Down to Earth Romance

Archive for the ‘Grief and Loss’ Category

Book Review-Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier #BookReview @NetGalley #thriller #suspense @JenniferHillier #NetGalley @MinotaurBooks

New Release!
Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
Minotaur Books
ISBN 9781250154224

About The Book:

“Unflinching and unforgettable. Little Secrets has everything you want in a thriller” —Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Lock Every Door

Overwhelmed by tragedy, a woman desperately tries to save her marriage in award-winning author Jennifer Hillier’s Little Secrets, a riveting novel of psychological suspense.

All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret…

Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix.

Permanently.

Adele’s Review:

5 Stars!

Little Secrets is a gripping, fast-paced psychological thriller with twisting plot points that kept me turning the pages and guessing the outcome until the very end. Hillier has written a complicated book with a central plot and several subplots with their own story lines. She’s intricately woven the story threads into a uniform whole that brings the tale to a most satisfying conclusion. Great pacing, tight writing, entertaining, and highly recommended.

If you love to read thrillers like I do, don’t miss this one! Loved it! Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this novel.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3127923051

LOVE and CHOCOLATE #SweetRomance #Anthology @CamdenParkPress #WritersLife #WritersNetwork #WritersCommunity

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES Sweet Romance Anthology is a special new release for me. It contains my first published story since my dear husband of thirty years passed away suddenly in March 2018.

Steve’s death leveled me emotionally. I couldn’t work, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t get through a day without crying. Grief counseling helped and became my focus for many months. Friends and family were lifelines. However, I worried that my creative spirit was gone forever and that my writing career was over. I wondered if I would lose my readers along with the love of my life.

Then, quite by chance, (or maybe kismet) I read on Facebook about an open call for *sweet romance short story submissions from small independent publisher Camden Park Press, and decided to go back to my desk and try to make the words come. Over the next few weeks I poured myself into writing, revising, and then submitting my story about falling in love at middle age.

To say I was thrilled when editor Lyn Worthen contacted me to say “Catch Me” had been accepted for the romance anthology LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES, and that my story was ‘just what she was looking for’ is an understatement. Despite my struggle with grief and loss, my creativity was revived, and so was I.

I do hope you’ll download a copy of LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES from your favorite online retailer, or order a print copy from Amazon if you prefer paper to e-book. There are sixteen heartwarming, diverse, and entertaining stories in the collection; and any one of them can be read in about an hour. This book is perfect for the beach, quick reads inside waiting rooms or before bed, and also makes the perfect gift for friends and loved ones.

*By the way, in case you were wondering what “sweet” romance means, it’s code for ‘only contains a kiss.’

Buy The Book!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084S7D6NC

Books To Read: https://books2read.com/LoveIsLikeChocolate

Book Review-The New Husband by D.J. Palmer #book review #NetGalley #thriller #suspense @djpalmerauthor @StMartinsPress

The New Husband is a riveting thriller about the lies we tell ourselves from D. J. Palmer, the author of Saving Meghan.

About The Book:

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you know them.

Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen’s gone–presumably drowned while fishing on his boat–so she can’t confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie’s middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together.

Simon, a widower still grieving the suicide of his first wife, has found his dream girl in Nina. His charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, but Maggie sees a far darker side to this new man in their lives. Even Nina’s good friends wonder if Simon is supremely devoted–or dangerously possessive.

But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she’s not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves.

Adele’s Review:

4.5 Stars!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The novel did what it was supposed to do—kept me turning the pages to see what happened next—creating thrilling entertainment from the first pages to the last.

I wanted the protagonist, Nina, to be smarter and more cautious about allowing a new man into her life and home and the home of her children, but there would have been no story if she’d done that, right? The New Husband is another cautionary tale about what can happen when otherwise smart, capable women ignore their instincts and good common sense and give the benefit of doubt to someone they barely know. Worse, when they take the word of a man over that of their child(ren) and side with him. When we ignore our instincts and our children’s feelings and perspectives, we invite monsters like Simon into our world. A chilling thought.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review this book. I definitely recommend The New Husband for an adrenaline-filled experience.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3104860441

Saying Yes to 2019 #NewYear #2019goals

Thank you, blog subscribers and fans of my books, for sticking with me through the lean times when I had—have—no new releases to offer. Yet.

The year 2018 was an unusually tough one for me, and I’m not sorry to see it end. For those who might not have read my earlier posts about my bereavement, I lost my wonderful husband of 32 years in March. After 10 months of grieving, I still have a long way to go in the process, but I’m beginning to feel better. And that means I’m thinking about going back to work.

There are completed novels stored on my flash drive that need to be submitted to publishers; I’ve gotten the rights back to several previously published books I intend to revise, expand and re-release; and … I plan to start writing a new book. It takes enormous amounts of physical and creative energy to write a story, and it might be a bigger challenge than usual for me to delve into a new work. However, my goal for 2019 is to move forward. Fingers crossed.

May 2019 bring you and your loved ones all good things. Happy New Year.

October Beach by Adele Downs #photography @Adele_Downs

I finished the final draft of a new novel, then took a walk on the beach, imagining my love was with me.

Except for my signature, this photo is unaltered.

Photo copyright Adele Downs 2018.

A Personal Message To My Readers @Adele_Downs #Bereavement

Life often gets in the way of our plans, but the loss of a loved one can derail us like nothing else. Since the death of my dear husband of 30 years earlier this year, I have placed my publishing career on hold while I grieve.

To keep my creativity alive I’ve put my love of reading to work by becoming a professional reader for NetGalley, by cooking unique and healthy meals for one, through long walks and Tai Chi classes, and by taking photographs to share with you. But I won’t lie; the grieving process is brutal, relentless, and slow going.

Soon, I hope the writing will come. Publishing has been a huge part of my personal identity for many years and I can’t imagine life without it. I also know that the pieces of my broken life and broken heart will be reshaped in the months and years ahead, and that’s bound to be reflected in the stories I write. We’ll see. When I’m ready to publish a new book, you’ll be the first to know. I hope you’ll be here to welcome me back.

Best–Adele

Book Review-Under My Skin by Lisa Unger #UnderMySkin #NetGalley #Thriller @LisaUnger

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4.5 Stars

Reading books by Lisa Unger is always a Master Class in fiction writing. I’ve attended her book signings and read all of her books, and while I’ve enjoyed some more than others, it struck me that Under My Skin must have been an especially difficult story to write. Dreams and hallucinations, versus reality, is a tough subject.

As a recent widow myself, I felt an instant connection to the protagonist, Poppy, and feel it’s important to mention that Poppy’s struggle with grief struck a major chord with me. Her emotions, behavior, and reactions were both understandable and believable within the context of her loss. Grief affects people in profound ways, and the need to escape the pain can be all-consuming. Lisa Unger did a fantastic job depicting the ways grief can cause indescribable anguish. I cried at the end of this book and give the author major kudos for empathizing so well with the grieving process.

Under My Skin kept me turning the pages until the very end. I received a copy of the story from NetGalley.

Link to NetGalley review:

https://www.netgalley.com/book/131813/review/467080

On Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36645003-under-my-skin

Goodbye, My Love #Grief #Bereavement #LoveandLoss

Please excuse my silence. I haven’t posted much to social media the past few months, talked to my readers about my books, or started writing a new novel. How could I? My loving, sweet and kind husband of thirty years passed away suddenly in March and I’m devastated. My career has been put on hold while I grieve. At the same time, I’m packing boxes for the move from my family home in Pennsylvania to a little house for one in Delaware.

I hope you will be here when I return.

Best–Adele

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