5 Star Review – Unique and Enjoyable!

The Red Coat –  book 1 in my Sophie Collins Mystery YA series just received another 5 star review.

By Charity Rowell-Stansbury on April 21, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition
I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The-Red-Coat-Cover-ArtAfter finding a discarded coat in the dumpster with a mysterious object in one of its pockets, Sophie is accosted by the coat’s former owner. Keeping the object she found in the coat’s pocket, Sophie reluctantly returns the coat to its former owner; not realizing that the mysterious object is the key to solving a murder mystery.

Sophie is certainly not Nancy Drew! Having learned some lessons while living on the streets, our edgy and bright protagonist is shrewd and rough around the edges. Sophie’s ethics are centered in the gray area; she’s a good kid, but she sometimes makes decisions that push the limits on what is considered to be ethical. I like this because it makes her more realistic as most teens tend to test the limits of ethical and unethical behavior.

There are some other interesting characters that play important roles in helping Sophie to solve the mystery. It is apparent that Gressley chose to focus more on developing Sophie’s character than on the setting and other characters, but she describes the other characters and setting in enough detail to keep the story relevant and interesting. I feel that if she had developed the setting and other characters further, it would have made for a lengthy novel that her target audience would likely abandon.

The Red Coat strays from the typical goody-goody, know-it-all young sleuth novel to provide readers with a realistic, unique, and likeable protagonist. If you are an adult who misses reading Nancy Drew, or your pre-teen/younger teen is looking for an enjoyable mystery read; I recommend that you grab a copy of The Red Coat by Madge Gressley.

Fun, Sweet Read

“This was a fun easy book with 5 romantic short stories that were quick, sweet, and unique. Each story had a very different feel and a different idea giving us a taste of 5 very different writing styles and the different author imaginations. It was also an easy read, rolling from one story to the next in a way that kept you reading with a desire to get through all of them. The stories were mostly clean (note: the last story caught me off guard by being a bit more sensuous that I had expected) but overall a decent read.
I loved seeing the personality of the authors come out in each story and seeing the characters take on lives of their own. I believe each of these women have full length novels as well and it would be nice to see how this little taste of their writing style transpired into full novels.” — Rebecca Lamoreaux
Jewelz Review~
“This was such a great compilation! I really enjoyed each of the novellas included.
Saved by the Belle – The story of Dot and Russell isn’t a story of young love. Dot is middle aged and has never been married. Instead, she has travelled the world meeting a variety of people and serving those around her. She finally settled in  the small town of Kudzu Korners as a hair stylist. Russell is a widower and the father of one of Dot’s dear friends. It doesn’t hurt that Russell is the spitting image of Dot’s favorite heart-throb actor. But love doesn’t come easily for two people from such diverse backgrounds – Russell has unkept promises to his dearly departed wife and Dot might be a little set in her ways. But anything worth having is worth working for.
Be My Valentine? – Cooper Trask is one of New York City’s most eligible bachelors, but his father sends him to the little town of Cora Mills to open a new office for their company, Trask Linens. Trish Tripper is a successful interior designer who is still grieving the lost of her husband a few years past. A misunderstanding leads to a very awkward first meeting that might mean this relationship has ended before it even begins.
Pitch Perfect – Cierra is probably one of, if not THE biggest San Francisco Giants fan. She always has season tickets and rarely misses a game. She’s also an author who plans to incorporate her love for baseball into her newest book. Her sister suggests that Cierra interview her favorite player, pitcher Colton Diaz, for the book and pretty soon Cierra is trying to figure out if her story is more fact than fiction, and what that might mean. Is Colton truly the man of her dreams? Or is there someone else that’s her happily ever after?
A Design For Love – Maddy Whitcomb is the only female architect at Bleeker Architecture and she has just landed her first big job with Cornish International. But somehow, Derek Nichols, office heart throb and fellow architect, has managed to get a second chance at the bid. Jason Cornish has made it clear that he favors her design and also seems to be attracted to her. Unbeknownst to Maddy there are things going on behind the scenes that she’s not aware of – things that could not only impact her job, but her life.
Bound by Marriage: Looking Through Your Eyes – This is the first in a series that tells the story of three couples that become contracted to marry one another because of their meddling parents and grandparents. The gentlemen run Eternal Love, a matchmaking company and the women run Taking the Plunge, a wedding planning business. If they want to continue with their businesses, they have to marry – and they have to do it by February 14th! This first installment introduces everyone and tells the story of Melodie (head of cakes and desserts) and Roy (VP of advertising) and how they discover they were perfectly matched.
FYI ~ Clean reads, some mild language. Bound by Marriage does have an intimate scene.
Honest Disclosure” ~ A review copy was provided by Loving the Book Launch

Books 2 Blog
Now and forever
is an anthology of 5 short and sweet romances, I always find it hard to review anthologies you just get into the story and then whammo it’s ended. At 347 pages long this anthology does not take long to read but it was enjoyable.
The 5 stories were sweet and entertaining with romances ranging from mistaken identity to accidental meetings and the dreaded setup. I was able to happily pick up and leave the anthology in between sittings and quickly immerse myself back in the next novelette.
Thank you Isabelle North, Carole McKee, Debbie White, Madge Gressley and Brandi Gillilan for a wonderful read. I’m only giving Now and forever 3.5 stars not because it’s not enjoyable but anthologies for me are really hard to rate above 3.5 as they finish just as they get you hooked into the story. Can’t wait to read more from these authors.”


These five awesome authors have put together five romantic stories guaranteed to pull at your heart strings. Whether you are young or old, or somewhere in between, you will fall in love all over again.




Isabella Norse scored major “cool mom” points by playing the same video games as her sons and their friends. In these virtual worlds she slayed demons and destroyed machines bent on galactic extermination while simultaneously wooing cocky assassins and sexy aliens. She fell in love with the make-believe worlds and rich characters that inhabited them and now writes her own tales of love, romance, and adventure.

Still a gamer – and still cool – Isabella lives in Georgia with her husband and a herd of rescue cats. She loves to hear from readers and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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Snippet for Saved by the Belle
by Isabella Norse

“Well, now that you’ve got a little more free time, I have a project I could use your help with.”

“Oh?” He stepped closer, his arms just brushing hers. “You know what I think?”

“No, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to tell me.” Dot stepped back. She found his nearness more than a little appealing but, it was best not to go there.

“I think you just want to spend more time with me.” He took another step, narrowing the gap. “I think our daily lunches have left you hungry for more than food.”

“Russell Phillips!” Dot gasped. “Just what are you implying?”


Madge Gressley lives in Missouri with her granddaughter and three dogs – Pixie, Lily, and Milo. She started her writing career in 2013, when she decided to trade her brushes, paints and canvases for pen and paper, but, in this case—computer and keyboard. She works from home and squeezes writing in between jobs for her graphic design business and letting the dogs in and out—a full-time job in itself. She published her first book in the “Inescapable” series “The Beginning,” in May of 2014, the second book “Remembering” in June of 2014, and followed by book three “Tomorrow,” in July of 2015.

Recently, she has started a new series—‘Sophie Collins Mysteries’—Young Adult books about the adventures of Sophie Collins, a modern-day Nancy Drew. The first edition “The Red Coat,” is available in the Kindle Store on Amazon. http://buff.ly/THQEcQ.

The second book “The Secrete of Trail House Lodge,” will be available shortly.

Not only is she an author, she is an accomplished, award-winning visual artist. She is a Signature Member of the Missouri Watercolor Society and a Best of Missouri Hands Juried Artist. Her work can be found in the collections of numerous corporate and private collections throughout the United States, Great Britain, and China.

She is also co-owner and graphic designer for Art & Graphic Innovations, LLC, a Missouri based graphic design firm, and owner of MEG Originals Fine Art.

Web: http://www.meg-originals.com.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/1460702867501390/?ref=bookmarks

Blog: http://www.mhgressley.com

Snippet for A Design For Love
by Madge Gressley

Interesting, Jason thought as a half-grin formed on his handsome face, admiring Maddy’s petite form hurrying down the hall and disappearing into her office. She had intrigued him ever since he had been introduced to her. There had beensomething about her from the start that peeked his curiosity. Maybe it was the fact that she was the lone female in a male dominated arena of architects and seemed completely oblivious to all that testosterone, or maybe it was the remarks he had accidently overheard from several of the younger architects commenting that she was a ‘cold fish.’ One young buck had laughed and said, ‘Bet it would be like taking an ice burg to bed. You might wind up with frostbite.’




Carole McKee is originally from Pittsburgh, but moved to Florida in 2002, after the death of her son. Most of her books take place in the Western Pennsylvania area, the place she will always call home. Being adventurous, Carole changed careers more than once. She holds four degrees in four different fields. She began writing in 1996, when she wrote a tribute to her black Lab after he passed away. Her first novel, “Perfect,” debuted in 2006. When “Perfect” won an award, and was well-received by so many readers, it became a turning point in Carole McKee’s life. Although she had always written stories, she never thought that she could actually become a writer. Her second novel, “Choices,” became a series, followed by “The Bushes are Red” “The Full Nelson” and “Consequences.” She has written four eBooks: “Maddie’s Garden,” “Kisses from the Heart,” “Second chances,” and “Going Home.:” Her trilogy “Testosterone Poisoning,” is available in an eBook format as well as paperback. She is currently working on what will end up being another series, “Angelface.”

Find Carole McKee here:
Blog:       http://author-carole-mckee.blogspot.com/

Twitter:    https://twitter.com/@CaroleMcKee


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Snippett from Be My Valentine?
By Carole McKee

“What’s wrong?” He asked. She immediately recognized him and narrowed her eyes.

“Nothing. I’m fine,” she retorted.

“You’re not fine. Let me help you. Have you called for a tow truck?”

“My phone is dead. Out of juice.” She held up her phone as if she were offering proof.

“It’s really starting to get cold. Why don’t you come sit in my warm car, and I can give you a ride home?”

“No. I’m not getting into a car with you, and I’m certainly not going to go anywhere with you. You can just leave. I’ll be fine.”

“No. You will not be fine. And there is no way I am going to just leave you here. I’m not made that way. I’m not a monster.”

“Could have fooled me.”

“Look.” Cooper shook his head and took a deep breath. “I can explain that day in the office. I…”

“I don’t want an explanation. An apology would be a start.”

“I’ve tried to apologize. Now I’m trying again. I am heartily sorry for that…uh, incident in my office. Now here. Take my phone and call for a tow.”

Trish accepted his phone and punched in the emergency number for the only garage in town.



Debbie resides in northern California with her husband and two rescue dachshunds. She’s an avid supporter of animal rescue and gives a percentage of all book sales to rescue groups. In her spare time, she likes to be with her family, work in the garden and take mild to moderate hikes, go wine tasting, and travel. She also loves to read.  She’s always enjoyed reading, but it wasn’t until she landed a job as a library assistant that her love for reading exploded. Surrounded daily by great authors, Debbie was exposed to a whole different world revolving around books.

Debbie categorizes her books as inspirational romance and women’s fiction. Her female characters are strong and independent, and when faced with adversity, overcome the perils that stand in their way by focusing on the positive when dealing with grief and unhappiness.

Her stories are all fiction with threads of truth woven throughout them. In addition to sharing some real life experiences, she uses her 20+ years as a military wife also as inspiration.

If you’re looking for something different in the way of romance or women’s fiction, consider selecting one of Debbie’s books. Check out her signing schedule as well. If you’re in the area of any of them, she’d be happy to sign a copy for you.

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Snippet from Perfect Pitch
by Debbie White

“She’ll be obsessed with baseball, and not have much of a life beyond it until she meets the man of her dreams that is,” she said.

Zach brushed his hand across his face. He’d paused before he spoke. “When you say it like that, makes it sound like baseball isn’t worth living for. It pays my bills, and not to mention the activity side of the sport. It keeps me in shape.”

He got that right. On and off the diamond, Colton was ripped. He had what many would describe as a solid frame. It was beautiful and she admired his strength. It was most difficult to conduct the interview with well-defined pecs and a six-pack visible under his tight tee-shirt. Someone had to do it, she giggled to herself.



Brandi enjoys writing romance in as many genres as she can. Creating characters people can relate to and are drawn to is her goal. She hopes it keeps you coming back for more.

She would love to hear from you. You can email her at siriwolfs@gmail.com

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Snippet for Bound by Marriage: Looking Through Your Eyes
by Brandi Gillilan

Light colored eyes were all but shooting fire at the older woman. “Let me get this straight.” Annabelle started listing the events with her fingers, “You tricked us into filling out questionnaires. Turned them into a matchmaking company.  And contractually obligated the three of us in arranged marriages if we want to keep Taking the Plunge as our business.”

The older lady smiled at her granddaughter, “You’ve always been a quick study Annabelle.”