Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Weekly Book Mail: 1/23-29/2022



This Week's Book Mail 

January Harlequin Romance and Suspense Collection

January Bubbles and Books Box

January The Ripped Bodice Book Box

January Fresh Fiction Book Box

Once Upon A Book Club Special New Years Book Box

February Literati Book Club Selection

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Weekly Book Mail: 1/16-22/2022


This Week's Book Mail 

January Book Lover's Delight Book Box

December (Backorderd) Once Upon A Book Club - YA Book Box

December (backordered) Once Upon A Book Club - Christmas Book Box

January The Book Drop Romance Selection

Harlequin January Special Edition Book Box

Amazon Book Purchase

December (backordered) Once Upon A Book Club - Adult Book Box

Friday, January 14, 2022

A Stranger's Game by Colleen Coble (VBT: Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for A Stranger's Game by author Colleen Coble!

Book Review

A Stranger's Game by Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: January 4, 2022
Format: Hardcover - 352 pages
               Paperback - 352 pages
               Audiobook - 7 Hours 14 Minutes
               Kindle - 1292 KB / 352 pages
               Nook - 2 MB / 352 pages
ISBN (HC): 978-0785228592
ISBN (PB):  978-0785228578
ASIN (Audiobook): B0911KKPX4
ASIN (ebook): B08ZMC2TKK
BNID: 978-0785228585
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my participation and book review in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

This gripping new novel from USA TODAY bestselling romantic suspense author Colleen Coble will leave you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

A wealthy hotel heiress.

Even though Torie Bergstrom hasn’t been back to Georgia since she was ten, she’s happy to arrange a job for her best friend at one of the family properties on Jekyll Island.

A suspicious death.

But when Torie learns that her best friend has drowned, she knows it is more than a tragic accident: Lisbeth was terrified of water and wouldn’t have gone swimming by choice.

A fight for the truth.

Torie goes to the hotel under an alias, desperate to find answers. When she meets Joe Abbott and his daughter rescuing baby turtles, she finds a tentative ally.

The more Torie and Joe dig, the more elusive the truth seems. One thing is clear: someone will risk anything—even more murder—to keep their secrets buried.

Book Excerpt:

C H A P T E R 1

Victoria Bergstrom almost forgot to breathe at the beauty of Georgia’s Jekyll Island. Standing at the railing, she watched the sunset gild the undulating tidal grass with gold and orange and continue to paint its spectacular hues on sand and sea as the boat made its way along the Intracoastal Waterway to the wharf. The Golden Isles was an apt name this time of day especially. Her gaze landed on the hotel, and her chest compressed.

Then again, maybe dread stole her oxygen instead.

The garrulous captain gestured toward The Wharf restaurant, perched at the end of the wooden walkway. “There she is. It’s a much prettier approach this direction instead of coming over the bridge. I still can’t believe those people blocked the bridge.”

Torie had planned to drive, but protesters advocating for the abolishment of the Federal Reserve had filled every inch of the bridge over the causeway to the island, and she hadn’t wanted to be stuck in traffic for hours. She shook her head. Did the protesters really believe marching would accomplish their goal? And besides, the Fed helped to protect against bank runs and depressions. It seemed insane to protest about it.

The boat docked, and she grabbed her carry-on bag to disembark. The rest of her luggage would be delivered tomorrow once she knew where she was staying. “Thanks for the ride, Captain.”

He tipped his hat. “You’re welcome, Miss Torie.”

Her heels clattered on the wooden planks past the restaurant and a storefront for boating excursions, and onto the sidewalk onshore. Time slipped past in a shimmering haze as she crossed Riverview Drive, avoiding the ever-constant bikers, and approached the Jekyll Island Club Resort hotel.

It had been eighteen years since she’d run and played along this water. Eighteen years since she’d smelled the river and listened to a bull alligator roar at Horton Pond. Eighteen years since she’d seen stiletto-tipped palmetto groves and moss-draped oak trees. The narrator on a passing tram droned on about the history of this place she’d once loved so much.

There it was.

The hotel that lived both in her dreams and her nightmares.

The tower in the left corner rose above the four-story structure, and the large wraparound porch beckoned visitors with thoughts of sweet tea and laughter with friends. She paused to tuck her white blouse into her navy skirt before she mounted the steps to the outdoor receptionist box guarding the doorway inside. It was unmanned at the moment, so she stepped into the hotel lobby. The scents of sandalwood and pine took her back to her childhood in an instant, and she swallowed past the constriction in her throat.

Audentes fortuna juvat. “Fortune favors the bold,” the Roman poet Virgil had said, and though being here brought out all her insecurities, Torie had to find her courage.

Little had changed through the years other than fresh paint and attentive maintenance. The ornate Victorian moldings gleamed with a gentle glow of wax, and the wood floors were as beautiful as ever. She had never wanted to step foot in this lobby again, yet here she was.

Torie raised her head with a confidence she didn’t feel and approached the resort’s front desk. “Torie Berg. I’m your new IT specialist.”

The alias flowed smoothly off her lips. She’d used it on her last assignment, and it was close enough to her real name to feel natural.

“Welcome to Jekyll Island Club Resort,” the young woman said.

The blonde looked to be about Torie’s age of twenty-eight and wore an engagement ring. Her open, friendly expression was perfect for the check-in desk.

“Marianne,” a familiar voice said behind Torie.

Torie froze and didn’t turn. While she didn’t think the older woman would recognize her, she couldn’t take the chance. The click of high heels went past her to the left, and she caught a glimpse of Genevieve Hallston’s lavender blouse, her signature color.

“Come to my office please,” Genevieve said to the housekeeper she’d hailed.

The stricken look on the middle-aged woman’s face said it all. Genevieve was on a tear about something, and it took all of Torie’s resolve not to intervene. She’d been sliced by the older woman’s razor-sharp tongue enough to know it wouldn’t be a pleasant conversation.

But she had to remember her mission. If anyone recognized her, her cover would be blown and all of her plans would be in ruins.


Excerpt from A Stranger's Game by Colleen Coble. Copyright 2021 by Colleen Coble. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

My Book Review:

In A Stranger's Game, author Colleen Coble transports the reader to Jekyll Island, Georgia for an intriguing Romantic Suspense story that will keep the reader guessing and turning the pages.

Victoria Bergstrom, hotel heiress comes home to her family owned Club Resort hotel on Jekyll Island, Georgia after eighteen years to find out how best friend Lisbeth Nelson died. Using the alias Torie Berg, the hotel's new IT specialist, she is on a mission to prove that Lisbeth did not accidentally drown on the beach, and bring Lisbeth's killer to justice. 

Torie meets Joe Abbott, Navy marine sea lion trainer and part-time hotel security guard and his eight year old daughter Hailey on the beach. Both Torie and Joe have similar tragic pasts, and Torie thinks that she may have an ally to help her search for the truth in Lisbeth's death. 

As Torie and Joe search for the truth behind Lisbeth's death, cryptic warnings, accidents, attempted kidnappings and sinister events start to occur. The further they dig, the harder someone is determined to stop them at all costs. 

Author Colleen Coble weaves a fast-paced and suspenseful tale written in the third person narrative that follows Torie and Joe's investigative journey in search of the truth behind Lisbeth's death. When Torie and Joe's investigation intertwine with a sinister terroristic plot planned to occur at the hotel resort, it will take a lot of digging and dangerous situations to find the truth. And if that's not enough, Torie and Joe have a strong connection that could lead to an unexpected chance at romance.

The reader will be easily drawn into this well written story with its richly descriptive plot and idyllic southern island setting. A Stranger's Game has enough drama, tension, action, flashbacks and clues from the past, romance, and unexpected twists and turns that kept me thoroughly engaged and guessing what would happen next, it will definitely take the reader on one heck of a thrilling roller coaster ride.


About The Author

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender TidesSunset CoveHope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Barnes & Noble Author Page

Contest Giveaway

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Colleen Coble & Thomas Nelson. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.  

Virtual Book Tour Event

Tour Participants:

01/03 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

01/03 Review @ Lynchburg Reads

01/04 Review @ Kritters Ramblings

01/04 Review @ Novels Alive

01/04 Review @ sunny island breezes

01/05 Review @ Pick a good book

01/06 Review @ Celticladys Reviews Blog

01/06 Review @ erikalaceyreads

01/07 Review @ flightnurse70_book_reviews

01/08 Review @ Reading Is My SuperpPower

01/09 Review @ jayme_reads

01/10 Review @ Savings in seconds

01/11 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books

01/12 Review @ From the TBR Pile

01/12 Review @ Inkwell Inspirations

01/13 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty

01/13 Review @ Pat Fayo Reviews

01/14 Review @ addictedtobooks86

01/14 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

01/15 Review @ The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

01/16 Review @ Splashes of Joy

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Summer's Wisdom by Heather Hummel Gallagher (Book Review)


Book Review

Summer's Wisdom by Heather Hummel Gallagher
Book 1: Camden Lake Tales Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publisher
Publication Date: December 21, 2021
Format: Paperback - 212 pages
               Kindle - 2069 KB - 214 pages
ISBN: 979-8785495982
Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy The Book: 
Amazon (Free On Kindle Unlimited)

Book Description: 

She was left on the steps of church at birth. Her birthmother finds her three decades later. At the pinnacle of her career and life can she learn to trust in love?

Jamie Jacobson loves food. Abandoned at birth, the thirty-six-year-old caterer eases her soul through providing sustenance for others. But when she wins the career defining opportunity to cater the town’s biggest event, the woman who gave her away makes an unexpected and unwanted appearance.

Reeling after her biological mother rolls into her life, seeking reconciliation, Jamie struggles to focus on the kitchen task at hand. And though she’s falling for the handsome musician hired to play at the gala, her conflicted heart still fears she’s not worthy of affection.

Will Jamie overcome a lifetime of self-doubt to triumph in life and in love?

Summer's Wisdom is a heart-centered piece of women’s literature. If you enjoy complex characters, a hint of speculation, and overcoming obstacles, then you’ll love Heather Hummel Gallagher’s compelling story.

Book Excerpt:

My Book Review:

In Summer's Wisdom, author Heather Hummel Gallagher weaves a wonderful women's fiction story that follows Jamie Jacobson's journey of self-discovery, as she learns to overcome a life of self-doubt, in order to find love and happiness. 

In the spring of 1990 when Jamie Jacobson was sixteen years old, her parents told her that she was adopted after she was born on Christmas Eve of 1974, and left on the steps of a church wrapped in a blanket and placed in a basket. That information turned everything Jamie knew in her life upside down, and she grows up with abandonment and self-doubt issues.

Fast forward to the summer of 2014, forty year old Jamie and her best friend Trinity had moved in 2009 from their hometown in Rhode Island to Pacific Grove, California, and Jamie has been growing her local catering company. Trinity gives Jamie an opportunity to put her catering company on the map with a large party on her ranch at the end of August. While they were planning the party, Jamie has an unexpected reunion with Phil Maxwell, a boy she had met at camp in Camden Lake, Maine back in the summer of 1990. Phil is an oceanographer and musician, who is hired to play at Trinity's party. Jamie is busy coordinating the menu with Phil's song list for the Cinderella themed event, when out of the blue her birthmother has found her and wants to meet. Jamie is conflicted over meeting her birthmother and dealing with a lifetime of abandonment and self-doubt issues, but her choice will lead her on a journey of self-discovery that will guide her to finding her career passion, love, and happiness. 

Set in Pacific Grove, California with a backstory set in Providence, Rhode Island and Camden, Maine, the author weaves a fascinating tale that easily engages the reader to follow Jamie's journey as she learns to overcome her life issues in order to find self-worth, fulfill her career passion, and provide love and happiness that she seeks in life. 

The author does a wonderful job of describing Jamie's journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I loved reading about Jamie's past, and how dealing with her life issues she was finally able to get the answers that she had been seeking for so long, giving her the ability to move forward with her life.

Summer's Wisdom is a heartwarming and thoroughly enjoyable story. You can't help but root for Jamie as she discovers that her world is filled with a loving family and friendship, along with a sense of belonging, finding love, following one's passion, and that she's ultimately in control of how she lives her life with self-acceptance and happiness. 

Summer's Wisdom is an inspirational and feel good women's fiction story that will pull at your heartstrings, touch your soul, and leave a smile on your face. 


About The Author

Heather Hummel Gallagher is a New York Book Festival award-winning novelist of the Journals from the Heart Series.

Heather's novels include the Journals from the Heart series -- New York Book Festival Award-Winning Whispers from the Heart and the second in the series, Write from the Heart. The third,Wisdom from the Heart, is forthcoming. Her stand-alone novels are In God We Trust, and Call it Kismet, which was featured on the cover of Bedside Reading.

As a ghostwriter, Heather has penned over a dozen books and counting. Her clients include corporations, politicians, philanthropists, dating coaches, real estate agents, public figures, and business leaders. With experience in both traditional and independent publishing, Heather's diverse background and knowledge of the industry appealed to many authors seeking a qualified ghostwriter.

By personal request from Arianna Huffington, Heather is a featured blogger in the Arts & Culture section of the Huffington Post. Her article titled "Why Agents Reject 96% of Author Submissions" gained remarkable attention in the industry, including ReTweets from Publishers Weekly and many quality literary agents.

Television, print, and radio coverage for her clients’ books include: The Today Show and other regional shows; Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Health, Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 20 million in print alone.  A contributing author in Successful eBook Publishing: The Complete How-to Guide for Creating and Launching Your Amazon Kindle eBook by David Wogahn, Heather shares her wisdom in a chapter on ghostwriting.

​A former high school English teacher turned novelist and ghostwriter, Heather followed her grandmother’s footsteps with the written word.

Born in Greenwich, CT, Heather soon left New England and spent her twenties and thirties traveling and living in every corner of the US. Eventually, she settled down and married for the first time in her early-fifties. She and her husband, Stephen, have two pups, Kizzy and Luna. 

Heather's second career is as a land and seascape photographer. Her work is represented by Agora Gallery in the Chelsea District of New York City. A graduate with High Distinction from the University of Virginia, Heather holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree with concentrations in English and Secondary Education.


2009 Mature Media Awards, Merit Award: Gracefully
2009 New York Book Festival, Women's Literature: Whispers from the Heart
Noted as a top "Books for Grownups" by Publishers Weekly: Gracefully
Essays: Messages of Hope and Healing (Sunpiper Media, 2006) Blue Ridge Anthology (Cedar Creek, 2007)