Bookish News, Guest Posts

Authors & Readers Book Corner’s January Wrap Up

Wow, isn’t the title of this post a mouth full to say. I tell yaw!

Anyway, I wanted to share my thoughts on the books I read for my first wrap up for the new year. I read a variety and hit some books in series that I’m trying to finish.

This are the books I read in January:

On Pointe by Shelly Ellis (3 Stars)

This was a wonderful set up to this new series set in a dance academy school ran by siblings and their mother. It was exciting meeting the first sister, Bina who has recently had a breakup but determined to get on with her life. Bina’s transformation in the story made it worth reading but I share more in my review.

*Full review will be available later this week.

Ex-Ray by Cheryl Robinson (5 Stars)

Ex-Ray had me on the edge of my seat and wanting so much more. These characters had me mesmerized from the first chapter with their betrayal, secrets and personal issues. It has everything a juicy drama needs and I enjoyed it so much and can’t wait till book three comes out later this year. I talked about it more in my review here.

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (5 Stars) 

No words can express the kick ass main character in this series, Mercy Thompson. Even though she puts herself in danger more times than she should, the plots, descriptions and locations make you feel like your in the story with her.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (3 Stars)

I’m sure this book is just a set up for more action and better character development because at this point I’m not invested in this series at all. I dont want to give up on it just yet. I do believe Celeana has the potential to be a great. I also like that she is not fully following the King’s wishes even though I believe it’s going to backfire at some point.

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (3 Stars)

I will be honest the only reason I purchased this book is because I loved her father. The plot of this book seemed intriguing and I’m always up for a suspense, thrillers and mysteries. However, it was boring as heck for me. The twists were flat and the ended was rushed. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters but I will give her next work a try if there is one.

The Killing Lessons by Saul Black (3 Stars)

I’m a big fan of psychological thrillers especially those with serial killers, which I hoped this would be a great one. It didn’t excite me like I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong, it starts off great and the author created characters tgat yoy really get to know.  The suspense is even there but It seemed he got long winded in some areas that could have been shorten and maybe the story wouldn’t have stalled for me.

The Alpha Drive by Kristen Martin (3 Stars)

I’m not a big fan of science fiction/Fantasy books but I love the movies. This particular book caught my attention. I was able to pick up on Emory going to a boarding school when she is asked to join an organization but then she is asked to play both sides, good vs bad. Emory has to decide who to believe and figure out who she can trust. This book kept my attention even though it felt rushed and some of the characters actions were not believable. I still enjoyed it and will probably buy the rest of the books in the series.

Saturday’s at Sweeney’s by Ashley Farley (5 Stars)

I love a good mystery and this book did it for me. After reading this, I so ordered the rest of the books in this series. I love the Sweeney family with all of their flaws and secrets. This is book five and I believe the last book and it starts off with the family’s business burning down. Who started it? everyone wants to know. You have to read it to find out.

*Full review will be available later this week.

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs ( 5 Stars)

In Iron Kissed the stakes are pretty high and Mercy made me so mad at her in this one. There is also a little love triangle that has you picking sides before you get to the end.

As you can see in my January Wrap Up there were books I loved and some books that didn’t work for me. I always give an author a second chance, so I will try another one of their books.

What books did you read for January? If you have read any of the titles above, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought about them.


Book Reviews

Book Review: All We Knew by Jamie Beck

Title: All We Knew

Author: Jamie Beck

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars= Non-Stop Page Turner

Purchase at

All We Knew is the second book in the Cabot novel series by Jamie Beck. It focuses on Hunter Cabot and his wife Sara trying to start a family but obstacles keep getting in their way.

Hunter’s insistence on keeping the family business from being sold, causes some issues within the family. Sara’s longing to start a family has her volunteering at a domestic shelter, Angel House to take her mind off of everything happening at home.

Jenna has convinced her husband, Jed, to sell the family tea company, which changes their relationship with Hunter. Jed is also having some health problems that prompt him to sale the company. Younger sister, Gentry needs to get her life together after finding herself in a situation that causes her to make a hard decision.

It seems all of the Cabot’s have decisions to make in this book.

All We Knew has become one my favorite books by Jamie Beck. I’m truly captured by this family’s strength, their business minds, strong opinions, love for family and their willingness to fight for what they want especially that darn, Hunter.

This book was provided by the author for review purposes only.

Meet The Author

Meet the Author: Interview with Melissa Bennett

How did you get started as a writer?

The first time I opened a Thesaurus I fell in love with words. Writing has always been a dream of mine. I’ve tried my hand at poetry, and even song lyrics. But mostly I journal. I talk to God by writing things down. I’ve shared a few things with close friends who encouraged me to pursue it. That’s how the it all started.

You write romantic suspense, what led you to that genre?

When I began writing Hidden Thorns I didn’t know that it would become a suspense novel. I had no idea what the term “pantser” meant. The story developed organically. I knew where it began and where I wanted it to end. But the mystery/suspense aspect of Lil and Michael’s story just happened. Hidden Thorns is the first in a series, tentatively titled “Impossible Grace”. The series will feature many characters introduced in Hidden Thorns, all with a romantic element at their core, but not necessarily suspense.

However, if you check out my website, you’ll see that I have a different work in progress in the suspense genre.

Do you have a writing process? If yes, what is it?

My writing process is still developing. I have so much to learn about my craft. I’ve begun using the Scriviner software and I’m discovering my version of plotting. But I’m still amazed at how the story can twist and turn as the characters reveal themselves.

Each chapter begins with a blank page. I start with big plot points. When I hit a wall, I put down a few descriptive directions and move to the next scene. That’s the purpose of a first draft, right? 😊

What has been the best advice you’ve received as a writer/author?

“You can’t edit what’s not on the page.” For the life of me I cannot recall who said this or where, but it’s golden wisdom. And it’s a good reminder not to stress too much about the first several drafts. If there are words on the page, you have something to work with.

As a writer, mother and wife, how do you balance your writer life and your family life?

We are very recent “empty nesters”. Two of the kids are on their own, and two are still in college. I am also very fortunate that my husband supports my writing efforts.

My primary balancing act is being a caregiver for my father who is in a nursing facility. Currently, I have three dedicated writing days. If I can grab another, that’s great. God willing, I will have many years left to write. But time with Dad is a priority.

Let’s talk about your debut title, tell us a little about Hidden Thorns.

Lil is a woman of quiet, godly strength. She is recently divorced, and navigating her new-found independence. But her seemingly idyllic new life is abruptly interrupted by a stalker.

Enter confirmed bachelor, and very handsome, Detective Michael Corsey. Initially, taking the case as a favor to an old friend, Michael soon finds himself caught between duty and desire. A relationship with Lil, a conservative Christian, has Michael wading through uncharted waters.

As Lil and Michael’s relationship blossoms, the threats from the phantom stalker grow increasingly violent. Lil is torn between a second chance at love and protecting anyone she cares about. The ensuing events will test the strength of Lil’s relationships, her faith, and possibly even her life.

Tells us a little about Lillian and Det. Michael Corsey.

It is so fun to be able to describe their personalities. It’s something that must be inferred when you read the book. But as the author, I know these characters intimately.

Lillian is a very loyal person. It took thirty years and her husband’s infidelity to leave a marriage of neglect. Even when given the opportunity to malign him, she chooses not to. She has accepted that life long love has passed her by. But when she meets Michael, glimmers of hope begin to twinkle.

Michael is a complex character with deep wounds. His devotion is to the badge alone – until he meets Lil. You’ll see beautiful changes in him as the story progresses.

What is next for Melissa Bennett? Are you working on any new projects?

The second book in this series, currently titled Veiled Blessings, is my project of the day. It will feature Lil’s best friend Katie. Southern, sassy and very guarded, Katie has depths that we have yet to explore. She will have a second opportunity for real love and the fulfilment of dreams that she thought were long buried. The question is, will she allow herself to be vulnerable enough to recognize and accept them for the gifts they are?

What is your favorite quote?

There are so many! But as a quinquagenarian who is just beginning her writing career, I like this one best:

“You are never to old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~ C. S. Lewis

Where can readers find you?

Check out my website and see what things I’m working on. There’s a place there to send me an email if you’d like to chat.

You can also find me on Facebook at or on Twitter at


About the Book

Hidden Thorns

After a 30 year marriage, Lillian (Lil) is enjoying her new independence. But her seemingly idyllic new life is abruptly interrupted by a stalker. Enter the handsome Detective Michael Corsey. Though initially the case was a favor to an old friend, he quickly finds himself caught between duty and desire. And the attraction is very mutual.But relationship with Lil, a conservative Christian, is uncharted territory for Michael, who hasn’t exercised his faith since he was a young man.

Soon enough, Lil is torn between a second chance at love and protecting anyone she cares about from the increasingly violent threats of the phantom stalker.

The thrills, chills, joys and pains of Hidden Thorns, are sure to have you captivated.

Purchase at

Learn more about Melissa Bennett by visiting her website.

Book Features, Giveaways

Sneak Peek of Burn So Bad by J. H. Croix #giveaway

Burn So Bad

by J.H. Croix
Publication Date: January 18, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Firefighter, Standalone


Amazon: (#FREE with #KindleUnlimited)



Levi drives me crazy, and not the good kind of crazy.
He’s smoldering hot and so d*mn sexy, it’s dangerous.
He’s a hotshot firefighter and nearly sets me on fire whenever he’s around.
Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard.
He teases me every chance he gets and tempts me to let down my guard.
I certainly don’t need a man.
But Levi’s more than a man. He’s a man on octane fuel—pure, raw, primal masculinity practically oozes from his pores.
One night of weakness, and I tumble into the flames.
It’s more than lust. It’s how I feel when I’m with him—safe and protected. I never want to let go.
I might get burned if I’m not careful.


Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and hate can always turn into love.
Or at least lust.
Lucy hates me. She especially hates how much I want her.
And sweet h*ll do I want her.
But she can’t be bothered to even give me the time of day.
I should give up the chase, but I can’t.
It’s more than a spark between us, it’s a bonfire.
Fate rolls the dice and lands Lucy right where I want her.
She needs my help, and I need her, every inch of her lush curves.
One taste, and I’m lost. I’ll do anything to have her and to hold her.
To make her mine.

*This is a steamy, full-length standalone romance with a guaranteed happily-ever-after. No cliffhangers. Nothing but steamy romance & HEA!




What the hell? Levi has a hamster? Wow.
The incongruity of it made me burst out laughing. I leaned down to stroke my fingers over its fur. The little hamster wiggled under my touch and looked up.

“Ah, I see you’ve met Ham.”

Levi’s voice was low and gravelly, roughened from sleep. The sound of it sent a prickle down my spine. I stood quickly and spun to find him rounding the corner of the balcony.

Sweet hell.

The moment I saw him, heat unfurled in a wave through my body. Did I mention he was calendar material? I knew he was handsome, but my imagination had not done him justice. He wore nothing more than a pair of navy blue cut off sweatpants that hung low on his hips. His chest might as well have been carved from stone. Every muscle was delineated. He was so fit, it should’ve been illegal. My eyes soaked him in. I couldn’t look away. My mouth went dry, and my pulse took off like a rocket.

All the while, I stood there with a hamster who decided to climb on my foot. I was so discombobulated, I’d forgotten I was wearing nothing other than a t-shirt. It hung just past my hips. When this fact occurred to me, I flushed straight through. I realized Levi probably had a perfect view of my bottom when I bent over to pet the hamster who was apparently named Ham. I was all kinds of hot and bothered. This ranked up there with one of the most mortifying moments I’d experienced. Ever.

I couldn’t seem to snap out of it, just staring at him while heat bloomed in my center and radiated outward. If Levi noticed anything amiss, I couldn’t tell. He closed the distance between us until he was right in front of me. Only inches away.

I wanted to touch him. Desperately.

My hand apparently had a mind of its own. Because I touched him without even thinking, reaching out and sliding my palm down his chest. His skin was warm, lightly dusted with hair. His rich blue gaze locked to mine. The air around us felt alive, shimmering and pulsing with need.



USA Today Bestselling Author J. H. Croix lives in a small town in the historical farmlands of Maine with her husband and two spoiled dogs. Croix writes steamy contemporary romance with strong independent women and rugged alpha men who aren’t afraid to show some emotion. Her love for quirky small-towns and the characters that inhabit them shines through in her writing. Take a walk on the wild side of romance with her bestselling novels!

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