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THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Nikki Lee Taylor Release Blitz

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

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I am so excited that THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Nikki Lee Taylor is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 Amazon GC courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours & Nikki. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.

 

About The Book:

Title: THE SECRETS WE KEEP

Author: Nikki Lee Taylor

Pub. Date: January 11, 2021

Publisher: Magpie Creative Media

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N,

Read for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited Membership!

Not all mothers are created equal… Some are better at hiding the truth.

Crippled with anxiety, Sophie is desperate to overcome the pain of losing her husband and only child in a freak car accident. Living and working in isolation with only the company of her dog Miss Molly, Sophie agrees to take on a job reviewing the manuscript of an up-and-coming writer. But this isn’t any story. It is one that unearths old secrets and to discover the truth, Sophie must find the courage to embark on a search that will change her life forever.

​On the outside, Love Mommy blogging queen Madelyn-May has it all. To her online community she is the perfect mother. She has a successful husband, perfect twins, and an idyllic life. What they don’t know is Madelyn-May also has a secret. When her past collides with the present, Madelyn-May is forced to make a choice that could destroy everything she loves.

​Would you risk destroying a family, if it meant healing your own heart? Would you tell the truth, if it meant losing everything you love?

​The Secrets We Keep is a confronting look at the complexities of family and lengths a mother will go to for her child.

 

Excerpt

The blinds are drawn because I need them to be. There are days the light is welcome, but not today. Today I need the darkness. It is the best way I know to pull them in close, here in the dark, in the empty spaces where they no longer exist and yet still take up every particle of air.

My life. My love. My family. James and Josh. My husband and son, stolen while I was sleeping, peacefully unaware at that very moment that the entire world was shattering.

It’s the small things that hurt the most. An unexpected letter with his name on it. A television commercial for Linvilla Orchards – where we picked peaches every July, just the two of us at first, and then with Josh. His familiar scent trailing behind a stranger, its ghostly arms wrapping around my lungs and squeezing. The crisp sting of empty sheets as autumn turns to winter.

Worst of all: the sudden ring of a child’s laughter breaking the silence and tearing my heart into a thousand tiny pieces.

I stroke the fur on Miss Molly’s golden head and close my eyes. “I’m sorry,” I whisper, even though dogs don’t understand apologies. “It’s this day, it’s….”

I let the words trail off, unable to say out loud that five years ago my husband and son took their last breath, trapped in a car wreck, and I hadn’t been there. Unable to say that while they were dying, I lay peacefully in bed, useless and selfish, taking an afternoon nap. It hadn’t even woken me. I hadn’t sat up, my instincts kicking into overdrive. I hadn’t experienced so much as a bad dream.

At the time friends told me I should try to forgive myself, that it wasn’t my fault. They brought soup, and sent messages. They held me and promised things would get better. They stood on my stoop and reminded me, “There’s nothing you could have done.”  

Therapists call my depression and anxiety a form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Survivor’s guilt, they say, although that’s not the official term. Apparently it’s natural for parents who outlive their children to experience a sense of blame, but I have struggled to believe there is anything natural about it. Could there be anything more unnatural than for a mother to bury her son?

Then there were the people who told me to have faith. I’ve never been a religious person, but I have stood alone on a rainy afternoon and heard the hollow thump of dirt shoveled onto a tiny white casket. I’ve heard the mournful cry of a loon as people, not knowing what else to say, turned and made the sad walk back to their cars. I have stood as day turned to night, staring at two holes in the ground, hoping my husband and son wouldn’t be cold on the first night away from their beds. Away from me. Having faith would mean believing James and Josh were taken for a reason, that there was some divinity to their absence. There is not. There is only pain and empty spaces.

I get up from the couch and pull the curtains further across. But no matter how dark I make the room, there are always slivers of light that keep me in the place I don’t want to be.

Slivers that never let me bury the one question I still have no answer for.

How do I ever find the strength to step into the light when they are forever lost in the dark?

 

About Nikki:

Nikki Lee Taylor is a long-time newspaper journalist turned fiction writer. She is also a dreamer, a doer, a storyteller, a coffee lover, and fur mum to two golden retrievers Max and Sam.

She spends most of her time staring into space, walking between worlds, and creating out-loud character dialogue that sounds a lot like talking to herself in the shower. She stays up late plotting and planning the lives of characters yet to be created and starts every day embraced by the warmth of a good coffee.

She is a courageous booktrovert who lives life with her right foot in NSW, Australia and the left in a world that exists only in her head.

She reads books out loud to anyone who’ll listen and drives her husband mad spending all her free time with friends who exist only on the page.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

1 lucky winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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TOP NINE BOOKS OF 2020

Thursday, December 31, 2020

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Top Nine Books of 2020


As I was getting ready to write my 2020 wrap-up, the lyrics from the song Seasons of Love by Jonathan Larson came to mind:

"Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure? Measure a year?"

💟

In one of my recent Instagram posts I asked which book title would represent 2020, and my buddy JenaBrownWrites had the perfect book/answer:  A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.  I think that's one title we can pretty much all agree on.


To say that 2020 was a chaotic year is an understatement, but books were the trusted companions that allowed me to travel to different worlds (sometimes crazier than ours), believe that magic is real, fall in love all over again, and help me gain a better understanding of the society we live in...so, in those Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, I managed to read 75 books (not too shabby), and here are the TOP NINE books that have touched my soul:


FICTION:

  • ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrik Backman
  • THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig
FANTASY:
  • CRESCENT CITY (House of Earth and Blood) by Sarah J Maas
  • THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin
  • THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E. Schwab
HISTORICAL FICTION:
  • THE EXILES by Christina Baker Kline
NON-FICTION:
  • STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You - A Remix by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
ROMANCE:
  • BEACH READ by Emily Henry
YOUNG ADULT FICTION:
  • THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo

👉🏼 What about you?  
How did you spend all those minutes?  
Please share...


HAPPY NEW YEAR! Stay Safe and Healthy!

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Books are TRENDY and you can be part of our team of reviewers

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

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Haven’t you heard?  Books are TRENDY!


Learn SIMPLE strategies to organize, blog, travel and live LIFE as your own adventure!


2020 has proven to be not only a stressful year, but also one that has made all of us (ME) put things into better perspective.  There's so much going on and I want to let different voices have an opportunity in this space.  If you ever wanted a chance to write for a blog, or have a ton of ideas that you could put together as a blog post, this is your chance!

The truth is, as much as I love this blog, it does takes up too  much of my time and I was even considering the possibility of shutting it down.  But why shut it down if there’s a chance to publish other reviews?  


➡️ Join the Review Team:

You’ll have the opportunity to write reviews for the latest books trending on #bookstagram.  

Do you love a certain genre?  How about writing about the latest thrillers?  Or Romance? Or Books to Movie adaptations?

Best bookclub selections for 2021?

Most beautiful libraries in the East coast? West coast? 

Noticed a new trend?  Would you like to write about it?

Most wanted bookish accessory?

The above are only suggestions.  


Feel free to pitch me your own ideas.  

Nothing is too crazy or too trendy :-)

I have a few examples on the blog: “5 Magical Trilogies Worth Binge Reading”, “5 Best Beach Reads of 2019”, and others.


Help me get this new idea off the ground and promote yourself at the same time.  If a publisher asks you if you have a blog, you can honestly say you are a reviewer/contributor and send him/her links to your work.  It’s a win-win, no?


If you’re really interested, e-mail me your bio with all links and a picture to trendyandsimple@gmail.com  

Subject: Review Team

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Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting Release Blitz

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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KMC - RB banner

"A laugh-out-loud romance full of charm, wit and magic. A thoroughly delicious read." --LJ Shen, USA Today bestselling author

Kiss My Cupcake, an all-new witty, opposites-attract standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting is available now!


9781538734674_KissMyCupcake_TR_CVR_V2-page-001 (1)


Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake and cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight and his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream and bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.

From ax throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire and Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war and work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake and eat it too.


KMC - AN


Download your copy today!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LhYU0S 

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/kissmycupcake 

Nook: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcakeBN 

Apple Books: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcake 

Google Play: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcakeGP 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/KissmyCupcakeKobo

Add Kiss My Cupcake to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/KissMyCupcakeGR


About Helena Hunting

helenahunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Connect with Helena

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kN5wdZ 

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2mloUim 

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Zt1xm5 

Facebook Fan group: http://bit.ly/2kN5yCD 

Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/ 

Never miss an update! Subscribe to Helena's mailing list: http://bit.ly/2MlRKq6

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Beach Read Book Review

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

14 comments


BOOK REVIEW: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Release Date: May 19th, 2020
Genre: Romance / Fiction
Published by: Berkley
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 My Goodreads Rating


BOOK BLURB: 

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They're polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really. 

💛

MY THOUGHTS:

Every once in a while we're lucky enough to find a book that makes us fall in love with the characters and reminds us that LOVE is beautiful...even when the world feels pretty shitty.
I fell in love with this book.  
I could not put it down.
I actually ran out of post-it notes to mark the passages that I want to go back to!

But how could I not love it?  Let me give you 5 reasons to love this book:

  1. January is a hopeless romantic and Gus is a "life is shit" kind of guy. But not everyone is just one thing, is it? And as they start knowing each other, the layers start coming off, and they might discover that they are not so different after all...
  2. January writes romance novels and she believes that Gus thinks his writing is superior...
  3. The sarcasm...oh, that twisted humor and endless eye rolls that make sparks fly...
  4. Everyone has secrets, even the people we've loved all our lives...
  5. Finally, the love scenes, they were not so steamy, but were perfectly written.
🎧
Which song would I pair this book with?  COMING AROUND AGAIN by Carly Simon 

"I know nothing stays the same
But if you're willing to play the game
It's coming around again
So don't mind if I fall apart
There's more room in a broken heart

And I believe in love
But what else can I do
I'm so in love with you"


I do hope you get to read this book, and when you do, please let me know what you thought of it!

Happy reading!






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2020 Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Sunday, July 5, 2020

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Can you believe it's July already?  

Honestly, there's nothing I would like more than press the reset button and re-install 2020, because the version we downloaded is definitely bugged...but when nothing seems to be working, books offer comfort and the option to escape reality!

I only see one way to sum up the first 6 months of 2020: I read 41 books and I am on target to hit my year-end goal of 80 books (I read 83 books in 2019)!

So, without further ado, let's look at the #MIDYEARBOOKFREAKOUTTAG  

BEST BOOK you've read so far in 2020?

After falling in love with The Night Circus, I couldn't wait to read The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. 
Click here to view my full review of this Masterpiece.  

❤❤❤❤❤

BEST SEQUEL you've read so far in 2020?

That would be Blue Lily, Lily Blue (book 3 of The Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater!  
If you haven't read this series, I suggest you order your copies now!


❤❤❤❤❤

NEW RELEASE you haven't read yet but want to?  

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin is sitting on my shelf and I'm planning on reading it in July.  
I have very high expectations for this book!


❤❤❤❤❤

Most ANTICIPATED RELEASE for the second half of 2020?

There are 2 books coming out in September that I already pre-ordered and can't wait to get my hands on: 
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman 
and

❤❤❤❤❤

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT?

Hmmm, I have to confess that I DNF'ed Crave by Tracy Wolff.  
It just didn't do it for me :-(

❤❤❤❤❤

BIGGEST SURPRISE?

One debut book that was a total surprise to me was Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas! 
I read it without high expectations and yet, this book was a solid 5 stars!

❤❤❤❤❤

Favorite NEW to you AUTHOR?

After reading both The Simple Wild and Wild at Heart,  K.A. Tucker quickly became a favorite!


❤❤❤❤❤

Newest FICTIONAL CRUSH?

Hunt Athalar from House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. 
I mean, who wouldn't fall for the notorious fallen angel? 


❤❤❤❤❤

Newest FAVORITE CHARACTER?

Twelve-year-old Edward Adler
I got very emotional when followed Edward on his coming-of-age journey from feeling like he didn’t deserve to survive to understanding that he is a survivor!!!  From learning to put away his guilt of being alive to deciding to do something to honor the people that didn’t make it.⁠

❤❤❤❤❤

Book that made you CRY?

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle made me cry at the end and I wasn't sure if I was happy or sad with the ending...how did that happen?


❤❤❤❤❤

Book that made you HAPPY?

Little Wonders was a breath of fresh air. It was funny and SO real!

❤❤❤❤❤

Favorite Book-To-Movie ADAPTATION you saw this year?

I haven't really been watching lots of TV lately, and even though I haven't watched it yet, I can't wait for Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo TV series to release on Netflix!

❤❤❤❤❤

Favorite REVIEW you've written this year?

Pretty much the same answer as last year's book tag, I like every review I write.  
I do it because I enjoy it, so it's not an obligation, it's my opinion.  I'm not sure I can choose a favorite, except the one review that got chosen by Penguin Books, which was How to Stop Time by Matt Haig.



❤❤❤❤❤

Most BEAUTIFUL BOOK you've bought so far this year?

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo is just stunning!



❤❤❤❤❤

What BOOKS do you need to READ by the end of this year?

That might be the toughest question of all!!!
Honestly, I'm like a kid in a toy store and want to read all the books...

❤❤❤❤❤


There you have it.  
I'm not going to tag anyone so feel free to #TAG yourself, and let me know if any of these books made to your list as well! 
✌🏼


“Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.” 
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Choose to be an ALLY

Sunday, June 7, 2020

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The recent events have left me thinking of
“how can I help?"
“what should I be doing?”
…and I came to the conclusion that one of the most important things we can all do right now is to take some time to listen and absorb the stories and messages coming from the Black community.

Donate if you can, but most importantly,  LISTEN, LEARN and UNDERSTAND.  Don't be afraid to make mistakes, but when you do them, apologize.  Stop undermining people's feelings.  I admit that I have been guilty of telling people something to the effect of "I'm not racist, I'm a minority too", which I've just come to realize is the wrong thing to say, and for that, I apologize.
I have a long journey ahead of me, but I'd like to think that this path will make me a better ally.  As Ibram X. Kendi mentions in his book How to be an AntiRacist:
“The good news is that racist and antiracist are not fixed identities. We can be a racist one minute and an antiracist the next. What we say about race, what we do about race, in each moment, determines what -- not who -- we are.”

There are a lot of resources out there, and it's up to us to do the work,  so here's a list that has been helping me better myself in this process:

  1. Self-educate with audiobooks about racism and antiracism, and amplify Black voices.  Libro.fm has curated a playlist of “How to Be an Antiracist”https://libro.fm/playlists/required-reading
  2. The audiobook version of Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning is now available for free on Spotify.
  3. The NY Times has put together a list of children’s books that can help explain racism and protests to your kids. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/02/parenting/kids-books-racism-protest.html
  4. The book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo is sold out right now, but you can listen to her chat with Jonathan Capehart on his podcast, Cape Up: https://www.washingtonpost.com/podcasts/cape-up/the-author-of-white-fragility-doesnt-think-most-white-people-care-about-racial-injustice/
  5. Buy, read and promote the fiction books by POC.  Nic Stone, Jason Reynolds, Kiley Reid, N.K. Jemisin, Tomi Adeyemi, Angie Thomas and Uzodinma Iweala, just to name a few.
  6. Be more selective of the companies you choose to support on social media.  Several #Bookstagrammers have dropped their support of BookOutlet due to their comments on #BlackLivesMatters movement.

Finally, the 2 images on this blog post are just some of the books that my #bookstagram friends and I are reading this week...

"I want to live in a world where no man’s life is valued more or less than another’s. I have been reading recommended works of Black authors and have joined community readalongs to listen, to learn, unpack my privilege, to hold myself accountable in supporting change." - Nikki @saturday_nite_reader

Please drop your suggestions and any other resources to add to my list in the comments section below.  





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