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From In Here is a multi-topic blog site covering subjects and issues from serious to silly, and a lot in between. Parenting, disability, widowhood, books, music, history, philosophy, pop culture, lots of giveaways … it’s all there to share, discuss, and consider. I’m always honest, even about the ugly truths in life, and always willing to interact with you, From In Here.

Reaching out to you, From In Here – Denise

Email me at frominhere@gmail.com with precise explanations of where you found the 5 hidden images. You can send screenshots or written descriptions. If you don’t find them all, just tell me which you do find. I will be selecting at least 4 winners from those who find all 4, or 3, or whatever the most thorough hunters locate.

I’m not telling you yet exactly what the prizes will be, but it’s going to be well worth the effort you put in! If you follow my website or social media you know that I won’t disappoint you.  If you have any questions, email me at frominhere@gmail.com. Entries must be emailed to me by midnight on Friday, October 22nd. Each week some of the hidden images will move, which will give you more opportunities to locate them. Happy hunting!

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Book Review

Missing Maverick
by Anna Brooks

Release Date: Available Now

My review:

This book certainly fits ‘all the feels’ within the pages. “Missing Maverick” is the third book in the ‘Ryder Ranch’ series by Anna Brooks. I believe you can definitely enjoy it as a standalone.

Maverick and Cricket were best friends since childhood, which evolved into becoming high school sweethearts. They promised one another forever together, but then she left and the consequences for both of them were devastating.  She throws herself into her career and find great success but leaves her feeling empty. Cricket also ends up in a loveless marriage with a man who treats her worse than abominably. (Connected with that, Royal Ace Security plays a small role in this story, which is particularly cool if you’ve read that series.) Maverick never dates, he just has emotionless hook-ups. He spent years drowning himself in hard work, liquor and meaningless sex. Oh, and he finds out he fathered a daughter when the girl is already 10 years old, and another child from an encounter he was too drunk to even remember. Despicable, right? Somehow when you have it all in context, you realize Maverick isn’t despicable at all.

When Cricket returns home to their small town, with plans to stay there permanently, she and Maverick and their families have a lot of feelings to deal with and adjusting to do. Throughout the book I kept wondering what Cricket was hiding about the reason she’d left more than a decade ago. I kept thinking of different possible scenarios. Well, nothing I imagined came close to what she later revealed.  Whoa and Wow. She and Maverick kept trying to protect one another and protect their own broken hearts, and in the process kept unintentionally doing the exact opposite. The chemistry and undying love between them is so powerful, they can’t resist its pull even when they try.

Adding to the stress in this story are developments with the issue of Maverick’s mother, who abandoned his father, him and his siblings just months before Cricket vanished. I think whether or not you’ve read the previous books in the series, these scenes are powerful.  It seems that the next book in the series will focus on Maverick’s father, and it’s pointing in an unexpected but interesting direction. In each book other family members play secondary roles and we learn more about what’s going on in their lives. I’m really hoping that we’re going to learn more about what happens in the future with Cricket and Maverick, because after experiencing this story I feel so emotionally invested in them!

I was going to love her until my last breath, and she promised to do the same… but she lied.

Cricket McBride packed up without warning, ditching our small town and the life we were going to build together. She left me with tears in her eyes, a kiss on my cheek, and an empty heart that had done nothing but hardened over the years.
My life wasn’t what I thought it would be, but I’d long since accepted it for what it was. I was content with working on my family ranch and being the best father I could. And I was fine with that.

Or so I thought.

When Cricket returned, one look was all it took for me to admit I still cared, but it wasn’t until I saw the marks on her skin and the pain in her soul that I realized just how deep that love went. Because the same hands that held her tight also promised to protect her… and I never broke a promise.


About Anna Brooks:

The first time Anna tried to read a romance novel, her hair caught on fire when she leaned over a candle to sneak a peek at her mom’s Harlequin. She thinks being hit on the head with a shirtless Fabio until the smoke cleared is what sparked the flame for her love of romance.

Anna was born in Wisconsin, but currently lives in Texas with her husband and two boys. She writes sexy romance that always has a happy ending and loves bringing characters back for cameos. Less than six degrees of separation connects any of her novels.
When she’s not writing or reading, she’s watching reruns of her favorite romcoms, talking to her dogs and cat like they’re human, eating carbs, or practicing hand lettering.

She loves to hear from readers and can be found on social media as @annabrooksauth everywhere.

North
by Vanessa Vale

Release Date: Available Now

My review:

“North” is the first book in the ‘Billionaire Ranch’ series by Vanessa Vale. I already know that this author writes entertaining stories that often have unexpected twists. Well, this story certainly delivers all of that.

North is not a direction, a location, or even a man, as the book cover might lead you to believe; she’s a cold-hearted businesswoman known as the Ice Princess. Jed is a disgraced FBI agent, returned to his western cowboy roots to eke out a living now that he’s destroyed his career. Except neither North not Jed is who or what they seem to be. As ‘the reader’, we are privy to Jed’s big secret, but as the story progresses, we get to learn he’s much more than a frequently inappropriate, extremely dirty-talking, bossy alpha male (regardless of how hot that is). North is also hiding some huge secrets of her own. She’s an incredibly strong character with a heart-wrenching back story. When North and Jed get together, it’s so hot you’d think sprinkler systems everywhere would rain down upon unsuspecting readers. I don’t want to reveal anything more about the plot because I think with this one, the less you know, the more intense your enjoyment will be. It’s a quick read because you keep turning pages faster and faster to see what happens next.

This book is full of drama and intrigue, all different types of secrets, blackmail, revenge, deception, corruption, murder and mayhem. The villains are excruciatingly despicable. There are some great secondary characters, including North’s three brothers … yes, they are South, East and West, and they will make up the rest of the series.   I’m looking forward to reading what Vanessa Vale has planned for them all.

Welcome to Billionaire Ranch, USA Today bestseller Vanessa Vale’s new cowboy romance series. Where love points you in the right direction when you least expect it.

Everyone thinks I’m the disgraced cowboy.
That means my cover’s working. The focus of my FBI investigation?
North Wainright.
One look at her and I’m f$cked.
I want her, and not behind bars.
The closer I get, the more I learn about the woman I’ve decided is mine.
When I find out what happened at Billionaire Ranch, I discover I’m not the only one hiding the truth. North also has secrets and they just might get her killed.
How can I save her when she finds out I’m the biggest lie of all?


About Vanessa Vale:

Vanessa Vale is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy romance novels, including her popular Bridgewater historical romance series and hot contemporary romances. With over one million books sold, Vanessa writes about unapologetic bad boys who don’t just fall in love, they fall hard. Her books are available worldwide in multiple languages in e-book, print, audio and even as an online game. When she’s not writing, Vanessa savors the insanity of raising two boys and figuring out how many meals she can make with a pressure cooker. While she’s not as skilled at social media as her kids, she loves to interact with readers.

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Web site- www.vanessavaleauthor.com
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The Devil’s Keepsake
by Somme Sketcher

Release Date: Available Now

My review:

“If I see it, I want it. And if I want it, I have to have it.

I see Poppy. I want Poppy. And I have to have Poppy.”

This perfectly sums up Lorcan’s personality, and Poppy’s big problem. They are the main characters in “The Devil’s Keepsake” by Somme Sketcher, which is book one in the ‘East Coast Devils’ series. It’s an age-gap, enemies-to-lovers stodevilsry full of angsty drama, twists and turns, and some well-placed moments of dry humor.

Lorcan is a deeply flawed man, who also happens to be the reluctant head of a mafia family. It wasn’t something anybody ever expected to see happen, but then again, nobody ever expected the tragedy that precipitated it. Poppy is the only child of a man who works as a mafia errand boy. For good reason, she has no respect for him, and something that happens when she’s 15 years old permanently severs even the teeny bit of a connection she ever felt to him.  When as a result of her father’s incompetence, Lorcan comes for her, a life she has managed to wrench into place completely shatters again.

“The cocktail of expensive cologne and pheromones drift up my nostrils and swirl around my beating heart.”

I don’t want to reveal more about the plot because this is one of those books that you really should enjoy having revealed to you in the way the author wrote it. It’s a longish book because it has a long story to tell, so I didn’t have a problem with that. It’s written in dual POV, which is great for helping us understand the thoughts and feelings of the characters. The powerful chemistry between the two of them simultaneously excites and confuses them both. Lorcan is dominated by emotion more than I’ve come to expect in a male lead in this genre, and it totally lends credence to some of the crazy things that happen. Poppy is significantly younger than he is, although I don’t remember ever learning his age.  She’s also a very strong, resilient heroine. After the climactic scenes in this book I sort of felt like it was very quickly over. I liked the epilogue and the future it showed for Lorcan and Poppy.

There are several secondary characters I’d really like to know more about. Since I’m already intending to read the next book in the series, I’m hoping one or more will appear in that story.  This was a book I very much enjoyed reading.

“Don’t become worthless to me, Miss Murphy. You won’t like the way I’ll discard you.”Aged nine, I saw the Devil.
Those glowing amber eyes, they sliced through the darkness and filled my nightmares.

Aged fifteen, he staked his claim on me.
He held a fake funeral and told my father that I belonged to him now.

Aged nineteen, he made good on his promise.
Snatched me from the life I’d carved out for myself. Threw me in his private museum along with some of the rarest, most expensive artifacts in the world.

I’m his new, shiny obsession.
Nothing more than a keepsake.
But Lorcan Quinn doesn’t want to admire me from the other side of the glass, or even handle me delicately with white gloves.

He wants to break me. Ruin me. Then he wants to acquire the rarest thing of all.

My innocence.

***

SOMME’S NOTES:

The Devil’s Keepsake is a deliciously dark, enemies to lovers mafia romance. It can be read as a standalone, but it’s best devoured with the rest of the trilogy.

You should know that I write dark romance, and my stories—including this one— aren’t for the faint of heart. They contain several triggers and are somewhat disturbing, so aren’t suitable for everyone.
You won’t find Prince Charming or a damsel in distress within these pages, so if that’s what floats your boat, I kindly encourage you to move along!


About Somme Sketcher :

Somme Sketcher writes dark and dangerous romance, designed to be devoured.

Delve into the murky waters of the morally bleak underworld, where sinners look like saints, and villains are your heroes.

If you’re looking for Prince Charming, you won’t find him between these pages.

Welcome to the Dark Side, baby.

Connect with Somme:

FB reader group: Somme Sketcher’s Sin Room

FB page: @authorsommesketcher

Instagram: @authorsommesketcher

Tiktok: @authorsommesketcher

Email: somme@authorsommesketcher.com

My Weekly Playlist

I want it that way
by The Backstreet Boys

Listen on  Spotify

Stay With Me
by Sam Smith

Listen on Spotify

Be Alright
by Dean Lewis

Listen on Spotify

Poetry Corner

Neighbors in October
by David Baker

(Excerpt from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/david-baker)

Poet and essayist David Baker was born in Bangor, Maine [in 1954]. He spent his childhood in Missouri and earned both a BSE and MA from Central Missouri State University before earning a PhD from the University of Utah. He has received fellowships and awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Pushcart Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Baker is often described as a poet of place, indebted to the American Romantic tradition of Emerson and Whitman, as well as Robert Frost. Baker’s poems typically explore an individual’s sense of and engagement with their natural surroundings, and embrace complicated notions of history, home, and memory; Baker himself has delineated the importance of landscape and place, particularly the Midwest where he has lived for over 30 years, to his poetry. In an online interview with Paul Holler he said: “I find a connection between my poetry and my place in the world. I am sure that my work would be different if I lived a long time somewhere else; of course it would, though I have no real way of estimating what that would be, how my poems would change. As it is, I can’t see how I could write without a devout attention to place—the language, ways of life, my neighbors and family, the rigor and leisure that grow here where I live. Wallace Stevens wrote that ‘we live in the mind.’ But I would add to that, to assert that if we live in the mind, then the mind lives in the body, and the body lives in a particular time and place in the world, taking sustenance, loving, working, laboring in that time and place.”

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