The Rancher’s Replacement Wife by Pam Mantovani

Another lovely romance by Pam Mantovani. In this story, Ms. Mantovani seamlessly weaves the romance with love of family. In this case it’s the hero and heroine’s love of a child. Add that element to wonderful characters — Graces’ name fits her perfectly, and who can resist a single dad who happens to be a cowboy — sparks that jump of the page, and strong writing. Well done!!

Amazon Link

 

 

 

Back Cover Copy
Private school teacher Grace Winslow has been attracted to Aaron Richardson since the day her rebellious younger sister married the rancher. After her sister deserts Aaron and dies in a car crash, Grace helps Aaron look after her nine-month-old nephew, Noah, who suffers with chronic ear infections. She’s determined to keep things platonic, but when Noah needs an operation Aaron can’t afford, her guilt over her role in enabling her sister to leave leads Grace to propose marriage as a means to provide insurance coverage for her nephew and save Aaron’s ranch from financial ruin.

Even during his hasty, disastrous marriage, Rancher Aaron Richardson had been intrigued by his late wife’s sister. Now he’s struggling to work on his ranch during the day and nurse a sick son at night. He’s grateful for Grace’s help during the evening, and powerfully attracted to her. But Aaron won’t act on his attraction because Grace is everything he’s not: refined, delicate, educated. Still, he agrees to her unexpected marriage proposal only to help his son Noah get the medical care he needs. Soon they develop a bond forged out of mutual respect and trust as they care for Noah and the ranch together. But for a man who values and respects honesty, he’s hiding a secret from Grace about his role in allowing his wife’s desertion.

Now only the love that’s blooming between them can save Aaron and Grace from the repercussions of the truth when it’s revealed.

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Swarvoski Necklace Raffle

In today’s book world, getting reviews is essential for authors. Readers are more savvy than ever and often check out a book’s reviews before purchasing. Also, the Amazon algorithm — that is, where and when an author’s books get shown to the public — depends on the number of reviews.

So, if you enjoy my books, please take a few minutes and help me by letting other readers know about my books. In exchange I’ll enter you into a raffle to win this Swarovski Necklace.

Thanks, Pat

Write a Review
and
Win a Swarovski Necklace

 

RULES

Write a review for any of my books (Patricia Keelyn or Patricia Lewin), and then copy and paste both the text and link below.

You can write new reviews or post reviews you’ve done in the past.  The number of entries you get in the raffle will depend on the type and number of reviews posted here.

New reviews:  3 entries / each.
Previous reviews: 1 entry / each.

Drawing Held 6/24/19 — And I’ll post the winner here.

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The Art of Inheriting Secrets by Barbara O’Neal

My Review
Most people have their favorite comfort foods. I have comfort “authors”. These are the authors I pick up when nothing else appeals to me, when, for whatever reason, I can’t find a book that grabs me. That’s when I go to one of my comfort authors, knowing I’ll fall into the story. And one of my comfort authors is Barbara O’Neal / Barbara Samuel. I love her books; it is that simple.

Which, brings me to my latest Barbara O’Neal read: The Art of Inheriting Secrets.

I stayed up late to finish it, and afterwards, while laying in bed thinking about her story (rather than sleeping), I realized what sets her books apart for me. Yes, she’s an excellent writer who tells good stories with really unique characters who I’d love to know. But she does something else exceptionally well that is not as obvious; she makes you fall in love with her settings. Then, she creates a community within that setting that you want to be part of. It’s so subtle and masterfully done that even with all the books of hers I’ve read I didn’t realize it until now.
In the Art of Inheriting Secrets, she takes you a sensory voyage of sights, sounds, tastes, and smells to an English village—current day—with a great aging manor house, expansively green fields, exquisite food, and wonderful characters. I so want to go there. So, when you couple this with the excellent writing, story, and multi-layered characters, she’s once again produced a story world I didn’t want to leave.

Enjoy!   Pat Keelyn

Amazon Exclusive:  Amazon Link

Free for Kindle Unlimited Members


From Back Cover

When Olivia Shaw’s mother dies, the sophisticated food editor is astonished to learn she’s inherited a centuries-old English estate—and a title to go with it. Raw with grief and reeling from the knowledge that her reserved mother hid something so momentous, Olivia leaves San Francisco and crosses the pond to unravel the mystery of a lifetime.

One glance at the breathtaking Rosemere Priory and Olivia understands why the manor, magnificent even in disrepair, was the subject of her mother’s exquisite paintings. What she doesn’t understand is why her mother never mentioned it to her. As Olivia begins digging into her mother’s past, she discovers that the peeling wallpaper, debris-laden halls, and ceiling-high Elizabethan windows covered in lush green vines hide unimaginable secrets.

Although personal problems and her life back home beckon, Olivia finds herself falling for the charming English village and its residents. But before she can decide what Rosemere’s and her own future hold, Olivia must first untangle the secrets of her past.

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Gratitude

The custom for the New Year is to make a list of resolutions. Last night (NY Eve), however, my mind went in a different direction. As everyone, including myself, thought about the difficulties of 2018, I suddenly realized there was a lot of good that happened as well.

So, here is my list of good-to-great things that happened for me in 2018. Except for the first two items, which alone would have made 2018 a great year, these are not in order of importance. They are simply sweet icing for the first two.

  1. My SIL returned home safely from his deployment.
  2. A close family member’s medical scare turned out to be nothing.
  3. In June, I took a great cruise and trip to the UK with my traveling buddy, Kathleen Wheeler.
  4. In July, my granddaughter came to visit, flying alone for the first time.
  5. In August, I spent a week in VA with my daughter and her children.
  6. What started as a simple goal to lose 10 lbs., so I could fit into my clothes for the UK trip 😆, turned into major weight loss and improved health.
  7. A personal burden was lifted. (No details, but believe me, this was a big one.)
  8. Blue wave in November.
  9. Discovered local SINC Chapter.
  10. Friends. A big category and I’ve been blessed.
    • My local friends, who gifted me lunches, dinners, & movies: Kathleen Wheeler, Debie Dove, Rhonda Black, and Kathy Howard.
    • My long-time friends and the hours we spent on the phone catching up, two I’ve known since 3rd grade, Kathy Kane & Lynn McSorley, and one from IBM, Marilee Betor, who I’ve only known for about 25 years. 😀😀
    • And I can’t forget, my writer friends, via the phone and Internet, who are way too many to list here.

So, yeah, 2018 was a great year. Hope the New Year can measure up.

I’d love to see other people’s lists as well. Take a moment and share your lists in the comment section. You’ll be surprised how good this makes you feel.

Pat Keelyn

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The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah

The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah

Another excellent book from Kristen Hannah (author of The Nightingale), The Great Alone is beautifully written (the Alaskan imagery is exceptional) with multi-faceted characters and a riveting story. Even though it doesn’t have the sweeping, historical power of The Nightingale, it’s still a deeply emotional and compelling book.  I highly recommend it.

Enjoy!   Pat Keelyn

Amazon Link


Back Cover Blurb

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska—a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

 

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On Being a Mom

Last year, I wrote about my mother. It’s strange how things you don’t expect surface through writing. If you’re interested, go take a look.

Andrea and Me

This year, however, I want to write about being a mom. Maybe we’ll both learn something unexpected. So here it goes.

I’ve never been particularly maternal. As a young teenager, I decided after my first babysitting job that I wasn’t going to do that again. Instead, I went out and got a job waiting tables so no one could rope me into watching kids for spending money. Also, I never planned to have children of my own. (Okay, I was a teenager, and the more my family rolled their eyes when I made this claim, the more stubborn about “no kids for me” I became.) But, I pretty much kept saying and believing it well into my twenties.

I was twenty-six and had been married about six years when I got pregnant. It wasn’t planned, but then, sometimes the best things that happen aren’t.

I will admit that as soon as I found out I was expecting, I was excited. (Oh, and did my sisters and mother have a field day with that after listening for years to my proclamations of childlessness.)

The most vivid memory I have, however, is from the day I brought my infant daughter home from the hospital. I put her in her crib, and for a moment, stood watching her sleep. It struck me in that moment, so strongly that I can still remembers the panic that rose up, tightening in my chest.

I never wanted to love someone that much.

Yes, after years of not wanting a child, I was now more vulnerable than I’d ever been in my life— simple because of the strength of the love I felt for this tiny creature. Looking back, I think a part of me knew that I would love her like this, and maybe I didn’t want to be that defenseless.

Andrea with her oldest daughter, Morgan.

My daughter is now all grown up with children of her own. Being her mom did not suddenly make me the most maternal or domestic woman on the planet. I didn’t bake cookies or host kiddie tea parties. I was a working mom, with all that entailed, and I loved it. Having a child, however, change me in one significant way. I am totally at my daughter’s mercy. Still.

Considering the above, let’s shift gears a bit. For those of you who’ve read my books, I’m guessing my revelations is surprising. A majority of my books are populated by children. Even my thrillers revolve around kids. Why? Well, I posted a bit about that when talking about my A Mother’s Heart series. (Why A Mother’s Heart) Other than what I say there, however, I’ve yet to figure it out.

So, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, and please, feel free to share your “mom” stories in the comment section.

Pat Keelyn

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Wine In My Sippy Cup by Deborah Dove

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to read a book about a mom. Also, because I’ve been reading so much heavy (but great) fiction and nonfiction lately, I wanted to read something lighter, something that would make me laugh. Thus, Wine in My Sippy Cup by Deborah Dove, a book I’ve had on my eReader for months.

You all know what’s coming, right? Since I only review books I love?

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book. It’s not my usual genre—humor? chick-lit?—but I loved the title, so I picked it up. Well, this book is delightful. It’s wonderfully written, funny, and insightful. Anyone who’s ever had to raise, watch, or even deal with children on a daily basis will recognize the heroine’s plight. It will make you laugh, but will also make you recognize a few truths about being a mom and a wife. One of my favorite passages . . .

I hand Hugh the phone and walk him to the door. Just as I’m about to close the door, he lurches forward, grabs my breast and plants a sloppy kiss on me. “I’ve always liked you Lizzie,” he slurs. “You’re so fun.”

“And you’re so drunk,” I say, pushing him out the door. “Just go home and let’s pretend this never happened.”

I close the door and sigh. You know your life is pretty pathetic when you get felt up by drunken tootsie roll and your first thought, however horrible it might be, is ‘at least someone stills find me attractive’.

This is not just a funny book, however.  It’s also heart-warming and poignant (I shed a few tears) as Liz reflects, and eventually comes to understand not only what it is to be a wife and mother, but to be a woman and human. Yes, I loved it, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as  much as I did.

Enjoy!   Pat Keelyn

Amazon Link


Back Cover Blurb

A sophisticated, put together career woman prior to having kids, now Liz Cartwright is lucky to go to the bathroom by herself, much less get out of the house wearing matching shoes and a clean shirt. While she is preoccupied with the sometimes mind-numbing responsibilities of motherhood, her husband is becoming increasingly distant and preoccupied with work, giving Liz the distinct impression that she is losing her husband along with her sense of identity. Armed with a book on spicing up her sex life purchased at a sex toy party and the help of her three best girlfriends, Liz embarks on an all-out attempt to rejuvenate her marriage and find personal fulfillment.

However, things in Liz’s life have a tendency to fail with hilarious results, and her attempts to woo her husband are no exceptions. Despite numerous setbacks—a pantiless tennis court seduction gone awry, a stolen vibrator and an unfortunate incident involving a thong—Liz is determined to reclaim her romantic mojo, until a chance encounter with her first love and a hobby that inadvertently turns into a job opportunity make Liz reevaluate what love inside marriage means and the price she is willing to pay to reclaim her sense of self-worth.

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The Black Angel by Barbara Samuels

The Black Angel (The St. Ives Family Series: Book One) by Barbara Samuel

If you been following my book reviews, you know that Barbara Samuel is one of my go-to authors. Whenever I can’t find anything that appeals to me, when nothing I start to read grabs me, she is one of the authors I know will quickly pull me into a story. Whether it’s one of her contemporary romances, women’s fiction, or historical stories, I’ve never been disappointed in one of her books. And The Black Angel is no exception. This is simply a lovely book that will make you want to curl up on the couch and read all day . . . or well into the night.

As the first in the series, it’s only .99, and I already have Night of Fire (Book #2) on my eReader for the next time I’m searching for something to read.

Enjoy!   Pat Keelyn


Back Cover Blurb
Ardor once foolishly led Lady Adriana St. Ives into the arms of a rake, an affair that cost her everything she held dear. Though that was five years ago, this golden English beauty still vows that no man will ever again ignite the sensual passion hidden deep in her soul–not even her new husband, Tynan Spenser, Earl of Glencove, a darkly handsome and rich Irish rogue.
Known as “The Black Angel” for his wild and lascivious ways, Tynan is as determined to melt his icy bride as she is to resist his seductive charms. Vowing that she will be his in just one hundred kisses, Tynan sets out to win her with a kiss each day–a challenge Riana is sure she can withstand. But the willful beauty has no idea of the power of a single kiss…

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Year One by Nora Roberts

My Review
I’m obsessed with apocalypse fiction. (I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with that confession. LOL!) I’ve been reading it for as long as I can remember. So, when a friend mentioned that Nora Roberts had a new apocalypse book out, I was intrigued. I mean, Nora writes wonderfully warm, rich romances . . . I couldn’t imagine her making the leap to the dark side of fiction with an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it story, and of course, I had to check it out.

So, what did I think? I was impressed. Year One holds its own with the very best of apocalypse fiction: Robert McCammon’s, Swan Song, Stephen King’s, The Stand, and any other number of really good apocalyptic books.

Nora Roberts is an absolute master storyteller. (She’s has, after all, published over 225 books.) This shouldn’t surprise any of her gad-zillion fans, but if you don’t read romance, you might not be that familiar with her. She, however, pulls off this story brilliantly – yes, I’m a bit jealous. Great characters – always the hallmark of good book – an excellent and compelling plot, and very strong writing.

Unless you hate the genre, and I do understand that end-of-the-world stories are not for everyone, I highly recommend you read, or listen (as I did) to Year One.

Back Cover Copy

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.
Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

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Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher Review

Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

I read Jim Butcher’s Dresden books years ago and really enjoyed them.  The Codex Alera series, however,  are a different genre of book.  The Dresden books are urban fantasy or supernatural mysteries. IOW, the books are set in the “now” with magic incorporated. Furies of Calderon however is high-fantasy.  So, I was a bit hesitant about jumping into the series.  But, I’m glad I got over my hesitation.

I really enjoyed this book.  Strong characters and writing, a great plot, and Butcher’s totally mastery of his story.  I downloaded a copy from audible, but then went and bought the eBook as well.  I was just too impatient to only listen to the book, so I went back and forth, depending on whether I could listen or read.  Now, I don’t know whether to download the second book in the series — which I plan to do — in audio or as an eBook.  Maybe I’ll do both again.

From the Back Cover

For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies—elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal. But in the remote Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans’ most savage enemy—the Marat horde—return to the Valley, Tavi’s courage and resourcefulness will be a power greater than any fury, one that could turn the tides of war…

It’s on sale at Amazon and iBooks for 2.99.

 

Pat Keelyn

 

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