Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Release Day Spotlight: Cross Her Heart by Melinda Leigh

Cross Her Heart
by Melinda Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been reading more thriller and crime novels recently but with Cross Her Heart, I've surprisingly come back to my favourite genre; Romantic Suspense and new to me author Melinda Leigh.

After overcoming the tragedy during her childhood, homicide detective Bree Taggart's life is again turned upside down after her sister Erin's murder. The circumstances surrounding the death mirror those of the nightmare she lived through as a child. With her brother-in-law Justin, the prime suspect missing, Bree's determined to track him down to seek justice for her sister. When Justin's best friend turns up looking for him, he's convinced he is innocent. So as an ex-sheriff's investigator and K9 handler, he joins forces with Bree to find him…

When Matt Flynn learns about the murder of his best friend Justin's wife, he doesn't believe he's guilty even though the victim's sister believes he is. As both he and Bree Taggart are looking for the same man, they agree to join forces. Neither agrees the local sheriff's department will conduct a fair investigation, so will they be able to prove Justin is innocent or is he the murderer?

Both the protagonists have haunting backgrounds, a common link that binds them in the same way their law enforcement training does. I like the dynamic of them both operating "under the radar" and the mutual respect and trust they gain with each other. This creates a firm foundation to further develop their relationship as the series progresses. Unfamiliar with the writing style, I quickly found myself fully immersed within this fast-paced and exciting narrative. There's a perfect balance between action and emotions as the plot unfolds leaving a satisfying conclusion to the case and a glimpse of where the series is heading.

One surprise is the lack of romance within the narrative, but subtle hints suggest the protagonists "like" each other. It's a start of what I hope is a slow-burn relationship and will, therefore, be eagerly awaiting future Bree Taggart instalments.

***arc generously received courtesy of Montlake Romance via NetGalley***

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Book Blitz & Review: 52 Weeks of Writing:Author Journal & Planner by Mariëlle S. Smith

52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal by Mariëlle S. Smith

Are you ready to become the writer you were always meant to be?
52 Weeks of Writing will get you cracking by making you plan, track, reflect on, and check in with your progress and goals an entire year long.
52 Weeks of Writing will help you dig deep by offering questions and writing prompts designed to unravel whatever truths about your writing you’re ready for.
52 Weeks of Writing will keep you inspired by delivering a thought-provoking writing quote every week.

  • Do you struggle with setting goals that reflect your daily reality?
  • Do you want to practise breaking goals down into manageable chunks?
  • Would you like more insight into your writing habit(s) and figure out why you keep getting in your own way?
  • And do you want to create a sustainable writing practice that honours your needs and desires as a writer?
Then the 52 Weeks of Writing: Author Journal and Planner is for you.
52 Weeks of Writing brings together every lesson Mariëlle S. Smith has learned as a writing coach and writer. Wary as she is of comparisonitis and unhealthy competition, this author journal and planner was designed to help writers develop and fine-tune a practice that works for them.
If you’re ready to get out of your own way and become the writer you’re meant to be, pick up your copy of 52 Weeks of Writing today.


Do you have ambitions to write a book, but struggling to get organised? 52 Weeks of Writing is an author planner to set you on your writing path.

A bit of background about me; I'm a book blogger as well as a writer. I've not published any of my works yet but do plan to publish the pile manuscripts I've written so far. So, this journal caught my eye to see if I could get myself more organised.

I began using this journal as I began my latest manuscript. After 6 weeks, I'm not using the journal as I'm supposed to because I keep forgetting to prioritise it. It has nothing to do with the journal itself but more to do with forgetting to update and refer to it. As I've mentioned, I've written a handful of books already, so I'm used to fitting writing around my daily routines. I do like the motivational quotes to boost my creativity but prefer to use online tools to track my word count and progress.

For me, I'm too far gone using my own tried and tested ways (or lack of) to get the job done so the journal isn't for me. It's the same reason I don't manage to keep a diary for anything other than appointments and notifications. Even so, the prompts and motivational quotes cause pause for thought and are a useful inclusion. If I decided to write a memoir, I can see the benefit of analysing my thought process to produce a personal keepsake to reflect the writing journey.

However, for anyone who's thinking of writing a novel for the first time, the prompts and organisation ideas within the journal offer a solid starting point. It is perfect for someone who sees writing a book as a year-long project. The journal allows the writer to record their inner thoughts. Additionally, it encourages the writer to reflect on their progress and re-evaluate their goal and ambitions at quarterly intervals… to decide how to reward and celebrate each milestone along the way.

To sum up, If you have ambitions to write a book or know of anyone who's talked about writing a book, this journal would be a perfect gift to them or yourself.

***review copy generously received courtesy of the publisher via Rachel's Random Resources***

Mariëlle S. Smith is a coach for writers and other creatives, an editor, (ghost) writer, and custom retreat organiser. In 2019, she moved to Cyprus, and island in the Mediterranean Sea, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.