At thirty-five, Abigail Simmons has mastered only one thing—running. When tragedy strikes, she runs. This time her urge to flee brings Abi back to her hometown, where she hopes she can find the peace she’s always searched for. That hope is dashed when Abi’s ex, Sam Forrester, bumps his way back into her life.
Sam has flourished in ways Abi hasn’t. From the outside, he has it all—a successful medical practice, a beautiful daughter, and a charming wife.
Who is dying.
Sara Forrester is dying and her final wish is for Sam to find love again so she can meet the woman who will finish raising her daughter and grow old with her husband. Abi seems like the perfect fit, but what Sara doesn’t know is that Abi has a secret, a secret no one could guess.
I am so, so excited to tell you that THE DANDELION is live! I loved everything about this story, from the way it began as a dream to the way I cried a few times as I wrote it. This book has some of the most real and raw and wounded characters I’ve ever fallen in love with, but I think that’s why I love them so much. And I truly believe you will, too, but I want to implore you to TRUST ME. Trust me that, although there are obstacles and struggles that cut to the heart of every woman, this book is one of love and hope and friendship and selflessness of epic proportions. Trust me to bring you closure and happiness, the kind we all have to work for, but the kind that’s made all the more special because we have to work for it.
Give this book a try. Give this love a try. Give this HOPE a try:) I sincerely hope you adore the story as much as I do!
Many thanks to Michelle Leighton and Sullivan and Partners, LLC for the advance digital copy. Opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
To say that this book was extraordinary seems to trivialize the feelings that I had while reading THE DANDELION by MICHELLE LEIGHTON!
I picked THE DANDELION up one morning and I couldn’t put it down until I had come to the end. I carried my phone with me all day just in case I might have a minute to read a little bit more while I was running errands.
The story is very heartrending, and I had many moments of tears and a vast emotional investment in the entire story! I’m not a big believer in second chances, but Sara, Sam, and Abi proved me wrong!
Even knowing Abi had ulterior motives for returning to Molly’s Knob, life intervenes and changes her direction for the better!
Ms. Leighton’s writing is spectacular in THE DANDELION, possibly the best she has ever delivered!
Pick up your copy of THE DANDELION by MICHELLE LEIGHTON today and I’m certain you’ll find yourself falling in love with all the characters that make this story an award-winning novel!
Reviews by Room With Books gives THE DANDELION by MICHELLE LEIGHTON five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee!
New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, M. Leighton, is a rarely ever comfortable speaking about herself in the third person, but here goes. Michelle is a former nurse who has always harbored a passion for the written word, a weakness for alpha males, and a profound love of all things romantic. Never in her wildest dreams did this Yankee-turned-Southerner imagine her life as it is today. She has the best job in the world, a husband who treats her like a princess, and a dog that’s so smart she may one day write a novel, too. You can often find Michelle hidden away in her cave, crafting a new story, or out in the sunshine enjoying some quiet time with her man. Movies, wine, and good food are frequently thrown into the mix, and exercise on days that start with Q. She loves laughter, chocolate, the color red, and you can find out more about her at www.mleightonbooks.com.
ABOUT MICHELLE LEIGHTON
With sales nearing the two million mark, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and internationally bestselling author M. Leighton is now turning her pen toward another side of relationships with her work as Michelle Leighton. From her upcoming emotionally charged story, The Dandelion, to her domestic noir entitled Strings, Michelle’s stories are sure to bring all the depth you’ve come to expect from M. Leighton with a new edge that will have you quickly turning page after page.
Find me online at https://www.facebook.com/MichelleLeightonAuthor/
A LITTLE REBELLION NOW AND THEN: A Tale of Two Eras
By Scott Skipper
**I rate books with cups of coffee in place of the regular stars**
I love reading a book that captures my attention from the very beginning and never lets me go! A LITTLE REBELLION NOW AND THEN by Scott Skipperis just that type of book!
Author Scott Skippergives us a look at the lives of his characters at a date presumed to be present day by this reviewer, or is it some date in the future? He also flashes back to their lives in the 1970s.
The flashbacks into the characters’ lives allowed me to develop a feeling of intimacy with them straight away! I felt like I had spent more than a little bit of time with them during the 70s even though there is no way that could have happened. After all, I was just a child during the 70s!
The writing is very crisp and flows beautifully! The characters are incredibly interesting and also very mysterious, which kept me totally engaged in the book!
This is the first book I’ve read by Scott Skipper, but I will be rearranging my TBR piles so that I have several more of his novels very close to the top!
I can honestly give A LITTLE REBELLION NOW AND THEN: A Tale of Two Eras by Scott Skippera steaming hot five cups of Room With Books coffee, and I definitely recommend you run out and get your copy today!
When a leftwing activist from the Nixon era morphs into a conservative writer of political incorrectness, can she ever escape the evil eye of the establishment? Political winds may shift but some things never change. If you pull on the dragon’s tail, you’d best be ready to take some heat. Kate is no stranger to a jail cell, but she thought she got past that four decades ago. Then again, in a world run amuck with knife brandishing jihadists spilling from their sharia zones, maybe a jail cell is the safest place to be.
Is it true that the more things change, the more they stay the same? For Kate it seems that way, but perhaps there is a new and more ominous threat, jihad. Her computer is hacked, there are mysterious voices on her phone, her condo is bugged, why would someone spy on a sweet old lady from Ohio who writes snarky novels about the government? Kate fought to get the bureaucratic monkey off her back at both ends of her life. She just can’t get on the good side of the establishment. In fact, she has a gift for drawing harassment upon herself. Her feud with the Feds spanned four decades from the sixties to the days of TSA, NSA and Homeland Security. Her persecution soars to precipitous heights. What is a grandmother to do when somebody is after her head? Well, WTF…
Scott Skipper is a California fiction writer with a broad range of interests, including history, genealogy, travel, science and current events. His wry outlook on life infects his novels with biting sarcasm. Political correctness is taboo. His work includes historical fiction, alternative history, novelized biography, science fiction and political satire. He is a voracious reader and habitual and highly opinionated reviewer.
A BLIND GIRL’S TERRIFYING “GIFT” ALLOWS HER TO REGAIN HER EYESIGHT–BUT ONLY AS SHE FERRIES THE RECENTLY DECEASED INTO THE AFTERLIFE.
Loreena Picket thinks she knows herself. A blind young woman who lives with her uncle, a reverend at a small-town church, she’s a dutiful niece and talented pianist for the congregation.
But they’re both hiding a terrible secret. Loreena can kill people with the touch of her hand.
While her uncle sees her as an angel of mercy, helping usher the terminally ill members of his flock into the afterlife, Loreena has her doubts.
Torn between doing her uncle’s bidding and the allure of the fleeting moments when her eyesight returns on the journey to the other side, Loreena cooperates with her uncle until her troubled older brother returns to town. When she reveals her power by saving him from a local drug dealer, she is drawn into a sinister and dangerous world that will test the true nature of her talent and force her to consider how far she is willing to go to survive.
An exciting debut that crosses fantasy and literary fiction, Loreena’s Gift is a thought-provoking meditation on life and death and what ultimately lies beyond this world.
* Loreena’s Gift was recently named 1st place fiction in the 2016 Idaho Author Awards *
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest review.
It was my pleasure to read Loreena’s Gift by Colleen M. Story.
This is a very different type of story. Loreena’s “gift” is the ability to kill with the touch of her hands. My first thought was that no one would be able to control such a gift, and then we learn that Lorenna is blind. How would a blind woman be able to avoid touching people as part of her daily life.
I was surprised by the progression of events in Loreena’s Gift. From helping terminally ill parishioners to killing to save her brother’s life was a huge jump for me to make. It isn’t a plot that was had much of a surprise to me once her darling brother came back into Loreena’s life.
The descriptive writing was, however, some of the best I’ve had the opportunity to read. Ms. Story managed to put me in Loreena’s shoes with her words and phrases. It was very easy to close my eyes and imagine myself walking Loreena’s walk at times.
I am pleased to offer Loreena’s Gift by Colleen M. Story four steaming hot cups of Reviews by Room With Books coffee.
When my father was in his sixties, his doctor suggested that he stop drinking coffee. He was experiencing some stomach upset, and the doctor thought all that coffee was bad for him.
For a long time, other doctors felt the same way—that coffee was something that most Americans enjoyed drinking, but that wasn’t especially good for us.
More recent studies, however, have turned that thinking around. Now we know that there are a number of things about coffee that are beneficial for our health.
Yes, coffee is acidic, and if you have a sensitive stomach, it probably is a good idea to back off. Barring that, however, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a cup or two. In fact, there are several reasons why you should indulge—and why coffee makes the perfect beverage to accompany your reading time.
Is It the Caffeine?
Studies have found that coffee can provide a number of health benefits, because of the good-for-you antioxidants in the beans, but also because of the caffeine.
We used to think that it was only the antioxidants that were helpful, but recent studies have found that in some cases, the caffeine is what creates the positive effects.
Coffee has been found to have a protective effect against Parkinson’s Disease (PD), for example, and researchers credit the caffeine for that. In animal studies, caffeine actually counteracted the symptoms of PD, and enhanced the effects of traditional treatments.
There have been a number of human studies, too. In 2000, researchers analyzed data from over 8,000 men and found that a higher coffee and caffeine intake was associated with a significantly lower risk of Parkinson’s.
The caffeine in coffee is also thought to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A 2010 analysis concluded that most studies support coffee’s ability to help prevent cognitive decline and dementia. (Tea seems to help, too.)
A later 2011 animal study also showed that a component in coffee works with caffeine to increase a growth factor to protect against the development of Alzheimer’s.
What About the Antioxidants?
Would you be surprised to learn that coffee is the world’s number-one preferred source of antioxidants?
That’s what researchers found in 2005. “Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source,” says study leader Joe Vinson, Ph.D. “Nothing else comes close.”
Antioxidants are healthy nutrients that protect us from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other health problems. Of course we also find them in other things like tea, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, but according to this study, as a nation, we consume more coffee than any of these things.
The antioxidants in our favorite beverage have been found to help protect against a number of our most common modern diseases. These include:
Heart Disease: In a 2014 analysis of 36 studies, researchers found that coffee consumption was associated with a small reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. It took only about 1.5 cups a day to earn the protection. Other studies have suggested it may also help to reduce risk of stroke.
Cancer: Antioxidants, in general, are cancer fighters. Those in coffee have been found to potentially reduce risk of various types of cancer, including uterine and liver cancer. Earlier this year, a panel of experts convened by the World Health Organization concluded that regularly drinking coffee could protect against at least two types of cancer.
Type 2 Diabetes: If type 2 diabetes runs in your family, you may want to drink another cup of coffee. In 2014, a study led by researchers from the Harvard School of Public health concluded that people who increased the amount of coffee they drank each day by more than one cup over a period of 4 years had an 11 percent lower risk for type 2 diabetes than those who made no changes. In addition, those who decreased consumption of coffee by more than a cup a day increased their risk by 17 percent. Other studies have shown similar results, with coffee consumption linked to decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Dementia: Rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s are increasing. As mentioned above, drinking coffee may help, both because of the caffeine and the antioxidants. In 2010, researchers reported that most studies support coffee’s protective effects against cognitive decline. In one study, drinking 3-5 cups a day at midlife was associated with a 65 percent decrease of Alzheimer’s and dementia late in life. Researchers concluded that it could be because of the caffeine, or other factors like the antioxidants.
Feel Free to Enjoy a Hot Cup with Your Novel
In addition to all this good news, coffee may even help you life longer. That was the conclusion researchers made in one 2012 study. They looked at data that included about 400,000 adults between the ages of 50 and 71, and found that coffee consumption (caffeinated or decaffeinated) was associated with a lower risk of death overall.
So if you’re a reader who enjoys a nice hot cup of coffee with your novel, don’t feel guilty for a second. You’re doing something that’s good for you! Of course, if you experience stomach irritation, or if you find the caffeine keeps you awake at night, adjust your intake. But don’t feel you have to give it up.
Chuanhai Cao, et al. “Caffeine Synergizes with Another Coffee Component to Increase Plasma GCSF: Linkage to Cognitive Benefits in Alzheimer’s Mice,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 25(2), June 28, 2011, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21422521.
“Coffee is number one source of antioxidants,” American Chemical Society, [Press Release], August 28, 2005, https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-08/acs-cin081905.php.
Ding M. et al (2014) Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Circ, 129(6):643-59.
Neal D. Freedman, et al., “Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality,” New England Journal of Medicine, May 17, 2012, 366:1891-1904, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1112010.
About the Author
Colleen M. Story writes imaginative fiction and is also a freelance writer, instructor, and motivational speaker specializing in creativity, productivity, and personal wellness. Her latest novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” was released with Dzanc Books April 12 2016. Her fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” is a North American Book Awards winner, and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection (Young Adult). She is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com) a motivational site for writers and other creatives.
When a high-society call girl is murdered in her Georgetown home, investigators find two cameras hidden in the walls of her bedroom. One has its memory erased, presumably by the murderer. The second is connected to the Internet through an encrypted connection…and no-one knows who’s on the other end.
Special Agent Allison McNeil is asked by beleaguered FBI Director Clarence Mason to run an off-the-record investigation of the murder because of the murder’s similarity to a case she worked a year earlier. Allison knows the most direct path to apprehending the killer is to find the videos, but the rumors that the victim’s client list may have included Mason’s political enemies has her worried about the director’s motives. As she starts her investigation, she quickly discovers that she’s not the only one pursuing the videos. In fact, the most aggressive person racing against her might be the murderer himself.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Killer Pursuit by Jeff Gunhusin exchange for an honest review.
This is the right time of the year to curl up under a warm blanket and read a really intense thriller and Killer Pursuit by Jeff Gunhusis the perfect accompaniment to a cool, crisp fall night and a comfy reading chair!
Killer Pursuit is filled with twists and turns and seems to have stories inside the story. The plot is filled with surprises and it is very dark at times as it revolves around serial killers and blood-thirsty politics. When the two come together, the outcome is explosive!
Special Agent Allison McNeil is one impressive FBI agent. Mr. Gunhus has written his main protagonist with a great deal of mental fortitude and ability. Her ability to follow a serial killer through the evidence left to his demise is nothing short of amazing.
I am pleased to offer Killer Pursuit by Jeff Gunhusfive steaming hot cups of Reviews by Room With Books coffee.
Allison McNeil tensed when she spotted the first shadow dart through the mist and take cover behind a tree. In the early-morning light it took her a while to pick out all six members of the Hostage Rescue Team approaching the cabin, but within a minute she could clearly see the tactical team converging on their target.
The small building stood on a rise, up from the swampy, flood-prone land around it. Wood-slated walls tilted precariously inward, twisting the windows into deformed rectangles. Moss and dead leaves covered the roof. The place smelled and looked like decay, well on its way to inevitable reclamation by the weeds and vines choking the cabin to a miserable death.
And, if Allison was right, the place deserved what it got. Hell, if she was right, she had half a mind to take a match to the place after everything was done.
She hunkered down behind a fallen tree, her head barely clearing the top to see the building and the team closing in. A trickle of sweat started at the base of her neck and went the length of her spine. She adjusted the Kevlar vest, under her light windbreaker emblazoned with large yellow letters. FBI. It felt ridiculous to wear the windbreaker when it was in the ’80s before daybreak with the Louisiana humidity hovering at about a thousand percent, but if it meant that the hotheads with assault rifles could more easily identify her as a friendly, then she was happy to have it.
Garret Morrison shifted his weight next to her, stretching out a leg and rubbing his knee. She gave him a sideways look.
“You all right?” she whispered.
He scowled at her. They both knew she didn’t give a damn about him. The comment was intended as a dig at the fifty-three-year-old Garret who prided himself on being in better shape than the agents beneath him. Even though he ran the Behavioral Analysis Unit, home of the FBI’s fabled profilers who spent more time in the heads of the criminals they chased than in the field, he required an aggressive physical program for his people. Everything about Morrison is a throwback to the old male-dominated Bureau. A slicked-back head of hair with just the right amount of grey to lend him gravitas without making him look old, a square jaw out of a mountaineering magazine, cold steel-blue eyes that seemed to look through people instead of at them. Unless they were trained on an attractive female, in which case his eyes gave their full attention to the area below the chin and above the waistline.
“Worry about yourself,” Garret grumbled. He turned to Doug Browning, a junior agent who followed Garret around like a little puppy. “Jesus, Doug. Not so close.”
Allison turned back to the cabin and raised her binoculars, not bothering to hide the smile on her lips. Garret was a legend in the Bureau for his work hunting America’s worst criminals, but Allison’s own legend had grown since her work on the Arnie Milhouse case a year earlier. While that case had given her credibility, she knew she was just as likely to be referred to as the woman who’d broken Garret Morrison’s nose when he’d made one too many unwanted advances while she was a trainee. And, while she wanted to be known for her work, she didn’t mind that piece of fame following her around.
“Alpha team in position,” said a voice through the small speaker in her ear. She noticed Garret put a finger to the side of his head and nod. He looked over at her.
“You better be right about this,” he whispered.
Allison shook her head. For all his brilliance—and, regardless of how she felt personally about him, she recognized that he was brilliant—Garret’s transparency could border on the inane. What he was really saying was that if the lunatic Allison’s research had tracked to this location wasn’t holed up in this backwoods cabin, if the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team had been activated and deployed for no reason, then the blame would drop on her like a bag of bricks. If Sam Kraw was in there, Allison knew it would be Garret standing in front of the cameras taking credit for the HRT mission and the capture of America’s most wanted fugitive.
She pushed the thought away. As long as they caught the bastard and ended his multi-year killing spree in the Southeast, she didn’t give a damn who got the credit.
Allison moved her binoculars. The tactical team was in place around the cabin, peering through scopes with infrared capabilities. If there was someone hiding in the shadows of a window or doorway, they wouldn’t be hiding for long.
On some signal unseen by Allison, the men began a steady, crouched advance to the building. She realized she was holding her breath so she blew out her air slowly between pinched lips.
“Relax, McNeil,” Garret muttered. “You’re making me nervous.”
The two members of the tactical squad approaching from the front reached the deck that wrapped around the front of the building. As they strode across it, the old wood floorboards groaned. The men froze. The seconds stretched out. Allison became suddenly aware of the hum of insects in the air around her. The dampness of her own skin. The sound of a bird calling in the distance. All of her senses were wired tight. An entire year of her life was wrapped up in the next few seconds. And if she’d got it wrong, Garret would have the ammo he’d been looking for to get her out of his unit once and for all. But she wasn’t worried about herself. What really bothered her was the chance that she had it right, that this was Kraw’s hideout, but that somehow they’d spooked him and he’d already slipped away. If that had happened, he’d be hundreds of miles away by tomorrow, scouting for his next victim as he traveled.
Movement in the cabin. Just a flutter. Like a bird trapped in a cage. Only her intuition told her it was more than a bird. It had been an arm. A human arm. Sam Kraw.
Based on the lack of movement from the tactical team, she realized no one else had seen it.
“I’ve got movement,” she whispered into her mic. “Window to the right of the front door. An arm.”
“I didn’t see anything,” Garret whispered.
Allison ignored him. The men around the cabin responded immediately, reorienting to the front door. Guns pointed at the window.
One of the men produced a miniram, a high impact, brute force breaching tool. Coordinating with his partner, he crouched next to the door while the other man readied a flash-bang grenade.
There was a pause, as if someone had pressed a button on a TV remote. Everyone was in place. The air seemed to still as if the world knew something was about to happen. Allison had her binoculars trained on the window where she’d seen the movement. If Kraw was inside, then the nightmare was almost over. She’d know in a few seconds whether that was the case or not.
But in that second, she saw the movement again.
Only this time, she knew something was wrong.
It was a man’s arm, she saw it clearly this time. But it was too stiff. The color was off. And, attached at the shoulder, she saw a coil of wire.
A mannequin arm on a spring.
Meant to make them think someone was inside.
It was a trap.
About the Author
Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.
After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Café in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.