An unexpected friendship offers her broken heart a second chance at true love.
One year after her husband is killed in action, Julie Ellis is back in her hometown and focused on raising her young son. Then Reagan Harrison bursts into her life—a cocky, charming linebacker who leaves her off balance.
As a successful, professional athlete, Reagan believes he has it all. But after meeting Julie, he finds every excuse in the book to spend time with her. Despite his best efforts not to fall too hard, Reagan envisions a future with Julie, along with the little boy he’s come to love as his own.
While Reagan’s protective love begins to mend Julie’s spirit, she can’t suppress her continued deep devotion to her late husband’s memory. And when a letter arrives from beyond the grave, Reagan resolves to provide her with the answers she desperately needs to heal. Now Julie must choose either to keep her heart closed off or remove the lock and fight for a future with Reagan. Can a second chance at true love be just as sweet?
“Thanks for understanding me.” Julie softly kissed his cheek. The rough stubble tickled her lips. “Even when I don’t understand myself.” She went to sit in her chair to finish her cup of coffee.
At that moment, she noticed the kitchen. What an unbelievable mess! Who’d actually cooked breakfast…a class of rowdy five-year-olds? She gave Reagan a sideways glance, to see him moving the last piece of waffle around his plate, collecting any remaining egg and syrup. “Did you use every bowl I own?”
He was the messiest cook she’d ever seen. A huge pile of dirty dishes sat on the counter, covered in dried waffle batter and egg. Bits of syrup-laden crumbs dotted the kitchen floor, like a sticky breadcrumb trail.
His smile held no hint of guilt, and he shrugged. “Nobody’s perfect.”
No, not perfect—but he was pretty darn close.
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Tempeste has survived much choosing to live on Paris’ streets–scavenging for food, learning survival skills from a deserter whom she paid to attack her in her sleep, and living a life her mother would approve of, one devoid of luxury. But denying oneself of food and proper bedding can stir a madness in the brain. So, when Tempeste witnesses the quick and painless death of the guillotine–the death her mother should have received–she vows to find her mother’s accuser and vivisect his spleen.
Quite by accident, Gabriel, the young executioner responsible for Tempeste’s mother’s botched hanging, falls for Tempeste. So, instead of strolling arm-in-arm with a respectable mademoiselle through the gardens of the Palais de l’Égalité, Gabriel finds himself traipsing after an axe-carrying siren through the catacombs and facing off a hostile sans culottes army.
With little choice but to fight, Gabriel determines to win the hearts of the sans culottes, while Tempeste proves she’s quite adept at swinging the blade. When the pair finally make their way to Tempeste’s sworn enemy, though, a secret is revealed which promises to sever far more than they ever hoped to gain
Settle a score. Fulfill a debt. Make a difference.
These are the words that motivate Tempeste after her mother’s atrocious death. For years, Tempeste has trained and focused on her sole purpose in life: avenge those responsible. When the object of her wrath becomes the object of her affection, though, she must curb her bloodlust or withdraw her heart. Either way, Tempeste must come face-to-face with a killer and make the fateful choice—love or death.
Mary Gray is a master at writing authentically broken characters, people who are so haunted by their pasts that their present decisions are infected. OUR SWEET GUILLOTINE sheds light on the life of an executioner, humanizing him and unmasking the burden of guilt he has in a forced profession. It dives into the idea of multi-faceted truth and the human perception. People have secrets, and those secrets long outlive the ones who create them. As a reader, I found myself contemplating how we so often create our own curses but are the only ones with the power to undo their hold on us. We can all relate to the struggle of personal strength and crippling misconceptions.
Readers of dark, gritty, gothic tales with a romantic spin will enjoy this twisted story. This book will appeal to people of all ages who enjoy exploring the dark side of humanity through the comfortable safety of a book, but who also crave redemption and forgiveness.
Fans of The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd will likely swoon at the psychological, thrilling nature of revenge. In addition, readers who love the His Fair Assassin series, particularly Dark Triumph, will appreciate the way love can creep into any setting or situation, no matter how dark.
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017
Inspired by true events.
Saylor is a young seagull who is often motivated by his tummy rather than his wits, but living on the Florida Panhandle is dangerous. With fishermen everywhere, a little seagull must rely on what he has been taught to survive. That is, until lunchtime, when Saylor forgets all the warnings his friends have given him. When he finds himself in serious trouble, his friends set out to help. Come to the seashore and cheer them on.
Saylor, a young seagull, and his friends struggle to survive in the Florida Panhandle. When hunger starts to override what he’s been told, Saylor finds himself in trouble, but with the help of Old Gray Pelican, Piper the Sandpiper, and Big Blue Heron, he’s freed and learns the biggest lesson of them all—listen to your elders.
Whether for children who enjoy the ocean or for those who like birds, SAYLOR ON THE SEASHORE is a fun spin on beach reading. Both informative and inspiring, it opens up discussions about the dangers of the world and the importance of listening to the wisdom of others. In addition, it provides a conversational bridge to further learn about geography: What is a panhandle? It also gently brings to light the realities of the circle of life. Librarians, educators, and parents will enjoy its educational value, and children will connect with Saylor as his friends help him escape a dangerous situation.
SAYLOR ON THE SEASHORE is a great reading experience for summer trips to the beach. Parents and children can point out seagulls and herons and have conversations about fishing while enjoying their vacation, which will make it a trip and a book they’ll not likely forget.
Order To Receive it in Time for Your Summer Beach Vacation!
It has been an insane reading month! With a grand total of 13 books, not including the manuscripts I read.
Several of these are comps for clients' books, and the rest are just for pleasure. It would take me too long to talk about each of these individually, so I'm just going to mention my favorites.
Take Off Your Pants: Outlining Books for Faster, Better Writing
I'm always looking for ways to improve the quality and speed of my own writing, and I thought this book gave some helpful ways to quickly plot out a novel. I use a beat sheet already, which is similar in this author's technique, but I especially love the scene and flow break down she offers in this. I will be trying her method on my next manuscript.
You all know how much I adore Lysa TerKeurst, and her newest release Uninvited is great for those who have dealt with feeling rejected (haven't we all). Working in the publishing world, there's a thread of rejection almost daily. She teaches us how to see rejection through our Creator's eyes versus our own emotions.
Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Sand and Kisses
This was the type of book I would want to read while on the beach. I wish that's where I read it, but... I don't read too much romance, but I do love the occasional clean, sweet treat one gets when diving into something like this. Each story was carefully thought out and left me with those butterfly tingles that are usually reserved for my Prince Charming. Books like this remind us that love is alive everywhere we look and makes us thankful for the love we have in our own lives.
It's been a busy reading month for me. In addition to these lovelies, which I read for fun, I also read several other manuscripts. Luckily, I never get tired of stepping out of my world and into others.
What Do You Do With A Problem
First, give me a moment to pour out all my feelings about this series. When I first read, What Do You Do With An Idea, I cried. Seriously. I was standing in the bookstore, flipping the pages, and Prince Charming came up wondering what in the world was happening. Why were there tears in my eyes? Everything about that book made me want to read it every day for the rest of my life. Needless to say, I cradled it in my arms to the check out counter and have loved it ever since. This book, the second in the series, is wonderful too. They're both inspiring and carry a message that makes me want to re-read them over and over again.
Where the Wild Things Are
I'm not sure how I escaped childhood without reading this book, but even the most well-read have their gaps. I love the illustrations in this, and I enjoyed the message. Monsters are never as scary as they seem. In fact, they're just like you and me. Timeless.
The Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon: Halloween Nightmares
I love the spiritual themes and adventurous nature of these books. They're unlike anything I've ever read, and though I feel they could be stronger, I still think they're fun. Not to mention, the quality of this book is amazing. The artwork and interior are superb, and the authors have created great marketing techniques for these as well.
Lysa TerKeurst is amazing. She's so genuine and real, someone everyone can relate to. I especially loved how she tackles the emotional experience. In this book, she discusses how we sometimes allow our emotions to override our lives and how devastating that can be for us and those around us. If you're a mountain out of a mole hill girl, this is the book for you (and me).
The Best Yes
For the past six weeks, I've been co-leading a small group on the concepts Lysa teaches in The Best Yes. I haven't read a book that has changed my life this much in a really long time. We live in a world where we are rushed and busy 24/7, but God doesn't call us to a rushed life. He wants us to "underwhelm our schedules, so He can overwhelm our souls." Friends, go buy this book.
The Dollhouse Asylum
The Dollhouse Asylum is not your typical YA read, which is why I loved it. We all love the strong, female character in modern literature, but I also enjoy diversity, an exploring of all types of people. Mary Gray does that by giving readers a peek into the inner workings of one girl's emotional journey of learning that the man she adores and looks up to, a former teacher, is actually a stone-cold killer. I found it interesting that the MC struggles with a lot of things women who are abused (both emotionally and physically) struggle with. But that's not who he really is. He's good underneath it all. He won't do it again now that he knows it hurts me. Fans of Waywardly Pines and The Girl With All the Gifts will probably enjoy this too.
Vanessa K. Eccles
Sharing wisdom on living a creative life.
Author of FABLED (2015) / Founder of The Faithful Creative Magazine / Executive Editor of Belle Reve Literary Journal
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