Review of SOMEONE’S LISTENING by Seraphina Nova Glass

Dr. Faith Finley is a renowned psychologist and is married to Liam, a famous food critic. Everything is good in her life until it isn’t. On her trip home after a book signing, Faith crashes the car and Liam disappears. The assumption is that she did something to him. Then she starts getting threats herself, photos of a woman bound and gagged with excerpts from her recent book. Faith seeks the help of her former boyfriend Will to protect her and to find out what happened to Liam and what is happening to her. Although this book stretches the realm of imagination, the author is brilliant in her depiction of Faith’s fear and all of the undercurrents of tension going on all at once. I don’t think I have read a book that kept my attention as well as this one did. I soared through the pages, wanting to know where Liam was, why Faith was being threatened and who could be trusted. Although the beginning was slow, the pace picked up quickly and raced to a stunning conclusion. Fans of psychological thrillers and suspense will enjoy this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Because of mature topics and references to violence, I would rate this book a strong PG
Author Bio:
Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Texas-Arlington, where she teaches Film Studies and Playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and has optioned multiple screenplays to Hallmark and Lifetime. Someone’s Listening is her first novel.

Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @SeraphinaNova
Instagram: @SeraphinaNovaGlass
Facebook: @SeraphinaNovaGlass



WHEN I WAKE UP, IT’S BLACK AND STILL; I FEEL A light, icy snow that floats rather than falls, and I can’t open my eyes. I don’t know where I am, but it’s so quiet, the silence rings in my ears. My fingertips try to grip the ground, but I feel only a sheet of ice beneath me, splintered with bits of embedded gravel. The air is sharp, and I try to call for him, but I can’t speak. How long have I been here? I drift back out of consciousness. The next time I wake, I hear the crunching of ice under the boots of EMTs who rush around my body. I know where I am. I’m lying in the middle of County Road 6. There has been a crash. There’s a swirling red light, a strobe light in the vast blackness: they tell me not to move.
“Where’s my husband?” I whimper. They tell me to try not to talk either. “Liam!” I try to yell for him, but it barely escapes my lips; they’re numb, near frozen, and it comes out in a hoarse whisper. How has this happened?
I think of the party and how I hate driving at night, and how I was careful not to drink too much. I nursed a glass or two, stayed in control. Liam had a lot more. It wasn’t like him to get loaded, and I knew it was his way of getting back at me. He was irritated with me, with the position I’d put him in, even though he had never said it in so many words. I wanted to please him because this whole horrible situation was my fault, and I was sorry.
When I wake up again I’m in a hospital room, connected to tubes and machines. The IV needle is stuck into a bruised, purple vein in the back of my hand that aches. In the dim light, I sip juice from a tiny plastic cup, and the soft beep of the EKG tries to lull me back to sleep, but I fight it. I want answers. I need to appear stabilized and alert. Another dose of painkiller is released into my IV; the momentary euphoria forces me to heave a sigh. I need to keep my eyes open. I can hear the cops arrive and talk to someone at a desk outside my door. They’ll tell me what happened.
There’s a nurse who calls me “sweetie” and changes the subject when I ask about the accident. She gives the cops a sideways look when they come in to talk to me, and tells them they only have a few minutes and that I need to rest.
Detective John Sterling greets me with a soft “Hello, ma’am.” I almost forget about my shattered femur and groan after I move too quickly. Another officer lingers by the door, a tall, stern-looking woman with her light hair pulled into a tight bun at the base of her skull. She tells me I’m lucky to be alive, and if it had dropped below freezing, I wouldn’t have lasted those couple hours before a passing car stopped and called 911. I ask where Liam is, but she just looks to Sterling. Something is terribly wrong.
“Why won’t anyone tell me what happened to him?” I plead. I watch Detective Sterling as he picks his way through a response.
“The nurse tells me that you believe he was in the car with you at the time of the accident,” he says. I can hear the condescension in his voice. He’s speaking to me like I’m a child.
“They said ‘I believe’ he was? That’s not a— That’s a fact. We came from a party—a book signing party. Anyone, anyone can tell you that he was with me. Please. Is he hurt?” I look down at my body for the first time and see the jagged stitches holding together the bruised flesh of my right arm. They look exaggerated, like the kind you might draw on with makeup and glue for a Halloween costume. I close my eyes, holding back nausea. I try to walk through the series of events—trying to piece together what happened and when.
Liam had been quiet in the car. I knew he’d believed me after the accusations started. I knew he trusted me, but maybe I’d underestimated the seeds of doubt that had been planted in his mind. I tried to lighten the mood when we got in the car by making some joke about the fourteen-dollar domestic beers; he’d given a weak chuckle and rested his head on the passenger window.
The detective looks at me with something resembling sympathy but closer to pity.
“Do you recall how much you had to drink last night?” he asks accusingly.
“What? You think…? No. I drove because he… No! Where is he?” I ask, not recognizing my own voice. It’s haggard and raw.
“Do you recall taking anything to help you relax? Anything that might impair your driving?”
“No,” I snap, nearly in tears again.
“So, you didn’t take any benzodiazepine maybe? Yesterday…at some point?”
“No— I— Please.” I choke back tears. “I don’t…” He looks at me pointedly, then scribbles something on his stupid notepad. I didn’t know what to say. Liam must be dead, and they think I’m too fragile to take the news. Why would they ask me this?
“Ma’am,” he says, standing. He softens his tone. This is it. He’s going to tell me something I’ll never recover from.
“You were the only one in the car when medics got there,” he says, studying me for my response, waiting to detect a lie that he can use against me later. His patronizing look infuriates me.
“What?” The blood thumps in my ears. They think I’m crazy; that soft tone isn’t a sympathetic one reserved for delivery of the news that a loved one has died—it’s the careful language chosen when speaking to someone unstable. They think I’m some addict or a drunk. Maybe they think the impact had made me lose the details, but he was there. I swear to God. His cry came too late and there was a crash. It was deafening, and I saw him reach for me, his face distorted in terror. He tried to shield me. He was there. He was next to me, screaming my name when we saw the truck headlights appear only feet in front of us—too late.

Excerpted from Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass, Copyright © 2020 by Seraphina Nova Glass.
Published by Graydon House Books

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Review of THE SINGLE MOM’S SECOND CHANCE by Kathy Douglass

What an excellent, heart-tingling in all the right places kind of book! Roz had a hard life as a child, ended up marrying the brother of her childhood sweetheart and now she has been diagnosed with cancer. A widow with three children she has no one else to call on except her brother-in-law, Paul Martin. Paul reluctantly leaves his prosperous fitness center empire behind to go to Sweet Briar to help Roz as she undergoes treatment and hopefully recovers. This book touched me in all of the right ways. With a theme of forgiveness and second chances, it was well-written with charming characters. Little Suzanne, a precocious six year old, is totally besotted with her Uncle Paul as he helps her to overcome her fears about her mommy’s future. Nathaniel, a mature eleven year old, is happy to have the help with his mom and sisters and needs the role model that Paul provides. Roz and Paul have a long way on a separate journey to go before there is even the possibility that they can get together again. This is a totally clean read, which is always a real bonus to me. Fans of romance that is uplifting will enjoy this book. Even if you are like me and have not read any of the other Sweet Briar books, you will definitely find something to enjoy in this one: love, hope, laughter, and even a few tears.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Author bio: Kathy Douglass came by her love of reading naturally – both of her parents were readers. She would finish one book and pick up another. Then she attended law school and traded romances for legal opinions.

After the birth of her two children, her love of reading turned into a love of writing. Kathy now spends her days writing the small town contemporary novels she enjoys reading.

Kathy loves to hear from her readers and can be found on Facebook.

Author links:
· Author website:
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· Facebook:
· Goodreads:
Available on August 1st!

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Excerpt, THE SINGLE MOM’S SECOND CHANCE by Kathy Douglass

Paul drummed his fingers on his desktop. “Do you want to get to the reason you barged into my office today? I’m sure it wasn’t just to look at me.”

Roz’s face grew hot as she struggled to keep from staring at him. As a teenager, he’d been dedicated to clean living and his body had reflected that. The years had been very good to him. He was six feet two inches of lean muscle. His brown skin glowed with good health, and his face was beyond hand-some, even with his eyes narrowed with irritation.

She took a breath but the word cancer clogged her throat, leaving her unable to speak. To her horror, her eyes filled with tears and her vision blurred. Blinking back the moisture, she forced herself to talk. “I need your help.”

“With what? Not that it matters. The answer is no. We don’t have that type of relationship. Remember? If you’d thought it through, you could have saved yourself the trouble and me the time and aggravation.”

“Are you still holding what happened when we were kids against me?”

“No. But I’m not willing to pretend that we’re friends either. And since Terrence has died, we are no longer family.” He made air quotes with his hands making it clear he’d never accepted her as part of the family.

“Do you consider my kids your nephew and nieces? Are they still your family? Do you still love them?”

“Of course I love them. What do they have to do with this favor of yours?”

“Everything. If not for them I wouldn’t be interrupting your workday.” The annoyed look on his face indicated that her time was coming to an end. Since there was no easy way to say it and she doubted the word would affect him the way it affected her, she just blurted it out. “I have cervical cancer.”

He blinked and jerked as if she’d given him an electric shock. “What?”

“You heard me.” She couldn’t say it again. Her voice wobbled and one of the tears she’d tried so hard to hold back escaped and then slid down her face. She brushed it away, hoping he hadn’t seen it. She didn’t want Paul to see her cry. He might accuse her of using her tears as a weapon, and she wasn’t pre-pared for that battle.

His mouth moved but no sound emerged. She could relate. She’d been floored when her doctor had delivered the news. Though she’d been sitting down, her knees had shaken like Jell-O in an earth-quake. Even now, it was a struggle to stand. But she couldn’t worry about his state of mind. She needed to get to the point of this meeting. “I’m going to be undergoing chemotherapy and having surgery soon.”

When he simply stared at her, his face devoid of all expression, she continued. “I won’t be able to take care of my kids. I have friends who will help me but that won’t be enough. I’m going to need live-in help. Hiring someone is out of the question. I don’t want my kids to have to adjust to a stranger in the house in addition to dealing with my illness. If there were someone else I could go to for help, I would. But there isn’t. Your mother offered to postpone their cruise again, but I can’t ask them to do that. Your father needs to get away from here in order to move past his grief and start living again. So I need someone—you—to come to Sweet Briar.”

Paul’s head was swimming and he fought against a sudden wave of dizziness. Cancer. Roz had cancer. The word echoed in his brain, then slammed repeatedly against his skull. It didn’t make sense. How could she be so sick?

She looked fine. She’d always been slender, with small breasts, a tiny waist and slim hips, but, upon closer examination, she did appear a little thinner than she’d been at Terrence’s funeral last year. Her white top was a bit loose and she kept adjusting the strap, preventing it from slipping off her shoulder. Although her face was as beautiful as ever, the spark in her eyes had been replaced by fear and her brown skin looked dull. Her lips trembled as she tried to smile. Apparently, her mouth refused to cooperate, and after a moment, she gave up the attempt.

“I know it will be inconvenient for you, but you’re my only hope. I’m determined to get well fast, so you shouldn’t have to stay for long. And Nathaniel is old enough to help with Megan and Suzanne.”

It took a minute for her rapidly spoken words to register. Was she still trying to convince him? Was she that uncertain that she could rely on him? “Of course I’ll come. Whatever you need.”

Her body sagged in relief. “Thank you.”

“Did you think I’d say no?”

“To be honest, I wasn’t sure. I’d hoped you’d say yes but I came prepared to be turned down.”

Considering that he’d initially said no before knowing what she needed, there was nothing he could say in his defense. “When did you get your diagnosis?”

“A week ago.”

A week? And she hadn’t said anything to him? “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

Her eyes widened. “Are you kidding me? We haven’t spoken a civil word to each other in years unless there was someone else around. As you just pointed out, we’re neither family nor friends.”

The words sounded so much crueler now. He’d been unnecessarily harsh. Shame battered him, leaving him speechless.

“My oncologist is working on a treatment plan. He’ll have it together by Friday, with dates and schedules. I’ll check with you before I confirm any-thing with him, to make sure you’re available first.”

“You don’t have to do that. I’ll be there whenever you need me to be.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that.”

Why We Need to Vote

No one reasons better than Dr. James Dobson. I’m voting my Christian values on November 3rd. I will be silent no longer!

America’s Civil War Then and Now

I hope that you will join me in encouraging those who have been silently suffering through the pandemic and chaos to vote. I’m not telling anyone how to vote. I’m saying to vote your conscience and let God’s Word be your final guide.

Blessings, my friends.

Review of LIES, LIES, LIES by Adele Parks

This was a slow-paced suspense book that had several twists in it that I did not see coming. Daisy is a primary school teacher, Simon is an interior designer and Millie is a happy little ballerina who enjoys her friends at primary school and her dance lessons. They seem like the perfectly blissful unit, but as the title suggests, there are lots of secrets. Simon’s love for a drink after work has turned into alcoholism, a secret that is hardly hidden but Daisy chooses not to address it. Millie, their beloved daughter, becomes a victim of their secrets and lies one night when there is a horrible accident. This is where lots of twists and turns begin in the book and this train raced to the surprising and stunning conclusion. The author did a masterful job of dealing with some really dark topics in the context of the plot, including post-natal depression, sexual violence and addiction. None of the characters were particularly likable, so I didn’t really relate to any of them, but I did sympathize with their plight. At times, I felt like just screaming at the pages of the book, “Talk to each other for heaven’s sake!” That makes lack of communication the theme that ran throughout the book and is the reason for the title. Fans of mystery and suspense will enjoy this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased a copy of this book from The Book Depository. I also received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Because of the topics that are central to this novel, I would rate it a hard PG-13.

Author Bio:
Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North-East England. Her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000 and since then she’s had seventeen international bestsellers, translated into twenty-six languages, including I Invited Her In. She’s been an Ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa. She’s lived in Italy, Botswana and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband, teenage son and cat.

Available on August 4th online and at your favorite bookseller.

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May 1976

Simon was six years old when he first tasted beer.

He was bathed and ready for bed wearing soft pyjamas, even though it was light outside; still early. Other kids were in the street, playing on their bikes, kicking a football. He could hear them through the open window, although he couldn’t see them because the blinds were closed. His daddy didn’t like the evening light glaring on the TV screen, his mummy didn’t like the neighbours looking in; keeping the room dark was something they agreed on.

His mummy didn’t like a lot of things: wasted food, messy bedrooms, Daddy driving too fast, his sister throwing a tantrum in public. Mummy liked ‘having standards’. He didn’t know what that meant, exactly. There was a standard-bearer at Cubs; he was a big boy and got to wave the flag at the front of the parade, but his mummy didn’t have a flag, so it was unclear. What was clear was that she didn’t like him to be in the street after six o’clock. She thought it was common. He wasn’t sure what common was either, something to do with having fun. She bathed him straight after tea and made him put on pyjamas, so that he couldn’t sneak outside.

He didn’t know what his daddy didn’t like, just what he did like. His daddy was always thirsty and liked a drink. When he was thirsty he was grumpy and when he had a drink, he laughed a lot. His daddy was an accountant and like to count in lots of different ways: “a swift one’, “a cold one’, and ‘one more for the road’. Sometimes Simon though his daddy was lying when he said he was an accountant; most likely, he was a pirate or a wizard. He said to people, “Pick your poison’, which sounded like something pirates might say, and he liked to drink, “the hair of a dog’ in the morning at the weekends, which was definitely a spell. Simon asked his mummy about it once and she told him to stop being silly and never to say those silly things outside the house.

He had been playing with his Etch A Sketch, which was only two months old and was a birthday present. Having seen it advertised on TV, Simon had begged for it, but it was disappointing. Just two silly knobs making lines that went up and down, side to side. Limited. Boring. He was bored. The furniture in the room was organised so all of it was pointing at the TV which was blaring but not interesting. The news. His parents liked watching the news, but he didn’t. His father was nursing a can of the grown ups’ pop that Simon was never allowed. The pop that smelt like nothing else, fruity and dark and tempting.

“Can I have a sip?” he asked.

“Don’t be silly, Simon,” his mother interjected. “You’re far too young. Beer is for daddies.” He thought she said ‘daddies’, but she might have said ‘baddies’.

His father put the can to his lips, glared at his mother, cold. A look that said, “Shut up woman, this is man’s business.” His mother had blushed, looked away as though she couldn’t stand to watch, but she held her tongue. Perhaps she thought the bitterness wouldn’t be to his taste, that one sip would put him off. He didn’t like the taste. But he enjoyed the collusion. He didn’t know that word then, but he instinctively understood the thrill. He and his daddy drinking grown ups’ pop! His father had looked satisfied when he swallowed back the first mouthful, then pushed for a second. He looked almost proud. Simon tasted the aluminium can, the snappy biting bitter bubbles and it lit a fuse.

After that, in the mornings, Simon would sometimes get up early, before Mummy or Daddy or his little sister, and he’d dash around the house before school, tidying up. He’d open the curtains, empty the ashtrays, clear away the discarded cans. Invariably his mother went to bed before his father. Perhaps she didn’t want to have to watch him drink himself into a stupor every night, perhaps she hoped denying him an audience might take away some of the fun for him, some of the need. She never saw just how bad the place looked by the time his father staggered upstairs to bed. Simon knew it was important that she didn’t see that particular brand of chaos.

Occasionally there would be a small amount of beer left in one of the cans. Simon would slurp it back. He found he liked the flat, forbidden, taste just as much as the fizzy hit of fresh beer. He’d throw open a window, so the cigarette smoke and the secrets could drift away. When his mother came downstairs, she would smile at him and thank him for tidying up.

“You’re a good boy, Simon,” she’d say with some relief. And no idea.

When there weren’t dregs to be slugged, he sometimes opened a new can. Threw half of it down his throat before eating his breakfast. His father never kept count.

Some people say their favourite smell is freshly baked bread, others say coffee or a campfire. From a very young age, few scents could pop Simon’s nerve endings like the scent of beer.

The promise of it.

Excerpted from Lies Lies Lies by Adele Parks, Copyright © 2020 by Adele Parks.

Published by MIRA Books

Review of THE FRIENDSHIP LIST by Susan Mallery

I did a little happy dance when I was chosen by the publisher and Netgalley to read and review this book. Susan Mallery’s books are always fun trips into the minds of her quirky characters, and this book was no exception. Unity and Ellen have been friends forever and both are single and not seeking anyone in their lives. Unity is a young widow and Ellen is about to be an empty nester when her only son Connor heads to college. Both need change in their lives and their discovery of their need for change is part of the fun of reading the book. Together, the two friends come up with a list, kind of like dares to each other, to complete. Things like sky dive and get a tattoo were more than a little daring for these two homebodies! I really enjoyed getting to know both women and their romantic interests that end up being so much more. Unity meets Thaddeus at the most unlikely place of the retirement village where she hangs out with a friend named Dagmar, who happens to be his aunt. Ellen has known “”Coach” for years, teaching with him and enjoying the camaraderie of having a good friend of the opposite sex. Thrown together on a bus trip to visit colleges, Ellen and Coach discover that maybe friendship isn’t enough for them. The sparks fly, the relationships develop, there is the usual and expected conflict and the happily ever after that Mallery’s readers crave. This book has everything that I needed to forget the reality of life and get caught up in the hilarious romp through the ladies’s attempts to be the first to complete the “friendship list.” I really enjoyed reading the book, but I must admit that the sexual scenes were described with too much detail to keep me comfortable during those parts, so I skimmed them and didn’t feel like I was missing anything other that graphic details that I didn’t want to read. Fans of light romance with many laughs will enjoy this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

I based my rating on entertainment value and the fact that a lot of what was going to happen could be guessed, but it was a very funny book that made me reflect on what my friendship list would be. Rating: PG-13
I was blessed to be chosen to be part of this blog tour. Happy Dance!
Information about the author can be found on her website at Susan Mallery
Step into this inviting cover on August 4th!

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Living in the “Last Days”

Before Jesus departed from His disciples, He gave them a job to do.

Photo from

The chaos of today’s world is our opportunity to share the Gospel. As Dr. Denison pointed out in today’s article, the best way to share is through personal experience.

Dr. Denison July 27, 2020

I hope that each of us, me included, will spend some time in prayer about how to reach the lost in this world that we are living in. We don’t know when Jesus is returning. But these are the “last days.” If you read Dr. Denison’s article, you will have read his explanation for why that is true. Beware of our enemy and go forth boldly to proclaim how the truth has changed your life. Why? So that others may believe and be saved!

Every Knee Shall Bow by Twila Paris

Review of THE KIDS ARE GONNA ASK by Gretchen Anthony

What started out as a really fun book to read kind of ended flat for me since there was little conflict, the plot didn’t seem fully developed and the characters were either eccentric to the max or not fully revealed. The premise was that Thomas and Savannah McClair are teens living with their permissive grandmother Maggie since their mom was killed in a terrible accident. The precocious twins decide to find their bio-father via their podcast. They research, interview people who knew their mom and sign a contract with a media company to hype the podcast and help them in their quest. My favorite character was the very quirky Chef Bart, the cook for the family. The deceased mom Bess “talks” to Maggie, giving her advice that is generally wise and may or may not have been followed. The father is revealed quickly, too quickly in my opinion since the reason for the podcast seemed to be irrelevant after that revelation. The plot is plausible and certainly relevant to today’s times, but it all fell short for me because there was an implausible villain and a mystery that just fell short of holding my interest. The disagreements between the twins were annoying and just added pages to the book but did not add to the plot in any way. All in all, this book provided a light and enjoyable read without a lot of take-away from it or a feeling of having read a really good book. It was okay and might be enjoyed more by a young adult audience. But even parents of YAs should be cautioned that pre-marital sex is a thing in this book, not a big thing, just presented as a regular occurrence. Three stars for entertainment value and timely topic.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Information about the author can be found at her website: Gretchen Anthony
Available tomorrow. Rated PG from me

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Note to my readers: This book might make a good gift for a teen in your life, but I suggest you read it, too, so that you can discuss the issues from the book with them.