life and how seeming success can bring hollow rewards as people try to buy happiness. We also see how young people can become lost without guidance and purpose. Hewitt touches on several very relevant social issues in a way that is both realistic and moving.

 

The structure of the novel is very interesting and clearly demonstrates Hewitt’s skill as a writer. Each chapter begins with a first person account from Mordwand, an ancient Celt who is the ‘Cunning Woman’ of the title. She survives being aborted and abandoned before being taken in by the old medicine woman who performed the abortion. Ironically, she then takes over from the woman as an abortionist and healer. Mordwand’s angry spirit lives on amongst the stones with terrible consequences for one family in particular. After the short account from Mordwand, Hewitt switches to 3rd person narrative, which allows her to develop all of the characters in her novel equally. In addition to this, some of the story is also told via letters sent between Alice and Margaret.

 

I loved this novel and found myself totally immersed in the life of Duddo, so much so I felt almost bereft when I finished it. It is a warm, deceptively cosy read which snakes its way into the reader’s heart, raising some provocative philosophical questions.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

Sunday Bookshelf Dreams Of Empire by Justin Richards #DrWho @SundayBlogShare

Sunday Bookshelf

Sunday Books

This feature is to get more shout-outs for books that are sitting of my bookshelf waiting to be read.

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Book Description

Landing on a barren asteroid, the Doctor and his friends discover the final pages of a drama that has torn apart an empire are being played out.

Who is the man in the mask, and how are his chess games affecting life and death in his prison? What is the secret of the knights in armor that line the bleak walls of the settlement. And what is the nature of the alien ship approaching — and what will it want when it arrives?

Soon the TARDIS crew find themselves under siege with a deadly robotic race and human traitors to defeat — and the future of an entire stellar empire hangs in the balance: if the Doctor cannot triumph it will become a force not for good, but for evil.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Piano from a 4th Storey Window by @jmortonpotts #bookreview

Today’s team review comes from Alison she blogs at alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com

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Alison chose to read and review Piano from a 4th storey window by Jenny Morton Potts

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‘Piano from a Fourth Storey Window’ by Jenny Morton Potts

Set in Brighton, this lovely, beautifully written, at times funny novel tells the story of the romance between eccentric bookshop owner Lawrence Fyre and teacher and ex-Jehovah’s Witness Marin Strang.

The title of this novel is from a song lyric – ‘love is a piano dropped from a fourth storey window and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ The quirky title is spot on for a quirky read although Marin is the right place at the right time when she meets Lawrence.

Their relationship is the backbone of this story and it’s unusual because they are unusual. Their relationship is touching in its honesty, in its realistic ups and downs, its misunderstandings and its genuine warmth. I like Lawrence and Marin immensely, and the parts of the book that gave detail and insight into their pasts were, for me, the most enjoyable aspects of this novel. Lawrence’s relationship with his sister is brilliantly portrayed and is really touching to read, as is Marin’s strained relationship with her father.

There were, however, some aspects that I was less keen on. Lawrence’s imaginary audience, the ‘ladies and gentlemen’, didn’t really work for me and neither did the imaginary servant ‘Lolita’. The sections involving these characters were rather drawn out and didn’t add much to the story – it’s quite a long novel and I felt that these sections were unnecessary and could have been cut.

I also felt that some of the minor characters weren’t fleshed out enough and verged on the stereotypical.

The author also switched tenses a great deal. I wasn’t sure if this was stylistic or a mistake – if it was stylistic, then it really didn’t work for me.

That aside, this was, on the whole, an enjoyable read – and one that I’d recommend.

Four out of five stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

Book reviews in magazines I write for in August #bookreviews

The following books made it to Fleet Life magazine this month.

FL Aug 15

For the online edition go to http://www.fleetlife.org.uk load the online directory and turn to page 28.

The Family Trap by Joanne Phillips

Rise Of The Enemy by Rob Sinclair

Old Town Nights by Linda Lee Williams

Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara

Country Affairs by Zara Stonely

The next set of books made it into the August edition of The Elvetham Heath Directory,

EHD Aug 15

The online edition can be found at http://www.ehd.org.uk load the online directory and turn to page 22

Big Men’s Boots by Emily Barraso

The Cunning Woman’s Cup by Sue Hewitt

Will O’ The Wisp by C. S Boyack

Dream On by Terry Tyler

From Lime Street To Yirgacheffe by Robert Leigh

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT James Bone and The Italian Job by @FBellAuthor

Today’s team review comes from Alison, she blogs at alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com

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Alison has been reading children’s book James Bone and the Italian Job by Frank Bell

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‘James Bone and the Italian Job’ by Frank Bell

The queen’s been kidnapped and there’s only one dog that can save the day – James Bone of CI6 (that’s Canine Intelligence, of course!).

This adventure for children is introduced by Winston, a Very British Bulldog who lives at 11 Downing Street with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He hears the story from Humphrey, the Downing Street cat, who is the first animal to learn of the kidnapping. Humphrey goes straight to James Bone and the race to save the queen is on.

With a host of human and animal characters, including Sherlock Holmes and a Mafia Don, this is an exciting and entertaining read. It’s well-paced and has enough going on to keep the most demanding reader happy.

Some young readers, however, might need to ask Mum or Dad who a few of the characters are based on and I’m not sure that they will understand all the James Bond references. So be prepared for plenty of questions!

Four out of five stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

Would You Buy Or Pass? #FridayFiveChallenge How To Bake by @PaulHollywood

Welcome to my Friday Five Challenge

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Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

(then write a little analysis about your decision)

Much of Britain is gearing up for this year’s Great British Bake Off which is back on our screens on Wednesday August 5th – So excited!

Apologies to the rest of the world, but much of Britain goes a bit gaga over this programme. So what better way to choose a book?

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Book Description

The last word in baking from the nation’s favourite expert  Umm! Is that It?

Price; I think you need a hard back cover of a cook book for the best effect £9.00 / $29.35 (Ouch!)

Reviews; 925 from Amazon Uk (700 of them 5*) 44 reviews from Amazon.com

Would I BUY or PASS? …….Buy this week because it’s very topical and who doesn’t need a new cookbook? I can always give it away as a present.

Analysis

So if you are a fan of The Great British Bake Off and Paul Hollywood then this book cover has it all, and the cakes seem to be just an added extra. Let’s face it ladies, Paul’s what we’re looking at here. It’s definitely him and the TV series selling this book because the book description just doesn’t bother trying, “The last word in baking from the nation’s favourite expert.”

I do enjoy baking and I know the nation stocks up on ingredients during the series, so what better book to have by my side? Even if it’s just to check out Paul while I wait each week for my hour long dose. From reviews it looks like it’s the UK fans buying this book, plus we are more likely to afford a copy than the overpriced version on Amazon.com.

A BUY from me this week – Anyone else a fan?

Here are links to other challengers taking part this week

Cathy chose #Histfic – https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/friday-five-challenge-5/

Liz checked out books with “Sea” in the them – https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/friday-five-challenge-7/comment-page-1/#comment-156

Shelley checked out books after an “Anniversary” search – http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/07/31/buy-or-pass-an-anniversary-post-for-the-fridayfivechallenge/comment-page-1/#comment-551

Luccia’s search led her to a gripping mystery – http://lucciagray.com/2015/07/31/buy-or-pass-the-dead-key-fridayfivechallenge-rosieamber1-thedeadkey/

Barb found a mix of Zombies and Fairy Tales and made them sound great – http://barbtaub.com/2015/07/31/zombies-fairytales-fridayfivechallenge-from-rosieamber1/comment-page-1/#comment-137443

Terry found a short WW2 book which is FREE on Amazon – http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/would-you-buy-or-pass-10.html?spref=tw

 

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT The Beauty Thief by @RachaelRitchey #Bookreview

Today’s second team review is from our YA reviewer, Cookiebooker, she blogs here http://cookiebookreviews.wordpress.com/

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Cookie has been reading The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey

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The Beauty Thief – Rachael Ritchey

 

The Beauty Thief follows the story of Princess Caityn, a down-to-earth girl who is to be married the Prince Theiandar in a few days’ time although an upsetting event befalls and leaves the royal families no choice but to postpone the wedding until all can be resolved.

Each of Theiandar’s men in his guard have their own unique traits which all work together to aid Caityn in returning to her former self.

On their journey around the Twelve Realms multiple events occur often leaving the group in a situation, whether that be many soldiers harmed or an undecided plan they can’t let it interfere on their mission.

As the reader, you feel for Caityn when she undergoes this change and hope that Theiandar and his guard can complete their quest before the Lunar Eclipse.

I found the story enjoyable although not as fast-paced as I am used to but it did pick up towards the end of the novel. Everything is revealed, who the Beauty Thief is and what his plans are and how they can potentially be stopped by Theiandar.

Thank you to Rosie Amber for sending me this book review.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Thief’s Gambit by @scottmarlowe #bookreview

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry chose to read and review Thief’s Gambit by Scott Marlowe

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4.5 out of 5 stars

In this further adventure of the Assassin Without A Name, our hero is recruited by his ex love, Liz, for a special mission.

As with the other novelette length books in this series, I felt that its charm lay not so much in the plot itself as in the writing of the incidental parts.  I am not particularly interested in reading long, blow by blow accounts of fights or daring escapes, but I love the bits about the Assassin’s life, his thoughts, etc.  I like to picture him in his ‘working gear’, climbing over his rooftop empire like a cat, unseen by the Black Guard who seek him below, and reading little snippets about his life, like his secret hideout in the deplorable Shambles area of town, where one takes one’s life in one’s hands simply by entering its streets…

Scott Marlowe has invented a marvellous character, and writes beautifully, with wit and a wonderful turn of phrase.  I’d like to see a novella telling about the Assassin’s early life, something that makes more use of the writer’s powers of observation, character portrayal and presentation of atmosphere.  Again, this reminded me very much of some of Roald Dahl’s stories; the style of writing is very similar. Good stuff!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Unhinged by @shelleypickens #YA #Thriller #bookreview

Today’s second team review is from Barb she blogs here http://barbtaub.com/

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Barb has been reading Unhinged by Shelley Pickens

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My Review: 4  stars out of 5

Is it clinical depression if you’re cursed? Aimee Richardson, a sixteen-year-old high school student, should know. After all, she’s been through hell. It killed her. But she emerged, still cursed but with a loving adoptive mother, best friend, and even a boyfriend. Life should be good, right? Well, not if she’s still doomed to experience the memories of people she touches.

Careful to wear gloves and avoid skin-to-skin contact, she keeps even those she loves at a distance. But when people at her school begin to fall prey to a mysterious “illness” that drives them to homicidal madness, she has to question even the precarious life she’s carved out for herself. Sixteen years of experience taught her to be suspicious of others, but when those she loves become the next victims of the plague, she’s forced to turn to two strangers for help. Brett, another student at her high school calls her his “dark princess” and seems driven to provide assistance. And Dr. Evans, a forensic pathologist, seems strangely familiar with the specifics of Aimee’s curse.

I haven’t read the first volume in this series, so there are a few details I don’t know. But for the most part, author Shelley Pickens provides just enough backstory to make Unhinged work on its own. As dark fantasy, magic in Unhinged is a curse. The threat is that it will be used to mind rape the populace into submission. Apparently, it can only be defeated by the most powerful thing in the (YA) universe—love.

I ignore the gun and look David straight in the eyes. “You’re right. You’ll never be my equal. Because you have no idea how to love.”

David laughs. “Love? Who cares about love? I’m about to be the most powerful man in the world. You can take your love and shove it.”

imgresAimee is, for lack of a better term, the Eeyore—the teen version of the gloomy grey donkey of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. She only wears black, reminds us with virtually every breath that she’s cursed (not to mention a social disaster), and has unrelievedly pessimistic trust and self-esteem issues. “But cursed people don’t get happy endings. Sadly, the cursed never live long enough to see them.” However, we also see a different Aimee through the eyes of the people who value her. And over the course of Unhinged, the Aimee we initially meet has to change and grow into the person everyone else sees, and who is willing to save everyone because she’s the only one who can. “Well, screw that. If I have to die to save the ones I love, than that is what I choose–no one else.”

The pace stutters a bit in places, with the story setup—numerous examples of fellow students and others succumbing to the “sickness”—being great for shock content but a bit repetitive. Although there are a surprising number of references to faces covered with various emotions and voices that drip things, the writing is for the most part clear, competent, and often lovely. Take, for example, Aimee’s reliving of her boyfriend’s memories from the first time he sets eyes on her:

“What I thought was the worst thing that could happen to him, he sees as the best. Perhaps we are all destined to fall for that one person that is able to see us as we wish we could see ourselves—perfectly imperfect.”

There are a few plot holes (nobody ever seems to just pull out their cellphone and summon emergency assistance), some gory scenes, and much foreshadowing for the next book in the series, but for the most part Unhinged is just what it sets out to be: a dark, occasionally gruesome, thrill ride and a great example of the genre. I would give it four stars and look forward to more from this talented author.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com