Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Excerpt: Wrecking us Saving you by Leaona Luxx

Adult, Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date:March 8, 2018
Published By:  Indie
Website:Leaona Luxx 

Wrecking Us Saving You on Goodreads

Where to get:


Have you ever wanted to go back?

I’ve contemplated it every day for the last six years. 

Knowing once I did, I’d wreck everything all over again, but still—I dream. 

Until last night.

My past came back to me. 

As I finished my set, looking through the smoke and flashing lights, I see him. The wreckage still written on Chord’s face, tells me hell’s coming. I can’t erase the hurt my leaving caused, and I’ll be damned if I let him wreck us even more. 

But when I utter one word, I know we’re finished before we can even begin to pick up the pieces. 





“Talk to me.”

“Nothing, brother. Are you sure she was coming to school after?” I know Thayer’s trying to help, but so help me—I can’t with this.

“Yes, I’m positive. You know she would tell me,” I growl.

“Okay, alright. Just double checking.” She sighs. “What are you doing?”

“I just turned onto the highway, I’m hauling ass to her house.”

“Please be careful, you know how Lisa feels about you,” Thayer warns me with good intentions.

“Fuck her, like she gives a shit about Sarah,” I bark at her. “I’m sorry. I’m fucking scared.”

“Brother, I’m scared too. But you have to calm down, you’re not gonna do her any good being this upset.” She tries to calm me as best she can, but it’s not helping.

“I know!” I yell as the light turns green, and I spin my tires.

“Chord, slow down. You’ll not be any help if you wreck.” Her voice wavers as my stomach takes a pitfall.

I turn into her mobile home park, driving straight to her place. I shove my stick into park, licking my dry lips. “I’m here, give me five.” I don’t even let her answer before hanging up and jumping from my SUV.

I scan the area, looking for anyone who can tell me anything. Nothing, it’s like no one’s home. I take the steps two at a time. Pounding on the door the second I can. No answer.

I walk around the trailer, checking doors and windows, but there’s no sign of anyone. I rub my forehead, my heart racing. I close my eyes, trying to regain my senses. “Go home, maybe she’ll call,” I convince myself.

I drive the long way home, searching every bus stop and bench in the city. She’s nowhere to be found. There’s still no texts or a call. I’ve never been so pissed and frightened at the same time in my life. “Please, Lord, let her be alright. She means… everything to me.” I wipe the fledgling tears away as I make my way home.

I’m not even parked before One’s at my door. I shake my head. “She wasn’t there, One.” When my brother wraps his arms around me, I allow my fears to take me, and I cry.

“She’s gonna be alright, we’ll find her.” He pats my back, trying to calm my trembling body.

“Chord,” Dad calls my name, helping me to pull myself together. “We can’t make a formal report until tomorrow. Come on in, let me write down what you know.”

“Baby boy, come in, you’re a mess.” Mom slips her arm around my waist as One releases his hold.

“I know something’s wrong, I can feel it.” I stumble through the door.

We spend the rest of the evening going over everything I know. Her texts, where she was going, and the last time anyone heard from her. It was Thayer, she called my sister last. I’m a little surprised as to how I feel about that fact.

Watching as the sky turns dark, my body quakes with fear. Sarah hates the night, with good reason. I try to keep my mind busy, thinking of what could be happening to her has me freaking out.

I pace the foyer, waiting on Dad’s friend to arrive, he’s a detective. I refused to go to school today. It’s been twenty-four hours since I’ve heard from Sarah. I couldn’t even sleep last night, so school isn’t a priority.

About the Author

Leaona, also known as Lea, lives with her husband, Lu in southern WV. A mother of three sons and mother in law to three amazing woman. She enjoys spending time with her furbabies, Kaylea (cat) and Frankie (beagle), watching Carolina Panthers and Marshall University Football, reading, writing, gardening, crafts, NASCAR, TWD, HGTV, hot rods, and surf fishing.

Lea was inspired to write while she raised her family, never dreaming one day, she would be published. While loving all genres of books, Lea writes redeeming contemporary romance that are gritty and true to life. She draws from her life and loves to create her characters from everyday situations, proving everyone can be redeemed. 

Leaona (Lee-aw-na) released her first book in June 2016 upon the encouragement of her father, who passed away before seeing her dream come true. The Cove Series was followed by Highway 17 Series, all are standalone family sagas and intertwine.


Book Review: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

Adult, Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date:January 16, 2018
Published By:  Lake Union Publishing
Website:Barbara Claypole White 

The Promise Between Us on Goodreads

Where to get:


From the bestselling author of The Perfect Son comes a hopeful tale of redemption, renewal, and the promise of love.

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.


My family has left me. Or maybe I left them first. The lock on our bedroom door clicks, and Ringo whines. A new thought settles, one I don’t dispute. One I know is the truth. After months of uncertainty, of dread, of fear over who—or what—I’ve become, I have my answer. My husband is terrified of me. I am a monster.
“Art for me is about working through my need for perfection. I want it to be imperfect.” “But why?” “Perfection stops you from enjoying the wonder of what is. It snares you with unrealistic expectations. Tells you constantly things can only be a certain way, and that’s how you fall into the trap.” “What trap?” Maisie said. “Of always wanting everything to feel just so.”

The Promise Between Us, is a deeply riveting page turner.

It focuses on the horrific and devastating effects of mental illness if left untreated.

The author, Barbara Claypole White, delves deeply into her characters personalities and lives.

This book captures you from the beginning until it’s riveting conclusion. Truthfully, it stays with you beyond the last page.

Barbara lets you into the mind of someone with obsessive compulsive disorder just enough to give you a realistic look at what their life must be like, and then reigns it back a little so that you don’t shut the book in dismay. Katie Mack abandoned her young daughter when she was just an infant as thoughts of harming her swarmed her mind. She thought the girl would be safer without her, and by the time she got treatment and found herself in a semi-stable state, her husband had moved on and told their daughter that she was dead.

Over a decade later fate steps in and mother and daughter meet. Katie randomly comes back into contact with her daughter, only to realize that her own mental illness was now manifesting itself in her daughter. Her attempts to help her and deal with her own continuing issues make up the bulk of the story.

This story is a heartbreaking journey through mental illness and the many view points of the people who are effected by it. I adored it. Ten stars wouldn't be enough for this read. 

About the Author

Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family.

Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, and Echoes of Family. The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018.

She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity. To connect with Barbara, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com, or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook.

Monday, February 26, 2018

All About That Nonfiction

Every once in a while I go on a nonfiction kick. Not just any nonfiction kick, but biographies. And I need to know all the things. Typically, this comes in to play because I'm watching an historical fiction show/movie on the topic. I become obsessed and need to find out the truth - Wikipedia only helps so much.

Currently, my obsession is Masterpiece's Victoria - as I mentioned in my most recent Coffee Break.

Thanks to some excellent Googling, I'm planning on reading A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy by Helen Rappaport and The Victoria Letters: The Heart and Mind of a Young Queen by Helen Rappaport. The fact that these books are both by Helen Rappaport is pure coincidence.

I'm obsessed - ha - with the relationship between Victoria and Albert. That his death led Victoria to, essentially, 40 years of mourning is fascinating. I'm already a romantic at heart by I need to know more about their love. The Victoria Letters is the official companion to Masterpiece's Victoria, so reading this one just made sense.

I can't speak as to the quality of these two biographies as I have not yet them, but here are few recommendations from my past (am I on a roll or what?) historical obsessions:

The Tudors

The Six Wives of Henry VIII The Children of Henry VIII

Spurred from my love of The Tudors, I knew I had to learn more about these nine individuals and the king that connected them. Enter The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The Children of Henry VIII (including Jane Grey as plays a large role in her cousins' lives) by Alison Weir.

Both books were quick but enjoyable. I will admit to enjoying The Six Wives of Henry VIII a bit more than The Children of Henry VIII.

Additionally, if you're as big of fan as the Tudors as I am, make sure you check out Alison's historical fiction series Six Tudor Queens. Alison dedicates on novel to each queen, making them the hero of their own stories. Katherine of Aragón: The True Queen and Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession are already out while Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen releases this May.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette: The Journey

Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser popped into my life after Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette (2006). I read this so long ago, I don't remember all the details, but I do remember enjoying it! There were a few points I know I had to push through, politics and all that, but I did learn a few things I hadn't known before.

Lady Georgiana Spencer

Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire

Much life Marie Antoinette, I read Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman because of a movie. I knew less about Georgiana than I did about Marie Antoinette and this book was a ride - and quite different than the movie. While Sofia stuck close to her source material, Saul Dibb's The Duchess (2008) took a bit more liberty.

For instance, Gergiana's husband William was much closer to her age than in the movie, she is not as naive as Keira Knightly's character, was a celebrity in her time, and even visited Marie Antoinette at the French courts!

The Romanov Family

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra

I have a feeling you'll be hard pressed to find a woman who didn't love 1997's Anastasia. I know it's still one of my favorites!

There were many books I read on The Romanov family back in the day, but the two most recent are The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming and The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport.

I tend to gravitate toward the Romanov sisters when reading about the family, but after receiving a copy of The Family Romanov, I was eager to read about the other three members of this family. These biographies go a bit more into the political aspects of the time instead of just the family live, which I enjoyed learning more about. It didn't make their story any less tragic, but it did shine some light on the time and event surrounding the Russian Revolution.

Et Al.

Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History—without the Fairy-Tale Endings

Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodríguez McRobbie is just one of those fun stories that you can pick up and read at any time. Broken into seven "sections" (Warriors, Usurpers, Schemers, Survivors, Partiers, Floozies, and Madwomen), these are stories of princesses, most of which you probably haven't heard of, who were not content to sit at home in pretty dresses and produce heirs. They went out and lived!

What are some of your favorite nonfiction titles - biographies, autobiographies, or just general nonfiction? Send them on over!

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