Vagabonda Reads

Bohemian in Thought and Deed . . .

Monthly Archives: August 2015

Release Day Blitz: With Brave Wings by Cara Dee

image07

WITH BRAVE WINGS

by

CARA DEE

 

– SYNOPSIS –

Sequel to Breaking Free – Book II of II.

51keQp5jHwL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_What happens once you’ve broken free?

Sophie Pierce has shed every part of her old life. She has said goodbye to her father, the friends she once partied with, and even the man she may have lost her heart to. Now, it’s time for her to spread her wings and become the person she wants to be, and she’s more than ready to work for it. But much like the paparazzi Sophie has come to despise, the past will sneak up on her—much sooner than she could’ve imagined. It’s only a matter of months before she learns that her final night in Vancouver was never the end at all. It was the beginning.

When Tennyson Wright lets Sophie go, he knows something has to change. He’s lost sight of who he is, and the wakeup call isn’t pretty. Deciding to take a page from Sophie’s book, he begins a journey of self-discovery, though everything comes to a screeching halt when he learns through the tabloids that the girl he can’t stop thinking about is pregnant.

Their romantic relationship may have ended, but soon their co-parenting responsibilities bring them together to play the Hollywood game by their own rules.

 

– EXCERPT –

 

Noah hummed, pausing at some action movie that had recently started. “Throwing up, gaining weight, moody…”

“I haven’t been moody.” Sophie got defensive.

He chuckled. “Uh-huh. That’s what my sister said before she found out she was pregnant.”

That was funny. “How did I not know you have a sister?”

It was Noah’s turn to shrug a little, which made him drop a spring roll on the floor. “Where’s Cujo? Shit.” He licked some sauce from his T-shirt. “Shit, shit, sorry about that.”

Men.

“Pick it up,” Sophie laughed. “Max isn’t eating that crap. Now, about your sister?”

“Oh, right.” He picked up the roll and shoved it into his mouth. “She lives in Berlin, so we don’t see each other often. We text and Skype and stuff. She’s got two cute kids, but I hate when they visit our parents in Pittsburgh. Makes my folks wonder when I’m gonna settle down.”

“Poor you,” Sophie mocked. “So you don’t want kids of your own?”

“Fuck no, I’d ruin them.” Noah went back to flipping channels. “Unless they pop out as hockey fans. Then we’re good.”

She snorted a giggle and ate some more.

“Seriously, though.” He pointed his fork at her. “You sure you’re not pregnant?”

“Oh my God, yes.” Sophie rolled her eyes. “I think I’d know if I was growing a person. Besides, I haven’t had sex since July—whatever date the wrap party was.”

It was mid-November now.

“The twenty-fifth,” he murmured, pensive. “So…that would make Tennyson the dad.”

She ignored the pregnancy crap and stared intently at her food. She’d never said anything out loud to Noah about her and Tennyson, though most people had their suspicions.

“I’m not pregnant, Noah.”

*

“You’re pregnant, Ms. Pierce.”

Sophie sat in her doctor’s office and stared, waiting for the punch line.

The doctor went on with a nod. “That’s what’s been causing your body to change so quickly. You are pregnant.”

Sophie waited some more, and then she let out a nervous laugh. “Be serious, please. What’s wrong with me?”

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with you,” he told her patiently. “You are simply pregnant. Now, since I know you have a demanding schedule, I took the liberty and made you an appointment with a colleague for an ultrasound—right after we’re done here.”

She pursed her lips. Her brain was completely blank aside from the word “pregnant” going on a loop.

There was no way.

She was only twenty-one. She hadn’t had sex in…almost four months. Four fucking months.

“I imagine this is coming as a surprise for you.” The doctor went through a stack of papers that sat on his desk. “I have the records here from your doctor in Vancouver, and you’ve said your period’s been irregular?” With every word the doctor spoke, more color drained from Sophie’s face. “Due to your previous condition with undernourishment, that can obviously affect your ability to get pregnant, but it’s far from impossible—”

“I’m on the pill!” she blurted out.

All of a sudden, her breaths came out fast and shallow.

Holy shit, this couldn’t be happening.

She and Tennyson had been protected, goddammit. They’d used condoms until they’d spoken about safety. They’d both been clean, and she was on the pill.

“Did you ever miss taking one?” the doctor asked gently. “Remember, birth control is never one hundred percent.”

“Oh my God,” Sophie whimpered.

*

Coming out of the bathroom after his shower, Tennyson fastened his watch and tapped it pointedly for Asher to get off the damn phone. Tennyson would’ve been more patient if it weren’t for the fact that this was his vacation and he was hungry as fuck.

Asher nodded and held up a finger. “Okay, that’s great,” he told whomever he was on the phone with. “No, I was only surprised because she’s worked so hard. But it’s good that she’s not canceling.” There was a pause, and Tennyson wondered if they were discussing Sophie. “Rescheduling is fine, and have the interviewer fly out if she wants to stay in LA for whatever reason.”

By the time he wrapped up the call, Tennyson had dressed in a pair of jeans and a hoodie, and he sat down on the edge of his bed to find his eye drops in his toiletry bag.

“What’s up?” he asked.

Asher’s brow furrowed and he scrolled down on his phone. “Sophie. I need to call her tomorrow. Remember I thought she was canceling a bunch of appointments?” Tennyson frowned and nodded, and Ash went on. “She’s not—but she’s rescheduling, and I don’t know why.”

Tennyson didn’t know what to say, other than he was worried. Ever since she’d put her diva antics and princess behavior behind her, she’d been nothing but accommodating. She always pushed herself to be her absolute best.

“You ready to go eat?” Ash asked.

“Yeah.” Tennyson ducked into the bathroom real quick to insert some drops into his eyes, and then he grabbed his wallet before they left.

On the way to the restaurant, he made a mental note to call Sophie when he got back to the hotel. If something was wrong, he wanted to be there for her.

The desert town was lit up for Christmas, but it didn’t really feel like the holiday had arrived.

“Hold on.” Asher grabbed Tennyson’s shoulder as they were passing a bodega. “What the fuck is this?” He walked over to a newsstand and snatched up a magazine.

Upon seeing it was a tabloid, Tennyson rolled his eyes. “Since when do you read gossip?”

Asher turned and slapped the magazine to Tennyson’s chest. “Since I learned your ex is pregnant.”

What?

Tennyson held up the magazine and saw the headline.

“The Party Princess is Pregnant!”

Having lived and breathed the industry for years, Tennyson was ready to brush it off as bullshit, but then he saw the grainy photos. Three of them on the cover, one with a circle around Sophie’s belly. Then a centerfold that was all about her. Several photos of Sophie, Max, Brooklyn, and Maliah on the beach.

Sophie was wearing what looked like cotton shorts and a bulky sweatshirt, but at some point, she had unzipped it. And it was clear as day. Her snug top underneath the hoodie hugged a small, yet very distinct baby bump.

Photo after photo. Sophie and Maliah were tossing a tennis ball for Max to chase, and the wind blew the shirt aside. So many angles of proof. She was pregnant.

 

 

– REVIEW –

 

When last we left Sophie Pierce and Tennyson Wright in Cara Dee’s Breaking Free, the young starlet and the jaded director had reluctantly ended their on set affair. But in With Brave Wings, Fate has other things in mind for the couple, among them, parenthood.  As Sophie’s acting career begins to take off, and Tennyson’s directorial career is once again on the rise, both Sophie and Tennyson reroute their lives to make way for their baby.  Through movie production, promotional tours —  despite all the demands entailed in the entertainment industry — both Sophie and Tennyson come together for the welfare of their child, Kayden.  They are doting and loving parents.  Eventually both Sophie and Tennyson recognize that it’s not only their commitment to Kayden that keeps them together, but that their feelings for one another have run deep from the start of their romance.  While Sophie has been bravely finding herself through her own personal journey, Tennyson has rediscovered that there is much to be celebrated in his own life.  Both have learned that, at any age, one can always spread their wings and soar. As Sophie says:

“I think I found peace when I stopped running,” she answered pensively. “Goals are amazing to have, but for a long time, I was always chasing something, and I didn’t even know what it was. Answers, maybe. But I realized I will never be finished. I’m a work in progress until the day I die. So I stopped running. I stopped trying to understand life and just live it instead.”

In With Brave Wings, author Cara Dee has written a delicious conclusion to Breaking Free. Sophie and Tennyson have great chemistry, and along with that, a healthy respect for one another.  Tennyson stands back as he watches Sophie grow — these two are so good for one another — it puts a smile on the reader’s face. We wait for Sophie and Tennyson to wake up and admit their feelings for one another and when they do, the fireworks (i.e., oh-so-hot sex) light up the night sky. Throughout both books, Dee has written this relationship as a study of healthy growth, one of patience, one without toxicity.  Not completely without some bumps in the road, what exists between Sophie and Tennyson is both believable and refreshing.

Backing up her protagonists, author Dee generously gifts us with well-fleshed out secondary characters. Surely Sophie’s best bud, Brooklyn, and Tennyson’s brother, Asher, deserve a book of their own as we’ve become invested in their story, too.  And least we forget, Cara even gives us a cameo appearance of her Public Display of Everything couple, Flynn and Cory (it’s up to you to read and discover their connection to With Brave Wings).

Cara Dee is such a gifted writer  —  her use of chapters being titled by a location gives a real sense of the chaotic life of her characters. These people have busy lives and Dee effectively uses locales and events, combined with jumps in time, to move the story along at a rapid pace.  This reader’s only complaint is that the conclusion of With Brave Wings comes much too soon. Greedy readers everywhere want more!

A thoroughly enjoyable contemporary adult story, take some time to read both Breaking Free and With Brave Wings – it’s time well spent.

* I was gifted an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. *

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

 

 

Book 1, Breaking Free

519Q0V6q8pL._UY250_

Book I of II.

The Hollywood scene has always fit Tennyson Wright like a too-tight sweater. A highly respected director, he has managed to avoid the games and power plays of Tinseltown. Until now. To gain more publicity for the film he’s shooting, the studio has decided a PR relationship is in order, and soon Tennyson finds himself pushed into the spotlight with one of the actresses on set. Rich, spoiled, much younger, party princess Sophie Pierce.

Sophie, famous for being infamous, got her part in the film due to her daddy, the studio chairman. But there’s more to her than wild nights and drunken tabloid photos, and she’s aching to prove it. Under Tennyson’s protective wing, she begins to navigate the uncharted territory of responsible adulthood and takes the first steps toward a legitimate, lasting fame based on her talent, not her reputation.

But in order for Sophie to truly soar on her own, she’s going to have to shed every part of her life.

Freedom has a price.   

Amazon US  Amazon UK  Nook

Goodreads

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

CARA DEE

 

There aren’t many things better than picking up my Kindle and getting completely sucked into a whole new world—where words morph into images and characters’ moods suddenly reflect my own. Aside from good plot and writing, for me, it boils XnM0mwWT_400x400down to relatable characters.

As a writer, I’m not finished until the men and women in my books come to life, until I can see them as real people, until I can connect with them. Which means I write what I want to read: everyday heroes and heroines who have the same struggles we all do. They evolve, have flaws, make mistakes and amends, learn, and find the endings they fight for.

Those are the characters who take the readers on a journey away from work, laundry, grocery shopping, and to-do lists.

When I’m not writing, researching, or brainstorming, I’m either planning my next trip (never-ending bucket list!), reading, watching hockey, or spending time with family and friends.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Blog Tour: Over the Fence by Melanie Moreland

Over the Fence Banner

Over the Fence 

by

Melanie Moreland

 – Synopsis –

There are so many ways to fall in love in today’s world. Besides the usual bars and blind dates, you can meet someone from any part of the world via the computer. The scope is endless. Possibilities abound, if that’s what you want.

25529241But what happens when you aren’t searching for love, and it shows up—way closer than you ever expected?  Two neighbors—strangers— with one thing in common—they share a fence.

But is that the only thing they share?

Nathan Fraser lives a solitary life, never letting anyone get too close. It’s safer that way.

Kourtney Whyte hides from the world and behind her work, too afraid to really live her life to the fullest. Rejection is what she knows best.

But one night, the sound of her soft voice and the tantalizing aroma of her evening meal, prove too enticing for Nathan to ignore.

So begins their unconventional relationship—talking, learning, texting, and gradually opening up to one another, all over the fence.

That is, until the day Nathan braves the high fence to protect Kourtney from her past, and changes everything forever.

Can they move forward together, without the buffer of the fence?

– Review –

A simple act of kindness sets the theme for Melanie Moreland’s latest novel, Over the Fence.

When new neighbor Kourtney Whyte moves next door to Nathan Fraser, Nathan finds the aromas of Kourtney’s cooking to be irresistible.  Starved for a home cooked meal, Nathan compliments, the “Chefgirl” next door on the mouth-watering scent, and in a gesture of goodwill, a plate appears atop the fence that separates their two yards.

Through shared “fence” meals, Chefgirl and Nathan (now known as the stray “Tomcat” that Kourtney feeds) begin to know Teaser 2one another. Realizing that his feelings for her are more than just neighborly and having recognized Kourtney’s reluctance to be seen, Nathan respects her wishes  — he stays on his side of the fence. What happens when Tomcat finally comes face to face with his Chefgirl sets the stage for a steamy romance fraught with dramatic twists and painful revelations.  And when all the fences have finally come down, what is revealed is an endless landscape of love.

Author Moreland has effectively used the fence as the metaphorical boundary Kourtney has set up between herself and a painful world.  Tormented by years of taunting, she believes herself to be unloveable. Nathan, plagued with guilt from a tragic past, sees Kourtney as the bright light in his bleak life:

“I looked over my shoulder, grimacing at the barren appearance of my own yard.  I thought how similar the two were to the people who owned them; Kourtney’s yard reflected the bright, lovely oasis she had become in my dark, lonely life.” (p. 139)

Both of these characters are well crafted and Moreland has gifted them with witty dialogue that reads at a fast pace.  Her plot is so engrossing and her writing so contagious that Over the Fence was easily read in one sitting.

Through Moreland’s writing, we see how simple acts of kindness and generosity can dramatically change a life for the better.  There are lessons to be learned here and the author repeatedly weaves into the story examples of goodwill and compassion. Adult reading, Over the Fence teaches us lessons that are valuable at any age.

* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review *

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Category:  Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: August 4, 2015

ASIN: B01066TZLM

Available at:

IMG_2035  images  Nook

– About the Author –

Melanie Moreland

Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her husband and four children. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.
7355350Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works for the sporting teams of a local university. Her (box) office job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and somewhat challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties and socialize, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in writing a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative story lines to her even more inspired tales, for all to enjoy.

– Connect with Melanie –

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Tsu

– Giveaway –

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IMG_2056

Follow the Tour

– Other Books by Melanie –

Mel - BM back

IMG_7765

Amazon – http://tiny.cc/5t7lzx

Barnes & Noble – http://tiny.cc/ou7lzx

IMG_1548

Amazon – http://tiny.cc/lv7lzx

Barnes & Noble – http://tiny.cc/0v7lzx

Release Blitz: My Wounded Soldier

MWS Release Banner

My Wounded Soldier – Book Two: Fight for Love

by Diane Munier

BOOK2COVER11539727_1455431521445017_316562846_o

 – Synopsis –

Tom Tanner has taken on a family. He lived through the war, but becoming a lover and pa to two small children may be the role that breaks him. This is the story of a man’s slow rise from black sheep to patriarch. 1866 is a time of learning to carry on in the aftermath of civil war. Tom is ready to heal, ready to take over Addie’s farm and make it a grand place. He has money from reupping in the war and reward money for bringing a few notorious outlaws. Can Addie’s love help him settle and become an outstanding man like his pa? It’s the only fight worth making– a fight for love.

IMG_2056

Publication Date: August 8, 2015

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Cover Designer: Bookstylings

 – Purchase Links –

Amazon

US – http://tiny.cc/ibtz0x

UK – http://tiny.cc/actz0x

CA – http://tiny.cc/3ctz0x

 – Excerpt –

She told me of her mother then.  Greta.  She took in washing. And brought men home. And my wife, a slight girl scrubbing on the board.  That’s what I felt in her hands.  So sweetly shaped, so brined to the work.  A lady almost, but not in her marrow.  There, the laundry girl, the dirty laundry girl.  And the men.  Her learning to stand, given a knife by the neighbor woman. “Protect yourself,” the woman said. “No one else will.” And so she did, too young, too scared, too soon.

Like Johnny.  He got took to the dark and it stabbed the tender in him and the dark came in.

I sat up and held her to me, stroking her hair while she told me.  I felt so many things with her, the fear, yes, the joy, teaser 1yes.  The old wounds, yes.  The new wonder of it, yes.  The mother, and back more.  The girl, yes.  The little broken one, yes.  No man to ever rise up, and if he did, she met him with just herself and her brave eyes.

“Lass,” I said, but only once.  I did not wish to let the pump run dry, for her words gifted me an understanding I had lacked.

I would be the pa to her sometimes.  I knew that now.  She wouldn’t want it much, but sometimes she would, almost like Johnny, me going back in her, me angry for her, saying what she knew and didn’t get a chance to rail about.  Letting her know I was here now.  I was here.

It was a part of it for us.  There was this little one in there still holding that knife, sometimes at me, yes that’s what I saw.  That knife she used and left in a man who tried to take her in an alley. That’s when she met him—her husband. She went in his store after the attack. He was kind. But God…he was weak.

But that’s how he got in.  He wiped her face, but he was no hero.  She made him feel, and then he couldn’t find it in himself to love her.  She was something he hadn’t seen…too alive…too much of everything.

“I am not him,” I told her, and oh I was not.  The dark had its hands around my throat time and time, but it did not finish me.  I was just a man, but I stood tall.  Like it or don’t, I did the hard thing.

“I am Tom Tanner, your man,” I said, “the good of him, the ugly, too.  But I am not Richard Varn.  I have my own sins, but I do not carry the sins of another.  Nor will I,” I said, not sure what I meant by this speech, but I said it with force.

 – Other Books in the Series –

IMG_1828

My Wounded Soldier – Book One: Fight For Glory

by Diane Munier

 – Synopsis –

Wounded Soldier, Book One: Fight for Glory, is my newest offering on Amazon. This is the saga of Tom Tanner and his reluctant love for Addie Varner.

After he mustered out of the Twenty-Seventh, Tom never expected to follow the boys home to Illinois. Having failed to protect his older brother Garrett, Tom planned to take his wounds out west where a man could get lost under the endless sky. But his father prevailed on him to come home and comfort his grieving mother.

Tom had nearly filled his obligation when the neighbor boy came running and calling his name as he worked in the field. Johnny was the boy that looked like his mother, Mrs. Varn. Tom had seen the woman at meeting. She rattled him some for he’d not had a woman, just that one time and he’d been liquored up and taking a dare and were he to have one, she was not hardship to look at. But Johnny was calling for him. Tom knew the sounds of war. The country was rife with veterans, some looking for trouble instead of home. What Tom finds at the Varner’s farm offers him a new kind of battle, a new kind of glory trail.

I have been writing this story for fifteen years. In its various forms it has garnered attention in literary contests and with a number of writerly folks. But stuck in ‘bridesmaid,’ mode it has never really walked the aisle. Until now. I hope you give it a spin and maybe fall in love.

IMG_2056

Publication Date: July 4, 2015

Genre: Historical Western Romance

 – Purchase Links –

Amazon

(FREE Kindle Unlimited)

US – http://tiny.cc/kmuz0x

UK – http://tiny.cc/2muz0x

CA – http://tiny.cc/inuz0x

– Meet Diane Munier –

Living comfortably in the heart of America with the people I love. I live an extroverted life, but I’m a genuine introvert. An urban kid, I spent much of my youth running in various 61cY5VyD7NL._UX250_neighborhood establishments. There I met many colorful characters and I learned to love them and be fascinated by them. My love of story comes from them. I learned to sit on a bar stool or a kitchen chair or in a pew and hear story. Hear the voices telling story. See the mouths move and the hands clutching glasses or cigarettes. See and hear the laughter. There is no greater honor than to hear someone’s story. If you feel that way about the tales I tell…what more could I ask.

 – Stalker Links – 

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 – Giveaway –

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Over the Fence by Melanie Moreland

Over the Fence

by

Melanie Moreland

– SUMMARY –

Two neighbors—strangers—with one thing in common—they share a fence. But is that the only thing they share?

Nathan Fraser lives a solitary life, never letting anyone get too close. It’s safer that way. Kourtney Whyte hides from the world and behind her work, too afraid to really live her life to the fullest. Rejection is what she knows best.

But one night, the sound of her soft voice and the tantalizing aroma of her evening meal, prove too enticing for Nathan to ignore. That is, until the day Nathan braves the high fence to protect Kourtney from her past, and changes everything forever.

So begins their unconventional relationship—talking, learning, texting, and gradually opening up to one another, all over the 25529241fence.

Can they move forward together, without the buffer of the fence?

Or will their pasts prove to be too much of a barrier?

“I’m going in now. Good night. Your dinner is…up there.”

I turned, looking back in the direction of her voice and I saw it. A plate was perched on the top of the wide top rail of our fence, waiting for me.

“Hey, wait!” I yelled, picking up my chair, and heading to the fence. Reaching up, I grabbed the covered plate, wondering how she managed to get it up there.

“Enjoy your dinner, neighbor.” I knew from the distant sound of her voice, she was already at her door.

“Nathan!” I blurted out.

“I’m sorry?”

“My name is Nathan.”

“Nice to meet you, Nathan. Enjoy your dinner and have a nice evening.”

“No, wait! You can’t go in and not tell me your name!” I pleaded.

There was a tiny sigh. “Kourtney. My name is Kourtney—spelled with a K.”

A grin tugged at my lips. Even her name was soft.

“Well, nice to meet you, Kourtney, spelled with a K. Whatever this meal is, I know it’ll be great.”

– REVIEW –

A simple act of kindness sets the theme for Melanie Moreland’s latest novel, Over the Fence.

When new neighbor Kourtney Whyte moves next door to Nathan Fraser, Nathan finds the aromas of Kourtney’s cooking to be irresistible.  Starved for a home cooked meal, Nathan compliments, the “Chefgirl” next door on the mouth-watering scent, and in a gesture of goodwill, a plate appears atop the fence that separates their two yards.

Through shared “fence” meals, Chefgirl and Nathan (now known as the stray “Tomcat” that Kourtney feeds) begin to know one another. Realizing that his feelings for her are more than just neighborly and having recognized Kourtney’s reluctance to be seen, Nathan respects her wishes  — he stays on his side of the fence. What happens when Tomcat finally comes face to face with his Chefgirl sets the stage for a steamy romance fraught with dramatic twists and painful revelations.  And when all the fences have finally come down, what is revealed is an endless landscape of love.

Author Moreland has effectively used the fence as the metaphorical boundary Kourtney has set up between herself and a painful world.  Tormented by years of taunting, she believes herself to be unloveable. Nathan, plagued with guilt from a tragic past, sees Kourtney as the bright light in his bleak life:

“I looked over my shoulder, grimacing at the barren appearance of my own yard.  I thought how similar the two were to the people who owned them; Kourtney’s yard reflected the bright, lovely oasis she had become in my dark, lonely life.” (p. 139)

Both of these characters are well crafted and Moreland has gifted them with witty dialogue that reads at a fast pace.  Her plot is so engrossing and her writing so contagious that Over the Fence was easily read in one sitting.

Through Moreland’s writing, we see how simple acts of kindness and generosity can dramatically change a life for the better.  There are lessons to be learned here and the author repeatedly weaves into the story examples of goodwill and compassion. Adult reading, Over the Fence teaches us lessons that are valuable at any age.

* I received a copy of this book from the author  in exchange for an honest review *

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

Melanie Moreland

Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-six-plus 7355350years. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works at a local university and for its football team. Her job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.

facebook     twitter     IMG_2056

Category:  Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: August 4, 2015

ASIN: B01066TZLM

Available at:

IMG_2035  images  Nook

Review: My Wounded Soldier: Book Two: Fight for Love by Diane Munier

My Wounded Soldier: Book Two: Fight for Love

by

Diane Munier

– SUMMARY –

51mNH5WdFqL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Tom Tanner has taken on a family. He lived through the war, but becoming a lover and pa to two small children may be the role that breaks him. This is the story of a man’s slow rise from black sheep to patriarch. 1866 is a time of learning to carry on in the aftermath of civil war. Tom is ready to heal, ready to take over Addie’s farm and make it a grand place. He has money from reupping in the war and reward money for bringing a few notorious outlaws. Can Addie’s love help him settle and become an outstanding man like his pa? It’s the only fight worth making– a fight for love.

She told me of her mother then.  Greta.  She took in washing. And brought men home. And my wife, a slight girl scrubbing on the board.  That’s what I felt in her hands.  So sweetly shaped, so brined to the work.  A lady almost, but not in her marrow.  There, the laundry girl, the dirty laundry girl.  And the men.  Her learning to stand, given a knife by the neighbor woman. “Protect yourself,” the woman said. “No one else will.” And so she did, too young, too scared, too soon.

Like Johnny.  He got took to the dark and it stabbed the tender in him and the dark came in.

I sat up and held her to me, stroking her hair while she told me.  I felt so many things with her, the fear, yes, the joy, yes.  The old wounds, yes.  The new wonder of it, yes.  The mother, and back more.  The girl, yes.  The little broken one, yes.  No man to ever rise up, and if he did, she met him with just herself and her brave eyes.

“Lass,” I said, but only once.  I did not wish to let the pump run dry, for her words gifted me an understanding I had lacked.

I would be the pa to her sometimes.  I knew that now.  She wouldn’t want it much, but sometimes she would, almost like Johnny, me going back in her, me angry for her, saying what she knew and didn’t get a chance to rail about.  Letting her know I was here now.  I was here.

It was a part of it for us.  There was this little one in there still holding that knife, sometimes at me, yes that’s what I saw.  That knife she used and left in a man who tried to take her in an alley. That’s when she met him—her husband. She went in his store after the attack. He was kind. But God…he was weak.

But that’s how he got in.  He wiped her face, but he was no hero.  She made him feel, and then he couldn’t find it in himself to love her.  She was something he hadn’t seen…too alive…too much of everything.

“I am not him,” I told her, and oh I was not.  The dark had its hands around my throat time and time, but it did not finish me.  I was just a man, but I stood tall.  Like it or don’t, I did the hard thing.

“I am Tom Tanner, your man,” I said, “the good of him, the ugly, too.  But I am not Richard Varn.  I have my own sins, but I do not carry the sins of another.  Nor will I,” I said, not sure what I meant by this speech, but I said it with force.

– REVIEW –

“You say hero. No. Not a devil. Not a hero. Not God. Just a man. Addie helped me see it. Just a man. But a man who has to carry some things he’s learned to understand” (p. 11)

And so continues Tom Tanner’s redemptive journey in the concluding novel of Diane Munier’s masterful saga, My Wounded Soldier: Book Two: Fight for Love.  

Now married to his beloved Addie, and having taken her two children as his, Tom sets out to build a life worthy of the family blessed upon him.  But the mantle of husband and father does not come easily to Tom. Fueled with a passion once thought lost and driven by a need to construct a life unencumbered by a past that still haunts him, Tom discovers that to succeed in his new life often requires a surrender to the struggle.  Whether it be a jar of pickles thrown at him by his hot-tempered wife, or the subtle disapproval he engenders when sharing a dipper of water with a man of color, Tom recognizes that there will always be lessons to be learned, there will always be actions to be taken, and, at times, there will exist the need for quiet resignation. For Tom, as one wound begins to heal, another makes its presence known. And as his life with his Addie and their children go forward, Tom comes to the understanding that surrendering his heart to the tender mercies of love will not only ease his wounds, but lead to the worthiness he seeks:

“I would never break the chain I had with her. I knew what I was here to do . . . and I pledged to do it the day Johnny come for me in the field. This was my piece of earth.  I intended to inherit it and draw them to me one day . . . and one day . . . and one day . . . for life.  For the rest of it . . . I would serve.

And come the day, I’d lay me down for good and go back into this sweet earth, come that day I wanted them to know . . . I loved them.

This was my Promised Land, my lambs upon it . . . my life.” (p.110)

Exquisitely written, again, breathtaking at times, Munier gifts the reader with an abundance of sacred moments: Tom, tenderly washing his baby, Janey, written as the sacrament that it is.  Addie and Tom — their lovemaking powerfully revealed through quiet, simple words of love — Munier, using words that are so potent and evocative, we feel the need to give the lovers their privacy. We see Tom, holding his ailing father’s hand, igniting the fear every child has at the thought of losing a parent. And as Munier masterfully crafts vivid imagery and sensory experiences through her writing, not only can we envision the Tanner barn rise up to the sky on red cedar beams, but we are there to inhale the scent of the rich, red wood.

As any reader of Diane Munier has come to learn, her table is replete with an abundance of well-crafted and colorful characters. The voice of Tom Tanner rings true, clear, solid. As does Addie’s, as the reader is gifted with glimpses into her mind and heart. The author’s ancillary characters are so well written that we want to join them at the dinner table and break bread with them.

Once again, Diane Munier, through this extraordinary tale of Tom Tanner’s odyssey, has given us the keys to the kingdom. Give you heart over to Munier’s Wounded Soldier and discover the truths in your soul.

* I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review *

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

Diane Munier

61cY5VyD7NL._UX250_Living comfortably in the heart of America with the people I love. I live an extroverted life, but I’m a genuine introvert. An urban kid, I spent much of my youth running in various neighborhood establishments. There I met many colorful characters and I learned to love them and be fascinated by them. My love of story comes from them. I learned to sit on a bar stool or a kitchen chair or in a pew and hear story. Hear the voices telling story. See the mouths move and the hands clutching glasses or cigarettes. See and hear the laughter. There is no greater honor than to hear someone’s story. If you feel that way about the tales I tell…what more could I ask.

Image 7-27-15 at 11.27 AM

facebook   twitter   IMG_2056

Publication Date:  August 8, 2015

ASIN: B010W8NDDK

Available at:

IMG_2035

%d bloggers like this: