Happy Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Week 2021

This week is Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida Awareness Week. The last time I blogged about it was in 2018.

If you don’t know my hydrocephalus story yet, find it here: https://justkatherineblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/my-story-growing-up-with-hydrocephalus/

This week, I will be wearing yellow as it’s the awareness colour for hydrocephalus. I have yellow eyeshadow. Please help to do whatever you can to raise awareness for hydrocephalus.

I’m particularly grateful to Shine Charity (formerly ASBAH) who helped me through some hard times and were always there to listen and advise.

The things I have done to help raise more awareness for hydrocephalus have been to blog about it now and then on my blog. I have shared my story and advised families on Facebook and I’m always ready to share what it’s like to be me with not just hydrocephalus but also Cerebral Palsy and 4 visual impairments.

I give thanks for each and every day I don’t have hydrocephalus symptoms and that my shunt is working.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day 2021: My Story

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day and it’s the first time I’ve blogged about it. I’m surprised about this because I have talked about many aspects of my life here. I’m not a mother myself yet and have been told by medical professionals that could be possible with specialist care and lots and lots of physical support but do have my own story about infant loss.

On 22 December 1981 at Kingston Hospital in the South London borough of Kingston upon Thames, England. I entered the world with my identical twin sister Natalie.

From that moment, our fight to stay in the world began. We were moved to another hospital hours after being born.

We had numerous complications from premature birth and our lives were in constant danger of being lost. We fought for survival together for nine days until Natalie passed away.

I continued my fight alone, and came home.

Life with my disabilities is full of challenges and all through my life I asked myself what made me survive. I believe Natalie had some part in the fact I am here today and she passed her strength to me. She lives through me.

Everything I have done in life, every special occasion, I’d wish she was there with me. I felt like she was. When I have doubted things, been scared or happy I knew she was protecting me.

I would have loved for her to survive and for us to have experienced many of the “this could only happen to an identical twin” moments that other twins I’ve known have experienced.

What would we have gone through? I’ll never know and can only speculate but I do know those 9 days with Natalie were a gift to me although I have no memory of them.

The time between our birthday and her death will always be difficult for me but for me on a personal level and also because of the time of year it is.

My family never stopped celebrating our birthday because of grief and painful memories when I was young and while I lived with them and now I’m married, I still celebrate it, Christmas and New Year. It’s a time of hope and new beginnings, too.

It’s a gift to know Natalie was in the world.

What happened to Natalie has taught me that from tragedy, other things can happen and if we hadn’t have been born together I wouldn’t be here.

Even though I never knew Natalie, I have loved her my whole life and will never stop loving her. She gained her angel wings in 1981 but to me she is always here.

Although Infant Loss Awareness Day is a sad one, it’s also a time to feel happy about those who were in the world for even a short time, as every life is a blessing.

If you have experience of infant loss, my thoughts are with you today and always.

Making Waves at Penvennan Cove by Linn B. Halton

Making Waves at Penvennan Cove by Linn B. Halton

Publication date: 14th October 2021

About the Book:

For once, things are going well for thirty-year-old Kerra Shaw. She has a fulfilling job helping small businesses in the local community, she is within a few minutes’ walk of all the people she loves best, and most importantly, she has finally got together with her childhood sweetheart, Ross.
It’s not all plain sailing, though, because they have to keep their relationship a secret. The feud between their families still rages on, and Kerra doesn’t want to pour fuel on its flame and risk losing everything.
But Kerra should know better than anyone that secrets don’t stay hidden for long in a community like Penvennan Cove…

An uplifting and feel-good romance novel for fans of Lucy Coleman, Jessica Redland and Lisa Hobman.

About the Author:

From interior designer to author, when Linn B. Halton’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic. Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. Linn writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Follow Linn:

Twitter: @LinnBHalton
Facebook: @LinnBHaltonAuthor
Instagram: @linnbhalton

Follow Head of Zeus:

Twitter: @HoZ_Books
Instagram: @headofzeus
Facebook: @headofzeus
Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

Pre-order Here:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3yhGP8T

Excerpt:

  1. Wishful Thinking
    In hindsight, coming home to Penvennan Cove was the easy part. It’s the entanglement with the past that is making my life increasingly difficult with each passing day. While Dad is my number-one supporter, in an ironic twist of fate he is fast becoming my number-one problem.
    ‘That’s a big frown you’re wearing today, Kerra.’ The voice of my neighbour, Drew Matthews, seems to come out of nowhere as I step out onto the pavement outside of Pascoe’s Café and Bakery.
    Clutching a waxed paper bag in my hand, I shrug my shoulders nonchalantly. ‘It’s one of those days, I’m afraid. And when I’m in need of comfort food, this is where I come for the best hevva cake.’
    ‘I’m sorry to hear it, but thanks for the heads-up as it’s something I haven’t tried yet. If you can hang on while I pick up a pasty for lunch, I’ll walk back with you.’
    ‘Okay. Don’t rush. It’s bracing out, but I could do with a little fresh air to clear my head.’
    As Drew makes his way inside Pascoe’s, I cross the road towards the low, stone wall on the far side of the council cark park. Gazing out over the beach, I see that it’s a cold, murky, inhospitable morning and even the seagulls have been driven inland. The sea, too, is a dirty shade of grey, and on the horizon it’s hard to tell where the water ends and the sky begins. It looks as grim as my mood. I scuff the pavement with the toe of my shoe. A fine layer of gritty sand is swirled around by the wind every time it gusts, creating curious, snake-like trails.
    Stooping down, I perch on the uneven surface of the stone wall to look back at the picturesque cluster of buildings that is the heart of Penvennan Cove. The café and bakery has the prime position, situated on the large corner plot at the bottom of the long hill that leads up to the village. Out of sight, just beyond the bend, is what must qualify as one of the tiniest newsagent’s shops in Cornwall. But it’s been here for as long as I can remember, and Gryff still sells loose sweets. The old-fashioned screw-lid jars line the wall behind the counter and there’s something for everyone.
    I watch as Drew strides towards me, stuffing a bag into the pocket of his coat before buttoning it up to the top. This wind seems to get into every little nook and cranny, and it feels more like winter, than autumn.
    ‘Do you fancy a walk along the beach before we make our way back? I think we’ve seen the worst of storm Alexa now, thank goodness.’ Drew grins at me. ‘The choice is yours.’
    ‘Why not? I’ve been working online since five this morning and, like Alexa, I’m running out of steam.’
    Jumping up I fall in alongside Drew. Tall, with dark brown curly hair, he’s one of those people you can count on in an emergency, or a listening ear if you’re in need of one. We hit it off from day one when I returned home in April and took up residence in Pedrevan Cottage, which is attached to Drew’s beautifully named Tigry Cottage.
    ‘Why the long face? I thought you and Ross were getting on well.’
    The wind catches my hair and I use my free hand to scoop it away from my eyes. ‘We are, in a low-key, inconspicuous manner,’ I reply, labouring the word.

Review: Cien CC (Colour Correcting) Cream Makeup Base

As someone who has bought supermarket cosmetics before, I was curious to try this.

Thinking I had finished my makeup base some months ago and that I would have to buy some more, I was happy to find a full tube of CC Cream. The product is in a pink tube with black lettering.

As always, I can’t see the ingredients on the back with my eyesight so anyone who is interested in that aspect of the product will have to look them up online.

I’ll focus my review on what the product claims to do and if it worked for me. The CC base claims to:

Correct skin tone,

Make skin feel renewed

Correct imperfections

Reduce wrinkles

It has SPF 15 and is only available in one color, medium. You get 50ml of product for 4.99€

The texture is pretty thin and the product is buildable. It feels like a tinted moisturiser. I was worried the tone would be too dark for me but it worked well.

The real downsides I felt were that the texture was almost too thin. Worse, during the hot days of summer, the product melted to a water-like consistency and was dripping everywhere. I had to put it in the fridge to get it back to its original consistency.

It was comfortable to wear and blended well.

Verdict: 3/5 because of the texture and it was expensive for what it was. Overall, I wouldn’t buy it again as have found better products but I was interested to try my first CC Cream as have had success with BB creams.

Harlequin Fall 2021 Blog Tour: Mystery and Thriller- The Mother Next Door by Tara Laskowski @TaraLWrites @HTP_Books @Bookclubbish 

The Mother Next Door : A Novel of Suspense
Tara Laskowski
On Sale Date: October 12, 2021
9781525804700

Trade Paperback
Graydon House
$16.99 USD
352 pages

About the Book:


For fans of Lisa Jewell, Aimee Molloy, and Joshilyn Jackson, an upmarket suspense novel from a multi-award-winning author about a tightknit group of suburban mothers who invite a new neighborhood mom into their fold, and the fallout the night of the annual block party, when secrets from the past come back to haunt them…

The annual block party is the pinnacle of the year on idyllic suburban cul de sac Ivy Woods Drive. An influential group of neighborhood moms—known as the Ivy Five—plan the event for months.

Except the Ivy Five have been four for a long time.

When a new mother moves to town, eager to fit in, the moms see it as an opportunity to make the group whole again. This year’s block party should be the best yet… until the women start receiving anonymous messages threatening to expose the quiet neighborhood’s dark past—and the lengths they’ve gone to hide it.

As secrets seep out and the threats intensify, the Ivy Five must sort the loyal from the disloyal, the good from the bad. They’ll do anything to protect their families. But when a twisted plot is revealed, with dangerous consequences, their steady foundation begins to crumble, leaving only one certainty: after this year’s block party, Ivy Woods Drive will never be the same.

From award-winning author Tara Laskowski, The Mother Next Door is an atmospheric novel of domestic suspense in which the strive for perfection ends in murder…

About the Author:


TARA LASKOWSKI is the author of One Night Gone, which won an Agatha Award, Macavity Award, and Anthony Award, and was a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, Left Coast Crime Award, Strand Critics’ Award, and Library of Virginia Literary Award. She is also the author of two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders, has published stories in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Mid-American Review, among others, and is the former editor of SmokeLong Quarterly. Tara earned a BA in English from Susquehanna University and an MFA from George Mason University and currently lives in Virginia. Find her on Twitter and Instagram, @TaraLWrites.


Contact Tara:


Author website: https://taralaskowski.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tara.laskowski.9
Twitter: @TaraLWrites
Instagram: @taralwrites
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56555529-the-mother-next-door

Where to Buy:


Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/the-mother-next-door-a-novel-of-suspense/9781525804700
Politics & Prose: https://www.politics-prose.com/book/9781525804700
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mother-next-door-tara-laskowski/1138551311?ean=9781488078125&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7651142_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mother-Next-Door-Novel-Suspense/dp/1525804707/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Target: https://www.target.com/p/the-mother-next-door-by-tara-laskowski-paperback/-/A-82219724
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-mother-next-door/id1547075567?id=1547075567&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
One More Page: https://www.onemorepagebooks.com/book/9781525804700
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-mother-next-door
Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781525804700?aff=PublishersWeekly
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/The_Mother_Next_Door_A_Novel_of_Suspense?id=baYREAAAQBAJ&hl=en_US&gl=US

HALLOWEEN

Ladies and gentlemen, skulls and boys: by the time our Halloween block party is over tonight, one of us will be dead.
And I don’t mean dead as in dull, or dead as in zombified. I mean dead as in gone. Dead as in expired. Killed.
Murdered.
You may be feeling distressed about this, knowing what you know about Ivy Woods—the great neighborhood it is, the sweet, loving families that live there. How could such a tragedy happen in such a wonderful place? You may have traveled here yourself, as a child or as a parent, lured in by the local fame of the street and its ghoulish decorations each year. The lights, the smoke, the gravestones, and the moaning. The witches, cackling and handing out candy. The swarms of little Frankensteins and cowboys and robots and ballet dancers lugging their pillowcases and plastic pumpkin buckets filled with sugar and junk.
But Ivy Woods isn’t perfect.
Far from it.
Look closer. Look under the makeup and the masks, look into the windows of the perfect houses. Dig under the surface of those freshly mowed lawns and you’ll find the worms. I’ve looked—believe me, I’ve looked. There’s something about this street. There are secrets. I know from watching through the windows, from hearing the hushed conversations, from lingering on their faces when they think everyone else has looked away.
Oh they think they are perfect. They pat themselves on the back for throwing such good parties, for raising such fine children, for living in such big houses.
But they are pretending.
They don masks on this one single night to dress up as someone or something else, but in reality they live their lives this way.
We all do.
We hate ourselves. We are too fat, or too thin. We should work hard, be smarter. We are lonely and depressed. We are worried about money. We are ashamed of the way that our friends and family treat us. But we lie about it all. We hide behind a protective façade, fragile glass figurines inside elaborate dollhouses designed to look like perfect, safe, happy places.
Tonight it will all shatter.
Watch closely and you’ll begin to see what I see. There’s trouble in the air, a cold wind blowing in from far away, and it’s settled on Ivy Woods Drive. The secrets and the lies we tell ourselves and others will emerge tonight like spirits of the dead. Lines will be drawn. Sides will be taken. Someone won’t make it out alive.
I can’t save that person, but I’ll tell the story. Turn over the rocks, expose the worms. Pull back the masks.
Because I know their secrets, secrets that will destroy them all.
If they don’t destroy themselves first.

Excerpted from The Mother Next Door by Tara Laskowski, Copyright © 2021 by Tara Laskowski. Published by Graydon House Books.

Harlequin Believer Series Fall Blog Tour: A Cowgirl’s Secret by Melinda Curtis

About the Book:


Could saving the ranch…Mean a future together?Cowgirl Cassie Diaz has a secret—a bull riding accident may have stolen her dream of motherhood. She needs to recover, but how can she rest with her family’s ranch in peril? Recent Second Chance, Idaho, arrival Bentley Monroe offers help, and his quiet strength makes her feel safe. Loving him could heal her wounds, but would she have a future with this family man?

Add A Cowgirl’s Secret to your Goodreads!

(Release Date: September 28)

Where to Buy:


Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335426420_a-cowgirls-secret.html

About the Author:


Melinda grew up on an isolated sheep ranch, where mountain lions had been seen and yet she roamed unaccompanied. Being a rather optimistic, clueless of danger, sort she took to playing “what if” games that led her to become an author.  She spends days trying to figure out new ways to say “He made her heart pound.”  That might sound boring, but the challenge keeps her mentally ahead of her 3 kids and college sweetheart husband.

Contact Melinda:


Website: https://www.melindacurtis.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelindaCurtisAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelCurtisAuthor
Instagram: http://instagram.com/melcurtisauthor

Excerpt:

“I told you so, Cassie.” Cassie’s brother, Rhett, shook his head.
Cassie dropped her saddle back on the stand, having only lifted it a few inches. She leaned on the horn and cantle, trying to ease the pain that stretched from the top of her hip to her inner thigh. “Don’t start.”
Don’t tell her she shouldn’t have tried bull riding.
Don’t tell her she should have stuck to horse training.
Don’t tell her horse training wasn’t going to pay the bills.
There came a point in every young woman’s life where she had to accept that some dreams were never coming true—hers being making a decent living training horses. At this point, unless she won the lottery, she needed to set aside girlish dreams and get “a real job,” whatever that was.
Cassie wasn’t ready. And honestly, she might never be. Rhett chuckled. “You winning that purse was a long shot, kind of like Grandpa winning the lottery with that ticket he buys every week.”
Exactly.
“And here we go,” Cassie muttered, glancing at Baby, the quarter horse she’d been trying to saddle when a spasm from her bull-beaten hip sidelined her. “Rhett is on a roll.”
“Indeed, I am.” Rhett tipped up his black cowboy hat and grinned. “I’m surprised you can walk after that bull stomped on your hip.”
The emergency room doctor had been surprised, too. Not that she’d beaten all odds. The orthopedic specialist had given some grim news. News Cassie hadn’t shared with her family, because…
“You never should have gotten on that bull, sis.”
Because of that. Cassie gritted her teeth and stared at the barn rafters at the Bar D. She hadn’t told her family she was considering giving up the ranching life, partly because it was terrifying, and partly because no one in her family had ever given up ranching life—not in five generations.
She continued to stare at the rafters, settling her cowboy hat more firmly on her head. There were cobwebs up there that needed tending to, if one was bothered by such things, which she was, unlike Rhett, who tended to go through life as happy with a tidy environment as a messy one. He preferred to spend his time on extreme experiences, like zip-lining and bungee-jumping off bridges.
Cassie’s gaze drifted back down to the photo gallery on the wall behind her brother.
During a streak of good luck and flush bank accounts, her father had insulated the Bar D’s barn, which came in handy five or six months out of the year when Second Chance, Idaho, was snowed in. But because the insulation had to be held in with something, he’d installed cheap wood paneling. And because the paneling was so very bare in the breezeway, he’d hung pictures of Rhett and Cassie competing in rodeos when they were kids—Rhett in calf and trick roping, Cassie in barrel racing and trick riding.
Back when I thought that’s what I’d do with the rest of my life: cowgirling.
Like horse training or trick riding offered a health plan and retirement benefits. How naive she’d been.
Those pictures had been taken before Cassie’s parents decided to take a job managing someone else’s ranch in Wyoming and handed back the reins of the Bar D to Grandpa Diaz. Before Cassie began keeping the Bar D’s books and worrying about making ends meet.

Find me at Whisper Falls by Ellyn Oaksmith @ellynoaksmith @bookouture

About the Book:

Two old rivals. One dream job. And a summer they’ll never forget.

Freya Johanssen needs a fresh start. A recently heartbroken and newly-qualified veterinarian, she will take any job that gets her away from Seattle—for now. Her plan is to spend two years in the small town of Whisper Falls, and then head back to the city and civilisation.

And then Trent Crossley shows up, and her carefully laid plans are blown to pieces. He’s the last person she expected—or wanted—ever to see again. This is the guy who thinks he’s God’s gift to women; who breezed through vet school without studying and who betrayed her in a way she’ll never forgive. She thinks he’s an arrogant party boy; he thinks she’s an uptight perfectionist. Now he’s in her clinic, and the fluttering in her stomach must mean she’s still mad at him.

It seems they have both been hired for the same job—and now neither is backing down. But as Freya works to outdo Trent at every turn, she starts to see a different side to the man she thought she knew. Falling in love was never part of her plan. And if she wants the new beginning she’s worked so hard for, can she afford to give away her heart?

A totally unputdownable feel-good read about finding yourself, and love, in the most unexpected places. Fans of Virgin River, Debbie Macomber, Jill Shalvis and Carolyn Brown will love Find Me at Whisper Falls.

About the Author:

Ellyn Oaksmith is the USA Today and Kindle bestselling author of the Blue Hills Series, featuring the Alvarez family. After graduating from Smith College and attaining her MFA from The American Film Institute, Ellyn began her writing career as an award-winning screenwriter in Hollywood. Her books explore the same themes as her screenplays: grit, humor, family and love. Ellyn lives on one of Seattle’s many hills with her husband and spends as much time as possible on the water as part of a competitive rowing team.

Contact Ellyn:

http://www.ellynoaksmith.com/
https://www.facebook.com/EllynOaksmith
https://www.instagram.com/ellynoaksmith/
https://twitter.com/ellynoaksmith

Where to Buy:


Amazon: https://bit.ly/3EJZkaE
Apple: https://apple.co/3rhNMoO
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2UXSMCZ
Google: https://bit.ly/3evdi4Q

My Review:

I loved Ellyn Oaksmith’s previous novel Long Walk Home, and so when I was sent a review request for Find me at Whisper Falls, I accepted.

I enjoyed the sound of the synopsis.

Freya and Trent are recent vet school graduates and there’s just one job opening available. The test? they have to work and live together for a whole two months. They used to be an item.

Can they survive this ultimate challenge?

Will Whisper Falls provide the ideal backdrop to helping them reconcile the past, or is what they once had gone forever?

I found the book hard to get into and the characters difficult to relate to.

Unfortunately in the end this wasn’t the book for me. I would love to try another title.

Thanks to Ellyn Oaksmith and Bookouture for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

3.5 stars.

Harlequin Believer Series Fall Blog Tour: Finding a Christmas Home by Lee Tobin McClain @LeeTobinMcClain

About the Book:


Two little girls need a family…in this novel by New York Times bestselling author Lee Tobin McClainThey are his nieces…But she can never tell him.As the new guardian to her twin nieces, Hannah Antonicelli is determined to keep her promise to her late sister—that she’ll never reveal the identity of their father. But when the girls’ uncle, Luke Hutchenson, moves in next door and takes a job where Hannah works, the truth threatens their growing connection. How can she keep the secret when she can’t even guard her own heart?

Add Finding a Christmas Home to your Goodreads!

(Release Date: September 28)

Where to Buy:


Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335409492_finding-a-christmas-home.html

About the Author:

Lee Tobin McClain is the bestselling author of more than thirty emotional, small-town romances described by Publishers’ Weekly as enthralling, intense, and heartfelt. A dog lover and proud mom, she often includes kids and animals in her books. When she’s not writing, she enjoys hiking with her goofy goldendoodle, chatting online with her writer friends, and admiring her daughter’s mastery of the latest TikTok dances. Learn more at http://www.leetobinmcclain.com.

Contact Lee Tobin:


Website: https://www.leetobinmcclain.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leetobinmcclain/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeeTobinMcClain

My Review:

After A Child on his Doorstep (Rescue Haven #2) I was pleased to find book 3, Finding a Christmas Home, in the selection of books for a Harlequin blog tour.

Book 2 got me hooked on Lee Tobin McClain’s writing style and her depiction of relationships (family or otherwise) in writing.

I try not to feature too many Christmas books on my blog before December, but I wanted to review another book by Lee Tobin McClain so could not miss this chance.

Hannah’s sister passes away suddenly and she takes care of her young twin nieces, Addie and Emmie.

Luke was her crush from years ago.

What will she do when he’s back in town and at the Rescue Haven dog rescue center where she is working?

Will Luke be up to helping out with Addie and Emmie? Will he still have feelings for Hannah? Will she for him?

Thanks to Lee Tobin McClain and Harlequin for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

Finding a Christmas Home is a story of hope, second chances rebuilding your life and I love the authentic, true-to-life characters.

4 stars

Excerpt:

Hannah Antonicelli walked out of the Rescue Haven Learn-and-Play and flopped down on the bench that ran along the wall of the red barn.

“Cold for sitting outside, isn’t it?” Her friend Gabby wrapped her heavy parka more tightly around herself before sitting beside Hannah. Despite the fact that she and her husband oversaw all Rescue Haven’s programs—the dog rescue, the after-school program for at-risk boys and the childcare center—Gabby always had time to stop and chat.

And Gabby was right: November in rural Ohio wasn’t sit-outside weather. Wind whisked across the neighboring cornfields, rustling the dry, light brown stalks, carrying with it the faint, clean smell of oncoming snow. “I just need a minute before I start with the dogs,” Hannah said.

“Take a minute! Take an hour, or the whole morning off, if you need. It’s a great thing you’re doing, providing a home for Marnie’s girls.”

“The Learn-and-Play is the only possible way I’ll manage, so thank you for accepting the twins on short notice.” And she didn’t want to take advantage of Gabby’s generosity by skimping on her part-time job as the Rescue Haven dog trainer. What with everything that had happened, she’d already taken too much time off. Not to mention the fact that Gabby was pregnant and didn’t need extra stress. “Let me know if they need anything or get upset.”

Caring for her sister’s eighteen-month-old twin girls had been the right thing to do when Marnie had died of complications after a drug overdose two weeks ago. The desperate phone call from her estranged older sister had shaken Hannah’s world at its foundation. She and Mom had rushed to Marnie’s side and instantly agreed to care for the twins they barely knew.

Which meant that, for now, Hannah was back in her childhood home. Mom’s house had plenty of space, a big yard with a tire swing and was close to Rescue Haven.

Anyway, until they got the twins’ lives in order and their schedules figured out, it was going to take two of them to manage things. Being in the same house was just easier.

Mom was busy trying to keep her struggling bakery afloat during hard times. She was also grief-stricken and guilt-ridden over Marnie’s death—not in any shape to be a primary caregiver. Whereas Hannah… Hannah was more angry at her sister than anything else. Marnie had neglected her babies. She’d caused terrible pain to their mother. And she’d entrusted Hannah with a secret that wasn’t going to be easy to keep.

The blond, curly-haired twins had instantly become Hannah’s priority in life. She had to raise them right, and she would. She yawned. The twins hadn’t slept well last night—again—and she was just so tired…
She might have actually dozed off for a few seconds, and when she opened her eyes, she felt like she was dreaming. “Who’s that?” she asked Gabby as she stared at the movie-star-handsome, rugged man striding toward them.

“You don’t recognize him? That’s Luke Hutchenson.”

Hannah’s stomach lurched. “When did he come back to town?”

Harlequin Believer Series Fall Blog Tour: An Unexpected Amish Harvest by Carrie Lighte

About the Book:


She’s struggling to forgive…But it’s the only way to heal her heart.When Susannah Peachy returns to her grandfather’s potato farm to help out after her grandmother’s injured, she’s not ready to face her ex-beau. But with Peter Lambright pitching in to harvest her grandfather’s crop, she can’t avoid him. For his family’s sake, Peter can’t tell Susannah why he had to leave her. But sharing his secret could make all the difference for their future…

Add An Unexpected Amish Harvest to your Goodreads!

(Release Date: August 24)

Where to Buy:


Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335567185_an-unexpected-amish-harvest.html

About the Author:


Carrie Lighte enjoys traveling to Amish communities across the United States and she hopes to visit a few in Canada soon, too. When she isn’t writing, reading or researching, she likes to hike, kayak and spend time at the beach.

Contact Carrie:


Website: https://www.carrielighte.com/books
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarrieLighte

My Review:

After having reviewed Her Amish Suitor’s Secret (Amish of Serenity Ridge #3), I was looking forward to another book by Carrie Lighte. Although the book is part of a series, (it is the second book in the Amish of New Hope series) it makes a great standlone.

Susannah Peachy`s Gran needs care and she doesn’t hesitate to go where she’s needed.
Peter Lambright used to be part of her life. What will happen when they see each other again? Will old feelings be forgotten or is what they feel for each other too strong to ignore?

Carrie Lighte’s writing is heartfelt, gripping and perfectly depicts Amish life. I felt as if I were there with the characters. The book is a quick read/listen but is a very interesting story.

I was wondering what would be in store for Susannah and Peter and wanted to know what happened to them. I was pleased for Susannah’s Gran that Susannah was able to help her.

The novel encompasses the ups and downs of Amish life. There’s love, loss fighting for what and who you want and never giving up. The attention to detail is excellent and the book is engrossing and absorbing.

Thanks to Carrie Lighte and Harlequin Love Inspired for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

5 stars.

I am looking forward to many more books by Carrie Lighte.

Excerpt:


Add An Unexpected Amish Harvest to your Goodreads!

When Susannah stayed in New Hope last summer, she had quickly formed a close friendship with Dorcas Troyer. The two young, single women had enjoyed each other’s company again when Susannah returned to New Hope for a week at Christmastime, and they’d written to each other frequently throughout the last year.
In fact, Dorcas was the only person that Susannah had confided in when Peter asked to be her suitor the previous summer…and the only person Susannah had told about their breakup last January. She still remembered teardrops splashing onto the stationery as she wrote,
Peter wouldn’t give me any reason for ending our courtship, other than to say he doesn’t think we’re compatible, after all. But I know it’s because I’ve gained so much weight since last summer.
Her friend had written back,
I’ve known Peter for years and I can’t believe your weight is such an issue for him. Are you sure that’s why he broke up with you? Could it be that he just finds it too difficult to carry on a long-distance courtship?
Susannah highly doubted that. After she’d left New Hope the first time, Peter’s biweekly letters had been filled with proclamations of his affection for her. The couple had called each other at their respective phone shanties at three o’clock every other Sunday. Even after two hours of talking, they’d never run out of things to share and laugh about. And although they had only been able to sneak off for an hour with each other when Susannah came to New Hope last Christmas, they’d agreed their time alone together was the best part of the holiday.
That’s why it was so confusing that four days after she got home, Peter called and said he had decided to end their courtship. The change in his attitude was so abrupt it made Susannah feel as if he was an utter stranger. As if someone else had been pretending to be him on the phone and in his letters. Had been pretending to fall in love with her the way she’d been falling in love with him.
“Why?” she had cried, as bewildered as she was devastated. “I don’t understand.”
“We’re just not a gut match.”
“But why aren’t we a gut match? What has changed all of a sudden?”
“I’m sorry to hurt your feelings like this, Susannah, but I don’t want to discuss it further. Please accept my decision.”
Afterward, she went over it and over it in her mind, trying to figure out what could have possibly changed to make Peter end their relationship. The only thing she could come up with was that once he’d seen her again, he was no longer drawn to her because of how much heavier she’d gotten. Maybe that was why he’d held his tongue about his reason; he hadn’t wanted to hurt her feelings by telling her the truth. But whether he said it aloud or not, she’d been crushed to discover that Peter valued how she looked more than who she was. That he was rejecting her because of her weight gain.
Likewise, in the following months she was disappointed when certain other men accepted her because of her appearance. During the past spring and summer, she’d had no fewer than four bachelors in Dover ask to court her. Susannah would have felt honored, if it hadn’t been for the fact that they’d all known her for at least ten years and they’d never expressed an interest in her until she was slender.

A Lifetime Ago by Jim Ody @Jim_Ody_Author @zooloo2008 @QuestionPress #ZooloosBookTours #ALifetimeAgo #QuestionMarkPress

About the Book:

This is a tale about how the events of one day have such catastrophic consequences on the future.

Hudson Bell is a consultant for the police. A former DI, he spends his days helping to find missing children.

May and her son go on a road trip to celebrate his birthday; Robert and Nadia buy their dream house by the sea.

But as each look to enjoy a new life, none of them can shake off what happened on that fateful day. One of them blames the others and will stop at nothing to seek revenge.

About the Author:

Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres.
Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.


Contact Jim:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JimOdyAuthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jimodyauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jim_Ody_Author
Amazon : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Ody/e/B019A6AMSY/

Buy on:


Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lifetime-Ago-Hudson-Bell-Book-ebook/dp/B084TMZ87J

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-Ago-Hudson-Bell-Book-ebook/dp/B084TMZ87J

My Review:

May and her son go on a road trip to celebrate his birthday; Robert and Nadia buy their dream house by the sea.

A Lifetime Ago is the first book in the Hudson Bell series. It was interesting accompanying Hudson on his search. This new job is a far cry from his previous job as a DJ. I felt I was learning about what was involved in police searches for children as I went through the book.

The pacing is quick but that to me helped the book since it showed the urgency of searching.

The backstory for all characters was well fleshed out. I want to get the rest of the books in the series.

Anything with a missing child is devastating and emotional for me and I didn’t want this to end. There are some plot twists.

Thanks to Jim Ody and Zooloo’s Book Tours for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

4 stars