Book Review: Just Get Home by Bridget Foley @HarlequinBooks

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Title: Just Get Home
Author: Bridget Foley
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Genre: Thriller, Post-Disaster Fiction

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble  // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon
Google // Indiebound // Harlequin
Books-A-Million // Walmart // Target

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Just Get Home
Bridget Foley
MIRA, April 2021
ISBN 978-0-7783-3159-9
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

When the Big One earthquake hits LA, a single mother and a teen in the foster system are brought together by their circumstances and an act of violence in order to survive the wrecked streets of the city, working together to just get home.

Dessa, a single mom, is enjoying a rare night out when a devastating earthquake strikes. Roads and overpasses crumble, cell towers are out everywhere, and now she must cross the ruined city to get back to her three-year-old daughter, not even knowing whether she’s dead or alive. Danger in the streets escalates, as looting and lawlessness erupts. When she witnesses a moment of violence but isn’t able to intervene, it nearly puts Dessa over the edge.

Fate throws Dessa a curveball when the victim of the crime—a smart-talking 15-year-old foster kid named Beegie—shows up again in the role of savior, linking the pair together. Beegie is a troubled teen with a relentless sense of humor and resilient spirit that enables them both to survive. Both women learn to rely on each other in ways they never imagined possible, to permit vulnerability and embrace the truth of their own lives.

A propulsive page-turner grounded by unforgettable characters and a deep emotional core, JUST GET HOME will strike a chord with mainstream thriller readers for its legitimately heart-pounding action scenes, and with book club audiences looking for weighty, challenging content.

Minutes, days, perhaps weeks after a major earthquake hits, every survivor’s story becomes a journey of one kind or another, a journey to get to a specific place or people. In Just Get home, we meet a teenager and an older woman who agree to help each other. They have nothing in common, really, other than a need to not be alone in this effort. If anything, the two don’t even share a goal; Dessa wants only to get home to her young child while Beegie has no true home and no one who really cares whether she lives or dies.

Dessa and Beegie are brought together randomly by, first, a vicious crime and then by another, circumstances that are not surprising following such a sudden disaster. As we all know, fear and uncertainty evoke the worst kind of behavior as well as acts of kindness and it’s the latter that initially create the bond between two such different women. Watching their connection grow during their struggles is a thing of emotional satisfaction and becomes the heart of Ms. Foley’s compelling tale.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2020.

An Excerpt from Just Get Home

Prologue

Assist the client in gathering possessions.

Beegie saw it written on a sheet Karen had in her folder. An unticked box next to it.

She knew what it meant. Stuff.

But it was the other meaning that soothed her.

The darker meaning. Possessions.

That was the one she worked over and over in her head.

Beegie imagined her case worker holding up a grey little girl, face obscured by black hair and asking, “This one yours?”  Beegie would nod. Yes, that’s my monster. Together they would shove one snarling, demon-filled person after another into the garbage bags they had been given to pack her things. Soon the bags would fill, growing translucent with strain. When they were done, she and Karen would have to push down on the snapping, bloody faces of Beegie’s possessions so they could close the back of the Prius.

But Karen’s box remained unticked. She didn’t get to help collect Beegie’s possessions, real or unreal, because Beegie’s stuff was already on the street when she got home.

Two garbarge bags filled with nothing special. Her advocate standing next to them with her folder and its helpful advice for what to do when a foster gets kicked out of her home.

Nothing special.

Just almost everything Beegie owned in the world.

Almost but not all.

Whatever.

After Karen dropped her off and Barb had shown her “Her New Home” and given her the rundown on “The Way It Works Here,” Beegie unpacked her possessions into a bureau that the girl who’d lived there before her had made empty, but not clean.

The bottoms of the drawers were covered in spilled glitter. Pink and gold. Beegie had pressed the tips of her fingers into the wood to pull it up, making disco balls of her hands.

But she failed to get it all.

Months later, she would find stray squares of this other girl’s glitter on her clothes. They would catch the light, drawing her back to the moment when she’d finally given up on getting the bureau any cleaner and started to unpack the garbage bags.

There had been things missing.

That Beegie had expected.

But what she had not expected was to find two other neatly folded garbage bags. These were the ones she had used to move her stuff from Janelle’s to the Greely’s. She had kept them, even though back then Mrs. Greely was all smiles and Eric seemed nice, and even Rooster would let her pet him.

Beegie had kept the bags because she’d been around long enough to know that sometimes it doesn’t work out.

In fact, most times it doesn’t work out.

And you need a bag to put your stuff in and you don’t want to have to ask the person who doesn’t want you to live with them anymore to give you one.

But when Mrs. Greely had gathered Beegie’s possessions, she had seen those bags and thought that they were important to Beegie. It made sense to her former foster mother that a “garbage girl” would treasure a garbage bag.

This got Beegie thinking about stuff. The problem of it. The need for things to hold your other things. Things to fix your things. Things to make your things play.

And a place to keep it all.

In Beegie’s brain the problem of possessions multiplied, until she imagined it like a landfill. Things to hold things to hold things, all of it covered with flies, seagulls swooping.

Everything she ever owned was trash or one day would be.

Seeing things this way helped. It made her mind less about the things that hadn’t been in the bag… and other things.

Beegie picked at ownership like a scab, working her way around the edges, flaking it off a bit at a time. Ridding herself of the brown crust of caring.

Because if you care about something it has power over you.

Caring can give someone else the ability to control you and the only real way to own yourself was let go.

So she did.

Or she tried.

Some things Beegie couldn’t quite shed. The want of them stuck to her like the glitter. The pain of their loss catching the light on her sleeves, flashing from the hem of her jeans. The want would wait on her body until it attracted her attention and then eluded the grasping edges of her fingers.

Excerpted from Just Get Home by Bridget Foley, Copyright © 2021 by Bridget Foley. Published by MIRA Books.

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About the Author

Originally from Colorado, Bridget Foley attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television. She worked as an actor and screenwriter before becoming a novelist. She now lives a fiercely creative life with her family in Boise, Idaho.

Find the author:

Website // Goodreads // Instagram

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**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher
via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Take Me Home, Country Roads

I sing along every time I hear this or any of
John Denver’s other songs—man, I miss him!
Geoff Castellucci’s version…well, it’s different,
isn’t it? I may just have to force myself to listen
again and then again and then John’s again before
I can decide if I like this very deep rendition 😄

Thanks, Kim!

By Hook Or By Book


I was a huge fan of John Denver and one of my favorite songs was Take Me Home, Country Roads. Over the years there have been many covers of this classic, and now bass singer, Geoff Castellucci has added his. Down below you’ll find the original being sung by John Denver, and Geoff’s new cover. I hope you enjoy both.

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, growin’ like a breeze
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain mama
Take me home, country roads
All my memories gather ’round her
Miner’s lady, stranger to blue water
Dark and dusty, painted on the sky
Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain mama
Take me home, country…

View original post 100 more words

Spotlight on Curses of Scale by S.D. Reeves @SD_Reeves @Sulis_Intl @RockstarBkTours

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the CURSES OF SCALE
by S.D. Reeves Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check
out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

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Title: CURSES OF SCALE 

Author: S.D. Reeves

Pub. Date: November 15, 2017

Publisher: Riversong Books

Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Kobo // iBooks
Amazon // The Book Depository // Bookshop.org

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About The Book:

Sixteen-year-old Niena wants nothing more than to attend an elite bardic college, but when the dragon that shattered the empire awakens again she finds herself on the run, through the fey realm of Fairhome, to the city where she was born. On her trail are her army veteran grandfather, thrown into a commander’s role he doesn’t want, the lord of the fairies, trying to steer her to his own ends, and the husband she won’t meet for fifteen years. If she kills the dragon, she’ll save everyone she holds dear. But if she kills the dragon, she’s cursed instead to become it.

Curses of Scale is the 2018 First Place Winner of Red City Review’s Young Adult Category, and an Official Selection of the 2018 New Apple Literary Awards. It also has the distinction of being a finalist in the following awards:

Chanticleer’s Ozma Fantasy Award
Readers’ Favorite General Fantasy
Wishing Shelf Young Adult
“★★★★ Curses of Scale is a coming of age tale with a lot to say about life and taking charge of one’s destiny in the search for independence. ” -Reader’s Favorite

“★★★★★ Curses of Scale is a Pandora’s box of world-building elements, and Reeves shows great skill at parceling out the pieces of lore and mystery thattoday’s fantasy readers crave. Readers will be sure to enjoy this crafty, utterly transportive novel.”- Red City Review

An Excerpt from Curses of Scale

Twin pinpricks of light blur into the marsh. Marny rubs his tired eyes, the fog always makes it hard to see anything. Though after ten years up in this tower, he didn’t need the long glass to recognise a carriage from Kimbesh.

“Look at my hands Cap, I can barely move em. S’like they’re covered in syrup.”

Ten years. Hardly how the old man thought he’d be spending his retirement; Captain of the the poorest militia in what was once the empire, and stuck in a crumbling tower listening to a new-horn whine.

“So damn cold, my mug is steaming, see that?”

“Not the only thing steaming up here, you pile of shit,” Marny growls.

The trim of his bluecoat dusts the stone where he spins. But there isn’t much room up on this side of the tower to pace. Two other soldiers huddle around the beacon light in the centre. Marny scowls at them, before turning back towards the countryside with a sigh. Gnarled hands work at the cold that needles his joints.

“Worthless bunch of cast offs,” he mumbles, and someone coughs behind him. This day has been a long one; born in the morning, and still not put to bed. And there is a creeping feeling of unease that has been with him almost all night.

Marny scratches his nose. Only the moon is out, its ample body becoming half-hidden by a porridge of clouds. The other lights have fully retreated – and everything else too. As if the stars might be children, caught red-handed past their bedtime. All of the toys, all of the games have been snatched away, leaving only that one forgotten lamp and the sheet they hid under.

The clop of boots from a heavy-set man tells him all he needs to know about who is approaching. “Gab,” he says.

“Don’t tell me you’re up here complaining again like an old woman?” Gabin says from the top of a ladder. Of the men here the quartermaster is the finest and most warmly dressed. His blue coat has been neatly ironed, and there are no stains on the grey wool shirt. Though the size of his girth emerging out of the trap door to the main room below, doesn’t flatter.

“I’ve been stuck up in this mud hole for a week shitting in my helmet,” the old man answers back, head cocked. “You can bugger it.”

About the Author

Stephen Reeves was born in 1980 in Huntsville, Alabama. He currently resides in Switzerland with an undetermined number of cats greater than zero, and a propensity for nonsense. On those cold nights where the wind steams off snowbanks, he is known to write award-winning fantasy novels. And curse his wife’s cold feet.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

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Giveaway Details:

1 winner will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an
eBook of CURSES OF SCALE, International.

2 winners will win an eBook of
CURSES OF SCALE, International.

Enter here.

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Book Review: This Is My Brain in Love by I. W. Gregorio @IWGregorio @LittleBrownYR

This Is My Brain In Love
I. W. Gregorio
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 2020
ISBN 978-0-316-42382-3
Hardcover

Jocelyn isn’t truly bitter. She is just very busy. Like most teens, she’d rather be doing just about anything aside from spending every available moment working for the family restaurant, A Plus. Until she hears her father talk of moving back into the city.

She did love New York, of course. But she had just started to love living here. She found bubble tea and Priya. Jocelyn will not go without a fight. She will save the business. And she will get help.

William saw the Help Wanted sign. Spending a summer as an intern-manager of a restaurant was not at all what we wanted, but exactly what he needed. Life is tough enough simply breathing-while-Black; suffering from anxiety on top of that sometimes felt crippling. He’d heard a hard truth. To be the reporter he wanted to be, even if it was just for his private-school newspaper, Will is going to have to ‘get out there’ and get into things.

It would be almost easy to say This Is My Brain In Love is about mental illness, but it really is not. The story is about how, as an individual, we are so many things. Jocelyn is the responsible grandchild, offspring, elder sibling and master-of-every-task in the family’s Chinese restaurant. In her spare time, she works with Priya, creating short films. And she still manages to squeeze in time with William—who wears a few hats of his own.

And, yes, some characters may deal with mental illness—whether they acknowledge it or not. It is an invisible weight, but just like in real life, it is but a small part of a greater whole. I’m so pleased to see a story show that students’ stresses do not start and stop at school. Many high-schoolers have heavy responsibilities outside of classes and grades. So many families count on their contributions.

Ms. Gregorio marvelously manages to cover and convey so much in an engaging and oh-so-easy-to-read way. It will not surprise you to know that I’m looking forward to giving away many, many copies of this YA wonder.

Reviewed by jv poore, June 2020.

Book Review: The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly @Connellybooks @littlebrown

The Law of Innocence
A Lincoln Lawyer Novel #6
Michael Connelly
Little, Brown and Company, November 2020
ISBN 978-0-316-48562-3
Hardcover

When Mickey Haller, The Lincoln Lawyer, is pulled over by the police after leaving a bar, he’s sure there’s nothing to worry about. But the cop seems intent on asserting his authority, telling Mickey his license plate is missing. Surprised, Mickey exits the vehicle, but when he’s asked to open his trunk he’s reluctant, sensing something’s up. He complies and that’s when things get decidedly worse. There’s a dead body in the trunk, a body that belongs to an old client of Mickey’s, a client who’d owed him money.

Because he’s a well-known lawyer with a reputation for getting criminals off, Haller isn’t exactly loved by the L.A. Police. He’s handcuffed, taken into custody and charged with murder. Bail is set at 5 Million and Mickey, opting to defend himself, is confident, with the help of his trusted team, he can sort this out. Housed meantime in downtown L.A,’s Correctional Facility, he is somewhat of a thorn in the eyes of the local Police and silently acknowledges that the DA, a long time adversary, is both confident and determined to make the charges stick.

Mickey’s in a difficult situation. He must exonerate himself, otherwise this charge will forever hang over him. He’s been framed, and working from his jail cell to prove his innocence is no easy task. His team, including his half brother Harry Bosch and his ex-wife, begin to investigate the charge intent on uncovering the real murderer.

The stakes are high and time is of the essence. He’s also aware of a threat to his own safety, not only from fellow prisoners, but also the guards. He has to use all his skills to walk a fine line and stay within the boundaries of the law.

Connelly does a masterful job of taking us through the investigation process, following leads that at times take him nowhere. Personally I would have liked to see more of Bosch, but of course he does get his own spotlight in the novel – Fair Warning.

This is another winner for Connelly and not to be missed…

Respectfully submitted.

Reviewed by guest reviewer Moyra Tarling, December 2020.

Book Blitz: Against My Better Judgment by B.T. Polcari @btpolcari @WildRosePress @YABoundToursPR

 

BOOK BLITZ! 
Against My Better Judgment
by B.T. Polcari
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, YA Fiction, NA Fiction
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

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Blurb:

 

When freshman year at the University of Alabama draws to a close, Sara Donovan finds
herself grappling with the same old question—listen to her head or follow her
heart. What she ends up doing is purchasing an Egyptian souvenir funerary mask,
and after a mysterious phone call, she’s certain a ring of antiquities
smugglers are operating in Tuscaloosa.
 

With finals never far from her mind and her return to ‘Bama hanging in the balance, she should be studying. Instead she launches her own investigation to prove her mask is indeed a stolen artifact, and not a cheap trinket. When it comes time to snoop, Sara is more than ready, or at least she was until a hot new teaching assistant moves in next door.

Suddenly she learns things are never as they seem. Ever.
 
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Goodreads:

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Buy
Links:

Amazon Paperback
Link

Amazon Kindle
Link

Barnes &
Noble Paperback Link

Barnes &
Noble Nook Link

Books-A-Million
Paperback Link

Apple Books Link

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Hidden Mask excerpt

I replaced the mask in the void, bolted the tire back in place, and activated the alarm. With a quick glance over each shoulder, I hustled back into the cottage. That was a great snap decision to hide it this morning before leaving for the gym. Normally, my snap decisions are not the best. Things were on the upswing. Although now I had a smuggling ring after me.

 

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Author Info:

Ever wonder what retired business executives do after they have put in years of effort for society and decide it is time to hang up their hat? Perhaps strolling along the country club’s fairway, or lounging on a 50-foot yacht?

Alas, B. T. Polcari is unlike your typical retired executive. Empty nester and Scarlett Knights alum, Polcari is still learning the meaning of “retired” while feverishly typing away on the next new book idea, smashing the fuzz off the little green tennis ball, or blasting bowling pins for a perfect game. Yes there is a boat, but not one that comes with its own crew; this retiree prefers to bustle along a serene lake in a quaint single seat Sunfish sailboat.

 

Perhaps the only time BTP can be found in a quiet moment is while enjoying the morning company of two family dachshunds over a newspaper and cup of coffee. B. T. Polcari currently resides in Chattanooga, TN and is thrilled to be fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a published author.

Author
Contacts:

Author
Website:
https://www.btpolcari.com/

Facebook
Page:
https://www.facebook.com/btpolcari

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/btpolcari/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/btpolcari

Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/btpolcari/

Goodreads
Profile:
https://www.goodreads.com/btpolcari

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A Lethal Lesson.

This author has been on my one-of-these-days
list for a long time but, based on this review, I think
it’s time for me to give her a try 😄

Hidden Staircase

A Lethal Lesson

By Iona Whishaw

Rating: 5/5 Stairs

Expected Publication: 27 April 2021

Which starts like this:

“Get out.” The driver’s voice was compacted with rage. The car was stopped in the middle of the road. Only the fan of light provided by the headlights made any inroads in the utter darkness. Any trace of that night’s half-moon was obliterated by the swirling snow. At near midnight, in those conditions, it was unlikely any traffic would be on the road.

A Lethal Lesson

Iona Whishaw is releasing a NEW Lane Winslow mystery this month and I couldn’t be happier! Lane Winslow is one of my favorite amateur sleuths. She’s smart, resourceful, and compassionate. This series is truly a favorite of mine and always a delight for me to return to the small town of King’s Cove and it’s latest mystery. A Lethal Lesson transported me to a winter wonderland…

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