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Henrietta and Inspector Howard Series Spotlight Tour

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Dive into the world of Henrietta in this exciting series.

A Girl Like You

A GIRL LIKE YOU: Beautiful Henrietta Von Harmon works as a 26 girl at a corner bar, Poor Pete’s, on Chicago’s northwest side. It’s 1935, but things still aren’t looking up since the big crash and her father’s subsequent suicide. Left to care for her antagonistic mother and seven younger siblings, Henrietta is persuaded to take a job as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall. Henrietta is just beginning to enjoy herself, dancing with men for ten cents a dance, when the floor matron suddenly turns up murdered. The aloof Inspector Clive Howard then appears on the scene, and Henrietta unwittingly finds herself involved in unraveling the mystery when she agrees to go undercover for him in a burlesque theater where he believes the killer lurks.

Even as Henrietta is plunged into Chicago’s grittier underworld, she struggles to still play the mother “hen” to her younger siblings and even to the pesky neighborhood boy, Stanley, who believes himself in love with her and continues to pop up in the most unlikely places, determined, ironically, to keep Henrietta safe, even from the Inspector if needs be. Despite his efforts, however, and his penchant for messing up the Inspector’s investigation, the lovely Henrietta and the impenetrable Inspector find themselves drawn to each other in most unsuitable ways.

You can buy this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and IndieBound.

A Ring of Truth

Newly engaged, Clive and Henrietta now begin the difficult task of meeting each other’s family. “Difficult” because Clive has neglected to tell Henrietta that he is in fact the heir to the Howard estate and fortune, and Henrietta has just discovered that her mother has been hiding secrets about her past as well. When Clive brings Henrietta to the family estate to meet his parents, they are less than enthused about his impoverished intended. Left alone in this extravagant new world when Clive returns to the city, Henrietta finds herself more at home with the servants than his family, much to the disapproval of Mrs. Howard―and soon gets caught up in the disappearance of an elderly servant’s ring, not realizing that in doing so she has become part of a bigger, darker plot.

As Clive and Henrietta attempt to discover the truth in the two very different worlds unraveling around them, they both begin to wonder: Are they meant for each other after all?

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and IndieBound.

A Promise Given

Anxious to be married, Henrietta and Clive push forward with their wedding plans despite their family differences, made worse now by Oldrich Exley’s attempts to control the Von Harmons. When the long-awaited wedding day arrives, there is more unfolding than just Clive and Henrietta’s vows of love. Stanley and Elsie’s relationship is sorely tested by the presence of the dashing Lieutenant Harrison Barnes-Smith and by Henrietta’s friend Rose―a situation that grows increasingly dark and confused as time goes on.

As Clive and Henrietta begin their honeymoon at Castle Linley, the Howards’ ancestral estate in England, they encounter a whole new host of characters, including the eccentric Lord and Lady Linley and Clive’s mysterious cousin, Wallace. When a man is murdered in the village on the night of a house party at the Castle, Wallace comes under suspicion―and Clive and Henrietta are reluctantly drawn into the case, despite Clive’s anxiety at involving his new bride and Henrietta’s distracting news from home.

Delicately attempting to work together for the first time, Clive and Henrietta set out to prove Wallace’s innocence, uncovering as they do so some rather shocking truths that will shake the Linley name and estate forever.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and IndieBound.

A Veil Removed

Their honeymoon abruptly ended by the untimely death of Alcott Howard, Clive and Henrietta return to Highbury, where Clive discovers all is not as it should be. Increasingly convinced that his father’s death was not an accident, Clive launches his own investigation, despite his mother’s belief that he has become “mentally disturbed” with grief. Henrietta eventually joins forces with Clive on their first real case, which becomes darker―and deadlier―than they imagined as they get closer to the truth behind Alcott’s troubled affairs.

Meanwhile, Henrietta’s sister, Elsie, begins, at Henrietta’s orchestration, to take classes at a women’s college―an attempt to evade her troubles and prevent any further romantic temptations. When she meets a bookish German custodian at the school, however, he challenges her to think for herself . . . even as she discovers some shocking secrets about his past life.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and IndieBound.

A Child Lost

When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta―much to Clive’s dismay―begins to believe the spiritualist’s strange ramblings.

 Meanwhile, Elsie begs Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results.

You can pre-order this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound.

About the Author

Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there. Coincidentally, her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and many others, so she might be on to something. Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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A Reason for Living Book Review

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In this tale of love, passion, and self-discovery, three Jamaican men become caught up in a 1960s revolution that reveals injustices, oppression, and a purpose for one of them.

About A Reason for Living

It is the mid-1960s in Kingston, Jamaica, and the country is steeped in social, political, and economic inequities. Howard Baxter, the heir to a real estate empire, has no interest in seeking or managing wealth. Painting and deflowering Jamaican maidens are his passions. As he combs the streets looking for greater meaning in his pathetic life, it soon becomes apparent that Howard’s journey will not be easy. Bernaldo Lloyd, a member of the Baxter clan, is a medical student who is sensitive to the hopelessness of the Jamaican masses. Inspired by his close friend and Howard’s cousin, Ras Robin Pone, and their ties with the Rastafari movement that calls for social and economic equity, Bernaldo is determined to overthrow the corrupt government. As Howard, Bernaldo and Robin become influenced by The American Black Power and Civil Rights movements demanding equal rights for African Americans, the women in their lives both love and criticize them. But when revolution breaks out, Howard finally discovers a purpose for his twisted life that leads him in a direction he never anticipated. In this tale of love, passion, and self-discovery, three Jamaican men become caught up in a 1960s revolution that reveals injustices, oppression, and a purpose for one of them.

My Thoughts

This is a powerful story told during an important time of change. The story circles around three men: Howard, Bernaldo and Robin but I feel that Howard takes the centre stage and he is the central piece that the story hinges on. It is his actions that bring about change and connect all of our minor characters together.

This novel exposes the difficult side of life in Jamaica in this time period. I think when we view this beautiful country, we don’t stop and understand enough the struggles of their people and what they have endured. This book encouraged me to do some of my own research into the political movements during this time frame and I found a new appreciation of the struggles and triumphs of the people.

Through this novel we are exposed to the poverty, inequality and the lack of hope of the people at this time. The extreme poverty seen in this story leads to a desperation, or even a lack of hope for the future. We see this in the relationships between our main characters and the ones that are explained to us in the story. We see characters sell their bodies, or have frequent partners – which was explained to us that this was done out of boredom (with no future to rise out of poverty, what should they be doing?). While they make up the majority of the population in Jamaica – they are the poorest in the country. The wealth of their country is held in the hands of a few, elite individuals who do not have the interests of the majority at heart. The government is corrupt and in the hands of the wealthy, instead of looking after their people, they send the wealth out of the country. Change is needed but how do we create change? Our characters, especially Howard, become the catalyst needed for change in their country.

Howard is a difficult character – he is an artist with a troubled past. He holds on to the pain of losing his Mother and so many times throughout the novel seems both lost and found. He has been abused by others and has used others. He wants to see a better future for his people but at times, I am not sure if he can see what that picture is in his own mind. He is rash at times but always with a sense of purpose. My heart was sore for him at times and at other times angry at him for his actions and hurting those around him. But you also felt sorry for him because he doesn’t know any better because of his own past. You want to see him succeed but he is also his own worst enemy. The ending was hard – I thought he may have finally found peace but we were left hanging.

This is a well written, thought provoking novel. I found it difficult to follow at first but about a third of the way in, I could not put it down. There were difficult scenes to read and some parts that left you angry at the treatment of the female characters but when you begin to look at the root cause of these actions, it really makes you think. The novel is geared towards adults and mature young adults due to the content.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Raymond Arthur Julian Reynolds aka Julian Jingles, is a writer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur and operates in New York, USA, and Jamaica, W.I. He began his writing career in 1966 at 16 years old, writing A Reason For Living about a family caught up in a revolution in Jamaica in the mid-1960s. It was written in three drafts and completed in 1968.

He pursued a career in journalism at the Gleaner Company in Kingston, Jamaica writing extensively on the Jamaican music industry, cultural, and social issues. At age 22 he was a columnist writing Merry Go Round, and In the Saddle for the Gleaner, and Record Shop for the Star. He has published several articles, short stories, and essays in Swing, and Cooyah, magazines, the Abeng, and Public Opinion newspapers, in Jamaica.

He immigrated to the United States in 1972 to write two screenplays, “Half Breed,” and “One Way Out.” In New York he has written for the New York Amsterdam News, the Jamaica Weekly Gleaner (NA), Everybody’s magazine, JET, the Daily Challenge, the New York Daily News, the Carib News, and as a foreign correspondent for the Gleaner in Jamaica. He developed an interest in film and television production, and received training in script writing, film, theater, and television directing and production, with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and wrote and produced three documentary films, “Jamaican Gun Court” (1974), “It All Started With The Drums” (1987), and “Jammin’ In Jamaica–With The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari” (1996), and directed the latter two. He has also worked as production manager on several music videos with performers such as Kool & the Gang, the Manhattans, and Steel Pulse.

Between 1998 to 2018 he contributed frequently to the In Focus section of the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner, writing on socio-economic and cultural issues. He has been an entrepreneur as he pursues his literary career, involved in business consultancy with the National Minority Business Council in New York, and the importing, exporting and distribution of agro-products between Jamaica and the United States, and have produced several music concerts, and stage plays in New York, and Kingston.

He was married in 1972 to Charmaine Jasmine, who is deceased. He has three children, 11 grandchildren, and one great grand, and continues living in New York, and Jamaica.

You can connect with him on his website.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Work It, Girl: Inspiration from Michelle Obama and Mae Jemison

Work It, Girl is an empowering series of biographies featuring modern women in the world of work, from designers and musicians to CEOs and scientists. 

About the Work It, Girl Series

Work It, Girl is an empowering series of biographies featuring modern women in the world of work, from designers and musicians to CEOs and scientists. Each of these illustrated books tells the story of a remarkable woman in ten chapters that highlight transformative moments in her life, following the ups and downs that she faced on her road to success. At the end, ten key lessons show what you can learn from these moments, and self-reflection questions help you apply these lessons to your own life.

Brightly colored photo illustrations of 3-D cut paper artwork featuring inspiring quotes from these amazing women bring their stories to vivid life. Learn how to work it as you lay the foundations for your own successful career.

Work It, Girl: Become a Leader Like Michelle Obama

In this imaginatively illustrated book from the Work It, Girl series, discover how Michelle became an inspirational leader, FLOTUS, lawyer, author, and role model in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life.

Michelle Obama grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a little bungalow with a close-knit family. She loved going to school, and she knew that, one day, she would use her voice to empower other young girls, just like her. Young Michelle was a brilliant student and wonderful daughter. With hard work and talent, she propelled herself into the universities of Princeton and Harvard. She qualified as a lawyer and life was going smoothly…Then she met a guy named Barack.

My Thoughts

Wow – this is an incredibly powerful and inspirational book. When I first opened it, I thought it would be geared towards younger children but this is an excellent book for individuals of all ages (I felt empowered reading it). It tells Michelle’s story from childhood up until her time in the White House. We learn about her family, how she was raised and how she got to where she is now. The road was not easy for her but she never gave up. One of my favourite parts was – ‘when someone says you can’t: prove them wrong!’. This is a lesson that I have tried to instill in my kids, that there will always be people who tell us we are not enough, but we always need to fight back and push for what we want. We don’t have to be mean to others but we have to know that we can accomplish anything we put our minds to, regardless of what others think of us.

My favourite quote from this book: “The lesson I learned from that is that as women and girls, we have to confront those negative voices – the ones in our head and the ones from people in our lives – telling us what we can’t do”.

It is sometimes hard to tell what is worse – the voices from others or our own self-doubt that can eat destroy us. As women, we need to lift each other up and know that we can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

I think this is a must have book for all youth – to understand, appreciate and relate to the struggles that Michelle went through and how she was able to rise above them. She shows compassion, understanding, kindness and resilience. All of the things that we want as parents to teach our children. This is a definite must have addition in your child’s library.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Work It, Girl: Blast Off Into Space Like Mae Jemison

In this imaginatively illustrated book from the Work It, Girl series, discover how Mae Jemison became the first African American woman in space in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life.

When Mae Jemison was a little girl, she loved science, dancing, and dinosaurs. She watched the Apollo moon landings and wondered why none of the astronauts were women—and she just didn’t buy the answers she was given.

My Thoughts

Another powerful and inspirational book in this series, featuring Mae Jemison. Mae teaches everyone to dream BIG. She grew up in a time where women had limited opportunities and she could have let a teacher’s comment throw her off her dream but she didn’t (imagine how she must have felt when a teacher told her she should be a nurse instead of a scientist). Instead, she decided to work harder and dream for the stars – because everything is in your reach if you are willing to try.

She was an incredibly bright student (entering university at the tender age of sixteen!) and dancer – both careers quite demanding on an individual. She went on to become a doctor, joined the Peace Corps and was the first black woman to go into space. She re-invented herself time and time again, always focusing on her goals and what her heart desired. She never let what others thought about her determine her future – something I truly admire and hope all children realize. We should never ever let others define us, instead use this to push ourselves further.

My favourite quote from this book: “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations”.

This is so important for our youth – we should never allow other people to determine our future. We are capable of accomplishing anything we put our mind to with determination and strength.

Another excellent, must have book in this series. It is powerful, telling the story of a woman who defied society and set an example for others. She was a trailblazer, full of compassion, strength and determination. She would set goals, accomplish them and set new ones. A definite must read book for youth of all ages.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas

In Eternity Springs: The McBrides of TexasNew York Times bestselling author Emily March presents a brand new arc set in the Lone Star State that features a family-linked trilogy within the author’s romantic series.

About Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas

Meet Gillian Thacker. Her business: Bliss Bridal Salon. Her passion: Weddings. Her own wedding: It’s complicated. Life isn’t turning out like she’d planned. The last thing she wants is for a real-life hero to ride to her rescue when an unexpected event puts her entire future in Redemption, Texas, at risk. So what’s a broken-hearted bridal expert to do? Maybe a new set of survival skills is exactly what she needs.

Tucker McBride has been proud to call himself a U.S. Army Ranger. But now that his days of service are over, he’s decided to put his expertise to use by founding a wilderness skills training school. He sets up shop in Redemption, next to Bliss Bridal, and so begins life: Part Two. Marriage has been pretty low on his agenda, but as soon as he meets Gillian, Tucker can’t help but contemplate the ultimate challenge: Convincing the reluctant bride to take his hand and leap into the adventure of a lifetime. . .until death do they part.

My Thoughts

I really enjoy the way that Emily writes and this novel does not disapoint. She has a way of drawing you in to the story and becoming attached to our characters and their story.

In this novel, Tucker’s days of service are over and he is struggling on how to put his expertise to good use. He sets up in Redemption and begins to build a new life for himself. He is the type of person that you can’t help but love – he is patient, kind, thoughtful and knows what he wants but does not hurt others to get his way. He falls for Gillian the minute he meets her but puts his own feelings on the back burner as she is engaged. Gillian is a wild, breath of air. She owns the bridal store next to him and is engaged to a selfish man. She has allowed herself to settle in a relationship and move forward into a marriage even though she is not happy. Everyone around her can see this but deep down she knows but cannot quite admit it to herself.

When her fiance walks out on her in a monumental, shocking way, she is forced to examine her life and decide what is important to her. She struggles like anyone else would – she is hurt, angry and confused. Tucker is there for her to support her but you can see that he wants more and how perfect he would be for her. She is attracted to him but is terrified of a relationship. We watch the two grow in maturity and their relationship, constantly rooting for them to find their way to each other but understanding their hesitancy.

This is an excellent romance from start to finish, it was sweet, funny and kept you on your toes (not to mention adventure!). A great read from start to finish.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a “master of delightful banter,” and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Wild, Wild Rake Book Review

Wild, Wild Rake, the next sweeping, emotional, witty, and sharp romance in the Cavensham Heiresses series from beloved author Janna MacGregor.

About Wild, Wild Rake

Lady Avalon Warwyk never did love her husband. Arrogant, selfish, and cruel, it’s a blessing when she’s widowed and left to raise her son all by herself. Finally, Avalon can live freely and do the work she loves: helping fallen women become businesswomen. She’s lived these past ten years with no desire to remarry—that is, until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.

Devan Farris—charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian—is reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. Devan wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But she’ll have nothing to do with a vicar with a wild reputation—even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside—a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can prove that he wants to love and care for her. . .until death do they part?

My Thoughts

In this story, Avalon had a marriage that was a nightmare. Her husband was downright evil and hated her. He went out of his way to make her life miserable while at the same time he played the victim to any one that would listen. He made Avalon out to be a monster and most of society believed him (you have to love how society treated women!). Avalon was left with many emotional and physical scars from her marriage after he passed away. The only happiness that she had from the marriage was the birth of her son.

Devan was one of her husband’s friends and also one who believed the lies. He even had a not so nice nickname for Avalon. When he becomes the vicar of the town she is now living in, they are both suspicious of each other. He was sent to spy on her and she knows this.

I loved Avalon’s character – she had been through so much but was still a fighter. She never gave up nor backed down, even when the weight of what she was carrying was too much. But this strength was also at times her weakness – she did not want to allow others to help her, even when she needed it. I loved watching our two characters grow in maturity and understanding. There was a feeling of healing and hope throughout the novel. That despite all of the bad that had happened, maybe just maybe those wounds could be healed and they can move forward (although both individuals want to heal and move forward).

This is a beautiful story of healing, forgiveness and second chances.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She is the author of the Cavensham Heiresses series, which begins with The Bad Luck Bride. Janna credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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