Book Spotlight – Highland Peril

by Amy M. Reade

Synopsis

Trading the urban pace of Edinburgh for a tiny village overlooking a breathtaking blue loch was a great move for budding photographer Sylvie Carmichael and her artist husband, Seamus—until a dangerous crime obscures the view . . .

Sylvie’s bucolic life along the heather-covered moors of the Highlands is a world away from the hectic energy of the city. But then a London buyer is killed after purchasing a long-lost Scottish masterpiece from Seamus’s gallery—and the painting vanishes. As suspicion clouds their new life, and their relationship, Sylvie’s search for answers plunges her into an unsolved mystery dating back to Cromwellian Scotland through World War I and beyond. And as she moves closer to the truth, Sylvie is targeted by a murderer who’s after a treasure within a treasure that could rewrite history . . . and her own future.

Release Date: September 5, 2017
Available for pre-order now! Links to purchase listed below.

About the Author

Amy M. Reade is a cook, chauffeur, household CEO, doctor, laundress, maid, psychiatrist, warden, seer, teacher, and pet whisperer. In other words, a wife, mother, and recovering attorney. But she also writes (how could she not write with that last name?) and is the author of The Malice Series (The House on Candlewick Lane, Highland Peril, and Murder in Thistlecross) and three standalone books, Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of the Hanging Jade. She lives in southern New Jersey but loves to travel. Her favorite places to visit are Scotland and Hawaii and when she can’t travel she loves to read books set in far-flung locations.

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Have Bags, Will Travel: Trips and Tales – Memoirs of an Over-Packer

By D.G. Kaye

Have bags, will TravelMy Review

Have you ever read a book that could have been written about you? D.G. Kaye did just that.

Case#1 – She’s a shopaholic.  Well, I love to shop, though maybe not as much as she does. Christmas shopping, back to school shopping, birthdays, anniversaries – I could shop for days on end.  I love buying gifts for others, furniture for our home, the list is endless.  The author loves to buy so much more, in fact shoes are her favorite shopping item. The problem is she shops when she travels and has to have a way to get it home without customs finding out she packed more than she is allowed to bring back. As you will see, she goes to great lengths to pack creatively.

Case #2 – the suitcase.  My husband thinks my suitcases are overloaded, but I never have to pay for overweight luggage or an extra suitcase.  I have a few packing tricks up my sleeve to get everything to and from with some room to spare for purchases. Ms Kaye, on the other hand, has tricks galore.

Her friends personalities are much like the author’s, and their escapades will leave you chuckling.  Well, not exactly.  They will have you in stitches. Follow D.G. Kaye as she travels to Paris, London, Las Vegas, Greece, Venezuela, and Arizona. You will be fascinated with her description of the transition from old Vegas to the Vegas we know today.

I’m not about to go into detail about her shopping trips, the size of her suitcase, or how she manages, or not, to get through customs. You have to read the book to find out. However, I promise, you will be laughing from page one to the end. Written with such vivid detail, you will feel you are right there watching the spectacle of someone who loves to shop too much, trying to get everything home without chucking it on the way to airport.  A delightful story, HAVE BAGS, WILL TRAVEL, is a short book that can be read in one sitting.

Do I recommend HAVE BAGS, WILL TRAVEL? Absolutely!

Excerpt From Have Bags, Will Travel

Airport Security

Returning home from a vacation is always a nerve-racking event for me. Instead of flying home and basking in the memories of the wonderful time I’ve just had on vacation, I repeatedly go through my receipts from the trip so I can carefully calculate how not to exceed the fixed limit we’re allowed to bring back without penalty. I must remember which receipts correspond to the tags I’ve already cut off so I can take them out of the pile. More math!

Most people don’t worry about such things—but I have to. It’s practically like my face is on a milk carton: HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WOMAN SHOPPING? For decades now, I’ve been consistently pulled over at customs. A planeload of people pick up their luggage and sail through the exit doors to freedom, and one person (and her husband) get singled out for interrogation. This happens on ninety percent of my trips. Why is it that I’m picked out of two hundred and fifty passengers to be interrogated? I lament, but I’m familiar with all the tricks by now: don’t wear flashy jewelry, don’t dress up, try to blend in. I can’t help it, though. I have what I’ve identified as shopping face. . .

Author’s Note

When I began writing this book, it didn’t start out as a travel memoir. After many drafts and revisions, I realized I had been writing two books in one, and decided to keep the one book as a short stories memoir about some of pitfalls I endure when I travel. Throughout the years, friends and family who found my escapades humorous, and sometimes unbelievable, urged me to write a book about some of my adventures, and so this book was born. Many who have read this book are tagging this book as the perfect airport read.

About the AuthorD.G. Kaye Author

Debby Gies is a Canadian author, and writes her books under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. 

I’m a nonfiction memoir writer who likes to write about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. My intent is to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them.

I love to laugh, and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. When I’m not writing intimate memoirs, you’ll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog posts.

When I was a young child, I was very observant about my surroundings. Growing up in a tumultuous family life; otherwise known as a broken home, kept me on guard about the on-and-off-going status of my parent’s relationship. I often wrote notes, and journaled  about the dysfunction that I grew up in. By age seven I was certain I was going to grow up to be a reporter.

Well life has a funny way of taking detours. Instead, I moved away from home at eighteen with a few meager belongings and a curiosity for life. I finished university and changed careers a few times, as I worked my way up to managerial positions. My drive to succeed at anything I put my mind to, led me to having a very colorful and eventful life.

Ever the optimist, that is me. I’ve conquered quite a few battles in life; health and otherwise, and my refusal to accept the word ‘No, or to use the words ‘I can’t’, kept me on a positive path in life.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences.

MY BOOKS:

At a young age, I began keeping journals to keep notes about my turbulent childhood while growing up as an emotionally neglected child. Tormented with guilt, as I grew older, I was conflicted with the question of whether or not I was to remain obligated to being a faithful daughter, feeling in debt to my narcissistic mother for giving birth to me. My first book, Conflicted Hearts is a memoir, written about my journey to seek solace from living with guilt.

My writing relates to my experiences in life, and I like to share the lessons and ideas I acquired along the way. Meno-What? A Memoir, was written based on my own passage and experiences going through menopause. In that book, I share some of the many symptoms I encountered, hoping to shed some light and humor on what women may expect or experience at that unpredictable time. I also offer up some of my helpful hints I found useful for relief.

Words We Carry focuses around women’s self-esteem issues; how and why the issues evolve, and how I recognized my own shortcomings and overcame my own insecurities.

My newest book Have Bags, Will Travel is based on memoirs of tales and reminiscings from some of my more memorable trips, which all factor in the same ongoing issues for me – too much luggage!

I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

QUOTES:

                 “Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                  “For every kindness, there should be kindness in  return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

My favorite genres to read: biographies, memoirs, books about writing, spirituality, and natural health. I love to read stories about people who overcome adversity, victories, and redemption. I believe we have to keep learning—there is always room for improvement!

I love to cook and concoct new recipes (and I don’t believe in measuring cups), travel, and play poker (although I seldom get the chance), oh, and did I mention travel?

Please feel free to connect with me on social media and any of my author and blog pages at:

www.dgkayewriter.com

www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

www.twitter.com/@pokercubster
(Of course there’s a story to this name!)

www.facebook.com/dgkaye

www.about.me/d.g.kaye.writer

www.linkedin.com/in/DGKaye7

www.google.com/debbydgkayegies

BOOKLINKS:

Conflicted Hearts

MenoWhat? A Memoir

Words We Carry

Have Bags, Will Travel

 

The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley

By Susan Örnbratt

The Particular Appeal of Gillian PugsleyBlurb

From the shores of The Great Lakes to the slums of Bombay and a tiny island in between, this love story takes the reader on an intimate journey to unravel a family secret that’s lain hidden for generations.

To satisfy her wandering feet, eighteen-year old Gillian McAllister is sent from Ireland to Canada in the summer of 1932.  She arrives with her Irish ways intact, determined not to let the wiles of crop duster Christian Hunter woo her into submission.  Yet as the summer unfolds and the sweet taste of love grows, Gillian’s appeal lures more than she anticipates.

Fourteen years, a Great Depression, and a World War later, Christian sets out to discover why Gillian was ripped from his life.  What he discovers on the Isle of Man will change them both forever.  Not even a thatched cottage by the sea, a spritely Gillian, or memories sprinkled on a page can mask the secret that has been buried for too long.  But it isn’t until a set of poems is given to Gillian’s granddaughter that the real mystery––Gillian’s true secret––is freed.

So who is Pugsley?

Review

Plot:  I read some other reviews and the blurb for The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley, and decided this was a “must read.” When the author contacted me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing her book, I didn’t hesitate.  I loved the story.  It is definitely my kind of book, containing a mix of genres – historical fiction and romance. What could be better?   The book did not disappoint. There is some mystery to the story, but it is eventually brought to light.  The story was, at times, exciting with lots of surprises, and at other times, melancholy, but not overly so.  The way the author kept going back and forth from present time (2003) to the early days of the story (1931-32 and 1946) kept my interest in overdrive. The transitions were smooth and easy to follow.

Characters:  What made this book so enjoyable for me is that it is character driven.  Gillian McAllister Pugsley, is seen as strong and independent with a lot of love to give, but will she find Mr. Right, and if she does, will she let him back into her life?  Christian Hunter is everything a young girl could hope to find – handsome, strong, interesting, romantic, daring.  As the story progressed, the characters grew with it, and this increased their believability.

Writing:  I loved the way the book was set up.  A poem written by the author’s grandmother preceded each chapter.  The story was easy to follow even though it kept changing back and forth between times, and sometimes from other characters’ point of view.

Author BioSusan Örnbratt

Susan Örnbratt was born in London, Canada and grew up on the dance floor until her brother’s high school rowing crew needed a coxswain. Quickly, she traded in her ballet shoes for a megaphone as rowing filled all of Susan’s time outside of school while competing in regattas across Canada and the US. When she was 16, Susan became a member of the Junior National Rowing Team and went on to compete in the Junior and Senior World Championships and the XIII Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland.

A graduate from the University of Western Ontario in French and the University of Manitoba in elementary education, as well as attending L’Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand II in France while she worked as a fille au pair, Susan has gone on to teach and live in six countries.

Although a maple leaf will forever be stitched on her heart, she has called Sweden her home for the past sixteen years with a recent three-year stint in North Carolina, USA for her husband’s work. It was there, where Susan wrote her second and third novels while achieving her long time goal of signing with a publisher for The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley.

Susan lives in Gothenburg with her husband and two children and an apple tree nibbled on by the local moose population.  If she isn’t shooing away the beasts, you can find her in her garden with some pruning shears, a good book and always a cup of tea. If Susan were dried out, she could be brewed.

Author:  Susan Örnbratt

Title:  The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley

No illustrator

Format:  Paperback and e-Book

Publisher:  Light Messages Publishing

Publication Date:  April 23, 2015

Number of Pages:  329

Genre:  Historical women’s fiction

 

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The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Michelle Clements James ©

The Truth About You By Susan Lewis

uscover-Truth-About-YouLainey Hollingsworth was living a life she loved, she was a mother, married to someone she was deeply in love with and trusted beyond all doubt, had a terrific job managing her husband’s writing career, and lived where she always wanted to be – in her childhood home.  Her life was not without trials, however. Lainey had a stepson Max, who after all these years still blamed her for the breakup between his parents. Her adoring father, who was actually her stepfather and the only father she had ever known, was living with them and was severely afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Lainey’s teenage daughter Tierney was searching for her grownup self, and that was causing friction where there had never been friction before. Her husband Tom was absent more and more and doubts started creeping in. When she received a text message, “Ask your husband about Julie” Lainey’s life, as she knew it, suddenly started unraveling.

Add to all of this was a planned trip to Italy to try to learn more about her family.  Her mother left Italy with Lainey when Lainey was very young and never returned. She refused even at her death to tell Lainey about her biological father and why she took Lainey to England without ever looking back.

I thought Lainey Hollingsworth was a complicated protagonist. At the beginning of the book she was a strong woman who, as the story unfolded, soon became filled with uncertainties and insecurities. She was angry and came to her own conclusions about her husband’s absences without giving him a chance to explain.  Words spoken, and left unspoken, lead to misconceptions. In the end and after suffering so much hurt, was Lainey’s imagined “truth” reality?

This was storytelling at its finest. With memorable characters and intricate plot lines, the book kept calling me back. As I turned the last page, I was sad I’d come to the end of this amazing story. This was the first book by Susan Lewis that I have read, and it certainly won’t be the last. I look forward to delving into some of her other books. I recommend THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU to anyone who enjoys getting totally immersed in a story. It was fabulous.

You can find out more about Susan Lewis on her website at www.susanlewis.com

I received this book from Library Thing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.