Book Features, Giveaways

Spotlight of Finding Home Mystery Series by Barbara Howard

Final Harvest

Finding Home Book 1

by Barbara Howard

Genre: Mystery

Traci Simmons has been fired from another job and must decide if it’s time to give up her home and start fresh in another town. But, when her elderly neighbor dies mysteriously, she is pulled into leading a crusade to save the neighbor’s urban farm and find the killer. Through her new and unexpected relationship with these invisible people, Traci faces her own insecurities to learn what home really means.

Backdrop: Homelessness, anxiety, food insecurity, gentrification.

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Charlotte’s Revenge

Finding Home Book 2

This is a continuation of the story of Traci Simmons. Her relationship with Officer Randall Wells unfolds and they embark on a new life together. As things get serious, someone from their past designs a scheme to ruin both of their lives. The suspense heats up as Randall becomes a target of the evil Charlotte Carter and it almost destroys his career. And, if that were not bad enough, his love and loyalty to Traci is put to the ultimate test.

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Milo’s Journey

Finding Home Book 3

With Traci in his corner, Milo has surmounted every challenge to become a rising star in Faucier County. His journey to success engenders hope to thousands of young people throughout the community. But when a cold case is reopened, it shatters everything he believes about himself and threatens to dismantle his relationships and his new life.

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Barbara Howard is a “not-so-cozy” mystery and YA author of a dozen books, including her most recent trilogy, Finding Home Mystery Series; Final Harvest, Charlotte’s Revenge, and Milo’s Journey. Stories with drama without the trauma, crime without the grime. She is a first generation tech geek turned master gardener with a passion for fresh air, vegan cuisine, and tracing her roots. A big city girl with a small town heart, she returned to her family home in the Midwest after an extensive career as a Department of Defense Project Manager at the Pentagon and spends most of her time treasure hunting, spoiling her fur-babies, growing veggies and raising chickens.

She has also published a collection of books on food-related topics, food safety, and heirloom recipe cookbooks under the pen name, Arlene Lee.

Memberships/Affiliations: Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Sisters in Crime (SinC)

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Sneak Peek of Bounty by Bobbi Schemerhorn

Rion glanced over his shoulder at his home one last time before crossing-over, through the portal and into the Hereafter. The hair on his arms and the back of his neck stood on end from the static caused by the two dimensions merging.

He pushed his way through Olympia’s portal. He could feel the warmth of the solid ground on the other side through the thin soles of his shoes. The Hereafter was a void absent of all life and sound; the space between worlds. He took a ragged breath. The air was so thin there may as well be none.

He spied the glow of Earth’s portal in the distance. He’d never used that particular portal before. Over the centuries Rion had traveled to Earth at least a hundred times, usually chasing the undesirables from his world, but sometimes from other worlds. The criminals would use the Hereafter to cross-over, attempt to escape to other places. It was Rion’s job to bring them home to face justice.

Only this time, Rion was the one on the run. His circumstance was different. He was no criminal. But his only hope for survival was to seek refuge on another planet. Many of his kind in similar situations fled to Earth, it was the closest thing to a safe haven as they could find.

The Earth portal was approximately twenty minutes away. Rion would need to move quickly to reach it. The Hereafter’s air supply was minimal, and his changing physiology made it difficult to breathe. Gods could survive days in the Hereafter, humans mere minutes. Even though he was more god than human, his survival would still be difficult. He tried to pick up his pace and jog, but the dim light and the uneven surface made it challenging. Rion coughed several times. It felt as if his lungs were collapsing in on themselves from the lack of oxygen. He had to get out, and quickly.

The black surface was like volcanic rock and was cracked as if all water had dried up many millennia ago. But he often wondered if the Hereafter had once been a luscious and beautiful place, full of life. Tiny particles floated in the air around him, only visible if caught at the right angle against the warm glow of the many thousands of portals.

The Hereafter made him uncomfortable. The darkness seemed to enclose on him, and the lack of sound seemed to scream in his

ears, like air rushing through a tight tunnel.

As he approached the portal the hair on his arms and the back of his neck again stood on end. The sound of rushing water filled his ears; all of Earth’s portals were submerged. It was going to be a difficult transfer. Kilometers of ocean separated Rion from freedom.

Before crossing-over from the Hereafter to Earth he struggled to take a final breath. His chest tightened and the thin air rattled through his lungs as he heaved in a breath. It had been months of planning, careful meticulous planning. He was directed to take this portal; it was the closest of all Earth’s portals. With his physical changes he would never survive the trek to any of the others.

Rion pushed through the portal. Immediately, the cold of the water began to seep through his bodysuit. It was made of organic material meant specifically for travelling to Earth. They had a series of sensors to help regulate the user’s body temperature in the frigid waters. The organic component also helped to make the suit more buoyant which would help him reach the surface faster. Rion suspected since his physiology is changing the suit wasn’t able to protect him properly.

The water was heavy and dark, he was certain he knew where

he needed to go. He struggled, kicking his legs frantically to reach the surface before his lungs finally reached a point where they force him to take a gulp of air. Only it would be a mouth full of Earth’s salty ocean water.

His mind raced and drifted to when he had still been fully a god; when this short distance would have been a mere inconvenience. Now his ability to remain underwater had deteriorated. He knew the changes would only make this journey more treacherous the longer he stayed on Olympia. He feared he waited too long before leaving his world. The illness that plagued him was mutating his genes, changing him into a human.

He gasped for breath as he broke the surface. Rion leaned his head back and treaded water the best he could while trying to catch his breath. The sky was dark, and he looked at all the tiny specks of light.

How many of those have portals? he wondered.

As he was about to start the long swim to shore, he heard a motor. It was getting closer and louder. As he spun about he spotted a watercraft gliding toward him.

“I didn’t think you were going to make it,” came a female voice. “You tripped the sensors fifteen minutes ago; I thought maybe you drowned.” A slight girl sat atop her ride like a knight on a horse.

Bounty

by Bobbi Schemerhorn

Genre: Urban Fantasy

On a world called Olympia, a terrible disease plagues the race of gods. As rumors spread about the disappearance of the anomalias, many infected gods flee through portals from Olympia to other worlds, including Earth, hoping to avoid a similar fate.

When the disease infects Rion, a bounty hunter who once helped return anomalias to Olympia, he, too, seeks sanctuary on Earth. But Rion’s partner, Temis, hunts him. Temis still believes the lies told to the bounty hunters about the anomalias. She believes they are violent, paranoid, delusional.

Rion’s only hope is to convince Temis to see the dark truth. But how can he convince her that everything she thought she knew is a lie?

A race against time to discover a chilling truth with powerful consequences.

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Bobbi Schemerhorn was born in Nova Scotia, but raised in Alberta. She has lived all across Canada, living in at least five different provinces, thanks to her military husband. Bobbi enjoys watching a variety of TV shows and movies; she is a Sims 2 playing fool, and loves working with her hands making crafts. Although she has no human children she does have one beautiful kitty who has reached her 19th year.
Bobbi is self-published in the fantasy genre. She has dabbled in Steampunk and Greek Mythology as well as Urban and Epic. Outside of her own writing Bobbi takes pride in helping her fellow authors with their work with her content editing and beta reading. She is known for her tough love both in her professional and personal life.

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Spotlight of The Edisto Trilogy by Lin Stepp

Claire at Edisto

The Edisto Trilogy Book 1

by Lin Stepp

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Standing in grief and shock at the grave of her young husband, Claire Avery wonders what she and her young daughters will do now. They live in the church parsonage they need to vacate. She hasn’t worked since her marriage twelve years ago. Old issues and complications hinder relationships with her family. Struggling for answers, Claire accepts her brother-in-law’s offer to stay at his beach house at Edisto to give her a season to heal and think. But even the peace and beauty of the coastal island bring new problems along with unexpected joys as Claire seeks to find her way.

Parker Avery always promised his brother Charles he would look after Claire if anything happened to him. Charles stood by him three years ago when his wife Ann died and Parker is determined now to be a help to Claire and the girls. As time passes, instead of feeling like a hero, he feels like a heel instead as he realizes he’s developing feelings for his own brother’s widow. To make things worse, he watches with pain and jealousy as Miles Lawrence waltzes into Claire’s life. What can he expect though? It hardly seems right that Claire, even after a season of mourning, would ever fall in love with her own brother-in-law.

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Return to Edisto

The Edisto Trilogy Book 2

Return to Edisto Island in the rich, Lowcountry story of a young woman’s difficult decision to run from threat and danger, changing the course of her well-ordered life and, in turn, the life of the young man who loved and lost her.  

It was a long trip back to Edisto Island, South Carolina, and the beach house that shaped so much of Mary Helen Avery’s early life. Now her mind flashed between anger and hurt over the difficult situation she’d left behind at the job she loved.  Was she doing the right thing to leave? Should she have stayed to fight? She hoped at the quiet, beloved island she knew so well, she’d find the answers she needed and peace from all this turmoil.

J.T.’s heart took a familiar lurch when he saw the car with New Jersey plates parked at the Avery’s beach house. Even after ten years, the memory of Mary Helen Avery still tormented him.  Finding her on the porch weeping lit old fires he thought long dead. Was he a fool to hope for something more between them with all their problems of the past? Probably so, but if she stayed long enough, he’d find one more chance to try.

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Edisto Song

The Edisto Trilogy Book 3

In EDISTO SONG a young woman, at the pinnacle of success, is forced to reexamine her dreams as she finds her life as a concert pianist not what she envisioned and those her life is entwined with far from what she believed of them.

Sarah Katherine Avery, becoming internationally known as a young concert pianist of great promise, finds herself at a difficult moment in her career-home in New York, getting ready for a concert with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra but feverish and ill. After pushing on for weeks through illness, her neighbor and friend encourages her to talk to her agent about taking a break for healing after this concert. Worn and disillusioned, Sarah heads over to the concert hall to talk to Jonah but the shock of what she encounters at that meeting spirals her life in a new direction.

Andrew Cavanaugh has traveled to New York from Beaufort to be a support to his boss’s daughter, Sarah Katherine Avery-Suki to him-for her concert performance. A friend of Suki’s since childhood years at Edisto, and always a supporter of her gift and her music, Andrew is shocked when Suki collapses on stage. He learns as he sits with her at the hospital that her life holds unhappiness none of them knew of but her answers for how to resolve her current problems threaten to send his well-ordered life right out the window.

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Lin Stepp is a New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon best-selling international author, A native Tennessean, businesswoman, and former  faculty member at Tusculum College, Lin has twenty-one published books, including her beloved Smoky Mountain and Mountain Home novels, all set in different Tennessee and North Carolina locations, a novella in one of Kensington’s Christmas anthologies, and three novels in her Edisto Trilogy, set on the South Carolina coast: Claire at Edisto (2019), Return to Edisto (2020) and Edisto Song (2021). Lin and her husband J.L. also write regional guidebooks, including a Smoky Mountain hiking guide, and two state parks guidebooks for Tennessee and South Carolina. Stepp’s latest novels set around the Smoky Mountains are Downsizing (2021) centered near Gatlinburg and Happy Valley (2020) set near Townsend.  Lin’s title Claire At Edisto was the 2019 Best Books Award Winner in Fiction: Romance, sponsored by American Book Fest, her novel Welcome Back a finalist in the 2017 Selah Awards, and Lin and her husband’s guidebook Discovering Tennessee State Parks a 2019 Best Books Award Finalist in Nonfiction: Travel Guides with American Book Fest. Lin enjoys speaking for events, festivals, libraries, and book clubs, reading, hiking, exploring out of doors, and keeping up with her readers on Facebook, Twitter, and through her monthly blog and newsletter which you will find on her website at: http://www.linstepp.com

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Book Features, Book Reviews, Giveaways

Book Review & Spotlight: Forbidden by Adrienne Woods

Forbidden: A Red Riding Hood Retelling

by Adrienne Woods

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

This is not The Little Red Riding Hood we grew up with. 



Supernatural races—vampires, werewolves, witches, you name it—all exist.

Eighteen-year-old Rue Chaperon and her family belong to an elite hunting society, the S.H.A—Supernatural Hunting Association—and what the Chaperons hunt best are werewolves.
 When a new hunting group convinces the Chaperons to team up with them and try a different approach to hunting the supernatural by taking out the Alpha, it sounded like a great idea.
Taking out the Alpha meant they’d eradicate the entire race.
Piece of cake, right?

But nothing is ever easy when you’re a hunter.


A Little Red Riding Hood retelling with a spin that will make you believe not all fairytales were meant for children.

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Forbidden is a paranormal romance based off the red riding hood fairytale. Ru and her family are hunters and have been hunting werewolves. Hunting them believing they are killing humans. A new group of hunters lead by a guy named Collin, approach Ru’s family wanting them to join forces. Collin and his crew have a hidden agenda and Ru’s family has some secrets of their own. Ru is just not aware of these secrets yet.

I like this author’s take on the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale. The essential parts of the fairytale like the red cloak and there being a wolf is true to the story, only Ru’s not going to grandma’s house in this one. The reveals were timed perfectly and the dynamics between Ru and her sister, Liz, brought the much needed tension to the story. The love interest and hint of romance was not over the top and complemented the storyline. The ending has me wanting more. This book is perfect for lovers of fairytales and paranormal fantasy stories.

I will definitely read more from this author.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Adrienne is a USA Today Bestselling author.

She’s been in love with books all her life and knew at the age of 13 that she is going to be a writer one day.

That dream happened ten years ago and she started to pen her stories down on paper. Firebolt, her debut novel, was released 4 years after that, and she hasn’t stopped since.

Now she almost has 15 novels under her belt, and it doesn’t look like she is going to stop soon.
Go to her books to discover her series and those that still need to come.

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