Friday, February 16, 2018

Gladly Beyond by Nichole Van

Gladly Beyond by Nichole Van

An ancient curse, fractured at the birth of three brothers.
Two strangers helplessly drawn to each other.
A love story two hundred years in the making.

Claire Raythorn arrives in Florence, Italy, shattered, alone, and anxious to rebuild her life—preferably one without men. But she soon finds herself hunted and haunted— literally—when a mysterious stalker dressed like Mr. Darcy from BBC central casting appears in her photos. And only her photos. Who is this man? And what does his ghostly presence mean?

Dante D’Angelo simply wants to safeguard his brothers, despite the family curse that hounds his vision. But then Claire Raythorn walks into his life, untouched somehow by his curse. Soon, everything Dante thought he knew about himself starts to unravel, dragging Claire down with him.

Set against the lush backdrop of Florence, Italy—both past and present—Claire and Dante fight for a future together. But, first, they must uncover their shared past . . .

The thing I like about Van's writing is that she builds up the love between hero and heroine in plausible increments. I think that's why I always end up reading her novels in one sitting until the early morning hours; I know that in the NEXT scene the characters are going to finally realize their love. But then you get to the next scene and you simply want more and more. And I mean that in the best possible way.

I’ve always thought Italian cities are like guys I knew in college:

Rome—the hot frat boy I was dying to go out with (and I did, and it was awesome). But, turns out, everyone dated Rome.

Naples—Rome’s frat house roommate. The guy on no sleep and his tenth can of Red Bull. No one messed with him cause he knew people who knew people . . . catch my drift . . .

Venice—the dreamily gorgeous philosophy major. Brilliantly eccentric but exotic enough that no one quite knew what to make of him.

Milan—the second-year MBA student who was big on power-ties and power-lunches. Basically, the organized guy who held everyone else together.

And then there was Florence.

Firenze, to those who knew him.

Quiet and unassuming. When we first met, I wondered what all the fuss was about.

But Firenze . . . he was a subtle seducer. If I asked, he could talk for hours about art and history. But, generally, Firenze simply listened. Peaceful. Steady. Ready to shoulder my sorrows.

Firenze is the guy I never got out of my system.

I hit the ground floor and took two steps toward the large wooden front door.

How would the next few weeks play out? Like being a contestant on Survivor? The Great Race?

A male voice stopped me. “Just the person I was waiting for.”

I closed my eyes.

Nope. Things were shaping up to be The Bachelorette.


Pasting on my polite grin, which truthfully was more of a grimace by this point, I turned around.

“Mr. D’Angelo.”

“Dante, please.” He stepped out of the shadows at the base of the stairs. A window in the stairwell illuminated half of him. Even that half was huge.

Whereas I looked down on Pierce and was eye-level with the Colonel, I had to look up, up at Dante. At five ten myself, it takes a lot to make me feel short. But he somehow managed it. He had to be at least six four and linebacker-wide. Did he play football in high school?

His dark, wavy hair had been smoothly slicked back when he arrived earlier. But I had watched it creep forward as the morning went along until a section of it came loose, swinging down to kiss his jaw. My fingers itched to brush it back.

Dante was the type of man I had always had a sweet tooth for. Until I learned, oh-so-painfully, how bad for my health they could be.

Love's Shadow by Nichole Van

Branwell D’Angelo . . .
Six years ago, I fell in love with Lucy—my brother’s girlfriend. Stupid of me, I know, but sometimes the heart doesn’t listen to reason.
Six years, I’ve lived on the sidelines. Seeing him love her, be with her, bask in her sunshine . . .
I watched her break his heart and then cleaned up the shattered pieces of him she left behind.
She’s the one woman I can’t have but still the only one my soul wants.
Now she’s back in our lives and needs the unique help only us D’Angelos can give.
He’s not emotionally strong enough to face her. So he’s sending me instead . . .

When tragedy strikes Lucy Snow on a visit to Italy, she can’t bring herself to call any of the D’Angelo brothers for help. There are consequences for falling in love with your ex-boyfriend’s brother. But Lucy desperately needs Branwell’s paranormal skills and his gift of Sight. And if seeing him will negate at least three years of therapy? Well, it’s a price she is willing to pay.

Thrown together in a desperate bid to save an innocent life, Branwell and Lucy struggle against their shared past, only to realize that something even more dangerous is reaching through the weight of time to stalk their every move . . .

Oh. My. Gosh! The feels! The feels are real my fellow bookworms! My emotions were all over the place while reading this book! I laughed, I yelled, I got teary eyed, I growled in frustration, I let out little dreamy sighs and fell in love right along with Branwell and Lucy. I can't even begin to describe the amazingness of this book! One of my favorite parts of this book are the sour "punny" bears! *giggles* Oh! I can't forget about that epilogue! Love... love... LOVE! And talk about swoony! *dreamy sigh* I had the hardest time putting this book down! I have discovered a love/hate relationship with real life. Haha.

“Wait, wait. Don’t move,” a woman’s voice said.

I froze, fork hovered over a particularly decadent piece of strawberry laden gooey-ness.

I lifted my head and encountered the most amazing eyes. Blue-green and wide-set. The smell of lemon-verbena and sunshine drifted over me. That fiery red hair tumbled around the gentle curve of her jaw. Window-light sculpted the arch of her rosebud lips.

Freckles. Freckles everywhere. Stars dotting her skin.

She was . . . stunning. Magnificent. Breathtaking in an unconventional way.

Maybe it was the jet lag, or the sugar and caffeine hitting my system in a knockout one-two punch.

But . . . it jolted me hard. That bolt of lightning.

This girl . . . woman . . .

Something about her tugged at me. A siren call of wedding bells and growing old hand-in-hand.

Then I noticed her t-shirt—The Empurr Strikes Back scrawled underneath Star Wars-themed, anime kittens.

Yep. That sealed the deal.

I was going to fall in love with her. So hard. So fast.

“So what’s your brand of crazy?” she asked.

After a pause, I went with, “I won’t eat anything green unless it’s a vegetable.”

She cocked her head, processing.

A beat.

“Green M&M’s? Skittles? Gummy bears?” she asked.

“Nope. Leave ‘em all in the bag.”

“Green frosting? Sprinkles? Mold?”

“Nope. Nada. And please, no.”

“So why no green?” she asked, genuine, sincere.

I pondered options and then went with, “Non-vegetal green things are the charlatans of the food world.”

“That’s about the best sentence I’ve heard all week.” She gave that giggly, wispy laugh of hers. “What about avocados? I mean, they act like a vegetable, but they’re really a fruit.”

“Masquerading vegetables get a pass. So do herbs.”

“What about kiwi?”

“The jury is still out on kiwi. They’re something of a Franken-fruit, to be honest . . . all that fuzzy hair and the tiny, crunchy seeds.”

She laughed again. “Please tell me you have no Irish heritage. You would destroy any St. Patty’s Day celebration.”

“None.” I smiled, shaking my head. “Though, I did have an Irish roommate once. He thought I was, and I quote, ‘A wee bit mad.’”

Lightning Struck by Nichole Van

Chiara doesn’t like Jack. Jack doesn’t like Chiara.
The story should end there.
Except . . . maybe Chiara finds herself daydreaming far too often about Jack. And maybe Jack finds Chiara aggravating in an adorable sorta way.
Maybe Jack and Chiara find themselves falling in love.
The problem, of course, remains.
Jack is a ghost.
And Chiara is not.

Jack Knight-Snow has had a bad year for losing things. So far he has lost a ship full of ancient treasure, his family, his friends, his title, his lands and money, his fiancé, the century into which he was born . . . oh, and his physical body. Worse, feisty Chiara D’Angelo might just finish the job and make him lose his mind.

For her part, Chiara simply wants to help Jack get his body back and move on with his life. She doesn’t want to like his snarky humor or his gorgeous eyes or the way he accepts her exactly as she is. She’s a hot mess when it comes to romantic relationships. Case in point . . . she’s developing feelings for a ghost.

But tackling the problem of Jack’s ghostliness is not straightforward. Soon, Jack and Chiara find themselves embroiled in a mystery which creates more questions about the D’Angelo brothers’ gifts of Second Sight. Set against the backdrop of Tuscany, Italy, Jack and Chiara race to uncover answers about the past before becoming history themselves.

Nichole Van has hit paydirt yet again with this latest Brothers Maledetti book! Chiara's story has swoonworthy romance that is 100% clean, as well as laugh out loud humor and superb storytelling to make up this amazing, unputdownable book! Although you don't have to have read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one, I'd highly recommend reading them to get further backstory on the D'Angelo family and their talents. Nichole Van is one of the few authors on my "instant-buy" list and this latest installment is another reminder why. Five stars just don't seem enough.

“Jack, we’re all concerned about you,” I said the words carefully, keeping my tone flat and not screechy like I felt. “We’ve been concentrating on trying to find answers for your ghost-like state, but I think the constant focus is hurting more than it’s helping. It’s like picking at a scab over and over, never allowing it to heal. Maybe it’s time to take a step back from our research.”

Jack paused, giving me his best Regency-era, Lord Knight stare.

I had a love/hate relationship with that stare—I hated that I kinda loved it. It was snooty with an edge of dry sardonic humor, and it challenged every womanly impulse in my body to kiss it off his face.

Not that I would do that, of course, even if it were possible. But the urge was there.

“Would you prefer me to continue my exploration of modern names?” he asked.

I bit my lip, unsure how to reply. It was a decent threat.

Jack had gone through this whole phase where he mocked contemporary celebrity names.

Example: Brittany Spears.

It had been days of, ‘Pardon Siri, but who are the Spears of Brittany?’ and ‘Are Brittany Spears similar to Celtic weaponry from northern France?’

“I have yet to understand why Ryan cares so much about goslings,” Jack continued. “Does he have a fetish for young poultry?”



Author Nichole Van

Nichole Van is a writer, photographer, designer and generally disorganized crazy person. Though originally from Utah, she currently lives on the coast of Scotland with three similarly crazy children and one sane, very patient husband who puts up with all of them. In her free time, she enjoys long walks along the Scottish lochs and braes. She does not, however, enjoy haggis.

Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/9/18

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

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Romance is in the air $250 cash giveaway!

Can you feel it? It's February and even though it's chilly outside, romance is in the air. 
What better way to kick up our heels and get in the mood for love, 
than a romance giveaway. 
And we're talkin' the kind of giveaway 
where you can win $250 to boost your Valentine's Day festivities into overdrive!

Thanks to these awesome authors and other bloggers for making this giveaway possible!

Sponsor List

I Am A Reader
La libreria di Beppe
Author Inger Iversen
Becky Monson
Krysten Lindsay Hager
Angelica Kate
Phyllis - Among the Reads
Kimberley Montpetit
Every Free Chance Books
Lori's Reading Corner
Author Laurie Treacy
Laura Vosika/World of the Blue Bells Chronicles
Magical Cool Cat Mysteries
My Life. One Story at a Time.
Jennifer Faye ~ romance author
Simple Wyrdings
Rockin' Book Reviews
Laurisa White Reyes, Author
Alina Snow Book Adventures
Our Book Confessions
CBY Book Club
Danielle Thorne
Glistering: B's Blog
P. Creeden Books

Giveaway Details
$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 eGift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends 2/14/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via 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 authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish Giveaway

To celebrate the love of books, what better way than to give one away! Thanks for joining us For The LOVE of Books Giveaway Hop. We adore books and there are so many, so let's share one that is hot right now, rightfully so. Enter to win a copy of The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish.


From stand-up comedian, actress, and breakout star of Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish, comes The Last Black Unicorn, a sidesplitting, hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself.

Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, Tiffany learned to survive by making people laugh. If she could do that, then her classmates would let her copy their homework, the other foster kids she lived with wouldn’t beat her up, and she might even get a boyfriend. Or at least she could make enough money—as the paid school mascot and in-demand Bar Mitzvah hype woman—to get her hair and nails done, so then she might get a boyfriend.

None of that worked (and she’s still single), but it allowed Tiffany to imagine a place for herself where she could do something she loved for a living: comedy.

Tiffany can’t avoid being funny—it’s just who she is, whether she’s plotting shocking, jaw-dropping revenge on an ex-boyfriend or learning how to handle her newfound fame despite still having a broke person’s mind-set. Finally poised to become a household name, she recounts with heart and humor how she came from nothing and nowhere to achieve her dreams by owning, sharing, and using her pain to heal others.

By turns hilarious, filthy, and brutally honest, The Last Black Unicorn shows the world who Tiffany Haddish really is—humble, grateful, down-to-earth, and funny as hell. And now, she’s ready to inspire others through the power of laughter.
Amazon Buy Link:

Book lovers please enter via Rafflecopter below.
Thank you for entering and good luck!

A big round of applause to Stuck in Books for putting this awesome blog hop giveaway together. Please visit the other bloggers. Each stop has a unique giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for free between February 3-15, 2018 for a free ebook copy of The Last Black Unicorn.
One (1) winner will receive an Ebook copy of the selected book offering: The Last Black Unicorn. No purchase is necessary. If participant is a minor, he or she must have parent's or guardian's permission to enter. Void where rules do not permit such contests. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a mailing address. To be eligible, participant must abide by the rules and/or requirements for entry as indicated (follow on Instagram, FB, Twitter, Google, etc.). None of the aforementioned social media channels are involved in this giveaway. Book will be sent via email link. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

World Read Aloud Day~ What's in your wheelhouse?

     There's an old saying: A child who reads is an adult who thinks.
     I believe it.
     I've seen it in action both as a child whose first grade teacher told my parents to take me to the library!

     Here's the library I visited as a child in Miami.The Shenandoah Branch Library was the first of many on my way to being a librarian, today!

    Then again, growing up and seeing the different paths that both my friends and I took. Who were the readers, the dreamers, the do-ers? 
   Guess what, they all have books as a common thread in their lives and more often than not are the shakers and movers of their families, communities, and the world. 

      I'm tickled pink that out of the many, many books that I've read, I do love the one that I have from my mom from when she was a child. Harry, The Dirty Dog. To share my love of reading, a lifelong love of animals (especially dogs!!!), the magic of childhood, and children's books, here's Betty White reading this treasure (StorylineOnline).

Harry The Dirty Dog was written by Gene Zion with the heartwarming illustrations by Margaret Bloy Graham. Check out Storyline for activities about Harry The Dirty Dog.

I'm With You by Taylor Dean $25 Giveaway

Can three little words irrevocably change your life?

They can in a heart-wrenching love story by Taylor Dean


I’m With You by Taylor Dean
Kindle Edition, 347 Pages
New Cover!
When the doctors inform Chloe Brennan that her pregnancy is “incompatible with life,” her subsequent choices will change her path forever.
She becomes one of the quiet, unsung heroes of this world, incredibly strong, yet somehow wrongly looked upon as damaged.
Three people will pierce Chloe’s existence: her husband, a stranger, and a precious baby.
One will say goodbye, one will say hello, and one will say both at the same time.
I’m With You is a novel about selfless love and the sacredness of life.
Please note: While this book is a romance novel, it also deals with the sensitive issue of baby loss grief.
The emotions are real, and sometimes dark. If you are sensitive to this issue, this may not be the book for you.

“I’m With You” is a beautiful story that centers on one woman’s tragic, heart-wrenching loss and the healing brought by unselfish love, giving love, in-sickness-and-in-health-love. It is sweeter, nobler, stronger — and even more passionate than the beginnings of love we so often see. Forever love.
-Julie in Portland, Oregon, Amazon Reviewer
This book knocked my socks off. It was amazing and I will definitely read it again and again. It is “that” good.
-Amazon Reviewer
This book. Oh my gosh. I could NOT put it down. I sobbed like a baby through most of it and felt my heart breaking for my own loved ones who have suffered such a loss. It was written beautifully with great sensitivity and I LOVED it.
-Amazon Reviewer
Amazon Link:

“I’m sorry for what I said to you,” he reiterated.
“No big deal.”
“I think it was.”
She shrugged, trying not to show that she hurt so much she could barely breathe. No one noticed inner pain. A broken leg, a broken arm, yes. Outward signs of pain were obvious. Inner turmoil, not so much. And she was broken, just like a leg or an arm, only worse. She was bleeding, gushing from a huge, nasty, open gaping wound.
But no one knew it.
With his unwavering gazehowever, the husband seemed to sense it, maybe even see it. And it made her uncomfortable.
“I-I thought maybe we could have breakfast together or something and, I don’t know, commiserate. Misery loves company and all that. What do ya say? Can I take you out to breakfast? Let me make up for my rash words.”
Goodness sake, the only one unable to forgive him for his impetuous words was himself. The last thing Chloe wanted to do was spend time alone with Mr. Volcano. He’d obviously lost his temper on that fateful day their spouses had run off with each other, and had come looking for a fight. That meant he was probably easily agitated, maybe even volatile. Unstable. When the signs are there, you can’t ignore them. Right?
Yet, somehow, she didn’t feel as though he was a threat. As a matter of fact, he seemed quite courteous.
She simply had no way of knowing if he was sincere or a loon. Her uncertainty concerning him made her respond accordingly as she stammered, “Oh. Thank you, but no. I have so much to do today. So, so much. I’m not even sure I can get it all done in one day. Errands and more errands.” She paused. “Lots of errands.” She sounded like a bumbling idiot and a liar—the lady doth protest too much. She waved in the general direction of her car as she slowly backed away from him. “So much to do. I’m swamped. I have to go.”
    “Your country’s 500th anniversary to plan, your wedding to arrange, your wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it. You are swamped,” he mumbled.
 “Excuse me?”
“Nothing. Sorry.”
“Did you just quote The Princess Bride?”
“Oh, you know it?” he said with surprise. “Yep. Sorry. It’s a nasty habit of mine.”
“Quoting The Princess Bride?”
“No, movie quotes in general.”
For a moment, she studied him curiously, her interest piqued. Any man who quoted The Princess Bride couldn’t be that bad. Chloe felt herself warm up to him, but he was a total stranger to her and she wasn’t about to jump in his jeep and go for a ride with him just because he knew about true love.
“Thanks for apologizing. I appreciate it,” she said. He’d gone to great lengths to make up for his unkind words and she was impressed with his tenacity. He felt badly, that much was obvious. It was, perhaps, indicative of his true nature. However, she didn’t need to dig any deeper and learn more about this man’s apparent compassionate side. It was enough already. “I have to go,” she blurted.
“All right,” he answered amiably, a hint of both disappointment and acceptance in his tone.
She turned to unlock her door, dropped her keys with shaking hands, and bent to pick them up. Chloe took a deep cleansing breath, trying to calm herself down. By the way she was acting you’d think a handsome stranger had never once tried to speak to her in her entire life, for heaven’s sake. It wasn’t as if he was trying to pick up on her, he was simply extending a hand of friendship. That’s all.
She needed a friend. Desperately. This man was offering. It would be nice to talk with someone. He’d understand. He was experiencing similar emotions. What the heck? She had nothing to lose. Absolutely nothing.
But he was a stranger, she argued with herself. It’s not safe. Maybe he was some kind of psycho or pervert.
I have nothing to lose.

Chloe turned just in time to see the husband taking his seat in his jeep. Not exactly the behavior of someone out to commit nefarious activities.
“Wait!” she yelled.
Surprised at her outburst, he slowly stood, one hand resting on the door of the jeep. He looked like he could be in a commercial promoting outdoor life. Yet, his expression was slightly intense as he looked upon her.
“I don’t really have anything to do. As a matter of fact, I have nothing to do and nowhere to go.”
He nodded, politely not commenting on her lack of a life. “How about breakfast?”
“I’d like that.”
A smile spread across his face, revealing perfect, white teeth. Even if he was a psycho, at least he’d be easy on the eyes.
So was Ted Bundy.

Chloe ignored her inner voice.
“I’ll drive. Hop in,” he invited.
Chloe took a few steps toward him.
“So what were you going to do today? If you don’t mind my asking,” he queried.
It was time for payback. “Go buy a wrench.”
“Why? Is something broken?” he asked, seemingly concerned. Would he consider it his responsibility to help her?
“No. Just because we don’t have one.”
The husband threw his head back and laughed out loud, surprising her. “I know that one. Beaches.”
Surprising. “How do you know that? I mean, these aren’t exactly guy movies.”
“I have four sisters. I’m the baby. No X-Men for me.”
“Say no more. That explains everything.”
He extended his hand. “I’m Jack. Jack Alexander, by the way. Guess it’s time we introduce ourselves.”
Chloe grasped his hand, his grip firm and strong. “I’m Chloe Brennan.”
“Chloe,” he repeated. “I like it. It’s an unusual name.”
“Alexander seems like an unusual last name.”
He shrugged. “Had it all my life.”
“Good answer.”
Jack smiled broadly and her worries washed away.
“Shall we go?” he said, his hand motioning toward his jeep as if it were a grand carriage.
It rather felt like a portal into a new world.

Author Taylor Dean
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.

Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 2/28/18
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