Bookish News

First Lines Fridays # 11

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. I first saw this on Life of A Literary Nerd  and decided this would be fun to start adding to my blog. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

*Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page

*Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first

*Finally… reveal the book!

Never regret anything that once made you happy. The deathbed advice part imparted years ago by her mother had comforted Steffi in the wake of many mistakes.


The Memory of You by Jamie Beck

The Memory of You is a renewed love story of two people trying to move forward from the mistakes in their past. It is a contemporary romance that will warm your heart.

From Back Cover

Stefanie Lockwood can repair anything, except her heart—that’s still recovering.

After a brutal assault leaves Steffi Lockwood with puzzling memory lapses, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how—with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one old friend puts her in the middle of a rift with another. Worse, being hired by her ex-boyfriend’s mother forces her to confront old regrets.

Public defender Ryan Quinn wasn’t shocked when his wife left him, but he was floored when she abandoned their daughter. With his finances up in the air, the newly single dad returns to his childhood home in Sanctuary Sound. The last person he expects, or wants, to see working on his family house is Steffi Lockwood—the first love who shattered his heart.

Although Steffi and Ryan are different people now, dormant feelings rekindle. But when Ryan’s concern for Steffi’s mental health prompts him to dig into her past for answers, will what he learns bring them together or tear them apart for good?

Have you read any books by Jamie Beck? Which one is your favorite? Share in the comments.

Bookish News, Giveaways

Healing Hannah’s Heart by Preslaysa William Cover Reveal


Time will heal her scars, but what will heal her heart?

Hannah Hart may have been burned by the breakup of her rocky marriage, but the ambitious Afro-Filipina model has big plans for her future. Her stunning looks and flawless skin provide the opening she craves to become a celebrity in the fashion world. Then an arsonist’s match brings Hannah’s world crashing down around her.

Recovering from the burns that destroyed her skin, Hannah is forced to accept help from the last person on earth she wants, her estranged husband, Jake Hart. Jake isn’t ready to give up on their marriage. The return of Jake’s teenage son from a one-night stand had been the catalyst for their breakup. How can he help both the son who resents his abandonment and the woman he still loves? He can do nothing about the scars on her skin, but can he heal Hannah’s heart?

As she struggles to rebuild her life from the ashes of her shattered dreams, does Hannah have the courage to give Jake a second chance? And is the world ready for a differently-abled model who will redefine what it means to be beautiful?






(U.S. Residents Only)


Preslaysa Williams is an award-winning author who writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with an Afro-Filipina twist. Proud of her heritage, she loves sharing her culture with her readers. She is currently earning her second graduate degree, a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, at Seton Hill University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Spanish Language & Literature from Columbia University.

Preslaysa is also a professional actress, a planner nerd, an avid bookworm, and a homeschool mom who often wears mismatched socks. To follow along with her busy life, visit her at where you can sign up for her newsletter community.



Book Features, Giveaways

#BookTour #BookSpotlight A Life Singular Series by Lorraine Pestell

In essence a love story, “A Life Singular” is a seven-part
contemporary fiction serial.
The books’ themes are triumph over mental illness, the choices we make
between right and wrong, and how one affects the other over the
relentless passage of time. Sales proceeds go to two Australian
non-profit organisations assisting young people with their education:
EdConnect Australia and The Smith Family.
Dealing with some of the more complex social justice issues of our age, the
universal theme of love and our fascination for celebrity spirit the
reader behind the scenes of a superstar family who are plunged into
grief, proving that there are always many sides to a story we see in
the media. The important events in our public lives are always
overshadowed by the backstory’s real truth.
A Life Singular
A Life Singular Series Book 1
by Lorraine Pestell
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

First in Epic 7-part Serial: Love and Loss, Celebrity and Secrets

The Endless Pursuit of Love and Wisdom

What do you do when you lose the one who gave your life meaning? You write
about it. You tell the world how amazing it is to love and be loved
by someone so special, what love helps you achieve and how it makes
you stronger.
Jeff Diamond had built a life of influence, adulation and wealth by making
the right choices for the right reasons. He lived by the law of
reciprocity, a lesson learned on the streets as a teenager with
nothing but an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Plagued by the
scars of a violent childhood, he created his vision and fought for
it. And once he no longer needed to fight for himself, he fought for others.
Yet when Jeff’s dream girl was taken from him and their children by the
ignorant act of a jealous misfit from his own home town, the
millionnaire realised just how far he had come. Why had he succeeded
when so many like him fail? It wasn’t complicated. The secret lay
in the endless pursuit of love and wisdom; life’s two magic
ingredients. Now Lynn was gone, he resolved to use his remaining days
to account for their life in a way that would inspire young people to
make his type of choice rather than García’s.
Then after their story was written, he would be free to go after her, to
begin the whole incredible journey over again. Everyone has a life
singular: one; unique; extraordinary.
A Life Found
A Life Singular Series Book 2
Writing an autobiography on behalf of someone else presented Jeff with an
interesting dilemma. Did he make assumptions about what Lynn would
have included, or should he restrict her contribution to direct
quotes from her letters and diaries? He had their kids to protect,
and her parents…
As he worked through the huge amount of material available in the press
about their life as it had taken shape, interlacing it with highly
personal stories, the widower crafted chapter after chapter of
memories, both happy and heartbreaking. If this was to be a true
account of their partnership, he owed it to the memory of his
beautiful best friend to cover so much more than what was already on
public record.
When it came to adding his own reminiscences of those early months, about
meeting someone he already knew intimately, Jeff had no difficulty in
recalling every single, vivid moment. Entire conversations came back
to him, sometimes word for word, rushing through his fingers and into
the computer.
Photographs prompted him too, as did the treasured possessions that surrounded
him, like the old leather jacket he had received on his twentieth
birthday. Lynn had left him shortly after that, just like she had
left him now. The pull of being together again was unrelenting, but
Jeff hung on to the dream that their life singular would one day
resume. Once their story had been told.
A Life Entwined
A Life Singular Series Book 3
Writing an autobiography on behalf of someone else presented Jeff with an
interesting dilemma. Did he make assumptions about what Lynn would
have included, or should he restrict her contribution to direct
quotes from her letters and diaries? He had their kids to protect,
and her parents.
Fame and fortune beckoned. Jeff Diamond was a success, whatever that
meant. Fans followed him everywhere, reporters and photographers hid
around every corner and journalists recorded his many indiscretions.
A whole different world to the downtrodden streets of Sydney’s
south-west, where vices were satisfied by using people to one’s
best advantage.
The star had more money than he could spend, his opinion suddenly
counted, and the opportunities to feed his ever-hungry mind were
plentiful. Yet the demons continued to torment him, no longer
protected by the guardian angel who had been spirited away as soon as
her family found out who Jeff Diamond was and where he had come from.
Suddenly the ambitious businessman and philanthropist found himself in the
fight of his life. He would win Lynn’s heart by showing her father
he was worthy, and by convincing his dream girl that they had
something worth fighting for. Would she risk throwing her privileged
lifestyle away for a man whose public persona depended on alcohol,
drugs and a string of pretty girls?
Jeff had nothing to lose. The trappings of his new life held little
significance until the soul-mates were reunited. This was where their
life singular really began. Up until this point, there had only been
playtime. Now they must step up and take responsibility. It was up to them.
A Life Lived
A Life Singular Series Book 4
So this was it! Lynn and Jeff, two celebrities driven to change the
world together, had grasped their life singular with both hands and
were not about to let go. They had the Midas touch, gifted through
the virtues of reciprocity and a deepening understanding of right
versus wrong.
The prospect of turning two into four, mirroring the black jetstone ring
that lived on the handsome man’s right hand, filled the couple with
excitement. Never in his wildest dreams had the no-good street kid
imagined himself as a father. His own had given him nothing. So much
less than nothing, in fact.
Should Jeff settle that score? Was it worth disturbing the paradise they had
planned, where their well-established careers showed no sign of
slowing down and their hard work yielded so much for so many?
Surfacing past wrongs and holding people to account for setting them
right were part and parcel of letting go, his dream girl had
insisted. And who was he to argue? She had been right all along.
As the book’s extraordinary chapters continued to document the
achievements of their life singular, the solitary author cried and
smiled in equal measure through the arrival of a small boy with
blond, curly hair and the sultry gipsy girl who could see inside his
soul from the moment she was born. Lynn had given him two new friends
who must now be steered through their young lives, learning their own
lessons about the endless pursuit of love and wisdom.
A Life Tested
A Life Singular Series Book 5
The world was an enormous place; full of good and evil, beauty and
ugliness, wonder and despair. Sometimes all seemed lost, returning
from the latest round of negotiations and attempting to balance the
surreal career of a chart-topping musician with the demands of an
advocate for those discarded by mainstream society. With every
problem the Diamonds worked to solve, a new one would be right around
the corner.
All was not lost, however. Unity and liberty, the
twin spirits living in two perfect beings waiting for him at home,
were all Jeff needed to spur him on. They would one day inherit the
world which he and his beautiful best friend were intent on changing
for the better, along with the millions of others who wrote to the
couple every day, seeking ever more of their energy, time and money.
The tired author kept reverting to the theme of
reciprocity. We should never take more than we give. If only they
could convince enough people of their byword… It was right that the
struggle should never end. What would he do if it did? There was no
room for self-satisfied fat cats in their life singular. What sort of
example might that set for those who must follow?
Lynn had departed, the children were growing stronger now, and the widower
heard the clock ticking night after night after night. Still with so
many amazing experiences to recount, the lost boy knew his dream girl
couldn’t wait forever. He was grateful for this opportunity to set
the record straight, but gratitude could only take him so far.
A Life Loved
A Life Singular Series Book 6
Lynn Dyson and Jeff Diamond had become the celebrity couple with the Midas
touch. With their son showing every sign of fulfilling his sporting
destiny and a teenaged daughter who was already driven to right the
world’s wrongs, they were showered with accolades and adoration
from every corner of the globe.
How had this nobody from the
wrong side of the tracks got so lucky? With his dream girl by his
side every step of the way, the superstar’s multi-faceted career
knew no bounds. Politicians clamoured for photo-opportunities, the
press hung on his every word and the success of their business empire
funnelled millions of dollars into worthy causes.
No wonder they had been an assassination target! Jeff’s autobiography
foretold this omen with twenty-twenty hindsight, his open wounds
smarting with each obvious opulent and outspoken occasion. “The
higher you climb, the harder you fall.” This tedious cliché rang
true for the father as he captured his teenagers’ many exploits for
posterity. He and Lynn had dared to scale enormous heights, paying
the ultimate price far too soon.
Had it all been worth it?
The book held these secrets, painstakingly transcribed by a man who
couldn’t wait to find out what was to come. Whether taken from his
lover’s journals, the children’s memories or the cataclysm of
poetry pouring from his lonely heart, the months leading up to his
next challenge had legitimised every decision the forever couple had
ever made.
He only hoped the same good fortune would hold true in the next lifetime.
A Life After
A Life Singular Series Book 7
“Their Handbook For Life Was Complete. Not A Cast-Iron Guarantee, But
A Good Start For Anyone Looking For Answers. The Rest Was Up To
Its Readers To Make Their Own Life Singular. Jeff Diamond
Sealed The Envelope On His Manuscript, Content That He Had Fully
Accounted For The Life That Had Brought Him To Where He Was Today.
Lynn Would Be Pleased With The Way Their Autobiography Had Turned Out,
Complete With A Carefully Selected Set Of Photographs And Proof-Read
From Cover To Cover By Their Gorgeous Daughter.
It was now time to finish things off properly, and that began by
acknowledging the mate who had stood by Jeff for almost thirty
years. Gerry Blake had been his squash partner, his manager,
his drinking buddy and his best man through the whole incredible
journey, in so many ways his alter-ego. He was now getting
married for the first time at forty-seven years old, no doubt spooked
by what had happened to his old friend.
The thankful billionnaire and the ghost living inside his heart were
determined to give Gerry and his new wife the very best send-off,
before continuing on their own quest for reunion. Would they
find a way to be together again? And how would the kids know to
keep telling their singular story?
Book 7 in the series is twinned with “Le Roi se meurt (The
King is Dead)”
by Eugène Ionesco.
Available December 2019.”
Lorraine Pestell was born in London and has had a successful IT career in the
UK, US, Europe, Singapore, and more recently Australia. Lorraine is a
life-long sufferer of Clinical Depression and Post-traumatic Stress
Disorder. She began using writing as therapy, attempting to find her
place in the world. “A Life Singular” soon developed into
an epic family saga, with the first book published in 2013. She
currently resides in Central Victoria with her rescued Belgian
Shepherd, Nikki.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Book Review: The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr

Title: The View from Alameda Island

Author: Robyn Carr

Publication Date: April 30, 2019

Genre: Women Fiction, Contemporary Literature

Rating: 4 Stars=Great Page Turner

Purchase at

The View from Alameda Island is about a woman finally learning her self worth. Lauren Delaney has been a devoted wife and mother but she can’t take the mistreatment from her husband anymore. When she decides to stand up for herself it changes her family’s lives forever.

As Lauren adjust to a new life she meets Beau, a gentleman going through a divorce and trying to start over. Unbeknownst to Lauren and Beau, their spouses aren’t taken them standing up for themselves very well. Brad, Lauren’s husband decides to take measures to make her change her mind.

This was a well written book that presents marriage,  family,  domestic life, self worth, friendship, and overcoming obstacles in a powerful way. The story had me invested in the characters even though some of them made me want to jump in the book to smack them.

I enjoyed Lauren’s journey in learning her self worth and standing her ground to find her happiness. Beau was an understanding friend even though he was going through his own turmoil. He was kind, patient and a lovable character. Lauren’s daughters Cassie and Lacy are another story. It was interesting to see the two sisters being on opposite sides. Cassie was supportive whereas Lacy was defensive and wanted her mother to get over everything. Brad was the character you had to watch out for because he was manipulative, abusive and sneaky.

When I got to the end of this book my perception of all the characters had changed. This book had me captured and anticipating what the characters would do. I enjoyed the journey. Overall, this was a great story about Lauren and Beau taking charge of their lives and destiny while protecting their hearts and learning it is okay to love again.

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