Devon’s Choice by Catherine Bennett

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devon's choiceDevon‘s Choice

Life holds no surprises for Devon Murphy. Her life consists of keeping tabs on her aging Irish father, working part time at a coffee shop, and building her online graphics design business. Devon’s only tricky situation is a shallow relationship with the pampered and affluent Michael Turner, who sees her as just another woman to conquer.

Following his father’s death, Brandon’s only goal is to expand the family business and live life on his own terms. That is, until he walks into the coffee shop one snowy evening and meets the enchanting, red-haired barista behind the counter. But can Devon and Brandon’s attraction for each other be strong enough to help erase their deepest disappointments and renew their faith in God?

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Review – I’ll be reviewing this book in the near future. 

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Catherine Bennett

Author Catherine Bennett

I grew up in Ohio where I currently live with my husband and our two rescue Labradors. Some of my favorite things include reading, shopping, pepperoni pizza, Hershey bars and hanging out with my two grown sons. I also love dogs; so going to the dog park is cheap entertainment for my husband and I!

Growing up an only child, I had many imaginary friends. I believe this – and a love of books – fueled my desire to write. It was many years later that my dream of becoming a published author came true.

I’m grateful to God for always keeping a story in my heart and hope you are blessed and entertained by my book.

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$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/30/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Excerpt –

He looked up at the menu board.  “I’ll take a Grande.  Black, please.”

Chuckling, she thought about how impressed her dad would be with this guy.  He considered anyone who drank coffee black in the same category as his favorite actor, John Wayne.  She poured the coffee, and rang up his order.

“That’s two-dollars and fifty cents.”  He handed her his debit card, which she swiped.

He took the cup.  “Thanks.  Have a good one.”

“Yeah, you too.”

He walked over to one of the upholstered chairs and sank down into its well-used seat.  The shop owner had talked of replacing the pair of relics with some sturdy, leather ones.  Leather would flatter this guy much better than the faded paisley print on the old ones.  Devon glanced at him out of the corner of her eye.  Yes, leather was definitely his style, but not the biker stuff.  No, he’d look best in a rugged, mahogany leather jacket instead of the puffy, gray parka he wore.

The Party Plan by Melanie Jayne – Review

The Party Plan CoverAvery Grant has been through a rough patch, she gave up her career to move home to help take care of her ailing parents. She married a man that she did not love and he almost bankrupted her family’s farm. Now she is going to get what she wants and for over twenty years she has wanted Kade Martin.

Kade has been attracted to his sister’s best friend for twenty years. In the beginning Avery was too innocent, then she was married and he was busy working hard and playing harder.

The plan is simple.

After tonight’s party for their godson’s engagement, Avery is going home with Kade. One night of sex with no strings.

That’s the plan.



 The Party Plan is available on Kindle or Paperback



My Review:

Hot, Fast, and Cheap! Well, take back the cheap there! If you only have a few minutes and you are looking for a great sexy read – look no further! The Party Plan will have you hot and bothered in a smoldering New York second as the saying goes.

Two people who have spent half their lives longing for each other find themselves unattached and at each other’s beck and call. Let the flirting begin.

Not the normal genre I review on my blog, but I like experimenting with my reading every now and then. I’m giving The Party Plan a huge thumb’s up.

Check back tomorrow for an interview with the author!

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This domineering side of Kade was the man she had fantasized about being with. Avery moistened her lips as she prepared her answer, “Yes.”

Yes what?”

Oh God,” his lips continue teasing her sensitive neck. It was so hard to form words, lost in the feeling. “I, uhm, I like this. I like your hands on me.” She tilted her head further so that he would have better access to her sensitive skin.

Kade chuckled, “Very good, Avery. For the record, I’ve wanted you for a long time. Christ, you were still a shy teenager when I wanted you the first time. I remember watching you spread suntan lotion on your body, your oil covered hands touching your skin. I was home on leave, but back then you were too innocent for me. So I stayed away, I knew it wasn’t the right time. I’ve been waiting for that time to come. I won’t stay away tonight.”

The Author, Melanie Jayne –

I live on a grain farm southeast of Indianapolis, Indiana with my very patient husband of twenty-five years and our two English Mastiffs, Buster Brown and Ginger. I graduated from Indiana University when it was the #1 party school in the country and I took great pride in helping the school achieve that ranking.

I haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I change careers every decade. I have worked in retail, a federal courtroom, travelled across the state closing loans, and behind the scenes in a casino.

I’ve always had an active imagination so when a good friend suggested that I try writing a book, I thought why not, it should be fun. It has, but I have had to work very hard to learn how to do it. I am so lucky for the outpouring of advice and education from so many in the industry, plus the hand-holding and cheerleading from My Gurls. I also have an incredible Ad-man-istrative Assistant, who tries to keep me under control. He rolls his eyes so much that I worry about a permanent condition.

When I ‘m not working or writing type stuff, I sleep, watch courtroom TV shows, and sports. I was a competitive pro-am ballroom dancer for ten years and I read as many books as I can.

​I love to attend Author-Reader Conventions and look forward to meeting you.






By Melanie Jayne

-Turning Tables by Adele

-Colorblind by Amber Riley (the Cast of Glee)

-I’ll Be by Edwin McCain

-Raise Your Glass- Pink

-Glitter in the Air- Pink

-Fields of Gold- Sting

-If I Were a Boy- Beyonce

-Don’t Speak-No Doubt

-Only Happy When It Rains-Garbage

-This is the Time-Billy Joel

-Clown-Emeli Sande

-Animal-Nine Inch Nails

-Hate On Me- Jill Scott

-Cowboy-Kid Rock

-Bawitdaba-Kid Rock

ACCEPT THIS DANDELION by Brooke Williams – Review, 5 stars

Renee Lockhart has her eye on a lofty goal…to fill the open position of morning radio show host at the station where she works. When her co-workers sign her up for a local TV version of The Bachelor, Renee goes along with it in order to raise her profile.

Upon seeing her bumbling audition, Ben McConnell, one of the most eligible bachelors in town, insists that Renee be placed on the show. But Ben gets much more than he expected in Renee… he gets a girl who can’t seem to do anything right…and a girl he can’t seem to resist.

Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams is a former radio announcer/producer and script writer turned freelance writer and author. When Brooke’s first daughter was born in 2009 she left her full time radio career to stay home. Eventually, she realized she could fulfill her lifelong desire to write while her daughter napped and she then entered into the freelance writing world. As her business grew, she took on clients from all over the world and began to dabble in fiction writing once again. Brooke has several books on the market including her first novel, “Someone Always Loved You” and the thriller “Beyond the Bars.” Her upcoming released include “Wrong place, Right time” (December 9th 2014 from the Writer’s Coffee Shop), “Accept this Dandelion” (feb 2015, Prism Book Group) and “Mamarazzi (August 2015, Prism Book Group.) She even has a children’s book under contract for Feb 2016. Brooke loves all things writing and currently specializes in clean romantic comedy, though she’s written a bit of everything.

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My Review:

Accept this Dandelion is a great book from start to finish. The humor is outstanding and I found myself crying from laughing so hard. It is tender and romantic. The writing was great. I really really enjoyed this book.

Renee couldn’t do anything right. She fell at his feet, lit herself on fire, pushed him into pools, told him embarrassing stories, and admitted to hearing voices. Why did he not alert security to her presence and have her escorted from the premises?

If I say anymore on the subject I will definitely be spilling the beans on the entire story. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance and loves the combination of comedy and romance. You will devour this book in one sitting. I’m giving Accept this Dandelion five stars.

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Christmas in Snow Valley Blog Tour and Giveaway!

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Christmas in Snow Valley



Christmas in Snow Valley


Christmas in Snow Valley is packed with six wonderful Christmas novellas sure to bring romance into your holiday season.

Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.

An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson
Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?

Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis
Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancé, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.

Full Court Devotion by Cami Checketts
Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn’t pursue him or even seem interested. Ty’s career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.

The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart
When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.

Risking it all for Love by Kimberley Montpetit
Succumbing to family pressure, Jessica Mason reluctantly comes home for Christmas. Ever since her high school boyfriend’s death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica and religion have not been compatible. So, when she visits Michael’s grave, she’s surprised to meet the handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down. Is she ready to take another risk on love?

Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell
As head of Snow Valley hospital’s fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn’t have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She’s been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.

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Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/20/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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My Thoughts:

So far I have completed An Unexpected Kiss and have begun the second story in the set. An Unexpected Kiss was a delightful quick read, just the kind you are looking for at this time of the year. It’s all about finding love when and where you least expect it.

I hope you hop over to Amazon or where ever you enjoy purchasing your books and grab a copy. They are stories sure to please any romantic at heart.


An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson

Unlocking her door, Lucy opened it and slid in behind the wheel. She closed the door, knowing Cole probably wondered what was wrong with her. Just as she started the car, a knock on the driver’s side window made her jump.

Cole stood there watching her, his face reflecting both a mixture of confusion and amusement. Lucy lowered the window, and he leaned down so they were eye level.

“Are you running away from me?”

Why did he have to be so direct?


He grinned. “That’s the second time you’ve done this. I’m beginning to think you don’t like me.”

She snorted an unladylike laugh. “Right.”

“Don’t laugh. I’m getting a complex.”“

If it’s any consolation, it’s me not you.”

That earned her another perplexed look. “That’s a little cliché. I’m sure you can do better than that.”

Yeah, she could, but she didn’t dare blurt out how much she liked kissing him, and admit that that was what scared her.

Continue reading

Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt (Chapter 1, Giveaway)


Cheryl Holt celebrates her years as “The Queen of Erotic Romance” with this sexy, yummy, and fun tale of a bride’s seductive antics on her wedding night…

Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, is in a bind. His father has cut off his allowance, so he’s had to rein in his decadent habits and split with his beautiful, spoiled mistress whom he can no longer afford. When an American heiress comes to London and dangles her fortune in Stephen’s direction, he sees it as the answer to his prayers. He’ll wed the pretty, delectable heiress, but he won’t let her interfere with his decadent lifestyle. He’s a confirmed bachelor and determined to have a marriage of convenience.

Ellen Foster has traveled to London for the express purpose of buying a titled husband. She’s been husband shopping for months and can’t make up her mind. All the available candidates seem tepid and boring. But when she lays eyes on handsome, dashing Stephen St. John, she knows he’s the one, and with her large fortune as bait, he’s easily snared in her web.

When he suggests a marriage of convenience, she pretends to agree. But she has no intention of living separate lives. She plans to enjoy every delightful, wicked minute that marriage to a rake can provide. With Stephen determined to avoid her, seduction seems the only choice.

Though Stephen doesn’t realize it, Ellen always gets her way, and as she turns their bedchamber into a den of erotic pleasure, poor Stephen doesn’t stand a chance…


CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author of over thirty-five novels.

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance” as well as “The International Queen of Villains.” She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans. Visit her website at

Purchase on Amazon: I will be posting the link soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the excerpt below.

 Cheryl Holt is giving away a set of The Lord Trent trilogy to one

lucky winner. 

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London, 1815…

“Well, good night then, Lord Banbury.”

“Good night.”

Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, eventually to be Earl of Stafford if his recalcitrant, impossible father ever dropped dead, glared at the interloper who’d now been his wife for all of ten hours.  The silence extended; the farewell grew awkward.

What repartee, precisely, was a man supposed to express at a time such as this?  Sleep well?  Pleasant dreams?  See you in the morning?  Or how about more aptly, What was I thinking, marrying a woman I don’t know?  Have I gone mad?

Nothing seemed appropriate.  Astoundingly, he blushed, his cheeks heating with an embarrassing dose of discomfort.

The wedding guests were gone, the house had been tidied by what was left of his domestic staff, and he’d been about to leave too, when he’d stumbled upon her floating down the stairs.  She was scarcely dressed, clad in a diaphanous green negligee and robe that hardly covered anything that ought to be covered.  Apparently, as she’d concluded that he was already off to his merrymaking, she’d believed herself to be alone in the massive, drafty domicile.  Unable to sleep, she’d descended to fetch a relaxing refreshment.

Her hair was blond, the shade of ripened wheat.  It was unbound and hanging down her back to brush her bottom, and he was gravely troubled by the display.  She was much too forward and assured, prancing about in her nightwear before an unfamiliar man, yet she didn’t appear perturbed.

Yes, he was her husband, but nevertheless, they were strangers.

Even though he hadn’t meant to, he evaluated her graceful figure.  He was only human!  He couldn’t be expected to avoid looking at what was flaunted in plain sight.

She was much too shapely, and he squirmed uneasily and inspected the floor, only to be confronted by her feet.

Her toenails were painted red!  The splash of bright crimson in the dull salon seemed immoderately sexy, out of place, incongruous and irreconcilable with the individual he pictured her to be. Continue reading

Lessons Learned by Sydney Logan (Media Blitz, Giveaway)

lessons learned GR

Title: Lessons Learned

Author: Sydney Logan

Date of Publication: October 17th 2014


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About Lessons Learned:

A young girl needs to spread her wings, but a young woman needs roots.

English teacher Sarah Bray never thought she’d return to Sycamore Falls, but a traumatic event at her inner-city school leaves her desperate for the sanctuary of home. By returning to her roots, an older and wiser Sarah hopes to deal with the demons of her present and confront the ghosts of her past.

She discovers a kindred spirit in Lucas Miller, a teacher from New York with demons of his own. As the newest faculty members at Sycamore High School, they quickly become friends – bonding through Lucas’s culture shock and their mutual desire to build new lives. When they open their wounded hearts to each other, their friendship effortlessly evolves into romance.

Their love is put to the test when Matt, the quarterback of the football team, shares his deepest secret with Sarah. When the conservative community finds out, Sarah and Lucas – along with the town of Sycamore Falls – are schooled in the lessons of acceptance, tolerance, and love.

NOTE: Sydney will be donating 10% of all sales during the month of October to in honor of October’s Bullying Awareness month. In LESSONS LEARNED a secret of the quarterback of the football team sends a small conservative community reeling. Bullying can take on all forms and Sydney would like to give back to this worthy cause.


Q/A with Sydney Logan

How did you come up with the idea for this story?

They say to write what you know, so for Lessons Learned, I knew I wanted to write about teaching since that’s my “day job.” Thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with the traumas my main character faces. I also knew I wanted to write a love story with a message, and bullying is such an epidemic in our society that I wanted to highlight that in this book.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The most challenging thing is balancing writing and promotion. I’m not very good at it. It was easier when I only had one book, but the more I write, the harder it gets to juggle it all. I’m not complaining, because I love it, but that’s the biggest challenge for me.

What are your current projects?

I’m getting ready to release a holiday collection of short stories titled Once Upon a December. It will include two previously published Kindle short stories along with a new short story. It will release on November 28. I’m also working on my fourth novel.



Chapter 1

The piercing chime of my phone jerked me awake. Disoriented and shaking, I grabbed my cell and struggled to focus on the screen.

Congratulations, Sarah. You slept a whole three hours.

Falling asleep had been difficult. My restlessness could easily be blamed on yesterday’s long drive or spending the night in a new place, but I hadn’t slept well in months, so my fitful sleep wasn’t all that surprising.

However, I could do without the nightmares.

It was nearly three in the morning when I’d finally arrived in Sycamore Falls. Exhausted from the drive, I’d collapsed on the couch, but sleeping proved impossible. It was just too quiet. I’d grown accustomed to noisy neighbors and blasting car horns.

A change of scenery could be exactly what I need, my therapist had told me.

Sycamore Falls was definitely a change in scenery.

Stiff and sore from the uncomfortable couch, I groaned as I struggled to sit up. My body trembled when my bare feet hit the hardwood floor. I’d forgotten how cold this house could be, even in the summer, but anything with long sleeves would be in a box, and all the boxes were arranged in a chaotic mess in my living room.

Maybe some sunshine will warm me up.

I wrapped my blanket around me and circled the maze of boxes before shuffling toward the kitchen. It was neat and tidy as ever, with its faded yellow wallpaper. Grandma Grace had always loved wildflowers, and I smiled as I gazed at the collection of daisy canisters lining the wall next to the sink. Mom had been a terrible cook, so grandma had taken it upon herself to teach me. Baking was my favorite, and we’d spent countless nights in this kitchen with my apron covered in flour. Grandma had been fine with making a mess—as long as I cleaned it up—and that freedom had led to many honest discussions throughout the years.

“Sycamore Falls has its issues,” Grandma had told me one autumn day while teaching me how to make fried apple pies. “We’re too sheltered from the rest of the world. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes it isn’t. The world can be a scary place. It’s good to know you have a safe place to come home to when the world gets a little crazy. You’re one of the lucky ones, Sarah. You will always have a home here. Remember that.”

I remember.

I opened the front door and was instantly greeted with cool morning air. Eager to see the house in the daylight, I gingerly walked down the steps and onto the sidewalk. Thankfully, Mr. Johnson had hired someone to mow the grass before I arrived, which allowed me to mark one thing off my to-do list.

As I gazed up at the house, I could see my list would be long.

Growing up, I’d thought my grandmother’s home was the most beautiful in Sycamore Falls. Majestic and blue with its white shutters and wrap-around porch, it was the place I’d always felt the most comfortable and safe.

Time hadn’t been kind to the house, and that was my fault. Mr. Johnson had done his best, but a house needs tender loving care, and its last two years without an occupant had been rough on the place. The chipped siding needed a coat of paint, the flowerbeds resembled a jungle, and some of the shingles needed to be replaced, but none of that mattered.

I felt a small sense of satisfaction and breathed a sigh of relief.

I was safe.

I was home.


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About Sydney Logan:

sydney loganAmazon bestselling author Sydney Logan holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She is the author of three novels – Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, and Soldier On. Sydney has also penned four short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

During the Fall by Cheryl Murnane (Review)

Jenny and Alex are high school sweethearts intertwined in an idyllic romance that spans several decades. Their journey carries them through unexpected trials that challenge the security and the very foundation of their relationship. Jenny’s fears of losing the only man she’s ever loved quickly become overshadowed by a tragedy she couldn’t have imagined.

This is an emotional tale about how life can force you to grow when you least expect it. This provocative story will fill your heart with the belief that you can survive the most unforeseen and intense moments when you learn to trust.



Cheryl Murnane

CHERYL MURNANE lives in a suburb of Boston with her husband, two children, and dog, Mitzi. “During the Fall” is Cheryl’s first novel. As a practitioner of yoga, she lives a disciplined life, balanced by faith and family, and she believes that everything happens for reasons we may not always understand. Cheryl loves to hear from fans at or at her website


My Thoughts:

During the Fall is an inspirational book and a nice read. At the core of the book was the simple, yet profound message that we are not in charge; God is. It is a heart-warming story of a young Christian family that must go through a tragedy to find their faith.

While I found there were parts of the book that could have been edited down to make the story more concise, it was a great book.  The story showed a deep and profound love between the characters and their families. In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to get bogged down in the day-to-day mundane happenings and we forget to look at those we love as people. We tend to forget to open the door, pull out a chair, or even give our spouse a kiss hello. These are the important things in life and that is what the book was about. It gives the reader pause to check their own actions and to contemplate the important things in life.

I also loved the cover of the book. In addition to being a beautiful cover, it was a great cover for the story.

Even though I lost your Aunt Sally too soon, we knew we loved each other. I don’t think differently about it. She left this world with as much love as she could take with her.

I smiled, ‘You’re right Mom. I guess I need to make sure I give Alex as much love and attention as I can and appreciate the time we have together, because in the end, love is all there really is.’ I smiled, realizing those were the words my mother had said to me my whole life.

…I took a personal oath during my drive home on that sunny spring day to spread joy in my husband’s life, hoping it would fill both of us with an endless amount of love, so that in the end neither of us would ever forget the depth of our love for each other.

I am giving During the Fall four stars.


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My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher (Review)

Persuaded Kindle CoverHanna Elliot had worn the ring faithfully at first. Some part of her still clung to the hope that all was not lost. As the days turned into weeks, she finally took it off and set it atop her dresser. When weeks gave way to months, the ring finally went back into its box, where it gathered dust until it was moved to Hanna’s unmentionables drawer. For the first few years, she had taken it out on the anniversary of the day she’d received it, allowing herself to wallow in what might have been.

She had been all but stamped out of Derick Wentworth’s mind.

Sure, he thought about her occasionally, especially on cloudless nights when he lay on the bow of the Laconia looking up at the stars. But as time went on, Derick began to feel grateful that it hadn’t worked out, for one thing was certain: if he ever did settle down, it would be with someone who knew her own mind. Someone who went after the thing she wanted without hesitation. Someone who would never allow herself to be persuaded otherwise.

Misty Dawn Pulsipher

Misty Dawn Pulsipher was born and raised in Utah. She attended Snow College where she developed a love for writing. Misty served as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Washington, D.C. area. She and her husband now reside in Maryland with their three children, two dogs, and the colony of squirrels that lives in their back yard. When she’s not writing or procrastinating an edit, Misty is reading, baking, sewing, playing the piano, or bribing her family to play Monopoly with her. Visit her Facebook page or author blog:

Available (Kindle) on Amazon

Amazon Paperback

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book. Once you read the book, you realize just how much the cover depicts the story. I sometimes miss this by reading on a Kindle. When I read an actual physical book, I look at the cover every time I pick up the book and I do miss that sometimes.

The story was sweet with a few surprises thrown in and although you think you know the ending, there are a few places in the book that will make you doubt yourself.

Spoiler alert here (which I do not normally do) but I have to say it. What about the ring? That was truly the only disappointing thing in the entire book for me; to close the book and then remember that there was nothing about the ring. I will not explain it any further.

I read other reviews that indicated this story followed along with Jane Austin‘s Persuasion, which I have not read so I can’t compare. I did enjoy this sweet love story. It was a chance to see how two young people who didn’t work out in the beginning, get a second chance, and what they do with that second chance.

The writing was great and the errors were nominal in the book which made it an enjoyable read. The characters were well developed and I enjoyed all of them, not just Hannah and Derrick.

I’m giving Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher five stars and recommending it.

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Behind the Glass by Kristen Morgen (Book Review)

Behind the Glass

by: Kristen Morgen
Publish Date: 6/30/14
Published by: Kristen Morgen
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Add to Goodreads

Rebecca Jordan’s life is simple, disciplined, and uncomplicated, at least on the surface. Then she meets a handsome stranger/secret admirer named Michael Vale one fateful late night at a bookstore café. As a focused but struggling photographer with a passion for art, her outwardly happy world is turned upside down during this life-changing encounter when she quickly realizes she has met her soul mate. The undeniable attraction between them and their intense, immediate connection seem picture perfect as they discuss the shop’s local artwork, until Rebecca abruptly ends the chance meeting with no explanation.

Betraying Brett, her loyal, loving boyfriend, is something Rebecca can never bring herself to do. Driven by a strong moral code and molded by divorced parents and a tumultuous childhood, she struggles to stay away from Michael, but fate and circumstance intervene, bringing them back together time and time again. As much as she resists, there is no denying her true feelings for him and the simple fact that Michael understands her in a way Brett never has. Michael proves to be everything she’s ever wanted, but remains just out of her reach.

Behind the Glass tells the story of Michael and Rebecca’s extraordinary love and the many unconventional stages their relationship must go through. Their morals and their faith in true love and in each other will be put to the test as they learn that meeting one’s soul mate does not come without obstacles.

Kristen Morgen

Kristen Morgen, an up and coming new adult contemporary romance author, can’t remember a time in her life when she didn’t crave designing, creating, discovering, and using her imagination in some way. Educated and trained as a licensed architect and working at her own architectural firm for many years, her true passion has always been writing. An avid reader from a very early age, the romance genre is admittedly her favorite guilty pleasure – a hopeless romantic to the end.

Kristen loves the art of shaping words and sentences into relatable stories while creating rich characters for her readers to connect with. She enjoys exploring relationships and discovering the little reasons people fall in love with each other while uncovering deeper truths. Honing her craft in her free time and choosing exactly the type of story she wanted to tell, Kristen presents Behind the Glass as her debut novel.

Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, she currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. Never one to let her creative mind sit idle for very long, in her free time she is currently hard at work on her next novel and reads almost anything she can get her hands on.

Twitter – @kristenmorgen

Facebook – Kristen Morgen

Buy Behind the Glass for Kindle on Amazon

My Thoughts:

The cover to Behind the Glass is quite striking and once I began reading the book, I realized that it was a painting, which was fitting for the book and most appropriate.

I enjoyed the story, but there was something that took me a little while to put my finger on. The book was very emotionally detailed in the writing and allowed me little room for exercising my imagination. The writing was too perfect. Each emotion was described in such detail that I tended to lose track of what I was reading. I found that I didn’t care for this particular style of writing.

The ending of the story was predictable, but most books are and this wasn’t a problem for me. The story line is sugary and sweet with emotional turmoil thrown in throughout the book. I think that people who enjoy a good, predictable, sweet romance will love this book.

I have read a lot of books, but this is the first of its kind for me and I am a little unsure as how to rate it. Each individual sentence was a perfect sentence in its own right, but the story was too detailed for me. I enjoy exercising my imagination and this book didn’t allow me to do that. The story was there, although lost in the detail, so I am going to give the book 4 stars.

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Until the End: A Fight For Survival by Jesus Gutierrez (Giveaway, Blitz)

Until the EndTitle: Until the End: A Fight For Survival
Author: Jesus Gutierrez
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 126
Genre: Family and Relationship
Format: Ebook

Purchase at Amazon

In 1985, when a small freckle on Fanny Gutiérrez’s cheek grew to the size of a quarter and turned dark brown, the young mother sought medical advice. She soon learned she had malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer.

In Until the End, her husband, author Jesús L. Gutiérrez, shares her battle with cancer and how the diagnosis and treatment affected Fanny, Jesús, and their two young sons. It narrates the family’s very real and vivid personal experiences to show how the psychological dynamics influenced them during the nine long and uncertain years of their cancer battle. This memoir provides insight into this particular form of cancer and shows how patients can serve the scientific community by being pioneers in the search for a cure.

Until the End pays tribute to Fanny and demonstrates the deep love she held for her husband and her children. It communicates the life-and-death decisions she made in regard to her health in order to extend her longevity. Most of all, it describes how she never lost her willingness to fight against the disease until the end.

“By writing about this distressing experience, Jesús has remarkably transformed the death of his wife Fanny from a private, tragic event to an instrument to end his suffering and sorrow. At the same time, he has used it as a testimony to help others to fight this terrible disease called cancer.”
—Foreword from Dr. Enrique Zuniga del Campo, Psychoanalyst



Divider 9

PUYB Giveaway

Jesus is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 15 and ends on September 26.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, September 27.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone! Click the link below.

PUYB Tour Schedule A

September 15

A Casual Reader’s Blog

Voodoo Princess

September 16

My Life. One Story at a Time

The Book Czar

September 17

Mary’s Cup of Tea

Confessions of a Reader

September 18

Review From Here

The Revolving Bookshelf

September 19

Lisa Loves Books

Literal Exposure

September 22

I’m Shelf-ish

A Taste of My Mind

September 23

Bent Over Bookwords

All Inclusive Retort

September 24

The Writer’s Life

Inkslinger’s Opus

September 25

As the Page Turns

The Zen Reader

September 26

The Dark Phantom



Trigger by Julia Derek (Book Review – 3 stars)

Sparks fly when struggling actress Nina Tyler meets hot lawyer Dylan Whitman. The chemistry between them is so intense Nina even rethinks her staunch position on relationships. Maybe they’re not a waste of time after all. But there’s something about Dylan that scares her—and she knows it has nothing to do with fear of getting close to a man, like her best friend thinks. It’s something far worse.

Preppy Dylan has had his heart broken and his uncle challenges him to move on by going on five online dates. Dylan ends up on a date with Nina. While her unabashed attitude unsettles him at first, he soon realizes that he really likes her. But as they get closer, she pulls back. It’s as if she’s convinced he’d physically hurt her, which he’d never do. Still, if he doesn’t figure out what’s triggering her fear, she’ll never be his. Little does he know her fear is directly tied to him.

Julia Derek grew up in SImage of Julia Derekweden but always knew she was meant to live in America, more specifically, in New York City. A former stand-up comic, she has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. When she doesn’t write or read, she spends her time whipping people into shape as a fitness trainer. She is the author of the L.A. Girls Romance Series. The Series follows the steamy love lives of four different girls from Los Angeles. While interconnected, the four standalone novels don’t have to be read in order (though Julia recommends you start with LOVE CURSED). TRIGGER, LOVE CURSED and UNDERCOVER LOVERS are currently available. The fourth installment will be out in the beginning of October, 2014.

Her YA romantic thriller, The Smiley Killer, is now available.

Julia loves to hear from her readers. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter or by visiting her website: Email her at to get notices about her latest release.

Purchase Trigger in Kindle format on Amazon

My Thoughts:

The following review contains what may be considered a spoiler. Please keep this in mind as you read my review. Thank you.

After reading the book, I felt the title, “TRIGGER“, was an apt name. The book dealt with trigger memories from a prior bullying experience. As this is a topic we are seeing a lot about in the news today, I felt the author touched on a relevant subject for her book.

TRIGGER by Julia Derek is the story of a young woman who finds herself dealing, or in the beginning, not dealing with the after effects of high school bullying as well as survivor’s guilt. She becomes involved with a guy and finds herself having strange reactions to the different facial expressions he uses. Through therapy, she is able to begin addressing her delayed reactions. Another twist in the story has one of the bullies in close proximity.

I thought some of the book meandered. Then, all of a sudden the story came to a conclusion and closed up shop fairly quickly. I am not a fan of sudden endings. I feel that books need to focus as much attention on setting up the endings as the beginnings, and I felt this book was lacking in that respect.

The plus side is that the story topic was good, but I felt the actual writing was more on a 3-3.5 level. Something in the writing just didn’t resonate with what I look for in a book. It was almost as though I were reading a book that fluctuated between several grade levels.

I did enjoy the point of view change with each chapter. The author pulled that aspect off quiet well. There are also a number of detailed sex scenes in the book.

I am going to give the book an overall 3 star rating. The book enveloped a good topic with good character development, even though I felt the writing needs some improvement.

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 


Heirs of Damon, Stripping the Billionaire by Noelle Adams (Media Blitz)

Stripping the Billionaire2


Title: Stripping the Billionaire (Heirs of Damon #4)
Author: Noelle Adams
Release Date: 9/9/2014


For the last eight months, Mandy has lived across the hall from a caveman.

He won’t trim his beard, he mostly talks in grunts, and he’ll hardly emerge from his cave of an apartment. Ben might be a grumpy mess, but she kind of likes him anyway. She’s not attracted to him, of course. Not at all. Those stray feelings are merely a fluke. She’s looking for a man who has it all together, and Ben isn’t even close.

Benjamin Damon is heir to a billion-dollar corporate empire, but he has put his family and that whole lifestyle behind him. No one knows who he is now—not even his pretty princess of a neighbor who refuses to leave him alone.

When she ropes him into taking her with him to work on his mother’s historic Savannah home, he knows it’s a mistake. Mandy represents the world he’s tried so hard to escape, and he can’t let one woman strip him of the new man he’s tried to become. The more he’s with her, though, the more he wants her. Despite his best efforts, he’s falling for her hard—and dreading the day she finds out all of his lies.

Pick up a copy for only 0.99 for a limited time:
Amazon | BN

Get to Know Noelle Adams:

How did you come up with the idea for this story?

I’ve had the idea for this book for three years now, since I plotted out the entire Heirs of Damon series all at once. I can’t exactly remember how I came up with the idea, except I know I wanted the contrast between Ben, with his full beard and grumpy attitude, and Mandy, with her perfect appearance and cheerful disposition.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I most often get inspired by random things in my life. For instance, I was inspired for one scene in Stripping the Billionaire when I was sitting in church and thinking that Benjamin’s mother would definitely go to church. I’m also often inspired by other stories (books, television, movies, etc.). It’s usually one little thing that ends up launching the story. For instance, I got the idea for A Negotiated Marriage after watching a scene in a TV show that had a woman rushing around, late for work and wearing very high heels. The show had nothing to do with a marriage-of-convenience, but for some reason, that scene inspired me for Molly. It’s usually a little, random thing, and then the story grows out of it.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

There’s a frustration I often feel when I have so many stories I want to tell but not enough time in which to write them. That sometimes make me feel very anxious—like I’ll never catch up to my inspiration—which distracts me from writing at all. I will also often get inspired for future stories when I’m in the middle of writing a current one. That makes me want to jump around and makes it hard to focus on a current project.

About Noelle Adams

Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.


Stripping teaser 2



“Oh, no,” he said, starting to his feet. “You’re not touching my beard.”
“But you’ll look so much better if you’ll let me neaten it up a bit.”
“I’m not trying to look good.”
She rolled her eyes but didn’t look surprised. “Anyway, I wasn’t thinking about your beard. Right now, I’m after the back of your neck.”
“What’s wrong with the back of my neck?”
“It’s a mess. When was the last time you got your hair cut?”
“I don’t know. I don’t fuss around with things like that.”
“Well, it bugs me, so sit still.”
He stiffened and watched her suspiciously as she walked around behind him.
“I’m not going to touch your big, ugly beard. I promise.”
He rolled his eyes but didn’t object when she started to run the trimmer along the back of his neck.
“Are you sure you want to do this at the dining room table?”
“Better here than on one of my rugs.”
He felt uncomfortable as she worked on him, conscious of her body behind him. When he felt the trimmer come toward his jaw, he muttered, “Don’t get carried away.”
“Relax.” She turned the trimmer off and leaned over to blow the hair off his neck.
The sensation made Ben tense up.
He gave himself a firm mental lecture. He was not—not—going to get turned on by Mandy. He’d done really well about resisting that particular temptation over the last several months, and he wasn’t going to give into it this evening.
“Oh, Ben, you’re a mess,” she murmured. She ran her fingers through his hair, rubbing his scalp in a way that felt incredibly good. “You’re not going to get any action if you’re such a gorilla.”
“I’ll have you know I get plenty of action, and so far I’ve had no complaints.”
He actually didn’t have much a social life, but that was by choice and not because he was incapable of picking up a woman.
He did wish, however, that Mandy hadn’t brought up the idea of sex.
“Yeah, but it might give a woman pause. I mean, how many are going to want to get a kiss from a gorilla?” She moved around to the side of his chair and peered at him. He was pretty sure she was assessing how much damage she was capable of doing to his beard, but her neckline was directly at his eye-level, and the wide neck of her sweater was slipping off one of her shoulders.
He stared at the graceful line from her neck to her shoulder—smooth skin, deep curve, faint shadow—and then he swallowed as her beautiful hair slipped over her shoulder to fall forward as she leaned toward him to ruffle his hair.
He managed to say, “Kissing me is not like kissing a gorilla.”
“Okay. If you say so. Please can I give you just a little trim?” she asked. She was giving him a beseeching look, with a back-note of teasing in her expression.
He didn’t actually care if his hair was trimmed, only he thought it was wiser for her not to be standing so close to him for so long. His body was starting to react to the slipping of her neckline, the flash of full cleavage, and the smell of her drifting over toward him as she moved.
“It will look so much better? I bet you’d even be good-looking if we can just get rid of some of this hair.”
“Being good-looking is very far down on my priority list.”
She laughed and started to massage his scalp again, moving her hands down toward his neck. It felt so good as her fingers pressed hard that he heard himself make a soft moan.
“You’re all tense,” she said, kneading his neck. “A massage now and then would be good for you. So would a haircut.”
He raised his hands to hold onto the table so he didn’t do something incredibly stupid like turning around and grabbing her. She was just being friendly. Neighborly. She was on this search for family-feelings, and right now she was focusing them on him.
But she wasn’t attracted to him—she’d told him over and over again that he wasn’t good-looking the way he was. And sex was the last thing on her mind right now.
Besides, he couldn’t offer her anything more than sex, and she deserved so much more.
So he gripped the table as she moved down to his shoulders. His breathing was getting ragged as his muscles started to soften.
And other things started to harden.





Stripping the Billionaire by Noelle Adams (Media Blitz)

Stripping the Billionaire2

Author: Noelle Adams

Title: Stripping The Billionaire (Heirs Of Damon #4)

Release Date: September 9th, 2014

About Stripping The Billionaire:

For the last eight months, Mandy has lived across the hall from a caveman.

He won’t trim his beard, he mostly talks in grunts, and he’ll hardly emerge from his cave of an apartment. Ben might be a grumpy mess, but she kind of likes him anyway. She’s not attracted to him, of course. Not at all. Those stray feelings are merely a fluke. She’s looking for a man who has it all together, and Ben isn’t even close.

Benjamin Damon is heir to a billion-dollar corporate empire, but he has put his family and that whole lifestyle behind him. No one knows who he is now—not even his pretty princess of a neighbor who refuses to leave him alone.

When she ropes him into taking her with him to work on his mother’s historic Savannah home, he knows it’s a mistake. Mandy represents the world he’s tried so hard to escape, and he can’t let one woman strip him of the new man he’s tried to become. The more he’s with her, though, the more he wants her. Despite his best efforts, he’s falling for her hard—and dreading the day she finds out all of his lies.

Pre-order:  Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iTunes


“What are you staring at, Cupcake?” he muttered, radiating more tension than ever.

And she was even drawn to his tension. What the hell was happening to her?

She wanted a good-looking, well-dressed man who had things together and was ready to be a husband. None of that was Ben.

To hide her response, she gave him a teasing grin. “Nothing. I’m just wondering if you’re hiding some sort of lost love behind all your grumpy muttering.”

“I’m not hiding any sort of love.” He was frowning, gruff, covered with hair. It was ridiculous that she was attracted to him.

Before she knew what she was doing, she stretched up to press a kiss just on the side of his mouth. His beard was scratchy under her lips but not unpleasant.

She wanted to kiss him again.

She felt his body tighten even more, and his arms jerked strangely.

She stepped back, flushing and horribly embarrassed.

God, she was an idiot. She’d made him uncomfortable, since their friendship had never allowed any sort of kissing.

“What was that for?” he demanded, his eyes searching her face strangely, like he might have suspected she was feeling in ways that were very inappropriate.

The last thing she wanted to do was get in the way of their friendship—one that meant a lot more to her than she’d realized until recently—with some stray, irrational lusts that could never turn into something serious.

So she managed a light grin and said, “That was because you’re pretty cute for a Neanderthal.”

Check out the other books in the Heirs Of Damon series:

#1 Seducing The Enemy: Amazon

#2 Playing The Playboy: Amazon

#3 Engaging The Boss: Amazon

About Noelle Adams:

Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel. She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

Goodreads // Website // Twitter // Facebook


a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Publicist Character Trading Cards! Win a set now!

I reviewed The Publicist and Shelf Life not so long ago – both GREAT books. I am back with a set of Character Trading Cards to giveaway!

To win a set (there are 2) just leave a comment with your name and email!

You and read my review here:




Author Christina George has​ created the Exclusive Reader Buzz Club, to offer you an insider’s chance to get an advanced review copy of The Publicist: Book Three (official title pending).

To become a member of the Exclusive Reader Buzz Club here’s all you need to do:

​1. ​Write a review for the Book One and Book Two bundle on

​2. ​Email Christina George​ a link to your review:

​3. ​If you haven’t reviewed it and want to, email​ Christina George​ and she​’ll send you the eBook bundle for free! Once you read it and review it,​ email her​ that link.




Pretty Reckless by Jodi Linton (Amazon Gift Card Giveaway)

Pretty Reckless Button 300 x 225



3D Pretty Reckless -PBDSC_1321










Welcome to Pistol Rock, Texas where everyone knows secrets last about as long as the sporadic west Texas rain showers.

Laney Briggs has long been considered reckless, but she’s turned herself around—she’s respectably engaged and she’s become a Pistol Rock deputy sheriff. Everything’s fine until a dead body turns up and her ex, Texas Ranger Gunner Wilson, decides to stick his boots into the town’s first murder case.

Laney will be damned if she lets Gunner trample all over her turf and her chance at a quiet, contented life. His seemingly endless ability to undermine her resolve and her libido was only outdone by her constant urge to butt heads with him. But when the bodies start to pile up, Laney has to ask the lethal bad boy for a hand—and a truce in exchange for his help.

Having an ex-boyfriend as an ally might not be the best idea, but Laney has always been pretty reckless…

Jodi Linton lives and works in Texas, with her husband and two kids. She can be found cozied up to the computer escaping into a quirky world of tall tales, sexy, tight jean wearing cowboys, and a protagonist with a sharp-tongue quick enough to hang any man out to dry.  She is currently at work on her next Deputy Laney Briggs book.



    • B & N


Giveaway:  25 dollar Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The station was bustling with commotion when I opened the door. Two men in black suits with Texas Ranger badges were sitting on top of my desk. I scanned the tiny room for Elroy. He was hunkered down in a corner in his black rolling chair with an overload of treats—a Butterfinger, a half empty bottle of Dr Pepper, and a Big Grab of Cheetos sat in his lap. Our visitors were apparently getting to him.

I strolled on over to my desk and leaned over the top of it. “If you don’t mind guys, this here is my desk.”

The older gentlemen tipped his ten-gallon hat and stood up. “Sorry about that, miss.”

The younger one dropped his chin, and he winked suggestively at me.

I took a deep, calming breath, walked up behind him, and shoved him off my desk. He looked at me, shocked.

“Don’t ever make me ask twice,” I said.

A firm hand fell at the small of my back and rubbed up my shirt. I shot around, staring straight into Gunner’s smiling eyes.

“I’d do what the lady asked. Sometimes she scares the shit out of me.”

The young Ranger nodded and moved aside, all the while keeping a wary eye on me.

I turned my back on him. “Saw you outside my house last night,” I told Gunner.

“Just doing my job.” Gunner winked and sat down on the edge of my desk.

“Spying on me isn’t—” I began, but the older, button-nosed Ranger wearing the Stetson moved into my view, arresting my attention. He was round at the waist, and his hair had seen better days, back when he had some. There was also a jelly stain on his left boob that I couldn’t stop starring at.

Nodding, Gunner tapped the outer edge of my desk in a goodbye or see you later, then followed the button-nosed man toward the back by the cell. Not only did I have to bite my tongue and play nice with Gunner Wilson in town, I was also being asked to let the Texas Ranger have free range of the station. I was a broken heel away from a nervous breakdown.

A little too quickly, Gunner reappeared at my desk, waving a piece of paper at me. “Want in on this, Laney?”

I snatched the paper from him. “What is it?”

“Bosley’s financial records. Take a look.”

“How did you get this?”

“Just came over the fax.”

“We have a fax?”

He grinned and winked. “Big boys are in town. You do now.”


This is a spotlight of the book only. I did not read the book and therefore cannot recommend or not recommend the book. 



Against the Wild by Kat Martin (Review)


Where the men are as bold and untamed as America’s last wilderness

It’s been three years since Lane Bishop tragically lost her fiancé, and she’s finally ready to risk her heart on someone else. The hot look in Dylan Brodie’s eyes says he’s going to be that man.

But when Lane flies to the remote 1930’s fishing lodge to help him renovate, she discovers a little girl who won’t speak, eerie legends and strange sounds in the night. And when she investigates the history of the lodge, she uncovers a legacy of injustice and murder.

As danger stalks his daughter and the woman he is coming to love, Dylan must risk everything to uncover the shocking truth.

TITLE: Against the Wild

AUTHOR: Kat Martin

RELEASE DATE: May 27, 2014

GENRE: Romantic Suspense


New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History.   Before she started writing in 1985, Kat was a real estate broker.  During that time she met her husband, L.J. Martin, author of thirty western, non-fiction, historical, and suspense novels.  A resident of Missoula, Montana, Kat and her husband spend their winters in Ventura, California.  She is a currently writing her next Romantic Suspense.

With fifty five novels to her credit and more than fifteen million copies of her books in print, Ms. Martin has been published in twenty-one foreign countries including France, Japan, Greece, Argentina, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, China, and Spain.

Kat Martin Website:


As with all of Kat Martin‘s books, AGAINST THE WILD is a great book. It takes place in Alaska, and after visiting the state and falling in love with the wilderness, I really enjoyed reading this particular book. As Kat described the landscape and the Alaskan Indians, and the small towns, I was transported back to the time I spent there.

The story revolves around an old lodge with mysterious happenings and of course, there’s love in the air. It was a fun read and definitely had a little suspense thrown in for good measure. If you are a fan of Kat Martin’s, you’ll definitely love this book, and if you haven’t read any of her books, this would be a great one with which to start. You’ll not only enjoy suspense and romance, you’ll enjoy learning about the Alaskan outback. OH! And I want one of them on the front cover!

They collected her bags, then went in search of her dog. One of the airport staff released him from his giant cage, and he raced to her side as if she had saved his life. Which she’d actually done when she’d rescued him from the pound just hours before he had been scheduled to be put down. ‘You might have mentioned you were bringing your horse.’ Dylan said drily. Lane just smiled. ‘This is Fin.’

‘It’s about a hundred miles from Ketchikan to Eagle Bay.’ She started snapping pictures again as if she wouldn’t have time to get enough. He didn’t tell her the view she was looking at went on for thousands of miles. There was only so much a city girl could take.

‘You can have all the time you want. I won’t push you. But when I see the same heat in your eyes I know you see in mine, don’t expect me not to act on it.’

AGAINST THE WILD gets five stars from me. Enjoy!

Purchase Against the Wild in these formats:



Audible Audio


My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 




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The Gifted: How to Live a Completely Satisfying Life by Daphne Michaels – Release Day Book Blitz

The Gifted Book Blitz Banner

We welcome Daphne Michaels as she celebrates the release day of her personal development/spirituality book, The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams!

The Gifted 7
Title: The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams
Author: Daphne Michaels
Publisher: Daphne Michaels Books
Pages: 130
Genre: Personal Development/Spirituality

Format: Paperback


Available in Paperback at Amazon:

The Gifted

Book Summary:

In The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams author, speaker and licensed psychotherapist Daphne Michaels celebrates the nine gifts that are our birthright, guiding readers in how to recognize and use them to transform their lives. In her author’s preface, Michaels reveals how her own journey of life transformation began when she was young and realized that human existence wore two conflicting faces–one of love and joy, and one of fear and despair. She decided then to commit her life to reconciling these two visions because she knew that, irreconcilable though they seemed, together these two faces held the secret to living a life of endless possibility and authentic happiness. Her personal journey and formal education in social science, human services and integral psychology led to the founding of the Daphne Michaels Institute, which has helped hundreds of men and women design the lives of their dreams.

In The Gifted Michaels shows us that the first three “gifts” we must recognize and embrace within us if we are to re-design our lives are Awareness, Potential and Stillness. These three allow us to identify and use the remaining six with a life-changing power: Disharmony, Harmony, Ease, Clarity, Freedom and Engagement. Each of these six relies on the “essential three” for its own power to change our lives, and each has its own gifts–its “children.” By approaching the nine gifts with real-world metaphors, Michaels answers in easily understood ways what for many readers have been lingering questions about personal transformation—such as how it works, what kind of commitment it takes, and why, if we’re committed, real transformation becomes inevitable—and addresses obstacles that readers may have encountered in the past in trying to reach in life a happiness every human deserves.

While the human universe’s face of love is celebrated in The Gifted, so is the face of fear that haunted a young girl decades ago. As Michaels shows us in her book, even Disharmony—the “quagmire” of life born of the human ego’s fear, defenses, delusions and despair—is a gift, too, and one as important as the others if we know how to see it clearly and use it. Once we understand Disharmony, we are ready to understand the real purpose of Harmony in our lives. Disharmony does not need to rule us. It is ours to use as we design the lives of our dreams.

The final gift in The Gifted, Michaels tells us, is the gift of Engagement. Engagement—with the universe and with ourselves—allows us to use all of the other gifts with more power and joy than we ever imagined possible.

That mountaintop decision never left me. It drove my life’s work and over the years led me to understand that there are gifts – nine of them, in fact – that we are all born with but rarely experience in their full glory and potential. These gifts – which make each and every one of us “The Gifted” of this book’s title – are the keys to living lives of endless possibilities and, in turn, achieving an authentic happiness that cannot be lost. They are, in other words, the keys to achieving the life of our dreams.

– Daphne Michaels


Life’s greatest mystery is inside us. It is inside every living thing. Like the deep secrets of the universe, the mystery inside us will never be fully explained. By exploring it, however, we can discover gifts available to us that can change our lives forever.

Life’s great mystery is awareness. More basic than thoughts and more primal than instincts, awareness does not require a centralized brain, as scientists have proven through studies with invertebrates like starfish. While these beautiful creatures have no centralized brains, they possess awareness. Starfish, like all invertebrates, use awareness to perceive, eat, grow, reproduce, and survive.

Awareness is so intrinsic to life that it defines life: living means being aware. From the beginning of life – before we take an initial breath – humans demonstrate tremendous awareness. Prenatal psychologists have discovered that we experience, while still in our mother’s womb, not only light and sound but, even more astonishingly, emotion. We kick our legs when agitated by loud noises and sway pleasantly to beautiful classical music. Months before birth we grimace at the taste of sour amniotic fluid and drink heartily when it is sweet. Awareness grows as we grow.

As we develop as human beings, our awareness stretches in all directions – from awareness of our five basic senses to awareness of external events around us, from awareness of our emotions to awareness of our thoughts, from limited awareness of a topic that bores us to an expanded awareness of topics we feel passionate about. Of all the many dimensions of awareness, the highest form is self-awareness. With self-awareness we begin to appreciate just how far awareness actually extends. Just as ocean waters are deeper than the surface of the sea, awareness is deeper than the surface of our physical body or our conscious thoughts. The infinite depth and breadth of awareness is filled with gifts that are ours to receive.

About the Author:

Daphne Michaels 7

Daphne Michaels is an author, speaker and licensed psychotherapist whose institute has helped hundreds of women and men transform their lives through the “gifts” every human being is born with. Daphne began her own journey of transformation at a young age, pursued it fearlessly, and later studied formally in the fields of social science, human services and integral psychology. The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams launches both Daphne Michaels Books and The Gifted series, whose goal it is to share with the widest audience possible the principles that guide the Daphne Michaels Institute. Daphne’s earlier book, Light of Our Times, featured her conversations with such international figures in the fields of spirituality and personal development as Ram Dass, Julia Cameron, Dr. Masaru Emoto, and Thomas Moore.

Visit her website at

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BLOG TOUR: REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: SECOND CHANCES 101 (Ripple Effect Romance, #5) by Donna K. Weaver

Thirty seven year old Francie Davis, a recent widow and empty nester, gets to attend college at last. She’s sure her luck has changed when she also lands a job on campus that will pay her tuition, as administrative assistant to a history professor. When her handsome new boss yells at her on the first day of work, Francie worries she will never be good enough.

For Professor Alex Diederik, life is going downhill fast. Not only is his bitter ex-wife trying to poison their only daughter against him, but now his one place of solace—his work environment—is being complicated by his attractive new administrative assistant. She drives home his feelings of failure as a husband and father, and Alex wonders if hiring her was the right thing to do.

Francie will have to put aside her hurt and insecurities or risk her dreams, while Alex must look outside himself if he’s to mend the breach with his daughter. And, perhaps, find someone who can help heal his pain.

DonnaWAuthor Donna K. Weaver
Donna K. Weaver has always loved reading and creating stories, thus she’s been ever entertained. An avid cruiser, she’s sailed the Pacific five times. Wife-mother-grandmother-Army veteran-karate black belt-Harry Potter nerd.

Website * Goodreads * Twitter * Facebook * Pinterest


Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/26/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


“How did you sleep?” Alex asked, opening the fridge. He took out a carton of eggs and held them for her to see, his brows raised in query.

“I don’t understand how you can eat the unborn.” She shuddered and took another sip of her herbal tea. The haughty disdain reminded him of his ex-wife. Divorce certainly hadn’t freed him of that.

“You ate them six months ago.”

“I’m enlightened now.” Sam heaved a sigh, tilting her head and putting on a martyred expression. Another perfect imitation of her mother.


SECOND CHANCES  is a sweet book. The writing was good. If you are looking for a book with deeply developed characters and a deep story line, this book doesn’t measure up. I think it was meant to be a fun, quick read and that was what it was.

When reading a series, it is always fun when characters from previous books pop up with their own story and you get to be a part of their life for a short time. The series has encompassed characters of all ages, which is really nice as there is something in the series that everyone can relate to. This particular book’s main characters were a little older, and easier for me to relate to. I also related to Francie returning to college to complete her education, and to the college professor, having attended school as an adult and having worked in a college setting. The book has some surprising twists and turns, but I felt the story ended abruptly. The ending was just a little too rushed for me. You find yourself meandering through the book and all of a sudden – bam bam – story resolved and ended.

The book was well edited and I thought the chosen cover fit the story quite well. I am giving SECOND CHANCES four stars, mainly for the abrupt ending.


My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 


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Always an adventure with Lucy – My Life in Review

Last week was pretty uneventful. Monday was just that – Monday. Slow-moving, can’t get going Monday.

Tuesday was mow the grass day. I guess that was a little eventful. If you read my post about the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s you’ll see what i’m talking about. No doubt this week will hold more of that excitement. The neighbors seem to have a long attention span.

Wednesday, a friend and I went shopping. It was more an errand day for both of us. She had pickup and returns. I had pickups and, well – no returns. She’s a hoot just simply because she puts up with me. She “gets” me. She called to let me know of all the different places where we needed to make stops because she knows I need to make a list and get used to the idea – Type A personality along with a splash of social anxiety thrown in there. Then, as soon as she picks me up, she laughs and adds another stop. We both laugh when I pull out my phone and add it to the list – then I’m all good.

One of our stops was Lowes. Lowes must have been clearing out the current stock of flowers in order to make room for their new stock coming in because we really made off like bandits with $1 flowers and mandevillas for half off. It would have been hard to figure out who was a worse influence on who. I searched until I found the perfect one and announced that my daughters were buying me a plant for Mother’s Day. All of my friends – and I guess anyone reading my blog, know that my daughters suffer from Parental Alienation and weren’t buying me anything, much less speaking to me. So, I buy my own gifts. Anyway, it didn’t take her long to announce that her kids were buying her a plant too. So, the back of the van filled up pretty quickly between the two of us.

We finished up in the garden section of Lowes and headed inside to pick up a few things. I am going to be painting my office soon and needed to gather up a few paint supplies. I also managed to run over a poor man in one of the aisles. Don’t worry! I apologized – profusely – but sometimes people just don’t care if you are apologizing. It was an accident – sadly enough, it wasn’t my last for the day.

We had stops at Target (where I managed NOT to hit anyone) and headed to Hobby Lobby. My intentions were to get a plant hangar, but you know about intentions. I came away with NO plant hangar but instead, some really cute garden ornaments – really cute ones! I was headed for the paper department to look for a pack of paper and my brother called. Me, a buggy, and a phone call – not a good combination. This time I ran smack into a post. At least it wasn’t a person this time.

After lunch and a stop at the mall (where I racked up on Bath and Body Works products – buy 3, get 3 for free) we headed for the last stop of the day – SAMs wholesale. Would you believe they let me have a buggy? I guess my reckless driving reputation hadn’t reach them yet.

A few items that I had ordered from Amazon arrived last week that I am loving. Someone recently told me about Zentangle – my definition of it is art for people who can’t draw. It is so much fun! I ordered a couple of books for ideas and a basket to put my daily things in such as my Midori, my art books and tablet, and a book I am reading as well as my Kindle. It helps to keep my desk clear for other things. I may even add my knitting to it. It has loads of room in and hold quite a bit.


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The basket came in a nice velcro plastic bag.
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Velcro opening
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The basket
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The basket with my daily supplies


I also picked up an Orla Kiely makeup bag at Target that I love. Her brand is always so well-organized. What makes all the difference in this bag is that there is a separate zip compartment on top for things like brushes and eye liner and lip liner, etc. That’s the problem I’ve always found with other makeup bags. One huge compartment and that just doesn’t work for me. Plus, I just love the designs. They are really bright and fun prints. I will leave links to the products down below.

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Top compartment
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Bottom compartment

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I also changed a few things in my fake Midori (my Codori made by Cody Williams). I was using magnetic clips to mark my pages in my little books and it was getting a little bulky. Plus, I wanted a couple of charms – I like my pretty pretty. I had some pink ribbon and added a heart charm to mark my Gratitude Journal and was looking around (more like rooting around in my desk drawer) and came across Sentry‘s tags. Sentry was the German shepherd I had before Ryka and Calypso. I took one of her heart tags and put it on another piece of ribbon to use as a marker for another journal. I loved that dog and seeing the charm everyday brings back good memories.

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My “CoDori” It is navy blue with Live Life stamped on the front.
photo 1 (4)
Sentry’s tag

photo 3 (2)


photo 1 (1)
photo 2 (1)
Hubby and Ryka
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I seem to always take pictures in the evening. This is in the morning.


That’s my week in review. How was your week?

Product Links:

Reisenthel Market Basket – Baroque Ruby Reisenthel Carry Bag Market Basket

Zentangle Basics, Expanded Workbook Edition – Zentangle Basics, Expanded Workbook Edition: A Creative Art Form Where All You Need is Paper, Pencil & Pen

Orla Kiely Garden Bag Collection –

May Designs –


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Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins (Review, Giveaway)

Is your first love worth a second chance…?

Colleen O’Rourke is in love with love…just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell broke her heart…an experience Colleen doesn’t want to have again, thanks. Since then, she’s been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who’s ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they’ve got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she’s ever loved.

Kristan Higgins
 divides her time between home in Connecticut and summers on Cape Cod. She is the mother of two lovely kids, the wife of a brave firefighter, and a devoted Ben & Jerry’s fan. Previously a copy-writer, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous naps…so much more satisfying than folding laundry. She holds a BA in English, which enables her to identify dangling participles and quote many great novels. She loves to connect with readers on her website and her Facebook page

Giving away a copy!

My Review:

WAITING FOR YOU is such a great book. I love when an author can make me laugh until there are tears in my eyes – and Kristan Higgins accomplishes that with such ease that you fall in love with her books. I’ve read several of Kristan’s books and they never disappoint me.

You have wonderful characters like Colleen, who even though she has had her heart-broken, never tires of setting people up. Sooner or later you just hope that she finds love as well. I’m not going to give away any spoilers from the book – because if you are like me, there would be no point in reading the book. Suffice it to say, the writing is superb and the characters quite lovable. If you are a fan of Kristan’s, you will love this book. If you haven’t read any of her books – well, what are you waiting for! I’m giving WAITING ON YOU five stars. Let me know what you think about the book.

Book Quotes:

“Nothing like the blessing of kids, even though I thought I would kill Abby the other day. She asked if she could get her tongue pierced. I said sure, I’d get a hammer and a nail and we could do it right now if she was that dumb, and the conversation devolved from there.”

(The twins) “I can’t believe you kept this from me. God, those three minutes you have on me ruined you. I should’ve been born first, and I would’ve been, if you hadn’t shoved me out of the way.”

Mommy says you’re emotionally shut down.” The voice came from the child standing in the doorway of Lucas Campbell’s office at Forbes Properties. A female child of the smallish variety. One of his four nieces, specifically. “That’s adorable. I thought I banned you from visiting me,” Lucas said. He pressed the intercom to his assistant. “Susan, please call Security and have my niece escorted from the building.” “She’s five years old,” Susan said. “Have them send a team.” Chloe grinned, flashing the gaping hole in her teeth. Too soon for dentures, probably. “Mommy says you’re constibladed.” “I’d have to agree,” Susan said, then clicked off. He leveled a stare at his niece. “The word is constipated. If you’re going to talk about me, you need to up your game. Why are you here? Didn’t I pay you not to bother me?” “I spent your money.” “So?” “So give me more.” The kid had the soul of a Beverly Hills trophy wife.

Speaking of Paulie, in she came, wrapped in what appeared to be a dirty sheet that went past her knees. Colleen had said “soft” and “feminine” and “bright” when Paulie asked what to wear. Not “gray.” She hadn’t said the word gray once. The word sheet had also not been mentioned. “How do I look?” Paulie asked. “The salesman said these worked on every figure so I bought six of them.”

“Shh.” She smiled firmly at Paulie, who took a deep breath, swung her shoulders and body checked him right off his stool, Jessica Dunn stepping neatly aside as Bryce sprawled on the floor. Colleen’s view was all too clear. “Goddamn it!” Paulie said. She reached down to help him up, tripped on the dangling end of the Thneed, stepped on Bryce’s hand and spilled her mojito right onto his head. “Shit! Shit!” So much for soft and feminine. Colleen tossed her hair for the “abort” sign.

Purchase on Amazon by clicking the appropriate icon below:



 I have a paperback to give away! If those quotes enticed you at all – leave a comment with your email for a chance to win a copy of WAITING ON YOU by Kristan Higgins!

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

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The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran (Media Blitz)

Final Blog Tour 1[3]
LastTime_jacket_spot uv copy
Eleanor Moran, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson.


When Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from college has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally really had turned her back, why is her little girl named after Olivia?

As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel their tangled history. But as Sally’s secrets start to spill out, Olivia’s left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.

Author Bio:

Eleanor Moran is the author of three previous novels: Stick or TwistMr Almost Right and Breakfast in Bed, which is currently being developed for television. Eleanor also works as a television drama executive and her TV credits includeRome, MI5, SpooksBeing Human and a biopic of Enid Blyton, Enid, starring Helena Bonham Carter. Eleanor grew up in North London, where she still lives.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @EleanorKMoran

Eleanor Moran’s Website:



Final Blog Tour 2[9]


The last time I saw you you were wearing a grown up black dress, the kind of thing we could never afford in college. We’d have had the high street version, wouldn’t we? Kidding ourselves it looked like the designer original. You’re a mother of two now, a wife, a million miles from your student incarnation. I shook when I spotted you across the party, the hurt flooding back. Why did we go from best friends – no, more than that, almost sisters – to enemies? I thought about the savage split obsessively for years, way more than I thought about some romantic break ups. When we talked, you nervously swilling back your glass of champagne, I knew how deeply you felt it too. A part of me wishes we could’ve told each other the truth, hugged it out, but it was too public. We would’ve cried, at least I would’ve done, mascara giving me panda eyes. I do miss you still, I hope you know that.

Pre-Order on Amazon by clicking the icons below:


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“I know. I’m saving you from yourself.

He’s towering over me,  ruddy and  damp from  the  gym, smelling not  of sweat or of aftershave, but  of a smell  pecu- liar to him. He’s gingery-blond, with a boyish lankiness that suits  the  irrepressibility of his personality. He’s bendy and springy and  unstoppable, constantly in  motion, and  yes, before you ask, I’m more than a little bit in love with him.  I always have been, ever since he walked into my high school politics class,  his  timing impeccable: my parents were  in the middle of their gruesome separation and  I was ripe for distraction.

James  was an army  brat, the youngest of three boys, and the family had  recently been transported to Northwood, the boring north London suburb we lived in, which was domi- nated by the naval base. A life spent being uprooted from place after place could go two ways. For James, rather than making him  shy and  mistrustful, it had  given him  the  cast  iron  cer- tainty that he could walk into  any  situation and  charm his way to the very heart of it. It wasn’t oiliness or manipulation, it was pure self-belief combined with  an  innate knowledge that he was attractive.

It was that age and  stage  where boys  and  girls first peek over  the  barricades and  try  out  being “friends”—a funny old  version of friendship in  which you  can  snog  furiously at  a party one  night and  go back  to  being mates the  very next  day. Or at least  other people could do that. James  and I had  one  such night at school, an hour spent kissing  in the boys’ cloakroom during the  first-year Christmas prom—it was brief  and  clumsy and  awkward, and  yet I did  nothing but daydream about it for months, staring wistfully through my  clumsily applied eye  makeup and  playing “Wuthering Heights” on  a  loop,  while  he  remained utterly oblivious.

I hoped with every fiber of my being that he’d come back to me, that I’d be able to prove myself the second time around, but he’d already moved on, climbed back aboard the roman- tic merry-go-round and recast me as his long-lost sister. That’s not strictly true, there was one more time but now— now is not the time to think about it. Sally whispers across my consciousness but I push her away. Perhaps it’s the ferocity with which I suppress her that makes her continue to surge up, like those schlocky horror films where the hero tries more and more elaborate methods to destroy the invincible slasher.

James leans across me, digging the wooden spoon into the pan and taking a greedy mouthful.

“Perfect,” he says, grabbing a bottle of wine from the fridge and plunking down plates on the table.

“It needs another ten minutes,” I protest. “Yeah but you’ve got a date.”

It’s yet another soul-destroying Internet date born out of necessity—I’m thirty-five, and most of my contemporaries are coupled up, though not necessarily happily. Even so, I don’t think many of those discontented partners are looking to roll the dice again, and even if they were, I never envisioned being someone’s difficult second album. I want to be the answer to a question they’ve never been able to phrase, for me to feel the same way about them, rather than a compromise born out of a disappointment.

It’s not like I haven’t tried the compromise route. My last proper boyfriend was  a perfectly nice  man called  Marco whom I met  at  a Christmas party a few months after  my sister  Jules had  got married. I was secretly, silently panicking,  and  I managed to convince myself  that I’d alighted on my one  true  love, rather than admitting that it was the romantic equivalent of a game of pin the tail on the donkey, the  two of us flailing  around in the  dark,  desperate to believe we’d somehow found the  sweet  spot.

We moved in together far  too  quickly,   and   immediately started arguing about the  kind  of piffling,  trifling  things, like whether the  pepper should live on  the  table or in the  “condiment cupboard,” that made it clear  that when we had  to  make decisions about things that really  mattered, we  wouldn’t survive.

As I wept fat, salty tears of disappointment on James’s shoulder he came up with  the  brilliant suggestion we should live together and  here  we are,  eighteen months on. He’s an employment lawyer—unlike me, he easily earns enough to  live  alone—but I think that he  values  having someone to come home to just as much as I do.

By now he’s shoveling the curry into his mouth like he’s rescuing a very, very small  casualty who  is trapped under the rice.

“Let me have a look at him then.” “Who?”

I know perfectly well who. “I’ll get your laptop.”

As he  goes  off to  find  it,  I try  not  to  brood about the unfairness of the  fact that he doesn’t have  to submit him- self to this  kind  of indignity. Women just  seem to appear in his life, like fruit  flies around a mango, and, while  he’s not exactly a bastard, he’s not exactly not. Take last month’s victim  (Anita? Angela . . . something beginning with an A). I met her shaking the last of my granola into a bowl. When I futilely rattled the empty box she fashioned her mouth into a theatrical “oh!” and  promised to  replace it. She  was  as good as her word, leaving a replacement on my bed the very next  day with  a sweet, flowery  postcard saying  how  much she  was looking forward to getting to know  me  better. No time:  before I’d got  so much as halfway  through it James had  finished with  her,  spooked by the  seven individually wrapped presents she’d lovingly bestowed for his birthday.

“How  did  she  take  it?” I asked, knowing from  even  those brief fragments of contact how gutted she’d be. “It was like shooting a fawn,” he said, shoving his gym bag into a back- pack, and I thanked my lucky stars for how it had played out between us.



My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. OSAAT. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 


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The Message in Dad’s Bottle by Sandy Appleyard (Review)

My father was an alcoholic all his adult life, and the disease took his life at the age of forty-one. When I was ten years old, I became exposed to alcoholism. This book describes what I saw, my reactions to it, and how each situation made me feel. Most importantly, this book illustrates how these factors shaped who I am today. It also focuses on the experiences of others in my life and how each coped with their own alcoholic family member. Included in this section is helpful advice from each person to those who may also be touched by alcoholism. I also share with the reader some of my poems that I have written to help me deal with my past and explain the significance of each.

(From Amazon) Sandy Appleyard was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She currently resides in Milton, Ontario, with her husband and two daughters. She has a diploma in business administration, and majored in human resources management; and graduated with honors from Humber College-North Campus in Toronto, Ontario, in 2000. This is Sandy’s first book, although she has completed one other that is not yet published. “I am inspired to write mostly by love and the desire to help others through words. I have written many poems for many people to help them in their time of need, and I have also written to help people celebrate life. I wrote this book as a tribute to my father, and I felt it fitting to have it published during the year of what would have been his sixtieth birthday.”

My Review:

The cover of the book is unusual and indicative of the story inside. I found the book to be very informative about how alcoholism not only affects the person doing the drinking, but also the immediate family, co-workers, and beyond. Everyone in an alcoholics life is affected by the drinking and therefore alcoholism may be seen as a pebble being dropped into a puddle of water with its ripple effect.

As a book, I felt the writing was redundant. There was a lot of repetition in the sentences as well as paragraphs. I felt as though I were reading the same information over and over. But, as a conversation, the book then takes on a different angle and I feel has much more merit. I found myself very unsure on how to rate the book and therefore decided not to. THE MESSAGE IN DAD’S BOTTLE is a quick read and does show the effects of alcoholism on family dynamics.

Purchase THE MESSAGE IN DAD’S BOTTLE on Amazon in Kindle or Paperback.

I was given a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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No String Attached Giveaway Hop – January 15th – 21st

My Life. One Story at a Time. is participating in a reader appreciation hop. You can leave a comment with your email on each blog listed in the hop (the link is below). You will be entered to win an Amazon gift card by leaving a comment on my blog along with your email (for contact purposes only).

Thank you for visiting my blog and for being a loyal follower! I appreciate you! 

There are no strings attached, no tweets/likes/clicks; just leave a comment. 
January 15th to 21st. Just leave your email address is the comment section below in case you’re randomly-selected to win this brand new, never been opened $10 Amazon card :)
 For more chances to win, head to the next hop!

Find links to more giveaways here:

You have 84 changes to win!

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A Slight Change of Plan by Dee Ernst (Review)

Kate Everett is about to begin her “second act.” She’s been a widow for eight years and thinks it might be time to start looking for someone to share her life with again. She quits her high-pressure job for something that will allow her more leisure time. She gets rid of the huge family home and moves into a fabulous condo that’s smaller and easier to manage. She’s pretty much got the rest of her life figured out. All she has to do is sit back, relax, and let the pieces fall into place.

But her real life never gets the memo. First, her son moves back in with her—along with his girlfriend. Her dream job falls through, leaving her unemployed. Her mother, whom she hadn’t spoken to in years, can no longer live alone and has to move into her basement. And her only daughter is planning the smallest and simplest wedding in the history of all weddings, much to Kate’s dismay.

Kate thinks that she and Jake, her former college love who has reemerged on an online dating site, of all places, can build something real, and that maybe her happy ending is in front of her at last. But the arrival of Edward, her daughter’s future father-in-law, presents Kate with an unexpected choice.

It looks like real happiness may require a slight change of plan.


Dee Ernst was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in Morristown. She attended Marshall University, where she majored in journalism. Several years, career changes, and a few daughters later, she was listening to the Joan Hamburg Show, where a guest made the suggestion that if you want to be happy, you should go back to what you were doing when you were ten and try to make it a career. Since Dee was writing stories when she was ten, she decided to give writing another go. After three novels and many rejection letters, she self-published Better Off Without Him.  It became a success and was optioned by Unique Features for possible development.  Her next book, A Different Kind of Forever, was released in April of 2012. In the spring of 2013, she signed with Montlake Publishing, which re-released Better Off Without Him and launched her third title, A Slight Change of Plan, that fall. Though Dee finds a lot in common with all her heroines, she is happily married and living in New Jersey.


A SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLAN is such a funny book. Everyone should have a best friend like Cheryl! Past 50 years of age and growing pot in the middle of your roses on the patio? to be discovered by your adult children?

A phrase in the book that perfectly describes life (and the book) is “There’s an old saying – man plans, God laughs. And let me tell you, he has an interesting sense of humor.”  Kate has it all planned. She’s sold the huge house, purchased a condo, and then God laughed!

Suddenly, she has adult children moving back home, she’s beginning to date again, and her ailing mother moves in. Add to that one cooky best friend and the pot starts growing!

A SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLAN is a book about life and what life can throw at you. When Kate comes across her one and only true love, the one who dumped her, on a dating site, she finds that he can still take her breath away, but in the end, is he still the same guy and is the same guy the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

Dee Ernst writes a book full of humor and laughter and clearly shows how art imitates life. I have to include a few quotes because they are too good to pass up. I highly recommend the book, especially if you’ve hit the  50 something time period. You will totally appreciate every page of the book.  By the way, I’m giving this book 5 stars. If I were to read books more than once, this would be one of them.


(Talking with an old college roommate after seeing old boyfriend on dating site)

“Kate! Hi!…let me sit and get comfortable…And the kids?” “Jake Windom just waved at me” I blurted. There was a moment’s silence. “From where, honey?” “I signed up for an online dating service,” I explained. “Well, that’s fine. You’ve been alone for a long time. But I still don’t understand. Were you driving in a car and he passed you?…” “He’s on the same dating site. He must have seen my profile. So he expressed an interest. It’s called waving.” She was quite again. The best thing about MaryJo was her patience. She was originally from Atlanta, and always had that slow, Southern way about her. She could never be rushed. “Kate, you know I love you. And I want for you to be happy. That man broke your heart. If there had been any justice in the world, he would have been struck down dead for all the pain he caused you. He is not worthy of your time or energy, not now, not ten years from now. Do not even think about waving back.”

There it was, the worst thing about MaryJo: She really held on to a grudge…”Didn’t you once tell me that you still dreamed about that man?” Ah, yes. The other worst thing about MaryJo: She never forgot a word anyone said. Which tied in perfectly with the whole grudge thing. “He looks exactly the same,” I told her. “Well shit. Not even bald?”…”I’d love to know if he ever married that stupid Penn State bimbo he left you for.” I laughed. “See, if I waved back, I could ask him.” MaryJo did not laugh. “Honey. I am so afraid that if you see him, all that old stuff will come rushing back…The final worst thing about MaryJo: She was one smart, savvy woman.”

Conversation with friend Cheryl (pot growing cohort)

I pulled over…”Where were you last night?” “At Tom’s. What happened?” “Really? Already?” she said “Cheryl? You called me, remember? Like, a million times? What happened?” “Can you come over? I had a little sexual adventure my self last night, and I may never recover.” I turned around and headed toward Cheryl’s.

And, if all of that is not enough, Kate can’t help but goad her daughter’s future mother-in-law every time she calls by pretending not to have caller ID.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase on Amazon: A Slight Change of Plan

Spotlight: Widow, Spy & Lover by Eden Carson

The year is 1864.  The place – the Deep South.  There’s typhoid in the town, soldiers at the door, and a dead husband in the springhouse.  When gun smugglers come calling, Morgan Edgeworth has only one thing to barter – a deadly knowledge of bomb-making no woman should have.

To escape a violent past and protect his brother, Liam Griffin crosses an ocean to America — only to step off the boat into the middle of a deadly war.  The Irishman is forced to join the North – as scout, tactician, and the gun guarding his brother’s back.

When Griffin steps into the Bleu Pig Tavern, he’s looking for information.  What he finds is a woman – An elegant southern lady serving whiskey to thieves and deserters.  She’s beautiful, well-spoken, and entirely out-of-place in a rowdy tavern.  As she circles the room, pausing only for hurried conversations with men in Confederate uniforms, Griffin is forced to look beyond his interest in Morgan as a woman. Could she know something about the black powder making its way up the Mississippi?

When Griffin rescues Morgan from a dangerous situation, he offers his protection in exchange for information.  Can she survive on her own, or should she trust the charming Irishman to keep his word?

WIDOW, SPY & LOVER is an action-packed romance that begins during the Civil War in Union-occupied Louisiana, and ends on the Texas frontier.

It’s about fresh starts.  Love and Redemption.  And the meaning of family.  There’s adventure, humor, romance, and passion.

Eden Carson, Author:

I am a native Californian currently living in San Diego with my wonderful husband and two kids. I’ve tried my hand at several careers over the years, including teaching English in Brazil and Eastern Europe, marketing in environmental engineering, and software development. I started writing romance several years ago and discovered my true passion! Nothing gives me more satisfaction that creating a world and fascinating people to live and love in it. I’ve just self-published my first novel, Untamed Journey, with the hope of being my own boss one day.

If you’d like to hear when my next book is available or just drop me a line, check out my website:

or join me on Facebook at

Recent Awards:

Second Place for Untamed Journey in the 2013 Romance Writers of America Gulf Coast Chapter Silken Sands Self-Published Star Award for Untamed Journey

Quarter Finalist in the 2012 ABNA contest in the romance category.

I’ve been asked, “What have you learned from being a self published author?”

With Untamed Journey, it has been exciting to try out everything. I read and read blogs, suggestions from other authors and try out what seems like it might work. I’m always open to ideas and have been amazed at how generous everyone has been in offering to help.

The most intriguing aspect is that authors can now write whatever they want and get feedback directly from fans on what they would like to read! I’d love to hear from you, so send me an email or join my mailing list (reached via my website


“You shouldn’t do that,” she said, short of breath.

“Kiss you?” he asked.  “I thought we’d settled my rights back on the train.  Should we negotiate more explicitly?”

“No, that’s not necessary.  I didn’t mean all kissing.  Just not in full view of everyone.  People were watching and cheering.”

“It was a chaste enough kiss, as far as kisses go.  But if you’d prefer closed doors, here we are.  Let’s have a proper tour.”

He opened the door for her and ushered her inside, before she could change her mind.

“It has a bit of charm,” Griffin offered, picking up a broken chair off the floor.

“There’s a hole in the roof.”

“There’s a view of the moon.”

“It’s cold and there’s no stove.”

“You have me now,” he reminded her, hugging her from behind.  “I’ll keep you warm.”

“You’re right,” she said, stepping away and tossing a wicked smile over her shoulder at him.  She bent down, giving him a most distracting view.  When she stood upright, she turned and handed him a hammer, its handle broken off.

“Watch you don’t fall off the roof and kill yourself,” she said.

He smiled into her sparkling green eyes, certain he could make her fall in love with the place.  And him.  “You’d surely miss me,” he warned.

“With a gaping hole in my roof, and no one to warm me, I surely would.”

Purchase links are here:
Ebook and Paperback available on Amazon by clicking book:

I will be reviewing Widow, Spy & Lover in a few days. I invite you to pop in and read my review.


Review: Everything You Need To Know by Helenkay Dimon, A Red-Hot Harlequin/Cosmo Release

From the award winning author of romance and romantic suspense, HelenKay Dimon comes a sizzling new story from Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin.

Welcome to Need to Know—Because a Woman Can’t Be Too Informed

Dating in D.C. is like navigating an apocalyptic wasteland populated by men in expensive suits with zero mating potential. Need to Know provides all the information a savvy single woman like you needs to avoid dating disasters.

By night, Jordan McAdam is the proprietor of a popular website that rates D.C.’s hottest bachelors—everything from how quick they are email you back to their skills in the sack. She’s been burned once too often to accept any man at face value. By day, her job as an office temp puts her in the perfect position to do a little fact checking on her rich and powerful subjects. When her latest assignment brings her face to face with the sexy but mysterious Forest Redder, Jordan decides to do a little “hands on” research of her own.

To Jordan, he seems like the perfect man – but she knows there is no such thing. Moreover, there’s a big problem: Forest knows Jordan’s the woman behind the scandalous site—and Jordan knows he knows. Will he expose her secret—or find his own posted on Need to Know?

Helenkay DimonBy day I’m a divorce lawyer specializing in unhappy endings. One day, during a particularly difficult string of cases, a former co-worker handed me a romance novel with the promise of a much-needed escape and a happy ending. I’ve been reading – and now writing – romance ever since. 

My first release, the novella HARDHATS AND SILK STOCKINGS in the Kensington Brava anthology WHEN GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO BAD BOYS with Lori Foster and Erin McCarthy, was an Amazon, B&N and Borders bestseller. My first single author anthology, VIVA LAS BAD BOYS!, earned rave reviews and was a bestseller on Amazon and at B&N. Both books are available on Amazon and at other bookselling outlets.

My first single title, YOUR MOUTH DRIVES ME CRAZY, is a July 2007 Kensington Brava release. Check back here for more details. You also can visit me at for updated information and some chit chat on my blog.


My Review:

The Cosmo-Harlequin partnership seems to be on a Red-Hot role with their new releases. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW by Helenkay Dimon is definitely leaving smoke in its wake.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW brings a new story line to the table. The story sets you down in the middle of the most powerful city in the United States with some of the most powerful men in D.C. being dished up for dinner. Been asked out? Check out his pros and cons, and even his preferences on the website for women by women, membership only, Need to Know. The ladies are dishing and the men had better watch out!

“When she’d started Need to Know, she’d known the dating world could be physically and emotionally dangerous for women. She never dreamed it resembled an apocalyptic wasteland populated with guys in business suits who possessed zero social skills when it came to handling strong women.”

“Subject Report on Ryan Peterson: Spent entire date talking about Ryan – yes, he refers to himself in the third person. When he drove me home and I refused to sleep with him on the first date, he urinated on my front porch. Run from this blowhard. – Member 121″

“Subject Request for Anton Betz: He broke up with me because his mother just died. Any advice on how to navigate this? – Member 37. Response from Member 258: He broke up with me more than a year ago…because his mother just died. Need to Know admin staff: His mother is alive.”

“Subject Request for Wen Strong: Is his ladies’-man reputation for real? – Member 71. Response from Member 9: Dated him last year. He’s smart, charming and amazing in the sack. He also heaves at the thought of commitment. Sex-yes. Anything serious-no.”

“Subject Request for Cameron Dillard: I know he has a bad-boy reputation, but I thought maybe it was overblown?-Member 401 Need to Know Response: The site almost crashed from the number of members trying to sign on and warn you off.”

And, in between all of the investigating, Need to Know’s woman genius, Jordan does manage meet and fall in love with amazing man.

I am giving EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW five stars. It was a new story-line, very well written, and entertaining. If you are a fan of Harlequin, you will absolutely love this book. If you haven’t yet read a Cosmo-Harlequin romance, this is great place to jump in.

Click the icon to Purchase Everything You Need to Know on Amazon:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly S. Young (Review, Guest Post, Excerpt)

the Eighth WonderA modern Bridges of Madison County, Nicole Benson, 35, is an ambitious college professor with dreams of teaching at an Ivy-League school until she meets Tom Ryan, 44, married 23 years and shattered after his daughter’s death from leukemia. A first-generation in her family to go to college,  Nicole is a self-made woman. She put herself through school, sacrificing marriage and children for her career. In the summer of 1997, she finally graduates with a Ph.D. from NYU, but her life is thrust into chaos when her father is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Abandoned by her mother as a girl, her father is all she has. After fifteen years in New York City, Nicole leaves everything and everyone she knows to teach for a year in rural Bradford, Pennsylvania to be close to him in nearby Buffalo. Now, trapped in tiny Bradford, she has never felt more alone in her life…until she meets Tom Ryan. At 44, Tom represents what Nicole longs to be: settled, secure, and clear about his purpose and direction in life. Emotionally scarred, he and his wife are empty nesters with an older son away at college and struggle to grieve together after the death of their daughter. Tom and Nicole’s story begins as a journey of self-discovery for both of them but turns to bittersweet romance when their friendship becomes love. Nicole risks offering what she has never given before, her heart; and Tom has never felt happier or more conflicted when he falls in love for the second time in his life. 


Dr. Kimberly Young

Image of Kimberly S. YoungDr. Kimberly Young is a psychologist and an internationally known expert on Internet addiction and online behavior. Dr. Young founded the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in 1995 (site at and is a nationally-known speaker on the impact of the Internet. Her work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets such as The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The London TimesUSA Today, Newsweek, Time, CNN, CBS News, Fox News, Good Morning America, and ABC’s World News Tonight. She has received several awards for her research such as the Psychology in the Media Award from the Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the Alumni Ambassador Award for Outstanding Achievement from Indiana University at Pennsylvania. She is an expert on and She has served as an expert on the Child Online Protection Act Congressional Commission and serves on the editorial board of CyberPsychology & Behavior, the American Journal of Family Therapy, and the International Journal of Cyber Crime and Criminal Justice. She has dabbled in creative writing since she was eight-years-old. THE EIGHTH WONDER is her first novel. To learn more visit her blog at or on her research at


From the author (via Amazon)

I started writing The Eighth Wonder while I was recovering from retina re-attachment surgery. This was very serious. I had surgery in both eyes. I was homebound for several months and the surgeon was not sure if I would see again out of my left eye. All he could say was that it was “in God’s hands now”. I was scared. I made an entire career from reading and writing, so the idea of potentially being blind was difficult for me. During my recovery, I could not drive, bend, or even poop too hard for fear of my retinas becoming dislodged. I felt pain in my eyes, something I had never experienced, both were full of blood and I looked like I was punched in the face several times. I felt embarrassed for anyone to see me. 

The first weeks of recovery, I laid on the couch thinking about my life. During those reflections, I remembered how lost I felt when I first moved to Bradford after graduating with my doctorate in clinical psychology. I had moved to Bradford to be near my father who was dying of cancer. Like Nicole, my dad was the only anchor in my life. It was very life-changing when he died. It was only a few weeks before I was diagnosed with retina detachments and had my surgery, so the experience was still fresh in my mind. This began the journey into Nicole’s character. I started making notes, some by hand and some on the computer. My surgeon said that using my eyes was good — they were muscles in need of exercise is how he put it. I had long hours alone after my husband went to work so writing gave me something to do. It took my mind off my eyes.


As I wrote more about Nicole, a story popped out, and four months later I had the novel written. It was written in first person, focusing on Nicole. I sent the manuscript out to several agents. Several rejections later, I started to re-examine the novel. I realized that I had not talked about Tom. For him, a devoted family man, I needed to dig into his character much deeper than I had. He was the one making harder choices after all. I remember that the more I wrote about Tom, the more I reflected how different it was to fall in love at mid-life. A pivotal moment in the novel comes when Tom says “falling in love at this age is much deeper”. It is fairly easy to fall in love when we in our 20s with our lives ahead of us. It is a different experience in our 40s or 50s (or beyond). After our expectations for relationships have evolved, falling in love takes on an entirely different meaning. Writing became my therapy during a difficult time in my life, I enjoyed writing the novel. I did not know how much it was impact me personally unlike anything I have written before. I only hope that others enjoy reading it!



I had an opportunity to ask the author one question. My question was “What drew you to write about this topic and this genre”. Here is what the author had to say.  


A modern Bridges of Madison County, Nicole Benson, 35, is an ambitious college professor with dreams of teaching at an Ivy-league university until she falls in love with Tom Ryan, 44, married 23 years and shattered by his daughter’s death from leukemia.


As a psychologist, I have counseled men and women struggling with extramarital attractions and understand the emotional conflicts those endure who deeply value fidelity but still feel the pull of falling in love with another, even when one party or the other appears to be happily married. These experiences led me to write The Eighth Wonder.


I was homebound for almost five months recovering from retina re-attachment surgery. This was very serious. I had surgery in both eyes.  All the surgeon could say was that it was “in God’s hands now” because my left retina almost completely fell off before it was detected. I was scared. As a professor, I made an entire career from reading and writing, so the idea of potentially being blind was difficult. During my recovery, I could not drive, bend, or even poop too hard for fear of my retinas becoming dislodged. I felt pain in my eyes, something I had never experienced, both were full of blood and I looked like I was punched in the face several times. I felt embarrassed for anyone to see me.


I had always wanted to write a novel. During this time, I thought of my father who had just died. This began the journey into Nicole’s character. I started making notes, some by hand and some on the computer.


Like Nicole, I was the first generation in my family to go to college and I found Bradford, Pa when I took a faculty position at the local college to be near my father, who lived in Buffalo and was ill with pancreatic cancer.  Using my own experience on how I came to Bradford seemed like a good place to start my novel.


As I wrote more about Nicole, a story popped out. As I wrote more about Tom, he reminded me of many men that I met in life, middle-aged, content in their lives and marriages yet longing for something more.


 Tom was not looking to have an affair. He loved his wife, Rose, and the life that they made together. When Tom meets Nicole, something very deep stirs within him.


He was a devoted family man crushed by the death of his daughter. Nicole was the only person who could heal him from his grief and loss. He becomes whole again and can help her with the loss of her father. In this process, they fall in love and the story becomes bittersweet.


Like the Bridges of Madison County, they have a difficult choice to make. I wanted The Eighth Wonder to capture that feeling of how difficult it is to fall in love when you are older. That difference of falling in love at an age when love is much deeper and more difficult to do. It is fairly easy to fall in love in our 20s with our lives ahead of us. It is a different experience in our 40s or 50s (or beyond). After our expectations for relationships have evolved, falling in love takes on an entirely different meaning.



“He couldn’t remember a time without Rose in his life. He had dated a few women before Rose, but he was young and could hardly remember any of them. He figured the number of women he had been with was low compared to other men, but most men were not married so young. It was just what you did back then, the path he chose. Grow up, go to college, get married, and start a family. It was what everyone did.


He felt so young at the time, like a child himself, the first time he held his new son. He was only twenty-one and Rose only twenty. They had no clue how to raise a child, and they lived in a one-bedroom apartment—they had nothing but were happy. Tom was working at his first job out of college, and yet, as he held his son, his whole life seemed to be set, his path predestined.


He stacked another layer of wood alongside the porch wall. His gloves were thick and the baseball cap he wore kept his head warm, but he felt the wind pick up and the air turn cold. He grabbed another log to stack and wondered what he should do when Nicole arrived. What would they do to pass the time? This wasn’t like The Friendship Table with other people around and tasks to complete. This wasn’t like being alone when they were at the bridge. 


Then he didn’t know Nicole very well and didn’t think about her all the time. Then he didn’t have feelings for her. What was he doing? Like a shot through his heart, he felt fear. Again, the question: what was he doing?


The panic bubbled up and he couldn’t stop it. The feelings kept flooding over him. He wasn’t sure if he was infatuated. He hadn’t really felt like this before. Was he falling in love with Nicole?


He shuddered at the implications. What about Rose? The guilt swept over him like a tidal wave. How could he even have feelings for another woman? He loved Rose and they had a good life together. They had gone through so much together. What could he possibly be thinking? He could never hurt Rose like that. But he was getting ahead of himself. Nicole could be coming just to get away, just to go on a hike, to get away from the academic grind. 


Maybe what he was feeling had nothing to do with her, and yet, he had an intuition that it had everything to do with her. She was beautiful and smart, and she had made him feel alive again.


He stacked the last of the wood. He wondered what a young, attractive woman like Nicole could possibly see in him, and he decided it was probably safe to have her come for a hike. They would talk and that would be about all. There was no way anything more could happen. Nicole could never be interested in him, not in any romantic way. She had too many other choices in her life. Yet, for a moment, just a moment, Tom wondered what he would do if she had feelings for him too.”




Book Trailer can be viewed here:

The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly S. Young


My Review:

If I were to be honest with myself, I would have to admit that when I first began the book, I was not at all intrigue. I even thought that this was going to be a s-l-o-w read. I quickly had to rethink my position, because the more I read, the more I couldn’t put the book down. As the story unfolded, so did the wonder of life and all of the tricks that it plays on us.

The Eighth Wonder is a quiet love story between a lonely woman (Nicole) searching for a place to belong and a heartbroken man (Tom) looking to feel alive after his young daughter’s death. The Kinzua Bridge in Bradford, Pennsylvania plays a pivotal part in the story and the author included the fascinating history of the bridge in the book. It was this bridge, after seeing it on both the cover of the book, and in the author’s photo, that kept coming to mind as I read the book. 

This book is a story about life, love, loss, heartbreak, and moving forward. How we sometimes sleepwalk through life focused on superficial goals rather than out hearts desire; and how we sometimes find love and comfort in the most unlikeliness of places.

The characters were well developed and the story line was unique. I found no errors and when you finish the very last word on the very last page, you feel as though life has completed its circle.

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. Albert Camus



We have a giveaway! And, it’s international (e-book)! You can enter here:

The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly S. Young