First Line Friday and Tour Review: Beauty in Battle by Robin Patchen

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.


Releasing on April 9th, this is the conclusion to a three part series about Harper Cloud, an ex-con trying to lead a better life and not repeat the mistakes of her past by becoming involved with the wrong man.  Except she did.BeautyInBattle_patchen_flf

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Mrs. Tim of the Regiment by D.E. Stevenson (review)

mrstimoftheregiment_des_bloomsburygroupI’ve been wanting to read D.E. (Dorothy Emily) Stevenson’s Mrs. Tim of the Regiment for some time, so I was happy to join a read along on Instagram and planned to take the whole month to savor one of the most popular titles by a favorite 20th century woman author of light fiction.  The author who began my pursuit of middle brow fiction.  But the story became such a delight that I couldn’t make it last. Continue reading

The New Me by Halle Butler (review)

thenewme_butler_penguinThis is a novel that has been variously described as darkly funny, hilarious, addictive.  Perhaps dark humor just isn’t for me, because I struggled to find anything humorous in the squalor and misery of Millie’s life, her supervisor’s misguided ambitions, and the negativity of her relationship with a woman she calls her friend.  Well, there is that one scene about the main character’s downstairs neighbors, but even that degenerated into a sort of callous cruelty. Continue reading

Eat, Live, Thrive Diet: A Lifestyle Plan to Rev Up Your Midlife Metabolism by Danna Demetre and Robyn Thomson


From the well-known health and lifestyle coaches of the widely popular website Lean Healthy Ageless (formerly Ageless Woman Living) comes a practical, science-based diet book that unravels the mystery of why women gain weight as they age and includes a sustainable plan to permanently lose the pounds and inches.

Eat, Live, Thrive Diet shows women how they can not only lose excess body fat permanently but also improve their overall health in critical areas such as brain function, resistance to disease, slowing down external aging, and increasing energy. This highly effective eating plan is presented in a compassionate voice by two experienced health coaches who share personal experiences of battling weight and emotional eating issues. Whereas most diets are short-lived or require substantial upkeep to maintain, Eat, Live, Thrive Diet is a viable eating plan that women can adhere to indefinitely. In addition to minimizing sugar intake, the plan emphasizes the importance of short-term intermittent fasting–a simple lifestyle change that makes it easier and more effective for many mature women to reach their health and weight loss goals. The book also highlights health risks and drawbacks of many popular fad diets that can be harmful on a long-term basis.

My Thoughts

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Beauty in Hiding by Robin Patchen (Tour Review)

BeautyInHiding_patchenSecond of three in Robin Patchen’s Beauty in Flight trilogy, Beauty in Hiding continues the suspenseful tale begun in Beauty in Flight.  Having fled Maryland and more than one threat, Harper Cloud and Red Burns take up residence in Nutfield, New Hampshire.  Posing as Red’s granddaughter, Harper’s plans to lie low are jeopardized by Red’s memory issues and the generosity of their new landlord.

Sure that Jack Rossi must have an ulterior motive, Harper takes some time to warm up to him, even as she finds herself beginning to build relationships in the small town.  And they are all thanks to Jack.  But as expected, their randomly chose location does not go undiscovered and danger once again threatens by the end of this second installment.

Having a truly decent man take an interest in Harper, and her slow acceptance of idea of a man treating her decently, is an enjoyable development in what is very much the calm within the storm of her life in this series.  But while this brief interlude sees Harper and Red tucked away and relatively safe, the tension and suspense never fully abate.

While introducing the possibility of romance and a decent life in Nutfield, all of the elements that made Beauty in Flight an enjoyable read are still in evidence.  This is a series that should definitely be read in order, with the endings of the first two installments leaving the reader in anticipation of the next.  Fortunately, the entire series is now available.

Beauty in Hiding (Beauty in Flight, #2) by Robin Patchen | JDO Publishing, January 2019 | ebook, 201 pages

This review refers to a digital copy received courtesy of the author to enable participation in review tour with JustReadTours.  A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

Beauty in Flight series reviewer tour

Book Description:

Nutfield, New Hampshire, is as good a place as any to hide from the murderer Harper left behind in Maryland. All she has to do is lie low and make enough money to keep herself and Red alive until she can figure out who her enemies are.

Jack Rossi is mystified by his beautiful new tenant and her confused grandfather. Something’s not right, but the love he sees between them and the care she takes of the old man convinces Jack they’re trustworthy. As drawn as he is to Harper, she’s his tenant, so she’s off limits.

Derrick, Harper’s ex-boyfriend and Red’s grandson, needs to find his grandfather and get his hands on the old man’s money before Derrick ends up with a bullet in the skull. And when he gets his hands on Harper, she’ll be sorry for what she’s put him through.

Harper and Jack grow closer, but so do her enemies. If the truth comes out, she may lose her freedom—or her life.

First Line Friday: General Meade

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is taken from an Advance Reading Copy and may differ from the published text.


When Smith Publicity offered to send me an Advance Reading Copy of General Meade: A Novel of the Civil War by Robert Kofman to feature on my Instagram account, I hesitated for a moment, but with that cover and the promise of learning about a little-known-to-me Civil War General… I quickly accepted.  So there I was, second-guessing what I thought had been a yes to a 500+ page work of non-fiction, when it arrived and it was immediately clear that I had somehow missed an important word: novel.

Not a typical book to share for First Line Friday – or so you might think.  But early on there are important elements to this story of a deeply held love and of a faith that sees him through.  Now I’m over midway through what may be the longest historical fiction novel I read this year, and I am so fascinated that other books are sitting unfinished so that I can focus on General Meade.

Here’s the synopsis that drew me in:

As the civil war raged on, President Lincoln desperately sought a commander to defeat the seemingly invincible Confederate general, Robert E. Lee, whose army had invaded Pennsylvania. Lincoln turned to the Old Snapping Turtle, General George Meade—a courageous man with remarkable integrity and a fiery temper—to save the Union during its greatest time of need.

Just three short days after taking command, General Meade confronts Lee’s army at Gettysburg, resulting in the bloodiest and most dramatic battle of the war. Delivering a glorious victory, at first heralded as a hero who turned the tide of the war, General Meade falls victim to a nefarious smear campaign that threatens to ruin his reputation and his career. The general is forced to muster all of his strength to persevere against an onslaught of political and newspaper attacks, all while leading the Army of the Potomac and serving his superiors: General Ulysses S. Grant and President Lincoln.

In General Meade, readers will be struck with how contemporary the themes are, a country so divided by a contentious social issue – slavery – that it fights a civil war. There are polarized political parties, partisan newspaper attacks, false news stories, war heroes and villains, a controversial President leading the country through a crisis, leaked Congressional testimony and an unscrupulous Congressional Committee out to destroy the careers of generals who don’t share its political ideology.

And here are the first lines:

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